First Half Mets Marking Period Is Over Here Are The Grades

                                                                                The Ol’ Perfesser

As promised in my last post, it’s time for the 2013 NY Mets first half report card.  Unlike years past there is room for optimism even though the team has not had a winning monthly record since June of 2012, that’s seven consecutive months of losing, but the tide seems to be turning.  There is optimism in that the young arms are starting to emerge as we see today with Matt Harvey being named the starter for tomorrow nights All Star Game. Zack Wheeler has shown some growing pains but he should figure it out and Noah Syndergarrd talk is all the rage.

But the club needs bats and needs them badly but that’s a post for another day. On to the grades:

John Buck Grade C

Took off like a rocket in April with the bat hitting 9 HR and driving in 23 runs. From months May thru July, Buck has hit 5 HR and knocked in 23 runs. The biggest aspect of catching is defense, while Buck is not a great catcher; he is a vast improvement over what the Mets have had the last two years. He’s holding the seat warm until Travis D’Arnaud gets himself healthy and ready for the big leagues, most likely next season.

Ike Davis Grade F

UGH! What a mess Ike is. So far the great re-invention of Ike Davis approach at the plate has been a failure.  His first couple games when Ike came back from Las Vegas there was a bit of an improvement but the last week he’s back to his ass going one way and his arms going the other. UGH! I sense Sandy Alderson’ patience are wearing thin with Ike and with Davis arbitration eligible next season  Ike looks like a lock for non-tender status.

Daniel Murphy Grade D

Who doesn’t love Murph? He plays his ass off, worked very hard to be a serviceable 2nd baseman and has battled serious injury to come back strong.  But Murphy like Ike is at a crossroads in his career. He’s making just a shade under $3mil this season and would be looking for a raise towards the $5mil mark in 2014. He’s 28 years old he doesn’t draw walks and he hits with little power and is not a solid fielder. Add 2nd base as another position the Mets will need to upgrade in 2014.

Ruben Tejada Grade F

I’ve never been a fan of Tejada’s and never understood what some baseball people saw in him. He’s in Las Vegas now and will most likely be there until September. Call this addition by subtraction.

David Wright Grade A+

Just put a decent bat behind Wright and he’ll put up numbers like have never been seen in Flushing. Just having a decent bat like Marlon Byrd protecting him has allowed Wright to put up solid numbers. His defense has also improved to where you might as well give him the Gold Glove now. He has also embraced the role of Captain showing more leadership on the field than we’ve ever seen. David Wright is one of the top 10 players in baseball and we are damn lucky to have him on our team.

Lucas Duda Grade C

Duda and Josh Satin could be the demise of Ike Davis. Duda will never see left field again as a Met and that’s a major plus. It’s not Duda’s fault that he was a lousy outfielder, he never played outfield and when he was moved back to his natural position of 1st base he looked like a new man. But then he went down with a strained intercostal muscle pull and hasn’t be heard from since.  Duda’s 14 % BB rate and .204 ISO is what has me not quitting on him, I’d love to see him get back soon healthy and coupled with Satin as a very productive 1st base platoon. Sorry Ike.

Juan Lagares Grade D

Tough grade for the young center fielder but when you break it down his offense is an F and his defense is an A. Thought of giving him a C but he lost his job to Kirk Nuienhuis so that dropped it to a D

Marlon Byrd Grade A

All the Sandy Alderson critics were screaming “where’s the bargain signing that pays off” well here you have him in Marlon Byrd. Now no one, even the Mets GM ,thought Byrd would contribute as much as he has. Byrd leads the team in HR’s (15) and Rib Eyes with 51 his wOBA is solid .346 and his play in right field has been stellar. So where do you fall? Keep Byrd, Trade Byrd? I get the feeling Byrd will stay as the Mets GM is sick of his team sucking in the second half and is looking for a strong finish to build on for 2014. Byrd stays.

