Mike Piazza sneaks into swings in preparation for Mets Old-Timers’ Day

PORT ST. LUCIE — It’s never too early for Mike Piazza to get ready for Classic Car Day.

The Hall of Fame catcher, who was at camp with the Mets this week, admitted sneaking into the batting cage for a few hits in anticipation of the Aug. 27 event at Citi Field. The Mets last held a classic car day in 1994.

“I already have a trailing slash,” Piazza said Tuesday. “I didn’t know what an oblique was until I started swinging again.

“The funniest thing is getting messages from fans on social media saying, ‘Go deep – slam it on the top deck.’ I just don’t want to pull anything, I don’t want to hurt myself for my golf game. I hope everyone is glad we’re on the field, we’re all together, all classic guys, but don’t expect bombs in the upper deck. If I get in touch, I’ll be happy.”

Mike Piazza speaks with Pete Alonso ahead of Tuesday’s Mets spring training game.
Mike Piazza

Piazza cited the unveiling of a statue honoring Tom Seaver on April 15 and Keith Hernandez’s retirement ceremony on July 9 as two other events that will be important to the franchise this season.

“We are delighted that Steve [Cohen] really committed to the history of the team,” Piazza said, referring to the Mets owner. “And the fans love it too – overwhelmingly. They love the ’86s and the ’69s…that’s what the history of this organization is about. We’re celebrating the boys today, they’re the real stars, but ultimately Mets fans love the history of this club.”

After Starling Marte was sidelined by a sore left slash, Dominic Smith received a start in left field. It was Smith’s first outfield action this spring.

According to manager Buck Showalter, Marte has started taking a tee shot and the Mets “have a chance” to set the veteran outfielder up for Opening Day if he doesn’t suffer a setback. Marte reported to the camp feeling uneasy about the inclined position.

“The lure is picking up too much [with Marte], and we’re not trying,” Showalter said. “But he has time.”

Tuesday was the deadline for eligible players to make arrangements with their team. Those who do not reach an agreement go to arbitration.

As of early Tuesday night, well-known comparisons among Mets players on one-year contracts included Edwin Diaz ($10.2 million), Pete Alonso ($7.4 million), Brandon Nimmo ($7 million), Trevor Williams ($3.9 million), Jeff McNeil ($3 million). ), Seth Lugo ($2.925 million), JD Davis ($2.76 million), Miguel Castro ($2.62 million) and Luis Guillorme ($875,000). Chris Bassitt, Smith and Tomas Nido were among others whose contract status was not immediately known. Mike Piazza sneaks into swings in preparation for Mets Old-Timers’ Day


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