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Classic video rant: Olbermann eviscerates Bonds

By Mike Harrington

You can say anything you want about Keith Olbermann and you would probably have a point. But the one thing you can't argue is the guy is passionate about baseball. He's written some interesting essays and blogs for MLB.com and you have to watch this commentary he unleashed this week on ESPN2 about Barry Bonds' return to the Giants as a spring training instructor and how the team has "sanitized" his history.

Olbermann pretty much eviscerates Bonds. And even if you think some of it is over the top, it's surely entertaining.

Some samples:

---The Giants are acting "as if he were one of baseball's most noble assets and not the symbol of its worst crisis and darkest time since the Black Sox scandal."

---"You cheated the game. You dishonored the game. The game has been better off with you forgotten, with you in the wilderness, with your statistics as meaningful as video game numbers."

---"Barry Bonds is a liar, a cheat, a shame to this sport and all sports and to this country. That the San Francisco Giants, an otherwise enlightened organization that cherishes its history and its reputation, should not merely embrace this pariah, but pave over his self-disqualifying dishonesty, is incomprehensible."

Watch the whole diatribe here. Quite entertaining.

Buck's call on Freese HR great tribute to late father

ST. LOUIS -- Joe Buck was wonderfully understated on FOX calling David Freese's walkoff home run by simply saying, "We will see you tomorrow night." When the word got to the press box early this morning that was his call, there was almost universal approval.

That's because the late Jack Buck, Joe's father and the Hall of Fame Cardinals announcer, made exactly the same call in Game Six 20 years earlier. It came, also in the 11th inning, on Kirby Puckett's walkoff home run that allowed the Twins to live another day against the Atlanta Braves in the 1991 World Series with a 4-3 win at the Metrodome.

The Yahoo! Big League Stew blog has put together a video showing the two calls -- and then transposing the video and audio, with Joe's call on Puckett's home run and Jack's call on Freese's. Great stuff.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

The postseason begins: Make your picks

While the Red Sox are going through the process of not renewing Terry Francona's contract today (e.g. he's getting fired), the real focus of the baseball world is the start of the postseason. The American League division series opens on two fronts with the Rays and Rangers meeting in Texas and the Yankees and Tigers meeting in the Bronx. That's Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia and that's must-see TV.

Right from the top, I'll put this out there: I got the Tigers and the Phillies in the World Series and I'm taking the Phillies in six. Sorry, Yankees fans. If Sabathia doesn't win tonight, I think it's possible the Tigers sweep the Bombers in three. And wouldn't that make for an interesting offseason. Remember, all division series games are on TBS.

So here's some quick analysis off the cuff. Hey, I gotta do Sunday's Inside Baseball column on the collapse of the Sox and Braves and I'm still working hockey previews too. Some multi-tasking. I give you some polls at the bottom too. Be sure and vote!

Tigers vs. Yankees -- I know all about the Bombers' offense but you have to like the Tigers' combination of Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer. You have to love closer Jose Valverde. Miguel Cabrera should get plenty of MVP looks. As for the Yankees, can you really count on Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia in this spot? Seriously? And does A-Rod show up in this series or bat eighth like he did in when he was humiliated in Game Four in Detroit in 2006. Tigers in four. 

Rays vs. Rangers -- I'm tempted, very/very tempted, to pick the Rays to go to the World Series. Maybe I should. Now that they're actually in the postseason, they have the best starting pitching in the AL. I think they get through this series and avenge last year's division series loss but you wonder how much energy they have left after that crazy September. Rays in five.

Cardinals vs. Phillies -- I don't think a lot of analysis is needed. The Phillies' losing streak near the end of the season was rooted in injuries and boredom after clinching the division title. They're ready. Halladay-Lee-Hamels-Oswalt with Worley in the bullpen. Do they need a bullpen? This is one of Tony LaRussa's better managing jobs but this is a case of thanks for playing and please drive home safely. Phillies in three.

Diamondbacks vs. Brewers -- Who had this matchup in March? Thought so.  In Kirk Gibson and Ron Roenicke, you have your two main candidates for NL manager of the year. Think the Yankees wish 20-game winner Ian Kennedy had found his game when he was with them until waiting to getting to Arizona?  The Dbacks are a great story but the Brewers have the motivation of Prince Fielder's last season. They have an MVP in Ryan Braun, a great rotation, a supreme closer in former Canisius College pitcher John Axford. I think Brewers-Phillies could be a fabulous NLCS. Can't wait. Brewers in four.

