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Sunday reading: The Yankees, the Twins and the Rays

Good Lord. That was about as elementary as it gets in a playoff series. The Yankees advanced to the ALCS, and for my column, I wrote that the Yankees already have answered (for now, at least) many of the questions that hovered over them.

For my early column, for Newsday's first edition, I offered a proposal for improving baseball's playoffs.

--The Twins wound up looking like a dead team walking, but in their defense, Phil Hughes looked really good on the mound. 

--Once again, the Yankees lineup exhibited its remarkable depth. The first eight batters reached base at least once - everyone got a hit - and ninth hitter Brett Gardner contributed a sacrifice fly. In Game 2, all nine batters reached base at least once. And the same with Game 1.

--For my Sunday Insider, I explored why the Twins don't get more love when it comes to other teams' general manager searches. After all, even if they play a considerably easier schedule than the AL East teams, they're still consistently good against their competition.

Here's another theory on why this is, for which I didn't have room in the newspaper: They're not big on self-promoting. They'll speak with the media, but they tend to downplay their accomplishments. And they generally don't swap gossip in the same way that other clubs' officials will.

Look, I rely on such gossip-swapping for information, so I wish the Twins would play ball more in that area. But I know also that Twins officials don't play favorites with media folk, and that is appreciated.

--The Rays stayed alive against the Rangers, and that's all it takes for this series to turn very interesting. The Rays have to feel very good about themselves after that comeback. A win today, and they get to bring it back home for a do-or-die contest...albeit against Cliff Lee.

--David Lennon offered some more insight on Sandy Alderson, who has to be the favorite to replace Omar Minaya before the interviews even begin. I thought this was interesting: Alderson has a daughter who lives in New Jersey, and who recently gave birth to Alderson's first grandchild.

There's clearly some quality of life to be had with this job for Alderson. In addition to having family nearby, he enjoys New York. He lived in Manhattan for the seven-plus years he worked for Major League Baseball, and I once shared a car service from JFK Airport to the city with Alderson and his wife, when we all were returning from the 2004 general managers' meetings in Key Biscayne, Fla. The Aldersons spoke very highly of the New  York area.

--Best wishes to Tony Gwynn, who has parotid cancer.

--Self-promotion alert: I'll be on "Sports Extra" with Duke Castiglione, tonight on Fox 5 in New York, talking baseball.

--Have a great day.


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