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Jay-Z Had Clandestine Dinner with New York Mets Brass, Reportedly Talked About Robinson Cano

Houston Rockets v New York Knicks

What do you do whenever you’re a baseball staff working on a tight funds, which often cries poverty regardless of taking part in within the biggest city in America? If you’re the New York Mets you could have dinner at an costly Manhattan restuarant with Jay-Z to talk about his consumer Robinson Cano, who’s rumored to desire a contact price over $300 million.

That’s reportedly what Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and GM Sandy Alderson did Monday night time by way of the New York Put up’s Ken Davidoff.

Clearly this makes good sense. All all through last week’s Common Manager’s meetings in Orlando, Alderson claimed the Mets still don’t have some huge cash to spend on free agents, prompting zingers from mega-agent Scott Boras, among others. Boras represents two of the opposite high free brokers available in the market — Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo — every searching for offers within the $150 million vary. Cano reportedly wants double that quantity so in fact, the Mets, who’ve seen their payroll shrink from $149 million in 2008 to $ninety three final season, will discuss the cope with Jay-Z for Cano.

 

From the Cano camp it actually does make some sense, sarcasm temporarily put aside. Apart from the Yankees there doesn’t appear to be another crew willing to bid for the star second baseman. The Bombers only wish to provide him a seven-year deal worth $a hundred and sixty-170 million. Why not try to sucker the Mets, if only for some leverage? If nothing else, establish a working relationship with the Mets.

Tuesday morning Yankees President Randy Levine reiterated that the staff is not going to pay Cano his $300 million demands. From Newsday:

When asked whether he may envision the Mets prying Cano away from the Yankees, Levine laughed and stated, “For 300 million, yes.”

As for the Mets? It’s nearly not possible to see them signing off on a 10-yr contract for a player who’d be 41 by the point it’s complete. Sure, going after the highest player available on the market, Cano, could be a sign of intent that the associated fee-cutting days are over at Citi Area. It could also be a means for the staff to stay it to the Yankees. More than doubtless the Mets will once more go low-cost, making an attempt to piece together the workforce and possession can point to this assembly with Jay-Z that, hey, we’re making an attempt to sign players however we’re being priced out.

Granted the Mets are the workforce that agreed to pay Bobby Bonilla over $1 million a year till all of the polar ice caps soften (really 2035) to purchase out the final yr of his contract, value $5 million … so something is feasible.

Related: Jay-Z Gave Robinson Cano a $33,900 Watch, MLBPA Investigating for Attainable Violation
Related: Connecticut Man Arrested for Twitter Threats Towards the Mets

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Yankees: We want Cano, but not at $300M

 

NEW YORK – Another shot of actuality potion, on the rocks, is what New York Yankees president Randy Levine has ordered for the representatives of Robinson Cano as agent Jay Z and his crew are reportedly holding quick to their demand of a 10-yr contract worth $310 million.

“We want Robbie again; we expect Robbie is terrific,” Levine mentioned Tuesday in a telephone conversation with ESPNNewYork.com. “However we have no real interest in doing any 10-12 months deals and little interest in paying $300 million to any participant. Till he will get a bit more sensible, now we have nothing to talk about.”

Levine We would like Robbie again; we think Robbie is terrific. But we have now no interest in doing any 10-12 months deals and no real interest in paying $300 million to any participant. Until he gets somewhat more sensible, we have nothing to talk about.

- Randy Levine, Yankees president

On Monday, ESPNNewYork.com reported that Cano’s agents, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA and hip-hip mogul Jay Z, had been holding agency to their demand that Cano receive the richest contract in baseball history, surpassing the ten-year, $275 million deal – with one other potential $30 million in performance bonuses – that the Yankees gave to Alex Rodriguez after he opted out of his present contract following the 2007 season.

Levine’s comments come on the heels of Jay Z meeting with New York Mets brass. The New York Post reported, and ESPN.com confirmed, that Jay Z met with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general supervisor Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco for dinner Monday night time to discuss the free agent.

A source informed ESPN.com that the Mets were shocked the meeting leaked to the media so fast and perceive that their curiosity may very well be leveraged to drive up Cano’s asking worth.

Levine’s response echoed the phrases of Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who said in October that the Yankees have been “not prepared” to signal Cano to a 10-yr deal.

Cano’s brokers seek to market him as “the next Michael Jordan,” in accordance with a New York Day by day News report, citing unnamed sources.

The back and forth is also harking back to the 2010 contract negotiations with Derek Jeter, which turned ugly when a crew official famously advised the Yankees captain to “drink the reality potion” after his brokers reportedly demanded a four-12 months deal worth between $23 million and $25 million a season.

Jeter finally signed a three-yr deal price $fifty one million, and he not too long ago was given a one-year deal that may pay him $12 million for the 2014 season.

The Yankees have already made a proposal to Cano, believed to be within the space of between five and 7 years for around $160 million, a median of roughly $23 million a yr.

Levine was reached early Tuesday at his Manhattan office. He was to testify later within the day within the Rodriguez arbitration hearing.

“Signing Robbie is a precedence for us,” mentioned Levine, who said Yankees GM Brian Cashman was additionally “engaged” in discussions with “5 – 6 other free agents,” together with infielders Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew, both of whom could fill in for Cano at second base, in addition to outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo and catcher Brian McCann.

Sources additionally say they are in on Carlos Beltran.

“We’re very energetic,” Levine said. “But whoever we signal has got to make sense for us. We made Robbie a very aggressive offer.”

Cano’s representatives did not immediately return a call in search of comment.

 

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Source: SS Drew won’t re-sign with Red Sox

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Drew era in Boston, bookended by a World Sequence title won by older brother J.D. in 2007 and another Collection title gained by youthful brother Stephen last month, is coming to a close.

A baseball source mentioned Tuesday that shortstop Stephen Drew will not return to the Red Sox because there are a number of groups keen to make multiyear gives for his providers beyond something Boston would do. Agent Scott Boras stated he has talked with Red Sox common supervisor Ben Cherington about Drew and his different free-agent shopper with Boston ties, Jacoby Ellsbury, but contended there’s a high volume of curiosity in both gamers.

Stephen Drew

A baseball supply stated shortstop Stephen Drew won’t return to the Red Sox for the 2014 season.

Of Drew, Boras mentioned, “Clearly, if you want to win, and you desire a middle-of-the-diamond player – and a whole lot of really, actually good groups want upgrades in the course of the diamond – he’s obtained a really lively, very massive market.”

