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45° Good Morning

Et tu, Teufel?

I know we're a bit early for the Ides of March, but couldn't resist the headline ...

We all knew that Madoff trustee Irving Picard was after the Wilpons for $1 billion, but Newsday revealed Friday that he has crosshairs on Tim Teufel as well for a cool $1.23 million. Picard has let some of the smaller fish escape his wide-ranging net during the clawback process, but targeting Teufel -- the Triple-A Buffalo manager -- almost looks like he's taking some particular glee in shaking down the Mets.

We also take a look at the looming centerfield situation, now that Angel Pagan arrived Friday and Carlos Beltran is expected later today. Beltran -- who now is running without a brace -- is going be hard to move from center, for a number of reasons. But that's not to say it won't happen, and manager Terry Collins would like to make a decision one way or the other by the middle of spring training.

Speaking of Collins, he fired a shot across the bow of Luis Castillo on Friday by wondering aloud why the second baseman chose not to show up a few days early. Castillo may have very legitimate reasons, but a little goodwill doesn't hurt either, even if he could have taken the field with his teammates a day or two ahead of the mandatory. Maybe it doesn't matter when players show up, but the manager said it does to him, so it's not without some merit.

New York Sports