Sorry for the lack of updates over the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been extraordinarily busy. Here is today’s roundup of Mets information from the blogosphere:
- Now that the Mets are without Victor Zambrano for the rest of the year, the team will obviously be looking around for a replacement. Eric Simon at Mets Geek examines the various options the Mets have. ESPN’s Buster Olney took an in-depth look in his blog (subscription required) at the possibility of the Mets dealing for Barry Zito, an idea they have long flirted with. He writes:
Inevitably, the Mets will tinker with patch jobs before they have this internal discussion, following up on cursory trade talks they’ve had with Oakland in recent months: "Should we trade Lastings Milledge for Barry Zito as part of our all-out effort?"
But if Zito is made available, the Mets would be the front-runners because they have Milledge. And three talent evaluators said over the weekend that Oakland GM Billy Beane loves the outfielder above all other prospects. "He’d make the deal [something built around Zito for Milledge] right now," says one scout.
Olney concludes that:
Personally, I wouldn’t trade Milledge for the left-hander, because Milledge is an extraordinary talent. But you’d have a very hard time finding fault with the Mets if they were to be aggressive and make a deal for the best pitcher available who would give them a chance to succeed in late October.
- The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has a press release from SportsNet New York, which says that the Mets TV ratings are up dramatically from last year. Apparently SNY’s Mets broadcasts have an increase of 64% over last year’s showing from MSG/FSN NY. However, those results reflect the season-to-date, and I seem to remember that there was a MSG/ FSN NY blackout for Time Warner cable customers in the first two weeks of last season, which significantly hurt the Mets ratings. More telling might be the 50% increase in household viewership, which takes into account all of last year’s ratings.
I will be back and posting regularly (I hope) from now on. Also, I might consider making additions to the sight in the next couple of weeks. If you have any suggestions to improve the site, make sure to leave a comment – they are always read and appreciated.
In a last second decision, the Mets have “purchas[ed] the contract of left-hander Darren Oliver and re-assigning left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano to Minor League camp”, reports Bryan Hotch over at mets.com. The move follows the injury to Mets’ starter Victor Zambrano, who is sidelined with hamstring problems. Though the Mets are stating that Zambrano is fine, they have decided to insert rookie Brian Bannister into Zambrano’s scheduled start, on April 5th against the Nationals.
In other news, the Mets will open tomorrow’s season at Shea Stadium against the Washington Nationals under the threat of rain. My friend and Daily Mets Blog’s resident Cliff Floyd nut, George a.k.a. Big Red Dog, is informing me that that there is about a 50% chance of rain from 1 PM through 4 PM, tomorrow afternoon. It is supposed to get progressively worse throughout the day. Hopefully Shea will be 54,000 strong, cheering the Mets to victory tomorrow.
The New York Mets held their first ever “Workout Day” today in front of a few thousand fans at Shea Stadium. The workout, which could be attended by season and plan ticket holders only, featured infield drills, batting practice, and various other running and throwing warmups. The attendance was rather impressive, given that the event itself was not much more than a prolonged batting practice. Practically the entire field level was taken over by Mets fans, who were eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s opener against Washington.
The Mets new first baseman Carlos Delgado wowed the crowd with his power, belting close to ten home runs during his batting practice session. Delgado’s fireworks included a shot that nailed the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd also had multiple home runs in their turns at the plate. Even pitcher Tom Glavine got into the act, hitting a line-drive homer into the bullpen in right field.
The ever-exciting Mets ace Pedro Martinez was also on hand, entertaining the fans by dancing and tossing balls into the crowd.
Just watching the team on the field today gave me a good feeling. To see that strong lineup of hitters, from the solid Paul Lo Duca, to the outstanding Carlos Delgado, gave me hope that this really could be the year the Mets turn things around.
Here are some photos I took from the practice. I apologize for the quality, but my camera’s battery died, and I was forced to use my cell phone. (From top to bottom) Diamond Vision, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Cliff Floyd, Marlon Anderson
To make it quick, Victor Diaz, Jose Valentin, and Pedro Feliciano are in, and Heath Bell, Jose Lima, Darren Oliver are out. The 25 man roster now looks like this.
However, as Mike over at Mike’s Mets observes, the return of Kaz Matsui from the 15-day disabled list, will force one position player to leave the big league squad. I agree with Mike, that Diaz and Valentin appear to be the most likely candidates who would be demoted.
Also courtesy of Mike’s Mets, we get a look at what will be the batting order for the Mets. I just saw this lineup mentioned on SportsNet New York as the official Opening Day starting lineup for the team:
1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Paul Lo Duca C
3. Carlos Beltran CF
4. Carlos Delgado 1B
5. David Wright 3B
6. Cliff Floyd LF
7. Xavier Nady RF
8. Anderson Hernandez 2B
The anchor on SNY, Matt Yallof, was quick to note that manager Willie Randolph also mentioned that Beltran would occasionally hit 2 and 4 throughout the year.