Monthly Archives: March 2012

I Am on Here

In case you’re interested: I’ll be joining the boys over at RtU Sports tonight around 10 p.m., presumably to talk about the Mets and other things. You can listen live here.


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Mostly Mets Podcast, 3/29/12

Last show before Opening Day. We make our final predictions about the NL East, guess the Mets’ leaders in various categories, and briefly discuss the merits of our fantasy baseball league. iTunes link for subscribing can be found here.

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Things to Read

Some links for late Tuesday night:

This happened with some frequency, and often we could use the bat to poke the ball out through the other side of the bush. This time, though, our efforts just pushed the ball deeper into the weave of thorns until finally it became stuck between branches, firmly entrenched. We stood there staring at it until my mom spotted us from inside the house. She stepped out, walked over, and without hesitation jammed her arm deep into the bush, grabbed the ball, pulled it out, handed it to me and walked back inside. Some badass mom stuff, and pretty indicative of my family’s approach to pain. More on that in a bit.

– Ted Berg, “St. Lucie and the sticker bush”

Lots in there about St. Lucie and pain and Johan Santana and how it all relates together. Also, Johan Santana is exactly as cool as Ted explains in there: Santana is the only person I’ve seen who commands everyone’s attention when he enters a room. Which is a cliche and one that I thought was hyperbole, until I saw it actually happen with Santana in PSL. He walked to his locker one morning, and everyone, every single person in the room, including me, was looking at him, at least out of the corner of their eye. He told some jokes, simulated his pitching motion with a towel as everyone stared, and actually gave a teammate a little speech about confidence that ended with Santana pointing at/poking the teammate in the chest with his (Santana’s) finger. And the little speech wasn’t corny at all. It was well done, not embarrassing for the teammate but definitely gave him something to think about in terms of confidence.

Adam Rubin reports on the Mets’ roster:

Lefty-hitting backup outfielder Mike Baxter, catcher Mike Nickeas and left-hander Daniel Herrera are clear-cut frontrunners for Opening Day roster spots, organization sources told

– Adam Rubin, ESPN New York

No real surprises here, right? Nickeas, Baxter, Justin Turner, Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno make up the bench. Herrera, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell, and . . . someone, Miguel Batista maybe, make up the bullpen. Which is what everyone was guessing before Spring Training started, only with Tim Byrdak in place of Danny Ray Herrera (who, contrary to rumor, does not share a name with the protagonist in any Cormac McCarthy novels, but really probably should).

Extending the thought: Herrera is a 5’6″ long-haired kid from Texas. And he throws screwballs, a fact that pretty much writes itself in terms of unsubtle literary devices. There’s some serious Mets fanfiction dying to be written here:

Herrera threw the pitch, the pitch his father taught him so many years ago in the dry Texas summer, throwing the ball against the wall of his grandfather’s barn over and over, the sun rising over the feeding cattle far out on the range, the father giving advice, the boy listening.

Turn your thumb towards the ground more
Like this?
No. Further. It will seem like your wrist might rip off. It won’t. Your arm will follow your hand.
It’s hard. It feels so different.
Different is hard. But it’s also good. It’s okay to be different.

Herrera remembered all this as he looked to Thole for the sign. It is now dusk. They decide on a screwball.

And so on.

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Muddled Notes and Thoughts from Port St. Lucie

“You do realize it’s a spring training game, right? Like, it’s a meaningless game. Half the players aren’t really trying. They’re just working on stuff, their pitches, throwing strikes, watching the baseball. That kind of stuff.”

“Yeah. I know. But they’re all meaningless games, when you think about it.”

* * *

Here are the privileges of having a press pass in the Mets’ spring training complex: Continue reading


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Mostly Mets Podcast, 3/22/12

With Ted and Toby, as always. iTunes link for free subscription, if you’re into downloading that way, is here.


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Things to Read

Passing along some links while I work on a Spring Training writeup. First, Bill James:

Which is an unfair thing to say; they have complex political philosophies, both of them, and they have microphones because somebody figured out that you could make a lot of money by combining a sophisticated political philosophy with oral flatulence. But I was reminiscing about the good old days, when men were men and high school girls didn’t have nipple rings, and you knew who the heavyweight boxing champion of the world was — even the high school girls did — because there was only one at a time and he was a big deal.

– Bill James, “Prisoner’s Dilemma”

Bill James is kind of a weird guy, right?

Looking for an idea, Mets training staff? Put your players in a freezing chamber:

Players, while standing, rotate every 30 seconds. Bursts of gas blow from the interior sides of the unit to surround the player’s body, starting out at minus-166 degrees and quickly cooling to between minus-256 and minus-274. The machine is capable of dipping to minus-320.

The hyper-cold temperature shocks the body, sending it into “survival mode,” Suns head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson said. The immune system prompts blood to rush away from the extremities to protect the vital organs in the player’s core, where the blood is oxygen- and nutrient-enriched. Once the three minutes in the chamber ends, the body relaxes from the stress and sends the enriched blood to areas it is needed, such as fatigued muscles.

– Paul Coro, “Phoenix Suns Love a Big Chill in Cryosauna”
The Arizona Republic

Cool. The Phoenix Suns’ training staff is supposedly the best in the business, so if they like something, it’s probably worth checking out. Good article, but I have many unanswered questions. What happens if you get stuck in the chamber? Do the players mess around with the cryosauna, flash freezing food and liquids when no one else is around? If you microwaved a Hot Pocket then stuck it in the cryosauna, would the middle of the Hot Pocket still be the surface temperature of the sun even if the outside gets refrozen? I need a follow-up report on this.

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Phone Calling from Spring Training

One correction: I confused Garrett Olson (who is still in big league camp, which is the opposite of what I said) with Jeremy Hefner (who has been optioned to Triple-A). Olson is still in the lefty reliever runnings, as far as I know.

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