Feb 17

The team to beat?

Francisco Rodriguez said the Mets are the team to beat, which is the attitude they should take. Afterall, do you want your team to think it can’t win?

But, the truth is, the Phillies are the defending champions. They are the team to beat. The Mets can talk all they want. It makes interesting chat for a day or two. However, until they do it on the field, which they haven’t done, it’s all hot air.

Feb 16

Santana update

While the Phillies are set with Cole Hamels as their Opening Day starter, the Mets aren’t there yet with Johan Santana.

Santana threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Sunday, and is not yet at full strength following surgery to repair a torn mtorn meniscus in his left knee.

“Everything is where it’s supposed to be,” Santana told reporters in Port St. Lucie. “I don’t expect to be 100 percent right away. It’s going to take some time. We’ve got around seven weeks to get everything going and I’m pretty sure we’re not going to have any problems.”

Feb 15

Griffey to Braves?

It’s looking as it that might be the case. Griffey, who lives in Orlando – where the Braves train in spring training – has wanted to play for Atlanta. He might soon get the case. The Braves confirmed interest today according to ESPN.com.

I broached Griffey to the Mets a couple of weeks ago, a thought that was rather coldly received. Apparently, the Braves still think he has something left.

He does vs. the Phillies, hitting .357 against them last season. Of course, Griffey isn’t the same player, but for a team wanting to win this year he’s a good piece to have. He’s exactly the kind of bat you trade for in July. Why not have him all season?

The Phillies, by the way, have already named Cole Hamels their Opening Day starter.

Feb 14

Where should Reyes hit?

Manager Jerry Manuel suggested to reporters he might bat Luis Castillo first and drop Jose Reyes to third.

I’m not crazy about the idea. My first inclination is Reyes will get power happy and put more balls in the air than he does already.

I wouldn’t have a problem with Castillo first if his legs are sound, but I’d hit Reyes second instead of third. If Reyes improves his on-base percentage, the No. 3 hitter will see a lot more fastballs.

As good as Reyes is leading off, hitting second might make him a better hitter if he becomes more disciplined. I still want Reyes to walk more and strike out less, bunt more and put the ball on the ground. If he’s protecting a good leadoff hitter, it just might go to improve Reyes’ game even more.