Meanwhile, the Yankees just won't go away

Jim Monaghan
Contributing writer

So what do you figure is more frustrating - being the Red Sox who are off to this terrific start but who still can't shake the Yankees...or being the Yankees who are off to a very good start and are still looking up at the Red Sox?

Coming into Thursday night's action, Boston and New York are both winners of 7 of their last 10 games, and they are #1 and #2 for the best record in all of baseball right now. Just 2 games separate them in the American League Eastern Division standings.

We know how the Red Sox are doing things, but have you spent much time paying attention to our friends in the Bronx? For starters, their injury list is absolutely ridiculous.

Pitchers - Ivan Nova (15-day), Michael Pineda (60-day), and just today Joba Chamberlain (15-day)
Catcher - Francisco Cervelli (60-day)
Infield - Derek Jeter (60-day), Alex Rodriguez (60-day), Kevin Youkilis 15-day) and Mark Teixeira (15-day) Outfield - Curtis Granderson (15-day)

And there's no telling when (if?) some of these guys are coming back. Jeter swore he'd be on the field Opening Day, and he still hasn't seen a pitch yet. ARod is being hid somewhere by the front office, which seems to cringe every time his name comes up, and Teixeira is only now about to start hitting off a tee. Youk, you know we still love you in Boston, but your body is simply not cooperating with you anymore.

As for what's going right, you can go right to the back end of the bullpen where Mariano Rivera already has 11 saves. C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are pretty much giving the team 6-7 innings per start, and Hiroki Kuroda is 4-1 with 30 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. Middle relief is decent, and let's face it - Joba hasn't been JOBA for quite some time so losing him to the DL isn't going to be the worst thing that could happen to that bullpen.

The offense is doing what it needs to win games. Robinson Cano might be the best pure hitter in baseball right now, Travis Hafner has 6 home runs and 17 RBI's, and as long as Vernon Wells can face his former team (Toronto) 19 times, he appears to be a force to be reckoned with.

Give credit where it's due. For all the talk that Brian Cashman has been successful only because of the Yankees' deep pockets, he's managed to put together a very professional group of spare parts who are keeping the team afloat so far. And while Joe Girardi may appear at times to be managing games in April and May as if they're the 7th game of the World Series, he also seems to be the right guy at the helm right now.

All that said, even if the Yankees get some or all of their walking wounded back, the fact remains that they are an aging, flawed team. Both of those factors could catch up to them at any time this season.

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