July 16, 2010

Guest post: ‘Evil Empire’ well on their way to No. 28

The article was written by Mark James, editor of CasinoTop10.net, which offers high-quality unbiased casino reviews, best online casino bonus and up-to-date information in the gambling world to its visitors. We thank our friends for providing the article.

Baseball success, as with any professional sport, is unquestionably measured by a team’s ability to win. Nostalgic images of a pre-steroid, pre-replay and pre-big market era of baseball wax poetic, to be sure. But only winners make the trek through history to be revisited by fans.

In today’s what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of instant gratification, we not only demand winners but we outright shun any person, place or thing that isn’t proving worthy of our admiration.

The New York Yankees have avoided becoming the proverbial pariah due to an uncanny ability to appear in and win World Series. Last season’s victory was the storied franchise’s 27th title in an unprecedented 40 appearances.

2009’s World Series Championship, while long awaited by Yankees fans, was all the more sweet due to the sheer level of competition in the AL East and in MLB in general. But no matter how many hung up their hats and readied pies to be thrown in the face of every naysayer, the racks are empty now and, as favorites, the Yanks are expected to repeat as champions this season.

The team, while changed, started out the season in an impressive fashion considering. Looking at their solid core defense, big bats and high-performing pitching staff, it’s clear the Yankees didn’t lose a step. But did they gain a step? How realistic is a repeat – how much confidence should one place in New York’s ability to climb that mountain consecutively?

Through 88 games, New York sits atop the league currently with a record of 56-32. They’re two games out in front of a hot Tampa Bay team, 5.5 in front of their rival—and momentum gaining—Red Sox, and looking to enter the break with a full head of steam and intent on coming out the other side identically.

One flattering statistic that bodes well for the Yankees is their road record. At 28-19, timely pitching has managed to rear its head away from New York long enough to give the boys a league-best road record. Home is another story, at 28-13, but nothing to be alarmed about at this point. And, until recently, it was the best in the AL at 25-10.

The Yankees are riding high on an impressive win streak and are looking to improve on it before heading into the break. This gives them a solid chance to pull out from the Rays, hopefully, and establish the type of momentum that not even New York’s money can buy – when everyone else needs to play catch-up.

A lot can be made of the Yankees’ failure to pick up recently desired trades, or even an iffy C.C. and on-again, off-again Pettitte. But the true test of confidence in this 2010 Yankees roster comes not from internal struggles and setbacks but from in-division play.

In other words, the Yankees will only be as good as their ability to fend off Tampa Bay and leave Boston sitting completely out of playoff contention.

Not to undersell other teams in the American League, but the two biggest threats to the Yankees’ repeat chances play in the AL East. The Angels are perennial playoff contenders, the Tigers are playing solid above-.500 baseball, and the Texas Rangers are sitting pretty at 50 wins. But these teams are not on the same level as the Red Sox and Rays. Make the argument if you must – they’re just not.

In that respect, confidence in the Yankees’ ability to repeat as World Series Champions should be rather high. To date, they’ve been able to fend off two 50-win clubs. As defending champions and still carriers of the “Evil Empire” label, they take every team’s best shot every game. Nevertheless, New York has prevailed.

Minus Damon and Matsui, the Yankees only seem stronger this season. Their chemistry seems much more defined and the goal remains unclouded. A-Rod’s playoff monkey is a thing of the past, and that increased confidence has made him an essential part of the offensive output, especially in the team’s recent wins, and he will to continue to be.

The Yankees’ infield is as solid as any in the majors in recent history, and their outfield is playing up to the task. And when it comes to the plate, guys are doing their part to produce runs and not only win, but run away with games.

When they’re on, the Yankees are the most dangerous team in the league today. They’re favorites for a reason. If their pitching stays decent—not even “great,” just good will do—then the bats will be the bats. They’re sluggers at heart.

Nothing is guaranteed, but if New York can enter the playoffs having successfully fended off their AL East cohorts, then they’ll be a supremely confident and supremely talented team pushing toward another title with minimal resistance.

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