Yesterday was a gigantic win for the Yankees and not because of its impact on their playoff hopes. The Yankees could not get swept by the Red Sox in their last ever series in Yankee stadium. End of story.
Similarly, this season is not lost in terms of intrigue the rest of the season even if the Yankees never get into the playoff race. Things to watch:
* The Free Agents: Giambi, Abreu, Pettitte, and Mussina. Should the Yankees resign these productive but aging veterans? Their performance over the last month should tell us much.
* Mike Mussina goes for 20 wins. He should still have 6 more starts. Can he win 4 of them? He should have at least 18 or 19 wins already, if not for the sporadic Yankee offense, but there is still hope Moose will reach the plateau that should grant him entrance into the HOF. It shouldn’t matter at all, since wins are pretty much a useless stat, but we all know how the baseball writers feel.
* The White Sox. The Yankees have a 4 game set upcoming against Chicago, so they will have something to say about how the AL Central plays out.
* The Red Sox. The Yankees finish the season with a 3 game set against the Red Sox in Boston. So even if those games are meaningless to the Yankees, it’s likely the Red Sox will be fighting for the wild card. So in other words, the Yankees could still send the Red Sox home for the season.