CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee had planned to pitch in the same rotation in the World Series, but it didn't work out that way.

Nonetheless, both of the World Series Game 1 starters paid each other compliments and spoke about the friendship they developed while playing for the Indians earlier in their careers.

"I've been pulling for him every step of the way," Lee told MLB.com. "But if we have to match up against him, that might be the first time that I pull against him. He's a class act, one of my most favorite teammates. I highly respect him as a person and a player."

Sabathia, who mentioned sending text messages back and forth with Lee since parting ways, said, "It's just a little weird, but it'll be fun."

Entering their Game 1 match, Sabathia was 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA while Lee was 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in the postseason. Sabathia was the MVP of the ALCS.

A-Rod showing his plate prowess: Alex Rodriguez, who hit .429 with two doubles, three home runs and had six RBIs in the ALCS, earned high praise from his teammates for his performance against the Angels.

"After going through surgery, and after going through all the tough times, he proved himself," catcher Jorge Posada told the New York Daily News. "Now he doesn't have to prove anything. He's the best player in baseball."

Werth sees Phillies' pitchers having plate advantage: There's always a fun element in the World Series when it comes to pitchers and designated hitters, with the DH being used in the American League's park and pitchers hitting in the National League's park.

Jayson Werth, like many others, thinks this will benefit the Phillies when they open play tonight in New York against the Yankees.

"I think that whole part of the World Series is definitely to our advantage," the Philadelphia outfielder told MLB.com. "We have guys who are very capable of hitting the ball however Charlie wants to do it. You come to our park, their pitchers aren't used to hitting very much."

Pettitte back for another round in World Series: Andy Pettitte gave retirement serious consideration this past offseason but eventually decided to return to the Yankees for at least one more season. Now, he will pitch in the World Series once again.

"It's nice when it all works out. I think everybody knows I wasn't real happy with the contract," Pettitte told the New York Daily News. "But I wanted to take it and come back here and have a chance to do this."

Jeter sends package to 16-month-old namesake: Derek Jeter took a moment leading up to Game 1 to offer encouragement to the family of a 16-month-old heart transplant recipient who is named after the Yankees' superstar.

Jeter Villacis is finally leaving Montefiore Medical Center after two months in intensive care. Jeter read about Villacis and sent him a care package as well as a note of encouragement, the New York Daily News reported.

"Life is a daily challenge, some more challenging than others, but you are a true star for giving it your all, and I strongly admire your strength and courage," Jeter wrote. "It means a lot to me to have a strong supporting cast. You should know that I support and encourage you and your positive efforts as well."

In addition to the note, Villacis received a backpack filled with Yankees memorabilia such as a Yanks doll, team clothes, hats and a book.

Garko expects plenty of homers in Series: Ryan Garko started the season with the Indians before getting traded to the Giants in July, so he knows the ball carries well in both Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park.

"The nice thing about it for hitters in both of those ballparks, whether you're left-handed or right-handed, you don't have to do too much to hit home runs," Garko told the San Francisco Chronicle. "From either side of the plate, you can hit opposite-field homers. As a right-handed hitter, you don't have to crush a ball in Yankee Stadium to hit it out to right field. Same with the Phillies' park.

"That's what we noticed in Yankee Stadium. Home runs were too easy, even in batting practice."

Guerrero coming off top postseason effort: Now that the playoffs are over for the Angels, attention turns toward the club's free agents, including Vladimir Guerrero. The veteran was the team's top hitter during the playoffs, as he batted .378 with seven RBIs.

"In the playoffs, there's no doubt his bat speed was every bit as good as we've seen the last four or five years," Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times. "He still has the potential to be productive."

Bourgeois returns home to Houston: The Astros claimed Jason Bourgeois off waivers on Monday from the Brewers. Bourgeois, a Houston native who played at Forest Brook High School, will be invited to Spring Training with a chance to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

A right-handed hitter, Bourgeois hit .316 in 105 games at Triple-A Nashville with two home runs, 18 doubles, six triples and 41 RBIs to go along with 36 stolen bases. In 24 games with the Brewers, he hit .189.

"We like his speed and versatility," general manager Ed Wade told MLB.com. "We like the fact he plays multiple positions, and more than anything, we like his speed. The feedback we got is he has a good makeup and has an option remaining, so he provides us some roster flexibility as well."

Schumaker has already reaped rewards from McGwire: You can count Skip Schumaker among those thrilled to have Mark McGwire on board as the Cardinals hitting coach. A few years back, Schumaker started working out privately with McGwire in the offseason and has seen outstanding results at the plate.

"I didn't know how this was going to work. He's a 6-foot-5, 220-something-pound man, and I'm just a little leadoff hitter," the St. Louis second baseman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But hitting is hitting. There's a good hitting position for everyone. That was one of the things he stressed. I didn't know what to expect, and here it has turned into this relationship that has really helped my career."

McCutchen claims rookie honors: Andrew McCutchen, who was recently named the Pirates MVP by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, has now been named Baseball America's Major League Rookie of the Year. Even McCutchen can't deny he had a very strong rookie campaign, during which he hit .286 with 12 home runs, 54 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

"There's nothing I would change," McCutchen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "There are a few things I'll fine-tune this winter and get better at, but as far as how I did during the season, it all was good."

-- Red Line Editorial