Greetings from Citi Field. We'll be monitoring the attendance all weekend, in light of the Mets' extensive efforts to get people to fill the seats. As I type at 6:17, it's pretty darn empty.

Went to a family bris earlier today, and I was surprised when a friend off the family said to me, "The Mets' owner is adorable."

"Really?" I responded. "Jeff Wilpon?"

"No," she said, "the Russian guy."

Then there was the gentleman who came up to me and promptly said, "Joe Girardi is a horrible manager."

"No, he isn't," I responded.

"He should've played Eric Hinske more last year," he countered.

Anywho, the Mets' clubhouse was the place to be this afternoon, as John Maine met with the media and appeared just as ticked off as he did last night. He said he had heard no word of a meeting with a doctor and planned to do his usual work. He said he hadn't spoken with Jerry Manuel last night.

I counted two uses of the word "Whatever," which appears to be Maine's mantra nowadays.

As for Manuel, he said that the team doctor would be stopping by and indeed examine Maine. He spoke at length about his decision from Thursday night, and also about his lack of job security.

When a reporter noted that the Mets' season is a marathon, but Manuel might not have a chance to run the entire marathon - and would Manuel therefore manage with more short-term thinking - Manuel responded, "I'm managing as if it's going to be a marathon for the team."

I believe that he believes that. I just don't think he appreciates how much he burns out relievers.

--Over on the Yankees' side, it was relatively quiet. Joe Girardi didn't elaborate on why Kevin Russo is starting in leftfield tonight over Randy Winn, which likely means that Girardi needed a break from watching Winn hit. Girardi added that Curtis Granderson (left groin) will start playing in rehabilitation games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barres tomorrow, and could rejoin the Yankees in about a week.

--Thanks to Twitter, via MLB Trade Rumors, I learned of this Chicago Tribune story on Roy Oswalt requesting a trade from the Astros by July 31.

The Astros' situation has never looked so dire as it looks now, so maybe owner Drayton McLane will finally be convinced to rebuild. But I'm skeptical. Oswalt has made similar requests previously that went nowhere, and McLane hasn't tried very hard to trade his ace.

Plus, here's an issue that could come into play: Oswalt has just two wins this season, due largely to poor run support. With 139 career victories, all with Houston, he is five wins shy of Joe Niekro's franchise record

McLane badly wants Oswalt to set that team record, with 145 wins. He surely is envisioning a healthy crowd at Minute Maid Park. Would the Astros hold onto Oswalt beyond July 31 if the right-hander hasn't hit the magic number yet? I wouldn't put it past McLane.

--Thanks to JE for alerting us to the latest on Dayton Moore and the Royals. The more I read about and from Moore, the more convinced I become that he is epically incompetent.

--Enjoy the night!

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.: The Mets have placed on the 15-day disabled list, citing "right shoulder weakness." Maine will undergo tests next week at the Hospital for Special Surgery. To replace Maine, the Mets purchased the contract of old pal Elmer Dessens, and they moved Kelvim Escobar from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Dessens on the 40-man roster.

It's the right move. There's clearly something going on with Maine.




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