In N.Y., John Harper writes Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner despite his statements on Tuesday about his commitment "to fielding a championship-caliber team every year ... may decide the financial advantages of getting under" the $189M luxury-tax threshold in '14 "make too much sense to discard." Yankees manager Joe Girardi after signing a new four-year contract yesterday has the "time he may need" to win a championship. Even if the Yankees "suffer through a second straight Octoberless season in 2014, it’s hard to imagine a sustained period of mediocrity." They will "always have a financial advantage," even if MLB has "negated it considerably in search of parity in recent years, and getting under the luxury tax for a year would allow them to flex it more mightily than ever" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10).
NO PRESSURE: In S.F., Scott Ostler writes the future of the A's in Oakland "might hang in the balance" during tonight's ALDS Game 5 against the Tigers. A "slam-bang series against the dreaded Red Sox, especially if it leads to a World Series, might be the tipping point in keeping the A's in Oakland, in a new ballpark." This might be a "now-or-never opportunity, and a lot of things would have to fall into place, but momentum is building in favor of Oakland" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/10).
APPLE TURNOVER? The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raismman said the Nets "have a chance" to grab the spotlight in N.Y. away from the Knicks because the Knicks "aren't going to be that good this year." The N.Y. Daily News' Andy Martino said, "The Knicks have the ingrained thing going on, but the Nets are capturing a moment that's already hot for Brooklyn." SNY's Marc Malusis said the Nets have "stolen the national spotlight away from the Knicks" because the Nets have the "best starting five in the NBA" ("Daily News Live," SportsNet N.Y., 10/9).
BIRD IS THE WORD: NBA Senior VP & Managing Dir for NBA Asia Scott Levy said that "when the league branches out overseas, it looks for teams that will serve as good ambassadors." In Indianapolis, Candace Buckner wrote although the NBA's current Global Games schedule "had been decided more than 18 months ago, the Pacers threw an assist to their intercontinental marketing" with the All-Star selection of F Paul George and the team's "fearless performance in the Eastern Conference finals last spring." NBA Country Manager for the Philippines Carlo Singson "offers an even more compelling reason for the Pacers’ inclusion." Singson: "Everyone is so excited that [Pacers President of Basketball Operations] Larry Bird is coming to the Philippines for the first time. That’s what everybody is talking about" (INDYSTAR.com, 10/9).