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Whirlwind week for backup catcher

Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee hits an RBI single

Philadelphia Phillies' Cliff Lee hits an RBI single off Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee in the second inning. At right is Mets catcher Rob Johnson. (May 9, 2012) Credit: AP

MIAMI -- Catcher Rob Johnson said he felt OK, even though he was icing his left thumb and said he might have to go for X-rays because a foul tip caught him just right (just wrong, actually).

"It has been a crazy week," said the backup, who was called up when Josh Thole was diagnosed with a concussion. Johnson was up until 3 a.m. after a late road trip with Buffalo, then met the Mets in Philadelphia and flew with them to Miami. As soon as he got to the hotel, he left for Austin, Texas, to be with his wife as she delivered their third child Thursday.

He was back in Miami Friday and started Sunday, going 1-for-3. "I got a good night's sleep last night,'' he said, "so I feel normal today."

Mets to honor teacher

Dick Herrmann of Malverne, who will retire next month after 52 years of teaching English at Valley Stream Central High, will be the Mets' guest Monday night at Citi Field as part of the Amazin' Calls program. The promotion selects distinctive people to receive personal calls -- not texts or emails -- from Mets players.

Herrmann will meet Daniel Murphy, who went 4-for-4 May 5 right after he called the teacher from the clubhouse.

The honoree has been a Mets fan from the start, testifying that he once saw Marv Throneberry commit three errors in a game at the Polo Grounds. He occasionally has told students, "All of you will pass the exam, unless you're a Yankee fan."

Of being selected by the Mets, Herrmann said, "It's just nice to see someone honoring a teacher instead of bashing them."


Around the horn

David Wright (1-for-3) is batting .400. He also made three standout plays at third base . . . Dwight Gooden will be among the judges for Banner Day on May 27, as will Rusty Staub, team broadcaster Howie Rose and WFAN host Evan Roberts.


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