The New York Yankees need to forget about playoff aspirations. Instead, they need to worry about finishing the season at .500 or better.
A winning record is suddenly no longer a given in New York. With their beating at the hands of the hated rival Red Sox, the Yankees now have a 60-62 record, a far cry from what was expected this season. They are now in jeopardy of finishing with their first losing record since 1992.
Maybe the New York Yankees needed to bottom out
In retrospect, the Yankees struggles should not be much of a surprise. They entered the season with three black holes in the lineup at third, left, and behind the plate. Shortstop was a question mark with the position being handed to a rookie. The lineup was essentially the same as last year when they relied entirely on Aaron Judge to lead a playoff push. There were injury concerns with the pitching staff. The difference between success and failure was razor thin.
But maybe this is what the Yankees needed. Their most recent dynasty did not happen until they bottomed out in the late 1980s and early 1990s. George Steinbrenner being banished from the game helped, but it took that disastrous run for the team to restock their farm system. As the saying goes, it is darkest before the dawn.
It is certainly dark for the Yankees and their fanbase. The rest of the division has improved while they are stuck making the same mistakes over and over again. However, it is worth remembering that change does not happen until something forces one out of their comfort zone. The Yankees struggles this season have to count as forcing the franchise outside of that comfort area. And maybe, that will lead to those needed changes.
The New York Yankees are struggling to find .500 this season. Maybe they needed to bottom out in order to realize they have been passed by.