David Wright Wants Answers About Mets Direction

 

Man, this seems like a hundred years ago……………

David Wright is not only the leader of the 25 man Mets roster; he is also the leader of the Mets fan base. In a story in today’s NY Post, Wright essentially told the Skill Sets “get your shit together before I decide to book”

Wright is not concerned about the monetary aspect of a new contract, and why should he? Wright on the open market is a minimum 5 yr/$110 mil baseball player and there would be teams lining up for his services like the Orioles, Dodgers or even (GULP!) the Phillies.  

Wright still has that quote from Freddy Skill Sets New Yorker piece burned in his brain about being a “good player not a superstar”  and Wright as always, took the high road and did a good job of defusing what could have been a real shit storm for the Mets. But that’s the way Wright goes about his business. But make no mistake that quote hurt Wright a lot as it should. Here is a guy who goes to every charity function the team has requested for him to attended, then plays with a broken bone in his back, is the first guy to show up at St. Lonesome every February and the last to leave and then has to answer question upon question after every one of the Mets 162 games only to have the owner say “eh, he’s a good kid” Disgraceful.

Now for the Freddy Skill Sets the rooster has come home to roost. Wright knows you need him much more than he needs you so it will come down showing Wright what we Mets fans have been asking for the last few seasons, what’s your game plan Freddy?

The Skill Sets hate to show their hand and with Freddy yelling out the other day at Citi Field “Ask Sandy” when quires about which way the wind was blowing organizationally, he is already passing the buck (no pun intended) to Alderson who will have to show Wright what the plan is to get the Mets back into contention and how long before the plan pays off.

Wright is just like me and you he wants to know where are the Mets headed and is it worth the time and effort to see it through.

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I’m SHOCKED That Mets Are SHOCKED That Jason Bay Is Still A Met

 

There is a growing segment of the Mets fan base that have quite the thick craniums, they have a problem of figuring out fact from fiction and if they are not directly told the facts about something they have a tough time comprehending events that go on in the Mets front office.

Terry Collins is Jason Bay’s Kevlar vest; question after question to Collins at his press conferences deal with answering questions about Bay and the bullpen but now Bay is the beat the dead horse subject of the week. Collins has tried and tried to resuscitate Bay’s offensive game even though it flat lined a long time ago. From where I sit, I can see the baseball ops folks telling Collins it’s time to cut bait on Bay but Collins asked for more time with the front office saying Bay has the end of the road trip to show a pulse or he’s done.

Back from a 6-5 trip Collins was met at the door by Sandy Alderson with his hand up saying here is how we will deal with Jason Bay, he will now play against left handed pitching only. No discussion.  Now fast forward to the afternoon and the quote by Alderson pertaining to Bay:

“Certainly, there are times when it is appropriate to eat a contract; there are other times when it is not. Jason Bay is not going anywhere, nor is his contract.”  

Does that mean you will see Jason Bay in LF for the Mets in 2013?  Of course not. As Alderson stated there are times to eat a contract when it’s appropriate, on August 8th it’s not the time to chow down on dead presidents. Why would you? The plan going forward is to platoon Bay with Jordany Valdespin in left and I’d guess Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston will spilt the time on right, which is the best game plan available right now.

If you are a Mets fan who wants Jason Bay out of town, you had better root hard that he shows some ability to produce some offense against left handed pitching so it makes him a more attractive trade chip.

So today Alderson explains that Bay is still a Met and will be a Met for the rest of the season, he will try hard to deal Bay to save some Skill Sets cash but please don’t tell me you are that naive to think that plan C, buying out Bay’s contract has not been discussed. You don’t believe the GM should tell you today “yeah Bay looks done as Sunday dinner and no one is ringing my phone to obtain him. Can you blame them? Yup we are up the creek without a paddle”

Do not be shocked and dismayed if Bay reports to St. Lonesome in February if he’s not dealt its part of the plan but I would bet Jason Bay won’t be on the opening day roster in 2013.

 

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METS HAVE A SPRING IN THEIR STEP, BUT WILL IT BE THERE IN JULY?

Today pitchers and catchers will report to St. Lonseome and by Wednesday the Mets position players will start arriving as well and training camp 2012 will get under way. So what am I looking for this spring from our beloved Mets? I’m glad you asked:

Ownership

Please Freddy, Uncle Saul and Jeffey I’m begging you guys, please stay away from camp. Can we please take the focus off your upcoming court case and your financial problems and let this camp be about baseball, baseball and more baseball. Can you give your manager, coaches and players a chance to get ready for this season and to prove the naysayers wrong about how non-competitive this club will be? Your team is in good hands with Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and their staffs, so stay up here in New York and work with your attorneys to get your game plan ready for the March 19th trail. I’m sure Sandy Koufax will understand.

