Forget about the injuries.
Remember the humiliation.
The 6-9 Yankees need to move on from their early season pity party and realize it is payback time.
It must start immediately, for the season can begin to flip with these next two games in the Bronx against the 6-11 Red Sox.
With all the adversity the Yankees have faced, it’s time to put that aside and remember how the Red Sox crushed them in their own ballpark in the ALDS last October, embarrassing them by winning Game 3 in a 16-1 romp and then knocking the Yankees out with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 – all this after easily winning the AL East.
Along the way, to make it worse, it was the World Champion Red Sox who made “New York, New York’’ their victory song.
Those defeats and that Frank Sinatra classic should be ringing in their ears when the Yankees take the field Tuesday night in the Bronx for their first meeting of the year against Boston, especially the line “I’ll make a brand new start of it.’’
This isn’t just a meeting of two proud franchises struggling at the start of the season, and the Yankees should be more motivated than ever.
“Just after what happened last year, a lot of us guys who were in the locker room have a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths’’ Luke Voit said. “We’re excited… go back to playing Yankee baseball the right way and do our thing.’’
That would be a change from what’s been happening. The motivation is there. Do the Yankees have the will and tools to succeed?
Since 2004 the Red Sox own four World Series titles, while the Yankees own one. Yes, both teams are struggling now, but there is always something special about a Red Sox vs. Yankees battle.
It got turned up a notch last October when the Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-2 in Game 2 to go back to New York, NY in a 1-1 tie. On the way out the Fenway Park door, Aaron Judge — Yankees DJ — passed the Red Sox clubhouse with Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York,’’ on his speakers. Judge told the Post’s Ken Davidoff in late February he had “No regrets,’’ about his exit.
Good for Judge. The big man is not backing down.
The Red Sox, though, took offense and blared the song as a victory march after they dumped the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in Game 4 and also when they won the World Series, beating the Dodgers in five games.
This short series will be about how the Yankees respond to the adversity they have faced in 2019. The starting pitching is short as Brian Cashman elected to go the second-tier route and two of his acquisitions will go right at it. Lefty James Paxton, who said Sunday he is still in the process of trying to make the mental switch from Seattle to New York, will start Tuesday night, sporting a 1-2 mark with a 6.00 ERA.
Those are Sandy Koufax numbers compared to the dreadful start Red Sox lefty Chris Sale is off to after signing a five-year $145 million extension. His velocity is down and his ERA has sky-rocketed to 9.00 to go with his 0-3 record.
On Wednesday J.A. Happ (0-2, 8.76) will face ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi, who owns an 8.40 ERA. Happ, 36, signed a two-year deal for $34 million with the Yankees and has had major command issues while October hero Eovaldi hit the jackpot with a four-year deal for $67.5 million with the Red Sox. As for Yankees ace Luis Severino, who was given a four-year, $40 million deal in spring training, he remains on the shelf for months.
Judge said the Yankees confidence level is “still high’’ despite the bad start.
“That’s one thing we try to preach here in this clubhouse is that no matter what adversity is thrown our way we just have to go out there and keep playing our game,’’ Judge said. “People step up.’’
No doubt this is a two-game series where the Yankees must step up. The Red Sox embarrassed them last October.
Time for the Yankees to practice what they preach.
Published at Mon, 15 Apr 2019 21:57:38 +0000