Drew, who made $9.5 million on a one-year deal final season, rejected a qualifying offer from the Red Sox that will have given him a one-12 months, $14.1 million deal, selecting to take his possibilities in a weak shortstop market. If Drew does signal elsewhere, that staff will forfeit a primary-spherical draft pick (unless it owns one of many first 11 picks) and the Red Sox would get a compensatory pick in next year’s first-12 months participant draft.

Drew performed wonderful protection throughout the postseason, however struggled mightily on the plate, going 6-for-fifty four (.111). Within the common season, he hit253 with thirteen dwelling runs and 67 RBIs.

The departure of Drew would depart the Red Sox in need of infield depth on the left facet, Cherington acknowledged. On paper, the Red Sox would begin the season with rookie Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Will Middlebrooks at third base.

As for Ellsbury, Boras dismissed the seven-yr, $142 million deal that Carl Crawford signed with Boston in 2010 as a comparative, calling it an “old contract.”

“For any elite participant, the variety of premium players at that stage who get to free company now are uncommon,” Boras said, responding to a query of how much curiosity there is in Ellsbury. “Teams recognize that. I think they view these players as difference-makers and getting players that are high-five offense, prime-five protection at their positions, they usually’re younger, are a real alternative for a franchise.”

The Red Sox stay a type of groups – Boras mentioned he spoke with Cherington – but when the agent is really intent on touchdown a bigger deal than Crawford received from Boston in 2010, it’s laborious to examine the Red Sox remaining in the bidding for long.

Boston’s strategy, developed last 12 months, was a willingness to take on a excessive average annual worth in salary in alternate for fewer years. That might not work to keep Ellsbury, even when at this stage his suitors aren’t instantly apparent, with the standard main-market suspects – the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox – seemingly not within the combine. The San Francisco Giants also are out.

And what makes Crawford’s deal an “old contract,” given that it was signed simply three years ago?

“As a result of the revenues have modified, the markets have changed,” Boras said. “I think if markets had gone down, you’d probably be taking a look at one thing completely different, but the markets go up.

“There is definitely a base point of what teams do and things you have a look at. I do not know of any gamers in this market which are like him [Crawford], however there are players which can be completely different from him and are of higher worth.”

With out filling in the blanks, Boras clearly believes Ellsbury fits in that class, and he contends there are plenty of teams eager about him.

“It is excess of regular for elite players these days as a result of simply the revenue construction of the sport invites a lot more applicants,” Boras stated, “and the rareness of the expertise and place of gamers has loads to do with the quantity of curiosity. I won’t provide you with particular numbers, however it’s more than normal.”

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Pirates top Reds for 1st playoff win since ’92

Pirates’ First postseason Win Since 1992

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates went 21 years between playoff video games. The wait can be considerably shorter this time around.

Russell Martin homered twice, Francisco Liriano was dominant for seven innings and the Pirates roared past Cincinnati for a 6-2 victory in the Nationwide League wild-card game Tuesday night time.

In front of a black-clad crowd savoring its first postseason sport since 1992, Marlon Byrd also connected and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and reached base 4 times for Pittsburgh.

“We’re for real,” McCutchen said. “We’re definitely for actual.”

Liriano scattered four hits for the Pirates, who will face St. Louis in Game 1 of the NL Division Collection on Thursday. Liriano struck out five and walked one to win the primary playoff game of his career.

“We didn’t talk about one-and-accomplished; we talked about one and run,” Pirates supervisor Clint Hurdle said. “Win one and run to St. Louis.”

Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto struggled in his third begin since coming off the disabled checklist final month. He gave up four runs in 3 1/three innings and appeared rattled by a raucous ballpark that taunted him by chanting his name.

The 36-year-previous Byrd, acquired by the Pirates in late August from the New York Mets, celebrated the first postseason at-bat of his 12-year profession – 1,250 video games – by sending Cueto’s fastball into the seats to present the Pirates the lead. The shot sent one other jolt by means of an already electric crowd, which began singing, “Cue-to, Cue-to,” in unison when Martin stepped in.

“This is 20 years of ready. You are seeing all of it come out in one night time,” Martin mentioned. “Hopefully we are able to keep this environment ’til late October.”

Martin sent a drive into the bleachers in left area. The Reds by no means recovered, ending a ninety-win season with a six-recreation dropping streak.

Three of these losses got here against Pittsburgh in Cincinnati, within the final series of the season, which decided the positioning of the win-or-die recreation.

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker backed Cueto earlier than the game, saying his ace “thrives on this atmosphere.” Maybe, however the correct-hander by no means regarded snug in entrance of the largest crowd in PNC Park historical past, a place Cueto has dominated.

Cueto, who went in eight-2 at the ballpark by the Allegheny River, even lost his grip on the ball while standing on the mound.

A second later, he misplaced his grip on the sport.

Martin’s 405-foot shot to left-middle gave Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead and all the momentum Liriano would require.

Signed on the cheap in the offseason after a mediocre 2012 split between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, Liriano has been reborn in Pittsburgh. He went sixteen-8 with a three.02 PERIOD throughout the common season, his devastating slider almost unhittable in opposition to left-handers.

The Reds proved no match. Joey Votto went 0-for-four with two strikeouts. Jay Bruce produced an RBI single in the fourth but Cincinnati never really threatened on an evening baseball formally returned to Pittsburgh after a 20-yr trek through purgatory.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the eighth, a drive to right area that was upheld by video assessment.

After the game, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips took to Twitter and shouldered the blame for the tip of Cincinnati’s season.

Pittsburgh’s 94-win regular season reignited a relationship sullied by years of mismanagement and miserable play. When the gates opened two hours earlier than the primary pitch, fans – most of them dressed in black on the urging of MVP candidate McCutchen – sprinted to their seats in anticipation of the club’s first postseason sport since Atlanta’s Sid Bream slid into residence forward of Barry Bonds’ throw within the bottom of the ninth in Sport 7 of the 1992 NL Championship Sequence.

The victory despatched the Braves to the World Series and the Pirates into an abyss it took an entire generation to flee.

The first step came with victory No. 82 on Sept. 9. The next came two weeks later when a win over the Chicago Cubs assured the Pirates of a wild-card spot. Essentially the most thrilling but lifted the workforce with the twenty sixth-highest payroll within the majors ($73.6 million) into a showdown with baseball royalty.

