3 Up & 3 Down – The Spring Has Sprung Edition

Wally Backman leads this morning's workouts.
Wally Backman leads this morning’s workouts at Tradition Field. (Mets Twitter)

All is right with the world… Pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie today and Spring Training games are right around the corner.

It’s been a tough offseason weather-wise where I live. Superstorm Sandy kicked our butts in October, and this past weekend Nemo dumped about two feet of snow on my house. But no worries, baseball is back. In this edition of 3 & 3, the first of 2013, some thoughts on the offseason and what I’ll be looking forward to this Spring.

3 Up:

Wright’s Deal Got Done: I didn’t say much when David signed, because how many different ways can I say what most Met fans feel? It’s great to have Wright staying for the next eight seasons. It’s a great story that he will most likely spend his entire career with the Mets. David wanted to be here, the Mets wanted him to be here, and we wanted him to be here. A great job all the way around.

Young Guns: The Mets starting five should be interesting to watch. We know Johan is here for the time being. Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Matt Harvey will all be back and Shaun Marcum was signed to fill the spot vacated by R.A. Dickey. The big question is when will the long anticipated arrival of highly regarded prospect Zack Wheeler happen? We know he won’t be here one second before he loses his super-two arbitration eligibility, but then what? We’re all hoping that Gee and Johan are both healthy and ready to go.

New Backstops: John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud are the new kids in town. Buck of course is a solid veteran with power and d’Arnaud is the top ranked catching prospect in the game. I love the sound of that! Gone are Josh Thole and company. It should be fun to watch d’Arnaud mature into the Met’s catcher of the future present. The future is here with this highly talented prospect.

3 Down:

R.A. Went Away: The story of Cy Young award winning pitcher R.A. Dickey was a heart warming, feel good story. But baseball, especially Mets baseball, isn’t a Disney movie – so Dickey was sent to Toronto in return for a nice haul. The Mets waited and traded him to the highest bidder. I don’t blame either party, it’s just part of the game. The Blue Jays should be a fun team to watch this year. Good Luck R.A. and Josh.

An Empty Outfield: Before writing this entry I looked at the Mets roster. Looking at the outfielders made my blood run cold. I don’t see an established star, or an offensive threat, or anything out there. Come on Sandy, is this truly the best you can do? Casey Stengel once said “without a catcher, you’ll have a lot of passed balls.” Without an outfield, you’ll have a lot of base hits!!!

Lame Duck Terry: This will be a recurring storyline all season long. Terry Collins is in the final year of his contract. Wally Backman is in area 51 with the Triple-A Mets. What will happen? I think Terry has done and awesome job here considering the hand he was dealt. If the Mets are saying 2015 is the year, why wouldn’t they sign Terry to a two year deal through 2015? For a lot of these kids, Terry is the only big league manager they know. There aren’t any guarantees with Backman. Sure a lifetime ago he won a World Series here, but in reality it means nothing.

Baseball is back and I am thrilled as thrilled can be. LETS GO METS!!

Travis d'Arnaud is ready to receive some hard ones from Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey.
Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud is ready to receive some hard ones from pitchers Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey in Port St. Lucie. (Mets Twitter)