Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

Contest: "Straw"

You read "Straw: Finding My Way," by Darryl Strawberry with John Strausbaugh, and two thoughts come to mind. At least, they did for me:

1) Man, has Strawberry lived.

2) I really, really hope he has put his demons behind him.

This is one heck of a book. Strawberry covers everything - his tough childhood, his four major-league stops, his three marriages, his escapades,...

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The most reliably excellent players, 2012

Here's our annual drill, in which we appreciate just how difficult it is to be an excellent player for an extended period. In this discussion, "Excellent" means "Among the top 30 VORP in baseball" for position players and pitchers.

Players who have reached that peak for at least the prior three seasons, 2009 through 2011, make this list. We detail who goes back even further...

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Contest: 2011 World Series program

We gave one of these away on Nov. 23 - here's the blog entry - and we've since acquired another one. It's good stuff.

I'll give this one to the first person who e-mails me - at kdavidoff@newsday.com - with the correct answer to this question:

Five players - three Rangers and two Cardinals - hit two or more homers in the 2011 World Series. Name this powerful quintet.

--Here...

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Annual visceral, small-sample-sized observations from spring training

Philadelphia Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon throws during practice at

(Credit: AP)

Upon returning home from my first visit to spring training, I always enjoy checking in with some mental snapshots, mindful that what I took away could prove to be hugely significant or, far more likely, wholly irrelevant. Here is last year's entry. I forgot that I had Johnny Damon on the record acknowledging how important reaching 3,000 career hits was.

Some spring trainings, I'll spend almost...

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Contest: 1986 World Series Game 7

Sure, Game 6 from this Fall Classic is the one we all remember, but you could argue that game is notorious because of failure as much as triumph. Whereas Game 7, which gave the Mets their second title (they're still waiting for number three, of course), is just a darn good, winner-take-all ballgame.

And now I'll give my DVD of this game to the first person who e-mails me - at kdavidoff@newsday.com...

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Story of the day: David Wright

"Story of the Day" is code for "I'm running way late because I had a doctor's appointment this morning, so here's one link for you to discuss."

Here's David Lennon's story on his fellow David, David Wright, whose spring is off to an inauspicious beginning thanks ro a rib cage problem.

I don't know, so far the Mets' quest to have a healthy spring training isn't going...

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The Mets' revenues, Ike Davis, the Tigers and the extra wild card

Very quickly this morning:

--Great story by Jim Baumbach and Randi Marshall on the Mets' declining revenues.

--Ike Davis likely has Valley Fever.

--I wrote a column about the Tigers' new infield arrangement.

--Here's my column on the extra wild card.

--Here's my Sunday Insider, which features items on B.J. Upton, Yadier Molina, Johnny Damon and John Lannan.

--Self-promotion...

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About comments

Some readers have expressed their concerns about their comments not being approved immediately here on Ken Davidoff's Baseball Insider blog.

We are looking into the issue today, and we appreciate your continued participation and contributions to our online baseball community.

Once we have determined the issue, we will update you in this blog post.

Thank you....

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The Rays, Hal Steinbrenner, Johan Santana and Jason Varitek

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek wipes a

(Credit: AP)

I spent yesterday at Rays camp, and not surprisingly, I wrote that the Rays remain an impressive operation and a major threat to the Yankees and Red Sox.

One consequence of the Rays' current way of life, that they can't afford a major free agent in his prime, is that you'll never accuse their roster of being too old. They always have a surplus of youth. It undoubtedly helps them slog through...

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Comment Winter Olympics: The Mets, the Oscars and Ryan Braun

The judges always appreciate good banter and good insight, and we had plenty of both this past week. 

Here are your medalists:

The bronze goes to Sandy. I know Sandy tries to play it cool, but I get the sense, from comments like this one, that he doesn't like the Mets' owners:

The only way to get rid of the Mets' current regime, since they claim to not know (but really...

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