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July 18, 2005

It's A Brand New Season

When I look at the AL East standings this morning, I see Boston with a record of 50-41 in first, and the Yankees just a 1/2 game back, in second, with a record of 49-41.

The fact that these teams are presently tied in the loss column is huge - because, in theory, the Yankees now control their own destiny. If New York wins all of their remaining games, they will win the AL East and it does not matter at all what the other teams in the division do for the rest of the season.

Of course, there is no way on earth or in heaven that the Yankees are going to win their next 72 games. But, what we can say this AM is that it's a brand new season for New York now - and that everything that happened so far in 2005, both good and bad, is moot.

It's no longer a 162-game marathon for the flag. As of this moment in time, thanks to the records of all the teams in the AL East, it's now a 72-game sprint for the division title.

As Yankee fans, we should throw out everything that everyone has done on the team to date and start a new clock for them as of this morning.

If Kevin Brown wins 9 games from this point to the end of the season, that's much more important than whatever he did in the first half of the year. If Jorge Posada hits 15 homeruns from here until the start of the post-season, those 15 long balls will be his most important dingers of the year.

This is the way it works now for the Yankees in this brand new season. They've been able to work their way into this 72-game race. They're the leader now. It's there for the taking.

Enjoy the new Opening Day this evening in Texas!

Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 18, 2005 10:32 AM

Comments

Good call about Kevin Brown...he had 3-4 starts this year where Jim Kaat could not stop talking about his late movement & velocity. Posada echoed the same thing.

Just keep him from punching the wall or head-butting Stottlemyre during a mound conference, and he has El Duque 2004 written all over him.

Posted by: Jason O. at July 18, 2005 11:10 AM

I thought Al Leiter was going to be El Duque 2004?

Posted by: Ryan at July 18, 2005 11:15 AM

I keep thinking back to Catfish in 1978. And, hoping that *maybe* - just maybe - Brown could do that this year. I know, it's a huge reach. Monster reach. But, the Yankees need something like that now.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 18, 2005 11:23 AM

Actually, they're not in first, but rather second. Heading into Texas and the Angels while Boston gets TB at home. I'm waiting a week before jumping on the Al Leiter wagon. Last night was easily his best start of his career, and I happen to think that there is a reason he has a seven era this year. I dont count Boston -as these teams are always going to play each other tougher than others, no matter the situations they are in. If the Yanks win the next two series with this rotation, I'll be a little happier, but as of now, I don't ever count how the Yanks and the Sox play each other bc it's not a good indicator. I dont mean to be the guy who pisses on your parade, but I have to be realistic here, and right now we are in a lot of trouble if we are depending on Moose and Leiter to win every week.

Posted by: TonyC at July 18, 2005 11:28 AM

has kevin Brown won nine games in two years?

Posted by: Paul at July 18, 2005 11:30 AM

Hey, I'm not planning a parade to mark the Yankees winning something. I'm just happy over the fact that, as of today, for whatever reason (luck, bad play by the Sox, whatever) that the Yankees, despite how poorly they have met expectations this year, are *still* in a position with the season 55% done to say they have a chance.

That's the good news.

Yes, the bad news is still defense in CF and the pitching staff. And, is Giambi really going to keep hitting. And,......well, there's a lot of stuff out there.

But, it's not like the Red Sox or O's are the White Sox and the season over in NY.

Like I said, the next 72 games will paint the picture. I'm still looking forward to them - warts in NY and all.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 18, 2005 11:48 AM

I dont think 72 games is a sprint....

maybe not a marathon either....more like a power walk.

I have been saying this until I go blue in the face...there is still time!

When we were one game under .500 everything became a "must win" a "turning point" etc etc....we have to win this number of games before the next full moon, etc etc.

Let's keep things in perspective....we can very easily go to 4 GB by next Sunday....and god forbid, but if that happens...let's not hit the panic button....there is a lot of season still left.

Posted by: philly phil at July 18, 2005 11:53 AM

Philly Phil: Exactly. If it were the end of Sept, and the Yanks were 2 out with 3 to play, I may get nervous. But mid July? (:

Posted by: Raf at July 18, 2005 01:11 PM

Yeah, and there were plenty of games left in the ALCS last year to get win # 4......

:)

You should never let them get back up.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 18, 2005 01:14 PM

Yeah, and there were plenty of games left in the ALCS last year to get win # 4......

:)

You should never let them get back up.
---------------------------------------------

Agreed, but a playoff series is much different than the context of the regular season. They had their chances to win that series, but didn't execute

Posted by: Raf at July 18, 2005 01:36 PM

Since the 11-19 start the Yanks have gone 38-22. That's .633 ball. If the Yanks play .633 ball for the final 72 games, they win 95 games--which should be enough to make it to the post-season.

Posted by: Joel at July 18, 2005 02:57 PM

"I'm waiting a week before jumping on the Al Leiter wagon. Last night was easily his best start of his career, and I happen to think that there is a reason he has a seven era this year."

Al Leiter has definitely been showing his age the last few years, but to call last night's game "easily his best start of his career" is a bit of a stretch. The man has thrown a no-hitter and has struck out 10 or more in a game 15 times.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/PX_leita001.htm

As for whether he can repeat the performance, and whether the Yanks can stay in the race, time will tell.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 18, 2005 03:26 PM

//Since the 11-19 start the Yanks have gone 38-22. That's .633 ball. If the Yanks play .633 ball for the final 72 games, they win 95 games--which should be enough to make it to the post-season.//

Great point Joel.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at July 18, 2005 03:45 PM