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A Routine Affair

Well, you'd expect a bit more of a take-no-prisoners attitude from a self-dubbed band of pirates, wouldn't you? Instead, this group seemed a little less than swashbuckling. Perhaps the Friendly Manatees would be a good name, unless you're describing their incredibly charming treatment of Lastings Milledge, who might as well be a chest of buried treasure under nonstop pillage.

Pardon my kidding about piracy. I watched a segment on Sean Hannity's vanity program on Fox News Channel, Hannity's America (and the nation really is his, you know), where he explained that piracy was still a huge problem affecting our society. So huge, in fact, that I postponed my yearly sailing voyages to Indonesia and Somalia out of fear.

I'm proud of Glavine's 299th, but he's been absolutely awful since about mid-May this year. I too noticed that stat on SNY showing Glavine's 4 no-decisions in 5 seasons while with the Mets after being staked to 6-run leads, compared to 1 in sixteen seasons with Atlanta. He's been struggling so much lately, it wouldn't be a stretch to compare him to another of the worst pitchers in my Mets memory: himself two seasons ago.

Glavine appears to be out of tricks hidden up his sleeve, as evidenced by his barely quality start tonight: six innings, eight hits, three walks, 113 pitches (47 balls, 66 strikes), and only two strikeouts. He feasts on the naivete of young hitters, and this Pirates lineup is filled with 'em, not to mention the fact that they're second to last in the major leagues in runs scored, third to last in OPS, third to last in total bases, and last in on-base percentage. A real murderer's row they have there.

While the Mets notched a win in a fashion that has become surprisingly routine during this hot streak, with early scoring and Lastings Milledge swaggering his way to victory, Tom Glavine's shoddy showings have become equally numerable. Sorry, Tommy, but maybe you might be better suited going out on a high note. If he has a lead after five innings next start, it might be advisable for him to just run off the field, à la Victor Zambrano. Who knows, maybe the Braves will pick him up.

It might be rather meaningful when analyzing Glavine's season to discuss what transpired this offseason, when the lefty desired to return to Atlanta and instead re-signed with New York after the Bravos were reportedly unwilling to put his name on a check.

Did the Braves have the right idea in opting not to pony up for a starter whose better days are behind him? Only time shall tell, but to my knowledge the Mets are on the hook for next year should Glavine pitch 160 innings. He retains an opt-out clause should that option become guaranteed.

For a pitcher who has lost the mystique and fastball that guided him through his best years with Atlanta, one must only hope for continued strong run support on the offense's part and perhaps better command from Tommy.

A prediction? Moises Alou injured his shoulder while punching Jose Valentin when their paths crossed at the orthopedist's office. Carlos Beltran injured his abdominal muscles while attempting to punch off his own mole (left).

Lastings Milledge looked alright in centerfield tonight, though one certainly does not hope that Anderson and Green will be starting in the corners everyday. Maybe Ben Johnson and his .185 average are worth another look. What's Shane Spencer doing these days? Hey, Eric Valent hit a whopping .209/.284/.256 for the Portland Sea Dogs. I hear he could really use a major league job to lift his spirits.

I know Green had a good night, and that Anderson's looked good since joining the Mets, and Milledge is probably a future star, but can the Mets really do no better than two thirtysomething lefthanded hitters with no defensive range and weak arms against a nasty lefthanded starter? We hear Beltran's day-to-day, but for him that usually means a ten-day absence and a subsequent period of total ineffectiveness.

Seriously, the guy can get back in the lineup after a gut-wrenching collision of faces at high speed in the outfield, but he has a little muscular pain and he's suddenly Jeff Duncan at the plate, if he even bothers to play.

Who taught Beltran how to become an ironman and win the hearts of Mets fans? Carl Everett? Just kidding, Carl. I referenced Sean Hannity in the post, so it's just as though I'm with you on the dinosaur thing.

It was nice to see Damion Easley back in the lineup and even nicer to see a game without any major defensive blunders at second base. I like Gotay a lot, but I can understand how the Royals gave up on him for Jeff Keppinger.

Just a quick note: at the price of Ty Wigginton and prospects Matt Peterson (who spent most of this year at AA for Pittsburgh, despite being at the same level four years ago with the Mets and being way too old for it now, and still hasn't surfaced on the big league roster of an awful team) and Justin Huber (who is hitting .243 for the Royals' AAA affiliate, stuck behind former Met folk hero Craig Brazell and his 25 long balls on the depth chart), the Mets netted Gotay, John Maine, and El Duque. Too bad we had to suffer through a year and a half of Kris and Anna to complete that deal.

Tomorrow's a bright and early start, 12:10 p.m. It's swell for the kids in summer camp, not so much for the unemployed alcoholic set. See you then.

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