What in the Name of Norihito Nakamura

Someone ought to explain how where A-Rod had three subsidized years at $75 million coming from the Yankees and will wind up with $275 million and 10 years guaranteed, it’s he, and notHank Steinbrenner, who’s on his knees. Right, Hank. He crawled to you.

In the meantime, the Mets have abruptly opted out of the Yorvit Torrealba sweepstakes. If you had any faith that the Mets knew what they were doing when they pursued Torrealba in the first place, this isn’t good news. And if you were hoping they’d bring Paul LoDuca back, probably even worse news, because LoDuca’s price just went up. A lot.

We’re more in the first camp than the second, though it’s probably proper here to give LoDuca our thanks and a proper send off. He was a Met fan born in Brooklyn (like Lee Mazzilli), and a boyhood fan of Dwight Gooden and the 80s Mets. In other words, he was born to wear No. 16. And for half of his stay in that jersey, he did it proud. I’ll remember LoDuca for his fiery temper and teenage girlfriends generally but two plays specifically that bookended his remarkable 2006 season: Dropping the ball at the play at the plate on opening day but faking his way to an out; and — catching the ball this time — tagging consecutive sliding Dodgers on the very same play.

Thanks, Paul. Now, beat it. Is that Montero guy still available?

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