The New York Yankees have dropped 2 of 3 in the Opening Weekend series to the lowly Baltimore Orioles. But what should our reaction be about games 2 and 3 of 162? Well, let’s discuss it then shall we?
Judge Delivers Sentencing on Yankees
Ok, so the title of this section seems a little ominous but that’s not the case. (Sorry I’ll try to keep the court puns at a minimum.) Aaron Judge in speaking to the media made a clear and factual statement. And that simple fact is the Yankees play better when “their backs are against the wall.” When the team comes out aggressive and hungry for victory is when they are at their best. This team plays better when there is pressure. And if the Yankees are going to be successful this season in their quest for 28, then every game must be given that level of pressured focus. (Below are the quotes from Aaron Judge)
"In the playoffs, especially in '17 going down to Cleveland and Houston, our backs were against the wall and we came out and played our butts off. That’s got to be our mindset. Our backs are against the wall. You can’t take anybody lightly."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 30, 2019
What’s the Right Reaction?
As a fan of anything, let alone a sports franchise, you are entitled to your feelings about what happens. People stop watching T.V. shows that they have invested years into because the show’s dynamic changes or their favorite character leaves the show. And in much of the same way fans have similar reactions to their favorite sports teams. Everyone’s response is right based on your principles and beliefs — just a brief PSA.
But the Yankees Lost to the O’s
Bringing it back to the Yankees now, when this team set out on the first day of Spring Training there was a feeling in the air. This 2019 team has a special poise about them. There is a sense that this club could be the second coming of the dynasty which we have been waiting for nearly twenty years. The new “Core” of this team is in place, all headed by the unofficial “Captain” Aaron Judge. The Ace, Luis Severino, the catcher Gary Sanchez matchup with Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada. And that’s why these early season losses irritate so much. Yes, it is two losses, and we are not even in April yet, but any loss could be the loss that loses us the AL East Division. This team is stacked up and down the lineup and pitching staff. So honestly, they shouldn’t be losing to the Double-A, Baltimore Orioles. But as we’ll hear about a million times throughout the season from John Sterling, “You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.”
What’s the Point Here?
The bedrock answer to the question posed by this piece is straightforward, it’s just two losses, but we can not accept it. Nor should we with this team. Cliché like this is baseball and “anything can happen” and “any team can be another on a given day.” And any other cliche things can be said about these losses. The one thing that can not be said about it is that it is ok. The day that this Yankees team becomes complacent about losses to the lowly Baltimore Orioles, even losses in March, is the day that this team, losses a piece of what makes them special. What Aaron Judge said about every missed opportunity and lost game is a factual statement. How they respond is even more critical. Let’s see how they handle Detroit tonight.