March 2012

Ohio St. love: Jon Niese’s NCAA bracket

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Which center fielder do you most want on the Opening Day roster?


Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/23

While the Mets were busy playing the Braves up at Disney, David Wright stayed back in Port St. Lucie to participate in another full day of workouts (pictures below). He remains on track to make his Grapefruit League debut sometime next week.

Not so promising was the prognosis for D.J. Carrasco, who is still battling the effects of a twisted right ankle. Asked if he thinks he will be ready for Opening Day, a taped-up Carrasco replied, “it’s not looking that way.” That could be just the opening his teammate, 41-year-old reliever Miguel Batista, needs to find his way onto the roster.

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Mets next on “30 Clubs in 30 Days”

The Mets are next up on MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days” television series, with their  segment airing Friday at 8 p.m. Featured on the show are interviews with David Wright, Johan Santana, Jason Bay, Terry Collins and quite a few others. In addition, R.A. Dickey gives a tour of the Mets’ facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Daniel Murphy and Tim Teufel demonstrate what they’ve been working on at second base.

If you haven’t seen the show (or any of the station’s other content), the MLB Network really does a great job with this stuff. You can check out their full “30 Clubs in 30 Days” schedule here. You know, in case you want to DVR the Phillies episode or something.

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Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/22

It’s been a while since the Mets have enjoyed a full day of truly, unanimously positive injury news. Thursday was that day, with David Wright participating in a full workout for the first time since his injury (see batting practice photo below), Scott Hairston taking dry swings outside and Andres Torres feeling improvement in his tight left calf. If all three are ready for Opening Day, it will make things a lot easier for Terry Collins, who is struggling in particular with his center field roster decisions.

I also took a look today at some of the defensive data predicting a poor season for the Mets, particularly the Plus/Minus system in John Dewan’s “The Fielding Bible Volume III.” If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I’d suggest checking out Dewan’s Fielding Bible website, where you can purchase a copy of his book.

Oh, and R.A. Dickey took a no-hitter into the sixth, bidding to do in Spring Training what no Mets pitcher has ever done in the regular season. Ultimately, he fell a dozen outs short.

Still not convinced it was a good day for the Mets? Chipper Jones announced that he will retire after the season, leading Wright and others to reflect on the surefire Hall of Famer’s history of tormenting of their franchise.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/21

It’s getting down to the most interesting time in camp, when game action is magnified and competitions really start heating up. To that end, Terry Collins called Johan Santana’s 69 pitches in Wednesday’s game “a giant step forward” in Santana’s road back from left shoulder surgery.

Other than Santana, the most interesting aspect of camp right now may be the center field situation, with Andres Torres still nursing a tight left calf, Jason Bay volunteering to sub in center, Jordany Valdespin experimenting at the position while hitting the cover off the ball, and Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen still duking it out for a bench job that is purportedly still one of theirs to lose. I profiled Baxter, a Queens native, for Mets.com today.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/20

It’s center field chaos at Mets camp. After another injury to Andres Torres and slow progress for Scott Hairston in his own rehab, Terry Collins revealed plans to try out both Jason Bay and Jordany Valdespin in center, in addition to Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen. It’s pretty late in camp to experiment like this, but the Mets are running out of options. At the very least, it should be interesting.

The Mets also spent time Tuesday considering the fallout from Monday’s Madoff settlement, with Sandy Alderson discussing how it may — or may not — affect the team going forward.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/19

A busy day for the Mets on Monday, though none of it happened in Florida. The Mets were off today, but owner Fred Wilpon was not — he and Saul Katz settled their case for $162 million with the trustee seeking to recover funds from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, putting an end to more than a year of legal uncertainty.

Later in the day, news broke that the Mets have finalized 12 minority ownership shares worth a total of $240 million. All of which is to say the team took two critical steps Monday toward recovering from the financial troubles that have plagued them since news of Madoff’s arrest way back in 2010. It may be years before the Mets are fully recovered, considering declining attendance figures and the like. But for the first time in a long time, Wilpon and Katz can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/15

So the Mets finally got a glimpse of old friend Jose Reyes today, playing his Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. You can read about that on Mets.com and Marlins.com.

I also caught up with Frank Viola III, son of the former Cy Young award winner who, with the help of R.A. Dickey, is trying to revive his career with the knuckleball. That story is here.

I’m taking a long weekend off, so don’t expect any updates on Mets Cetera until Tuesday. But I’ll be back in full force then, bringing you all the news from the second half of Mets Spring Training.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

Report from Port St. Lucie, 3/14

David Wright returned to Mets camp Wednesday to reveal that he has a small tear in his left rectus abdominus, the same injury that necessitated surgery for Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis. Regardless, Wright believes he will be ready for Opening Day.

Follow me on Twitter: @AnthonyDiComo.

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