Writing that neither the Mets nor Yanks “considers the lefty an ace and they know with Scott Boras as his agent, Barry Zito is going to seek No. 1-starter pay,”, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman elabortes.

Roy Oswalt received a five-year, $73-million extension to stay in Houston. Boras is going to claim Zito deserves more because he is younger, left-handed, more durable and has produced similar career results while working exclusively in the AL. Boras will assemble one of his famous books that will attempt to seduce NL teams by showing how much better guys such as Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez pitched after switching over from the AL, and will try to lure all teams by showing how in 2018 Zito will be winning his 300th game. Never doubt Boras’ powers of persuasion since he got huge deals by sprucing up the defective Kevin Brown, Darren Dreifort and Chan Ho Park.

Just don’t expect the New York clubs to buy into the hard sell.

The Mets actually feel better today about their 2007 rotation than earlier this year, and think both the free-agent and trade markets might be so prohibitive when it comes to rotation arms that they might just stay in-house.

They believe Tom Glavine and Martinez will be above-average for another season. They think they have assembled a potential-filled inventory of Brian Bannister, Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. Plus they still control Victor Zambrano and – if they believe Guillermo Mota and Duaner Sanchez can handle set-up roles – Aaron Heilman can again be auditioned for the rotation.

At this moment, the Mets are prioritizing a second baseman, and Julio Lugo tops their list. Lugo has struggled since becoming a Dodgers utilityman, but Mets GM Omar Minaya adores Lugo, a Brooklyn native. Minaya craves putting as many top athletes on the field as possible and envisions a dynamic top-of-the-order offense and middle-of-the-diamond defense with Jose Reyes, Lugo and Carlos Beltran.

An RBI single by Freddie Sanchez and a sacrifice fly by Jason Bay have the Mets staring at a 2-0 deficit through two innings in Pittsburgh today.

David Pinto links to a news item that reveals yet another snub of the Sultan Of Surly’s otherworldly accomplishments.

Major League Baseball has no plans to recognize Barry Bonds when he hits his next two home runs to tie and break Hank Aaron’s National League record of 733.

Commissioner Bud Selig does not plan to attend any Giants games because of Bonds, said MLB spokesperson Patrick Courtney, even though a league home run record has not been broken since Aaron passed Willie Mays in 1972.

“We have made it an industry practice to celebrate individual performances when they are of a record-breaking nature,” Courtney said. “In keeping with that, we recognize Aaron’s major league record (755) as the ultimate record.”

As the Astros’ playoff hopes fade, the Journal News’ Peter Abraham does the math.

Roger Clemens has made 16 starts for Houston and could have only three left. Those 19 appearances will cost the Astros $644,736.84 apiece. Makes Alex Rodriguez seem like a bargain.

Zach Outdoor Miner is on in relief for the Tigers, as Wilfredo Ledezma has already been knocked out by the Orioles (5-2, Baltimore, top of the 5th). It’s fascinating to see Detroit has picked up Matt Stairs on waivers (he’s hitting 3rd today). Presumably in some chemistry-centered universe, Stairs is considered an upgrade on Dmitri Young. The Twins, 2 games behind Motown entering today’s action, have been teeing off on Paul Byrd early, and lead the Indians, 5-1 after 4 innings.