Yanks Don't Quite Add Up

Subtraction and Division Problems

What about the new guys? In a small sample of 11 games, Steve Karsay's just the opposite—he's got a 1-3 post-season record and a 4.91 playoff ERA, up from his 3.88 regular season. As for Chris Hammond, the polls haven't closed but the early returns aren't good.

What about the Red Sox? The Red Sox are the only legit threats in the division. And they should be fascinating. Not only is their top-level talent every bit as good as the Yankees but they're also running the team the way you or I might. New owner John Henry hired a geek, Theo Epstein, as GM, and stat guru Bill James as a consultant. In his first big move, Epstein cast off Ugie Urbina in favor of a flexible bullpen in which the top reliever is more likely to pitch in the seventh inning of a tie game than in the ninth with a three-run lead.

So what's the bottom line? You can start lining up for playoff tickets now. The Red Sox could mount a real challenge, but the Yankees should have enough talent to win the division. Once in the playoffs, Joe Torre looks at Juan Acevedo and longs for Ramiro Mendoza, and the Bombers lose to the eventual champion A's in six games in the ALCS.

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