Showing not a care in the world for the loneliness of Eddie Trunk nor Savatage’s ticket sales in the all-important New York market, the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman insists that Mike Piazza’s departure from Flushing “helped all involved”.

Piazza never was criticized for his effort, but seeing him behind the Shea dish last night reminded you of all the things he couldn’t do over the last few years, like run up the line or spear balls to his right or throw out any baserunners at all. LoDuca is simply a better player at this point in their careers.

More important than that, though, is the intangible effect a player like Piazza has on the feel of a team. He was never the vocal leader of the Mets, but he was always their symbol. First as a highlypriced acquisition who stunned everyone in New York by playing a gritty game worthy of a 62nd-round draft pick, and later as the lethargic, immobile, and only intermittently available anchor of a team whose time had passed.

Much like Thomas, as a reminder of the days when the White Sox were nothing but a wall of right-handed power hitters, seemed last year like an old ghost haunting a young team designed in a different image, it’s somehow impossible to imagine Piazza fitting into the complete reinvention of the Mets that’s taken place this year. There cannot be two players with less in common than Piazza and Jose Reyes, and it was the right decision to allow the one to leave so that the other could become the new symbol of the team.

Metal Mike whiffed in his only plate appearance this far tonight against former battery mate Pedro Martinez, as the Mets lead the Padres, 4-0 after 3 innings. Jose Reyes has doubled, singled and has a run scored and an RBI.

Before the game, Cliff Floyd was placed on the 15 Day DL. If you’re a fantasy baseball enthusiast, a) you might wanna pick up Endy Chavez and b) you can now enjoy this questionable activity without paying restitution to Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

A day after I suggested Michael Tucker should feel snubbed, he was promoted from Norfolk to take Floyd’s roster spot. Which wily vet will next put on a Tides uniform? Ruben Rivera? Juan Gonzalez? Ron Gant?
Hot Foot reports the Tides’ Dave Williams allowed one unearned run and 3 hits last night in Norfolk’s 4-3 loss to Richmond. Still a chance for that Mets 7 man rotation in September, then.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz takes a gander at the Astros’ schedule for the season’s final 7 weeks and declares “start printing playoff tickets”. Almost on cue, Aubrey Huff and Craig Biggio have homered off Shawn Chacon in the first inning tonight at Ken Lay Memorial Field, staking Roy Oswalt to a 3-0 lead.

The AP reports that online sexual solicitation of minors is decreasing
, citing any number of factors, but not the most obvious : there are a lot of ugly kids out there.