Several New York newspaper reporters are in Port St. Lucie as the players begin to flock into camp. Many of these reporters, as they do each year, are maintaining a Spring Training blog to keep fans updated.
One of the main reasons why I love Spring Training more than any other time in baseball is because the players are so laid-back, which leads them to do silly, funny things.
This morning, pitcher Mike Pelfrey came onto the field with a helmet on, which immediately caught the attention of each reporter. After reporters wondered whether Pelfrey lost a bet, etc., since Spring Training can be full of jokes at times, it turned out that Pelfrey wore it because he crashed a golf cart yesterday and flipped it. Interesting.
Ben Sphigel reported today that Jon Niese and Tim Redding, who will both be fighting for the number five spot in the Mets 2009 rotation, drove 20 hours from the Midwest to Port St. Lucie, and arrived this morning.
Sphigel also added:
“Another Mets pitcher, J.J. Putz, has been throwing for a few weeks, and he had his first session this morning with his new catcher, Brian Schneider. With the pitching coach Dan Warthen watching, Putz threw about 40 pitches, including a few that had some of the nastiest spin I’ve ever seen. The bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello was kneeling a few steps away from Schneider, and he said it was a splitter — “a really, really good one.”
These reporters will be updating their blogs throughout the course of Spring Training. We’ll see what crazy things Jose Reyes or Ramon Castro will be giving these guys to write about. It should be fun to watch.
By the way, I’ll be at camp for the Mets Spring Training home opener on Feb. 26, along with the following day, the 27th against the Marlins, in Port St. Lucie. I’ll be covering for Baseball Youth, where I’ll be interviewing players and posting the transcripts, along with photos, on MattTracy.com. Be sure to check this site when the time rolls around.