It isn’t often you get a chance to meet someone who is the best ever in what they do.
I got the chance today when Rickey Henderson showed up in camp to impart his basestealing knowledge to Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.
Rickey showed up at 187 pounds, one more than his playing weight and said he is ready to go if anybody calls.
He still wants to play, but in the meantime, he’s here to help.
He showed up and held court for 20 minutes. Then gave me and another writer a mini-clinic for another 20.
Remember the fast talking guy on the old FedEx commercials?
He can’t keep up with Rickey.
Reyes stole 60 bases last year. If he learns anything from Henderson, he should get 75 this summer.
When he was done, Henderson gave his all-time teammate team:
C: Mike Piazza
1B: Don Mattingly
2B: Roberto Alomar
SS: Walt Weiss
3B: Graig Nettles
LF: Rickey Henderson
CF: Dwayne Murphy
RF: Dave Winfield
DH: Paul Molitor
Starter: Dave Stewart
Reliever: Dennis Eckersley
First pitch of Mets-Orioles is 16 minutes away. Catcher Paul Lo Duca isn’t here, otherwise the projected Mets Opening Day lineup was on the field.
Beltran will start in center and hit second, which could be his best spot in the lineup. Carlos Delgado is third followed by Cliff Floyd at clean-up and David Wright.
It will be interesting to see if Willie Randolph stacks his lefty hitters during the regular season. Most managers don’t because of late-inning match-ups, but Randolph said he doesn’t always go by the book.
Big thing to look for today is Victor Zambrano, who didn’t get much work at the World Baseball Classic.
Randolph said he’s fourth in the rotation, but the guy won only seven games last year. He’s far from a sure thing.
Ooops, speaking of sure things, don’t bet the house on the Mets.
I almost forgot: Closer Billy Wagner has been shut down until the weekend with a sore finger. Pedro Martinez’s toe still bothers him. Delgado is nursing a sore elbow and Kaz Matsui is down for three weeks.
Things happen, and they have already started for the Mets.