HEY LET’S PLAY TWO

Day/Nighter today and I was sooooo ready to cut work and head to Flushing to watch Santana do his magic, but my desk is piled as high with cases as thick as Fernando Martinez’ medical folder,  So I’ll pass on going to the game to spend the afternoon with Howie, Wayne and my un-fucking-believable case load. So while you wait for Game 1 some great links to peruse:

Ed Ryan at Mets Fever feels the time is right to bring back Bobby Parnell and his high heat to bolster the bullpen. I agree as it my be time to send Ryota Igarhashi down and when John Maine comes back, stick him in the pen as well. To make room for Maine, the Mets can put Fernando Nieve on the DL saying he is suffering from exhaustion. No one will dispute that.

Nice gesture by the Mets to draft John Franco’s son JJ in the first year draft even though he is headed off to Brown University. I watched JJ play at Staten Island Little League when I was managing a team and John would come to the complex whenever the Mets were off and his son played. Another young man from Staten Island Little League, Bobby Lanigan has been very impressive pitching for the Ft. Myers Miracle of the FSL.

Ike Davis is a rare species of Met 

When David Wright can slap Big Pelf in the mush with his batting gloves and live to tell about it, then you know all is right in Metsland.

I swear the guys over at Amazin’ Avenue get up with the roosters (or they just stay up all night) and I for one am glad they do as their Daily Mets Farm Report is a must read for me every morning.

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for ending their 49 year drought by winning the Stanley Cup last night on one of the strangest goals in hockey history. Patrick Kane scored in OT but it wasn’t until the video review verified it. Kane and his teammates were celebrating but the Flyers and their fans just stood around like “now what” even the great Doc Emrick was a bit flustered. Anyway it’s nice to see an Original Six team win the cup. 

Memo to David Stern: Your thieving bastard refs are ruining the NBA Finals. When they are not gambling and throwing games or trading first class airline tickets for coach seats and pocketing the difference, they all but destroy the flow of the game and are so inconsistent with their calls that I don’t know what is and isn’t a foul anymore. And to you Mike Breen, your lucky I’m not working with you as I’d have punched you in the head by now you referee toady suck up.

Here’s your lineup for game 1:

            Reyes SS

•           Pagan CF

•           Bay LF

•           Davis 1B

•           Wright 3B

•           Francoeur RF

•           Cora 2B

•           Blanco C

•           Santana P

Will there be a Jesus sighting in game 2 ? How about the Animal?

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MY, THOSE ARE SOME LOVELY KIDS YOU HAVE THERE

While the baseball world was drooling over the debut of Stephen Strasburg, and let me say, all joking aside Strasburg’ pitching was mesmerizing, but there was another story of strapping young men playing ball in Flushing. First Mike Pelfrey continues his coming out season and THANK YOU, THANK YOU to whoever pursued Jerry Manuel to allow Big Pelf to go out for the 9th inning. The site of Fernando Nieve in that situation would have brought me to tears, and then we had the walk off bomb by Ike Davis, who launched the ball into the far reaches of the Pepsi Porch, the spot we’ve been told no Mets player could ever hit a ball, to win a game that had 1969 written all over it. That was the type of game the Miracle Mets of that year used to win and around this time during that season, Mets fans felt there was something happing here, what it is ain’t exactly clear, and that’s how I feel about this vintage of Mets, if they can ever figure how to succeed away from Queens, well this summer could be pre-ty, pre-ty, pre-ty special around here.

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TIME TO STEP UP JEFFEY, SHOW US YOU’RE IN IT TO WIN IT

Here we go again. Just when it looked like the season was slipping away the message out of $iti Field is “not so fast my pessimistic Mets fan” this could be the start of an exciting summer.

I want to dance up and down and shoot middle fingers at the rest of the NL but I can’t because this team still has needs and I’m not confident that ownership will provide it.

