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Nelson Figueroa, Jorge Sosa designated for assignment

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Nelson Figueroa won't have to worry about the "softball girl" antics of the Nationals anymore.

Figueroa was designated for assignment by the Mets on Tuesday as part of a flurry of moves.

Figueroa was the losing pitcher in Monday's 10-4 loss to Washington and got frustrated by his own pitching. He took issue with the Nationals' bench chanting and clapping "Let's go, Austin" during Austin Kearns' third-inning at-bat with the bases loaded.

"They were cheerleading in the dugout like softball girls," Figueroa said. "I'm a professional like anybody else, so I take a huge offense to that. If that's what a last-place team needs to do to fire themselves up, so be it. I think they need to show a little more class and professionalism. They won tonight, but in the long run, they're still what they are ... For the manager and coaching staff to let that kind of stuff carry on, it's truly unprofessional. That's why they are who they are."

Figueroa retired Kearns on a fly ball to centerfield. As he returned to the dugout, he clapped in the direction of the Nationals' bench. The game continued without incident.

In other moves, Jorge Sosa was also designated for assignment, and Angel Pagan was placed on the disabled list. Claudio Vargas and Fernando Tatis were called up, and Matt Wise was activated from the disabled list.

Vargas will start Wednesday against the Nationals.

Manager Willie Randolph confirmed Johan Santana will start Friday vs. the Yankees.

The club was trying to trade Sosa on Monday, according to a person familiar with the club's thinking.

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Vargas will be the next in line to try to be a decent Mets 5th starter.

Good that Joe Smith was not sent down undeservingly.

Yes. Last year he got a bit of a raw deal I thought when they sent him down. I'm happy as a clam that Sosa's gone. What a truly lousy pickup he was for us.

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Vargas and Pelfrey pitching the next two games-watch out. The hitting better be on.

Vargas pitched fairly well tonite 61/3 2 runs but good old Heilman made sure he took the loss. Andy : 1/3 of an inning, 3 earned runs. Thank you very much !

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