Take Note: Mets v. Phillies 2 Night at CBP

Some interesting information in today’s Mets game notes from Citizens Bank Ball Park as the Mets  take on the Phillies for the first time this season.

The Mets hit the road for the first time in 2013 and this trip is tied for the second longest of the season. The Mets will stay in Philly for three games then off to the Twin Cities for three weekend games and then off to Colorado for four games. Hope the equipment guys packed the long underwear, ski hats and snow shoes.

Yesterday’s come from behind walk off win was the Mets 3 of their 4 wins of one run. Last year the Mets were 20-22 in one run games. Hopefully they will do much better than that make this year.

The Mets have hit 6 home runs in their first 6 games. The 1962 hit home runs in their first 7 games so take that for what it’s worth.

The strikeout machine known as Matt Harvey takes the mound for the Mets tonight. In his first 11 starts with the Mets Harvey has K’d 10 batters or more 3 times. Only Dwight Gooden has been better than Harvey in the K Korner with 4 games out of 11 with 10+ punch outs.

David Wright LOVE hitting at CBP in fact Wright has the most home runs hit by any visiting player with 16 dingers in 74 games.

The starting pitching enjoyed a great first week of the season posting a 1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched.

Outstanding effort by the Mets bullpen yesterday left the fire brigade with a 3.57 ERA which puts them right in the middle of the back of big league bullpens.

Congratulations to Scott Rice, after 14 years of awful bus trips, Rice got his first major league win yesterday!

Let’s hope the broken down velocity down more fly balls allowed Roy Halladay shows up tonight and not the 7-0 1.78 EAR vs. the Mets since he joined the Phillies Roy Halladay.

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News and Views

 

 

 

NEWS: Mariano Rivera tears his ACL

UH OH! First let me say I feel very badly for Mariano as he is the greatest closer of all time and from all you read and hear he’s a first class guy and I won’t criticize him or the Highlanders for allowing him to shag fly balls in batting practice since he has been doing this his whole career but as a Mets fan I have to say if this were Johan Santana or R.A. Dickey who suffer this freak injury the Mets would be eviscerated from every keyboard and microphone in the NY sports media universe.

It’s the same as the Bronx Bastards keeping Nick Swisher on the active roster with bad hammy, remember how the Mets and Omar Minaya were smacked upside down for actions like this but Pee Wee Cashman never gets hammered for any of his bone head moves in this town. NYC sports media is Shillsville.

Just to show how fair and balanced I am when it comes to the New York Highlanders, I received a copy of Marty Appel’s new book   Pinstriped Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to after the Boss (Published by Bloomsbury USA) and I cannot wait to read it. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marty and various SABR events and have read all his books so I know Pinstriped Empire will be a winner.

NEWS: Mets Need A 5th Starter……

And it won’t be Matt Harvey. Or Jeurys  Familia or Zack Wheeler so says Sandy Alderson and of course that’s the correct course of action. Right now there are three choices to fill Big Pelf’s spot (did you ever think at any time in your Metsfandom life you say to yourself “WOW I miss Mike Pelfrey”? ) Miguel Batisita is one of the choices and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of Batisita and his total ineffectiveness so why not send up Jeremy Hafner and give him the next shot or even better how about Alderson doing some good old fashion GM’ing and make a deal for a pitcher as I said yesterday Jason Marquis would be a great fit.

NEWS: NY Knickerbockers go down 0-3 to the Miami Heat

As many of you know I am not a Knicks fan, my allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. Since my C’s didn’t play last night I watched the Knicks-Heat game and my question to Knicks fans is how do you root for Carmelo Anthony ? My God, how overrated is this guy ? Again being a fan of the Celtics I’m spoiled watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen drag their old bones up and down the court for one last run at Banner 18 but the hype for Carmelo Anthony just escapes me.    

 

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IF I HAD A HAMMER, I’D HAMMER IN THE MORNING I’D HAMMER IN THE EVENING ALL OVER CITI FIELD

With the report yesterday that the Mets will construct an 8 ft wall in front of the 16 ft Great Wall of Flushing in left field and the more dramatic change in right center field where the Mo’ Zone little alley way will be no more and the distance from home plate to right center field goes from 415 ft to 390 ft tells me unless he is bowled over with a huge return, David Wright will be a Met in 2012 and most likely beyond that.

