“You have to be confident; if you’re not confident, you might as well go home. It was really nice of the fans,” captain Derek Jeter said pointedly, “but it won’t be Bernie’s last game here.”
(N.Y. Daily News)
The Yankees and Red Sox each have seven games remaining and appear to be on a collision course for the final three, which they’ll play against each other this coming weekend in Boston. Yesterday, the Sox completed their three-game sweep of the Orioles, while the Yankees rallied to beat the Blue Jays, 8-4. On an afternoon when Bernie Williams–possibly playing for the last time as a Yankee in the Bronx–received several ovations, Robinson Cano and Gary Sheffield provided the fireworks, as C.W. Wang had another credible outing.
Boston and New York are tied for first place–the Sox play four against the Jays this week while the Yanks play four against the Orioles. I doubt whether either team will be able to build more than a two-game cushion going into Friday night (and maybe that’s a stretch). If their rivalry has taught us anything over the past three seasons it is that things will go to the last moment, the games will be theatrical and almost unbearably tense. What both of ‘em have to hope for is that the Devil Rays will give the Indians trouble (the Tribe, one-half-game ahead of both Boston and New York in the wildcard race, has the day off), and that the White Sox will pounce on Cleveland over the weekend.
Otherwise, it is simple: one week of baseball will determine whether New York or Boston moves on. If it does in fact come down to the last three, one fan base gets its dream scenerio while the other faces its worst nightmare. What could be better for Red Sox fans than to illiminate the Yankees at Fenway Park? And what could be worse than losing to them? And vice versa.
Oy and veh, peoples. Pass the pepto.