As I write this early morning blog and officially welcome my Friday, I’m reminded that the Yankees are just finishing their Thursday. That’s right, with a late night game in Kansas City, the ‘Bombers are probably just settling into their “home away from home” at the Inner Harbor Renaissance.
Alas, before this city takes on a purple glow – beginning next Monday, we’ll all endure three days of “Yankee Blue” in and around the downtown area. In fact, it might be really extreme this weekend. As Allen McCallum pointed out (on Thursday’s Sportsnight), Orioles fans may be few and far between this weekend; given the Hall Of Fame ceremonies.
Then again, the Yankees are rockstars and simply attract masses of fans. These “fanatics” also have a lot to cheer about these days. The Yankees are one of the hottest teams in baseball …. and have been absolutely murdering the ball – not withstanding last night.
By the way, this blog is littered with a touch of boastful digs. After all, who said the Yankees were NOT done? Who stood before everyone and said this Yankees team would get hot and carry serious momentum into the stretch? It was me …. and I’m looking much smarter than I did a month ago.
The Yankees are 18-8 since they departed Baltimore on a rainy Thursday night in the final days of June. As stated, they’re clicking offensively and the pitching has improved. Critics may assert they’re beating up on vulnerable teams. Well …. get comfortable with it.
The Yankees have an extremely favorable schedule throughout the remainder of the season, with plenty of action remaining against the Orioles and Devil Rays. Whereas, the Indians and Twins have some pretty tough stretches ahead …. especially against each other. The Yankees, at 54-47 and just 4 ½ games out in the wild card race certainly have control of their destiny.
I’ll be headed to the park tonight. A reminder for those attending – they’re finishing the suspended game (from June 28th) prior to starting tonight’s contest. Thus, this really amounts to a four game series. And, an important stretch for the Yanks …. as the Twins and Indians, their main competition in the AL Wild Card race, turn their teeth on each other.
In case you’re wondering, I’m sticking by my prediction …. you know, the one that forecasted the Yankees as Wild Card winners – during the All-Star break. Don’t be surprised to see a fresh face or two by Sunday. Eric Gagne? Octavio Dotel? Brad Lidge?
Oh, and I can’t take credit for this one – I’ll defer to Drew Forrester – don’t be overwhelmed if Bronson Arroyo is wearing pinstripes by next week. He’s going somewhere …. and so are the Yankees – to the playoffs.