Last week, my family went to the Orioles-Yankees game in Baltimore. The Orioles may have the talent level of a high school baseball team, but it was a fantastic game. The Yankees won 6-4, Aaron Judge hit his first two homers of the season and Clint Frazier, a personal favorite player of mine, had the game-winning three-run bomb, his first home run since 2017. As a New York fan, it was a great game to see in person.
At some indefinite point last season, something changed—or rather, something was revived. For most of the previous five-plus seasons, the greatest rivalry in American sports had taken a bit of vacation. One team dominated while the other had a rare down-year, trash-talk was kept to a whisper, brawls were nearly nonexistent.
The New York Yankees face off against the Oakland Athletics in their much-anticipated wild card game to decide who will match up with the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. The Yankees will have home field advantage over the A’s. This Tuesday afternoon, they announced they will be going with Luis Severino to start the ball game against A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks.
The Yankees’ management finally got the message that it was time to rebuild, for real. Just before the trade deadline, general manager Brian Cashman dealt star relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman and got major prospects in return, such as outfielder Clint Frazier, shortstop Gleyber Torres and pitcher Justus Sheffield.
Riding a six-game winning streak, the New York Yankees are the hottest team in baseball and are only half a game back from having the best record in baseball. Rocking a 5-0 record at home and a plus 14 scoring difference, the Yankees are doing this without Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregarious, which begs the question: is this just an early season fluke or are the Yankees back?
For over a decade, the New York Yankees have been synonymous with luxury taxes and aging rosters. They’ve earned a familiar, yet tiring, reputation as a team of overpriced veterans with declining production. However, times are changing, and it appears that the organization has finally bought into a more promising strategy: building from within.