UPDATE: Brandon Phillips’ comments about the Dominican Republic’s celebration not quite as critical as first reported

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UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal says that the comments of Phillips and others, such as they were, were not digs on the D.R. players as such. Go read his whole column here for a far more thorough handling of the comments Kernan tweeted about earlier.

5: 02 PM: I suppose it now, as they say, on:

Well, that’s the point, innit? You lost, Phillips. They beat you in a game that they feel was very important. And when you win you get to celebrate. When you lose the game you lost, you gotta play a loser-go-home game against Puerto Rico.  But sure, if you win it and get another crack at the D.R., by all means, “Show Out.” In that case you will have earned it. Like they did last night.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.