Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Night To Remember

If the season goes as it seems to be going, with the Mets finally capturing the NL East flag, last night's game may be looked at as the defining moment of the season. The Mets went into Atlanta and decisively defeated the Braves. It wasn't the first time the Mets have won at Turner Field, but it was one of the few times, and was sort of step-on-their-neck-ish in that no matter what happens the rest of this weekend, the Mets will have a healthy lead on the Braves heading home from Atlanta.

It will not be hard for me to remember this game - this game will be ingrained in my memory - even though I was unable to watch a single inning. I did hear the last nine outs of the game on Gameday Audio, but I was not able to watch the telecast even though it was on SNY, I have SNY, and I was home last night. No, I was not able to watch the game, but I will remember this game, as it happened on the night that I fell from the attic, through the ceiling, of my house.

Early Friday morning I was awoken by a strange sound. My wife and I figured out it was coming from the attic - it sounded like a small animal, like a mouse. So Friday evening, after work, we went up through the crawl space to investigate - we just wanted to see if there was any sign of the critter, and then we'd just set a simple trap as long as there didn't seem to be any issues that required a professional. It was our first time up in the attic since buying the house a year ago. I don't have a lot of experience with attics, and my only frame of reference is my mom's old house on Long Island, which could accomodate some storage, as plywood planks were installed so boxes, etc. could be stored up there. I guess I thought all houses had this. Despite my wife's warning that there were very specific places up there where I should be stepping...

I indeed misstepped and came through the sheet rock, creating a very large hole in our ceiling, and causing a tremendous amount of insulation to fall onto the floor and stairs below. Luckily I was able to react quickly enough to hold onto a beam and not break my neck or something, but it was quite a mess.

Lesson learned: listen to your wife, leave home inspections to professionals, and never, ever, miss a Mets game.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Newsflash: Steroids Don't Work

According to Yahoo Sports, Yusaku Iriki has been suspended 50 games for violating the sport's ban on performance-enhancing drugs. Yusaku Iriki's performance had been enhanced by steroids to where, in his most recent appearance, he gave up four runs on 10 hits in five innings, in Norfolk's 5-0 loss to Scranton.

Iriki has been suspended for a test performed during Spring Training, so this
is a major league suspension, with Iriki becoming the first player punished with the new, harsher penalties, as well as becoming the first Japanese player suspended for a positive steroid test at the major-league level.

Bannister To DL -
Apparently "Grade One" Is Bad Enough

Matt Cerrone is on the ball - By way of a link from Metsblog, we learn that Adam Rubin is reporting that Victor Diaz has been activated for tonight's game, but it's Brian Bannister's roster spot he's taking, not Carlos Beltran's. Brian Bannister has been placed on the DL for his hamstring injury, with no word on who will be starting in his place on Tuesday.

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update - Ex-Mets In The Minors

Jason at Fear and Faith in Flushing does a nice round-up of Transplanted Ex-Mets who have found themselves transplanted to the minors in various organizations. For example, did you know that Kevin Appier is pitching for the Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners affiliate in the Pacific Coast League? Or that Hideo Nomo is pitching for the Charlotte Knights, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox? I should take a road trip!

Check out the whole posting here.

Shinjyo / Shinjo/ SKINjyo?

Back in May of 2001, my future wife and I went to Photo Day at Shea. This was the greatest promotion. It was underpublicized, but the Mets set up a date where the first few thousand fans who showed up early on a chosen Saturday in May were allowed to walk onto the field at Shea and take pictures of all the Mets. You could walk around the warning track that wraps around the entire field, and every player on the roster would be standing or sitting along the perimeter for you to take photos of. We went three years in a row, I think. I don't see it on this years promotional calendar...

Anyway, back to 2001. Like I said, my future wife and I were having a grand old time taking pictures of Bobby Valentione and Mike Piazza, et al, when suddenly my date was called over by a group of Japanese people who had a video camera and a microphone. They were apparently with some Japanese television station, and they were covering the event because of the heralded arrival of Tsuyoshi Shinjo. They wanted to interview her about what she thought of the Mets new acquisition. She had nothing to say about Shinjyo of course, but they didn't want to hear from me, so I told her to tell the cameras she liked Shinjyo because he played "with a lot of flair." It became a bit of a running joke with us for awhile.

