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Friday Applesauce

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Citi Field opening, a really awful start from Pelfrey, whispers of the Mets signing Sheffield, Roger Clemens being an a**, and Bobby V sells himself. Who says it's a quiet day before the season starts?

All Aboard the Citi Field Express

Be sure to set your Tivos or just be on the couch at 5:30 tonight as SNY begins their coverage of the first Major League exhibition game at Citi Field tonight. The actual game begins at 6:10 when the Mets will host the Red Sox. The Times Ben Shpigel caught up with a bunch of Met players to get their first impressions.

Yikes, this is not exactly what we wanted to see in Mike Pelfrey's last spring start.  The tall righthander gave up 8 runs in 4 innings on 10 hits against the Orioles yesterday. Despite that bombing, the Met bullpen shut down the O's the remainder of the way and allowed the Mets to come back and win 9-8 on a walkoff hit by Ramon Castro. Jerry Manuel started what is most likely to be the opening day lineup, every member of which besides Brian Schneider and Pelfrey produced at least one hit. Castro had homered earlier in the contest. Also of note, the new Met Ken Takahashi made his debut, pitching 2 scoreless innings in relief of Pelfrey, walking 3.

But, don't worry, The Daily Stache seems to have inside information that Pelfrey is going to be the reliable #2 starter the teams desperately needs. FYI, Pelfrey has given up 15 runs on 22 hits in his last 9 spring innings.

Citing an unnamed source with "close ties to the team", the Daily News is reporting that the Mets have discussed signing recently released outfielder Gary Sheffield. It seems to me that the paper is going out of its way to create a story here. Feel free to discuss the merits of such a signing, but it's not going to happen.

To cleanse our palette from the Sports Illustrated jinx, PECOTA and Baseball Prospectus have the Mets winning the division by 5 games this year.

Well, we have been complaining for a while that Citi Field is more a tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers than it is to the Mets. Here is the Met answer: garbage cans!

Boston media outlet NESN created a minor brouhaha with their April 1 article attacking Sports Illustrated's choice of the Mets as an April Fool's joke. The post inspired a few equally harsh reactions from New York bloggers like this from Mike Silva, and this from Mets Merized

Around the NL East

Mike Rizzo is trying to purge all thoughts of Jim Bowden from Nationals fans' minds by acting like a real GM.

Philadelphia is concerned about the number of innings put on Cole Hamels' arm last season. Another tid bit from the article: no National League team has repeated as World Series Champs since the Cincinnati Reds in 1976.

The Florida Marlin rotation looks to be locked in, with Anibel Sanchez and Andrew Miller as the team's 4th and 5th starters respectively. Miller will start in the team bullpen until he is needed in the rotation.

No big surprise, as Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young will begin the season on the 15 day DL with a huge a** hip and back strain.

Around MLB

Former and current Blue Jay manager Cito Gaston does not have a very high opinion of Roger Clemens

One thing I do respect in the Steinbrenner family is straight talk. Can you imagine Fred or Jeff Wilpon ever admitting this?

Add the Reds to the list of teams interested in Sheffield.

Wow, Murray Chass does not like Bobby Valentine AT ALL. Granted, Valentine is pretty self serving in the piece, but still. Can anyone say sour grapes?

Joe Carter is upset that his 1993 home run to win the World Series doesn't get enough attention. Toronto not a big enough baseball city?

The Rockies have named Huston Street as their closer over Manny Corpas.

Philadelphia News

Jamie Foxx was forced to take justice in his own hands as he fought off intruders to his Philadelphia hotel room. He is not holding any grudges against the city, however, as he gave a shout-out to the mayor.

 

Enjoy the game tonight and have a good weekend!