How the Yankees are pulling it off

As of this writing, the New York Yankees are in first place in the American League East with a 25-14 record, despite the fact that they are supposed to be old, injured and dysfunctional. I mean, that’s what everyone was saying (or at least thinking) before the season. It’s what I thought, what you thought. Heck, it’s probably what the Yankees themselves thought.

And yet, there they are, in first place. Again.

So how are they doing it?

I have four theories, and three of them are actually legitimate theories and not me trying to be funny!

1. Pitching

While injuries ravaged the lineup, the pitchers have been comparatively unscathed. Sports Illustrated noted, for example, that the starting rotation is sixth in the American League in ERA, and, of course, Mariano Rivera still exists. Seriously, that guy is not human. No guy can be that good and that classy for so long and still be human.

Anyway, if you have good pitching, sometimes it doesn’t matter what type of offense you have. And the Yankees have had good pitching.

2. The Last Stand of The Old Guys

Hey, remember when everyone was joking about the fact that the Yankees acquisition of Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells had locked up the 2006 World Series for the Yankees? Yeah, well, they are hitting a combined .276. Go figure.

3. They are winning the close ones

Much like the Orioles last season, the Yankees record is actually better than their Runs Scored vs. Runs Allowed would suggest. In fact, if they were playing to their pythagorean record of 22-17, they’d be either one game behind or would be tied with the Orioles (depending on whether you assume the Orioles would be playing to their pythagorean as well). So why do they have a better record than they “should”, anyway? It’s probably because they are 8-2 in one-run games. This fact and Mariano Rivera are probably related.

4. A Deal with the Devil

The dark truth, however, is likely more terrifying than you can imagine. You know all these injuries the Yankees have had? They actually are sacrifices to some sort of devil, demon, or other evil entity in exchange for a hot start before Jeter and friends return from the DL.

Or maybe it’s one of the first three. Yeah, probably.

2013 MLB Preview, Part 1: First Things That Pop Into My Mind

Okay, time to play a bit of a game with myself: For every team in Major League Baseball, I type out the first (printable) thought I have on them. Sometimes they will actually have to do with the coming season, other times they will just be random observations or the name of their best player. This is acting as part 1 of a series of unknown length that will constitute my preview of the 2013 season.

So, here we go:

Arizona Diamondbacks: Kirk Gibson likes guys who are gritty.

Atlanta Braves: No Chipper but 2 Uptons.

Baltimore Orioles: There’s no way they can do it again, right?

Chicago Cubs: Will trade Alfonso Soriano sometime.

Chicago White Sox: Won’t be better than the Tigers.

Cincinnati Reds: Could win the division again.

Cleveland Indians: Terry Francona.

Colorado Rockies: Carlos Gonzalez. Todd Helton is still playing.

Detroit Tigers: World Series favorite.

Houston Astros: Welcome the American League, enjoy last place.

Kansas City Royals: Better but not going to be nearly good enough.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California: Great lineup, suspect pitching after Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Magic, Money, and Matt Kemp.

Miami Marlins: Pity poor Giancarlo Stanton.

Milwaukee Brewers: Major League Baseball is coming for Ryan Braun.

Minnesota Twins: Rebuilding in progress.

New York Mets: David Wright.

New York Yankees: Robinson Cano and some old guys. Also: Mariano Rivera‘s last stand.

Oakland Athletics: The beard of Josh Reddick.

Philadelphia Phillies: Is Roy Halladay over the hill?

Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen.

San Diego Padres: Chase Headley.

San Francisco Giants: The defending champs.

Seattle Mariners: Felix Hernandez.

St. Louis Cardinals: Albert who?

Texas Rangers: Not what they have been.

Toronto Blue Jays: I need to get a passport so I can go watch them play.

Washington Nationals: The other World Series favorite.

Come back in the coming days for more thoughts and previews of the 2013 MLB season.