HEADIN’ TO CITI

I’m looking forward to getting out to Citi Field this evening to watch R.A Dickey battle Aaron Harang and the Pads as it’s been awhile since I’ve been out there. Between work, vacations and baseball coaching obligations (our season ended by the way with my team losing in the Championship Series 2 games to 1, we finished in 1st place but giving up 4 and 5 out innings in the final round killed us) and the team on a long road trip, a trip to Flushing has been long overdue, I’m pumped up to get  out there tonight.

Seems the MSM is as usual a little late in picking up the fact that Mets fans really like this team. Better late than never I guess. One quote in this piece by Larry Brooks in the Post today made me smile when I read it, it comes from Ginger Turner:

“I don’t know why anyone would have thought our team would throw in the towel or give up,” Justin Turner told The Post. “That’s kind of a slap in the face to the guys who are here.

“Players get traded and players get hurt. That’s part of baseball. We’ve got 25 guys in here busting their butts to try to win games and who believe in ourselves and our team.”

Can’t you tell that Turner is new around here? Maybe it because the last two season the team has laid down and played dead but thankfully those days are gone. Did you see Terry Collins jumping up and down in the dugout the other night after Lucas Duda’ game winning single? That is passion.

Good news on Johan Santana as it “only” fatigue in the shoulder not anything structural that’s derailed is rehab from shoulder surgery.

Great story in the Times today (guess they had to make up for Jim Luttrells’ hack piece the other day) on Mike Baxter who will get a start in the outfield today. I love the part about Baxter organizing the purchase of championships rings for his Archbishop Molloy team and that legendary coach, Tom Curran still wears his every day. That is impressive.

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SOMEDAYS YOU’RE A PEACOCK, OTHER DAYS A FEATHER DUSTER

A very busy couple of days kept me away from here yesterday. It all started Tuesday morning. I had a 5:30 game that evening so I wanted to get my work done in the morning so I could take a couple of hours off. I get an e-mail from fellow BBA member, Daniel Shoptaw of C 70 at the Bat to see if I could pinch hit as host for the BBA Baseball Talk podcast that night. With my game at 5:30, there is a curfew of 2 hours after first pitch as we have no lights at the field where we play. The podcast was scheduled for 11PM so it all works out for me.

The way the game started for our team I thought it might even be an earlier night as there is a 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings. We were down 6-0 after 3 as our pitchers didn’t throw many strikes and the one’s they did were hit hard. After showing my annoyance with my offense for not being aggressive at the plate (“enough window shopping fellows, time to make purchase, swing the bats, next guy who takes a called third strike will need some big tweezers pull the splinters out of their butts”) they took my advice and got aggressive, that and the opposing pitcher getting gased, we get back in the game and make it 6-5 in the bottom of the 6th (we play 7 innings) and it’s getting darker and darker. Now to this point we have bases loaded two outs and as I say not much offense, I tell my runner on 3rd to get a good lead as he’s not being held and the pitcher is focused on the batter. First pitch, my runner goes more than half way down the line, and the pitch is a strike. When he gets back I tell him, if the ball gets past the catcher, run to the plate. Sure enough the next pitch is in the dirt, I scream to my runner (I coach 3rd base) GO! GO! GO! So he tears down the line and as he attempts his slide in the plate the catcher puts the tag right on his lead leg and is called out. Game over.

It took me a good half hour to leave the field. The kids were pissed off and I told them this loss is on me, I told him to run and if you guys want to be mad at anyone be mad at me. I know one of my other coaches wasn’t happy with my decision and I’m sure some of the parents weren’t happy either but to tell you the truth I don’t care. I play aggressive and sometimes it works sometime it bites you in the ass, so Tuesday night I had a sore ass.

Now by the time I get home, it dawns on me, “oh shit, I’ve got to host the BBA Podcast.” So I scramble to get some material together and at 11PM Daniel and I are on the air. Check out the show here I think it went pretty good for two guys pinch hitting at the last minute.

So yesterday I took a mental health day as my managerial decisions were still driving me crazy.

Metsermized online has a great must read post on the events of April 22, 1970, the day Tom Seaver struck out 19 San Diego Padres, the last 10 batters in a row. How fitting is it that The Franchise is in town to help inaugurate the new Mets Alumni Association where former Mets players from all eras of Mets history will be on hand at $iti Field and also represent the Mets at community events. I’m ecstatic over this new Met Alumni Association because, it’s long over due and the initiative of the association of having former Mets on hand at the ball park and having them rep the organization at events has been something I’ve been advocating for some time. Maybe someone in the front office is reading this stuff if they are, thank you. 

Looks like my projection of Carlos Beltran coming back to the lineup around the All Star break now looks like an optimistic view.

If Mets fans want to be ignorant enough to boo David Wright that’s there prerogative, but as bad as Wright has looked at the plate the last week, I still believe if Jason Bay and the suddenly ice cold Frenchy could start getting productive it would help Wright. No doubt the middle of the batting order is not very productive right now and maybe it’s time for a big shake up like say, moving Wright to the lead off spot and Reyes to the 3 hole? Then move Castillo to 8 and Pagan to 2 ? The lineup would look like this:

Wright

Pagan

Reyes

Bay

Francouer

Davis

Barajas

Castillo

Pitcher

All this is moot if you have a healthy Beltran and a productive Bay, in fact with both those player in the lineup and productive with the very good pitching the team has gotten early, the 6-9 record the Mets have would be no worse than 9-6 or 10-5 and with the Phillies at 9-5 in first place, Mets fans would be in a much better state of mind.

Ryota Igarhashi going down with a strained hammy is a killer right now. I guess Tobi Stoner can’t be called back up for 10 days from the time he was sent down so it looks like we’re stuck with Manny Acosta.

Now that we know Carlos Beltran is a couple of months away from rejoining the lineup, can we please give GMJ his release and bring up Chris Carter ?

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