Very quiet here at Target Field. This might prove to be the earliest Yankees playoff game of the fall, so it's nice, in that regard.
The Yankees predictably tweaked their lineup from last night's (against Twins lefty Francisco Liriano). With Carl "American Idle" Pavano toeing the slab for Minnesota, Curtis Granderson moves up to second, as had been the case recently against righties. Nick Swisher moves down to sixth, and Lance Berkman replaces Marcus Thames as the DH.
Ron Gardenhire was surprisingly snippy in his pre-game media session. He really did not enjoy getting second-guessed last night for leaving Liriano in against Granderson in the sixth, when Granderson cranked a go-ahead triple (my take: It wasn't so terrible). So when Mark Hale of the New York Post brought up J.J. Hardy's weak numbers against Andy Pettitte and asked Gardenhire if he was an "anti-stat guy," or a "gut-feeling type of guy," Gardenhire cringed.
"Anti-stat guy?" he said. "Last night, I went with the stats, (Granderson) 4-for-24 off of (Liriano) - and I got criticized for that one. I don't know about the stats anymore. We're just trying to win."
--Rick Hahn will interview with the Mets next week. Among those without GM experience, Hahn is the candidate I'd recommend the most for their GM opening. You don't need a GM who can evaluate talent. That's why you have scouts. Your GM is your quarterback, to mix metaphors, and Hahn can be that person, after working at the side of White Sox GM Kenny Williams for the past nine seasons.
He's bright - hey, he went to the University of Michigan, after all - and has experience in every component of the job, from contract negotiations to trade talks to the minor-league side to statistical analysis. I know Hahn a little bit, and I think he has the sort of personality that could handle the unique pressures and challenges that come with running the Mets. He could thrive, I think.
--Francisco Rodriguez is working on a plea deal, his attorney said. I'm assuming that the Players Association will consult on any such deal, to ensure that it doesn't impact the likelihood of K-Rod getting his money back from the Mets.
--Great job by Jim Baumbach, who tracked down Don Larsen in Idaho to discuss Roy Halladay's admission into his extremely exclusive club.
--Sad story about Rocco Baldelli, whom the Rays have deactivated in the American League Division Series in just one game. Baldelli's career might be over.
--Have a great night.