Has depression set in, or are you still in April, which is where I think I am, and Kübler-Ross has no bearing? Yes, the 8-11 Yankees are in last place in the AL East and are suffering a five-game slide, and no, ARod didn’t almost single-handedly win for the Yanks last night; as a matter of fact, he’s no longer up to something. However, 1) It’s April, 2) They’re only four back, and 3) It’s April. Or maybe I am in denial? No, I’m pretty certain it’s just April. Damn straight. It’s only fricking April.
I’m in the camp that April wins and losses are just as important as September wins and losses with the important distinction that the team may have time to do something about what’s going wrong. Right now, a lot is going right in the way of run production; the Yankees have scored 116 runs and have allowed 94. As of April 24th 2006, New York was 9-8 and tied for third place in the East, two games ahead of the Rays. That team had scored 106 runs and allowed 71. They started with a west-coast road trip that left them 2-6; it was a return to Yankee Stadium and a three game sweep of the hapless Royals that brought them back to around .500, which is where they played through the rest of April until ripping off eight wins in eleven games to start May. That was with the likes of Shawn Chacon and Jaret Wright, and was prior to the loss of Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui. In fact, so far Kei Igawa looks like a drop-in replacement for Chacon, and anyone who doesn’t go more than four innings may well draw Jaret comparisons, which feels like everyone except Andy and Wang right now. So yes, it’s only April, until it isn’t.