Well, Shinjyo's been out of Major League Baseball for a couple years now, and just decided to announce he's retiring from baseball altogether, but apparently he is still trying to show off his "flair."

The enormously popular outfielder is already apparently being swamped with offers for work once he's finished playing.... it seems likely that his baseball uniform won't be the only garments Shinjo plans to shed... Shinjo's thinking about releasing a collection of nude photos... there's also talk of Shinjo and his wife doing a nude shot together.

Good lord. Big Props to Ryan McConnell at Always Amazin' for finding this hilarious news tidbit.

Carlos Beltran - To DL, Or Not To DL?

Victor Diaz is in Atlanta today, waiting to hear if he will be activated for tonight's game against Atlanta. The Mets will evaluate Carlos Beltran before the game and decide whether or not to put him on the DL and activate Diaz. Presumably, in that case Xavier Nady would play centerfield while Beltran is out, and Diaz would play in right.

Meanwhile, the Mets' other DL candidate, Brain Bannister is recovering from his grade one hamstring strain and is hopeful about making his next start on Tuesday at home against Washington. However, if he needs to miss one start, the Mets are likely to have Darren Oliver make the start. It's odd that they have said outright that Aaron Heilman won't make a start, but will consider using Oliver. If Bannister has to miss at least a second start, the Mets will put him on the DL and bring up a pitcher from AAA. The most likely candidate is John Maine, who is already on the 40 man roster.

Speaking of the 40 man roster, Jose Valentin's days on that roster may be numbered. The Mets signed left-handed outfielder Michael Tucker to a minor league contract Wednesday, and with Valentín hitting .095 in 21 at-bats, the Mets need a better left-handed option off the bench. Tucker hit .239 with five home runs and 36 RBIs last year for the Giants and Phillies, and was released by the Washington Nationals on March 30 after failing to make the club out of Spring Training. I'm not sure how I feel about signing a guy who couldn't make teh Nationals' roster, but anything would be better than Valentin.

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update - Kris Benson Gets 3rd Win

Last night Kris Benson allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings, striking out four and walking three, leading the Orioles to a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays. Toronto scored three runs in the ninth off O's reliever Chris Ray in a rally that fell short, leaving the tying runs on base. Benson earned his third win in his last four starts."I don't have my best stuff but I'm still winning," Benson told the AP. "I'm struggling a little bit with my command."

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Brian Bannister Injury Update - Good News

I love that WFAN is finally streaming...

According to the last "20/20 flash" Brian Bannister has been diagnosed with a "grade one strained hamstring," is listed as day to day, and might make his next start.

According to Intellihealth, a grade one strain means that "only a few muscle fibers are stretched or torn, so the muscle is mildly tender and painful, but muscle strength is normal."

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update - Edgardo Alfonzo

According to (registration required), Edgardo Alfonzo isn't happy in Los Angeles of Anaheim and may eventually request a trade from the Angels.

Alfonzo was traded to the Angels from the Giants during the offseason, and feels he hasn't been given enough playing time.

"I came here because they told me I could compete for the third base job. I thought I would get a regular chance to play. If I had seen the situation like this, or seen what it was, I would have stayed. I just want to get playing time. This is the last year of my contract, and I don't think there is any chance for me to get a fair contract next year if I don't play this year. ... I'm trying to be ready for anything either here or someplace else."

Fonzie was a class act for the Mets, and was my favorite player when he was in New York, but I think the 32 year old needs to come to the realization that his value as an everyday player may have passed. He hasn't hit .300 since leaving New York after the 2002 season, and is far removed from 1999, when he had 108 RBI and hit 27 homeruns.

In 8 games this season, Alfonzo is hitting just .158 without an extra base hit in 19 AB's.

The Mets Starting Roation

With the injury to Bannister, the Mets will have to scramble a bit to find a pitcher for at least a start or two, maybe more. Here's the way the rotation shakes out over the next two turns:

Thursday, April 27th: OFF
Friday, April 28th (ATL): Pedro Martinez
Saturday, April 29th (ATL): Tom Glavine
Sunday, April 20 (ATL): Steve Trachsel
Monday, May 1 (WAS): Zambrano
Tuesday, May 2 (WAS): ??
Wednesday, May 3 (PIT): Pedro
Thursday, May 4 (PIT): Glavine
Friday, May 5 (ATL): Trachsel
Saturday, May 6 (ATL): Zambrano
Sunday, May 7 (ATL): ??

