Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Spring Loose Ends

So we are almost their, the season is almost upon us. Is it just me, or does spring training seem a little too long? Maybe it is the anticipation of the season, but it is endless. Every minor story becomes a major story and it has gotten to the point where I have just stopped reading. Well maybe not stopped, but my enthusiasm has waned.

One story that has gotten some play is Willie's insistence on batting David Wright eighth. I've gotten into this before, and I don't want to repeat myself, but how many teams bat their second best hitter eighth? I want to give Willie every benefit of the doubt, but this is senseless. Maybe he is doing this to get the press' collective panties in a bunch, but if Wright is hitting before the pitcher next Monday, it is cause for concern and takes into question Willie's ability to evaluate talent. If he said he didn't want to put pressure on him because he is young, I wouldn't agree with it, but I would at least understand his rationale. However, since he has penciled Reyes in as the leadoff hitter even though he is younger and has had less success in the majors, that can't be the reason. I'd like for a Mets reporter to ask Willie this question, I would love to hear the answer.

In other news, Andres Galarraga retired as I'm sure you know by now. As a result, the consensus seems to be that Kerry Robinson has a spot on the team. I don't get it. The other four spots for the bench are earmarked for Cairo, Woodward, Valent and Castro. Was it really down to the Big Cat and Robinson? A slugging righty and a punchless fifth outfielder? Without Mike Cameron, Robinson has a purpose as the Mets would need someone else who could play center. Right now, their bench lacks any righthanded pop. Castro has some, but as the backup catcher teams are hesitant to throw them up in any situation. I don't like the fact that Luis Garcia, who hit his third homer of the spring today, didn't seem to get a legitimate shot at the job.

I am not saying Garcia should've gotten the job over Robinson, but you would think the Mets had a role they wanted to fill with the last bench spot. If they wanted another outfielder, take Robinson or Calloway. Another slugger, Galarraga or Garcia. Maybe I am reading too much into the press and it really wasn't between Galarrage or Robinson. Here is hoping that Garcia mashes in Norfolk, proving his stats in 2004 were not a product of Las Vegas and the PCL, and that Robinson turns out to be the useless player he has always been.

I'm getting tired of speaking in hypotheticals, bring on the games.
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What's also of concern with Wright is if he struggles early in the season. His confidence would go straight downhill. My thinking of why he is batting eigth is to please Cameron. However, put Cameron eigth where he will see more fastballs ad watch his average go up, which would please him more.
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