When I’m Told, “Don’t Worry About Johan Santana”, That’s When I Worry About Johan Santana

 

After a hectic weekend I finally have time to gives some thought son the Mets and the beginning of spring training:

Sandy Alderson and Johan Santana can spin his shoulders woes all they want, Santana not being ready to pitch due to fatigue in his shoulder is a red flag. Sure it’s good that there isn’t any structural issue with his left shoulder but the fact that he needs to build up strength in the shoulder is problematic.  I hope the club and Santana use good judgment and work at a pace where Santana is fit to pitch and if it means a stay in extended spring training then so be it. Truth be told, I’d rather see Matt Harvey pitch on opening day any way.

With Daniel Murphy out nursing his sore intercostal muscle the last guy I want see playing 2nd base in his stead is Justin Turner. In a perfect world Reese Havens would get the nod to show what he’s got and remain healthy to take the job form Murph. I like Murph but let’s be honest, if Havens or Jordany Valdespin or Wilmer Flores got the chance to play 2nd base on a daily basis in spring and show themselves capable on offense and more importantly a better choice on defense, then Murphy could be unseated as the everyday 2nd baseman. As much as I like Murphy he shouldn’t be guaranteed an everyday job. So it would be quite interesting to watch someone make it uncomfortable for management to make a decision at 2nd base.

I think I’m going to enjoy baseball more watching Collin Cowgill enjoy himself playing baseball.

Got to feel bad for Pedro Feliciano as he deals with his heart problems. Taking two weeks off and carrying around a heart monitor puts Perpetual Pedro behind the eight ball as he tries to regain his LOOGY role with the Mets since the team is ripe with left handed relievers.

There’s comedy and then there is high comedy. High comedy is reading my Twitter timeline as Lucas Duda was striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out

Last week I went to buy a new dishwasher for my home. I got the dishwasher and another rather unexpected purchase, a new television.  My son persuaded my wife and I into this purchase to replace a projection TV we had for close to sixteen years. So now we have a brand new 60 inch LCD television that has a built in browser and wifi and everything else you can think of, so Saturday being that is was rainy, grey and cold outside what better way to spend the afternoon than to watch Mets spring training baseball.  I made a sandwich, got a cup of coffee and sat down with my feet up in my recliner and sat back to enjoy Mets spring baseball. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! What a wonderful experience, and that’s the problem.

I have loved going to live sporting events since I was six years old. I still get all pumped up going to a ballpark or arena for a sporting event. I love that feeling because it validates that I still have a deep rooting passion for my sports teams. But I have to tell you, with this new TV, I started to wonder, do I need to go to games in person anymore?

Last week I went to Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to watch the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadians.  The Garden has gone through its second phase on renovation and it looks a lot different inside. Thankfully the iconic ceiling is still the same but that’s about it. The Green Seats and Blue Seat section have been combined into one big sloping seating area. The only nostalgic feature left in the arena is the narrow seats and sparse leg space and the long bathroom and concession lines. It was while I waited on the men’s room line that I kept thinking if I were home I’d be able to watch something else other than this dog of a game plus I could grab a snack without waiting and use a clean bathroom.

This is a new phenomenon to me because there has never been any doubt about watching a sporting event in person or staying home to watch on TV as I always felt being at the event always enhanced the experience of watching a game. Damn you 60 inches of LCD gorgeousness, why must you put these bad thoughts in my head.

If you ever doubted that Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Kevin Burkhardt are the best sports broadcasting team in all of sports broadcasting, just take a look at Saturday’s Mets-Nat SNY broadcast of last Saturday.  The Four-some picked up right where they left off at the end of last season. There is chemistry with this group that no other announcing team has and they make watching Mets baseball that much more enjoyable.

I also love having Bob Ojeda sitting behind the plate give pitching play by play. Can we see that during the regular season as well? Please SNY?

 

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DOES ALDERSON HAVE AN OLLIE PLAN?

There has to be a reason why Sandy Alderson is keeping Oliver Perez around.  I haven’t look in detail to the Sunday night Mets bowling league but I know lefties (as I am of that ilk) possess a natural curve when they  bowl so Ollie may be better at getting the 7-10 spilt than inducing the 6-4-3 double play? I mean there has to be a valid explanation on why OP has not been DFA’d.

