Yankees better put a Spring in their step

The pressure's never been greater. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees need to realize their winter hibernation is over and start playing well.

I know a lot of Yankees fans are probably just excited to have baseball back, so they might be more inclined to be blinded to all the problems already plaguing their favorite team. I hate to be the bearer of bad news at this time of optimism, but this team does not look ready to compete with the elite in the American League. After an offseason of fat contracts and self-satisfaction, it's clear that the Yankees have been resting on their laurels during their time off.

Now I know what you're going to say: "Spring Training is meaningless!". You could not be more wrong. Spring Training sets the tone for the entire season. It is a known fact that the teams that perform the best in Spring Training end up performing the best in the regular season. You can't win the marathon after falling on your face before you even get past the starting line. Momentum is everything.

Just look at the performance of the "Feeble Empire" against the Florida State Seminoles on Tuesday. That's right, the mighty Yankees put a college team on their schedule. How are they supposed to get ready for the season by scheduling cupcakes? Even worse, all they managed was an unremarkable 8-3 victory. A major league team beating a bunch of college kids by less than twenty is nothing short of an embarrassment. It was a disgrace to the Yankees' hallowed history and a disappointing start to Derek Jeter's farewell tour.

If you're searching for someone to point the finger at, look no further than the Yankees' fancy new free agents who logged a total of zero at bats during the game. You read that right: zero. It seems getting a paycheck is all they're concerned with at the moment. And Brett Gardner, who used to be the tough, gritty sort of player your kids could model themselves after decided to take the day off after one at-bat. Money changes everything, apparently. It seems Vidal Nuno and a bunch of rookies were the only ones who were particularly concerned about winning that day. Now add in today's 6-5 choke-job against the Pittsburgh Pirates (a team that hasn't won a championship in over thirty years) and it's clear that all that talent won't make up for this team's lack of heart.

The Yankees don't have the luxury of waiting to turn things around. With the Boston Red Sox lording their championship over them and the rest of the division looking to be quite competitive, this team needs to get off to a good start. Anything short of a winning record in Spring Training would be disastrous. A performance worse than that should make the seats that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi are sitting in even warmer than the Florida weather they're currently relaxing in.

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