Darryl Strawberry thinks Wally Backman will be the next manager of the Mets

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Here we go again.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Darryl Strawberry believes Wally Backman will be the next manager of the Mets.

“Wally will be the next manager of the Mets, in my opinion. I don’t have much say, but I thought he would’ve been the right choice for them. Not taking anything away from Terry [Collins]. He’s a great man and I think he’ll probably do a great job turning these guys around. But I think Wally’s in the future, as far as the manager, and I think he’ll be a super manager.”

The Mets announced this week that Backman will move up to manage Double-A Binghamton in 2011, so if he stays in the organization long enough, he figures to have a much better case the next time there’s a vacancy, at least with me. Granted, as a die-hard Mets fan, I hope Terry Collins leads the team to five consecutive division titles or something, but I’m not irrational enough to believe that will actually happen. By hiring Collins and keeping Backman around, the Mets have essentially kicked the can down the road on this one.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.