David Cone, who hasn't pitched in 12 days, will make his first start of the postseason Thursday night when he gets the ball in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. Cone didn't pitch in the first round against Texas. He was scheduled to pitch the fourth game, but the Yankees eliminated the Rangers in three.

"I'd rather be too rested as opposed to coming in a little tired or hurting a little bit," Cone said. "I seem to work well on extra rest. The only other time I had this much rest was during the all-star break, and I came out and pitched a perfect game. I'm not predicting anything, but I seem to respond well to rest."

Cone was the No. 1 New York starter a year ago, but he was dropped in the rotation after struggling in the second half of the season. He threw a perfect game on July 18, but in 13 starts after that, he went 2-5 with an 8.61 earned run average.

"I have thought about this a lot over the last six weeks," Cone said. "I think after the perfect game I was guarded in my own mind as to not let the perfect game affect me. I don't think I have really stopped and enjoyed the perfect game. Since that point, I have been inconsistent. I do feel that I have pitched better than my record would indicate. Just not as consistent as the first half."

The Other Martinez

Ramon Martinez, the older brother of Boston ace Pedro Martinez, will start Game 2 for the Red Sox. He spent most of the season rehabilitating from shoulder surgery, but was called up at the end of the season and went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in four starts. "When I started throwing, there was a lot of pain," he said. "I never gave up, and I am pretty much well right now."

O'Neill Talks His Way In

Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill talked his way into the lineup despite a fractured rib. Yankees Manager Joe Torre waited until meeting with O'Neill to write a lineup, then decided to let him play.

"Paul could have a great career as a lobbyist in Washington," Cone said. "I saw him doing some heavy lobbying today in the manager's office -- and it worked. He's an intense competitor."

O'Neill was injured Oct. 2 when he ran into a fence trying to catch a foul ball at Tampa Bay. He played the first two games of the first-round sweep of Texas, sat out the clincher, then had a small fracture diagnosed Monday.

"It didn't take a lot of talking, because I wanted to play him," Torre said before his team took on the Red Sox for the first time in postseason play. "I saw how anxious he was to play."

The Yankees prepared for the possibility O'Neill can't play by dropping infielder Jim Leyritz from the postseason roster and activating outfielder Shane Spencer. Spencer hit .500 against the Rangers in a first-round series against Texas in 1998.

New Deal for Remlinger

Left-handed reliever Mike Remlinger agreed to a $3.2 million, two-year extension with the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, with a club option for a third year. Remlinger, 33, was 10-1 with a 2.37 ERA and one save during the regular season. He will earn $1.4 million in 2000 and $1.6 million in 2001, with a club option of $2 million with a $200,000 buyout for 2002.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.