The New York Yankees got to make the final statement in a jumbled American League finish.
It was emphatic, if anticlimactic.
bottom line is that the threat of a one-game playoff to settle the AL
East and then an even more threatening loser-go-home wild-card playoff
is off the table thanks to a 14-2 victory Wednesday vs. the Boston Red
That would have been especially galling after leading the second-place Baltimore Orioles by 10 games in mid-July.
division was wrapped up a couple of innings before the end when
Baltimore's 4-1 loss at the Tampa Bay Rays was posted on the Yankee
Stadium scoreboard, prompting dugout hugs and promising a couple of days
off for a team that's still dogged by inconsistency despite outscoring
Boston and beleaguered manager Bobby Valentine 28-7 in the final three
"I think the one thing that sometimes gets lost here is how
hard it is to win a division," manager Joe Girardi said. "The Yankees
have been extremely successful over the last 20 years, but it's not
easy. Some years, it's much more of a grind than others."
baseman Robinson Cano, the Yankees' hottest hitter late in the season,
hit two homers. And so did Curtis Granderson, who hit a career-low .232
but reached a career best of 43 home runs.
By winning the division
by two games over the Orioles, the Yankees get to wait for the winner
of Friday's Baltimore-Texas Rangers wild-card playoff. New York's
division series will begin on the road Sunday with CC Sabathia the
Last season, also with the AL's best record, the Yankees lost a five-game division series to the Detroit Tigers.
bigger moment for the Yankees came Tuesday, when they broke a tie atop
the division thanks to Raul Ibanez's pinch-hit, game-tying home run in
the ninth inning and game-winning single in the 12th.