Hey Terry Collins, Only You Can Prevent Clubhouse Fires!

I like Terry Collins. Terry Collins knows more baseball than you, me and anyone else who calls themselves a baseball fan and although he didn’t say it quite the way he should have, he’s right no Mets fans knows what goes on in the teams clubhouse better than he does. But with all that it seems to me, an outsider that the players are running that clubhouse and because of past bad experiences as manager of the Angles and Astros, Collins is too worried about a repeat of those experiences in Anaheim and Houston.  The problem with that is, Nice Guy Terry Collins is going to end up in the same place as an Angry Guy Terry Collins, out of a job.

The Saga of Jordany just won’t go away.  It’s the talk of the town and now it has spread across the nation. In a story in USA Today, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd, two players new to the Mets, have called out Valdespin in print for being an obnoxious little shit. What does this have to do with Collins? Well, if I’m the Mets manager I’d call both of these veterans into my office and rip them two new assholes. Valdespin is hated for lack of baseball decorum so why is Hawkins and Byrd treated differently for violating the baseball tenant of what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse ? This Valdespin situation is been going on too long, you think a Tony LaRussa or Billy Martin would let this go on? These are the kind of situation that Joe Torre was at his best in, making sure little clubhouse fires don’t turn into infernos. Terry Collins is thisclose to having to put out a 3 alarm fire.

So Valdespin flips a bat and embarrasses Jose Contreas and is charged with a capital crime in baseball, but talking about teammates to the press has no repercussions? What a bunch of bullshit. What’s the standard? When does the manager get mad enough to call his team together and read the riot act to shut the fuck up and put all this hate towards Valdespin and aim it at the opposition?     

Sandy Alderson has said on many occasions that the Mets win/loss record would not dictate if Collins gets an extension of his contract. Collins will be judge on the progress the team has made from last year to this year so right now Collins looks like a prime candidate for a 1 bedroom at Del Bocca Vista. If anything this team has regressed badly. Now that’s not all Collins fault, that blame goes more to the front office and ownership that essentially has written off 2013 and has its sights on 2014 and beyond. The problem though that Collins has is the front office wants to see what he can do with the so called talent they have given him. That’s quite a task.

Collins needs to start challenging his players. He has to stop worrying that if he becomes Terry Hard Ass they will revolt instead of their current state of being revolting to watch. Good Guy Terry is not getting much of anything out this group so maybe it’s time to rattle some cages.

Yesterday I attended the Mike Francesa and Bobby Valentine breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Valentine, an early riser, was at the Hard Rock so early that he came around to each table to chat with the folks in attendance.  I’ve been a Valentine fan for a while and yesterday just enforced my admiration for him. After the program, Valentine hung around and was talking with a few of us who didn’t have to run to work. At one point while having a nice chat on baseball, Valentine said “com’on walk with me while I get something to eat” and as he tried to find some breakfast he never broke stride in our conversation.

Bobby V had some very interesting thoughts on the game:

As a player who was beaned, once right near his eye that a doctor said if it were an inch up, probably would have blinded him, he feels the “unwritten rule” of hitting someone is stupid and should not be tolerated.

When asked about Roger Clemens throwing the bat head of Mike Piazza’ bat at Piazza, Valentine said the team was in shock when happened and after hearing about Clemens using PED’s it all came together to him that Clemens was wound up on something that night. He also said that Bud Selig spoke to both he and Joe Torre letting them know that he didn’t want anything to go one in this series that would embarrass baseball.  So it was quite surprising when Clemens wasn’t discipline or tossed for his actions.

Bobby V could not believe how there was this much fuss over the Vladespin home run pimp job and the fact that it’s still being talk about and how he can’t understand why Valdespin is not in the Mets lineup every day. When Francesa said that Vladespin might not produce a lot if he played every day , Valentine countered with how do we know unless he plays and pointing out that no one else is producing so give him the shot as he can hit, has power, can steal a base so why is he being wasted on the bench?

