HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros is awarded series MVP following his teams 6-4 win against the New York Yankees in game six of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

With the baseball season hanging in the balance, the New York Yankees need to hold onto the motivation they gained this offseason.

Allison Case

In 1974, the world got a taste of “A Year Without Santa Claus.” Right now, 2020 might be worse with the possibility of “A Year Without Baseball.”

For the New York Yankees, this might be the absolute worst thing to happen to the franchise. After finally snagging a bona fide ace in Gerrit Cole with a record-breaking deal and building up a monstrous team over the years, 2020 was primed to be the breakout season for this squad.

And then it all snowballed far more quickly than anyone could have imagined.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the entire world, sports were just a small corner of the universe that was changed significantly. While plans have been released, disagreement between owners and players as well as concerns over containment are starting to lead to questions over whether any baseball will be played at all in 2020.

This was a prime opportunity for the Yankees to finally dominate the league, taking their expensive steeds into battle and emerging as the victors. It was finally the year to shut down the haters and begin a new dynasty.

With the fight for baseball lingering on, much of the motivation gained over this offseason has faded away. And if 2020 doesn’t have a season, there is one thing the New York Yankees need to carry over to 2021.

The Houston Astros had an eventful offseason in a completely different form than usual. Instead of massive free agents signing to play in Houston, everyone was running away from H-Town.

The immediate reaction to the sign-stealing scandal was that of disgust and hatred. That is what was motivating various teams to face the upcoming season and none more than the New York Yankees.

In two of the last three postseasons, the Houston Astros were the ones to send the New York Yankees home before the Fall Classic. That hurts in itself but to hear about the cheating scandals involved in these seasons poured extra salt in the wound.

The Yankees needed to harness that rage and use it to propel them to the next level. Instead, with more baseball drama surfacing, the scandal is getting further and further away from the forefront of the baseball mind.

If and when the 2020 season starts up, that needs to be the focus once again. If 2020 is season-less, the thoughts and feelings need to carry over to 2021. Even if it’s been over a year since the scandal broke, it still is just as devastating and must remain a motivating factor in the chase for 28.

Winning a World Series is always the goal for the Yankees. This year, however, they need to be playing for more than just a championship. Instead, they need to be playing to avenge for past failures, partly due to the unfair methods used by the Houston Astros.

Sure, time heals a lot of wounds but this is one wound that needs to be remembered. For the Yankees, they missed out on two solid opportunities to vie for a World Series title when the other team was utilizing an unfair advantage. That is something that can never be forgotten.

The second baseball comes back, the Yankees need to relive the entire heartbreak of these past series with the Astros. When the New York Yankees break out that Opening Day lineup, the goal should be to prove that they’re the better team on even playing field.

The chase for 28 is on hold right now but the New York Yankees can’t afford to forget. That motivation will be the one propelling them towards their first World Series title in over 10 years.

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