I was left to ponder something the other day as I watched another thrashing of the Irish at the hands of the supposedly dreadful Michigan Wolverines - could the New York Yankees actually do it?
Yep, I was so bored at watching the beat-down of a century that I began to think baseball while watching college football. I mean, think about it - not that many people gave the Yankees a chance at the beginning of the season. Honestly? I began to hope for a .500 season.
Leave it to the Captain, Derek Jeter, and his troops in the Yankees lineup to metaphorically slap me across the face for ever doubting them. Granted, their pitching staff is still not up to par with other squads around the league, but with Chien-Ming Wang nearing 20 wins and Andy Pettite back in the rotation, I have to say things are looking up.
My only concern at this point is the fact that if it comes down to meeting the Boston Red Sox in the postseason, I don't think close games will really favor the Yankees if Mariano Rivera can't get rid of the illness contracted by Brad Lidge of the Houston Astros that is causing him to blow saves against the Red Sox like its going out of style.
Given the batting lineup of the Yankees, it's easy for a lot of people to think this team should be a 100-plus winner every year, but it all comes down to pitching. It doesn't matter if your team can drive in 15 runs in a game if your pitching staff is giving up 20. That's a bit of an exaggeration on my part, but you get my drift.
I'm hoping that next year, the Yankees will try just a little bit harder to find a dominant left-handed pitcher, since that is something we are seriously lacking to counter the lineups of the dominant teams in the American League.
Until then, I think I'll just hope the current group of Yankees pitchers can get their acts together for the postseason and carry New York to the promised land. After all, I'm not some Astros fan who'll be content just to see their team attend a World Series (and let's be honest, that's all the Astros did against the St. Louis Cardinals). We, as fans of the "Evil Empire," expect nothing less than a championship.