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Do the Yankees need to win the division?

Sep 15, 2010, 8:50 AM EDT

It’s not easy to find sane Yankees commentary. Between the bitter tabloids, bombastic talk radio, perspective-free national outlets and a fanbase with an unhealthy number of people who assume that anything short of 162-0 is a big freakin’ problem, thoughtful analysis can be hard to come by.

Thank goodness for places like TYU. There are a handful of good Yankees-centric blogs (like these guys and these guys), but I’m not sure that anyone thinks more deeply about the Bombers than they do.  They all have day jobs or are students. And I actually worry about them a bit, because I can totally see them losing track of their day-to-day while contemplating Joe Girardi’s strategic options in last night’s game or the precise lineup spot that optimizes Derek Jeter talents.

But that’s their problem. We all get to enjoy their thoughtful and reasoned Yankees analysis. Like today’s post about whether it matters if the Yankees win the division or the wild card, and whether it matters if they face Texas or Minnesota in the first round.  Lots of people have had takes on this in the last 48 hours or so, but I think TYU’s is the best I’ve seen. One reason: unlike so many commentators, TYU doesn’t assume Joe Girardi is an idiot, which is an increasingly common characterization of the guy that simply baffles me.

Overall I agree with TYU: Playing at home would be ideal, but sacrificing the division title in the name of team health is a fair tradeoff at this point.

  1. Fecteau - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Well the Yankees need to try to keep the division to stay in the playoffs. Although it HIGHLY unlikely, the Red Sox could catch up if the Rays get hot. Tampa Bay plays the Yanks 4-5 more times in the next week or so, and if they’re not careful could see their lead shrink. If they lose 4-6 that puts the Red Sox in a position to catch up should they sweep or come close to a sweep against the Bosox…
    I’m a Red Sox fan, and I want the Yankess to tank the next few games against the Rays. Its our only shot. But if the Yankees stay above the Rays, there’s literally no chance as the Ray’s schedule is much easier (save for the two Yankee series)..

  2. Detroit Michael - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Making the playoffs matters. Winning playoff series matters. About three minutes after the regular season ends, no one cares which team was the wild card winner instead of the division winner. I have no idea why baseball insiders hesitate to acknowledge that.

  3. kenbuddha - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    It matters because the WC NEVER gets home field advantage. Which, for most teams, does matter.

  4. YANKEES1996 - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    I’m not sure it matters, just make it to the playoffs and then take care of business. Of course in NY not winning the Division will be seen as some type of letdown.

  5. Jonny5 - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Ok, home field advantage with a totally busted up team? Or getting the WC spot with a much healthier team? Hmm? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, yet too many Yankee followers just don’t get it. By now you guys should know the World series is the goal for the Yankees and the fans. It’s something the Yankees are weighing right now and their decision will more than likely be the best. I think they know what they’re doing.

  6. Kevin S. - Sep 15, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Yanks have lost to enough Wild Card teams that they should know how little it really matters.

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