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05/22/10 11:00 PM ET

In retirement, Seaver finds time to joke

Hall of Famer enjoying wine despite knee difficulties

NEW YORK -- The problems with the Mets' starting pitching go deeper than the eye can see. Even before Ollie Perez was banished to the bullpen and Jon Niese and John Maine were sentenced to the disabled list, the Mets were down one starter, their best one.

Tom Seaver is hurt, too. The Hall of Famer and accomplished winemaker has been laid up to a degree by pinched cartilage in his right knee.

"And I pinched it good," Seaver said on Saturday night from his home -- and vineyard -- in Calistoga, Calif.

Ten days earlier, Seaver was "suckering the vines," which he explained as "removing the parts you don't want on the vine." And his 65-year-old knee, the very knee that he routinely smudged with dirt from the mound when he was pitching properly, wouldn't do what he wanted it to do.

"My mechanics weren't right," Seaver said, spoofing the kind of comment he used to make after pitching.

Seaver emphasized, "I didn't fall." And, no, he said, he hadn't been sampling the product, GTS cabernet. "I just did more than my knee could handle. That's what 150,000 pitches -- or whatever I threw -- will do. The doctor out here said, 'Remember, you're 65.' And I told him, 'I don't want to be 65.' So for now, I just don't do downhill. No steep stuff. I'm a flatlander."

So the mound is out?


Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.