From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
It’s time to check the mail.
Question: The Yankees have played great over the past six weeks, zooming to the best record in the American League, but to me, there’s still something missing. When they do lose, it’s usually because of sloppiness and/or inconsistent pitching. What do you think?
Answer: I totally agree. The Yankees are 30 games over .500 at 64-34 and going to win the AL East with no problems. They need to play in high gear because the team needs the home-field edge if they meet the Astros in the ALCS.
The missing piece is another dependable starting pitcher behind Masahiro Tanaka and Domingo German. I’m not sure if you can trust James Paxton, J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia in a lengthy, seven-game playoff series. Sabathia, once a dominant pitcher who’s now winding down, was the starter in each of the Yankees’ past two elimination games.
They will make every effort to land a starter before the July 31 trade deadline. The most likely candidates are the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke, the Tigers’ Matt Boyd, the Rangers’ Mike Minor and the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and the Indians’ Trevor Bauer probably won’t be available.
Q: I’m excited about Syracuse University’s upcoming football season. What are the prospects?
A: There’s definitely a reason to be upbeat, especially when SU is coming off a 10-3 season, including a Camping World Bowl victory — the Orange’s best year since 2001.
All eyes will be on sophomore quarterback Tommy DeVito, who’s now the full-time starter after Eric Dungey’s departure. (More on the Orange in next week’s column.)
Q: I think the Warriors’ title run is over in the NBA. Who are the teams to watch over the next three to five years?
A: The Warriors’ roster is in transition, but they will be good, not great, over the next few seasons. I have always liked the Bucks, who have a great nucleus and the Rockets look to be very strong as well.
For the longer term, teams to watch will be the Nets (especially when a healthy Kevin Durant returns for the 2020-21 season), Pelicans and Thunder. Both those teams are loaded with mucho draft picks over the next three seasons.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org