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Alomar of the Same

Watching the Dan Uggla stonehands exhibition during the All-Star Game the other day, I couldn't help but be reminded of Roberto Alomar.

The Roberto Alomar is a Good Met era lasted maybe 5 minutes longer than our love for Bill Pecota. He became a shell of the player he previously was, both offensively and defensively as his career evaporated before our eyes.

The Roberto Alomar lasted about 100 plate appearances from July 4-28, 2002. In that 21-game span, Alomar hit .371, scored 18 runs and drove in 12.

Within that stretch were six games against the Reds, four of which the Mets won. In those four wins, Alomar was the ultimate pest, with 10 hits in 17 at-bats, along with five RBI.

The best of those games was a walk-off win on July 26 (a game witnessed in person by none other than Bill Buckner), a game that began with Alomar getting his 2,500th career hit in the first inning, as Merengue Night began on a happy note, with the Mets taking a 2-0 lead. Alomar drove in the second run with his next hit, a fourth-inning single.

In all, Alomar would reach base five times, via three hits and two walks, and though the Reds tied the game with two runs in the sixth, that would pose no problem for the Mets on this day.

Alomar wasn't given a chance to cap his perfect day with a walk-off hit, as he was intentionally passed in the ninth inning. Instead a fellow Mets struggler would do that, as Mo Vaughn brought home Rey Ordonez with the game-finishing run.

"It's about time," Vaughn said to the media of his success and he could have easily been speaking of Alomar as well.

For his part, Alomar had this to say, and the advice would have been good for Uggla too: ''Sometimes, you try to impress right away when you come here. It's not going to happen. You have to relax.''

It would have been nice if Alomar could have followed his own suggestion. Shortly thereafter, he went into the useless mode for which he'd become best known, scoring three runs and driving in only three, as the Mets went into a prolonged funk, from which they and Alomar wouldn't recover.

True Metomars know...Roberto Alomar's lone walk-off home run came with the Blue Jays against the White Sox on May 2, 1995. Alomar batted sixth that day, sandwiched between future Mets John Olerud and Shawn Green.

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