Tomorrow is the day. At noon tomorrow the moment we’ve all been waiting for since Glavine walked off the mound that Sunday afternoon. His upgrade, Johan Santana, will report to Port St. Lucie and officially start the 2008 baseball season. It’s not quite the regular season games we’re waiting for, but having daily news, even if it isn’t much, to look forward to everyday will be a much needed joy.
David Wright will be showing up this weekend, as ready to get started as we are for him to get started. Wright is the player I think we have the most confidence and faith in. He played his heart out last year, all year. He truly cares, truly wants to win, and plays the game the right way both on and off the field. I would rank the players I have the least questions about going into next year like this. David Wright, Johan Santana, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran. I also have few worried about John Maine, or even Pedro Martinez.
I know most people probably think I’m insane for not worrying about Pedro, but I’m not. As the time came for him to return last year, I thought he’d have a good couple of starts, and that he could really contribute in the playoffs. We never got there, but Pedro did pitch well. Now everyone is saying you can’t count on Pedro, but I don’t think that’s true. His pitching in September proves that the injury he recovered from isn’t going to inhibit him, and he’s only recovered more from it now. He’s still an ace pitcher, he still knows how to pitch, he still has that ability. And he’s healthy. Sure he’s brittle, but he’s always been brittle, whatever that means. It’s possible anyone can get hurt in 2008, but I don’t think Pedro Martinez is more likely, and certainly not a given, to get injured. Plus Pedro is a competitor. I think he’ll truly thrive on this come back of his, plus I think he’ll thrive on the friendly competition he’ll have with Santana. They are going to feed off each other all year. A thriving, strike-out thirsty 1-2 punch of Santana and Martinez is going to have opposing batters at Shea Stadium whiffing so much it’ll change the wind patterns.
However, this team did come off a horrible collapse, and we’re going to need to see something from them to really regain our confidence in them. One thing that comes to mind would be to see a combined 3-22 stat from Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell during the opening series. That would really make us feel good, although we can’t forget that Rollins and Burrell had a pathetic showing during the opening series at Shea in 2007 also.
A quick word on the former player Roger Clemens. I listened to some of the hearings today, and I was actually laughing at Clemens. He comes off so badly in my opinion, that I’m absolutely convinced he did steroids. It’s no longer a he said, she said situation, it’s a he said, THEY said situation. From the little I heard, McNamee, Pettite, Pettite’s wife, and Mike Stanton all have said Clemens has taken steroids. Clemens countered most of this with garbage like “I don’t remember that.”, or “Pettite must have misheard”. It doesn’t look good, and I’m done with all the attention this is getting, it’s time to talk about baseball now that spring is finally here.