Omar Quintanilla Grade D

Best part of Q’s game is he takes a walk as in base on balls with an 11% BB rate. His defense is plausible and he’s 31 years old so he’s not the future. Mets have a big ? at shortstop

Jordany Valdespin Grade F

Good bye and good riddance.  If Valdespin had called John Buck the name he called Terry Collins, he’d be getting fit for dentures today.

Mike Baxter Grade D

Still can’t understand why he had to go to Las Vegas and JV1 got to stay big big mistake. Baxter better lefty bat off the bench than Vladespin.

Justin Turner Grade D

Teammates love him and his pies but where does he fit on this team on the field? Isn’t Josh Satin Justin Turner but with talent?

Kirk Nieuwenhuis Grade C

Looks like Kirk has won the CF job and the last couple of weeks his bat has come alive and his play in centerfield has been solid. A C grade may be a bit generous but Kirk gets a little more love due to grit.

Anthony Recker Grade Incomplete

Poor guy doesn’t play enough but when he does he hits with pop with a .237 ISO but it’s a very limited sample. He could find his way as a Sunday catcher with Mets when Travis d’Arnuad makes his debut

Josh Satin Grade Incomplete

Again small sample size but he has forced Terry Collins hand as Ike Davis regresses and the team looking to win games and stop the loser mentality Satin has played his way into the lineup. Easy guy to root for.

Terry Collins Grade C

Some days I’m pro-Collins some days I’m looking for his replacement. Collins handles the press and his clubhouse as well as anyone in the game but when it comes to in game strategy and handling his bullpen, Collins is playing checkers while the opposing manger is playing chess. Second half of the season will determine if Collins is the Mets skipper in 2014

Tomorrow the pitching staff.

 

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FAILURE IN THE SOUTH BRONX

sorry for lack of a post on this New York Highlanders Elimination Day but it’s been busy today with lot of work around the house. I don’t know what has me more giddy, the fact that the Bronx Bastards played only 5 more games than the Mets or that Alex Rodriguez still has 6 years and $143 mil due to him on his worst contract ever, the tide is turning Mets fans, the tide is turning

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“LET’S GO METS” “YOU SUCK METS” THAT’S THE TWO SIDED METS FAN COIN

It’s time like these where I like to sit back and watch Mets fans devour each other and the organization. Mets fans can go from JOSE-JOSE-JOSE to YOU SUCK REYES! In a bi-polar second.  These are the same Mets fans who told us all winter that the Mets were not going to any good this season and would avoid Citi Field like it was a Japanese nuclear plant. That’s fine and I don’t blame you but what I don’t get is how some fans are killing Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson and his baseball operations for this horrendous start. What exactly would you like them to do?

Every report that came out of St Lonesome was how Collins was working this team hard on the fundamentals of the game  and how there will be no spectators on the field when the ball is put in play. Not one story came out negative of Collins camp, all you heard from players, media and fans was “it’s about time” The impression portrayed to Mets fans was this team will be ready, willing and able to play solid baseball, they seem ready and willing but the able to play solid baseball part still needs work.    

If you think the shitty play of this team is bothering you just think how Collins feels. Same for Alderson, you think he wants any part of failure or ridicule this team is going through? He has never settled and has never sat back and let shit like this fester.  Let’s not forget one tiny little fact here, he inherited a total mess and if you want to criticize him for anything it’s that maybe he underestimated what a mess this organization is.  

You could tell from listening to Terry Collins in his post game presser when asked about worrying about Bobby Parnell, he made it known he’s not concerned about Bobby Parnell his concern is the NY Mets and that should be music to Mets fans ears.  Parnell I’m sure is a fine young man but if he can’t handle the bullpen role then see ya later.  All the work he put into his drills with the players have gone for naught. It’s one thing for pitchers to be ineffective but when you can’t execute a 1-2-3 double play, you’ll pay a price.

Bobby Ojeda sees it as well. He has become a must watch on the post-game show.  Ojeda laid out the same scenario as Collins it’s time to take the diapers off some of these players such as Pelfrey and Parnell. It’s not about their feelings or their mental wellbeing; it’s about wins and loses.  Players have been coddled enough in Flushing it’s time to put up or pack a bag for Buffalo or other destinations.   

