Will Resilient Mets Help Their Manager Get A Contract Extension?

 

So did you stay up for the whole game last night? I lasted as long as Matt Harvey, after the 7th inning I went to bed since it was 12:30 AM and I had to wake up at 5AM it seemed like a good time for nap before getting ready for the day ahead.  The Met win in 16 innings ended about 90 minutes before I hit the shower to ready myself to take on the world where I heard Marc Ernay break the news to me on 1010 WINS that the Mets had won in 16 innings.  This may not be a Mets team that will contend for a post season spot but there is no doubt they are the most resilient Mets team we’ve seen in a long time and it’s that resiliency that could get Terry Collins a contract extension.

I go back and forth on Collins. I don’t think he’s a very good tactician especially late in games and he and Dan Warthen have no set bullpen assignments which makes the relievers nuts. But he has the players ear and respect in the clubhouse and he’s surprisingly good with the media and if you think that’s no big deal go speak to Mr. John Tortorella of Vancouver B.C. about his tenure as NY Rangers head coach.

What will be interesting to watch is if this Mets team does the opposite of Mets teams of the past few seasons and finishes strong in the second half is that enough to give Collins a contract extension?

Sandy Alderson has said that wins and losses will not be the determining factor in bringing Collins back in 2014, if in Alderson’s eyes the club has made progress on the field that would weigh in favor of an extension of Collins contract.  So if the team keeps playing as well as it has and keeps bouncing back from defeats that in seasons past would have had a negative effect on them for a week or two, then it would be quite difficult not to bring Collins back for at least another season.

Collins should also hope that Tony LaRussa is enjoying retirement because if he’s not and itching to get back into the game, things could get very interesting around here comes the off season.

About last night’s game, it seems that Matt Harvey may be experiencing  the same lofty fan expectations that Dwight Gooden had to endure, every start has to be a near no hitter with a dozen or so strikeouts and zero base on balls and of course a complete game shutout. Gooden talks about this in his book how he would hold a team to five hits or so with a couple of walks and five or six strikeouts in seven innings and have fans and media feel let down. Are we approaching that train of thought with Matt Harvey?

Harvey threw 40 % of his total pitches (121) in the first two innings of this game, dividing his 50 pitches in half each inning. His K/BB break down in the first two innings was 33/17. He made one bad pitch, leaving a fastball up to Buster Posey on a 3-1 count that Posey turned on and deposited into the left field stands for a two run home run and just one walk, to Andres Torres in the 2nd where ball four was a strike as home plate ump Adam Hamari was inconsistent in his calls all night. What more can you expect from your Ace?

And let’s not go after Collins for letting Harvey start the 7th inning, he was still throwing his fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and he was throwing strikes and showed no sign of fatigue. After pitching in the heat and humidity in his last few starts, the cool San Francisco evening air looked to rejuvenate Harvey if anything.

My only concern with Harvey is his off the field rise of stardom. I don’t begrudge Harvey of any of the fruits of his fame; I just worry about too much, too fast. On the mound Harvey is in control and takes care of business so well that he’s not just a Mets phenom but a baseball one as well. I just worry about the off field Harvey interfering with the on field Harvey. I hope my worry is much ado about nothing.

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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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Oh Yeah #IMWITH28

There is nothing better than watching your favorite team come from behind to win a game, then to top it off, one of your favorite players not only makes a game saving defensive play but then comes up to the plate with the winning run in scoring position and comes through with the game winning hit.

There is something different about Daniel Murphy so far this season. I saw some of it this off season when I got the chance to interview him at the Thurman Munson dinner with other writers and media people but when the main streamers moved on, it was just me and Murph. I shut off my recorder so I could have an “off the record” conversation with Murphy as we talked about some stuff other than baseball, mostly how the weather in NYC this winter was almost as nice as his native Jacksonville, where he worked out all winter and his getting a kick out me trying to sell him on living in Brooklyn as I brought up his short stay as a Cyclone.  We also spoke of the negativity that from outside forces that was surrounding the team and Murphy gave me a smirk and told me that stuff doesn’t bother him or his teammates as the players, coaches and especially the manager won’t let negativity enter the clubhouse.  So far Murph was right this team as the club seems to have stayed below the noise with this hot start.

