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Around the Yankee Galaxy: Burnett back on the horse

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A.J. Burnett is 'hopeful' that he'll be ready for tonight's start in Arlington. He tweaked his back Saturday while playing catch. It's the first time he's ever had back problems in his career (or so he says). Hopefully this doesn't become a long-term problem. That was one of the knocks against him when he signed: injury concerns (along with inconsistency) -

"It was scary," Burnett said. "Until I go out and play catch it's still in the back of my mind."

Burnett initially wanted to make his scheduled start Sunday night, but the trainers and Joe Girardi decided to push him back and start Dustin Moseley.

"It was the right call," Burnett said. "The extra day totally helped."

We'll see how much it helped at 8 p.m.

  • Curtis Granderson and Joe Girardi are still hopeful that the starting centerfielder will find his groove this season -

"He made great pitches on me," Granderson said [of Lester]. "Just have to keep working at it. Tomorrow, there's another game."

The Yankees acquired Austin Kearns in large part to have a right-handed outfielder to play against lefthanders.

It doesn't help fans to know the young outfielder the Yankees traded for him, Austin Jackson, has been hitting over .300 all season and is a candidate for rookie of the year.

"I would never give up on anybody," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I still think he is going to be a force for us."

We're all hoping for that. If he doesn't pick it up by season's end, Cashman may very well sign Carl Crawford to patrol leftfield and move Gardner to center, making Grandy either expendable or into a bench player.

Pettitte has been sidelined since July 18 with a strained left groin.

"Today was good," he said. "I pushed it and now I'm going to continue the process."

If the sim-game goes well, he'll make at least one minor league start before re-joining the Bombers.

  • The Yankees will face Cliff Lee on Wednesday night. The southpaw looks to be the Yanks' prime free agent target this winter, but will Texas let that happen? Said Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg -

We want to sign Cliff Lee. We want to keep our players. We're going to take the team we've got and build off it. We don't want to take any steps backward. We're only going forward.

Do you think it's better for baseball if he stays with Texas (ala Joe Mauer)? Or screw it, we're the MFY, dammit!

  • The preseason 'Hall of Fame Game' between the Cowboys and Bengals nearly tripled the TV viewership of Sunday night's Yankees-Red Sox match. Am I the only person who didn't even know a football game was going on?