Maybe a Boston Red Sox jersey of David Ortiz that rested unseeingly below concrete before contractors removed the disadvantageous spirits at the newly spacious creation wasn’t a curse after all. Maybe the absence of Alex Rodriguez was a curse, obviously missed greatly.

Without his presence, gradually the New York Yankees’ mystique and pinstripes were declining and converted into a horrific dysfunction, traditionally unlike the team famous for 26 titles, the most in major league history. Or even the team that famously qualifies for a playoff berth nearly every year. Let's just say the Yankees aren’t themselves without A-Rod, who clearly has solidified an identity. His presence transforms morale and mystique, which was trounced with chaos and indignities. Ever since his return, he has rejuvenated psyche and mythology among a team that accepts nothing less of a World Series.

Sure, Rodriguez's reputation is infamously crippled, but as long as he continues his impressive power streak, which turned things around for the lifeless Yankees engaging liveliness and reforming back to its usual brand by producing wins, he'll be embraced and forgiven of his wrongdoings. For all the runs driven in and homers belted into the stands, he'll increase his status. Of course, when Rodriguez made his season debut for the first time since his admission and confession of his steroid scandal, he quickly repaired his infamous credibility. He changed the culture within America's most scrutinized and hated franchise, to finally reduce deterioration and installed a winning state of mind.

Two weeks ago, A-Rod returned and gave us belief when he belted a power shot into the left-center field power alley at Camden Yards off Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie’s first pitch in an anticipated hostile territory. For once in his lifetime, he swung with purity and revamped an early relapse to build an 8-2 stretch that have the Yankees solid in each category.

Knowingly, A-Rod is an integral piece if the Yanks expect to make a postseason run, but substantial pitching has civilized standards, only surrendering 34 runs within that span, a huge difference compared to the first 28 games. In recent memory disastrous pitching ruined psyche, wasting a probable season when New York missed the postseason for the first time in 15 years a year ago. Slews of misery resulted, when faltering pitching delayed triumph. With subpar starters and promising major leaguers in Phil Hughes, who had a substandard start in the first month of the season a year ago and Ian Kennedy, who collapsed in the first month and turned into a disappointment, the Yanks struggled in a critical department.

And a year before the Yankees used 14 different starting pitchers. It was as if trying on new uniforms without pinstripes to see what fits. But apparently nothing fitted, incapable of withstanding the mound to cure pitching travails as mystique diminished when it turned into a miracle and historic year for the Rays, who clinched its first postseason appearance in a 10-year existence, surprisingly stunning us all by advancing to the World Series before losing to Philadelphia.

Shouldn’t this be the year the Yankees win the World Series? Or shouldn’t this be the year the Yankees establish themselves, and then virtually overpower baseball? It’s a trend the wealthiest franchise in all sports has followed and committed to deeply in the past. As a result, New York owned sole possession of divisional titles for years. And to restore into championship form, the Yankees went shopping during the off-season and explored free-agent bargains, signing CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to huge deals. Expectations were prominent when they joined and changed uniforms, whereas previous teams weren’t as demanding.

Of late, the Yankees are complying expectations, particularly the first baseman slugger who's hitting as expected in front of the faultless savior. He is, Mark Teixeira, a high-priced addition who started hearing the notorious pack-it-up-and-get-out-of-here chants. But lately, boos have turned into endless cheers for the money-making star since A-Rod returned. He’s paying dividends in the investment agenda, protected by Rodriguez’s hasty hitting spurt that relieves pressure as opposing pitchers are force to pitch instead of pitching around him, which prompts trouble for opponents that tries to avoid Teixeira’s power surge of late.

In all thanks to one player everyone disregarded because of shameful revelations, A-Rod means much to the Yankees in a season when the pennant race is a top priority. Even though the horrible performance enhancer mess ruins all believability, the Yankees couldn’t care less as long as he changes the culture by accomplishing the daily agenda. That’s sustaining victories, a customary description of the Yankees’ ritual.

With A-Rod establishing a foundation among teammates, Teixeira jumped from an embittering .198 batting average and skyrocketed to a pleasurable .351 average with 16 runs, 13 RBIs and five walks in midst of the Yankees hottest streak this season. And the most enjoyable win came, allowing the fans to abandon insults of bitterness. Instead rebellious fans embrace when the Yankees perform up to capabilities, a pledge followed in a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins, the most superlative series yet in their gigantic palace. Only two months in the season, the Yanks have experienced problems in their newest playground that really seems as if it’s a playground and a modern version of the old Yankee Stadium.

They have posed as matured kids in the last three days for walking off in three straight games with home runs, assembling huddles at home plate to heckle the heck out of the heroes of late-game heroics. It was rattling sounds of insane loudness, echoing throughout the newest architecture and pies were directly thrown in faces. Three games were defined as mockery, when pies flew in the face of Melky Cabrera, whose run-scoring double in the last of the ninth was the game-winning run, then the friendly treat was awarded to Rodriguez with an 11th inning walk-off homer and Johnny Damon for his walk-off heroics was awarded with a messy pie.

Just holding on to baseball’s tradition, I might add. Even better winning upholds a Yankees tradition, whether pies are thrown or not. It’s all fun and games, but in clarity, they want to win and certainly have done it remarkably against the Twins. And though the Yankees have ran into some misfortune, the Twins still have trouble winning in New York. At least with a change of scenery it seems they would have stolen one game with all the early season troubles, in which a collapse was the next thing to come to mind. But you could never count out the Yankees, particularly anytime A-Rod assembles prosperity, avoiding what easily could have relapsed into a peculiar and embarrassing disaster after spending millions to reform a winning texture.

Logic is, the Yankees aren’t forceful without A-Rod or consistent in pitching. With poise, better hitting and mound stability, it led to an excellent series. By standards, the Yankees are well-balanced to crawl back into the erratic AL East standings. Thanks to pies it brought a little humor to the show as curtain calls embarked endless laughs of joy and excitement. So how much did A-Rod mean to the Yankees? A whole lot! Even better than hitting, has been the sudden rise of the pitching rotation, which closed out the series in a winnable fashion. Although Andy Pettitte didn’t pitch effectively, he preserved a 4-1 record and contributed to beat the Twins 7-6 for the 23rd time in the last 26 games.

As for the blazing swings, Teixeira’s three-run homer followed by Rodriguez’s solo shot, his third homer in three games. Even though, he’s the biggest fraud of baseball, some of his shame has vanished with Manny Ramirez's juice scandal confirmed two weeks ago. And now that Rodriguez appears to be healthy, the Yankees have formed into Bombers, a trend fans have been awaiting. And even though he’s a fraud, as long as he performs there are no problems. I must add that most of the cream pies should be thrown directly in Rodriguez’s face after all he regenerated normalcy.

Let’s give A-Rod cream pies.


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