I'm halfway home. I don't like that direction, but the trip is half over.
Game 7 - Braves vs Mets @ Port St. Lucie
Today saw me checking out of my hotel in Vero Beach - more on my destination in a bit - and heading down for early workouts in Port St. Lucie. Today, in that sense, was a good day. No delays opening up, no real delays in players coming out to start their day. After stretching and throwing, the group split up to do situational drills with minor leaguers playing defense on one field, pitcher fielding practice on another field, and I think they split up again from there. Full access to watch that and the minor league groups on the different fields. Security was even 20 minutes late kicking us out of the back fields. While there, Wally Backman was the only known autograph signing. It took some good eyes on my part and a recent photo on another fan's part to catch this one.
In the stadium, the Mets were finishing up BP, and then hiding inside. That's the usual game. By the dugout, it was a decent place to wait for autographs. Luis Castillo, Pedro Feliciano, and of course, Nelson Figueroa were signing. Nelson, who I can't say enough about him being a great guy in this respect, had a good reason not to sign for me. He saw his autograph (from last Friday) on the adjacent page in my program. I was a bit disappointed, but I already have a Spring Training program with his autograph on 2 different pages, in 2 different colors, from 2 different games, in the same program, from another season (I forget if it was 2008 or 2009). I didn't notice anyone else signing.
I've described the time on the practice fields, BP, and before the game as a "craps shoot" as far as seeing action and getting autographs at the former Tradition Field. Pitching today was "Mr. Craps Shoot", Oliver Perez. Watching him today, I am thinking this should be the plan for what he pitches. Pray for 5 innings. He hasn't imploded in 2 games I've seen him pitch in. Let him go 5 innings. 6 if he can. He lasted into the 5th today. So if he doesn't implode, he keeps the Mets in the game, even if they're losing, then let the bullpen hold the defecit, and the late inning offense will bail him out. It's worked the last 2 times he pitched.
Jeff Francoeur is the team's MVP. I like his work ethic. He's been "the big name" on the long road trips each of the past few days. He's playing hard, hitting the ball, signing autographs, and throwing runners out from RF. He's also not coming out of all of these games as early as the others have been. The only thing I don't like is that it makes the trade to get him look good on Omar's resume.
There was a 3B and C for Atlanta, I think minor leaguers, that should be sent down after making some mental and physical errors in like the 7th or 8th inning helping the Mets tie the game. The Mets also showed great hustle on those plays.
Mets win, and I'm writing this from a hotel outside Disney World. I'll be away from the Mets watching baseball games in what I call the Grapefruit's Northern Division for the next 3 days before heading back to Port St. Lucie for the weekend.
Leave a comment or drop me a line at DyHrdMET [at] gmail [dot] com.
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