Busy times in baseball, with camps breaking and decisions being made. A few items:
--Francisco Rodriguez has left the Mets to deal with an apparent emergency in his native Venezuela. Omar Minaya says that K-Rod should be back by Monday's Opening Day. But if Rodriguez doesn't get back in time...and the Mets have a ninth-inning lead...who should close?
Beats me. Maybe Kiko Calero? Do you let Jenrry Mejia make his major-league debut by trying to get a save? I don't. Most likely, Jerry Manuel would use matchups like he did back in 2008, after Billy Wagner went down. After all, my memory is a little shaky, but that worked out fine, didn't it?
--Tough day for the Phillies, as the innings-eating Joe Blanton went down with a strained left oblique. Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro Jr. sounds openly concerned in this MLB.com story.
Kyle Kendrick is a big downgrade from Blanton, undoubtedly, and Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero also will begin the season on disabled list. Maybe the Mets will actually have some breathing room? Eh. I'm not sold yet.
--In the latest example that baseball was hardly "pure" prior to 1998, Bernie Carbo told The Boston Globe that he was using amphetamines when he hit his famous, game-tying home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Are we gonna shake our fists over this? If not, why not? How is it any different from players who used steroids?
--Good piece by The Boston Globe's Tony Masarotti on Theo Epstein's long-range vision.
Thanks, as always, to Twitter.