OAKLAND, Calif. — Josh Donaldson mimics Miguel Cabrera whenever he can, and he has no problem copping to it.
Donaldson spent a couple of days each week over the offseason studying tape of Detroit’s star in the batter’s box, trying to pick up on anything he could apply to his own hitting for Oakland.
Indeed, Donaldson learned a thing or two that worked on the way to a breakout season: .301 batting average, 24 home runs, 93 runs batted in in 158 games for the AL West champion Athletics.
“JD’s the MVP of our team and Miguel Cabrera is the MVP of baseball,” A’s first baseman Brandon Moss said.
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These two talented third basemen will face off in the playoffs for the second straight October starting with Game 1 of the AL Division Series on Friday night.
One is a household name, 2012 Triple Crown winner and widely considered the best hitter in baseball. The other is a more anonymous up-and-comer whose spectacular September in his first full major-league season earned him AL player-of-the-month honors.
Cabrera is making $21 million this season, Donaldson a mere $492,500.
BOSTON — The Red Sox didn’t mind waiting a few days to start their playoffs.
Not after missing them for the past three seasons.
Not after the September collapse that ruined their chances in 2011.
And not after they stumbled to the club’s worst record in 48 years in 2012.
“This was part of the mindset at the end of last year, a strong desire to rewrite what took place,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
The revised edition tied the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record, was the highest-scoring team in the majors and turned a toxic clubhouse atmosphere into a fun-loving one that was a big reason the Red Sox had 28 more wins than they did last season.
They’ll try for their first in the playoffs on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of the best-of-five AL Division Series.
• Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, a three-time All-Star, was “disappointed and upset” to be left off the NLDS series roster. Uggla hit only .179 with 22 homers and ranked third in the NL with 171 strikeouts this season.
• Outfielder Andre Ethier is on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster despite an injured ankle that likely will limit him to pinch-hitting.
• Former major-league outfielder Chad Curtis, 44, was sentenced in Hastings, Mich., to seven to 15 years in prison for inappropriately touching teenage girls.