First day in PSL. I promise (read: hope) to put together a cohesive piece at some point, but for now, here’s an assorted list of unorganized and relatively unedited thoughts and observations from Port St. Lucie.
– I watched David Wright play catch this morning, working up to about 60 feet. He spent the afternoon with ice wrapped around his abdom . . . belly. He had an iced belly.
– The Mets’ infielders, pitchers and catchers worked on defending double steals in the morning, over on the Citi-Field-like field. Minor league conscripts served as base runners. Ike Davis’ sole role, the whole time, was to shout “GOING” when the runner on first took off. Backup catcher Mike Nickeas decided to show off and, instead of throwing to second, picked a runner off third base at one point.
– People I saw in golf carts today: Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese with Niese driving. A random 12-year-old, driving a cart solo. A security guard, holding out my windbreaker that I had dropped on the ground. Terry Collins and Jim Leyland standing on the back of a cart, making laps on the warning track of various back fields, chauffeured by two members of the grounds crew. (Thought: IS JIM LEYLAND THE FRIEND WITH THE BEAR?) The same 12-year-old, again, this time with a compatriot — driving on a back field, the original 12-year-old convinced his friend to pick up a stray water bottle, and once the friend was out of the cart, drove away. Friend threw waterbottle at original 12-year-old, missing long, but causing original 12-year-old to throw the golf cart into reverse and attempt to back down friend, making friend for dive for safety.
– I saw Brandon Nimmo triple in one minor league intersquad game, and Jeurys Familia pitch in another simultaneous game. Nimmo is evidently a member of the David Wright “look as silly as possible while running” school of locomotion. His arms flail, but he’s fast. Which is surprising when you think about wind resistance involved in concurrent running and flailing. MiLB players not in the game sit in the metal bleachers surrounding the minor league fields and talk about Call of Duty.
– From the xeroxed game notes I got while typing this: The Mets, as a team, have scored 45 runs in 13 games this spring, or 3.5 runs per game. They’re batting .238/.317/.318 and have hit three home runs. As a team. Three home runs in 13 Spring Training games.
– A .318 slugging percentage
– The major league game was packed, but mostly with Tigers fans. I saw persons wearing: A #1 Detroit Pistons Chauncey Billups jersey; a tee shirt with a large picture of Eminem wearing a Tigers cap; a sleeveless polyester Tigers shirt warm-up shirt with the collar cut out, like the guy’s neck was too big to fit into the shirt or something, only his neck was normal-sized; a Turk Wendell #99 shirt, that looked as if its owner put the shirt on a decade ago and hasn’t removed it since; and one kid with no shirt. It’s hard to pull over shirtless anywhere but the beach.
– Anthem singer Michael McGoory — and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do this — warmed up the crowd before singing the National Anthem. “Three things,” he said after the PA told us to rise and remove our hats, which was jarring because I’ve never seen anyone do anything but sing the anthem after being announced. Mr. McGoory had long curly hair, the style favored by aging rockers, and wore an over-sized Hawaiian shirt that was pale red. “First, I want to thank all my fans for coming out here.” *Pause for confused applause* “Second, I want to thank our troops.” *Pause for rowdy applause* Then he sang the National Anthem, which I suppose was the third thing unless I missed the real third thing or Mr. McGoory struggles with numbers. The anthem went normal enough until Mr. McGoory demonstrated his lung capacity for an uncomfortable length of time with the FREEEEEEEE in land of the FREEEEEEEE.
– The PA announcer introduced the Mets with the hip-hop trumpet-heavy WWE hype music, and read their names in a matching fashion. DAN-YEL MURPH-EEEEEEEEEE. By the way, these games are mostly attended by senior citizens.
– The Mets lost the game 9-0. Everyone played terrible; there were no survivors. Johan Santana’s velocity and still-attached limbs were the only positive, but they were the most important positive to take away from today. No more about Santana for now, as that will be the cohesive thoughts for later.
– That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with further disjointed thoughts.