Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted in an ESPN.com interview with Howard Bryant that the Rangers were hoping the Tampa Bay Rays would win the AL East because they wanted to face them first in the playoffs.
And he had an interesting reason - bascially the lack of media attention on his inexperienced team at the Trop compared to Yankee Stadium.
"I told people I preferred to play Tampa Bay. It wasn't because I was afraid of New York. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best eventually," Washington said. "But I didn't want my guys for their first playoff experience going into Yankee Stadium. I'm not saying it would've been too much, but it could've been.
"When we went to Tampa, there were like three people in the interview room. On the field, it was empty. That allowed our guys to ease into it, to get the feel. After that, I knew we were ready."