Houston, We Have A Problem!

Pedro Martinez waves goodbye after signing some autographsImage from WikipediaPedro Martinez left the game after 3.1 uninspiring innings with a left hamstring injury tonight. The game is still in progress right now, tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning. Read the full story at MLB.com.

If this is anything more than a minor injury it’ll be a two-pronged problem:

  1. The Mets are counting on him for a season over .500 with approximately 25 starts
  2. Martinez needs to have a decent season if he’s going to get a multi-year contract next season when he’ll be 37 years old

On Deck: April 1, 2008

Mets at Marlins 7:10pm TV: SNY Pedro Martinez vs. Rick VandenHurk

It’s early but the Mets have to keep pace with the Nationals already. It’ll be interesting to see what Pedro has left in the tank this year. He’ll be pivotal to the Mets season this year. They need him to be well over .500 to have a successful season.

Roster Moves: Down to 25 Players

New York Mets pitcher Michael Pelfrey before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.Image from Wikipedia

Updated: March 31, 2008

Here’s a breakdown of the moves that the Mets made today to get down to 25:

  1. Raul Casanova made the major league team
  2. Brady Clark made the major league team- he also changed his number to 44
  3. Ramon Castro was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21
  4. Duaner Sanchez was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27
  5. Orlando Hernandez was placed on the 15 day disabled list retroactive to March 29
  6. Brian Stokes was designated for assignment
  7. Fernando Tatis was sent to minor league camp for reassignment
  8. Ricardo Rincon was sent to minor league camp for reassignment
  9. Nelson Figueroa was sent to minor league camp for reassignment

Mike Pelfrey gets the fifth starter spot but they won’t need him until April 12th. I would guess that he’ll get some long work in the bullpen until then to see if he can establish some consistency before they need a fifth starter. El Duque could even be back to make that start if Pelfrey continues his shaky performances from the spring.

I’m glad that Fernando Tatis didn’t make the team. I just don’t see that he adds value especially after losing Ruben Gotay. I really liked Gotay and thought he could make a contribution. He’s going to come back to bite the Mets with a big hit at some point this season.

Hall of Fame Plaques in Memphis Today

The National Baseball Hall of Fame brought Jackie Robinson’s and Larry Doby’s plaques from Cooperstown to Memphis today for the Civil Rights Game.

Fans were allowed to view the plaques of the two players that broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. From MLB.com:

“Our hope is that a fan will come and realize that Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson weren’t just fictitious historical creations,” Hall of Fame spokesman Brad Horn said. “That they are indeed men who, in spite of the challenges they faced, excelled. Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson are not in the Hall of Fame because they were pioneers. They’re in the Hall of Fame because they were exceptional baseball talents, and that baseball talent was only brought to life because they were given the chance.”

The Hall has only allowed Roberto Clemente’s plaque to go to Puerto Rico, Juan Marichal’s to the Dominican Republic, and Ted Williams to Fenway Park after he died. It’s a very special event for plaques to leave the Hall.

“It’s very rare in general to have a plaque leave Cooperstown,” Horn said, “primarily because when a visitor comes to the museum, we want them to feel that they’ve seen the entire experience. But this is such a historic opportunity for us to educate fans here in Memphis, fans of the game, about their contributions on the baseball field.”

I saw most of the game on ESPN today and there appeared to be a good number of Mets fans there. Major League Baseball is thinking about moving the game around to different cities in future seasons and possibly making a regular season game the Civil Rights Game. I think both are great ideas.

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Post Game: Mets 3 White Sox 2

John Maine looked good again today. Carlos Beltran had a big two-run homer.More importantly, Major League Baseball and ESPN did a great job presenting the Civil Rights Game. I really hope that baseball can turn things around in the African-American community and start attracting the best athletes in that community to the game again.

I read a good story from CBS News about the Nationals new stadium being located in a predominantly lower class African- American neighborhood. It’s worth a read.

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