THE DANIEL MURPHY DEFENSE FUND

I was so sorry I missed going out to Citi Field on Saturday and the tribute to Dana Brand at the location of where home plate of Shea Stadium was. I am honored to be a contributor to a book that has been published with essays by fellow Mets bloggers titled “Mets Brand” honoring Dana. All the proceeds of the book will be donated to Lynn Cohen’s Pitch for a Good Cause.

There seems to be this misconception about Daniel Murphy’s defense. I’m not proclaiming Murph is a solid defender but he’s not the liability some in the fan base make him out to be. The media plays into this as well, more the national drop ins on FOX and ESPN who have a tough time doing their homework before broadcasting games, mostly because of their disdain for statistical analysis. If you look at the numbers Murph is not a bad 1st baseman, he’s a serviceable 2nd baseman and an ok fill in at 3rd base. His biggest problem is he doesn’t have the power that is needed to play a corner position but his production is perfect for 2nd base. With David Wright ready to come back by the end of the week, figure Lucas Duda or Jason Pridie would have to be moved with Murph and Nick Evans holding down 1st base and Justin Turner taking over 2nd base with Ruben Tejada back to his utility role.

I’d love to spy on the meetings Sandy Alderson and his staff have when the subject of Jason Bay comes up. I just picture Alderson leaning back in his chair with his hands in back of his head offering a major bonus to anyone who can remotely solve this very expensive dilemma.  I have no idea how the Mets get away from Bay’s declining performance at the unbelievable price of $35 mil over the next 3 years.  That contract is untradeable unless the Mets were to eat at least half of that deal. Bay is troubled by his lack of production and he works hard to improve but you wonder what runs through his mind when each and every day he’s asked the same questions over and over again and now that the boos are reigning from the Citi Field stands, I’d be  surprised if he is in the lineup tonight, I’d bet we see Willie Harris in LF for the makeup game with the Fish.

We are in the throes of the Last Days of Mike Pelfrey. If he’s not dealt, he’ll be DFA. I’d be SHOCKED if Pelfrey is a Met in 2012.

I’m ready to add Angel Pagan in that equation as well. Pagan has had a tough season offensively and a lot of that has been due to injury but a decision will have to be made here as well with Pagan making $3.5 mil this year and looking at a bump in pay to $5-$5.5 mil. Is Pagan worth that much? I don’t think so.

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JOHN NIESE AND HIS YELLOW HAMMER

Another solid start by Jon Niese  and his ever improving curve ball led the Mets to a series win over the Brewski’s . The same Brewski’s who have the best home record in baseball were a late inning Mets collapse away from being swept at home.

These Mets are perplexing to say the least. As much as the rash of late inning collapses infuriate us, this is not the same old Mets. Lose a four run lead and lose a game you should have won? No problem, come back the next day, forget yesterday and win the next game.  A post season berth this season is pie in the sky I know but the renovation of the mind set of this organization is progressing very nicely. The culture of the “woe is me attitude” had been eradicated, replaced with “keep plugging along”. It’s very refreshing.

Jason Bay seems to be a very nice guy who is working his ass off to get his bat back to where it should be. He knows what’s at stake and he has been a team guy when Terry Collins has approached him to either drop him in the order or to put him on the bench. His team first attitude is great. But this is big league baseball where winning and losing are paramount to what is to be accomplished and if Bay has to sit or be platooned or relegated to rehab in St Lonesome with a “wink-wink” DL stint, then so be it. Sandy Alderson said during the off season that salary will not determine who plays and we’ve seen that with the moves he’s made so far this season. Now comes word that Lucas Duda will be called up from Buffalo and Nick Evans will be DFA. Duda is not here to ride the pine; he will play some LF and 1B. Not sure if TC will go strict platoon with Bay/Duda or give Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada some days off and move Murph to 3rd with Duda playing 1st but what bringing up Duda does is give TC more flexibility and some much needed production from a corner position.

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