If at First . . .

The Mets Show Their Zeile

Let's leave the final word to Zeile's manager, Bobby Valentine, who earlier this season questioned GM Steve Phillips for giving Zeile a three-year, $18 million contract when the Mets might have tried to fill Olerud's slot from within the organization (and for far less money). "It's unfair to compare any player other than to his own past accomplishments," says Valentine now, when it's noted that Zeile and Olerud have accumulated strikingly similar stats so far this season. "But Todd stands on his own. Some guys who come to play here are kids, regardless of their age, and some are men. Todd's a man." He's not likely to get higher praise than that—in any town, let alone New York.

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