I agree 100 % with what Bobby Ojeda said in the post-game show though, everyone is sky high happy as they’re winning ball games, what you want to look at is if this attitude remains during the first 4 or 5 game losing streak as Bobby O pointed out, in the past this team would wilt and get real quiet during the tough times. That will be the real test for the 2012 Mets, their reaction to adversity.

I’ve said it before that sometimes I enjoy seeing a pitcher who is struggling try to find himself during a game and righting himself than watching a guy dominate a line up and last night Mike Pelfrey gave one of those find yourself performances.  His first inning had me squirming in my chair after three straight hits by Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche as it looked like it was going to be an early Big Pelf meltdown but only one Nat crossed home plate so disaster averted. Pelf threw a lot of pitches and it seemed he was getting squeezed by home plate ump Todd Tichenor especially in the 6th when it looked like he stuck out Xavier Nady to end the inning but Tichenor blew the call and gave Nady life and on the next pitch Nady singled to center, prolonging the inning and ending Pelfs night and his attempt to go 6 full innings.

Pelf threw strikes and walked only one but he was tagged for ten base hits. He relied a lot on his sinker and slider most of the night but cranked up his four seamer to 90+ MPH when he needed it. It wasn’t a great start or an awful start but it was better than normal Big Pelf start.

I want to see the Mets get into a bench clearer this season just to see who is dumb enough to take on Jon Rauch, that’s one guy I’d hate have mad at me.

Ed Marcus a/k/a Rusty Jr over at Real Dirty Mets has a great review of R.A. Dickey’s book. If you haven’t bought Dickey’s yet shame on you.

By the way I will have a special announcement of a contest I will be running here on Friday that you won’t want to miss.   

 

 

 

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METS HAVE A SPRING IN THEIR STEP, BUT WILL IT BE THERE IN JULY?

Today pitchers and catchers will report to St. Lonseome and by Wednesday the Mets position players will start arriving as well and training camp 2012 will get under way. So what am I looking for this spring from our beloved Mets? I’m glad you asked:

Ownership

Please Freddy, Uncle Saul and Jeffey I’m begging you guys, please stay away from camp. Can we please take the focus off your upcoming court case and your financial problems and let this camp be about baseball, baseball and more baseball. Can you give your manager, coaches and players a chance to get ready for this season and to prove the naysayers wrong about how non-competitive this club will be? Your team is in good hands with Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and their staffs, so stay up here in New York and work with your attorneys to get your game plan ready for the March 19th trail. I’m sure Sandy Koufax will understand.

Manager

Got to love the work ethic of Terry Collins and the transformation he has made as a big league manager. Collins has been in camp with Johan Santana, working with the Ace and forming a bond with him like he did with Carlos Beltran.  Just as TC earned the trust and respect of Beltran, he is working towards having the same relationship with Santana. There is more to managing a team than knowing when to double switch and Collins has realized that and has  proven he is the right man to manage the Mets.

Ike Davis asked the question last week, “why does everyone think  we’re going to suck” and this is the rallying cry the manager needs to use to his and the teams advantage. When he addresses the team he should make it known that the majority of media and fans do think the Mets suck and the only ones who believe the team is any good, are the guys right he in this clubhouse. If each and every player on this team doesn’t have the back of their teammates, they’ll fail as no one else will stick up for them.   

With a year on the job, Collins knows who needs motivation and who is self-motivated and that’s a big plus. TC as well, has to push fundamentals this spring to the point that the players get angry. He needs to push the point that it’s not always the most talented team that wins but the most prepared team that is always right there. If the Mets continue with their poor execution on the field, it will be a long season.