Not only have the dimensions of Citi Field been altered for the benefit of Wright but they should aslo help Jason Bay as well as both he and Wright have been traumatized by the fly balls to nowhere in Citi Field. I guess you could call it psychotherapy through carpentry.

The Mets announced they have released Ryota Igarashi. This move is about six months too late.

A lot of talk about Albert Pujols not talking to the media after Game 2 of the World Series, a game where El Hombre made what could have been scored an error, allowing what proved to be the winning run to advance to 2nd base. There were some folks on Twitter that felt it was no big deal that Pujols not only blew off the press by not being at his locker to answer questions but hid in the back of the off limits section of clubhouse until they were gone.  As a baseball fan how could you not be insulted by Pujols action? This wasn’t some game in August against the Astros, this was Game 2 of the World Series. Of course Tony La Russa had Pujols back he always does right or wrong but someone in the Cardinals organization needs to let Sir Albert know he has a responsibility to speak to the media after a World Series game.  What they’re afraid of that he’ll sign elsewhere as a free agent?  Pujols is better off in St Louis or another small market as he would never survive in NY, Boston, Chicago or LA

I hope the Jose Reyes saga plays out fast instead of the slow festering ache I believe it will. I have come to grips with the fact that Jose Reyes will be an former Met in 2012. Just read this post from Howard Megdal who knows exactly how the organization is ready to play out the Reyes Passion Play. Oh by the way, Reyes, no Reyes I will still but tickets to Mets games in 2012 and hopefully beyond that, and please when Reyes signs with the Nationals or Angels or Red Sox please don’t compare this to Tom Seaver getting traded to the Reds, that is too fucking ignorant for me to comment.

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TUESDAY METS MINUTIA

BRING BACK BANNER DAY!!!!!!!!

Even with a day off yesterday, there is still no shortage of negative Mets stories in the daily fish wraps.

The NY Times just discovered that no one is buying Mets tickets and the fans that are, are going through the secondary ticket market at huge discounts instead of buying directly from the team. I guess the next investigative report will be that the LIRR and Metro North rarely run on time. Duh!

I really hope the team is not rushing Jason Bay back into action as that oblique rib thingy he has could be tricky. The plan was to have J-Bay play in Buffalo but with the snow (yes, SNOW) and cold, the brain trust felt it’s better to go back to St. Lonesome for two more games. What I don’t get is, why fly him up from Florida, evaluate him to the point where he is just about ready to play but fly him back down to Florida for two days and then fly back to NYC to play on Thursday. Unless Bay is getting those frequent flyer miles, I can’t see him be too happy with the back and forth back and forth plane rides. If the doctors feel Bay is A-OK  and it’s just a matter for getting at bats and rounding into baseball shape, why not just leave him here and take batting practice on the field and then in the cage and shag fly balls all in the vast valley of Citi Field? Two games in St Lonesome is going to make that much difference?      

Out of ideas, Bill Madden decides to write about the Mets farm system, saved for a couple of pitchers, is barren of talent. Either Madden thinks the Minor League system consists of only Buffalo and Binghamton or he failed to renew his subscription to Baseball America.

So far Brad Emaus has been playing like, well……a Rule V player, but I side here with Eric Seidman about leaving Emaus in the lineup for at least 300 PA and if he still is as stagnant at bat and in the field then give him a seat cushion and a spot on the bench handing out bubble gum and sunflower seeds.  Not every Rule V pans out but after 42 PA I’m not ready to pull the plug either.

There are certain things that separate the Mets for other sports team in this town.  Even when the team was bad back in the day a day at Shea was always fun. Jane Jarvis and her Thomas Organ always entertained unlike the moronic shell game/ 3 card Monty ball under the Mets cap video between innings or pass the pizza box to win a pizza that contains no mozzarella (Cassarino’s is the absolute worst concession at Citi Field a slice of pizza the size of a” horses doovers” with no cheese for $6 bucks? Fuck that!) but the one event that was pure Mets was banner day and over at Faith and Fear in Flushing Greg Prince makes the point that a return to banner day  in 2012 as an old fashion double header should be brought back. I am on board with this 1,000 %. Back in the day a bed sheet s with rally cries for the Mets used to hang in the upper deck just about every home game. Those that weren’t hanging we’re paraded through the field level with regularity. When it came to imagination and humorous prose on a bed sheet, no one matched the Mets fans. It wasn’t just at the ballpark either.

