(photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
I had forgotten what it felt like.
Not the winning, but the euphoria.
This feeling, that nothing can touch us, that nothing can stop us, that for this moment, the baseball gods have smiled.
The Yankees, though, the Yankees were there to make sure I remembered.
No one said that beating the Angels would be easy, and it wasn't.
Six games, six games in which every emotion as a fan was tested: there was anxiety, nervousness, pleasure, pain, face-palming and, at long last, euphoria.
To be the champions of your league, you have to beat the best along the way.
The Angels were the only team in the league that played the Yankees well consistently all season, and so it was fitting that the road to the World Series would have to go through Anaheim.
When it came down to it, it wasn't just that the Yankees had ALCS MVP CC Sabathia and the Angels didn't, or that the Yankees had Alex Rodriguez and the Angels didn't, it was that the Yankees never forgot how to play fundamental baseball.
Fundamental errors cost the Angels games two and six; even just costing them one of those games would have been too much.
It is only fitting that Andy Pettitte was on the mound tonight.
He was there in 1996, he should be there again this season, when comparisons to the late nineties Yankees have been so apparent.
It was fitting, and Pettitte was vintage.
He only pitched into the seventh inning, but he kept the Angels to just one run, and you get the feeling that once the Yankees scored, the Angels never really had much of a chance.
There was Pettitte, and then there was Joba, where we held our breath, and then there was Rivera.
I've gone back and forth on Rivera in the eighth, but ultimately it was the right decision. As a proponent of the leverage argument, tonight's use of Rivera is exactly what should have been done, with him facing Figgins, Abreu, Hunter, Guerrerro and Morales in the the eighth inning, in a two run game.
You knew Rivera would be on the mound for the final out, regardless of the score.
It just wouldn't be right without it.
The work isn't done.
Philadelphia's not just a good team, they're the defending World Champions and with good reason.
Yet, you get the feeling, if anyone can beat the Phillies, these Yankees can.
We have watched this team, all season, dazzle us, surprise us, enthrall us and, most of all, make us believe.
And so we do believe.
The quest for 27 remains, and it closer than ever.
This team is showing us that they are of the Substance, that they are Yankees.
The euphoria is back.
Anything is possible.