So, obviously this weekend's series against Atlanta is mui importante. We send our three best pitchers to the hill, and if we can somehow sweep the Braves, that would help out a lot because putting a healthy dose of distance between New York and Atlanta would take some pressure would off the following weekend's series vs. the Braves, when we send Zambrano and whoever the Mets come up with for two of those games.

Personally, I think the Mets should give John Maine a shot at a start, if for no other reason than to maybe help save face on the Benson trade. For all of the success Jorge Julio has had in in his last few appearances, Willie obviously didn't feel comfortable bringing him into last night's tight game. John Maine threw seven innings yesterday, only giving up one run on five hits, in a win for the AAA Tides. Maine is already on the 40 man roster so no one would have to clear waivers to make the move. As I've said previously though, I don't see what the downside is of putting Jose Valentin and his .095 average on the waiver wire to see if any other suckers, I mean teams, want him. I wonder if the Mets passed over Jose Lima for the start, he would think it was Lima Time to move on to another club. Lima said during Spring Training that if he didn't make the club he would refuse an assignment to the minors. He obviously relented on that, but I don't know if he'd stick around after getting passed over for Maine. Not that it would be a great loss. He, his 6.00 ERA, and Valentin can all head to Japan for all I care.

Transplanted Ex-Mets Update

Mike Piazza hit the 400th homerun of his career last night for the Padres, during a ninth inning rally against the Diamondbacks that fell short. Piazza has three homers this year. He became the 41st player in the majors to reach the 400-homer mark. Teammate Mike Cameron went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the loss, as San Diego fell to Arizona, 3-2.

Ty Wigginton
had two hits and two RBI's for the Devil Rays last night in a 4-2 victory over the Yankees. There's a nice write up on him in the Daily News today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mets Vs. Giants, Game 3 - Fortunately/Unfortunately

When I was a kid, I remember reading a book called Fortunately which was a series of alternating sentences beginning with "Fortunately..." and "Unfortunately..." that told a story of ups and downs. Here's an excerpt:

Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party.

Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away.

Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.

Unfortunately, the motor exploded.

Fortunately, there was a parachute in the airplane.

Unfortunately, there was a hole in the parachute.

Today's game reminded me of this book. So, with apologies to author Remy Charlip, here's my recap of this afternoon's Mets/Giants game:

Fortunately, today's game started at 3:35 ET so I was able to listen at work and not stay up all night.

Unfortunately, the game lasted over four hours long so I missed a bit on my commute home and also my wife wanted me to do chores around the house when I got home so I had to keep running in and out of the room to watch the game.

Fortunately, rookie Brian Bannister started the game for the Mets, coming into the game with a 2-0 record.

Unfortunately, he was inconsistent again, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings.

Fortunately, he helped his own cause with the bat, socking two doubles and earning two RBI's and a run scored.

Unfortunately, he strained his hamstring scoring that run, and may be out for awhile.

Fortunately, Bannister left the game with a 4-3 lead, handing the game over to a bullpen with the best ERA in baseball.

Unfortunately, Aaron Heilman allowed the tying run to score in the second inning he pitched.

Fortunately, in the eighth inning, the Mets broke the tie, exploding for three runs, including a two run single by Julio Franco, setting up a save situation for Billy Wagner in the ninth.

Unfortunately, Omar Vizquel hit a leadoff single.

Fortunately, Wagner struck out the next two batters.

Unfortunately, the hot-hitting Moises Alou came up to bat.

Fortunately, he hit an easy grounder to David Wright.

Unfortunately, Wright threw the ball away, allowing Alou to get all the way to second, scoring Vizquel, and sending Barry Bonds up to bat as the tying run.

Fortunately, Billy Wagner brought the heat today, throwing 99 mph.

Unfortunately, Barry Bonds connected on that 99 mph pitch, and hit a tying homerun that sent the game into extra innings.

Fortunately, pitching the 10th for the Giants was Armando Friggin' Benitez, a guy who's known to implode in big spots, and spots which aren't save situations.

Unfortunately, even though the Mets loaded the bases against Benitez they were unable to score.

Fortunately, Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver also got the job done in the 10th, stranding the winning run at second.

Unfortunately, the game headed to the 11th inning, and the Mets have not done well in long games lately.

