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Point of Discussion: The 2012 Yankees Are On a Pace for 101 Wins, But Is This Really One of the Best Editions in Team History?

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CC Sabathia is once again blessing the Yankees, bringing the pitching staff closer to its ideal form.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
CC Sabathia is once again blessing the Yankees, bringing the pitching staff closer to its ideal form. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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With a current winning percentage of .622, equivalent to a 101-win pace over the course of a full season, the 2012 Yankees are now scraping the bottom of the franchise's 30-best teams list, with a record that exceeds that of several of their championship-winning predecessors. That pace may be a bit understated given that since the end of a .500 May, the club has gone 29-11. That's a .725 winning percentage over a quarter of the season.

While June's slate of opponents was on the light side, more recently the Yankees have been playing tough teams like the White Sox, Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Angels. These teams, though all flawed, cannot be rated pushovers. The Angels, in particular, had gone 40-23 since the end of April prior to their most recent series against the Yankees, a game better than the latter's 39-24 during that same period.

In other words, the Yankees are playing very well right now, have played very well, and would seem a good candidate to continue playing very well. And yet, it is hard for me to think of this team, with its several key injuries and aging veterans, to be in the same class as, say, the 1950 or 1977 or 1996 Yankees, all of which it is currently outpacing.

I don't know if it's smoke, smoke and mirrors, smoke, mirrors, and some kind of hallucinogenic drug, or they actually are that good, but one way or another the whole of this team continues to play better than the sum of its parts.