WHAT, ME WORRY ?

A few quick hits:

Yesterday we were told not to worry about Lucas Duda’s balky back that he was rested yesterday to spare him a long bus ride and he will be good to go today when the team buses to Viera (90 min trip) to meet the Nats. Well, Duda wasn’t on that bus and will sit out again today.

David Wright we were told will take a day or two off with some discomfort in his rib cage, nothing serious just a precaution. Wright has yet to play this week.

Pedro Beato has some soreness in the rotator cuff but it’s nothing serious a little rest and he should be fine.

Scott Hairston still has not responded to treatment of his re-strained oblique muscle and it looks like he will not start the season on the 25 man roster making a tissue thin bench even thinner.

But don’t worry we’re told, it’s early in spring these are little nagging things that will work its way out. In the Brooklyn neighborhood I grew up in there was an old saying “Don’t worry is doing 15 years in Sing Sing”

This is why Mets fans hang and cringe on every pitch that Johan Santana throws as we know it’s just a matter of time before his arm falls off.

Can a team use the disabled list for players that have a psychological injury? I ask this because if you can, Jason Bay is a candidate for shutdown. Reading the stories on how Bay is placing his feet differently in the batter’s box and thinking so much about his approach at the plate to where he knows he needs to be more selective and lay off pitches off the plate it just seems his biggest problem is he’s thinking too much and not reacting at all at the plate. It seems he spends his at bats thinking about 1,001 ways to get a hit and while his head is filled with all this distraction, he’s become absent minded to reaction to pitches.  That Capt Kirk/Jason Bay platoon in left field looks better and better every day.

When did Omar Minaya become the GM of the NY Jets? So Eli Manning coming off a Super Bowl win, the second of his career and his second Super Bowl MVP award restructures his contract down instead of asking for a well-deserved raise so his team has money to sign players that will help the Giants add to their trophy case while the Jets extend the contract of Mark Sanchez whose leadership qualities are questioned in his own locker room. Stunning.

I’m not saying you can’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez, you can, but you have to have a plan and signing free agents with questionable character is not the way to do. Rex Ryan preached “ground and pound” but the Jets do not practice that mantra. It still amazes me how Mike Tannenbaum stays below the Jets fans radar, if I were a Jets fan I’d want him fired.

For all of us Mets fans who want the Skill Sets to sell the team, let’s be careful what we wish for.  If the Mets were up for sale, Jim Dolan and his Cablevision billions will be front and center with a bid. Now if I knew Dolan would treat the Mets like he does the Rangers, it wouldn’t be too bad but if he’s hands on like he is with the Knicks that would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Mets need another Nelson Doubleday to take over ownership of this team.  I found this article from the New York Observer from October 30th 2000, right after the Subway World Series, that details how Doubleday and Freddy Skill Sets had opposite views on how the direction of the team and of Shea Stadium.

In the beginning, Doubleday Publishing owned 95 percent of the team. Mr. Doubleday gained a reputation as a hands-off owner who let general manager Frank Cashen make all the baseball decisions. The strategy paid off in 1986, when a Mets team filled with young players cultivated by Mr. Cashen won the World Series

And when it came to Shea Stadium, Nelly D was in favor of renovation to save money and to preserve Shea:

Mr. Wilpon’s allies maintained that the stadium controversy was just a misunderstanding. Mr. Doubleday, they say, simply did not know the status of Mr. Wilpon’s negotiations. That may be true, but Mr. Doubleday apparently hasn’t changed his mind. “I’m not particularly interested in seeing a whole lot of taxpayer money going into a New York Mets fancy-dancy stadium,” Mr. Doubleday told The Observer while watching batting practice before Game 3 on Oct. 24. “We could [renovate Shea Stadium] over three years, section by section. This is a pretty nice place to play ball.”

I don’t know how much of Doubleday’s wanting to renovate Shea rather than build Citi was more his love of Shea or using that money to better the on field product or if it was just Nelly breaking Freddy’s balls. Either way I like Doubleday’s style.

Attention New York Rangers Fans: Keep Calm, Carry On Coach Torts will get this team to “Fuckin’ screw it on straight”

 

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OHHHHHHHHHHH DOCTOR!

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Cheap trick – i want you to want me by la_shivi>

 

Seems the Mets can’t even get through a choose up game without controversy.  It was reported that Scott Hairston has re-aggravated the left oblique muscle that knock him out for the last month of last  season. We also found out that David Wright will be held out of spring games until Wednesday the earliest with a tweak of his left rib cage, LHP Robert Carson had an injection to ease the pain of an injury to his intercostal muscle and then the news broke that Ike Davis has/hasn’t Valley Fever. Whew! I need two Tylenol just typing that out.

