Something’s Not Right with This Year’s Spring Training

March 9, 2009

With the World Baseball Classic underway, most of the major league rosters have been left decimated and depleted, ultimately, rendering this year’s Spring Training meaningless. I was never a big fan of the Grapefruit or Cactus Leagues. I could never understand why anyone would waste their Sunday afternoon watching exhibition baseball. Followers of the game talk about how this is their favorite part of the season. I tuned in to watch the Mets against the Washington Nationals yesterday and lasted about a half an inning. Honestly, has there ever been a fan that felt compelled to punch a hole in their television in anger after witnessing their favorite team in defeat after a pre-season loss? I felt no emotion as 23-year old left-hander Roy Merritt threw the ball wide of first base, inevitably prolonging the inning. I was not the least bit embarrassed by the 8-3 drubbing in the hands of the Nationals. Mets manger, Jerry Manuel, wasn’t even there.

When you find yourself more amped up for the premiere of the Nationals’ mascot, Screech, then cheering on the Mets while they man-handle the University of Michigan, you’ll know what I am clamoring about. Just once, perhaps the Mets split squad could lay down for Fred Wilpon’s alma mater. Or why not just let them use those god-awful metal bats. That way, Tim Redding could at least have an excuse for his lackluster performance. Redding was scheduled to pitch one inning. He did throw 30 pitches, but they produced one out, five hits and five runs. As it stands now, Redding is damaged goods. Right hander Mike Pelfrey has been seen wearing a plastic boot because of swelling from his shin to his ankle. Freddy Garcia is still trying to find his velocity. And John Maine is trying to find a good reason to move on. As the Mets bullpen has become its strength, the starting rotation has become its Achilles heel.

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