The Reds, meanwhile, head into an offseason that might be eventful. Baker has led Cincinnati to the playoffs in three of the previous four years however the Reds didn’t advance every time. They fell to the San Francisco Giants in five video games – after leading 2-0 – within the division series in 2012 and had been swept in the same round by Philadelphia in 2010.

This time, they didn’t even make it that far. Cincinnati spent many of the season because the third team in a 3-way race with the Pirates and the Cardinals for the NL Central title.

Cueto, who made three trips to the disabled listing this season with a strained lat, was pressed into service when projected starter Mat Latos discovered bone chips in his right (throwing) elbow.

At the time, it seemed like an improve. It wasn’t. The Pirates made it 3-zero on Tuesday on a sacrifice fly in the third by Pedro Alvarez, and Cueto was pulled when Starling Marte doubled with one out within the fourth. Marte sprinted house on native boy Neil Walker’s double off reliever Sean Marshall, and Walker scored on a fielder’s selection by Byrd to make it 5-1.

When Martin hit a drive to left off Logan Ondrusek within the seventh, the get together seemingly unthinkable for a group that lost a hundred and five games in 2010 began. Martin’s lengthy ball marked only the second multihomer playoff game in team history. Bob Robertson hit three in Game 2 of the 1971 NLCS.

Recreation notes

Martin is the primary catcher to homer for 3 totally different teams in the postseason. He beforehand hit playoff homers for the

Los Angeles Dodgers

in 2008 and the

New York Yankees

in 2012… Liriano is the primary Pittsburgh left-hander to win a playoff sport since John Candelaria in Sport 3 of the 1979 World Collection… The Reds have lost 4 straight playoff games and eleven of their previous thirteen… Pittsburgh is the first dwelling crew to win for the reason that new wild-card format was introduced final season… The Pirates went 10-9 this 12 months in opposition to St. Louis… Byrd is the oldest participant to homer in his first postseason at-bat, in accordance with STATS.

Info from The Related Press was used on this report.

 

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The 20 longest home runs of the 2013 baseball season

homerun

Bless the fantastic soul who created the video you see above — it’s a compilation of the 20 longest home runs hit within the 2013 baseball season. YouTube user silentcrescendo18 did the heavy lifting on this, so now all of us can watch eight minutes of probably the most mammoth homers of the season.

When you just like the lengthy ball, we suggest you stop what you’re doing, go get yourself a bowl of popcorn, put this badboy on full-display screen mode and luxuriate in eight minutes of pitches getting crushed.

It’s a countdown, 20 to 1, and while a lot of you may know who hit the longest homer of the 12 months, we won’t spoil it for the individuals who want to watch this and be surprised. Simply do not read any additional in this publish if that’s the case. The entire high 20 list is beneath. We’ll say this, there are some surprises. The highest two home-run swatters in all probability weren’t among anyone’s preseason picks for longest homer.

(USA Right now)

Here’s the list of the longest homers of 2013, via ESPN’s House Run Tracker:

1. Evan Gattis, Atlanta Braves, Sept. eight, 486 toes.
2. Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants, Aug. 27, 476 toes.
3. Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels, April 29, 475 ft.
four. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs, April 18, 475 toes.
5. Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox, May 1, 475 ft.
6. Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds, June 22, 472 ft.
7. Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels, Sept. 7, 471 ft.
8. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, April 24, 470 toes.
9. Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays, April 6, 468 ft.
10. Mike Napoli, Boston Crimson Sox, Might 1, 467 feet.
eleven. Logan Morrison, Miami Marlins, Sept. 6, 467 feet.
12. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles, Aug. 10, 466 toes.
13. Colby Rasmus, Toronto Blue Jays, Could 21, 465 ft.
14. David Wright, New York Mets, Might three, 464 ft.
15. J.D. Martinez, Houston Astros, May 15, 464 ft.
sixteen. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants, Could 21, 464 feet.
17. Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers, April thirteen, 463 ft.
18. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, Could 23, 463 toes.
19. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins, Sept. 18, 463 toes.
20. Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox, Sept. four, 462 ft.

Fascinating to note that Giancarlo Stanton, who most would have picked to hit the longest homer of the year, barely made the list.

And for Evan Gattis, one of the vital interesting players within the league this season, having the longest homer is a pleasant distinction and another thing to add to his growing lore.

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Matt Harvey won’t have Tommy John surgery on his injured elbow

(Getty Images)

UPDATE: The Mets confirmed that Harvey will attempt to rehab his injury for now, but GM Sandy Alderson mentioned Tommy John could nonetheless be a possibility in just a few months.

Take a look at Adam Rubin of ESPN New York’s Twitter feed for extra tidbits from Tuesday’s press conference.

ORIGINAL POST: The New York Mets are expected to announce Tuesday what injured ace Matt Harvey will do concerning the partially torn UCL in his right elbow. However CBS Sports activities’ Jon Heyman has apparently overwhelmed them to it. He is reporting that Harvey will not have surgery, but as an alternative will attempt to rehab the damage.

Harvey saw Tommy John expert Dr. James Andrews on Monday, Harvey’s final physician go to earlier than deciding on how he’d proceed. Per Heyman:

The diagnosis apparently was optimistic sufficient that Harvey is anticipated to attempt rehab for now, then begin a throwing program in 1-2 months. Surgery remains a possibility, relying on how the rehab and throwing go.

Given the timing of Harvey’s damage, he does have the pliability to try a rehab program before in the end choosing surgery. Whether he had Tommy John surgical procedure right this moment or Dec. 1, Harvey would be misplaced until the beginning of the 2015 season. However rehab brings with it the risk of Harvey thinking he is OK, starting to pitch subsequent season, then absolutely tearing his UCL in, say, May or June. That may then set again the timetable another yr.

(Getty Photographs) Harvey’s damage was announced late last month, ending a breakout season for the brand new Mets ace, wherein he grew to become one of the crucial dominant pitchers within the sport. He threw 178.1 innings with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts, the fourth most in baseball on the time of his damage. Harvey began the All-Star Recreation for the Nationwide League and was a Cy Younger candidate regardless of playing for the much less-than-stellar Mets.

The crew said Harvey would finally make the call (with docs’ enter, of course) about what to do. By one door was Tommy John surgery, a virtual guarantee that he’d be OK, he’d just need to skip a season first. By means of the opposite door: The riskier rehab program.