The reaction to Ike’s illness was a bit over the top as the blood test he took in Manhattan last week showed no sign of the disease but a Mets doctor felt he had the symptoms of Valley Fever. Ike says he feels great and doesn’t think this is a big deal, if he feels fatigued he will let Terry Collins know and take a day off if he needs it. Right now he says he doesn’t so we move on. One thing though, Sandy Alderson has to be a wee bit concerned if Ike has to take a day or two off a week if this illness is more than we think and having Justin Turner as Ike’s caddy at first base just won’t cut it.

Whenever I hear of a Mets players going down with a muscle pull or tightness, I get very Jerry Seinfled-ian and clinch my face and fist and yell out “RAMIREZ”!!!! as in Ray Ramirez, the Mets head trainer.

Three players, three muscle strains one of which was suffered last year, has to bring up a red flag about this training staff and it’s head guy Ray Ramirez.  I have no idea why the three have suffered muscle problems this early in spring but if I were the GM, I’d have my head trainer in my office first thing in the morning and he better have a damn good explanation for why this happened.

Mets single game tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10AM and this season it seems the Mets will have a Concert Series after some games.

The first of the series kicks off June 15th with REO Speedwagon. Back in the day we referred to bands like this as “milk and cookie” bands just too sweet and safe for our musical taste and quite frankly they are still too sweet for my taste.

Now the second concert will feature Cheap Trick who I did like way back when. They always put on a good show as Rick Nielsen was very entertaining with his various axes and Robin Zander’ vocals were just near borderline milk and cookies but my favorite band member was Bun E. Carlos on drums. Carlos always had a Charlie Watts vibe about him I thought.  It is kind of sad to see that they have become post game entertainment in the twilight of their careers but its work I guess. This one I will make an effort to attend.

Mercy Me is the name of the third band and they will play on August 10th after the Mets-Braves game. I had never heard of this band and when I found out they are a Christian Rock band I knew why I had never heard of them.

You don’t really need Newsday to tell us that the Mets stadium revenues have been sliding every year since Citi Field opened in 2009. All you had to do was go to a game in July and August to see it up close and personal. Many games last year the parking lots there were so many spots that you could take up four of them and no one would complain. Many games I went to in that time span and sat in the Promenade and saw the only food concession open were the ones in the Promenade food court. Even if you didn’t come out to Citi Field and just watched on TV you saw all the seats behind home plate from dugout to dugout lacking ass’ in them.

But don’t worry Freddy and his Fins say, it’s all good.

 

 

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CAMP FIRE

That is the patch the Mets will wear this season in remembrance of Gary Carter. I’d still like to see all uniform personnel wear CARTER 8 uni tops for a game and auction them off for charity


You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a Mets fan who feels Terry Collins is being a hard ass to Ruben Tejada for not getting to camp early and then complain that the team isn’t very good.

Collins is stressing to his team that they have to work harder than anyone else and be  focused better than anyone else if they are to succeed this season. You can see from the early interviews of TC down in St. Lonesome that he wants his team to stick it up all the naysayer’s asses and show that the Mets are a winning baseball team.

The maturation of Matt Harvey continues to be an early training camp story line. As Josh Thole has raved about Harvey’s pitch repertoire, the manager and coaches, especially Wally Backman, have raved about his willingness to get their advice on what he needs to do to reach the big league level. Sandy Alderson is on the record as saying Harvey will not break camp with the Mets but Harvey is determined to make that a difficult decision, it’s hard to get giddy over Matt Harvey.

Same for Jeurys Familia who along with Harvey was profiled in the NY Daily News today as two guys who are competing for a job in the big leagues but have grown close as teammates and hope to join the big league club together at some point this season.

It’s so early in spring training but from reading stories about the mood of the camp and camaraderie  of the players, the Mets are staring to give me a feeling that they could be baseball version of the New York Rangers.

If Jason Bay struggles against right handed pitching as he did last season, the more reason to root for Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the team as a platoon partner for Bay in LF. No one in the front office will say it but I bet the leash on Bay is short this season especially if he struggles against rhp.

 

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“FOR THE GOOD OF THE TEAM” STARING CARLOS BELTRAN

When Sandy Alderson was hired to run the Mets baseball operations, the phrase we heard over and over again was “Now there are adults running the show”. When Terry Collins was hired as manager it was not the most popular choice to make since the bulk of the fan base wanted Wally Backman to get the job because if there is one thing that Mets fans love it’s former Mets players with World Series rings (that should be an incentive to present and future Mets, if you win a World Series as a Met your set for life. Meals will be free, endorsements plentiful; no matter if you are the star or 25th man you’re revered) but so far this early in spring, it’s safe to say, the on the field Mets are doing much better than the off the field Mets.

