Anthony Rieber has been at Newsday since Aug. 31, 1998 and in his current position since 2004.
Sandy Alderson can take a bow today.
His Friday acquisitions of Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson and call-up of Michael Conforto led directly to two Mets wins.
The first was Saturday night's 15-2 thrashing of the Dodgers in which Conforto went 4-for-4, Johnson had two hits, including a home run, and Uribe chipped in with his first Mets hit.
The second was Sunday's 3-2, 10-inning victory at Citi Field. Uribe drove in the winning run with a booming single off the centerfield wall that nearly was a three-run homer.
How's this for instant results? Conforto, Johnson and Uribe are a combined 8-for-22 (.364) with a home run and five RBIs and the Mets are a mere two games behind the NL East-leading Nationals.
"I think in this moment, it's like when you play in the playoffs, in the World Series, and you win it," Uribe said.
Whoa. Uribe has two World Series rings (2005 White Sox and 2010 Giants), so let's not get carried away. We're offering the same unsolicited advice to Alderson. The general manager can take that bow. But he can't drop the mic and walk off the stage. Not yet.
With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching on Friday, Alderson needs to keep working the phones to improve this team. And be willing to pull the trigger.
Newsday's Marc Carig reported Sunday that the Mets are looking to add setup help for Jeurys Familia and continuing to scour the market for offensive upgrades. Both are needed.
Uribe got the chance to hammer his walk-off hit only after Familia blew the save by allowing two runs in the ninth. Maybe Familia would have had more in the tank if Terry Collins didn't think he had to bring in his closer for another four-out save opportunity in the eighth.
Someone such as Oakland's Tyler Clippard certainly would be a welcome addition. Maybe Alderson can coax super-utilityman Ben Zobrist out of his old pal Billy Beane while he's at it.
The bottom line is there are available relievers and hitters who could help. Alderson can't fall into the trap of thinking the Mets can wait until Travis d'Arnaud, Michael Cuddyer and David Wright return from the disabled list.
D'Arnaud is just beginning rehab action and has proved that his reputation of being injury-prone is well-earned. If d'Arnaud had been in Flushing Sunday morning, he probably would have been bitten by that baby raccoon that Collins said was scampering around the Mets' weight room.
Cuddyer said his sore knee is feeling better -- what a concept! Putting an injured player on the disabled list so he can heal! -- and Wright is scheduled to come to New York this week to begin some nebulous "baseball activities."
The top of the National League is full of flawed teams, including the NL West-leading Dodgers, who need help in their rotation after supermen Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
There also seemed to be a lack of urgency from Don Mattingly's team yesterday. We counted three times when Howie Kendrick forgot to cover second base. Andre Ethier took a rather casual approach to Curtis Granderson's leadoff hustle double in the 10th. Yasiel Puig, one of our favorite players for the sheer audacity of his talent, looked lost all weekend.
More important for the Mets are the cracks being shown by Washington, which just can't seem to pull away. Injuries are a big part of it, but there also seems to be something missing in the DNA of the Nationals.
Do the Mets have what it takes for greatness in October? With their stable of young starters, they'd have a puncher's chance to do something special if they got to the postseason. But they have to get there first.
That's where Alderson comes in. If the Mets are going to finish the job, the general manager first has to finish his.