The Yankees lost 3-2 to the Blue Jays last night in Toronto but clinched their ninth straight American League East Division title when the Twins spanked the Red Sox in Boston, 8-2. The young kids in the Yankee clubhouse--Melky Cabrera, Robby Cano, Jose Veras--led the champagne and beer-soaked celebration. Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez could not stop smiling. Gary Sheffield talked about how eager he is to contribute in playoffs. Derek Jeter was bumrushed by the young Latino mob during a TV interview with Kim Jones, who was repeatedly (and perhaps mean-spiritedly) doused by Randy Johnson. Naturally, Jeter managed to keep his composure. So did the veteran Jorge Posada who stressed that this was just a good start.
All of the older guys mentioned how tickled they were at the energy and enthusiasm of the younger players. Bernie Williams, who really looked geeked, his eyes wide open and innocent like a kid on Christmas morning. Williams knows that the end is near for him, and it appeared as if he was taking a special pleasure in the moment. Joe Torre's eyes started welling-up when he first spoke with Jones. Unfortunately, he kept his composure. We'll have to wait for a more significant celebration to really see the waterworks, bless his heart.
This doesn't get boring. Every year that the Yankees make the playoffs is a special occasion, something to be treasured and appreciated.
Congrats to the team on a fine regular season. Now, as the Captain likes to say, the real season begins...