It ends tonight, right? Chien-Ming Wang against J.P. Howell.
In his last start before the postseason, Wang can go 100-110 pitches and give them seven or eight innings. Then it’s Joba Chamberlain, Mariano Rivera and pop the corks.
From a practical standpoint, they need to win. Over the final four days of the season, Joe Torre wants to give all his regulars at least one full day off and give the key bullpen guys only a tune-up inning or two.
The idea that they’ll somehow win the division is impractical. The way it looks right now, the Yankees will be going to Cleveland with Game 1 either Oct. 3 or Oct. 4.
Meanwhile, from a media standpoint, preparing to cover a clinching requires some smart moves. The players don’t mind getting drenched in beer and champagne because they’re in t-shirts and baseball pants and can take showers.
For us, you have to kind of duck and dodge your way around the room. Today is not the day for wearing good shoes, a Tommy Bahama shirt and your nice watch. We’re all on Shelley Duncan Alert.
Celebrations are always interesting to watch because the best players celebrate the least. Jeter, Posada, A-Rod, Mo, they all know that they’ll be judged on what happens in October. But the young guys tend to go wild.
There are exceptions of course. Jason Giambi walked around the room last year in Toronto taking shots off a bottle of Jack Daniels. But I suspect that for the most part the Yankees will save their partying for whem it really counts.