No excuses – the Yankees must make the World Series
It’s a tall task to ask but the New York Yankees must make the World Series this year in order to reach their potential. In case you haven’t heard, the Astros and Red Sox are in disarray after a huge scandal that rocked both teams.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred handed out harsh punishment to the Astros, including millions of dollars in fines and the suspension of then General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch. Both Luhnow and Hinch were later fired for their actions and the Astros now search for two key members of their staff.
As for the Red Sox, Manager Alex Cora mutually agreed with the team to step down amidst the scandal. Cora was part of the Astros organization during the heyday of the sign-stealing scandal. The Red Sox now are without a manager as well, without the man that helped lead them to a 2018 World Series championship.
In come the New York Yankees. who are fresh off an ALCS loss to the same Astros in 2019. The Yankees are bringing most of their pieces back, along with new addition Gerrit Cole. They now have some of the best sluggers in the game and the best pitcher in the game. Their bullpen is still stacked despite the loss of Dellin Betances and their infield is still top notch despite the loss of Didi Gregorius.
The Yankees are now the odds-on favorites to win the World Series. Anything short of a pennant would be an objective disaster. There are no excuses anymore. They have all the tools to win the World Series and the two teams that eliminated them the past three seasons are in shambles. The talent is still there on both teams, but a scandal like this and the loss of both of their managers surely puts the Yankees at a big advantage.
Where do the Yankees go from here? Well they still need to figure out a few things. The Yankees made an interesting move on Wednesday, sending Stephen Tarpley to the Miami Marlins for third base prospect James Nelson. This may be a precursor to the eventual trade of Miguel Andujar, the extremely talented third baseman who became an afterthought thanks to the emergence of Gio Urshela.
The Yankees still need to fill a few holes to fill. They need someone to step up in the infield, whether that be Tyler Wade or someone outside the organization. They also need to figure out their outfield rotation. With the loss of Aaron Hicks for half the 2020 season, Brett Gardner was re-signed for another year.
Gardner is an excellent veteran player, but he shouldn’t be relied upon in the outfield as an everyday player. Whether it be Mike Tauchman who steps up, or dare I say Clint Frazier, the Yankees need to find a way to spell Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield. In addition, Kyle Higashioka has stepped into the role of backup catcher, as Austin Romine signed with the Detroit Tigers.
Still, the Yankees now have all the pieces in place for a World Series run and no longer have the excuse of coming up short against Houston. If they’re going to win the World Series, they’ll still need to go through either Boston or Houston. The path has been made a little bit easier, so there are no excuses.
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