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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

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Wise Guys, Eh?

Your 2008 New York Mets' potential/likely Opening Day roster:

CATCHERS (2)

Brian Schneider, Ramon Castro.

• Givens.

INFIELDERS (5)

Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Ruben Gotay.

• Gotay's switch-hitting and youth give him a leg up on Jose Valentin for utility infield purposes.

OUTFIELDERS (6)

Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church, Endy Chavez, Marlon Anderson, Damion Easley.

• Anderson and Easley are versatile enough to play first and second. Because they can do that and pinch-hit, Brooklyn's Own Angel Pagan probably starts the season in New Orleans or goes elsewhere.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)

Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hernandez.

• If El Duque is healthy, it's unlikely Mike Pelfrey gets a foot in the door before El Duque is certifiably unhealthy.

RELIEF PITCHERS (7)

Billy Wagner, Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Schoeneweis, Jorge Sosa, Matt Wise.

• Wise has a partially guaranteed contract that gives him $750,000 whether he makes it or not. If he doesn't, the other options are Steven Register, Brian Stokes, Ruddy Lugo and maybe Joe Smith. Under better circumstances, Ambiorix Burgos might be, too, but his bejeweled right arm isn't ready.

So, if I've got this straight…

…putting aside stretching and golf…

…barring injuries…

…taking into account rehabilitation from injuries…

…making a schedule-oriented strategic decision that foregoes the fifth starter until the middle of April…

…and understanding the dangers implicit in solemnly trusting the best-laid plans of Minaya and men…

…we're basically holding Spring Training as a precaution against Matt Wise pitching himself off the team.

Just checking — and by no means complaining. Having witnessed enough camps whose overriding purpose was inventing roles for Mike Bruhert and Mardie “The Chief” Cornejo, I'm not about to underrate the general appeal of roster stability. Still, suspense does seem on the verge of taking a spring break if all we're waiting for is to discover whether the back end of our relief corps is Wise or unWise. Then again, the Mets have a way of making their own drama just when you're settling in for the utterly prosaic.

13 comments to Wise Guys, Eh?

  • Anonymous

    My favored scenario 86es Gotay (no versatility, shaky defense, no options, coming off a good year — trade him!) and favors Pagan (versatility in the OF, good wheels and xtra base power from the RH side especially). This makes Anderson & Easley infield and not outfield backups, primarily, but I think serves the team better.
    I wouldn't be surprised however to see Seanz get the nod over either, provided he doesn't blow up. He can stick around till Valentin heals.

  • Anonymous

    “Gotay's switch-hitting and youth give him a leg up on Jose Valentin for utility infield purposes”
    Hi Greg,
    Since Valentine is no longer on the 40-man roster was the above meant for comparision purposes only, or has Jose been invited to camp as a non-roster player?

  • Anonymous

    Yup. Jose's in camp.

  • Anonymous

    Something tells me Duque wont be healthy. When I found out he did nothing in the off season for his bunion I wanted to scream. To me, that's someone coming out and saying, “I will not make a commitment to stay healthy.” I don't care for that. Start Pelfrey. I like his stuff.
    And when May rolls around, in all likelihood, I will welcome Duque back when Pelfrey is 0-3 with a 6.72 ERA.

  • Anonymous

    The depth chart looks awful shallow over on the left side of the infield. If I am not mistaken, the primary options for backing up Wright and Reyes are, um, Reyes and Wright. Easley, Anderson and Gotay can all manage at second base if needed, but can any of them handle third or short in the majors, should (Gil and Casey forbid) an occasion arise?

  • Anonymous

    “When I found out he did nothing in the off season for his bunion”
    Untrue, as part of the celebration of Shea's last season, one fan will be selected at random, at each home game, and will be given the privilege or rubbing El Duque's bunion.

  • Anonymous

    In case anyone doesn't know… SNY showing Johan's start tomorrow afternoon (repeating at 7 ET).

  • Anonymous

    I was hoping they might liven up Spring Training this year by bringing back John Pacella and the “Hat Count.”

  • Anonymous

    I probably shouldn't, but I find the fact that a multimillionaire athlete playing a critical role on a championship contender in the 21st century is having bunion problems. I mean, c'mon – bunions?! It's as ridiculous as David Wells' gout. Orlando – buy some shoes that fit!
    On the other hand (or foot), the word “bunion” is very comical.

  • Anonymous

    I had a similar reaction twenty years ago to a more serious condition at a much more critical time of year.
    Why the fuck is Bobby Ojeda even clipping his own god damn hedges, anyway?!

  • Anonymous

    I always thought the hedges were a cover story for something much more colorful. And didn't Ron Darling recently say as much when he qualified a comment about Ojeda with something along the lines of, “If that story is to be believed”?

  • Anonymous

    Bet Burgos doesn't have to clip his own hedges. How does this guy have $270,000 of jewelry to steal in the first place? He's Ambiorix Burgos!

  • Anonymous

    I had a friend on the NYPD at the time who claimed on good authority that hedge trimming was a coverup for the truth, which seems even more ridiculous: drunken barroom knifeplay gone awry. Supposedly Ojeda and a couple of his fellow Mensa members were playing that game where you splay out your five fingers and then with your other hand jab a knife into the table between them in quick succession. If true, what a tragedy he didn't learn a lesson about irresponsible drinking.
    BTW, none of this is meant as a slight on Bobby – a friend worked at Ojeda's wedding and said he was a prince of a guy.