Take a ride on Derek Jeter … the bridge

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jeter-091104-3pm.standard[1].jpgThe New York Post is known for stirring the pot with its screaming headlines and creative uses of photo shop (Pedro’s head on a baby’s body?) But they can push the envelope just as well with word-play. This from Angela Montefinise:

Big Apple women may soon be able to take a ride on Derek Jeter — the bridge, that is. Bronx leaders have proposed naming the soon-to-be-built East 153rd Street bridge for the Yankee shortstop.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems kind of sexist that only women will be allowed to use the bridge. I’m sure there are plenty of male Yankee fans who have man-crushes on their beloved shortstop — and could also use an easier commute.

OK, OK I get it. She’s being edgy. And at least Ms. Montefinise waits until the bottom of her story to mention the length of “The Jeter” (512 feet!!).
But there are two things I’m wondering about.

1)  The bridge costs only $87 million. Jeter himself will make $21 million next season, the final year of his 10-year $189-million deal. This doesn’t seem like a match to me, almost like the city is being a little cheap. In fact, maybe they should just rename the whole town “Derek Jeter City.”

2) As the first commenter in the story points out, “What happens when he retires, then decides to un-retire and play for boston?” Well at that point, Minka Kelly would dump him wouldn’t she? After all, it’s not like Boston will rename it the “Derek Jeter Freedom Trail.”

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.

Qualifying offer for free agents set at $15.8 million

Jason Heyward
AP Photo
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Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that the value of a qualifying offer for free agents this off-season has been set at $15.8 million. That represents an increase of a half-million dollars over last year’s value.

This is of particular interest with regards to the big-name free agents, including Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Yovani Gallardo, Jordan Zimmermann, and Jeff Samardzija.

Teams that make a qualifying offer to a player that ends up being rejected receive a compensation draft pick in the upcoming draft. The team that signs the player who rejected a qualifying offer gives up their earliest non-protected draft pick.

Free agents who had been traded mid-season aren’t eligible to receive a qualifying offer. This includes Yoenis Cespedes, David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Ben Zobrist, among others.

A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the QO system was implemented.