Fresh from St Malo (not the secret site of the Mets Cognitive Training Camp as oft rumoured)the Army returns to find Bankrupt Field has officially hosted its first baseball game.
Believe it or not, the new field was reviewed in England:
"Thousands are losing their jobs and new skyscrapers are scratching around for tenants, but judging only by its baseball, no-one would know that New York is gripped by recession."
So whilst I can't say I was at the game, or at the Field, or in New York or even the United States, here are my Opening Observations and Mailbag which to date is without a soundtrack:
1. Jerry is not coy about Danny Murphy nor should anyone else be: What started as a a faint infatuation, a possible platoon in left field because a relegation of the NL's Mr Potato Head Comeback Player of the Year graduated to a first date and now, a full on relationship. Jerry says Murph (candidates for exploitative nickname; The Murphster, Murphopolis, Murphomania...) is going to bat second every day, no matter who is on the mound. This leads us to the first question pulled randomly out of the Mailbag:
Q: What happened to Luis Castillo, I thought he was going to bat lead off this year?
--Jerzy Jerk, Hoboken
Luis, despite a .459 on base percentage this Spring, has been demoted. Firstly, he will not bat lead off. Not unless Jose Reyes tears a hamstring or it's time for his September Slump. As evidenced by Jerry's revelation about Murphy, Luis is not even going to bat second. He's been demoted all the way down to 8th in the order. That's right, just slightly better than the pitcher. The New Jersey of the batting order, basically. According to David Lennon, Castillo has started 1446 games in his 13-year career, and only 81 of them have NOT been batting first or second.
2. Oliver Perez is the most predictably unpredictable baseball player that can be found to date on Google Earth. One start removed from public humiliation, revelations that he's out of shape, a public flogging by his pitching coach and rumours that his arm's full cast and crew are on perpetual mental health holidays, he throws 93 Major League pitches (albeit only against the zerOes) and does his best impression of a Major League pitcher to date, allowing only one run and four hits. This leads us to the second question pulled randomly from the bursting mailbag:
Q: Which Dysfunctional Barbie is Oliver Perez most like?
--Facebook Quiz Champion, Gabby Grdzrk, White Plains
That's easy: Gangsta Bitch Barbie, of course:
3. The biggest non-secret revelation from Jerry was that Livan Hernandez is the fifth starter although due to scheduling difficulties it doesn't appear likely that he will get to use this new fifth starter powers until April 11 in Florida.
"Nobody has told me anything," he said yesterday. "Nobody has shook my hand."
Livan, whose greatest claim to fame to date is to be the younger yet fatter half brother of El Duque, won the competition this spring by "out-pitching" Jon Niese (0-2, 6.75) and Fat Freddy Garcia (0-3 16.71).
This of course, leads us to our third question out of the mailbag:
Q: How come Livan doesn't have a high leg kick to his pitching motion like his more successful half-brother, El Duque?
--Robert Smith, Manhasset
Because Livan's legs are too meaty to be raised that high other than by machine and he is neither in the same shape El Duque was or worked out as hard as El Duque did. Ironically, he also didn't spend as much time in his career on the disabled list as El Duque has which proves yet again that you don't have to be in shape to be a pitcher, innit.
to name just a few Porker Pitchers...
4. No final word on the final roster spot.
Firstly, it appears someone, perhaps Nick Evans, will be on the team until Livan's start on the 11th. Depending on where you look, who you listen to and what you eat, you might be safe on betting that Reed, Castro, Cora, Tatis and the timeless Marlon Anderson are going to make the team. This thoroughly negates my efforts at seeing Bobby Kielty make the team for the Ginger Effect, despite the fact he can't hit righties to save his life. This leads us to the last question in the Mailbag:
Q: I noticed that Omar likes to sign Latino players, especially Dominicans. Why hasn't he signed any Nigerian Spammers? Is Omar prejudiced against Nigerian Spammers?
--Dr. Francis Sonto Mbomam, Lagos
Thank you, good and undoubtedly highly qualified Doctor of Spam, for your highly intriguing question. If you recall, it was only last season, yes, it seems like decades but it was actually LESS than a year ago, happy days, that Willie Randolph was managing this Mets club. A sullen, angry and bum-patting Willie Randolph. So in his memory, I will reply to your question the way Willie replied a little more than 10 months ago:
"Is it racial?" Randolph asked. "Huh? It smells a little bit."
Jose Reyes SS: Dominican
Daniel Murphy LF: Floridian
David Wright 3B: Virginian
Carlos Delgado 1B: Puerto Rican
Carlos Beltran CF: Puerto Rican
Ryan Church RF: Californian
Ramon Castro/John Schneider C: Puerto Rican/Floridian
Luis Castillo 2B: Dominican