Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett and the NLCS - and there's a live chat today

Live chat at noon, and let's do a book giveaway contest after that. And then, tonight, I'll check in from the Stadium.

What I'm telling you is, there's no reason to do anything else all day besides read this blog. And maybe eat lunch.

--ALCS Game 3 tonight, and I focused my efforts on discussing why the Yankees failed to get Cliff Lee back in July.

I spoke with Brian Cashman for this story, and it marked the first time I had discussed this at length with him. Part of my job is to try to get in the heads of all 30 teams, but particularly the two local GMs. With that in mind, I admittedly was surprised when the Yankees went so hard after Lee a few months back. Especially since they would've given up their best young bat in Jesus Montero.

Cashman has certain principles in place, and one, as mentioned is the column, is to not give up a strong package prospect for someone who is not signed long-term - as opposed to, say, Curtis Granderson, who is under team control through 2013.

But Cashman will violate principles even if he thinks other factors mitigate them. In this case, Cashman possessed just that much respect for Lee, and he felt his farm system could take the hit. Makes sense - you want to heed your principles, but not be handcuffed by them. And I'll be sure to remember this the next time I'm determining the Yankees' interest in a player.

--I've thankfully missed the chatter on Lee's supposed illegalities. Rosin is allowed. Isn't that the end of this?

--Andy Pettitte and the Yankees are playing the "I don't get no respect" card, and sure, why shouldn't they? But it's not like the hype for Lee is undeserved. The guy has been one of the very best starting pitchers in baseball over the last three years. Pettitte is one of the better pitchers of his generation, and he very well could outpitch Lee tonight. Yet he simply hasn't been in Lee's stratosphere since 2008. Very few pitchers have.

 --A.J. Burnett will indeed start Game 4 tomorrow night, and I can't blame the Yankees for taking that path. It would be a risk to push CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Pettitte to go on three days' rest. Of course, if the Yankees lose tonight, Burnett is going to have a target on his back, for both the Rangers and Yankees fans.

--The Phillies evened up the NLCS by thumping the Giants. I got to watch the second half of this game, and Roy Oswalt looked excellent. The Giants have the homefield advantage now, but I still like the Phillies winning this in six.

--Rest in peace, Freddy "Sez" Schuman. It won't be the same without him at the Stadium.

--OK, see you at noon.

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