Now you vote.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Welcome to Wildcard Wednesday

It all comes down to this on the final day of the regular season: The Rays and choking Red Sox are both 90-71 in the AL, the Cardinals and choking Braves are both 89-72 in the NL. Will we decide the wildcards tonight or get one-game playoffs Thursday in Tampa Bay and St. Louis?

The schedule remains the same as the last two days -- Tampa hosting the Yankees and Boston at Baltimore, while the Braves host the Phillies and the Cardinals are in Houston. All night games. Have your remotes ready to be clicking between YES, ESPN and the MLB Network.

The Red Sox are 7-19 in September with a team ERA of 5.90. Once-impenetrable reliever Daniel Bard is 0-4, 11.90 and not trustworthy. Look at the starters' ERAs: Bedard and Wakefield, 5.25; Beckett 5.48, Lester 5.96, Lackey 9.13. The Rays have pulled even by going 16-10 despite a .237 team batting average in September. But that 3.50 team ERA sure helps.

The Braves, meanwhile, have gone 9-17 and hit just .235. Their team ERA of 4.25 isn't ghastly, especially when you consider Derek Lowe fell to 0-5, 8.75 in September when he was booed off the mound last night. The Cardinals are 17-8, batting .293 and have a 3.25 ERA.

See SABRhounds, I don't need a lot of made-up acronym stats to tell me why these races have changed this month. 

How is this going to end up? Take the polls.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Bison-esque lineup for Mets today

The Mets play the Washington Nationals today at 1:10 on SNY and there's quite a Buffalo tinge in their lineup as Chris Schwinden, the Bisons' most valuable pitcher,  gets his second major-league start and Valentino Pascucci will get the call at first base.

Pascucci is scheduled to bat seventh in what will be his first MLB start since Oct. 3, 2004 with the Montreal Expos. He is 1 for 2 so far with the Mets in pinch-hitting roles after being called up from the Bisons, his first trip to the bigs since '04.

Pascucci earned Buffalo's MVP honors this season by batting .264 with team-highs of 21 homers and 91 RBIs.

Also from the Mets: Bisons infielder Josh Satin was named the organization's minor-league player of the year. Huge jump for him from organizational guy to prospect.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

 

Long-lost tape of 1960's Game 7 is found -- thanks to Bing Crosby

Here's an amazing yarn from the New York Times: The long-last NBC broadcast of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series -- the game that saw the Pirates beat the Yankees on Bill Mazeroski's walkoff homer -- has been found and will be shown this fall on MLB Network. 

Where was it found? In the California wine cellar of legendary singer Bing Crosby, who was a Pirates part owner at the time. He was too superstitious to watch the game live and headed to Paris, of all places, to listen on the radio. He had the Mel Allen-Bob Prince broadcast recorded on kinescope for later viewing if the Pirates won.

Crosby then apparently kept the reels in his vault until they were found in December by Robert Bader, vice president for marketing and production of Bing Crosby Enterprises. The company was trying to compile footage of Crosby's TV specials for a DVD release of his work.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Herd strikeout king Gee starts tonight for Mets

Dillon Gee will never be confused for Johan Santana but he will replace the Mets' ace in the rotation tonight at Washington and you can watch the game at 7 p.m. on SNY. Santana is dealing with a pectoral muscle strain. 

Gee, who won 13 games and struck out a franchise-record 165 batters for the Bisons this season, will be opposing Washington rookie and Cuban defector Yunesky Maya. It will mark the first time in Mets history two pitchers making their big-league debuts will oppose each other.

Here's an ESPNNY.com clip of Gee talking to reporters Monday about his chance to start and his penchant for strikeouts this season in Buffalo, where he was named the Bisons' Comeback Player of the Year.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Gee goes for No. 13 for Herd

Dillon Gee takes his second shot at win No. 13 tonight as the Bisons and Pawtucket play a 7:05 game on TWC 13 and SNY. Gee, who pushed his strikeout total to a franchise-record 144 in his last start, got a no-decision Wednesday against Rochester after giving up four runs (but only one earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He's 3-0, 4.44 in August with 26 Ks and just four walks in 24 1/3 innings.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis is back from a family wedding but Fernando Martinez and Justin Turner (knees) are both out of tonight's lineup. No word of any moves to the DL on Turner as of yet. Hideki Okajima is slated to pitch another inning on rehab tonight for Pawtucket.

