The New York Yankees are at the precipice of making history. And yet on a daily basis find themselves falling flat on their faces. At one point the Yankees had a commanding lead in the AL Wildcard this season. However, that has dwindled down to one. Just one lowly game stands between playing in the Bronx. Or flying 3000 miles West and playing in Oakland. And we saw the travesty that was the Yankees time in Oakland just last week.
But let’s start on the lighter, cheerier side of yesterday’s news. It was reported that for the first time in the history of the Luxury Tax Threshold the New York Yankees will not be over the threshold. The threshold set at $197 million is at present moment only set to be surpassed by two teams the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals. With Yanks not being over the limit, this will allow them to reset their penalty fee on that threshold. Essentially the Yankees were paying 50 cents on the dollar for every dollar they were over the LTT (Luxury Tax Threshold.) Now with falling under the LTT, their penalty will fall to 20%. It may not seem like much but resetting that LTT can allow the Yankees ownership and upper management the financial flexibility to go after top free agents like Bryce Harper of Manny Machado.
The Yankees have not been playing good baseball for quite some time. It’s been written about plenty right here on The Laracuente Ledger. Most recently our articles like Yankees Back at Square One, or Hey Yankees it’s Stretch Time have covered those struggles. This isn’t the time of the season that a team wants to still be looking to find some semblance of stability. But that is seemingly what is happening every night the Yanks play. When you are watching the Bronx Bombers the question isn’t who will step up tonight, among the plethora of talent. The question is can someone please step up tonight. For instance, the Yankees were playing the Minnesota Twins a team that is 11 games under .500. The Twins are a losing ballclub this season, and yet they managed to win the series against the Yankees. In the two losses, the Twins would outscore the Yank 13-6. By more than double the Twins would outscore the Bronx Bombers.
Not only was the series against the Twins infuriating because the Yankees lost but also because the Twins were a team that the Yanks have dominated throughout the last decade-plus. The other problem with the series loss to the Twins was the blown lead in the AL Wildcard race. The once comfortable lead is now down to one. The Yanks have allowed their season to be controlled by another team. Beyond the normal scoreboard watching of September, the Bombers must be engaged in the score of their rivals. Hoping and praying for success, that is not likely to come. For example last night the Oakland A’s demolished the Baltimore Orioles 10-0 aiding in closing the gap in the AL Wildcard race. The Yankees control their future placement for the playoffs. But if the play that they have shown over the last two-plus months is any indication, they may not be in control of that first Wildcard spot for much longer.