New York Mark Teixeira remembers calling Torii Hunter last winter.
“After I signed with the Yankees, I said, ‘You know, good luck to you guys. Hopefully, we’ll see you in the ALCS,”’ Teixeira recalled.
And then he repeated the message when Hunter reached first base during the first series between the teams in May.
“I’m like, ‘OK, I like that,”’ Hunter told his former teammate. “And now we’re here.”
Having dispatched the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs in 2002 and 2005, the Angels meet New York for the first time in the AL championship series starting — weather permitting — tonight.
John Lackey pitches for the high-flying Angels, who won their fifth AL West title in six seasons under manager Mike Scioscia and then swept wild-card Boston in the division series.
Back in the postseason after missing out in 2008, New York swept Minnesota to reach the ALCS for the first time in five years and goes with CC Sabathia, who could get three starts in the best-of-seven matchup.
“Maybe we’re going to face CC seven times this series,” Scioscia joked Thursday. “It depends on how much rain we get.”