By Ed Coleman
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It was an extremely busy day at Mets camp on Wednesday – and the first official pitchers & catchers workout isn’t even until Thursday. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon started off the day by coming to the defense of his father Fred and uncle Saul Katz regarding the Madoff financial mess that has seemingly crippled the franchise.
Wilpon further stated that his family would retain and remain in control.
A rather contrite Francisco Rodriguez was next up. Speaking in the Mets’ Digital Domain dugout, the Mets closer was very apologetic about his actions that prematurely ended his season last year.
Rodriguez said all the right things, but only time will tell whether he has learned his lesson. Actions speak louder than words, but it did seem like self-reflection and anger management had served him well.
Manager Terry Collins addressed the media for a half-hour on a variety of topics. Collins said his primary focus would be on fundamentals and defense, and cited three key areas to concentrate on – the back end of the rotation (the 4th and 5th spots), the second base job, and reconstituting the bullpen.
The Chrises – Young and Capuano – probably have a leg up on the competition at the start of camp for the rotation, and Collins mentioned Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz and Tim Byrdak as likely candidates to lead up to the closer Rodriguez. The 2nd base job is wide open, but there’s no doubt that Daniel Murphy is Collins’ kind of player.
The decision on whether Carlos Beltran will remain in CF or move to RF and switch with Angel Pagan will be made sooner rather than later in camp – it will not drag on – but Collins made it clear that he wants and needs Beltran in his lineup every day.
And Collins added that Johan Santana will be in uniform and do what he can during workouts beginning Thursday, citing the emotional lift that Santana can bring to his teammates with his innate leadership.
Finally, Jose Reyes spoke, and again reiterated that he is healthy, raring to go, ready for a full season, and not distracted by all the commotion about whether the Mets will sign him to a long-term contract or allow him to test free agency.
Pitchers and catchers – finally – on Thursday.
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What was left unsaid for Thursday’s session? Sound off in the comments below!