NEW YORK—Close friends of Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez explained to the Mets pitcher Tuesday that, despite his team's attempts to get him to alter his unconventional delivery to alleviate the stress placed on his right push-off foot, Hernandez is great the way he is and should not have to change anything about his mechanics just to fit in on the Mets roster. "If the Mets don't want you to be their fifth starter, that's their loss," Hernandez's longtime friend Bob Cohn, 52, reportedly told the pitcher Tuesday. "Your windup is great. It's unique, it's quirky, it's flashy without being pretentious—Orlando, it's you." Cohn and Hernandez's other friends, however, later went on to suggest that maybe Hernandez might want to try possibly abandoning his high leg kick, "just to show a different side of yourself, you know?"
The Mets are letting the fans choose which song will be the "8th Inning Singalong" at Shea Stadium this year, and it is imperative that Mets fans get it changed, because last year they played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" at almost every game (nothing against Neil--I love the guy's music, but it has always felt so wrong to me to be ripping off the Red Sox like that). Anyway, the link to vote is above. A couple of the song choices that they provide are pretty decent (Wilson Pickett, anyone?), but I am urging everyone I know to write in "Wooly Bully," by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Once you've filled out the voting form and submitted it, you can press the back button on your browser and the voting form will appear with all of your information still entered, so you don't have to keep putting it in. Vote early, and vote often! Contest ends soon. (Disclosure: I've got season tickets this year, so I am really, really interested in getting a good song. If I have to hear "Sweet Caroline" 30+ more times I don't know what I'll do.)
Tonight's Swag Contest is up. Check the "AA SWAG CONTEST" block in the left sidebar for rules, scoreboard, etc.
Tonight's game form is active. You can fill it out anytime between now and game start, which is 7:10pm EST. FYI: This is a FanShot. You can read more about them here and download the bookmarklet here. Particularly interesting fanshots will be promoted to the main page for all to see. All of the latest FanShots can be found on the right sidebar.
Two things I dig -- Bill James and Freakonomics -- come together for one tremendously enjoyable visitor Q&A.
I'm sorry, I can't help myself here. Suck it, Braves. Did I ever say how awesome Xavier Nady is?
Robbie Neyer is doing a 12 hour + marathon chat during opening day. started at 1pm and will continue through through the 1am Baseball Tonight.
SS Reyes 2B Castillo 3B Wright CF Beltran 1B Delgado LF Pagan RF Church C Schneider P Santana