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Saturday reading: Subway Series II Game 1

Off last night's Mets-Yankees game, I wrote about the teams' change of fortunes. This is what makes baseball so great, isn't it? The 162-game schedule allows for so many twists and turns along the way.

I'd be stunned if the Mets finished with a better record than the Yankees, even with the Mets playing in the inferior league. Right now, however? The Mets feel like the superior team.

--The Yankees' bats couldn't come through for Javier Vazquez, who pitched a very good game. If I were a Yankees fan, I wouldn't fret too much. Yes, Hisanori Takahashi pitched very well again, attacking the lefties mostly with sliders and the righties mostly with changeups while mixing in a fastball that reached 90-91 mph.

But the Yankees made Takahashi sweat in the sixth, and threatened Elmer Dessens (bailed out by Pedro Feliciano) in the seventh, and then Feliciano himself in the eighth, and then Raul Valdes and Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. If you put eight runners on base over a four-inning span, six of those in scoring position, you're eventually going to come through. Even if it's just a broken-bat shot falling in.

And on the flip side...you've got to figure that Jerry Manuel's bullpen management will hurt the Mets again at some point. K-Rod appeared livid after the game that he warmed up to pitch the ninth, only to be passed over for Valdes once the Mets extended their lead to 4-0 (making it a non-save situation). And then K-Rod had to warm up again to enter with men on first and second with one out - once it became a save situation.

Up four runs on the Yankees, with K-Rod already warm? Just put the guy in. Don't get too cute.

--Meant to add these things in last night's post: The Yankees want to add a bat to their roster, once (if?) Jorge Posada is healthy enough to catch more often. For the short term, it would figure to be Juan Miranda for Chad Moeller. Also, the Yankees signed their first-round draft pick, Cito Culver, to a slot deal at $954,000.

--Jose Reyes contributed, as did pretty much everyone on the Mets. The Yankees sure looked old last night, didn't they? Alex Rodriguez didn't seem like much of a threat. And if Derek Jeter keeps up this season, then boy, are the Yankees going to save money with that contract extension.

(Yes, yes, just one night. Doing the visceral thing this morning.)

--Wally Backman won his debut at Brooklyn.

--Manny Ramirez did not get the strong majority of cheers that a few of us here anticipated. The great Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald estimated the ratio as 57 percent cheers to 43 percent boos. When Manny reached the on-deck circle in the first inning - he didn't actually hit until the second - it was 63 percent boos to 37 cheers, according to Silverman.

Meanwhile, Roger Clemens attended the game in Boston. Of course he did. Good for him. Here's hoping that, in time, the game welcomes him back - even if he maintains his innocence. We do, after all, live in a country in which you're innocent until you're proven guilty.

And while it's natural to believe that Clemens used illegal performance-enhancing drugs and then lied about that in front of Congress, it's one thing for us to believe it and another thing altogether to have that proven in court.

That, on this Saturday morning, is one to grow on.

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