I Guess The Mets Plan Is Lose The Battle and Win The War

It was a rough weekend for the NY Mets. The bats and pitching arms have gone stale, the petulant utility player affectionately known by Mets fans as JV1, who it seems the front office, manager and players have run out of patience with while waiting for him to act like a big boy, reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates for help in the form of a baseball thrown at him in anger over his “look at me, I’m El Hombre” slow dance after hitting a home run with the Mets down 7 runs. Then there was Banner Day in which only 99 banners were on display.

The Mets front office has a plan and contending in 2013 for the NL is not part of it. But we knew that coming into the season, right? So why is everyone up in arms about the abysmal play of this Mets team? Many Mets fans had the Mets pegged for a 90+ loss team and that is what they are right now. So why is everyone so upset about the recent awful play of this team?

We knew the outfield wasn’t Major League quality, we knew that back end of the rotation was weak. What we didn’t know was that Ike Davis would be this bad and Lucas Duda would morph into a little leaguer at the plate taking the walk is as good as a hit advice to new heights and that Daniel Murphy would be better with a glove than a bat.  We did know one thing, Sandy Alderson has a plan, what we didn’t know was part of the plan was do nothing in 2013.

Part of the problem is there is no worry on any offensive player on this team that there is someone within the organization to take their place. Last year when Ike Davis was slumping so bad it was a miracle he wasn’t shunned to Buffalo.  The reason Ike wasn’t sent away to Triple A wasn’t that the team wanted to show confidence in Davis it was a someone in the Mets front office told me “what’s the alternative” ? This season Ike is being Ike, looking awful at the plate, and again the question is “what do you about a problem named Ike Davis”? There is none that is if you feel Lucas Duda should be moved to first base and Jordany Valdespin goes to left field is a solid solution and either send Davis to Vegas (ooh that rhymes) or trade him. A trip to Triple A could happened this time as that scenario I laid out is a real option, as for trading him, quite frankly what team would want him?

The point is as much as Sandy Alderson is sticking to his plan it would behoove the GM to do something of a personnel move dealing with the offense just to send the fan base a signal that he is still interested in running this team and that he is as fed up with the suckitude of play as the fan base is.   

Right now there are four players who should be untouchable in any trade talks, D-Wright, Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell and John Buck. Anyone else should be put on the market and moved for the right price. But again what kind of return would you get for an Ike, Duda, Murphy or even Tejada? At least with a broken down car you can strip it for parts, not so for broken down baseball players.

On the Jordany Valdespin hit by pitch on Saturday I’ve heard or read everyone from Terry Collins to Mets players to Jay Horwitz , well maybe not Jay, chastised for allowing Valdespin to get plunked and not rushing to his aid. The one guy who hasn’t been called on out on this and is the number one culprit in all this muck and mire is Jordany Valdespin. JV1 as the kids like to call him, has been spoken too, punished, had his clothing ripped to shreds and been call out by teammates mangers coaches and front office folks as a first class horse’s ass to no avail. People associated with the Mets that I’ve talked to who have a good word for everyone associated with the team make that face like a stink bomb went off when you ask about Jordany Valdespin.  So if you want to blame Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson or the Mets players about leaving Valdespin out to dry, you’re blame and anger is misdirected.

Here’s the problem with having Banner Day in 2013, no one cares. Banner Day in 1964 was great because the team still had the new team smell to it, as the Mets were Casey’s Amazin’ Mets our lovable losers. In 2014 there is no such thing as a loveable loser in fact even after you win the next question you get after handed the trophy is, “Can you repeat”? The fan mindset is totally different than in the past. Fans don’t care how hard you try, how much your hurt, or if you’re going through some kind of personal problem all fans care about is entertain me and goddamnit WIN!

This past week while at a Mets blogger event at Citi Field I brought up the 1973 Pennant winners and how this is the 40th anniversary of the Mets team that went on a tear and had to pass five teams just to win the division and then go on to beat one the iconic teams in baseball history in The Big Red Machine, so would there be a day at Citi Field to honor them?   The answer I received on why there will not be day for the team is that the cost to run that event is prohibited and who would show up for it? After my blood pressure subsided and we discussed the pros and cons of the Mets having a day for the ’73 NL Champs, it made sense to me. The 55 year old Mets fan would love to see George Theodore , Ron Hodges and Harry Parker , the 30 year old Mets fan doesn’t care. So why go to all the time and expense to throw a party and have no one come.  

