These are Nick Swisher’s words:
“You look back maybe a month, month and a half, it felt like people were jumping off bridges saying, ‘Man, this team’s not going to do anything.’ We stayed (with) our game and kept things going and good things happened. We’ve got such tremendous talent in here, such a core group of guys, I feel when we go out there and get everything working together, we’re a pretty tough team to beat.”
The Yankees woke up this morning tied for first place. They haven’t been there since the morning of April 25. Before Wednesday, they’d gone 42 consecutive days without climbing higher than third in the division. As recently as May 21 they were a .500 team that was tied for last place in the American League East. They’ve since won 14 of 18 and have matched the best record in the American League.
“Who would have thought it?” Joe Girardi said. “I think there’s a lot of parity in our league, the American league this year. I think there’s a lot of good teams, and they’re going to beat up on each other. Our guys have done a good job of enduring some things. We’ve had some key injuries, and we’ve been able to figure things out a little bit, and we’ve just got to keep doing it.”
It’s June 12. Being tied for the division lead doesn’t guarantee anything even on September 12, but it’s much better than the alternative. And the Yankees have certainly seen the alternative.
“I don’t think anybody in here is looking at the standings right now,” Swisher said. “We’ve still got a lot of baseball left to be played. Our division is so tough, I think it would be fair to say it’s the best division in baseball. I think we’ve proven that year in and year out. In the AL East, you kind of wait until the last couple weeks to really start paying attention because a lot of things can happen. You’re taking five great teams and really battling them up against each other, (but) it’s nice to kind of be back in this spot because this is where we feel we belong.”
Associated Press photo