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Fortunato Cookie

Al Leiter may be retired and Armando Benitez may be a few thousand miles away but the memory of the two still lingers in the form of a Tuesday defeat to the Orioles that would be considered appalling were it to occur a month from now.

This is why you get eight weeks of warm-up games, so Victor Zambrano can frustrate and agitate in a Leiteresque manner (though this not walking guys thing is refreshing) and Bartolome Fortunato can foil a potential victory in Benitezian fashion. (it made me long for Danny Graves, or even Dick Tidrow) Hang around here and you'll probably hear that kind of Metsian phraseology a lot.

It seems totally ridiculous to rail against a team for an exhibition performance, so I'll try not to take this game too seriously (though it may be too late for that...I feel like a caller to "Mike and the Mad Dog"), though it did offer a scary foreshadowing to the prospects of life without Mr. Wagner closing games out.

I was originally going to write about Al Leiter, but I'm not up for that challenge at this hour. My next instinct was to pen some commentary about Bartolome Fortunato, but I recoiled from that idea when I realized he had been proffered in the deal for Nolan Ryan Jr. Perhaps I'll return later in the day and offer some thoughts.

For those that have hung in while I've been in once-a-week posting mode, I appreciate it. I'm trying to get back into the everyday swing, or at least the every-other-day business and by next week, I figure I'll have more time to devote to this enterprise.

In the meantime, if you're trying to cushion the blow of a bitter (well, not really) defeat, keep this in mind: Scott Kazmir enters the day with a 9.72 spring ERA.
True Metunatos know...The Mets have three walk-off wins, combining regular season and postseason, against those same Baltimore Orioles who beat them in a meaningless contest on Tuesday.


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