Traid Ike ??????

If you are in the Financial district of Manhattan today head on over to the Citi Bank branch at 120 Broadway where you can meet Mets great Mookie Wilson. Mookie will be meeting and greeting Mets fans and signing autographs from 12 Noon to 1:30 Pm at the Citi Bank Branch.

One thing you can say about Mets fans, they are damn entertaining. They bitch and moan about the suckitude of the team but when a player is mentioned as trade bait they filp out. The latest outrage is now word that the club will explore moving Ike Davis in the off season. The reaction from the lunatic fringe of Mets fans was predictable.  

Adam Rubin in his post on ESPN.com wrote that the Mets are playing Lucas Duda at 1st base against lefties because they are looking at using Davis as trade bait to fill one of the numerous holes this team has. Nothing wrong with that. Rubin then mentions that the organization is not happy with Davis’ stubbornness in taking direction from the coaching staff and his nocturnal habits.  Davis’ pig headedness when it comes to listening to coaching direction is not a new murmur, the night time high life is.

Davis has battled a lot of adversity the last two seasons, between his ankle injury costing him a season and his bout with Valley Fever and his awful first half of 2012 season to his credit Davis has bounced back in the second half to the point that he could be a valuable trade chip this winter. Another thing to remember, Sandy Alderson and his baseball operation staff are not emotionally invested in the majority of the players on the Major League level of the organization and would have no problem dealing them off to improve the team. That’s why I feel the Mets will be one of the most active teams in trades this off season because there is no way you can bring back the bulk of this team in 2013 and win.

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Oh Yeah #IMWITH28

There is nothing better than watching your favorite team come from behind to win a game, then to top it off, one of your favorite players not only makes a game saving defensive play but then comes up to the plate with the winning run in scoring position and comes through with the game winning hit.

There is something different about Daniel Murphy so far this season. I saw some of it this off season when I got the chance to interview him at the Thurman Munson dinner with other writers and media people but when the main streamers moved on, it was just me and Murph. I shut off my recorder so I could have an “off the record” conversation with Murphy as we talked about some stuff other than baseball, mostly how the weather in NYC this winter was almost as nice as his native Jacksonville, where he worked out all winter and his getting a kick out me trying to sell him on living in Brooklyn as I brought up his short stay as a Cyclone.  We also spoke of the negativity that from outside forces that was surrounding the team and Murphy gave me a smirk and told me that stuff doesn’t bother him or his teammates as the players, coaches and especially the manager won’t let negativity enter the clubhouse.  So far Murph was right this team as the club seems to have stayed below the noise with this hot start.

I agree 100 % with what Bobby Ojeda said in the post-game show though, everyone is sky high happy as they’re winning ball games, what you want to look at is if this attitude remains during the first 4 or 5 game losing streak as Bobby O pointed out, in the past this team would wilt and get real quiet during the tough times. That will be the real test for the 2012 Mets, their reaction to adversity.

I’ve said it before that sometimes I enjoy seeing a pitcher who is struggling try to find himself during a game and righting himself than watching a guy dominate a line up and last night Mike Pelfrey gave one of those find yourself performances.  His first inning had me squirming in my chair after three straight hits by Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche as it looked like it was going to be an early Big Pelf meltdown but only one Nat crossed home plate so disaster averted. Pelf threw a lot of pitches and it seemed he was getting squeezed by home plate ump Todd Tichenor especially in the 6th when it looked like he stuck out Xavier Nady to end the inning but Tichenor blew the call and gave Nady life and on the next pitch Nady singled to center, prolonging the inning and ending Pelfs night and his attempt to go 6 full innings.

Pelf threw strikes and walked only one but he was tagged for ten base hits. He relied a lot on his sinker and slider most of the night but cranked up his four seamer to 90+ MPH when he needed it. It wasn’t a great start or an awful start but it was better than normal Big Pelf start.

I want to see the Mets get into a bench clearer this season just to see who is dumb enough to take on Jon Rauch, that’s one guy I’d hate have mad at me.

Ed Marcus a/k/a Rusty Jr over at Real Dirty Mets has a great review of R.A. Dickey’s book. If you haven’t bought Dickey’s yet shame on you.

