Y'know, I was about to be extraordinarily hindsightful and ask why we couldn't have kept Johnny Estrada  around in case both our catchers were to be found grabbing their groins  and such  come mid-March, but I just checked and I see Johnny Blue Jeans is sitting with tendinitis, so maybe catcher is just one of those things we can't have for a while. It happens once a decade or so. Maybe Tim Spehr isn't busy. Maybe we can hold the fort with him and Alberto Castillo and Rick Wilkins and Jim Tatum and Todd Pratt until the third week of May until we can acquire Mike Piazza should we become impatient for the reactivation of Todd Hundley.
Maybe if this were ten years ago.
What's up with this? We'll all be guzzling Schneider Schardonnay  if nobody's capable of stepping up and squatting down. Ron Darling said Ramon Castro is in the best shape of his life this spring. Ramon Castro's life hasn't been about shape up to now, so that wasn't reassuring, especially after watching Castro lash a ball into the left field corner and seeing him struggle his way to first. Ouch.
Lots of ouch around here. Had been getting the idea that Carlos Delgado was finding his groove (I did a lot of that last year) only to look up and see him escorted off the field by a man in a golf shirt. He was standing off third when Brady Clark's bat shattered and sliced his arm good. Only in St. Lucie, kids, only in St. Lucie.
Not that it's all bad news from the town of Tradition. Pedro Martinez threw four shutout innings yesterday, his first four innings that weren't simulated; the more Pedro that is actual, the better. Matt Wise appears to be the real deal — or as real as a middle reliever can be — and Scott Schoeneweis is hinting he may truly be the effective lefty the Mets thought he was when they generously lined his pockets the winter before this one. Plus nobody else, as far as I know, was attacked by Brady Clark's bat Sunday. Maybe things will be all right. Maybe we're just one inoffensive (though hopefully not too inoffensive) Molina  away from fielding a full roster.
The Faith and Fear Shea Stadium Final Season Countdown  is almost at hand. Watch this space. Until then, contemplate a true Shea Stadium original  and wonder why nobody's called Ron Hunt home lately.