Are You Ready?
March 31, 2011 1 Comment
As I sit down to write this blog entry, my hands are shaking with excitement. My heart is racing, and my head is filled with dreams of what this year will bring…
HAPPY OPENING DAY, YANKEES FANS!
The Big Day has finally arrived! In a matter of hours, our men in Pinstripes will jog onto the field for the first time in the 2011 season. The first pitch of the season will be thrown, the first hit of the season will come, and all the questions of the preseason will eventually be answered. Baseball is back, and the long, wonderful, exciting, and emotionally draining road to The Fall Classic is about to begin.
Coming into the 2011 season, many people are calling the Yankees the “underdogs” in the American League East race. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to say that so early on, but I’ll take it. Most people are saying the Yankees won’t win the division. I am very much enjoying this, because I have faith in our team. This team is built to win, and underestimating the Yankees will get you into trouble.
No one is doubting our hitters. Our batting lineup is one that fans of other teams dream of. No one is doubting our bullpen (I like to call it the No-Bull ‘Pen), thanks to our God, Mariano, and our setup man who is actually a solid closer. The doubts and questions lie in our starting rotation.
Will A.J. Burnett bounce back after a horrifyingly bad 2010? Will Phil Hughes continue to flourish? Will Ivan Nova turn out to be a winner? Will Freddy Garcia be able to hold down his spot? Will we be able to do it all without Andy Pettitte? These questions and more have been asked over the past few months, and the current answer is: Nobody knows for sure. There is a reason each team plays 162 games during the regular season, and anyone who calls it quits on a team before a single game is played doesn’t know how baseball works.
I am quite the optimist. I predict that the answers to the questions I asked above will all be “Yes”. I have faith in this team, and faith in this organization. I’ve seen several “bad” Yankees teams in my lifetime, and the 2011 Yankees team is not one of them. As I said before, this team is built to win. Never underestimate the power of The Pinstripes.
I am in no way underestimating the strength of the Boston Red Sox this season. They, too, have built a strong team, and will be quite the force in the American League East. I am not underestimating the rest of the teams in our division, but most of us believe the Red Sox will be our strongest competition this year. Our division as a whole, however, has become stronger. With all due respect to all the teams in Major League Baseball, the American League East division will once again be the toughest this year. Having said that, I do believe the Yankees have all the components to come out on top in the end. Now it’s time to play the games and “put up or shut up”.
No more predictions. No more “what if” scenarios. Only baseball. Almost every day. From now until the World Series.
What everyone needs to remember is that the Major League Baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. The players need to pace themselves, as do the fans. A few losses in April and May could very well mean nothing in August and September. I will say this much, though: We might not have the luxury of starting off as cold this season as we have in the past. Every win will be a step closer to winning what should be a very heated race for the division title.
I could do without Mark Teixeira’s annual April Slump this year. I could also do without a plague of injuries. I’m already missing Andy Pettitte. I’d like to see A.J. Burnett staying away from his “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” impressions this season, and I’d like to see Phil Hughes’ “Philthy-ness” again. I want to see Robinson Cano continue to dominate his position, and I’m happy to see Brett Gardner hitting lead-off. I’m ecstatic about Sergio Mitre no longer being with us, and I’d like to see as little of Francisco Cervelli this year as possible. I’m excited about seeing which prospects will be called up throughout the season, and whatever necessary acquisitions will be made to strengthen our weaknesses. I have high hopes for 2011, and it all begins in a matter of hours.
No one knows what the end of the season will bring. I’m aiming for the division title, but in all reality, that might not happen. I’m ready to begin the 162 games it takes to decide our fate. I’m ready for the wins, and for the losses. I’m ready for the hot streaks, and cold slumps. I’m ready to begin living and dying with every pitch again.
I’m ready for baseball. Are you?