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9 Games Out Applesauce - Ollie's Ceiling, Lugo not a Met yet, Paul McCartney, Jason Schmidt, and random research

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Even the British Open couldn't even live up to my hopes or provide any sanctuary from a crappy sports weekend, as Stewart Cink basically punched everyone's father/grandfather in the face on national TV. Oh yeah, the Mets played too. Once again, thank goodness for the Washington Nationals, otherwise the Mets would be a deservedly last place team.

Meet the Mets

Joe Sokolowski from Mets Geek believes that we have already seen the ceiling for Oliver Perez. That was fast. It's like we live in the Shire.

Well, at least we'll have a 1969 Met reunion to look forward to in August.

The rumors were flying around that Julio Lugo would take Tim Redding's roster spot. That did not happen and Redding had to go 3 innings for the Mets as Fernando Nieve was carted off with a quad injury. Any move involving Lugo will have to wait until the shortstop is a free agent, otherwise the Mets would be on the hook for that ridiculous contract.

You can add Gary Sheffield to the list of ailing Mets.

Metsradamus does an autopsy on the team and blames Jose Valentin.

The Daily Stache wants to keep JJ Putz around, if only as trade bait.

At least the Mets can host an amazing concert, even if it starts an hour late.

Around the NL East

The Phillies won their 8th straight game, sweeping the Marlins, and taking a nine game lead over New York. At least we can mock John Mayberry for striking out a lot. Woohoo...

Braves reliever Mike Gonzalez returned last night for the Braves and shut out the Mets in his one inning of work. Starting pitcher Tim Hudson made a pain-free rehab start in single-A, throwing 27 pitches. 

We probably won't see another pitcher like Greg Maddux for a long time. 

The new Florida Marlin stadium looks really cool. I'm a fan of the modern look, rather than the new retro. Despite the tradition of recognizing new stadia (grammar h/t to the trash cans outside of Shea), Bud Selig remained quiet on its All-Star chances.

The Nationals have released Julian Tavarez and have promoted Logan Kensing.

Around MLB

Remember Freddy Garcia? He of the 80 mph fastball? Well, he may wind up back in Chicago

Jason Schmidt is scheduled to make his first start in two years tonight.

Scott Schoeneweis does not want his wife's cause of death to be made public.

Michael Wuertz's slider has caused batters to swing and miss 49.7% of the time, the highest rate in the bigs

Former Yankee Aaron Small battled encephalitis and was pitching in this weekend's Old-Timers' Day.

Speaking of Old Timers, the Yankees are expected to make "prospect" Sergio Mitre their fifth starter.

The Diamondbacks dumped Felipe Lopez on to the Brewers.

Minnesota has signed Mark Grudzielanek to a minor league deal

In other news about second basemen the Mets could have/should have signed, Orlando Hudson is proving he was one of the value free agents of the off-season.

And, finally, baseball research goes off the deep end in the Wall Street Journal. Looks like Roger Clemens naming all his kids with "K" names actually may have handicapped their hitting careers.