Let’s get to a few topics in this enjoyable 6-3 start for the Mets.
First, this weekend’s series. Taking two of three on the road is an awfully good thing to do, period. Doing it against a divisional opponent is even better. The Mets were getting to face the Phillies without Chase Utley or Ryan Howard, and they took advantage. They had to face Cliff Lee, and did so without David Wright, but won anyway. The only loss of the series came in a pitching matchup between Cole Hamels and Mike Pelfrey. Wins all around.
That said, the recurring problem of outfield defense is going to hurt this team. The rally that turned a 2-1 lead into an eventual 8-2 deficit started on a misplay from Lucas Duda in right field, and the back-breaking three-run double to left field was a catchable ball. Just not catchable by Scott Hairston, or had he been in there, Jason Bay. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, it should be noted, had the catch of the series on a ball deep into right-center field on Saturday. Really impressive.
To weigh in briefly on Wright’s return: let’s just hope he made the decision for the right reasons, and that he really can both heal and play effectively through the pain. The latter returns have been encouraging thus far, obviously. But the reason to get healthy in April is obvious: there are so many more games left to play. This isn’t football, or even the MLB playoffs. There’s a marathon ahead.
In case you missed it, the trustee for the Bernie Madoff victims, Irving Picard, reiterated in court filings released late Friday night what I’d reported to you last month: the settlement in the case against Fred Wilpon occurred because if Picard had won, Wilpon and his partners didn’t have the money to pay him, so there was no upside to going to trial. This obviously flies in the face of the concerted Mets PR campaign to persuade everyone that the finances are fine and the problems a thing of the past. But it bears remembering as you consider what the Mets can do going forward with Wilpon and his partners as owners.
The Mets face the Braves starting tonight, and Chipper Jones is back. Apparently, there was some manufactured controversy late last week about the Mets honoring Chipper Jones when he comes to town. Mark me down as believing this is a classy thing to do. What I do hope is that the Mets do the same for Jose Reyes when he visits next week. Reyes should have a video tribute. The Mets could pretend Reyes never played for the Mets, which would be silly. But both the Mets and Reyes made a business decision- why not treat him the way Dallas treated Tyson Chandler when he returned with the Knicks? This is an opportunity with only upside for the Mets, and hopefully they’ll take it.