The Yankees want the AL East to be the only thing they lose this fall.
The Bombers don’t feel in a position of weakness as the AL wild card. After all, they now have a chance to do something no other Yankees team has ever done — win a title as the wild card team.
“Our guys know the goal was not to win the division, in a sense,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You want to win the division and have homefield advantage, but the goal is to win the whole thing. That’s what you play for.”
The success of recent wild card teams has the Yankees upbeat and hardly concerned about their 13-17 stumble to the regular season finish line. The 1997 Marlins, 2002 Angels, ’04 Red Sox, ’06 Tigers and ’07 Rockies all made the World Series as wild cards.
“You’re in, that’s all that matters,” said Andy Pettitte. “It’s still going out and playing the game.”
The Yankees have yet to find success as a wild card. In 1995, they were up 2-0 to the Mariners and lost in five. The other two times they lost to the Indians.
This time figures to be different.
“We like where we are,”?said Mark Teixeira.
The road to World Series title No. 28 begins against a team they have routinely owned during the summer and fall in the Minnesota Twins. The Bombers are 9-2 against them in the postseason, including an easy sweep in last year’s AL?Division Series. Of course, if they beat the Twins again this time, they would have done it without home field advantage. Now that would be wild.