Big Pelf wasn’t great but he was better than the last two starts.  He showed more velocity but he still gave up more fly balls than ground balls and that’s not his game. His command was lacking as well. What gets me is the fans and media who ordained Pelfrey as the Ace of the Staff are the same folks who now kill him for being ineffective and not Ace worthiness.

Me and Mike Ganci of The Daily Stache  used the photo of Willie Harris on scoreboard on opening day to amuse ourselves on Twitter last night during the latest Mets meltdown.  #WILLIEHARRISFACE will scare you straight.

The one bright spot in the pen was the work of Jason Isringhausen making his return to Flushing. His curveball was working very well so maybe this is the light at the end of the Cliff Floyd Tunnel.

Please Jon Niese gives 7 innings tonight please!

I’m not crazy about this year’s model of Angel Pagan.

I’m shocked that the bullpen failures have not been pinned on Carlos Beltran.

Dear R.A. Dickey,

I will be at the game tomorrow night and I have a request, could you please throw strikes as I cannot endure a three hour plus game as I have to go to Philadelphia on Thursday morning and I have leave very early. Thank you in advance.

All the best,

Steve

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GETTING MESSY AROUND HERE

Saturday ramblings in no specific order:

While I applaud Jerry Manuel for yanking John Maine the other night and showing that if you don’t perform you’re gone, Manuel went a bit too much and it show how much he really can’t stand Maine when it was reported to Manuel that Maine said “he wanted to pitch so badly he’d go out and throw left handed” to which Manuel said with his Gangsta’ laugh “That’s not out of the question , he might have more stuff lefty” funny line but said at the wrong time. There’s nothing to joke about here with this team. The only fans buying tickets to Mets games at $iti Field are the opposing teams fans.  If you’re a Mets fan why would you want to sit in $iti Field and get ridiculed for three hours. Mets fans have been on an island the last few years, the players and management couldn’t care less that everyone who knows us as Mets fans repeatedly asks us the questions about the team failure and get the badgering for the failure of this team and organization. I don’t mind it from friends and family but it’s the front running douchebag Highlander fan who’s knowledge of the team goes as far as wearing a 2 JETER t-shirt and that the organization has won 27 World Series and if you’re a true Highlander fan that person should embarrass you as well.

David Wright has argued more third strikes this past month than he has his whole career combined. At some point the home plate umpire needs to tell Wright, “it’s not me, it’s you” The “hasn’t been good since the beaning” theory is starting too look spot on after each Wright at bat. Maybe it’s not Hojo’s fault but I just wonder if a different voice would help Wright at this point ? It’s just too easy to pitch to David right now. Start him off with an inside pitch and work your way outside, he won’t stride toward the outside at all. The ground out he hit against Rivera to finish the game was the pitch he used to go to right center with, now with this too long swing of his you get a little fart of a ground ball.

Benny Agbayani left the Chiba Lotte Marines because of the way the treated Bobby Valentine. Mike Hampton on WFAN yesterday said Valentine was the best manager he ever played for.  John Franco and Mike Piazza have said the same about Bobby V. You think any of the current Mets will have such loyalty to Jerry Manuel when he’s given his walking papers?

Let Bob Melvin or Terry Collins finish the season and then bring back Bobby V in 2011.

Kevin Russo ? Who the fuck is Kevin Russo? Now every year when this played out Mayor’s Trophy series is played we’ll have to read a Where Are They Now feature on Kevin Russo as he works as a valet parker at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.

Welcome back Uncle Elmer.

So Roy Oswalt has agreed to be traded, good for him, would he be a fit on the Mets?  Hummm  tough to say. At first glance you’d say of course but he’s 32 yrs old with a history of back trouble and his contract runs through 2012 with $15 mil for this year and $32 mil the next two years but there is a $2mil buyout in 2012. It’s not the money that would scare me off but the back issue would and the fact that Oswalt is a countryboy and played in a city that watches baseball until football training camp opens so that would be a concern as well but what would it take personnel wise to bag Oswalt ? Would the ‘Stros take a big bag of junk like Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo ? Or Perez and Fernando Martinez (can we all agree it just isn’t going to happen for this kid?)  and a low level busher?    Like I say the point is moot the Skill Sets won’t pay the money.