Fortunately, Chris Woodward and Jose Reyes both drove in runs, giving the Mets a two run lead.

Unfortunately, the only reliever left in the bullpen was Jorge Julio.

Fortunately, Randolph decided to let Oliver hit for himself in the 11th so he could stay in the game for the bottom half of the inning to protect the two run lead.

Unfortunately, Alou and Bonds both came to bat in the bottom of the 11th.

Fortunately, Oliver pitched a perfect inning and the Mets won the game 9-7, as well as the series against San Francisco!!

So, there you have it. Bannister's out and the Mets will have to scramble to come up with a starter for his next turn in the rotation, at the very least. But the Mets are in good shape overall as they head to Atlanta. The Mets have an off day tomorrow before taking on the Braves, who lost today and are now five games back, for a big three game set. Lets Go Mets!

Transplanted Ex-Mets Pitchers

Scott Kazmir got lit up by the Yankees last night, giving up four runs (3 earned) on seven hits over five innings, including a two-run homerun by Derek Jeter. The Yankees beat the Devil Rays, 9-1, in Tampa.

Jae Seo was awful in his most recent start for the Dodgers, giving up 5 runs in 3.2 innings on sunday, raising his ERA to 7.64 on the season. During last night's Mets broadcast, Keith Hernandez speculated that, after a full turn through the league, hitters have figured out Seo's approach by now and have simply made the adjustment.

Braden Looper pitched a scoreless inning for the Cardinals last night, in a 6-3 victory over the Pirates. Loop has allowed seven hits and two walks, while striking out five, in 10 innings of work this season. He has a 1.74 ERA, with one Hold and one Blown Save this season. If I'm reading his stats correctly, he's allowed two out of three inherited runners to score this season. Meanwhile, his 'pen mate Jason Isringhausen has overcome some early-season struggles to convert his last three save opportunities, including one last night.

Kris Benson (2-2, 3.70 ERA) is on the hill against the Blue Jays in Toronto tomorrow.

Trachsel Shows His Cojones

Finally, a game worth staying up for! I admit, I started nodding off about halfway through, but the Mets defensive wizards kept me awake for the duration. Admittedly though, everything else aside, last night's game was all about going after Barry Bonds for me.

I'm so proud of Trachsel for going after Bonds. So what if he hit a solo homerun? One run - big deal. Better than the asinine approach of intentionally walking Bonds to get to Alou, who is by far the Giant's best hitter this year. Besides, I'm on board with Greg at Faith and Fear in Flushing, who says that Mets fans should root for Bonds to overtake Babe Ruth on the all time homerun list. After all, he argues, Ruth is a friggin' Yankee, and how sweet would it be for THE Yankee to be pushed down in the record book by a surly, juiced, jackass like Bonds?

Anyway, back to Trachsel - after giving up #710 to Bonds in the second inning, Trachsel reared back in the fourth and struck the SOB out. After all was said and done, Bonds homer was the only run Trachsel allowed over six innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

Sanchez was a bit of a weasel in the seventh, "unintentionally" walking Bonds, but when Billy Wagner came on in the ninth he challenged Bonds with a first-pitch 97 mph fastball. Bonds couldn't hit that pitch, and eventually the big guy flied out to center to end the ballgame.

On the offensive side, Cliff Floyd's bat woke up in time to tell San Francisco that tonight, AT&SBC Bell Park was the Mets home, by hitting a splash-down home run deep in Kevin McReynold's Cove. (heh, heh...)

Defensively, Nady, LoDuca, Trachsel, Chavez, and even Matsui looked like gold glovers in the field. Break up the Mets! Wagner got save #5, Trachsel got win #2, and the Mets move to 4 games over the Braves, who lost to the Brewers.

The headlines say that Bonds made Willie Randolph look smart by hitting his homerun last night, but I couldn't disagree more. Much better to win the game and lose to Bonds, than to pitch around Bonds and lose the game. If Willie felt vindicated when Bonds hit #710, I say he's missing the point.

Don't forget, today's a day game - 3:35 PM. Brian Bannister vs. Matt Morris - a good day to listen to Gameday Audio at work.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More On Keith Hernandez

Since we're all now hanging on every word Keith Hernandez says during the broadcasts, I thought it would be interesting to note that although Hernandez didn't like seeing Kelly Calabrese in the San Diego dugout, he spent a few minutes last night admiring the California State Flag which he said was the most beautiful of all state flags. Gary Cohen mocked it a bit, saying "it's a bear!" and wondering why the flag reads "California Republic" when California is, in fact, a state. Keith told him not to mess with California and not to mess with the flag.

