In the first series following a series of trade deadline moves, the New York Yankees answered the bell against their crosstown rivals.
The execution of a trade deadline plan by general manager Brian Cashman was viewed as a large success, but the performance on a big New York City stage can be viewed as a home run.
General concentration will continually reside in future plans on a daily basis. However, the Yankees displayed an ability to bring excitement, play with purpose, and win a respectable amount of ballgames.
Following the departure of numerous key pieces, no one would have viewed rolling over as a failure. “They are rebuilding”, would be the exact words uttered by each and every New York fan.
But why make a rebuild painful when it doesn’t have to be?
Facing off with a Mets team which had through-the-roof expectations heading into the year, the Yankees showed that they stacked up talent-wise even with all of their substantial big league subtractions.
They showed their unique characteristic which will continue to sell them tickets for the remainder of the season: promise.
Few organizations can effectively showcase the future, deal with growing pains, and suffer massive setbacks while maintaining a form of relevancy. Of course, relevancy being a state of respectability.
Well, that is exactly what was showcased in the four days split between Flushing and the Bronx.
Mark Teixeira took center stage, Didi Gregorius was stellar, the table-setters had their moments, and the bullpen did not tail off despite the large back-end setback that was the August 1 trade deadline. Most importantly, Luis Severino absolutely dominated and Gary Sanchez burst upon the scene in the process.
This sets the stage for what the rest of the campaign will have in store.
Perhaps the first glimpse of Aaron Judge — or “Judgement Day” — will come within the next few weeks. Maybe Tyler Austin will receive a well-deserved promotion and produce at the big league level. You can even go as far as saying that Clint Frazier — the No. 1 prospect in the organization — will highlight the September call-ups.
Severino will receive an opportunity to shine out of the starting rotation on Tuesday, Sanchez will stick at the big league level and likely gain meaningful catching reps, and the organization will continue to watch as Judge shakes off any rust and Frazier attempts to shine.
All of this stems from one week in early August.
There is a great deal of optimism and intrigue on the way yet little to no sacrifice of prior success required. When the Yankees made their moves, they were a .500 team. When the season concludes, it would not shock many if they maintained a .500 mark.
So, no, the Subway Series was not merely a duel between fans, a city showcase, and a bragging rights contest. The series, which ended in a dead-even split, signified more for the franchise residing in the Bronx.
It represented an ascending product.