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Monday Morning Mets Newsstand

Tim Marchman continues to amaze and impress me, showing an understanding of baseball and baseball fans that I thought impossible among local sports pundits. Take today's column on the Mets (lack of) clutch hitting this season for instance. Marchman could very easily fall prey to the crutches of tired clichés and conventional baseball whosifudge. Instead, he gives us this:

A perfectly rational person, fully aware that performance in the clutch has nothing to do with character and that it has more than a bit to do with luck, will still be driven to throw heavy objects when his team's lineup, from the top to the bottom, performs feats of wonder of the kind the Mets have this season.
and this:
All of this may be so, but it's still important not to mistake what is essentially an aesthetic complaint for a grave problem. Over time, nearly without exception, how well a team performs in the clutch is a function of how well its players do, and the players' performance is just a function of how good they are. The teamwide funk, no matter how real it seems, is an illusion -- prosaic as it is, the truth is that the Mets' problems are not the result of their mysterious clutch woes, but rather of a few key positions being manned by armies of green rookies and undead minor league veterans for long stretches of the year.
Emphasis is mine. Making other local writers look like dogshit by comparison? That's all Marchman.

At, Marc Raimondi has a nice profile of Howard Johnson.

Moises Alou should be back in the lineup on Tuesday against the Pirates. He claims to be a little sore from taking some bad swings and a little rusty from being on the shelf for so long, but he is itching to go.

Billy Wagner made the decision yesterday to intentionally walk Jeff Kent with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the tenth. I guess it worked out, as Wags fanned Matt Kemp and Nomar Garciaparra to end the game.