Keith also said that San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the country. I only reprint this because I got a lot of hits these past two days from people searching for Keith Hernandez's comments, so I guess all of a sudden everyone cares about his opinions on everything.

Keith Hernandez is an expert on baseball because he played a long time and was quite excellent at his craft. However, that doesn't mean his opinions on anything else are worth caring about. We do this with celebrities all the time. For example, I always find myself seeing quotes from actors and actresses about all kinds of other topics such as dieting, politics, and parenting. I'm not insinuating that just because someone is an actor they can't be experts on other things, but maybe we should all stop worrying about what famous people say, period. Keith Hernandez made a stupid and sexist comment and should be called to task for it, but a day later should be enough time for us all to get over it.

By the way, the history of the California state flag can be found here.

Will The Mets Call Up Lastings Milledge?

David Lennon writes in his column in Newsday today that Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya left open the possibility that Lastings Milledge might get called up to the big club if Beltran has to go on the DL. They say that Beltran will sit for the next three days and then they will evaluate whether to put him on the DL or not for the series in Atlanta. This was my favorite paragraph in the article:

Minaya did mention one obstacle, however, and that is finding a spot for Milledge on the 40-man roster. By promoting him a little sooner than expected, the Mets would need to bump another player to make room for Milledge, and that could mean losing someone on waivers.

Yeah, that sounds like a real problem. I just took a look at the 40 man roster. Wouldn't it be a real travesty if we lost Jose Valentin to the waiver wire?

Is The West Coast Trip Over Yet?

I can't take this 10:05 games anymore. Not only do I fight to stay awake, but the Mets don't even reward me for my struggles. I turned off the TV in disgust (and in exhaustion) once Glavine intentionally walked Bonds for the second time. I really can't stand this strategy. Sometimes I understand walking a guy with a runner on second, so as to induce a force out or a double play, but the respect given to Bonds at this point is borderline ridiculous. All one has to see is him hobbling around left field to know that he's not the same guy. His only home run this season came in Coors Field, for crying out loud! Brilliant. Intentionally walk a guy with a .389 SLG to get to a guy with the .549 SLG. Asinine.

Glavine lost the game (and screwed up my Fantasy League stats), but fortunately the Braves fell to Milwaukee, keeping them three back of the Mets. Meanwhile, Philadelphia beat Colorado to move within 3 and a half.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Update on The Naming Rights of the New Mets Stadium

Actually, this is just an update on my earlier speculation. I noticed a press release on that Champion Mortgage "announced a ground-breaking integrated business relationship with the New York Mets."

'Champion Field' wouldn't be so awful, now would it?

Keith Hernandez's Cop-Out

As predicted, Keith Hernandez's comments about baseball being "a man's game" during Saturday night's SNY broadcast have not gone unnoticed. An headline read Broadcaster critical of woman's presence in dugout (Has 'Mex' really been out of the game so long that's he's just listed as 'Broadcaster'??). According to Raissman's column, SNY suits 'reprimanded' Hernandez after the game, and "he apologized for his inappropriate comments," SNY spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi said "Now, we move on."

But apparently things won't blow over as quickly as SNY hoped. ESPN has an interview with
Kelly Calabrese on their website now, and SNY has issued a statement about the matter through MetsBlog.

According to ESPN
's column,

Hernandez said Sunday that he was sorry if he offended anyone. He also said that baseball's rulebook allowed only the head trainer and assistant trainer in the dugout.

Okay, Keith, now you're just copping out. I heard the broadcast, and your statement had nothing to do with how many trainers were allowed in the dugout. You specifically said during the game that you were kidding about the "women belong in the kitchen" line but that you felt "very strongly" that baseball "is a man's game." If you feel so strongly about it then own up to it and don't cop out and try and act like you were worried about the Padres following some technicality in the rulebook. You made a sexist comment, period. Everyone's allowed to make a stupid comment, but you need to be "a man" and admit what you said.

By the way, ESPN and Raissman's column both say the trainer's name is Kelly Calabrese, but the Padres website lists her as Kelly McCord. Either way, if she's a qualified professional I don't see why it matters what gender she is. I agree with her comments that Hernandez should use his forum to encourage kids to pursue jobs in baseball, whatever their gender.

