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Exhibition Season Applesauce - Mets open against Braves, GMJ as leadoff hitter, Castillo mentors Bonifacio

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Exhibition baseball has finally arrived and while I can certainly take some amount of joy from Jose Reyes hitting a triple or pencil March 9th on my calendar for Santana's first start, I should always remember how little the whole thing matters.

And, we can always talk about Jeff Francoeur. For instance, how long will it take before the straight-talking all smiles act wears off? Probably until more people start thinking like Patrick Flood.

Or how Gary Matthews wants to be the Met leadoff hitter.

Yes, there is plenty to talk about during Spring Training, even if the games don't actually matter. Like this tabloid fodder story about Luis Castillo mentoring the Marlins' Emilio Bonifacio.

We can also evaluate Josh Thole's improper catching stance. And Jonathan Niese's importance for the 2010 pitching staff.

I watched this clip this morning with a huge smile on my face. I actually missed the game live, so it gave me an extra measure of enjoyment.

More clippage: Joe Beimel awesomeness.

With Kelvim Escobar becoming an even bigger question mark going into the season, wouldn't it be nice to have Billy Wagner back?

Seattle beat reporter Larry Stone has a pretty decent Jason Bay piece.

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Of course, Wagner is off in Atlanta becoming the Braves' outspoken leader.

There are two players who I absolutely want to see in a Met uniform: Nyjer Morgan and Jason Heyward. I can dream, can't I?

Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop could hold a discussion about John Meynard Keynes.

Rocco Baldelli is going back to Tampa, but as a special assistant.

Now that Mark McGwire is a hitting coach, when will Barry Bonds get the call?

Speaking of McGwire, Missouri is considering renaming the Mark McGwire Highway. I can't complain too much because they would rename it after Mark Twain.

FYI, John Smoltz is not spurning the Mets to run for Congress.