COMMENTARY | In an email that some fans might have mistaken for a spoof, the New York Yankees sent out postseason invoices to season-ticket holders Tuesday.
Except for 2008, the Yankees have appeared in the postseason every year since 1995. However, the team's chances for playing October baseball this season have looked grim since the All-Star game.
As of Tuesday, the Bronx Bombers have an 11-percent chance of earning a postseason berth, according to Baseball Prospectus. Nevertheless, the team sent out a message to ticket licensees, including myself, with a deadline of September 13 to pay for postseason tickets.
The email was sent more than a week after other ballclubs, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, alerted season-ticket holders of postseason ticket opportunities.
With the addition of a second wild-card berth, a less-than-90-win season could mean a postseason berth and, with 25 games to play, the 73-64 Yankees have 14 games against contending teams (seven against the Boston Red Sox, four versus the Baltimore Orioles, and three with the Tampa Bay Rays) and 11 with non-contending teams, including three against the Houston Astros, who sport the worst record in the majors.
After beating the Rays two out three games last week, the Yankees have a renewed look to them. However, the team must continue its run for fans to have reason not to doubt their chances. With a lineup now including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Alfonso Soriano, and a bullpen that has been among the American League's best, New York has the tools to make a postseason run.
The question, inevitability, is whether the Yankees can continue to win ballgames.
Howard Z. Unger is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. For the past 15 years, he has written about sports, media, and popular culture. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, New York Post, and New York Times.
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