Your new playoff seedings:

AL: Tampa Bay (1) vs. Texas (3), Minnesota (2) vs. Yankees (4)

NL: Philadelphia (1) vs. San Diego (4), San Francisco (2) vs. Cincinnati (3).

Thoughts: As the Giants and Padres switched places in the NL West once more, the Braves' loss left both teams securely in the playoff picture. That said, Atlanta still controls its own destiny (it has three games at home against Florida and three at home against Philadelphia) because the Giants and the Padres end the season with a three-game series against each other.

Which brings us to...

Series of the Week: How'd you guess that it was Padres at Giants for three games, starting Friday?  The Padres start the week with four games at home against the Cubs, while the Giants rest today and start a three-game home series against Arizona tomorrow. So neither club faces a great challenge prior to the weekend faceoff.

Player of the Week: Miguel Tejada, San Diego. What the heck. Just because of who he is and everything he has been through good and bad in the game, he's a guy to monitor. He has played pretty decently since the Padres acquired him at the non-waivers trading deadline.

Pitcher of the Week: Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco. He's on schedule to start tomorrow against Arizona and therefore will be in line to start the final game of the season against San Diego.

Manager of the Week: Bobby Cox, Atlanta. I know, this isn't the first time we've addressed this manner, but it bears repeating: It would be an absolutely brutal end to his career if Cox spent most of the season in first place and wound up missing the playoffs altogether.

Not-Quite-Dead-Yet Rivalry of the Week: Yankees-Rays. Now the Yankees stand just a half-game back (one in the loss column), with the understanding that they'd lose the tiebreaker if they finished with identical records. Homefield still has meaning, and while the Yankees travel to Toronto and Boston, Tampa Bay faces difficult Baltimore at home tonight through Wednesday before concluding the season with a four-game set in Kansas City.

Last Calls of the Week: Daren Brown, Cito Gaston, KIrk Gibson, Ken Macha, Jerry Manuel, Mike Quade, Edwin Rodriguez and Joe Torre all face the possibility of writing out their final lineup cards. Of this group, I'd say that Quade is most likely to survive, while Torre is most likely to get another job somewhere.

--Off the Yankees game, I wrote about how one day changed everything for this team. Wow, what a game. As I wrote, the end justified the means concerning Joe Girardi's decision to start Phil Hughes over Dustin Moseley. If they had lost, 1-0? Not so much.

Jonathan Papelbon, after the game, complained about home-plate umpire  Phil Cuzzi, and Papelbon wasn't altogether wrong, IMO. But neither was Boston manager Terry Francona, who suggested that both Papelbon and Mariano Rivera faced a tough strike zone. And of course, Cuzzi doesn't quite have a great past in this area, either. 

--Live chat Wednesday at noon. Be there or be square.

--I'll check in later from Rogers Centre.

--UPDATE, 1:22 p.m.: Greetings from LaGuardia Airport. Due to the inclement weather, I'm delayed, so there won't be an evening blog post. I might not make it to Toronto at all.

In the meantime...Good job by, digging up some revised winter dates concerning free agency. This should achieve the goal of speeding up the winter, so that we don't have a bushel full of free agents as pitchers and catchers report to camp.

Most interesting is shortening the 15-day window of exclusivity (that teams have with their own free agents) to five days. If the Yankees advance to the World Series, then there wouldn't be much time for Derek Jeter and the Yankees to hammer out a new agreement before full free agency commences.

It's still overwhelmingly likely that Jeter and the Yankees re-up. But it's noteworthy that Jeter, should he feel compelled to do so, could actually meet with other teams and talk money.

--Good piece here by Frankie Pilliere about Bryce Harper.

I found these two items on Twitter. Does anyone know if they have Twitter in Canada? Maybe I'll try to smuggle it across the border, just in case.

--And another one: How about this? The Rangers are going to get $150 million annually for 20 years as part of their new TV contract. Wow. If they're really willing to go all out to retain Cliff Lee, they might just outbid the Yankees, after all.

--And this: The drunk driver responsible for the death of Nick Adenhart and two others last year has now been convicted of murder.

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