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 that Jeter chose to not come down here, even if he didn't feel that he was up to playing, and many officials and players were asked about it by reporters.
Bill Giles, the Phillies' chairman, and honorary National League president, said this: "Yeah, I think it's too bad that Jeter in particular is not here, because of what he accomplished over the weekend, and I think it is a bit of a problem and baseball should study it."
Entertaining stuff. Once again, I think Jeter has earned some slack on this one.
--Carlos Beltran seems very happy to be here, given his injuries of the past few years, and also very curious about where the next few weeks will take him. Ironically, Beltran, Jose Reyes and Mets vice president Jay Horwitz shared a private plane with Giants officials (including manager Bruce Bochy) and players late last night, from San Francisco to Phoenix. And the Giants have to be considered the favorites to land Beltran in a trade.
--Jose Reyes will work out today and tomorrow in Phoenix. He doesn't yet have a targeted return date.
--Francisco Rodriguez isn't here, but Scott Boras is, and Boras confirmed that he is now K-Rod's agent, and he immediately went to work to dissuade clubs from trying to acquire him as a setup man.
"He's a historic closer," Boras said. "He isn't going to be setting up for anyone."
But there are teams trying to acquire him as a setup man, I said. K-Rod can block a trade to 10 teams, but that leaves 19 suitors.
"Do they want an unhappy setup man in their clubhouse?" Boras asked.
The tactic just might work. Does a team really want to go through that sort of hassle and assume the necessary risk just to acquire K-Rod? He isn't that good.
--Alex Rodriguez isn't here, either, and that's because A-Rod underwent right knee surgery today in Miami. A friend of A-Rod's told me that A-Rod thinks he'll be back in a big-league game in two-to-three weeks. The Yankees, however, don't think that's feasible. Because a baseball player needs decent lateral movement, especially A-Rod playing third base, the Yankees believe, four-to-six weeks is the more realistic timetable.
--Have fun tonight. I know that no one reading this could possibly be interested in something as dreadful as the Home Run Derby.