Friday, February 12, 2010

Battles This Spring, Beltran Plans To Be There

According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, spring training is going to be a time for battles, hopefully not between management itself, but rather for playing time.  Kernan quotes Omar as saying, "I'm excited...There's going to be a lot of competition in camp. That's something we've been trying to do."  In the article Kernan points to catcher and first base as two major battles, with catcher becoming a battle between five players with yesterday's inexplicable signing of yet another back-up catcher, Shawn Riggans.  First base will be a battle between Murphy, Tatis, Jacobs and Ike Davis who Kernan quoted Omar as saying: "Ike Davis is going to push people."  Then he continues, "Davis' father, Ron, the ex-Yankee reliever, said his son is ready for the majors 'right now.'"

Beyond those battles Mets fans can expect a battle for the bench, as well as the rotation's fifth spot and relief roles.  And while I think competition is a great idea, I'm a little concerned that Omar sometimes does too much of this.  By that I mean, he has a tendency to hang his hat on the minor league free agent signings that work out, ie Tatis and Jose Valentin.  Normally, I would have no problem with this except it almost seems like Omar just signs anyone who has talent that could never really get it together, in an attempt to find a "diamond in the rough."  Sure, I know there is no real risk in doing this, but my problem comes in when Omar takes credit for finding these guys, meanwhile he's just brought in so many people to compete in his tenure that at least one or two are destined to work out.  Once again, I don't have a problem with him doing this, my problem comes when people give him credit for Valentin and Tatis, when there were enough Bobby Kielty's, Casey Fossum's and Rob Mackowiack's to fill out triple-A, which probably explains why Buffalo isn't usually a good team.  My beef is with him getting credit for a few out of a much larger number working out.  You know, something about a blinc squirrel and a nut...

In a different article for the New York Post, Mark Hale, writes about how Carlos Beltran is expected in camp with the Mets, not to play just yet, but just to be part of the team.  Hale quotes assistant Gm John Ricco as saying, "He doesn't have to report [then], but I think he was planning on coming in right around when the other position players did...He was not just going to stay at home and rehab with the physical therapist there."

I love this.  This is the stuff that gets undervalued.  Just by Beltran being there he's pushing Matthews Jr. and Pagan by showing them he's going to be back and ready, and in general gives the team confidence that they have the talent to compete, and will be getting even better shortly.

I think it's about time I said this...Despite this team's short-comings, I think this is going to be a fun year in the Citi...Field....


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