The New York Yankees, led by manager Aaron Boone, are facing an uphill battle in the AL East this season.
With key players injured and the team struggling to find its footing, Boone made sure to let the Bronx Bombers know about it, emphasizing the importance of improvement and perseverance throughout the “long-a** season.”
As MLB reporter Bryan Hoch shared on Twitter, Boone stressed the need for his team to step up: “We’ve got to get right and we’ve got to play well, or none of it matters. It’s a long-a** season. We’re grinding right now. It’s tough for us right now. We’ve got to find a way and the guys are competing their a**es off.”
The Yankees are anxiously awaiting the return of pitchers Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino, while star Aaron Judge deals with a hip injury.
Currently, the Yankees find themselves 10 games back from the league leading Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East division, further from first place than they have been since 2016.
The team is also tied for second in the league for players on the IL, with 13 sidelined. Consequently, their offensive stats have taken a hit, ranking in the bottom third for runs scored and batting average.
Boone’s message underscores the harsh reality of professional baseball, and professional sports in general: teams are judged on results, regardless of injury setbacks.
Effective in-game strategies can mitigate some of these issues, but even the best-built teams can struggle when faced with unforeseen injuries.
The Yankees and their fans must brace themselves for a challenging 2023 season, with both a World Series championship and a second consecutive AL East title that seem to be out of reach.