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley tried what Harvey is reportedly making an attempt after a UCL damage last season. After a few starts in the 2013 season, Billingsley needed Tommy John surgery. But Adam Wainwright, on the other hand, rehabbed a partial UCL tear and lasted one other five seasons earlier than needing surgical procedure.

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Bobby Valentine badmouths Yankees on 9/11 anniversary

(Getty)

Contradicting himself by saying “This isn’t about credit score,” former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine complained Wednesday that the New York Yankees obtained an excessive amount of credit score in the wake of the sept. 11 assaults on the city that each teams share.

Talking to WFAN radio on the attacks’ twelfth anniversary, Valentine understandably was emotional in detailing events as he remembered them in the days after the World Trade Center was destroyed, the United States was shaken and Major League Baseball season was placed on pause. After giving some touching remarks about these horrible and awkward times, Valentine took a left turn and slapped down the Yankees. And a few of Valentine’s info seem out of whack as they pertain to how sept. 11 should be remembered. Via CBS in New York:

“Let it’s mentioned that during the time from sept. 11 to 9/21, the Yankees have been (not around),” Valentine advised Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Wednesday. “You couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets of New York Metropolis. You couldn’t discover a Yankee down at Floor Zero, speaking to the blokes who had been working 24/7.”

He added: “A lot of them didn’t live right here, and so it wasn’t their fault. And lots of of them did not partake in all that, so there was a few of that jealousy going around. Like, ‘Why are we so tired? Why are we wasted? Why have we been to the funerals and the firehouses, and the Yankees are getting all of the credit for bringing baseball back?’ And I stated ‘This isn’t about credit, guys. That is about doing the right thing.’”

Bernie Williams visits with survivors at St. Vincent’s Hospital on Sept. 15, 2011 (AP) Oh, really? Has Valentine lost his thoughts? Now that he’s the director of athletics at Sacred Coronary heart University in Fairfield, Conn., he appears to be getting foggy within the head.

As the very subsequent paragraph of the CBS publish says, “Members of the Yankees, together with Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter and manager Joe Torre, visited rescue staging areas on the Jacob Javits Middle, the Armory and St. Vincent’s Hospital 5 days after the assaults.”

Update: Yankees president Randy Levine called Valentine’s comments “sad.”

It’s true that most of the public’s post-sep 11 reminiscences, as they relate to baseball, involve the Yankees. Largely, that’s because they performed in the World Sequence.

But how can Valentine suppose we didn’t know, or forgot, how the Mets lent a hand at Shea Stadium, which was used as a staging area for rescue, cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Or how the gamers, led by Robin Ventura, Valentine also recalled, began sporting NYPD and FDNY caps? Or how the Mike Piazza home run sport at Shea, reintroduced MLB in New York when so many individuals needed one thing else to worry about?

Who — as MLB remembers sept. 11 at ballgames throughout the nation Wednesday — who might overlook in regards to the Mets in September 2001?

People keep in mind what the Mets did, Bobby. We additionally remember what the Yankees did. Not that it is about credit score.

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Titanium catcher’s masks might not be safe enough

(Getty)

No fewer than seven catchers working behind the plate in Main League Baseball have been sidelined with concussions in August, a undeniable fact that reporter Mike Beradino rightly if also pun-tasticlly calls “staggering” in a post for the Twin Cities’ Pioneer Press. At the least five of those catchers reportedly use titanium masks. Two play for the Minnesota Twins — Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit.

The attraction of titanium is the load, or lack thereof, when put next with steel. Producers claim titanium masks weigh sixteen ounces whereas being 10 times stronger than their steel counterparts. That makes the alloy alluring to Doumit, who says: “All through the course of the sport, you start to really feel it behind your neck.”

So this is one thing that issues, even when it’s just for comfort’s sake. Lighter would possibly mean easier for catchers to use in the case of masks, however it might not mean safer.

Any statistician would tell you that it’s a small pattern measurement we’re speaking about — the opportunity of coincidence is excessive — and we’re also not privy to the checks that manufacturers do on these masks. Of course it isn’t of their finest interest to make gear that enables for more concussions. All we have now to go on is the gamers’ instinct, and it is telling them that one thing isn’t right:

(Getty)

“From a catching standpoint, I hope the science catches up, and we will discover a bit of better mask,” Doumit said. “You look across the league, and you see (what’s taking place). We hope that someone comes up with a masks that helps stifle that, as a result of it’s scary.”

Like Doumit, who took a Jason Castro foul tip off the entrance of his mask Aug. 4 in opposition to Houston, Mauer was sidelined after a pair of onerous jolts throughout an Aug. 19 make-up sport towards the New York Mets.

The second one, coming into the seventh inning off the bat of Ike Davis, resulted in the first diagnosed concussion of Mauer’s skilled career.

Mauer has been using a hybrid helmet manufactured by Rawlings that is identical to the new outsized batting helmets. It is one of the best out there gear — which only pins extra speculation on the titanium masks. Those are made by Nike.

Mauer said he would not know what position the tools has in the spate of concussions, only that he hopes “any person rather a lot smarter than” him is researching it. That brings us the curious comments of Twins GM Terry Ryan, who was interviewed by Beradino the day before Mauer sustained his brain damage.

(Getty) Ryan, who has been besieged by questions regarding Mauer’s future and whether it should be behind the plate at $23 million a yr, left no doubt where he sees him enjoying in the coming seasons:

“That’s his place,” Ryan stated. “Anyone’s going to should get again there. We can’t put a mechanical man back there.”

Ryan additionally stated the Twins don’t have a corporation-vast policy on catcher’s masks.

“It is a consolation degree,” Ryan stated. “We have all types. All of them are secure. Obviously, they have to undergo testing, too.”

“All of them are safe.” His gamers don’t appear to agree. Perhaps it is because the way in which the story was written, but Ryan sounds as involved with opening up the crew to legal responsibility as he is all for making sure producers are making the safest stuff potential. At best he is in full “That’s the way it’s,” mode. As Beradino writes, the Detroit Tigers have urged Alex Avila — one other of the concussed catchers — to revert to wearing a mask with steel bars and extra padding.

Until a better masks comes alongside, that is in all probability what the Twins should be doing with Doumit and Mauer. In Mauer’s case, don’t even worry about his non-mechanical brain, in the event you don’t wish to. Just think of it as protecting a $184 million investment.

