I’m not in full-blown panic mode yet, but I’m really starting to worry about the New York Yankees, who have been a mediocre team so far in 2012 rather than the juggernaut they are supposed to be.
It is too late in the baseball season for the Yankees to be a barely-above .500 team. The Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the traditional powerhouses of the American League East, continue to languish at the bottom of the standings behind the more youthful Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. The only thing the Yankees have going for them right now is that they are only 5.5 games out of first place, despite their inconsistent start, in late May. There is still plenty of time for them to right the ship.
But if it wasn’t for a vintage performance by Andy Pettitte, the Yankees would have gotten swept this weekend by the Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees have been getting beat by a lot of teams that they should be pounding on. Most recently, the Yankees have been hurt by a lack of clutch hitting, but poor starting pitching was the main cause of their woes up until a few weeks ago. The Yankees have also been victimized by some unfortunate injuries, not just to Mariano Rivera, but to his replacement David Robertson and Brett Gardner, whose speed is sorely missed on a team struggling mightily to score runs.
I’m starting to wonder not when but if the Yankees will pull it together. I’m not completely panicking just yet, but check in with me in a couple of weeks.