First, your updated playoff seedings:
AL: Yankees (1) vs. White Sox (3), Texas (2) vs. Tampa Bay (4).
NL: San Diego (1) vs. Cincinnati (3), Atlanta (2) vs. San Francisco (4).
Now, your predictions:
1. The Yankees, in their first meeting with the Red Sox since May, will drop three of four games to their injury-plagued rivals. Most troubling for the defending World Series champions, their new arrivals will continue to underwhelm.
Lance Berkman will go 1-for-16 for the series, and he’ll reiterate, late Monday afternoon, "I don't think I've played a meaningful game in, like. three years.”
“Um,” a reporter will follow, “what about this last week, since you joined the Yankees?”
“When I say ‘meaningful,’” Berkman will explain, “I mean ‘nationally televised.’”
"Well," a second reporter will say, "Saturday's game was on Fox."
"Not in my home state of Texas," Berkman will counter
“Last night's game was on ESPN everywhere,” a third reporter will chime in.
“Duh!” Berkman will retort. “What about all of the people who don’t have cable?”
Meanwhile, in another sign of just how unlucky the Red Sox have been this season, an anvil will fall on David Ortiz's head tomorrow. Big Papi will curse under his breath, shake it off and return to action, looking good as new, in his very next at-bat.
2. The Mets will lose two of three games to the thriving Phillies, which means they'll leave the City of Brotherly Love under .500, at 55-56. Even Omar Minaya, thought to be safe for next year, will receive a jolt when Fred Wilpon clarifies his earlier remarks.
"I didn't even hear the question about Omar," the Mets' owner will say. "I was considering going to the beach for the weekend. That's why I asked about the sun coming up."
Asked what he thinks of the film "Norbit," Wilpon will reply, "Excellent."
And if the Phillies didn't have enough momentum going their way, veteran umpire Bob Davidson will declare the home team as the victor in Saturday's game before either team even throws a pitch.
"I was right on top of it," Davidson will say, insisting that the game did in fact occur, and the Phillies won, 6-2. "What competence and reason did when they went past me is irrelevant."
3. The Rays will win two of three in Toronto, going a half-game back up on the Yankees in the AL East headed into Monday's action. "Thank goodness we're out of our place, where freakish conditions determine game results," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon will say later tonight. "Now, to me, the turning point occurred when Sean Rodriguez's grounder skipped on the artificial turf and jumped over Aaron Hill..."
--Gotta run early this morning, as we have our second ballgame of the year between the New York and Boston media, this one at Yankee Stadium. The New York team prevailed in the first game, May 7 at Fenway Park, by a 20-3 margin. I'll check in later from Yankee Stadium.