Tonight's Herd lineup:

Luis Hernandez, ss
Andy Green, 2b
Lucas Duda, lf
Nick Evans, 1b
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf
Valentino Pascucci, dh
Mike Cervenak, 3b
Russ Adams, rf
J.R. House, c
 -----
 Dillon Gee, p

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

New York, New York: Yanks survive brushbacks, Mets win in 14

It was a testy affair Wednesday night in the Bronx as the Yankees beat the Tigers, 9-5, in a game marked by several inside pitches and warnings issued to both benches. It started when Jeremy Bonderman hit Brett Gardner on the leg with his first pitch of the game. The YES Network crew, as is often the case, was clueless as to what was going on. Former players John Flaherty and Paul O'Neill were behind the mic with Michael Kay and they all  should have remembered that it was payback for Gardner's crunching slide that KO'd Carlos Guillen at second Monday night to try to break up Derek Jeter's game-ending double play.

In any event, the Yankees hit Miguel Cabrera in the eighth, the Tigers threw behind Derek Jeter and came inside to Robinson Cano in the bottom of the eighth. And there were no ejections other than Jim Leyland? Bizarre.

MLB.com has a great rundown here, including comments from both sides and lots of video.

The Mets, meanwhile, pulled out a 3-2, 14-inning win at Houston on Ike Davis' sacrifice fly in the top of the 14th.. The Francisco Rodriguez affair hurt, however, as R.A. Dickey stayed on in the ninth and gave up Geoff Blum's game-tying home run. In spite of that, however, it was still another great 8 1/3 innings from the knuckleballer.

The Mets are going to activate catcher Rod Barajas today and will send back a player to the Bisons, expected to be either Mike Hessman or Fernando Martinez. The Bisons could certainly use Hessman's bat for the final two weeks of the season.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Yankee Doodles live from Progressive Field

CLEVELAND -- We're in the house for the opener of tonight's Yankees-Indians series (it's on YES at 7) and Alex Rodriguez is in the lineup trying for his 600th home run, despite getting hit by a pitch on the hand in his final at-bat yesterday against Kansas City.

"Hand's good, hand's really good," A-Rod said, brushing past reporters inside the Yankees clubhouse at about 4:40 this afternoon.

Some pregame chatter from the Bombers:

---"It's a lot, lot, lot of home runs," manager Joe Girardi said of No. 600. "A lot of production. It's being consistent and staying healthy. It's an amazing accomplishment."

---A-Rod has continued to produce even though he hasn't homered the last three games (he had three RBIs yesterday). 

"Usually when you go for it, you don't get it," Girardi said. "It's just going to happen. ... He can't get away from it. People are screaming the flasbulbs are going off. He can't get away from it. But I would bet he'll get one more."

---One issue figures to be how the Yankees get possession of the ball. Girardi said he's hoping it goes into the Yankees' bullpen and joked about A-Rod maybe getting an inside-the-parker to save the club the trouble. It's not going to be a packed house here (probably no more than 25,000 or so). But that's an issue.

---In other Yankees news, Girardi said Dustin Moseley will start Thursday's series finale here instead of Sergio Mitre, who will move to the bullpen. CC Sabathia start Tuesday against Josh Tomlin, making his big-league debut and Wednesday's game is A.J. Burnett vs. Fausto Carmona.

---I chatted with Sabathia before the game about the state of sports in Cleveland for an upcoming column and he had plenty of thoughts on LeBron James' move to Miami

"He made the best decision for him to try to win a championship," Sabathia said. "Teaming up with those two guys (Wade and Bosh), they got a pretty good chance. I'm sure he's aware (that people say his legacy will be stained). and people making a big deal of that. At the end, he wants to win. If you have to have a 1 and a 1A, take that all day."

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Dickey vs. Strasburg today

Wickedly interesting pitching matchup coming up at 4 p.m. on FOX as the Mets are in Washington: It's former Bisons knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, one of the main subjects of my feature today on the improving Bisons-Mets relationship, against Nationals all-everything rookie Stephen Strasburg. 

By the way, Josh Thole is going to be catching Dickey today. A break for Henry Blanco and Rod Barajas but perhaps a ticket for Thole to stay in the big leagues as a third catcher. Jerry Manuel has said he wouldn't mind carrying three and Dickey loved throwing to Thole in Buffalo. It was Thole who caught Dickey's amazing April start against Durham, when he gave up a leadoff single and retired the final 27 batters.

