Opening Day ’08

The Mets submitted their opening day roster Sunday and where some people (like me) expected to see Tatis, Stokes and Hernandez they instead saw Clark, Smith and Pelfrey.

That’s OK with me, particularly after fans digested a triple order of unpleasant news Friday in the snatching of effective-but-subuseful Ruben Gotay, another seeming cutworthy effort from infuriating suspect Mike Pelfrey and a news item detailing Fernando Tatis’ being issued team luggage while Brady Clark twisted in the wind. Clark by the way not only got luggage but a new shirt to pack in it: He’ll be wearing No. 44 when the season begins Monday in Miami. Although Clark had worn 15 in his first go-round with the Mets years back, he’d been wearing 93 this spring: The highest in camp among those with a prayer of making it.

Smith, whose ineffective spring and option situation made him an interesting choice over the similarly ineffective but less controllable fireballer Brian Stokes, is a surprise roster qualifier for the second straight year. Stokes was designated for assignment: No word where he alights next.

Those moves complete an all-time Met roster that today grows by six fiirst-time arrivals (Angel Pagan 16, Ryan Church 19, Brian Schneider 23, Raul Casanova 30, Matt Wise 38 and Johan Santana 57), as well as the debut of Clark (44) and Marlon Anderson (9) in new numbers.Howard Johnson returns to No. 20 for the coaching staff, along with new arrivals Dave RacanielloJuan Lopez and Sandy Alomar Jr.

Glad you’re back too!

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