After all, they have played almost the entire season without Derek Jeter, last season's league leader in hits, and perennial all-star first baseman Mark Texiera. Add to that the lengthy stays on the disabled list of Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez (not to mention the circus side-show of his PED appeal), CC Sabathia looking like a shell of his once dominating self, Mariano Rivera suddenly becoming human, and their having to field a team at times that looked more like the Scranton Yankees than the New York Yankees, it is easy to label the once Bronx Bombers as anything more than the underdog.
But is it possible to describe these gritty Yankees as a kind of little engine that could? These same Yankees who have appeared in 17 of the last 18 post-seasons?
I have to say it is because of how Joe Girardi, whom I accused earlier in the season as looking like he wished he was anywhere else, has kept his aging ballclub motivated for enough of the season to stay in the wild card race. And GM Brian Cashman made perhaps the best trade he EVER has by picking up Alfonso Soriano for pennies on the dollar. Soriano won't win the MVP award, of course, but he has easily been the most valuable Yankee since being stolen from the Cubs.
This was a completely depleted ballclub for the first half of the season. If they make it to serious October baseball, it may be the organization's crowning achievement in their entire two decade run.