Unless you have taken up residence in a remote Unabomer-esque cave far beyond the reach of glorious TV signals (AKA the Yankees Chick's lifeblood), surely you are aware of the Yankees recent rise
to top of the AL Wildcard race and within striking distance of the Boston "Just Call Us The New Yankees!" Red Sox. The team has been scoring runs like it's going out of style
(which better not be the case) and the pitching staff has done a swell job keeping their collective ERA well under 5.00
, and aside from the waste of space known as Kyle Farnsworthless every member of the team has contributed to the 2nd-half turnaround. As hard as all the boys have worked over the past couple months, I think it's plain to see that the team would be nowhere if not for the Yanks' own homegrown youngsters like Cano, Melky, Wang, Hughes, and Chamberlain.
Us Yankees fans have grown accustomed to watching Big Stein pay a big price for instant gratification over the years, and as a result of his megalomania
I tend to restrain myself from getting too attached to any of the rookies that pass through the ranks. The past couple years, though, have been something of an anomaly, with the Steinster dangling one foot in the grave
and defaulting some of his power to the Cash Man, and we have been lucky enough to actually hold on to the best and brightest of our dear children. Cano saved the day
in 2005 by relieving the team of the burden known as Tony Womack
(I'm sorry for bringing up those memories, lovelies), and his Dominican soul brother Melky
made his first appearance that year as well, but we didn't really get a good handle on just how important these two were going to be until last season. Offensively they've been solid contributers, obviously, but both of them also possess a little thang called "defense
", a skill long ignored by the likes of Johnny Demon and Jason "Just Call Me The Lunge-Master" Giambi but vital nonetheless. The Wangster
proved himself similarly, coming up in the 2005 season but really shining last year - if you recall, he lost out in the Cy Young voting to Mr. Johan Santana. As for our latest (and perhaps greatest!) Yank-ettes, Hughes and Chamberlain, these phenoms have had a very limited time with which to impress us, but their respective much-anticipated debuts have been nothing if not utterly fantastic. In just 4 starts, Philly
has struck out 22 batters while walking just 4! And Joba "If Michael Kay Reminds Us One More Time That I Am A Native American I Will Strangle Him With My Reservation-Born Hands" Chamberlain
has been even more
impressive, striking out 8 and walking only 2 while giving up zero
runs in 5 innings (and oh yeah, did I mention he's a Native American?).
Big Stein and the Cash Man have had a plethora of opportunities to send these boys (not to mention Ian Kennedy
, who is absolutely tearing up the minors this year) packing to many begging teams, but even in the face of what seemed like a disastrous season
they chose to hold on to their assets and let the rest of the league squabble over veterans. Now that the team has shown that they are legitimate playoff contenders, thanks in large part to the aforementioned youngsters, we can only hope that the front office is 100% convinced and confident that they must hold on to these boys no matter how much begging the "Other 29" may do.