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Pirates get John Buck and Marlon Byrd from the Mets

(Getty)

Not solely are the Pittsburgh Pirates selling playoff tickets on the verge of their first postseason appearance in 21 years, but they’re additionally calling in reinforcements.

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Adam Rubin of ESPN dished the inside track Tuesday afternoon, reporting that slugger Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck are headed from the New York Mets to the Pirates. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports activities says infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later — everyone’s favourite — go to the Mets.

Herrera is the Bucs’ No. 10 prospect, and represented the organization at the Futures Recreation, so they gave up something of worth. This is one in all his baseball playing cards, already going for $174.ninety five on eBay.

Buck and Byrd will be free agents after the season.

Byrd gives the Pirates a a lot-wanted bat within the outfield, the place they have been hurting for energy in right and hurting basically in left after shedding Starling Marte to a hand injury. Within the midst of a profession season as he approaches his thirty sixth birthday this week, Byrd is batting285/.330/.518 with 21 homers, 26 doubles and 5 triples in 464 plate appearances. He is performed for six groups since breaking in with the Phillies in 2002.

He acquired suspended for 50 video games in 2012 for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug coverage, although Byrd — who has skilled carefully with reformed BALCO founder Victor Conte — says he took a legal medication that became tainted with a banned substance. Regardless, he owned his mistake and did his time. A 2010 All-Star with the Cubs, Byrd has no playoff expertise, if you want to pick nits.

Also an All-Star in 2010, Buck gives the Bucs a revered backup catcher who can play when Russell Martin does not. He’s got 15 residence runs (most of which got here in April) and is batting215/.285/.367 total. He is known for his leadership abilities, as his hugging of Matt Harvey on Monday, following his dangerous news, confirmed the world. Enjoying the majority of his profession with the Royals, he doesn’t have playoff experience, either. However he’s about to, probably.

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Matt Harvey has partially torn UCL, may need Tommy John surgery

(Getty Images)

If New York Mets ace Matt Harvey actually is

Gotham Metropolis’s Darkish Knight

, we’ve reached the second in his super-hero story the place he is hit a low point and might want to muster all his power to get better.

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Mets common manager Sandy Alderson introduced on Monday that Harvey has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his proper elbow, a dreaded harm for pitchers that, in Harvey’s case, could require Tommy John surgical procedure. Whether or not Harvey needs surgery or opts to rehab the damage without it is going to be decided within the coming weeks. For now, Harvey will probably be shut down immediately, headed to the disabled listing and sure won’t pitch again this season.

“This was a surprise to all of us,” Alderson stated at a Monday press convention. “Particularly Matt himself. He has not had any elbow ache. Forearm pain can foretell issues with the elbow, however on this explicit circumstance there had been no indications of that. It is not good news, clearly.”

Harvey added later: “It was the last thing I used to be expecting when I went in this morning.”

Harvey has been the brilliant spot for the Mets this season and one of the breakout MLB stars of 2013. He pitched 178.1 innings with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts, the fourth most in baseball. Harvey began the All-Star Sport for the National League and was a Cy Younger candidate.

As Harvey spoke at Monday’s press convention, he usually referred to preparing for subsequent season, which indicators two things: He is aware of he is accomplished for 2013 however he isn’t in a surgical procedure mindset, since Tommy John would put him on the shelf for a full year.

“I’m going to do every thing I can so I don’t have to get surgery,” Harvey mentioned.

(USA At the moment)

The 24-yr-outdated final pitched on Saturday, giving up a season-excessive thirteen hits in 6 2/three innings against the Detroit Tigers. He took his fifth lack of the season, however extra importantly Harvey reported an increase in the forearm tenderness that’s been bothering him currently.

The forearm points have been relatively latest — at the very least a month or two, Harvey mentioned, however could not pinpoint exactly. Harvey had been undergoing routine elbow therapies since spring coaching aimed toward preventing injuries like this one.

“This weekend it was more discomforting than any previous begin,” Harvey said.

After seeing surgeon Dr. David Altchek (who carried out Mariano Rivera’s ACL surgery), Harvey had an MRI on Monday, which revealed the partial UCL tear. Now, Alderson said, the Mets will wait a few weeks earlier than determining what occurs next.

“The dedication will be made by Matt himself with recommendation from Dr. Altchek and maybe a second opinion,” Alderson said. “These accidents are sometimes progressive, and so it’s conceivable that surgery will be needed. It is conceivable that no surgery shall be obligatory at this time and could also be mandatory sooner or later down the street. We simply need to take the time to see how these info resolve themselves.”

If you’re searching for a recent parallel case, it’s Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley, whose season ended final September with a partial UCL tear. As an alternative of surgery, he rehabbed the harm by the offseason, went by way of spring training and tried to pitch this season. He lasted a couple starts earlier than re-injuring himself and opting for Tommy John surgical procedure. Another instance, however, is Adam Wainwright who pitched for greater than 5 years after a partial UCL tear.

One surgical procedure-stopping remedy Harvey could seek is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections — one thing that Tommy John-bound pitchers have turned to up to now. There’s debate about whether or not PRP injections help or postpone the inevitable surgical procedure. Baseball Prospectus has a great learn concerning the process. It points that we regularly hear about when PRP injections do not work (see Orioles prime pitching prospect Dylan Bundy) however we do not always hear about once they do. To listen to Harvey speak is to hear someone who may seek the help of PRP injections if they will get him back on the mound faster.

“The very last thing anybody desires to do is have surgical procedure if you do not have to,” Harvey said. “I know the research and the historical past of this sort of injury, that often results in having the surgery, however everyone’s different.”

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Mets’ Juan Lagares makes great catch slamming into Target Field outfield fence

A notion exists that only unhealthy stuff occurs to the New York Mets. Properly, it is not true, as outfielder Juan Lagares is right here to show you. He made a formidable catch operating into the fence at Target Area on Monday afternoon, giving Josh Willingham and the Minnesota Twins a bitter style of Mets baseball.

Note the trace of an ice cream cone in Lagares’ glove after hitting the fence. Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen famous:

“He keeps outdoing himself.”

(Getty)

Lagares also had an incredible series at Petco Park throughout the Mets’ latest visit there, making a pleasant (ahead) dive on a dying liner by San Diego’s Jedd Gyorko, along with a spot-on throw dwelling, cutting down Tyson Ross trying to attain. One-hop perfection.

