The Major League Baseball regular season is just over a quarter of the way through. There have been some surprises in the division that the Yankees play in. People knew that Tampa Bay would be good and that Toronto would compete, but not one person had the Baltimore Orioles in first place a quarter through the season. Buck Showalter has found life in his young team, and players really take to Buck's methods. Still, I expect the Orioles to fade down the stretch. With the team they have, I don't see them competing for a playoff spot this year.
One thing that I can praise Girardi on is his use of the bullpen. He knows how to operate a bullpen without exhausting his relievers. He stays away from using guys three days in a row and seems like every match-up he makes turns out as a positive for the Yankees. When Robertson returns, the bullpen will go back to it's usual dominance with Robertson working the eighth inning and Soriano closing games out, which seems to be the way to go after Robertson's shaky save opportunities.
The Yankees have not hit their stride yet, but when they do, expect them to climb atop the division to stay. When everybody starts to get going, people will be less skeptical about 2012. While it's not good to struggle for as long as the Yankees have, it's better to get it out of the way in the beginning rather than in September.