The Yankees say they don't really want Holliday

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Frank Russo at the New York Baseball Digest blog gets some Yankee response to that story about Matt Holliday wanting to play for the Yankees:

Our main Yankees source down it Tampa informed us last night that, at this time,  Yankees management has no interest in getting involved in the Matt Holliday sweepstakes. “It’s way too early,” our source told us. “Brian (Cashman) has a lot of decisions to make, especially with Matsui and Damon.”I don’t care how bad the kid wants to play for the Yanks, Scott (Boras) will be asking for the moon and they’re not going to break the bank for him.”

Which may be true. Of course they said the same kinds of things about Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez and just about every other free agent they’ve pursued in the past.

Which is really smart.  The Yankees get a lot of crap for just going out and buying talent, but it’s not like they’re always out there setting the market.  They often let other teams weigh in, get a range of offers out there, and then come in and offer a bit more.  I think they bid against themselves with the Alex Rodriguez extension, but in all other cases, they waited everyone else out, as a smart bidder should.

I have no idea if Holliday will actually end up in New York, but if he does, it won’t be because the Yankees pursue him like some lovestruck teenager.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.