As the Mets get ready to open their spring training schedule tonight – David Wright is not expected to play because of a strained rib cage muscle – the issue that will be the backdrop to their season moved centerstage this morning.
U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled Mets owner Fred Wilpon must pay as much as $83 million because of the Ponzi scheme. The ruling also set a March 19 trial date for another $303 million.
This decision will be appealed, so the Wilpon’s aren’t hitting in the bottom of the ninth. At least not yet.
I don’t know how this will finish, but today only deepened the hole and put the Mets under more financial pressure. I’d bet the Mets would jump at the chance to settle for just $83 million, but this will drag on, their legal fees will mount and we can disregard any idea of being able to acquire talent at midseason if it is competitive.
Regardless of how today’s decision would have been, it would have been appealed. But, the negative ruling only reinforced the sentiment this will be a dark season.
On the positive side, Ike Davis is cleared. However, the prospect of him having a lengthy illness and Wright hurting already reinforced the Mets’ lack of depth. On that note, I am pleased Justin Turner will get the opportunity to back up Davis at first rather than disrupt Lucas Duda’s development in right field.
Jerry Manuel said if prospect Jenrry Mejia makes the roster coming out of spring training, it won’t be in the set-up role but in low pressure situations.
If that’s the case, then isn’t he better off in the minor leagues pitching in the role the Mets envision for him immediately?
I just see the Mets doing the same yanking around with him they did with Bobby Parnell. Speaking of Parnell, his spot on the roster could be in jeopardy if fifth-starter candidate Hisanori Takahashi makes it as a reliever.
Takahashi will start the March 27 game against Washington. He has worked 8 1/3 scoreless innings in three appearances in competing with Jon Niese and Fernando Nieve for the fifth-starter role. The more I think of Takahashi as a fifth starter, the more I wonder. His numbers are good, but he hasn’t exactly been stretched out this spring and one start won’t do it, thereby making him more suitable for the bullpen.
PEN NOTES: Kiko Calero and Ryota Igarashi are in good shape as far as making the roster. … Pedro Feliciano was hit on the right knee by a grounder and left last night’s game. Feliciano was able to throw warm-ups after the injury and is expected to be fine. … Either Sean Green or Parnell could also be in trouble if the Mets sign left-hander Joe Beimel.
LIKING JACOBS: Manuel likes Mike Jacobs as a back-up first baseman and pinch hitter. The word is he’s been better than expected defensively. Jacobs has two homers this spring.
MANUEL ENDORSES CORA: After last night’s game Manuel endorsed Alex Cora over Ruben Tejada to play shortstop while Jose Reyes is down. That’s not to say Tejada will automatically be ticketed to the minor leagues.