Aw, crap...I just heard this bit of "news" about Astacio's shoulder, and it's frankly not something I want to be thinking about. I mean, spring training is supposed to be a period of great hope and enthusiasm. Right now, I'm supposed to be deluding myself into believing this will be the Mets' year, that the Braves really are a shadow of their former selves, that Coney will sneak into the back end of the rotation and win his first three starts in April.
My calendar says that it's March, and March is a time for celebration. Celebrating that the Mets were able to land a few second-tier free agent stars who shouldn't come close to duplicating past successes. Celebrating that despite his dwindling production and knee functionality, Mike Piazza is still the best catcher in baseball(/the NL?). Celebrating even the arrival of Rey Sanchez, because this season I won't have to watch Rey Ordonez go 0-for-13 in the first series against Atlanta while bumbling two routine grounders.
The realities of the Mets' futility normally sink in gradually throughout the season, and it's usually not until mid-to-late-August that I've lost all hope for an orange-and-blue parade. This is spring training. I'm not supposed to realize that the Mets' success could be largely dependent on the health of three geriatrics (Glavine, Leiter, Cone) for a couple of months. And I'm certainly not supposed to acknowledge publicly that our best pitcher last year -- who faded miserably down the stretch -- never had surgery on his torn labrum, allowing it to heal "naturally." Well, the last time I heard a strategy like that was with Todd Stottlemyre. Yikes.
We all know what happened with Stott, but, then again, didn't his Diamondbacks win the World Series without him, resting on the arms of two old guys? Hmm. Maybe there is hope after all...