Lance Berkman says he doesn’t care whether the Yankees play the Rangers or Rays in the ALCS.
But, in his heart, he’ll be rooting for the Rangers on Tuesday night based solely on the fact that Texas president Nolan Ryan is one of his boyhood idols.
“If you’re a kid growing up in Texas, you just love Nolan Ryan. That’s all there is to it,” Berkman said. “I love Nolan Ryan, so I’d love to see him have a little bit of success just for his sake. But as far as who we play, they’re both going to be really tough.”
CC A FAN OF LEE: When CC Sabathia tunes in Tuesday night to the Rays-Rangers game, he’ll be watching for two reasons. One, obviously, is to scout the Yankees’ opponent in the ALCS. The other is to watch his old Indians teammate Cliff Lee take the mound for the Rangers.
“He’s a good friend of mine,” Sabathia said.
He and Lee pitched in Cleveland together from 2002 to 2008. Both won American League Cy Young awards and both left Cleveland in a 12-month span. Sabathia signed an 7-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees and Lee was dealt to the Phillies in July 2009. The Phillies sent him to Seattle, who traded the left-hander to Texas in early July.
NICK ENJOYING TIME OFF: Nick Swisher said he’s enjoyed two peaceful nights of sleep since the Yankees Game 3 win over the Twins on Saturday night. The time off has allowed the self-described “high-strung” right fielder to take his mind off the game.
So Swisher had to laugh when someone asked him if he was “anxious” to get back to the field for Game 1 of the ALCS, which is scheduled for Friday.
“We just got done playing 200 games dude, including spring training. So not at all,” Swisher said.