10 Days Away From Opening Day…Do You Know Who Your Mets Are?

Dennis Ribant has nothing to to do with this post. I just felt like posting his baseball card. For some reason I was thinking about Ribant and why his Mets career was so short. Yes, I need to go out and get some fresh air.   

So we are a mere 10 days away from opening day and the questions at the start of spring training are still questions as we hit the training camp home stretch.  Who’s on first? What’s on second and at shortstop? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!

Let’s peruse the Mets roster that could debut at Citi Field a week from Monday in front a lot of empty seats:

The much anticipated battle of the stiffs never materialized as both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda went down with leg injuries.  That gave us a chance to see Eric Campbell and Josh Satin play the bulk of the spring games. Both players looked to be much better choices than either Ike or Duda but only one of them will make the 25 man roster and looks to be Satin. The shame of it is Campbell will not make it north because he hits from the right side, and Ike, Satin and most likely Duda will make the club. That’s a damn shame.

Daniel Murphy will be the everyday 2nd baseman until Ike Davis and Lucas Duda flop then he would shift over to 1st base and Terry Collins favorite Eric Young Jr would become the regular 2nd baseman that is unless Wilmer Flores takes that spot and EYJ keeps a spot as a super sub. Whew! Where for art thou Edgardo Alfonzo?

None of the in house candidates to play shortstop, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla or Wilmer Flores are much with the glove so why not take the best bat out of the three which would be Flores and start him at short? Let Ruben be what he was born to be a utility infielder and let Quintanilla be what he was destined to be, a former big league player.

David Wright 3rd base. Nuff’ said

It seems as if long time minor league journeyman and Jersey boy Anthony Seratelli will make this club as a super-sub. His ability to switch hit and get on base makes him an asset.

Chris Young has picked up his offense lately this spring so let’s hope that translates into the season. $7.25 mil for a player whose offensive game has declined the last three seasons seems like a huge gamble for a team that has to scrape and scrimp to come up with that kind of scratch. Got to hope this is not the offensive version of Frank Frank  .

There is no way in hell Terry Collins cannot write Juan Lagares name in the everyday lineup.   Not just Collins but no one in the organization can make a rational argument as to why Lagares will not be in centerfield just about every day.  Here’s a newsflash, the Washing ton Nationals are going to win the division by about 20 games so let’s play Lagares every day and let him grow as a big leaguer .

Can Curtis Granderson give the Mets an average Granderson season? Would you sign on for .261/.340/.488 with 30 HR 80 RBI? Oh hell yeah!

The training wheels are off Travis d’Arnaud, it’s not only his pitching staff but he has to contribute offensively as well. TDA’s bat could be the X factor in this season’ run to respectability.  Yes that is Kevin Pawlicki in the rear view mirror

Jon Niese starts the season on the DL but could be activated by the first weekend series against the Cincinnati Red Legs. With Niese out, Dillion Gee has been given the honor of starting the first game of the season. Good for Gee who was solid the last half of last season and has paid his dues in the organization. Gee will be followed by Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon and Dice-K. That’s a solid starting staff and with Raphael Montero and the Mighty Thor waiting in the wings, the club is flush with stellar pitching arms.

The front office has had a tough time putting together a solid bullpen. It doesn’t help that Terry Collins and Dan Warthen are not the best late inning pitching strategists  either but in order to be the 90 win team Alderson thinks he has here, he’s going to need a bullpen that ranks in the top ten , something that has eluded the Mets for a few years now.

There has to be trepidation over the lack of velocity coming from the right arm of Bobby Parnell and the lack of command shown by Vic Black.  Jose Valverde looks like he’s made the team and could step in to close when needed as well as Jeurys Familia who has had a spectacular spring. Scott Rice comes back as the LOOGY with Carlos Torres and John Lannan as long men/spot starters. This could be the year the Mets have a pen to believe in.

Jeremy Gibson of the Blue Jays blog 500 Level Fan asked me for my take on the NL East race this season by the way seems the Jays fans are still hurting from the trade last year.

