It was a wonderful site to see, as the first official day of Spring Training comes after a very long winter; it was especially sweet for me, as I continued to shovel myself out of the 35 inches of snow that landed on Fairfield, Connecticut this weekend from Winter Storm Nemo. So, even though it didn’t look like spring up here in New England, it certainly felt like it in my mind and my heart, as a part of me came back to life yesterday, which usually happens this time of year.
Danny Abriano kept us up-to-date on newsworthy stories to come out of Port St. Lucie on this glorious day, as 53 of the 58 players invited to Big League camp reported, even though position players aren’t required to report until Sunday. Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner (ready with his outfielder’s glove) checked in and made appearances, and so did Johan Santana, but he didn’t participate in the optional workout, and also didn’t speak to the media. From what Adam Rubin could see, the only men not present at camp yesterday were Jordany Valdespin and Marlon Byrd, who just competed in the Caribbean Series, while there was no sign of Omar Quintanilla and Cesar Puello. He also noted that Jenrry Mejia didn’t report to camp on time yesterday due to VISA issues. You’d think he’d take care of that a year after watching Ruben Tejada have it ruin his initial plans to report to camp. Once he arrives, Mejia is expected to work as a starting pitcher.
Obviously, there was some big news dropped yesterday evening when it came to the Michael Bourn dilemma, and it didn’t end well for fans that were in favor of New York landing the free agent center fielder. The Scott Boras client agreed to a four-year/$48 million deal with the Cleveland Indians, which also includes a vesting option for a fifth year, potentially bringing the overall value of the deal to $60 million. Early on yesterday, it looked as though the Mets were still the favorites to land Bourn, although clubs like the Indians, Mariners, Rangers, and Cubs were allegedly on the fringes. What hurts even more for the pro-Bourn side of the house is that the Amazin’s also had a four-year/$48 million proposal on the table for his services, but even though the outfielder preferred to play in New York, the two or three week process of trying to protect their first round pick ultimately made his decision. I would have liked him on the team, but it obviously wasn’t meant to be, and I’m happy to see Alderson not try to force the issue in negotiations and overpay.
In the first installment of our month-and-a-half long preview of the 2013 season, the Rising Apple staff got together and made their choices as to who we each felt would be the best part of the starting rotation this season; Dan Haefeli gave us a more in depth statistical breakdown about Jonathon Niese and why he chose his pick. Also, now that baseball season is upon us, Danny Abriano gave us some great Mets moments through the years to enjoy via video, courtesy of Youtube.
Now we move on to the next countdown…the first Grapefruit League game is Saturday, February 23rd against the Washington Nationals, taking place at Tradition Field…Let’s go Mets!