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8 Run Applesauce - Mets set hit record, Manuel ticks off Church, Valdez back, Rizzo possibly out

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Hooray for hits. Since the whole team refuses to take walks and they're paid to score runs, we're kind of left with hits and we got a lot of those, at least in the fourth inning. It's sad that the only player that remotely interests me is pitching tonight.

Meet the Mets

Jerry Manuel called Ryan Church a "different animal" than David Wright. I haven't been able to find the context for the quote, whether he was calling him a wuss or whether or not he was just telling the truth in that Wright was a more valuable player who should be handled differently. Either way, Ryan Church found the quote important. So did the tabloids. It's been a while since we've seen a player-manager relationship this publicly bad.

With Alex Cora gone for the season, Wilson Valdez makes a repeat appearance.

Oliver Perez was better than Derek Lowe, at least for one night. It came at the cost, however, of a re-aggravated knee.

This seems too unbelievable, but I'll pass it along anyway without confirmation. The Mets will be paying Bobby Bonilla $1.2 million next year. And every year until 2035.

Johan Santana got a fine, no suspension, after his retaliation attempt.

Even though the Mets would probably get nothing for him after their waiver moves, Gary Sheffield expects to be moved before the season is through.

Around the NL East

There is a fair amount of buzz around Washington that acting GM Mike Rizzo is on his way out. One rumor has Steve Phillips' name tied to the job. Another has a new manager playing a big role in the front office (Bobby anyone?) On the field, the Nationals fell to the Rockies 4-3.

Don't expect the Nationals to call up Stephen Strasburg this year. BtB explains why Washington got their money's worth. Bob Nightengale pulls out the absurd credibility argument.

Pedro started for the Phillies last night, but was victim of a rain delay and didn't get past 3 innings. Jamie Moyer seems well adjusted to the long man role and got the win for Philadelphia over Arizona.

The Marlins collected 10 hits for the 14th straight game and beat up on the Astros, 6-2. Ricky Nolasco was the beneficiary.

Call them the anti-Mets, the Marlins signed all 12 of their top draft picks.

Around MLB

John Smoltz is expected to sign a deal with the Cardinals and work with Dave Duncan.

Brian Gump talks minor league umpires.

Dayn Perry makes a convincing argument for Joe Mauer as MVP.

The Royals have demoted former top prospect Alex Gordon seemingly to keep him one year further away from free agency

Ivan Rodriguez is returning to Texas, this time as a backup.

Brian Bannister talks defensive statistics.

The Nippon Ham Fighters have swine flu. If everyone is OK soon, that's kind of funny.