I was able to catch up with Moises Alou during a Mets batting practice session on a back field yesterday in Port St Lucie, and he sounds excited. I took this photo seconds before the first pitch of the Spring Training game against the Braves, as Alou warmed up. The pictures of the interview are on a different camera, and I’ll have them up once I get back to New York.
After setting a record for the longest hitting streak of a person over 40 years of age, which set a franchise record and also was the longest streak in MLB since 2006, Mets LF Moises Alou scratches his head thinking of what else he could have done to help a team that couldn’t win in September. Of course you could say woulda, shoulda, coulda all day long, but it’s much simpler to just focus on the task at hand.
“That happened last year and you just have to be positive about it,” said the 41-year-old 0utfielder. “You just have to work harder to have a better season.”
Moises Alou is one of Horse-Racing’s biggest fans. He even has his own collection of horses back at home, several of whom were named after MLB players. Other than working hard to prepare for the next season, working with his horses is probably something he did during a tough off-season to get the collapse off his mind and instead look forward to the future… until of course a huge move was made by the Mets Front Office. They were able to acquire arguably baseball’s best pitcher, Johan Santana, for only a few talented prospects, while at the same time were able to keep other prospects that were rumored to be shipped away, like Mike Pelfrey.
“When you have a pitcher of Santana’s caliber, it really gives you a lot of confidence into the season.”
The confidence is huge. Even though had the Mets finished to their potential last September, they would have won the division, the players were not only shocked at what happened, but worried that they were not a powerhouse anymore. And besides, just look at the Phillies, not a powerhouse by any means, but the confidence they have now after winning the NL East last season looks pretty high.
“I think before the Santana trade, we felt like we had a very good team. We just have to stay stronger throughout the season, we have to stay injury-free, hopefully catch some breaks, and with the talent that we have, we should go all the way.”
The deal for the lefty Santana looked real nice when it happened, and it has only looked better ever since. He reported to camp early, there are no problems, and schedule-wise, he is right on track.
Every team in the NL East is excited. The Phillies just won the division, the Braves have a great rotation, and the Nationals and Marlins were able to prove their potential against the Mets in the last week of 2007. Alou says the Phillies and Braves look to the be Mets’ biggest worry, but if the Mets focus on their own work, they should be fine.
“The Philles are the defending champions,” said Alou. “They have a good closer in Brad Lidge. Atlanta is always a good team. They know how to win, and they play well. I think with the team that we have, we shouldn’t worry about it, we should just worry about ourselves.”
Like Moises said, as long as this team stays healthy, they should be fine. They had some serious bumps and bruises last year that kept the team apart at times, especially in the starting rotation, but this year everything seems fine, although it is only spring training.