New York Yankees clinch American League East & Home Field
The 2012 New York Yankees looked down and almost out in the beginning of September. They weren’t able to hit with runners in scoring position, the pitching had been on and off and players had been injured. The Yankees had a tough year when they lost OF Brett Gardner and closer Mariano Rivera within the matter of weeks. It was even tougher when the Yankees lost pitcher Michael Pineda before he event threw a pitch for the 2012 season. Things were looking slim and some writers and fans were questioning whether the Yankees would make the play-offs. But then–everything started to come together. Brett Gardner returned, Mark Teixeira returned, Alex Rodriguez returned, Robinson Cano became the hottest hitter in the universe and the pitching started to come together. All of a sudden, the American League East looked as if it was coming down to the wire at first between 3 teams; the Yankees, the Orioles and the Rays. But then, the faded picture started to look clearer. Tampa Bay was knocked out of the Wild Card spot, the Red Sox and Blue Jays tried to play spoiler and the Orioles tried to keep up. The Blue Jays took half a series from the Yankees, the Rays took the series from the Orioles and the Red Sox couldn’t play spoiler vs. the Yankees. In the end, the Yankees became the American League East Champions after brutally beating the Boston Red Sox 14-2 in Bobby Valentine’s final game as manager.
In years past the American League would usually be decided in a couple of days before the season ended, but the American League came down to Game 162. The Yankees had champagne chilled in the clubhouse fridge sitting there until they were certain that they had the Division Series in their midst. The Yankees made it clear that they weren’t going to open the champagne if they won anything less than a division but now that there is another division title in the Bronx, you can expect the champagne to fly.
The Yankees still have a huge question that has been left unanswered. The question? Who do the Yankees play against? Since the Yankees are the number one seed in the play-offs, they will have the home field advantage but because of the new play-off format, they won’t be able to start a series at home. Until then they will be working out at the stadium or watching from the comfort of their homes who will be their opponent. But for now–clinching the AL East and home field is a great start for a team that is on a chase–for 28.