Ah, Spring training baseball is in the air again. Can you smell the excitement? I can. It's that time of the season where the word "injury" doesn't exist yet and the season is filled with optimism. Every single team still has Plan A in the works and it is still "everyone's game" right? Well so far. The first pitch hasn't even been thrown yet so everyone is all in! We are all still World Series bound!
That's how it should be. Right now, we shouldn't be thinking about rebounding from that horrible Wild Card game that the Astros beat us in. That's last year's news. We also shouldn't be thinking about Greg Bird and his year on the disabled list could spell disaster for the Yankees. This is a new season, dammit! It is time to fill it with some positive energy.
So, instead of sharing in the sentiments of Tyler Kepner and his "doomsday" story HERE I am going to tell you that I don't want to forecast our first possible losing season since 1992. I don't care about the impossibility of 30 teams to win 85 games and win a wild card berth into the postseason. Yes, math is a killjoy. It's one reason why all of us here are writers and not mathematicians. Who cares?
Instead, I am going to play into reverse psychology a little bit here. I am going to take everything I am reading on the Internet and put my own spin on it. I am going to take the "debbie downer" posts and give a positive spin on it so we can enter 2016 with our game faces on. We are the damn New York Yankees and we don't hold back.
So yes, Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira all combined for 83 home runs and 232 RBI's last season. That's a nice stat. The "old boys" pulled up their big boy pants and carried the team. This year they may all just tank but the young kids are going to get some pull ups and get some more runs on the board. Starlin Castro has come to save the day and he is going to take his hitting tips from Alex Rodriguez and hit 25 of his own home runs. Who needs home runs anyway? The Blue Jays had it all wrong last season! Who cares about those guys?
The only "old guy" that will step up to the plate is Mark Teixeira since he is in his last year of his contract (I was actually able to type that without twitching) and you know what? I don't care what the haters say. He is going out on top this season with a full year and no trips to the disabled list. Oh and he is going to crank out 35 home runs and 110 RBI's. Why? Because he is overdue and he is going to leave the Bronx in style and laugh at all of the haters as he does. Queue the curtain calls! He is going to walk out of Yankee Stadium singing "How Ya Like me Now" by The Heavy and then go play for the Oakland A's next year as a DH and laugh at everyone who gave up on him. He gets the last laugh while everyone else wears pie on their faces.
Masahiro Tanaka is going to be ready for opening day. He will be the ace the Yankees paid for and dammit, he is going to help pitch the Yankees to the World Series. He's going to throw 200 innings and have a 3.5 ERA. Why? Because I am channeling the positive vibes and tired of hearing anything different. Then he is going to ignore that whole "opt out" clause and stay with the Yankees because he realizes that no other team will embrace him and appreciate him and who wants to go anywhere else anyways? He's not like that other guy who plays for New York on the other side of town and can opt out after one year.....
Oh but perhaps my favorite one...
My answer to that is all of the Yankees starters are going to pull a Michael Pineda and use pine tar. Then they are going to crash and burn because they will get caught and no matter how bad you expect them to pitch the three headed monster of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman are still going to slam the door on the opposition.
Call your electric company because that's officially lights out.
Bottom line here is....it's not all doom and gloom here! Before you get all enraged and have a fit about my obvious outlandish scenarios, step back and think about it a moment. No, I am not encouraging anyone to use pine tar or show boat their way out of Yankee stadium. I am not calling anyone out all I am saying is if we are going to play the doom and gloom game let's throw some reverse psychology into it and have some fun with it. It's February people....did someone put AstroTurf in your cheerios this morning?
Think about it! Baseball is back.....breathe. 1992 hasn't come calling. They don't want their losing season back. It's going to be a long season....and a winning one.
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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