Petit, Kazmir and Izzy for Pitching Coach

Izzy For Pitching Mets Coach Ohhhhh this makes so much sense!!!

It has been a while since I thought about Yusmeiro Petit. Back in 2004 and 2005 Petit was moving at shooting star pace in the Mets minor league system, with great command of his pitches, none of which was a blazing fastball. In fact there were some “oooohhhs” let out by Mets fans when he was a piece in the deal that brought Carlos Delgado to the Mets from the Marlins but hey, you have to give up something to get something right?

As great as Petit’s numbers were with the Mets minor leagues, they never translated to the big leagues and Petit became a stumble bum of an arm.  So it was a shock when perusing Twitter last night I saw that Petit had a perfect game going through 7 innings.  I then saw that the game was the D’Backs vs. Giants and I thought that’s nice that the D’Backs brought him up from the minors, I had no idea the Petit was with the Giants. When did that happen?

What a heartbreaker for Petit to go 8.2 innings of perfect pitching to lose it to a 3-2 barely out of the reach of Hunter Pence single to right field.

Petit has banged around the big leagues and in Mexico, hell the Giants cut him twice to have room on the 40 man roster and each time he resigned just to stay in the organization and pitch in Fresno. It’s a shame that Petit didn’t get the perfect game as it would have been nice to have a perfect game on his imperfect resume.

While everyone is having flashbacks over Scott Kazmir’ Mets career and the reliving the Victor Zambrano trade that was made 9 years ago since Kazmir K’d 12 Mets last night, we seem to be missing the big picture, Zack Wheeler needs to be shut down for the season. Wheeler had major command issues last night and looked like he could not get comfortable on the mound. All are warning signs that Wheeler is an injury waiting to happen.  Does it really matter who starts in his place? Isn’t more important to shut him down and let him get ready for St. Lonesome in 2014? Can someone wake up Dan Warthen and have him protect his pitcher?

Speaking of Warthen, how about replacing him with Jason Isringhusen as Mets pitching coach? Izzy may be the most responsible for the emergence of Bobby Parnell as a top flight closer. Izzy worked with Parnell on mastering the knuckle curve and I’m sure he gave him the life lesson on how to be an effective closer. Izzy also would be a great guy to have on staff to advise the new generation of Mets pitchers on the trials and tribulations of what a young talented player will go through pitching in NYC.  He has also gone through the bumps and bruises of a big league career from being a starter and then converted to reliever to suffering injuries and a few arm surgeries as well. Izzy is just one season removed from being an active player so he knows how to relate to today’s pitchers.  I think Izzy taking the Mets pitching staff under his wing would a solid hire.

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Being Beltran

 

Carlos Beltran, another former Mets fan lighting rod returns to Flushing for the first time since he was traded to the Giants last summer and his return has stirred Mets fans passions. I never could understand the ire of Mets fans toward Beltran. Yes I know that called 3rd strike from Adam Wainright (tonight’s Cards starting pitcher by the way) has stuck in many a Mets fan craw but what the critics forget is Beltran  made a major contribution in that series hitting at .296/.387/.667 clip with 3 HR’s. It just added to his outstanding season, one of the best season ever by a Mets player where Beltran bashed 41 HR’s drove in 144 runs and complied a robust .982 OPS, good for a 4th place finish in the MVP voting plus a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award as well.

I’ve always felt Beltran’s disconnect with the Mets fan base was due to his mistrust of the front office that was in place during the bulk of Beltran’s tenure as a Met. It’s quite interesting that the front office had Latino‘s in top management positions, yet they did not mesh well with two of the best players on the team Beltran and Carlos Delgado, both men who are held in high esteem in the Latin community. Beltran never had a great relationship with Omar Minaya as proven with the botched medical care the Mets GM presided over when Beltran had to go on his own to Colorado to see a specialist to deal with his deep bone bruise in his knee and Beltran has said on many occasions that he never felt respected by the club. It wasn’t until Terry Collins took over as manager of the Mets that Beltran felt comfortable and respected as a Met.  I have no doubt that Beltran’s Mets career would be looked at in a much more positive light if Terry Collins was his manager from day one.

Beltran was never a problem or embarrassment to this organization. The P.R. debacle of the missed trip to Walter Reed Hospital was handled terribly by the Mets.  That and the medical mess ups really made Beltran become withdrawn. The Mets should have been in front of the missed trip to Walter Reed by explaining  that Beltran’s return to Puerto Rico to open a school he helped build was scheduled long before the Walter Reed trip was planned. A player should have the confront knowing that the organization has his back and would have a simple explanation instead of adding to the cluster fuck the Walter Reed trip became. Never would something like this happen today with this administration running the Mets.

