200 Miles From the Citi

February 14, 2010 7:30 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume VII)

His_Takahashi.JPGJust three more days until pitchers and catchers report.

This should be exciting.

But for the Mets, 'pitchers and catchers' is almost an embarrassment:

It just showcases their two weakest positions heading into the 2010 season.

I'm not going to totally write off 2010.  I tend to be optimistic, so I'll look on the bright side until it becomes clear there really isn't a bright side.

But come back to this thought at the end of the year - if the Mets succeed in 2010 it will be because everyone on their pitching staff (other than Johan Santana and maybe Francisco Rodriguez) had career years.

The Mets continue to watch pitchers that could possibly help them sign with other teams.

I'm pretty sure Chien-Ming Wang will become the latest example, joining the likes of Ben Sheets.  Wang is due to sign with someone, with the Mets having reportedly fallen out of the running, any day now.

Wang is a question mark, but there is a potential upside.  He's more of a known than the unknown that is Hisanori Takahashi (seen at left), the Japanese pitcher the Mets signed on Thursday. He's a versatile lefty (can reportedly start or relieve), but the Japanese pitchers who have come over to the U.S. have been inconsistent, to say the least.

It looks like the Mets season will rest on the arms of guys like John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and....gulp....Oliver Perez.

Those arms need to pitch like never before for the season to be a successful one.

*I'll spend more time on this in the near future, but the lack of a dominant catcher on the Mets roster could mean lots of playing time for prospect Josh Thole, which could be exciting.  Won't be the last time I mention it - but he was born the day after the Mets won the 1986 World Series.

*The Mets also signed former Met Mike Jacobs as well as catcher Shawn Riggans to minor league deals on Thursday.  Jacobs could be an interesting signing, if he re-discovers his stroke and Daniel Murphy proves to be a liability at first base.

*For what it's worth to you, here's this Winter Olympics thought - more than one person with knowledge of the situation has told me this past week that speed skating on television does no justice to how fast the skaters look in person.  So if the opportunity presents itself to me at some point, I might check out live speed skating someday.  Not high on my list of priorities, but it's there somewhere.

*Another Olympics comment - Ted Robinson is handling speed skating duties for NBC.  If you've read my work since '04, you know how I feel about him.  If you're a new follower, just know that his time as Mets' play-by-play voice does not rank among my favorites.

*We'll start looking at the 2010 baseball season this week.  I plan on doing a division a week, which takes us to the end of March, featuring my picks for the division's order of finish, and something along the lines of the most important players per team.  This week will feature the National League West, since that's where I decided to start my research.

*If you're on Facebook, I'd love it if you became a fan of the blog.  I've created a page, and I'll update there when I update here.  Search '200 Miles From The Citi'.  Leave comments, etc. on the wall.  I appreciate the support.

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