Dear Mets Diary, It’s Been Awhile………….

Dear Mets Diary,

WOW, it has been a while since I’ve written to you. How ya been? Me? I’ve been very busy with two kids graduating and going on to college and high school and moving my office from Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn (just a 15 minute walk to the Barclay Center which if Walter O’Malley had his way would have been a fifteen minute walk to Ebetts Field II) then add in getting entrenched in the Celtics-Knicks playoff series (I hope the C’s didn’t leave all they had left on the court yesterday) and the NY Rangers getting ready to battle for the Stanley Cup (nice to see the Blueshirts in full “jam” mode but getting the hottest team in the NHL in the Caps and that prick with ears Ovechkin is going to be a rough series I know it) I’ve kind of neglected my duties of writing about the Mets. Problem is, there’s not much to write about.

I’m not saying I’m not following my beloved Amazin’s but other than the days/night Matt Harvey starts (by the way Happy Matt Harvey Day) there really isn’t much to get overly excited about this team. In fact after a month of the season, they are still as bad as they were the last half of last year and what’s worse I don’t see how they can improve?

With yesterday’s loss to the Phuck Phaces (4th loss in a row) the Mets will now have FIVE consecutive losing months since July of last season.  The bullpen has been beaten up this first month and though it looks bad on paper, they reason the pen has been so ineffective is the Mets use about 4 relievers a game. Unless the pen consists of Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers  and the 1990 Cincinnati Reds Nasty Boys, no bullpen can withstand that type of work load. Add in that Terry Collins and Dan Warthen have an awfully tough time knowing when and who to go to in relief situations, you have the big time mess the Mets are in now. It would be nice if the Mets starting pitching could go more than 5-6 innings a start as well as it would take the pressure of the beleaguered  bullpen and also take the strategic thinking out of the minds of Collins and Warthen.   

The offense is pathetic too. I wish I knew what the hell is wrong with Ike Davis, is he just in a slump or are the rumblings of him being uncoachable true?  Or is it too many people telling Ike what to do that he has a sensory overload on how to hit? The answer is probably a little bit of both. Right now the best move the Mets could make is to bring up Josh Satin to be Ike’s 1st base partner in a straight platoon. In 24 AB’s vs. LHP in Triple A Satin has a slash line of .333/.429/.583 sure it’s a very small sample size but ask yourself this, would it be better to have Josh Satin on the big club roster or Marlon Byrd?

It seems that Juan Lagares is now the flavor of the week in centerfield as the Mets it seems haven’t a clue on how to put the outfield together. The only constant is Lucas Duda who has shown, shall I say, Confidence, at the plate and has put together a very nice April, although those 8 Rib Eye Steaks don’t look very meaty. Lagares can cover tons of turf in the centerfield which is a big help to The Big Lebowski in left and in right Mike Baxter has not looked too good in the outfield this season but he seems to have that Hawk Harrelson TWTW factor which I agree with Hawk you need and it’s something that sabermetrians can scoff at and ridicule but it is something that is sorely lacking in this team. The Will To Win. I see it in Baxter and most definitely in Matt Harvey and Captain David and #IMWITH 28 as well but collectively as a team I’m not feeling it.  

It doesn’t seem as if the fan base is feeling it either. The social media soap box known as #MetsTwitter has been abuzz the last few days with wonderment over not if Terry Collins will be relieved of his managerial duties but when it will happen and who will take over.  I would like to say this kind of talk is premature and that Collins can only work with the lousy hand he’s been dealt but I have to admit the last 48 hours has me thinking that change may do the Mets some good.  

This team needs some kind of a shakeup, and by the way has anyone seen or heard from Sandy Alderson? Remember when Fab Freddy Skill Sets opened up his yap after Michael Bourn signed with the Tribe to proclaim that the team has the financial wherewithal to spend on players to make the club better?  If that’s the case then why is the GM bouncing players from Vegas to NY? How about some good ol’ fashion GM’ing by making a deal that will bolster not only the team on the field but the fans in the stands? Why should the Mets fan care about this team if management and ownership don’t seem to?

In a perverse way, I hope the Marlins take 3 straight from the Mets (sorry Matt Harvey maybe you lose 1-0 in a complete game where you strike out 15 walk none and the only hit you give up is a Giancarlo Stanton HR) as then maybe Sandy Alderson will make some kind of move.

The Mets have been given a pass in the media so far as the New York Sports fan is in fully engulfed in the Knicks playoff run and the always entertaining sitcom, The Jets of Florham Park, but eventually Mets fans are going to start to rumble and the media is going to need something on an off day to write about and as we all know in NYC nothing sells papers and makes ratings rise like a catastrophe and the Mets are headed in a catastrophic direction.