When the Mets went to their first post season in 1969, I took a white bed sheet and with a can of blue and a can of orange spray paint went into the alley way of the apartment building we lived in and sprayed in alternate blue and orange LET’S GO METS KRANEPOOL  7 SEAVER 41. I left it to dry and then brought it upstairs and hung it across our fire escape. Mine was just one of the hundreds of banners draped on fire escapes in Boro Park Brooklyn. It was truly an AMAZIN’ sight.

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METS PITCHING STAFF, ADD 2 SUBTRACT 1

The Mets announced this evening that they have signed LHP Chris Capuano and RHP Taylor Buchholz to 1 year contracts, and to make room on the 40 man roster they have released P Ryota Igarashi.

Cutting Igarashi is a surprised but adding Capuano and Buchholz, who both battle arm problems (Capuano is a two-time Tommy John surgery patient)  both fall under the low risk/high reward mantle.

Capuano will most likely compete for the 4/5 spot in the rotation. If (and it’s a big if) Capuano is of sound shoulder and body, he could be this years version of R.A. Dickey. Capuano did show some increase in velocity last season when he joined the Brewers after rehab assignment but he is not a power pitcher. His best pitch is his change and he incorporates a cutter as well.  When he’s on his game, Capuano will induce more ground balls than fly balls.

Buchholz is also a Tommy John-er with his surgery coming in 2009. Buchholz is a fly ball pitcher which fits very nicely in Citi Field.

So with the new year under way two low cost gambles by Sandy Alderson have arrived. I like the Capuano signing alot. Of course everything with Cap hinges on his arm being sound and if it is ,this move could pay off handsomely for Alderson. As for Buchholz, I’ll wait and see .

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METS BECOME BAY CITY ROLLERS

 

No one kills Mets management as much as I do, in fact I love calling out the clueless Jeffey Skill Sets and that shyster David Howard, but I’m kind of puzzled with the reaction of some Mets fans to the offers the club has made to Jason Bay and Bengi Molina.

 

Most of the criticism goes to the fact the Mets made just a $5 mil bump in monies to Bay. It’s a first offer, it’s a start, it now gets the negotiation going. The front office has concluded that Bay fits the club better than Matt Hoilday and I agree. The Mets even used (are you ready for this?) STATISTICAL  ANALYSIS to show how many fly balls Bay has hit last season would translate to $iti Field and it’s safe to say Bay would send many a souvenir baseball into the left field seats.

 

The big knock on Bay is his defense which I feel is a fallacy. The guy did have 15 outfield assists last year and his fielding number are better than league average plus with Carlos Beltran in CF I’m willing to bank on his ability to cover the ground that Bay can’t with the trade off of 30+HR and 100+ RBI.

 

So the Mets first offer is 4yr/$65mil. Bay’ counter off will be more years and of course more money. The thing to watch is who besides the Mets are in the running for Bay’s services. His former team the Red Sox are not known for giving out big deals to 30 year olds and have a track record of not getting personal with the help. Theo Epstein is all business. We’ve also seen that Bay is not giving the Sox a home team discount.

 

The Highlanders now with Curtis Granderson are not players for Bay. The Mariners? As bad as we feel the Mets are with dough they won’t be out spent by the M’s. The one team that could come in and make it interesting is the Angels.

 

It looks like the Mets want Bay and most likely will get him. For all the criticism of Omar he usually gets the guy he wants, it doesn’t always work out but count me as on board for Bay.

 

With all the jokes about the Mets cornering the market on backup catchers they still need a legit #1 backstop and if it takes 2yrs for Bengi Molina, then sign him. Sure he’s long in the tooth and as Joe Mc Donald said last night on our PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL show, you run the risk of Brian Schneider revisited but for 2yrs/$18 mil I’ll take a shot that Bengi is still on his game this year and is at worse a backup to Josh Thole in 2011. The one concern I have about Molina (and it’s not his speed on the bases ) is last year when the Giants brought up uber catching prospect Buster Posey to add some more pop in the G’ints flaccid offense, Bengi Baby didn’t ‘t respond well to having a pocket full of Posey, staring at him on the bench, so attitude is a bit of a red flag.

 

But like Casey Stengel said, You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.”

 

Mets Police has a great post where Detective Dan had an actual conversation with an employee in the Mets office. Dan sent back his season ticket invoice, not with a check but with a “no thank you” note. It looks like the Mets are getting a lot of these no thanks notes from season ticket subscribers so they are now burning the phone lines to ask why and boy oh boy, did Dan tell them why.

