NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Yankees have clinched a playoff berth in the American League, and hold a one-game lead over the Orioles in the AL East heading into Tuesday night’s game.
But let’s not forget that the Bronx Bombers once held a 10-game lead in the division, and their fate is coming down to the wire.
So what if New York doesn’t win the division and loses the play-in game? Or what if the Yanks fall short in the American League Division Series?
Will manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff be on the hot seat?
Not according to owner Hal Steinbrenner.
“Are jobs riding on this? Not that I know of,” Steinbrenner told reporters outside the Yankees’ clubhouse on Monday. “Jobs are not riding on this. But that’s not something I’m concerned about right now. We’ll look at everything in the offseason, as we always do.”
When asked about the job that his manager has done, Steinbrenner didn’t criticize his field general or the lead that his club has let get away. Instead, he focused on what a difficult division the AL East is, and how he’s not surprised that the Yankees didn’t come away with the title easily.
“I think we’d all like a bit more breathing room,” Steinbrenner said. “Look, it’s tense. It’s tense. There’s a lot we expect of them, and there’s a lot riding on this and a lot riding on doing well. But there is nothing surprising about this division that it’s this close. Buck (Showalter has) done a great job in Baltimore, and they’ve been on us the whole year. This always has been one of the toughest divisions in baseball; always will be. I never expect to ever run away in this division.”
With two days left in the regular season, the Yankees have two remaining games at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox and the Orioles have two remaining games against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. If New York and Baltimore are tied after Wednesday, they will play a play-in game for the division. The loser of that game will then play the second AL Wild Card team for a chance to play in the ALDS.
Jon Lester will take the ball for the Red Sox against David Phelps and the Yankees on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
If the Yankees don’t win the division and lose the play-in game on Friday, should Joe Girardi and/or any of his coaching staff be let go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…