10/03/2002 10:27 pm ET
Yankees have bat, will travel
Yankees have history of postseason success on road
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While the Yankees have always enjoyed a home-field advantage at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers have fared well away from home in the postseason under Joe Torre as well.
Since 1996, New York is 29-11 on the road in the postseason, including a 9-3 mark in the AL Division Series. Last season, the Yankees traveled to Oakland for Game 3 of the ALDS facing an 0-2 deficit in the series, only to win both games at Network Associates Coliseum before taking the decisive Game 5 back in the Bronx.
Why have the Yankees been so successful on the road, when most other teams find themselves with a disadvantage being away from home?
"Throughout my career, we haven't had a problem playing on the road. We enjoy it," said Derek Jeter. "It doesn't make a difference what atmosphere we're in. When a lot of teams go on the road in the postseason, they get booed and the fans are on them. We're used to that."
Anaheim's Edison Field should be no exception on Friday, as Angels fans get their first taste of the playoffs in 16 years. The last postseason game in Anaheim was Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS, which the Angels lost to the Boston Red Sox before dropping the final two games in Boston to lose the series.
"I think that the fans have a connection with our team," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "I think they appreciate the way our team plays and how hard they play. I think you see that connection. You'll see it in these games that we're going to have here at home. Hopefully it's going to be a great experience and help us move along to be where we want to be."
While the Yankees generally find fans everywhere they go, most of New York's players are expecting a typical road playoff crowd.
"We've had our share of fans out here, but these fans have done a very good job of backing their team," said Mike Stanton. "We're going to have a few fans everywhere, just like there were a few Angels fans in New York. But this city has definitely embraced the Angels, and that's how it's supposed to be."
"It's always been fun here, the fans are great," Jeter said. "There have been a lot of Yankee fans here when we played here throughout the years, but I wouldn't really anticipate that the next couple of days."
When Jeter was asked about what kind of ballpark Edison Field is to play in, he immediately thought of the Angels' other secret weapon.
"Talking about that damn monkey, huh?" said a smirking Jeter. "The rally monkey."
The reporter, unfamiliar with Anaheim's unofficial mascot, asked Jeter to explain what he was talking about.
"You'll see," Jeter replied.
For Stanton, winning at home or on the road comes down to one simple thing: playing good baseball.
"There's no place like home when you play at Yankee Stadium, but good teams have to win on the road," Stanton said. "The key is to stay within yourself and to play the game as a team, not as individuals."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.