Can't Keep the Evil Empire Down For Long

Hey, remember back in May when the Yankees were scuffling and I said the Sux couldn't play .700 ball all season and that it was only two months in? And how boilerdowd reveled in the Yankees sucking and called me out, I guess, for not conceding the season? Well, only losers concede things that early.

Last night, the Yanks completed their turnaround and clinched a spot in the playoffs. The numbers really are amazing, whether you like the Yankees or not. They were 21-29 after 50 games and since then have gone 70-38. That's ridonkulous.

Have they perhaps blown their wad just to get into the playoffs? Possibly, but I am the first to admit (unlike most Yankee fans) that this team isn't built to win the World Series, it's built to win the division (or, in this case, the Wild Card).

See, you can slug your way through the regular season, pounding on teams like the Orioles, Jays and Devil Rays, but you don't get to play teams like that in October. When the Yankees were winning all those titles, they really were the best, most complete team in the majors. Pitching, hitting, baserunning, defense. They were just solid in all areas. Now they're average (at best) defensively, a little above average in starting pitching, perhaps climbing to above average in the bullpen and excellent in the hitting department. Well, what wins championships, kids? That's right, pitching. I have confidence in Wang and Pettitte, but then....? Old Man Clemens? Kid Phil Hughes? Erratic Mike Mussina? It'll be an adventure, as always.

But that's to worry about next week when the playoffs begin. For now, let's have some fun with photos in this post. Enjoy.

Mo Rivera and Roger Clemens douse Hideki Matsui ("of Japan," the ESPN caption actually says) with champagne, while Matsui mumbles, "Yeah, but we still got your asses at Pearl Harbor."

Derek Jeter scopes the groupies for the three he will bang that night.

Joe Torre reminds Doug Mientkiewicz of their deal from back in May, when Mientkiewicz said, "If we turn this thing around, I'll put on a pair of goggles and make out with Joe Torre."

Upon realizing that making the playoffs means he'll make more money as part of his playoff bonus, Roger Clemens is overcome with emotion.

Joba Chamberlain explains: "Hey, I'm just a rookie... Alex told me to hold this bottle right here while he grabs it... I don't know, I just do what I'm told."

As Easy As It Seems?

Boiled Sports Weekly Real Genius: Mark Dantonio