Andy Martino of the Daily News does his best to comfort sad Wally Backman fans by passing along word that the team may be considering another 1986 Met for the coaching staff: Mookie Wilson, who could become the team’s first base coach.
First base coaches don’t really matter, but I link this for three reasons: (1) I LOVE Mookie Wilson; (2) it’s a slow news day; and (3) it gives me an opportunity to tell you how I annoyed my daughter over the weekend.
For the past three years I have contributed an article to The Hardball Times Baseball Annual. It just came out and you should buy it, by the way. No, I don’t get any money if it becomes a best seller. It’s just the best baseball annual you’re going to find, my article — recapping the year’s more frivolous stories — is pretty hilarious if I say so myself, and The Hardball Times is an awesome organization consisting of awesome people and you should support them. With the shilling over, here’s how I annoyed my daughter:
In the back of the book, all of the Hardball Times contributors have a little author bio. For the past two years I’ve ended my bio by saying “Craig lives with his wife and two children — Mookie and Tyrus Raymond — in a fortified compound on the outskirts of New Albany, Ohio.” Last year I told my daughter that I called her Mookie and she was livid, insisting that her name is not, in fact, Mookie. I did it again this year, of course, and I got my copy of the book on Saturday. I quickly turned to the bio page and put it in front of my daughter to show her that, once again, she is Mookie. She totally freaked out on me. It was fabulous. And hey, if you can’t mock your kids, who can you mock?
I woke up on Sunday morning with this picture shoved under my bedroom door:
Yes, that is my daughter shooting me with a ray-gun of some sort as her little brother — Tyrus Raymond — looks on laughing and as I scream in pain and horror. And hey, she got my little basement studio in there and everything! That kid has a bright future ahead of her assuming she doesn’t murder her father and stuff.
But next year: she’s totally Mookie again. Or maybe Honus.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.