Thursday, February 22, 2007

First Negative News Of Spring

Spring Training is supposed to be all about optimism, that is until the injury bug starts to hit. The Mets have had their first scare of the Spring, with Orlando El Duque Hernandez shipped up to New York for an examination. He reportedly has a pain in the neck, and he ain't talking about Jimmy Rollins. It turns out it's... arthritis. Yes, we know the Mets have some older guys on the team, but seriously, arthritis? Anyway, El Duque's headed back down to Florida, where he should resume workouts in a few days, and everyone's saying he's fine.

There's yet another Mets blog attempting to deliver all the news that your bandwidth can handle, it's called MetsHeads and you can find it at

Finally, since there's no real Mets news to talk about, I hope you'll excuse me for posting some non-Mets related news:

On February 15th, the Hershey Co. announced that they were cutting 1,500 jobs over three years as part of a plan to scale back production lines and move some manufacturing to Mexico. This really struck a chord with me because when I visited Hershey PA my wife and I learned that during The Great Depression, instead of laying off workers, founder Milton Hershey employed people to build such structures such as The Hotel Hershey, a community center, a theatre, a sports arena and a stadium in the chocolate factory's town in Pennsylvania.

My wife and I have now set up a website,, where we've laid out our plans to help save the jobs at risk. We've set up a petition for people to sign, and we plan on sending one Hershey's Kiss to CEO Richard Lenny for every person who signs the petition by July 7th (Chocolate Day). Our goal is 3,000 signatures, one for each job at stake. We also hope to start a letter writing campaign, where people will send letters to Richard Lenny and ask him not to go forward with the layoffs.

Please check out the site, sign the petition, and tell five friends about this movement. It turns out 3,000 jobs are at stake!!

Thank you. We now resume our regularly scheduled Mets related blog.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mets Non-News From Camp Notes: New Slogan Revealed

Have you visited lately? The new banner reveals the new marketing slogan: Your Season Has Come. Last season it was "Our team, Our time," with us all celebrating together, but it seems the new slogan indicates that now it's "my" season. So there! Now I can feel better about saying things like "we" when I talk about Mets accomplishments. This also makes up for the intense guilt I felt for years when I learned that Only I Could Prevent Forest Fires. Only Me.

Jason at Hot Foot alerts us to an article reporting that MLB is introducing new caps for 2007. Instead of the old wool hats, the new caps are polyester blend to help keep sweat off players faces, as well as resisting odors and staining. This reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza convinced the Yankees to switch to cotton uniforms because they would breathe better. Anyway, here's a look at the new batting practice cap:

Speaking of the Yankees, is this issue with A-Rod and Jeter not being best friends forever anymore just about the lamest storyline in all of sports? Even Don Zimmer asks "What do you want [Jeter] to do, put his arm around him and kiss him?"

By the way, for us out-of-market and transplanted Mets fans who want to get a glimpse of how construction of Citi Field is coming along, the Mets have launched a webcam. Well, they are calling it a webcam, but really it's not a live camera but actually a time-lapse video of everything that's gone on since the groundbreaking. It's actually cooler than a webcam, though it would be nice if there were an actual webcam to go along with it.

Transplanted ex-Mets update: Although it was previously reported that Kris Benson would miss the entire 2007 season due to surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, he's now decided to try an aggressive rehabilitation program that could get him back on the field sometime this season. The Orioles were prepared to go without Benson in 2007, signing Steve Trachsel the day after the announcement about Benson was made.

Well, that's pretty much it for the non-news. Unless you count Jimmy Rollins attempts to ignite a feud with the Mets. He says his team is "the team to beat" in 2007. Oh, okay, Jimmy. Call me when the Fillies get a bullpen.

Shawn Green's New Swing

Shawn Green, who underwhelmed Mets fans with his bat and his glove when he was acquired late last season, said yesterday in the Post that over the winter he found a mechanical issue in his swing, "a hand hitch," that he's corrected which should increase his power.  He wants to show he is still the same hitter L.A. had in 2001 and 2002.  I would LOVE to see the Mets have the 2001 Shawn Green!  Can we also get the 1998 versions of Aaron Sele, Chan Ho Park, Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernanez and Pedro Martinez while we're at it?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Goings On At Mets Camp

Here's a summary of the latest non-news at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie:

Lastings Milledge showed up to camp a day earlier than requires, but not still early enough for some reporters to speculate that he should have been there even earlier.

