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David Brown

Spring Swing: Mets hone their skills, ignore ownership chaos

David Brown
Big League Stew

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Left-hander Chris Capuano(notes) is pretty good at bunting — for a pitcher — at least he was during a recent visit to New York Mets camp. And unless you're Allen Iverson, practice makes perfect, right?

Well, perhaps not in the case of right-hander D.J. Carrasco(notes), who performed as well as any other in his group.

"That's as good as you'll see from me," Carrasco said after being praised. "And you'll probably never see it that good again."

Even if the Mets can't take what they've learned at spring training north to Citi Field, they realize one thing: Don't bother fretting over the financial and legal troubles of ownership.

"Stuff that’s happening in the front office, you can’t control it," first baseman Ike Davis(notes) said. "Obviously, we wish the best for the Wilpons and our [other] owners because we’re all a family right now. But our job is on the field. We can’t worry what’s going to happening up there, or what people are saying. We stay out of that game."

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Another detail new manager Terry Collins had his pitchers working on: Rundowns. I wasn't close enough to hear all of what was said, but here's the gist: When you get a man in a rundown, try to get him going back to his original base. Also: Show him the ball (or show everyone you have it so it's ready to be thrown quickly) but don't throw it until you have to.

He's talking to R.A. Dickey(notes), who is just out of photo range. Coincidentally, Davis said that Dickey is probably the Mets' best fielding pitchers. So I'd expect Dickey to take what Collins is saying into the game. That's for all you young pitchers out there.

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Even superstars have to run. This sprinting drill, conducted after these guys finished playing six innings, really wore them out — which it was supposed to.

Imagine hitting for the cycle in one at-bat. Well, that's what Davis (upper left), Jason Bay(notes) (sunglasses), Angel Pagan(notes) (hands on knees) and Luis Castillo(notes) (squatting) had to do before being allowed to go home.

Starting at home plate, they sprinted to first for a single, then walked back; They hauled it to second for a double; They legged out triple; Finally, they completed the circuit with an inside-the-park home run. Congratulations, guys!

Seriously, it reminded me too much of gym class.

Hey, it looks like Castillo is wearing a "HELLO, My Name Is: Luis" sticker, but it's an optical illusion.

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OK, boys, solid practice. Let's wrap it up. Capuano, hit the links.

Follow Dave throughout spring training on Twitter — @AnswerDave — and check out the Stew on Facebook for more coverage.

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