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Mets get chance to see if Shoppach is good fit

CINCINNATI -- Kelly Shoppach knew the Mets had interest in him over the winter, when they first inquired about the veteran catcher. So he was not entirely surprised when, months later, the Mets claimed him off waivers and acquired him in a trade with the Red Sox.

With the Mets, Shoppach will play mostly against lefties, giving the front office an opportunity to evaluate whether he would be worth pursuing as a platoon mate for Josh Thole next season.

"I'm really excited another team has interest in me," Shoppach said. "That makes me feel great as a player. But I want to win ballgames. It's no fun to have any type of individual success if you don't get to share it with your teammates. And if you're not winning ballgames, you don't get to have that opportunity.

"I'm not saying anything that's revolutionary here. I just want to be around a fun environment, and what makes it fun is winning ballgames."

Due to his strong career numbers against left-handed pitching -- most strikingly, an .894 OPS -- Shoppach should start behind the plate regularly with southpaws on the mound. But although Shoppach gained some experience catching Tim Wakefield during Spring Training with the Red Sox in 2005, manager Terry Collins does not plan to pair him with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey at this time.