We can get all worked up into a lather about how the ALDS is a crapshoot, but at the end of the day, sanity must prevail here. The Yankees have no business losing this series, regardless of opponent.
New York has certainly struggled in this setting in recent years, having been bounced rudely from the first-round in '05, '06, and '07. But all the evidence points to a different result in 2009.
a) The Yankees completed the regular season with a record of 103-59. Had they shared a division with the Tigers and Twins, they would have ended the season with a 17-game lead in the standings.
b) Having clinched the division 10 days prior to Wednesday's Game One, the Yankees will have a rested roster and a pitching rotation set exactly to their liking. The Twingers, on the other hand, will have no such R&R. In fact, the winner of the one-game playoff will have to leave for New York pretty much immediately after the final out. We're talking about one of the weakest champagne celebrations since the alcohol-free Yankees celebrations of the late-90s.
c) I'm not sure where the following fits in, but it warrants mentioning. Tigers star Miguel Cabrera was engaged in a drunken brawl with his wife at 5 a.m. on Sunday. At that exact moment, Derek Jeter was sleeping peacefully in a bed that included a) imported satin sheets, and b) Minka Kelly.
d) The Yankees finished the regular season with a combined record of 12-1 against the Twingers. They outscored the cream of AL Central Casting, 71-40.
e) Kenny Rogers is no longer on the Tigers, which will cut down on the Eddie Harris-level cheating on exhibition in the 2006 ALDS.
"You sayin' Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?
f) The Twins sent Carl Pavano, the Carl Pavano, to the mound—on three-days' rest—with their season on the line Sunday. I'd laugh very hard at that if I wasn't so angry that the American Idle made 33 starts for the Indians and Twinkies in '09. He made 26 starts in four seasons with the Yankees. What a heel.
As you can see, it's all in front of the Yankees this year. Now, if they choke again, this entry will be deleted from my blog and never get mentioned again. Seems fair to me.