Hearing Harvey and Wheeler Talk About Fatigue, Leaves Me Queasy

 

I turned on Mets-Tigers late yesterday, just in time to see LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison pitch batting practice to those ferocious Detroit Tigers. For a team like the Mets, the Tigers are a most unwelcome opponent they can face; with no automatic outs in that lineup our battered bullpen hasn’t a chance. In fact when it comes to playing good teams, as in a .500 record or better, the Mets are an atrocious 27-41.   

With another loss yesterday, the 4th loss in a row, the Mets are close to that slippery slope of the last five seasons, meaningless games in September. On Friday night with a 3 ring circus of events;Social Media Night, 3rd Eye Bind concert and of course the Mets-Tigers game, the vibe coming though my TV was one of indifference. Folks at the game, said via social media, that there was a big crowd for the game but it seemed a very subdued crowd at that. I mentioned it was the same way watching on TV where it was the first time in a very long time I got the sense that Gary Cohen wished he was anyplace else than the TV booth. It seems this happens ever September, Mets fan suffer losers fatigue.

IT’s not just the fans and broadcasters that suffer from this malaise, both of our young stud starting pitchers, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have said they are running on fumes as well. If that’s the case then why are the Mets looking to run both of these solid foundation pieces out to the mound again this season. If I’m the GM and my two young studs are going public that they have hit the wall, I have to think about shutting them down so not to risk injury. My biggest fear with the two talking about fatigue is that it will alter their mechanics and if that happens, injury will follow.  I’d much rather endure starts from Chris Schwinden and Carlos Torres than risk the very valuable right arms of Harvey and Wheeler.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NY Mets Bloggers Conference Call with Rusty Staub

Just about an hour ago (took a look around which way the wind blows) I had the privilege to be on a conference call with fellow Mets bloggers to talk to Rusty Staub. Rusty is in town for a big weekend, first on Saturday the first 25,000  Mets fan attending the 1:10PM game against the San Diego Padres will receive a Rusty Staub bobble head and then on Sunday, Rusty will be a judge for the big Banner Day presentation.

Staub was a two term Met (1972-1975 and then 1981-1985) and is one of the more popular Mets of all time. When my turn came up to ask a question, I wanted to focus on the adjustments he had to make when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers of the American League. Staub was a 13 year National Leaguer and back then, pride in the league you played in was a major characteristic of big league players. I asked Staub about what it was like to learn the American League style of play which was more a power league and of course the league with the designated hitter. Staub explained he was not a fan of the DH and he made it known to his manager Ralph Houk. The Tigers had traded Willie Horton to the Texas Rangers and Houk named Staub his DH for the season. Staub said he wanted no part of DH’ing and put The Major on notice that he would do it for one season. It ended up Staub was the Tigers primary DH for 1977 and ’78 putting up some very impressive numbers but Staub was clear he was not very happy being a full time DH.

I also inquired about playing in the All Star games back in the 1970’s when the game was a very big deal. I remember reading about NL President Chub Feeney going into the NL clubhouse to give “his” team a pep talk same as Lee MacPhail with his American Leaguers. Staub spoke on no matter which All Star team he played on winning the game was paramount in the minds of all the players.

When talking about switching leagues, Staub touched on Albert Pujols and his struggles so far as an Angel. Rusty said it takes time for any player even one the caliber of Pujols to learn the pitchers and get comfortable with his new team. He emphasized that learning about pitchers you have never faced before as a big obstacle as it seems all hitters keep a “book” on pitchers they face so when switching leagues it means a whole new tome.

It was quite a thrill to get to speak to Rusty who was one of the most productive and popular players in the team’s history and very much worthy of a bobble head day and to be a judge for Sunday’s Banner Day  Parade.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NEW YORK METS WHO STAYS WHO GOES HITTERS DIVISON

Okay, day 1 without Mets baseball has passed and I’ve gotten over the shakes and cold sweats that Mets withdrawal usually brings on. Today, besides getting ready to root my ass off for the Detroit Tigers (I may even buy a pack of Marlboro to put next to my Gates Brown, Dick McAuliffe, Mickey Stanley and Mayo Smith baseball card shrine I’m constructing for this series) and deciding if today is a good day to sneak out of work early to go see Moneyball, I figured this would be a good day to go over my “Who Stays and Who Go’s” from the Mets 2011 roster. So in the words of the late great Bob Murphy, “Fasten your seatbelts”:

Ike Davis-If anything good comes from the freak injury that Ike suffered it will be that Sandy Alderson may have seen the light and will overhaul the Mets training staff. A healthy Ike and hitter friendly alterations to Citi Field’ outfield dimensions could shoot Davis to superstar stratosphere. Hell Yeah Ike Stays!   