Dickey is 6-1, 2.98 for the Mets in eight starts. Strasburg is 2-2, 2.27 with 48 strikeouts and seven walks in 31 2/3 innings.

Stay tuned here for more later from the ballpark on Bisons BPO night as Triple-A rookie Lucas Duda tries to set a franchise record with home runs in six straight games.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Yankees pull one out

Maybe you went to bed figuring the Yankees were toast Sunday night. Not a bad thought. The Dodgers had a 6-2 lead and were bringing in closer Jonathan Broxton -- who had given up three earned runs all season. Then everything changed. Someone named Chad Huffman had a two-run single. Someone else named Colin Curtis drove in the tying run on a fielder's choice. This isn't Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This was Sunday night on ESPN.

When it was over, a four-run ninth had tied the game. Then Robinson Cano took George Sherrill deep to left-center for a two-run shot to left in the 10th for an 8-6 win. The Yankees now lead the AL East by two games over the injury-depleted Red Sox and by three games over the punchless Rays. The Dodgers, meanwhile, were stunned by the loss.

The Yankees return home Tuesday to host the Mariners as Phil Hughes meets Cliff Lee in a monster pitching matchup. Lee is rumored to be a prized target of the Mets although that talk might have taken a hit when prospet Jenrry Mejia left his start early at Double-A Binghamton with shoulder stiffness. Maybe it was too cold there for Mejia, who said last week he was happy not to go to Buffalo because it was too cold here. Heh. 

The Yankees are getting pitching coach Dave Eiland back Tuesday after he's been gone for a month on a leave for undisclosed personal reasons. A.J. Burnett sure seems to need some wisdom from Eiland as he's 0-5, 11.35 in June. Yikes.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)


Week in big leagues a thrill for ex-Herd OF Feliciano

CLEVELAND -- Walked into the visiting clubhouse today in Progressive Field and it was like a Bisons game broke out. Seven of the Mets' current 25 players began the season in Buffalo and an eighth (infielder Ruben Tejeda) opened the year in New York for five days before reporting to Triple-A.

The main task was to catch up with outfielder Jesus Feliciano after his first week in the big leagues following nearly 1,300 games in the minor leagues. In a five-minute interview, the 31-year-old couldn't stop smiling.

"The welcome they gave me has been great," Feliciano said. "I can't ask for any more. And the good thing is we're winning. That makes it easier."

Feliciano left Buffalo batting .385 and was 0 for 5 with the Mets before getting his first two big-league hits Sunday in Baltimore.

"It makes you smile and gives you cause to continue to hope," knuckleballer R.A. Dickey told me. "It's a real hopeful kind of feeling.  He's put in the work. He's dedicated himself, put in the numbers and didn't get overlooked. So there's hope, hope for guys out there (in Triple-A).

Be sure to read plenty more from Feliciano in Wednesday's paper. And, for once, you can watch the Indians in Buffalo as this series is on SNY. Feliciano is not playing tonight as Johan Santana pitches against Justin Masterson. April Bisons Ike Davis (1b) and Chris Carter (dh) are batting 5-6 for the Mets.

I'm getting a good look at the Tribe's attendance woes. There is basically no one here and the ones who are seem to be Mets fans. Very sad scene compared to what I saw here in the late 90s and again in 2007.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

On the road with Strasburg

CLEVELAND -- I'm on the way to Progressive Field to see the second big-league start of Stephen Strasburg's career. We'll have a full live blog here to keep you updated after things get underway around 1:05 (this post appears courtesy of our favorite tool, the advanced timer). The game has been added to the TBS schedule -- the network pushed off Red Sox-Phillies for Indians-Nationals!! -- but I harbor no guarantees it will be on in Buffalo.

Local blackouts are supposed to apply and that's usually trouble when it concerns the Indians. But non-DirecTV folks note that Tuesday's first Strasburg start against the Pirates was shown on MLB Network and there were blackout concerns about the Bucs on that one as well. 

Strasburg, of course, has completely blown up in the wake of his 14-strikeout performance Tuesday against the Pirates. The Tribe should double its average crowd today by drawing in the 35,000 range. Comment was sought from experts and experienced eyes everywhere. MLB.com caught up with Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who is a press box regular and should be in the house watching today. 

Strasburg even read the Top Ten list on the Letterman show Thursday night. Jeez. And it's pretty darn funny too. Check it out below. And be sure to come back from today's live report from the latest Strasburgfest!

