Technically, they still have a chance, but let’s be honest: The New York Yankees look like they are going to miss the postseason for only the second time since the 1994 strike season. Another nail in the coffin came Monday when it was announced CC Sabathia was lost for the season because of a hamstring injury.
Even if the Yankees sweep their final two series, against the Tampa Bay Rays (a tall order) and the Houston Astros (doable), they’re going to need help to secure a wild card spot. It certainly would have helped if they hadn’t gotten swept by such dregs of baseball as the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. It also would have been beneficial not to lose 6 of 7 games in their past two series against the Boston Red Sox.
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In a season mired by injuries at just about every position except second base (that bubble wrap on Robinson Cano helped quite a bit), the fact we’re even talking about the Yankees’ postseason chances in the last week of the regular season is a miracle in itself. This is a team that lost Mark Teixeira before the season began, Derek Jeter for all but a handful of games, and Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson for major portions of the year.
Miracle worker Joe Girardi should be a heavy favorite for manager of the year. Yes, he normally has one of the biggest and star-studded payrolls at his disposal. However, this year, Girardi kept the Yankees in contention with the likes of Lyle Overbay, Chris Stewart and Vernon Wells seeing significant playing time.
At the very least, the Bombers have guaranteed themselves a winning season. They can reach 88 wins at best. That would be their lowest total since going 87-74 in 2000, a year in which they won the World Series. Even in 2008, when they last missed the playoffs, the Yankees won 89 games.
The second wild card spot has given Yankees fans something to cheer about as the season goes down to the wire. No matter. In the end, a championship is just not in the cards for the Yankees in 2013.