It’s safe to assume that Jeffey Skill Sets is calling all the shots around here that Omar Minaya not only is under a gag order when it comes to speaking in public but his ability to make baseball moves has been clamped down as well. In a way Omar and Oliver Perez have a lot in common both have been rendered insignificant.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying this recent run of winning and solid baseball being played by the Mets but as Bobby Valentine says “you’re only as good as your next day starting pitcher” so today we’re in good shape with Big Pelf and tomorrow Johan Santana against the Brewski’s looks great as well, but when does the clock strike twelve on R.A. Dickey and the mystery fifth starter (playing the role of Jon Niese this weekend will be Fernando Nieve)?

At this point as much as I feel, along with what looks like the majority of Mets fans, that Jenry Mejia should have been working on his starting pitcher apprenticeship in the minors, at this point now let him stay with the big club as a reliever. Mejia seems to be settling in role of late inning man and the rest of the pen has been solid now that Igarashi is back so adding a solid starting pitcher should be paramount to management to go out and get.

So who is out there? As much as Roy Oswalt would be a huge acquisition between the money and cost in personnel and trying to get a deal done with Drayton McClain is almost impossible, I doubt that Oswalt will be Queens bound. Cliff Lee as a rental could be cost prohibitive as well.  If the front office could land Kevin Millwood, Mark Buehrle, or even Jake Westbrook it make a huge difference in solidifying the rotation and sending a message to the players and fan base that there is a real commitment to winning.

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MATINEE DAY

A couple of notes from last night:

On last night’s THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN I had a great time talking to Dave Payne and Aviv Blasbalg of the website Sox vs. Stripes as we talked about the Red Sox, Yankees and the AL East.  When I gave their site a plug of the broadcast, I gave out the wrong web address and for that I apologize to Dave and Aviv for that. Check out Sox vs Stripes for your Yankees and Red Sox information.

All of baseball is sadden by the death of Ernie Harwell. A must read today is Joe Posnanski’s reminisces of Harwell, and this video of Vin Scully talking about Harwell during the Dodgers-Brewers game last night. Scully tells a great story about Ernie and does not miss a beat of the play by play.

I’m sure Fernando Nieve can file an unfair labor grievance against Jerry Manuel, give the guy a day off J-Man.

At what point do Phillies fans stop embarrassing themselves?  For me, I hope never. I can’t believe there are people who feel that Philly cop was WRONG to Tased that little jerk off who ran on the field the other night. That video was priceless. Just to watch that little shit head, prancing around the field with his  “LOOK AT ME,  “LOOK AT ME” attitude and when he wouldn’t stop, the cop zapped him and he goes down like the sack of shit he is was outstanding. By the way the reason the guy last night wasn’t Tased is that whales are protected spices and by the way you fat fuck, Uncle Floyd called and he wants his pants back.

Game time see ya later!

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THE GAME FINALLY BREAKS RIGHT FOR THE METS

I wonder who Mother Nature was more sick of, home plate umpire Mike Esterbrook or the inane droning of Joe Morgan but whoever it was, Mets fans thank her for the heavy rain that ended last nights Mets game and Big Plef’ heavy lifting pitching performance with a rain shortened win over the struggling Braves. For the Mets it’s about time they got a positive break and lost in this awful game was the fact the Mets swept the Braves, which should be big time news around these parts.

Pelfrey was not as bad as his line indicates; he was mostly the victim of Esterbrook’s tight as a fly’s asshole strike zone. If the game was on SNY instead of the steady in decline WWL (ESPN’s 2010 NFL Draft wasn’t even public access quality) we would have gotten the overhead view of home plate to see just where Pelf was missing. On the ESPN telecast it looked to me he was hitting the corners consistently.  

Of his 106 pitches, Pelf threw 61 of them in the first two innings, from the third to fifth it took him only 45 pitches to get through those frames. The ability to locate his fastball low in the strike zone and mix in the slider as well has been key for Pelf in getting ground ball out after ground ball out.