Starting Pitching

The only starting pitcher I have any confidence in right now is R.A. Dickey. Everyone else has a ton of questions by their name. So many if’s with this group and the biggest problem is there isn’t much competition in camp for jobs in the rotation.  Sure Chris Schwinden or Miguel Batista could swipe the 5th spot from Dillon Gee or Matt Harvey could just blow everyone away this spring to force his way into the rotation but that’s a long shot.

As far as Santana is concerned try to put his starting the season on the big league roster out of your mind. Even if he pitches well this spring there a couple of things that will hasten his return early in the season, The cold weather is one, especially the dumb move by MLB to pay April games in the East at night, and the other is the limited innings/pitch count that Santana will be under. No way Santana, even if he shows he’s ready to come back, pitches more than 80-85 pitches or 5 innings, those pitching restriction will put a lot of pressure on the Mets bullpen early in the season and with the unknown of the rest of this staff besides Dickey, the Mets and Terry Collins can’t risk burning the bullpen by Memorial Day. Best case scenario is Santana stays in extended spring training and makes a few minor league starts for St. Lucie and makes back to the big leagues by end of May early June and that’s being real optimistic.    

As much as Mets fans are hanging on every Santana bullpen session the guys we really need to watch are Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese as it will be the performance of these two pitchers that will determine if this a season of surprise or of transition.  For Pelfrey if he can’t be effective it will get very ugly for him this season with the fan base and with the front office. As for Niese, it’s time to put the big boy baseball pants on a prove that he has the makeup, conditioning and ability to be a  solid major league pitcher. Niese doesn’t have to be an Ace but he has to show some stamina and guile to get to the 6th and 7th innings of starts.

Bullpen

It’s been revamped and the back end (Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch) is a huge improvement over last year’s relievers, but if Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell or D.J. Carrasco (or someone playing the role of Carrasco) starts making frequent appearances, it will be a long season. The effectiveness of the Mets bullpen will depend on the Mets starting pitchers who again (I know I’m belaboring this point) have to step up.

Defense

Last season the Mets were one of the worst defensive teams in baseball, so for 2012 there is no place else to go but up hopefully. All the talk about David Wright has been about his regaining his offensive punch which missed the real story with Wright and that’s the steady decline of his defense. I know the defensive metrics are not the be all end all but according to Bill James Online and their defensive plus/minus rankings Wright has been an atrocious third baseman the last three seasons :

2009 -11

2010 -10

2011 -5

 

Not only has Wright cost the Mets runs at 3rd base but he has had trouble with balls hit to his right and his throws have been less than accurate to first base, again defensive metrics have their flaws but so does Wright at the hot corner.

The catching situation stinks as well. Josh Thole still has not mastered the art of catching especially blocking balls in the dirt and getting better footwork in attempting to throw out would be base stealers. Word is new bench coach Bob Geren will be working all spring with Thole on these aspects of catching. Mike Nickeas will be the Sunday (and presumably R.A. Dickeys personal backstop) catcher and should bat 9th in the order when he does play. Catching in the Mets organization is a disaster that Sandy Alderson is not only aware of put has tried hard to rectify, that was one of the reasons Jon Niese’ name was mentioned in trade talks this off season as the Mets were hoping a team with a solid young catching prospect (like the Blue Jays and their prize catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud) would take the bait

The middle infield will be securitized a lot this season as Ruben Tejada takes over the everyday shortstop job and Daniel Murphy will try again to master the second sack. Tejada should be stellar at short as he has very good baseball instincts and makes plays he should make. The question will be, as it seems to be every spring for the last three years, will Daniel Murphy play at least a respectable 2nd base. As long as he makes the routine play and is somewhat capable of turning the pivot at 2nd without getting maimed, his season will be a success.

Ike Davis is solid at 1st base, so no worries there.

The outfield should be markedly better with Andres Torres playing center field and a bit underrated Jason Bay in left. The question is will Lucas Duda play a serviceable right field.  I’m trying very hard not to over use the word serviceable when talking about the Mets defenders but that’s how bad this team’s defense is when serviceable play would be an upgrade at 3rd base, 2nd base, right field and catcher.

