Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wild Insinuation

Derek Jeter looked like something had literally been lost in the translation.

Someone had actually suggested that the Yankees had to win the American League East to advance to the 2006 postseason since everyone was saying that the wildcard berth will obviously go to a team from another division.

"I don't know who's been saying that. I haven't been saying that," the Yankees' shortstop said Saturday.

Afterall, he said, the Yankees were four games back of the front-running Chicago White Sox in the AL wild-card standings after winning the first two games of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. Jeter said that with 70-some games left, that four-game difference was not enough.

"You can't just punch a team's ticket and say the wild card is coming out of here, or this team is automatically in the playoffs. Four games with 70 some games left? I don't think that's too big of a lead."

Thing is, Jeter isn't really thinking about the wild card as a vehicle to help the Yankees extend their decade-long postseason streak alive. "We want to win the division," said this 10-year vet who's never not played in the postseason.

Yankees-Red Sox. That does have more of a ring to it than Yankees-White Sox.