At this level, you don’t even want to listen to the phrases or take heed to the reasons — and what are they going to say, anyway? How are the Yankees going to explain what has occurred to this season that was such a dream-cast simply quarter-hour in the past? How do you clarify the inexplicable?
No. All it is advisable to do is have a look at the eyes. Have a look at the faces. Have a look at the Yankees within the dugout as of late, trying tortured, trying troubled, trying totally bewitched and bewildered by what’s occurring to them. They misplaced once more Saturday night time to Tampa Bay, 2-1. Their lead within the AL East is right down to 4 video games. It’s three within the loss column.
It’s not an summary notion that the Yankees might collapse.
They’re collapsing. Their eyes inform you that a lot. Their physique language tells you that a lot. And if any of the Yankees got fact serum, perhaps what they’d do is channel an previous Pink Sox shortstop named Rick (Rooster) Burleson who, after the fourth sport of the Boston Bloodbath 44 years in the past, shook his head and gave some of the trustworthy quotes within the historical past of quotes.
“Day-after-day,” Burleson mentioned, “you sit in entrance of your locker and ask God, ‘What the hell is occurring?’ ”
What the hell is occurring?
Hell, that’s what’s happening. Baseball hell. The Yankees are in such a collective hitting funk it truly felt like a optimistic comfort prize when Aaron Choose slammed a house run — No. 52 — within the ninth inning Saturday, snapping a 21-inning scoring drought for the Yankees.
The Yankees reside underneath such a darkish cloud that it didn’t matter a bit that the Rays tried their greatest at hand them a freebie, making a few terrible errors early, operating themselves out of what ought to’ve been a seventh inning rife with insurance coverage runs. Didn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. The Yankees are in such a nasty place they aren’t even accepting presents.
None of this is smart. Not a little bit of it. The Yankees are nonetheless the higher workforce on paper in nearly each sport they play. However they’re additionally exhibiting a pores and skin that’s paper-thin. A five-game successful streak from Aug. 21-26 that appeared to have halted all of the destructive mojo feels prefer it occurred months in the past.
And every single day, they sit within the dugout, sit in entrance of their lockers, and bear a glance that distinctly asks: “What the hell is occurring?”
Or, as supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned: “If we don’t dig ourselves out, you’ll have an awesome story.”
Nice, after all, is within the eye of the beholder. The Yankees don’t need any a part of that story. Yankees followers need no a part of that story. But every single day is a recent chapter. Day-after-day is a case examine in a workforce trapped in its personal head. Each sport is a thesis in simply how simple it’s to lose baseball video games when you hit the slippery slope.
“There must be some degree of enjoyable just a little bit,” Boone mentioned. “Strolling that high-quality line in a failing sport. We’ve bought to be tough-minded proper now.”
Boone speaks of successful small victories now, of successful at-bats, of working counts, of stacking high quality at-bats. It’s sound technique, certain, one which sounds completely affordable within the quiet of a postgame supervisor’s workplace. And one that may typically be tough to translate in a sport
Proper now, it feels as if the Yankees are attempting to translate the Useless Sea Scrolls.
“We’re not the place we need to be,” Giancarlo Stanton mentioned, “however we nonetheless have a high-quality alternative.”
Mentioned Boone: “It’s proper there. Now we have the identical dialog every single day. We’ve bought to discover a approach, we’ve bought to attain. We’ve bought factor proper right here to seize and take and we’re nonetheless in command of that.”
By way of a lot of August, that’s what sustained the Yankees: As dangerous as they have been enjoying, they’d constructed such a cushion that they need to be capable of proper themselves and never should spend one second sweating. However they’re certain sweating now.
They certain look perplexed within the dugout, and within the postgame clubhouse, attempting to elucidate away one loss after one other, attempting to make sense of how 15 ½ video games turned 4. No must ask if the Yankees can collapse. They’re collapsing. There are nonetheless 29 video games to go, nonetheless loads of time to proper the ship.
And nonetheless loads of time to sink it.