The Mets launched the 2004 season with the start of their annual caravan yesterday in Grand Central Station. Forgetting their insipid new slogan, "Catch the Energy," there is reason to look forward to the coming year at Shea. After all, the Mets have no where to go but up. While the Metropolitans didn't make a big splash their fans were hoping for by signing Vlad Guerrero, who knows, they still may consider trading for Magglio Ordonez (One can always hope). Regardless, it will be exciting to watch Jose Reyes develop alongside his new partner, Kaz Matsui. Mike Cameron too, should give Mets fans---not to mention Mets pitchers---plenty to ooh and ahh about with the glove in centerfield (along with Cliff Floyd, Cameron is one of the more likable outfielders in the league).
But the biggest story in Queens remains Mike Piazza's transition from full-time catcher, to part-time catcher, part-time first baseman. According to John Harper in The Daily News:
Mike Piazza pledged his allegiance to the ballclub, be it behind the plate or at first base. And if he still wasn't exactly bubbling with enthusiasm over the idea of his much-debated move to first, at least he seemed committed to making the effort.
"I'll be ready to play both positions," Piazza said. "The thing that's always worked for me is to keep it simple. I'll work at it and we'll see how it works out."
I hope that Piazza is healthy this year and has a terrific season. With the exception of Hubie Brooks and Mookie Wilson, he is my favorite Met player ever. The next ground ball that he doesn't run out will be his first, he calls a good game, is a solid receiver, and oh yeah, he just happens to be the greatest hitting catcher of all-time.