From the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch :

Darryl Strawberry and the Mets are no longer on speaking terms, because of a dispute over payment of his deferred salaries, according to a person familiar with the situation. A recent break-off in negotiations led to Strawberry’s decision to boycott the 1986 reunion at Shea Stadium on Aug. 19.

The former right fielder was asking the Mets, as a favor, to pay in full the estimated $1.4 million he’s owed for the next 10 years. The bulk of those monies would go to satisfying Strawberry’s remaining debt to the IRS.

The Mets, however, are willing to pay only the present-day value of the compensation, which is closer to $800,000.

To pay the full amount without deferral, “is like charity” said one member of the Met hierarchy. “We love Darryl, we’ve tried to help him out, but we’re not in the business of giving money away.”

That’s not what Kaz Matsui said! But seriously folks, as noted yesterday, this ’86 reunion is already unlikely to include Davey Johnson, Howard Johnson, nor, as Klapisch reminds us, the imprisoned Doc Gooden and the otherwise occupied Ray Knight. Though I’m sure the Mets feel they’ve done enough for Darryl already, perhaps this exercise in nostalgia isn’t a very good idea? Much as we’re all dying to see how much weight Kevin Mitchell has put on (please don’t tell me he’s busy, too) the event seems farcical without Straw, Doc or Davey.

A first inning, 2-run HR by Adrian Gonzalez off Orlando Hernandez, the former’s 20th of the year, has the Padres leading the Mets, 2-0 after a half inning. Persons who paid to see a major league baseball game in the year 2006 must’ve been thrilled to see Michael Tucker and Mike DiFelice in the Mets starting lineup.