A week before opener, owner Fred Wilpon addresses Mets
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon addressed the team in a closed-door meeting Monday morning.
The meeting delayed the opening of the Mets clubhouse 15 minutes and players could be heard clapping when the meeting was over.
''Any time that you have those types of meetings you can take a lot out of it, and I think everybody in here took a lot of out of it,'' Mets captain David Wright said. ''I'm not big on sharing what happens in those closed-door team meetings. ... As far as the players are concerned, we're going to keep that in the clubhouse.''
Wilpon declined to speak with reporters in the clubhouse after the session. New York has finished with a losing record in six straight seasons, one shy of the team record.
''When you have very few meetings, regardless of what the meeting is about, they mean a little more,'' Wright said. ''So when you're starting to have meetings for the sake of having meetings, sometimes the message doesn't quite come through. But when you have limited meetings about baseball, like we have, when somebody speaks, I think the message comes through a little clearer.''
The 78-year-old Wilpon told manager Terry Collins he would be more of a presence this spring training and has been true to his word.
''He expects it to be a much better team,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier this month. ''He's got great passion. He wants to win so bad and when we talked, I said `Listen, you're going to like what comes out of here.'''
Even following season-ending elbow injuries to pitchers Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin, the Mets hope to contend for a playoff spot. The starting pitching boasts a healthy Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year. The offense has led the Grapefruit League in batting average, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
''I think that we're ready,'' Wright said. ''There's still some things we need to work on, some little things, but I think only game-speed-type situations with help that out. ... Big picture-wise, offensively, I don't foresee us swinging the bats much better than we are right now. I think that aspect is really good. Pitching-wise, it's been as good as advertised. Starting pitching-wise, guys are throwing the ball really well. Big picture-wise, I'd say 100 percent we're chomping at the bit to get going.''
NOTES: Needing a left-handed reliever following Edgin's injury, the Mets acquired Alex Torres from San Diego for minor league right-hander Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named. The 27-year-old Torres made his major league debut in 2012 and was 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 39 games as rookie with Tampa Bay in 2013. He was 2-1 with a 3.33 in 70 games for the Padres last season, holding right-handed batters to a .209 average (23 for 110).