No, Mets starting pitcher John Maine, as he promised, didn’t stick it in Jimmy Rollins’ ear today.

Rollins — henceforth to be known around these here parts as “Mr. Mouth” — stuck it in his own ear. Much more satisfying that way. “We’re the team to beat,” eh, Jimmy? I think you forgot one word at the end of that sentence — “ourselves.”

Thanks be to the continuing creeping crud, I got to stay home an extra day and watch the Mets’ home opener, which was a classic, an 11-5 thumping by the Mets, who erased a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning to come back and win.

And guess which alligator-mawed shortstop made the key error that led to the Mets busting it open? Ayup. I swear all of Queens exploded with joy when Mr. Mouth booted Jose Reyes’ bases-loaded grounder. Even the Bronx had to be tickled, at least a little bit.

Now, about that “team to beat” boast. Flash back for a moment to the beginning of 1986, a year after the Mets finished three games behind the Cardinals (yes, kids, they were in our division then, no such animal as the Central Division in those days), when Mets manager Davey Johnson announced that he intended for his team not just to win the NL East that year, but to “dominate” it. Did we who were alive and rooting for the Mets then not love that to little pieces? Sure we did. Shouldn’t Rollins — heck, shouldn’t every player — believe that about his team? Should they even bother showing up if they don’t?

Well, let’s put it this way. If Mr. Mouth had merely said, “I like our chances,” or, “We’re better than people think we are,” or something to that effect, that would have been one thing. But Mr. Mouth, sweetheart, your team finished 12 games behind the Mets last year. It wasn’t even close. The Mets at least came within a Baltimore chop of winning their division the year before Johnson issued his rallying cry, running neck and neck with the Cardinals right down to the final weekend.

And the Phillies really didn’t do much over the winter to address the one gaping hole they had last year — namely, an extremely torchable bullpen, which got lit afire yet again today. While it would be sweet to blame Mr. Mouth entirely for his team’s defeat today, the fact is that he had plenty of help from the guys on the mound (in this case, Matt Smith, losing pitcher Geoff Geary, and a fresh-off-the-disabled-list-and-looking-it Jon Lieber).

Does that mean I think the Mets couldn’t be taken anyway? Even by the Phillies, who are off to their usual icky start (1-6)? Sure they could.

But what was it Bo Diddley said? “Don’t let your mouth write no check your tail can’t cash.” Bo knew baseball, even if he didn’t know he knew it.