Opening Day Photos- Redux

Now that I’m back from Florida I’m able to upload the higher resolution version of my photos. The hotel Internet connection just didn’t have the bandwidth to do that in a reasonable amount of time. Once again, here are my photos from March 31, 2008 at Dolphin Stadium.

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

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.

Packing My Bags For Florida

I’m on my way to Florida for the road opener in Miami. It’s amazing how easy it was to get field level seats. $28/each to sit right behind the Mets bullpen. If I get there early enough I’ll get to see Johan Santana warming up right in front of me!

I’ve been looking at the weather for Monday and it’s calling for the usual south Florida mix of sun/clouds/rain. It would be the ultimate disappointment to have opening day rained out. I’ll keep checking the weather websites for continual updates. At this point, I should probably even put them into my browser’s favorites.

It’s a far cry from getting seats to the opener at Shea Stadium. The Mets only offer that game as part of a seven game package at minimum. Certainly, the Florida Marlins team is a far cry from the Mets. I’m wondering, after Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, how many of their players that I’ll even recognize. There’s no more Dontrell Willis or Miguel Cabrera to see. The Marlins sent Cameron Maybain down to preserve another year without arbitration even though he’s one of the best young players in the organization. It’s a shady move, but I guess the Marlins have that luxury if they know they’re going nowhere this season.

I’ve never been to Dolphins Stadium before either. I’m thinking that it’s nothing special… The typical multi-purpose stadium built more for football than baseball. The Marlins have been talking about moving out of there for years. But I’m sure that it’s nicer than Shea Stadium. It’s only been in use since 1987. I’ll find out when I drive down Dan Marino Boulevard into the parking lot.

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The best part about seeing the opening day game: I’m guaranteed to see Johan Santana’s first game as a Met! Santana’s presence here could transform the franchise the way Mike Piazza did when he arrived in a trade with the Marlins ten years ago. The next six or more years will be remembered as the Johan Santana years without a doubt.

I’ll be sure to take some pictures and post them on the site as soon as possible. If anyone else will be in Miami this week give me a shout. I’d love to hear from you.

Baseball Analysts: 2008 NL East Rookie Preview

The Baseball Analysts have a good site if you’re into stat-heavy analysis. Today they published their 2008 NL East rookie preview. The Mets have no rookies that expect to get significant playing time this year, so there’s no Mets on the list. But there are some rookies that sound pretty good like Cameron Maybin in Florida (from the Tigers) and Carlos Carrasco in Philly.

Of Carrasco they wrote:

“As mentioned above, the need to hurry Carrasco has been lessened, but the likes of Benson and Adam Eaton won’t keep him down for long. Carrasco has been moved through the system aggressively and has responded well, although his numbers did dip noticeably in Double-A. The biggest warning sign was the increase in his walk ratio (5.89 BB/9). That obviously has to improve. Although Carrasco handles lefties almost as well as righties in terms of batting average allowed (.252 vs LH, .248 vs RH at Double-A), lefties are much more successful at getting on base and hitting the ball hard .855 OPS vs .690 OPS at Double-A), which is something the soon-to-be 21 year old will have to work on. If Carrasco can show improvements in the first half of 2008, don’t be surprise to see him recalled in July or August to add fuel to the Phillies’ playoff run.”

Camreron Maybin

Carlos Carrasco