Afternoon prowl, Yankee hating edition: We aren't players in the casino...we are the casino!

Jest:  "Too Much Moneyball." - Best web spoof ever? For baseball fans and Evil Empire haters everywhere, it just might be.

"I believe there are ways to spend money you aren't even thinking about. Overpay hometown heroes. Cherry pick the top free agents. Sign a reliever for 3 years...then blow out his arm after 1. Sign 8 starting pitchers. Post obscene amounts for unproven foreign players..."

Designate Robertson: Game Four: Keeping Score - Rogo with a painful, yet damn funny, running diary.

Today on "SportsNation", Colin Cowherd said that if the Yankees lose tonight, it will be bad for baseball.  Colin Cowherd needs to be given a flesh-eating-bacteria enema.

Motor City Bengals: It Wasn’t Pretty, but it’s Not Over Yet - MCB being a voice of reason in a wilderness of panic.

The Tigers have to head back to New York and shock the world.  They’re heading back to New York to face a talented rookie pitcher with both teams season on the line.  I know Ivan Nova is good and dominated the Tigers in Game Two, but he is a rookie pitcher going in an elimination game.  He’ll be facing some of the best hitters in the game who haven’t even totally heated up yet in this series.

Roar of the Tigers: What to do in the ALDS - Yes, this post is about game 3, but it's a must read for Samara's 4 self-portraits of her watching the game.

TAKE THAT YANKEES ON BEHALF OF MY TWINKIE SERVICE.

Big League Stew: Two-timer: Granderson dazes Detroit with a pair of unreal catches - Remember folks, Curtis Granderson is no longer your Tiger. He is the enemy! THE ENEMY.

But here's how big his effort was in Tuesday's win: By the time he came up to bat in the eighth inning, you could hear four or five people booing in the stands. In a town where his name is still golden, the scattered jeers qualified as a deafening roar.

Detroit Free Press: Michael Rosenberg: Granderson induces such sweet sorrow - Please. Stop it. I can hate Granderson if I want to!

You can hate the Yankees, and you can even hate New York, but you can't hate Curtis Granderson. It's impossible. It would be like hating sunshine or vacation.

Detroit News: Wojo: On electric night, Tigers denied by Grand theft - Enough Granderson already!

Nice guy, that Granderson. But what he did to his former team was positively ruthless.

More linkage after the jump...

Baseball Nation: Curtis Granderson's Defense Saves A.J. Burnett; Yankees Beat Tigers, Force Game 5 - More proof baseball is a game of inches and "What if's".

If the ball goes even six inches farther, it goes over Granderson's glove and at least three runs score. Yes, "at least", because with Granderson's dive, and the deep dimensions of Comerica Park, and Kelly's above-average speed, he could have had an inside-the-park grand slam.

Fangraphs: Fister’s Unexpected Great Season - See? There is hope, people!!

It’s no doubt true that Fister dominated some weak line-ups in the second half of the season, but he’s also done good work against good offenses in the past several years, and we can’t ignore the very real improvements he has made this season. Even with a regression in his HR/FB rate, his 3.61 xFIP on the season puts him squarely between Josh Beckett and Jon Lester on the leaderboard, and I don’t think too many people would be suggesting the Tigers were in trouble if they had either of them on the mound for Game 5.

ESPN Sweetspot: In A.J. we trust: Maligned Burnett delivers - ESPN sure makes it sound as if it's in the bag for the Yankees. Another reason to hate the 4 Letter, as if I needed one. Admittedly, Austin Jackson and Alex Avila do need to show up in game 5.

The Yankees have to rate the edge. They have home-field advantage, Ivan Nova versus Doug Fister looks fairly even on paper, but the big edge is in the bullpen, where David Robertson and Mariano Rivera will be completely rested, having thrown just 1.1 innings between them in the series. Tigers leadoff man Jackson is hitting .083 and catcher Alex Avila, eighth in the AL in OPS during the regular season, is hitless. Even Alex Rodriguez snapped out of his funk with a base hit.

New York Times: Kelly, the Tigers’ Mr. Fix-It, Shows his Versatility - The Wizard is getting a little love from the national media. Never thought I'd see the day. But Rogo will have a conniption fit once he reads this...

"He’s one of those guys," Leyland said. "He’s such a versatile player, being able to play the infield and the outfield and get a base hit as well."

Detroit News: Lynn Henning: Tigers miss Brennan Boesch's bat in Game 4 - No argument here, but it's too late to worry about it. The Tigers have what they have...

The bullpen might have blown up on them Tuesday night at Comerica Park, but in the game's early innings, when scoreboard leads and a game's flow are often determined, the Tigers were begging Tuesday for Boesch's slashing, left-handed bat.

They needed him in the No. 2 slot where Ramon Santiago was instead positioned. Or, they could have benefited from having Boesch's bat in the sixth spot where his replacement in right field, Don Kelly, was stationed.

Circling the Bases: Yankees will turn to Ivan Nova for Game 5, with CC Sabathia available in relief - I don't know about the rest of you, but the fat man doesn't scare me all that much.

Plus, with a rough outing in Game 3 and a 4.78 ERA  in 15 career postseason starts Sabathia hasn’t exactly made a strong case for being trusted out of the bullpen.

Old Time Family Baseball: Give that man the key to the city - Kill me now.

It was Burnett’s first start in which he allowed one run or less since June 13th of this season.

Huffington Post: You're Welcome, New York: How My Reverse Juju Helped The Yankees Win Game 4 - Yankees fan goes to dinner in Manhattan instead of watching the game. I really hate Yankees "fans." Kill me again...

And for the rest of the game, my absence gave the team strength. My lack of faith improved A.J.'s control. My despair brought A-Rod's bat back to life. My fore-ordained knowledge that the Yankees would lose paradoxically put them ahead. That's how reverse juju works. It's a gift that many fans have, and few can channel effectively. But for one magical night, I had the juju mojo.

Albany Times Union: TBS continues to fumble the ball in MLB postseason - (Said in Comic Book Guy's voice) Worst coverage ever.

Good news for American League baseball fans. TBS won’t be producing the AL Championship Series. That honor goes to Fox. National League fans? Not so lucky.

TBS continues to prove that it shouldn’t be a postseason player Major League Baseball. A network that produces just 26 Sunday afternoon telecasts per season — nearly half of which we don’t see in the Capital Region because they involve one of the New York teams, who are blacked out here — doesn’t have the experience to produce four separate MLB Division Series.

Eye on Baseball: Tigers need Fister to step up now - States the obvious, but all too true.

The result, in Fister's first career playoff appearance, was seven hits, two walks and six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He even balked. It was easily the worst outing of his brief Tigers career.

It's possible any nerves that may have affected Fister last time out will be gone, now that he has an outing in Yankee Stadium under his belt. Of course, the pressure won't lessen at all, because this is Game 5 of a five-game series in The Big Apple.

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