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Wednesday Applesauce

So, silly question, does Mike Francesa want to give credit to Derek Jeter for last night's USA victory? Or maybe Shane Victorino/Jimmy Rollins? Oh, that's right, it was our own unclutch player who won the game for the US. 

Around Port St. Lucie

Not much game action in Port St. Lucie yesterday, besides a simulated 4 inning performance by Johan Santana in which he gave up 2 "runs" and giving the umpires a hard time. Santana continues to be on target for his opening day start. The rest of the team was at Lake Buena Vista to lose to the Braves 5-1. Jon Niese had his best outing of the spring, keeping himself in contention for the fifth starter spot, while Daniel Murphy had 3 hits and Ryan Church hit a solo home run.

The Mets return to Port St. Lucie today for another shot at Atlanta. Livan Hernandez and Freddy Garcia are both scheduled to pitch for the Mets while top prospect Tommy Hanson is going for the Braves.

While the Mets' play this Spring Training has been lackluster record wise, we can take hope in their top players' strong performances during the World Baseball Classic. Now hurry up and lose and get back to camp. All of you.

Amazin' Avenue's own fearless leader Eric Simon gives a quick primer on the likely faces in the opening day bullpen. It certainly looks like a vast improvement over last year. 

The Orioles have rejected Rocky Cherry's return to their team, so it looks like the Mets will get to negotiate a new contract for the reliever.

MetsMerized throws some water on our love for Mike Pelfrey. This argument seems to overrely on the K/9 inning statistic while ignoring actually watching Pelfrey's starts. The guy doesn't give up home runs and is starting to improve his control. I'm significantly more comfortable with him than is rational. That being said, I'm not drafting him in fantasy.

The New Yorker gives a great feature story on New York's two new baseball stadiums. The writer also offers up an all-too-fair criticism of the Mets' embrace of New York's National League heritage to replace their own uniqueness.

Oh yeah, and Oliver Perez threw 85 pitches in Mexico's last game.

Around the NL East

Here's a pretty good description of a simulated Ricky Nolasco start. He has a chance to be a really good fantasy sleeper. I might be way late on him though; he has probably moved way past sleeper status.

Braves' outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. Garret Anderson is confident that he will be ready for opening day.

Impressive second year pitcher John Lannan will make the opening day start for the Nationals.

The Phillies received good news as Cole Hamels returns to camp healthy. Hamels, however, will probably miss opening day.

Around MLB

The Astros are 1-14-3. That's awesome.

Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman strained a muscle in yesterday's 5-1 win over Kansas City. Possible replacements on the Brewer roster include David Riske, Todd Coffey, and Jorge Julio (holding back my snickering). 

Looks like Andruw Jones will not make the Rangers and will be released.

Pedro's going to sign with the Astros.

Or not.

The Baseball Hall of Fame proves once again that it's the best in sports.

And finally, here's some fallout from Lenny Dykstra's awful GQ interview. Is that a Twizzler in his mouth?