ESPN New York is going to sell the Yankees whether the Yankees want it or not

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Quote from Yankees officials regarding of the sale of a stake in YES Network to News Corp in one ESPN New York column:

“This has nothing to do with selling the team,” the official said. “Under no circumstances will the team be sold.”

Said column all but dismisses the quote and speculates about the Yankees being sold. Then here’s a passage from another ESPN New York column, after quoting that flat denial that the Yankees are for sale:

There are people in the sports industry who think it is more of a matter of when, not if, the Steinbrenners will sell the Yankees … By bringing salaries below $189M by ’14, they also will be able to make the team more appealing to a potential buyer … As of now, there is no “For Sale” sign at 161st Street and River Ave., but there are signs. Stay tuned, this story is not going away.

Of course it’s not going to go away if the people who write these columns ignore the very statements denying their basis in reality.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.