There is one remaining wall of what was Shea Stadium that’s still standing. I know it won’t happen, because such decisions are never made on the fly, but I’d like to see it remain standing. It would make a great gesture to the past.
However, the Mets could still honor their Shea history by outlining a replica of the playing field in the parking lot and denote where some of the most memorable plays occurred with statues. Such of Seaver on the mound when he struck out 19 Padres, or Buckner, or the Swododa and Agee catches, of Cleon catching the final out of the 69 Series.
In Atlanta, the Braves have a replica of an outfield wall and mark where Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record, so it’s not like this hasn’t been done before.
Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.
Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.
The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.
Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.
John Maine: Coming off surgery.
Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.
Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.
If GM Omar Minaya isn’t confident, then there’s no reason for you to be.
Minaya placed the odds at “50-50” the Mets will add a bigger-named pitcher than Tim Redding, saying, “you’re never too confident.”
With reports of the Braves having a $60 million package on the table for Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez wanting four years while the Mets prefer three, they could be forced to fall back on Randy Wolf and Pedro Martinez.
I like Redding as a fifth starter, but if all this pans out, he could end up fourth which leaves the Mets vulnerable in the back end of the rotation.
All that work fixing the bullpen could be wasted if twice a week the Mets aren’t going deep into the game with their starter.
Scott Boras was in town the other day. Had a tour of Citi Field. Spoke with the Mets about Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez. Manny Ramirez, it appears, was not one of the topics. Meanwhile, reports out of Boston and Atlanta have the Braves making a push for Lowe.
The mystery team?
Perhaps. Of course, I would have given the no-trade to Jake Peavy if I were the Braves. The Mets were never in the talks with San Diego about Peavy.
If the Mets to get Lowe, I think they’ll have to give up more money per year than give the extra years. That’s the way to go. Besides, they can also make up extra years by adding options.
-Rain forecast for Philly tomorrow. Game 3 might be postponed. I have no problem with that because there’s Ohio State v. Penn State. Go Bucks. If everything is pushed back, Phillies say Cole Hamels will pitch Monday regardless. No word on what the Rays will do.
-It’s ironic as we brace for a rainout Commissioner Bud Selig is talking about shortening the World Series by two or three days by eliminating the off days. MLB added off-days when it opted to start the Series on Wednesday instead of the weekend. Eliminating off days won’t seem like such a good idea if there’s a coast-to-coast Series.
-Jake Peavy is available from the Padres. Early speculation has the Braves a contender, but GM Frank Wren said the club isn’t going to part with its best prospects.