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The Evening News

Mike SteffanosMonday, February 27, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

I'm feeling a little brain-dead tonight, so forgive me if I pass along some interesting news stories without a lot of comment:.

Mets.com: New Marty Noble Mailbag
Usually something in the Monday Mailbag column gives me a starting point for some sort of reflection, but I'm coming up empty today. I'm sure the fault for that lies with me. Marty did have an interesting answer to someone who asked about how this team compared to the '86 team:

And now to '86. In my time covering the game, only a handful of teams -- the A's of the early '70s, the Reds of 1975 and 1976, the Yankees of 1978 and the late '90s -- had what that Mets team had -- talent, balance and character. Their starting pitching was brilliant and not too reliant on the defense. They had power from both sides.

They had two stunning talents who could win a game single-handedly -- Darryl Strawberry and Gooden (though neither had a brilliant season). They had grit (Lenny Dykstra and Keith Hernandez) and clutch performers in Hernandez, Gary Carter and Ray Knight. And Hernandez's intensity and savvy was a critical intangible.

And they were primed to win in '86. That team was far greater than the sum of its parts.

The current Mets team has extraordinary talent on the left side of the infield, more than ample left-handed power, good righty-lefty balance, a superior closer and perhaps a more useful bench than the '86 team. But its starting pitching isn't remotely comparable to what the 1986 team had.

It was a shame that team only won once. They had trouble keeping their pitching healthy (and out of rehab), and injuries ended Keith Hernandez' career too soon.

Mets.com: Juan Padilla
Bryan Hoch reports on Juan Padilla, the team's resident magician, who will be leaving camp to pitch for Puerto Rico in the WBC. If I was Padilla, I think I'd be more worried about earning a bullpen job with the Mets.

Hoch also reports that Billy Wagner, Aaron Heilman, Brian Bannister, John Maine and Henry Owens will pitch in Tuesday's intersquad game.

Newsday: Aaron Heilman
David Lennon has a nice article on Aaron Heilman, focusing on the change in arm angle that resurrected his career. Lennon quotes Heilman on before and after making the adjustment:

I was losing all my movement and losing all my deception. The ball was flattening out. Guys were seeing the ball better. I remember making a few good pitches that I thought I had set up and guys were putting good swings on them.

So once I got [my arm] down there, I wasn't fighting myself anymore. I didn't feel so mechanical. It allowed me to be more confident. I know several people noticed it, just by my demeanor on the mound.

Sports Illustrated: Tom Glavine
John Donovan has a long feature on Tom Glavine, so important to the Mets chances this year. Glavine doesn't feel that turning 40 this year will slow him down:

I feel better in a lot of ways than I did when I was 27. The last two years my arm's felt as good as it's felt in a long time. I haven't had any issues with it. That, to me, is what I judge everything by. I still feel like I can do everything on the field that I've always wanted to do.

The Hardball Times: CBA
Maury Brown discusses the issues that will affect the upcoming negotiations for the Collective Bargaining Agreement. As I have discussed previously, Brown thinks that revenue sharing will be a huge part of the negotiations. You can check out what I've previously written on the subject by clicking on the Small Market/Large Market category link.

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