During March, there was one story you probably heard repeatedly: The New York Yankees are screwed. Coming off a winter in which they let Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano and Eric Chavez go elsewhere in free agency, the team looked old and thin. Then the injuries started mounting. Derek Jeter's ankle didn't heal properly. Curtis Granderson's forearm was broken by an errant pitch. Mark Teixeira's wrist hurt. Kevin Youkilis' achy back started acting up again. They eventually were joined on the DL by Andy Pettitte, Francisco Cervelli and Eduardo Nunez, and that doesn't even include perpetual rehabbers Alex Rodriguez and Michael Pineda.
And yet, two months into the season, the Yankees are 30-22, the third-best record in the American League. Despite all the big names missing from the lineup, New York just kept winning, and it has spawned some suggestion that maybe the Yankees didn't need all those high-priced veterans to begin with. Maybe they'd be better off with the young kids who no one has ever heard of and who didn't have enough money to buy a small island, or in A-Rod's case, a big island.
Don't believe it. The Yankees' record is a mirage, and their underlying performance suggests that the team needs Youkilis, Teixeira, Jeter and the rest to keep it in the playoff race.