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METS ONLINE: Weekend notebook

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Bryan Hoch created the unofficial fan site MetsOnline.net when he was 14 and ran it successfully for six years until he was forced this week by Major League Baseball to shut it down. His columns will now be featured on FOXSports.com: Fonz to the Disabled List?: manager Bobby Valentine was uncertain about the status of third baseman , who suffered a left ribcage injury flying out against in the tenth inning of Saturday¿s first game. ¿I don¿t think we¿re going to DL him tomorrow,¿ Valentine said, ¿but those aren¿t the best of injuries.¿ Alfonzo did not play in the second game, a 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the , and his injury was described as similar to the one that sent infielder to the 15-day disabled list in July. left the second game of the doubleheader after aggravating a strained right groin running out a ground ball in the first inning. He is listed as day-to-day. Armand-Blown: ¿s solo homer off of in the tenth inning of the first game Saturday marked just the third time that the ¿ closer has coughed up a save opportunity this season in 29 attempts. Benitez¿s string of 12 consecutive converted save opportunities became history when Counsell belted a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for a solo pinch-hit home run. ¿He threw some in there that were close pitches and weren¿t called strikes,¿ Valentine said. ¿I didn¿t see any of the other pitches leave the park. He¿s been near perfect.¿ ¿Turning on the TV, I¿ve seen everybody (blow games) this week. It must be that time of year.¿ Benitez¿s last blown save came on June 14 against the in the Bronx, when Valentine called upon the hard-throwing righthander to get the final four outs with a 2-1 lead. spoiled those plans with a run-scoring single in the ninth and led the to victory in the tenth with a two-run homer off of Saturo Komiyama. Remembering ¿The Captain¿: One day after the 22nd anniversary of the ¿ loss of team captain Thurman Munson to a tragic plane crash, Valentine recalled the first time he¿d ever met the catcher. It was 1967, and both Valentine and Munson were spending their summer playing in the famed Cape Cod League, which has been a favorite of major league scouts for decades thanks to its high level of player talent and continued reliance on wooden bats. Valentine was a high school junior at the time, stocking shelves at a local supermarket to pay for his stay. He had vague recollections of his brief time in the league, but one memory stood out above all others. ¿I had just made a great catch in the outfield, and I¿m standing outside the box taking my practice swings when the catcher [Munson] says to me, ¿Nice catch, kid¿,¿ Valentine recalled. ¿I looked at him and said thanks, and then he says to me, ¿Do me a favor. I¿m leading off the next inning. Go stand about ten feet behind that spot and watch the ball go over your head¿.¿ ¿So, I make my out, and I go to the outfield,¿ he continued. ¿And I¿ll be damned if he didn¿t hit it right over my head, in that very spot he said, up against a hill. I wrote home to all my friends and just said, ¿that was cool¿.¿ Rey¿s O: has never been much of an offensive force at the bottom of the ¿ lineup, nor has he been asked to be. Since he made a splash onto the scene with the team in 1996, the have been very satisfied with the flashy defensive abilities of the three-time Rawlings Gold Glove award winner. Ordonez¿s normal defensive excellence evaded him for the first few months of the season, and he continues to lead the in errors this season with 15 ¿ an fact that may be partially blamed on the decision to replace the clay-based infield at Shea Stadium with a sand-based concoction. With 90 errors this season, the as a team are second in the National League only to the (91) in miscues. But of late, the have to be pleased with the offensive support they¿re getting from Ordonez. Just two days after tying a career high with four RBI against the on Wednesday, Ordonez again came up as a key contributor in the first game of New York¿s doubleheader with the Saturday, racking up the eighth four-hit game of his career to supplement a double and a run scored. ¿He got some pitches to hit and did a good job,¿ Valentine said. Ordonez has hit safely in 36 of his last 55 games with an at-bat, tallying 26 runs scored and 20 RBI in those games.
Tagged: Yankees, Astros, Nationals, Mets, Diamondbacks, Derek Jeter, Craig Counsell

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