Shortly before 1 AM after another marathon Yankee-Red Sox game, the police officers assembled on the mezzanine overlooking the tracks where the D train would take people away from Yankee Stadium.
And what they heard from their commander was a job well done followed by applause.
An hour earlier, the Yankees walked off the field up the stairs and across the street and probably did not hear the same.
"It seems like when things are going bad," manager Joe Girardi said, "It goes bad."
Bad would be a nice way to describe the events on the field after the Yankees had been swept by their biggest rival and then headed for a flight to play two games apiece in Tampa Bay and Baltimore with the hope they can figure out why their performance has been the complete opposite of those officers getting praised.
While sporadic chants of Boston (stinks) went through the stadium, the truth was the home team stunk. They just didn’t stink against the Red Sox, the stench of bad baseball was present during two games with the Royals and the ever-increasing odor even goes back a few weeks.
"We can talk about it over and over but the bottom line is we’ve got to play better," Alex Rodriguez said. "There’s too much talent in this clubhouse. We’re excited about turning the leaf and moving forward to playing good baseball."
Good baseball is what the Yankees were sort of doing through April 23 when they had won 11 of their first 17 games.
Most of the reasons for being six games over .500 had to do with an offense producing a .264 batting average, meaning that in the first 565 at-bats the Yankees had produced 149 hits.
Since that point, the Yankees have won nine times but also lost 12 times and their team average has dropped 15 points. The decline has occurred because hitting consistently has stopped as evidenced by a .237 average and even that is a deceptive number because if you eliminate two games when the Yankees scored 12 runs apiece in beating the White Sox on April 28 and Texas on May 8, the number is worse.
In those two games that featured Nick Swisher’s first home run and Derek Jeter’s only two home runs, the Yankees batted .387 (29-for-75). Throw out those two games, the Yankees are hitting .240 on the season and .218 since scoring 15 times off Baltimore pitching.
Consider this as well. When the final out was made, the highest batting average belonged to Curtis Granderson at .281. Granderson hit the Yankees' 60th home run during the second inning and 25th since that night in Baltimore.
After that night in Baltimore, the leading average on the Yankees belonged to Rodriguez at .370. His front leg wasn’t twitching like it is now and Rodriguez leaves town for four days with a .250 average due to having 14 hits in his last 78 at-bats.
The second-highest average belonged to Russell Martin at .333. Now the new catcher has dropped by 90 points due to having eight hits in his last 53 at-bats and this weekend he had two passed balls on strikeouts to the same batter – Kevin Youkilis – and each time it led to a run.
When a team stops hitting and stops preventing runs, this is what it looks like and for the Yankees and fans it’s a sight nobody wants to see – kind of like a D train making local stops.
Like the local train late at night when a commuter rail connection is waiting, the season is a long and sometimes uncomfortable journey. And how much longer the Yankees make their fans feel uncomfortable about their performance is entirely up to the players.