I haven’t verified this yet, but the rumor is when the game was called last night, Jerry Manuel sent Fernando Nieve to the bullpen to throw a simulated game. J-Man said he wanted to keep Nieve “sharp”.

A tip of the solid blue Mets cap to Caryn Rose (a/k/a Metsgrrl) for not only going to the game last night but for letting us know though her Tweets on Twitter, that the game was well attended even though on TV it looked like there was a major evacuation in Flushing. Seems now that we have a new fancy pants ball park, there are plenty of places to get high and stay dry. Whereas Shea, during a game in the rain your choice was get wet sitting in your seat or get wet standing in the concourse. I give anyone who went to the game last night a ton of credit as it was so cold and misserable last night in NYC, that I broke down and put the heat back on last night.  

The Hollywood Bums come to town starting tonight and the very hittable Hiroki Kuroda will start the first game of the series tonight against Ollie Perez. This game has the potential for both teams to hit double digits.  The Dodgers are statistically the best team in the NL but fall to the bottom in just about every pitching category in the league. The Mets have smacked around Kuroda every time they’ve faced him (0-2 one no-decision 10.1IP 23H 10.45 ERA) Ollie Perez has been OK Ollie so far this season but lets hope the outstanding pitching the starters have shown this past week or so rubs off on OP.

I hope you can join me tomorrow night at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN on BLOG TALK RADIO. My guest will be Steve Slowinski of the DRAYSBAY site as we talk about the Tampa Bay Rays and their surge to the top on the AL East. I’ll have a recap of the Mets-Dodgers game as well and a look ahead to what is now a big weekend series with the Phillies. If you can’t join me live you can hear a replay of the show right here at Kranepool Society or at my show page on BLOG TALK RADIO.   

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STARTING PITCHERS GOING DEEP INTO GAMES ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

I hope Frankie Rodriguez can pick up a fork and knife this morning to eat his breakfast, I mean the guy had to come in to pitch in the 8th inning last night instead of his customary 9th inning to get a (GASP!!!!) 5 out save!!!!!! Rodriguez had to throw 25 pitches to complete this unbelievable test of endurance and I’m hopping the 6ft 200lbd K-Rod is not just totally exhausted from that heavy duty work load.

All sarcasm aside here, when did baseball lose its way when it comes to pitching? Sure we could throw this all on The Genius as he reinvented bullpen use with the A’s and Denis Eckersley in the late 80’s but why did the rest of the sport follow suit and turn TLR into the baseball version of L. Ron Hubbard? Why hasn’t any organization stepped  up and denounced LaRussa-ology ? I know Nolan Ryan has as he is going about changing the mind set of the Texas Rangers organization into developing starting pitchers to go deep into there starts, but why are other organization so scared to follow The Express’ as an example?

As far as I know, TLR was a marginal journeyman player and as much as I can’t stand his hide behind his Foster Grants ass, he knows baseball. Just ask him he’ll tell you but when it comes to pitching if it comes down to TLR or even his top disciple Dave Duncan, or Nolan Ryan, I’m going with the Hall of Famer fireballer.

Watching Jerry Manuel work this bullpen drives me up a fucking wall. Fernando Nieve pitches in every game, as does Vitamin Pedro. Jenry Mejia, the kid who Manuel told management he needed desperately is being totally misused. Now that Ryota Igarhasi is on the DL look for Ruben Valdes to become an everyday pitcher.

Manuel manages his pen like he still in the American League, it’s excruciating to watch. But back to my original question, why does it have to be this way?

Yesterday I wrote about the 40th anniversary of Tom Seaver’ 19 K game against the SD Padres. That year the 25 year old Seaver threw a baseball in 290 innings. That’s almost two seasons worth of innings in today’s game. Seaver threw for the fourth most innings that season in the NL as Bob Gibson was third with 294 IP, Fergie Jenkins was second with 313 and Gaylord Perry led the league with 328.2 IP.

