New Mr. October in New York?

Mark Teixeira has the city of New York in a frenzy after his dramatic walk-off home run last night in Game 2 for the Yankees vs the Twins. Yankee fans have been very frustrated in recent years as a result of collapses in the postseason, so they’re giddy with excitement at the prospect of a high-priced player who can live up to the hype in the playoffs. Even C.C. Sabathia got off to a great start in game one. Who knows, maybe even A-Rod will get into the act. We’ll see in the next round when they face a better team.

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CC solid as Yankees take Game 1 from Twins

CC Sabathia allowed just two runs – one earned – over 6 2/3 innings in the Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Twins in Game 1 of the ALDS. Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui each had two-run dingers in the victory.

The Twins took the early lead with two runs in the third inning against Sabathia, as Michael Cuddyer followed two singles with an RBI hit. Sabathia had trouble ironing out sequences with Jorge Posada, crossed up for a second time as a passed ball ticked off the catcher’s mitt with Joe Mauer sliding home safely.

The first miscue was on Posada, the second on Sabathia. But they found their rhythm in time to earn applause, as Sabathia clamped the damage there and kept the threatening Twins from bringing anyone further around. Sabathia had lost his past three playoff decisions for Cleveland and Milwaukee, but he was a winner on Wednesday.

Appropriately, Jeter drove in the Yankees’ first postseason runs at the new Stadium, pulling a two-run homer into the left-field seats off Twins left-hander Brian Duensing to tie the game.

Swisher gave the Yankees the lead off the rookie Duensing in the fourth with a bullet double down the left-field line, sending Robinson Cano sliding home. As the go-ahead run scored, Swisher stood on second base, pumping his fist and pointing his two index fingers toward the sky.

A-Rod gave the Yankees needed insurance in the fifth inning, lining a run-scoring single to left-center field to send home Jeter and chase Duensing to the showers. It was Rodriguez’s first hit with runners in scoring position in a span of 19 postseason at-bats, dating back to Game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series.

This was a perfect start for the Yankees. Not only did they take a 1-0 lead in the series, but Sabathia and A-Rod (two players that have earned criticism for their lack of production in the postseason) contributed in big ways, Jeter was as clutch as ever and Joe Girardi’s club didn’t overlook a pesky Twins team.

The key for the Bombers is sustaining this momentum and carrying it through an entire series. In the past, the Yankees have fallen victim to lackluster postseason play after racing through the regular season. They have a long way to go, but they couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Sports poll: A-Rod not MLB’s best player anymore

Here’s a shock: Alex Rodriguez is not considered baseball’s best player anymore according to a report by the New York Daily News.

In a random, unscientific survey that included several scouts, executives, players and other observers, none said Rodriguez was still the best player in baseball.

“When I think of the best player, Pujols’ name stands out,” one scout said, a sentiment echoed by many. Others suggested Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer or Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria.

But no one said A-Rod was out of the conversation, either. While a few predicted his production would decline, they also said he would remain among the top run producers in baseball. Because of Rodriguez’s admission he used steroids from 2001-03 while with Texas, some said they’ll always wonder what is genuine in A-Rod’s career.

One major-league scout who has watched Rodriguez extensively this season replied, “Probably so,” when asked if A-Rod’s best days were behind him.

While players like Mauer and Hanley Ramirez certainly garner attention, Pujols is the best player in baseball. He’s the best pure hitter in the game right now and he puts up out-of-this-world numbers in a lineup that isn’t conducive to do so. He’s the best, period.

That said, here’s hoping he never breaks our hearts by testing positive for PEDs. I, like many baseball fans, want to continue to believe that what Pujols is doing on the field is 100% legit. As of now, there’s no reason to believe otherwise.

A-Rod passes Jackson on all-time HR list

Mr. April has officially passed Mr. October on baseball’s all-time home run list.

Alex Rodriguez hit home run No. 564 to help the Yankees beat the Mets 9-1 on Friday night, moving past Reggie Jackson into 11th place on the career list.

“The negativity that surrounds the steroids is certainly not something that I carry over to him,” Jackson said. “I do appreciate the fact that he admitted his mistakes, so from here we move forward. Judgment on him will be passed with the next 7 1/2 years of his time with the Yankees.”

Jackson was sixth when he retired in 1987, trailing only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew. He’s since been passed by Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and A-Rod.

“You get used to it really,” Jackson said.

Remember when A-Rod was supposed to save us all from Barry Bonds and “legitimize” the home run record again?

Moments like Rodriguez hitting his 564th mean very little now. Maybe Griffey will keep playing until he’s 80 and pass everyone.

Pete Rose would back A-Rod for Hall of Fame

Even though he loathes the use of steroids in baseball, former player Pete Rose said that he would back an admitted user like Alex Rodriguez for the Hall of Fame.

“I’m willing to give a guy a second chance,” Rose said in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.” He later went on to say that steroid use is worse than someone such as himself betting on his own team to win.

“When you take steroids you have a direct outcome of the game,” Rose said. “That’s the integrity of the game. And when you can change records when you do something illegal, it’s just not right. … Baseball records are sacred. If you do something illegal to surpass those records, it’s just not good.”

Rose, however, considers Barry Bonds to be the all-time home run king because “he hit the home runs. … I don’t think anyone has proven that he took steroids.”

” … With Bonds, how many home runs are you going to take away from him?” Rose asked. “That’s a tough situation for the commissioner. … It’s a mess.”

I don’t question Rose’s sincerity in regards to saying he would back an admitted steroid user like A-Rod, but it’s interesting that he’s so willing to say that steroids are worse than a manager or player betting on his own team to win.

In one instance, you have players cheating in order to gain a physical edge on the field. In the other, a manager is influenced by the way he manages a game in which he has a financial stake. Neither is good for baseball and while you can make a claim that each wrong should be viewed separately, both actions shame the game.

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