And The Yankees Lived Happily Ever After….

The Yankees’ regular season came to a close with a 10-2 drubbing of the Rays. Call me a romantic sap, but I do love happy endings. And here’s why it was a happy ending today for the Bombers.
* AJ gave up two runs (one earned) in his final tune-up.
aj.rays2.jpg
* Joba looked like the old Joba in his one inning of relief.
joba.rays2.jpeg
* Mo retired the side in order in the ninth, so he’s ready to go.
jeter.mo.rays.jpg
* Jeter had a couple of singles and Damon had a couple of doubles. Even Molina had a double and he can’t hit to save his life.
The season concluded with such a happy ending vibe that I won’t even mention how Joe Maddon walked Mark Teixeira in the sixth, loading the bases. Did Joe do it to keep Carlos Pena tied with Tex for the most home runs in the AL? Oh, wait. I wasn’t going to mention it.
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The intentional walk brought A-Rod to the plate for the second time in the sixth. He’d already hit one home run in the inning. Would he hit another? A granny? Absolutely.
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Talk about a happy ending. A-Rod missed the month of April, rehabbing from hip surgery, and then came back to the team on May 8th and lined a homer off the Orioles’ Jeremy Guthrie.
arod.o's2.jpg
His first pitch of the season = homer.
His last pitch of the season = homer.
Not only did he break an AL record with his seven RBIs in that sixth inning, but he broke a major league record by tallying 30 homers and 100 RBIs in 13 seasons. And yes, he also tied Mark McGuire with HR # 583. Happy ending.
arod_kate.jpg
(OK, who knows about the last pic. Those two could be broken up by the time I finish posting. The main thing is that the Yankees finished at 103-57 for the best record in baseball.)
Now the Yanks fly home to await the winner of Tuesday’s deciding game between the Tigers and Twins. Which team will be their opponent? Who will be the leading characters in the ALDS? How will the plot twists go? What will the cliffhangers be?
A wise person (can’t remember who) once said, “Baseball is a soap opera with box scores.” My sentiment exactly.
P.S. To celebrate the Yankees’ great season, Kevin at Zell’s Pinstripe Blog has gone through the vault and rounded up every SI cover to feature a Yankee or Yankees related theme on it. Here’s the link. If you’re a Yankee fan, it’s definitely worth a look.

32 Comments

Let’s hope we’ll all be living this happily forever after the post season!!! I love happy endings too.

Jane –
Did somebody hit the “fast forward” button? Wasnt it just April….like….last week??? Did we just play 162 games??? Is summer over? WAIT!!! WHAT HAPPENED??

I always get a little sad at the end of the season. I was just thinking this morning, I am gonna miss Mark and Nick and Robbie and Derek and Johnny and Hideki and my beloved and ever handsome Andy…(note to Cashman – SIGN THOSE THREE FOR ANOTHER YEAR!! If they are not playing WITH us, they are playing AGAINST us.)

Now dont get me wrong, I know the whole post season is before us….but even if (WHEN!!!) we win it all, which I am counting on, I am pre-emptively anticipating the grieving that comes with not seeing My Boys every day for the long, cold, lonely, dreary, depressing, boring, baseball-less winter. Seriously. Happens every year. What will I do (besides count days til pitchers and catchers report?)??

I wont even mention that I cried when Alex hit his second homer today. I was so happy for him. Seriously. I am a baseball-loving goofball. Really….seriously…deeply…madly…crazy nuts…in love…with the game….

Now….Let’s get number 27…And I dont care who we have to beat to get it…

Wendy

They can make a movie about A Rod this year, but only if he goes on an October tear and helps us bring 27 home…

Almost every Yankee can say that this year has had a happy ending to it, from A Rod to Joba finding his playoff calling, to Hughes finally finding a way to contribute full time….everyone except Jeter, whos made it clear about what happy ending hes looking for.

Happy endings for all! But, of course, it won’t be a truly happy ending until we get our hands on #27! At least until the ALDS starts we can have a little bit of relaxation time. We can go back to worrying like crazy people come Wednesday! Haha.

– Lisa
http://perennialpinstriper.mlblogs.com/

Let’s hope, Ellen. As with soaps, the postseason is full of twists and turns (but not evil twins or people with amnesia – lol). I’m taking it one game at a time so I don’t make myself crazy (or crazier).