Sometimes those Yogi-isms are so true and make a ton of sense. The Mets are headed for the fork in the road, where will they take it? Also it does get late early and after five consecutive losing months the sun made be setting on the Mets.

So Mets diary I have bared my soul, I hope I can write to you more frequently and in a more optimistic way as well. I have to confess the losing is getting to me. I’m so tired of blown late inning leads and multi game losing streaks God-awful at bats and 3 error games. Right I’m not confident there will be a positive turnaround for a while.

Lets Go Rangers!!!!

 

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If The Mets and Highlanders Are Both Going To Play in NYC On Opening Day Why Play Each Other ?

For some strange reason MLB has decided to have the Mets and Highlanders open the 2013 season at home on the same day and at the same time.  Ridiculous!  Can you imagine the scene at Grand Central Station with fans crisscrossing to the 4 and 7 trains?  Not to mention the added personnel the City of New York will have to put on in the form of police, EMT’s and traffic agents along with the MTA who will have to keep folks on overtime to work the platforms and dispatch. Both teams playing at 1 PM on April 1st was the ultimate Aprils Fool’s joke perpetrated by MLB on NYC baseball fans.

What infuriates me more about this scheduling faux pas is there was an obvious solution; the Mets and Highlanders should have opened the 2013 season against each other.

I’m not a fan of Inter-League play but starting this season, with the Astros exiled to the American League West, MLB now consists of two balanced leagues of 15 team’s apiece. That means every day, there will be an inter-league game played. No more two fortnights of strictly inter-league play, nope, everyday you’ll see AL vs. NL; in fact the Cincinnati Reds will open up at home on April 1st against the LA Angels.  So much for the “traditional” baseball season opener.

From the looks of the attendance figures I seem to be in the minority when it comes to the annual Mets-Highlanders contests, I’ve felt the novelty has worn off and it’s mostly the casual” I got tickets from my uncles-neighbors-cousin who works for JP Morgan Chase-kind of crowd but I think a Mets-Highlanders opening season series would be fabulous .

Think about an opening day Mets-Highlanders tangle for a moment. Both sets of fans have been hibernating during this stormy fall and winter. Both fan bases stare at their WRIGHT 5 jersey’s and JETER 2 jerseys while putting on long underwear as they head out to shovel snow?  Think about the buildup to this opening day to the point that $63 bucks for Promenade seats would be swooped up in minutes.  You wouldn’t as a Mets fan, venture up to the South Bronx for an opening day showdown with the Highlanders then head back to Citi Field for a Mets opening day? Two opening days in one season? Oh Hell yeah!!!!!

In fact since every day is an Inter-League game is the law of the land, every year should be Mets-Highlanders on opening day. Alternate the opening day game each year between Flushing and the South Bronx. Two games at Citi then two games at Highlanders Stadium and vice versa.  Fold into that fan friendly attractions for both sets of fans around the city to celebrate the return of baseball which is also the return of spring and warm weather, a total rebirth of the spirit of fans and all New Yorkers.

Sure you could have a snow storm on April 1 but you could also have a 75 degree day as well. April weather in NYC is a crap shoot. The average temps are 61 degrees for a high and 44 degrees for a low, which makes night games in April nuts. But four day games spilt between Citi Field and Highlanders Stadium to start the season is perfect.

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Brad Mills Left The Bullpen Gate Open

Never in a millon years did I think I’d miss Giusspepe Franco on a continous loop on SNY. Between this commercial and the Jeter trying to sell me a car that he wouldn’t be caught dead in, I hope SNY makes enough money on them to give Bobby Ojeda a big raise.  

I’m still trying to figure out the thinking of Brad Mills last night with his Salute to Tony La Russa in the 7th and 8th inning last night. It isn’t like Mills is rolling out a bullpen like the Cincinnati Reds Nasty Boys of 1990, but then again with the Astros leaving the Senior Circuit for that other league in 2013, then again it could be Mills’ form of protest to the switching of leagues with an Occupy Bullpen movement.

For all those who feel I’ve been shilling for Sandy Alderson, let me put this out there. The signing of Frank Francisco looks to be a big time blunder. Last night Francisco was not available due to a hamstring  (dehydration ?) issue, earlier he had trouble with his knee then add in that he’s has been totally ineffective as a closer, it adds up so far to one in the minus column for Alderson.