I didn’t go to Banner Day.  I don’t think it’s a crime. I spent the day watching my daughter play soccer and returning a bunch of tuxedos for my son and his friends that they dropped off after their high school prom while they took off to a day of amusement park fun with their girlfriends. Then I dropped my daughter off at the mall with her friends because teen age girls love to shop. Then I was able to spend a great afternoon just me and my wife because now that our kids are older and don’t need to be with mommy and daddy, mommy and daddy can go off and do what they want to do, like eat at restaurant with cloth napkins and no coloring books at the table and catch a movie that isn’t animated. Life is good. So I’m sorry I wasn’t there to carry a banner professing my love for the NY Mets but even so, I know how much I love the Mets and the Mets know how much I love the team, so as I said Life is good.

 

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Maybe A Showtune Would Help The Mets ?

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Nothing has worked for Terry Collins to get his team off the second half schnide, somatbe he should do a little song and dance

 

Lucas Duda is back with the big club and JV1 goes back the Wallyworld. I’m sure Valdespin will be back in September but there are many in the Mets clubhouse who I’m sure wished Valdy a nice trip to Buffalo and don’t let the clubhouse door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Scott Hairston and Anders Torres have been placed on waivers.  I’m sure Hairston will be claimed and hopefully the Mets can deal Hairston for a prospect or two but I doubt anyone is going to claim Torres, you never know but I really doubt it.  If Torres is not claimed I’d rather see the Mets release him and let Matt Den Deker play CF in September.

Seems Ruben Tejada took a shot to the nuts (he wasn’t wearing a cup, I guess he has no thoughts of being a daddy) and that was the excuse explanation for not running out a ground ball yesterday. If he was hurting so much form the shot to the McNuggets than he should have been removed from the game, if you’re in the game you got play hard even if you have swollen scrotum.

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I Leave For A Half Hour and Stuff Happens In Flushing

Seems this play is the root of Johan Santana’s problems and will force him to the DL “Paging Matt Harvey, Mr. Matt Harvey…………”

 

I think we all agree that there is something not right with Johan Santana, the question is what’s wrong?

It doesn’t seem it’s a physical problem as Santana said he feels fine but know Johan, he’ll tell you he’s fine as the prep him for surgery, but again I don’t think this is a physical problem. It could be he has hit a wall. Being that Santana has said he has lost the feel for his pitches and it shows in his lack of command. Some are pointing to the no hitter of June 1st and the subsequent handling of Santana by the Mets after that, I guess that’s the easy way to look at and as we all know the favorite past time of Mets beat writers is to point their mocking fingers at the Mets.  The problem with Johan could simply be that after missing a year of pitching, he’s tired.

What would be the crime of putting Santana on the DL where he’ll miss two starts and then bring him back with limited innings or pitches? If Santana’s problems are fatigue and not structural, then the Mets are ahead of the game, beside we’re all dying to see Matt Harvey pitch aren’t we?

(UPDATE: while I was out checking the field at SI Tech to make sure it was in game shape for our 3PM playoff game , I come back to find out Santana has been placed on the DL due to the ankle injury he suffered that made him use more arm that lower body while pitching hence a fatigued arm. Carry on)

Jeremy Hefner has been recalled for today’s game as a safety net for Miguel Batista so that means someone has got to go and that someone looks to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis. It makes sense for Kirk to go to Buffalo since  he has slumped to the point Terry Collins would rather go with Andres Torres than him and when Nieuwenhuis did play he was striking out at an alarming rate. Kirk seems to have a good head on his shoulders and a trip to Buffalo won’t devastate him, I’m sure he’ll work on his game and will be back in the big leagues soon.(UPDATE PART 2 Looks Kirk gets reprieve from Buffalo with Johan on DL wish the Mets would have done this sooner and saved me the time it took to do this post)  With that said if I’m Sandy Alderson I’d have released Andres Torres and that might just happen when Mike Baxter gets back. If Baxter when healthy, is not brought right up to Queens there will be hell to pay believe me.

