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Yankees Continue To Piledrive Toward Playoffs

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees at the plate during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 6, 2009 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Paul Giamou/Getty Images)
Bleacher ReportCorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2009

The Yankees managed to take two of four from the Blue Jays this weekend in Toronto, and they didn't appear to put in an ounce of effort to do it. I'm not sure if this speaks more to the ongoing realization that this could be a special Yankees team, or that the Blue Jays are an organization devoid of even the basic human notion of hope.

Let's put it this way about Jays manager Cito Gaston: The Kris Kross guys aren't the only ones who still wish it was 1992. At least poor Cito doesn't age; he's like a Madame Tussauds wax figure at this point.

But back to the AL East leaders. Their lead over the Boston Red Sox (remember them?) has ballooned to 7.5 games. Meanwhile, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is increasingly looking like a certainty. They lead the Angels in that race by five lengths.

Very quietly, we may be watching one of the best teams in franchise history...during the regular season, anyway. The Yanks have 25 games remaining on their schedule, and if they go 18-7 (hardly a stretch considering their clout these last three months), they'll win 105 games.

The 1998 team, of course, won 114 games in the regular season. But the last time a Yankees team won that many games before that? You'd have to go all the way back to 1961, when the M&M Boys led New York to 109 victories.

I should mention here that both those squads went on to win the World Series and are now on the short list of baseball's greatest teams.

So yes, this Yankees team is having a pretty damn good season. All of which means absolutely nothing if Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson lock it down and A-Rod hangs another 2-for-15 on us in the ALDS.

But the more you watch this team, the more you get the feeling that this is a different group, one that can break that division series jinx and explore the upper reaches of the postseason bracket.

That's my sincerest hope, anyhow. Anything less than a trip deep into the postseason would represent the most bitter disappointment since The Series That Shall Not Be Named back in 2004.

On a related note, the opponent in that unnamed series could quite possibly be the opposition in the ALCS this season.

Again, I'm getting waaaaay ahead of myself here. But a win there would have to rank pretty high on the Full-Circle Revenge Scale, huh?

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