While the faith in Yankees country may be teetering amid a second-half swoon that had seen the Yankees’ once 15-game lead fall to just eight, but general manager Brian Cashman appeared steadfast that this team can still win.
“Certainly acknowledge this has been a tough stretch and we’ve certainly taken it seriously,” Cashman said ahead of Monday’s scheduled game with the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. “But the group has my belief. I believe strongly in them, I think they’re still capable of everything we ever hoped and dreamed of, but we have to weather the storm first and foremost. Yesterday was a nice win, but we need to string together obviously a lot as we move forward here and earn our playoff spot.”
The 10-20 record since the All-Star break has not inspired confidence in the Bronx faithful and series losses to the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Ray have not helped that. The Yankees managed to pick up a critical win over the Blue Jays on Sunday during Paul O’Neill day.
Still, the sting of the recent weeks was fresh on the minds of the fans during the early part of the day as the organization retired the number of the beloved Yankees outfielder. Hal Steinbrenner was booed during the ceremony and the mere mention of Cashman’s name elicited another round of disapproval.
“Listen you get the bouquets coming your way when things are flying high and you get the slings and arrows when things aren’t going well,” he explained. “That’s just the nature of the beast. There is no in-between. It’s just either one or the other. I know I’d rather have the good stuff coming, so it’s our job. We hear it loud and clear. We know it and we feel it, and we know it’s our job to find a way to be flying high and make sure the product out there is something that everything is excited about.
“That’s the challenge and the challenge upon us is to deal with the adversity and get through this sooner than later.
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The Yankees have gone through a particularly tough stretch in the second half of the season. New York’s American League Club has won just 10 games since the All-Star break and their offense had dried up with Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list.
The Yankees have also dealt with a number of other injuries. including to their bullpen and other position players. Trade deadline acquisition Scott Effross was the latest Bomber to go on the IL ahead of Monday’s scheduled game against the Mets.