High in the 90s

I have my doubts that Ron Villone, after 14 years and 11 teams, and presumably no longer on the juice, can actually reach 92 anymore, but that’s his number this spring with the Mets, who seem to be fulfilling their obligation to offer potential employment to all ballplayers originally from the tri-state area at least once before they retire. Villone is among a group of longshots like ex-Met Tom Martin and Mexican League import Heriberto Ruelas to provide lefty depth in the bullpen: The veterans like this often have an advantage in the early going since they’re in better position to reject the alternative of not coming north but I’d be surprised if the Mets get that point before doing something like signing Joe Beimel or Will Ohman, who to my knowledge are still lefthanders and still out there.

I refuse to get all caught up in the Johan Santana drama: If he’s not available the first week or even the first month of the season, he’s not. But it’s safe to assume that when he is available, he’ll be fine. Yankee fans, were they rational, might convince themselves of the same thing with regard to A-Rod. On the other hand I’m quite worried about John Maine, if only after reading some of his remarks after a stinker in an exhibition vs. the Italians today (he walked the first three batters he faced and confessed to being “embarrased” and lost). If he has a counterpart across town, maybe it’s hard-drinking chubbster Joba Chamberlain whose been even worse so far.

Lotta spring to go still.

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