Speaking of the bullpen, there could be a shakeup soon as Mets relievers are starting to show signs of wear, ranking third in innings pitched (71.2, the Brewers lead the league at 75.1 IP) and dead last in the NL in ERA at 5.02 add in the Mets penchant for playing close games, unless Manny Acosta and Miguel Batista have a pitching epiphany they could be replaced by the rehabbing DJ Carrasco and maybe an eye opening Josh Edgin. You also have Jenry Mejia coming back from TJ surgery and Armando Rodriguez pitching very effectively in Bingo. So there are options within the organization which makes the Francisco signing look worse.

I don’t know if it’s just the mindset of the fan base or the years of incompetent management that has Mets fan fearing Kirk Nieuwenhuis going to the bench or back to Buffalo when Jason Bay gets back. First forget Buffalo that’s not happening and as for grabbing some pine, that should be where Andres Torres winds up. When you carry around a .243/.318/.402 lifetime batting line after 8 years of major league employment, you should be happy you have a seat in a big league dugout.

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NY METS BE-BOP-A-BOBBLEHEAD

This Ike Davis Bobblehead was given out at MCU Park and is one my favorties  

 

The New York Mets have released their schedule of bobblehead giveaways and each one is a must have if you are like me a serious bobblehead collector.

On Sunday April 22nd at 1:10PM vs. the SF Giants will be Tom Seaver Bobblehead  Day

Saturday May 26th at 1:10PM vs. the SD Padres will be Rusty Staub Bobblehead Day

Sunday June 17th at 1:100PM vs. the Cincinnati Reds will be Keith Hernandez Bobblehead Day

Saturday July 21st at 1:10PM vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers will be Edgardo Alfonzo Bobblehead Day

Saturday August 25 at 1:10PM vs. Houston Astros will be Mike Piazza Bobblehead Day

An impressive list of bobblehead honorees even with the omission of Ed Kranepool Bobblehead day.

To get tickets for these games go to Mets.com and Mets50.com   

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WHO NEEDS 2? NY METS SINGLE GAME TIX GO ON SALE MARCH 5TH

 

News from the Mets today as single game tickets for all games at Citi Field will go on sale Monday March 5th at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.

Tomorrow the Mets will put on sale three news ticket packages at 10AM on Mets.com and at (718) 507-TIXX.  Here are the details of these packages:

6-Game Marquee Flex Pack

Fans can secure tickets to Opening Day (April 5) or one of the Subway Series games at Citi Field (June 22-24) before individual game tickets go on sale.  Choose Opening Day or one of the Subway Series games at the regular price, then select five other games at a savings off the established box office price.

6-Game Value Flex Pack

The price of a ticket in this pack starts at $9 per game or $54 per pack for any six games other than Opening Day or the Subway Series. Quantities are limited with availability in select sections of Baseline Box, Caesars Box, and Promenade Reserved seating categories.

Mr. Met Dash Pack

For three or more Mr. Met Dash games, every regularly priced adult ticket purchased through this special pack can add up to three children 12 and under for $10 each per game.  Kids can run the bases after the game during the Mr. Met Dash on the following Sundays: April 22, May 6, June 17, July 8, August 12, and August 26.

Last week, the Mets launched the Banner Day Pack to mark the return of the longtime Mets tradition on Sunday, May 27 against the San Diego Padres.  The five-game pack starts at $50 and also includes games against the San Francisco Giants (Saturday, April 21), Cincinnati Reds (Friday, June 15) and Miami Marlins (Thursday, August 9 and Friday, September 21).

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IF JON NIESE IS TRADED OR STAYS IT’S STILL A PLUS FOR THE METS

For everyone who says “why would Sandy Alderson even think about trading Jon Niese”? You got your answer yesterday when the San Diego Padres traded Matt Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for a cache of prime prospects.

The Reds see 2012 as their shot at winning the NL Central and putting together a pitching rotation that would stand up to the post season test so they took the big leap and dealt off four prize prospects,  Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger to add a pitcher they feel will put them thismuchcloser to being a pennant winner.

This brings us to Jon Niese and to Gio Gonzalez. Billy Beane saw the trend as did Sandy Alderson but Josh Byrnes was the first to act on it. We’ve been looking for the next undervalued commodity in baseball and we’ve found it, the twenty-something pitcher whose contract is under team control.  Beane and Alderson are in the same boat so to speak, they both can’t compete with the top teams in their division as presently put together and both have owners with money issues, although Beane is in a bit better spot than Alderson as his team with the help of the strong armed Bud Selig, could get their wish and get permission to move the A’s from the Black Hole of the Coliseum to San Jose, thats’ if the Giants show them the way (the Giants own the territorial rights so they do know the way to San Jose, a multi-million dollar check to waive those rights) any way back to Alderson and the Mets.

