The Yankees are MLB “Club Retailer of the Year”

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A week after the MVPs and Cy Youngs are given out: a serious falloff in the prestige of awards. But hey, everyone has a niche in life, and it’s always nice to be honored in one’s niche:

The New York Yankees have been named the 2012 MLB “Club Retailer of the Year” by Major League Baseball Properties for the Club’s commitment to driving merchandise sales.  The Yankees and Legends Hospitality, led by Legends’ GM of Retail, Michael Loparo, earned the honor based on significant improvements to the Yankee Stadium clubhouse store as well as consistent product innovation and reinvention.

“They said it was nuts to go with pinstripes on that baby tee, but fortune favors the bold,” said the Yankees employee accepting the award at the gala banquet that took place in my imagination a few seconds after reading this press release.

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.