By Derek McAdam
June 22, 2021
The New York Yankees came into the series against Toronto with a major challenge ahead. They were only one game above .500 and struggled against their rivals north of the border (Buffalo this season), having gone 3-6 going into Tuesday.
Not only did they manage to sweep Toronto in Buffalo, but took two out of three games at home against the Oakland Athletics in the first series to have no capacity restrictions since 2019. The Yankees had an excellent week, which means they’re back, right? That’s not the case.
Even if the Yankees win the two series this week against the Kansas City Royals at home and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, it does not mean that this team is back in contention.
While the AL East is still very much up for grabs, the Yankees are in the middle of a solid streak of games coming off of a streak of games in which it was unbearable to watch. While some of these wins have not been the prettiest, they are managing to come away with victories, which is all that matters.
The true test that the Yankees face comes during the postseason. The media constantly hypes the Yankees up during the offseason as favorites to win the World Series, but the Yankees have not even made it to the final round since they last won it in 2009.
Why is it that the Yankees have been shut down nearly every postseason since 2009? They fail to produce runs that don’t come from home runs.
In the postseason, teams face the best of the best. Usually, the best pitchers are a part of the postseason, which is usually a major component to winning a World Series.
Look at the Nationals from 2019. They had a rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez. This was a team that was committed to winning a championship and spent the money on getting pitching instead of extending Bryce Harper.
This is also not alluding to the point that the Yankees don’t spend money… because having the second-highest payroll in baseball proves that the Yankees indeed do spend money. It’s just how are they spending it.
But that’s a different story.
The Yankees’ true test this season is winning a title and cannot be considered “back” until they manage to do this. If it happens this season is yet to be determined, but it must happen soon if this current regime wants to keep their positions.