The New York Mets should be ready for opening day 2006. They have alot to be proud of this off season and they should easily have a good grasp of Shea Stadium.

For guys like Brian Bannister, that grasp will a new one. Bannister is scheduled to start the second game of the season for New York right after Tom Glavine takes the mound for opening day. At just 25 years old, the son of former big league pitcher Floyd Bannister, Brian is ready for what could be his first big role playing in baseball.

"It's not personality, per se, but makeup -- his makeup is off the charts," said Steve Leavitt, the scout who signed him. "It's never just raw talent. You put everything you think together and try to project what they're going to be. Brian has so many things that don't have anything to do with how he throws. ... He's humble. But he has lots of confidence. And he has baseball smarts. He has as good a makeup as you'd want in a person, no matter what he's going to do."

This makes perfect sense for a Mets ball club who you could sense had that humbleness and confidence in themselves last year. Bannister just adds to the cup. In the middle of this spring Brian was in a battle with up and coming star Aaron Heilman for the fifth spot in the Mets starting rotation for 2006. Bannister beat out the pesky Heilman who took a trip to the bullpen and will stay their until further notice. Bannister has obviously proven himself to be that kind of pitcher. The one that can come in to this club and beat out the regular.

The Mets are a little weak for opening day when it comes to the rotation. Pedro Martinez is supposed to start the third game of the season for New York, the one right after Bannister.

Stay tuned as I will provide complete opening day coverage of the Mets 2006 season. Please email me with any thoughts or comments at


Sun 04/02/06, 12:02 pm EST



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