It’s a playoff party as Yankees clinch division

party.jpgThe Yankees celebrated winning the American League East in style, christening the new Yankee Stadium in its first bath of bubbly with a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Mariano Rivera recorded the final out, getting Jacoby Ellsbury to bounce softly back to the mound and spark a cluster in the middle of the infield that soon descended into the clubhouse, where a table full of champagne bottles and beer was waiting for the Yankees to spray or drink – their choice.

Here’s some of the postgame reaction, notes and quotes shouted into tape recorders among blinding storms of liquid refreshment and over a bumping boom box mix as the Yankees celebrated their first division title since 2006:

Johnny Damon:
“Anytime you can add a number of new faces, things tend to be fresher. We have guys who didn’t know what playing in New York was like, so we can help mold guys to make their transitions easier. Those guys fit in right away, three free agents and Swish. It definitely made it a lot easier.”
 
Alex Rodriguez: “We have a guy in CC Sabathia who is battling for the Cy Young. We have guys who are right in the middle of the MVP race. Joe Girardi also was our MVP this year. He let us do a lot of the work in the clubhouse, and we have a nice core of seven or eight leaders. He’s done a phenomenal job. He’s arguably our MVP.”

Joe Girardi: “We had a lot of kids mature, we had a lot of people step up. We had guys that have had great years, MVP type years, Cy Young type years. We’ve gotten a lot out of this year.”
 
Jorge Posada: “It’s all about pitching. It’s all about getting the job done on the mound and really, these guys have stepped up. The way we play here in New York, hopefully we can finish what we started here, because it’s a lot of fun.”

Andy Pettitte:
“We’re strong. We’ve got a strong team and we know that, but this made it even more special, to beat Anaheim and win this series. We’ll probably run into one of them in the postseason, but it’s tough. It’s a tough division and a tough league. Hopefully things will keep on rolling.”

CC Sabathia:
“We’ve still got some work to do, but this team is put together well,” Sabathia said. “Who knows what can happen? We have a lot of fun on and off the field. It’s a lot of fun when you can go out and play with guys that you really enjoy playing with.”

Derek Jeter: “This is the first goal for us is to win the division. That’s why we didn’t celebrate when we clinched a playoff spot because we had our sights on the division. Now we’ve got to regroup in a week and get back to work.”

Mark Teixeira: “Last year I was lucky enough to win a division with the Angels. We lost in the first round and everyone went away not happy. There’s only one team that’s really satisfied at the end of the season, and that’s the world champion. Here in New York, that’s what you want.”

11 Comments

For all interested, the Australian Rules Football Final that Aussie Bryan mentioned is available on ESPN360.Com on the Replay tab. It plays a lot differently than Soccer and it’s easy to see why Bryan has had three surgeries on each knee!!!

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Fan Confidence Poll: September 28th, 2009
By Mike Axisa
http://riveraveblues.com/2009/09/fan-confidence-poll-september-28th-2009-17639/

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Aussie Bryan,

Tonight’s game will tell. With Gaudin pitching, nothing in a given and the Royal’s have shown a little game of late. At least we don’t have to face Grienke.

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Are Swisher Sweet’s goggles on upside down in the pic above? I don’t think the Yanks should be celebrating @ all right now. It should be all about business. Celebrate if/when they win the whole thing.

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T all and sundry

I do not want to be perceived as negative here in saying or asking, the last time the Yankees won the division they won it easily I think 8 or 9 games out and they were in cruise control for their last 8-9 games and did not play that hard as there was nothing to play for. What occurred then correct me if I an wrong but they got swept in the first play off series against a team that had to scratch and claw to make it and came into the series more hardened and battle ready.
Does anyone believe Giradi and Cashman will address this and is it an issue. The upside is rest players and go in physically and mentally fresh but maybe a little flat.

I for one hope it is a matter of concern and is addressed.

Aussie Bryan

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rcngolf

Don,t be too hard on the lad, somtimes you make an instant split second reaction and go for what if he pulled it off would have been a spectacular play, something he has done quite often during the season. In hindsight yes the obvious thing was to swallow it and go to first thus the reaction of Jeter. Mu summation of Cano for the year would be 10/10 defensively and 10/10 offensively with a lot of split secon reaction plays that have turned double plays and outs at first. !Somtimes pure genius fails and you can look silly. I am sure something was said. A bit like being 240 meters out with your second on a par 5. Common sense and sensibility says lay up but then stupid adrenalin takes over and you have a crak. I might get on 2 out of 10 but the other 8 well !!!!!!.

Sadly here in Melbourne no one to party with. I feel so empty having watched every game either with Cable or MLB often getting up at 3AM to watch the day games. There is not even a Yankee Fan Club in Melbourne or Australia. I have though convince my golf buddies to watch the post season games at my apartment. The problem being having to educate them prior.

What I would give to be in NYC at this time. I am frantically trying to suck up to my niece and more importantly her husband to see if some miracle can be worked.

Aussie Bryan

I hope you all enjoy the post season

My best to Robert and James Curran and all others out there, sure there have been opinion differences but hopefully we are on the same page.

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YANKEES WEEKLY TV SCHEDULE EDT
MON – SEP – 28 – vs Royals  – 7:05 PM – YES
TUE – SEP – 29 – vs Royals  – 7:05 PM – YES
WED – SEP – 30 – vs Royals  – 7:05 PM – YES
THU – OCT – 1 – – –
FRI – OCT – 2 – at Rays  – 7:38 PM – YES
SAT – OCT – 3 – at Rays  – 7:08 PM – YES
SUN – OCT – 4 – at Rays  – 1:38 PM – YES

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People are busy smiling, not writing. All of us hard to please Yankee fans. CONGRATULATIONS YANKS!!! Great comments from the players.

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Great blog for a great game! Posada said it best…it’s all about the pitching. Look at the Yankees lineup; Teix, A-Rod, Posada, Matsui…all good power hitters. With Jeter, Damon, Cano, and Melky all having great years, the lineup is set. The pitching is what has gotten them to this point and even though some pitchers have been slacking, the others (especially the pen) has picked them up. If the pitching staff keeps this up, we’re destined for greatness. Until then… it’s TIME TO PARTY!!!

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WOW!!! AGAIN this blog is quiet… Did Sentinel drive everyone away???? HEY YANKEE NATION!!?!!! WE WON THE AL EAST AND SWEPT THE SUCHS! WHERE IS *OUR* PARTY???

Ok, back down to earth now. Bryan, PLEASE PLEASE tell me SOMEONE took Cano aside and told him in NO uncertain terms that play like he showed in the 9th yesterday will NOT happen again. The closeup of Jeter’s face saying “WHAT THE F— ARE YOU DOING??” was PRICELESS and perhaps if Robbie just gets to see THAT it might be enough. The slow mo of Cano’s play clearly shows what became ALL too familiar LAST season and let’s hope that this was simply a harmless mental lapse. And by harmless I mean it turned out that way. Had Ellsbury gotten a hit to tie the game, I would have PERSONALLY come to NY to wring Cano’s bloody NECK!!

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Outstanding. Just way to do it too, clinching while winning the 100th game. More important is winning 9 of 10 games against the Sox since going down 0-8. Along with beating the Angels in the Aneheim series, the Yanks will carry momentum against either ALCS opponent, which might be just as significant as home advantage if harder to quantify.

Also, it should help that Girardi has 6 games now to hold bullpen and bench auditions to set the postseason roster.

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