I go through this every year around this time. This year, it happened to be with my dad on a Saturday afternoon family lunch. My dad starts about the Yankees not playing well. Granted, there were only three games played at that point. Luis Severino had given up a bunch of runs in the first one. The Yankees got beaten 13-4 in the second, and they were held scoreless in the third.
Dad: The Yankees are not looking good.
Me: Dad, it's spring training. They're not playing all out. They're getting loose and practicing. The games don't count.
Dad: Yes. But remember how you told me the same thing last year?
Okay, so he has a point about that last one. Nevertheless, these games are tune-ups for the regulars and tryouts for the rookies looking for that elusive 25th slot. There is only one good reason to be worried about anything that happens in spring training, and that's injuries. So far, we've dodged that bullet. By all accounts, things are looking good this spring.
The thing I find the most encouraging about this spring is how the Yankees seem to be more scrappy than usual. By that, I mean that there's an aggressiveness that tells me they have the right mindset to win. You can see it by the way Rob Refsnyder is snagging line drives and turning double plays (read: ONE REFSNYDER PLAY PROVES DETERMINATION TO SUCCEED!). You saw it in the game against the Tigers when they were down 7-0 and still continued to hit. Sure, the games don't really count. But to winners, to players who have that competitive edge, they play every game like it counts. If that's their mindset, this team is going to be a tough, scrappy team.
That's why I'm not worried. I wasn't worried about Severino's opener. It helped that he looked brilliant 5 days later against the Astros, throwing three scoreless innings and striking out 3. It helps to see Masahiro Tanaka and Ivan Nova looking like their old selves. Hey, it's spring. So relax. Everyday baseball on TV is almost here. It's all good.
BYB Senior Staff Writer
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