May 12, 2009 – Yankees lose 5-1 to the first place Blue Jays – drop to 15 – 17 and 6.5 games out of first place.
May 21 – Yankees win their ninth straight game, 1.5 games out of first
May 29 – Yankees beat Indians 3-1 in Cleveland, take over first place by .5 game
June 11 – Yankees lose their eighth straight to the Red Sox, 2.5 games back
June 17-23 – Yankees go 1-5 and get shut out in the first game in Atlanta – five games back
June 24 – July 9 – Brian Cashman visits Atlanta and Yankees win 13 of next 15
July 10-12 – Yankees swept by Angels, three games back
July 17-27 – Yankees win 10 of 11, in first place by 2.5 games
July 28 – August 1 – Yankees lose four of five and their lead drops to five games over Boston
August 2-15 – Yankees win 12 of 13 including a four-game sweep of the Red Sox, 6.5 up
August 28 – September 9 – Yankees win 12 of 14 increase their lead to nine games
September 11-21 – Yankees lose 6 of 10 – lead down to five games
September 22-27 – Yankees win five straight – including another sweep of Boston, AL East Champs
Do me a favor, take this timeline and live by it. It perfectly illustrates the highs and lows of a very long baseball season. A little over six months to be exact. Time and time again this season, people on Twitter, people in the blogosphere, and people calling into radio shows, acted as if the sky was falling. These people hang on every pitch, of every inning, of every game, like it was the last pitch of the season. I give them all the credit in the world for being the kind of fan they are, but please whenever you doubt a Yankees team go back to this timeline and remember the end result. Print it out. Put it on your bulletin board, your fridge, your computer monitor, or your favorite Yankees poster. Let it be a nice little friendly reminder from yours truly, “The Lighthouse of Hope.”
Is winning the division nice? Of course it is. Is winning the division after dropping eight in a row, then winning 9 of 10 against the Red Sox, including the clincher at home nice? Absolutely! However, there is still some work to be done boys and girls. The Yankees haven’t been to an ALCS since 2004 and we all know what happened in that series. Joe Girardi established three goals in Spring Training: Make the playoffs. Win the AL East. Win the World Series. Two down, one to go.
The talk of the previous couple of weeks was of the Yankees magic number. In case you’re wondering, one still remains and it resides squarely on Girardi’s back – 27.
By the way, be the lookout Friday for an Off the Wall chat session here on YESNetwork.com with yours truly. See you then!