By Jason Klein
The Yankees drew a Wild Card.
They can turn their mediocre hand into something special.
The Postseason offers a clean slate for all. Just like in poker, the Yankees can be anything they want to be as a Wild Card.
2’s can be Jacks. 7’s can be Queens.
Ordinary baseball teams can be Kings.
Just ask the 2014 San Francisco Giants.
Sure, the Yanks looked lifeless as they stumbled towards Tuesday night’s one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium. Losers of six of their last seven games, the Yanks weren’t hitting, looked tired, and appeared destined for a quicker hook than Joe Philbin got in Miami.
None of that matters now, though. That’s old news.
They made it to October as a Wild Card. They’ve got a seat at the table – just like those 2000 Yankees, who also sputtered through September and won 87 games. Those guys turned a Wild Card berth into a Championship.
Today’s team shows their hand tonight. It starts with an ace, Masahiro Tanaka. He’ll take the ball in this sudden-death matchup with the Houston Astros – the exact type of game the Yankees envisioned him pitching when they invested $175 million in him prior to the 2014 season.
It’s his biggest moment as a Yankee. It’s the most important game the franchise has had in two years. It’s the type of event that could propel them towards a 28th title.
October is different. The Yankees organization knows that better than anyone.
Ante up, Yanks! Push those chips to the center of the table.
Tonight, as a Wild Card, they can be anything they want to be.
Perhaps even winners.
Connect With JasonFollow @ByJasonKlein