MLB: Don't Make the Mistake of Underrating the New York Yankees
MLB Season Looms With Many People Viewing the Yankees as Underdogs in the AL East
For those who make it their business to obsess over baseball's Hot Stove League, the struggles of the New York Yankees to add to their roster is probably a subject that has been played out well beyond the point of exhaustion.
This if, of course, absolutely true. So let's just keep this simple by saying that the Yankees are basically the same team they were last season, sans veteran lefty Andy Pettitte.
Meanwhile, their arch rivals in Boston went out and added some thunder to their lineup in the form of left fielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. They also padded their bullpen with Bobby Jenks and a couple other arms.
Long story short, the Red Sox went out and got much better. Because of this, most baseball pundits and fans have them tabbed as the favorite in the AL East. And as a self-proclaimed Sox junkie, I have no problem admitting that I'm loving it.
However, like most Sox junkies, I also know that it is never, and I mean never, a good idea to underrate the Yankees. Shoot, they could run Justin Bieber out there one night, and I'd still be on high alert.
The fact of the matter is that there is a reason that the Yankees have made the playoffs in 15 of the last 16 seasons. It's not just that they have great, high-profile players. Those blasted pinstripes also come with a notorious killer instinct. And mansions or not, it doesn't seem to be losing its power any time soon.
On Saturday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi filled out a lineup card for the first time in 2011 for the team's Grapefruit League opener. Just looking at it puts knots in my stomach.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguz, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, DH
7. Curtis Granderson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Brett Gardner, LF
Right now, I suspect that any Yankee hater who just took a gander at that lineup is realizing that this is the kind of batting order that almost makes a starting rotation a petty luxury. Indeed, who needs a fourth and fifth starter when you have that kind of offense?
Nevertheless, I suppose the question is still whether or not the Yankees are better than the Red Sox, who, for all intents and purposes, are the most loaded team in the American League. On paper, the answer is no.
But are the Yankees that much worse than the Sox? No freakin' way.
So take it from me, a Red Sox fan, don't sleep on the Yanks.
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