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And it’s not just a small pattern size of defensive gems, either, as Mark Simon of ESPN notes:

(Getty)

At the plate, Lagares has a woeful strikeout-to-stroll ratio, and he is batting254/.284/.395 for an OPS+ of 90. But by no means mind that, not while he is taking away runs on protection.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are now the favorites to win the World Series, oddsmaker says

(Getty Images) All of baseball has taken discover of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outstanding turnaround. So have playing experts. Online sportsbook Bovada — which sends out updates each few weeks about baseball odds — has made the Dodgers its World Collection favorite, marking the primary time this season the Detroit Tigers aren’t atop the listing.

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The Dodgers are in the midst of a spectacular forty-8 run since June 22, which has moved the team out of final place in the NL West and into first place, where it now holds a 7 half of game lead. It’s enough for Dodgers followers to imagine they’re living a Drake tune. The staff hasn’t cooled off recently either, currently using an eight-sport successful streak.

In announcing the Dodgers’ ascension, Bovada sports activities ebook manager Kevin Bradley stated:

“For the primary time during the common season, the Detroit Tigers have been surpassed as World Sequence favorites by none other than the most well liked workforce in baseball the LA Dodgers. The amount of liability we have incurred on the Dodgers over the past month, combined with their stellar play as of late, pressured us to drop them to 9/2 favorites just ahead of the Tigers who nonetheless sit shut by at 5/1.”

On July 1, the Dodgers’ World Sequence odds had been 22/1. So that’s one other thing Don Mattingly’s bunch might be pleased with this season. Aside from the Dodgers leap-frogging the Tigers, the other change to the highest 5 in these newest odds is the Crimson Sox jumping ahead of the Cardinals.

Here’s the complete record:
(Getty Pictures)

Odds to win the 2013 World Series
Los Angeles Dodgers – 9/2
Detroit Tigers – 5/1
Atlanta Braves – thirteen/2
Boston Purple Sox – 15/2
St. Louis Cardinals – 10/1
Tampa Bay Rays – 11/1
Texas Rangers – 11/1
Cincinnati Reds – 12/1
Oakland Athletics – 12/1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 12/1
Baltimore Orioles – 18/1
New York Yankees – 40/1
Arizona Diamondbacks – 45/1
Cleveland Indians – forty five/1
Kansas Metropolis Royals – 45/1
Washington Nationals – 75/1
Los Angeles Angels – 250/1
Toronto Blue Jays – 250/1
Colorado Rockies – 350/1
San Francisco Giants – 350/1
Seattle Mariners – 350/1
New York Mets – 500/1
Philadelphia Phillies – 500/1
San Diego Padres – 500/1

You’ll discover Bovada did not even hassle itemizing the Astros, Marlins, White Sox, Twins, Brewers or Cubs anymore.

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LaTroy Hawkins hit by ball in groin while not wearing protective cup

Major League Baseball gamers who don’t put on protecting cups, guys like New York Mets right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, should know they’re taking a calculated risk. They do it for bodily consolation because, even these days of advanced engineering, cups can really feel cumbersome *down there*.

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Well, Hawkins won the lottery within the worst potential means Wednesday evening. Pitching in opposition to Jerry Hairston of the Los Angeles Dodgers within the ninth inning, Hawkins fielded a pointy grounder again to the mound along with his unprotected groin.

And it damage. Rather a lot.

Hawkins managed to choose up the ball and throw out Hairston at first. With Andre Ethier coming to bat as a pinch hitter, Dodgers workers went to check on Hawkins. Later in the New York Every day News, he said:

“I assumed I might get by way of it,” said Hawkins, who took two warm-up pitches with trainer Ray Ramirez, manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen all watching earlier than going through Ethier.

Regardless, Ethier hit a tying two-run dwelling run, and Mets would fall 4-2 in 12 innings. Afterward, Hawkins supplied this PG-rated quote about how it felt:

The New York Publish published a extra detailed (NSFW) model:

(Getty) “It was a direct hit — no cup,” stated Hawkins, who remained in agony after the game. “Once I lifted my leg, I may feel my balls in my throat, but I believed I could get through it. I feel like I got kicked by a mule, and it hurts.”

As Deadspin mentioned, it’s one of many nice quotes in baseball historical past.

Reporter Marc Carig called the session with Hawkins, “Possibly probably the most excruciating postgame interview I’ve ever been concerned with.”

He wasn’t even the man who took a shot to the groin. And yet, there’s a one thing of a psychic bond that types amongst beings with testicles. It is almost like we may feel Hawkins’ pain. Virtually.

No bueno indeed.

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Fan dies after falling from upper deck at Atlanta’s Turner Field before Braves game

(AP)

We do not know why a person fell from the higher deck of Turner Discipline before Monday evening’s Atlanta Braves sport and we don’t who the man is, however we do know the tragic ending — he was lifeless a few hours later in a close-by hospital.

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According to an MLB.com report, the man fell sixty five feet from an upper-degree platform into the non-public players’ car parking zone. He was rushed to Atlanta Medical Heart the place first reports had him in important condition. He was pronounced dead later within the evening.

From The Related Press:

“Right now there isn’t any indication of foul play and the autumn appears unintended,” stated Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee. “It appears he fell from an upper-level platform to a secured lot beneath”..

Chafee said the fall occurred on the stadium’s again facet. He stated witnesses described the autumn as unintentional, however that police were not releasing other particulars of what they said. He said he did not know if wet situations or alcohol had been components.

The fall happened towards the tip of an almost two-hour rain delay before the Braves recreation with the Philadelphia Phillies, a game the Phillies received 5-1.

This marks the third time an Atlanta-area sports activities fan fell this year at a recreation, and the second fan to die from a fall at a Braves sport prior to now 5 years. Again from the AP:

Isaac Grubb, 20, of Lenoir City, Tenn. died after falling over a railing on the Georgia Dome during a soccer recreation between Tennessee and North Carolina State on Aug. 31, 2012. Authorities stated he landed on one other man seated in the lower level, and that alcohol was an element.

A man fell about 25 ft over a staircase railing at a Georgia Tech-Miami football sport on Sept. 22, 2012 and was not seriously injured.

In May 2008, a 25-12 months-previous Cumming, Ga. man suffered head accidents when he fell down a stairwell at Turner Area throughout a sport between the Braves and the New York Mets and later died. Police discovered that alcohol had factored into that accident, which the Braves had said was the primary non-medical fatality to occur on the ballpark

Monday’s tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of the damaging nature of main sporting events. Whereas they’re often fun, issues can go incorrect once you least count on them to — while consuming a sizzling dog, for instance, or strolling alongside the higher concourse at a stadium.

