Friday, September 23, 2011

Will Yankees put Red Sox out of their misery?

The Boston Red Sox come limping into Yankee Stadium tonight. Will the Yankees finally put them out of their misery and knock them out of the playoffs?

Probably not. It's not because the Yankees can't do it, but mostly because the Yankees won't go full throttle this weekend. Joe Girardi & Co have already decided that CC Sabathia won't start against the Red Sox, but will pitch in a simulated game on Sunday. I also expect to see all the Yankees regulars get at least one day off this weekend as Girardi rests his guys in preparation for the playoffs.

If the Yankees are not willing to start their ace against their primary rival, that's a pretty good indication that the outcome of this weekend's games means very little to them. And why should it? The Yankees have already won their division and are thisclose to locking up home-field advantage for the American League playoffs. They shouldn't risk injuries to key players by playing them more than they should for the last six days of the baseball season.

Not that there won't be any excitement at the stadium in the Bronx this weekend. Russell Martin has made it clear that he wants to knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs this weekend. Why? Because he hates them and his willingness to express those feelings and risk angering the Red Sox just permanently won him the affection of the Yankees faithful.

Perhaps the Red Sox are stumbling so badly that the Yankees don't need to put their A-lineup on the field to beat them. We’ll know for sure starting tonight.

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