From hearing all the talk of Gonzalez being on the trade stroll and so many teams with large pockets and plentiful prospects to trade, Alderson and his staff decided to put Jon Niese’ name on the stroll as well. One ridiculous rumor was the Mets sending Niese to Colorado for 29 year old outfielder Seth Smith, please, that’s an Al Harazin kind of move and one I’m sure was let out after a few whiskeys and ryes by a guy who thinks he’s a cowboy, no if Alderson is going to trade Niese he’s going to get players who fill many of the voids the Mets have.

Alderson made it plain that the Mets catching situation is in dire need of an overhaul, not just at the major league level but organization wide. The club also needs help in adding prospects to its minor league system to accelerate the rebuilding (yes I used the “R” word) of the franchise into a contending team once again.

I can’t fault Mets fans when they get jumpy when they hear of a 25 year old pitcher being shopped as we have seen so many Mets GM’s get fleeced in the past but I’m pretty confident that if Niese is dealt it will be to a contending team or one just on the cusp and views Niese as a missing piece and is willing to pay a big premium to get to the promised land.

It’s a win-win for the Mets, Niese is dealt to fill multiple spots or he stays and becomes a solid major league pitcher. It’s not often I used the phrase Win-Win when discussing the Mets.

 

 

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HEY, HOT DOG HERE!!!!! HEY, BEER HERE!!!!!!

 

A staple at a baseball game is a hot dog and a beer, in some stadiums it can break your budget in others the combo is quite affordable as we see in this beautifully put together chart by the folks at webstaurant.com. I knew that the Cincinnati Reds sold hot dogs for a buck but who knew the Rays had the highest priced wieners in all of MLB? Maybe that’s what keeping the fans away in St. Pete?

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A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF OWNERSHIP?

So neither Mayor Moneybags or Jerry Seinfled are interested in buying the Mets. That’s fine by me because I am very much interested in buying the Mets

 (first thing I’d do is redesign Citi Field and make it like Cameron Indoor Stadium where all the seats in the field level of the stadium would be for Mets fans only and by fans I mean in order to sit there you would have to take a 10 question quiz on Mets history. For every question you get right I deduct a dollar off the already low 20 bucks I’d charge for the seat. Then I’d move all the club seats holders to the Promenade and make up the difference in my new ticket price plan on them. Oh and I enclose the whole promenade as so not to disturb the high rollers with our screaming and yelling of LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)   

Except I lack the one thing that would make that happen. MONEY, but both Bloomy and Seinfeld are filthy rich so if they front me the cash, I would be happy to take ownership over from the Skill Sets.

Alex Remington on FanGraphs puts out the theory of the Mets going with a public sale of stock in the team as a way to raise capital and keep control of the franchise. If this happened I would definitely buy in. Remington mentions the Boston Celtics in his piece as a team that stock was available in back in the mid late 90’s. Being a Celtics fan, I bought 100 shares of Celtics stock for 8 buck a share. When the current management took over control of the team they wanted make them private, so they offered the shareholders $35 a share so my $800 investment brought me back $3500 and the right to say I once was a part owner of the Boston Celtics.  

Ed Marcus’ Top 50 Mets of all time checks today with #27 Jesse Orosco. Of course we can never forget Orosco on the mound for the NLCS and World Series clinchers and of course coming to the Mets from the Twins for Jerry Koosman but the game that stands out to me is July 22, 1986 in a 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Davey Johnson had both Orosco and his tag team partner Roger McDowell stay in the game by rotating them from the outfield to the pitcher’s mound.

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THE NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES ITS CHOICE FOR NL CONNIE MACK AWARD

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance is ready to announce it’s first post season award, the Connie Mack Award for manager of the year in the NL and AL. As the NY NL Chapter President, I am proud to announce our vote:

1st Place- Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds

2nd Place-Bruce Bochy, San Fransisco Giants

3rd Place-Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET on Blog Talk Radio for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. I have no guest booked for the show so the call in line will be open. To talk baseball tonight call in at (646) 727-2465. Some of the topics I’m looking to discuss is my big concern on who will be the next Mets manager and who is making the call on that hire (Jeffy Skill Sets, Omar or a new GM ?), Rob Dibble calling out Stephen Strasburg to learn to pitch hurt, the Pittsburgh Pirates showing profitability in suckitude and the Cincinnati Reds honoring Pete Rose on the anniversary of Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s hit record and anything else that’s on my mind.

What’s on your mind? Call in and vent at (646) 727-2465 tonight on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. 

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop at Cafe Press

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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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.