That does not imply we shouldn’t go to games and root for our favorite groups, it means we should be alert about our environment and be careful. It sounds obvious, but it’s at all times price repeating.

No one — not the players on the field, the individuals who run the groups nor fellow followers — wants an evening at the ballpark to finish like this.

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World Series odds: Tigers still the favorite, while the surging Pirates aren’t getting the love

(Getty Pictures)

Now that August is here and the postseason is within reach, the chances that gambling experts churn out about who is most likely to win the World Collection appear a bit more real.

The latest odds from online on line casino Bovada don’t show much shift on the prime: The Detroit Tigers are still the chances on favorite (6/1) with the Atlanta Braves (7/1), St. Louis Cardinals (15/2) and Boston Crimson Sox (eight/1) all in the top five, like they have been on July 1.

The only change in the prime five is the Dodgers, whose crimson-scorching July moved them to 7/1 odds, now being invited to the get together. They had been 22/1 on July 1.

A few other issues:

pirates080213 • The Pirates, house owners of the very best successful proportion in baseball, just aren’t getting the love from the consultants. They’re nonetheless 12/1, which is strictly what they were on July 1. Each the Oakland Athletics (9/1) and Tampa Bay Rays (17/2) are more fondly favored than the Pirates. This is why “Are the Pirates for real?” continues to be a question folks ask.

• The Reds, who’re in third place within the NL Central however nonetheless one of the most dangerous teams in baseball, are holding regular at 14/1. Seems like there’s some value there.

• On the underside of the list: The Marlins went from 3000/1 odds last month to 5000/1 now. The Astros are additionally 5000/1, after being 2500/1 last month. Go throw your cash away!

Here’s the full listing from Bovada:

Odds to win the 2013 World Series

Detroit Tigers 6/1

Atlanta Braves 7/1

Los Angeles Dodgers 7/1

St. Louis Cardinals 15/2

Boston Red Sox eight/1

Tampa Bay Rays 17/2

Oakland Athletics 9/1

Pittsburgh Pirates 12/1

Cincinnati Reds 14/1

Texas Rangers 14/1

Baltimore Orioles 18/1

Cleveland Indians 28/1

Arizona Diamondbacks 33/1

New York Yankees 33/1

Washington Nationals 33/1

San Francisco Giants 50/1

Kansas Metropolis Royals 66/1

Los Angeles Angels 66/1

Colorado Rockies seventy five/1

Philadelphia Phillies 75/1

Toronto Blue Jays seventy five/1

San Diego Padres 250/1

New York Mets 300/1

Seattle Mariners 300/1

Chicago Cubs 500/1

Minnesota Twins 750/1

Milwaukee Brewers 2000/1

Houston Astros 5000/1

Miami Marlins 5000/1

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Ouch! David Wright hits himself in the head with broken bat

The injury everyone is speaking about from Wednesday night time’s Atlanta Braves-New York Mets game is Tim Hudson’s grotesque broken ankle, however Mets captain David Wright had a pretty odd potential injury second too.

In the fourth inning, he grounded a ball to shortstop, but on the comply with-via of his swing, Wright’s bat broke and clunked him within the head. Shocked by what occurred, he didn’t even run. It turned out to be a double play.

Wright stayed within the sport after it was dominated he did not have a concussion, in line with the New York Every day News. Afterward, he instructed reporters:

“[It] stunned me for a couple of seconds however I’ll dwell.”

Good to hear, he’s OKAY. As a result of now I won’t really feel bad watching Wright hit himself in the head again and again on animated loop.

Torii Hunter #forty eight of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim collides with umpire Greg Gibson in the fifth inning in opposition to the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 15, 2012 in Anaheim,..

Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim collides with umpire Greg Gibson within the fifth inning towards the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 15, 2012 in Anaheim, California.

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Robinson Cano leaves All-Star Game after getting hit on knee by Matt Harvey pitch

NEW YORK — Oh, no. Another New York Yankees star injured? Exactly what they don’t need.

He tried to stay on the field, but slugger Robinson Cano left the All-Star Game in the first inning Tuesday after getting hit with a pitch on the side of the right knee. X-rays showed no break, but an injured right quad was reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Matt Harvey of the New York Mets, the starting pitcher for the National League in his home ballpark of Citi Field, drilled Cano with a fastball after Mike Trout led off the game with a double to right field. The crowd gasped, groaned and seemed to tense up.

[Photos: 2013 MLB All-Star highlights]

Cano seemed to be in obvious discomfort as the trainer looked him over, but he decided to take his base as Miguel Cabrera came to the plate. After Harvey struck out Cabrera, Cano came off the field, through the dugout and into the trainer’s room. There’s no free substitution in MLB’s All-Star Game, so Cano was finished for the evening.

Update: Outside of the American League clubhouse, Cano told reporters, “I’ll be good for Friday.”

Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox replaced Cano on the bases, and Harvey continued to settle down, retiring Chris Davis on a short fly to center and striking out Jose Bautista to end the first inning.

Matt Harvey told Erin Andrews of Fox Sports that the pitch was an accident.

“I tried to go in, that sometimes happens. I didn’t mean to, obviously … my apologies go out to him.”

The Yankees appear to have dodged a serious problem. They have been without Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Youkilis for most of the season. If the Yankees were to lose Cano for an extended period, they probably could count on falling way behind in the AL East. As of Tuesday, they’re 51-44 and six games behind the Red Sox.

Congratulations to Vernon Wells, who is believed to be the only healthy Yankee! An exaggeration, but only slightly.

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Mets to skip Matt Harvey’s next two scheduled starts, still available for All-Star Game

(USA Today) According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, the New York Mets will skip Matt Harvey’s final scheduled start prior to the All-Star break on Saturday, and will also skip their young right-handers first scheduled start after the break. Carlos Torres will be fill in for both starts.

Rubin’s report also cited the three reasons New York is giving for their decision to skip Harvey’s next two turns.

1. To limit his season innings count.

Through 19 starts, he’s currently sitting on 130 innings pitched. That’s a pace that would take him beyond 200 innings over a full season. The Mets haven’t seemed overly concerned about Harvey’s workload leading up to this point, but obviously saving a few bullets in a rebuilding season makes sense.

