A few days ago, I mentioned to former Nick Swisher that I had picked his former Yankees teammates to finish last in the American League East.
He smiled and shook his head.
"Bro," he said, "you can't bet against those guys. You just can't."
Lesson learned. When I walked into the Yankees clubhouse Tuesday afternoon, they were not last in the AL East. They were first, tied with Texas for the league's best record.
On one level, I was baffled. No Derek Jeter. No Alex Rodriguez. No Mark Teixeira. Until Tuesday, no Curtis Granderson, either. According to research by STATS LLC, they have the second-oldest roster in the majors and the second-most days lost to the disabled list. That should portend disaster.
Nope. Despite the ad hoc lineups, the long-term questions hovering over Jeter and A-Rod, and the division's perpetual competitiveness, the Yankees' excellence remains unassailable.
They won again Tuesday night, 4-3 over the Seattle Mariners, despite going just 1 for 11 with runners ...