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Exit notes from New York

Fifth starter discovered, first baseman lost.

(That's the gamer and notebook in six words.)

A few other tid-bits that I'll include here to kill some time while heading back to DC/Balt on the Acela train.

* Losing to the Nationals seems to provoke a certain unbridled ignominy these days, and in the latest series, it translated twice into humorous Mets' clubhouse controversies. First we had the whole Nelson Figueroa thing, which at this point deserves no further analysis. Then, after yesterday's 1-0 contest, New York reliever Billy Wagner -- who didn't even play in the game (!) -- decided to, first, consent to an interview; second, complain that he was being interviewed; and third, rip teammates for not being interviewed. Fun times in the Greatest City on Earth.

* Willie Harris's catch was SportsCenter's No. 1 play from Thursday's sporting action. Perhaps that's only because Malkin/Crosby/et al didn't light the lamp for the Penguins, but hey -- let's give the guy a little credit. After the game yesterday, Harris referred to himself as the team's "party starter." I'm unclear if he was talking more about his role on the field or in the clubhouse, but either way, Washington wouldn't have won that game without his catch. Even after he caught the ball, he kept sliding for another five feet. Let me practice my understatement: Wily Mo Pena doesn't make that catch.

Does Harris deserve an increased role in the future? No, probably not. Not with so many other, younger (and more gifted) outfielders cluttering the roster. But if nothing else, he's a valuable player, because he performs his role -- and he does it well.

* Non-baseball note: Last night, with some free time for dinner, I went with a buddy to a restaurant I'd long been meaning to try. WD-50. I'd read about it (and its chef, the requisitely eccentric Wylie Dufresne) in one of those men's magazines, Esquire or GQ or something, some years ago. And ever since, I wanted to give it a try. It's one of those places that's more science lab than restaurant, aiming to create dishes that God never intended to allow: popcorn soup and lamb chop lollipops and purees of grilled octopus. Anyway, very cool experience, and most everything tasted splendid. At various points in the evening, I'm pretty sure I had shrimp that had been somehow parceled into half dollar-type discs, gnocchi infused with the flavor of coffee, and hazelnut that took the form of linguini. I also tried the popcorn soup, which I'd recommend, so long as you're not the one making it.

* Oh, and I hear Camden Yards has good press box food.

By Chico Harlan  |  May 16, 2008; 10:47 AM ET
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