Dan Shaughnessy comes up with 33 reasons it’s better to be playing the Indians in the ALCS instead of the Yankees. Sean McAdam recalls the late-90’s when the Indians were the Red Sox most-feared postseason opponent. Rob Bradford looks at the Indians potent 1-2 combo of C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona. Peter May has a look at how the Indians came together to find themselves in the ALCS.

Jeff Horrigan has Curt Schilling moving ahead of Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation for the Indians series. Gordon Edes has more on the Red Sox tweaking their rotation for the second round of the playoffs. Steven Krasner has more on Terry Francona’s decision to flip the two pitchers in his rotation. Jeff Goldberg looks at a pair of impressive pitching matchups starting off the series this weekend.

Joe McDonald has a look at Manny Ramirez, who is letting outsiders get a glimpse of his personality this postseason. Steve Buckley says that unlike 1999, the Red Sox need Tim Wakefield this postseason. Alex Speier notes that the Red Sox have a much different outlook for this ALCS than they had in 2003 and 2004. Bradford has Alex Cora as a guy who pays attention to the little things. Bob Stern has a look at a few Red Sox players who are in the postseason for the first time in their careers. Ryan Trepanier says that Terry Francona is facing some friendly foes in the Indians.

Bradford also reports that Bobby Kielty could get the start in game one over J.D. Drew against C.C. Sabathia. No byline on this home improvement story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.Buckley has Dustin Pedroia promising that he’ll be more relaxed for his second playoff series. Goldberg has Mike Lowell and Terry Francona giving their support to Joe Torre, who appears to be on his way out in New York.

Horrigan’s notebook has Wakefield pitching a five inning simulated game yesterday to prepare for his game four start. The Projo notebook has Wakefield declaring himself fit to go after the workout. Ballou’s notebook has more on Schilling getting the game two start. Trepanier’s notebook says that the Sox will be well-rested heading into this series.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp notes that we’re eight years along, and folks still don’t have the first clue about Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Mike Reiss says that this Sunday’s game with the Cowboys might provide a nice test of AFC vs NFC strength. John Tomase says that only Joe Montana knows how Tom Brady feels right now, and he talks to him to get his take on the Patriots quarterback. Mark Farinella says that the low sack totals against Tom Brady this season indicate that defenses haven’t figured out how to defend him and Patriots offense just yet.

Eric McHugh has a Patriots report card from the Browns game. Alan Siegel has Donte Stallworth breaking out in Sunday’s game with the Browns. Glen Farley says that the Patriots only view the Cowboys game as a big game because it is the next game. Reiss’ notebook has the Browns targeting the right side of the Patriots defensive line with their rushing attack on Sunday.

Check in with the C’s and B’s on Celticslinks.com and Bruinslinks.com.

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