The judges refused to participate this week unless we flew them down to Florida. Why is it that egos always get in the way of a good thing?
Without further ado...
--The silver goes to JE, who commented on a story that Terry Collins will monitor the Mets' pre-game card-playing:
And the gold goes to Jim, who checked in with a characteristically passionate response to Hank Steinbrenner's latest salvo:
Hank comes close to being a fool, but he's right that what the Yankees pay in revenue sharing is sickening, and every Yankee fan should be outraged. It's one of the reasons why prices for tickets and food are so high.
He's also right that, as players have earned more money, they have been distracted to some extent by their riches. That might not be the cause of the Yankees being knocked out of the playoffs last year, but it's an observation that shouldn't be dismissed outright.
Hank is dead-on when it comes to small-market teams. When is enough, enough? If these teams cannot make it economically, then there should be some contraction or movement of franchises. I know, I know, the MLBPA won't allow contraction, but that doesn't mean Hank is wrong on this.
--For my column, I wrote about Terry Collins and his ability to carry this sort of intensity through the marathon of a 162-game season. I thought Collins had some interesting things to say, particularly about the need to "prove himself."
--David Lennon wrote about the Mets' brainy starting pitchers.
--Ruben Tejada is a darkhorse candidate to win the second-base job, Collins said.
--The most dangerous American League road cities for someone trying to keep off weight? Chicago and Kansas City, according to CC Sabathia. I'd agree with those two and also throw Baltimore and Seattle up there, as Baltimore has the delicious Vaccaro's and Seattle has the best coconut cake in the free world at Metropolitan Grill.
--Joe Girardi praised Larry Rothschild and said he wasn't worried about Russell Martin. You know whom Rothschild resembles? Toby from the U.S. version of "The Office." Different hair, but similar facial expressions, although Rothschild has a fuller face.
--Miguel Cabrera is getting treatment.
--I'm in the Port Charlotte area this morning and will check in later from Rays camp.