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Good Evening

Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and trade-deadline stuff

Off the Mets' big win, I wrote about Carlos Beltran's big night. It was so fitting that Beltran's first home at-bat of 2010 came against Adam Wainwright, the one pitcher whom - it seems - many, many Mets fans associate with Beltran.

What an uneasy fan-player relationship for such a wonderful player. To be blunt, it doesn't speak well of Mets fans that so many seem to dislike Beltran so much.

Are the Mets now going to run off a streak at home, pulling themselves back into the playoff race? It wouldn't surprise me. They certainly seem more comfortable at home, and if there was a silver lining to be taken from that brutal, 2-9 Western swing to open up the second half, it was that the Mets' starting pitchers have been keeping them in the game, giving the offense time to put something together. That's precisely what Jon Niese did last night, with some major defensive help from David Wright in the first inning.

--They're going to screen "Last Play at Shea," a film centered around two Billy Joel concerts at Shea Stadium in 2008, on Aug. 21 at Citi Field. I attended the first of those two shows in '08, and it was pretty awesome.

--Good story by Steve Popper of The Bergen Record about Dwight Gooden, who continues to make headlines for his off-the-field life.

--Alex Rodriguez didn't homer again, and the Yankees lost, and I'll tell you what, this whole quest for 600 homers is starting to lose some buzz.  Mark Herrmann has the latest on A-Rod's pursuit.

The more intriguing issue, at least to me, is that the Yankees' American League East over Tampa Bay is down to two games. This should be a fun Yankees-Rays weekend series at Tropicana field. Yet Tampa Bay's wild-card lead over Boston is five games, six in the loss column. If you look at Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA playoff odds, you can see that the computer simulations have the Red Sox qualifying for the postseason just 17.4 percent of the time.

--Joe Girardi discussed Joba Chamberlain's demotion some more. This has been a long time coming, obviously. 

--Jorge Posada was scratched, and the more instances we see of Posada's fragility, the more sense it makes for the Yankees to project him as a designated hitter in 2011.

--Trade deadline: It feels like the expected lull at the moment. Many teams figure, with roughly 80 hours remaining as I type, what's the harm in waiting another 24 or 36 hours, getting in another game or two, before pulling the trigger on something?

As two examples, Joel Sherman reported that the Rockies are on the fence over what they should do, and Ken Rosenthal reported the same regarding the Brewers (thanks to for the latter link). It magnifies the importance of the tiniest portion of games within the 162-game marathon. But that's what having a deadline does, right, no matter the walk of life. It changes the equation.

--Check back here for updates throughout the day.


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