Mike Piazza isn't going to be a bidder on a piece of the Mets.

"My credit cards are maxed out," the former catcher said with a laugh last night.

That doesn't mean Piazza doesn't care about his former team. He said he is "optimistic" about its future, if not so excited about its present.

"They're in an interesting time in their existence now," said Piazza, who was honored at the 31st Thurman Munson dinner in Manhattan. "I'd have to say I'm being very optimistic about it. Sometimes there's a silver lining to these situations and maybe whoever gets involved with the team will want to go in a direction they need to go.

"As an ex-player and now as a fan, you hate to see turmoil in the organization, but on the same note, maybe there will be a positive that comes out of this and they'll take on someone who truly loves the organization, wants it to get back to the top. Because Lord knows they have some work to do."

Piazza was speaking about the team on the field needing work. He said he understands the frustrations of Mets fans because he shares them.

"It's a tough division," he said. "Every team is getting better. The Phillies - what do you say about them with the talent that they have? The Marlins and Braves are getting better. It's going to be a long haul for [the Mets], but I truly believe in the future of the organization and I think they have to kind of be realistic about getting back into the elite teams of the Eastern Division."

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Mets outfielder Angel Pagan, who just signed a one-year, $3.5-million contract, was also honored at the dinner. He said the Mets' money woes are "not my problem. I don't have to worry about that."