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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.

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