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Happy, not satisfied: Yankees know they have to improve from big first half

Regardless of whether the New York Yankees would have won Sunday’s first-half finale at Progressive Field, to a man, the postgame clubhouse refrain still would have been the same.

We’re good, but not yet good enough.

This is a team, nearly 30 games above .500 entering the All-Star break, that is mostly pleased with the way it performed throughout the earliest stages of the season. But the self-aware bunch also knows it can — and must — be even better if it wants to close the second half as a division champ and World Series winner.

“We’re not satisfied at all in that room,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

The 4½ games his team trails the rival Boston Red Sox in the American League East are part of the reason why.

“I’m pleased with the way we played in the first half,” outfielder Brett Gardner said Sunday following New York’s 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, “but I’m not pleased that we’re not in first place in the division.

“So we’ve got some work to do.”8

That’s the common sentiment among the 62-33 Yankees: that once they return to action at home Friday, hosting another Subway Series against the crosstown rival Mets, there is work to be done.

It’s work that spans the entire team. The Yankees believe no one area is as strong as it can be at this point, nor is one part of the roster infinitely superior to any other.

“We can pitch a little better, we can play a little better defense, and we’re capable of scoring more runs,” Gardner said. “It’s easy to sit here and nitpick and try and see what we could’ve maybe done different or to see how we could be better, but ultimately we have to be better if we want to win the division and get to where we want to be at, which is win a World Series.”

Starting pitching has been among the list of Yankees bugaboos since the season began. With a distinct drop-off in consistency behind the likes of ace Luis Severino and vet CC Sabathia, questions about the Yankees’ rotation have persisted.

The easiest and most discussed solution to address some of New York’s starting woes is to add a veteran pitcher before the trade deadline.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Since near the start of June, the Yankees have been doing their due diligence in making phone calls with other big-league teams to see what it might take to get a trade partner. Although there have been conversations regarding trades for position players such as Baltimore’s Manny Machado, New York’s primary focus from the start has been to get more arms for their shaky staff’s postseason run.

Might we see a deal that shores up the Yankees’ rotation within the next two weeks? Boone couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty as he began his All-Star break on Sunday. Still, he has full faith in the behind-the-scenes work general manager Brian Cashman and others are doing.