 

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NY Mets Could Contend in 2013 But They Won’t

 

 

We are somewhat back to normal, whatever normal is. Roof is back on and today my ceiling should be finished and tomorrow I have someone coming in to steam clean and deodorize my carpet and couches just in time for the next storm tomorrow afternoon/night.

I’m starting to catch up on some of the Mets news of the last week or so and I see a lot of good opportunity for the Mets to add some players that bring a of of what’s missing on this team, unfortunately these moves will take money something the Mets don’t have a lot of and that’s a damn shame because I think with a couple of key signings the Mets would morph into the SF Giants East.

I’ve said from the end of the season that the organization has an acceptance of failure as we’ve seen through the second halves of the last four seasons. This happens when you have a lack of battle tested players who know what it takes to win. From looking over the free agent list, there are players available who fit that bill such as:

A.J. Pierzynski would be #1 on my wish list. I’ve been a fan of Pierzynski’s for a long time and have hoped the Mets would have traded for him as well, now here he is sitting right there on the free agent front ready to picked by the Mets who are the neediest of teams when it comes to catching. You not only fill your huge need for a front line catcher but you add a guy with a World Series ring and a lot of snark and the Mets are sorely in need of snark.  How would a catching combo of Pierzynski and David Ross look in blue and orange?  Yes I know I’m asking too much.

I know we all hate Shane Victorino but if he were in a Mets uni that would all change for me. Please don’t give me he was Phuck Phace as a reason for the Mets not to sign him, again he has a World Series ring and is an annoying little prick and that’s what the Mets need both a winner and annoying pricks. I’d take a shot at using him as the everyday center fielder even though he’s not the center fielder he used to be, he’d still be a major upgrade over Andres Torres and don’t think if he became a Met he wouldn’t  ramp it up when the Mets take on the Phuck Phaces.

Cody Ross, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Cody Ross. Word out of Boston is Ross is looking for 3yrs/$25 mil a bit steep but then again it’s an negotiation and one the Mets should get involved in. Ross again comes with a winning pedigree and an edge which I know I’m sounding like a broken record, the Mets sorely need. An outfield of Bay/Duda in LF, Victorino in CF and Ross in RF with Ike, Murph, Tejeda, Wright and Pierzynski added to the starting rotation and a couple of relievers added in make the Mets a true contender in NL. Sadly the odds of these moves happening as nil

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2010 NY METS: THE HALF EMPTY TEAM

48 hours until opening day and Mets fans are getting their finest Mets regalia ready for opening day.  The jersey’s are washed and hung, the Mets caps with a nice bend of the brim and you can almost taste the garlic-parmesan  fries . The weatherman claims it will be 70 degrees on Monday so a nice blue three quarter sleeve under your brand new egg shell pinstripe home uni may do. By the way , what will the Mets be wearing on Monday ?  I would home the new pinstripe uni’s and all blue caps. Pomp and Circumstance will be there as well (Pomp never travels without Circumstance but Circumstance has had a stellar solo career).  So the fans will there, the new uni’s will be there, the new Mets Hall of Fame will be there, the old Home Run Apple will be there, the new  and improved Mets décor of $iti Field will be there but there will be something missing on Monday ? Know what it is? OPTIMISIM. Sure there will be some in attendance who preach “My Mets Right or Wrong”? but those of us who have waited through a winter of frigid temperatures, snow storms, and record rain and flooding not seen in these parts since an ark ferried animals in pairs, know  the motto for the 2010 Mets: HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST.

I would love to be optimistic, to sit here and tell you this Mets team will contend in the NL East and come September, will be in the thick of the pennant race. I would love to tell you I feel the Mets will be a n “Aw Shit!”  team:

“Who we playin’ in our next series”

“The Mets”

“Aw Shit, there on tough team right now”

But………..I can’t.

