TODAY'S PAPER
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Our 2011 baseball preview, Jason Bay and Brad Lidge - and there's a live chat today

Live chat this afternoon at 3:00, and I'll be off soon to Yankee Stadium, to attend the Tigers' and Yankees' practices in prepation for tomorrow's Opening Day. So just the basics this morning:

--Here's Newsday's 2011 baseball preview. Props as always go to Dave Whitehorn, who puts together this monstrosity with creativity and determination. It's always a pleasure working with him. Great job by all of the other writers and editors, as well.

--My column urged Yankees and Mets fans to enjoy the process. It's quite possible that both of our local clubs will endure rough seasons. But there are two smart GMs at the helm in Brian Cashman and Sandy Alderson, IMO, and that should be worth something.

--I ranked the starting rotations, one through 30. As I mention in the write-up, I utilized a mix of statistical analysis and projections and scouting conventional wisdom in coming up with these. I made my original list in early March and then adjusted them as the news on specific injuries came down the pike.

In other words, I had good intentions, but the whole thing sort of wound up like Aunt Edna's Killer Fudge Brownies, as Woody described it in "Cheers":

"The first time Uncle Ford smelled them baking, he came running in and got hit by a combine. He hung on for a few days. At the end, he was praying to die."

--Here are 10 predictions (real ones, not the Weekend sort) for the upcoming season.

--Here are my write-ups of the AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East, NL Central and NL West.

--Jason Bay will probably start the season on the disabled list. Amazing. The guy was one of the most durable players before he came a Met, and now he can't stay on the field.

--Ronny Paulino's situation looks worse than Bay's, even, although it's not yet clear how much time the new Mets catcher will miss.

--The Mets want Jason Isringhausen to hang out in Florida for a couple of weeks. Having worked so hard to come this far in his comeback, could Isringhausen now really just head home and retire? 

--Tim McCarver, rarely one to hold back, thinks the Wilpons should sell the Mets.

--Jason Giambi testified in the Barry Bonds hearing yesterday. We obviously can't know what the jury is thinking, but it sure seems that the Bonds defense team better put on a good show when its turn comes along.

--Phillies closer Brad Lidge will miss 3-to-6 weeks with a strained right shoulder, the club said. Given how much Lidge has veered among excellence, absence and awfulness over the prior two seasons, this seems like a relatively easy hurdle to leap.

--I wrote a news story about the new 7-day disabled list for players with concussions, which I think is a terrific idea. Good job by MLB and the Players Association. They also did a fine job last week with a joint donation to Japan.

--All right, I'll check in later from the Bronx, and stop by the live chat. And if you haven't submitted your season predictions yet, it isn't too late.

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