Mets fans hold a grudge as well against Beltran because of the rumor that his agent Scott Boras called the Highlanders while negotiating with the Mets, offering Beltran’s service to the Bronx Bastards for less money.  It irked me too. But when you look at the seven year career Beltran had with the Mets he had one of the greatest careers of any Met in history.

If fans want to boo Beltran tonight that’s their prerogative but before they do I would hope they look at Beltran’s career numbers with the Mets and remember that he also would buy a suit for every minor leaguer who came up to the team so they had clothes to wear on the road and that he had David Wright and Jose Reyes join him at his home in the winter to workout with him when he first joined the club. Unfortunately to the narrow minded, none that means anything and for that you can’t blame Beltran.

 

 

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We All Like Ike But……………

 

I’ve been away from my duties here at Kranepool Society for a couple of days, so I’ve got a lot to catch up on:

Anthony McCarron writes about David Wright today in the NY Daily News on how the Mets have for the first time in his close to 8 year career, become HIS team. Wright has always been deferential to vets like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran and made a concerted effort to share the spotlight with Jose Reyes but now that they are dearly departed it’s finally David Wright’s team and though he would never say it, he has to be thrilled to death that it is.

Wright is not the rah-rah fiery type, although he did show that side of him after the Carrasco-Braun hit by pitch affair, Wright shows the leadership a young team like the Mets needs. When a 7+ year vet is the first to report to spring training and the first one to the ball park and the last one to leave, plays through pain and never skirts from his responsibility to speak to the media win or lose, it sets the tone to the rest of the team that Wright’s Way is the Mets Way. One doesn’t need a long term history lesson to see that this Mets clubhouse is more professional and more cohesive than we’ve seen in a long time and it bodes well for the future of this franchise.

Credit for the professional turnaround has to go to Terry Collins as well. Think back to when TC was hired as Mets manager, we all had our doubts due to his previous track record as the manager but it’s a real testament to Collins that he re-invented himself at an age when most folks are rock solid set in their ways.  Most Mets fans clamored for Wally Backman to run this team and while I’m a Wally fan, I can’t see anyone else but Terry Collins running this team for the next two seasons at least. If anyone deserves a hike in pay and a two year extension of his contract it’s Terry Collins.

Boy if I could take anything back that I’ve written on this site, it may be what I posted the other day about moving Scott Hairston to make room for Jason Bay when he comes back from his rib injury. I’ve taken what Hairston brings to this team for granted and if anything having Mike Baxter and Hairston on the bench for the Mets is a great strength.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ bat has cooled off, as to be expected but his strikeout rate has to give the front office some concern that the word has gotten out to throw Kirk a steady diet of breaking balls, so a trip back upstate may not be the worst thing in the world for Nieuwenhuis who seems to have the mindset to take a demotion not as a negative but a chance to work on his deficiency of hitting breaking pitches as his ticket back to the big leagues for good.

The one thing that could keep Captain Kirk with the Mets is the fact that it is now not if Ike Davis should be sent to Buffalo it’s more like a lock he’s going once Bay comes back.  The Marlins just sent their struggling 1st baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple A to work his way back to being the All-Star he was last year. The Mets just cannot afford to play Ike every day with zero production and a stint in Buffalo should not be taken as a punishment but as an opportunity for Ike to get his groove back.

It’s amazing that the sports media dickheads in NYC who have been given the assignment to cover the NY Rangers during their playoff run are so lazy and so lacking in talent that they can’t see what this team is built on hard work, commitment to the team and the mindset that everyone is responsible for their actions on the ice and if you fuck up, you ride the pine. Doesn’t matter if you’re a multimillionaire all-star or a kid fresh off a college campus if you make a mistake that hurts the team you sit, you stew and you make damn sure you don’t do it again. It’s the same with some of these idiots who now question the Rangers commitment to blocking shots, guess what assholes, how do you think this team has gotten to where it is? Oh and for all the fawning you schmucks have been doing over Marty Brodeur, stop acting like lemmings calling him the greatest goaltender in hockey history, just because you’ve heard some of your overheated brethren say it. Sure it’s easy to look at his career stats and says he’s the best ever and I am by no means saying he isn’t a Hall of Famer but to say he’s the best ever is a slight to Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuck, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. Take some time to read up on those four before you give Marty the crown of greatest ever and remember as good as Brodeur is, he’s no KING!

