August 10, 2012
Al Davis would approve of Yankees
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Fans of the New York Yankees possess an elevated angst regarding their team of choice.
As a backer of the Bronx Bombers, it's a given that youtr team will make it to the post-season. It's not so much if your team will advance to the playoffs, but by how many lengths will they win?
Over the past three weeks or so, the Yankees' relentless march into the post-season as the best team in the American League East has slowed from a sprint to a trot.
But onward they march with no real opposition in sight.
The Yankees have dropped 12 of their past 19 games to see their lead in the AL East drop from double digits to below five games.
Still, no fan is happy to see their team wobble in the standings and if Yankees fans can conjure up some sense of panic, rip a page out of the 2011 Red Sox playbook, so be it.
As for the lads that wear the vaunted pinstripes, they collectively ripped a page out of the playbook of Al Davis, the late, great and eccentric owner of the Oakland Raiders who coined the phrase "Just win, baby."
In a sloppy game against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, the Yankees turned a 7-0 lead into a nailbiter only to emerge with a 12-8 victory and afterwards, from manager to player and back again, it was all Al Davis all the time.
"I don't think I'm really concerned with how we play as long as we win," veteran third baseman/designated hitter Eric Chavez said. "However we get it done, whether it's a 1-0 shutout or whatever it is, right now, this time of the year, a W is all that matters."
At this time of the season, though, that's the point.
Currently the Yankees are getting by without the services of Alex Rodriguez, who has been out since July 24 with a fractured left hand, and left-handed starter Andy Pettitte, who is recovering from a broken left leg. Both are expected to return some time in September.
Obviously the team suffers without them.
"Do we miss Alex and Andy Pettitte? Yes," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said recently. "At the same time we are capable of fighting through it. I think it has to do with poor baseball. We have guys in slumps and not doing well."
In running up against the crippled Blue Jays, the Yankees will face the perfect team to restore their swagger.
The Yankees have the firepower to hammer clubs with suspect pitching.
The real angst for their fans will come playoff time and the question that will rise is whether or not they have the pitching that can carry them to a long playoff run.
That one has yet to be answered,
For the time being they'll pound out the W's the Al Davis way.
YANKEES AT BLUE JAYS
FRIDAY 7:07 p.m. RHP Freddy Garcia vs. LHP Ricky Romero
SATURDAY 1:07 p.m. RHP Ivan Nova vs. LHP Aaron Laffey
SUNDAY 1:07 p.m. RHP Phil Hughes vs. LHP J.A. Happ
For the past couple of decades, the one thing the Yankees have shown they can do better than any team in the American League is murder mediocre pitching. They can be stopped by good pitching but mediocre pitching they destroy. The Jays starters these days are strictly mediocre so it could get ugly.
The last time the teams met, the Yankees swept a three-game series in New York and outscored them 18-4. The Jays are reeling and will be lucky to win one of the three.
YANKEES WHO'S HOT
YANKEES WHO'S COLD