One theory is that since he doesn’t draw a paycheck until opening day and now that he has proven he’s not starter worthy, a trip to the pen is not really taking innings away from a pitcher that needs work. I’m sure any appearance that Perez makes will be in a split squad game away from St. Lonesome. By keeping him around, Alderson could be waiting until the last possible day to cut Ollie hoping that a team suffering a pitching injury will be soooooooooo desperate they take Ollie off his hands for 50 cents on the dollar. Okay that’s a long shot.

The second theory, and I have not seen or heard this one any place so I will claim it as my own, Alderson/Collins give Perez a shot as a reliever. Perez shits the bed as usual. Alderson/Collins have a heart to heart with OP and Scott Boras with Alderson holding two pieces of paper in his hand, one is his release, the other an agreement to a minor league assignment. Alderson makes it known that he has no problem signing off on the DFA along with a $12 mil severance check but he is willing to allow Perez to save some face and show that he wants to work his way back to the big leagues by either staying in extended spring training using a sudden (wink, wink) injury or going outright to Triple A a la Steve Trachsel, thus putting all the pressure on Perez and Boras.

Alderson is a smart man; he knows OP has no shot of being a reliever so why not give him one last shot at redemption of taking the demotion that he should have agreed to last season. I mean really, how great is a Buffalo Bison-Scranton Wilkes Barre Yankees Kai Igawa v. Ollie Perez matchup?

As long as OP is not on the 25 roster come April 1 its fine by me. I can see Perez now agreeing to a minor league assignment. Alderson has given Perez every chance to show he’s not the suck ass pitcher we all think he is and Perez has not shown one iota of hope that he can pitch competitively in the big leagues. I can see Alderson laying this all out to Ollie and Boras, in fact how great would it be if Alderson made up one of those leather bound books that Boras makes up for his clients when they are free agents. Alderson could call it the Book of Suck.

Can’t you see Alderson telling Perez. “I’ve done everything you requested when you came to camp, you asked for a shot at the starting rotation, and you failed. You asked to go to the bullpen and that was a disaster as well.  I’ve held back the fans and media and taken the slings and arrows shot at you and what did I get back? A big bucket of suck.  So look me in the eye Ollie and tell me why the hell should I even give a shit about you”?

Enjoy Buffalo OP!

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JOHN MAINE’ MECHANICAL DIFFICULTIES

 

 

 

The best move that John Maine made all spring was yesterday when he put the golf clubs back in the closet and went to Old Scholl Dan Werhten’ Remedial Pitching class at St. Lonesome.

 

Maine has been distraught over his sucky pitching this spring mostly due to apprehension from his arthroscopic shoulder surgery this past winter and from what you read it’s mostly a mechanical failure than anything physical that’s messing up Maine.

 

After viewing video of Maine’ delivery, Old School Werthen lengthened his stride to the plate and tweak his grip on his slider and worked on getting Maine to throw his change up with the same motion as his fastball which not only made a difference in his pitching but it seems to have eased Maine’ worried mind about his ability to be ready for the start of the season. The proof will be on Thursday when Maine is schedule to pitch again.

 

If I’m Freddy Garcia I pray that the Mets allow me to stay in extended spring training and try to regain my pitching prowess. As much as I’m a Garcia fan it’s time for a reality check for the Chief, his best bet is to sign that minor league deal and work out at St Lonesome and report to Buffalo as he still has to prove he can pitch in the big leagues and you can’t do that on the unemployment line.

 

If Kevin Burkhardt is going to succeed in having a larger role on SNY Mets telecasts this season he needs to learn one thing, you can’t tell fans how to act. It’s a losing battle. If people want to boo Luis Castillo they will until they are convinced that he is a productive player. No one has killed Castillo more than me but he shown me this spring that he is determined to show he is worth keeping in the line up and the field. Castillo has worked very hard this spring and has produced so I don’t know why anyone would boo him on opening day but then again I don’t why people who sit behind home plate on their cell phone and wave at the TV cameras like assholes either.

 

Wally Mathews has a column in NEWSDAY toady that held my attention for about four sentences and then I zoned out. Isn’t there a Tribune Corp buyout package with his name on it?

 

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal the other night against the Tampa Bay Lighting and went into a pre-mediated celebration where he laid down his stick and put his hands over it like the stick was on fire. Pretty funny stuff and very un-hockey like. Well you would have thought he spit on a picture of Rocket Richard or took a dump in the Stanley Cup with all the outrage that has been thrown his way. I like Ovechkin because he went after Cindy Crosby ,that whinny little bitch, and slapped him around a bit and reminded him that The Great 8 is the best in the game. But the voice of the Northern Territoires  Don Cherry did not like the Ovechkin’ over the top antics. This from a guy who wears Grandma’s drapes as a sports jacket. Look , I’m a hockey fan and couldn’t a shit who likes the sport and who doesn’t but at least Ovechkin gives the sport a showman and someone who sparks passion in a league that fucks up more than it succeeds.