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Last Night The Mets Were Fugly

There are loses, bad loses and I can’t believe it loses which is where I’d file last night’s stunner. To have a 4-0 lead handed to our Ace against a team that has scored the least runs in all of baseball and to do it with a Buffalo flavored lineup, it looked like this would be one the best wins of the season, but then in the 7th with one on, Santana served up an 87 mph meatball fastball to the Pirates version of Mike Nickeas, Mike McKendry, that was deposited over the left center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

Santana seemed to labor from the 4th inning on as he lost command of his fastball and it seemed ironic that Santana who has had a tough time recording a win when he was out pitching the opposition would be in position to get a win in game where he was ordinary at best.

The Mets had a good shot at taking the lead back in the 8th as Kirk Nieuwenhuis got a pinch hit single to lead off the 8th and made it 3rd on a Ronny Cedeno ground out and a wild pitch, runner on 3rd 1 out all the Mets need is a fly ball but up steps Mike Nickeas who of course strikes out. I wish Terry Collins would give Rob Johnson the bulk of the playing time while Josh Thole recuperates. Nickeas just cannot hit and his defensive prowess quite frankly is overrated.  I’m guessing that Johnson‘sore thumb is still a problem and the reason he’s not behind the plate every day.  After Nickeas failed to get Nieuwenhuis home, it was left to Andres Torres and his icicle of a baseball bat to get the job done and of course he failed as well with his shitty little ground out 4 to 3.

When Nickeas, Torres and Ike Davis are in the same lineup they are 3 automatic outs add in the pitchers spot that 4 outs so multiply that by say 4 times through the order, that  16 of the 27 outs you get in a game that you are giving away. Nickeas shouldn’t start another game, Torres is ready to be regulated to 4th outfield status and Ike it seems is a DL activation away from becoming a Buffalo Bison. When Vinny Rottino gets the nod over you, lefty or no lefty, it’s safe to say you’ll be headed upstate soon.

Now if the top of the 8th didn’t piss you off enough, the Mike Baxter-Kirk Nieuwenhuis mix up of Neil Walker fly ball sure had to. Simple “Fundies” right there, it’s the centerfielder is king of the outfield and to their credit both Baxter and Kirk took responsibility for the screw up for what became the winning run on 3rd base. As bad an offensive team as the Bucs are, they at least were able to get the runner on 3rd home with less than 2 outs.

 

 

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RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY IT’S CHRIS SCHWINDEN’S PITCHING DAY

I hope it will stop raining today for a couple of reason, I’d like to harvest the robust crop that has blossomed in the rice paddy that used to be my back yard lawn and I want to see Chris Schwinden pitch in game 1 of today’s Mets-Braves double header.

Schwinden is another of these out of nowhere Mets stories that have been making the team interesting to watch. Schwinden, drafted in 2008, has never been considered a prospect by those who follow and report on the Mets minor leaguers. Even though Schwinden has been a pitcher who throws strikes and rarely walks a batter, although this season with the Bison, his walks are up more than they have in his three year Minor League career (3 per 9IP from 2 per 9IP) but his hits to innings pitched was less for the first time in his career.

Schwinden has been compared closely to Dillion Gee as both have a pretty good grasp on how to pitch by staying ahead in counts and moving their pitches to different areas of the strike zone. Neither has a real out pitch but again Schwinden like Gee, seems to have a good head on his shoulder and a game plan going into each start.

Again it’s a great move by the front office promoting Schwinden and rewarding his outstanding season in Buffalo with a major league start. Knock ‘en dead Chris!      

 

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GOING ON A COVERT MISSION

Since I had no plans for today myself and the heir to the Kranepool Society mis-fortune decided totake a trip up to the Boogie Down to see the Highlanders-Indians  game this afternoon.  Amazingly, this will be our first trip to the new Stadium. My second new stadium experience in three days as Friday night we ventured to Harrison NJ to see the NY Red Bulls with my daughter’s soccer team.  Tomorrow I will have a whole lot more on my experiences in both places.

Ah Murph!!!!!!! You make that play inning over and maybe the game and back to the magic .500 level of mediocrity but in order to get offense into the lineup, TC has to make these type of moves.

D.J. Carrasco has been pitching very well for Buffalo so he gets the call back to the big club and Dale Thayer goes back to doing whatever it is Dale Thayer does.

HoJo, really Hojo, stop with your critique of TC and the Mets handling of Jason Bay. You look very small and petty when you do this; you don’t hear Collins ripping you for ruining David Wright do you? Maybe you’re the one that screwed up Jason Bay beyond repair. There’s a reason you are no longer a member of the organization you know.

