Meet the Mets
There were plenty of wonderful articles and tributes to Gary Carter on Friday, both around the internet, in print and even on the Empire State Building. The 'Ropolitans has a nice roundup of the Carter tributes written on Mets websites, while Big League Stew collected quotes from some national writers. Meanwhile, NY Magazine gives you five videos by which to remember the Kid and Fangraphs looks back at his three biggest regular season hits by Winning Probability Added (WPA). In tribute, the flags were at half mast at Digital Domain Park, while Citi Field had this up on the video board outside of the stadium all day.
There was some good news on the field in Port St. Lucie on Friday, as Johan Santana threw his first bullpen session of the spring and came away feeling "really good". In case you don't know who that is, Santana was the Mets ace a long, long time ago (okay, I'm only kidding). Johan threw around 25 pitches off a mound and as long as he recovers well from it, he is planning to throw another bullpen on Tuesday. SNY captured some video of Johan's session and then he spoke to the media afterwards. With him being sidelined for all of 2011, it's easy to forget how awesome Johan is. Here's hoping he recovers well and can get on the mound every 5th day. Of course, there has to be some doom and gloom, courtesy of Tim Kurkjian.
Every year there seems to be one prospect who really "wows" all of the reporters and coaches in spring training, and while camp has yet to officially start, it looks like top prospect Matt Harvey is the odds-on favorite to be that guy. Harvey threw a light bullpen session on Friday, which SNY has video of. The good thing here is that we'll get to see Harvey throw in spring games but at least we know this front office won't rush him--Wally Backman said that it's likely both Harvey and Jeurys Familia begin the season in Binghamton. Also from that piece, Paul DePodesta admitted that Wilmer Flores is going to play third base this season, with some shortstop still mixed in.
Ready for more legal news? The Mets filed legal papers late Thursday saying that the clawback lawsuit by Madoff trustee Irving Picard is built on shaky evidence and should be dismissed before the March 19th trial. Only a month until this thing begins, everybody.
Toby Hyde's prospect list moved on to its #12 prospect, 2B/SS Jordany Valdespin. Meanwhile, Patrick Flood asks you to pick one: Dillon Gee or Jeurys Familia? I still go with Familia but the case for Gee makes sense, especially if you think there's room for improvement, considering Gee's already a big leaguer. Patrick expands more on this idea in this week's Mostly Mets Podcast, along with Toby and Ted.
Around the Majors
Tim Wakefield announced his retirement on Friday, putting an end to a 19 year career of knuckleballing awesomeness at the age of 45. Over at Fangraphs, they've got a tribute to Wakefield's career. Of course, this means that our own R.A. Dickey is the only active knuckleballer in the major leagues. Dickey had this to say regarding his friend and mentor's retirement:
"(H)ad a roller coaster of a day emotionally today. First, my friend and one of my mentors, tim wakefield, retired from baseball today. i was hoping for one more year for him." "(I)t feels lonely already being the only knuckleballer out there."
The Pirates and Yankees finally agreed on a deal on Friday. A.J. Burnett will go to Pittsburgh along with $20 million from the Yankees, in exchange for reliever Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones, as long as Bud Selig signs off on it.
The A's are still going after Manny Ramirez and it looks like the A's may end up getting that mansion (instead of the condo) on a league minimum deal. HELLO HELLO MR BEANE?
In NL East news, Hanley Ramirez responded to a Dominican news article that was trying to paint him in a negative light. Meanwhile, the Braves have decided to rely on good ol' regression to the mean this season. I'm pretty sure we called that the "Omar Minaya Plan" from around 2007-2010. At least he had a plan and his plan, he liked his plan.
You thought the Marlins were the only embarrassing team in Florida, right? Well, suddenly a new contender has entered the ring. The Rays are ready to introduce their brand new mascot DJ Kitty, a life size, disc-spinning Cat with a backwards baseball cap and a cowbell around its neck. And to think that I actually admired the Rays organization for a few years there. Apparently, DJ Kitty is only new to the Tampa Bay fans in real-life form--he was a scoreboard gimmick the past few seasons:
Why Tampa Bay Rays, WHY?!