The Yankees and White Sox were inspired by some franchise legends on Monday
The Yankees and White Sox both faced crucial games on Monday night as they look to make postseason pushes. New York headed to Houston to start a three-game series with the Astros, one of the teams ahead of them in the Wild Card race. Chicago, on the other hand, welcomed the Cubs -- crosstown rivals and owners of the best record in baseball.
With so much at stake, what could be done to gain the upper hand? Watch extra film? Take extra batting practice? Sacrifice any available grocery items? All good solutions. But the postseason push calls for desperate measures, and both teams decided to break out the gravitas instead: They brought in the old guys. After all, why simply take batting practice when you can take batting practice from Andy Pettitte?
(Sure, Pettitte is a Houston native and former Astro, too, but he played 15 years in the Bronx, so that breaks the tie. This is a highly exact science.)
And why wouldn't you invite Paul Konerko -- who won a World Series with the White Sox back in 2005 -- back to throw out the first pitch and/or sprinkle some postseason dinger magic over the proceedings?
Would the Yankees have topped Dallas Keuchel and the Astros, 2-1, on their own? Perhaps. Would the White Sox have walked off against the North Siders, 5-4, without the help of a franchise legend? Maybe. But in a pennant race, nothing can be left to chance.