Meanwhile, In New York. Gotham fishwrap:
Filip Bondy, New York Daily News: "There was virtually no difference between the Bombers and Sox in 2003. ... Nothing that has happened this season, not even the Yanks' 101 regular-season victories, has changed my mind. Boston outplayed the Yankees head-to-head, outplayed them late in the season and outplayed them against top-tier competition. ... The classic, seven-game series last season with the Red Sox drained the Yankees, left them vulnerable against the lesser Marlins. Now the Yanks are a step behind where they were in 2003. They are being tested by the Twins in the first round, and may be left lifeless prey for their mortal enemies in the ALCS. The Bombers not only need to beat Minnesota. They need to defeat the Twins quickly, cleanly, without the melodrama in the next two games. That doesn't seem likely. But it's necessary, if the Yankees are to survive Minnesota, and then the real enemy."
Jay Greenberg, New York Post: "The Red Sox are not interested in history or anything other than winning the world championship they believe to be their destiny. The Angels were hot, loaded in the bullpen, savvy from their 2002 run to a world title and only idiots would want to play a team like that. But calling themselves exactly that, the Red Sox have blown out Anaheim twice ... They are loaded, act half-loaded, and all due respect to the fans whose misery they want to end, could care less about all that stuff, knowing they have the right stuff."
George Vecsey, New York Times: "One of these years, the Red Sox really ought to win it all. Like right now. ... Polish off the Angels this evening. Give us the weekend off. Then go into Yankee Stadium -- a foregone conclusion, doctor -- next Tuesday and commence shutting down the Yankees with Schilling and Martinez. ... In my early childhood, I was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, with charismatic, skilled legends at almost every position. From 1946 through 1954, we ultimately experienced terrible pain every autumn. Our suffering seemed like forever. In reality, it was only nine years. In 1955, the Boys of Summer won a World Series. Just one. I can still hear the bells chiming all over Brooklyn. The Sox haven't won a World Series since 1918. Might I suggest they are overdue? Please, somebody, cowboy or idiot, star or sub, please take everybody -- even those of us who observe from an emotional distance -- out of this ancient misery."
John Harper, New York Daily News: "[O]nly minutes after David Ortiz had hit his 10th inning, game-winning home run, delirious fans spilling out into the crowded corridors of Fenway Park quickly turned their attention to their obsession with their hated rivals ... Even before the Sox had finished off the Angels, it seemed all of New England had turned its eyes toward the Yankees, actually rooting for them for a change to set up the ALCS rematch. ... [M]aybe this is a different October for this team. Red Sox Nation seems sure of it. So sure, it's rooting for the Yankees at the moment."
Roger Rubin, New York Daily News: "Okay, Yankees fans, the Red Sox have completed their part of the bargain."
Vazquez/Santana at 4:00 pm.