With all these injuries, this season was never going to be straightforward, but the Yankees except for an initial stumble or two have handled the opening weeks with style. Let’s see who had the arms which led the way:
The New York Yankees had the most amazing start to a baseball season in their history but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the Wins column (although they didn’t too badly in that respect). Rather it was in terms of players heading to the (now renamed) injured list (IL). Let’s see what happened:
(Sometime over the last few years I was approached to write a “blurb” for the cover of a book of thoughts about Bob Dylan by an Australian author, Phil Mason. I’ve never met Phil but I’ve been privileged to help him with his research. By the time the book was approaching readiness, the idea had expanded and I wrote a foreword for the book which eventually appeared under the title of “A Voice From on High”. As well as reproducing that foreword here, I take the opportunity to recommend Mr Mason’s book which can be obtained through Amazon in softcover and for your kindle.)
“Well I’m sitting in church
In an old wooden chair
I knew nobody
Would look for me there”
Bob Dylan – Marchin’ to the City (Disc 3 of Tell Tale Signs 1989-2006)
In 1707, Isaac Watts, the Christian hymnwriter, wrote a lyric called “Marching to Zion” in which he referred to Zion as the beautiful city of God. Now, this was long before Zion had become a short-hand for some Western European political scheme to establish a physical homeland for disenfranchised Jewish people in the middle East (a scheme commonly referred to as Zionism). It is Watts looking forward to the end of an earthly journey where all the faithful people of God, Jew and Gentile, would be gathered in to an eternal home.
So, as we have seen there were some questionable decisions made by Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ manager, with regard to the batting line-up and substitutions. We, therefore, shouldn’t be surprised that those strange moments weren’t confined to the batting and the defence but affected the pitching too. Can anybody spell Austin Romine?
The Yankees’ time in the playoffs was short and sometimes not so sweet. They beat the Oakland Athletics in the one-game wildcard game but then were out of their depth in the 5 games series for the American League Division Series (ALDS) losing 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox who would eventually go on to take the World Series.
The performances of the batting line up were not far from how the players had performed in the regular season. Let’s take a look:
In September the Yankees had a team batting average of .232 and a team ERA (earned run average) of 4.05. If it wasn’t for those home runs that the team kept coming up with bundles of, then they would probably be looking at a win-loss record under .500 for the month. As it was, they came through 15-13 but some of their big name pitchers struggled majorly.
The Yankees seemed rather to take their eye off the ball, metaphorically speaking, in September. They finished the month with a 15-12 record which was enough to seal their wildcard spot and even to give them home-field advantage in the forthcoming playoffs, but along the way the management made some peculiar and bewildering decisions in terms of who was on the field of play. Let’s look in this first article at the batters who exploded and those who really struggled.