Thanks to Travis for facilitating this exchange. Head over to Pinstripe Alley to see my answers to his questions.
I personally have stopped trying to care. It didn't help us in 06 or 07, when we thought we were playing weaker teams. If I had to guess for the majority of our fans, I'd pick the Twins. They don't have a dominating starter (let alone two) like Detroit does. And the lineup isn't as scary as the Tigers' (especially w/o Morneau), what with Miggy Cabrera, Granderson, Magglio, etc.
Mainly that the Twins had to scrape to get in. They'll have no off days going in, they had to use 8 pitchers last night (one of whom was Joe Nathan), while the Yanks have their rotation and bullpen fully rested. They also (should) have all the confidence after going 7-0 this season.
Joe Mauer and Joe Mauer. In addition, we know how close those four games were in May and know how hot the Twins are. 'Hotness' carried the '07 Rox to the WS, so who knows if it'll do the same for Minnesota.
Whatever the Angels have been doing, do that. Though the Yanks went .500 against Anaheim this season, they always seem to beat us. They're super aggressive on the basepaths, and for whatever reason pitch well against us too. If I was an opposing manager, I'd have my team take a lot of pitches (don't help out Burnett and the occasionally wild Sabathia), and tell my pitchers and baserunners to be aggressive. Pussy-footing around the hitters won't help.
Unfortunately, yes. There are a lot of complaints about CF this year despite both Melky and Gardner having an OPS+ in the 90s and playing above-average D (via UZR), which would be great for a lot of teams.
If the Yankees don't win the World Series this year, how would you expect the organization to approach the off-season?
Either way, there probably won't be any major signings (like last year). There's an outside chance of a Jason Bay/Matt Holliday signing, but Brian Cashman would probably rather re-sign Damon to a 2-year deal instead of give one of the other LF FAs a long-term deal and give up a 1st rd. draft pick. The Yankees were the best team through 162 games. The playoffs are largely about luck, and Cashman seems to understand that. That said, I could see a good mid-rotation starter (like Jarrod Washburn) added since CM Wang might not be back until 2011, and who knows if Joba and/or Hughes will stick all season in the rotation.