33° Good Morning
33° Good Morning

The Mets' challenging stretch, Brett Gardner, Albert Pujols and Frank McCourt

Only two weeks have passed since our last Spadafore-style entry. But what can I say? When you've gotta go Spadafore style, you've gotta go.

News: The Mets open a three-game home series tonight against Oakland, kicking off a potentially difficult stretch against American League clubs.

Views: The hot A's (who have won five in a row) at home, then it's a six-game trip to Texas and Detroit and finally three games back home against the Yankees. Given that the Mets are five games out (four in the loss column) of the NL wild-card lead, currently held by Atlanta, Terry Collins' group can't afford too much of a letdown.

The linked story to "Mets," above is a good piece by David Lennnon about Carlos Beltran and the possibility that he'll be traded. At this moment, the Mets really can't trade anyone, and I spoke last week with a friend of Sandy Alderson's who asserted that Jose Reyes, in particular, wasn't going anywhere during the regular season.

We know, however, that June and July carry with them their own dynamic. One great or awful week, one significant injury or recovery, one change undertaken by an adversary - any or all of those can determine the fate of teams and/or players.

If the Mets go, say, 4-8 in this upcoming stretch, and they fall considerably behind the wild-card leaders, then they'd owe it to themselves - and their fans - to seriously consider trade offers for Reyes, Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, among others.

Although, even then - on July 4 - there'd still be time to mount another run at contention.

News: The Yankees won, even though Brett Gardner again didn't start (scroll down) against a left-hander (Cincinnati's Travis Wood). 

Views: Look at Gardner's splits. A .390 OBP against lefties. It's getting silly, already.

If you're really determined to start Andruw Jones against lefties - Jones went 1-for-3 last night and didn't run out a grounder; he subsequently, suspiciously explained that he turned an ankle - then give Curtis Granderson a night off. Granderson has started 70 of the Yankees' 71 games.

News: Albert Pujols broke a bone in the area of his left wrist and is expected to miss six weeks.

Views: Very bad news for St. Louis, obviously. The more intriguing news is, what does this mean for the impending free agent Pujols?

The answer is, simply, it depends on how he looks upon his return. He'll have time to his his way back into the economic stratosphere he desires. Yet any time a hitter injures his wrist, alarms go off, so there will be extra scrutiny.

News: Bud Selig rejects Frank McCourt's Dodgers TV agreement with Fox, thereby keeping the Dodgers' ownership in question. 

Views: This was a slam-dunk development in McCourt's slow, painful departure from baseball. The next step comes when McCourt fails to make his payroll, perhaps as soon as June 30.

McCourt's only remaining leverage is if he mounts a lawsuit of Selig, which could - in the worst-case scenario for baseball - force all owners to open their books. That would be fascinating. We're rooting for that.

We're not betting on that, however. Most likely is that McCourt has neither the capital nor the legal backing to do this, and that the team gets sold, ideally by the end of this season.

--I'll check in tonight from Citi Field.





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