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 


Around the horn

Taking a quick trip around the majors and minors, starting with some big Bisons notes:

---Jesus Feliciano is likely getting his first big-league callup today after the 12:15 game in Norfolk. Virtually every Mets story (like this one) says he will join the team for Tuesday's game against the Padres at Citi Field (the Mets are off today). Good for him. Long overdue.

---Feliciano and Mike Jacobs both had five-hit games Saturday night in Norfolk -- the first time in Buffalo's modern era two players had five hits in the same game. Feliciano had two five-hit games in a seven-day span. For some perspective on how bizarre that is, no player had ever posted a pair of five-hit games in their entire Buffalo careers, let alone a season or a week.

---The first-round of the draft is tonight at 7 on MLB Network. Baseball can try all it wants to make this an NFL- or NBA-style event but it will never work. Other than Bryce Harper going No. 1 to the Nationals, does anyone know any of these guys? Watch for a big draft for the Blue Jays: They have four of the first 41 picks.

---Stephen Strasburg's debut is Tuesday at 7 on MLB Network against the Pirates. Uh-oh. Are we going to get blacked out of that one because we're in the Pirates' "local market"? I wonder. I'll be in Cleveland Sunday for what's expected to be Strasburg's second start.

---Slugging Mike Stanton, whose 21 homers at Double-A Jacksonville, has kept him ahead of Bisons third baseman Mike Hessman for the lead in pro ball, is getting his callup to the Marlins Tuesday as well and will skip Triple-A Albuquerque entirely.

---What happened in the eighth inning Sunday in Toronto? The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the inning and acting manager Tony Pena made a big gaffe in the bottom when Mariano Rivera was first called in and then sent back to the bullpen. Pena had called the pen and said Rivera was coming but changed his mind and raised his left to hand to signal in Damaso Marte as he was walking to the mound. Rivera had got to the mound before anyone noticed but Cito Gaston did, in one of the few things Gaston did right.

---I'm on vacation this week. Rodney McKissic will have your Bisons updates Saturday night on Star Wars night. Look for the team's black jerseys. I'll talk to you again Sunday from Cleveland.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Strasburg game going national on Versus

More big national pub for the Bisons for tomorrow's visit from Stephen Strasburg: The team just announced that the 1 p.m. game against Syracuse will be nationally televised on Versus as well as the previously scheduled airing on SNY. I would imagine there will be several plugs for it on tonight's broadcast of the Stanley Cup finals. Versus will also replay the game at 7 p.m. It's the first time Versus has ever aired baseball and, of course, minor-league games rarely if ever get this kind of hype.

The Versus/SNY feeds will all originate from Time Warner SportsNet with Ben Wagner and Duke McGuire calling the action. Huge national air time for the two of them as well. As always, you can also watch on the Internet package at milb.com. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, home of the Washington Nationals, will be showing the game in the Capitol area on tape delay at 7 p.m.

Now here's the caveat for those of you reading in Buffalo: I would expect the SNY and Versus broadcasts to be blacked out if you don't have Time Warner. If you have Verizon FIOS (like me), DirecTV or the Dish Network, I would imagine you're gonna be out of luck trying to watch live or DVR. Boo to Time Warner. I understand why. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

It's all about what's in the contracts but you would imagine the Bisons would not want people in Buffalo kept away from their product on a day like this. It's one of five SNY games of the schedule and Time Warner is one of the co-owners of SNY so that's the big reason for all the mine-mine-mine. Again, boo to Time Warner.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Interleague intrigue

The injury-riddled Yankees and bedraggled Mets open a three-game series tonight in Citi Field in the marquee matchup of interleague play. Tonight's game features a brutal pitching matchup of Javier Vazquez and Hisanori Takahashi. But things get much better for the games Saturday night (Phil Hughes vs. Mike Pelfrey) and Sunday night on ESPN (CC Sabathia and Johan Santana).

The Jerry Manuel Watch certainly continues. A big blowup against the Yankees -- in their home park that's likely to be filled with Yankee fans -- would certainly hurt the Mets' skipper's case. And then there's three games coming with the Phillies too. The end might be near.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post has a fascinating column this morning about how the Big Apple has become an American League town after generations of folks considered it a National League town. Some pretty amazing attendance numbers in that story too. Remember all those years people said no one would go watch the Yankees in the Bronx?

