Just ‘Cause We’re Not Tweeting Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Watching

 

Last night while watching the Mets-Nationals game-yes I’m still watching the Mets – I opened up my Twitter app and saw one of the Mets beat writers asking why #MetsTwitter was so quiet? If you are not hip to #MetsTwitter, it’s a number of Mets fans who comment while games are in progress. The tweets are as entertaining and as witty as the repartee that goes on in the Mets TV and radio booth.  So why was the Mets chatter on Twitter so sparse?

You could say that the first day of school played a part as those of use with kids know that the first day means covering books, sharpening pencils and signing forms, lots of forms. Add in a Monday Night Football game of major interest to us Giants fans, with the Eagles-Redskins locking up and those of us who missed the season premiere of Boardwalk Empire and further episodes of Ray Donovan (I told my wife if we ever hit Powerball, I’m hiring a Ray Donovan type to handle all my problems, like someone parking in my driveway or noisy neighbors or anyone who writes a negative comment on this sight) and The Newsroom. Lots of stuff happening on the peripheral of Mets baseball but I still watched the game but really didn’t have the energy to make comments on Twitter.

Really at this point what is there to comment on? This team is playing without its best everyday player, its Ace starting pitcher and it’s finally very effective closer. First base has become a collection of mismatched socks. The young shortstop slacker who should be playing shortstop is getting a mega dose of tough love from the ex-Marine GM who has shown this season to be an intelligent soft spoken gentleman who makes moves without any emotional attachment to the players in his organization, a major plus in my book. We have a manager who is or isn’t coming back and pitching coach who shouldn’t come back (there and some fans who have this ridiculous notion that Dan Warthen is responsible for the success of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Bobby Parnell when the real credit for the young supple arms should go to Frank Viola, Glenn Abbott, Randy St. Claire and Jason Issringhausen, the Mets minor league pitching coaches who have gotten these and the other young arms in the org ready) That plus the unknown of whether the owners will spend money over the winter or not AS PROMISED!!!! has worn down this fan base considerably. Just because we’re not ranting on Twitter doesn’t mean we’re not watching, we’ve just run out of material that’s all.

You know the Mets are playing out the string when Gary Cohen and RonDarling spend an inning discussing the coaching career of Joe Pignatano. It’s too bad the Call the Booth segment wasn’t used last night as I could have chimed in with my own “Piggy” story.

My wife and I were on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn about 19 years ago. We had just moved to Staten Island but we still went shopping in Bensonhurst because that’s where the best Italian salumeria’s, pork stores and bakeries are, the three important staples of my existence. Anyway, we pass an Apple Bank on 67th street and I see a sign that was promoting an appearance by none of than “Former Dodger and NY Mets coach, Joe Pignatano”  shopping for provisions would have to wait , I want to say hi to Piggy. I remember most of the conversation, how he missed his buddy “Gilly” (Gil Hodges) how Tom Seaver was the greatest pitcher who ever lived and believe it or not the problem with kids not throwing enough to strengthen their arms, Piggy was as Old Testament baseball as anyone. At this point my wife had enough and left to finish shopping and I was about to leave as well until I asked the question that got the biggest rise of all from the old coach “So Joe, where on Staten Island do you live”

I had read that Pignatano and his wife had left Bay Ridge for Staten Island. At the time of our meeting we had just made the move from Brooklyn to Staten Island as well and were still in the culture shock of being transplant.  The answer to my question was not what I was expecting. “Oh hell, I don’t live there anymore, we moved back to Brooklyn”  WOW! When I asked how come? Pignatano answered with a question, “why are you here today”? I told him to do food shopping; he laughed and said “See? You can’t find this food on Staten Island and if you do they’re getting the stuff from Brooklyn”. He also ranted on how it was too quiet and no one is out during the day so there are no neighbors to talk to and any time he needed to go to the store he have to drive . After a year on the Island he convinced his wife to move back to Bay Ridge or back to “civilization” as Pignatnao said.  

We talked for so long that my wife finished shopping and stood outside the front of the bank. I shook hands with Pignatano and told him what a pleasure it was to meet him but I have to get back to Staten Island. “Better you than me” he said with a big laugh.

 

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It’s Matt Harvey and I’ll Cry If I Want To…………….

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I enjoy participating in the world of social media. I’m on Twitter more hours than I really should be but for the most part it’s a very informative vehicle for breaking news, links to interesting stories and taking in all different views and opinions. What sucks about social media is the segment of participants who turn into your mother, grandmother and  Aunt Sadie, you know the one’s, they tell you how you should react to news or statements that infuriate you or lure you into debate. It used to be a debate was an exchange of views, ideas and opinions that although were different, they were respected. In today’s social media world debate consists of I’m right and you’re an asshole. The news about Matt Harvey was a prime example of this new way of debate.

