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SI's senior baseball writer takes you inside the game. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.

1 If the Yankees want to sign Carl Crawford this winter, no one else has the financial muscle to outbid them. But becoming a Yankee would represent a switch in team cultures for the Rays outfielder. On Sept. 14, Crawford (below) made the final out against New York by getting thrown out at third base trying to advance on a shallow fly ball. Crawford would have obtained almost no advantage by being on third base instead of second with two outs. Afterward, Crawford was taken aback by how much attention his error generated and the criticism he took from the Yankees' clubhouse.

2 The Phillies have a strong incentive to finish not only ahead of the Braves in the NL East, but also with the best record in the league. The top NL team this year gets the luxury of the Division Series with the extra off day, which means manager Charlie Manuel could start Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt every game on full rest.

3 The Rockies play an abundance of home games in September. For the fourth consecutive season, Colorado has more home games than road games from Sept. 1 to the end of the season. Given Coors Field's huge outfield and thin air, the Rockies have one of the best home-field advantages in baseball.

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JED JACOBSOHN/GETTY IMAGES (MAYWEATHER)

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GREG NELSON (CRAWFORD)

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JOHN BIEVER (FAVRE)

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CARLOS M. SAAVEDRA (MICKELSON)

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WESLEY HITT/GETTY IMAGES (MALLETT)

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JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (HILL)

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PETER READ MILLER (BARKLEY)

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ANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (LESLIE)