The greatest team in baseball this season is also something of a paradox.
The New York Yankees can wow you with towering home runs and intimidate you merely by stepping on the field – yet their most impactful contributions often emerge from information passed from player to player, gleaned from a tablet, shared in a meeting room.
They feature the game’s greatest slugger putting on a power show against the backdrop of a dramatic salary drive – but their greatest steps forward have come not from Aaron Judge’s might but rather the decision to disregard offense altogether at two of the most important defensive positions.
They employ a dozen players earning nine-figure salaries – yet insist it is chemistry and selflessness and a heightened level of focus and intent that has taken this franchise to a new level.
It is rare air: The Yankees are 27-9, in lockstep with their 1998 team widely regarded as the franchise’s best in the last half-century or so. They lead the major leagues in earned-run average but also OPS, hit more homers per game than anyone but also feature the game’s greatest reliever.