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On the Mendy

OK, so apparently the stategy that Mr. Minaya has taken to load up his bench this season is to sign guys who have crushed the Mets in the past. In other words, if you can't beat em, sign em.

First there was the purchase of Tike Redman, and now they've signed Endy Chavez to what basically amounts to a tryout battle for the fifth outfield slot (loser leads off for Norfolk).

Chavez has a .259 batting average over a 436-game major-league career, which is basically unimpressive. What he does best is slap-hit and that's a skill that didn't work for him much in 2005, as in stints with the Phillies and Nationals he barely hit above .200.

Based on the way he's performed against the Flushing 9, fans may think they just picked up Eric Chavez. He's the type of guy that would be an ideal fit for the Braves come September, so it's probably a good thing that he is where he is now. He's a .326 career hitter against the Mets, with a .519 slugging percentage over 129 at-bats. The guy even hits well at Shea Stadium- .373 in a small sample of 73 plate appearances.

Chavez is hopeful that his third stint in the Mets organization is a charm, having previously been claimed by others in both the Rule V draft and off waivers. In 2001, the Royals stored him in Omaha for two months before recalling him for his initial turn in the majors. It took a few weeks for pitchers to figure out that Chavez chased most everything, but when they did, he hit a major slump. Over a five-games and a little more span he went 0-for-17, but was in the starting lineup on June 27, against the Tigers.

I feel like this is an appopriate game to write about because it had a frightening number of Metropolitan connections. Paul Byrd started for Kansas City and pitched well, allowing two runs over six innings and change. Roberto Hernandez tried to close out a 3-2 Royals lead but couldn't, first allowing a game-tying homer to ex-Met Shane Halter, then a go-ahead hit by Damion Easley (we'll even throw in that Roger Cedeno was thrown out at home by shortstop Rey Sanchez while trying to score on an infield grounder).

In the last of the ninth, three former or current Methands played a role in Kansas City's game-winning rally. Carlos Beltran capped a 4-for-4 day with a leadoff single against Tigers closer Todd Jones, stole second, and scored on Brent Mayne's RBI single. Mayne advanced to second when Beltran drew a throw home, but then was thrown out at third when Luis Alicea tried to advance him.

It was just as well. Alicea, who reached, stole second. The batter was Endy Chavez, who was 0-for-4, and whose slump, was now at 0-for-21. Jones ran the count full and Chavez finally connected, lining a game-winning single to left-center field. The Royals had a pain-in-the-butt win, but a win nonetheless. In this case, the Endy justified the means and the Mets hope that this signing will as well.

True Metvez's know...Endy Chavez has a .286 career batting average in Chavez Ravine (aka Dodger Stadium)

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