Hank Steinbrenner took a couple of media callers at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. While they were there, he said we're going to see his New York Yankees in the playoffs this year.
He's probably not wrong, either, as Baseball Prospectus currently estimates that New York's chances of reaching the playoffs are 89 percent.
"Obviously, were in the toughest division by far in baseball. So its going to be a struggle down to the wire. We'd like to win the division, but I think we can be rest assured were going to get to the playoffs, then its a matter of what we do from there."
Hey, way to go out on a limb there, Hank.
The Yankees are currently tied with the Tampa Bay Rays (who have a 91 percent chance, according to BP) for the lead in the AL East standings. And correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the assumption of most everyone outside of New England is that both of those teams will reach the playoffs.
But as someone who's tired of seeing the excitement of that AL East race diluted with the presence of that safety wild-card spot, I'm hoping those resilient Red Sox can somehow get back into this thing and throw some doubt into the AL playoff picture. Boston is currently 5.5 games behind both teams, but will play 12 of its final 34 games against either the Rays or Yankees. (Those two teams, in turn, play each other seven times over the final month.)
It doesn't matter much to me which pair goes on to claim the spot, just that Hank Steinbrenner — and the Rays, for that matter — sweat a little bit more than usual.
It is late August, after all.