Perspectives: As The Season Winds Down...
by Paul Semendinger
September 25, 2022
Where does the time go? There are just eleven games left in the 2022 regular season. It goes quickly, the baseball season. Too fast. It sometimes seems to move too fast.
The Yankees have 93 wins. They could still reach 100 wins. Considering the way they played in July and August, that's amazing. I don't think they will win that many games though. I see the Yankees resting players galore once they clinch the A.L. East and the #2 playoff seed. That can happen as early as a day or two.
I know most people are most excited about Aaron Judge reaching and exceeding Roger Maris' home run record, but for me, I'm more excited about watching his bid for the triple crown. I'd love to see him win the Triple Crown - even if it means he doesn't get another home run the rest of the season. (For the record, I am sure he'll hit a few more homers.)
I felt, for a long time, that Aaron Judge would not resign with the Yankees for a lot of reasons. Many of those reasons are still valid. We can get into all of that after the season. I also said that I'm sure he doesn't know where he will be playing next year. I'm sure he has a lot of conflicting thoughts on this - and a lot of this will play out over time. But, I do think that a Yankees home run record, and/or a triple crown, and/or a World Championship could help bring him back to the Bronx. It certainly could. If he (and the team) accomplishes those things, the Yankees would feel tremendous pressure to bring him back and that could mean that they offer more than they wanted to. They might even offer more than what's reasonable.
I have high hopes that Zack Britton can be the closer going forward. I have no faith in Aroldis Chapman at this point. If it's not Britton, I think the Yankees have the talent to mix and match the pitchers they do have. I don't think the Yankees have to use just one pitcher in that role in the playoffs.
Not much can be determined by how rookies play over a season's final weeks, but I sure hope the Yankees play Oswald Peraza a bunch these last eleven games to see him over an extended period as a big leaguer.
I did not want the Yankees to trade Jordan Montgomery. I thought that trading him for an injured guy was a poor decision. That being said, Harrison Bader has been an exciting player. I love his energy. He seems to have so many skills. His defense is great. He runs well. He his enthusiastic. Thus far, he is a great addition to the club.
I like players that have positive energy. Harrison Bader is one. Oswaldo Cabrera is another. Bring me positive energy!
Jordan Montgomery has also last his last three starts. Uggg.
If the Yankees fail to win the World Series, has this been a lost season? At what point is it good enough to reach the post season year-after-year? The Yankees have done that, of course. They haven't been able, though, to get to the next step.
A lot was made about the fact that Aaron Boone is the first manager to ever reach the post season in each of his first five years as a manager. Deservedly so. That's a tremendous accomplishment. No one else has ever done it. Aaron Boone deserves a ton of credit for that. He did it. It has not been easy. Congratulations to Aaron Boone.
Of course, with limited ballclubs who have the resources that the Yankees have, and with so few such teams willing to give teams on the precipice of greatness to rookie managers, and with expanded playoffs, there are reasons why Boone has been able to be the first in this category. Still, he has done it. I sense he'll be the only manager in this club, again a very impressive club, for a long time.
If they had expanded playoffs a long time ago, the Yankees would have probably qualified for the playoffs in every single season from 1946 through 1964. (They only missed a few seasons in that period (1946, 1948, 1954, and 1959), but they never finished lower than third place in that entire period.
Or, how's this? The 1945 Yankees finished in fourth place. That was the only time, the only time, the Yankees finished lower than third place in the years from 1926 through 1964. For 38 years, in every season but one, the Yankees were one of the top three teams in the American League. They also did win 19 World Series in that time.
I'd like to see a World Series victory this year. It's time.
The Yankees have a late season double header on the second to last day of the season in Texas against the Rangers to make-up a rainout from a long time ago. What a way to end the season...with a meaningless double header. I sense the ballpark will be mostly empty for those games. The Rangers have not been good this year. I can't imagine lots of fans circling their calendars to attend those games.