I saw something about the Mets having drills today. Pitching drills? Hitting drills? Fielding drills? Could have been fire drills. Doesn’t matter. My heart was aflutter.
The charms of Spring Training can wear thin quickly, but today, in a Metropolitan Area momentarily having sat on its thermometer and thereby warming it to 62 degrees, I am captivated. I’ve seen pictures. Mets are standing around batting cages. Mets are stretching on grass. Mets are signing their names for kids. Mets are going to dinner, which is all there is to do in Florida after a certain hour.
Mets live. Mets exist as Mets. Mets are in bloom even without Adam Rubin recording their every move. Mets wear oversized numbers on their sleeves and white letters on their backs. Mets speak in assured platitudes. Mets coaches are repairing the confidence of those who have reason to be less sanguine. Kevin Long’s gonna fix Travis d’Arnaud’s swing. Glenn Sherlock’s gonna fix Travis d’Arnaud’s everything else. Travis d’Arnaud’s gonna play a hundred games. David Wright’s gonna play first. So are Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Wilmer Flores and maybe first baseman Lucas Duda. Jose Reyes is gonna play everywhere. Juan Lagares can still play center, I seem to recall.
Yoenis Cespedes is focused on baseball, not cars. Asdrubal Cabrera will make Venezuela’s loss our gain. Noah Syndergaard will throw harder than ever. Zack Wheeler feels no discomfort. How long will Jeurys Familia be unavailable, and will we notice, given how sharp Addison Reed was and is? Have I just jinxed Addison Reed? Is Matt Harvey gonna be Matt Harvey again now that he has one fewer rib? Have you noticed Terry Collins has morphed into Col. Sherman T. Potter without the forced puns and laugh track?
Can you believe the nerve of those Phillies co-opting our mantra? Can we start the ovation for R.A. and Bart now so we don’t have to applaud them as Braves on Opening Day? How much damage will Brandon Phillips do visiting us three series a year? What does Thor really think of Bryce? Does Murph have a limitless reservoir of revenge? When will Loria leave the country and how many Marlins fans have volunteered to chauffeur him to the airport?
Drills and squads and assorted welcome nonsense all week. Real pretend games by week’s end. Then numbness sets in and the WBC interferes and it probably won’t be 62 degrees in New York for very long, but we’re getting where we need to be. Is the season only six weeks away or is the season six long weeks away?
In the interim, feel free to partake in resumption of related baseball activities.
• Watch me chat with Art Shamsky at QBC, courtesy of Mediagoon, here.
• Listen to me talk about the subject of my new book with John Strubel of Mets Rewind here.
• Stay tuned for a couple of announcements soon regarding appearances on behalf of Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star, one in Manhattan on March 19, one in Connecticut on March 21.
• Pre-order Piazza for a nifty price on Amazon here.