I saw the news about Matt Harvey’s partially torn Ulnar Collateral ligament when it hit the Twitterverse, Mets Twitter erupted, as you knew it would. How could this have happened?  Who fucked up? Whose head will role because of this? The Wilpon’s are broke,SELL THE TEAM!(that one is universal in times of Mets disaster news) Mets Twitter didn’t care, like a bunch of Third World dictators they wanted a scalp any scalp, didn’t matter.

When the tweets went out for the call of the heads of Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, the pearl clutchers, who I mentioned above, came out in full force. Some were beat writers who sit at press conference after press conference and never ask a pertinent or compelling question.  Maybe that’s the best way these days as we have seen recently with NY Daily News NY Jets beat writer Manish Mehta who has been getting killed for asking the Jets cartoon character of a head coach, Rex Ryan to name his starting quarterback for the first game of the Jets regular season, and when not getting an answer, not letting Ryan off the hook and demanding an answer.  Since when is that wrong? Dick Young must be shaking his pitch fork in hell over this reaction.

Anyway, so Mets fans wanted not just a head on a stick but answers on how or why did this happen to the Heir to The Franchise Throne? The first two heads fans wanted was Collins’ and Warthen’, doesn’t matter if neither guy was directly responsible for Harvey tearing the ligament but because the majority of Mets fans would like to see a change in manager and pitching coach anyway, this was as good as time as any to raise the rhetoric.

I’m as guilty as anyone in this. It’s not that I don’t like Collins or Warthen, its more I feel there needs to be a change not just in body but in philosophy. Collins to me is much more valuable and a better fit as a minor league coordinator than a field manager and since his contract is up after this season as a manager, I would have no problem whatsoever with the Mets reassigning him for next year, but I’d like to reassign him as a Director of Minor League Field Operations.

My beef with Warthen is that I don’t agree with his passive direction to pitching. Warthen loves his pitchers to nibble around the plate and to throw a lot of off speed and breaking balls. Mets pitchers hardly ever throw inside to establish that part of the plate is as much theirs as it is the batters. I also feel both Warthen and Collins are woeful at bullpen management. Pitchers are overused not just in game situation but in preparation to enter a game situation. Too many times relievers warm up, then sit down, the warm up again, and then sit down again. Mets relief pitchers are subject to more wear and tear on their arms warming up than they do in an actual game situation. To analyze Collins in game strategy would take another 1,000 word post.

All this spewing of anger doesn’t mean I hold Collins and Warthen responsible for Matt Harvey‘s injury.   I am confused about Sandy Alderson stating the organization knew that Harvey was complaining about soreness in his forearm but didn’t do anything preventive about that. Also Collins it seems was out of the loop on this vital piece of information as well. There seems to be a fracture in communication here that needs to be addressed.

What also needs to be addressed is the number of injuries the pitchers in the organization have suffered;  Frank Francisco, Jurys Familia, Jeremy Hefner, Jenry Mejia and now Matt Harvey, all out with elbow injuries. If I’m the GM I have to look at this pattern and think about revamping the way the organization handles the care and prevention of these types of injuries. I understand completely that you can do so much prevented care and study on pitchers, even Rick Peterson  who is at the forefront of Pre-habilitation with his use of the facilities at the American Sports Medicine Institute , claims that with all the preventive measures you can take, injuries still happen:

“It’s like driving the speed limit, wearing your seat belt, doing everything right, accidents are still going to happen”

After the initial ranting and raving over the injury to Harvey, seriously how did you expect Mets fans to react to the Harvey bad news? We were programed to thinking 2014 was the breakout season under Sandy Alderson. The only reason to be a bit optimistic was every five days being Matt Harvey Day and then watching Zack Wheeler start to understand what to do on a big league pitchers mound and the fact that enough money was coming off the books this off season for the Mets to be free agent buyers again, pointed to the end of the non-competitive seasons and back to not just respectability but to be one of the teams in baseball to be talked about as World Series contenders; all that was sabotaged by a torn Ulnar Collateral ligament, and you expect me to pause and be reflective? Are you fucking kidding?    

 

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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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Could Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan Reunite In Flushing?

 

Welcome to July. Time for some Mets-cellaneous views and opinions as our favorite baseball team closes out yet another losing month:

The angst expressed by some Mets fans and know nothings in the media over Zack Wheelers start yesterday was stunning.  It wasn’t a great start for Wheeler but his problems came from lack of command and poor choice of pitches, two things that can be fixed. Wheeler also altered his delivery which I’m not a big fan of doing this between starts as I’m starting to think there is too much information overload given to Wheeler than just letting him go out there and pitch comfortably.

