Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

So long, and thank you

Let's wrap things up Spadafore style:

News: I'm leaving Newsday for another opportunity. This will be my last post on this blog.

Views: Well, gosh. Maybe we'll make this just a one-item entry.

I gave notice on Wednesday, March 14, and I've spent much of the time since then tying up loose ends and preparing for my new job, baseball columnist for The New York Post. And when I've...

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Contest: "Coach"

This might be the last contest we do here...of this week.

I stumbled upon "Coach," the late '80s-early '90s sitcom starring Craig T. Nelson as the football coach of fictional Minnesota State, in the process of researching a "Pop Quiz" question. I saw only bits and pieces when it was on back in the day.

I found it to be an enjoyable show, but not a hysterically...

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Jose Reyes, Freddy Garcia and Brian McNamee

Jose Reyes of the Miami Marlins looks on

(Credit: Getty)

The Mets saw Jose Reyes for the first time since Reyes joined the Marlins. The unbalanced schedule makes it particularly interesting when a player changes teams within his division, and I wonder if Reyes' frequent visits to Citi Field in a Marlins uniform will ever feel normal for Mets fans.

Johnny Damon came to Fenway Park for nine games a year with the Yankees from 2006 through 2009, right...

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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: "Only the Lonely"

Bobby Thigpen, Chicago White Sox relief pitcher. (July

(Credit: UPI)

Today, let's give away a copy of "Only the Lonely," the 1991 film starring the late John Candy, Ally Sheedy and Maureen O'Hara. This one falls under the "Tracked it down to confirm a 'Pop Quiz' question" file.

If you liked Candy, and I did, then you'll like this film. It has Candy in a rare, leading role in which he plays a pretty normal guy, a Chicago policeman who has...

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Yu Darvish, Carlos Beltran, Gio Gonzalez and John Danks

Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish of Nippon-Ham Fighters shouts

(Credit: Getty Images)

Hope that everyone had a good week and good holiday. First, let's catch up. Then we'll discuss what's on tap for this week.

Four big transactions:

1. The Rangers won the rights to Yu Darvish. It's a mild surprise, only because Texas worked so hard in recent weeks to lower expectations on this front not only in the media, but in the baseball world, as well. Just mild, however, because...

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My NL Cy Young ballot

Clayton Kershaw is your National League Cy Young Award winner. Congratulations to him.

I wish I had time to write an obnoxiously long breakdown of my ballot, but it's a travel day for me. So here is my ballot, followed by some general thoughts:

1. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia

2. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia

3. Kershaw

4. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia

5. Ian Kennedy, Arizona

OK,...

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Playoff predictions and a contest update

All right, since we're already under way, let's just throw 'em out there:

AL: Yankees over Detroit in 4. Texas over Tampa Bay in 5. Texas over Yankees in 6.

True, you don't want to face Justin Verlander in a 5-game series, and you could argue that the last time these two clubs met in the playoffs - the 2006 ALDS - began as far more of a mismatch, to the Yankees' favor, on paper....

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The amazing Rays, Ozzie Guillen and Derrick Hall

Greetings from a hopping Yankee Stadium. Well, at least, it's hopping on the visitors' side.

Rays prinicpal owner Stuart Sternberg makes his full-time home in Westchester, so he comes to all of the Rays' games here in the Bronx. And with his team fully alive in this pennant race, Sternberg was joined by team president Matt Silverman and executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew...

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The eternal debate over the meaning of 'valuable'

New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson makes

(Credit: AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Since we're experiencing a September slumber in Major League Baseball, there probably will be even more discussion than usual of the Most Valuable Player races.

Which is fine. Any subject that gets people so fired up is good for business.

Many media folks have checked in on this subject, most recently Tyler Kepner with this thoughtful piece, which features the words on the actual ballot...

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