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Lineups From the Trop

Goodgawdamighty, it's hot here. Ninety degrees and humid. Of course, that's outside. Here under the drab, gray roof at Tropicana Field, it's a pleasant 70.

Here are your lineups for tonight's Game 1 of the ALCS:

Red Sox:
Jacoby Ellsbury - 8
Dustin Pedroia - 4
David Ortiz - DH
Kevin Youkilis - 5
J.D. Drew - 9
Jason Bay - 7
Mark Kotsay - 3
Jed Lowrie - 6
Jason Varitek - 2
(Daisuke Matsuzaka - 1)

Akinori Iwamura - 4
B.J. Upton - 8
Carlos Pena - 3
Evan Longoria - 5
Carl Crawford - 7
Cliff Floyd - DH
Dioner Navarro - 2
Gabe Gross - 9
Jason Bartlett - 6
(James Shields - 1)

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 10, 2008; 4:45 PM ET
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Dodgers vs Red (a/k/a ‘real’) Sox, whadda dilemma. But here’s the rule. In any Series, when in doubt, go for the team whose victory hurts, humiliates, disgraces, shames, oppresses or disgusts the Yankees more.

Hence the dilemma. How can you tell which outcome breaks it off deeper in the wounded Yankee psyche?

Suppose last year’s Yankees manager wins it all in his first year with a Dodger team that barely played .500 ball most of the year and got in with the fewest number of victories of any of the playoff teams. Does this cause sufficient Steinbrennerian angst? The Boss and his sons and minions believe anyone should have won managing that payroll the last dozen years. Oops, same payroll this year, different manager, not in playoffs.

Or does another Red Sox set of Series rings better burn the vulgar, fat Steinbrennerian fingers by their Bronx absence? Surely seeing the Red Sox win the Woild Serious has got to injure tender Yankee sensibilities.

Is it worse than seeing the hated crosstown Mets win? Probably, because the Mets have only been around for 45 years, not more than a hundred. And we do know Noo Yawkas scorn Bostonians worse than they look down upon each other. Strange but true.

Do the Filthadelphia Filthies hurt the Yanks? No. Do the Tampa Bay Rug-playing Rays? No.

So forget ‘em. If one of them plays their way into the Woild Serious, I’ll have to be for the most Yank-destructive team, their opponent. If both play their way in, then it’s a separate problem. Old-school Filths manager Charlie Manuel, who looks like a cross between Don Zimmer and Bobby Cox, vs the newkid quasi-nebbish-y manager Joe Maddon at Tampa. Well, Tampa’s more a no-name roster than Filthadelphia, so underdogitis would prevail and give me Tampa.

But I really want someone in the Serious who reflects badly on the Yanks. Cuz they deserve the punishment, you know?

Posted by: natty bumppo | October 10, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I am afflicted with chronic underdogitis, which compels me to root for the Rays, but you raise an interesting point, natty. I would imagine that seeing a team whose lunch money one had become accustomed to stealing achieve the Serious could lead to some serious heartburn, but that's just me.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 10, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I thought the thunderstixx were bad, but those bells they have down in Tampa are pure hell. Dice-K must think he's back in Japan.

Seriously though, these artificial noisemakers should be banned. If fans can't make their own noise, that's their problem.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | October 10, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a - you fill me with hope by suggesting that the yanks might take the rays' success to heart, with shame and dismay. how nice if true. i just figured the yanks ignored them, but you're right, the yanks when winning scored many victories over the rays and so to have the rays occupying the playoffs place all those yankee dollars had rightfully purchased... sweet.

cil - i might be more old school than you are. i remember when they first started shouting and playing loud music through the astrodome speakers. i loathed it then and as it spread throughout both leagues i loathe it now. i also remember the difference between memorial stadium and camden yards not, in the case of audio assaults on patrons' ears nowadays, favorably. the only amplified sound in the ballyard ought to be the announcer, "now batting, number five." that's it. no commercials, no flashy reruns. well, actually, sure, you can put up whatever pictures you like. just no soundtracks. and certainly as you point out, no thundersticks, no cowbells, no trumpets, no whistles, etc...

Posted by: natty bumppo | October 10, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

in my haste i blew the announcer's line. it would of course include the position. "now batting, the right fielder, number three."

Posted by: natty bumppo | October 11, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: nias | October 11, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

yes, but does she revel?

Posted by: in or out of it | October 11, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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