Yankees fans in a NY state of mind
Return to ALCS, glory the center of Big Apple's attention
NEW YORK -- The last time the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series, they proceded to drop four straight games to the Boston Red Sox after taking a 3-0 series lead, capping one of the most disappointing series in New York sports history.
But as the Bronx faithful let this year's decisive 3-0 sweep over the Twins set in following Sunday's 4-1 Game 3 win, 2004's letdown couldn't have been further from their minds.
Mostly because the Red Sox -- victims of a sweep at the hands of the Angels earlier in the day --- wouldn't be ruining the Yankees' October, but rather making it even sweeter.
"I don't know what I'm happier about," Brooklyn resident and lifelong Yankees fan Frank DeFillipino said, "the Sox getting swept, or us doing the sweeping [of the Twins]."
The headline in The Boston Globe -- "The Old-Time Gloom Settles over Fenway" -- was just another sign of the baseball stars realigning in favor of Yankees Universe. While Red Sox fans spent Monday morning in bereavement, colorful headlines like "Sweep!" and "Bring on the Angels" littered coffee shops and half-empty newsstands in New York City.
Like most Yankees fans, DeFillipino -- who was on hand for the team's first two postseason wins in the new Yankee Stadium -- hadn't taken kindly to the power shift that had taken place in the AL East. While New York missed the playoffs in 2008 and were knocked out in the first round the three seasons prior, Boston secured World Series championships in '04 and '07.
"You think about a guy like [Derek] Jeter, and he came up [to the Majors] and the next thing you know, he was riding in the World Series parade," Long Island native Kirk Dorsell said of Jeter's rookie season in 1996, which started a string of four championships in five seasons.
"These last few years have been a drought, no doubt about that. But I think it made our guys even hungrier."
And perhaps the struggles of the past few season has made Yankees fans more appreciative of this year's success.
"What a tremendous game for Yankee fans," one caller praised to the midday show on talk-radio station WFAN. "A terrific, terrific series."
"This year is ours," added DeFillipino, "It's been a joy to watch this team play."
Sunday's events left the Big Apple buzzing with a mixture of pride and satisfaction to start the work week. It was a feeling shared by everyone from subway attendants to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
Bloomberg won his friendly wager with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback and will receive a bushel of Honeycrisp apples and a case of beer from the Surly Brewing Company for the Yankees' emphatic sweep over the Twins.
And if the Bombers continue to play like they did in the ALDS, they have a chance to bring back something truly special to the city of New York: a 27th World Series trophy.
"I think we're all ready," Dorsell said, "for two more celebrations."
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.