Before camp even started, Collins showed strong leadership by naming Big Pelf the opening day starter and the first seven spots in his lineup. He also made it known that the question of who will be the centerfielder will be answered quickly and decisively.  

Alderson and Collins showed Carlos Beltran the veteran respect he has earned and deserved. They laid out the centerfield scenario; Beltran will be given every chance to prove that he and his knee are up to the task of covering the vast canyon that centerfield in Citi Field is. If he can’t, then the move to right field will be made and Angel Pagan, who has proven to be a terrific centerfielder, will take over the job. The key in this plan was, once the decision was made, it will be final, no yo-yoing back and forth.  

I guess with that information and the fact that he has been treated with respect for the first time in his Mets career and knowing that his knee will be a problem for as long as he plays baseball, Carlos Beltran got to camp early yesterday, asked to meet with Collins and Pagan to let them know it’s time for him to shift over the right field and let Pagan take the helm of center field. It was a crowning moment for Beltran, Collins and Pagan.

Beltran has gotten a bad rap by the segment of Mets fans. It seems that called third strike he took from Adam Wainright in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS has followed him his whole Mets career. I’ve said before, the folks who criticize Beltran for taking that pitch obviously has never played baseball beyond Little League. The reason a curveball is such a potent pitch is when you’re standing in that batter’s box, pitchers who can throw a hook like Wainright, can throw the pitch with such a big break, that the pitch looks like it’s coming straight at you but then breaks over the plate. It’s the pitch that separates all stars from journeymen but I digress.

His first year as a Met was not as good as hoped and his last two seasons have been injury riddled but from 2006 to 2008 he was the best player on the Mets and one of the best in all of baseball. Hopefully the move to right field works for Beltran and helps keep the stress off his arthritic knee. This will be his last season as a Met but hopefully he goes out on the same high note as he has started this spring.

Who knows, maybe this is something Mets fans will look back on in September as a galvanizing moment for a club that might just be figuring out that if they stick together and block out the noise from ownership and the media barbs that this team is not worthy of having New York in its name, they can do something special. So far this early spring it’s been all positives coming from camp even when Ollie Perez pitches the team puts a positive spin like” no children or animals were harmed during Perez’ performance.”   Who knows? One thing is for sure I can’t wait for a month from today.

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WOW IT REALLY IS PORT ST. LONESOME, WHERE IS EVERYONE?

At some point, Omar, Tony B, or J-Man need to grab Jeffey Skill Sets by his little neck and tell him to stop being a lackey for the Used Car Salesman. If it’s not slotting players in the draft, it’s not going over payroll to pay the luxury tax and now it’s this pain in the ass WBC that the Mets have sent 15 players to including Fernando Tatis as a fill in for the Tragically Hip Alex Rodriguez. Enough! Lets do what right for the NY Mets instead of following orders of the Whacky Professor. 

 

WOW our Pro Baseball Central show from this past Wednesday night has struck up major debate in the Mets-Phillies rival as Bill Bear of  Crashburn Alley got our “Irish up” when Joe and I  went on a positions by position comparison of the two NL East front runners. Check out Bill’ site for his mathematical break down of the two teams then listen to the show as Joe and I spit tobacco juice (sorry Bill that some of it got on your shoes)   and tighten the belt on our flannel uniforms and use old school thinking. Just hearing me defend Mariano Rivera is worth listening to. Yeah, that’s right I had to defend a Highlander and I’m pissed that Bill made me do that!

 

I’m not worried about John Maine even with him not feeling comfortable on the mound yesterday. Maine feels it his mechanics that are off and being that it’s early in spring and he’s coming off surgery to his wing as ling as he’s not hurting it’s just a matter of time before he gets his feel back on the mound.   

 

Ryan Church fouled a pitch off his knee. It hurt. He put ice on it. It feels better. In other words, keep moving nothing to see here.

 

Tommy LaSorda says “You pinko, pussy, sons of bitch’s better be rootin’ for the good ol’ U S of A in the WBC or you’re a fuckin traitor” “and buy a fuckin’ shirt or cap too”

 

Who? Santana? Nah, nobody here by that name.

 

I am very very much bummed out that Life On Mars is getting booted off ABC but my mood has brightened  considerably by word that Curb Your Enthusiasm with the cast of SEINFELD making appearances on the show as well is back in production and will return to TV in the fall. Just hearing the shows theme song makes me giddy! (wish I could link it but shhhhhhhhh I’m at work)

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Tickets

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