This Yankee Team is Fun

Oh man, what a ride. 17 of 18 wins, the best stretch of any Yankee team since 1953. 11 straight wins at home. 8 wins in a row against teams that were in 1st place at first pitch. Multiple come from behind victories, including last nights comeback victory over the Red Sox, to take over sole possession of 1st place. 26-10, best record in Baseball. This Yankees team has been fun to watch.

The reason they’re fun to watch, is because these are our guys. Judge. Sanchez. Severino. Gleybar. Andujar. Didi (who has stepped into Derek Jeter’s shoes at shortstop, and has done a remarkable job). Even Brett Gardner, the longest tenured Yankee. He was struggling a bit until going 3-5 last night, including the go ahead, 2-run triple vs Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel in the 8th inning.

All these guys we’ve seen come up and turn into great baseball players, right in front of our eyes.

It’s hard not to smile and laugh with this team as a Yankees fan. These guys come up huge in important moments, time after time. Their play is infectious, making the guys around them better, all while making us Yankees fans proud that our homegrown talent is having such great success.

To be completely honest, I had some doubts about this team earlier in the season, after their 9-9 start after 18 games. Coming off last season’s unexpected run, I thought it might be tough to duplicate or even exceed what they accomplished last season, especially with a new manager in Aaron Boone, and such high expectations after acquiring NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason.

You have to tip your cap to the mastermind behind all of this, GM Brian Cashman. The 2016 trade deadline, where the Yankees were sellers for the first time in over 20 years, signaled the changing of times in the Yankee organization. Trading the two best relievers in baseball at the time, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in separate deals, signaled a white flag for the 2016 season, and probably for a few more seasons to come. Everyone was eyeing the 2019 season as the year we would see this team and its young prospects shine. Everyone except maybe Cashman, who knew the type of talent this team had in the system. With the mix of veterans and younger prospects who are excelling in their roles, Cashman has this team poised to be perennial World Series contenders. (Remember, they’re also missing injured 1B Greg Bird, who was a key contributor in their postseason run last season).

Although it has been multiple different players stepping up during this run, I think the turning point has been the call up of Gleybar Torres, the prospect Cashman received in the Chapman trade in 2016. The Yankees are 16-1 since calling up Gleybar on April 22nd, and I don’t think its a coincidence. He is batting .333 with 2 Home Runs and 11 RBIs this season. Those are great numbers for a 21-year-old rookie, but the most important part, is that he is rounding out the bottom of the lineup, making the Yankees batters tough to face from 1 through 9. With youngsters Gleybar and Andujar batting well at the bottom of the lineup, opposing pitchers are facing a nightmare of a lineup, especially with guys like Judge, Sanchez, Didi and Stanton at the top. Gleybar also showed he has the moxie to play in the big leagues and in the Bronx, becoming the youngest player in Yankees history to hit a walk of HR.

This team has been the most fun Yankees team to watch since 1996, and we’re only in May. Grab on to your seats, and enjoy the ride Yankees fans.

-Mark

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