In 2009 Justin Verlander led MLB pitchers in innings pitched with 240. In 1970 that would have ranked him 29th overall (Dick Drago of the Royals threw 240 IP in 1970) Bronson Arroyo was10th overall in IP last year with 220.1 IP. In 1970 Rick Wise of the Phillies threw for 220.1 IP good for 40th overall.

One would think with the advancements today in the physical training and with all the computer and video that teams have they could come up with some kind of pitching program that would get more length and production out of starting pitchers. Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars to a guy to come in and work one inning and throw 15-20 pitches wouldn’t it make sense to spend those millions on cultivating an organizational pitching program to train pitchers go deeper into games they’ve started ? Call it Reverse-LaRussa-ology.

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UH-OH I HEAR DRUMS, IT MUST BE FERNANDO

  21 days until pitchers and catchers

It looks like Fernando Tatis is retuning for a third season with the Mets. Please hold your applause until the end, thank you. If you look at the offensive numbers on Tatis’ Baseball-Reference page you might be inclined to say this is a good deal for the Mets.  I’ll go as far as say I’m happier with Tatis coming back just for the fact that it means that Carlos Delgado’ career as a Met is done.  Last night on Twitter I was angry about the Tatis return but by this morning I’m more, “eh, whatever”. I’m tired of ranting about the off season and the mish-mosh ways of the organization, that has both the fan base and media baffled, I guess it’s time we just let it play out, we’ll have all summer to scream and yell.   

Look at this from John Smoltz point of view, what was good for Pedro Martinez could be good for him as well. Why sign with a team this early when you can workout on your own, play golf, even do some TV if you like and then wait to see the pitching landscape during the season and make the best deal you can.

As much as I can’t stand the way ownership and the front office fuck up and the on field personnel play like amateurs, there is no way I could ever, ever root against the Mets. I don’t care if a loss meant that the Jeffey, Omar, and J-Man all get the boot, I would never and have never rooted against the Mets. If I didn’t root for the Cincinnati Reds when Tom Seaver was traded and pitched against the Mets, I’m sure as hell not going to root against them now. Root against the Mets? Never in a million fucking years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t understand J-Man saying that Fernando Nieve is the front runner for the 5th spot in the pitching rotation? Not to get to worked up over the 5th spot (when spots 2-4 are not exactly the Rocks of Gibraltar) but where does Jon Niese or Nelly Figs fit with this team? How about Bradley Holt or Dillon Gee? Why is J-Man so against competition? Why am I full of questions?

No matter what happens this season, I’m rooting hard for my boy Daniel Murphy to put up big time numbers. No one on this team works as hard as Murphy and I just hope his hard work pays off and he just hangs in there until Wally Backman gets the job with the big club. Am I a Daniel Murphy fanboy? Yes. He is everything we Mets fans want in a player. Shows up for mini-camp when he’s not required to (Jose? Jose Reyes? Are you here? Come out, come out ,wherever you are!) will be the first guy at St Lonesome waiting for the gates to open for spring training (it will be neck and neck with him and D-Wright) and is working hard to improve at the fourth positions the Mets have assigned him to. How can you as a Mets fan not root for this kid?    

No Pro Baseball Central tonight but I will be on the with Kenrick Thomas and his Real Sports Talk Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio tonight at 10PM ET.

There is a group NYRNation that is planning a FIRE GLEN SATHER rally outside of Madison Square Garden on Sunday March 7th  at 5PM before the Rangers-Sabres game. It is getting very ugly at MSG as the Rangers find themselves in the middle of 10 teams look at the 7 and 8 spot in the NHL playoffs. In fact the Rangers are a mirror of the Mets. Underachivers, Bad Management, Clueless Owner!

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FELICE NIEVE-DAD

Nice bounce bacDDk by the Mets with Fernando Nieve throwing another gem. I would have liked to see him come out for the 7th inning last night but apparently he was suffering form a stomach aliment that had him tossing his cookie or soup in this instance.

If I’m Ed Wade I’d make my self scares over at Minute Maid Park. How could let this guy Nieve get away for nothing? 

