It’s Almost Go Time: We got through another week of Spring Training. Most of the team is still intact. I’m knocking on wood all day long. Light your candles. One more week. Sit all the regulars. Anyone who plays must play with body armor (i.e. the Barry Bonds elbow pads).
The Mets didn’t win a single game this week. In fact, the Mets had three ties this week giving them a franchise record four ties this spring. Every time a spring game ends in a tie, Goose Gossage must put his fist through some drywall.
On Monday, the Mets lost 2-1 to the Marlins. Jacob deGrom had his fastball sitting between 91-94 MPH. But he’s working on his breaking stuff, and his command is in midseason form. The velocity watch will undoubtedly continue into the season, but you really can’t worry about spring radar gun readings.
On Wednesday, the Mets lost 3-1 to the Blue Jays. After multiple rough outings, we saw vintage Bartolo Colon. Buddy Carlyle blew and was immediately released. Michael Conforto left with back spasms. It seems Wright’s spinal stenosis has gone airborne.
On Thursday, the Mets split squad lost 4-1 to the Red Sox. Logan Verrett looked great and is penciled in as Triple-A rotation depth. Unfortunately, the AAA lineup didn’t hit at all for Verrett. Commissioner Erik Goeddel had a crummy debut.
The other split squad team lost 8-5 to the Astros. Matt Harvey had an off day. The Astros did their best impression of Moe Greene and slapped Harvey around in public like he was Fredo. To add insult to injury, Cespedes allowed an inside the park home run on an absolutely atrocious ground rule gaffe. He just wouldn’t reach down and field an absolutely playable ball under the fence.
Cespedes will never play a ball beyond or beneath the Wall. He doesn’t bend like you southron kneelers. Alejandro De Aza had another multi-hit game. He just keeps eating the Grapefruit League for breakfast.
On Friday, the Mets tied 5-5 with the Cardinals. Noah Syndergaard is a goddamn machine. Cranking out 100 MPH fastballs in March. Dear god. Wilmer Flores finally dipped his toes in the first basemen pool. He said after the game playing first base was “weird”. I guess he’ll learn on the job during the season. So that should be real fun. Matt Reynolds kept making his case for a spot on the roster with 3 RBIs.
On Saturday, the Mets tied 3-3 with the Braves. deGrom looked sharp again. And Reynolds kept hitting.
On Sunday, the Mets tied 4-4 with the Nationals. Matz looked much better in this outing. He had everything working. Jim Henderson had his first real stinker of the spring. His performance this week will make or break his roster case. Michael Conforto was able to return to game action on Sunday right after Ray Ramirez popped on the old trance music and gave his back a nice oily rub down. David Wright and Conforto both hit home runs for Team Backiotomy.
Sports Illustrated Predicts Mets Win NL East: So SI predicted the Mets will win the NL East. If the Mets do not win the NL East, the SI prediction obviously trumps my own prediction and is the sole cause of our demise. They also released four regional covers featuring different teams. You got to love SI varying their baseball preview cover teams in a transparent attempt to diversify their preseason jinx percentage.
A-Rod’s Faux Retirement Tour: This week Alex Rodriguez told Andrew Marchand of ESPN in an interview that he plans to retire once his contract runs out after the 2017 season. The internet promptly went into a frenzy either praising A-Rod for his “classy” handling of the retirement announcement or criticizing him for essentially announcing that he plans to shatter the consecutive retirement plaques received mark previously set by Derek Jeter with a two year retirement tour.
When A-Rod says “I’ve given this a lot of thought” I imagine him deeply discussing the pros and cons of retirement with his mirror, intermittently pausing to make out with his reflection. Anyway, it turned out that A-Rod lied. Surprise surprise! He promptly reversed course and vowed to “juice up one last time” and “take my crown”.
Despite A-Rod’s change of heart, I still told my boss I’m retiring after 2017, and I expect a breakfast spread at every 8am meeting from now until I ride off into the sunset.
Nationals Selling Park Naming Rights: This week the Nats announced they plan to sell the naming rights of Nationals Park. Oh what I’d give to see President Hillary Clinton throwing out the Nationals 2017 Opening Day ceremonial first pitch at Trump Stadium.
Smokeless Tobacco Ban Passed: New York City officially passed the smokeless tobacco ban at stadiums and arenas. My sources tell me Mets players displayed “lukewarm interest” in the nicotine suppositories distributed by the trainers in response to the tobacco ban. I can’t believe Matt Harvey finally gets his slider back, and they are gonna rip the dip out of his mouth. MLB came out and said they will absolutely impose discipline if the tobacco ban is violated. So Michael Pineda is going to rub pine tar through his hair all season like it’s styling gel, but Harvey will wind up getting dinged by MLB for this. It’s a lock.
In all seriousness, I have no idea how they enforce this ban, but after seeing Tony Gwynn die from mouth cancer, I’m totally in favor of measures that help these guys stay healthy.
Harvey Lifestyle Alert: Speaking of Harvey, he did another interview this week about his New York City bachelor life, and he speculated that the haters are just jealous of his lifestyle. You know what Harvey could do? He could potentially consider not ever doing these types of interviews. Please? He really can’t resist periodically notifying us of his lifestyle like one of those annoying cell emergency alerts. Emergency Alert: Matt Harvey Bachelor Lifestyle Warning. And also chance of flash flooding.