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Weekend predictions, and more Mets GM thoughts

1. The Yankees will lose American League Division Series Game 3 tomorrow night to the Twins, 7-2, before prevailing in Game 4, 8-1, to advance to the AL Championship Series.

“I give up,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will say, after Game 4 ends. “We’ve tried everything. We just can’t beat the Yankees.”

Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt will hear Gardenhire’s news conference and, out of habit, throw him out of the stadium.

Joe Girardi, meanwhile, will raise eyebrows in Game 3 when he calls upon Sergio Mitre to pitch the eighth inning with the Yankees trailing by one run.

“It’s no different than last month,” Girardi will say, puzzlingly. “Just like before, we’re trying to avoid facing Cliff Lee.”

2. The Rangers will finish off the Rays, 4-3, in ALDS Game 3 in Texas, setting up a Yankees-Rangers ALCS. Because of the sweep, the Rangers will be able to schedule Lee to open the second round.

“This is perfect,” Lee will say. “Now I can pitch Game 1, bring all of my stuff with me to New York for Game 3, and if we get eliminated there…I can just move everything into my new locker.”

3. The Phillies will defeat the Reds tonight, 8-1, in National League Division Series Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park, and on Sunday, Philadelphia will eliminate Cincinnati, 5-2, in Game 3 at Great American Ball Park.

Roy Oswalt will allow a run and six hits in seven innings tonight, while Cole Hamels will pitch eight innings and permit two runs and five hits on Sunday. Both Phillies starting pitchers will pick up the victory.

“You gave up hits?!” Roy Halladay will scoff at his teammates. “Lightweights. Now the two of you fetch me a protein shake.”

4. The Giants will beat the Braves again tonight at AT&T Park, 4-1, to take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS, but the Braves will stave off elimination with a 6-1 victory on Sunday.

"I didn't want my career to end like that," retiring Atlanta manager Bobby Cox will tell reporters late Sunday.

"You mean with a sweep?" a reporter will ask.

"No," Cox will say, "with images of Robin Williams still in my head."

--OK, the latest on the Mets: They announced yesterday their first three interviews. We discussed Rick Hahn. The best candidate who hasn't been a GM before, IMO.

Josh Byrnes is an interesting candidate. I've written here before how much I respect his intelligence, and how I think he got a bit of a raw deal in Arizona. Ultimately, if you break down the Diamondbacks' last three seasons, they faltered due to horrible relief work more than anything else. And bad bullpens generally can be fixed, eventually.

That being said, we have to be realistic here: Byrnes is working from behind. The ever PR-conscious Mets have to sell this hire to their fans, and Byrnes is a tougher pitch, because of the way things concluded for him in Arizona, than some of the other candidates.

I'd say the same thing about Allard Baird, in terms of how his hiring would actually play. Baird is an extremely well-liked person in baseball circles, and he has been an important part of the Red Sox's front office for years now.

But his tenure with the Royals simply didn't go well. Part of it you can attribute to difficult circumstances, as Kansas City's ownership was notoriously miserly. And he should get credit for drafting Zack Greinke and Billy Butler.

On the other hand, he's far from blameless for everything that went down. The trades of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran didn't work out in the long term - Angel Berroa, received in the Damon deal, won AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2003 but faded after that - and free-agent signings like Juan Gonzalez and Reggie Sanders didn't pay off, either.

--Here's the rest of our Yankees coverage. No deep thoughts on this one, except that I'd say Yankees fans' panic earlier this week was highly unwarranted.

--Have a great day.

 

 

 

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