The Yankees will be absolutely fine

Bob Levey

Worried by the slow start for the Bronx Bombers, Yankees fans? Don't be. Here's why.

It's April. There have been three games so far, possibly four or five by the time you read this. Nothing means anything yet.

But you're an optimistic person. And you're a Yankees fan. You aren't happy with how they lost the first two games of the season against the Astros, but you're not paying attention to the signs of doom. It's too early. You need someone to stop being so annoying about the Yankees and tell you things to make you happy.

I can do that.

Here are reasons to be optimistic about the Yankees:

Their crap almost always works

The Yankees can't prevent injuries or aging or Greek tragedies about unbearably aloof steroid users, but even when they're down, they're up. Last year, they finished over .500, even though they were outscored. It takes the Royals a decade to stumble into a .500 season, yet the Yankees can't stumble out of one.

Players who played extensively for the Yankees last year:

Chris Stewart, 340 plate appearances
Lyle Overbay, 486 PA
Eduardo Nunez, 336 PA
Jayson Nix, 303 PA
Travis Hafner, 299 PA
Vernon Wells, 458 PA

That's amazing. That's '50s scientists giving acid to unsuspecting soldiers for military experiments. Yet the Yankees finished over .500. And that was their worst season in the last 22 years.

When they need pitching, they get it from a 41-year-old who retired years ago. Or an out-of-shape former Cy Young winner who wasn't in baseball for the last two seasons. When they need hitting, they … well, they didn't get it last year. But they got enough, timed well enough, to win more than the average team. That was the outlier, the worst season they've had since Derek Jeter was in high school.

My guess: Michael Pineda pitches 190 innings with an ERA under 3.00, even though almost no one comes back from shoulder problems at full strength. The Yankees will find a way. It's like when the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park switch sexes. Nature finds a way. It's exactly like that.

They did get a lot of good players this offseason, you know

If it were any other offseason, the Yankees would have been the Damn Yankees, a lightning rod of derision for fans sick of rich teams buying players. But the Dodgers took some of the focus off of them, as did losing Robinson Cano. They still signed Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran. The absence of Cano will be painful, but the Yankees went out and found three of the better hitters for their position in baseball, and inserted them directly in the lineup. Who can do that?

The Yankees. And it will work, at least this season. They have a reasonable lineup, which is something that seemed impossible at this time last year.

Their pitching is better than you think

If you assume that CC Sabathia will be fine, and you should, the Yankees have an excellent pitching staff. They don't even need to score that many runs, even though they will do just fine with the new additions. Hiroki Kuroda remains one of the most underrated Yankees in recent memory, and Ivan Nova's command/sinker/strikeout combination is going to make him a breakout pitcher this year.

Then there's Masahiro Tanaka, who was absurdly dominant in spring training. Spring training stats are useless, sure, but if you're looking for evidence that Tanaka will pitch poorly, it doesn't exist. Not yet.

It's still impossibly early

A list of teams that started 0-2 last year:

Padres
Marlins
Phillies
Royals
Yankees
Blue Jays
Athletics

Maybe the A's were the only team up there to make the playoffs, and maybe fewer than half of those teams finished over .500, but the …

Look ... I can't do this. I can't pretend the Yankees are going to win. They lost the opening series of the season to the Houston Astros, who have Terry Puhl playing shortstop. That's not just a sign, it's a 16-foot-tall neon sign plugged in and thrown in your bathtub.

There's no way the Yankees are going to be good. There's just no way. They can't beat the Astros, and everyone on the team is 50 years old or older. CC Sabathia is broken.

The farm is in shambles.

Free agency doesn't work like it used to, and there's no way to spend their way out of the hole. There's nothing to trade for deadline reinforcements.

Your team is doomed, Yankees fans. Your team is doomed.

Your team is dooooooomed.

Happy April. You waited all winter for this.

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