If Cory Lidle can pitch in the Bronx as well as he can tap-dance, the Yankees might not relinquish first place in the AL East. From the New York Daily News’ Roger Rubin.

In a conference call following his trade to the Yankees, Lidle suggested that the Phillies didn’t go on the field to win every day. “We’d go to the field and it’s almost a coin-flip whether the guys behind me are going to play 100%,” he said.

They fired back when they heard the critique, suggesting that Lidle has a poor work ethic. Arthur Rhodes even called him “a scab” because he crossed the picket line as a replacement player 11 years ago.

“I’m not hurt by that being brought up. I am kind of surprised,” he said. “I didn’t expect Arthur of all people to say anything. We got along great over there.”

“What I meant and what I said were a little different. What I meant was that when trade rumors started we had about 10-13 guys who were getting talked about. On any given day the focus wasn’t always on baseball. The last thing I want to do is dog anyone in that clubhouse.”

“He backtracked a lot of stuff,” Rhodes (above) responded yesterday. “He’s with the Yankees, you know he’s going to have to backtrack.”

Said Yankees third base coach Larry Bowa: “The perception I got when I managed there was that every guy wanted to win. Maybe they didn’t know what it took to win. No one wants to win more than Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins. You have to bring it every night whether you feel good or not. Sometimes that’s hard for guys to do.”

Here’s a sobering factoid for the Red Sox to stress out over while considering Jason Varitek’s stay on the DL ; Doug Mirabelli’s not caught more than 6 games in a row. Not that you’d want him to under normal circumstances.