Valentine is a proponent of sabermetrics and talked about his time as Texas Rangers manger when he had hired Craig Wright as his Sabermetrician  for the Rangers. He spoke about how he also waited on line at bookstores waiting to get the latest copy of The Bill James Abstract on its release day. As much as he used advanced analytics as a manager he said that the statistics are a very good barometer of what a player did in the past but not in predicting the future. Valentine went on to talk about how you could project what a player could do but as we see with many players unforeseen circumstances arise and throw off the statistical projections.

Valentine loved the enthusiasm of the teams that participated in the World Baseball Classic and spoke to people at MLB during the finals in San Francisco about encouraging teams in MLB to not supress players to show the type of emotion that Latin countries and not be so stuffy. Valentine was candid in saying that MLB needs to find a way to get more women and minorities to come out and watch baseball games.

On his year with the Red Sox, Valentine said it was an experience and another “notch on his belt” and not much more. He also said that while he was a fan of Bill James and was looking forward to working with James, he never once heard from him nor was he ever given any statistical reports. Valentine was shaking his head as he told that story.     

 

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Houston

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After this 3 game losing series to the Astros, the Mets are now 256-307 all time vs. the ‘Stros and 108-176 in HOUSTON.

UGGGH!

 

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Mike Pelfrey Knows Who Is Friends Are

It’s not a big deal that the Mets discussed giving Mike Pelfrey his release but what is interesting is who his big supporters are.

From the story in the Daily News today, the front office is not enamored with Pelf and threw out the suggestion at an organizational meeting that maybe the $5.6 mil used to pay Pelfrey would be better spent elsewhere.  It seems both Terry Collins and Dan Warthan spoke up in Pelf’s defense and from reading further into the story; Pelf’s teammates have his back as well. He sure paid back that support last night against the Astros with a stellar performance, again it was the Astros.

We all know that David Wright and Big Pelf have a great relationship but from reading R.A. Dickey’s book (I’m half way through and I must say this book is even better than I anticipated) he has taken on the big brother role to Pelfrey.

So the 25 man roster that will line up on the first base side of Citi Field on Thursday looks to be set not many surprises unless you think Mike Baxter getting the 25th spot a surprise.  The bench is still nothing to get excited about and who knows if this is set as the club could wait and see what veterans get cut who could be an upgrade over what the Mets have. Ronny Cedeno has the glove and Justin Turner has the bat it’s just too bad one of them isn’t a left handed hitter. As far as Baxter and Scott Hairston are concerned, I like Baxter and wished he got more playing time in September of last season and Hairston does have so pop in his bat but they are going to have to prove to the front office that they can contribute in a positive way.

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IF I HAD A HAMMER, I’D HAMMER IN THE MORNING I’D HAMMER IN THE EVENING ALL OVER CITI FIELD

With the report yesterday that the Mets will construct an 8 ft wall in front of the 16 ft Great Wall of Flushing in left field and the more dramatic change in right center field where the Mo’ Zone little alley way will be no more and the distance from home plate to right center field goes from 415 ft to 390 ft tells me unless he is bowled over with a huge return, David Wright will be a Met in 2012 and most likely beyond that.

Not only have the dimensions of Citi Field been altered for the benefit of Wright but they should aslo help Jason Bay as well as both he and Wright have been traumatized by the fly balls to nowhere in Citi Field. I guess you could call it psychotherapy through carpentry.

The Mets announced they have released Ryota Igarashi. This move is about six months too late.

A lot of talk about Albert Pujols not talking to the media after Game 2 of the World Series, a game where El Hombre made what could have been scored an error, allowing what proved to be the winning run to advance to 2nd base. There were some folks on Twitter that felt it was no big deal that Pujols not only blew off the press by not being at his locker to answer questions but hid in the back of the off limits section of clubhouse until they were gone.  As a baseball fan how could you not be insulted by Pujols action? This wasn’t some game in August against the Astros, this was Game 2 of the World Series. Of course Tony La Russa had Pujols back he always does right or wrong but someone in the Cardinals organization needs to let Sir Albert know he has a responsibility to speak to the media after a World Series game.  What they’re afraid of that he’ll sign elsewhere as a free agent?  Pujols is better off in St Louis or another small market as he would never survive in NY, Boston, Chicago or LA

