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Countdown to Christmas (Dec 25/07)
Team Previews: New York Yankees
Even though the Yankees won another division title last year, their grip of the division, and possibly of New York, is getting looser. Although pitching has never been the name of the game, New York just got a whole lot better by signing former Yankee Andy Petitte, and with Petitte coming to town, good friend Roger Clemens may follow. Heck, second baseman Robinson Cano has already given up Clemens' famed Yankee "22" if The Rocket decides to return to New York. Bronx will certainly be bombing in '07, especially if Alex Rodriguez, who recently published a children's book, can start hitting the ball like his normal self. Infield - The infield will be a major strong point for the Yankees this year, with the possible exceptions at catcher and first base. Formerly a question mark, Cano has come into his own, posting a batting average of .342, only five points lower than AL batting champ Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. Cano also proved that he was clutch, leading the American League in hitting after the 6th inning (.353). First base will be occupied most likely by unproven Andy Phillips, who had a decent cup of coffee last season. If Phillips cannot do the job, Doug Mientkiewicz and Josh Phelps (Jason Giambi will be the DH) are waiting in the wings. As usual, the left side of the infield will be the strongest, with former MVPs of the regular season and World Series Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter hitting their way to the leagues highest ranks at 3B and SS, respectively. Veteran Jorge Posada will anchor the Yankee pitching staff, entering his thirteenth season as a major leaguer, all with New York.