Mets Notebook: Milledge, others left off

Lastings Milledge ended the year hitting .241.

Not that rookie outfielder Lastings Milledge was expected to make the postseason roster, but that became certainty late Monday as the team announced that Milledge, Ricky Ledee and Royce Ring would not be active for the Division Series.

The three players are expected to be members of Willie Randolph's so-called 'taxi squad,' which could be a short flight away from New York in the event of injuries before a potential NLCS.

Reliever Heath Bell and right-hander Brian Bannister were also mentioned as members not on the team, but neither has been with the team for a week. Both were sent home, along with Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber, as the team readied mentally for the playoffs. The roster must be finalized by 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.

Backup infielder Anderson Hernandez and third-string catcher Mike DiFelice are still with the team.

Milledge, widely considered the team's top prospect entering the season, finished his first major league experience batting .241 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 56 games.

Not happening: It would have been an interesting matchup, had the Dodgers selected Greg Maddux to pitch Game 2 of the Division Series at Shea Stadium on Thursday, pitting the 40-year-old right-hander against former teammate and golfing buddy Tom Glavine.

But the two will have to settle for pre-game pleasantries and icy stares from across the field. Glavine is getting the call in Game 2, but the Dodgers will save Maddux for Game 3 on Saturday, instead opting to use left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo on Thursday.

Looking ahead: At SI.com, Jon Heyman reports that the entire Mets coaching staff has been told it will be returning for 2007, and states that the next step would be giving Randolph a much-deserved pay boost.

That, of course, is barring outside movement – Mets infield coach Manny Acta has been named as a potential candidate for a number of managerial openings in recent weeks, with his solid performance in the World Baseball Classic not overlooked by many.

Picks: The Daily News' Bill Madden sees the Mets bounced in five games, with the Dodgers moving on to the NLCS … The New York Post sees the Mets using 'sticks, speed and Shea' to their advantage, then predicts New York wins the NLDS in four games.

The Wright Flight: David Wright's Delta plane, a MD-88 that will serve New York, Washington and Boston, was dedicated Monday at LaGuardia Airport. The event was just the latest in a series that has been dizzying, the 23-year-old third baseman said.

"To be put in a situation of starting in an All-Star Game at 23, to being on Letterman, to having your name on a plane, it doesn't hit you," he told The New York Times.

On tap: The Mets will work out at Shea Stadium at 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. The Dodgers are in town and will take the field at 3 p.m. ET.

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