Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Training Trip 2010 - Day 5

For these Spring Training posts, I am underlining the names of autographs that I get each day.

Game 6 - Mets vs Nationals @ Viera
Up to Viera to Meet the Mets. It was more like the bench Mets and AAA Mets. Jeff Francoeur seems like the good guy who makes the road trips when the others don't (pitchers aside, since Mike Pelfrey had his name called today). But I've gotten to see a lot of what's to come when the regulars get hurt, and I don't like it (Mets are 1-3 in my presence this spring).

Space Coast Stadium in Viera has a good autograph well on the outfield side of each dugout. Fans come in and crowd that area, and it's just about the only place player will sign (I found out later that the visitor's bullpen in LF is just protected by a chain link fence). And fans wait for the players to do their work during BP. And it's there where fans wait for the players to come back out to play. A few of the players were signing down by the dugout end of that pit. Of course I was on the other end of that pit. Shawn Riggans came down there (the mysterious number 73 from yesterday), but I passed because I got him yesterday. Angel Pagan was on the other end. Bobby Parnell made his way down (and I don't have an autograph from him this season). Jerry Manuel set up on a stool on the other end. It seemed like he was doing his duty (I think this goes along with the players' attitude towards signing autographs before a game that's been a theme in my posts and comments).

I did see a few St. Lucie regulars standing over by the Nationals dugout. I had also seen former Mets Manager Davey Johnson riding up to the stadium on a golf cart, so I knew he was in the building and in uniform. I knew that's why they were there, and I knew that's why I was moving over there after my Mets autograph time. They showed me exactly where to go, said to call his name, and he'd come over and sign. And that's exactly what happened. Quite an addition to my scattered collection of 1986 Mets autographs.

For the game, Mike Pelfrey pitched, and Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Willingham each hit solo and two-run home runs for the Nats. That was pretty much the story. The Mets fought back late in the game, thanks in part to some Nationals errors, but the Mets lost again. To be fair to Big Pelf, the wind was blowing very hard to left field, and all 4 homers blew to the exact same spot. It doesn't hurt the pitches themselves, but it did seem to hurt the outfielder's chances of making a play.

One other note - I did see Nick Evans taking some grounders at third base during BP. Fernando Tatis started the game at third, but Evans was getting some work there. Maybe the Mets are seeing if they can keep him on the roster as a pinch hitter and backup 3B over Tatis considering a backup 3B wouldn't play much defense behind the Should-be Captain. I'm almost 2 weeks behind reading most fan blogs and the beat writer's blogs to know if this is a topic already covered. I did make a comment on another blog on this very topic last night.

Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com.
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