Notes: Admirers aplenty for Floyd
Former Mets outfielder revels in attention in return to Shea
NEW YORK -- Sauntering through Shea Stadium's inner tunnels on Monday, Cubs outfielder Cliff Floyd seemed as if he had never left.
Hugs and handshakes were everywhere, and Floyd reveled in the attention -- while his admirers reveled in a newfound glimpse of the man who had spent four memorable years in Queens.
"I've got some good friends," Floyd said, "all the way down to the security guards. Walking through the city today, you'd just be amazed what people remember about when you played. That's incredible. I wasn't like a superstar when I was here, I just grinded it out and played hard and people loved that."
Floyd's four seasons as a Met were at times successful, at times turbulent. In his best season -- and only full one he played as a Met -- Floyd batted .273 with 34 home runs. But in his worst -- a campaign hampered by familiar injuries -- he managed to hit just .244 with 11 long balls.
And while Mets fans certainly remember Floyd for his outspoken demeanor, they also have trouble shaking the images of last year's National League Championship Series Game 7, when Floyd's ninth-inning, pinch-hit strikeout helped seal the team's fate.
After that series, Mets general manager Omar Minaya decided to cut ties with the 34-year-old veteran, opting instead to sign 40-year-old Moises Alou. Floyd said he respected the decision -- especially after Minaya called the outfielder advising him to take a one-year deal elsewhere, so as not to lock away his future.
"Omar was cool as you can be in that situation," Floyd said. "I thought that was really nice of him, to let me know that he was going to go that route, and what he thought I should do."
Floyd took the advice, signing with his hometown Cubs, with whom he's batting .274 in platoon duty. But a few months away from Shea haven't been enough to dull anyone's memory.
"For selfish reasons, I miss Cliff," said David Wright, who talks to Floyd every few weeks on the phone. "He's a great guy, a great teammate -- I know he was well-liked in this clubhouse. But that's the business side of baseball."
Alou update: Alou's status remains just as uncertain as it was over the weekend, while the club grapples with the possibility of placing the outfielder on the disabled list.
Alou said his pulled left quad was feeling significantly better, but he remained pessimistic of his chances for an early return.
"I don't want to use the word DL," Alou said. "I don't like it, and I'm hoping that maybe the team will wait for me to give it a shot. At the same time, I feel bad short-handing the team."
There's no timetable for a potential move, though logic suggests the team will decide before Thursday, when the demoted Mike Pelfrey had been scheduled to pitch. If Alou heads to the disabled list, the Mets can keep rookie outfielder Carlos Gomez with the big club and still recall a starter to fill Pelfrey's slot. But if Alou's health improves, Gomez will likely head back to Triple-A in favor of a pitcher.
Regardless of Alou's situation, the team will almost certainly promote someone from New Orleans by Thursday -- though all parties remain mum on the subject. Minaya said that veteran Chan Ho Park was an option, but the likely favorite remains young lefty Jason Vargas, who skipped his scheduled Sunday start with New Orleans.
The alternative choice remains reliever Aaron Sele, whom the Mets might find appealing because his Major League status would allow them to keep both Alou and Gomez on the roster.
Burgos back: The Mets did make one move Monday night, recalling reliever Ambiorix Burgos from Triple-A, after the 23-year-old right-hander had spent just nine days with New Orleans.
Burgos takes the spot of Lino Urdaneta, who was optioned back to New Orleans after one inning of work with the Mets.
"We wanted [Burgos] to get some innings," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We said that initially. We wanted to get him some innings and pitch a little bit, and that's what he did."
Burgos had been 0-0 with a 4.11 ERA in 15 1/3 innings before his demotion. In his brief stint with New Orleans, he allowed three runs in five innings.
Mota on the move: Reliever Guillermo Mota has left extended Spring Training at Port St. Lucie and is headed to Las Vegas, where he will join New Orleans on the Zephyrs' current road trip.
Mota can join the Mets -- barring rainouts -- on May 30, when his 50-game steroid suspension ends.
Glavine back: Monday starter Tom Glavine was back with the club after a weekend hiatus to Georgia, where he watched his son receive First Communion.
Glavine, Minaya and Randolph had agreed before the season that if the lefty wasn't scheduled to pitch that weekend -- and he wasn't -- he could temporarily leave the club for the ceremony.
This date in Mets history -- May 15: One-hit wonder. Phillies catcher Mike Compton had 18 hits in his one season in the big leagues. One of them, a one-out single to right in the third inning, was the only hit Tom Seaver allowed in a 15-strikeout shutout of the Phillies in Connie Mack Stadium on this date in 1970. Gary Gentry had pitched a one-hitter in Wrigley Field in the previous game, two days earlier. Jerry Koosman pitched a third straight shutout, against the Phillies, May 16, but he allowed four hits. Seaver and Gentry said they wouldn't associate with him.
In 1971, Buddy Harrelson had one of his six three-hit games and one of his six three-RBI games -- he had three hits and three RBIs in one game only -- in the Mets' 9-5 victory against the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. ... In 1987, Sid Fernandez was removed from his start against the Giants at Shea after five innings with the Mets leading, 7-0, and with a no-hitter intact. He had walked four batters and struck out seven, but strained his left knee warming up for the sixth inning. The Mets won, 8-3.
In 1992, Bret Saberhagen was removed after the fifth inning with the Mets leading the Dodgers, 4-1, in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to the Mets, he had injured his right index finger, punching a wall, in his previous start. Saberhagen didn't pitch again until July 21. The Mets' record was six games over .500, and they were three games behind following the game. Their record was three games under .500 and they were six out when he returned.
Coming up: The Mets and Cubs continue with the second of four games on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET. Undefeated John Maine takes the hill for the Mets, opposite hard-throwing righty Carlos Zambrano.
Anthony DiComo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.