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Sunday reading: The Yankees' schedule, Russell Martin, Felix Hernandez and Mets momentum

At the Yankees' thumping of the Orioles, I wrote about how the Yankees have benefited from their frequent days off - four scheduled rest days plus three rainouts.

When you combine Phil Hughes' visit to the disabled list, Ivan Nova's struggles and the likely reality that neither Freddy Garcia nor Bartolo Colon can make it through the full grind of a pitch-every-fifth-day schedule, the Yankees might as well be thankful for the way the schedule has gone so far.

As I wrote in the column, perhaps they'll get burned later in the year, when the off days are gone and a doubleheader or two comes around. But if I ran the Yankees, I'd take that risk and bank on having more, better pitching options from which to choose..

As for the game itself, the storyline evolved from "CC Sabathia pitches a gem" to "Yankees blowout, starring Alex Rodriguez and his grand slam" to "Rusell Martin hits and gets hit, Yankees get angry." Erik Boland focused on that last part in his game story, and you could see - both during the game and after it - how upset the Yankees were that Baltimore reliever Josh Rupe hit Martin high in the back, after Martin had gone deep twice.

Even Orioles manager Buck Showalter expressed how upset he was with his own pitcher, as it certainly looked like an act of vengeance and, therefore, it reflected extremely bad sportsmanship. Rupe insisted he didn't mean to do what he did, and that he understood why he looked terrible.

--Phil Hughes was encouraged by his bullpen session before yesterday's game. He could throw in a minor-league game this coming week.

--Mark Herrmann salutes Roger Maris, as we're in the 50th anniversary of his record-breaking season. I of course disagree with the assertions here of many former players and sportswriters that Maris is the "true" single-season home run champion. We'll never know precisely how many more homers Mark McGwire hit in 1998 because of his usage of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Life is complex.

 --My Sunday Insider focuses on Felix Hernandez and his future. I continue to believe that the Mariners won't trade Hernandez this year, not with Hernandez under control through 2014. The offer from another team would have to be mind-blowing for Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik to seriously consider it.

--The Mets won their third straight game. They're starting to mesh, David Lennon writes. Their roster is too good to be earth-shatteringly bad; even now, they're on pace to go 62-100. I don't think they'll contend for anything, but they should wind up with a better winning percentage than their current one. Something in the neighborhood of a 75-87 record makes sense.

--Dillon Gee pitched well for the victory. Barring someone's health issue, I can't see Gee sticking on the big-league club for now. None of the five veterans has pitched poorly enough to lose his job, especially with Mike Pelfrey coming off a good outing Friday night.

--As of now, this week's plan calls for giveaway contests tomorrow and Wednesday. As always, that is subject to change.

--Happy Easter, and have a great day.

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