It was always a favorite game of my father’s. Throw a deck of cards in the air and watch his young son happily pick them up, at least until I figured out the joke. Then he had to wait until my younger sister developed opposable thumbs and the fun started all over.
New York finds itself with 52 games left on the season, half of which are to be played in the “friendly” (unless you are playing poor third base) confines of the Stadium and the rest to be played in Enemy Territory. How will the deck fall? Let’s look at the schedule.
August is a tough month on paper, with Anaheim following the current series with the White Sox, then a “breather” of sorts against the O’s, the monster series at Fenway followed by a flight to Seattle and then another visit with the Halos. The team will likely be exhausted at this point. Fortunately, they finally get a day off, but only to return to home to face the very difficult Tigers, followed by the Twins to greet September.
Kansas starts a road trip against what may be a series of easier opponents, with a trip to Baltimore and a homestand against Tampa. Boston comes to town on what may well be the deciding series of the season for a four-game set including another double-header. New York goes to Toronto to face the Jays, who have played the Yankees tough this year, and hopefully all of our players will have their visas in order prior to reaching the border. Off to Tampa for four games and then a return home to close the season against Baltimore and Toronto.
That’s a tough two months. Seeing Kansas, Tampa and Baltimore on that list makes me a little happier, but only 17 games of the final 52 are played against opponents that currently have a losing record, and Seattle is only a hair under .500. Sure, New York swept Toronto to start the month, but the Jays are a tough team with bats that can pound your pitcher.
That New York doesn’t have to face Oakland again this year (at least in the regular season) pleases me a great deal. The Yankees haven’t faced Anaheim since the first week of the season, and they should be quite a test. Of course, the nine games against the Sox are the most significant, and should give me nine kinds of indigestion.
The roster maneuvers made by New York and the return of a second baseman who can actually hit have given me a cautious optimism regarding the offense. However, the offense has never been the issue. Looking at the talent in the schedule, my confidence in the rotation needs some shoring, but it is not forthcoming. I hope those bats stay lively.