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Duck Season

...Wait for it... wait for it...


As a devout reader of both New York tabloids, I'm unsure of which has crucified our catcher more. The Post came out with a disparaging story yesterday, painting the good guy image of Lo Duca with the bad brushes of adultery and alcoholism. The story was written with a clear bias towards Lo Duca's wife, Sonia, and her family, who also happened to be sources in the piece.

Here's the WFAN interview. Softballs.
Other blogs have been linking to explicit Mrs. Duck photos. We won't do that. But you can find them, I'm sure.

So I figured what the hell, right? It's an off day; Lo Duca's a popular player. Fair enough.

Well, MortZuck and Co. upped the ante in today's edition of the Daily News, releasing stories (one that was written essentially without a byline) that played up an angle of Lo Duca's gambling problems. Lo Duca is very well known to be a diehard fan of horse racing, which probably means he's a gambler.

In various interviews in the paper, the Duck has admitted to being a gambler and going to Belmont and Saratoga on off-days. It's interesting what has become of this. Earlier, the Duck was a fan favorite. Now, he's being talked about like the gamblers of Gretzkygate, the dopers along the lines of Palmeiro and McGwire and other degenerate figures that have appeared throughout sports.

Tuesday's Sources:
Mike Lupica: He's Catching Grief During Amazin' 06
-Lupica, who is normally very good, goes a little out on the deep end here, by relating Lo Duca's troubles to those of Floyd Landis. Landis cheated on the greatest stage in his sport and duped an entire country (myself included) and is still lying about his drug use. Lo Duca gambled legally on some horses he owns and cheated on his wife. Hardly analogous to me.

Tina Moore: Mets Star: You Bet It's Legal
I don't really know how much factual basis exists in this story. The whole allegation of the article is based on "sources close to Lo Duca" who say he's run up so much gambling debt that the Mets front office is concerned. Psh. Who cares? Even if the Mets' front office is worried, I'd wait for the debts to get to Jaromir Jagr/Jeremy Roenick proportions where the IRS gets involved before burning my Lo Duca jersey.

John Harper: Lo Duca finds fame as leader of NL's best
I'm not sure what this story is supposed to convey. I think it tries to tie this Lo Duca scandal into Piazza's return in some way, and how Lo Duca is a leader on this team, something that Piazza couldn't have been this year. And I think Harper's right. The timing of all of this is awfully curious, to say the least. The divorce papers were filed in June after they had separated prior to Spring Training. Why now?

Dave Goldiner: Brooklyn Toughness Never Left Paul
Okay. Maybe I grew up in the shadow of New Haven, CT, not New York, NY, but I don't understand how his Brooklyn heritage gives him any sort of toughness. It's not all that hard to tell the press you're not talking to them. And why doesn't he just say it was his Arizona toughness? That's where he grew up. Ugh. I do like the fact that Goldiner goes to Lo Duca's family in this story, though, rather than just Sonia's.

NY Post: Her Swing at Fame
Well, this certainly is unsurprising. This story speaks to one of the former Mrs. Lo Duca's ex-boyfriends, one who portrays her like another former Met wife-turned-ex-wife-turned-wife-again who sought fame. Actually a different angle than most of what we've been seeing lately.

On the whole, let us not forget that Pizza Man is coming back tonight and it's almost football season. There's no reason to get all Duck-happy. This story will eventually end, and I presume Lo Duca will try and put it to rest making his weekly appearance on WFAN today with Joe Benigno. I'll be listening.

In other, more important news, the Mets nabbed a lefty bat for the bench. I like Ricky Ledee, mostly because he's better than Eli Marrero, who's likely to receive his walking papers to make room for the veteran outfielder.

You know what that means? No more traces of Kaz Matsui in the organization. Actually, I wouldn't mind if Woodward took a hike with him. Chris Woodward has regressed to his career averages, playing to an awful .232 EqA, making him only marginally better than Miguel Cairo this year at the plate. Since Yankee fans are stupid, they think Andy Phillips, Melky Cabrera and Miguel Cairo are godsends. How about Woodward for A-Rod? He'd fit in perfectly with Yankee fans, because he's such a good utilityman.

See you after tonight's game.

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