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Voltron Returns Again Applesauce - Beltran to start for Mets, Rhodes scared with thought of joining Mets

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Meet the Mets

The end of the All-Star break means not just the return of Met baseball, but also the return of my favorite player, Carlos Beltran. Ted Berg goes to bat for Beltran against Met Fans Forever's Greg Pomes. In a related story, ESPN's Matt Meyers makes a pretty compelling case as to why there is no longer a place for Jeff Francoeur on this team.

Some more midseason grades for the Mets. Chris Wilcox grades the hitters today.

Toby Hyde talks with Ted Berg about the Met farm system to this point.

Dusty Baker fooled with reliever Arthur Rhodes, telling him he had been traded to the Mets before letting him know he made the All-Star team. The Mets... what horror!

Around MLB

A semi-big trade in the division last night as the Braves send Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez. The trade will mostly be seen as a dump of an unwanted personality in the Braves clubhouse, but Beyond the Box Score is not so quick to buy into that being a good idea.

The Dodgers have outrighted George Sherrill, marking a sudden demise of a formerly interesting reliever.

Some more All-Star stuff to pass along to you. In order to improve the ratings, maybe MLB should hype up some of the rivalries that are apparently still strong among the players. Since Tuesday's game, we've heard about Joey Votto vs. Marlon Byrd and Jon Lester vs. Hanley Ramirez, both are probably more interesting than the actual game.

Cal Ripken's long-rumored return to the Oriole organization may be close to happening.

John Sickels reminds us of the awesome careers of Nuke LaLoosh and Ricky Vaughn.

And, finally, Jeremy Reed has found a home in the White Sox system.