First, a quick reminder that I’ll be chatting at noon. I’m guessing that last night gave us plenty to discuss. Until then, a question…
What do you make of one game?
When there are 161 to go, does an 0-1 record mean anything? Does it mean anything at all?
When offseason concerns played out exactly as scripted, does that one game tell a much larger story? Does it make the worst-case scenario feel frighteningly realistic?
“It’s one game, that’s the conclusion I draw,” Joe Girardi said. “You don’t make too much of it. Everyone wants to get off to a great start. Everyone wants to go 3-for-4 and drive in a couple of runs, but it just doesn’t happen that way.”
Certainly didn’t go that way yesterday. What seemed to be a weak lineup on paper showed itself to be a weak lineup on the field. A Kevin Youkilis double was the Yankees only extra-base hit, and a two-out Francisco Cervelli single drove in the only Yankees runs.
Logically it should be meaningless – most of us have followed baseball long enough to know that – but somewhere along the line, the Yankees lost the benefit of the doubt. Their lineup was weakened in the offseason, and that was before Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter had to open the season on the disabled list. Now there are real and justified questions about whether this offense can so much as tread water through the month of April.
Those concerns aren’t going to go away until the Yankees make them go away.
Vernon Wells is going to have to prove he can hit. Ben Francisco and Lyle Overbay are going to have to prove they’re viable placeholders. Youkilis is going to have to prove last season was only a bump in the road. Girardi is going to have to prove he can push the right buttons to manufacture runs without waiting for the three-run homer.
It’s not that this team can’t do those things – Youkilis, Wells and Francisco had good springs, Girardi comes from a small-ball, National League background, injured players seem to be making good progress – but the critics and skeptics aren’t going to fade away unless they’re given no choice.
Yesterday simply fed the same old narrative. It didn’t make a bold, new statement.
So what does one game mean? Logically, it means nothing.
But the Yankees needed it to mean something.
Associated Press photo