 

Maybe, just maybe, there has been a revelation in management that the Mets fans are not mad anymore, but worse, they are apathetic. At least with hate there is still passion. Remember it’s a thin line between love and hate but once apathy sets in you’re fucked.

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ROUGH ON THE EYES BUT A WIN NONE THE LESS

Busy day as I’m having my wood floors refinished and I’ve moved so much furniture that I’m changing my name to Mayflower, plus I have to put together a practice plan for my team as it finally stopped raining but I’m sure the dirt infield at the park we practice at is full of puddles so it will be 90 minutes of “Fundi Drills” this afternoon.

As for last night a win is a win but that was a Susan Boyle win, dog-ass ugly.

I know Livan threw only 75 pitches but J-Man did the right thing going with Bobby Parnell in the 7th. For all the angst this team has given us the first month of the season the Parnell, Putz, Rodriguez back end of the pen has made every game with a 6 inning lead tilt in the Mets favor. I don’t think that’s it’s to much to ask for the starters not named Santana to give the Mets a quality start each time the take the mound.

I have to disagree with Mex about Castillo showing emotion on the field after making an error in the 8th inning haven’t we Met fans been clamoring for someone other than us to get pissed off?

I think I need Carlos Delgado to come to my practice today so I can yell out to him “TWO HANDS, ALL-STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

With all the hand wringing over Daniel Murphy’s defense has anyone noticed he is hitting .313/.379/.470. Plus the kid gets to the ball park 6 hours before game time taking fly balls and now he is also taking ground balls at first base so it’s about time we pat him on the back instead of jumping on it.

Only a matter of time before Gary Sheffield takes over as the regular right fielder.

Maybe J-Man is a master of motivation since the embarrassing pinch hitting episode in Miami Shrek has been on a tear. Maybe the flame has finally hit his ass.

The Oliver Perez situation is looking more sticky by the day. On one hand Omar Minaya looks gutless by having Scott Bora$ dictate how to him how to run his team and on the other, Ollie is such a fucking head case that maybe he is better off in the bullpen so Santana and the Carlos’s can be his caretakers not to mention he is fond of Old School Dan Werthen. If OP comes into a game a starts walking the ball park or gets shelled then it will be time for Omar to man up and take back his team from Agent Bora$ and do what’s best for the Mets and not OP.

Think I’ll wear my BELTRAN 15 jersey to practice today.

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DARLINING YOU GOT TO LET ME KNOW, SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

I love nothing better than going to a sporting event. I don’t just go to games; I always keep score at baseball games. I love to keep track of line changes at hockey games. I keep track of the time and score at basketball games when the starters come out and the bench guys come in.

 

When I go to any sporting event I get there hours before the start as I love watching warm ups. There is nothing better than watching batting practice. My family can’t understand this how I can sit in ballpark and watch guys hit a baseball and field fly balls. There are still the few die hards that line up at ball parks and arenas like me for the gates to open but I think these days it’s becoming a lost art.

 

My wife was stunned this past winter when I turned down tickets to see the New York Football Giants play the Iggles at the Medowlands. I turned it down because I weighed the pros and cons and the cons won. The pros were a day with friends, watching my favorite football team in person, getting a better idea of various formations on offense and defense and having a general good time. The cons, it’s cold, too much down time with game stoppage and TV timeouts, and sitting in insufferable traffic. Then when you add in at home you have your own HDTV, no lines for the bathroom, attendants (children) and a big comfy chair when you think about it you have be nuts to go to the game.

 

I bring this up because I saw to day that STUBHUB has a ton of tickets on it’s site for the exhibition games this weekend between the Mets and Red Sox. The strange thing is these games SOLD OUT in 45 minutes or so we were told. It looks like the bulk of the tickets went to the secondary market, you know the new business that used to be called scalpers.

 

It will be a trend to watch this season with both the Mets and Highlanders to see if fans after their first trip to the new ballparks get that “been there, done that feeling” and pass up paying big money to go to a game to spend big money.

 

When you think about it for what you pay for tickets to a game plus food, souviners and other incidentals (it’s always those damn incidentals that will get you) and gas and tolls is it worth it? With the state of the economy, if you are fortunate enough to have discretionary funds put aside do you spend it on a day at the old ball game or a weekend at the shore?        

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Tickets

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