Title buzz puts Yankees in a tough position


Before the Astros were arrested for fraud, they lost General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. However, before it cost Alex Cora in Boston and before the Red Sox gave the Dodgers superstars Mookie Betts and David Price, the Yankees were the team to beat in the American League.

With Stud Right-Hander and ex-Astro Gerrit Cole in December and a nine-year contract for $ 324 million as a free agent, the Yankees were immediately chosen as favorites for their first time participation in the World Series since 2009. Also the possibility without being left starter James Paxton does not remove the favorite title from the Yankees, who open spring training in Tampa on Wednesday when pitcher and catcher report, until late May or early June.

This puts them in the toughest position a sports team can be in: winning when the masses expect you to win.

Believe it or not that John Woods 10 NCAA basketball titles were cleaner than the Board of Health over a 12-year period and seven consecutive titles with UCLA, Wooden won due to the talent he won for Westwood.

"They are very smart, extremely intelligent people," said Yankees director-general Brian Cashman of the people who determine the opportunities. “They brought their system into play and it becomes clear who is the favorite. There is no guarantee. "

Manager Aaron Boone's third Yankees team is in the favorites role due to several sport-changing events, not least because he brought Cole to the Bronx. Pitchers don't necessarily increase ticket sales, but the Yankees are higher than a year ago and expectations are rising.

Aaron Judge looks at catcher Kyle Higashioka during a training session at the Yankee Minor League complex in Tampa, Florida.
Aaron Judge looks at catcher Kyle Higashioka during a training session at the Yankee Minor League complex in Tampa, Florida.Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

In the first two years of Boone, the Yankees won 203 games and last year cut the club's first AL East title since 2012. With Cole, 29, ready to take on the role of Staff Aces of a rotation that was strong before his arrival and The Red Sox lose their best player, win 103 games in the regular season, face significant injuries and are in the game not getting enough promotion to the ALCS next season.

"I think we had a team of championship calibers last year and the year before," said Hal Steinbrenner at a MLB owners meeting this week in Orlando, Florida. "We are doing even better this year."

Of course, the Red Sox won't raise the white flag because Betts and Price are gone. And although the frugal Rays have lost two key front office members, they should be a team to be reckoned with from March to October.

Cole, who is leaving the Astros, is a bigger hit than Luhnow and Hinch, who were fired after MLB suspended the duo for a year because they stole electronics in Minute Maid Park in 2017 when they played Game 7 of the ALCS took from the Yankees and defeated the Dodgers in the World Series.

To reward the self-despising Yankees fans who signed up for nypost.com or who hold the paper product in their hands, there are potholes on the way to the October Parade on Lower Broadway.

The Yankees bet that Gleyber Torres can briefly replace Didi Gregorius and let Gregorius go through the free agency – he ended up in Philadelphia. Torres played briefly and became an elite perspective in the Cubs system. In short, there are questions about Torres footwork, and if he has problems, it will affect him – where he scored a goal in two major league seasons with 62 homers, 167 RBIs, and 0.849 OPS?

Can Giancarlo Stanton play in 130 games? The same goes for Aaron Judge? Can Brett Gardner do the day-to-day job at the center until Aaron Hicks returns from surgery at Tommy John? It would be a plus if Gary Sanchez could avoid multiple trips to the IL, which hasn't happened in the past two seasons.

Is Masahiro Tanaka's right elbow freed from a bone spur? He had a similar procedure after the 2015 season, was slowly brought along in spring training, and went 14-4 in 31 starts with an ERA of 3.07. YES. Happ ended his first full season as a Yankee strong, but overall it was a struggle. The winner of the eighteen games, Domingo German, is missing until the beginning of June due to an 80-game ban for violating the MLB's policy against internal violence. How about Adam Ottavino's October radio (8.10 ERA, .389 beating average against 1,143 OPS in eight games)? Can Tommy Kahnle repeat a very strong year 2019, posting an ERA of 3.67 and 88 in 61¹ / ₃ innings?

So there are questions that need to be answered positively. When it comes to talent, the Yankees have more of it than any other AL team. Talk about club house chemistry and "glue" all day and all night, but the top priority of the sport is: talent wins.

And the Yankees are fed up with it.