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Tonight's mission: Pound Pavano

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Our New York Yankees CANNOT/WILL NOT/MUST NOT lose to Carl Pavano tonight.

In Minnesota, they say things about Pavano (14-12, 5.10 in 33 starts with Cleveland and the Twins) that were NEVER said in New York. Nice things. Really.

"We're just a Minnesota-nice group, and we like the hell out of the guy," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I just know one thing. What he has meant to us and what he has helped us achieve here has been fantastic."

And this from pitcher Nick Blackburn.

"He's a great guy to have on our team, and I'd love to see him back next year."

That's all fine. Unbelievable, as a Yankee fan. But fine. Provided the Yankees pound the American Idle into submission and make next season start tonight for the Twins.