This day was coming, only the blindly optimistic thought otherwise. The Yankees were toast in August when failed to build on the success they had in late July. Once Joba Chamberlain got hurt, that was it.
But the final blow came tonight. A few minutes before Mariano Rivera got the final out, the Red Sox finished off their victory against Cleveland. The Yankees are six out with five to play.
â€œItâ€™s really devastating. It makes you sick to your stomach,â€ Alex Rodriguez said. â€œThatâ€™s an experience we donâ€™t want to have again.â€
Derek Jeter appeared stunned. Not so much that the Yankees were eliminated, more at the idea of having to play five more games with nothing to play for. He has literally never been in this position before. In 1993, when last the Yankees failed to make the postseason, Jeter was a shortstop for the Class A Greensboro Hornets.
The only drama left this season will be whether Mike Mussina can win 20 games. The Moose’s elbow looked like it had been dragged over gravel when he showed it to us. It was red and missing chunks of skin and appeared swollen. He came out because it started to get stiff.
â€œWeâ€™ll have to see how it feels,” he said about Sunday’s start against Boston. “Iâ€™m certainly going to prepare the same way.”
You have to give Mussina credit. That line drive hit him square and he got eight more outs.
“A gutty performance,” Joe Girardi said.
Speaking of the manager, this season will be part of his legacy and he took full responsibility. Here is what he said after the game:
The Yankees will probably end up with 89 wins or so. But it wasn’t good enough. At 86-71, they’re 15 games over .500 for the first time. Their best baseball came too late to make a difference.