- We love the quote on this page. “The reason the Yankees never lay an egg is because they don’t operate on chicken feed.” Yep. It must be rough when your $13 million right fielder (Gary Sheffield) gets hurt and all you have to do is go out and get another right fielder (Bobby Abreu) that they have to pay $4.4 million for 2 months of service and another $15 million next season. Oh have we mentioned that the Spankees third baseman makes more than the Devil Rays’ active roster? We aren’t bitter. Oh by the way…The Rays lay lots of eggs. Does that mean something?
- It pains us to say this but the Yankees all of the sudden enter this series with the best record in the AL (86-56) and second only to their cross-town rivals the Metropolitans. They own a 10.5 game lead over the scarlet socks and their magic number to clinch the division is now 10. And we hate the idea of this, but who is going to beat them in the playoffs? Oakland? No way. The Yanks always dismantle the A’s. If Moneyball has taught us anything, it is that you can put together a decent regular season team with a small payroll, but that all those numbers and percentages don’t mean squat in a short series. Minnesota? Yeah right. This is the team that everyone says will be dangerous, but doesn’t anybody remember the last time the almighty Johan Santana faced the Yankees in the playoffs? Game 4 of the 2004 playoffs. Santana takes himself out of the game after 5 innings and 87 pitches with the Twins winning 4-1. Yanks came back to win that game and the series. Detroit? Would anybody stake their life on the Kittens beating the Yankees in a playoff series? We didn’t think so. Then again some Red Sox fans still believe they have a shot to catch the Yanks…that made us giggle uncontrollably.
- Then again, if Mariano Rivera (Major League baseball’s MVP for the past 10 seasons) is not healthy for the playoffs, then everything we just said is out the window.
- There has been a recent upwelling of support for Derek Jeter to win the MVP in the AL this season. There seem to be at least a half-dozen worthy candidates this year with nobody surging ahead of the others. In the absence of a clear front runner, these situations are usually resolved by giving the award to the player that is most deserving from a career standpoint, and that player is clearly Derek Jeter. Outside of Mariano Rivera (any Yankees fan will tell you that they probably win one world series, at most, if not for the Sandman) Derek Jeter has been the Most Valuable Player on the team for the past decade. He has never won an MVP and is having his second best statistical season (1999). By the way he is also finishing the season strong.
- Hideki Matsui will probably DH tonight. It would be his first action in four months.
- Final score in tonight’s first game? Off The Facade predicts 7.1-3.9. Apparently Delmon Young will hit a 2.9-run home run in the third inning.
Tuesday, 7:05 et
Devil Rays Tim Corcoran, RHP (4-7, 3.96)
Yankees Mike Mussina, RHP (13-6, 3.72)
Wednesday, 7:05 et
Devil Rays Jason Hammel, RHP (0-2, 5.61)
Yankees Cory Lidle, RHP (11-10, 4.75)
Thursday, 7:05 et
Devil Rays James Shields, RHP (6-7, 4.71)
Yankees Chien-Ming Wang, RHP (17-5, 3.60)