Yesterday it was Fred Wilpon's turn to throw a few counterpunches at Madoff trustee Irving Picard and he pledged that the family "will be vindicated." What that meant was a little unclear -- it seems like they will wind up paying money to Picard under any scenario. The question is how much. Wilpon insisted they will hold onto the Mets, a business that he described as "in his DNA."
Of course, there's more to come. Wilpon said their lawyers will go over the Picard complaint piece by piece in about six weeks, so stay tuned. For the record, team president Saul Katz is here, but he did not take part in the news conference.
In baseball-related news, Santana spoke to reporters -- prefaced by GM Sandy Alderson -- and now we have a timetable for the Mets' ace. It looks like Santana could be back by late June, but July looks more realistic. Bottom line: Santana is a long way from coming back and the Mets' challenge will be to stay afloat with him in the hope for a boost before the All-Star break.
Here in the notebook: Howard Johnson says "thanks but no thanks" to Class A St. Lucie hitting coach job and leaves the organization. Also, Yorvit Torrealba finally loses his grievance against the Mets, which was the expected outcome anyway.
And don't forget - we'll have a Mets Live Chat here at 3 p.m. with the latest from camp, so check back later. See you then.