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Let The Real Season Begin

By Dustin Racioppi

The Yankees exited the 2009 season with a bang on Sunday by trouncing the Tampa Bay Rays 10-2. All 10 runs were scored in the sixth. Seven of them from New York's No. 1 drama king, Alex Rodriguez, who hit a three-run homer AND a grand slam in that inning to not only set a record for RBI in a single inning but they also put Mr. Rod into familiar territory — another 30 HR and 100 RBI season. It's the 13th year he's done that.

But who cares about any of that? The post season begins in earnest on Wednesday night. The mystery as of Sunday was who the Yanks would be playing, the Tigers or Twins.

Wednesday night is when the Yankees' real season begins. Considering the franchise dumped a small country's worth of money into talent in the off season, the last 162 games have merely been a formality. Nothing matters if the Yanks don't show up in October. Meaning they cannot exit quickly in the first round, a la 2007. By their standards, and fans', the Yankee dance card for 2009 is full and ends with a final tango with a National League team.

Sidenote on the 2009 regular season:

Joba Chamberlain ended the season where he should have started it — in the bullpen.

After the Yankee brass castrated Joba with all its rules, regulations, counts and curfews that resulted in an all-around lukewarm season for the young hurler, he returned to where I believe his best use is on Sunday night. He pulled out the old Joba tricks in his inning of work, by hitting the mid-90s on the radar gun and dominating his opponents. I believe we all saw the train wreck that was Joba The Starter, and I hope that this move to the pen is a sign that Yankee management has pulled their heads from their collective back ends. Put him in the pen and keep him there in 2010.

In the meantime, here's hoping for serious October baseball.

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