The following truths are self-evident : Mets pitching has been lights-out since the break, Chris Woodward is thankfully, no Joe McEwing, and Carlos Beltran, though having a disappointing season, is a very patient man.

(Carlos doesn’t know who this girl is, but the radar gun says she’s 10 MPH faster than Danny Graves)

From Newsday’s Ken Davidoff :

At a playground in Harlem, Beltran donated his time and $10,000 to the RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) project. But he was there, it turned out, as much for the kids as for a promotional tie-in to the new “Bad News Bears” film. At the direction of a Hollywood studio official, the Mets centerfielder wound up spending more time with the actors who played the Bears — awkwardly advising them on their batting stances — than with the kids in the RBI program.

And the movie’s star, Billy Bob Thornton, showed up 55 minutes late. Which meant that the quiet All-Star and the quirky Oscar winner spent about five minutes together, before Beltran had to bolt to prepare for last night’s game against the Padres.

Perhaps a prima donna player — we really shouldn’t name any names, but … Alex Rodriguez — would have raised a stink about being placed in the middle of such a mess. Beltran, however, rolled with the punches. He observed that the actor playing Mike Engelberg (the, um, large-boned kid on the team) looked like Doug Mientkiewicz. He asked Jay Horwitz, the venerable and teaseable Mets vice president of media relations, if he wanted an at-bat.

He conducted all of the necessary interviews, posed for all of the necessary pictures, and at 2 o’clock sharp, with Thornton having just arrived, he slipped away.