200 Miles From the Citi

April 4, 2010 7:23 AM

Sunday Paper (Year 2, Volume XIV)

Jacobs.JPGDare I allow myself to get excited?

Opening Day is just a day away...and a fast start by the Mets, coupled with a slow start by the injury-riddled Phillies, could make 2010 a lot more promising than I originally thought.

A solid outing by Mike Pelfrey in his final spring start only gets me more encouraged...

Until I stop and think about the Mets going into the season with Mike Jacobs at first base and Alex Cora at shortstop.

I want to believe the Mets have just as good a shot in 2010 as everyone else, especially since Opening Day is so full of that kind of optimism.

But this team is really not built to win.

Daniel Murphy is out anywhere from two to six weeks with a knee injury, and Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis are platooning in his absence.  I feel like the Mets have been on borrowed time with Tatis the past couple of years, let alone 2010.  And when Murphy is back, that means the Mets' starting first baseman will be.........Daniel Murphy.  So, as much as I want to think he'll be a solid pro...that seems like a hole to me.

Cora is the placeholder until Jose Reyes is back healthy.  Same goes with Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews in center field until Carlos Beltran is back.

But the real weakness, despite Pelfrey's final spring start, is the starting rotation.  I'd love for them to shock me and be lights out all season long...but I'll have to see that to believe it.

And as much as I love this time of year, the same goes for a fast start to the 2010 season...I'll believe it when I see it.

*A couple of roster updates - I'm surprised that Bobby Parnell will not be with the big league team to start the season...I'm not surprised that Jenrry Mejia is breaking camp with the Mets.  Frank Catalanotto will be coming off the bench for the Mets.  And as the roster stands right now, the Mets have three catchers.

*Really, NCAA?  96 teams?  Are you trying to make my head explode and ruin 17 years of bracket statistics?  I thought this was ridiculous conjecture the past couple of years.  Sounds now like it is very likely to happen, and soon.  I hate it, but only for personal statistical reasons.

*Did you watch Butler beat Michigan State Saturday night?  I saw most of the second half...and I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I think Jim Nantz is way overrated as a broadcaster.  And I thought he and Clark Kellogg were not on their A-Game last night.  And I think Nantz was downright terrible in the final minute of the game.  Maybe he wanted Michigan State to win.

*A couple of injury updates - Jose Reyes will be starting the season on the DL for the Mets...but Mark Sanchez said this week that he expects to be 100% for training camp and ready for the season following surgery on his knee. 

*Speaking of the Jets, Jay Feely signed with the Arizona Cardinals the other day.  This, about a month and a half after the Jets signed Nick Folk.  Folk over Feely is not an improvement.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Folk will not finish the season as the Jets' kicker.  I also have a suspicion he won't start training camp as their only option at kicker.  Call it a position battle for 'Hard Knocks'.

*I rely heavily on ESPNEWS for my scores.  I change over to it often on any given night to get my hockey scores, college results...whatever I'm interested in that night.  But that's about the extent of my ESPN watching (other than, I guess, the games they broadcast).  I haven't watched SportsCenter in years...I click over to to see the headlines, and play the Streak game.  And now there's this New York section of  I don't think I'm going to be particularly drawn to it.  Seems like if there's something really good on there the main page will link to it.  Am I missing out on something great?  Should I be clicking over there every day?  Multiple times a day?  Anybody read the Dallas/Chicago/Boston iterations?  Are there others?  I just can't get excited about it - and maybe the fact that the first day of it was centered on making a splash, with an image of LeBron James in a Knicks jersey on the main page, is the exact reason why I won't ever read the site - it's probably just another one of ESPN's ploys to put an emphasis on what will draw the viewer rather than responsible journalism.  (I know, it's sports journalism...but it should be responsible journalism nonetheless.)

*Watched the Cardinals-Twins on MLB Network Friday night to get a look at Target Field.  Hard to tell on TV how the park is, but I got the impression from some of the shots I saw that it was heavily modeled after PETCO Park ("Where the Mets go").  I love the right-center field wall though - it's high, and the stands are set back a bit, but instead of the tiny, tiny bit of space that always results in disputed home runs, there's something like a flower bed.  So if a ball hits there it kind of dies.  Makes me think there won't be many arguments about balls that come out of there (if they do come out of there) being homers or not.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the park plays over the season.  The Red Sox open it up in the second week of the season when the Twins return home, so I'm sure there will be a lot of stories locally I can get my hands on.

*Yup, I'll probably try the ol' DVR-the-game-and-hope-I-don't-find-out-the-result-until-after-I-watch-it-when-I-get-home-from-school again tomorrow for the Mets Opening Day.  It's become somewhat of a tradition.  An oftentimes frustrating tradition...can't believe it's been five years since the Cincinnati snafu.

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