By Mike Steffanos
We celebrate a pair of award-winning Mets, catch up on D-Wright's chat, and note our former closer returning to his baseball roots in our late news wrap-up.
Mets.com: David Wright Chat Transcript
If you weren't able to attend the David Wright chat this afternoon, you can still view the transcript on-line at Mets.com. You can enjoy scintillating exchanges like the following:
Q: Would winning the World Baseball Classic be just as special to you as winning the World Series?
Wright: Any time you have USA written across your chest it's a special feeling, so winning the World Baseball Classic would be special, but on the other hand, you dream about a World Series ring your whole life.
Q: Jessica Simpson or Eva Longoria?
Wright: Either -- I'm not that picky.
Whenever I listen to Wright handle the media it reminds me of Crash Davis schooling Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham.
MLB.com: He's quite a Card
Adam McCalvy is reporting that former Mets close Braden Looper has signed a 3 year, $13.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, returning to the organization that drafted him. McCalvy quotes Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty on the signing:
We are glad to have Braden back in our system, and he's glad to be back. He will be a quality setup pitcher in our bullpen and be able to close for us on days when Jason [Isringhausen] is not available.
So Braden Looper is leaving a place with some of the toughest fans in baseball for a team with the most forgiving. I wish him luck when he's not pitching against us. I'm glad he's not closing games for the Mets anymore, but I always admired his toughness. I've always said that if you could find a way to give Armando Benitez Looper's heart, you'd have one hell of a closer.
CBS SportsLine: Benson's Value
Scott Miller makes this observation about Kris Benson:
With this week's trade of Javier Vazquez to the Chicago White Sox, the value only increases on the Mets' Kris Benson -- especially if Oakland winds up keeping Barry Zito. The top free agent starters remaining -- Kevin Millwood, Weaver and Jarrod Washburn won't go cheaply. Among others, Baltimore, Arizona, Texas and Kansas City have been aggressive in speaking with the Mets about Benson.
I'd like to see the Mets hold onto Benson, at least for now. I'm sure there will be a market for him during the season, and with questions about Pedro's health and Glavine's age, it seems like the prudent thing to do at this point. If they do move him, I'd like to see them get something of value back rather than just dumping his salary.
Mets.com: Pedro and the sprinkler
Pedro Martinez playing in the sprinklers that accidentally came on while he was pitching was chosen Blooper of the Year by voters for MLB.com's This Year in Baseball Awards. And Pedro wasn't alone as a Mets award winner.
Mets.com: "The Catch"
David Wright's barehanded catch against the Brian Giles of the Padres was voted The Play by voters for MLB.com's This Year in Baseball Awards. With 30 plays nominated for the award, Wright's play was the runaway winner with almost a third of all votes cast. Of course, Cliff Floyd put it all in perspective:
We could have really blown it up if we'd won. Great catch. He'll probably get an ESPY for it. But you know what that does? It makes the guy who hit it play harder. He's ticked. You hit a ball like that, and you know you've got a knock out of it. Now Giles is going to make sure D-Wright loses one, too.
I love Cliff...