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48° Good Afternoon
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The second half: Mets, Yankees and trade talk

 And, with this story, I have legally fulfilled the mandate of my headline.

Sorry, I am just beat today. Got a busy weekend ahead, as an important Rays-Yankees series will not only carry major baseball implications, but also serve as a cauldron of emotions with salutes to both George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard.

I'm so tired, I feel like a Mets reliever.

So, just some quick links and quick thoughts:

--Here's all of our Steinbrenner coverage. It includes my column that the passing of the patriarch really won't impact the franchise, besides emotionally. 

--The All-Star Game received its lowest-ever rating. Surprising. I would've thought that people would've flipped to it in the later innings, since it was a close game. I'm sure there'll be much hand-wringing in the yakosphere (copyright Neil Best) about the Downfall of the Game and all that. Whatever.

--Speaking of the All-Star Game, Brian Cashman said that Alex Rodriguez's sore right thumb is fine. If that's the case, then it's all the more confounding why A-Rod spent the entire game on the bench.

--Carlos Beltran returns tonight. Should be fascinating. 

--Very interesting trade by the Braves, acquiring veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez for young shortstop Yunel Escobar (with a few other players going each way). I understand why the Braves did this. They're trying to win this year, Gonzalez has played extremely well and Escobar has been terrible. However, I wonder what we'll be saying about this deal a year from now.

Escobar has obvious talent. Back in our baseball preview section, I ranked him third among NL shortstops. I don't know Escobar personally at all, so I can't speak to the supposed personality problems. But we know about the talent.

To me, this feels like what it would've felt like if the Yankees had traded Robinson Cano after his horrendous 2008. How much would the Yankees be regretting that now?

--I agree with the great Paul Lukas that Jonathan Broxton and Brian McCann look silly. But not as silly as those of you who don't use Twitter, where I found this story.

--All right, barring some more major news, I'm laying low today. Will be back with a force this weekend, as mentioned. Have a great day.

 

 

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