28 Sep 2010
The Yankees did what needed to be done and got into the playoffs, now the question becomes, what are they going to do with their four remaining games? Obviously, they can rest anyone they want, but I hope they don’t. I hope the Yankees make a collective decision to fight until the division is either won or lost. I hope they use the opportunity they have to go after it.
I think part of the problem this team has had over the last few weeks is that they stopped playing with intensity. They saw that they had a huge lead for the playoffs and they took the foot off the gas a bit. It’s impossible to stay focused for 162 games and the Yankees were certainly due a period of turbulence in a season mostly free of it. But, this period seems like it was self-inflicted. It seems to me that Joe Girardi stopped managing to win and the players followed his example. Perhaps I am reading too much into it or giving Girardi too much credit, but that’s what my eyes are telling me.
And that’s why the Yankees should keep after it this week. Try and win tomorrow and then sit back on Thursday and see what Tampa does. Ultimately, the Yankees will need to win two more games than Tampa if they want to take the division. That’s a tall order, but one worth pursuing.