How did we end up here?
Well, if you ask Boone and the Bombers, it all went according to plan. I was wrong, I admit that right away; Yankees did get the home field for the wild card. After that, they punched their ticket emphatically and now are invading Boston to continue their quest for the expected: a trip to the Whirled Serious and a chance to make good on the promise they showed last year, not to mention to justify all the moves and deals they made to get there.
And maaaaaybe just a little revenge for 2004? Not that anyone on this roster would recall that series (nor should they try), but some of us would just love to get those games back, and this is the first time since then that the two teams have had a chance to hash it out again in the playoffs. And look who’s leading those teams to this fancy reunion: rookie manager Alex Cora and equally-rookie manager Aaron F***in’ Boone. Of course, neither were part of that series, but both had contributed to their teams in important ways when they were playing for the teams they now manage. And both won at least 100 games in their first year at the helm. Trivial, but fun facts heading into this showdown, which promises to be Very Interesting Indeed.
Lots to take into this series in terms of expectations; Boston sprinted past the Yanks early on in the season and held tight or stayed close through the mid-season, then turning on the afterburners after the ASB and leaving the rest (especially the Yanks) to fight it out for second place. If nothing else, having two 100-game winners in the same division has begun and interesting discussion about what teams should actually qualify for the playoffs; had the Yanks won their hundred games, yet failed to reach the post season while a team with maybe fifteen less wins was automatically in because they won their division, there certainly would have been a lot of outrage among fans if it were not the Yankees (but definitely outrage if it were from MLB and their television partners). But that’s for a later debate. For now, let’s revel in the chance for fireworks and Score Trucks and who knows what. Both teams are coming in with chips on their shoulders, so it oughtta be “lit” as the young players would likely say.
As for me, I’m feeling the Yanks in five; now that Brother Judge is up to speed and has brought life back to the lineup and clubhouse in general, it’s up to the starters to get the job done. Scientific Happ leads off, followed by Major Tanaka and The One (Whom Most Doubted) , then C-Squared ready to shut the door on Boston’s aspirations if that were actually the case. This makes sense; I think that’s the right order. I could be wrong about what we’re about to encounter (and kinda hope I am, but in a good way). Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gents, the show’s about to begin! >;)