Final Four …
The television is always on in the Mets’ clubhouse, tuned to sports, of course, and at this time of year it is the NCAA Tournament.
No Met, of course, pretty much like everybody else, had this Final Four in his bracket.
“I was done a long time ago,” said Steve Trachsel.
Even so, there was a certain beauty in seeing Duke, UConn and Nova getting bounced. George Mason is what the essence of sport is all about.
“I like the underdog,” said Brian Bannister. “Look at me. If everybody played the way they were supposed to, I wouldn’t be here.”
Bannister, making a long story short, was a walk-on at USC as a second baseman, but was converted to pitching. He now has a chance to crack the Mets’ rotation.
Those are the best kind of sports stories.
Opening Day lineup? Maybe …
Mets and Dodgers in a half-hour. For the first time this spring the Mets fielded what is expected to be their Opening Day line-up against Dodgers right-hander Brett Tomko.
SS Jose Reyes
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
LF Cliff Floyd
3B David Wright
C Paul Lo Duca
RF Xavier Nady
2B Anderson Hernandez
P Steve Trachsel
When the opposing starting pitcher is a lefty, figure on manager Willie Randolph flipping Floyd and Wright.
Around the Horn …
Randolph said it would be a last-minute decision on 11 or 12 pitchers. If it is the latter, it could leave room for two lefties, Royce Ring and Darren Oliver. … I can’t see Jose Lima sticking in the rotation. Maybe if they carry 12 pitchers he could make in in the bullpen. … Kaz Matsui is looking at the end of the week before doing anything baseball related, and the first thing would be to field grounders. He’s graduated from the exercise bike to light jogging. … Billy Wagner long-tossed for a third straight day and laughed at the joke of him being the Opening Day starter. … It’s a rare day when there isn’t a vendor of some sorts in camp. Most of the time the goods are baseball equipment. This morning two women were measuring players for dress suits. Believe me, this is nothing from the Men’s Warehouse.