I hope the Jose Reyes saga plays out fast instead of the slow festering ache I believe it will. I have come to grips with the fact that Jose Reyes will be an former Met in 2012. Just read this post from Howard Megdal who knows exactly how the organization is ready to play out the Reyes Passion Play. Oh by the way, Reyes, no Reyes I will still but tickets to Mets games in 2012 and hopefully beyond that, and please when Reyes signs with the Nationals or Angels or Red Sox please don’t compare this to Tom Seaver getting traded to the Reds, that is too fucking ignorant for me to comment.

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PUT ON YOUR EASTER BONNET WITH BLUE AND ORANGE ON IT

Happy Easter to one and all. It’s a great day to head to Citi Field to watch the suddenly hot NY Mets. I have a bunch of family coming over or else I’d head to the ballpark. I’d sneak out but with my luck I’d end up on TV like George Costanza with chocolate ice cream all over my face.

You hear the rumblings, how can the Mets send Dillon Gee back to Buffalo. In fact Ron Darling said during the telecast yesterday that Gee has nothing to prove at Triple A that he belongs in the big leagues and I concur. But if he stays, who goes to either the pen or Buffalo?

The names Chris Young and Chris Capuano come up as bullpen squatters which I think is ridiculous. One of the traits you need to be a reliever is the ability to warm up quickly and sometimes as in Tim Brydak’s case, often. With the pedigree and injury history neither pitcher fits the profile of a reliever.

For some reason today’s starter, Jon Niese’ name doesn’t come up when it comes to removal from the rotation or bullpen relegation and I can’t understand why it doesn’t?

Since a fine start on April 2nd against the Marlins, Niese has not been very effective getting blown up by the Phillies and Rockies and allowing 7 hits and 5 BB in 6 innings to the Astros in his last start a 6-1 Mets loss. I hope Niese throws a gem today at Citi Field but if he has another of these more hits than innings pitched along with 4 or 5 BB, then maybe Gee takes Niese’ spot in the rotation and Jon take a turn or two or three in Buffalo.

The St. Lonesome Mets of the FSL are 15-2 after another win last night and another outstanding pitching performance. After rising star Matt Harvey pitched himself closer to Binghamton on Friday, RHP Jeurys Familia tossed 7 outstanding innings for the baby Mets.

I know the strikeouts make fans crazy but really, how in the world do some Mets fans hate David Wright? There are some of you who think Wright is a JAG (just another guy) but with Bay back in the lineup and Ike on fire and Beltran back to being a solid everyday mainstay in the lineup, Wright will have the protection in the lineup that will make him not only more productive but getting it out of his head that he needs to hit 6 run home runs to get the Mets a win. It just seems to me all the Wright haters are just lazy louts who parrot what they hear on talk radio.

The Murph giveith and the Murph takeith away. Daniel Murphy is a work in progress at 2nd base to say the least but the boy can swing a baseball bat.

It’s tough to say anything bad about R.A. Dickey but Bobby Ojeda went off on The Dickster for his interview with Matt Vagisil and Tim McFullofshit last Saturday. Dickey was asked about his trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro that he will partake in in the off season. Bobby O filliped his rug  about R.A. talking about an off season endeavor in April. I can see Ojeda’s point, in fact I hate all these in game interviews and I’m sure the players and managers dislike them as well but Dickey was asked specifically about the trip and it is for charity so what was The Dickster to do?

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25 DAYS AND COUNTING TO OPENING DAY

Mets stay home in St. Lonesome to play the Tigers at 1:10PM with R.A. Dickey making his second spring start.  Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, Ryaota Igarashi, Mike O’Connor and Jason Isringhausen will pitch today and tomorrow as Terry Collins and Dan Werthen try to formulate the Mets bullpen. Ollie Perez will be on the bus to Kissimmee to face the Astros in what could (should) be his last appearance as a Met.

