Two weeks ago, I raised the possibility of Mike Piazza being moved out of the cleanup spot in the Mets’ batting order, and predicted the catcher would be dropped to 5th or 6th by June. Willie Randolph, a far more decisive person, hasn’t waited nearly that long. Speaking to the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin, Cliff Floyd — moving from 5th to 4th after his torrid April performance — showed that he’s a graduate of the Suzyn Waldman School Of Puffery.

Said Floyd: “We all know – I know – that Mike is going to hit. I mean, he’s been hitting the ball. If it’s to shake things up a little bit, so be it. I welcome it. It’s a challenge. If we don’t have him, hell, we’re not going to be good. He brings a lot to the team. He’s done it so many years, you never for one minute question his ability.”

Unless, of course, you’ve actually been watching most of Piazza’s at bats the past three seasons.

(Umpire Joe West thanks the Nats groundskeeper for the big bucket of worms, but next time, he’d really prefer a tarp.)

Following last night’s muddy & mucky loss to the Nationals, the NY Times’ Ray Giles reports that the Mets are filing a protest over the monsoon-shortened affair. Which is quite a coincidence, as I’m filing a protest of my own over Victor Zambrano’s inability to throw strikes. While Scott Kazmir is learning all sorts of useful things from Lou Pinella (like when to bean Boston hitters), Rick Peterson has not only failed to fix Zambrano within the promised 10 minutes, it will soon be the 10 month anniversary of one of the more disappointing Mets trades to not involve sending or receiving Jeff Kent.