Gooden’s autograph depreciates

When the New York Mets officially opened Citi Field on April 13, many fans complained about the lack of Mets history in the new ballpark.

In an unintentional attempt to alter that, Mets pitching great Dwight Gooden put his autograph on a blank wall in one of the many exclusive clubs inside Citi Field after a fan suggested he sign the wall. But Mets officials were not thrilled by the gesture and will eliminate the signature, treating it as though it was graffiti.

"It’s a brand new building," Mets spokesman Jay Horowitz told the New York Post. "No one is supposed to write on the wall. It’s going to be erased."

The Mets attempted to cover up the signature with a piece of felt. But someone removed it. Now, they’re looking for a more permanent solution while the team is on the road this week.

The move to remove Gooden’s signature has many Mets fans outraged. Boxing promoter Lou DiBella, who has season tickets, told the Post, "I know a lot of good people put a lot of thought into this ballpark, but if you’re a Mets fan, this is supposed to feel like home. To have a stadium sanitized to the point where they’re going to erase Doc Gooden’s signature is disgusting."

Given Mets owner Fred Wilpon‘s infatuation with the Brooklyn Dodgers, you have to wonder if the Mets would have erased Sandy Koufax‘s signature had he signed the wall.

CAPTIVE AUDIENCE — While the New York Rangers were conducting their morning skate Monday before Game 3 of their Stanley Cup playoff series with the Washington Capitals, a familiar face was watching at Madison Square Garden.

High-scoring Caps forward Alex Ovechkin was checking things out from the bench before a member of the Rangers’ training staff asked him to leave. The Caps have just three goals in two losses to New York, so you can’t blame Ovechkin for possibly trying to get a bit of an edge, given he’s scoreless in 17 shots in the postseason.

‘O,’ NO! — The Washington Nationals have a lot of problems, as evidenced by their worst-in-the-majors 2-10 start. But you’d think they could at least spell the team’s name right.

On Saturday, the "O" in "Nationals" was missing on the club’s white uniform tops. Apparently, the misspelling was a gag played by Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn, trying to loosen things up a bit and change the team’s bad luck.

But the "O" — as in offense — really is missing. Washington is batting a meager .269.

But compared to the team’s woeful pitching, the Nationals’ offense is Murderers’ Row. The staff’s 6.01 ERA is second worst in the National League.

ALL A-TWITTER — Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean is the latest to join the Twitter craze. The Hoosiers’ head man was Tweeting about such things as game strategy and rapper Young Jeezy performing at the Little 500 bicycle race on campus.

Let’s just hope, for Hoosiers fans’ sake, that all this Tweeting doesn’t result in another visit from the NCAA.

COMPILED BY STEVE CARP LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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