I'm a sucker for minutiae-fueled stories like this one. Here are the basics:
1. Because the Rays already have two split doubleheaders this year - they played one April 28 in Minnesota and they have another one scheduled August 16 in Boston - they had the right to turn down a third split doubleheader. That second split doubleheader is the threshold. Had the Rays been slated for just one day-night twin-bill, then the Yankees could've gotten what they wanted today, a split doubleheader.
2. I poked the Yankees, specifically Joe Girardi, for acting all high and mighty concerning the Rays' decision to nix the twin-bill. Girardi sounded like he was reading from a script as he kept talking about "the fans," and what a shame it was that Tampa Bay's action made it tougher for Jeter to pick up his 3,000th hit at home.
But if the Yankees were really that hellbent on helping Jeter reach the milestone at home, then all they had to do was play a straight, single-admission doubleheader today. However, they didn't want Jeter to get his highlight moment at home that badly, not to sacrifice all of those revenues from the extra gate.
In any case, as I wrote in my column, I don't know why the Yankees woudln't want to wait until September, anyway. Doubleheaders are always tough.
--The prices for Sunday's game already have increased, in light of the rainout, Neil Best reports.
There's going to be a lot of talk about the big-name Yankees blowing off the All-Star Game, especially when you consider Mariano Rivera, too. I understand if there's any skepticism concerning Rivera, since he has a history of this _ but then again, you'd have to be pretty out there to think he fabricated the right elbow injury of the past week.
Jeter and A-Rod, on the other hand, both have high attendance rates at the Midsummer Classic, and my sense is that they both like the event. It helps both of them expand their relative brands. I think they're both hurting and realize that they're better off taking the break to rest, simple as that. Of course, that doesn't make it any more palatable for MLB, which will now be missing such icons as Jeter, A-Rod and the unselected (understandably) Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki.
--The Mets recorded yet another big victory, outlasting the Giants. Because the Mets have made up so little ground on the Braves and Phillies while playing so well, what Sandy Alderson might have to determine is the value of an end-of-season winning record. Should Carlos Beltran be traded because the Mets are hopelessly far away from a playoff spot? Or should Beltran be retained in order to finish over .500 and produce momentum for next year?
As always, it depends on the offers out there for Beltran. But a trade of Beltran while the team is doing well, regardless of the playoff standings, will turn the focus off the field - exactly where the Mets' owners don't want it.
--Angel Pagan is performing capably as Jose Reyes' replacement in the leadoff spot.
--Ike Davis reported good news on his injured left ankle.
--Josh Hamilton spoke last night for the first time after a fan died Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark because he fell while catching Hamilton's throw.
--The Red Sox beat the Orioles in a game that featured a late-inning fracas.
--The falling-apart-by-the-seems Dodgers fired Steve Garvey, as Garvey has publicly expressed concern about the franchise. What's next? Frank McCourt fines Vin Scully for reporting the score of a Dodgers loss?
--Self-promotion alert: I'll be on WFAN this morning at 8:25 with Richard Neer, discussing the Mets, and I'll be on ESPN New York (1050 AM) at 11:03 this morning with Jody McDonald, talking Yankees and Mets.
--Have a great day.