Happy birthday to Lucas Duda, who turns 27 today. The Dude has popped up in several posts here at Amazin' Avenue recently, which shouldn't be too surprising considering the state of the Mets outfield has been a major discussion topic. Where you stand on the issue, be that it's either not too good or potentially not terrible, likely depends on what you think Duda can do in 2013. At 27, it's probably unrealistic to expect Lucas to have a breakout season*, but he's now of the age where he's likely to put up his best numbers, so there's at least a decent chance that he'll be better than he was last year.
*For more on the age-27 effect, check out this Baseball Prospectus article (subscription required).
The only transaction the Mets have made on this date was signing catcher Ed Hearn back in 1983. He'd get two years of minor league seasoning before posting a .265/.322/.390 line as Gary Carter's primary backup in 1986. That would wind up being the only action Hearn saw as a member of the Mets, as he was dealt for David Cone at the end of spring training in '87.
Games of Note
The Leones del Escogido might as well have sported Los Mets jerseys during the Caribbean Series in 2010. Champions of the Dominican Winter League, the team got contributions from several moonlighting Metropolitans during their title run at the multi-national tournament, too. On February 3, Nelson Figueroa tossed a complete game, limiting Naranjeros de Hermosillo to just three hits in a 8-1 triumph. Figueroa received all the run support he would need in the first inning, the biggest blow being a two-run homer from regular season teammate Fernando Martinez. Also enjoying the victory was Leones skipper Ken Oberkfell, who was familiar with both players from his day job as manager of the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.
For Figueroa, the win was just about a carbon copy of the performance he turned in exactly two years earlier during the 2008 Caribbean Series. Representing Mexico with Yaquis de Obregón, the Mets farmhand chucked nine innings of one run ball against eventual champions Tigres del Licey. Figueroa wound up departing without a W, however, as the Obregón offense couldn't plate more than a single runner, either. Met for a minute Jose Bautista eventually broke the tie in the 11th with a sacrifice fly.
Amazin'-ly Tenuous Connection
Apparently there is a big football game going on today. While it's hard to muster enthusiasm for that, David Wright plans to report to Port St. Lucie as soon as the big game is over, which means that baseball will finally be back and soon all will right with the universe again.