In the spirit of Barack Obama giving this year’s State of the Union Address last night, Terry Collins did the same for the Mets, meeting with reporters for about 30 minutes in PSL yesterday. He talked about a bunch of things, ranging from Jordany Valdespin‘s role and where positions are set for the start of the regular season, to his contract status. Danny Abriano did a great job of providing the transcript of Collins’ thoughts from yesterday’s press conference.
One of the topics that came up in his chat with reporters was whether or not the Mets were going to officially name David Wright captain. Collins went on to say what he’s been saying for quite some time now: Wright doesn’t need that official distinction to lead the team. He’s been a leader in the clubhouse for a few years now. With a reasonably young team, Wright is the most senior member on the Mets, as the 30-year-old is entering his 10th season in Flushing. If there was any question as to whether or not he was the face of the franchise before this winter, the eight-year/$138 million extension he agreed to certainly solidified it. Does a formal announcement need to be made? Probably not, but I think it’s a nice gesture to officially give David the honor of being captain.
Although he would still like to try and pitch for his native Venezuela in this year’s World Baseball Classic, it looks unlikely it will actually happen for Johan Santana. The southpaw reported to camp Monday and was able to sneak out before answering questions from the media, but that didn’t happen yesterday, as he talked about his health and impending free agency, as he’s entering the last guaranteed year of his contract. With all due respect to the WBC, Santana will be getting a total of $31 million to pitch for the Mets this season (including buyout), not Venezuela. So, I think it’s pretty obvious he should be in camp getting ready for the long season ahead.
Mike Piazza was also chatting quite a bit in front of the cameras yesterday, as he was interviewed on both MLB Network and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to help market the release of his book, titled “Long Shot“. Once again, Danny gave us the play-by-play for each of these appearances by the greatest hitting catcher in MLB history (don’t mind me, just getting my subtle, Hall of Fame jab in while I can).
Before the news broke yesterday of Frank Francisco being shut down because of elbow inflammation, I took a look at why Bobby Parnell is the heir apparent to be the next Mets closer. Then, the Frank Frank news hit the airwaves in what seemed to be seconds later, with both Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen stating Parnell is ready to step into the 9th inning right now, and he will start preparing for it today.
Rich Sparago still has plenty to say about Michael Bourn agreeing to sign with the Cleveland Indians, and wanted to put his thoughts on paper one last time before we let it rest and start the healing process. Meanwhile, after seeing Parnell report to camp last week with a real nice beard, Justin Turner has done the same, and Sam Maxwell definitely digs the facial hair, and Michael Lecolant feels the catcher position will be a strength of the Mets this season.