The Box Of Chocolates Strikes Again Applesauce: Spring Training Fluff Pieces Galore, Mets Alumni Bobbleheads Announced, Sandy Speaks With Francesa

Sandy: "Note to self: buy everybody chocolates from now on."

Meet the Mets

That's right, everybody. Spring Training doesn't officially begin for another week but the pieces about players working in PSL are beginning to roll in. To start off, Daniel Murphy working on his defense at second base with Tim Teufel. Meanwhile, Johan Santana is preparing for his first test of the offseason: he will throw a light bullpen session off a mound on Friday.

Sandy Alderson had a busy Tuesday. In the morning, he tweeted:

"Wife was not happy with the gift card. Should’ve bought her a box of chocolates."

Well played, Sandy. Well played. Then, he got on the horn with Mike Francesa to talk about the state of the team headed into spring training. If you wanted to, you could probably categorize it as "spin" but I prefer to be positive going into spring training, so let's just call this the optimist's view of the team. Yes, that's it.

The Mets announced on Tuesday that to celebrate their 50th anniversary, they will feature team alumni in their bobblehead giveaways. I am personally glad to see the organization pay tribute to Edgardo Alfonzo, who is one of my favorite players on those late-90's/early 2000's teams. The team also officially announced the addition of Josh Lewin to the WFAN radio booth, in place of Wayne Hagin.

Will Bud Selig do what may be best for baseball and finally dispatch the Wilpons from the MLB owner's circle? Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal took a look into our team's situation and speculates on just how long Fred and Saul may have.

ESPN's Mark Simon took a statistical look at what is next for Andres Torres offensively. I know he's 33 and he's had just one full, above average offensive season in 2010 but I do think people are underrating him a bit.

Toby Hyde's Top 41 prospect countdown covered Not-a-SS Wilmer Flores at #17 and C Albert Cordero at #16. Flores dropped like a rock from last season's rankings due to a stagnant 2011 in St. Lucie, while Cordero likely represents the best and most well-rounded catching prospect currently in the organization. Oh--and just in case you were wondering, Matt den Dekker is not Grady Sizemore.

Patrick Flood is revisiting his 2014 Mets Power Rankings from a few weeks ago, giving his own Pre-Spring training rankings with detailed rundowns of each player who could play a role on a contending club.

For more on the prospects down on the farm, Fake Teams took a look at the Top 50 Dynasty League Prospects around the majors and both Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler made the cut. Finally, Rob Patterson at Mets Fever spoke with Adam Foster of Project Prospect about the Mets' young core of near major league ready pitching.

Around the Majors

Rays manager Joe Maddon has agreed to a three year extension with the club.

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from the inside of his right cheek on Tuesday. Best of luck to Gwynn and hopefully doctors were able to remove it all. As an aside, Tony Gwynn's Baseball Reference page is one of my personal favorites. The man struck out 15 times in 577 plate appearances in 1995 and hit .368/.404/.484. Okay, it's not 1941 Joe DiMaggio but it's still incredibly impressive.

The White Sox and outfielder Kosuke Fukudome agreed on a one year deal worth $500,000 in 2012. People say the Mets have had a rough offseason but did you know that Fukudome was the first major league free agent signing the White Sox made all offseason? How about that!

Bidders for the Dodgers' ownership are set to meet with the MLB ownership committee early next month. The committee features, among others, Mets owner Fred Wilpon. Or at least, at the time of this writing it does. We'll see where we are in a month. For Fred's sake, hopefully he isn't snakebitten, baby!

Chris Cwik at Fangraphs took a look at the best sliders of 2011. In case you didn't realize, Clayton Kershaw is flat out ridiculous.

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