Mets manager Terry Collins said the message he gave his team yesterday was that they are good enough to compete. Collins told reporters: “The ultimate message was: The one thing I don’t want any of these guys ever to think is that if we get beat, if we lose a game, it’s because we’re not supposed to win, because we’re not good enough. Because that’s not true. That’s not true. These guys are in the one percentile of baseball players in this country.’’
Newest Met Collin Cowgill was tuned in and paying attention. “Every year there is a team that shocks everyone and comes out of nowhere and wins ballgames and makes the playoffs and wins the division,” an inspired Cowgill said afterward. He ought to know, playing for the surprising Oakland A’s last year.
“There’s no reason this team can’t be that. Just because other people don’t believe it doesn’t mean the people in this room don’t believe it, because we do. We know what we have here and it’s going to be a special team.”
Yesterday I suggested that Collins should stress doing the little things and that was also part of his message. Good to see.
Spring Training Briefs
ESPN reported that utility infielder Justin Turner could be dealt this spring. Their reasoning is mathematics as the Mets are interested in carrying Omar Quintanilla and/or Brandon Hicks as infielders, or finding a roster spot should LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Atchison or Pedro Feliciano make it in the bullpen. With Jeremy Hefner out of options, the Mets feel he is too valuable to risk losing on waivers.
The Mets’ first injury of spring training is Daniel Murphy, who is back in New York to have an intercostal muscle in his ribs examined and receive a possible cortisone injection. Murphy complained of feeling a tugging feeling in his ribs and will be examined at the Hospital of Special Surgery. This is not a new injury for the Mets, as David Wright and Scott Hairston had the same last spring, but both were on the Opening Day roster. Murphy is thinking he’ll be down from a week to ten days. Murphy said he experienced similar pain last year and attributed it to a minor change in his stance.
The Mets say Jenrry Mejia might be allowed to report to spring training before his age investigation is competed in the Dominican Republic. GM Sandy Alderson said the investigation is random.
With the Grapefruit League schedule almost ready to commence, it will be time for me to head to St. Lucie again and report on some of the many Spring Training battles that will be decided in the next four weeks and bring you some player interviews as things begin to heat up. I’ll be covering all of the action exclusively for MMO. For now, here is how the pitching assignments for the first few games will shake out according to Terry Collins.
Upcoming Pitching Assignments
Feb 23 vs. Washington, 12:10 p.m.
Feb 24 vs. University of Michigan, 12:10 p.m.
Feb 24 at Houston, 1:05 p.m.
Feb 25 vs. Washington, 6:10 p.m.