Game 81: Mediocrity at the Halfway Point

On June 30th of last year, the Yankees sat at 42-39 (despite a -16 run differential), 6.5 games behind the first place Red Sox. A year and a few hundred million dollars later, they're 41-39 (despite a -32 run differential), and a couple of games back of the first place Blue Jays. The faces are different, to be sure - but not much has changed otherwise. Tonight begins a three-game set against the last place Rays. I'm not quite sure that 'last place' captures how disappointing the Rays are, either. They are tied with the Diamondbacks for the worst record in all of baseball, Evan Longoria is having the worst season of his career, wunderkinds Wil Myers and Matt Moore are on the disabled list, and James Loney has turned back into a pumpkin. And, yes, I may be reveling in the misery of others...

Tampa Bay Rays New York Yankees
Desmond Jennings, CF Brett Gardner, LF
Ben Zobrist, SS Derek Jeter, SS
Matt Joyce, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Evan Longoria, 3B Mark Teixeira, 1B
James Loney, 1B Brian McCann, C
Brandon Guyer, LF Carlos Beltran, DH
Logan Forsythe, 2B Kelly Johnson, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C Brian Roberts, 2B
Kevin Kiermaier, RF Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Chris Archer, SP David Phelps, SP