Greetings from Port St. Lucie, spring-training home of your New York Mets. I lucked into a good first day, as principal owner Fred Wilpon spoke while the team took the field for its first full-squad workout.
He didn't offer much new, besides some details on the four-percent shares they are trying to sell (and perhaps will actually finalize someday). Otherwise, he pledged that his family would own the team for a long time, he vowed that this year's Mets would be better than we think and he tap-danced around queries covering the correlation between the team's plummeting payroll and the Wilpon's and Saul Katz's losses from the Bernie Madoff imbroglio.
I'm writing a column on Wilpon's session for tomorrow's Newsday. You can go ahead and tell the competition. They'll be writing about this, as well.
--Terry Collins is just as energetic as last year, and I'll give the guy this: He seems to believe his upbeat words, and the players seem to buy into it. He said that, in his introductory speech, he spoke about how the team needed to get better at absolutely everything, and that it couldn't let the ownership mess impact what they do on the field.
It won't translate into a World Series appearance or anything. But I think there's something to be said for maximizing talent, and Collins tries hard to do that in the "managing personalities" part of his job.