Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well, that's a start ...

I've gotten past the point this season where one win will set my mind in motion on a Yankees return to greatness. Like the girl who was stood up on prom night, I've been hurt before and now I'm just kind of on guard about everything.

But being the eternal optimist I am, yesterday's 9-4 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards was certainly nice to see. They haven't quit yet, something I thought was a real possibility after Thursday's debacle in Toronto. It would have been nice for Moose to get win No. 17 (he probably has six more starts to get to 20), but at this point we can't exactly be picky about how the Yankees win games. Such is life when your favorite team has to play five weeks of .700 ball to make the playoffs.

Six games out of the Wild Card with 34 to go, the odds are against this team. That said, it's still premature to write this team off mathematically, which was the rage on the 'net after Thursday's drubbing. I'll concede the American League East, of course. But are the Yanks really finished in the Wild Card chase?

Oh geez. Here I go again.

What if, per chance, the Yankees were to win eight of the next 10 games while the Red Sox and Twins/White Sox went 5-5 in that same stretch? Is that a completely impossible thought? I don't think so. That would put the Yanks three games back on Sept. 2. Everyone would be going apeshit saying the Yanks were back, including those who went tumbling off the bandwagon in the past month.

Doubters have plenty of ammunition to shoot down that possibility. The Yanks still have no pitching depth, the offense still kind of sucks and with the schedule being as it is (lots of road games, lots of quality opponents), a betting man would probably mark this as an 83-win team and move on.

That's certainly fair. But let's see how the rest of this month plays out before we put the finishing touches on that headstone. You get to play a last-place team the next two days before coming home for six games -- three of which are against those Red Sox whose tail lights are in the distance. Now's the time for that 8-2 run. Tonight I'm counting on Carl Pavano to get the momentum going, and shockingly, I don't even feel that apprehensive about it.

Okay. I'm fucking nuts.

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