If you watched Wheeler pitch yesterday and think he’s a bust then you need to stop watching baseball and also stop going on social media with your dumb ass opinions because all you do is embarrass yourself.  Pitchers like Matt Harvey come around once generations so just enjoy watching him pitch and enjoy watching him wear a Mets uniform and stop comparing every young pitcher in the Mets system to him.

My only concerned with Wheeler is that he gets his instructions from Dan Warthen. If Wheeler and the rest of the Mets pitchers can survive the next 3 months of Dandy Dan’s Guide to Pitching, next season should bring a new voice to the Mets pitching staff. I’d have to think that there will be a new manager and coaching staff installed for the Mets 2014 season, and those hiring’s could be the most important free agent hiring’s of the Mets off season.

Last Friday I saw a tweet from 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that Dave Duncan was going to be a guest on their morning show. You can listen to the interview here. As I listened to Duncan speak about pitching I went into full J. Peterman mode, screaming at my computer screen, “NAME YOU’RE PRICE, MAN”!!!!!!!!

Duncan left the Cardinals in 2012 to care for his ailing wife who unfortunately lost her fight with cancer in early June.  From listening to Duncan in that interview it’s clear he still watched what’s going on in MLB and it would not be a reach to say he’d like to get back into the game.

Sandy Alderson had a very successful relationship with Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan back in the late 80’s when Alderson ran the Oakland A’s, winning a World Series title in 1989. Could Alderson place a call to LaRussa and Duncan offering them to get the band back together? As much as LaRussa annoyed me during his St Louis Cardinal days, I would be totally on board bringing LaRusa and Dave Duncan to the Mets. Mets fans have discussed and debated who could be the next Keith Hernandez or the Gary Carter, the player who would bring the Mets back to prominence, maybe Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan in Mets uni’s fit that bill in a supervisory position?

Now I know my whole scenario is pretty much a pipe dream, I mean who am I kidding, Freddy & Jeffy Skill Sets own this team not Mikhail Prokhorov SIGH!

 

Anyone miss Ike Davis? Would a Lucas Duda/Josh Satin platoon at 1B be more productive than trotting out Ike every game? What happens when Ike returns or better yet does Ike return?

A big THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To David Aardsma for hitting Ian Desmond to lead off the 6th inning yesterday.  Finally a pitcher with onions!

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

Where it’s going no one knows:

The Mets have not had a winning month since June of last year. Here is the W/L record for the Amazin’s from July 201 to June 2013:

July 2012 7-18

Aug 2012 12-16

Sept 2012 11-16

Oct 2012 1-2

Apr 2013 10-15

May 2013 12-15

June 2013 11-15

That comes out to a grand total of 161 games and a 64-97 .397 winning percentage.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

 

 

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The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

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Does Anything Surprise You When It Comes To R.A. Dickey ?

As we head into the last game (thankfully) of the 2012 Mets season, we are looking at an off season that could make our heads spin. As we Mets fans question why the manager and his coaching staff gets to come back intact for the 2013 season, I think the answer is clear, Sandy Alderson is holding the players responsible for this lousy season.

All we’ve ever heard as sports fans for lousy teams is you can’t fire all the players so fire the coach or manager, well it seems Alderson is going to reverse that old bromide as it looks like a big majority of the roster will be traded or released.

I side with the majority of Mets fans who can figure out how Dan Warthen gets to come back. It seems as though the starting pitchers, especially R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, are Warthen allies as is the manager but I doubt you will find and Mets relievers who are members of the Dan Warthen Fan Club.  Granted most of the Mets bullpen problems were caused by sucky relievers but Warthen has to take a hit for not having open lines of communications with his relief pitchers. Terry Collins needs to take some accountability on this as well for not providing any structure with how guys are used and assigning roles. It’s great for us as fans to say it’s a bunch of bullshit that every reliever should be ready when called on but again you need to know your personnel and if they are pining for leadership from the manger and pitching coach then it’s up to them to provide that.

Just when you think R.A. Dickey can’t add to his legacy we find out now that he has pitched much of the season with a torn abdominal muscle that requires surgery. Are you kidding me? Last year Dickey pitched with a plantar fasciitis injury that required him to be shot with pain killers before pitching. And you don’t want to sign this guy to an extension? You’re thinking of trading him? Are you fucking kidding me? Dickey isn’t looking for a big time deal, I would guess if you add two years to his option for next season he’d sign on the bottom line and if you have to give him $20mil for those two years you do it. If the money is that tight with the Skill Sets that you can’t keep a guy who not only excels on the field but is the best representative you have off the field then you deserve every hateful comment that will come your way.

