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First Pitch: Weekend with the kiddies?

NEW YORK -- The playoff hunt is over. The pressure is off. The games can actually be fun again. (I mean, Joe Girardi is actually considering putting Mariano Rivera into center field for an inning).

So this weekend in Houston, why not go all the way?

By that, I mean, let's see as much of the young kids on the Yankees roster as possible. Let's face it, we've already seen what the veterans have to offer, and aside from a handful, like Robbie Cano, Alfonso Soriano, and of course, Mo, it ain't much.

So for these final three meaningless games against the Astros, I propose we see more Zoilo Almonte, and less Vernon Wells and/or Ichiro Suzuki. More David Adams and less Mark Reynolds and/or Lyle Overbay. More J.R. Murphy and less Chris Stewart.

In fact, let's not see anything but those guys. It's too bad the Yankees didn't call up more of their kids, like Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin and Mason Williams and (my personal favorite) Ronnier Mustelier. If the Yankees have a future as currently constituted, it will be contained somewhere within those young players.

What better time to see what they've got than in major-league games without major-league consequences?

Let's face it, the Yankees tried it with the Ichiros and Welleses and Overbays of the world. It didn't work, and it won't work next year. In fact, there's a good chance some of those guys won't even be here next year. So what's the point of running them out again for more of the same old, same old?

Today, I'd like to see an infield of Adams, Brendan Ryan (possible backup/replacement for Derek Jeter next year?) and Eduardo Nunez. I suppose we can let Cano play. I want to see Almonte in the outfield three days in a row, and Murphy behind the plate all weekend.

I'd like to see Brett Marshall get a start, and maybe Adam Warren or David Phelps. (Before last night, I would have nominated Dellin Betances. Scratch that).

The point is, I don't want to see what I've seen all year this weekend. Time to send the kids out there and see what they can do. After all, what more is left for the Yankees to lose? From this, they can only gain.

QUESTION: You with me on this? Or do you want to stagger to the finish line with the team that brought you this far, which is nowhere? Let us know in the comments section.

UP NOW: The Rapid Reaction from last night, plus Johnette Howard's column on Mo's emotional farewell and a bunch of blogs from the postgame clubhouse, all of which center around the one and only Mariano.

ON DECK: Game one of the final series of the season, TBA for the Yankees vs. LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-4, 2.71), first pitch at 8:10 p.m. Clubhouse opens at 4:40 p.m. and Andrew Marchand -- who will take you through this final weekend -- will be there with the lineup and all the pre-game news, so check in often. As always, thanks for reading and thank you for making this Yankees season a joy to cover once again.