It’s not quite the same as watching them clinch the AL East title (which they’ve done every year since 1998)… but watching Boston slowly gag on success (let alone, the cross-town Mets whom the papers had all but crowned the new kings of the city before their bullpen and confidence imploded) has been almost as entertaining as watching the Bombers complete the greatest second half surge I’ve ever seen in baseball (with apologies to 1978).
I never lost faith in this team… in Arod… in Joe Torre… in nothing. Not after about 50 starts by rookie pitchers, a woeful April and a near-catastrophic month of May. This is a very talented, tenacious, hungry and dangerous squad and I say let’s light this sumbitch up and get it on already.
This was the scene in Tampa Bay last night:
Incidentally, this was the back page of the Daily News on July 2nd, when the Yanks were about 14 games or so behind the Red Sox:
I’ve seen a lot of great things from this team in my day. And, granted, if they don’t at least get to the World Series (let alone win it), some of the luster on this amazing comeback season will be lost. But I’ve been entertained and impressed in ways I’ve never experienced as a Yankee fan, this year. This annual rush to the post-season no longer feels like a somewhat-unlikely but admirable extension of the Joe Torre/Mariano Rivera/Derek Jeter championship years… living on the fumes of yesteryear, reminding us all of what used to be.
With all the rookie talent they’ve brought up and are continuously developing… with a new Stadium in the works… the All-Star Game in the Bronx next year to say good-bye to the current one… I’d say this team stands on the brink of something new.
Let the haters spew. Your tears taste sweet as ever. The Yankees are back and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
**Update: Statement from George Steinbrenner
“I’m elated,” Steinbrenner said in a statement. “After a tough first half of the season when everyone seemed to lose faith except for our players and our fans, the team has really stepped up and shown themselves to be the champions that they are. … I really like the mix of veterans and younger players who have contributed to this comeback. It has been exciting to watch them play, coalesce and pull together. The fans and I look forward to the team accomplishing our ultimate goal — bringing a world championship back to New York.”