After the blown lead and the single to right field and the missed opportunity in the ninth, the Yankees clubhouse was quiet yesterday. But it was not any more quiet than it’s been after any other loss this season.
“You come in here after you lose and it’s kind of quiet because people don’t like to lose,” Derek Jeter said. “But before the games we’re not panicking. We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
I’m sure that such a veteran, things-will-get-better approach can be maddening at a time like this, but this is the reality of the Yankees. When they say they’ve been through this before, they mean it. They’re not built on interchangeable parts so that someone else can easily sub in for a struggling center fielder or an injured first baseman. They’re not going to play with the same easy-to-see energy as the never-been-there-before Orioles or the nothing-to-lose Athletics. They didn’t act as if they were on top of the world when they were up by 10 games, and they aren’t going to freak out now that the lead is down to one.
“I think at this point all the games do (feel like playoff games),” CC Sabathia said. “Especially because we’re playing a lot of teams in our division. Like I said, it’s up to us to go out and play well.”
That’s the way this team is constructed. It’s built around elite players, and for this team to play well, those players must play well. Robinson Cano not running out that line drive to third base last night was ugly, but we’ve all seen that exact thing happen to multiple players all over the big leagues. I’m not sure it was a sign of him not caring about the game, but it became an image of just how poorly this team has played recently.
Panic or no panic, they simply need to play better and win games. Like Jeter said last night: It’s really not very complicated.
“We’ve got to win games,” Jeter said. “That’s it. It doesn’t get any more complicated than that.”
Associated Press photo