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After only one season in the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Rays have gotten cocky.

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First of all, the Yankees had a winning series against the Rays (11-7). Secondly, the Yankees aren’t a dynasty anymore. That ended in 2003. And, Red Sox Nation? Sure, I’ll give that to them, but the Red Sox are the defending world champions. If I were you, TB, I’d wait until I reach the World Series. Plus, I’d rewrite the shirt.

Morons.

Hat tip to PeteAbe, who got this link from someone else who got it from someone else.

A couple of days ago, the Yankees confirmed a news report that they had cancelled a planned November 9 closing ceremony for the old Stadium.

PetAbe reported this on his site.

For all intents and purposes, this was a screw-up job the Yankees did this season. While the last night was memorable (I stayed up watching the entire thing, even though I had to get up at 5am the next morning), the organization did an awful job putting together the last season. They could have done so much more, but for whatever reason, they did not.

To be fair, YES network did what appeared to be thousands of hours of programming and a glossy book. But that does not do justice to the Stadium.

The last time I actually had an October “off” it was back when I was in tenth grade.

So, it’s an eerie feeling seeing the events of the NLDS and ALDS unfold. My predictions didn’t pan out the way I had hoped, but my predictions were based on bias, not on the roster/rotations of the teams in the playoffs.

Now that I know it’s the Rays against the Sox, I will still be biased and go for the underdog and the best team to come out of the AL this year — the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, on paper, the Red Sox are the defending world champions and have a stronger line-up, but I’ll always root for anyone but the Red Sox.

The Dodgers surprised me. I do wonder about how the Yankee brass feels about Torre now. All the props to the man for being cordial about everything that’s happened to him this year. The Dodgers are playing in a league that is equivalent to AAAA, but they’re in the NLCS to boot. I’m rooting for Torre, Bowa, and Mattingly.

Side Gossip: Mo had his arm surgery today and calcification from his shoulder joint was removed. Now he can go to Panama for 3 months with Lil’ Mo and recuperate and he’ll be ready for spring training.

The Yankee blogs are going hot with discussions about free agents. As a personal rule, I don’t like talking about free agents until after the World Series, lest I pull an A-Rod. I’d much rather focus on the playoffs — even if the Yankees aren’t in it — than talk shop.

For now, let’s root for the Rays and Dodgers.

So the biggest news yesterday was the return of Brian Cashman.

On Yankees.com, Cashman had this to say:

“I consider coming off a season where we didn’t reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993 as a personal challenge,” Cashman said in a statement. “I’ve never been one to run from a challenge, and I look forward to having the chance to go after this thing again.”

He accepted a three-year job at around $2 million a year, an increase over his recent annual salary.

For what it’s worth, I think this move is good because it gives Cashman the ability to continue what he was re-signed for in 2005 — rebuilding the farm system and starting a youth movement akin to the one that led the Yankees on their recent run in the late 1990s. Three years is good enough and that will see the core of the farm players into the big leagues by then — particularly ones like Austin Jackson.

I’m all for the three year contract, I would have balked at four or five. So, this is a good move for both sides and especially for the Yankees as they go into what will amount to be an interesting offseason.

Playoff Predictions

Rays over White Sox in three.

Angels over Red Sox in four.

Cubs over Dodgers in four.

Milwaukee over Phillies in four.

ALCS and NLCS predictions coming up later.

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