The Yankees sweeten their offer to Jeter. Of course, this is all theater.

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You can almost hear the stage manager barking out directions on this one:

“OK, now Jeter: you let the Yankees come to your home, showing that you are due respect … and now you Yankees; you alert multiple members of the media that you are increasing your offer.  Don’t say how much! That will blow the illusion that this is a negotiation instead of a carefully orchestrated public relations exercise in which Jeter is getting beaten down without anyone realizing it. Good … good … perfect.  We should have this thing done by next week, and no one will ever remember this bit of ugliness again.”

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.