"Pitchers and Catchers" Report to Camp…
I’m a “Snowbird” and a Mets fan, and if you’re a Mets loving snowbird, there’s really only one place to nest. It’s Port St. Lucie, Florida, the Spring Training Home of the NY Mets. My husband and I have been here since ‘08, first renting, then buying. It’s a lovely town…..one of those phony towns that Florida does so well. It’s got everything you need…..beautiful landscaping, great food, friendly people (mainly from LI or the northeast), and fabulous weather. Just the way the leaves change color in the northeast, there is a color change down here also. In February things begin to turn Orange and Blue. By March, it’s peak season. Mets colors are everywhere!
Spring Training is a big deal here. Although Port St. Lucie had some serious
economic issues during the recession, the Mets experience seemed to stay
steady. The area has had a resurgence, as have the Mets, so now Spring
Training is a BIGGER deal. We believers live in anticipation for the start
of our year…….“Pitchers and Catchers“!
Pitchers and catchers are required to report a few days earlier than the rest of their teammates for spring training. It takes pitchers a while longer to get ready for the season…..and someone needs to catch the ball.
One of the other perks of living here is that you run into players everywhere…..in Starbucks, Publix, or the local restaurant. A few even live down the block. They’re easy to spot. They are tall, well built, and probably drive an enormous black truck.
Today was the first “Open Workout“, where the public is invited to watch. It’s all very casual and relaxed. Tradition Field has a huge complex of workout fields adjacent to the main stadium. The players begin with a series of stretching exercises, then they are broken into small groups and drill the skills required of them. Today’s workout drew hundreds of fans eagerly taking pictures, watching their favorite players, and talking baseball. It’s a unique opportunity to see the players going through their routine up close and personal. It’s fascinating to watch Matt Harvey and Steven Matz doing the same repetitious drills as the young aspiring pitcher still dreaming of his first big league game. The workouts are always open during Spring Training, and they are free. The players often make themselves available for autographs, especially for kids.
This year the Mets season will depend on the health of their starting five
pitchers. All but Syndergaard has had serious elbow surgery in the past.
Trying to keep those arms strong but not overworked will be a hard balancing
act for Terry Collins and his coaches.
Next up……the position players’ first workout. How will David Wright’s back and neck issues effect his game? Will Cespedes put on the hitting show we have come to expect? Will d’Arnaud ever live up to the expectations?