Last season, was originally thought to have been a final tune-up for the youth movement of the New York Yankees. It was supposed to be a rebuilding season; one more year to acclimate a bevy of young players to the professional ranks. This stable of super talent was being groomed to bring the Bronx Bombers back to the pinnacle of Major League Baseball.
However, these stars of the future turned out to be ready for prime time players in 2017. An offensive explosion in the wildcard game against the Minnesota Twins catapulted them into the American League Divisional Series (ALDS). The Yankees then derailed the odds-on World Series favorite Cleveland Indians in a dramatic series.
A team that was supposed to be looking ahead to 2018 took the eventual World Champion Houston Astros to a seventh game in the American League Championship Series. The future was now in New York. With a new manager to start the 2018 season, former Yankee player Aaron Boone, fans were salivating for a 28th World Title.
As the first month of the 2018 season winds down though, New York finds themselves looking at another fight for one of the wildcard berths. One of last year’s playoff heroes, Greg Bird, is once again recovering from an injury. Highly-touted Brandon Drury has also been on the shelf with blurred vision caused by migraine headaches.
Nonetheless, the biggest headache for the Yankees thus far has been their bitter rivals the Boston Red Sox. Boston has rocketed out to an historic 17-2 start and has built a full seven game edge over the 10 win Yankees.
Add to that the woeful early season statistics of Gary Sanchez, and newly acquired veterans Giancarlo Stanton and Neil Walker. All three are batting under .200, so New York is digging themselves an early hole. Sure, it’s a long 162 game season, but Boston is looking more and more like a team without many weak spots to exploit.
New York’s elite young roster played above expectations in 2017, falling one game short of another World Series appearance. The storied franchise, hoisting more trophies than any other in professional sports, needs to find a quick cure for their early season pinstripe blues. If not, a season of hopeful bounty may turn into one of promises unfulfilled.