The Yankee regular season comes to a close on this rainy, fall afternoon. While other teams jockey for the playoffs, for the Yankees the day has a desultory feel, the only real drama being Derek Jeter’s last-ditch attempt to surpass Joe Mauer for the batting title. He’s currently 2 points behind (.344 to .346); it remains to be seen whether Mauer will play for Minnesota. Joe Torre, meanwhile, will follow tradition and turn over managerial duties on this final day to his vets, with Bernie as skipper and Moose running the pitchers. It’s a nice gesture; something to bring a little life into an otherwise meaningless affair. (I’m reminded of the “Backwards Day” we always had at my summer camp when the doldrums of routine needed a breakup.)
In somewhat more important news, we’ve learned that Jason Giambi will need surgery on his wrist in the offseason, and that the injury will keep him from the field (but not the batter’s box) during the playoffs. That means Sheff starts at first base. He homered last night, it was his second in two games, so it looks like the defensive compromise might pay off on offense. Andy Phillips will serve as the defensive replacement at first base. He made the postseason roster over Craig Wilson. The rest of the squad follows after the jump.
* Randy Johnson
* May be replaced before Tuesday at 12:00