Jayson StarkOn May 31, ESPN’s Jayson Stark said the Yankees were dead. Today, he’s recanting.

I sent Stark an email on August 8, which said:

Jayson, you don’t know me, but I’ve been a big fan of your writing, dating back to your days as an Inquirer columnist. I run a baseball blog, Umpbump.com , and today I’m writing a post about the Yankees’ chances of winning the AL East. Back on May 31st, you wrote this about the Yanks:

“One thing we know, however, is this: They’re not catching the Red Sox. No team in history ever has been 14½ games out before June and come back to finish first. And only the Miracle Braves were that far back at any point and wound up playing in October.”

Just curious: are you still so sure that the Yankees won’t catch the Sox? They’re only five games back, you know.

Yesterday, Stark responded to my email. It seems he’s softened his stance on the Yankees’ chances:

Hi Coley,

I don’t check this email address much. But the answer to your question is:

Heck no, I’m not sure. You’d think I’d learn my lesson about making statements like that, huh?

So there you have it. Jayson Stark is not so sure the Yankees won’t win the AL East. Welcome to the club, Jayson.

The Stark reversal comes just days after ESPN’s Jeff Pearlman retracted his early season pronouncement that the Yankees should fire Joe Torre.

Bound for gloryWhat’s with these columnists who make bold predictions? Don’t they know that when it comes to the Yankees and the Red Sox, nothing is certain?

I may not be a professional baseball writer, or a Hall of Fame voter, or a regular on Baseball Tonight, but I know enough to never say never when it comes to the Yanks-Sox.

Now the Phillies, that’s a whole ‘nother story. I think I can say with 1oo percent certainty that 2007 is the year of the Phil. Yes, yes, I know I said the same thing last year. And the year before. But come on! We’re hot! And how can a team with a bullpen anchored by Jose Mesa and Antonio Alphonseca not make the playoffs?

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