Their pitching has been spot-on. Their play is incredible. But what sets apart this New York Yankees team is their loyalty to each other.Facing elimination, these New York Yankees stared it right in the face and dared the Cleveland Indians to stop them.
They didn’t. And the Yankees are advancing through to the ALCS, which begins tonight.
But how did they do it? Looking at the Yankees-Indians matchup, the better team did not win. The Indians came in winning 102 games in the regular season, holding a 5-2 record over the Yankees in 2017. Yet the Yankees came through and came back to move on.
There’s no doubt that this team is incredibly special. They came into the season licking their wounds, expecting a rebuilding year. Instead, they got magical performances by young players, stellar outings by veteran pitchers and a few key additions in the middle of the season to make a run to the playoffs.
But that is not what makes this team so special. In fact, their most incredible attribute is not even a tangible thing.
The Yankees won this series because they never gave up on the game and they never gave up on each other. Their manager made a huge mistake to cost them Game 2 and instead of hating Joe Girardi, they rallied around him.
Even Todd Frazier spoke with the media, declaring that the comeback was for Girardi. These players showed that when one of their own is down, they will pick them up. That is a beautiful thing in the world of baseball.
The Yankees didn’t just stay behind Girardi, they re-wrote history for him. They didn’t scold or shun him for making a mistake. Instead, they picked him up out of his funk and proved to him that he continues to inspire them.
After all, the Yankees wouldn’t even be in this position if it wasn’t for Girardi. He managed his young squad brilliantly and gave them every opportunity to win. Sure, he made some mistakes but the Yankees exceeded all expectations and made the playoffs.
The heart and dedication the Yankees are showing to their manager and each other is the reason they are doing what they are doing. They shouldn’t be in the ALCS but they are, primarily because they truly believe in picking each other up when they’re down.
Aaron Judge doesn’t hit, Didi Gregorius does. Todd Frazier makes an error? CC Sabathia strikes the next guy out. The Yankees are closer than ever before and it translates on the baseball field.
They gave us fans a thrill but it was more exciting because of the heartbreak early in the series. Nobody felt that heartbreak more than Joe Girardi himself, knowing he was a huge reason why it happened.
But the Yankees erased that poor choice by Girardi. They fought back and took the series because of their loyalty to this squad. You couldn’t ask for anything more from this team.
They are fun to watch, no doubt. This team plays with enthusiasm and fire but it’s their fierce loyalty to each other that is the most impressive thing about this playoff team.