Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

Johan Santana, Zack Wheeler, Phil Hughes and Chris Carpenter

Johan Santana's fourth Grapefruit League start went well, and at this point, it's certainly fair to suspend your suspension of disbelief (does that make sense?), at least a little, and wonder whether Santana can actually be a productive member of this Mets starting rotation.

Santana himself has seemed the most skeptical person of all. That isn't a bad thing; he won't let the Mets push him...

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Johan Santana, David Wright, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes and the Giants

Just the facts this morning. Well, perhaps a few opinions, too:

--In Port St. Lucie, Johan Santana looked good on the mound, and at this stage, you have to evaluate Santana as much as how he looked out there as the results, which were OK. His body language was encouraging. He didn't look like someone holding back, out of fear that something would go wrong.

His words, however, are still...

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Tony La Russa, Scott Boras, Phil Hughes and Kevin Mulvey

Greetings from Port St. Lucie. I'll be here for a few days serving as Newsday's Mets beat writer. So the blog might be a little Mets-centric. Then again, it might not.

--For my Sunday Insider, I wrote about Tony La Russa, Scott Boras, Jim Leyland and Joe Maddon, and as a token of corporate solidarity, I offered my picks for best and worst Yankees and Mets moves of all time - to correlate with...

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Phil Hughes and Ruben Tejada - and there's a live chat today

New York Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada #11

(Credit: Christopher Pasatieri)

I have some early, long travel this morning, and then we'll catch up at 3:00 for the live chat. So, very briefly:

--Here's my column on Phil Hughes, from whom the Yankees want a big improvement from last year.

--Hank Steinbrenner, who is not at all involved with the running of the Yankees, spoke about the team.

--Terry Collins complained that Ruben Tejada is not yet in camp, even...

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Jonathan Papelbon, Sandy Alderson, the Yankees' starting rotation and Gary Carter

Greetings from warm Florida. Wore shorts to work yesterday for the first time in many years down here.

I spent my first day in Clearwater with Jonathan Papelbon, and as he spoke in relaxed fashion, it hit me that Papelbon might have done better than any other free agent this winter. Not in pure dollars, of course, but when you combine all the factors, I think you can make that case. I tried...

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Walking through my suggestions for the 2012 Yankees

CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees

(Credit: Photo by Jim McIsaac)

The reality of my job - and I suppose most jobs - is that not all assignments are fulfilled equally. I have more time to dedicate to some than I do for others.

For instance, I like doing a "How to Fix the Yankees" piece on the day that the Yankees' bigwigs hold their post-mortem at the Stadium. Last year, that occurred on October 25, and I took a car service from Yankee Stadium...

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Joe Girardi's post-mortem

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi speaks during

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

By my count, there were 31 questioners, many asking multiple and/or follow-up queries, and the session lasted right around 37 minutes.

Not much of interest was said in that time, however. There was too much talk for my liking about how much of a factor luck plays in the postseason, and about whether players are truly clutch or tighten up or whatever.

Yawn. The Yankees played five games...

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Freddy Garcia, Jesus Montero, the Red Sox, the races and Jose Reyes

We have new playoff brackets:

AL: Yankees (1) vs. Detroit (3), Texas (2) vs. Boston (4)

NL: Philadelphia (1) vs. Arizona (3), Milwaukee (2) vs. Atlanta (4)

Thoughts: The Rangers' victory over Seattle, combined with Detroit's loss to Baltimore, flip-flopped the AL's two and three seeds. And it begs the question for the Yankees: Whom would they rather face?

Your first reaction...

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Red Sox-Yankees rainout notes

Greetings from a wet Yankee Stadium. Thankfully, the game has been called, given the horrible forecast, and there'll be a day-night doubleheader on Sunday.

I spent some time in the Red Sox clubhouse, and it was pretty empty, but those around didn't show too much concern with their behavior. Dustin Pedroia, always lively, talked trash to a pair of diminutive Latino reporters who were hanging...

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Jose Reyes, Ruben Tejada, A.J. Burnett and wild-card race updates

Good story by David Lennon on Jose Reyes and Ruben Tejada, who will work out together this winter even though they might not be teammates anymore next year.

Not much more to say on the Reyes front right now. The 22 non-playoff teams will take October to start formulating gameplans for the winter - and even the eight playoff teams will multi-task - and we'll see how strong the market is for...

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