Paging Mr Anna Benson!

Well, even the darkest hour lasts only 60 minutes as they say. A day after getting humiliated by the Braves, the Mets bounced back to beat the Orioles 7-4. Of course, the O's are not in the NL East and thus, are not our rivals and eternal nemesis but hell, it's Spring and there's still time to stand in line for our yearly dollop of optimism.

Speaking of which, Mr Anna Benson made his first start for New York, going three innings, allowing one earned run on three hits in a 41-pitch effort. He retired the final seven batters he faced.

I guess it'll be at least another start before we can ask will the real Kris Benson please stand up?

He may have gotten through his start, gasp, without allowing a run. But two balls grounded in the direction of Andres Galarraga, filling in for Doug Mientkiewicz, ran under the 43-year-old's glove and into right field for base hits.

I'm all for a roster spot for El Gato if he can pick up his play, and frankly, it's a great story. But if he can't cut it when it's time to do the cutting for the final roster let him be a coach instead of a player. We need all the bench production we can get and last we checked here, sentimentality wins you ZERO games for the season.

As if the mighty Omar is listening with his head and not his heard, the Mets signed former Red Sock Brian Daubach to a minor league contract. Daubach spent most of last season at AAA Pawtucket but did make it up to the Sox for 30 games where he hit .227 and 2 homers. He can play both 1B and the outfield.

In addition, they signed righty pitcher and former Padre Joey Hamilton to a minor league contract as well. Nine years ago, he went 15-9 for the Padres but since then, has been pretty quiet. He didn't make it to the Major League last season. Guess we can put in him line with the other studs vying for the Mr Longshot award of this spring.

Cliff Floyd, allegedly pain-free for the first time in nearly five years but still not pain-in-the-arse-free yet, stole a base in the first inning and, later, predicted he would steal between 20-25 bases this season.

"He said, 'You've got the green light,'" Floyd said, referring to Randolph. 'If you show me you can run, you can keep it. If not, I'll take it away.' I don't want him to take it away. I've just got to pick my spots."

Perhaps a morality lesson at hand as Mr Floyd also lost one of the 3.5-karat diamond studs he keeps in each ear. Floyd, who lost it somewhere between Port St. Luice and Monday night's Miami Heat game, estimated the value of the earring at $16,000.

You steal some, Cliffie, and you lose some.

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