In one line I will say this: Anything but a World Series in the year of the loss of George M. Steinbrenner, would be a disappointment.
The best and highest paid team in baseball needs to be motivated after tonight's emotional memorial for George Steinbrenner. Watching the memorial I saw a man standing at the right field foul pole with a sign saying, "Win one for The Boss." I know it is easier said than done to win a World Series, but a repeat for The Boss would even make rival managers melt down in tears.
The Yankees and the Rays meet today and it also brings a question to mind: Is it more important to play the Twins in the divisional series by winning the wild card? The Twins are a team the Yankees don't find trouble with in the playoffs, or the other scenario is this: the Yankees could go all out and win the American League East. This meaning that they would play arguably the best team in baseball, the Texas Rangers. I would rather let the veterans take a breather, lose the division and home field advantage, and meet Tampa in the ALCS without breaking a sweat.
My closest encounter with Mr. Steinbrenner was before opening day 2009 at the New Yankee Stadium. I went to meet Reggie Jackson at his hotel to get his autograph and I found out that the Steinbrenner's were staying there. My dad and I were pressed for time before the game. The first Steinbrenner appeared outside. It was Hank. A man in the news all of the offseason. This before I learned not to get starstruck during interviews. I walked over to Hank, who was smoking and chatting with body guards, BlackBerry on "Voice Recorder" in hand, and asked Hank as low as I could speak and as fast, "My name is Brad Wolff, I am 13, and write a sports blog. Can I ask you a few questions please?" I lost the interview once I didn't know how to save. I think I may have asked 2 or 3 questions including, "What is it like owning the Yankees?" He responded, "It's great." I walked away as Mr. October walked out. I got his signature on a ball I caught at the stadium from the day he was inducted into Monument Park. He signed it and my dad got a call from my mom. My mom and brother were on their way to the stadium and thought we should make our way there. We went on the subway moments after, as I never got the opportunity to witness George M. Steinbrenner in front of my eyes, not through a television.
The Yankees got bombed that day as I sat in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar above monument park. I predicted the first home run (Jorge Posada) and remember a Shin Soo Choo homer to right field. All throughout the first blow out and the nice new ballpark, I wondered what meeting George would be like. Would he have a conversation with me or go right in his limo? Now it's just a lingering thought in my head as the Boss' legacy lives on.