Back on Track?

Yanks: Wait Till Next Year

Seeing Sid Fernandez in pinstripes this spring should serve as a reminder of the mid-'80s Mets. Remember, they were strong, they were invincible. And then, well, shit happened. So what's going to happen to the 2001 Yankees? Will Mike Mussina do a Bobby Ojeda and get maimed in a tragic lawn mower accident? Will Andy Pettitte decide to work for Jesus instead of George? Will Derek Jeter take up aviation? Or will some star or another pop an elbow, tweak a shoulder, or blow out a knee? Not only can it happen, it will. After last year's win-it-with-mirrors run, they're due.

But, if the Yankees implode, who in the AL East is poised to take advantage? If human cloning were legal, the Red Sox would go 162-0. Or maybe 153-9. But Pedro isn't Dolly-able, and Nomar might be on the DL until August. The David Wells deal set the Blue Jays back. The Tigers? Please. The Orioles? Yeah, right.

Still, Murphy's Law says that one of these on-paper underachievers will put it together and win 90-something games and the division. Even if none of them do, and the Yankees manage to make the playoffs, this time around Terrance Long catches that fly ball. One for the thumb? Wait until 2002.

Related article:

Billy Altman on the Mets.

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