Wendy, I went through that foreboding feeling when the Yankees had a recent travel day (I guess it was last Thursday). It was so awful not having a game to watch and blog about. But time seems to pass very quickly these days. February will be here before we know it and we’ll be going, “OMG. Pitchers and catchers report.” It would be fun to organize a group trip to Tampa and have that to look forward to.

I agree, YHH. A-Rod’s had an incredible year, given how his season started. But his work is far from over. He’s got to produce in the playoffs, as do all the others. This has to be a total team effort and nobody can go into a slump!

It’s not a bad thing at all to have a little breathing room, Lisa. I’ll be using the time before Wednesday to buy a new TV. Wouldn’t you know my faithful Plasma decided to die on me just in time for the playoffs? GRRRRRRR.

well, it’s been a great a season but as Lisa mentions, it won’t truly be a happy ending unless the Yankees get no. 27..

Jane, did you notice that Verlander pitched today? IF Detroit makes the playoffs, then the Tigers would either pitch Verlander on short rest (3 days) or they’ll pitch Jackson (who last pitched Friday night).. so, if it’s Detroit that the Yankees play then it would be Sabathia vs. Jackson and Burnett vs. Verlander? does that sound right? of course, it could also be Minnesota

No truly happy ending until #27 is in hand, levelboss. That’s why I put the “… ” at the end of the post’s title, as in: to be determined. But I have a good feeling about it. And yes, Verlander pitched today, which means he wouldn’t be lined up to pitch Game 1 against us, if the Tigers make it in, unless they sent him out on very short rest. But until we know our opponent – and until Girardi announces the rotation – we’re just guessing. He could go with CC, AJ and Andy or CC, Andy and AJ. I vote for the latter, because I like mixing up the lefties. On the other hand, I like Andy for Game 3, so I’m glad I’m not making these decisions!

Wonderful post Jane – of course we all “do” love happy endings. Only trolls hate them. The Indians couldn’t of possibly finished off w/ a win so they decided to lose to the Red Sox. Oh wonders…. good luck in the playoffs Jane !!! : )

Ted
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

I’m not going to lie, Jane. It makes me a little nervous when they Yankees go scoreless in 8 out of 9 innings. But to score 10 runs in that one inning ??!!! I guess I can’t complain. Things do look good, ane whichever team we are going to face in the first round is going to be coming off at least three starts where they all but blow themselves out to get to the post season. One game at a time…one series at a time. I feel really good about our team and the plan that is forming. GO YANKEES!!!

Yes! A “soap opera with box scores” is EXACTLY what baseball is. It’s a long narrative, with interesting characters, and twists and turns of plot. Tune in tomorrow for the next episode…. I think that’s why of all sports I find baseball the most intriguing. Also, more closeup views (in at-bats). You get more involved with the bit players.

Anyway, I hope this story line has a more favorable ending that the last few. I like this team’s chances; I hate the 3 of 5 series. Oh, well. And while many people think the Twins or Tigers will be physically and mentally drained, I’m afraid they’ll be operating on an adrenaline high and must guard against this.

After such an incredible season, I just want it to go on and on – “Don’t Stop Believin'”

And Congratulations to ARod who had a truly unexpected and magical season.

That old saying about time flying when you are having fun sure fits doesn’t it. It seems like our week at Spring Training in March was only yesterday. There were a few bumps along the way early on but the roll to the end was a great ride. Now the serious business. This is where the players earn their keep. Here in Meriden CT. confidence is high. I have prepared my legion of followers and we are ready. I will probably have tickets for a couple games throughout the playoffs and I am hoping to see the second World Series game in my life (first was the Reggie 3 homer game) in November. “I LIVE FOR THIS!”

It was a fun and magical end to a fun and magical season. So many numbers came together with ARod and then AJ getting his 100th win.
And though I appreciate the break, so that we can hope for spring, I will miss the warm, lazy nights watching the guys in pinstripes.
Melissa
PS Jane, re: yesterday’s post about the Trop. I don’t think any team should end their season there because it is a crappy park, not because the Yankees lost. There are so many nice parks, why end the season in that pit? Of course, I think ARod was happy to be there yesterday!

