The New York Yankees' chances at the American League East are fading rapidly and reliever Shawn Kelley wasn't afraid to express that. The only problem is that it's at odds with what The Captain, Derek Jeter, believes.
After Wednesday's loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees are now eight games out of the division lead behind Baltimore. For the wild card, New York is 3.5 games behind the second spot, which is currently owned by both Detroit and Seattle.
So, while it's obvious the more realistic goal for the Yankees is the second wild card spot, Jeter was more diplomatic about things after the game on Wednesday night, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
Derek Jeter says there is still hope for the division if they win games like they need to, but they're not making it easy on themselves.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 14, 2014
Kelley, on the other hand, was a bit more honest about things, per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
Kelley: "I think we were more looking at the 2nd WC spot. That’s a little bit better # that seems a little more achievable at this point.”
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) August 14, 2014
Chances are his honesty and clear lack of faith won't go over well with his fans and teammates. Sure, he's right that the Yankees should be focused on a lesser goal with such a big gap between them and the Orioles, but you just don't say those things at this point.
It's too early and it doesn't help that Kelley's opinion differs from the team's leader.
The Yanks do still have eight contests left with the Orioles, so there is an outside chance they catch the AL East leaders. However, with the way the Yankees have played the Orioles of late, that doesn't seem likely.
And that's especially true despite the fact that the Yankees got back one of their best pitchers, Michael Pineda, and could get back another in the form of Masahiro Tanaka. Those two are great additions, although they can't drive in runs and that's the Yanks' biggest problem at the moment.
Kelley was spot-on when saying what the Yanks' new focus should be, he just shouldn't say it out loud.
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Tags: American League East, Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Shawn Kelley