Getting there so early I was able to see most of the players arrive in their vehicles of choice, and R.A. Dickey had the most original mode of transportation: a bicycle. I will definitely root for anyone that shows up to work on a bicycle and throws a knuckleball.
Michael Baron of Metsblog got the 100 or so fans going with the 1st "Let's Go Mets" chant of the year around 9:30.
As many of you guys know, I love taking pictures, and I estimated today that I had 700+ pictures of the festivities. HOWEVER, I had trouble with my camera and 3/4+ of the pictures were deleted. So today's pictures today will be very limited, (I will make up for it tomorrow AND make sure I don't delete any of it), but if you are looking for more pictures of today, check out this awesome gallary: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelgbaron/sets/72157623351069175/
Some thoughts from today:
- Everyone was smiling and signing autographs (as they should, it's day 1)
- Ollie P. looks so much more flexible and in control. I know people will doubt all the work he put in this winter etc., but after seeing him today, I believe. My expectations could be 15 wins, around 4.00 ERA from Perez.
- It was great to see Fred Wilpon today, and no sign of Jeff Wilpon...
- One part that I was disappointed with was that the bullpens were closed off from the public, but overall the access to the fields/players were great.
- K Escobar is definitely behind the other pitchers. He didn't extend past 60 feet, and was "tossing" with a member of the training staff, not another pitcher.
- Figgy (Nelson) long tossed the longest of the pitchers, but no one seemed really concerned about "airing it out" today.
- Mejia (the Mets #1 prospect) looked very young/inexperienced during PFPs (pitchers fielding position), throwing away numerous bunts to 1st and 2nd base, as well as looking lost trying to put a bunt down. Thank goodness he's young.
- Both Omar Miyana and Jerry Manuel were very friendly with the fans. Omar, when I asked about Rod Barajas, said he had yet to hear from him, (now we know he has signed with the Mets). I gave Jerry a fist bump and told him to "keep it gangsta" and he turned around and smiled.
- 12:50 or so the position players that were at camp, jogged onto the field and had some fielding practice, followed by a short BP. The infielder group was highlighted by the presence of Jose Reyes, D Murphy, M Jacobs, and C Carter (I'm missing one person from that group). Jeff Frenchy was on another field with the outfielders. The regulars that were not present: J Bay, L Castillo, D Wright (had a promo to do according to Jeff F.), and C Beltran (recovering from knee surgery). Position players are not required to be there yet, but a lot of the regulars are already here obviously.
- Seeing Reyes having fun (playing catch with his shirt out, without a hat etc), was a delight to see.
- Mike Jacobs definitely has pure power, and hit multiple bombs today. That follows the scouting report, just hopefully he makes contact more and strikes out less. One interesting thing was that he was warming up throwing with Jose; I know a lot of people feel there is no way Jacobs goes to AAA with the Mets, and after today, I am tending to agree.
- D Murph keeps hitting line drives and I love watching him work. He also signed probably for 100+ people after the workout.
- C Carter (traded from Boston in Billy Wagner trade), had more power than I realized, and hit multiple HRs in BP. I understand it's BP, but again, I thought he was more of a doubles hitter vs a power hitter.
- While signing autographs for the fans, Frenchy said "sure" when one fan asked if we could expect 30 HRs from him this year. I'll take the under, but I did grow to appreciate Jeff's attitude and passion for the game after watching him up close today. He seems very happy to be getting a new start in NY and very happy here. He was going to play golf with D Wright this afternoon. I will try to let you guys know who won tomorrow.
I will be posting a few pictures, and a video of Jose fielding ground balls in a little bit.
Final thoughts: I'm very excited for the upcoming season, and hopeful/expecting the Mets to outperform the national expectations this year.
LET'S GO METS!
PS. Be sure to check out the video of Jose Reyes fielding and the post titled a few select pictures from yesterday's workout also. These can be found on the home page or the upper right hand side where all the blog posts are listed. Enjoy