Posting the commitment ceremony between Brooke and Ridge is pure genius. You’re back in the good graces despite the derangement inherent with thinking a doll is your alter-ego.
Just add that intentional walk to the list of reasons why Joe Maddon should be fired as if his World Series screw-up last year and his OTHER screw-ups weren’t enough. If he’d done that in a game that actually mattered, I’d have fired him mid-game.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot

Great end to the season! I feel much better going out with a win. I am hoping the Twins-Detroit game goes 14 innings on Tuesday and gets them nice and exhausted (that’s what you get for not clinching your division by the last day of the season). Let’s go Yanks!

The season is over. I felt sad over that while I was at the game yesterday. I got over that when the Dodgers resoundingly beat the Rockies for the second game in a row. Congratulations on a great season and for the best record in baseball.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Well, I am eating nothing but rice and beans for the rest of the month, but I managed to get two tickets to the first game of the ALCS on yankees.com this morning! I am so excited to go to a playoff game during the first season at the new Stadium. I am wondering where the Yankees will put the bunting as there are now video screens everywhere. Maybe the bunting will be digital?

Sorry your Indians didn’t get a win on the last day of the season, Ted. And you’re right: only trolls don’t like happy endings!

Diane, the streaky offense makes me nervous too. But before this last little “slump,” the Yanks were finding different ways to win and I hope that will continue – low-scoring, high-scoring and everything in between. I just don’t want us to be shut out or blown out!!!!!

You explained my attraction for baseball in a nutshell, dorgal. Perfectly put. Tune in tomorrow for another episode with these crazy and wonderful characters! I, too, have been wondering if it’s such a given that the Twins or Tigers will be too worn out to play at their peak. Sometimes the team that has to fight the hardest at the end has the momentum that carries them past the team that’s had it easier. No! We won’t think that way!

Glad you’ve marshaled the troops in CT, John. And so excited that you’ll be at some of the games, including the WS should we be lucky enough to get there! Keep us informed about that. Spring training? Ah, yes. It seems as if it was just a short time ago when I met you in Tampa on that beautiful day. Is it really October 5th? How did that happen?

It did feel as if everything came together yesterday, Melissa – and at the perfect time. Everybody did what they were supposed to do and played their parts as billed: AJ, A-Rod, Jeter, Hughes, Roberston, Mo, etc. It was just a great ending….but now a whole new beginning. Here we go.

That walk to Tex was quite odd, Paul. But then this whole weekend seemed to be about the Rays re-establishing themselves for the 2010 season and sending all kinds of messages. Kevin Kennedy on the Tampa feed said flat out that David Price’s beaning of Tex on Friday night was intentional – to send a message to the Yankees about CC hitting Carlos Pena the last time the teams faced each other. Hmm.

I think dorgal had a good point about the Twins and Tigers, cheshirecat. Whichever team wins might be on such an adrenaline rush that they’ll be tougher to beat rather than easier. But if the Yankees play well, they can beat anybody under any circumstances! Congrats on getting your tix to Game 1!!!!!!! I’m so jealous and wished I lived in NY. I was thinking of flying in, but unless something changes I guess I’ll be watching on TV. Let us know where you’ll be sitting so we can look for you! As for the bunting, maybe they’ll drape it over the luxury boxes. Haha.

Congrats to you, Cat, for beating the Rockies and winning the division and playing well at the end, when it counted. I know you’ve already got your tix for the playoffs, so there’s more excitement in store for you too! Oh, boy.

Ahh…such a mixed bag of emotions right now, Ms. Jane…glad that they went out with a (slam)bang like that! But yes, I’ll miss the regular season…one of my best buddies from college, a lifelong Milwaukee fan, says he’s always sorry to see it end, because for REAL everyday fans, the playoffs are not the same: bad coverage of games with weird times, networks, etc., the inherent unfairness of a 5-game series, all as you’ve already noted. And now come the nites with NO sleep GUARANTEED…all around the USA…even Out West…we don’t DARE underestimate the Twins/Tigers winner for ANY reason…I’ve said it before…Yanks even just making it to the ALCS would be a BIG improvement over recent editions, and it’s absolutely One Game At A Time right now…n’est-ce pas?

Dave, no question that the playoffs are a different ball game, so to speak. Different networks and game times, etc. And you’re so right about the five-game series: it’s TERRIFYING. Anything can happen, and they have to play each one as if their lives depended on it. Sooo much pressure (on us fans too). I wish we were into the ALCS already. But we have to start at the beginning and play them one at a time. Absolutement!

