Well, for the first time in three weeks, I at least didn't find myself lamenting my location on a Saturday game. While the Yankees dismantled the Angels in what has become business as usual, the Mets at least provided some food for thought in climbing back to .500.
So for my column from Citi Field, I assessed the Mets. I think this is about what they are, a .500 club. Some guys will play worse the rest of the way, and some will play better. There's not enough organizational depth to think they can sniff, say, the 90-win level, IMO.
--For my Sunday Insider, I discussed Mark McGwire's quiet return, and wondered whether fellow "Steroid Era" guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens could pull it off - without the confession. I think they should be allowed back into the game with open arms.
--Anthony Rieber explored the infield fly rule, in the wake of the wacky play in Friday night's Braves-Mets game. The part I enjoyed most was that the Mets actually did discuss the rule in spring training, as part of a "Rule of the Day" initiative, but that Jose Reyes was absent from school that day.
--We should find out today about John Maine's situation. If tonight's game gets rained out, then the Mets can just skip Maine's turn on Thursday, and pick up with Jon Niese going on his normal four days' rest.
Will the game get rained out? There are opposing forces at play: Because the Braves come to town twice more, neither team will be that anxious to play. But ESPN, broadcasting the Sunday night game, will surely feel differently.
--Mark Herrmann spoke with Tom Seaver about his father.
--The Braves aren't looking too good right now, Bill Madden writes. Of course, it's a long season.
--Erik Boland wrote that Alex Rodriguez's teammates support him in the Dallas Braden episode, and others don't. I wonder how Derek Jeter felt about Braden trying to drive a wedge between Jeter and A-Rod?
I thought CJ Nitkowski, the left-hander who pitched for St. John's and then eight big-league teams, including the Mets and Yankees, had a great take on the A-Rod-Braden situation.
--Nick Johnson has back stiffness, and it sounds like he'll sit out today. So far, Brian Cashman is not faring well in the "Johnson over Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui" debate. Of course, it's a long season.
BTW, what did people think of Mark Texieira's home-plate collision with Bobby Wilson on Friday night? I thought it was considerably over the line, and that YES broadcaster John Flaherty criticized Teixeira spoke volumes, too.
Teixeira did seem legitimately contrite Friday night in his post-game interview, and he did try to reach out to Angels catcher Bobby Wilson. But man, that was quite a hit, given that Wilson clearly was conceding Teixeira part of the plate.
Have a great day.