With last night’s 4-3, 11 inning defeat of the Twins — highlighted by heroics from the previously clutch-phobic Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira —- the Yankees are one victory away from advancing to the American League Championship Series. Standing in their path is Minnesota’s Game 3 starter, former Yankee Carl Pavano, whose unfortunate tenure in pinstripes is mostly remembered for allegations of malingering and Pavano neglecting to tell the club about a Florida car crash.

Questioned about his 4 years in the Bronx by the Daily News’ Mark Feisand, Pavano carefully describes the stint as “a black period in my career”, diplomatically focusing on his rejuvenation in ’09 with Cleveland and Minnesota (“with the way this year has gone, I™ve been able to go out there, sustain health and be successful….everything has come full circle”). Regardless, the very appearance of the name “Carl Pavano” alongside any quotation besides “I’m a thief, please kill me” is likely to result in exactly the sort of reader comments that appeared after Feisand’s blog item ;

“The way he absolutely dogged it for four years and got us for $40 Million is disgraceful…I just want his ass on the chopping block tomorrow, and I want it to be Pettitte that weilds the axe.”

“He’s a piece of work, for lack of a better word. I hope he gets smacked around so hard he begs to go on the DL.”

“I don’t like a guy who can’t stand up and take responsibility. Pavano the pinstripes were too heavy for you because you sucked. Plain and simple.”