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The Daily Stache

Spring Has Sprung! At Least in Port St. Lucie

You know, baseball is a lot like life.  You go to work, collaborate with a bunch of other people towards a common goal, your paycheck (or lack thereof) is controlled by someone else, sometimes there are people there to cheer you on, and more times blogger-image-756017995than not you end up striking out.

But when it comes down to it, baseball, like life, is an individual sport.  You’re judged on your accomplishments and failures, how “far” you got with successes or how many times you failed in a clutch spot.

What’s the point to this, I hear you ask?

Well, consider our Mets.  Last year in the midst of their post-All Star break collapse, I noted to myself that they actually DO have all the tools to get the job done.

They had pitching, they had hitting, they had fielding.  The problem was they couldn’t do it all at the same time.  I thought if only they, as individuals, could all get on the same page at the same time, they just might have something.  We KNOW they can do it…we saw it in the first half of last year.

Which brings us to now.  That marvelous time of year where last year is forgotten and all hopes are renewed yet again…Spring Training.

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Terry Collins plays catch with Kirk Nieuwenhuis (photo courtesy of Michael Baron)

Now, I personally have football and hockey to tide me over during the baseball off-season, but I know many that don’t, and as a result, this may as well be Christmas in February.  Considering the weather we’ve had, it very well could be.

Even our Mets seem to think so.  David is back with a new contract that will keep him the face of the Mets for his entire career (we hope), and he seems more eager than ever to right the ship.

According to skipper Terry Collins, the two play golf together and are always talking about ideas for the team and what they want to see accomplished.

Ruben Tejada worked out with old friend Jose Reyes during the off-season, and even showed to up ON TIME this year!  Way to go, Ruben.

Kirk “Thor” Nieuwenhuis is back from his foot injury and is chomping at the bit to prove himself once again.  They’ve added some new faces in the bullpen, and even though R.A. Dickey is gone (still bitter over that), Shawn Marcum has arrived.

Newcomer Collin Cowgill says he is eager to prove his critics wrong as well, and will be most likely platooning with Nieuwenhuis in center field.

Terry Collins said he already sees improvement in Daniel Murphy, and that Zack Wheeler is already looking great and will most likely be the top pitcher in AAA this year.

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New Mets catcher and top prospect Travis d’Arnaud. Looks good in blue and orange! (photo courtesy of Michael Baron)

Top prospect Travis d’Arnaud, acquired by the Mets as part of the deal for Dickey, will play if he is deemed ready, says Collins.  He sat down one on one with Ike Davis and told him this is HIS year to really break out.  Same with Lucas Duda.

Throw in the continued growth of Matt Harvey, and the future looks bright once again…we can only hope.

I must say I find it very comforting to see that most of the Mets have shown up early to training camp.  It shows they they really want to get a jump on things and are eager to get to work.

I also love to see TC throwing batting practice to the guys.  I always loved watching Ron Washington do that with his Texas Rangers and I’m happy to see Terry doing it here.  Maybe it’s just me, but it shows real bonding between manager and players.

So even though many of us were under three feet of snow, spring has officially arrived in Port St. Lucie, as we once again relish in that beautiful sound of a bat hitting a ball, the smell of glove leather, the perfect green grass and the sight of players sliding on baseball dirt.

So no matter how you feel about the off-season moves, the potential for the upcoming year, or just the team in general, I think there’s something we can all agree on and be happy about…

Baseball is back.

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