Derek Jeter seemed to joking. He was standing at his locker, already dressed in his suit, ready to get on the bus that would take him to the team charter.
“Where are we going next?” he said. “Home?”
I didn’t play in a single baseball game during the Yankees week-and-a-half road trip, but even I’m exhausted. Maybe it was all the night games on the West Coast, or the fact that the Yankees seemed to have quite a bit going on. Whatever it was, this trip seemed unnaturally long. Players were talking about it. Writers were talking about it. Joe Girardi was talking about it.
“Glad to go home,” Girardi said. “I think everyone is probably anxious to go home and see our families and play in our home ballpark.”
The Yankees have a chance to clinch a playoff spot, clinch the division and see Mariano Rivera set the all-time saves record this week. They’re returning home for the final home stand of the season, and it’s a big one.
“I’m hoping that (Rivera) gets an opportunity to do it at home,” Jeter said. “But we have to put him in position to do it at home.”
That means winning, and that means playing better they played through most of this finally completed road trip.
“I think we’ve got to be energized getting home, without a question,” Alex Rodriguez said. “It feels like we’ve been gone for about a month. We love playing in front of our home fans, and we get a lot of energy from our stadium.”
Today’s pitching matchup against the Twins:
RHP A.J. Burnett (10-11, 5.11)
LHP Scott Diamond (1-4, 3.94)
1:05 p.m., YES Network
Associated Press photo