Buzz: Zambrano Could Be Near Deal

According to Paul Sullivan in today’s The Chicago Tribune, the Cubs could sign Carlos Zambrano, who is due to be a free agent at season’s end, before Zambrano’s self imposed Opening Day deadline.

The two sides now appear close to consummating a deal by Zambrano’s Opening Day deadline…

[Jim] Hendry’s close relationship with Zambrano may be the key to
getting the deal getting done. Zambrano apparently is willing to play
for less money for the Cubs than he would receive on the open market,
and his compromise during last month’s arbitration proceedings proved
the two sides aren’t far apart.

Earlier this week, Matthew Cerrone relayed a Chicago Tribune story on Mets Blog where Zambrano said he preferred to play for the Mets rather than the Yankees.

…tick tock…

…hat tip to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the news…

Read: Strawberry Thinks Its Mets Year

Darryl Strawberry believes the Mets are ready to join him and his 1986 teammates as World Series Champions. Brian Costello of The New York Post quotes Strawberry, who was in midtown yesterday promoting Opening Day…

“I really believe this is their year,” Strawberry said. “They came up
short last year. I believe this is their year. A lot of guys got some
experience in the playoffs for the first time. Now they have a chance
to show that off. You’ve got to get that experience. New York’s in for
a good treat this baseball season.”

Strawberry praised Omar Minaya for returning the organization to greatness and was optimistic about the Yankees chances as well, referring to them as “baseball’s most hated franchise because of their accomplishments.” Strawberry also recalled his first Opening Day, 23 years ago, where he hit a home run off Mario Soto.

Opinion: Ring Ceremony Just What Mets Need

On Sunday night, the Mets’ regular season finally begins.
Their schedule
this year is not a cakewalk, especially their inter-league schedule which
includes the Yankees, Tigers, Twins, and A’s.

Keith Hernandez will be honored on Sunday for his days with the Cards
eight days before he throws out the first pitch at the Mets’ home opener.
However, what I look least forward to is Tuesday night’s ring ceremony for the World
Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals which the Mets will be in attendance for. 
The painful reminder of what almost was will be paraded in front of them.

As hard as it will be to watch, even as a fan, this team likes being
the underdog, and a scorn team is usually a hungry team. I feel that there is a drop off in intensity from last
year’s squad.  Although intangible, I base that on my increased anxiety, an anonymous player’s comment, and just the overall vibe coming out of camp.  Watching
the team that beat them in the NLCS last year, an NLCS that came down to the
last out, should definitely fuel the Mets’ fire.  If that doesn’t, nothing
will. 

If their lackadaisical off-season has erased the pain they felt in their
post-loss clubhouse that late October night, this ring ceremony is sure to
remind them.  Time to wake up boys, and play ball!

Notes: Milledge Rewarded For Hard Work

John Delcos, on his blog for The Journal News, shares a quote from Willie Randolph regarding Lastings Milledge‘s role with the team, as he was added to the 25-man roster today

“I’ll try to find him some at-bats,’’ Randolph said. “He’s on the team to play.’’

…the kid worked his butt off this
spring to earn a spot on the team, not only did he open people eyes
with his performance on the field, he was able to change perceptions
with how he conducted himself in the clubhouse…great job lasto, as
jose reyes likes to call him, i look forward to watching you develop
even further this season…

Delcos also provides a number of reasons why Chan Ho Park accepted his assignment to New Orleans, rather than ask for his release.

postGame: Mets 8 Marlins 2

The Mets defeated the Marlins today by a score of 8 to 2. Chan Ho Park pitched three scoreless innings, striking out 5 and walking just 1.

For a full box score, head over to MLB.com

  • Ambiorix Burgos, who was told he made the team following the game, pitched the 4th inning, giving up a home run to Dan Uggla.
  • Pedro Feliciano and Joe Smith pitched a perfect 5th and 6th inning respectively, Feliciano striking out 1, Smith striking out 2.
  • Scott Schoeneweis pitched the 7th inning, giving up 2 hits and a run.
  • Aaron Heilman pitched a scoreless 8th, giving up 1 hit.
  • Billy Wagner pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out 1.
  • Jose Reyes was 2 for 4 with a double and scored twice, and he swiped his 13th base of the spring.
  • Ramon Castro was 1 for 2, in relief of Paul Lo Duca, who was 0 for 3. Castro scored and drove in a run.
  • Carlos Delgado was 1 for 2, driving in 2 runs.
  • Lastings Milledge had a 2 RBI hit and a walk, he ends his spring with a .368 average, and earns himself a spot on the 25-man roster.
  • David Wright walked twice and drove in 2 runs.
  • Endy Chavez was 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored, and ends up leading the team this spring in batting average, with .377
  • Miguel Negron was 2 for 3 scoring twice and driving in a run.

The Mets take on the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg tomorrow at 1:05pm, with what is likely to be a B squad, with most of the starters heading to St. Louis in anticipation of the road opener.

News: Milledge and Burgos Make Team

In his blog for the Daily News, Adam Rubin reports that Lastings Milledge and Ambiorix Burgos are the last two players to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster.

Chan Ho Park and Jon Adkins have been sent to the Mets’ AAA affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs.

For the complete Opening Day roster, go to John Delcos’ blog at the Journal News.

…good job guys, it was truly a battle ’til the end…

…hat tip to lance…

inGame: Marlins vs. Mets

…Updated…3:18 pm…

…i will be unable to watch the rest of today’s game…to follow along, check out the live box score at MLB.com

…Updated…3:06 pm…

…middle of the seventh inning…

Marlins 2
Mets 5

Scott Shoeneweis looked ok in his relief appearance giving up a run on two hits…a lot of his pitches were up in the zone…the run allowed by shoeneweis was only his second of the spring…

…Updated…2:56 pm…

…end of the sixth inning…

Marlins 1
Mets 5

Joe Smith continued his dominate spring by striking out two…smith’s era this spring is now 1.26…Lastings Milledge pinch hit for delgado and drew a walk on four pitches from owens…

…Updated…2:39 pm…

…end of the fifth inning…

Marlins 1
Mets 5

Pedro Feliciano had a strong inning, not allowing a hit and striking out one, in relief of burgos…green singled to left on a nasty down and away pitch from former Mets propsect Henry Owens…i still think the Mets may regret that trade later in the year…

…Updated…2:26 pm…

…end of the fourth inning…

Marlins 1
Mets 5

Miguel Negron drove in Shawn Green, who advanced to second on a stolen base, with a sharp single to left…Sandy Alomar aggressively waived green around third…green would have been a sitting duck if the the relay throw was on line…reyes hit a sharp double to the opposite field…negron and reyes both came around to score when delgado was hit by a pitch and wright walked with the bases loaded…Mosies Alou stranded the bases loaded with a pop fly to right…

…Updated…2:05 pm…

…middle of the fourth inning…

Marlins 1
Mets 2

Ambiorix Burgos took the mound in relief of park and allowed a first pitch fastball home run to Dan Uggla...burgos retired the next three marlins in order while striking out one…

…Updated…2:00 pm…

…end of third inning…

Marlins 0
Mets 2

…Park didn’t allow a hit while striking out four in his final appearance of the spring…he looked very sharp today…

…Updated…1:49 pm…

…end of second inning…

Marlins 0
Mets 2

Chan Ho Park has looked sharp over the first two innings, striking out four…he also slapped a sharp single to right…

…end of first inning…

Marlins 0
Mets 2

Carlos Delgado drove in Jose Reyes, who stole his 13th base of the spring, with an RBI single…Carlos Beltran stole third base and scored on a David Wright sacrifice fly…