Yankees Clinch Yet Another Playoff Berth
As Mariano Rivera earned his 603rd career save a day after becoming Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader, his New York Yankees punched their third straight ticket to the playoffs with a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday. In fact, this marks their 16th playoff berth in 17 seasons.
If anything, the 94-60 Yankees are awfully consistent. The worst they could do at this point is become the American League Wild-Card, with their magic number to win the AL East for the 12th time in 16 years at two. It's not even a big deal anymore. No hip bumps on the field or champagne in the clubhouse. Just their targets set dead on a 28th World Championship.
The players who belonged to certain familiar numbers have come and gone over the years, but between Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada, five World Series titles and seven AL pennants have been hoisted since 1996. One more ring would be a hell of an exit for at least one or two of those three this offseason.
The ghost of George Steinbrenner seemed to be looming in Jeter's postgame words:
"We still feel as though we didn't accomplish anything yet... I mean, we're happy to be in the playoffs, but people aren't running around here jumping up and down because we clinched a postseason berth. Our goal is to win the division."