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OK everyone, the final lap, the home stretch, the ninth inning. We can do this...

Around Port St. Lucie

Of course the big story in Mets camp today is that Johan Santana is 30 years old. Oh wait, did he pitch or something? Huh, sure enough, he did. After the much bally-hooed possible quasi-injury, Santana made his first spring start last night against the Marlins. Santana pitched 2.2 innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 earned runs, and striking out one. While the box score didn't look great, he looked like Johan Santana next to Tim Redding. Redding saw his ERA lower to 40.50 last night after pitching 2 innings and giving up 9! earned runs, including 3 home runs. Offensively, Nick Evans had a nice outing, raising his batting average to .313 with 2 hits, one of which was a homer, in 5 at bats.

Mets longshot lefty reliever Tom Martin broke his wrist in a fall at his house. With Ron Villone as the main candidate for a lefthanded spot out of the bullpen, the Met interest in the lefty free agents may increase.

Yoda Jerry Manuel is.

I'm sure Ramon Castro and Brian Schneider feel so loved by the front office right now.

Ambiorix Burgos, the pitcher that you wish will just go away, may actually oblige you, with the help of the government.

Now to a reliever who is actually doing what he can do get back on the field, instead of prison. Billy Wagner was going too fast in his rehabilitation and has been slowed down by the Mets.

Do you want Pedro back? Do you think the bullpen can handle it? Bill Plashke is intrigued for the Dodgers.

John Sickels reports on sleeper minor leaguers in the NL East. Pay attention to Met Elvin Ramirez.

Kranepool Society kvetches about the lack of love for Jerry Grote.

Around the NL East

Federal Baseball is officially on the Jordan Zimmerman bandwagon. He has the Mets' number this spring, that's for sure.

Philly.com profiles fifth starter candidate JA Happ.

The Miami Herald asks why FOX isn't giving the Marlins any love on Saturday afternoon baseball. Two comments about this. 1) The Marlins have ZERO fan base. TV is about getting ratings and who is going to watch this team? 2) What Marlin fans there are around the country should be happy because games on FOX get blacked out on MLB.TV.

Around MLB

The Tigers are hoping that Dontrelle Willis can find his control again. I am too, especially now that he's out of the NL East.

Bernie Williams is accused of hitting a woman at a club.

The Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle stimulus plan is beginning to take effect. Oh, and the Mariners signed former National reliever Chad Cordero.

WBC Update

Cuba knocked off Mexico last night 16-4, winning pool B.