2. To allow a blister to on his pitching hand to fully heal.

Naturally, Harvey has downplayed the blister following his past two starts, but it has clearly hampered him to some degree. In his last 13 innings, he’s allowed eight earned runs, walked four and opponents are hitting283 against him. Over his first 117 innings, opponents were hitting only184 with 24 walks.

3. To position him to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.

National League manager Bruce Bochy has stated several times that Matt Harvey will be his selection if available. Mets skipper Terry Collins and his staff have worked to make that happen, and when factored with his workload and now the on-going blister issue, giving him an extra few days to recover and catch his breathe after what will surely be an emotional week sounds like a good approach as well.

The official announcement of Harvey’s starting assignment won’t come until Monday when Bochy reveals his lineup to the assembled media. Assuming that’s his final decision, Harvey will be a very deserving selection. Not only has he been a workhorse for New York as noted above, he’s also posted a 2.35 ERA and leads the National League in strikeouts with 147

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Nine early thoughts on the newly unveiled 2013 All-Star rosters

Yasiel Puig will have to campaign his way on to the NL roster. (USA Today) The rosters for July 16’s All-Star game at Citi Field were unveiled to the public Saturday evening on Fox, and already fans from coast-to-coast are abuzz with excitement and in some cases displeasure over the selections. You better believe we’ll be weighing in with our own thoughts over the next 10 days, and we may even throw in a challenge for the readers. For now though, here are just a few of our early thoughts on the rosters Jim Leyland and Bruce Bochy will be managing in New York.

(A more complete list of the rosters can be found here. Note: Rosters are subject to change… frequently.)

Yasiel Puig included in Final Vote: The most debated potential All-Star coming into the selection show, Yasiel Puig was not named by Bruce Bochy or voted by the National League players as one of the first 34 All-Stars. He will, however, appear on (and very likely win) the Final Vote for the National League. Why do I feel so confident about that?

He’ll be joined on the ballot by Ian Desmond (Washington Nationals), Hunter Pence (San Francisco Giants), Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves) and teammate Adrian Gonzalez.

Personally, I wasn’t on board with the idea of Puig being an All-Star two weeks ago. It just felt too soon to make the argument, but his play has been historic. In just 30 games, the 22-year-old outfielder has collected 50 base hits. Only Joe DiMaggio and Roy Weatherly join him in that elite company. He was also named the National League Player of the Month for June, which is the same month he debuted. That’s a remarkable accomplishment, and even if you throw the numbers aside, his aggressive style of play and boundless energy make him a much needed attraction for the game. I’m all in.

The only question now is which candidate will Jonathan Papelbon stuff the ballot box for to help Puig off the team.

(USA Today) Make room for Matt Harvey: As long as New York Mets manager Terry Collins moves Matt Harvey’s start scheduled for next Sunday, the 24-year-old right-hander will get the call to start the All-Star game in front of his home fans. National League manager Bruce Bochy has made that very clear over the past week, so it’s a done deal with Collins’ cooperation. Harvey’s selection wouldn’t be a goodwill gesture, either. Through 18 starts (7-2, 2.17 ERA) he has been the most consistently dominant starter in the NL. His introduction will be one of the many highlights of the night.

American League starting pitcher candidates: Detroit Tigers right-handed Max Scherzer is off to a historical 13-0 start, and with Jim Leyland calling the shots for the AL, he seems to be the most likely selection. That said, I think a case can also be made for Felix Hernandez because, well, he’s Felix Hernandez, and his 8-4 record with a 2.69 ERA aren’t too shabby either.

Three Orioles land in AL lineup: Chris Davis — who connected for his MLB leading 33rd home run on Saturday — not only slugged his way into an All-Star appearance, he was the leading vote-getter for American League players. Much deserved, I might add. He’ll be joined in the lineup by teammates J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones, who were also voted in by the fans. 20-year-old Manny Machado will represent the O’s off the bench.

Pirates closer Jason Grilli. (USA Today) Pirates are invading New York: Not only do the Pittsburgh Pirates possess MLB’s best record, they’re also sending four representatives to the All-Star game. Of course that list includes the face of their franchise, Andrew McCutchen. Joining him will be third baseman Pedro Alvarez and left-handed starter Jeff Locke, but the real noteworthy All-Star from Pittsburgh is 36-year-old closer Jason Grilli. After toiling in the big leagues for 11 years and making 370 appearances, he’s an All-Star for the first time. He’s converted 28 of his first 29 save chances this season.

A little relief: The American League Final Vote has an interesting twist to it: All five candidates are relievers with Joaquin Benoit (Tigers), Steve Delabar (Toronto Blues), David Robertson (New York Yankees), Tanner Scheppers (Texas Rangers) and Koji Uehara (Boston Red Sox) being the options.

Precious Cargo’s: They share a nickname, and now Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies and Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers may be sharing an outfield on July 16. For Gonzalez, it’s a much deserved second consecutive All-Star selection and start for the National League. Of course an argument can be made that he should be on his third or fourth All-Star game after putting up stellar numbers in each of his first four full seasons, but at least he‘s getting the respect now. As for Gomez, he’ll be making his first All-Star appearance after hitting319 with 13 homers and 41 RBI through Milwaukee’s first 80 games. He also leads baseball with three home run saving catches because yes, defense does matter.

Notable omissions: As always, the list of snubs will end up longer than the list of actual All-Stars, but that doesn’t mean the designation isn’t warranted in many cases. For example, in the American League a strong case could be made for third basemen Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson of the Oakland A’s. Donaldson’s903 OPS ranks fourth among all third baseman and 11th in baseball. His omission means Bartolo Colon will be the A’s only representative. That, in and of itself, is a remarkable story.

Over in the NL, the two names that stand out immediately are Stephen Strasburg and Freddie Freeman. If you could, please ignore Strasburg’s 4-6 record. He’s deserved a better fate as his 2.24 ERA would indicate. As for Freeman, the NL is obviously stacked at the first base position with Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Allen Craig getting the nod ahead of him, but his853 OPS suggests he would be a very deserving selection.

(USA Today) One for the road: No surprise here. Mariano Rivera was named to AL All-Star team and will appear in his 13th and final All-Star game at Citi Field. It’s a very fitting end to his Hall of Fame career spent entirely in New York, but the question now becomes will Rivera be given the opportunity to pitch the ninth inning (if there is one for the NL). At one point there was some debate over whether or not Rivera should start the game for the American League just to ensure he takes the hill and gets a proper sendoff. Perhaps we’ll hear that debate heat up again over the next ten days