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Random Mets Spring Training Chatter

So while I was in PSL last week I heard a number of intriguing little tidbits that I haven't really had any context to share with you guys. So take this post as a vehicle for a bunch of interesting storylines/chats/topics from spring training that didn't really seem to fit anywhere else but are definitely worth mentioning someplace:

  • First and most importantly, R.A. Dickey confirmed Sam's claims, he indeed checks up on the Dickey-face mania in our Fanshots. His mother sends him links from all over but he said he likes Amazin' Avenue best because it's more 'creative and out there.' He mentioned the Hulk-Dickey as one of his favorites.
  • As you may have read elsewhere, K-Rod has apparently really shown a lot more humility thus far in spring training. At least three times I heard people in and around camp -- from team officials to beat writers to stadium personnel -- talking about how he seemed to have a new, softer demeanor compared to the last couple seasons.
  • Thought it was pretty funny that among his street clothes Jason Bay was wearing a pair of Mets David Wright socks. I'd love to hear the story behind that one but stupidly forgot to ask.
  • Between his translator and a couple of Japanese media representatives, it sounds like Ryota Igarashi went back to the drawing board a bit this winter in terms of his pitch selection. After a 5.34 BB/9 with the big club in '10, Igarashi will apparently be focusing a lot more on his cut fastball -- or shuuto -- and less on his breaking stuff in an effort to throw more strikes.
  • One of the funnier moments during my stay in camp was when David Wright completely stopped a BP session to grab a fan walking by in a (bullpen catcher Dave) Racaniello jersey, asking 'how much did he pay you to wear that?'
  • Call it the height of SSS but the recently re-assigned Fernando Martinez has had people talking about his surprisingly judicious eye at the plate thus far. Through 27 pa's he's already managed five walks (18.5%). Keep in mind, through the first half of 2010 he posted just 11 walks in 194 pa's (5.8%) with Buffalo. 
  • Despite Terry's always rosy commentary, the word around camp was that all three of the serious contenders for second base were looking extremely mediocre defensively; no big surprise considering the players in question. Probably the reason why whenever he's asked about the keystone competition Collins tends to emphasize the offensive importance of the position. He stated that if all of the main contenders struggle -- which they have thus far -- that might open the door for guys like Turner, Hu or Luis Hernandez. He also indicated that he'd give serious thought to slotting in Hu late in games no matter who wins the starting job.
  • Collins also mentioned on more than one occasion the growing problem of facing mostly NL East teams in the final weeks of ST. He stated that it is his inclination to hold out his starters during those last few games so as to limit the amount of looks that the opposing hitters get. I wonder if the resulting need for backup starting arms for those last days of March is what's giving Oliver Perez a seemingly longer rope in camp?
  • When asked about his brief stint managing the GCL Mets late last summer, Collins indicated three teenage arms that he's really going to be keeping an eye on this season: LHP Juan Urbina, RHP Akeel Morris and RHP Domingo Tapia.