PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Nothing matches baseball for reassuring signs of renewal. On a hot summer day, the first breaking of shoulders pads Is this the first time you hear your sneakers slipping on hard floors in a gym? Nope. There’s baseball, and there’s everything else.

There they were, Tuesday morning: a prospect and coach. the Bullpen mounds and batting cages on a diamond that has no outfield the Mets’ training complex. The half field, as it is called, is like a luxury home with a soaring entryway but no rooms — capable of facilitating just infield practice, nothing else.

Joey Cora, now 57 years old, is an ex-infielder for the Major Leagues. He’s skilled in in the The fine points the Ronny Mauricio (21), a Dominican shortstop of power and speed, fungo bat, hit rollers with. Mauricio wore shorts and a backward-cap. Mets The sweat dripped through the T-shirt and he was darting left and right to get grounders. Cora finally lined it up. the Just behind is a little fence the infield dirt Oops.

“Old habits, baby!” Cora smiled when someone wept, while Cora cried. He made about 1,000 trips. the Plate to hit a homerun in the majors.

Although catchers and pitchers officially report to spring camp on Wednesday, many arrived earlier. Played catch in an unusually arranged space (2 full diamonds, shared outfield). Arms and legs were unfolded in familiar ways. Curves and sliders were carefully shaped to keep speeds below the speed limit on roads.

Only Justin Verlander throws like that, an observer might think — and hey, over there, that’s unmistakably Max Scherzer. They are the Two of the highest-paid baseball players are and the Only pitchers the Grapefruit League has three Cy Young Awards. (Clayton Kershaw is out in the Cactus League Arizona the Dodgers also have three.

Steven A. Cohen, the Mets’ owner, first fan, and unapologetic big spender, lavished $43.3 million per year on Scherzer before last season — and did it again in December for Verlander, who turns 40 in a week. In 2022, Verlander had the majors’ best E.R.A., won the American League Cy Young Award and assistance the Houston Astros win the World Series.

“He understands the expectations and the mantle of what he carries,” Mets Buck Showalter stated that the manager was downplaying the He has obvious requirements for his right-handers. “Both those guys have climbed that mountain, so I don’t think it could be more heightened, because it was already there.”

Showalter led the Mets Atlanta was tied at 101 victories in last season’s regular-season finale the The best in the National League East, one division the Braves won by a tiebreaker. Each team lost the first round of playoffs. the Philadelphia Phillies — a distant third in the division race — reached the World Series.

At 66 years old, the Manager the Year Awards in four different decades, Showalter still hasn’t been to a Fall Classic. One team has he led to the league championships: the The 2014 Baltimore Orioles won the sweep the Detroit Tigers are on their way. The Tigers’ aces that fall were Scherzer and Verlander.

Examples like that are why Showalter never speaks as boldly as players like closer Edwin Díaz, a 2022 All-Star, who matter-of-factly described the Mets’ mandate on Tuesday.

“Our expectation is to win the championship,” said Díaz, who had his hair dyed blond to match his teammates for Puerto Rico in next month’s World Baseball Classic. “So we’re looking forward to start winning games and try to be in the World Series.”

Showalter didn’t mention the words “World Series” On Tuesday at the very least, the First of the He will be giving hundreds of news conferences this season. He did mention the A rare gift that opens the Seven games in seven days in the season at Miami and Milwaukee ballparks. It’s a wonderful treat for planners.

“When we get home we will have played seven days in a row, unless there’s a leak in the roofs,” Showalter claimed. “Rooves. Rufus.”

The chummy media gathering — news conference is too formal a term — had its usual amusing sidebars. Showalter will be hosting a talent showcase. the players, though none will likely top a former Baltimore prospect, Ryan Flaherty, who once brought two monkeys to camp — one pitched to the other — and won a roster spot.

Showalter was thrilled to play 52 games against Divisional Opponents, down from the 76 last year.“That didn’t make any sense at all,” He agreed. He was happy. the Mets Finally removed the Bullpen bumps into the spring training stadium’s foul territory, posing a safety risk. He also noted that the Team had redesign its sliding pits the A training center to assist players the new bases this season — 18 inches square, up from 15, designed to promote stolen bases.

“You get used to ’em looking a certain way,” Showalter claimed. “I know the first day I walked out down here last week and saw the bags, right away they were different. But I don’t know how much they’re actually going to affect the game.”

Showalter is open to talking to you. the Managers of minor leagues, responsible for overseeing the implementation and monitoring changes the Last season, the levels were lower the Limits on pitch time, infield placement restrictions, pickoff throws limits These are the Mets’ staff met with league officials Tuesday afternoon to review it all.

“I don’t worry about the pitch clock because I like to pitch quick,” Díaz said. “I don’t like to let the hitter think what pitch is coming.”

There are only two choices with Díaz, who has no plans to add anything new after fanning 118 of his 235 opposing hitters, with a 1.31 E.R.A., in the Regular season 2022

“No,” He said: “I will keep throwing my two pitches, my fastball and my slider, and keep striking out everybody.”

Díaz’s season earned him the richest contract ever for a closer — five years, $102 million — and center fielder Brandon Nimmo also returned, for eight years and $162 million. These are the Mets After losing, Verlander was able to get Verlander the Jacob deGrom was an excellent right-hander and moved to Texas. Showalter (a former Rangers manager) said he helped deGrom find a Dallas house. He then went on to shuffle elsewhere. the pitching staff: Kodai Senga, José Quintana, David Robertson and Brooks Raley are in; Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, Seth Lugo and Joely Rodriguez are out.

Cohen estimates that it amounts to around $450million, with tax penalties included. the The most money an owner ever spent on a team roster. Although the pressure can be implicit, it is not impossible to meet. the It is not worth the weight. This was a start to enjoying.

“In order to have something to finish, you’ve got to figure out a way to start it,” Showalter claimed. “I’m a little more interested in that part right now.”