I think  Bobby Parnell could use a day or two off. Maybe join A-Rod in South Beach for some R & R

Brian Schneider had a big 3 run HR last night good for him but he stinks behind the plate More Santos please!!!

Keith Hernandez was talking about Daniel Murphy’s foot work at 1st base as he looked a little awkward on a 4-3 ground ball. Has anyone in the Mets front office asked Mex to work with Danny Boy before a game? I’m sure Keith could take time out from trimming his ‘stache to help the kid out?

We have a 12PM game and it is getting darker and darker my the minute and if we don’t get this one in today that will make 6 rain outs and looking at radar it doesn’ t look good. <sigh!>

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IT ONLY TAKES ONE DOLT TO MESS UP A GOOD THING

Lot’s of Mets news today and I have to peruse my brackets. I miss the days of the great NCAA Tournament contest at Jody’s on Forest Ave in Staten Island. Jody ran a pool where you played a ticket for 10 bucks and you had to pick the Final 4, the Championship game. The tie breaker was the total combined score of the championship game. The pool started out as something for the barflies to do while wiling away their time at the bar and through word of mouth on the Island kept growing and growing. Friends and relatives started sending in picks and before you knew it there were over 100, 000 entries and the cash prize went over $1mil bucks.

 

But of course some dumb fuck who one a boat load of dough reported this on his Income Tax which got the attention of the IRS and due to the hot spot light on the US Government the pool is no more. Sad so so sad.

 

Who’s better than Toby Hyde when in comes to knowing the baseball farm hands? No one. Here is his write up on newest Mets chucker, Fernando Nieve.

 

Nick Evans has been an after thoughT all off season and early spring as the right handed bat the Mets need off the bench but with a very productive spring due to increased playing time with the Wright, Delgado and Tatis off playing in the Patriot Games, Warlord Jerry is starting to think that Evans will head to Cincinnati with the team come April 6. I still feel the same about Evans as did the first time I saw him play, he looks and plays like Dave Magadan clone

 

On this date in 1961 the State of NY voted to approve a bond issue to develop a parcel of land that was used for the 1939 Worlds Fair in Flushing Meadow for the construction of a new multi sports stadium. That stadium would become <bows head> Shea Stadium

 

Speaking of ball parks, Paul Goldberger has a piece in the March 23rd issues of New Yorker magazine looking at $iti Field and that ornate piece of shit they are building in the Bronx. 

 

I’m close to the point where I’m ready to demand the Mets give Jon Niese the 5th spot in the rotation and tell everyone else to go the fuck home. That includes Petey as well. Enough already with the retreads and old men give the kid the job show him some confidence and guidance and bet the results will be better than anything Livan, Freddie, or Rotund Redding will give you.

 

  

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A QUICK HIT BEFORE I GO FOR A QUIK HIT

 

 

Busy day as I drafted my 13 year old Babe Ruth team this morning and I’m very happy that I got to pick my top three prospects and now I’m dealing with a nasty head cold that’s sucking the energy out me. I was going to stay away from the computer but after a looking at few stories a few items caught my eye:

John Maine had a very shaky first inning but then settled in to pitch three very strong ones (0 BB 5K) and it looks like it’s not a matter of Bobby Parnell making th team as a reliever but he figures to a major player in the back end of the pen so says Warlord Jerry

Jeopardy Contestant “I’ll take FREE FALL for 100 Alex”

Alex Trebeck: “The Stock Market, Republican Party, Team USA

Jeopardy Contestant: “What is American institutions that are not worth shit

Trebeck: “Correct”

I’ve got to do a little homework on RHP Fernando Nieve who was picked up by the Mets off waivers from the Astros. I know he was signed by the “Stros at 16 and is now 26 and is a year removed from Tommy John surgery. No risk- high reward pick up by the Mets at best he comes up mid season to bolster the pen worst case he’s filler for the Buffalo pen

I’m done. Time for a hit of Sudefed

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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.

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