Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yankees Ready To Defend Wild Card Championship

Tampa, FL. (Feb. 13) - New Yankees manager Joe Girardi "can't wait" for spring training to start, so his team can begin its defense of the 2007 Wild Card Championship.

"One of the reasons I was so excited to take this job was because of the rich tradition of always defending something every spring," Girardi, who's taking over for Joe Torre, said yesterday. "We go into camp with the big targets on our back for those who want to take the Wild Card away from us. Bring it on -- we're the G--damn Yankees."

In 2007, the Yankees arrived in Tampa in preparations to defend their second consecutive ALDS Appearance, which followed 2005's defense of 2004's ALCS Game 3 Championship.

"I hope our fans know how hard it was to gain the Wild Card last season," owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement thru his sons. "And it promises to be just as hard this year. But rest assured that the Yankees will spare no expense in making sure we make it to the playoffs and get eliminated before the World Series -- you have my word."

The Yankees have declared that the recent trend of not winning the World Series -- the team last won it in 2000 -- is now a "new tradition", explaining away shocking playoff losses of late to a simple fact: the team has won enough World Series titles.

"What makes us more newsworthy? Winning the World Series or failing to do so?," asked Girardi of the small press gathering surrounding him outside Legends Field. "Come on, be honest: what's more fun to write about?"

When several of the media members answered, "It's more fun to write about when you lose," Girardi smiled.

"Exactly," he said.

Girardi said he can barely contain his excitement as his pitchers and catchers prepare to report tomorrow. He pointed to a large banner that read, "Welcome Back To Tampa, Our Wild Card Yankees" that hung over the entrance to Legends Field.

"It's a new day," Girardi said. "Yankees Baseball isn't about winning the World Series so much as it is providing baseball fans everywhere with drama, emotion, and blogging fodder. And we think we still do that better than anyone in the big leagues."

Yankees fans seem to be on board.

New Jersey native Sol Hudson, who now lives in Tampa, said, "The Red Sox fans are all like, 'We won the World Series again!' Who gives a flying f***? They can have it. Hey, where were you from 1919 to 2003, when it was still cool to win the Series? The World Series is so not in. What team is everyone still talking about? The Yankees! The Joe Torre drama, the A-Rod contract, now the Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte steroid thing. We still rule the front pages.

"F*** your World Series," Hudson added.

Girardi said that the Yankees will always have something to defend -- even if they, somehow, fail to qualify for the playoffs this season.

"Maybe it'll be 2008's Most Dysfunctional Team. I don't know. But isn't that what's so fun about it? The unknown."

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