With six games left to go in the 2013 regular season, the Yankees are about to be eliminated from contention. Fangraphs has their odds hovering below one percent, but slightly higher than the odds that you'll get struck by lightning on your way to work tomorrow. The Rays, meanwhile, sit at over a 90 percent chance of making the playoffs. The recent struggles of the Texas Rangers has put even the chances for the Yankees to play spoilers at less than optimal, but still, misery loves company, and the Yankees have the opportunity to make it a playoff-free season for every other member of the American League East save the Boston Red Sox.
it would be a fitting revenge for the Yankees, as their nine losses against Tampa Bay are certainly a contributing factor in the standings-related predicament they currently find themselves in. Given the general obnoxiousness of the Rays as a whole (you are not an archer, Fernando Rodney. Just stop) it would be a satisfying conclusion to a disappointing season. After all, I'm sure Orioles fans remember the end to their 2011 season fondly on account of ruining the playoff hopes for the Red Sox. Sour grapes can have a surprisingly satisfying taste.
The problem is that the series will probably need to end in a Yankees sweep to have any real impact on the playoff race. And while not entirely impossible, penciling in Phil Hughes to replaced the recently humbled, er hobbled, CC Sabathia only increases the degree of difficulty. Matching up the Master Chef with David Price at the homer-happy Yankee Stadium sounds like a loss from the get-go. But the other two games will be started by two of the Yankees' best in Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova, so it is not an entirely impossible task. Please take note offense: you are required to show up for this series.
It's disappointing that it has come to this: looking for optimism only in the opportunity to make another rival regret the 2013 season as equally as we do. Like the majority of the teams in baseball, the Yankees are now faced with making the most of a season that ends at game 162. And as fans, we too must make the most of it or else you resign yourself to only being able to find joy in absolute success, and that's just not a possibility most of the time. So let's sit back and enjoy one last series of exciting, "playoff-style" baseball before heading on down to play the dreary Houston Astros. Now there's some misery that could use some company!