Happy Presidents Day!
Lets get started… Terry Collins told reporters that he does not plan to use Carlos Beltran during the first week of Grapefruit League play, which starts Saturday. He did however mention that he was impressed with how Beltran looked hitting from the right side of the plate this morning.
Jason Bay was impressed after taking batting practice against Oliver Perez. “He was good,” Bay said. “He was around the plate. And that’s his biggest thing — his stuff is good enough when he can put it where he wants to. I thought he did a pretty good job. It’s early on, and he’d been throwing a little bit, but he was around the plate. For him, that’s huge.” Sandy Alderson was watching and told Perez, “Nice job” afterward.
Deal me out! Collins told Mike Puma of the NY Post that he is going to put a cutoff time on card playing before game days. “It’s my understanding card playing was an issue last year,” Collins said. “They will be allowed to play cards, but there is going to be a cutoff time before the game.” One thing you won’t see says Adam Rubin, is coaches also joining in and playing poker with the players before the game.
With catcher Ronny Paulino’s 8-game suspension in the coffer, minor leaguer Mike Nickeas should easily crack the Opening Day roster barring a spring meltdown. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity. You never know what can happen in this game. I think I’ve put myself in a good position. Hopefully I can perform this spring and prove that.”
Mets second base prospect Ruben Tejada, who has packed some muscle over the winter, took Mike Pelfrey deep during batting practice and gave on-lookers beyond the fence a souvenir to take home. Kevin Burkhardt gave Tejada an indirect compliment today when he said, “Willie Harris taking grounders at 2B. He might be best defensive 2B Mets have (I’m not counting Tejada).” I love KB’s Twitter background.
Rich Couthino of MetsBlog has a recap and audio of Terry Collin’s address to the player this morning. “He wants the team to be aware of how people on the outside are already counting them out. He wants the team to believe in itself, because they’re good enough to win. He likes seeing them talk, and be quoted in newspapers, but wants them to be on record and ‘take ownership of what they say.”
Matt Kaufman of Rising Apple wonders if Fernando Martinez is the next Alex Escobar. “They’ve both been heralded prospects, hampered by injuries and we’ve heard about them seemingly forever because they were both signed at such a young age.” Apparently, F-Mart proclaimed himself 100% healthy on Saturday, however that was two days ago and a lot could have changed since then. Just kidding, just kidding.
Here’s a cool video from Wright and Reyes and Uncle Cliff trying to be funny in 2006.