Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

The most intriguing people of the second half

New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez (75) throws

(Credit: AP)

The Yankees resume business tonight in Toronto - here are three key storylines and five key dates - while the Mets will hold a workout this evening in preparation for tomorrow's second half opener against the Phillies at Citi Field.Here are the the Mets' five key dates and three storylines.

Let's do one inriguing person per division, starting with the Easts and heading westward on I-80....

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Bud Selig, Michael Weiner and Robinson Cano

I'm busier today than a Christmas tree salesman in December, so I'm just gonna throw a few things at you:

The Baseball Writers Association of America held its annual All-Star Game meeting, and we were fortunate enough to have both commissioner Bud Selig and Players Association executive director Michael Weiner drop by to speak with us. Many issues came up. Here are some of them:

--Selig,...

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Robinson Cano's coming-out party

American League's Robinson Cano of the New York

(Credit: AP)

Much like Dr. Simon Finch-Royce once exclaimed of Diane and Sam, "I've grown to hate them" in this "Cheers" episode, I had grown to hate the Home Run Derby. It's generally interminable and just plain dumb, and as I've written before, it seems to be geared towards drunk adults and sober kids.

But last night's Derby reeled me in a little bit, mostly because I know Robinson...

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All-Star Game: Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez

Greetings from Chase Field, one of my least favorite ballparks. it has the feel of a minor-league park, only without any of the charm.

Got plenty to do here, and we have the interminable Home Run Derby coming up in a couple of hours. I have to babysit that. So the news of the day...

--As anticipated, Derek Jeter's absence is a hot topic. Major League Baseball players are not pleased...

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Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Francisco Rodriguez, All-Star Game no-shows, Matt Harvey and Mike Piazza

Is it a social faux pas to produce a Spadafore-style entry at the site of the All-Star Game?

If so, you'd better report me to Miss Manners. We're using the dinner fork on the salad, ba-bee.

News: Alex Rodriguez elects to undergo surgery on his right knee, putting him out for four-to-six weeks.

Views: Not a surprise, given how badly A-Rod moved in his last few games and the words...

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Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, the sloppy Mets and All-Star break awards

Greetings from Phoenix. I'll be working here the next three days, starting with the Futures Game today. Looking forward to it.

Since I had to travel yesterday, I missed Derek Jeter's big day. Wow. Pretty amazing. Congratulations to him. Jeter rose up to the moment, Mark Herrmann writes.

In a column I wrote a while ago, in preparation for this, I argued that we should salute Jeter the...

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The Yankees' rainout, the Yankees' All-Star dropouts, another big Mets win and Josh Hamilton

At the rainout of the Yankees' game, I wrote that the Rays were not to blame.

I'm a sucker for minutiae-fueled stories like this one. Here are the basics:

1. Because the Rays already have two split doubleheaders this year - they played one April 28 in Minnesota and they have another one scheduled August 16 in Boston - they had the right to turn down a third split doubleheader. That second...

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Derek Jeter, Jose Reyes and a tragedy in Texas

Derek Jeter doubled last night, and now he stands two hits away from the 3,000 career mark, as the Yankees lost to Tampa Bay. Neil Best wrote that, in time, we'll forget the "negativity" surrounding Jeter's milestone run.

Agreed, and all the more so if the Yankees make the playoffs again. But it could take a little while longer, just because Jeter is under contract through at least...

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Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes and Sandy Alderson

Sorry, just a brief one this morning, as I'm traveling back home.

--At the Yankees' loss to Cleveland last night, I wrote about Joe Girardi's handling of Derek Jeter. I commended Girardi, as a matter of fact, for heeding Jeter's request to play last night.

Ticket prices for this weekend's series are up, not surprisingly, Neil Best reports.

As for Phil Hughes, making his first start...

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Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens and Brandon Webb

In a surprising development, Derek Jeter will be in the Yankees' lineup tonight. Girardi had spoken quite convincingly late Tuesday night of giving Jeter a night off, in the interest of not working him too hard upon his return from the disabled list.

But Jeter apparently talked his way back in. Girardi, to his credit, said that it was hard for him to relate to what Jeter is going through in...

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