Davidoff: Yankees couldn't have been better
That required all the effort that it takes a civilian to mow the lawn.
Which reminds us: Yankees fans, perhaps you should look elsewhere for an outlet for your angst.
The Yankees easily dismissed the Twins in ALDS Game 3 last night with a 6-1 win at Yankee Stadium, completing a 3-0 sweep that will send them to either Arlington, Texas, or St. Petersburg, Fla., for Friday's ALCS opener.
So much for the perils of not flooring it for the purpose of winning the AL East. So much for this team carrying a different vibe from last year's champions.
You can't know anything for certain in these short series, yet as we stand here now, we can assert with confidence that this club is as equipped as any to win it all again. In exactly what area were the 2009 Yankees superior to this group?
They just completed about as thorough a beating of the Twins as they've ever inflicted on any team. Seriously, what went wrong for the Yankees in these three games? The umpires botched the Greg Golson catch on Delmon Young in Game 1? The quick elimination forfeited the revenues that would have come from a Game 4 tonight?
If you entered the series with a question, the Yankees provided an answer: Andy Pettitte pitched great in Game 2. So did Phil Hughes in Game 3. Alex Rodriguez looks just as confident at the plate as he did last year, even if he didn't produce the same fireworks. Derek Jeter performed capably, if not at the levels of past Octobers.
Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira, all of whom underperformed in last year's postseason, delivered big moments. So did Curtis Granderson, who left a negative postseason impression with the 2006 Tigers. The bullpen allowed one run in seven innings.
Joe Girardi? The manager sure doesn't project the image of calm that predecessor Joe Torre did, but he pretty much managed a perfect series. The rotation order worked out, as did starting the hot Granderson against Minnesota's lefty starters and every bullpen move.
"There's a lot of experience in that room, and our guys have been through a lot of games like this,'' Girardi said. "You know they know how to prepare. You know they're not going to get too low or too high. I think that really helps our guys because of our experience.''
Said Jeter, "We played well. We pitched well. We played good defense. We got timely hits. If you have that combination, you're going to be tough to beat.''
Shoot, the Yankees used only 18 players to get this done. They could've saved the travel expenses on A.J. Burnett, Francisco Cervelli, Joba Chamberlain, Austin Kearns, Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley and Ramiro Peña.
Greater challenges lie ahead. The Rangers have Cliff Lee, and the Rays know the Yankees as well as any club does. Neither club will roll over the way these Twins did. And the Phillies loom as the National League favorites to advance to the World Series, where they'd love to avenge last year's loss to the Yankees.
In the best-of-seven format of the next two rounds, the Yankees very likely will have to use a four-man rotation, and that fourth starter will have to be Burnett. They can't press Pettitte and Hughes that much on three days' rest, and they can't trust anyone else as much as Burnett.
The way this team is constructed, though, they might be able to survive even a disastrous start by Burnett by stacking their roster with long relievers such as Moseley and Mitre. Or, you know, by losing Game 4 but winning the others.
We all like to worry; we are by nature a neurotic species. During these next few days, however, turn away from the Stadium for your anxiety fix. Try the economy. The weather. The congressional elections. Anything but baseball.
If you contemplate the Yankees, think about how good they just looked. And how good they very well might look about 31/2 weeks from now, celebrating in lower Manhattan.