R.A. Dickey was absolutely dealing in the early innings last night, wasn't he? Alas, it sure seemed like Terry Collins left Dickey in too long as it all came apart in the eighth inning. The Mets lost to Pittsburgh, giving the Pirates their first victory at Citi Field.

I've heard some grumbling from Mets fans about Collins' game management, including lineup arrangement, a love of bunting and staying with his starting pitchers too long. I don't strongly disagree with any of those criticisms. I just find it interesting that it turns out, so far, Collins' strength is his people management over his game management. I anticipated the opposite.

Anthony Rieber, who attended the game - whereas I was home, watching "The Good Wife" during the key moment - forgives Collins for his Dickey support.

--Every advancement in Gary Carter's medical saga just gets worse. Carter's tumors are inoperable, his doctors announced yesterday. Man oh man. More thoughts and prayers for Carter and his family.

--Ike Davis will be in a boot for three weeks, to try to heel his left foot. Which only enhances the likelihood that the Mets will be July sellers.

--The Yankees defeated the A's in Oakland, and Freddy Garcia once again pitched well. As we approach trade-discussion season, how much can Brian Cashman count upon Garcia and Bartolo Colon to keep this going?

Not very much, but the truth is, as we sit here now, it isn't looking like a buyers' market for starting pitching. Clubs could get a diminished Francisco Liriano from Minnesota, maybe Brett Myers from Houston, maybe Jason Marquis from Washington. It's nothing close to last year's power trio of Dan Haren, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

Of course, a year ago at this time, we would've contended that neither Haren nor Oswalt would be available. The landscape can change quickly. And the Yankees will be prepared to lead the chase for any high-end starter.

--Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain and Derek Jeter topped Sports Illustrated's list of overrated players, and my first reaction was, "Joba? Who's overrating him? He's a setup guy!"

To me, the poll shows, as much as anything, that players have long memories. Chamberlain's fist pumps and other assorted gestures have rubbed many people the wrong way. A-Rod's transgressions are well-documented. Good for them that they were able to laugh off the poll.

Jeter seemed more hurt by it, and I think that's because he would never participate in this sort of poll. He takes pride in his leadership and in respecting the game, and he considers this a sign of disrespect.

Just a little Amateur Psychology there. Sorry.

Jeter, by the by, now needs 17 hits to get to 3,000.

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