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Will the Real New York Yankees Show Up for Game 162?

Can the Yankees push past the Rays? Or is the 2021 Season another disappointment in pinstripes?

Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY SA-2.0

Will the Real New York Yankees Show Up for Game 162?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The 2021 New York Yankees have been on a six-month roller-coaster ride that will crest its final hill on the last day of the season. Why? Because why else wouldn’t this season end with some self-inflicted pain?

The Bronx Bombers have spent the majority of the season falling short of offseason expectations. For a team that seemed to strengthen their rotation and solidify their defense, the Yankees have had no easy days during the 2021 season. And no one has more responsibility on their shoulders than manager Aaron Boone. Should the Yankees find themselves outside of the playoff picture, Boone’s tenure as skipper in the Bronx might be over.

And that’s just where the Yankees might find themselves should the final game of the season not fall their way. The final task to prove they are a playoff team? Defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game of the season.

Easier Said Than Done

The Rays might be the perfect foils for the big-spending Yankees, perpetually coming out on top despite their lack of blockbuster deals. In the offseason, the Rays traded away former Cy Young-winning starter Blake Snell and still won the AL East. The Yankees acquired former AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, who takes the mound for as long as he can throw a fastball. That’s not to say there weren’t flashes of brilliance from Kluber, who threw a no-hitter this season. The Rays seem to use a crystal ball to see the future, while the Yankees rely on veterans trying to relive the past.

The Yankees made big waves at the deadline acquiring Joey Gallo from Texas and Anthony Rizzo from Chicago. While the Yankees brought in big names, the rest of the division made some modest moves, and here we remain: the Red Sox and Yanks deadlocked ahead of Game 162.

While the Yankees are facing off against a Rays team that’s trying to stay hot, the Red Sox are facing the Washington Nationals, who are limping towards the finish line. The Blue Jays are one game back and facing the basement-dwelling Baltimore Orioles. Should the Yankees get swept by the Rays, and the Blue Jays win over Baltimore, the Yankees would be left on the outside looking in. Another season of pinstriped potential down the drain.

It’s now do-or-die for the Yankees. It’s time to put some Steinbrenner money where their mouth is and play like a postseason team. The Red Sox, Mariners, and Blue Jays, who were projected to land below .500 this season, are nipping at their heels. The Yankees can erase a season that failed to live up to expectations; all they have to do is beat a playoff team and prove they belong in October.

Can they do that? Can the real New York Yankees please stand up? If not, it’ll be another long winter of wondering what could have been.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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