Baseball Report

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The surprising early exit from the postseason by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies has both teams wondering what to do about next year.

New York has to face the possibility of CC Sabathia opting out of his contract. Philadelphia might lose star shortstop Jimmy Rollins to free agency.

“The one need we are going to have to address again is our rotation,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “There is no doubt about it. We have two guys (Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon) who are free agents. We have another guy who can opt out. It is similar to what we had to do for this year. It all starts with CC and then you go from there.”

The Yankees, who topped the AL this season with 97 wins, were stunned in a five-game, ALDS defeat to the Detroit Tigers.

“It’s devastating,” said third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who hit just .118 in the series. “This is going to hurt for a long time. I’ve got a lot of work for me to do, personally. I’ve got to get my health back in order and I know exactly what I have to do to get back to help this team get back to the top.”

New York has gone two years without a World Series championship, and is 1-2 in the Fall Classic since 2001.

“The Yankees are so good that I would be lying if I said it didn’t give me a little extra satisfaction to be able to do it here (at Yankee Stadium) in the fifth game,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “This will be a game I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Philadelphia led the majors this year with 102 wins, and seemed to have what it took to win its second World Series since 2008. But the Phillies were ousted by St. Louis in five games in the NLDS.

Chris Carpenter outdueled Roy Halladay in the Cardinals 1-0 win last Friday night in Game 5.

“We had a great team this year,” Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence said. “We had a great opportunity. When you have a team like this, it’s definitely disappointing to not come through.”

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke about the team’s lineup in a press conference.

“Abilitywise, there is no question in my mind this is a championship caliber lineup,” Amaro said. “We have to go about it in a different way. We don’t have nearly as much power, have to be better with two strikes, better situational at-bats. Those are frankly things we have to change.”

The Phillies have won five straight NL East Division titles.

Ventura named new White Sox manager: Robin Ventura was introduced on Tuesday as the new Chicago White Sox manager. Ventura, 44, played 10 of his 16 seasons in the major leagues with the White Sox.

“It’s great, it’s exciting… being able to do this for a franchise that I love,” Ventura said. “I’m confident about being able to do this.”

When hired last week, White Sox general manager Kenny Williams was criticized for selecting Ventura, who has no coaching or managerial experience in the big leagues, and is considered a low-key, nice guy.

But Sox captain Paul Konerko approves.

“I think most people cross over with him being a great guy, a nice guy, that he’s not tough,” Konerko said. “But in actuality, more of the stories I’ve heard about Robin over the years are the times he stood up to people and got into physical fights in clubhouses and dugouts.

“A lot of people think nice and great equals easy-going and pushover. That’s what people will probably learn is not the case.”

Ventura rushed the mound in a 1993 game at Texas after getting hit by a pitch from Nolan Ryan, inciting a brawl.

A two-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove winner at third base, Ventura also played for the New York Mets, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit a career .267 with 294 home runs, 1,812 RBIs and had 18 grand slams.

Copyright © 2011 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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