The Yankees have nothing left to play for, but the Rays do, and I guess that’s what tonight’s game will be all about.
“We have a responsibility to baseball (tonight), and I take that very seriously,” Joe Girardi said. “… The way you play out these next four games says a lot about who you are as a person, to me, and what you think about this game.”
It won’t say much else for the Yankees. The Associated Press noted that last night was the first time since 1991 that the Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention during a home game, and they haven’t actually played a meaningless home game since 1993.
At some point, attention will fully shift to the offseason, but the hot stove won’t truly fire up for another month. Until then, it’s just a long wait and a lot of ultimately meaningless days in the Bronx. The most telling postgame comment last night came from Mariano Rivera, who was asked if he’s at least excited about the idea of pitching one last game at Yankee Stadium.
To say goodbye to the fans, but it don’t mean nothing,” he said. “I’m not used to pitching for something that doesn’t mean anything. I wanted to pitch for something that means something. The fans, to me, are special. They are special. I’ll be there. I’ll be there tomorrow, hopefully, God willing, and there for the fans. They deserve it.”