By the way I will have a special announcement of a contest I will be running here on Friday that you won’t want to miss.   

 

 

 

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WE’RE CLOSE REEEEAAAALLLL CLOSE TO REAL BASEBALL

I had the honor of being invited to a bloggers conference call with Mets manager Terry Collins last night. Collins is upbeat , excited and quite confident about his team. I posed the question to Collins on how will he keep this club together when adversity hits, as it always does in a 162 game baseball season. Thanks to Michael Baron, here is my question and a full transcript of the conference call. I tip my Mets cap to Michael for doing this transcript under adverse conditions as there was a load of background noise during the call:

Steve Keane: This Spring, camp has been upbeat, although there have been a few bumps in the road. It seems the players have fed off your enthusiasm. Over the course of the season, there will be losing streaks, and in the past, those spread and festered. The Mets, over the past few years, haven’t been known to be mentally and physically tough. How do you combat that?

Terry Collins:   Not everyone has the answer. People think there is a process we go through to get through it. In a losing streak, a lot of guys get concerned with individual stats, and we need to combat that. Its all about communication, and making sure they continue to believe in themselves. Not sitting back, and waiting for things to happen.

The toughest part of managing or coaching is getting your players to buy in to what preaching, getting them to put team ahead of self and so far this spring from the quotes and stories from Mets players, they seem to be buying what TC is selling.

Caryn (Metsgrrl) Rose had a great question for Collins about him being a players manager and I think this was a real honest and revealing answer from TC:

I think it means a lot – in the past, I was probably not a players manager. Through the years, I have realized the importance of constant communication, and never taking anything for granted. That is done with experience – from my first few years, I was worried about only managing the game, and thinking everyone was on board with it. I look at it as a compliment.

Keeping the lines of communication open is KEY for a manager. When the players have to guess what you’re thinking or feel you’re playing head games, you are destine to lose that player and your team.  I would say TC learned that lesson in Anaheim and will not make that mistake again.

Izzy has agreed to stay in extended spring training for two weeks as the Mets try to fit this bullpen. It worked out as well as Sandy Alderson could have hoped as he gets to keep two or the three relievers he had to decide on.

The more these stories keep coming out about the Skill Sets shaky financial status, it seems the only conclusion I can see is the Skill Sets selling the team.  Freddy Skill Sets has his heart set on keeping the team in the family for generations to come but I doubt if his wish will come true.

As I was typing up this post, word came down that Luis Castillo has been cut by the Phuck Phaces. Andy Martino is getting ready to file a discrimination lawsuit against the Phuck Phaces on behalf of Castillo.

GET METS-MERIZED! GET METS-MERIZED! Cheesy? you bet Sharp Cheddar Baby!

The everyday menu at Foley’s NY is always first rate but with the start of the 2011 Baseball Season, they have added a bunch of specials to commemorate the season openers:

Appetizers

Francona’s Terry-Yaki Steak Skewers: $5.00

Thai (Cobb) Chicken Skewers: $5.00

Dustin Pedroia’s Buffalo Shrimp: $5.50

Miguel Cabrera’s Loaded Fries: $5.00

Welkes’ Wings (Bucket = three orders): $12.50

Entrees

Cliff’s Phil-Lee Cheesesteak Sandwich: $5.95

Justin Morneau’s French Dip $5.95

Sean Casey’s Irish Burger $6.50

Coursi’s Chicken Club Wrap $5.50

Additionally, Foley’s has named a menu item for every team in the major leagues:

NL

Mets: David Wright Sandwich

Phillies: Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Braves: Fried Chicken Dinner

Marlins: Fried Fish Sandwich

Nats: Washington Apple Pie

Brewers: Bratwurst

Cardinals: Toasted Ravioli

Pirates: Pittsburgh Steak Salad

Cubs: Chicago Dog

Astros: Texas Sirloin Steak

Reds: “Reds Hot” Chili

Dodgers: LA Pizza

Padres: Fish Tacos

Rockies: Beer Battered Onion Rings

Arizona: Chicken Southwest

Giants: French Dip

AL

Yankees: “Swish” & Chips

Red Sox: Shrimp & Scallops

Toronto: Poutine (French fries topped by cheese curds and gravy)