For reasons as yet unexplained, the Mets have signed catcher Sandy Alomar Jr to a minor league deal. Remember, his dad is the Mets bench coach. As long as his brother stays away from Shea, I couldn't care less.

Fred Wilpon says the "goal is to win the World Series," the Mets are good enough to win, and facing the Junkees in another Subway Series "would be the greatest." he also says Minaya's got room in the budget to make another acquisition if necessary. I should hope so, especially after reading that Freddy Skill Sets just gave a cool $12 million to the University of Michigan.

Here's a news item for you: Ever wonder about some of the music that players strut up to the plate with? well, we know David Wright was soliciting ideas for some new theme music, but it seems Jose Reyes has taken matters into his own hands. Some of the music heard during Reyes' at bats during the second half of last season was recorded by... Jose Reyes.
Reyes recorded two reggaeton tracks last year at a New York studio, called "La Rompe Discoteca" and "Encen." Jose would sometimes walk to the plate to the former, but the latter can be heard on myspace at

On Friday, the Mets claimed ex-Devil Ray RHP Marcos Caravajal off waivers, and designated Steve Schmoll. Schmoll cleared waivers, and will start the season at AAA New Orleans. 22 year old Caraval was 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 39 appearances for the Rockies in 2005, but was 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 38 games last season with the Rays' Double-A team, striking out 70 in 72 1/3 innings.

Pehaps the most intriguing quote of the spring, so far, is from Willie Randolph who said, of his tenure in the Bronx, "The things I'm doing now I was doing seven, eight years ago. I didn't get a lot of credit for it with the Yankees. I say that now because it's true and no one else said it, " Randolph said, "I feel like I was managing without the title," In the article, reporter Dave Buscema gave Willie a chance to retract his statements, and Randolph takes the opportunity. Buscema believes Randolph when he says he didn't really mean what he said, but I'm not so sure... Chew on that for awhile.

Want To Get Excited?

Spring Training is all about hype, especially about young pitchers, but if you are willing to get yourself excited by a young fireballer in the Mets system, look no further than new Met Ambiorix Burgos.  Acquired from the Royals for Brian Bannister, Burgos is a 22 year old who regularly hurls fastballs clocked at 100mph+.  Read Ben Shpigel's profile in the NY Times for 854 words that will have you believing the Mets have a potential superstar in the making.


This was always my favorite time of year. After months of sports pages featuring barely a mention of baseball news, finally camp would break and we'd start to get some real nuggets of Mets knowledge. Newsday, The Daily News, and even The NY Post all did a fine job of reporting the goings on at Port St. Lucie. Not much really was ever going on down in Florida, mind you. A new acquisition would make his first appearance in a Mets uniform, or someone who had a lousy season the year prior would predict big things in the upcoming months. New batting practice uni's might debut, and the up and coming pitching prospects would be hyped beyond sufficiently.

Now, suddenly, it's different. Now every newspaper has a blogger to accompany their articles, posting photos, and then there's the full-time bloggers (who do an outstanding, tireless job), keeping us up to the minute on what's happening. And suddenly it seems there is so much happening! Even though nothing is really happening. That's a downfall of teh information age - too much information. It's the same plague that causes 24 hour news networks to analayze poll results 24 months before an election! How do I sort through the clutter. A big to-do was made about Lastings Milledge not showing up to camp early! Not late, but not early! Finally, he does report, a day early, but we wonder if it's early enough. I am exhausted!

I have felt a little bad about not posting much here lately, but really, what do I have to offer amidst the clutter? So, at least from now until Opening Day, my resolve for this space is to try and sort through the clutter for you. If you want every tidbit of news that comes through, the links on the right side of this page will get you started nicely. Otherwise, I'll do my best to post the most newsworthy of the items, along with my trademarked sardonic commentary where appropriate.

Happy Spring!