Monday, August 28, 2006

Paul Knows Best

Lisa Olson at The NY Daily News writes about Paul Lo Duca and how John Maine came to realize Paul knows what he wants:

"My first game," Maine said, "he wanted a curveball and I wanted a fastball. It turned into a base hit."

That was back in May, at home against Washington. Maine can't remember the pertinent details, like who got the hit, or what Lo Duca said to him when they huddled in the dugout and discussed where Maine had gone wrong. The other Mets pitchers could have told the rookie a given truth: Hardly anyone shakes off Lo Duca.

"He knows more about what to do than I do," Maine said yesterday, after rain blotted out his start and the Mets' game against Philadelphia was rescheduled for today. "Without a doubt, I trust him."

There's a reason, even if it gets buried in agate. He'll never hang with Jose Reyes in a foot race (who could?), or possess the power of Carlos Beltran or Carlos Delgado, but try to imagine the Mets without Lo Duca. It's like the Earth without its core. His .315 average is the team's highest. He has hit safely in 25 of his last 29 games, and in the last six he has scored six runs, smacked two doubles and legged out a triple, the likes of which will never be seen again.

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