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The team is off today with the exception of Orlando Hernandez, who’ll throw a simulated game in about 45 minutes.
Here’s what I had in The Journal News this morning about the player’s off day plans.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. _ Carlos Beltranâ€™s eyes widened as if focusing on a hanging curveball.
“Thereâ€™s an off-day?â€™â€™ he asked. “I didnâ€™t know that. I donâ€™t pay attention to the schedule in spring training.
“All the days are the same to me down here. Monday is the same as Tuesday. Tuesday is the same as Wednesday.â€™â€™
Well, now that you know you have today off, what are you going to do with it?
“Hang by the pool,â€™â€™ Beltran said. “Relax. Do nothing.â€™â€™
Except for most Mets, today is their one day since spring training opened over a month ago and until the season starts where theyâ€™ll have a slice of free time.
Except for Orlando Hernandez, whoâ€™ll throw in simulation game this morning.
“No day off for me,â€™â€™ Hernandez said. “This is my job. Iâ€™m working.â€™â€™
And with him, manager Willie Randolph, bullpen coach Guy Conti and pitching coach Rick Peterson.
“Youâ€™re kidding me,â€™â€™ Conti said. “Thereâ€™s no such thing as an off day around here.â€™â€™
Some players might come in for treatment, but the healthy ones will spend time with their families or scatter.
Last spring, expecting father Carlos Delgado went to Puerto Rico to be with his wife, Betzaida. This spring she and Carlos Jr., will be with him in Port St. Lucie.
“Weâ€™ll keep as low a profile as you can in Port St. Lucie,â€™â€™ Delgado said.
In previous springs David Wright used to spend time at Super Play, an entertainment complex close to Tradition Field that has bowling, miniature golf, laser tag, a sports bar and batting cages.
Wright has visited all but the cages. This spring, his popularity greater than ever, heâ€™s shutting it down.
Last weekend he drew an uninvited crowd to his table at a small Italian bistro. Today is for selected friends, and it wonâ€™t start too early.
“Iâ€™m going to sleep in as late as possible,â€™â€™ Wright said. “Then Iâ€™m going hang out at the pool and do some grilling. Iâ€™m probably not going to leave the house all day.â€™â€™
On days he doesnâ€™t pitch and leaves the park early, John Maine likes to golf. This time he wonâ€™t be on the course under the hot afternoon sun, but take advantage of an early tee time.
“Golfing, then hanging out and resting,â€™â€™ Maine said, naming the simple pleasures of spring training.
Several other Mets will also be on a course, including Aaron Heilman, who, without hesitation, said his handicap is, “my swing.â€™â€™
Meanwhile, Jose Reyes and Matt Wise planned to get up early as usual to fight the traffic to Orlando to see Mickey and Minnie.
“Iâ€™m taking my daughters (Katherine and Ashley) to Disney,â€™â€™ Reyes said.
Wise admits to liking them, but said it has been awhile since heâ€™s been on a roller coaster.
“It will be more like the Dumbo ride, or whatever kids can do,â€™â€™ said Wise, father of daughters Ashley and Hayden, and son Brady.
One way or another today will be a family day for most Mets.
“Iâ€™m going to a petting zoo,â€™â€™ said Billy Wagner of the itinerary given him by sons William, Jeremy and Kason, and daughter Olivia.
“Thereâ€™s one over in West Palm, so thatâ€™s where weâ€™re going to go. Itâ€™s not my choice. But, if they are happy, then Iâ€™m happy.â€™â€™
Pedro Martinez will spend the day in Fort Lauderdale with his father, Paulino, who hasnâ€™t been feeling well.
“Iâ€™m spending the day with my dad,â€™â€™ Martinez said. “Thatâ€™s where I will be.â€™â€™