Around the Yankee Universe: How sweet it could be

For a regular-season game, how much better does it get than clinching sweeping the Boston Red Sox, clinching the AL East and setting off the first real celebration in the history of the new Yankee Stadium?

That, of course, is what can happen tonight. I would have to say it doesn't get a whole lot better than that as a New York Yankee fan. John Harper of the New York Daily News expressed it this way.

If only the fans could break out the old "1918, 1918" chant, it would really feel like old times here at the new Yankee Stadium. As it is, this weekend is turning out to be the most fun New Yorkers have had with the Red Sox in town since The Rivalry changed forever in 2004.

And why not? This is a season when the Yankees have reclaimed a sense of superiority between the teams, with the obvious caveat of a possible reengagement in the ALCS, and now they have a chance to make it official by clinching the AL East title today by sweeping these Sox.

Short of winning it all, it's hard to imagine anything Yankee fans would enjoy more.

Harper is right, of course. It's different now, but this would be sweet. Oh, and I don't want to hear Terry Francona's excuse-making that the Red Sox are not showing all their cards this weekend. We all know Boston does not want to watch the Yankees celebrate tonight.

Here are a few other stories making news Around the Yankee Universe today.

  • I might be a little late to the party on this one, but it seems The Sporting News has decided that the Red Sox are baseball's team of the decade. Both Mark Feinsand of the Daily News and the folks at Zell's Pinstripe Blog have issued a collective cry of 'What the ...?" Feinsand puts it this way and, again, I find myself agreeing with a Daily News writer.

To this point, you’d have to say Boston is the frontrunner, but what if the Yankees win the World Series this season?

The Red Sox have been to the postseason six times this decade (I’m assuming they make it this year), played in four ALCS and two World Series, winning them both.

If the Yankees win it all this year, they would have been to the postseason nine times, played in five ALCS and four World Series, winning two of them.

So how can you possibly call the Red Sox the team of the decade if the Yankees win it all this year? You can’t. If the Yankees have added No. 27 to their trophy case, the Sporting News will owe them an apology. If the Yankees don't win, then the Red Sox are the right choice.

Not much doubt the folks at TSN jumped the gun on this one. A Yankee World Series title this year would swing the balance in their favor.

CC Sabathia was asked his definition of being an ace after today’s game.

"The definition of an ace is just giving the team a chance to win every time out," he said. "The guys feel like you have a chance to win every time you go out there. That’s what I try and do. I go out and give everything I have, leave it all out on the field."

By that definition, Sabathia is truly an ace. The Yankees have won the last 11 games he has started. The left-hander is 9-0 with a 2.04 ERA in those games.

"He has been everything you can ask for and more," Joe Girardi said. "From the way he’s pitched on the field, the way he right away in spring training came and brought the pitching staff together and the players together. … He is an ace."

Think of the expectations heaped on Sabathia when he agreed to that mega-contract in December. Now consider what he has done. He is 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA and the Yankees are 7.5 games ahead of Boston and have the best record in baseball.

Not even the most demanding of fans — and let’s admit, you’re a demanding bunch — could have expected more.

Other stuff

That should give you plenty to read in-between football games today.

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