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Morning reading: George Steinbrenner, Cliff Lee and the Mets

Just the basics, as we prepare for another busy day. This, however, will be different. 

Barring something unexpected, I'll be leaving the meetings site to drive to Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, where Derek Jeter, Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman will be speaking. Nope, the captain wanted no part of coming to the winter meetings. Therefore, for the first time in 10 years of covering these, I'll leave the lobby for the bulk of the day.

So here's my column on George Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller and the Hall of Fame. And here's my column on Cliff Lee

Yes, I wrote two columns, both on the Yankees. No reason to write here about the Mets.

I've communicated with a fair number of Mets fans over the years, and while many are pleased with the Sandy Alderson hiring, most of those still are frustrated by the team's refusal to spend significant funds this winter. I don't get that - the Mets still rank among the clubs that spend the most - but then again, I don't pay my hard-earned money to watch the Mets play.

My proposed solution? The Mets should take another shot at lowering those ticket prices even more. Yes, it would be embarrassing, but the Yankees did it in the middle of the season back in 2009. Sometimes, you just have to swallow your pride. Honesty usually wins the day: "We're taking a year to assess what we've done before moving forward. We want you to get into the ballpark and assess what we're doing." Or what not.

Because right now, I have only anecdotal information, but it sounds like the Mets are getting hammered on the ticket-sales front. I'm pretty confident in my anecdotal information, based on how last year's anecdotal information translated into 2010 attendance. 

In any case, our Mets beat writer David Lennon is here, working his tuchus off. Yesterday, Terry Collins said that he would watch Carlos Beltran play centerfield in spring training, and the new skipper also spoke about interviewing Andy Van Slyke for the team's hitting coach position.

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