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Notes: One play bothers manager

Notes: One play bothers manager

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Willie Randolph says his sleep usually is uninterrupted. But he acknowledges that one play from last season gnawed at him early in the offseason.

He described it this way:

"Bases loaded, 3-1 count, Valentin."

The circumstances were these: Jose Valentin at bat with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, score tied at 1. Endy Chavez had made his temporarily game-saving catch in the previous half-inning.

Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan had a 1-2 count -- not 3-1 -- on Valentin. The Mets needed a sacrifice fly.

"If we scored in that inning, I think we go to the World Series," Randolph said. "After Endy made that play ... I thought it was our time to win the game."

Valentin swung and the Mets missed their chance.

"Not to blame him," Randolph said. "That was one at-bat, one play. ... There was a lot of crazy stuff that happened in the course of the series. The big one for me was after Chavez's catch.

"I think Jose got real big there. He wanted to be the hero. He'd had big hits for us all year. When you're in a situation like that, it's all about getting it done. And he tried. But you could see, he got real big."

Catching a break: Randolph said he intends to help outfielder Moises Alou stay healthy by limiting his playing time as he limited that of catcher Paul Lo Duca last year.

"It'll be very similar," the manager said.

Lo Duca had 512 at-bats and started 120 games in 2006, three as a designated hitter. Alou probably wouldn't mind that. Because of injuries, he appeared in merely 98 games and had 345 at-bats with the Giants.

After '07? No one expects Tom Glavine to pitch beyond this season. But scenarios -- unlikely as they may be -- that would have him in uniform in 2008 do exist.

"If I don't win 300 games this year for some reason, then I will play next year," Glavine said Friday.

"Unless my arm blows out and that's the end of it. Barring something crazy, assuming I have a good year and I win 300 games, I'm not going to sit here and say that I won't play.

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"But it would take an awful lot for me to play next year, and I don't mean monetarily. I just mean it would really have to be some unfinished business or some tremendous burning desire for me to go out there and play another year at this point."

Out of the Park: Chan Ho Park reported and recalled that he made his first appearance in the country 13 years ago in a Dodgers-Mets exhibition game in Port St. Lucie. He recalled facing 10 batters and retiring nine on ground balls. He couldn't recall the name of the player who had an infield hit. But he had full recollection of another Mets-Dodgers game in Spring Training in 1996. He hit a home run against former Met and countryman Jae Seo.

"It was a bomb," Park said.

Park, who has hit two home runs, both in 2000, in 405 big-league at-bats, said he wanted to return the National League so he could bat, and, more to the point, because he had more success (91-64 record in 255 games, 206 starts) in the National League than in the American League (22-23 in 68 starts).

He said he told his agent after last season that he wanted to return to the Dodgers or sign with the Mets. The large Korean population in each city appealed to him.

Straight ahead: Dave Williams can only look in that direction since he underwent surgery on his neck to repair a herniated disc two weeks ago. The left-handed pitcher, who turns 28 next month, was in camp Friday, his neck in a brace, his immediate future in limbo.

He came here well before other players because he couldn't stay in his multi-level home in Atlanta as he was prohibited from using stairs.

"I was on so much medication," Williams said. "If I ever went down, I'd be in trouble."

His pain has subsided, but now he faces three months of waiting before he resume throwing.

Bone marrow removed from his hip was fused to his spine to stabilize it.

Mets add reliever off waivers: The Mets claimed right-handed pitcher Marcos Carvajal off waivers from the Rays on Friday, and to accommodate him on the 40-player roster, they designated right-handed pitcher Steve Schmoll for assignment.

Carvajal is expected to be in big-league camp in the coming days, the club said, meaning he may be one of the annual first-day no-shows general manager Omar Minaya essentially predicted on Thursday.

Carvajal is 22. He produced a 2-2 record and a 3.86 ERA in 38 games with the Rays' Double-A Montgomery affiliate in the Southern League in 2006. He allowed 69 hits, 40 walks and struck out 70 in 72 1/3 innings. He had an 0-2 record and 5.09 ERA in 39 appearances with the Rockies in 2005.

Schmoll was acquired from the Dodgers with Duaner Sanchez before the 2006 season.

Furthermore: Lo Duca was the first casualty of camp, spending much of Friday morning under a blanket in the clubhouse after some Port St. Lucie cuisine on Thursday night attacked his digestive system. ... Work on Glavine's teeth finally was completed last week. His two front teeth were knocked out in a taxi accident in August 2005. They have been replaced by implants. ... John Maine is upset. Two new gloves arrived with small likenesses of the flag of West Virginia sewn in one of the fingers. Maine is from Virginia. But new reliever Jon Adkins is from West Virginia, and he may have two new gloves if he doesn't mind the name John Maine sewn into the last finger.

First-person plural: Glavine left the clubhouse Friday carrying six jerseys, all with his name and No. 47 on them. Asked what he intended to do with them, he said, "Take 'em home and put 'em on the wall. He's my favorite player." Actually, the uniforms are to be auctioned off for charity.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }