Deep breath. This is the hard time to take one. For two-thirds of teams, the season ends in late September with usually a long runway to prepare for it. But if it ends in October, suddenly, after such laser focus on every pitch, the pain, the anger, the reflex to want to blow up a roster is intense.
So this from an MLB executive Sunday morning, less than 12 hours after Jose Altuve walked off the Yankees into winter:
“Man, we are going to talk about how to fix the Yankees. They are terrific. They won 103 games. A few swings go a different way — I mean one or two — and they go to the World Series and we are not having this conversation. How about we talk about fixing the Tigers?”
Perspective in such a time is appreciated. Much has been made that the 2010s are the Yankees’ first calendar decade without a World Series appearance since the 1910s. But again, deep breath, they have the best winning percentage in the decade (.569) and are tied with the Dodgers for most playoff appearances (seven).
And for those who pine for the days of George Steinbrenner because that would not be good enough, reality check: The longest stretch in that time without a World Series appearance was 1982-95, when Steinbrenner was at his most Steinbrenner-iest, throwing around money with much rancor and no plan and turning the Yanks into a laughingstock. For those with a memory, you might recall that George, needing to brag about something, would note the Yankees had the majors’ best record during the title-less 1980s.