Other items of interest:
When New York Mets pitchers and catchers reported to spring training yesterday, one had a slightly different look. Starter Jonathon Niese had off-season nose surgery that was originally intended for cosmetic reasons, but ended up helping him to breathe more easily. If this ends up helping Niese to improve his stamina, we can thank Carlos Beltran for planting the idea in his former teammate’s head last year.
Today is the first official day of workouts, and there are two bullpen sessions that will probably attract a lot of media attention. Johan Santana is scheduled to throw again after a successful bullpen session Friday, and it’s important to see how he handles a regular throwing schedule. Prospect Jenrry Mejia, who made his debut in 2010 to mixed and fairly disappointing results, is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since having Tommy John surgery last year.
And while I was concerned about what the new basic agreement would do to the Mets’ ability to sign players through the amateur draft, it seems that they will be allowed to spend slightly more this year than they did in 2011. (Of course, it remains to be seen whether they are willing — or can afford to — spend the full amount allocated for their draft bonus pool.)
In other baseball news, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera implied that this would be his final season in the major leagues. Normally, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear a 42-year-old baseball player talking about retirement — but Rivera really doesn’t pitch like a 42-year-old baseball player. Is there another closer you’d rather have in 2012 than the future Hall-of-Famer? I can’t think of one.
Here are a few interesting items to look at while trying to forget about disappointing Mets loss #21:
- The Subway Series is coming, and the folks at Steiner Sports are excited. Order select Mets or Yankees autographed items, and if that player hits a home run on Saturday you’ll get it for free. (If not, you’ll pay full price – no returns.) [via Mets Police]
- Former Newark Bears outfielder Jose Herrera once raced against (in)famous thoroughbred Zippy Chippy — and won. Check out Jason Bristol’s story for CBS21. [via Lisa Winston’s Queen of Diamonds]
- 18-year-old Japanese knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida pitched in an intra-squad game on May 13. She expects to make her debut for the Golden League’s Chico Outlaws on May 29. [via YakyuBaka]
- Beckett’s Chris Olds takes a look at how different some early examples of popular players autographs are compared to their current signatures. (I actually have one of those 1991 Front Row Manny Ramirez cards.)
Well we have all kinds of controversy and excitement in trading card land today.
Upper Deck is having a very bad week. They lost their license to produce NBA Basketball cards, since the NBA decided to grant Panini a monopoly.
This comes after news Monday that Konami is suing Upper Deck for allegedly distributing counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh game cards. (Upper Deck denies the charge.)
Major League Baseball is suing Donruss for unathorized use of trademarks in its 2008 baseball releases.
On the baseball front, the Mets pitching rotation still looks pretty weak — but that’s not stopping everyone from WFAN callers to Jerry Manuel from campaigning for a Manny signing.
Meanwhile, the Yankees managed to deal with their own rotation problems by finally re-signing Andy Pettitte. I hate getting sucked into the whole Mets vs. Yankees thing, but I can’t help feeling like the Yankees won this offseason.
I’m not sure how much I care about any of this, but I guess it makes for late-January entertainment.