You have to admire the doggedness, not just of the team, but of the front office in the Bronx, for this year's team did not seem like anything close to championship material.
Still, with a record of 50-48, New York is just four games behind division-leading Baltimore despite some enormous obstacles.
The team lost both their mainstay over much of the last decade in C.C. Sabathia, who was steady, if facing declining skills, as well as their new ace Masahiro Tanaka along with Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda, which represents 80% of the team's Opening Day rotation.
The team's offense, peppered by aging and somewhat bruised veterans like Ichiro Suzuki, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Brian Roberts, does not have a position player with a batting average over .300 (Jacoby Elsbury, at .291, is the closest) and Teixeira leads the team with 17 homers, but after that there is a bit of a power gap.
In fact, the team has a run differential of -36, yet they still are contending. In fact, they are the only team with such a negative number and a winning record.
The team did try to rebuild their rotation on the fly, but it is a tough road to hoe if they are expecting Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps and McCarthy to continue and best the likes of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello.
Still, Headley is a switch-hitter who is hitting 30 points higher as a lefty, with 22 more RBI this season, and with a .300-1-9 line over the last month and might well be over his injury woes, and he should benefit from the short right field line.
But that simply won't be enough to do much more than maybe earn the team a wild card spot--if that--and then get trounced out in the first round of the playoffs.
A lot of the success of the Yanks this year has to be attributed to Derek Jeter's last hurrah, for the team Captain has always comported himself with drive and dignity, not to mention consistency, and his push to excel to the peak of his skill set largely modifies the team's success.
For Derek has posted very un-Jeter-like .272-2-27 totals this year: good for a lot of players, but way below D.J.'s expectation and career mean of .311-16-78.
Now 40, though, Jeter's season has to be considered somewhat triumphant in that he has kept healthy and keeps pushing through, much like his aging Yankees mates.
It is a credit to the team--which after this year will have to overhaul their everyday lineup with a lot more than the baling wire and duct tape that cobbles them together for now, for only Ellsbury and left fielder Brett Gardner represent anything close to youth, so likely some dark days abide at Yankee Stadium over the next few years.
But, the marvel of baseball is that in the here and now, they are contenders, and despite how things look on virtual paper, the first trick is to simply make the postseason.
After that, all bets are off.