Mets owner Fred Wilpon gave his annual state of the team press conference on the first day of full squad workouts today. It was more of the same spin that we’ve heard in recent years from Fred about the team’s woeful financial situation. Although he did attempt to deflect the reason for the team’s $52 million payroll reduction to Sandy Alderson’s philosophy. That was so laughable that he later admitted that Alderson had a set payroll that he had to work within.
The highlights of the press conference were:
The Wilpons don’t intend to give up control of the team, if possible
The team has sold 7 shares of ownership although all but one were bought by entities with connections to the team already
He admitted that the Madoff lawsuit was having an effect on team finances contrary to his prior statements on the topic
He’s excited about the group of young players on the team
There isn’t much new there that we didn’t already know. Wilpon has been in near seclusion as the team has sunk deeper into the financial abyss. He typically leaves Alderson or his son, Jeff, to deal with the tough questions from the media. So today was a rare opportunity to hear the state of affairs directly from the horses mouth.
The Mets arrived at Port St. Lucie today to some silly Underdog t-shirts that Jeff Wilpon had made. Apparently, it’s a misguided attempt to motivate the players with an “us against the world” mentality. It’s extremely childish for a guy that considers himself an “executive”.
Here’s a pic of the t-shirts. What do you think? Would that make you motivated?
The Mets had Johan Santana back in the bullpen again today for 73 pitches. He looked good as you can see by the video below and, presumably, he felt good too. The best news is that he’s throwing regularly. This is his third session since getting to PSL. And he just threw in the bullpen on Thursday.
The plan is for Santana to start a game a week from Tuesday. But pitching coach Dan Warthen thought that Santana needed to make some adjustments after today’s session. He told the media that Santana needs to straighten up to pitch on more of a downward plane.
Here’s some video from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on Johan Santana’s comeback from shoulder surgery. Santana threw another bullpen session today and he’s scheduled for another on Thursday, if he feels good.
Today Terry Collins made some comments to the media that he’s hopeful that Santana could be ready for opening day. That would be quite a surprise to everyone. I’d expect to see him around mid-season. It remains to be seen what he’s got left in that shoulder when he does come back though.
Notice the comment by Karl Ravech in the video about people joking that the Mets could lose 100 games this season. Ouch…
David Wright talked to Fox Sports from Port St. Lucie about getting to Florida early and working out with the young guys on the team. It’ll be a shame if the Mets have to let him go at some point in the near future like Jose Reyes. Wright is always so professional with the media and always says the right things. He’s pretty positive even in the face of adversity, maybe to a fault.
I feel like a rebound season is on the horizon for Wright. I think he’ll be the one guy that exceeds expectations this season. I’m not basing that on anything other than a gut feeling and the fact that Wright is starting to come up on the biggest free agent opportunity that he’ll have in his career in the next year or two depending on how the 2013 option plays out.
The Mets pitchers and catchers have to report to Port St. Lucie by tomorrow and have their physicals on Tuesday. There isn’t a lot of intrigue this year given the team’s dire financial situation. But the one pitcher that everyone will be keeping an eye on is Johan Santana. He missed all of last season recovering from surgery on his left shoulder and there are still major questions about when he can come back. And there are even bigger questions about how effective he’ll be when he does come back. The good news is that Santana only has two years left on his deal with the Mets plus a team option for 2014. I never thought that I’d be counting down the days until Santana’s contract ended.
There are some new faces in the bullpen this year. Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Frank Francisco will be the newly acquired back of the bullpen. Tim Byrdak will be back as the lefty specialist. D.J. Carrasco might find himself back in the minors again if he can’t keep it together. Carrasco might be pitching along side Pedro Beato at Buffalo this season. Beato started hot last season but ended dreadfully. He’s available to send back to the minors now that the Mets got past his Rule 5 season. Continue reading “2012 Mets Pitchers and Catchers Reporting Date”
Johan Santana got back to the mound today and threw 25 pitches in Port St. Lucie. As you know, he’s rehabbing from a serious left shoulder surgery and missed all of 2011. He looks like he’s in good shape, as you’d expect from him, and it sounds like he’s encouraged about the bullpen session today with Josh Thole.
Personally, I’m hoping that he can pitch a solid half season this year. Anything more than that will be gravy.
Check out the video below when he spoke reporters after the bullpen session.