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INTERVIEWS WITH R.A DICKEY, DANIEL MURPHY AND CARLOS DELGADO AT THE THURMAN MUNSON DINNER

Last night I attended the media hour before the Thurman Munson Dinner to benefit AHRC of New York. Among the many guest invited to the event were Mets Daniel Murphy and R.A. Dickey and a surprise guest that I chatted with, former Met Carlos Delgado.

In talking to Murphy he has to be the most optimistic person of Irish ancestry I’ve ever met.  As you can hear in this clip, Murphy feels the Mets can contend in the NL East and beyond.  He also speaks of the work he has to do in order to play 2nd base this season and the fact that he has been working out with the cooperation of the fine weather in his hometown of Jacksonville Florida .

After Murphy, R.A. Dickey was made available to us for a Q & A session and of course R.A. was in fine form with thoughtful answers about his climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, his hope that Johan Santana can come back and reclaim his spot as Ace of the pitching staff and his pragmatic view of the upcoming season for the Mets in a very tough NL East as you can here is this clip and this clip.

After talking to both Dickey and Murphy, I thought about all the angst and anger of Mets fans over this off season towards ownership of the team. I thought about all those who say they won’t come out to Citi Field as they feel it’s a show of support of the Wilpon’s.  To those fans I say, I feel sorry for you. While talking to Dickey and to Murphy , the thought came to me that I can’t wait for the season to begin because I can’t wait to root for both these guys as they are more than worthy of positive support.

Murph is the guy who blocks out the negativity. When the media scrum dispersed from the group Q & A, I was lucky enough to hang around and got to talk to him one on one (I turned off the recorder because I just wanted to have casual conversation) and one topic we discussed was the negativity of the organization from a segment of the media and the fan base and does that negativity ever creep into the clubhouse. He told me it doesn’t because the manager, who I believe Murph has tremendous respect for, would never allow it and he also felt that the guys in the clubhouse are united in such a way that “woes is us” would never make it past the outside clubhouse door.

From Dickey I get a guy who is very confident in his ability and seems to have grown as a big league pitcher but the days of struggle are always in the forefront of his mind. Where Murph seems to be the half full guy, I wouldn’t say that Dickey is a glass half empty guy but more of a realist who has been around a while and knows the score.

A pleasant surprise of the evening was running into Carlos Delgado who looks in great shape (dare I say The best shape of his life?) and was quite gracious in giving me a portions of his time to talk about the Mets of the present and his experience as a Met and playing in New York in this clip.

When I was done talking to Murphy and Dickey I went over to the refreshment table to grab a bottle of water, it was there I met up with legendary  St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca, who was on hand to present an award to Chris Mullin at the dinner. Again I didn’t have my recorder on as my conversation with the Coach was more a casual deal than an interview.  He told me about having dinner with John Franco on Monday night and how happy he was that the Mets will honor him on June 3 with induction into the Mets Hall of Fame. It was easy to see the love and pride Carnesecca has for Franco, the coach then asked me if I thought Franco would get into Cooperstown, I was as diplomatic as could be in saying it would be very tough. I went on to tell the coach about my wedding day and how happy I was there was a TV in the limousine, as I’m seen and heard in our wedding video wanting to watch St. Johns-Auburn second round NCAA Tournament game.  Carnesecca laughed and then said “Jesus, you remember that game”? He then asked me to sit down with him and talk about basketball. That was quite an honor.

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DRIVE BY POSTING

Last week at this time, it was Armageddon outside my house with rain and wind. Today, the sun is shining and the temperature’s soring to the mid-70’s today so this will be a real quickie post as  I’m going out to play, I may even break out the shorts, but before I head out a few items:

Looks like Mike Jacobs is the in line for the 25th spot on the roster as he not only will give Daniel Murphy a run at first base bit he is valuable and an emergency catcher. Jacobs has no problem stepping in if asked to catch, in fact he has order a catchers mitt and is working down in the bullpen to hone his skills. Carlos Delgado was a catcher at one time but he made it known under no circumstances would he go behind the plate.  One more reason why I’m glad Delgado’s gone.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has a must read column on the shakedown artists at the World Anti-Doping Association who keep trying to embarrass MLB to the point it sends more cash it’s way for the witch hunt of chasing athletes for PED use.  I know the Congress and the President  have a lot on their plate these days but someone needs to reign in the FBI agents wasting money and man power chasing down Barry Bonds, Roger  Clemens and other athletes about their use of PED’s.  You want to say Bonds and Clemens are assholes ? You get no argument from me but if you’re going to start putting people in jail for that then Glen Beck needs to be on Death Row.

Jenry Mejia pitched yesterday and is slated to go again today. Not a good sign if you ask me. Looks like Manuel is pushing for Mejia to join the Mets bullpen when the right move would be to let him start in Buffalo. Also John Maine goes today against the Cardinals, time to step up Johnny.

