By Mike Steffanos
While trying to catch up on my Mets news this morning, I come across the really important information that Paul Lo Duca's wife acted in a soft-porn video. I'm sure that this has important implications for the post-season, I just haven't figured out exactly what that might be yet.
There was a time, back when I first started watching baseball, when something like this wouldn't have been reported, and certainly wouldn't have dominated the front pages of the newspapers. But in this age of tabloid journalism, where editors trip all over each other in the effort to publish as much dirt as possible, this has become standard operating procedure. It was almost comical to watch the other sleazy rags rushing to play catch-up in airing the Lo Duca family laundry, if it wasn't so mean-spirited and pathetic.
You have to appreciate the irony of all of this happening in a week where a local columnist felt the need to paint Mets fans as unknowledgeable and classless because some of them dared to boo an opposing ballplayer who was in the midst of a hitting streak. Since he is making his living in a media that is in the midst of an orgiastic slime-for-all, what does that make him?
Some found it "a silly-looking sight" that Lo Duca was flanked by Glavine and Wright when he gave his news conference, but that's how it works with teams. The young man and the older man that silently flanked Lo Duca during that painful event reflect the best in all of us -- the willingness to stand up for each other during bad times. The sleazy one-upmanship going on in the tabloids reflect the worst in us -- the voyeuristic desire of the public to be titillated by other's private lives, and the greed of the media to cash in on this desire.
Bergen Record: Trouble in the family, Part 1
Bob Klapisch tells us the Daryl Strawberry boycott of the 1986 Mets reunion is all about money:
The former right fielder was asking the Mets, as a favor, to pay in full the estimated $1.4 million he's owed for the next 10 years. The bulk of those monies would go to satisfying Strawberry's remaining debt to the IRS.
The Mets, however, are willing to pay only the present-day value of the compensation, which is closer to $800,000.
To pay the full amount without deferral, "is like charity" said one member of the Met hierarchy. "We love Darryl, we've tried to help him out, but we're not in the business of giving money away."
Daily News: Trouble in the family, Part 2
Adam Rubin updates us on Hojo's problems with the Mets:
Howard Johnson's days with the Mets look numbered. Sources say the Triple-A hitting coach was denied permission to attend his son Glen's competition in a Wilmington, N.C., tournament for rising high school seniors that's heavily scouted by major-league teams. Johnson went for a few days anyway, and when he returned for Norfolk's game at Buffalo on Friday, he was told to go home.
Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz acknowledged HoJo has been suspended and said whether he'll return is "under review."
It's too bad that, given that Daryl and the Mets were finally reconciling their differences after all these years, that Strawberry would attend Old Timer's Day in Yankee Stadium and then blow off the 1986 Mets reunion because he's sulking about not getting money he is not yet entitled to receive. I think I would personally have a very difficult time forgiving Strawberry if he didn't show for the reunion.
As for Hojo, while I can't condone someone leaving their job without permission -- God knows none of us would get away with that -- since the Mets like to make a big deal about how family-oriented they are, it's funny that they couldn't work something mutually acceptable out beforehand.
The Metropolitans: The Fourth Starter
Mike offers his usual solid analysis of which pitchers should be starting playoff games for the Mets.