© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
PITTSBURGH -- Some places have a Wall of Fame. The Westin Hotel ballroom in which the National League All-Stars met the media on Monday afternoon had a Wall of Mets.
Players sat on raised platforms for interviews throughout the cavernous hall. But sitting in a row along one section were exclusively reps of the NL's reigning powers: Paul Lo Duca, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Tom Glavine and Carlos Beltran.
"I've been to All-Star Games by myself," said Glavine, an All-Star for the 10th time, "and it's not as much fun as bringing four, five other guys with you. It makes for a much nicer time when you have your buddies here."
Glavine and his buddies have been having a nice time since early April, which is why so many of them are here. With 53 wins and a 12-game lead in an NL East division in which no other team is playing .500 ball, the Mets are enjoying this break.
For Glavine and Reyes, it's a midsummer vacation, not a Midsummer Classic. Both are out of the game -- as is another member of the original six-man Mets All-Star contingent, Pedro Martinez -- but didn't want to be left out of the picture.
Reyes, chosen by fans as the starting shortstop, was scratched by a seven-stitch cut he suffered on his pinky in a basepath mishap. Glavine, voted onto the staff by players, was replaced because his Sunday start rendered him unavailable for the Tuesday night game. (Martinez, also chosen by players, recently went on the disabled list with a sore hip.)
However, unlike other chosen then replaced All-Stars, Reyes and Glavine insisted on making the scene.
"I'm not going to play but, oh yeah, I'm enjoying this a lot," Reyes said. "I'd like to play, but that's how it is sometimes. It's part of the game."
"I had a good half," said Glavine, perhaps understating his 11-2 performance, "and I was chosen to be here, so I wanted to come and represent myself and my organization.
"Those are my feelings ... it's the same thing as the whole argument over whether we're role models. Some guys don't think we are. It's a personal viewpoint. For me ... I enjoy being here, so I wanted to come and have fun."
Both intend to make memories, even if they won't make the box score.
"I'm gonna be down there, on the field, no doubt about it," said Reyes, who will be in uniform and on the NL's bench for the game.
Reporting that the swelling in his finger has "gone down a bit; it's getting better," Reyes hoped to be able to rejoin the Mets' lineup during their post-break weekend series in Chicago against the Cubs. New York doesn't resume play until Friday, giving Reyes an extra day of recovery.
"It's a little different being here when you can't play," said Glavine, who has pitched in six of his nine prior All-Star gigs. "You always want to compete and be a part of all that, but the regular schedule takes precedence.
"It's just the way it worked out, so I'll just sit down and watch these guys and have fun vicariously through them."
Glavine is the dean of the 77th All-Star Game. Not in age; at 41, the AL's Kenny Rogers is a year older. But in All-Star years: Glavine's first selection was in 1991; a 15-year span between appearances is quite distinguishing.
"This isn't the same as the first," he said, "but it's still fun being here. It's an honor to be here. The great thing about it is, it means I had a good first half to get here.
"Now it's less about me being here and more about bringing my kids here and having a good time."