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MANNY ACOSTA, COM’ON DOWN………….

You can never be too skinny, too rich or have too many arms in the bullpen:

METS SELECT THE CONTRACT OF RHP MANNY ACOSTA FROM BUFFALO

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., June 3, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced the team has selected the contract of righthanded pitcher Manny Acosta from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League.  Acosta will wear uniform #36 and will be available for tonight’s game vs. Atlanta.  After yesterday’s game, the Mets optioned lefthanded pitcher Mike O’Connor to Buffalo.  In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets transferred righthanded pitcher Chris Young to the 60-Day Disabled List.

 

Acosta, 30, was 1-0 with four saves and a 1.77 ERA (four earned runs/20.1 innings) in 20 games with Buffalo this season.  He allowed 13 hits, issued 17 walks, recorded 27 strikeouts and held opponents to a .186 batting average against.  The righthander had allowed one run over his last 13 appearances (0.6384 ERA), spanning 14.1 innings.

 

Acosta went 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA (13 earned runs/39.2 innings) in 41 games for the Mets in 2010.  He allowed 30 hits, issued 18 walks and struck out 42 batters.  The 6-4, 213-pounder went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA (four earned runs/26.0 innings) against National League East opponents last year.

 

O’Connor was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA (two earned runs/6.2 innings) in nine appearances for New York this season.

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I’LL BE JOINING MIKE SILVA ON NY BASEBALL DIGEST PODCAST TONIGHT AT 10PM ON BLOG TALK RADIO

I’ll be calling in to Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest Podcast on Blog Talk Radio tonight at around 10:30pm to talk about the Subway Series and whether it has “jumped the shark” or not.

Can’t get on Terry Collins for letting Mike Pelfrey start the 7th inning as Pelf had pitched a strong 6 innings. It’s easy to second guess after the game got away from the Mets in that inning and the intentional walk to Texiera backfired on Collins as he didn’t know that A-Rod has great numbers when the batter in front of him has been IW’ed.  Even with those numbers, I fear Tex more than I do A-Rod at this point. Rodriguez looks worn down to me.

Sucks to lose 2 of 3 to anyone and beating the Highlanders would have been sweet as the writers and YUCK announcers have beaten the Buffalo Mets angle to death.

Oh well, on to Chicago

Keep Gary Carter in your thoughts and prayers

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METS FANS NEED TO LOOK OUTSIDE THE CITI FIELD BOX

With all the gloom and doom about the big club, there is some good news coming out of the Mets on the farm. Last night Dillon Gee, made his case to get the spot start necessitated by last nights rain out with a 7 inning gem on the North Pole in Buffalo.

Last years 1st round pick Matt Harvey had another outstanding outing for the St. Lonesome Mets as well. The former Tar Heel struck out 8 in 6 inings of work and looks to be a few more A ball starts away from joining Wally Backman’s Bingo Mets

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NO BULL! BIG DECSIONS IN THE METS PEN

The Mets bullpen situation is such that Sandy Alderson and his staff are trying to do some creative bookkeeping to by some time.

The Mets have asked Jason Isringhausen to stay an extra week in St Lonesome so to make sure his elbow is sound. The biggest fear the team has is keeping Izzy and he craps out in May. They have asked Blaine Boyer to accept a minor league deal when Boyer figures if he’s released he’d get a major league deal in a heartbeat.  The two moves come with the realization that Many Acosta and his 90+ fastball will be snatched up on wavers as well.  For a team that everyone feel s is a MLB bottom feeder, it seems there is some talent worth scheming for.

I’d like to see Izzy staying an extra week just to prove he can pitch without pain. The Mets want him on this team badly and if it weren’t for the pop he heard in his elbow a week ago, all this maneuvering wouldn’t be happening. Izzy is on the record as saying he will not take a minor league deal it’s big leagues or retirement for him . Boyer is interesting as he has also has an out in his deal with the Mets and they love his 90+ fastball that he gets down in the strike zone that converts to tons of ground ball outs.

I’d let Acosta go and hope Boyer agrees to a Minor League deal, if he doesn’t the you have no choice but to let him go as well and take a chance on Izzy even though you know he could be done by June.

One thing I better not see is Bobby Parnell getting optioned to Buffalo that would be a Minaya-like move.

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