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Homeward bound

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So the road trip ends at 5-5. After winning three games, the Yankees went 2-4 and are now 77-69 with 16 games left. The next 10 games are going to be very bittersweet as the Stadium closes down.

Joe Girardi is staying defiant to the end. “There’s no ‘X’ by our name,” he said. “There’s still a lot to play for.”

Derek Jeter is in a state of denial. After making the playoffs 12 years in a row, he can’t seem to come to come to grips with the idea that the Yankees will go home on Sept. 28. “I can’t comment on speculation,” he said. “We need to win games, that’s the only way you can look at it. You always have a chance, but we need to win every day. That’s the bottom line.”

The bottom line is the Yankees would do well to get out of fourth place.

The Yankees haven’t quite shut it down but they certainly aren’t a very scrappy team these days. Four hits against Dustin Moseley and assorted relievers? Plus you’re seeing a lot of errors, pickoffs and other plays that speak to a lack of interest.

I believed a few weeks ago that the Yankees were making a mistake leaving Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon and their other prospects in the minors. But maybe it makes sense. Let those players play games that matter and go home with a good feeling.

Subjecting them to the atmosphere around the Yankees now isn’t going to help.

Thanks for reading during the road trip. I’m on a red-eye flight tonight and will blog at you sometime tomorrow.