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3 Mets talking points we'll be sick of by end Of Spring Training

Spring training is here. It's a time of warmth, hope and belief. It's also a time of talking points being front and center without the backdrop of games that actually count.


While many things, such as the development of young players like Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty, and the acclimation of new Mets such as Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga, will be worth keeping track of, there will be some topics of conversation that you just know will be run into the ground by time the Mets open the season in late March. Here are three that I'm sure we'll already be done with by then, if we're not done with already:


The relationship between Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer


This has been talked about ever since Verlander signed with the Mets. "Hey, Verlander and Scherzer were teammates with the Tigers and didn't get along, were really competitive." You know what this is going to lead to. "Who will be the ace of the rotation?" "Who will be the better leader?" "Will there be factions within the team?" "Can they co-exist with the Mets?"


For their part, both Scherzer and Verlander have acknowledged that they're different people from when they were Tigers teammates with the from 2010-14, and that whatever issues they had in the past aren't going to be a factor now. But you know that's not going to stop some from assuming that these Type-A personalities didn't evolve and grow over time.


Pete Alonso and his contract extension


When Jeff McNeil signed a four-year contract extension this winter, a fan base's lonely eyes turned to Pete Alonso, wondering whether the Mets would extend him next. Well, I'm sure that's on the to-do list. But you know how people want instant gratification these days, and we would like Alonso to be signed long term, like, tomorrow.


But with Alonso agreeing to a $14.5 million deal to avoid arbitration this season - the largest for a first baseman in his second year of arbitration - the urgency for a large extension fell to the lower half of the priority list for this season. When we get to the winter of 2024, the questions will be asked, as they should be. But any constant questions about it now will just be pointless. Though I'm sure that won't stop people from asking.


Mets interest in Shohei Ohtani


I just want to make this clear: I will never be sick of Shohei Ohtani. He is a joy to watch pitch and hit, a top level superstar in MLB and the most unique baseball player of our time, maybe all-time.


The chatter about Ohtani coming to the Mets started a while ago. Now that he can be a free agent at the end of this season, it's going to reach a fever pitch. Ohtani likely will sign the richest contract in MLB history, and the Mets have the owner who can afford such a deal.


So, each time Ohtani is asked about free agency this season, there are going to be social media posts about it with the stupid googly eyes emoji attached to them, only to play the video and hear Ohtani basically give the very polite answer of "I just want to focus on this season." Every move that Ohtani makes, whether it's the Instagram posts that he likes or the way he ties his shoes is going to be interpreted as a secret message that he wants to come to the Mets.


Unfortunately, the word on the street is that Ohtani's strong preference is to remain on the West Coast, even if he decides to leave the Angels. So any talk about him coming to the Mets is mere speculation that comes from the fact that Steve Cohen has a lot of money and has shown a willingness to spend big to upgrade the roster. For Mets fans who are rooting for a team that has a real chance to win the World Series in 2023, Ohtani click bait is merely going to get in the way.


Photo: Mark Rosenman

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