The Nationals have sent Jesus Strasbug  to their minor league camp.  Look for Jesus to be resurrected sometime in May, as it will buy the Nats an extra year of control over the Savior.

Johan Santana BELIEVES!!!!! Someone has to I guess.

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“WE’RE FOLLOWING THE LEADER, THE LEADER, THE LEADER WE’RE FOLLIWING THE LEADER WHEREVER HE SHOULD GO”

I like the fact that David Wright is stepping up his leadership role with the Mets. In fact one of the best addition by subtraction moves the club made this winter was saying buh-bye to Carlos Delgado, who I felt was a very intimidating presences in the Mets Clubhouse and too many times Wright had to take a backseat to the senior vet. Now with Delgado gone it’s time for Wright to takeover that clubhouse. 

You need an everyday player to be the go to guy and Wright fits that mold better than anyone not named Johan Santana with the Mets. As great a player as Carlos Beltran is, he’s a very low key guy and Jose Reyes who is the on field igniter could be Wright’s tag-team buddy in that clubhouse, in fact in a perfect baseball world the two faces’ of the franchise should be able to say or do what they please with the service time they have with the club, but both are deferential to the older vets on the team sometime to a fault.

If Johan Santana can play the Cliff Floyd role with Wright and give him backup, it would be a major asset to this team. It won’t cure all the ills, but it would help put on notice players, who don’t give 100 % effort physically and mentally, especially the mental part which was as much a reason for the Mets demise as the injuries were last year.

Forget all the bravado of the team to beat bullshit, besides health, the biggest improvement with this Mets team and the whole organization for that matter is accountability. The team motto for this spring and season should be “NO MORE EXCUSES!!!!!”

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UH-OH I HEAR DRUMS, IT MUST BE FERNANDO

  21 days until pitchers and catchers

It looks like Fernando Tatis is retuning for a third season with the Mets. Please hold your applause until the end, thank you. If you look at the offensive numbers on Tatis’ Baseball-Reference page you might be inclined to say this is a good deal for the Mets.  I’ll go as far as say I’m happier with Tatis coming back just for the fact that it means that Carlos Delgado’ career as a Met is done.  Last night on Twitter I was angry about the Tatis return but by this morning I’m more, “eh, whatever”. I’m tired of ranting about the off season and the mish-mosh ways of the organization, that has both the fan base and media baffled, I guess it’s time we just let it play out, we’ll have all summer to scream and yell.   

Look at this from John Smoltz point of view, what was good for Pedro Martinez could be good for him as well. Why sign with a team this early when you can workout on your own, play golf, even do some TV if you like and then wait to see the pitching landscape during the season and make the best deal you can.

As much as I can’t stand the way ownership and the front office fuck up and the on field personnel play like amateurs, there is no way I could ever, ever root against the Mets. I don’t care if a loss meant that the Jeffey, Omar, and J-Man all get the boot, I would never and have never rooted against the Mets. If I didn’t root for the Cincinnati Reds when Tom Seaver was traded and pitched against the Mets, I’m sure as hell not going to root against them now. Root against the Mets? Never in a million fucking years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t understand J-Man saying that Fernando Nieve is the front runner for the 5th spot in the pitching rotation? Not to get to worked up over the 5th spot (when spots 2-4 are not exactly the Rocks of Gibraltar) but where does Jon Niese or Nelly Figs fit with this team? How about Bradley Holt or Dillon Gee? Why is J-Man so against competition? Why am I full of questions?

No matter what happens this season, I’m rooting hard for my boy Daniel Murphy to put up big time numbers. No one on this team works as hard as Murphy and I just hope his hard work pays off and he just hangs in there until Wally Backman gets the job with the big club. Am I a Daniel Murphy fanboy? Yes. He is everything we Mets fans want in a player. Shows up for mini-camp when he’s not required to (Jose? Jose Reyes? Are you here? Come out, come out ,wherever you are!) will be the first guy at St Lonesome waiting for the gates to open for spring training (it will be neck and neck with him and D-Wright) and is working hard to improve at the fourth positions the Mets have assigned him to. How can you as a Mets fan not root for this kid?    

No Pro Baseball Central tonight but I will be on the with Kenrick Thomas and his Real Sports Talk Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio tonight at 10PM ET.

There is a group NYRNation that is planning a FIRE GLEN SATHER rally outside of Madison Square Garden on Sunday March 7th  at 5PM before the Rangers-Sabres game. It is getting very ugly at MSG as the Rangers find themselves in the middle of 10 teams look at the 7 and 8 spot in the NHL playoffs. In fact the Rangers are a mirror of the Mets. Underachivers, Bad Management, Clueless Owner!