Ruben Tejada-Will he be the everyday 2nd baseman or the everyday shortstop that is to be determined what is fact is he’s here to stay and will play every day at one of those position in 2012. STAY.

Justin Turner-When Turner comes to bat with no one on base, he’s Mario Mendoza. With men in scoring position, he’s Mr. Clutch (.350/.480/.500 w/RISP) Not great range in the field but serviceable bench player. STAY

Jose Reyes-If Alderson can get creative with options and funky clauses in a contract, there is a chance that Reyes remains a Met. If an owner looks past the hammy issues or feel its training staff can cure Reyes of his leg malaise then Jose may get stupid money thrown at him. Alderson has a figure in terms of money and years that he won’t cross to keep Reyes and I still feel he hopes there is a team out there that blows his offer away as Alderson really doesn’t want to burden the organization with another long term deal. The heart says stay but the head says GO!

David Wright-No player on this team has become a bigger enigma than Wright. The only thing keeping me from saying put him on the trading block is the bringing in and lowering of the fences at Citi Field that have spooked Wright since day one. With a year left on his deal at $15 mil, DW is still affordable but his defense has deteriorated as much as his offense. Part of me wonders if the Mets would be better off with Daniel Murphy at 3 rd as a better option right now. I’ll stay with Wright for 2012 at 3rd base for two reasons; first, you wouldn’t get max return on him in a deal and two, with the new hitter friendly Citi Field maybe that will wake up DW stagnant bat.  A lukewarm STAY

Jason Bay-If Alderson could ever move his suffocating contract; he’d do it in heartbeat. Add Bay to the list of players who could be born again by shorter LF wall. Bay works hard and is respected in the clubhouse so to deal him for a bad contract would also mean you’re getting a bad guy (Carlos Zambrano or a John Lackey) so I guess what I’m getting at is he’s STAYS.

Angel Pagan-The expiration date on Pagan’s big league career has been achieved. Pagan 2011 was nothing like Pagan 2010 but more like Pagan 2009 which not a vintage year. GO.

Lucas Duda-If Duda can become just a serviceable right fielder (which means not tripping over his own feet or turning left when he should turn right) to go with his power bat and run production ability, the Mets will have an All Star for years to come. In fact Duda and Ike can become the new faces of the franchise. STAY.

Josh Thole-Great guy, decent contact hitter, disaster behind the plate. Catcher is a position that the Mets need to shore up badly as Casey Stengel said “You need a catcher because without one there would be a lot of passed balls” unfortunately even with Thole behind the plate there were a ton of PB’s (16) yes I know we have R.A Dickey and his knuckler on staff but shit 16 PASSED BALLS? COM’ON.   Thole is serviceable with a decent bat and more importantly he works cheap. STAY

Ronnie Paulino- Word on the street is Paulino has poor work habits and is not very good at working with the pitching staff on going over hitters tendencies. Add his deficiencies along with Thole’s and you can see that the organization has a big problem behind the plate. With a lot of young arms here and on the way the need for a solid veteran defensive catcher should be item #2 on Alderson’s to do list this offseason right after dealing with Jose Reyes. GO.

Daniel Murphy-Safe to say you can add Adlerson and Terry Collins to the #ImWith28 Club. Murph will STAY and Collins will find a way to play him as much as he can. Where that is? That’s why Collins gets the big bucks.  If it weren’t for his injury Murph would have finished in the top 10 in batting average no doubt about it. STAY.

Willie Harris-Started off his Mets career very shaky but rebounded to become a valuable bench player. Has a good ability to get on base and can play multiple positions. Harris also become a leader in the clubhouse and helped make it a better place. Harris wants to come back and the Mets should bring him back but Alderson won’t make that a top priority. A halfhearted STAY   

Scott Hairston-I nearly forgot about Hairston as he’s been out all of September with a knee injury and played sporadically when he was healthy. GO

Nick Evans-I’d love to ask Evans what is it like to be DFA on five different occasions and not have one team put a claim in for you? You would think it would be a blow to anyone’s self-esteem but Evans kept going back to Buffalo and produced and kept getting the call to the big leagues, the man is the picture of perseverance. I have a lot of respect for Evans and he can play either corner spot on the field. Someday a team will wake up and give him a chance on a big league roster. I just don’t think it will be the Mets. With regrets I say GO.

Jason Pridie-No great shakes in CF, can’t hit for shit and has an ugly beard. GO.