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Optimism, Thy Name Is Matt Harvey

Yeah, I’m excited when Big Hoss’ takes the mound!

Could it be? Four wins in a row? Hell yeah! What makes the wins even sweeter, the last two were against the Phuck Phaces with Jon Niese on the mound for the sweep, yeah that’s right THE SWEEP!!!  

Back on August 5th Matt Harvey threw a lot of breaking balls in his start against the Padres. I’ll take a wild guess that Dan Warthen ordered him to go with that many breaking balls. Harvey lasted 5 innings and gave up 5 runs in what became a 7-3 Padres win.

Something good came of that loss; Matt Harvey went back to being what he is, a power pitcher. No more following the Warthen Doctrine of nibble the corners and pitch passively. From watching the last 2-3 Harvey starts, there is nothing passive about him and it seems the message has been sent to the Mets pitching coach, leave Harvey alone. Of Harvey’s 98 pitches last night, 63 were fastballs that averaged 95 mph, that’s power pitching.

Is it a coincidence that the Mets have won 4 in a row and the bullpen has been solid? The pen has not allowed a run in its last 13.1 innings pitched, spanning over 5 games and is 7 for 7 in saves for the month of August. The Mets relievers have even improved bit in stranding inherited runners as they are up to 70 % LOB up from the mid 60 % range they have been at most of the season.

There has been lots of talk about the way Terry Collins has used Josh (Everyday) Edgin lately but the fact is Edgin has been a bullpen revelation.  Edgin has stranded 11 of the 14 runners he’s inherited as well as striking out 24 batters in 19.1 innings pitched. I can see the concern about going to the whip to often with Edgin especially getting him up multiple times during a game to warm-up , that’s where the wear and tear takes its toll, so it may be a good idea for Collins to take his foot off the gas a bit the last month of the season with Edgin.

Jon Niese is pitching with an extra days rest today. When Niese has an extra day off he is 6-3 with a 2.29 ERA as this covers 15 starts.

One thing to watch for today at the launching pad known as Citizen Bank Park, Niese has given up the long ball a lot this season, a career high 20 home run so far this season.

Niese has a better day time record than night. He’s 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 10 starts in the sunshine and in 15 starts under the lights he’s 6-6 with a 3.98 ERA.

 

 

 

 

 

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Matt Harvey Pitched Like A Man Last Night

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Sing it Godfather, Sing It!!!!!!!!

 

Are we seeing the last of the Dan Warthen influence on Mets pitchers? Matt Harvey pitched last night like the power pitcher he’s been advertised as. Harvey went almost exclusively with his fastball and slider and more importantly he threw inside and challenged hitters. Harvey went away from the Warthen School of Pitching which is nibble, nibble and nibble some more. Harvey pitched a man’s game last night even plunking Ryan Ludwick in the shoulder and of course Ludwick gave the phony tough guy stare down as he went to first base, because he’s a rook, Harvey just let Ludwick have his fake tough guy moment but I’d bet if Harvey had a couple of season under his belt, he’s have told Ludwick to take his ass down to first base.

Justin Turner in the outfield in 2013? You cannot be serious Terry, you just can’t.  I have to think Collins was talking out his ass on this one, as it make absolutely no sense ,hell, Turner back for 2013 doesn’t make much sense.  Don’t the Mets have an overabundance of outfielders without any power?

Heard a rumor that Sandy Alderson sent a link to the video of Jason Bay’s home run last night to Brian Sabean with the message “Com’on Brian you know you want him”

I can get the Mets going to a 6 man pitching rotation being that Johan and Young could benefit from the extra days rest as could Jon Niese, who at some point has to show he strong enough to pitch effectively  in second half of the season and as long as Dickey and Harvey stay on schedule, it’s all good but why does the spot guy have to be Jeremy Hefner? I hope come September 1st the club calls up Collin McHugh and let him take that spot or Jenry Mejia. Seriously, enough of Jeremy Hefner.

Mike Pelfrey is ready to start throwing as his rehab from Tommy John surgery is progressing well. As an arbitration eligible player much speculation is that the Mets will non-tender him come December. That much I agree with but I’d bet the Mets try to work a deal with Big Pelf for the 2013 season. I’m not ready to call Pelfrey an ex-Met yet.

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Hey Dan Warthen, Babe Ruth’s Dead

You figured Matt Harvey would have a rough start here or there as he adjusts to life in the big leagues where unlike Triple A mistakes end up over an outfield fence. But Harvey, who is seen as a bit of a pitching savant, should be able to make the adjustments, if the mixed messages he hears don’t make him crazy.