Orioles: Maryland Crab Cake Sliders

Rays: Cuban Sandwich

Tigers: Mini Chili Dogs

White Sox: Chicago Dog

Twins: “Juicy Lucy” Burger

Royals: KC Burger

Indians: Cleveland Carrot Cake

Rangers: Texas T Bone

Angels: Artie’s Nachos

Mariners: Chicken Eggrolls

A’s:  Garlic Wings

Looks like tomorrow or Friday will be a long lunch day for me to sneak over to Foley’s

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast from last night with my guest Matthew Silverman author of 50 AMAZIN’ SEASON . You can listen here at Kranepool Society (lower right side bar) or at the show page or as a download on iTunes.

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YOU METS FANS ARE REALLY STARTING TO ANNOY ME

Maybe it’s me. I’ve been told that I can be a bit dense at times but for the life of me I can’t understand how some Mets fans feel that the recently completed road trip from hell was because of Carlos Beltran’ return to the lineup ? Now let me set the record straight here, I am not the President nor a member of the Carlos Beltran Fan Club, in fact I have called on the Mets to deal Beltran since 2008 and I would hope he has a great second half as getting out from his contract would a huge plus for the organization, but to say that Beltran has hurt the team chemistry by coming back, is beyond stupid.

This team is only acts as  a cohesive bunch when they win, once adversity hits and that by the way is how you measure this worn out word chemistry, the NY Mets turn into the French Army. After wining games, especially at home, shirts are flying out of pants, hats are tilted to the side, players are jumping up and “high fiving” it’s quite the spectacle. But when they lose, and they do this with regularity on the road, their heads are down, shirts stay neatly in their pants, blank stares into space replace high jumping hand slaps. No team in sports acts in such a bi-polar way than the NY Mets.

Now the fans are starting to get like that. Beltran is a “clubhouse cancer” they say, huh, if anything Beltran is a low flame kind of guy, but he produces both with the bat and the glove. He has looked very rusty with both so far since his return from knee surgery but it’s such a small sampling but who knows, maybe he will never regain his old form. The same fans that hate Beltran, have fallen in love with Jeff Francoeur and seem to think he was a big reason the Mets went on a nice run in June, I guess an OPS of .845 is impressive to some. If Beltran had a month like that he’d be an underachiever.

I really don’t get it. The Mets right now are playing their three best outfielders in Bay, Beltran and Pagan. Unfortunately, Bay and Beltran are struggling but what both have over Francoeur is they have a body of work that is All Star caliber, whereas Frenchy has a strong right arm and a great smile. I’d rather take the proven All Stars myself.

Again it comes down to what has been a problem in Flushing for the past couple or three years, this team is made up of some very fragile folks who turn to over cooked spaghetti when times get tough. See,  a guy like Jason Bay has surprised me as he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t make a lot of noise with his mouth and has proven to be capable of stepping up and performing when the spotlight is blinding as we saw when he went to Boston to replace Manny Ramirez. But then again when you have guys like Big Papi, Mike Lowell, Youk and Dustin Pedrioa it helps. The Mets don’t have anyone close to those guys on their team. Sure you have a  fake tough guy like Leader of Men, Alex Cora but there is no one (sadly David Wright isn’t one either) who says” jump on my back boys and I’ll carry you” the closet guy like that amongst the everyday players right now is Angel Pagan. It’s not the loudest guy or the rah-rah guy who fits the leader mold, it’s the guy who knows when to take pitches to get on base, who gets the big base hit with two out man in scoring position but Mets fans seem to think the louder you shout the more productive you are, that’s a fallacy. The People’s Cherce, Jeff Francoeur with all his personality had never carried a team but the guy Mets fans love to hate, Carlos Beltran has.

I can’t figure you people out sometimes.

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SMOOTH OPERATORS

No need to ask he’s a smooth operator

There was something different about the Mets last night, not just the great pitching performance by Jon Neise or the bombs away hitting of Daivd Wright, Rod Barajas or Frenchy there was a confidence displayed by the team that has been missing for awhile. When you look at Jason Bay the guy never seems to get rattled.  Ike Davis is the same way it feels like Davis has been here for a couple of years instead of a couple of weeks. The players all said during spring training that they knew they had a good team and that they’ll prove once the season starts, I for one didn’t believe it. I’m not going over board just yet although beating the Phillies like they did and shutting up the louts that inhabit Citizen’s Bank Park has we ready to go overboard.

