"I think New York has a better chance of beating Tampa Bay," Damon told The Post yesterday on the way to a fishing trip in the Florida Keys. "Tampa's starting pitching down the stretch was not as sharp. New York played Texas a month ago and got swept [in three games in Arlington]."- Speaking of Johnny Damon, apparently he's already lobbying for a return to the Pinstripes:
"I would love to have that as an option," Damon told The Post when asked if Johnny II in The Bronx were a possibility. "It would be very exciting to go back there."And now back to the 'who should the Yankees root for tomorrow?' question:
- John Harper of the Daily News doesn't agree Damon. He thinks Texas is the better matchup for the Yankees, especially since Cliff Lee won't be in games 1 or 2:
- Even Lance Berkman has an opinion (that he's willing to share publicly) on the topic:
However, I have a feeling the Yankees will be watching Tuesday night and quietly rooting for the Rangers to lose so the next time they see Lee it will be in Tampa in February when he's wearing their pinstripes.
You can't blame them, based on the way Lee dominated them in the Series last year, and as recently as a month ago when he limited them to two hits over eight innings in his first start after a cortisone shot for a lower-back problem. Yet at this point I believe Joe Girardi's club would be better off playing the Rangers than the Rays in the ALCS. In losing twice at home this weekend with a chance to close out their ALDS series, the Rangers had that look of a journeyman golfer suddenly finding himself in the lead at the Masters on Sunday afternoon and not knowing how to get to the house.
"I would love to play the Rangers," Berkman said after the Yankees' ALDS clincher on Saturday night. "I think that it would be neat for me to get to play in Texas, and certainly it's closer to my home than Tampa is. I'd love to see the Rangers win that. Plus, I know Nolan [Ryan] and have a great deal of respect for him and would love to see [him] — and some other guys over there. Jackie Moore, their bench coach. Love to see them advance and get an opportunity to play against them."- The Captain has no preference:
“You don’t ever wish for a certain opponent because you just might get ‘em,” Jeter said.- Over at the Star Tribune, Twins fans talk about their trip to the Bronx for the ALDS. As you might expect, they were not treated very well.
- Brian Costello thinks the Yankees will savor their extra time off as they wait until Friday for the ALCS opener. Apparently, a few Yankees agree:
"We need a couple of days off," Jorge Posada said Saturday night with his shoulder and knees wrapped in ice.
"I think our team always does well with rest," Rodriguez said. "I think, for us, rest is always an important factor. I know it worked out well for us last year. We built a nice cushion down the stretch and we benefited from it."
If you're wondering what I think about tomorrow's Rays-Rangers game, I'm just very happy they're playing it. It was very big for the Yanks to have that series extended to five. As for who I'm "rooting" for, I can honestly I don't have a preference. At their best the Yankees can beat anyone, especially when they don't have to face that team's ace for the first two games.