There are so many congratulations to go around, I don’t know where to start.

1) To Jay Horowitz — for finally overseeing a photo shoot with a subject other than David Wright.

2) To Sports Illustrated – if the Mets go into the tank after this issue hits the stands, you can hardly be blamed for a jinx. Between the brutal recent schedule and having already lost 6 of 7, there’s little reason to hate on SI. Well, other than Rick Reilly’s continued employment.

3) To Oliver Perez – with all due respect to the other 5 gentleman photographed, you were probably the least likely candidate to make the cover of Sports Illustrated this side of Mike DiFelice.

Speaking of whom, I had the pleasure of watching the Mets’ taxi squad in the flesh last night as New Orleans dropped a 5-3 decision to the Round Rock Express. Zephyrs starter Jason Vargas hadn’t pitched poorly, prior to allowing a 3 run blast to Express 1B Mark Saccomanno in the last of the 6th, the Houston prospect’s 2nd HR of the evening. SS Anderson Hernandez was 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored, while 3B Fernando Tatis doubled and walked twice. Back at the Dell Diamond tonight, the recently demoted David Newhan drove in 3 runs with a first inning double off Phillip Barzilla, as the Zeyphrs hold an early 3-0 advantage.

If the vibe in Williamson County wasn’t already at a Quadruple A fever pitch, said bedroom community should be in virtual spasms of joy to learn that Houston has inked Chan Ho Park and he’s meant to have a number of tune up starts for Round Rock before returning to his mastery of the National League.