All the Opening Day excitement and hoopla diminished at the end of the 10th inning, after a brutal loss to start the season. Even though Gerrit Cole had 8 strikeouts and Gary Sanchez hammered a home run and flipped the birds to all his haters regarding his defense, Judge and Stanton combined to go 1-for-9, and the team left 8 guys in RISP. The bats were asleep, and the Blue Jays took control in extra innings and secured the win.
A disappointing loss to say the least, which got me thinking of the word disappointment. Every year is always considered “win now”, especially with the Yankees. An average fan would be thankful and blessed to have the star power and winning success the team has had, especially in recent years, but does it matter without the end goal of a World Series ring? Aaron Boone enters his fourth season as the skipper, and he has yet to take the team to the World Series.
Joe Girardi only won one ring in 2009, the team's last championship. He was relieved of his duties after falling one game short of the World Series in the team's improbable 2017 run. If this team can't make it there this year, then there needs to be some serious consideration on who is right for the job and who should be on this team. The pressure and spotlight is and always will be on the Bronx Bombers. This year is the fourth season of the Yankee's “championship window” since that 2017 outburst when the team was heading towards a rebuild. Each season, even though winning 100 plus games and heading into the postseason with a hype video, has ended into a disappointment.
Photo: Corey Sipkin
Fast forward to the present, and the Yankees roster from top to bottom is clearly a World Series Caliber team. When *healthy*, this team can go places. DJ LeMahieu is an MVP, Judge and Stanton can be MVPs, Gerrit Cole can be a CY Young winner, there should be multiple All-Stars, there are no excuses anymore. In the AL, the Yankees should be the team to beat. The reigning pennant winners in the Rays lost two of their best starting pitchers. The Astros have no Verlander nor George Springer. The Red Sox are rebuilding, the Blue Jays will be pesky but are limited in pitching, and the White Sox are unproven. Would it be disappointing if the Yankees make the World Series and lose? Yes, it would, but at least they can say that they made it, the team is too talented not to make it.
One unfortunate that seems to follow the Yankees every year is injuries, and this year seems to not be any different. Luke Voit is sidelined with a knee injury that resulted in surgery, he crutched onto the field today. Zack Britton is out until July after elbow surgery. Justin Wilson has experienced some shoulder issues, Miguel Andujar has a hand problem, and Clarke Schmidt hits the 60 day IL alongside Luis Severino (Tommy John). Ugh.
There isn’t much room for excuses anymore, Yankee fans through and through are frustrated with the excuses. Will Gary Sanchez get out of his “slumps” and be a firepower on offense and a formidable catcher behind the plate? Can Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both stay healthy and produce MVP caliber numbers? Is Gleybar Torres the shortstop of the future? More importantly, is Aaron Boone the right captain of this ship? There are a lot of questions, but hopefully, this is the season where it can be figured out. Game 1 out of 162 in the books, it's a long season ahead but no more disappointment.