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Reliving the humor of the 2013 Yankees' season

Because it's been two years and now we can laugh.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

It's said that comedy is tragedy plus time and at this point, I think that can be said about the 2013 Yankees. It's a bit hubristic to describe a 85-win team as anything close to a tragedy, but I don't think that win total really paints an accurate picture of that team. They were much worst than that. But over two years after the last game of the 2013 season, I think enough time has passed that we can really appreciate the comedy of that team.

April 1: Opening Day

The Yankees opened the 2013 season at home against the Red Sox. Brett Gardner was the lead-off hitter for the Yankees, but the batting order got weird after that. Due to the vast array of injuries that the Yankees had already suffered, even the first lineup of the season was a patchwork one. Eduardo Nunez hit second. New Yankees Kevin Youkilis, Vernon Wells, and Ben Francisco hit 4-5-6 and Jayson Nix was the Opening Day starter at third. The Yankees lost 8-2.

April 12: The Triple Play

The Yankees were playing .500 baseball early in the season and moved above .500 with a 5-2 win over the Orioles. The game was most notable for this triple play:

May 11: Yankees move into first place

Despite the injuries, the Yankees actually played pretty well to start the season. Wells, Travis Hafner, and Lyle Overbay all got off to pretty good starts. When the Yankees beat the Royals 3-2 on May 11, they moved into first place by a game over the Orioles. By this point Youkilis was already hurt and Chris Nelson was getting regular starts at third.

June 3: Lyle Overbay plays right field

Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankees lineup on May 31, knocking Overbay out of the regular starting lineup. However, the Yankees opted not to DFA him. Instead, they kept him around and on June 3, they played him in right field. Overbay had never played any position other than first base in his major league career, but the Yankees played him in the outfield because they couldn't afford to lose his bat in the lineup. Again, they couldn't afford to lose his bat in the lineup. He played four games in right. Not DFAing him was the right call, just not for the reasons originally specified. Teixiera got hurt less than two weeks later and Overbay returned to being the regular first baseman.

July 4: Murderers' Row

On this day, the Yankees ran out what is probably the greatest lineup in Yankee history. Via Baseball-Reference:


The Yankees WON 9-5.

July 8: Travis Ishikawa

At this point, the Yankees had fallen into fourth place in the division, but were just five games back. For whatever reason, the Yankees claimed Travis Ishikawa off waivers on July 7 and he got the start at first base the next day. He struck out swinging twice and was replaced by Overbay, who homered. Ishikawa was almost immediately DFAed and never played for the Yankees again. (At least at time of writing, who knows, maybe Travis will power the 2017 Yankees to the pennant.)

August 18: The A-Rod Show

Alex Rodriguez returned earlier in the year under the cloud of his suspension kerfuffle. On August 18, he made his most notable contribution to the season. After getting hit by Ryan Dempster earlier in the game, A-Rod destroyed a Dempster pitch for a two-run home run in the sixth. That started a rally that turned a 6-3 deficit into a 7-6 lead as the Yankees won 9-6.

September 3: Vernon Wells stole home

Down 1-0 to the White Sox in the second, Wells singled and moved to second on an error. Nunez then reached via error, moving Wells to third. With Chris Stewart at the plate, Nunez stole second. When the catcher threw to second to try and get Nunez, Wells attempted to steal home and made it safely. By this point, the Yankees were barely hanging onto any Wild Card hopes, so this was a nice moment of fun in a game that improved any slight playoff hopes that were left.

September 29: The Greatest Game Ever Played

On the final day of the regular season, the Yankees and Astros played what I like to call the greatest baseball game ever. With the Yankees eliminated and the Astros just trying to end a 111-loss season, the two teams played a completely meaningless 14 inning game. Nunez hit lead-off and David Huff was the starting pitcher. For a longer explanation of why this game is so great, check out this post by Andrew.

And there are the reasons why I believe 2013 was the funniest season in Yankee history. I didn't even mention the names Mark Reynolds, Brennan Boesch, Brent Lillibridge, or Cesar Cabral. Despite being in contention for most of the season, it wasn't fun to watch at the time. But two years later, I think it's time to appreciate how funny this season was.