(The Kid & Straw congratulate Air America’s Al Franken upon being first in line to purchase 2005 Mets ducats)

Mets tickets are on sale and the Daily News’ Mike Lupica talks to young men who think that’s a big deal.

Victor Vazquez, 21 years old, from the College of Staten Island, was maybe five spots from the front of the line. He was dressed in a blue North Face ski parka and matching ski pants and looked as if he was ready for cross-country skiing if the snow forecast for today came early. He was with his buddy, another Staten Island kid named Mike Candela, a junior. The car they came in, a red Pontiac Sunfire, was right there, a choice spot, primo they said, directly in front of the Mets’ store.

They had come on Saturday night. They thought the line would be shorter on 42nd Street than out at Shea Stadium. Vazquez would hold the spot when Candela would go for coffee, or food. They would take turns getting warm in the Sunfire.

“We always root for the Mets,” Victor Vazquez said, “even when we stink. But now we feel like the owners have shown us that they give a damn again.”

“You want to know when we started talking about making the trip into town, pulling the all-nighter?” Candela said. “When they got Pedro. Even before Beltran. Pedro showed us, right off the bat, things were gonna be different with Omar (Minaya) in charge.”

“Hey,” Vazquez said, “we stayed out all night the year they signed (Roberto) Alomar and (Roger) Cedeño, so it’s not like we think we got a sure thing here.”

And someone stayed out all night the years the Mets acquired Bret Saberhagen, Eddie Murray, Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilla and George Foster before that. Maybe even the year the Mets signed Mike Cameron. I don’t wanna puke on the parade or anything, but this is still a team with no middle relief, problems in RF, LF and behind the plate. And the Queens version of depth = Gerald Williams and Andres Gallaraga at camp.