3/15/2005 11:14:00 PM
�YOU HAVE REACHED THE METS CRISIS HOTLINE�
ITEM: TRACHSEL LOOKING AT STINT ON THE DL
Yep, it�s never easy being a Mets fan. Just as we were getting giddy over Camp Randolph and having images of ticker tape parades,an MRI has revealed that Steve Trachsel has a buldging disk in his back. He was sent to Los Angeles to see a back specialist who will make the determination if Trachsel needs back surgery or just rest and rehab. In the meantime, Omar and Randolph will have to find a pitcher to fill the 5th spot in the rotation. In a bold move Yusmeiro Petit has been recalled from minor league camp to start today�s game against the Indians. Meanwhile Alay Soler remains a man without a country, as his visa trouble may have cost him a shot at the 5th spot. You would think a man of Freddy Skill Sets statute would have some friends in high places to help Soler get his visa and join the Mets.
ITEM: RAIN DROPS KEEP FALLING ON PETEY�S HEAD
More pitching concerns as Petey can�t catch a break with the shity Florida weather, as he has now lost two consecutive starts due to rain. Look for Petey to pitch out of the pen in Wednesday game, as he needs to get his work in for his April 4th unveiling.
ITEM: PIAZZA�S SWAN SONG?
Newsday has a two page spread on Mike Piazza and how it looks like this is final season as a Met. Piazza is the lone Mets everyday player left form the 2000 NL Champs. He is also a man without buddies in the clubhouse as well:
[Long gone are Piazza's old Subway Series teammates such as Todd Zeile and Robin Ventura. This is his first Mets camp without old pals John Franco and Al Leiter, too (they were the only former or current Mets that Piazza invited to his recent wedding).
When asked which players Piazza is close to on the team now, one Mets insider thinks for a long moment, then arches his eyebrows and says: "Nobody."]
ITEM: WHY ARE ICE WILLIAMS AND JOE MCWILPON STILL GETTING AT BATS?
That is one of the question the Kevin Czerwinski addresses in his mailbag feature:
I[s Eric Valent going to make this team? It seems almost ludicrous if he
doesn't after his performance last year, but Kerry Robinson seems to be
having a very good spring, and it concerns me that the new Mets management
might undervalue Valent. -- Tom G., Northport, N.Y.
Predicting this battle for the backup outfield is difficult. Eric Valent is
the incumbent and certainly deserves the edge because of the year he put
together in 2004. Valent came in and hung on every day during the spring,
surviving cut after cut to find himself in Atlanta when the Mets opened the
season. So, he has shown that he has staying power, shown that he can handle
New York, and shown that he is a vital part of the bench. Management seems
to be giving him every chance, and he is playing well, as is Kerry Robinson,
who has been a pleasant surprise thus far in camp. What should be more
concerning is the amount of at-bats Gerald Williams continues to get, taking
time away from Valent, Robinson, Victor Diaz, Ron Calloway, etc]
I don�t get it. There is no way I hell that either Williams or McWilpon are making this team so why do they both get playing time?
[Do you think the Mets will ultimately trade Mike Cameron and give Victor
Diaz a shot? Or could they acquire an outfielder like Adam Dunn or Wily Mo
Pena. -- Mike H., Brooklyn, N.Y.
I get so much mail asking about Mike Cameron and whether he wants to be
traded. Cameron is the Mets' right fielder. There are always going to be
rumors, but that's all they are at this point -- rumors. Cameron is coming
back from wrist surgery and is doing well. He's popular in the clubhouse,
popular with the media and will make a heck of a right fielder. Plus, with
his power and speed, he'll be of great benefit to the back end of the
batting order. And last week he told the Mets he doesn't want to be traded,
so let that be the end of the Cameron getting traded questions]
If Trachsel is incapacitated for a period of time and Petit does not make the big league roster then either Cameron or Cliff Floyd will go back on the auction block. Either one should be able to bring back a 4th or 5th starter.
ITEM: MAKE MINE MIENKY
NY Times male model Jack Curry, shows some love to Douggie M and the importance of the first baseman in baseball. The first baseman is the most under appreciated player on the field. Everyone thinks it�s such an easy position to play, that it take no athleticism to master, that anyone can play the spot, HA! What do the critics know? Oh yes by the way I was a first baseman during my undistinguished baseball career.
ITEM: IS THERE A MIDDLE RELEIVER IN THE HOUSE?
It is fascinating how the role of the relief pitcher has evolved over the last 20 years or so. Relievers were always pitchers not good enough to be starters. They either had one or two pitches or the lacked the stamina to throw a lot of innings or they were just ineffective throwers. Now, relievers have become specialists just like doctors. What are your symptoms? It�s the third inning and my starter has nothing at all. Please see Dr. Longman. It�s the sixth inning and I�m down two runs but I have a couple of runners on base and the pitcher spot is up so should I pinch hit? Yes, by all means and then contact Dr. Bridgeman. I have a one run lead in the eighth inning but I don�t feel very secure? Call Dr. Setupman. I have a 3 run lead in the ninth inning and I want to get this game over with and get a win? Ah, now you need Dr. Closer to finish up what the other good doctors have started.
The Mets season could hinge on the ability of these �good doctors�.
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