Breakout star of the spring

I would love to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis have such a fabulous spring that he forces management hand to bring him North.  Many scouting reports have Capt Kirk as a corner outfielder but I’m sure once or twice a week you could play him in centerfield. If Jason Bay continues to be awful against right handed pitching, the lefty swinging Nieuwenhuis would make a great platoon partner for Bay.

Of course the new BIG 3 of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia will be watched closely and who knows, if Harvey pitches lights out, he could take the 5th spot in the rotation from Dillion Gee but he’d have to be spectacular in order for the Mets to force the issue early in the season. Wheeler will not be in the big league camp by the way but over at the kids table for minor leaguers but as we’ve seen in years past sometimes the minor leaguers get a invite to join the big boys especially when there are spilt squad games so keep an eye out for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NO CARLOS BELTRAN I WON’T GET OVER 2006, NOR SHOULD I

Mike Silva at NY Baseball Digest has an outstanding piece on his site this morning on Carlos Beltran and his time as a Met and his comments on Mets fans needing to “get over 2006”.

I have to say it took me a while to appreciate Beltran and his contribution during his tenure. I think the turning point in the relationship came when Beltran went to Colorado to have surgery on his knee after the club, namely Omar Minaya and Tony Bernazzard handled his medical care piss poorly.  Beltran was furious when the club made it seem he went rogue and receive an unauthorized procedure on his knee. When the truth came out it was Minaya and the team who were disingenuous.

What soured me with Beltran at the beginning of his Mets career was the double dealing he did behind the Mets back by offering himself to the Highlanders at a discount after the Mets made their substantial offer. It pissed me off because I saw Bobby Bonilla all over again. Bonilla, after getting the best offer out there from the Mets during his first free agent foray, took that offer to the Phillies to see if they would match it or go higher. By all rights, Bonilla was within his right to find the best deal possible and it was in my right as a Mets fan to call him a greedy prick.

The other problem Beltran had was not wanting to be the out front guy in the clubhouse. Some guys thrive in that spot, some guys, it’s just not their personality.  Beltran to his credit produce as well or better than any position player the Mets ever employed but his personality as seen through the media left something to be desired. But in listening to players in the clubhouse, where the opinions count, Beltran was not just respected but revered.

As for Beltran telling Mets fans to move on from 2006, it shows the major difference in how fans are more of the fabric of a team than the players.  Can I get over Beltran watching a wicked curveball break over home plate for strike three thus curtailing the Mets from getting to the World Series?  No, and I shouldn’t.  I’m a Mets fan, I can’t be traded or released or designated for assignment. I could leave as a free agent but the thought never entered my mind. I’m here for life. Players come and players go but fans are here forever. I still hold a grudge against Yogi Berra for not using George Stone properly in the 1973 World Series, costing the Mets a  championship, what makes Carlos Beltran think he’s  so special to escape my scorn?

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PAGAN BE GONE

 

If Angel Pagan is the Mets opening day center fielder I’m going to be pissed off.  A lot of my angst over Pagan has to do with his inconsistent play especially in the outfield and some of it has to do with what is perceived as a “me” attitude that looks as if it chaps the mangers ass as well. Terry Collins was miffed when Pagan took himself out of a game last year claiming he had a stomach virus and was dehydrated but never told the manger he was headed to the porcelain palace in the clubhouse as his turn to bat was up. Pagan also bitched and moaned about batting leadoff when Jose Reyes was out with his blown up hammy, solidifying his rep as a selfish player

Mike Silva wrote a piece on how Pagan may be the best of what’s out there as far as centerfielders go, but why do the Mets always have to settle?  If it’s going to cost at least $5mil to sign Pagan why not go a couple of million more and sign David DeJesus?

DeJesus would be a upgrade over Pagan in the outfield for sure and  an upgrade in the lineup as well as DeJesus has a better ability to get on base than that of Pagan.

Sandy Alderson has targeted the pitching staff, zeroing in on the bullpen, as job one this off season but he also needs to address the defense which was one of the worst in baseball last year.  The up the middle D was especially poor (Jose Reyes by the way was -11 in Runs Saved ) so if the organization can’t afford to go all out to get some decent arms then maybe an upgrade on the defensive side would help the arms the Mets have now?

I think this post by Shannon at  Mets Police says it all about being a Mets fan.

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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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TERRY COLLINS PUTS TEAM ON NOTICE THIS ISN’T THE WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW

I’m a little concerned about Angel Pagan, now that the Mets have sent him for a blood test to see what is causing him to be fatigued during games. What also disturbs me is that Pagan has gone into a shell in the clubhouse. With the thought of Carlos Beltran ready to be dealt away, his own poor play this season and the uncertainty that he will be brought back next year, has to be weighing on his mind. Hopefully there is nothing medically wrong with Pagan.

Most of the talk this morning is about what will happen after Carlos Beltran is traded. From reading the quotes from Terry Collins it seems he understands what we Mets fans have figured out the last couple of years, some of these guys tend to lay down like dogs when they feel the season is over. TC has made it known now that anyone he suspects turning canine the last two months of the season will become ex-Mets. This has always been my main concern about the team that in the past, they have shown no heart in tough situations. Collins made it known to me over the winter that that kind of mindset will not happen under his stewardship and so far this season he has live up to his promise.

If anything this Mets team doesn’t roll over in fact, most non-Mets fans/followers have complimented the way the team plays, hard for 27 outs. That’s why I have faith in TC to keep that mindset going forward. I have to believe if a player doesn’t hustle or takes a play off, his ass will be fastened to the bench.

I have been a Mike Pelfrey fan. I’ve rooted for him to get his act together and become a solid front line starting pitcher. I’ve kept saying “one more year and it will all click for Pelf” but more and more this seasons, my faith in Pelfrey drops after each of his starts. I’m getting to the point where I’ll be surprised if he is a Met in 2012. After reading some of his quotes today about life after Carlos Beltran I’ve become more secure in saying that we may be seeing the last of Mike Pelfrey as a Met:

  ”I understand that if you want to get something back for him you have to trade him (Beltran),” Pelfrey told The Post before the Mets beat the Reds 4-2 last night. “But in the same sense I would think if we ended up getting rid of him, the front office’s view is that we don’t have a chance, because he gives us our best chance to win. If he’s not here, then they felt we can’t rebound from where we’re at.”

Mike, if you pitched better this season, the team would have had a better chance to compete for a post season berth. Don’t worry about what the front office is or has to do. It’s very simple, players play, coach’s coach, manager’s mange and the front office worries about trades and signings. Quite frankly maybe your problem is you worry about shit that has nothing to do with you and you lose focus on what you need to do, which is to pitch better. Hey who knows maybe your career will turn around next year when you’re a Kansas City Royal.

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HEY METS FANS, WE’VE GOT OUR SUMMER BASEBALL BACK!

 

ITEM: Mets Win and Hit 2 GRAND SLAMS!!!!

I’ll tell you what? I really like this team. Sure that’s easy to say after a though ass kicking of the Detroit Tigers but I’ve had this feeling for a month or so now. First off everything Terry Collins said in the winter about the team playing hard and leaving everything they have on field has become  fact and if he sees any slacking off he addresses it as he did in Pittsburgh about a month ago. Last night, Justin Turner made a nonchalant throw to Lucas Duda at first on a routine ground ball that Miguel Cabrera hit an dogged it down  the first base line ( I bet if there was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the bag he’s have busted his ass) that pulled Duda off the bag rendering Cabrera safe. You can be sure that in the giddiness of the winning clubhouse, Turner was pulled to the side by his manager and told to never take a play off  and you can bet Turner won’t do that again.

My biggest problem with the Mets on the field the last couple of years was that players went through the motions and had a “who gives a shit” attitude, well that’s in the past. This team not only cares and competes; it believes that they are one of the better teams in baseball. The one thing they don’t seem to care about is the opinion of fans and media who love to harp on the negatives, another good reason to be proud of this team.

Last night Mike Silva was my guest on This Call To The Bullpen Podcast and I said to Mike that this team reminds me a bit like the 1994 NY Rangers for the fact that their team motto was “Heave-Ho” that they all pulled the rope the same way in the tug o’ war of the hockey season. Right now this team is all up on the rope and pulling it together, their 35-26 record since the awful 5-13 start proves it.

ITEM: R.A. Dickey Tells Media “Don’t Talk to Me”

Having had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing R.A. Dickey his comment last night after the Mets win doesn’t surprise me in the least:

“What you guys are doing here is a little bit ridiculous,” he said. “You guys need to be interviewing Bay and Reyes, make the night about them. If I’m even mentioned in an article, I’m going to boycott.”

When Dickey was asked during the winter about pitching to Josh Thole, he praised Thole to the heaven’s teling me “ Oh Josh, bless his soul works so darn hard and just gets better and better behind the plate every time out, I can’t wait to hook up with him this season”

That is not Dickey blowing smoke either as he is as straightforward a guy you’ll meet. He said last season the club wasn’t prepared for the second half of the season and stressed that it was as much the players fault as it was the managers. He also was candid in saying that you don’t have to be friends with all your teammates as everyone has different likes, dislikes and lifestyles but you have to have your teammates back and always support them. That is where Dickey excels as he spoke up for Jason Bay:

about Bay. “He is so steadfast in his pursuit to get better,” Dickey said. “The guy is a tireless worker. He never complains about a dadgum thing, so it’s nice to see him get a payoff for all the hard work.”

Robert Allan Dickey is a good man, teammate and a terrific pitcher.

ITEM: It’s Time To Give Nick Evans Another Shot At The Big Leagues

Nick Evans is hotter than 5th Avenue asphalt on an August afternoon. As the Buffalo Bison continue to swoon, Evans has found his hitting stoke and would make a wonderful compliment to Lucas Duda at first base. It’s time to send Jason Pridie upstate and bring back Nick Evans to Flushing. A productive right handed bat is a terrible thing to waste.

 

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BEAUTY OF .500 IS IN THE EYE OF THE METS FAN

 

You can look at the Mets reaching the .500 mark as nothing to celebrate, as .500 means you’ve reached a level of mediocrity. But if you look at the overall standings of the National League, that .500 mark is much more impressive, especially in the light of injuries and starting pitching rotation led by two neophytes, a philosopher, a reclamation project and a schizophrenic.  

Taking the Phuck Phaces out of the equation, and their NL and MLB leading 43-26 record, the Mets are a mere 5 games back of the SF Giants (39-29) for the second best record in the league. For those who feel it’s never too early to follow the NL Wild Card standings, the Mets are 3.5 games behind the Cardinals for the NL Wild Card spot.

All this without the two corner infielders who provide power, the Ace of the starting rotation and the Left Fielder (although 2 hits and an SB for Jason Bay maybe just maybe it’s the start of his renaissance) an emotional baseball mess, it’s quite impressive that the Mets are in the race for a post season berth. If anything comes as a positive so far this season is the culture of failure has been eradicated on the field and in the clubhouse. Maybe it will move to the owners level as well but that would take a giving the blind sight kind of miracle that doesn’t happen too often.   Like Rome, Flushing was built in a day.

Scott Kazmir has been released by the Angels, he can be picked up for the major league minimum. I don’t think a Mets reunion will happen but I could see the Highlanders signing him and assigning him to Scranton/Wilkes Barre because they are DES-PER-ATE for starting pitching.   

I wish the Mets would announce that the next time Johan Santana will pitch for the team in February 2012 in St. Lonesome.

Last night I had the honor of being a guest on the Seamheads Podcasting Network’s Fantasy Baseball Show on Blog Talk Radio it was a fast paced hour of great baseball talk a very worthy listen. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/seamheads/2011/06/16/highlight-reelseamheads-fantasy-baseball-show

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