Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 7:27 am and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The New York Yankees magic number is down to 1 to clinch a playoff berth. One Yankees victory or Detroit Tigers loss and the Yankees will be guaranteed the American League wild-card berth.

Question is, should the Yankees actually celebrate tonight, tomorrow or whenever they actually clinch that playoff spot?

I mean, what’s the big deal about winning the wild card? After all, isn’t this the team whose mantra is that any season that doesn’t end with a World Series title is a waste? The Yankees have won 9 straight American League East titles, and 10 of 11. For years now, they have felt like the AL East belonged to them. Wild-card? Phooey. That was for everybody else to worry about. Only titles have been acceptable in the Bronx.

So, how could the Yankees possibly celebrate getting to the playoffs this year as the wild-card, the extra team? I know, I know. The Yankees still have hopes of catching Boston and making it 10 straight division titles. The reality, however, is that the Yankees are almost assuredly going to finish behind the Red Sox and be the wild-card team.

So, again, is being the wild-card team in this year’s AL playoffs something the Yankees should celebrate?

You bet!

Remember where this team came from. At one point the Yankees were 14.5 games behind Boston, double-digit games behind in the wild-card standings and seemingly floundering. This is a team that watched non-descript pitchers like Chase Wright, Matt DeSalvo, Tyler Clippard, Carl Pavano, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens and Darrell Rasner start games this season.

Up until the All-Star break the playoffs looked like a pipe dream for the Yankees. They were floundering and needed binoculars to find the teams leading the way. Now, the wild-card is almost certainly theirs and they are pushing Boston to play right to the end to win the division.

Along the way they have found out that young pitchers in Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are guys who they can count on for years to come, and that young center fielder Melky Cabrera is better than anybody thought.

Winning the wild-card is not equal to bringing another World Series championship to the Bronx. But the Yankees do, indeed, have a lot to celebrate.

 (– Ed Valentine’s writes a general sports blog called Valentine’s Views On Sports and a New York Giants blog called Big Blue View.) 

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