The Indians beat the Mets, 2-1, in a pleasant if sleepy matinee at Tradition Field today (not to be confused with Legends Field, of course… gotta love these stadium names). Oliver Perez pitched three innings and though the Tribe hit him hard at times, they only managed two hits and one run off him. He seemed fairly pleased with the outing — though Perez has one of those faces that always looks vaguely worried, even when he’s happy — while an upbeat Willie Randolph called it “a little bit better” than last time and added that he had “a nice little rhythm going”. Randolph also praised Scott Schoeneweis, who looked good today. The offense didn’t do much but – all together now! – “the pitchers are still ahead of the hitters.”
Other notes from my first day in Port St. Lucie:
-Jose Reyes, somewhat alarmingly, may have actually improved since last year. Of course you have to be wary of spring training hot streaks because they don’t always last, but Reyes already looks very sharp and may be in even better shape than 2006. Willie Randolph said after the game he thought Reyes could be a Gold Glove winner (and I realize that’s not the not the most meaningful measure of fielding prowess, but you know what he means), plus the guy stole a couple of bases today, currently one of my favorite things in baseball to watch. He has an awful lot of hype to live up to, but you know, he might actually be able to do it.
-Tom Glavine returned from several days away for “personal reasons” and played catch for a while after batting practice; he’s set to start tomorrow against the Astros, and so I will drive to Kissimmee to watch. I have to say, sports writers take a lot of crap and some of it is deserved, but everyone pretty much left Glavine alone on this – and ditto Johnny Damon, when he left the Yankees for a few days several weeks ago. Someone asked how things were at home, Glavine said they were “good,” and that was the end of it, which is only right. Not to say I’m not curious – it’s really cruel to use the phrase “personal reasons” on a group of reporters.
Meanwhile over at the Yanks-Tigers game, Bronson Sardinha hit a walk-off homer to give the Bombers the win. Who? Yes, well, probably all three starting Yankee outfielders would have to go down simultaneously before you see him in the Bronx this season (freak tornado? It could happen), but still, nice moment. The Yankees are 5-0 in spring training games, and I know I keep saying these outcomes don’t really mean anything – they don’t – but it’s still irrationally impressive.