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Joe Girardi, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes and Sandy Alderson

Sorry, just a brief one this morning, as I'm traveling back home.

--At the Yankees' loss to Cleveland last night, I wrote about Joe Girardi's handling of Derek Jeter. I commended Girardi, as a matter of fact, for heeding Jeter's request to play last night.

Ticket prices for this weekend's series are up, not surprisingly, Neil Best reports.

As for Phil Hughes, making his first start since April 14...he was all right. Not playoff-ready or anything, but remember where he came from - those awful starts back in April. Girardi talked about how Hughes needed to work on more of a "downard plane." The velocity was improved, as advertised, so perhaps some work with pitching coach Larry Rothschild will further enhance Hughes' performance.

--Out in Los Angeles, Sandy Alderson assessed the Mets' playoff chances, and from reading David Lennon's story, Alderson comes off as quite the realist. As much as the Mets need to keep playing well - they beat the Dodgers again last night, for their fourth straight victory - they also need the Braves to slow down. Atlanta has won 13 of its last 16 games.

So the trade deadline could largely run through Flushing, as we originally thought, with one important difference: Jose Reyes will probably stay put. His trade value won't be helped, anyway, by his current injury. Lennon reports that Reyes will be out until at least Saturday.

--If you're a baseball broadcasting nerd (like me), you'll appreciate that Bob Costas and Al Michaels are calling tomorrow night's Mets-Giants game on the MLB Network. New York viewers will get a taste of the two legends on SNY.

--The Rays won in Minnesota yesterday, and this four-game series at Yankee Stadium is huge for Tampa Bay. It could set their course for the rest of the season. They begin the series trailing the Red Sox by four games in the loss column in the American League wild-card chae.

--Have a great day.

New York Sports