It was a successful outing. Glavine threw 58 pitches over four innings, allowing two hits and one earned run. He struck out six without a walk. The 39-year-old left-hander has had a terrific spring, the best he can remember in years.
Even if few have bothered to notice.
"I've been under the radar," Glavine said. "I just came in, did my thing and nobody noticed me. But that was a good thing."
Glavine was squarely in the spotlight in 2003 when he joined the Mets after 16 seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He was on the cover of the media guide, the subject of magazine stories and spoke to reporters nearly every day.
"This is a place where you have new additions get a lot of attention. Every dog has his day here, so to speak, and my day was a couple of years ago," Glavine said.
His pal Steve Trachsel is on the disabled list and may not be back until July. John Franco and Al Leiter, who helped convince Glavine to sign with the Mets, were tossed out the door by general manager Omar Minaya.
Glavine enters the season 38 wins short of 300 for his career. He had hoped to reach that plateau in 2006 then retire. But shoddy relief pitching, defense and run support has cost Glavine at least 14 victories over the last two seasons.
"I haven't given up on that. It might take me a year longer than I hoped but who knows?" he said. "I came here because I felt this was an organization that would address its needs and try and get in the playoffs and we've certainly done that. That will go a long way toward my personal goals."
PRIMED FOR A BIG SEASON: OF Carlos Beltran had a terrific spring training and seems primed for his New York debut. The five-tool center fielder has handled the media with aplomb to this point and seems unfazed by the pressure of his $119 million contract. "This is the time for me," he said. "I'm ready."
ON THE DECLINE: C Mike Piazza turns 37 in September, is in the final year of his contract and hasn't driven in 100 runs since 2000. Once one of the best right-hander hitters in the game, Piazza hit .266 last season and played only 129 games because of knee problems. After an ill-advised experiment of using him at first base, Piazza will again be a full-time catcher. But that could lead to more injuries.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Numbers of players on the Opening Day roster this season who were on the Opening Day roster last season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Willie is going to be a cold-blooded manager, very quiet. You can barely notice him. He's like Joe Torre. I'm just out there to do my job and let Willie do his. He's got my support in whatever he does." -- RHP Pedro Martinez on manager Willie Randolph.
The Mets have turned their roster over and could start the season with 16 players who weren't on the roster to start the 2004 season. GM Omar Minaya has made the Mets deeper, faster and slightly more powerful. Having Carlos Beltran hitting third and playing center is a significant upgrade.
The Mets have genuine aces atop the rotation in Martinez and Glavine. Benson, a career underachiever, pitched well in spring training and seems to have benefited from working with pitching coach Rick Peterson. The question marks are Zambrano and Ishii. Both have great stuff but career-long control problems. Getting them fixed will be Peterson's greatest challenge.
Here is the weakest link of the team, by far. Looper was a solid closer last season and seems to be getting better. He's not a traditional power closer but gets plenty of groundballs. The primary set-up men are DeJean and Heredia, who were huge failures with the Orioles and Yankees, respectively, last season. The Mets have high hopes for. Koo, a 34-year-old South Korean, has a deceptive motion and is tough on left-handed hitters. Aybar, Matthews and Hernandez are veterans who made the team on non-roster spring invitations.
There was no competition for any of these spots. Cameron came to camp following wrist surgery but worked his way back. Reyes played second base and Matsui shortstop last season but both are now in positions that suit them better. Mientkiewicz is an on-base specialist and Wright, 22, may be the best position player the Mets have developed since Darryl Strawberry. RESERVES:
The bench is much deeper and talented then the amalgamation of rookies and washed-up types the Mets had last season. Valent is a talented lefty hitter and Cairo can play any infield position well. He started at second base for the Yankees last season. Castro is a strong defensive catcher.
ROOKIE WATCH: The Mets don't have a rookie on their Opening Day roster unless you count Koo, a 34-year-old South Korean with vast professional experience. But RHP Heath Bell could prove to be a significant find once he returns from Triple-A Norfolk. The 28-year-old career minor leaguer lost weight during the winter by rollerblading eight miles to the team complex in Florida to work out and was lights out in spring training.
MEDICAL WATCH: RHP Steve Trachsel underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back on March 19 and will miss at least three months. 2B Kaz Matsui missed five days of spring training with a sore lower back and RHP Pedro Martinez skipped a start for the same reason. RHP Tyler Yates, who showed promise as a reliever, was lost for the season when he had shoulder surgery in February.