Ramirez was willing to take on more responsibility, even if it puts him in an unfamiliar role. Reyes was unwilling to shoulder a more important role with the Mets.
Eyeng too beezee buying diapers to bat tercero, meng!
Of course whilst the article clearly is a criticism of Reyes' lack of enthusiasm for the move and the related perception that he is somehow less of a ball player or worse, less of a team player, is not entirely unwelcomed given Reyes last two September swan dives batting lead off.
Yes, Reyes is an absolute force, perhaps one of the more disruptive forces in baseball and certainly one of the biggest keys to the success of the Mets offence, when he is "on". All of which makes the September nose dives all the more harmful to the Mets chances for success. Unfortunately, until he does something to reverse that sobering trend, most of us will likely find that September matters more than a 4-rbi performance in March or in July.
If you are from the school of thought that believed Jerry's public announcement of the temporary move of Reyes from the lead off spot to be supplanted by Luis Castillo was more for Castillo's benefit than Reyes', you might be on to something. Castillo is hitting .313 this Spring with a .476 OBP, the highest on the team outside of Angel Pagan.
In fact, the other public decision Jerry put forward, handing over the every day left field job to Danny Murphy seems to be spot on as well. Murphy is hitting .375. Unfortunately, I believe he had one at-bat too many last season to be eligible for Rookie of the Year this season, the rat bastids.
So, what's this? Two consecutive encouraging outings by Met starters after Big Pelf's masterful 6 inning, 3-hit, 1-run showing?
The ease with which Pelfrey handled the Astros was one thing. The way he did it, using both sides of the plate, was even more impressive. Pitching coach Dan Warthen allowed Pelfrey to experiment with the "Greg Maddux pitch," a front-door sinker, similar to the one Livan Hernandez threw effectively on Wednesday. The front-door sinker is a pitch thrown by a right-handed pitcher to a left-handed batter that breaks back over the inside of the plate.
Does this mean our worries are over?
No. But, it significantly reduces the instant fear that the starting rotation is going to resemble something akin to Johan Santana and the Clown Ensemble.
This is especially heartening after Oliver Perez admitted fatigue already following that idiotic decision by Mexico manager Vinny Castillo to leave Perez in about 30 pitches too long in the oft-despised WBC.
We'll see how much damage was done when Perez pitches against the O's today.
From the Daily Schadenfreude Department, did you happen to gander at the Astros lineup yesterday and note that Met-reject Kaz Matsui, whose defensive incompetence at second base led to Reyes being moved from shortstop to make way for him, was batting lead off for the Astros?
The Kaz Man, unwanted by his own country in their fight for glorious victory in the WBC, is hitting .050 this Spring.
Because finding coverage of the NCAA tournament is probably quite difficult for most of you, I've conveniently placed this Sports Amnesia link for you which should aid in any ongoing queries you have on results, cause and effect or predictions.