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Armando Benitez is signed by Ducks

Former MLB pitcher Armando Benitez will become the

Former MLB pitcher Armando Benitez will become the newest member of the Ducks. (May 24, 2012) Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Armando Benitez's New York saga is about to add another chapter.

The 39-year-old former Mets closer signed with the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks Thursday and is expected to make his debut sometime this weekend.

"He wants to make his comeback to the big leagues, and he's had experience in this ballpark pitching for the opposition,'' Ducks president/GM Michael Pfaff said. "He always liked what he saw with the Ducks.''

Benitez had 289 saves during a 15-year major league career that also included stints with the Orioles, Yankees, Mariners, Marlins, Giants and Blue Jays. Benitez pitched in the Atlantic League with the Newark Bears in 2009 and 2010.

"It's really important to get signed [by an affiliated organization], but I'm looking forward to playing with the Ducks," Benitez said. "There are great guys here, and right now we have an opportunity to stay in first place."

Benitez compiled 160 saves with the Mets, but he is often remembered for the games he failed to save, including Game 1 of the 2000 World Series against the Yankees.

As a member of the Orioles in 1998, he incited a bench-clearing brawl with the Yankees when he drilled Tino Martinez in the back after Bernie Williams tagged him for a three-run home run.

That begs the question: What does Benitez expect from the Long Island faithful?

"I don't know," he said with a chuckle. "That's a good question. What can I say? Whatever the fans do, I'll take it."

New York Sports