162 Games Later, The Job(a) Gets Done Right

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From the Daily News:

Joba Chamberlain will return to his old role today, heading back to the bullpen for the Yankees' regular-season finale against the Rays.

I don't know whether I find this aggravating or amusing. I can't over the image of Girardi and Co. saying to themselves, "Hmm, you know, we gave it our best shot, but it looks like it's just not gonna work out. Time to cut our losses, ya know?"

It reminds of this time like 15 years ago when me and my sister were trying to bake cookies. And we don't know what the hell we're doing and are just dumping things in a bowl indiscriminately. And after I dumped an entire bag of chocolate chips in, we surveyed our "batter":

"That...doesn't look right."
"Yeah, I think we didn't measure stuff right." (Or at all, really.)

So I reached in and took 5 chips out. And we both looked at each other, sighed in relief, and were satisfied that we appeared to have successfully remedied the problem.

The only difference my early foray into baking and Joba's ill-advised entry into the rotation is that I took out 5 chips and Girardi took out 1 day.

We're on the final regular season game now, and the Yanks look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the artists formerly known as Devil Rays. AJ Burnett (12-9, 4.10) faces Wade Davis (2-1, 3.45) in what hopefully will be a rebound opportuntiy for New York, who's currently on a 3 game skid. Grumble grumble.

The last time our boys lost 3 in a row was July 30-August 1 against the White Sox. If they lose today (I really don't even like considering this possibility) then it'll be the first time since May 7 they lost more than 3 consecutive games.

Amid this whole stop-the-bleeding match, we'll all have one eye on the clear winner of Must See Baseball of the Day: Twins/KC at 2:10, Detroit/ChiSox at 1:05 today, with the winning moving on to the ALDS to face the Yankees in New York on Wednesday.

As I've said before, I'm categorically opposed to buying into the whole "I hope we get to play so and so" school of thought, ever since 2006 when I Detroit "mercifully" beat out the Twins and we "got" to face them in the ALDS. That worked out beautifully. I know everyone's itching for a Minny-Yanks series, but I don't care who we're up against--a 5 game series does strange things to a team.

I will concede one thing, though. Yesterday I got a text from a White Sox fan buddy that simply said, "YOU'RE WELCOME." Regardless of whether Detroit wins or loses today, the fact that this game means something preculdes the possibility of seeing the lethal Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the ALDS.

I don't put a whole lot of comfort in the "facing pitchers on short rest" scenarios ever since we saw Josh Beckett in the 2003 World Series. That worked out beautifully, too. But, if nothing else, it's not like short rest can be good for Verlander, so we'll take any remote edge we can get.

Tampa Bay's starter today is Rookie #3 the Yanks will be facing, and you gotta hand it to the kids--facing the Yankees probably isn't anything you look forward to doing. I mean, whether you hate them or love them, imagine playing professional ball for the first time in your life, getting the nod to start, and then facing Mark Teixeira and ARod.

(Some rooks handle this differently than others, I guess.)

If the Yankees close out their final season with a W, they'll have totaled 103 victories on the year. It's amazing thinking about the beginning of the season and what we expected from this team. I was reading over my preseason preview, and whiile some predictions were a bit off ("Ready to Disappoint: Derek Jeter") and some spot on ("Don't be surprised if ARod returns to form with minimal adjustment period"), the bottom line prediction is the same as it was then as it is now:

Trust Me On This One...
The New York Yankees are winning the 2009 World Series.



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