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Yankees morning links

Even as the Yankees were losing the series finale Sunday night in Boston, the sideshow involving Alex Rodriquez and Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden extended its life for at least another 15 minutes when Braden pitched a perfect game against Yankees AL East rival Tampa Bay. Baseball columnist Ken Davidoff takes a bemused look at Rodriguez' penchant for stirring the pot and says it's no coincidence A-Rod ended his home run drought last night.

A.J. Burnett, who was off to his best start ever, reverted to last season's Fenway form, getting pounded by the Red Sox in a 9-3 loss that ended a six-game Yankees winning streak. It was the first time someone other than Javier Vazquez pitched horribly, noted beat writer Erik Boland.

Speaking of Vazquez, Jim Baumbach examined the troubles he's having switching back to the American League after a successful National League season last year. It seems Vazquez is not alone in finding the change difficult to manage.

Although the Yankees failed to get the sweep, they won yet another series that ended with the Red Sox seven games back in fourth place in the division. Anthony Rieber explains that age has robbed "Big Papi," David Ortiz, of his pop, and wonders if the aging Yanks might run into similar problems down the road. Of course, their depth of riches was on display again yesterday as Jorge Posada returned to the lineup as DH while Francisco Cervelli played catcher. Manager Joe Girardi says it will be rare that both start with Cervelli returning to a backup role despite his .400 batting average.

New York Sports