For some strange reason Dan Warthen and Terry Collins love the breaking ball which is ok unless you forget all pitchers are not alike. Bobby Ojeda on the pre-game show on SNY yesterday seemed to send a cryptic message that Warthen’ approach is not the best for Harvey. Ojeda repeated that manta that Harvey is a power pitcher and he should stay working as a power pitcher and not worry about throwing off speed  and breaking pitches so much. Ojeda seemed to hint that the Harvey is a bit of a revelation as a good old fashion hard throwing starting pitcher.

My big concern with Harvey is that Dan Warthen is going to try to make him something he isn’t, a finesse pitcher.  It’s the biggest knock on Warthen, he has made this Mets staff into a bunch of nibblers instead of going with a more aggressive approach. When was the last time a Mets pitcher threw up an in on a hitter?  That approach is fine if you have a stable of Glavine-Maddox-esque pitchers but the Mets have some very hard throwers who should have better results than they do, especially in the bullpen.

Parnell hits 100 mph on the radar gun and sits at a consistent 95 mph. Josh Edgin hits 95 as does Frank Frank and Manny Acosta.sSo with electric arms such as these why is the Mets bullpen so bad? Could it be the approach taught by Dan Warthen? I think so. The Mets bullpen has a 4.26 BB/9IP rate which is only second to worst to the Cubs who have a close to 5 walks per 9IP rate. Why with a pen of hard throwers do Mets relievers have such a high walk rate, I’d have to say it’s the approach set by Warthen of nibble, nibble, nibble instead of attack, attack, attack.

Pitching is deception trying to keep the batter off balance.  I don’t think Warthen’s approach to pitching is effective in doing that. When was the last time we’ve seen a Mets pitcher go up the ladder on a hitter? How many times have you screamed at your TV set when the 7-8-9 batters reach base on a walk on off speed and breaking pitches  that miss the outside of the plate when challenging the batter should be the plan?

Terry Collins has been a loyal supporter of Dan Warthen and his teachings but I know I’m not alone wondering how Warthen was kept on staff after the purge of personnel of the Minaya era. With the ineffectiveness of the bullpen and the very valuable arms coming through the Mets farm system, it is paramount of Sandy Alderson to find a pitching coach who not only can relate and help the growth of these young arms but he also needs a pitching coach to change the mindset of many on this staff to pitch aggressively. The approach that is in play now is not working and needs to be eradicated.

 

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Communication Breakdown…………….

Was yesterday’s blow up between Tim Brydak, Josh Thole and Dan Warthen a shock or surprise to anyone? I didn’t think so. This situation has been simmering for a few weeks  and as the losses pile up the finger pointing stars to sprout and in the words of Dan Reeves, “when you point a finger, remember there are four fingers pointing back at you”. Terry Collins said something similar after the game about guys needing to take on accountability for their actions, which was directed at Tim Brydak, but is Brydak the villain here? Not to me he isn’t.

For most of this collapsible second half, the bullpen has been held as public enemy #1 but there is so much more to the ineffectiveness of the Mets relievers than lack of talent, it’s more of lack of direction.

Most Mets fans were puzzled when Dan Warthen was retained at the end of last season and many are pointing the fickle finger at him for the suckitude of the pen. I would put myself in the group questioning why Warthen was retained, but the one part of the pitching game that has been as much a problem as blown saves and three run late inning jacks is the lack of a veteran backstop.

Let’s face facts, if Josh Thole were in any other organization he’d be the Sunday catcher or the starter at Triple A, what earned him the job was his ability to hit for a decent average and get on base.  His work on defense is not very good and since he’s so green around the grills as a receiver, he’s left to relaying signs given to him by Warthen to the pitcher on the mound and as we witnessed yesterday, Brydak is tired of it.

Warthen and Terry Collins put Thole in a bad situation as he’s being told by Warthen on what fingers to throw down only to have Brydak shake him off. Warthen I guess being adamant on what pitch he wants thrown, flashes the sign to Thole again for a fastball , Brydak shakes him off again as he wants to throw a breaking ball which to me his his perogitive since he is, you know, the guy responsible for what happens when that ball leaves his hand, but Brydak gives in an releases a heater and Adam LaRoche turned on it for a home run. After giving Thole a stare down, Brydak comes out of the game is hotter than the Roosevelt Ave asphalt.

What Thole should have done before the pitch to LaRoche was call time, motion to Warthen to come to the mound and then address both the pitching coach and Brydak by saying “can you two fucktards get on the same page”. There’s no way in hell Thole would ever do this but I’m sure Jerry Grote would have punched both of them is the jaw.

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