66° Good Afternoon
66° Good Afternoon

World Series possibilities, Phil Hughes, Red Sox strategy and Brian Cashman

Your updated playoff seedings:

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

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

Sorry, small post this morning. Got a dentist's appointment. So I'll throw out a question:

At this point, what World Series matchup would you most like to see? What would intrigue you the most?

I gotta confess, none of the National League teams excite me very much. But I"ll go with Yankees-Giants, for the history angle and also because I'd like to see Tim Lincecum take on the Yankees' lineup, even though Lincecum is having an off year.

But if we expand the field past the current playoff qualifiers, then you have great possibilities in Yankees-Phillies (2009 rematch), Rays-Phillies (2008 rematch) or Rangers-Phillies (Cliff Lee takes on his former team, forcing Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to answer another 5,000 questions about why he traded Lee last winter).

--As promised here's the column on Phil Hughes, and how he should be used as a starter in the playoffs.

--The Yankees rallied in the late innings, but they just got beat by two extremely hard-throwing Boston relievers in Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon ended the game by striking out Mark Teixeira on two straight splitters, and that's the best I've seen Papelbon throw his splitter in a very long time.

With Derek Jeter on second and two outs, with the Sawx up by one and with Brett Gardner on deck, should the Red Sox have intentionally walked Teixeira, thereby putting the winning run on first base? Perhaps yes, given the risk that Teixeira hits a game-winning homer as opposed to the risk of Gardner producing a two-run, extra-base hit. But I'm glad the Red Sox pitched to Teixeira. It made for better theater.

--A.J. Burnett will start tonight in Texas, two days later than scheduled, unless his back got worse on the flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.

--The Watchdog, Neil Best, spoke with Brian Cashman about how the Yankees' media relations have changed since Cashman became the team's bona fide general manager following the 2005 season. You may say, "Why would I care about this?" I'd say, because it reflects the efficiency of the Yankees' organization, especially relative to George Steinbrenner's prime years. Way fewer people are in the loop nowadays, which lead to fewer loose lips and, well, you know...

--The Red Sox were pleased with their day and their series.

--The Mets will resume their season tonight, at home against Colorado and Ubaldo Jimenez. Not much more that can be said at this point. Their best chance lies in their putting their heads down, playing good baseball and not even worrying about the standings.

--A fan is suing the Mets for a 2007 incident involving a broken bat.

--Great piece by friend of the blog CJ Nitkowski on his return from a serious injury. Nitkowski is pitching in Korea, but I can keep tabs on him thanks to Twitter.

--Have a great day.


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