Warning: Old men talking about how it was back in their day

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Tino Marintez is five and a half years older than me.  Andy Pettitte is only one year older than me. And after reading their “back in my day” rebop from yesterday, I feel like we’re all 80 years-old.

It came in Bob Klapisch’s column in which those two, along with David Wells, talked about how the Yankees of today couldn’t have handled playing under George Steinbrenner back in the day:

To a man, the old breed doubts the new guys could’ve survived under Steinbrenner. The real Boss, that is, pre-2003.

“They wouldn’t know what to do. They’d be freaking out,” David Wells said.

“There wasn’t a lot of ‘make sure we protect this guy’ or ‘don’t hurt his feelings,’’’ Andy Pettitte said. “It was, ‘Go figure it out yourself.’ There was no nurturing or babying.”

“These guys have no idea what it was like in the 90s, just like I didn’t know what it was like in the 70s,” Tino Martinez said. “I enjoyed the circumstances — it made us better as a team; we didn’t worry about our statistics — but they’ve got it easier today.”

Oy vey.  There’s always a core of truth to “you have it easier today than I did” comments. But really, these guys are talking about, like, 1996.  I mean, I know it was rough then — if you could even afford a mobile phone it was analog — but it’s not like it was a different planet. The 1996 George Steinbrenner was practically neutered compared to the 1970s and 80s version.  Goose Gossage is quoted later to remind us of that.

Anyway, I hope that when these “old timers” were talking about all of this, Jeter and Rivera were over on the other side of the room rolling their eyes.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.