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Yanks accustomed to battling loud crowds

Yanks accustomed to battling loud crowds

MINNEAPOLIS -- The wintry air was sneaking through the crevices of the Metrodome on Sunday afternoon as workers unpacked boxes upon boxes of Homer Hankies to rally on what should be a raucous indoor atmosphere.

If the Yankees can take care of business on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep of the Twins in the American League Division Series, the Metrodome will have hosted its final baseball game.

But it will be no easy task, with Minnesota's 10th man ready to assault the Bombers' eardrums in the hopes of prolonging the Twins' improbable final season under their infamous inflated roof.

"Personally, I don't like playing inside," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said. "I'm sure they'll have a little bit of an advantage because you hear about everything that goes on with the roof.

Division Series
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Gm. 2NYY 4, MIN 3 (11)WrapVideo
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"It's an issue if you haven't played there. Their team has been known to do the little things -- hit the ball on the ground, run, use the turf. But we've played there before."

As Sunday's game approached, the Yankees were looking to improve to 10-0 against the Twins in 2009, having gone undefeated in eight regular-season meetings and taken the first two games of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium.

But they are expecting October baseball in the Metrodome to be a different animal. Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher said that the Metrodome roof shouldn't have a huge effect on the game -- but then again, who knows?

"To tell you the truth -- knock on wood, I don't want to jinx it -- I've never really had a hard time seeing the ball," Swisher said. "I think it's one of those things, when you see the ball go up, you have to keep your eye on it. If you take your eye off the ball to see where you are on the field, that's when you get in trouble."

The biggest difference might be the noise level. There is no tomorrow if the Twins don't win, and faced with potentially extending the building's baseball life, most of the fans could be expected to walk out Sunday with sore throats.

"You know, there is really no place that we can go to simulate that noise," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We don't have an indoor practice facility where we could go to turn up the speakers like they do in football so many times. But we play in so many pretty hostile environments -- and we have a lot of veteran players -- that I believe we will be prepared for it."

Girardi presented the raucous Fenway Park crowds and the deafening cowbell assaults at Tropicana Field as examples of what the Metrodome could be like on Sunday. The biggest effect is communication with the players, he said.

"Most of that is going to be on popups or bunt plays," Girardi said. "It's really the biggest effect. There are parks that we play in where you play with a lot of noise. It's probably not going to be as high as this. It's going to be a little different. It's going to be a little higher."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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