The Road to Redemption Runs Through Anaheim

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Yankees finally won a playoff series -- their first since 2004, the year of their infamous meltdown against Boston in the American League Championship Series. The Yankees were simply better than the Twins in all facets of the game. And Minnesota was physically and emotionally gassed after winning 17 of 21 down the stretch -- and playing every game in September and October as though it were life and death.

    But the real story of this series was redemption. Alex Rodriguez had two home runs and 6 RBI. Both long balls came with his team trailing in the late innings. Are we talking about the same Arod, who had not had a clutch post-season hit in 5 years? Yes we are! Alex buried the ghosts of playoffs past. Thank you, Kate Hudson.

    How about Jorge Posada, who was benched in game two of the series in favor of Jose Molina -- only to deliver the game winning homer in last night's clincher.

    And there's C-C Sabathia, who had a career record of  2-3 in the post-season, prior to his start in game one. They said he couldn't win big games in October. Well, all he did was set the tone for this series with a terrific outing in game one. Sabathia went 6 and 2/3rds, allowed just one earned run and struck out 8, en route to a victory.

    And while we are speaking of redemption -- throw Manager Joe Girardi into the mix. Last year his Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. This year, he has a well-oiled machine that is poised for a long October run. Or at least that's what he thinks -- and millions of New Yorkers think too.

    Redemption is nice, but the only measuring stick for this organization is raising a World Championship banner. And the road to the Yankees 27th World Series crown runs through Anaheim, where Mickey and Minnie call home and where the Angels have owned the Bombers in the post-season. I offer as exhibit "A" playoff results in 2002 and 2005.

    More on that later. For now, it's about this Yankee team finally getting over the playoff hump and it's about a bunch of individuals grabbing something called "redemption."