Brandon Knight is set to start for the Mets Saturday night as the replacement for Pedro Martinez, who was placed on the bereavement list following the death of his father. Knight, who will dress in No. 28, will have come a long way from the independent Atlantic League, where he began the year, and is six years removed from his last big-league appearance, with the Yankees in 2002. The limits of the bereavement list (maximum of 7 days) and the upcoming Olympics in Bejing, where Knight is scheduled to represent the US of A and manager Davey Johnson, figure to make this a brief visit, but let’s hope a successful oine. Sandy Alomar Jr. — as a player — most recently wore the 28 jersey,obtaining it in a swap for No. 19 with teammate Jeff Conine last season. (Can you believe either of those guys finished their careers as Mets?) The uni had previously belonged to stylish reliever Juan Padilla (goggles, magic tricks, invariably took off his hat at the end of an inning). Padilla, who’d been rehabbing various arm ailments since a promising showing in 2005, was quietly released by the organization this month.
* * *
That same crappy feeling I got when Robin Ventura joined the Yankees returned tonight when I learned the Bombers had traded for Pittsburgh’s Xavier Nady. I don’t want to see the guy fail but playing up to his abilities in Yankee Stadium’s left field ought to be worth a few laughs before the season’s over, and I wouldn’t bet big on his continuing to run a 900+ OPS, even if I won’t actively root against it.