Thanks to a September slump from the Red Sox and a two-run single fmrom Jorge Posada, the Yankees can call themselves champions of the American League East following a doubleheader sweep of the Rays on Wednesday. Posada hit his single in the eighth -- he thought it was the ninth -- to give the Yankees their 16th playoff berth in 17 seasons. The Red Sox lost to Baltimore and lead both the Rays and Angels by 2 1/2 games. They may make the playoffs, but they likely won't look good doing it.
The Mets can't clinch any postseason berths of course, but they can play the role of spoiler. They did clinch a losing record with their 82nd loss this season. By losing 6-5 to the Cardinals, the Mets may have helped the Braves miss the playoffs. Atlanta leads the wild-card race by 1 1/2 games and is slumping.