What I want to see tonight starts with the New York Yankees knocking Pedro Martinez all over Yankee Stadium the way he knocked Don Zimmer around a few years back.
That's not really what I'm here to talk about right now, though. There are a couple of things I want to see from Manager Joe Girardi tonight, and I am not at all sure he will do either one.
- I want to see Brett Gardner in center field, with Melky Cabrera in right and Nick Swisher playing cheerleader from the bench. I know what kind of weapon Girardi feels Gardner is off the bench, but the guy is way more than a pinch-runner. He's a terrific center fielder, a respectable hitter (.270 regular season, .345 OBP) and Girardi needs to remember he can help the Yankees in ways other than stealing second base. Swisher is still slumping, at .114 for the post-season. C'mon, Joe, give Gardner a chance before it's too late to matter.
- I want to see Jorge Posada catching A.J. Burnett tonight. I could care less about all those numbers some of you will point to showing A.J. likes pitching to Jose Molina more than Posada. The Yankees are down 1-0 in this series. Lose tonight, and you can pretty much forget finding time to go to a parade in the Canyon of Heroes next week. There probably won't be one. The Yankees need their best lineup on the field tonight, and that means Posada instead of Molina. Posada is the Yankees No. 1 catcher, owner of four World Series rings and a borderline Hall of Famer (that's for a whole different discussion). Jose Molina is, well, Jose Molina -- the worst of the catching Molina brothers. In the most important game of the Yankee season to date, Posada MUST be in the lineup.
- One final thing. I want to see Girardi with a quick, I mean very quick, hook for Burnett tonight. Lord knows what will happpen once Manic Joe gets into that bullpen -- we might run out of pitchers by the sixth inning -- but I don't want him to hesitate. As soon as 'bad A.J.' makes an appearance I want him outta there.