100% of the pressure is on New York. Would you want to be them?
The ‘22 Guardians are the youngest team in MLB history to win 90+ games, the division and make the playoffs.
They’re powered by the 4th lowest payroll ($66 million) in baseball and led by Terry Francona, a highly respected manager best known for upsetting the Yankees in historic fashion in October 2004.
Meanwhile, New York has the 2nd highest payroll, and their two highest paid players alone (Gerritt Cole $36MM, Giancarlo Stanton $29MM) cost more than the entire Guardians roster. Their 5th highest paid player (Aroldis Chapman $18MM) isn’t even on the team anymore after skipping a mandatory workout before this series.
Yankee fans are passionate, ruthless, blue collar and paying top dollar for tickets tonight. Even the sensational Aaron Judge isn’t immune to being booed in the Bronx.
You’d think with their big payroll, the Yankees could afford to send an ace-quality pitcher to the bump tonight, right? You know whose starting? #50. That’s Jameson Taillon’s number, and he’s been shaky… to put it kindly. In a crucial relief appearance on Friday, he allowed 2 earned runs without recording a single out. That performance left him with a career postseason ERA of… INFINITY. It won’t stay that way (assuming he’ll record at least one out), but it’s still damn funny. If Taillon isn’t sharp or the offense is sleepy, the Bleacher Creatures will be quick to boo, and the favorites will feel like they’re walking on eggshells.
The last 3 times the youngest team in the league made the playoffs, they went on to the World Series. The Yankees are under immense pressure to prevent that tonight, and they very well might. I just wouldn’t want to be them under all this pressure. Would you?