The dump is gone. Sure, it hosted four World Series, a Beatles concert, and was the venue for a murderer to gain 2000 yards in a season, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a dump. A dump with memories, sure, but a dump nonetheless. I had the good fortune of going there for two games vs. the Reds in 2006 and found it to be a bigger dump than RFK, especially when I sat on a seat that broke after I moved from what was the no alcohol section to a beer section. The stadium had to be pretty cool when it was new, though. I always liked the blue exterior. And we still get the constant airplanes overhead, something that is as Mets as that apple that came out of the hat.
So they tore the stadium down, and it was a good thing, not like the crime in the Bronx. But then they had to go and sell the naming rights to a bunch of crooks. Now, whenever a Mets fan passes through the Queens version of the pearly gates, they’re going to be reminded of bank failures, executive bonuses, and corporate thugery.So it will henceforth be called Shitty Field, even if it's a nice park. Metsgrrl has a great write up with lots of photos of the new park.
The 2008 New York Mets were the definition of collapse, handing the Phillies the division crown and losing a WC berth on the last day of the season. They were the favorites to win the division last year and are picked by many to win again this year. The starting lineup is pretty much the same, but there's no Pedro in the rotation (and really, was he ever there? He only made 48 total starts in his last three seasons with the Mets, so I doubt they'll miss him.) K Rod and J.J. Putz have strapped on their vagabond shoes and have strayed into the very heart of it, New York, New York. They wanted to be a part of it. They wanted to wake up in the city that never sleeps. (I just hope they don’t get too tired, because I know if I don’t sleep, I get grumpy and my performance suffers.) But are they enough to make the Mets number one top of the list? Are they kings of the hill?
Aside from those two additions and a rookie leftfielder, we know these Mets pretty well.
Johan Santana. Arguably the best pitcher in the game. After Mets fans had a panic attack earlier in the spring, Santana looks to be the starting pitcher against Aaron Harang on our Holy Opening Day.
Mike Pelfrey. Mike was born on Wright Patteron Airforce Base right here in Dayton, O-HI-O. He’s alright, but if I were a Mets fan, I’d look at my number 2 starter and long for the days of Pedro. We’ll be seeing Pelfrey on April 8 – that is Red Reporter outing number one of the season. (Any updates on this?)
Oliver Perez. Not to be confused with Odalis Perez. Oliver Perez got way more money than a pitcher of his caliber should get, then went out and got shelled while pitching for Team Mexico in the WBC. We’ll be seeing him on April 9.
John Maine. Main had surgery in the off season which apparently has changed his mechanics. We'll see how that affects him. He recently had to cancel a golf outing on an off day to work on pitching (gasp!), so it looks like he may have some problems with not a lot of time to fix them. A guy with a lot of potential that has yet to be realized.
The fifth spot is down to Bugs Bunny or Freddy Garcia, with Livan! having the edge so far. Tim Redding had been in the mix until the injury bug bit him out of contention.
Wow, the Mets rotation is pretty darn mediocre.
Catcher – Brian Schneider. Meh. A decent catcher with a .253 career average and a whopping 56 career homers in 9 seasons.
1B – Carlos Delgado. Part one of the Dos Carlos offense. Delgado will most likely hit career home run number 500 this September. He’s still not a household name even after four seasons in New York because he languished in maple leaf land for most of his career – he even got one AB during the Blue Jays 1993 WS winning season. Yeah, he’s old. But he’s still good.
2B – Luis Castillo. At one time was considered the best second baseman in the American League, at least by the Mets, as they gave him a hefty contract. Last year he only had 298 ABs and he has since become a fan target for blame. Still one of the better second basemen, but I like ours better, even if his OBP is 30 points less in a good year.
SS – Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose Reyes. The Mets version of HAVOC! With actual talent.
3B – David Wright. This guy is just good. Really good. And he played in the WBC even though he had a toe issue while whiners like Larry Wayne went home.
OF – Ryan Church. Church has potential but is prone to wimpy injuries. He only played 90 games last year for the Mets.
OF – Carlos Beltran. He’s good, too.
OF – Daniel Murphy. A rookie who played in 49 games in 2008, hitting .313 in 131 ABs with a .397 OBP. Mets manager Jerry Manuel says he will be batting Murphy second in the lineup.
Fernando Tatis, OF, IF. Tatis hit .297/.369/.484 last year in 273 Abs for the Mets. He’ll be counted on to play outfield, and if Daniel Murphy doesn’t live up to expectations, may end up in a LF platoon. That was the original plan before Murphy showed Manuel he was ready.
Jeremy Reed, OF
Angel Pagan, OF. So is he Christian, or is he pagan?
Cory Sullivan, OF
Alex Cora, IF
Ramon Castro, C
Nick Evans, OF, IF. Evans will probably start the year in AAA but find his way to New York sometime during the season.
For Mets related commentary, visit http://www.metsgrrl.com/ (The site is down at the moment but visit when it's back this afternoon.)
Reds play Mets April 6, 7, and 8 and July 10, 11, 12. That's a weekend. I think I'll go - anyone want to join me?