1. The Yankees will continue their strong start by taking two of three games from the Rays in Tampa Bay. It will be a delightful weekend at The Trop, with Javier Vazquez prevailing in his Yankees return tonight, Evan Longoria hitting a walk-off blast against Joba Chamberlain tomorrow and A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada visiting the Salvador Dali Museum together Sunday morning before teaming for a solid outing

“That,” veteran umpire Joe West will say, Sunday evening, “was a disgrace to baseball. If you'll excuse me, I have to call my pal, ex-umpire Bruce Froemming, who is still employed by MLB."

2. The Mets will defeat the Nationals tonight and tomorrow, before Johan Santana surprisingly loses to old pal Livan Hernandez on Sunday. Jose Reyes will make his highly anticipated return tomorrow, delivering a run-scoring triple and playing strong defense. He'll even correctly decline when a well-intentioned trainer offers Reyes a salmon-flavored (fourth paragraph) shake from Shake Shack.

So it'll be an overall plus for the weekend, right? Well, maybe Mets fans would feel better about the team if not for ownership’s decision to have all of their new Hall of Fame exhibits introduced by Jennifer Hudson.

3. "Good," David Ortiz will say angrily to his inquisitors, late Friday night in Kansas City. "You guys wait 'til __ happens, then you can talk __. Four __ games, and already you __ are going crazy What's up with that, man? __. __ 158 games left. That's a __. One of you __ got to go ahead and hit for me."

“Um, Mr. Ortiz,” the maitre d’ at Plaza III will say, “We were just going to asking how you were enjoying your meal.”

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“Sorry,” Big Papi will apologize. “I thought you were going to ask me about my hitting. Just another instance of me guessing wrong at the plate.”

4. The Braves will take two of three from the Giants in San Francisco, and Atlanta rookie Jason Heyward will continue to make his presence felt. In addition to crushing two home runs into McCovey Cove, Heyward will lift a cable car over his head and spin it on his finger like a basketball, And on Sunday, he’ll stop an area earthquake just by ordering it to shut up.

5. "We're struggling to sign (Prince Fielder)," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will lament Saturday, as his club plays host to the Cardinals, "and the Yankees infield is making more than our team.

"On the other hand, you know those stuffed shirts Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira and Cano couldn't pull off the bowling-pin celebration."

--Mariano Rivera ripped West for his imbecilic comments. Yes, the Yankees-Red Sox games are long. But they're highly entertaining. Is this really a serious problem baseball has to address? Are any of you really that bothered by the fact that the Yankees and Red Sox are both patient at the plate?

@NewsdaySports

(Thanks to Buster Olney's blog for the link. And to Twitter for the link to Buster's blog.)

--Excellent piece by David Lennon on Mike Pelfrey, who makes his season debut tonight. For Mets fans, at least Jon Niese pitched well in his 2010 debut.

--Great piece by Ken Rosenthal, who opines that the owners "probably" colluded this past offseason to keep salaries down, but that it will be awfully difficult to prove that in a legal arena.

--Yesterday, I guessed that the Cardinals would be the last team to lose a game, and that the Nationals would be the last team to win a game. That worked out real well. The correct answers were the 3-0 Giants in the former category and the 0-3 Astros in the latter category - both of whom were off yesterday. Probably should've considered that.