Monday, August 6, 2007

How predictions can backfire

Well folks:
As I sit here around 7:30 p.m., my beloved Yankees are tied for the wild card, pending the results of tonight's games.
Who would have thought it?
I remember back in May, many of the so-called baseball experts pronounced the Yankees dead. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, one of those experts went on David Letterman and proclaimed the Bombers had no chance of making the playoffs.
Think I'm kidding? I believe that particular Letterman show is being rebroadcast tonight (Monday).
Now, there's a lot of baseball left and the Yankees have done what they're supposed to do, and that is take advantage of the easier part of their schedule. What surprised me, however, was how quickly the likes of the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians have come back to the pack.
While catching the Red Sox for the East title is probably still a longshot, at least they are within shouting distance.
Why have the Yankees been able to make this run?
First and foremost is the schedule I've previously mentioned. Today's win against the Blue Jays was huge and the games only get tougher from here, as Cleveland and Detroit lurk.
But another reason, I believe, is the Yankees probably made the best decision at the trade deadline (for the most part) by sitting pat as opposed to overpaying for that one guy all the experts said the Yankees had to have.
Not trading Melky Cabrera for Eric Gagne was a great non-move for the Yankees. The likes of Cabrera and Robinson Cano and Andy Phillips and even Shelley Duncan make this a fun team to watch.
Their offense -- I'm not talking about pitching now -- reminds me of the type of offense they had during their championship run in the late 90s.
They have their superstars, no doubt, but unlike in years past, these intangible-type guys bring a spark this team has been lacking for some time.
Add to the mix that Hideki Matsui and Bobby Abreu and even Johnny Damon (to a lesser extent) have started to hit, while A-Rod, Jeter and Posada have stayed pretty consistent throughout, and you have the makings of one of the strongest, most well-balanced offenses in baseball.
And I don't know about you guys, but I'm glad Phil Hughes is back and can't wait to see Joba Chamberlain bring his 100 miles and hour fastball from the minors to the bullpen.
So sit back guys, while I'm not bold -- or stupid -- enough to predict whether the Yankees will make the playoffs, one thing is for sure, it's going to be one heck of a pennant race.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

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