It’s easy to go crazy during this hot streak and hopeful Big Pelf works his magic to day against Roy Haliday but the test of the makeup of this team to me will be how they react when they hit a bump in the road. They’ve already hi one early in the year and have shown for guts than last years team ever did but at some point the pitching is going to struggle and the bats will slump a bit and how the team reacts to that adversity will be the test .

I don’t want to dwell on that now though I just want to see the Mets kick Roy Halliday and the Phillies ass this afternoon.

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JERRY MANUEL IS ON THE POWER PLAY

When Jerry Manuel took over the managers office form Willie Randolph, the one statement he made that resonated with Mets fans was that his team would be tough and fight through whatever adversity was in front of it. His quote was “Gangsta’s on the field, Ladies on the bus”. I thought it was a great motto and felt maybe Manuel would be a speak softly carry a big stick kind of guy but I was wrong. If anything Manuel let the rash of injuries suffered by his team, become a crutch for losing and all around stupid baseball. Gangsta’ my ass.  but, so far this spring, Manuel looks to be getting his Gangsta’ on.

I’ve been critical of Manuel for not coming to the Jason Bay coronation and not being around for that weak ass Winter Caravan the Mets rolled out this off season, but now I know what Manuel was up to, he was planning his going out in a blazing glory strategy for the season.

Manuel knows that his contract is chump change and the only reason he’s back is a combination of the injuries and Omar Minaya’s contract. Minaya got to stay because the Skill Sets are tired of paying guys not to work for them. Omar does not have the juice he once had the organization and if and when a managerial change is made he will have little input in the new hire, hell if the wheels fall off early, the outcry from Mets fans will so loud, even the tone deaf Skill Sets will hear it. So in a long winded way, I’m saying Jerry Manuel has nothing to lose here if he puts pressure on management to take the best twenty five players he feels give him and the team the best chance to win.

We are already hearing him push for Jenry Mejia to make the team as the 8th inning set up man and you can bank on Manuel pushing either Hisanori Takahasi or Fernando Nieve to make the starting rotation over a struggling Ollie Perez, and dumping OP in the bullpen, while making it known that he was not responsible for his awful contract, and with Ike Davis at first base over Daniel Murphy. If Manuel thinks Davis would be better than Murphy at first he will make it public knowledge.  

It’s a win/win situation for Manuel. If he gets his way and gets to take the players he wants North, it’s possible he could not just make it through the season but get an extension as well. If he doesn’t, and the team tanks, he gets to spend the summer at home in Cali waiting for the Mets checks to clear. We all should have such problems. 

When I can not only go online and buy tickets to opening day and do so two hours into the exclusive pre-sale time frame, you know this organization has its work cut out for them to not have a repeat of last season.  If Jerry Manuel can convince Jeffey Skill Sets that bringing  Mejia and Davis up North to not only help the team win but also sell tickets, then J-Man will not just be a Gangsta’ he’ll be The Godfather.

tip of the Mets cap to Metstradamus for the picture

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METS 12 NATS NIL BOT 7

So far the phone calls suck. First guy said that Dan Murphy reminds him of Tony Gywnn? HUH? First it’s way to early to compare Danny Boy to a guy like TG who is one of the greatest hitters of all time. It’s great the DM is hitting the cover off the ball but we will find out what kind of player he is after he has some adversity in the bigs and how he adjusts.

Next guy Carl from Staten Island started off with the obligatory ass kissing of Gary and Mex then went on a rant about Omar not getting relief help, when Gary asked you he thought Omar should have gone after Carl punked out and hung up.

Caller asked about J-Man getting the gig as manager for long term and Gary said he was “100 % in favor of giving Manuel job permanently” From the tone of Gary’s response I don’t think he shed a tear when Willie Randolph got gassed.

Mex is also on board in lifting the “interim” tag away for J-Man

Next guy wanted to know why Reyes-Wright and Delgado are still in the game? Good question

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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