New York Yankees
The New York Yankees’ Onslaught of the A.L. East Has Gotten Out of Hand​​ (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Before I delve into the enormous 9.5 game division lead the New York Yankees have built for themselves so far this season, I figured I’d tend to your assumed curiosity about who the hell I am and what my byline is doing on your computer screen.

If by some miracle you happen to recognize my name then A) God bless you, and B) you’re not having deja vu. I was actually on the mothership formally known as Vendetta Sports Media at the time of its inception. If you’ve been following the site’s content since the beginning, then you probably remember me best as a co-host on the Keep It To Yourself podcast. Long story short, life got in the way for my co-hosts and I and a brief hiatus ensued. Since you are now reading my present-day words, that hiatus has obviously come to a close and I am more than ready to bring the thunder once again. A bit of a resurgence if you will. A resurgence of some fire ass content. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

I’m a Yankees guy. Through and through. And to be completely honest, I thank the universe every day that I am. To put it simply, life has got to be much, much, MUCH, worse for people who don’t root for the New York Yankees. Boston fans, for instance, would be a good measure of just how shitty life can become without Yankees baseball there to ease the pain. Look at it this way. Boston is a very good baseball team this year again, and if the Yankees had suffered through any sort of elongated losing streak up to this point the divisional race would be significantly closer than it currently is. But, this Yankees team has just been all too consistent and Boston has been exactly the opposite of that.

According to Fangraphs, Boston has the 3rd best offense in Major League Baseball, while the Yankees sit two spots behind at #5. Judging by pure offensive wherewithal, Boston should be one of the better teams in the league, and they are on paper. Yet still, if you stick them in any division throughout MLB, they’d be struggling to crack 2nd place in any of them. It boggles my mind, to be honest. It boggles it in an extremely pleasurable manner, but consider my mind still considerably boggled nonetheless. Obviously, there is so much more that goes into winning baseball games in this league, even with the newly juiced balls and the ridiculous rate at which balls are flying out of the ballpark. But, even when you take all the game’s elements into account the Yankees sit just one spot above Boston in pitching and SEVEN spots behind them in fielding, respectively. So let’s get to the point then. Why and how have the Yankees been able to build such a healthy lead in their division? I have two answers for you: consistency and pure GRIT.

So far this season, the Yankees have spent 78 days in 1st place. Their current lead is 9.5 games over the 2nd place Tampa Bay Rays and 16 games over Boston but was largest at 10.5 games just a couple of days ago. They currently have the most wins among any team in MLB, and for four short consecutive days in April they failed to win a game. That’s right. The Yankees longest losing streak so far in 2019 is only FOUR games. Not to mention they haven’t been shut out once all year – not one time. Like, they have scored in every single game they’ve played. Preposterous! Hearsay! No. Reality. The New York Yankees are 40 games over .500, and it’s been an absolute breeze the entire way through. That’s not to say the Bombers haven’t had their fair share of adversity to combat. Any rational baseball fan would probably even tell you that they’ve had much, much more than their fair share.

Anybody who has consistently followed baseball this season, to any degree, knows that the Yankees have been riddled with injury after injury all season long. Remember Miguel Andujar? The rightful 2018 Rookie of the Year? Anybody who thinks Shohei deserved that shit should drive directly off of a cliff. I digress; Andujar went down for the season on May 21 with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Looking back on it, that one hit home as a fan. This guy was the heartbeat of our team all season last year, and just like that, he’s gone from the middle of our lineup. What followed in the ensuing months in terms of injuries was nothing short of witchcraft, in my opinion. Our own personal Cy Young hopeful Luis Severino goes down on July 25th with a lat injury and has been riding pine ever since. Centerfielder Aaron Hicks has been on the I.L. since the beginning of August and will be for another couple of weeks. 2017 N.L. MVP and current New York Yankees bust (in my credible opinion) Giancarlo Stanton has missed 111 games this season with a lingering knee issue. Walking glass sculpture Greg Bird needs no mention here because honestly, who cares? His successor at 1B and sexiest man alive Luke Voit is currently on the I.L. with an abdomen injury. Newly acquired parrot-man Edwin Encarnacion will be out for another couple of weeks with the damage to his wrist. I wish I were close to finished, but I am most certainly not. Bullpen rock Dellin Betances has been out all season with a lat issue. Hopefully, we get to see him for the postseason. Gary Sanchez has seen significant time on the I.L. this season. So has the face of baseball Aaron Judge. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. It does not end. All in all, the Yankees are going on THIRTY different players who have been sent to the I.L. in any capacity this year. I’m not even kidding when I say it has been the ENTIRE 25-MAN ROSTER.

And still, they rise.

D.J. LeMahieu. Gio Urshela. Mike Tauchman. Clint Frazier. Cameron Maybin. Thairo Estrada. Mike Ford. Domingo German. Austin Romine.

These men are heroes. These men are the heart and soul of the 2019 New York Yankees, and if it weren’t for each one of them, we would NOT be gingerly walking our way to this year’s A.L East title. Clint Frazier isn’t even currently in the Big Leagues, and he’s done things this year that would’ve made him an unchallenged everyday player in most lineups. The bottom line is most of the guys named above were minor league staples at the beginning of the year, and very well might get sent right back down when the actual moneymakers decide to get healthy. These are men who are fighting for their lives in the Major Leagues, and they understand that they might never get a better opportunity than they have right now to stay up here for good, whether it be in the Bronx or elsewhere. Their heads have been engulfed in flames all season long, and NOBODY has come close to putting those fires out. I love them with all of my heart, and if by God’s good grace we somehow end up winning this whole damn thing, they will ALWAYS and FOREVER be heroes within New York’s city limits.

There is so much more about this magical baseball team that I’m sure I’ll get a chance to break down for you folks as I cover them through the rest of the regular season and all throughout the playoffs. Watching this 2019 New York Yankees team has been eerily similar to how I felt watching the 2009 World Series Champion squad. Other than the absurd amount of injuries they’ve had to deal with so far, I haven’t felt one ounce of worry or stress watching this bunch in 2019. That can be a scary feeling heading into the playoffs, especially with the amount of clout there is around the American League, but like I said I have a special feeling about this fine group of ballplayers.