Luis Castillo will start at 2nd base today but it looks more and more that his days a Met are numbered. Collins loves Daniel Murphy and more and more it looks like Murph is the leader in the 2nd base starter’s competition.

F Mart gets the start in RF and is hoping to add to his en fuego spring as does Jason Bay in LF. Carlos Beltran was thought to have been in the lineup today as DH but he reported to DDP and told Terry Collins he’s sore, so Willie Harris starts as DH. Too early to panic on Beltran but it seems he if he’s ready for opening day, he won’t be in the lineup every day.  Scott Hairston will play a big role early in the season for the Mets.

I wonder if Nick Evans getting the start at 1B is to let him show his stuff against the Tigers as a possible landing spot for Evans?

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HEY METS FANS: TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE FRONT OFFICE THIS OFF SEASON YOU’LL NEED THE 2011 BILL JAMES HANDBOOK

If you want to do something constructive while you wait for word on the identity of the next Mets manager, you should be pursuing the 2011 Bill James Handbook.

As always the Handbook is chock full of statistic and league and career leaders in a host of categories. Now if you’re a Mets fan and have been sabermetric intolerant, you should really check out the Handbook as we get ready for a whole new world in the Land of Blue and Orange when we ride the Alderson Carousel of Progress.

Some interesting Mets –centric numbers in the Handbook are:

Ike Davis finished second to Oakland’s Daric Barton in fielding metrics for first basemen with a Plus/Minus of +14 (to Barton’s +27) and a Runs Saved of +13 (Barton was at +20)

David Wright finished second to last for regular third basemen in the fielding metrics with a -13 Plus/Minus and a -13 Runs Saved Not good at all.

Alderson and Co. will have a tough choice to make when it comes to re-signing Pedro Feliciano. Perpetual Pedro lived up to his name in 2010 by appearing in league high 92 appearances of which 44 were on consecutive days, a ML high as well. If Feliciano does re-sign with the Mets, I’m sure the new management know he’s the 100 % red-blooded LOOGY. Against left handed batters Perpetual Pedro was dominant holding the hitters to .211/.297/.276 but against right handed batters it’s a whole other story,.336/.436/.395. Is he worth $3.5-$4 mil dollars?

When it comes to Manufacturing Runs (aggressive, not station to station baseball) the Mets have two players in the top ten in the NL.  Jose Reyes is second only to Michael Bourn of the Astros (44 to 39) and Angel Pagan has the fifth highest mark of 30 Manufactured Runs Contribution.

When it came to getting a hit with runners in scoring position no one on the Mets was better than Angel Pagan who was seventh in the NL with a .339 Batting Average w/RISP

The only NL player to slug lefties better than David Wright (.654 SLG. vs LHP) was Albert Pujols at .688

That’s just skims the surface of what’s in the Bill James Handbook and as I said before with the new and improved front office now employed by the Mets you really need this book to keep up with Sandy Alderson’ pace.

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A QUICK HIT BEFORE I GO FOR A QUIK HIT

 

 

Busy day as I drafted my 13 year old Babe Ruth team this morning and I’m very happy that I got to pick my top three prospects and now I’m dealing with a nasty head cold that’s sucking the energy out me. I was going to stay away from the computer but after a looking at few stories a few items caught my eye:

John Maine had a very shaky first inning but then settled in to pitch three very strong ones (0 BB 5K) and it looks like it’s not a matter of Bobby Parnell making th team as a reliever but he figures to a major player in the back end of the pen so says Warlord Jerry

Jeopardy Contestant “I’ll take FREE FALL for 100 Alex”

Alex Trebeck: “The Stock Market, Republican Party, Team USA

Jeopardy Contestant: “What is American institutions that are not worth shit

Trebeck: “Correct”

I’ve got to do a little homework on RHP Fernando Nieve who was picked up by the Mets off waivers from the Astros. I know he was signed by the “Stros at 16 and is now 26 and is a year removed from Tommy John surgery. No risk- high reward pick up by the Mets at best he comes up mid season to bolster the pen worst case he’s filler for the Buffalo pen

I’m done. Time for a hit of Sudefed

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