Scott Who? Hairless Pitchers and Spring Thoughts

Maybe the Mets didn't trade away all their best pitching prospects after all. Scott Kazmir will be getting a taste of the real major leagues when he logs his weed-thin body through an entire season and perhaps by the All Star break, we will have forgiven the front office for this seemingly senseless trade for Carlos Zambrano but even if not, there may be someone better looming on the horizan:

"Yusmeiro Petit, 20, is almost a year younger than Kazmir and posted better statistics in the low minor leagues. He struck out 20 batters in 12 1/3 innings at Class A Brooklyn, recorded 122 strikeouts and just 22 walks at Class A Kingsport and went three consecutive games at Class A St. Lucie with at least 10 strikeouts. As a reward, Petit was promoted to Class AA Binghamton and invited to major league spring training."

Who's to say Petit can't be the Dontrelle Willis of 2005, popping up from AA, setting the Major Leagues on fire?


Forget the D train and the beefy Yusmeiro Express, hairless pitchers are the new rage. "It doesn't matter to me, sometimes I have a moustache, sometimes a goatee," new Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez said. "I used to shave depending how I felt. I'm not very good at growing a beard.

"I might have a little above and a little bit below my lip, but it never grew to the point where they met."

As reliever Lee Arthur Smith once told us in 1997 "the best pitcher in the whole league has only four hairs on his chest."

Why stop at an edict banning facial hair? Why not demand the Mets shave their bodies entirely? What would a completely shaven-head Mets roster look like? Would they be the antithesis of a hairy team of Idiots like the defending World Champion Red Sox?

Will their freshly shorn skin burn and peel under the warm, inviting Florida sun?

Stay tuned for more as Willie's Facial Hair Nazis take over the counterculture clubhouse.


Five Things To Watch for the Mets are Kaz Matsui’s transition, Pedro and Beltran in the spotlight, the Bullpen shakeout, the Fight for first base and the Corner outfielders.

Archie Bunker's Army says that the important issues are:

1. How the bullpen pans out
2. Either Benson or Zambrano stepping up for a break out season
3. Beltran battling the early pressure and overcoming it
4. Piazza returning to offensive form and staying healthy
5. Who replaces Cameron and/or Floyd either due to injury or trade.

They appear unsure about Eric Byrnes as a replacement corner outfielder. Cliff Floyd took the more realistic approach to the constant trade rumours of the offseason:

"This game is about producing," he said in a moment of rational understatement. "If you look at my numbers the last couple of years, you can say I've been injured. But it's about production.

"My numbers haven't been outstanding. My numbers haven't been good. So you have to understand where (the Mets) are coming from. No hard feelings here."

That's what he says today anyway. A few nicks and bruises later, a chorus or two of Shea-side booing and Mr Floyd will be back to speaking his mind too loudly and reminding us all why we sometimes wish he'd been traded already.

Of course a healthy Cliff Floyd, a miraculous wish indeed, might produce a monster comeback season in left field for him but that's about as likely as Hamstring Jose making it through the first 7 innings of Spring Training intrasquad matches without pulling up lame and requiring a three week stint on the DL.


Just for kicks, can't we have Piazza take a stab at playing right field? Certainly he couldn't look any more foolish out there than he did playing first base, can he? And frankly, without a sullen Piazza floundering in the midst of a position controversy, what kind of season will this be for him? Just happy go lucky, closely shaved face and marital bliss? What kind of numbers will this guy produce this season? Very relaxed numbers.

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