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I CAN’T STAY LONG, I”M DOUBLE PARKED

shout out to The Ropolitans for this pic

Sorry for no posts this morning but it’s been a busy day. So busy that I forget all about the David Wright sit down with the Sports Bloviator. I caught the tail end of the sit down as I traveled back from Brooklyn and I guess you could say it was typical David Wright. All positives and nothing controversial.

It looks like it’s a foregone conclusion that Bengi Molina will be the Mets #1 catcher this coming season. Again this looks to be another move where Omar was told to sit in the corner as the way the Mets have made Molina sit and stew is very un-Mets like. Same with Carlos Delgado who I think the Mets brain trust only went to Puerto Rico to see just to get away from freezing cold weather in NYC. Think about it, if the Mets were strictly an Omar Minaya Production, Molina, Delgado and Joel Piniero would be celebrating their multi year deals by now. Looks like those days are over.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Art Rust Jr. who was sportstalk radio in this town back in the 1980’s. Rust hosted a three hour call in show on WABC and unlike WFAN he actually talked ALL sports. In fact I had called in to his show because a young Mark Messier came on to talk hockey and agreed to take calls from fans. Rust was a great baseball historian and a huge Highlander fan but his real passion was for The Sweet Science and he had all the big time boxers on his show.  R.I.P. Arthur George.

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WOULD YOU LIKE ANYTHING ELSE WITH THAT POUND OF FLESH ?

Sorry, I’m just standing here wondering what all the hubbub is over Mark McGwire’ admission on his steroid use last night. The best part of the evening was watching the sanctimonious Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal not accepting McGwire’s mea culpa. I love how Verducci, Rosenthal and Jon Heyman are now all over McGwire and the rest of the Steroid Sluggers but never confronted them or did any investigative reporting during that era but now they’ve all become holier than thou. Th eonly reporter who spoke up at that time was Steve Wilstein of AP who asked about the bottle of Andro in McGwire’s locker. Too bad MLBN didn’t have him on.  

By the way I still have a few questions for Big Mac than Bob Costas failed to hit on. “Who got you the dope”? “Did it occur to you that this was a Federal crime having illegal narcotics “? Were you willing to pay any price to succeed in the game even if it meant getting arrested and going to jail”? “Who instructed you on how to administer the PED’s”?

I love how the panel on MLB Network was up in arms by McGwire saying he didn’t think the drugs made him better, he said he took them for the sole purpose of helping recover from a string if injuries he suffered from. Sure you can call bullshit on that statement but like Rick Peterson says “In God we trust, all others bring data” in other words, It’s all opinion on how much affect the drugs had on his home run total. That’s not to say I don’t agree with those who feel the PED’s didn’t help him jack up his HR total, it’s just that I can’t prove it.

Last word on this whole situation, I have never been a fan of Tony LaRussa but I will say this for TLR, he is one loyal son of a bitch. He has had McGwire’ pock marked back all these years and still has it.

I’ll take this as good news. Seven Train to Shea quotes a Twitter feed from Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse saying that Carlos Delgado is not moving to well around first base. If the move was strictly Omar’s, Delgado would have been re-signed by the Mets already but it looks like Omar has doesn’t have final say on personnel matters anymore. This off season has not been a typical Omar Minaya off season. The Mets are much more patient, to the point of Mets fans screaming in panic (me included) I guess that’s we are used to, the Omar Way. Let’s face it, if Omar had full autonomy Bengi Moilina would be sitting with a 3yr guaranteed contract right now.

Also on Ed Price’ Twiiter feed he claims Mets are talking 2yr/$15 mil contract for Joel Piniero

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GOOD TIDINGS TO YOU NO, NOT YOU JEFF

I’m running out the door to spread some Christmas cheer but before I do, a moment please:

What does your Dickey do? Mine throws a knuckleball

Hello? Where have you been hearing that the Mets should get David DeJesus and Gil Meche? Hello? Is this thing on?

Fork please! Carlos Delgado is as done as a Christmas goose.

When it comes to Assclowns nobody beats Highlander fans. Some of these geniuses have been calling WFAN or Twittering that they hate the deal that brought Javier Vasquez to the Highlanders for Melkey Cabrea and a couple of bush leaguers. Sometimes Highlander fans your stupidity is breath taking.

Thank you Mike Vaccaro, thank you for a wonderful column this morning.

Why do I get the sad feeling that we will see more Red Sox stories in the fish wraps this summer than Mets news?

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Tickets

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