I'm happy they are in the pay offs, but their wild card status concerns me.
NEW YORK YANKEES VS. CLEVELAND INDIANS
Games 1 and 2 at Cleveland, Thursday and Friday.
Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) at New York, Sunday Oct. 7 and Monday Oct. 8
Game 5 (if necessary) at Cleveland, Wednesday Oct. 10.
What got the Yankees here: A steady climb from an early-season hole resulted in the Yankees entering the playoffs as a dangerous, seasoned opponent. Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Roger Clemens, among others, have significant playoff experience. An influx of young arms has helped a pitching staff that nevertheless will turn to Chien-Ming Wang and veteran Andy Pettitte early on.
Yankees difference-makers: Alex Rodriguez, the slam-dunk American League Most Valuable Player, must shed his history of underperforming in the playoffs and produce the way he has all season. Jeter and Rivera always perform well on the playoff stage, and this year should be no different.
Yankees unlikely hero: Mike Mussina probably would be the Game 4 starter. And although the attention will be on 45-year-old Roger Clemens starting Game 3, the series could turn on the performance of Mussina, who at 38 is another pitcher battling Father Time. He won three starts in a row before giving up 11 hits and six runs in five innings during his last start.
Why the Yankees should win: Veterans tend to lock in when getting a chance late in their careers to win a championship – especially veterans who have tasted victory before. The Yankees were the best team in baseball the second half of the season, and only need to maintain their pace. Furthermore, they defeated the Indians in all six regular-season meetings.