Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Autumn Wind is a Bronx Bomber

I live in the past sometimes but I know that when I look forward, I do so with such idyllic hopes and expectations. And that's why a Yankees Divisional Playoff exit (like in '05, '06 & '07) would be heart-breaking.

Because this year is different.

This off-season the Yankees signed the probable MVP (Mark Teixeira - forecast on Backtime June 3rd) and the possible Cy Young winner (CC Sabathia). They also signed AJ Burnett, though his results have been hot & cold. And they traded for Nick Swisher, who has exceeded all Yankee fan expectations. Now the Yankees have often lured in high-priced talent, but these guys have all been valuable to the productivity on and off the field for a 100-win team.

Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each are over 200 hits. The Bombers have 7 guys with 20+ Home Runs. There are no holes in the lineup. And while Teixeira is the only one over 100 RBI, 4 Yankees have 100 or more Runs Scored.

And while the bullpen sucked (universally accepted term) for the first 6 weeks of the season, they found Alfredo Aceves (10-1) as a valuable innings-eater and shut-down guy. And Phil Hughes (8-3) as set-up man has been as dominant as Joba Chamberlain when he mastered that role two seasons ago.

But it all leads back to him, the most underrated player in the history of sports.

Although Mariano Rivera turns 40 in November, this may have been his best season.

Despite the unusually high number of HR allowed (7), he is 44-46 on Save Opportunities, and has been lights out for months.

And did I mention A-Rod? Or Posada? or Johnny Damon? Or Andy Pettitte? Or The Amazing Melky Cabrera. This team was born to tear through the 2009 postseason.

And if they don't and I have to turn my partisan interests to the NFL, at least the Jets are 3-0.

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