At this level, you don’t even want to listen to the phrases or hearken 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’s good to do is take a look at the eyes. Have a look at the faces. Have a look at the Yankees within the dugout today, wanting tortured, wanting troubled, wanting completely 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 all the way 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 let you know that a lot. Their physique language tells you that a lot. And if any of the Yankees got fact serum, possibly what they’d do is channel an outdated Purple Sox shortstop named Rick (Rooster) Burleson who, after the fourth recreation of the Boston Bloodbath 44 years in the past, shook his head and gave probably the most trustworthy quotes within the historical past of quotes.
“Every single day,” Burleson stated, “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 really 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 below 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 foul place they aren’t even accepting items.
None of this is smart. Not a little bit of it. The Yankees are nonetheless the higher staff on paper in nearly each recreation 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 damaging mojo feels prefer it occurred months in the past.
And day-after-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 stated: “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 day-after-day is a recent chapter. Every single day is a case research in a staff trapped in its personal head. Each recreation is a thesis in simply how simple it’s to lose baseball video games when you hit the slippery slope.
“There must be some stage of stress-free somewhat bit,” Boone stated. “Strolling that positive line in a failing recreation. We’ve acquired 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, positive, one which sounds completely affordable within the quiet of a postgame supervisor’s workplace. And one that may generally be troublesome to translate in a recreation
Proper now, it feels as if the Yankees try to translate the Useless Sea Scrolls.
“We’re not the place we wish to be,” Giancarlo Stanton stated, “however we nonetheless have a positive alternative.”
Mentioned Boone: “It’s proper there. We have now the identical dialog day-after-day. We’ve acquired to discover a means, we’ve acquired to attain. We’ve acquired factor proper right here to seize and take and we’re nonetheless in charge of that.”
By means of a lot of August, that’s what sustained the Yankees: As unhealthy as they had been enjoying, they’d constructed such a cushion that they need to be capable to proper themselves and never should spend one second sweating. However they’re positive sweating now.
They positive 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 have to 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.