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the waiting game

Yankees to Open Playoffs Wednesday Against ... Another Baseball Team

We know a couple of things about the Yankees' first-round series at this point. They've chosen the extra day off, meaning they'll start their series on Wednesday. CC Sabathia will start Game 1, first pitch will be at 6:07 p.m., and Joba Chamberlain will be available out of the bullpen for the first round. (Also, if you've purchased tickets and were expecting them to be mailed to you, you might want to check your e-mail today.) The one thing they don't know, of course, is their opponent, and they won't find that out until tomorrow evening. As with most things, it's basically all Brett Favre's fault.

The Twins won the coin flip the right to host a potential one-game playoff against Detroit thanks to a new rule giving home field to the team that won the season series — and that game is now necessary to determine the winner of the American League Central. Normally, that game would be played today, except that the Vikings are home tonight, and their lease gives them priority over the Twins at the Metrodome. Major League Baseball asked the NFL to consider swapping the Vikings home game against the Packers with Green Bay's home game in November, but they declined. And while it was unlikely they would have done this under normal circumstances — nor should they, really — we seem to recall there being some significance to this year's Vikings-Packers games. Something about Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell facing his old team, we think.

In any case, the Yankees can't be too upset about not knowing their opponent, because it's to their advantage for the Twins and Tigers to have to play on Tuesday. If the Twins win, they'll have used fifteen-game winner Scott Baker. If the Tigers win, rookie extraordinaire Rick Porcello won't be available until Sunday's Game 4. Plus, the Tigers would have to play three games in three cities in a span of four days. So maybe Favre did some good for once. It was only a matter of time.

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Photo: Getty Images