The Eddie Kranepool Society

Thursday, March 02, 2006

W B C-YA LATER Major League baseball players are dropping out of the WBC faster than Dick Cheney�s hunting partners at a quail hunt, as the tournament gets under way tomorrow in Tokyo but two prominent Mets pitchers won�t be there. Manny Acta said today that Petey will not pitch for the D.R. and instead will stay in Mets camp and get ready for the season. Excellent choice. When the Mets gave Billy Wagner a contract similar to the national budget of a Latin American country I was a bit leery. I felt it was a lot of money for a closer when you could probably groom (Henry Owens) a homegrown pitcher or look around and buy low. But so far Wagner looks like he will be worth the money as his attitude is first rate. Wagner really wanted to play for Team America but he realized that he never has good springs and he really wanted to bond with his teammates and get himself comfortable in a new situation. Not many guys in toady�s pro sports put the team above themselves, so it is very refreshing to hear Wagner decline the invite to play in the WBC. WILLIE IS STILL NO KAZMAT FAN You would think that Kaz Matsui would have an edge in winning the 2nd base job now that Brett Boone has filed for his pension. That would be a false assumption. In fact, Willie Randolph seems he would rather active himself and play 2nd than see Matsui out there. According to Newsday, the Mets are looking for another candidate for the job: {With Tony Graffanino on the trading block in Boston, any slipups by Matsui could result in GM Omar Minaya pulling the trigger. The Mets asked the Red Sox about infielder Alex Cora during the off season, according to a major league official, but were told he was unavailable.} So now it�s a three man race between KazMat, Jeff Keppinger, and Anderson Hernandez. Keppinger has been hobbled by back spasms and could be just biding his time before he�s sent to minor league camp. AHern, if he can show some offense could be the choice of Willie Randolph as he loves his defense and has cracked a wide smile watching Hernandez working the double play with Jose Reyes. But it�s that $8mil owed to KazMat gives him the big edge here in keeping his job. Baring a deal for Graffanino, Vidro or Soriano, Matusi would have to make a ton of errors and hit like shit not to be in the opening day line up.,0,3116014.story?coll=ny-sports-print TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE OUR KIDS That was a slogan that Mets management used back in the late 70�s to sell tickets (it didn�t work well by the way) and they may be want to take it out of mothballs for this year or next. With David Wright and Jose Reyes entrenched in the infield hopefully for many years to come, there looks to be two more young studs on the horizon in Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfry. These two seem to be the talk of camp, with Milledge going 3 for 3 one of the hits was a triple that Milledge rounded the base without breathing hard at all. Randolph has raved about his �quick hands� and his maturity. Pelfry, with Omar, Jeffy, Willie, Uncle Saul Katz and other management types crowding the backstop to watch in awe, put on a performance that had the front office drooling about what could be come June or July when instead of paying through the nose for a solid starting pitcher, Pelfry could fit the bill. Yes I know that Milledge and Pelfry may be the only major league ready players on the farm but if Milledge and Pelfry make the contributions we all think they can, added to Wright and Reyes that�s a very good young core. In fact it could be the best young core in the game. Then you look at the solid veterans on this team who seem to be genuinely concerned with the welfare and growth of these young guys, it seems to me the phrase �Same old Mets� can be buried for good.,0,1371792.story?coll=ny-sports-print < |