First off I would like to thank all of my colleagues and readers for all the birthday wishes that I received the other day - YOU GUYS RULE!! I am sorry that I didn't post my daily column yesterday but my good buddies Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, a Wild Turkey along with my Old Granddad kinda prevented me from fulfilling my daily obligations !So how about them Mets !!! I admit that going into last nights game against the Philadelphia Phillies I was preparing myself for a major let down. I know it was only Kyle Kendrick pitching , but this guy has had much success against our team in the recent past. Last night I believe might be the turning point in young Jonathan Neise's career. He - with the exception of a shaky second inning was downright dominant. His fastball was clocked in excess of 94 m.p.h and his curveball for lack of other words was nasty ! This coupled with eight of the Mets nine hits being of the extra base variety ( four homers!) the Mets made the home team look more like the Pittsburgh Pirates than the the reigning N.L. Champions ! And it is always good to see the Mets demolish Brad Lidge ( it gives me a warm feeling in my heart!) . But i'll tell you this is a revitalized rivalry between both teams. The it is almost like Rocky 3 except the Phillies are Clubber Lang to our Balboa. The hunger is there, the fact that Jenrry Mejia retaliated by throwing at Chase Utley after Danys Baez purposely plunked Jeff Francouer on the elbow, shows that this is not the same Mets team that was fielded from '07-'09. Even during the post game press conference Jerry Manuel looked confident and articulate. I believe that the target is finally off of his back and he can now relax and focus on this team.It is only May first and it is too soon to anoint the Mets as the team to beat in the N.L. East, but I believe last night was a statement game. And the statement that was being made was " We're the Mets you want a piece of us - COME GET US !!" " Who has the classier fans? - You decide !!"And with that said.... HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!Happy Birthday wishes go out to Mets pitcher from '77-81, Roy Lee Jackson (1954)Reliever from the '81 season, Ray Searage is 55. (1955)Primary Mets reserve backstop from '90-'93, Charlie O'Brien is 50 .(1960)Staring pitcher - and workhorse from '97-98, Armando " The Mule" Reynoso is 44 (1966) .Back up catcher Joe Hietpas is 31. (1979) He played in only one Mets game in '04 before fading into obscurity.Current Mets mop up man, Manny Acosta is 29. (1981)New York Mets released pitcher Clem Labine and catcher Joe Ginsberg on May 1, 1962.An there was a Mo Vaughn sighting at Citizens Bank Ball Park last night. It appears that Mo got into an altercation with a Philthies fan over a rack of ribs at Greg Luzinski's Bulls BBQ stand. Needless to say the Phillies Phan didn't know what hit him - and is currently being fitted for a prosthetic arm.