Happy April Fools Day. Baseball is finally underway and the mailbag is back in action. Today, I’m going to answer your questions about Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia, the Mets, and the Knicks.

Big Man in A Big Park

Derek Asks:

What are your respective record predictions for the Yankees and Mets?

I’ve been talking to some of the other columnists and our readers about over/unders for these two teams. Vegas has the Mets pegged at 74.5 wins and the Yankees at 92. I’m taking the under on the Mets (72-90) and the over on the Yankees (94-68).

For the Mets, the starting pitching is going to be huge problem all season long. Not having Johan for at least half a season will hurt. I don’t think R.A. Dickey can duplicate his 2010 magic and Mike Pelfrey started to get hit around the second half of 2010 when teams began to figure him out. I also think both Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran will be traded by the deadline.

For the Yankees, I think they are flying under the radar. Over at ESPN, everyone and their mother had the Red Sox winning the AL East. There’s no denying the Red Sox talent, but they aren’t five games better than the Yankees. It’s going to be a fight to finish like it always is in the AL East.

Carl Asks:

CC Sabathia’s velocity touched 93 MPH only a few times yesterday while Justin Verlander was constantly throwing 96-97 MPH fastballs with no sleeves. Time to worry about CC?

Classic case of over-reacting. Personally, I think Verlander was insane throwing without sleeves yesterday, but that’s besides the point. I don’t think anyone should be worried about CC on a 40-degree March afternoon. This was his first start of 35 and the guy is baseball’s most durable arm. The 95+ MPH heat will come when the weather warms up. Just as long as CC gives us quality starts (six innings, three or fewer runs) I’ll be happy.

Christian Asks:

Just for fun: What type of hit will Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit be?

Line drive single to the opposite field. Definitely a ‘Jee-tarian’, classic inside out swing.

Bill Asks:

Can the Knicks make it out of the first round of the playoffs?

I don’t think so. As of today, the Knicks are seventh in the East with a 37-38 record, two games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for sixth in the East. With only seven games to go, I really don’t see the Knicks overtaking the Sixers for sixth in the East. With that being said, the Celtics currently sit in second place with the Heat only a half game behind.

If the Knicks played the Celtics in the first round, they’d be in big trouble. The tenacity of the Celtics defense and efficient offensive attack will be way too much for the Knicks. Add in a coaching advantage and vast playoff experience and the Knicks are way over-matched.

If the Knicks draw the Heat in the first round, the match-up is less daunting. The Knicks defeated the Heat a few weeks ago in Miami and will play against Annual Choke Artist of the Year, LeBron James. I don’t think the Knicks are deep enough to beat the Heat, but the series would definitely be more interesting than the one against the Celtics.