Now that’s not to say I won’t root, root-root for the home team and it’s a damn shame if they don’t win, but looking at the 25 players coming North and the management making the decisions , I can’t make a case for the NY Mets to make it to the 2010 post season.

The biggest mistake management made this off season was not deciding to either  fire Jerry Manuel  or extend his contract for another year.  Manuel’s job status is going to become daily fodder on blogs, newspapers and most importantly sports talk radio. You know early on Manuel will make a move or non-move that will have Mets fans heads explode and odds are he’ll makes such a misstep when the next day is an off day so the angry mobs can spew and spew.  You either have confidence in the skipper or you don’t , right now the only reason Manuel was not fired is because the Skill Sets couldn’t stomach paying him $1 mil to sit on his front porch back home in Cali.

Omar Minaya is a bit of a different case. He’s still around due to money but he won’t be fired not when he is owed three more years of salary if anything he will be given a position as a high paid scout. There are no more free lunches in Flushing.

Just looking at the personnel, the best you can hope is 81 wins, and that’s without any of the medical disasters of last year.  The front office talks about confidence in the starting pitching, especially Ollie Perez and John Maine but they jettison Jon Niese ,a player who at the start of spring training it was said would be used slowly due to his surgically repaired hammy.

The bullpen will be made up of an All Star closer (Frankie Rodz) a LOOGY turned set up man (Vitamin Pedro) two pitchers from the Japanese League (Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi) who are not the first Japanese pitchers to fling for the Mets but hopefully they are the first two to do it with some success, a middle reliever who made the team because he makes $975K (Sean Green) over a guy who is a Man of the People (Nelly Figs) who would make just over league minimum, a guy who is a long reliver in starters clothing in Fernando Neve and a twenty year old, Jenry Mejia who really should be learning his craft in the bushes but is here to save the manager from an all expenses paid summer vacation.

The offense is in disarray as well with three starters out. Carlos Beltran is working out and could be ready by sometime in May (June?) he’s on the DL because he went to a doctor to get his aching knee looked at instead of subscribing to the Mets method of handling injury by rubbing dirt on the injured body part  and having the gall to let the doctor remove twenty five bone fragments without saying “May I?” to the Jeffey Skill Sets. The other  two  starters on the shelf,  were struck by illness (Jose Reyes) and a good old fashion baseball injury (Daniel Murphy sprain knee sliding into second base) Reyes should be back by the weekend and Murphy hopefully in a few weeks , but both these injuries wreck havoc on the line up as Alex Cora and Mike Jacobs are hardly the right understudies for the jobs. Neither  is Fernando Tatis, a nice man from what I’m told but he has this nasty habit of killing rally’s by hitting into double plays at the most inopportune times and quite frankly should not be on this team over  a guy like Chris Carter who is younger and has a work ethic and intenseness that is sorely lacking on this team.

The other problem and unlike Jay-Z the Mets seem to have more than 99 problems, the biggest being that  every team in the NL East has gotten better.  Last year the only team in the division the Mets won the season series from was against the Nationals (10-8).  Against the Braves they were a woeful  5-13. The Phillies beat the Mets 12 out of 18 times and they dropped 11 of 18 to the Marlins. It wasn’t just injuries that lead to this kind of suckitude.

So where do I think our beloved Metsies will finish ?  Believe me I ‘d love to say the Mets will be a positive surprise this season but I doubt they will even be a .500 team.  The Mets and Nats will fight it out for 4th place

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SIX INNINGS-JAMES PRELLER

Jame Preller is a big time Mets fan and and an author  of children’s books.  His latest book is Six Innings which intertwines a Little League championship game with Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. If you’re a parent, grandparent or aunt or uncle or if you are looking for a gift for a child this Christmas put down the video game and  buy them a book. They will be pissed off at first but later on they’ll thank you down the line  as there is no more important skill in life than reading and it is a shame that there are kids in this country that have reading problems or are apathetic to reading that it is a damn shame.  One book that would make a terrific gift this season would be Six Innings.

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Tickets

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