Willie: So, Omar, who’s on first?
Omar: Whaddya mean who’s on first? Delgado’s on first.
Willie: No, no, O. Delgado’s got the hip thing.
Omar: OK, OK, so put Anderson on first.
Willie: O-man, Anderson got his jaw knocked around by the right fielder.
Omar: Jeez Louise. Maybe I oughta trade a pitcher or too. See ya, Willie.
Willie: Whoa, hold up a second. What about second?
Omar: Willie, my man, you said Gotay’s all we got right now.
Willie: He’s getting his wrist and ankle checked out in New York. And he’s starting to lose it in the field.
Omar: So let Castillo, Easley, or Valentin get some reps.
Willie: Not ready yet Omar.
Omar: Sure they are.
Willie: Not ready yet Omar.
Omar: OK, OK.
Willie and Omar thought they were going to have it easy this spring. Almost all of the roster spots were set, and there would be a little healthy competition for the fifth starter’s role. Of course when El Duque’s involved the word healthy shouldn’t grace the newsprint.
Now Willie and Omar are faced with the possibility of another year of a sub-par Delgado with nagging injuries and an aging corps of utility players who are quickly disappearing.
With Marlon Anderson’s collision with Ryan Church, Ruben Gotay’s wrist and ankle issues, and Damion Easley’s and Endy Chavez’s slow recoveries, the primary subs all need subs of their own.
Olmedo Saenz was brought in to compete for a spot and help out at first base, but the only lineup he seems destined for is at the buffet.
The Mets and Jose Valentin both know he won’t be ready for the start of the season, so scratch that option.
With the reports that Omar has been trying to shop underachieving lefty reliever Scott Schoeneweis and journeyman righty Jorge Sosa, perhaps reinforcements are on the way. But who wants an aging lefty reliever with a big contract?
Look no farther than the cross-town rival Yankees. The Bombers are hoping that young Chase Wright or Sean Henn can step up and come in to get out tough lefties like nemesis David Ortiz. Their other option right now is failed experiment Kei Igawa and his bad haircut.
What would be wonderful would be Scott Schoeneweis and some cash to the Yankees for 1B/OF Shelley Duncan. Mr. Duncan is a right-handed hitter with some pop, a good attitude, and a hunger for some playing time. He could fill in for Ryan Church in right field against a tough lefty or do the same at first for Delgado. If (when) Moises Alou goes down, Shelley could also patrol left and keep some right-handed pop in the lineup.
The Yankees could afford to part with Duncan as they have a plethora of guys trying to win a spot as an extra outfielder/first baseman/pinch hitter. Veteran Jason Lane can do all of these things and is a better fielder that Duncan, so the Yankees could go in that direction.
Another option could be Tigers’ utility man Brandon Inge, who can play the outfield, the corners, and act as a third catcher. For that to work, the Mets would have to throw a lot of cash Detroit’s way with some of this big salaries on that club.
Bring the kiddies. Bring the wife...Can they play right field to save their lives?