The New York Yankees will be on the road for Game 1 of their Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels. And the Bronx Bombers are crying foul about it, directing their ire against former Yankees manager Buck Showalter.
Showalter removed starters Michael Young, Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock for pinch-runners in the third inning against the Angels on Sunday. The Texas Rangers led 4-1 after three innings, but the Angels rallied for a 7-4 victory and earned home-field advantage for the first round against the Yankees with the victory.
Young, Teixeira and Blalock went a combined 4-for-5 on Sunday, but their replacements went 0-for-6.
The Yankees, who lost 10-1 in Boston on Sunday, finished with an identical 95-67 record as the Angels, but Los Angeles won the tiebreaker because it won six of 10 games against New York this season.
Former Ranger Alex Rodriguez, who played for Showalter in Texas, was one of the Yankees who was peeved at the Rangers manager's decision.
"There's a code of honor when so much is on the line," Rodriguez told the New York Daily News. "You hope people do the right thing. But you can't control what people do."
Yankees manager Joe Torre was equally surprised.
"It's surprising," Torre told The New York Times. "If his team was in the playoffs, I could understand it a little bit more. It's just surprising he pulled them so soon."
Showalter defended his decision, saying he wanted his three young stars to get an ovation from the home crowd in the team's final game of the season.
"Those guys posted up every day," Showalter told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "They deserved that cookie."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said told the New York Times that he didn't mind Showalter's decision, however.
"If we had won one more game, we wouldn't have to be worried about what anybody else did," Cashman told The Times.
Game 1 of the best-of-5 series between the Yankees and Angels is Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET.