Johan Santana Stepped Up When He Was Needed

Can’t say I’m surprised about the news of Johan Santana and his re-injured left shoulder, what I was surprised about was the Mets not following Johan’s workouts over the winter and the laissez-faire attitude the front office had with the Ace lefty.  It seems no matter what regime runs this team there is always questions about how they operate.  

This re-tear of the shoulder didn’t just happen overnight, some want to blame the no hitter, some want to blame Sandy Alderson calling out Santana for reporting to camp in less than optimal condition and then responding by being a petulant child going into “I’ll show you mode” by throwing the hell out of a bullpen session that should have never been allowed to happen.   

Santana is the last of the Minaya bad signings and I have the feeling the Mets front office are not exactly pulling out one Kleenex after another mourning the loss of Santana. If they are mourning anything it’s the fact that they will pay Santana $30 mil dollars to have surgery and re-hab the shoulder for a second time.  

Safe to say, Johan Santana is now a former Met and the final piece in the purging of the Omar Minaya Era. Mets fans today are in full reminiscent mode regaling each other with stories about the June 1st no hitter and the Game 161 of 2008 when Santana kept a running on fumes Mets team in contention to the last game of the season. The game that will define Johan Santana’s time with the Mets for me though will be the game he pitched on July 27th of that year.

2008 was a year of turbulence as Willie Randolph flew with his under achieving team to Anaheim only to be told to turn around and go home as he was relieved of his managerial duties in a very unprofessional way.  Jerry Manuel took over and the team responded by making a run and landing in first place in July. On July 26th the Mets lost to the Cardinals in 14 innings using 8 pitchers in defeat.  The bullpen was in dire need of a rest and Santana gave them that the next day pitching a complete game 9-1 victory over the Cards. That is what an Ace does; he steps up when needed and performs at his best. You can bemoan the injuries Santana suffered as a Met, you can bitch about the contract he received although at the time Mets fans were tripping the light fandango over the trade and long term deal he signed and you can try to place the blame on anyone and everyone over this latest announcement of bad injury news, but never forget that Johan Santana gave the Mets everything he had when he took the mound.

As I say the 7-27-08 game will stick with me, but so will the Saturday game against the Fish on that next to last day of the season and Shea Stadium that year as well and no one will ever forget the no hitter especially Mets fans of my generation, we will always have a spot in our blue and orange heart for Johan Santana.    

 

 

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David Wright Wants Answers About Mets Direction

 

Man, this seems like a hundred years ago……………

David Wright is not only the leader of the 25 man Mets roster; he is also the leader of the Mets fan base. In a story in today’s NY Post, Wright essentially told the Skill Sets “get your shit together before I decide to book”

Wright is not concerned about the monetary aspect of a new contract, and why should he? Wright on the open market is a minimum 5 yr/$110 mil baseball player and there would be teams lining up for his services like the Orioles, Dodgers or even (GULP!) the Phillies.  

Wright still has that quote from Freddy Skill Sets New Yorker piece burned in his brain about being a “good player not a superstar”  and Wright as always, took the high road and did a good job of defusing what could have been a real shit storm for the Mets. But that’s the way Wright goes about his business. But make no mistake that quote hurt Wright a lot as it should. Here is a guy who goes to every charity function the team has requested for him to attended, then plays with a broken bone in his back, is the first guy to show up at St. Lonesome every February and the last to leave and then has to answer question upon question after every one of the Mets 162 games only to have the owner say “eh, he’s a good kid” Disgraceful.

Now for the Freddy Skill Sets the rooster has come home to roost. Wright knows you need him much more than he needs you so it will come down showing Wright what we Mets fans have been asking for the last few seasons, what’s your game plan Freddy?

The Skill Sets hate to show their hand and with Freddy yelling out the other day at Citi Field “Ask Sandy” when quires about which way the wind was blowing organizationally, he is already passing the buck (no pun intended) to Alderson who will have to show Wright what the plan is to get the Mets back into contention and how long before the plan pays off.

Wright is just like me and you he wants to know where are the Mets headed and is it worth the time and effort to see it through.

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Coming Up On The 4th of July and We Are In A Pennant Race

 

Looks like the Mets roller-coaster season is rising to the top again with last night’s 3-2 win over the Hollywood Bums.  So far as we near the completion of the first half of the season, Mets fans emotions and view of this team has spun around like a weather vane in a tornado, they put together a nice little win streak and we feel this could the one of those season where the club can grab what looks like a wide open NL East and win the division. Then there are the losing streaks and we’re ready to slump our shoulders and look at each other with that “ I knew it was too good to be true” expression we’ve worn since Mike Vail looked like the second coming of Mickey Mantle until a shattered ankle ended that dream.

But here we are, at the end of June and the Mets are but a mere 3 ½ games out of 1st place. I think most of us are still stunned by that as all winter the number of wins predicted for this Mets team hovered between 75 and 81 with everyone who bleeds blue and orange saying a .500 season would be a dream come true. Has this first half changed your view of that dream?

This is what the summer should be about, your team in contention for a pennant where you’re not just following your team but every team in the division, that’s where we stand now with the Mets especially this weekend. With the Mets and Dodgers playing at 10PM, it sets up perfect for us to follow the Phillies at the Fish and the Nats at the Braves right into Mets (with the Dickster on the bump) Dodgers. Its weekends like this that I pity those who aren’t baseball fans.

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The Mets Front Office Needs To Show Me They Are Back In The Baseball Business

Not much energy to put up a post today, watching the NY Rangers play an epic 3 OT playoff game will drain a fan. Between watching Henrik Lundqvist kick and catch puck after puck and seeing Ranger after Ranger drop down and block pucks to the point that Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle got their best rest while getting stitched up so they could go back out to block some more pucks.

I’m just thankful that after investing over 5 hours of hockey watching the Rangers game away with the 2-1 win and 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

So after going to bed at about a quarter to 1 this morning, waking up at 5 AM and getting to work by 6:30AM I’m a tad fatigued. So I’ll just say this about the three games of awful pitching in Houston, the front office has to show the fan base that they will go out and find a better option than Chris Schwinden. I don’t want to see Matt Harvey or Jureys Familia, let them stay on their development course.  I’m ok with Jeremy Hefner taking Schwinden place, hell a forfeit might make better sense than starting Schwinden again. If you ever wanted to know what a 4A player looks like its Chris Schwinden

I doubt seriously that Roy Oswalt would sign a deal with the Mets but you know what? Humor me. Make an attempted and contact Oswalt’s agent and see what it would take to sign him. Sweeten the deal with a clause that if he joins the Mets and they are not in contention at the trade deadline you will either trade him to a contender or release him. As I say, I doubt Oswalt would sign with the Mets and he may not even be effective but I need a sign that the Mets are back in the baseball business.  Even a trade for an arm, and again I’m not looking for a 1, 2 or 3 starter, in fact the perfect guy for the Mets to make a move on would be Jason Marquis. Marquis would be a nice fit in place of Mike Pelfrey and I’d bet it wouldn’t take  much to rustler him away from the Minnesota Twins , add in that Marquis still lives on Staten Island I’m sure he’d jump at the chance to come  home to pitch.

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SCOTT HAIRSTON MUCH BETTER VALUE SIGNING OVER CODY ROSS

With the word that Cody Ross has signed with the Boston Red Sox with the Mets in contention for his services, the question of the day is whom would you rather  have as your 4th outfielder, Cody Ross or Scott Hairston?

Ross put a .240/.325/.405/.730 line last season with the Giants in 461 plate appearances. Hairston, stepped into the batter’s box, a sporadic 145 times to fill a line of .235/.303/.470/.773. while Ross banged out 14 home runs last season Hairston put seven baseballs over the outfield walls in his limited action. When you look at FB/HR rate Hairston’s beats out Ross 13.0% to 9.3 %.

Ross hits lefties very well especially for power with a .912 lifetime OPS to Hairston’ .813 OPS which is impressive as well making it even more a head scratcher on why Terry Collins didn’t use Hairston more before a rib injury at the end of August ended his season.

I would bet that Hairston re-signed with the Mets with the promise of more playing time, especially in CF against RHP unless Andres Torres can repeat his 2010 season. But between CF and spelling Lucas Duda in RF and staying healthy, Hairston could be a very productive 4th outfielder for the Mets.

Cody Ross would have been a nice choice as well for the Mets but with the Red Sox offer of $3mil plus incentives the Mets will get as much value from Hairston as they would from Ross and Hairston only cost $1.1 mil. No way Cody Ross is worth $2mil+ more than Jerry Hairston.

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IT WAS A NIGHT NOT FIT FOR BASEBALL FANS OR BEAST

I have a question to the fans who attended last night Mets-Pirates game. Why? 

At 5pm I was in a car driving from Rego Park to Lower Manhattan the closer we got to the Manhattan the darker the sky became. Going over the Williamsburg Bridge, you could see what looked like a funnel cloud fly over us. As we hit the Lower East Side, the sky opened up with a combination of driving rain and hail. By the time we got to our TriBeca office the rain was a drizzle and the wind calm.

It wasn’t after we handed in our work and clocked out to head to Staten Island that we realized what the hell was happening. A 12 mile ride that takes on a rough traffic day 45 minutes, took 2 hours last night. Trees down, floods, truck over turned, what a disaster. Trying to get a traffic report we switch on 1010WINS and as they were giving the low down on the traffic and disastrous weather they announced that the Mets-Pirated game would be delayed 15 minutes. What? The Mets are still playing? Well I guess both teams are at the park but there can’t be people there right? Right?

Now I know it was just a smattering of people at the game, I guess between 5 and 8,000 but I just wonder, how the hell did these people get to the game?

If you were at the game last night please post a comment on how you arrived and departed Citi Field to get home? I know there was no 7 subway service and the LIRR was out as well. The Grand Central was at a standstill (some people just left their cars on the shoulder and walked home) and from the news reports of downed trees and power lines why would anyone go out when it wasn’t necessary ?

Mack Ade has a post up at his site about all the Mets blogs that have bit the dust this year and some that are posting very infrequently. I have to say the last few weeks have been the toughest for me in the 9 years I’ve run this site. How much ranting and raving can you do about management and the lack of a team in contention?  How many times can you right about all the speculation of who will be the manager and General Manager in 2011? How many times can you beat up Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo to where you look like the asshole more than the over paid underachieving player? It’s gotten so bad that I’m Tweeting about how Casterino’s Pizza at $iti Field is overpriced and sucks.

The one sliver lining here is the winter will be more interesting than the summer when it comes to the Mets. Hopefully the summers will get interesting sooner than later.

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THE OMAR MINAYA PRESS CONFERENCE: A LITTLE SONG, A LITTLE DANCE, A LITTLE SELTZER DOWN YOUR PANTS

At this point in the Mets season, my mood has gone from outrage to amusement. The outrage was over the start of the second half of the season when the team decided it was time to pack it in, the amusement is listening to players and the GM tried to tell us the team is still in contention. ROFLMYFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listening to Omar Minaya discuss the Mets, is like hearing a child try to explain why filling the bathtub with water and Jell-O was a good idea. You’re so pissed off at them as you survey the situation but the more they try to explain themselves and try to wriggle out of bad situation, it starts to become comical.

Omar is trying very very hard to convince the fan base that this team is still in contention when we all know this team talks tough but when it comes down to fighting for a post season spot, they are a collection of conscientious objectors. As much as I’m a fan of D-Wright just once I’d like to hear him say in his after a loss post game statement, that the team needs to get some players who are mentally tough. Who is he worried about pissing off? The manager is clueless and the GM insults our intelligence and the owner is scare shit to be seen in public. Please can someone just say the truth in that clubhouse? Is it that hard to say it? The truth will set your sorry ass’s free.

I bet if Omar came out and said “All this mess is on me. I miscalculated on a lot of the personnel here and I gave out contracts that will haunt me and the organization. I’ve learn a valuable lesson about over paying players and with the help of my front office staff, we are ready to regroup and re-invent they way personnel moves are made with this team”  If he would make a statement like that, I bet talks of fan boycotts would go away. In fact if he made a statement like that and was retained by ownership for another year, the out cry for his head, would die down a bit. But if he keeps going with this tired comedy act of his then he needs to be shown the door. 

I think it has finally sunk into Luis Castillo’ head that he has no future here in Queens. I do feel for the guy for at least he puts up a fight to get in the lineup and has some pride unlike the miserable fuck, Oliver Perez, who is no different from Bernie Madoff as first class scam artist.

See if the organization had the brains and passion of Taryn Cooper Mets fans would never complain again (SHOCKING!!! I know) last night she organized the Citi Field Sit Out where fans were asked to NOT attend last night game. Coop herself made the sacrifice of not using her tickets or putting them up for sale. The protest I’d like is where everyone shows up at Citi Field and in the third inning we all get up and walkout. I wonder if State run SNY TV would cover something like that?

I’ve always been a fan of the HBO show Hard Knocks, but having the Jets and Rex Ryan on this season had made the show appointment TV. Last night was outstanding and the more I watch, the more of a Rex Ryan fan I’m becoming. I always though Ryan was just a big blowhard but the way he interacts with his coaches and players is classic. He pats players on the back and he tells them when they suck. His confrontation with a D-lineman on the bubble after he finds out that DE Ropati Pitotua blew out his Achilles was riveting as he tells the lineman about Pitotua’ injury and asks him if “he wants to make the fuckin’ team or do I have get someone off the street” was Happy Rex morphing into Darth Vader Rex. Special Teams coach Mike Westoff needs his own show, he’s the Paulie Walnuts of Hard Knox.

For your reading pleasure please read this post by Ms. Jacqueline Conrad at Cardinal Diamond Diaries about her Grandmothers influence on her becoming a baseball fan.

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SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST

 

 

 

 

What can I add about last night’s game that you don’t know already? How can you break down this game when it’s the same old same old? Everyone is screaming for Omar Minaya do something, what that something is and how he can obtain it  no one has an answer to. “GET A BAT, GET A BAT” is a popular rant but last night you scored 6 runs and still lost. What bat do you want? We’ve gone all over the tried names and none of them will make a difference. It’s not complex what the problems are with the Mets and you can look at charts and numbers and load up your nuclear slide rule and you will come up with the same result I do just through simple observation, the starting staff can go deep into games, thus the bullpen is worn out and is now ineffective add in the defense is atrocious and collectively the baseball IQ of the 25 man roster is at Special Ed level.

 

But more pathetic than that are the unnamed players whining for the front office to make a deal to “lift them” which to me is the pussy-fcation of this team. If Michael Jackson were alive he’d tell them to “man up”.

 

This slide is less about who isn’t here but more about the heart of who is here. D-Wright and Gary Sheffield (GARY SHEFFIELD!!!!! For Christ Sake!!!!) are doing everything they can to keep this team in contention with Wright near exhaustion and Sheff ready to blow out his knee. It’s time for other guys to step up and that means you Ryan Church and Fernando Tatis and Alex Cora to take more of a leadership role that he has slacked on recently. Most times team meeting are well…meaningless but I think this would be the exact right time for Wright, Sheff and Johan Santana to close the clubhouse door for a players only meeting to clear the air and figure out who is ready to fight for their season and who is ready to hide under the bed.

 

What a surprise, Carlos Beltran in going for a second opinion on his injured knee and he is going to Vail Colorado to visit Dr Richard Steadman a noted orthopedic doctor who specializes in micro-fracture surgery. See you in March Carlos.

 

“The New York Mets would like to announce the addition of Dr. Conrad Murray to their medical staff”

 

Thanks to The Dirty Mets Blog for a shout out to this site this morning.

 

The Mets Police has a clip of Vin Scully calling Sandy Koufax’ no hitter against the Mets 47 years ago today.

 

I think it’s great that Keith Hernandez, when not telling us that “batters are a bit tardy on the fastball”, is saving lives as a NYC EMT

 

I am thisclose to purchasing a LINCICUM 55 Giants jersey. I’m starting to feel like Nurse Jackie, I’m married to the Mets but I’m cheating with the Giants ( by the way how weird is it to watch Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie banging the guy who played Father Phil on The Sopranos?) especially when Tim Lincicum is pitching. The Giants do everything we wish the Mets would do. The play outstanding defense, they don’t beat themselves with stupidity both on D and at bat, they have solid starting pitching with the best 1-2 punch in the game with Lincicum and Matt Cain, a solid bullpen core that doesn’t get burned out as Bruce Bochy lets his starters go deep into games and sometimes lets them finish all 9 innings. I was never a big fan of Bochy when he was running the Padres bench but watching the Giants as much as I have so far this season he is doing an outstanding job.

 

I will be a guest on Mike Silva’ NEW YORK BASEBALL DIGEST RADIO SHOW tonight at 6:30PM on Blog Talk Radio.

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GEEZ JON BLAU, THROW ME A BONE WILL YA!

Nice article on Mets.com on my guy Edward Emil Kranepool and his memory of Shea but check out this first paragraph and tell me if I’m being to cranky:

{Mets fans know his name. It titles their blogs, lines their memories of the 1969 championship team and still represents how the franchise blossomed from expansion and into contention}

Hello? Jon,  would it kill you to link the the site or even name it or is it against MLB.com policy to link to indepenent bloggers ?

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Tickets

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