Transplanted Ex-Met Update: Minky Gives It Up

The Boston Red Sox Red Sox and Transplanted Ex-Met Doug Mientkiewicz agreed to end their legal fight over ownership of the ball from the final out of the 2004 World Series by sending it to the Hall of Fame. Check out ESPN for the full story.

You know, if Doug hadn't gone around blabbing that he had the ball and that he was gonna sell it to finance his kid's college tuition in the first place, maybe he'd have gotten to keep the damn thing.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Newsflash: Victor Zambrano Sucks

Hey Rick Peterson - Your ten minutes is up. Mets fans have had enough of watching the club wheel this gutless weasel to the mound evey five days just to get lit up like a pinball machine. Peterson might say Mets fans have a New York Minute's worth of patience, but at what point will he admit that this reclamation project is nothing short of a failure? In fact, it can be argued, after his 37th start for the Mets, that Victor Zambrano has pitched worse for the Mets than he did for Tampa Bay:

Team G W L ERA WHIP k/9
Tampa 135 35 27 4.47 1.49 6.96
Mets 37 10 14 4.54 1.51 6.21

Zambrano got the loss today, giving up five runs and seven hits in four innings, as the Mets fall 7-4 to San Diego. The death blow was a grand slam on a hanging curveball for Brian Giles, and the Mets split the four game set with San Diego. Transplanted ex-Met Mike Cameron went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and two walks.

The Mets now head to San Francisco for a series with the Giants. The Mets should make Zambrano drive separately, and give him the wrong directions or something. Lets Go Mets.

What Will Be The Name Of The New Mets Ballpark?

The Mets will open a new stadium in 2009, which leaves us less than three years to speculate on which corporation will pick up the tab for the naming rights for the new park. For some clues, we can look at the 29 other ballfields in the majors and how they got their names, as well as the major companies are that currently have a relationship with the Mets in terms of sponsorships (click chart for larger image):

Banks/Insurance (6): Comerica Park (Detroit), Ameriquest Field in Arlington (Texas), Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia), Bank One Ballpark (Arizona), Safeco Field (Seattle), Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati) - Telecommunications/Computers (4): U.S Cellular Field (Chicago), Rogers Centre (Toronto), AT&T Park (San Francisco), McAfee Coliseum (Oakland) - Food/Beverage (6): Wrigley Field (Chicago), Tropicana Field (Tampa), Minute Maid Park (Houston), Miller Park (Milwaukee), Coors Field (Colorado), Busch Stadium (St. Louis) - Team Owner (3): Jacobs Field (Cleveland), Turner Field (Atlanta), Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City) - Retail Store (1): PETCO Park (San Diego) - Politicians (2): Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota), RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.) - Eponymous (4): Oriole Park, Yankee Stadium, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium - Neighborhood (1): Fenway Park (Boston) - Completely Insulting(1): Dolphins Stadium (Florida)

The New York Papers

The internet is a beautiful thing for transplanted Mets fans. Here's what the New York sports writers are saying in this morning's sports sections:

In Newsday today, Jon Heyman reports that in Spring Training, the Marlins offered Dontrelle Willis in a trade for David Wright. Not only did Omar quickly reject the offer, but the Mets have recently have had discussions with Wright's agent about locking him up with a long-term contract extension, even though Wright's not eligible for free agency until 2010.

Also in Newsday, David Lennon implies that based on the MRI that showed no structural damage to Beltran's hamstring, Willie Randolph thinks Beltran should be playing, but that Beltran himself thinks he should be on teh DL because he's "not close to 100%." In last night's SNY broadcast, Keith Hernandez was sympathetic to Carlos's situation, saying when he himself tore his hamstring in 1988 it was the first injury he'd had in his career, and that he came back to soon and retore it.

In the Daily News, Adam Rubin has a write-up on how impressive Lastings Milledge has been at AAA this season. Through Friday, he had a .396 average and had reached base in 11 straight plate appearances.

The New York Post's Mark Hale says that
Anderson Hernandez begins rehabbing his bulging disc injury today in Florida.

Mets vs. Padres Game 4 today at 4:05 ET. I'll be listening on Mike Piazza will probably have the day off, but Mike Cameron will face his old ballclub as he's finally activated from the DL.