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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Mets-cellaneous

Happy Brithday to Dennis Ribant, one of my favorite Mets and the best starting pitcher the Mets had until of course Tom Seaver. Checkout this very interesting bio from SABR on Ribant 

Thinking out loud:

Matt Harvey went into a real damage control yesterday after his cringe worthy interview/infomercial on the Dan Patrick Show.  Good for Harvey and his advisors to get him to go back on the DP show and make amends.  I know what Qualcomm is, a digital wireless telecommunication company but for the life of me, I still don’t know what it is that Harvey is a spokesman for?

 

As for Matt Harvey going the rehab route instead of Tommy John surgery, the only people who are chastising Harvey for forgoing an operation are folks who never had surgery. Harvey received diagnosis from two of the best orthopedic surgeons in the country in the Mets Dr. David Altcheck and Dr. James Andrews, if either doctor felt the tear of the ligament was bad enough to be surgically repaired; Harvey would be readying himself for surgery.  

I’m not a fan of Ruben Tejada’s but I do feel very bad for him. Tejada has carried the self-inflicted label as a lazy, overweight, under achiever who was given a put up or shut up ultimatum by the front office. So as he tries to show he has the play hard gene, he breaks his leg. That sucks. I think this seals it for Tejada, he will not be the Mets starting shortstop next April.

 

Good article in the NY Times about the Mets ready to finish in 4th place in the NL East for the 5th straight season. There are some great quotes from Ed Kranepool and Ron Swoboda but it’s this one from Terry Collins that tells you all you need to know about the mindset of this organization:

 

Manager Terry Collins said beating out the Phillies would be a “great accomplishment with all the things we’ve went through.” His players did not disagree, although it was clear that the constant fourth-place finishes was not the foremost thing on their minds.

 

Really? Finishing in 3rd place is a great accomplishment? This is a winner’s mentality? I guess Collins has never heard of the Bill Parcells line of “The don’t give out medals for trying” Terry Collins would make a great kids soccer coach.  

I would love nothing more than to see Troy Tulowitzki playing shortstop for the Mets, but I don’t see how it can happen since it seems as though the Rockies want young ready for the big leagues position players, a commodity the Mets lack.

Sure it’s noble of David Wright wants to play again this season but why? Is it for his satisfaction? Is it to show the young wet behind the big league ears teammates that you never give up on a season? Is it a bit of both? That’s what I think; it’s a bit of both. Hopefully he won’t blowout the hammy busting down to first base.

Any Mets fan complaining about SF Giants fans coming into Citi Field and putting their feet up, knocking over a lamp or  two and spilling drinks on the carpet while cheering on their team are too young to remember what it was like to root for the 80’s Mets. The disgust for Giants fans behavior is the same disgust the rest of baseball had for the Mets and Mets fans back then. Winning does that.    

 

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ON AUGUST 30TH 1964 THE METS PLAYED THE CUBS AT WRIGLEY FIELD JUST LIKE TODAY BUT WHICH METS LINEUP WAS BETTER ?

Here is the lineup Jerry Manuel wil send out against the Cubs today:

Pagan, cf
Castillo, 2b
Murphy, 1b
Francoeur, rf
Reed, lf
Tatis, 3b
Schneider, c
Hernandez, ss
Figueroa, rhp

Here is the lineup that Casey Stengel used on this date in 1964:

Bobby Klaus 3B

Ron Hunt 2B

Ed Kranepool 1B

George Altman LF

Joe Christopher RF

Chris Cannizaro C

Roy McMillian SS

Denis Ribant P

At 1B Murphy or Krane? I’m a big Murphy fan but really who where my alliances lies here,

2B-Ron Hunt was THE MAN back then. The first Mets All Star when All Star meant something his numbers in ’64 .303/.357/.406  and was as tough as they come

3B- Tatis big over Klauss

SS-Roy McMillan couldn’t hit but had a great glove. AHern can’t hit and used to have a great glove. Roy Mac for me.

LF Jeremy Reed get a rare start from Manuel why this guy got burried with all the injuries is a story that should be told. I know the guy is no ball of fire but who  did he piss off to get burried as he has on this team. George Altman spent one year with the Mets. He was traded to the Mets from the Cardinals for Roger (Hum Baby) Graig. I’ll take Reed as a pity pick

CF Jim Hickman had some very good season with the Cubs once he left the Mets. Angel Pagan seems to have gotten the message that he needs to play ball to the wall baseball everyday if he wants to stick around that’s a credit to Jerry Manuel . I’ll take Pagan as this is Jim Hickman 1964 not Hickman 1970

RF-Joe Christopher and Frenchy Francouer. Believe it or not Christopher hit .300/.360/.466 with 16 HR and 76 RBI for the Mets in ’64. This was tough but I’ll take Christopher

C-Not even close Chris Cannazaro BIG over Schneider

P-Nelly Figs has done well and Dennis Ribant was just a rookie with a 1-5 W/L and a 5.15 ERA Go with Figgy

So my score card reads 5-4 1964 Mets

what do you think?


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