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Green Looks Good on Us

One by one, the Superfriends are reconnoitering at the Hall of Justice better known as the Mets' lineup. Valentin…Green…can Alou be far behind?

He can [1]? So much for the “they're all getting healthy” theory. But we'll take who we can get among the Roosevelt Avenue regulars.

OJ was a sight for sore eyes and a balm for aching Easleys upon his weekend return to the infield. And Green didn't look a day over 34 when he came busting out of the gate Monday night, batting second (everybody takes turns there), lashing an RBI single, stealing second, dashing for third on the throw and coming home an instant later.

It's good to have Shawn back. A little too good. Because, let's face it, when the highlight of your Mets evening is Shawn Green having a hand in creating two runs in the first and essentially only competitive inning, well, there's just so much good news you can expect from your two-hole.

(Good thing Keith isn't doing this trip, or he'd crack up right there; the man can't even say Pete LaCock [2] with a straight face.)

Anyway, it's best to remain distracted by small and pleasing developments through this particular continuing descent into the abyss. We're still in first place, et al, at least until we're not. Green did look like this week's missing piece of the puzzle. Jose and David continue to show signs of being Jose and David. The box says Delgado doubled and scored in the fourth but it ought to be negated by his leaving two on in the fifth.

I noticed Jose passed the 600-hit mark Saturday. Out of curiosity, I checked to see where The David stands. After his first-inning single Monday (in what other inning could it have happened?), he's one hit shy of 500. Did you know, or could have you guessed, that once you take into account the year-plus start Monday birthday celebrant Reyes (happy 24th, old man!) had on Wright — when Jose compiled 112 hits among assorted injuries — that our golden boys are virtually even in the H column? Since July 21, 2004, the date of Diamond Dave's debut, J!4 has 491 hits to his better-publicized teammate's 499.

Reyes passed George Foster for 23rd place Monday night when he singled in the — yup — first. Wright will tie Doug Flynn for 34th when next he reaches safely by his own doing. And how about this? Tom Seaver is No. 115 on the all-time Mets hit list. He accumulated 146 in ten full seasons and one cruel fragment, one hit more than Derek Bell, all of whose Met hits came in 2000. Meanwhile, Tom Seaver posted a 2.57 ERA in 3,045.2 innings as a Met; Derek Bell's one frame pitched in San Diego seven years ago yielded an earned run average of 36.00.

What the hell does any of this have to do with losing to the Dodgers [3]? Not a blessed thing.