Next time you think poorly of Jeff Wilpon, remember this. This morning, Met fans were blocked from watching Reyes and Matsui and Mike Piazza by a giant black tarp affixed to the fence around Field 3. That is until Paul Taglieri and Jeff Wilpon sprung into action and ordered the tarp removed.<p>

The details on who put up the tarp in the first place were somewhat fuzzy. Apparently, the players and coaches working on the infield-only "Field 3" had complained about media swarm in the already tight fenced in space, and asked the grounds crew to put up the tarp so the players could get their work in.

Director of Florida Operations Paul Taglieri upon hearing of it went to check it out, and then ran back to the executive offices before returning to the scene with Jeff Wilpon.

Wilpon, who fans often falsely malign for his perceived influence on baseball decisions, does what he does best, take quick and effective action. He assessed the situation, agreed with Taglieri's opinion that the tarp wasn't the fan-friendly message they were trying to convey, and gave the okay for Taglieri to order the tarp removed.

It's worth keeping in mind for future reference that in actual practice Jeff Wilpon, who was in fact a good enough ball player to be drafted by the Expos, is working for the fans, not against them.

Field 3 is blocked by a giant black tarp.

Taglieri and Wilpon spring into action.

Tarp is removed.

Check out picture 4 in the thumbnail gallery below. First, it shows Scott Strickland throwing, which is a great sign as he works his rehab from last year's surgery. However, if you look in the background, you'll notice the new rightfield berm in the Tradition Field outfield. It's one of the many huge improvements to the facilities in Port St. Lucie.

David Wright took batting practice in the stadium this morning and reported that the changes seemed to improve the stadium as a hitters park. "I think the berm in right and moving the score board into left center have really cut down some of the wind and help the ball carry better." said Wright.

That bodes well for Mets' positional prospects who will be playing in St. Lucie this year. Among those hoping to take advantage of it is outfielder Jamar Hill, who was disappointed last season to be sent back to Kingsport after dominating the Rookie League in 2002. Hill hit well during two brief stretches in Cap City last year and both he and the organization are hoping he can earn a full-season league spot with his play this spring.

Ty Wigginton and Joe McEwing have both taken to Wright and are "showing him the ropes". Wright also indicated that he has worked with Denny Walling and that the Mets are encouraging him to stick with hitting the ball into the gaps as has been his strength and that they are not pushing him to try and pull for more power.

Camp Notes

The pitchers took batting practice today and reliever Ober Moreno turned heads with an impressive performance, hitting linedrive after linedrive. John Franco also got to demonstrate his hitting skills, and took the opportunity to spray a half dozen long blasts into the crowd of fans that had gathered by the fence, and almost decapitating a teammate.

Mike Cameron hit again today but did not participate in running and fielding drills as he continues to nurse a sore toe.

Aaron Heilman and Jae Seo compared grips on a couple of pitches, with Heilman showing Seo what appears to be a splitter.

Wayne Lydon looks significantly bigger than he did last season in St. Lucie.

PHOTOS: Cameron(3), Strickland, Seo/Heilman(2), Seo, Leiter, Phillips, Piazza, Matsui, Brazell, D. Garcia, Diaz, K. Garcia(2), Reyes/Perez, Floyd, Redman/Snead, Lydon, K. Garcia, Duncan, Basak, Snead, Basak, Reyes, Peterson, Wright(2), Howe, Kazmir, Wheeler, Keppel, Ring, McEwing, Piazza, Wilson, Piazza(4), Phillips, Piazza, Wilson, Piazza(2), McEwing, Piazza(3)

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