Other intriguing interleague matchups this weekend: Red Sox at Phillies, Tigers at Dodgers, Giants at A's, Reds at Indians.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Look for our MLB preview Sunday

Be sure to check out our MLB preview in Sunday's paper. Jerry Sullivan will lead off with an essay on Love for the Glove as the emphasis is moving back to defense, especially for teams who don't want to blow up their payroll for big bats.I'll add my preseason rankings of all 30 teams and here's a hint: The Yankees do NOT start the year No. 1 on my list. Jay Skurski's fantasy outlook, Alan Pergament's TV column and lots of other tidbits as well.

Our full rundown on the Bisons' season will run Wednesday, a day ahead of Thursday's season opener in Scranton.

Sunday, of course, is the Yankees-Red Sox opener at 8 p.m. from Fenway Park on ESPN2 and YES. There's a great set of old games running on ESPN Classic as well. That schedule looks like this:

8 a.m.: Mets at Yankees, Game 2 of 2000 World Series (Clemens-Piazza bat game)
10 a.m.: Dodgers at Yankees, Game 5 of 1956 (Larsen perfect game)
Noon: Dodgers at Yankees, Game 6 of 1977 (Reggie's three home runs)
2-4 p.m: Red Sox at Mets, Game 6 of 1986 (Buckner)
4-6 p.m.: Red Sox at Mets, Game 7 of 1986
6-8 p.m.: DBacks at Yankees, Game 4 of 2001 (Jeter becomes Mr. November)

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Halfway to I-95 Series: Phillies in, Yankees got next in ALCS

Philly front The Phillies are back in the World Series, going back-to-back for the first time in their history by bouncing the Dodgers from the NLCS with Wednesday's 10-4 victory. They're just the fifth NL club in the divisional era to repeat and they'll be trying to match the Big Red Machine of the 70s with back-to-back World Series titles.

(At left, the cover of the Philly Daily News shows Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz after the final out)

What a battle of the titans we could have as Ryan Howard is just as hot this October as Alex Rodriguez. Ah, but the reborn-in-October A-Rod isn't there yet as the Yankees need one more win to make our I-95/Amtrak Series official. That could come tonight in Anaheim. It's been five years since the Yankees have been this close and we all remember what happened in 2004. So they want to get the job done at the first chance they have with A.J. Burnett on the mound.

Of course, if the Yankees win, we have to wait until Wednesday night for the thing to crank up because of this goofy, drawn-out schedule that Bud Selig & Co. allowed Fox to foist upon us. Hope we don't see any snowflakes along I-95. I'll be on hand for all the chatter and all the games, beginning with Tuesday's workout/media day.

On another note, our long national nightmare is over and we no longer have to deal with TBS in the postseason. That means Chip Carey is silenced. Mercy on all of us. Hopefully next year, the domos there get a real play-by-play man who knows what he's doing and don't kow-tow to family history. Pretty bad when you're breathing easier because you know Fox is doing the rest of the games.

---Mike Harrington

(twitter.com/bnharrington)

No late nights on LCS schedule

Bud Selig promised some better times in this year's postseason schedule and at least MLB has delivered for the League Championship Series even though all these off days should be cut way back. According to the schedule announced late Tuesday afternoon, no LCS game starts later than 8:07 Eastern time except for a potential Game Seven of the ALCS. That would go Oct. 25 at 8:20.

It should be more of the same for the World Series. As announced last winter, at least five of the seven games are expected to start at 7:57.

The Phillies-Dodgers series is on TBS and will actually be two games old before the Yankees-Angels set gets under way Friday on Fox.

For all you Yankee fans out there, here's the ALCS rundown:
Game 1, Friday, Oct 16 in New York, 7:57
Game 2, Saturday, Oct. 17 in New York, 7:57
Game 3, Monday, Oct. 19 in Anaheim, 4:13
Game 4, Tuesday, Oct. 20 in Anaheim, 7:57
Game 5, Thursday, Oct. 22 in Anaheim, 7:57
Game 6, Saturday, Oct. 24 in New York, 4:13 or 8:07 (if NLCS is over)
Game 7, Sunday, Oct. 25 in New York, 8:20

Here's the NLCS schedule:
Game 1, Thursday, Oct. 15 in Los Angeles, 8:07
Game 2, Friday, Oct. 16, in Los Angeles, 4:07
Game 3, Sunday, Oct. 18 in Philadelphia, 8:07
Game 4, Monday Oct. 19 in Philadelphia, 8:07
Game 5, Wenesday, Oct. 21 in Philadelphia, 8:07
Game 6, Friday, Oct. 23 in Los Angeles, 8:07
Game 7, Saturday, Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, 8:07

---Mike Harrington

(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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