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Comment Winter Olympics: Carlos Beltran, Derek Jeter, Duke Snider, John Stearns and the Wilpons

 Another busy week here at the blog, and the judges had their hands full in selecting the winners.

Without further ado...

--The bronze goes to Sandy, who - perhaps fueld by a hearty breakfast at IHOP - took the Carlos Beltran news and spun it toward a surprising, interesting direction:

Future notice for Derek Jeter: Beltran was a top CF'er just as you were a top SS. If he isn't too proud to step aside to an easier fielding position, neither should you be. I don't even look at Beltran as a definitive team player like everybody assumes Jeter is.

--The silver goes to Richie G., who, like Sandy, commented on the news of the day (in this case, Duke Snider's passing) but took it to an unexpected place:

As for the Duke...I met the man. He wasn't very nice to me. And I was pretty darn nice to him. Told him about my dead father loving the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was never my hero, and I'm glad. Though it could have been one off day. Who knows.

As for my hero (John Stearns alert), the first time I met John Stearns, it couldn't have gone better!! Though he did ask that I stop sending shirtless pictures.

--And the gold goes to a first-time winner who goes by the moniker "IREADICOMMENT," for his or her thoughts on the Wilpons:

I'm inclined to believe the Wilpons' arguments of ignorance and stupidity rather than culpability (though it's possible the law may find them liable) regarding Madoff. Base my belief on the ignorant and stupid way they have run the Mets for decades. As for the Madoff money, no doubt in my mind that Madoff funded the Mets, Sterling Equities, and the Wilpon's family wealth. Just look at the massive debt taken on in the form of bank loans and MLB loans since Madoff was arrested.

--Mario Cuomo showed up, surprisingly, at the latest Wilpon-Picard hearing yesterday.

--Oliver Perez pitched slightly better for the Mets yesterday, but right now, the safe money is on a release by Opening Day.

--Francisco Rodriguez figures to be a doubly fascinating story this season. We've discussed his huge vesting option vis a vis the Wilpons' financial difficulties extensively, but there's also his comeback from his arrest and the injury that resulted from the incident.

During my four days in Mets camp last month, I didn't do much more than nod hello to K-Rod. But from watching him interact with teammates, he certainly seems more relaxed than he had even in previous spring trainings. We'll see how he does once the pressure of the regular season kicks in.

--David Lennon updates us on the Mets' second-base derby.

--Good story by Erik Boland on CC Sabathia, who will fly in (from California to Tampa) some coaches from his high school this weekend as part of a mentoring program

--Freddy Garcia is confident that a spot in the Yankees' starting rotation is his to lose. He should be. The Yankees obviously would prefer that he make it, given his experience and track record.

By the way, Garcia is the answer to the question, "Who placed second among pitchers in the Yankees' weigh-in?" Garcia reported to camp at 255 pounds, 35 pounds behind Sabathia.

--There was a big Manny moment at the Yankees-Rays game yesterday.

--The Associated Press wrote up a slightly creepy guide to hanging out around Jeter's house.

--OK, check back later today for Day 2 of the Billy Joel DVD/CD giveaway. And clear up time for next Tuesday at 2:00, as we'll be having a live chat.

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