SiriusXM analyst and former Mets GM Jim Duquette talks to Post's Justin Terranova about Astros hatred, Red Sox doubts, and what the Yankees can't afford.
Question: "Are you surprised at how open the players were to the Astros?"
A: Pleasantly surprised. This is the first time something like this has happened in the social media era. We didn't see this in the PED era, the players kept their opinions to themselves. If there was outrage, it was not public at all. I really noticed how much anger and vitriol is aimed at the players, and rightly so.
Q: How will that affect the Astros when the season begins?
A: They still don't know how much trouble they'll have when they start playing real games in the regular season. Until you have had this experience, it is difficult to deal with. You have no idea how difficult that will be. New York will be crazy, but it will all be over.
Q: Do we underestimate the potential of Red Sox after trading Mookie Betts?
A: You have so many question marks. Tampa [Bay] is definitely better than them, and obviously the Yankees are too. I do not know if [Chris] The sale will be healthy. You don't know it [Nathan] Eovaldi too. I actually think their bullpen will be a little bit better this year. , , , I don't know what the hell they'll be offensive without Betts. The best teams in the American League: Houston, Oakland, Minnesota and the Yankees. Then throw in Tampa, White Sox and Indians. At best, the Red Sox are behind these teams. I think it's going to be a tough year for them.
Q: Is there a weakness that worries you about the Yankees?
A: You would normally say injuries, but the Yankees passed this test last year and won over 100 games. I have some question marks as to whether [Gio] Urshela can confirm what he did last year. If [Aaron] Richter still misses a month and a half, can [Mike] Tauchman repeat what he did? But it's just small things. I feel like it doesn't peck with such a deep and strong squad. , , , If the injury isn't with Gleyber Torres, they can overcome it. He is the only one for me who is invaluable for this club.
Q: What will you follow most closely throughout the Mets camp?
A: The [Jeurys] Familia-[Edwin] Diaz's question is number one I want to see answered. If you throw [Dellin] Betances in there, you need two of these guys to determine the way they are capable. If you get that – and I think Betances will be good – then you have a really deep bullpen.