How cute, the Yankees think they are underdogs

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Wait, what?

Yeah that’s right, the big, bad, New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins to the punch on Tuesday, swiping the underdog role right out from under their noses. Not surprisingly, Alex Rodriguez was the culprit, telling the New York Times: “I mean, for us to be David in this situation, I think, is great.”

Well, whatever the Yankees need to do to motivate themselves and build team unity is fine, though I would think those big fat paychecks would be enough. They certainly didn’t seem all that motivated down the stretch, finishing 6-9 as they refused to steal the AL East away from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Of course one has to wonder if that was part of the grand plan in the Bronx, setting up a series vs. the Twins, who they are 9-2 against in the postseason since 2003, instead of the Rangers, who feature Cliff Lee at the top of their rotation. But we’ll leave that one for the conspiracy theorists.

So what now for the Twins? If the Yankees are David, what does that make them? Erkel?

Regardless, it should be a fun series, and I’m not going to read a whole lot into the underdog stuff nonsense. Heck, even Mark Teixeira couldn’t keep a straight face.

Asked if he believed the Yankees were truly underdogs, Teixeira smiled and said: “Yeah, why not? I think it’s fun. I think we’ll enjoy that role.”

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Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.