Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Seven items: Carlos Beltran, Tropicana Field, the Pirates and four more

Why seven items? Because, as Harlan Williams told Ben Stiller in "There's Something About Mary," "Seven's the key number here. Think about it."

1. Off the Yankees' wacky loss to the Rays, I wrote that the Yankees should seriously consider acquiring Carlos Beltran

Right now, it's a serious long shot. How could that change? If the Yankees enter a funk here leading up to July 31. A funk fueled by offensive ineptitude. With Jorge Posada, in particular, hitting poorly. If ownership gets involved, then perhaps a higher-end prospect could go to the Mets.

But if the Mets are unable to get a good prospect back and simply treat the deal as a cash dump, a scenario described yesterday by Buster Olney, then I think that puts the Giants in the lead. The Giants are happy to open up their wallets and not as thrilled about opening up their farm system. And all things being equal, the Mets would rather not see (and read about) Beltran playing in the Bronx.

2. Tropicana Field has played a factor in both of these Yankees games so far. Last night, Curtis Granderson lost Justin Ruggiano's seventh-inning fly ball in...the catwalks, or something. And on Monday night, there was an 18-minute power failure. The place looks and feels like a dump.

Before last night's game, Rays manager Joe Maddon called the ballpark "improper," and team president Matt Silverman piled on during the game, saying in a statement, "Clearly, something needs to be done."

It does, but in our current world - with the Florida economy in shambles, with the Rays locked into their lease through 2027 and with no great out-of-market alternatives to where the Rays could move - I don't see anything getting done any time soon. 

It's a shame that such a well-run franchise is being dragged down by its poorly-developed, poorly-located home. Kudos to the Rays for everything they've accomplished despite the fact that they play at the Trop.

3. Break up the Pirates! They edged the Reds for their third straight win, and as Jennifer Langosch noted, they've won seven straight series against NL Central foes. They lead the division by two games in the loss column over Milwaukee and St. Louis.

They've inquired about Beltran, as Jon Heyman reports; offense is their biggest need. As I mentioned in yesterday's live chat, one competing official predicted that the Pirates will wind up making an acquisition that is more "symbolic," letting the players and fans know they're in this thing to win it, than impactful.

Baseball Prospectus' computer, FWIW, is not a Pirates believer. A 3.9 percent chance to make the playoffs? Ouch, babe, as Billy Crystal used to say when doing his Sammy Davis, Jr. impersonation.

4. At the Mets' victory over St. Louis, David Lennon wrote about the Mets' improving chances to re-sign Jose Reyes.

The biggest in-season development in this saga is probably Sandy Alderson's interest in retaining Reyes. What we simply don't know, and perhaps what Alderson himself doesn't fully know, is what the Wilpons' finances will be like come November.

But when you consider that, back in April, it seemed a foregone conlusion that Reyes would be traded by July 31, the fact that he'll very likely still be a Met come August 1 has to be considered progress for the team.

5. The Rangers, in the wake of a fan's death at a game earlier this month, will raise the heights of railings in their first rows around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. 

They had to do this, if only for public-relations reasons, but naturally, every ballpark should do everything possible to avoid the sort of tragedy that occurred in Texas. I still shudder thinking about that poor fan, Shannon Stone, and his family, particularly his son who witnessed his fall.

6. Jason Isringhausen picked up the save for the Mets last night. It's a tremendous story, but once the Mets trade Beltran, officially signifying their departure from the playoff race, they need to make sure to try to get some closing opportuniites for Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato.

Of course, Isringhausen himself could get dealt, which would solve that issue.

7. Working our way back to the Yankees, Bartolo Colon really did look outstanding, a huge development for the prospective Game 2 playoff starter. All the more so because Ivan Nova left his Triple-A start with what Joe Girardi called a turned right ankle.

The Yankees view Nova as an extremely valuable asset. He already was slotted to start in the July 30 doubleheader against Baltimore, and down the road this season, he could be converted to a reliever. Rafael Soriano started his 30-day rehabilitation clock with an outing for Class A Tampa, and Eric Chavez started his 20-day clock in the same game.

Oh, and by the way, if Soriano can work his way back to the Yankees' roster, then of course he should get the eighth-inning job back. David Robertson will gladly move back to the seventh inning. If Soriano falters like he did earlier in the year, then the Yankees can reassess.

--I'll check in later from the Trop.


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