 

I tried to watch the WBC Final last night but there were just too many things working against me getting involved in the game. I worked a 9 hr shift and then came home and ate Chinese food, then I went over my Babe Ruth League team roster. At that point it was 9 :15 and Joe Morgan, Jon Miller and Steve Phillips were in my living room and my head started hurting. Then I made the biggest mistake, I lay down on the couch and took a 10 count.

 

What do you do when you can’t Dictate anymore? You write about baseball of course and that is what Fidel Castro is doing these days with some fascinating stuff (sour grapes?) about the WBC. He let’s his readers know that those Japanese players really, really train hard:

 

In relation to the Japanese I provided some details:

 

“Training sessions are incredibly rigorous and methodical.  They have devised technical methods to develop the reflexes required by every player.  Every day, batters practice with hundreds of balls pitched by left- or right-handers.  As for the pitchers, they are obliged to throw 400 balls every day.  It they commit any error during the game, they have to pitch another 100.   They do it with pleasure, as if it were a form of self-punishment.  In that way, they acquire a notable muscle control that obeys orders sent by their brains.  That is why their pitchers’ ability to place balls exactly where they want them amazes everyone.  Similar methods are applied to all of the activities each of the athletes must carry out in the positions that they defend and in their activities as batters

 

Shouldn’t the American Sports Medicine Institute open a branch in Tokyo?

 

        

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JUST CALL ME ROSTER-FARIAN

(Twenty)Five to one, baby, one in (twenty) five,
No one here gets out alive now.
You’ll get yours, baby, I’ll get mine,
Gonna make it, baby, if we try.

Ken Davidoff is going to compile his 25 man Mets roster as if opening day was today so I thought I’d post mine here and the caveat is “if today was opening day” so of course this list is subject to change.

 

STARTING PITHCERS (5)

 

Johan Santana

Mike Pelfrey

Oliver Perez

John Maine

Tim Redding

 

The first four spots are locks the fifth spot I give to Redding not on merit but on the fact that he has a $2mil contract and that Freddy Garcia can be left in extended spring training. Livan Hernandez is an option which would shift Redding to the bullpen which is something I would be against doing but it would be the option the Mets would make if they had to finalize the roster today. Don’t forget the Jeri-Curl shadow of Petey lurking in the background and Joh Niese becomes the Bison Ace

 

RELIVERS (6)

 

Frankie Rodriguez

J.J. Putz

Sean Green

Pedro Feliciano

Ron Villone

Brian Stokes

 

The last spot goes to Stokes but I hope the Mets can work out something with the Angels to keep Darren O’Day and let him go to Buffalo. Mat DeSalvo has looked good this early spring but he’s a NRI so he’s have to be real charming to take at spot off the 40 man roster.

 

CATCHER (2)

 

Brian Schneider

Ramon Castro

 

The Pudge to Mets talk is still strong as Rodriguez has looked good in the WBC and has made it no secret he’d love to be a Met. Two things could either happen here. The Mets find someone to take Castro and his $2 mil salary and in turn they sign Pudge or this is the swift kick in his fat lazy ass that Shriek needs desperately

 

INFIELD (6)

 

Carlos Delgado

Luis Castillo

Jose Reyes

David Wright

Alex Cora

Fernando Tatis

 

Tatis is valuable not just for his righty bat but for his swingman status from infield to outfield. Cora will spell both Reyes and Castillo and could become a major payer for the team this season as I get the feeling that J-Man will being giving both Reyes and Wright more days off during July and August.

 

OUTFIELD (6)

 

Daniel Murphy

Carlos Beltran

Ryan Church

Jeremy Reed

Bobby Kielty

 

This will be interesting to watch. J-Man has taken a shine to Kielty and I’ve been a fan of his as well he has that “somethin’ somethin’ that you like in a ball player. The problem here is Marlon Anderson and his contract. Anderson is guaranteed  $1.5 mil for 2009 and pre-Madoff that would be chump change now that Omar is on a strict budget this salary will be tough to swallow as Anderson at that price (or any price to be honest) is untradable

 

   

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