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Chip Off the Old Block

I remember regularly watching the TV show Kate & Allie, which used to air Monday night's on CBS, in combination with Newhart and it made for a good hour of family viewing. Kate & Allie was the story of two 30/40-something women raising three kids together.

I bring this up because other than that, I can't recall an encounter with someone named Chip, which was the name of Allie's son, until now, with the Mets having signed former Royals outfielder Chip Ambres to a minor league deal. Ambres is a former first-round pick of the Marlins, who has shown both a little power and a little speed in his pro career, but has yet to make a significant impact. He hit .241 with the 2005 Royals in a 53-game stint with four home runs and three stolen bases.

Ambres has previously made the most of fresh opportunities, as some may recollect from August 24, 2005. On that date, the Royals and Red Sox were knotted in a 3-3 deadlock in the last of the ninth. With the bases loaded and one out Ambres batted against Mike Timlin just needing a fly ball to bring home the winning run. Instead, after getting ahead in the count 2-0, Ambres struck out. Timlin escaped trouble and the game sauntered on into extra innings.

Lo and behold in the 11th inning, we had a rerun of the previous scenario. Ambres was up again with the bases loaded and one out, needing just a fly ball. Bronson Arroyo got ahead of Ambres with a two-strike count, but after taking two balls, Ambres was able to deliver a poke to left. The game came down to a race between baserunner David DeJesus and the throwing arm of leftfielder Manny Ramirez, who made the catch. DeJesus beat the peg home, barely, and the Royals had a walk-off victory.

Kate & Allie used to end each episode with a 30-second scene, one that followed a tease during commercials warning you "Don't go away, Kate & Allie will be right back." We imagine that Chip (real first name, Raymond) Ambres is abiding by that same principle, as he's still recovering from shoulder surgery, and he hopes to return in time to make his name known to Mets fans sometime in 2007.

True Metbres know...That Chip Ambres first major-league home run came against former NeverMet Scott Kazmir.

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