Mike Baxter-If I am fortunate to speak to Terry Collins in the off season the first question I want ask him is “What did Mike Baxter do to piss you off to the point of burying on the bench”? I would have loved to see more of Baxter. On the final day of the season I was happy he hit the home run but I was more impressed with the way he busted his ass down the 1st base line on a groundball. Baxter also looks pretty good in RF as well. Baxter played a bit of CF in the minors which is why I’m puzzled why Collins played Pridie over him. What was there to lose? I hope Baxter gets a shot in spring training but it seems he has Buffalo written all over him. A shaky STAY   

   On Monday I’ll go over the pitchers who get to stay or should be sent packing

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

HEY METS FANS, WE’VE GOT OUR SUMMER BASEBALL BACK!

 

ITEM: Mets Win and Hit 2 GRAND SLAMS!!!!

I’ll tell you what? I really like this team. Sure that’s easy to say after a though ass kicking of the Detroit Tigers but I’ve had this feeling for a month or so now. First off everything Terry Collins said in the winter about the team playing hard and leaving everything they have on field has become  fact and if he sees any slacking off he addresses it as he did in Pittsburgh about a month ago. Last night, Justin Turner made a nonchalant throw to Lucas Duda at first on a routine ground ball that Miguel Cabrera hit an dogged it down  the first base line ( I bet if there was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the bag he’s have busted his ass) that pulled Duda off the bag rendering Cabrera safe. You can be sure that in the giddiness of the winning clubhouse, Turner was pulled to the side by his manager and told to never take a play off  and you can bet Turner won’t do that again.

My biggest problem with the Mets on the field the last couple of years was that players went through the motions and had a “who gives a shit” attitude, well that’s in the past. This team not only cares and competes; it believes that they are one of the better teams in baseball. The one thing they don’t seem to care about is the opinion of fans and media who love to harp on the negatives, another good reason to be proud of this team.

Last night Mike Silva was my guest on This Call To The Bullpen Podcast and I said to Mike that this team reminds me a bit like the 1994 NY Rangers for the fact that their team motto was “Heave-Ho” that they all pulled the rope the same way in the tug o’ war of the hockey season. Right now this team is all up on the rope and pulling it together, their 35-26 record since the awful 5-13 start proves it.

ITEM: R.A. Dickey Tells Media “Don’t Talk to Me”

Having had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing R.A. Dickey his comment last night after the Mets win doesn’t surprise me in the least:

“What you guys are doing here is a little bit ridiculous,” he said. “You guys need to be interviewing Bay and Reyes, make the night about them. If I’m even mentioned in an article, I’m going to boycott.”

When Dickey was asked during the winter about pitching to Josh Thole, he praised Thole to the heaven’s teling me “ Oh Josh, bless his soul works so darn hard and just gets better and better behind the plate every time out, I can’t wait to hook up with him this season”

That is not Dickey blowing smoke either as he is as straightforward a guy you’ll meet. He said last season the club wasn’t prepared for the second half of the season and stressed that it was as much the players fault as it was the managers. He also was candid in saying that you don’t have to be friends with all your teammates as everyone has different likes, dislikes and lifestyles but you have to have your teammates back and always support them. That is where Dickey excels as he spoke up for Jason Bay:

about Bay. “He is so steadfast in his pursuit to get better,” Dickey said. “The guy is a tireless worker. He never complains about a dadgum thing, so it’s nice to see him get a payoff for all the hard work.”

Robert Allan Dickey is a good man, teammate and a terrific pitcher.

ITEM: It’s Time To Give Nick Evans Another Shot At The Big Leagues

Nick Evans is hotter than 5th Avenue asphalt on an August afternoon. As the Buffalo Bison continue to swoon, Evans has found his hitting stoke and would make a wonderful compliment to Lucas Duda at first base. It’s time to send Jason Pridie upstate and bring back Nick Evans to Flushing. A productive right handed bat is a terrible thing to waste.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

“ALEX, JEFF NOVITZKI FBI, TELL YOUR COUSIN TO SURRENDER BY 4 PM TODAY”

What a fucking joke!  Oh man this is a Highlander Haters Paradise, First, Alex Rodriguez threw his “cousin” under the bus, then he claimed if he went to college he might have had better sense to know right from wrong. Then to top that off he said he bench pressed 340 lbs in High School so he could get a letter jacket because he was poor and needed the jacket. My God I had to run to the men’s room after that one because I just about peed my pants.

I didn’t see any video of this farce but I’d love to see the look on Captain Craptastics face and I’m sure all he kept thinking was “maybe I can get traded to the Detroit Tigers”

Hate to break the news to you Highlander fans but it’s over O-V-E-R for your team. Your stuck with this lying sack of shit for another 8 years LOL

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.