So sad to see the regular season end. But what a comeback from last year and what a great way to end it. While I haven’t always been A-Rod’s biggest fan, there’s no denying his huge talent. Yesterday’s game, and his accomplishment of 30/100 again this season after missing so many games, is huge. Makes me think that if he had been healthy all year the AL MVP conversation could have been very different. He seems to be so much more relaxed, and I think that having Tex in the line-up makes a big difference. I’m nervous about the ALDS – short series, we’ve got to find a way to score more runs when we have bases loaded, yadda yadda. But it’s exciting to be back in the playoffs and I’m looking forward to Wednesday.

Jane,
I am sucker for happy endings! I felt a big relief and got choked up when the Dodgers finally won on Saturday! My friend LTD23 (LovetheDodgers) was posting in my blog yesterday saying “Emma, How time flies! Seems like just yesterday that we packed up our bags and headed for Spring Training in Arizona….” Sure enough, it feels like yesterday..
Baseball is a wonderful soap opera!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

It’s funny about A-Rod, ladyjane. In a way, I think the steroids admission and the hip surgery were positives for him. They forced him to take stock of his life and career and make changes. He seems to be much more comfortable as a member of the team and to perform better in clutch situations. But we’ll see how all that translates into the playoffs. The Yankees have to do a much better job with RISP, which is why both Gardner and Guzman will probably be on the roster instead of Hinske. I think Joe’s hoping speed will get those runs in when the score is tight.

Congrats to you, Emma, on the Dodgers’ big win on Saturday. Don’t you feel like you crossed the finish line at some intense marathon? Baseball is the best soap opera on television!

Jane, It was me that said that : ) chuckle. I actually think that Joe Maddon is so smart that he wanted his TB fans to see something historic. And so… since we are drama with a box score. .he set the stage for the Hero to take the scene. And take it he did!

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

The intentional walks when teams have nothing to play for, except the thrill of the competition, really annoys me. Let them play! Geez. Must be something about those FL teams…Marlins did it to us yesterday too. Scrooges.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Right, Buz. You must have been the wise person that said it! And of course Maddon set it up so Rays fans could enjoy A-Rod’s record breaking moment. Why didn’t I think of that?

Scrooges. That’s what they are, Jenn! Bah humbug!

Yeah, I hate the intentional walk, too. Not only does it go against everything that makes baseball great, but as A-Rod shows us, most of the time it just comes back to bite you in the a**. Maybe A-Rod will put Maddon on his Christmas card list for helping him make history.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

Jane,
People are going to go into Rays/Yankees conspiracy theories for the rest of the offseason as to why Tex got walked and even pitched around during the series, but it really quite plain.
Rays Manager Joe Maddon wanted his guy, Carlos Pena to share the HR honors. Sure the Rays picked their poison and lost on the A Rod bombs, but as some people have said “off the record” it was not a bomb by Tex that destroyed that last game.
No matter what is said or done from this, it can be debated and argued for the entire six months of the offseason, with a different outcome every evening. Some say it is not good baseball to do that, or even conventional wisdom.
But when was the last time someone called Maddon conventional?
The same reason Maddon got to invite Carlos Pena to the All-Star game is the same reason he wanted him to have a share of that achievement.
It was a show of his respect for his clubhouse leader and the un-official poster child of the Rays resurgence in the last two seasons.
My view is that it was the way everyone knew this series was going to be played out. Coming into the series you wonder if Tex was going to be pitched to every at bat……….and did you really think he was going to see any good pitches to hit?
Seriously, if the roles were reversed, do you think Joe G would have pitched to Pena straight up?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

A-Rod should be indebted to Maddon, Erin. You’re right. And I think a Christmas card would be a lovely gesture!

I honestly don’t think the conspiracy theories and debates will last more than 24 hours, Renegade. It wasn’t that big a deal. At least not to me. It’s over now and I’m more focused on what’s ahead. But you’re right. Maddon doesn’t go the conventional route. And along with that will always come second guessing.

Wow, that’s a great record! Hopefully things will be able to carry over in to the postseason for you, but be warned – I’m cheering for the Red Sox!🙂
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

I’m warned, kaybee! I know where your allegiance lies!

From Art of the Pale Hose to Confessions of a She-Fan, props to you for the most creative blog I’ve ever seen. Really admire what you do. Gets better all the time.

Thanks so much, Pale Hose! I appreciate the kind words – a lot!

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