It may be ridiculous that the Highlanders have this ban on iPad’s and laptops by fans coming into The Mall on River Avenue and they are ridiculous with their law and order policies on what you can and can not bring into the park (I want to know how much of a kickback security gets from the bowling alley across the street for holding bags? What’s the number for NYC Consumer Affairs ?) but really why do you need to use a laptop or iPad as a fan during a game ? Sit back and watch the game don’t make a job out of it.

Time to finish things off on the parquet floor starting tonight, as pissed as I am over the Mets who cower under the bed when things get tough, I have to make a 180 degree move as a Celtics fan. The C’s are so confident they border on cocky but when Paul Pierce looks in the camera and tells Celtics fans that “we’re coming home to finish this off” and ends it with a wink , I believe him, I mean he is The Truth right? But what I love is the way the team leaders are not afraid to call out anyone on the team, I still laugh at Big Baby Davis after fouling in a bad spot in the game and getting called out from the bench by Kevin Garnett yelling “ I know , I know I fucked up, I fucked up”   Can I get David Wright to do that just once?

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TIME FOR THE SKILL SETS TO SELL THE METS

As I watched the Frankie Rodriguez (Frankie will be the name he goes by here)  press conference I should have felt happy and excited but all I could think about was the presser was held in the Bunch of Broke Ass’ (Citigroup) Headquarters and the owner of our team is very close to be an Old  Broke Ass and there is his son who could be a Dumb Broke Ass and all I could do was laugh and think that makes me A Dumb Mets Blogger Broke Ass and that led me to shout as the Great  Joe Bada Bing Benigno would say “OH THE PAIN”

 

The more the Skill Sets say the Mets are not effected by his getting duped by his buddy Bernie Maddoff the more I worry because as we all know “Don’t Worry” is doing 10 to 15 in Sing-Sing.

 

So now that everyone took their bows at the Bunch of Broke Ass’ Building today and we all patted Omar on the back for a job well done what’s the next move? It better be for Derek Lowe and one more veteran pitcher. If it’s Lowe and OP even better. But you know what I don’t think the Mets are signing either one of them because I think this Madoff scandal is bigger and more damaging to the Skill Sets than they are letting on. The company line is “things are fine, no effect on the teams finances” but if that’s so prove it. The Mets money woes go deeper than Bernie Madoff. Every deal the Skill Sets are in has turned to shit. They start a TV Network and I guess it makes money but for the most part it’s unwatchable. There is not one show on SNY I have any desire to take my finger and press the channel on my remote to. Then there is the deal with Citigroup and that name on the ball park marquee. The place hasn’t open yet and it has failure written all over it. Now the Madoff cluster fuck; it just adds to failure after failure by the Skill Sets regime. 

 

Remember boys and girls, if it weren’t for Nellie D when he was an equal partner in the team you would not be prancing along in your 31 PIAZZA jerseys as he made the push to acquire Mike Piazza and Doubleday also had no fear of the Highlanders as he knew that between he and Freddy Skill Sets that could buy and sell the Bronx Robber Barron, Nellie D was the aggressive owner who loved to make a back page splash. 

 

I guess what I ‘m getting to is maybe with all these bad investments and bad karma it’s time for the Skill Sets to sell the team. If not outright maybe they need to sell parts of the team and put together a Board of Directors that are not family or cronies. Get some people on board that can bring the franchise forward. As much as I hate to get into a “keeping up with the Highlanders” mind set I want someone in this organization that has some creativity and foresight to market the team as it should “The Flagship Team of the National League” For years NYC was an NL town. The Highlanders had fans but didn’t ‘t draw as many to the ballpark as the Dodgers, Giants or Mets, but the last decade or so that’s changed and the Mets have just say back and taken it under the Skill Sets leadership. Maybe now is time for a change just like in the White House maybe after almost 30 years of owning the team it may be time for the Skill Sets to get out.

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