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New York Yankees News Recap: First Place, The Rotation and Clemens

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The Yankees sit atop the AL East, half a game ahead of the Red Sox after a 3-2 win and Boston's 10-0 loss. Thanks to Ivan Nova and Derek Holland, the Yanks magic number is 17.

  • Tuesday will determine which Yankee is kicked out of the rotation and into the bullpen. Now that Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon are back and healthy, Joe Girardi will have to choose between Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett, because Tuesday will be five days since Phil's last start. It looks like Burnett will get the nod, considering his and Phil's starts against Boston. That might be unfair, considering it's only one start apiece (and Phil was significantly better before that), but Girardi will surely fall back on the "Phil has bullpen experience" axiom.
  • A federal judge ruled that Roger Clemens will go on trial again for perjury charges pertaining to allegations that he used PEDs. The last trial ended in July and the new one will begin in April.
  • A-Rod took batting practice before last night's game, but is taking a conservative approach to his rehab. His return is still TBA. Mark Teixeira is day-to-day with a bruised knee and could return by Sunday.
  • David Robertson was unavailable last night due to "soreness," but should be good to go today. Mo and Soriano, however, will have the day off after throwing an inning each last night.
  • Ed Valentine looked at how Jesus Montero could impact the Yankees' postseason roster.
  • Joe Girardi and Terry Francona talked on WEEI Radio about the division race, the Jimmy Fund, and how cancer has affected their lives.
  • Which is the "perfect" New York team to root for? Jeff Freier sought the answer to that question.

I don't know. That's the question that I always ask... I think after this season, when Spring Training comes up, I think I [will] have a good idea [of] what I'm going to do.

There [are] other things to do more than baseball. I don't think I'm going to be hanging around here, even not if I'm effective, for too long.

And on playing centerfield -

I would love to play centerfield at least for one inning or one out. I told my manager. I don't think it would happen, but I hope so.

  • Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Mike Mussina coming within one out of a perfect game at Fenway Park. You might remember that Carl "I don't believe in dinosaurs" Everett lined a single to left-centerfield to end not just the perfecto but the no-hitter. Bostonians reacted like they'd won the World Series.
  • Stadium Journey visited PNC Field, home of the Triple-A Scranton Yankees, and came away unimpressed. Read the review here.
  • Notes on Manny Banuelos and Dante Bichette, Jr. from the Bible of prospecting, Baseball America.
  • Angel Villalona, the Giants prospect that was often compared to Jesus Montero, reportedly bought his way out of murder charges in the Dominican Republic. The price? $139,000.