Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Training 2012 - Day 2

Day 2 - March 23, 2012 - No Game

That is correct. I had no game scheduled on Friday. The Mets were playing 2 hours away at Disney World, and I wasn't making the trip. So I went to the back fields where players not on the bus ride were working out (see photos here).

Basically, it was a small group. Wright, Davis, and Bay stretched and went into the empty stadium to hit. They came back out to the practice field later to run. Neither time did they even acknowledge the few fans that came out to see them work. The 4 starting pitchers that weren't involved in Friday's game (Santana, Dickey, Pelfrey, and Gee - Niese pitched in the game at Disney) did some throwing before moving over to field 7 (the one shaped like Citi Field) to take live bunting practice in a minor league game. I did get Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee's autographs after they got their throwing in. In these situations, much smaller crowds on non-game Day at the stadium/practice fields, the guys are much better about signing for the fans and taking pictures. There were a couple of relief pitchers, but I lost track of them after their light throwing.

One note about the minor league camp. For the most part, these kids appear to be all mixed together and split up among however-many of the 4 full practice fields playing in games. In the past, there were 3 different uniform shirts that the kids wore (Mets white, gray, and black, but not quite looking like the major league uniforms), each with a name and number on the back. Now, they're all in the new Mets blue BP jerseys with their name and number. Even if I could have made any distinction (if there even was one) based on the jersey, that's gone. But everyone and everything is in the new orange and blue, and it looks awesome.

Anyway, as each of the pitchers headed off the field back to the clubhouse (where there is a gate in the CF fence leading them behind another fence over to the clubhouse, so this is a popular path where they can avoid being very close to the fans), I tried and failed to get any autographs. But after waiting for Johan Santana to come out, which he did in the same way as the others, I saw him standing and talking to the lefty great Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax over by the OF fence of the main stadium. Koufax made his way on a golf cart over towards the minor league complex and the small crowd (maybe 5 of us) got him to stop and sign (but no pictures). He was pretty nice about it.

There really wasn't much more to see than that. The minor leaguers were still playing on the different fields. Mookie Wilson, now a roving instructor for the Mets, was watching one of the games and signing for a few fans. Frank Viola, also in the organization, was there too (but no autograph for me).

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