Manager

Got to love the work ethic of Terry Collins and the transformation he has made as a big league manager. Collins has been in camp with Johan Santana, working with the Ace and forming a bond with him like he did with Carlos Beltran.  Just as TC earned the trust and respect of Beltran, he is working towards having the same relationship with Santana. There is more to managing a team than knowing when to double switch and Collins has realized that and has  proven he is the right man to manage the Mets.

Ike Davis asked the question last week, “why does everyone think  we’re going to suck” and this is the rallying cry the manager needs to use to his and the teams advantage. When he addresses the team he should make it known that the majority of media and fans do think the Mets suck and the only ones who believe the team is any good, are the guys right he in this clubhouse. If each and every player on this team doesn’t have the back of their teammates, they’ll fail as no one else will stick up for them.   

With a year on the job, Collins knows who needs motivation and who is self-motivated and that’s a big plus. TC as well, has to push fundamentals this spring to the point that the players get angry. He needs to push the point that it’s not always the most talented team that wins but the most prepared team that is always right there. If the Mets continue with their poor execution on the field, it will be a long season.

Starting Pitching

The only starting pitcher I have any confidence in right now is R.A. Dickey. Everyone else has a ton of questions by their name. So many if’s with this group and the biggest problem is there isn’t much competition in camp for jobs in the rotation.  Sure Chris Schwinden or Miguel Batista could swipe the 5th spot from Dillon Gee or Matt Harvey could just blow everyone away this spring to force his way into the rotation but that’s a long shot.

As far as Santana is concerned try to put his starting the season on the big league roster out of your mind. Even if he pitches well this spring there a couple of things that will hasten his return early in the season, The cold weather is one, especially the dumb move by MLB to pay April games in the East at night, and the other is the limited innings/pitch count that Santana will be under. No way Santana, even if he shows he’s ready to come back, pitches more than 80-85 pitches or 5 innings, those pitching restriction will put a lot of pressure on the Mets bullpen early in the season and with the unknown of the rest of this staff besides Dickey, the Mets and Terry Collins can’t risk burning the bullpen by Memorial Day. Best case scenario is Santana stays in extended spring training and makes a few minor league starts for St. Lucie and makes back to the big leagues by end of May early June and that’s being real optimistic.    

As much as Mets fans are hanging on every Santana bullpen session the guys we really need to watch are Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese as it will be the performance of these two pitchers that will determine if this a season of surprise or of transition.  For Pelfrey if he can’t be effective it will get very ugly for him this season with the fan base and with the front office. As for Niese, it’s time to put the big boy baseball pants on a prove that he has the makeup, conditioning and ability to be a  solid major league pitcher. Niese doesn’t have to be an Ace but he has to show some stamina and guile to get to the 6th and 7th innings of starts.

Bullpen

It’s been revamped and the back end (Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch) is a huge improvement over last year’s relievers, but if Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell or D.J. Carrasco (or someone playing the role of Carrasco) starts making frequent appearances, it will be a long season. The effectiveness of the Mets bullpen will depend on the Mets starting pitchers who again (I know I’m belaboring this point) have to step up.

Defense

Last season the Mets were one of the worst defensive teams in baseball, so for 2012 there is no place else to go but up hopefully. All the talk about David Wright has been about his regaining his offensive punch which missed the real story with Wright and that’s the steady decline of his defense. I know the defensive metrics are not the be all end all but according to Bill James Online and their defensive plus/minus rankings Wright has been an atrocious third baseman the last three seasons :

2009 -11

2010 -10

2011 -5

 

Not only has Wright cost the Mets runs at 3rd base but he has had trouble with balls hit to his right and his throws have been less than accurate to first base, again defensive metrics have their flaws but so does Wright at the hot corner.

The catching situation stinks as well. Josh Thole still has not mastered the art of catching especially blocking balls in the dirt and getting better footwork in attempting to throw out would be base stealers. Word is new bench coach Bob Geren will be working all spring with Thole on these aspects of catching. Mike Nickeas will be the Sunday (and presumably R.A. Dickeys personal backstop) catcher and should bat 9th in the order when he does play. Catching in the Mets organization is a disaster that Sandy Alderson is not only aware of put has tried hard to rectify, that was one of the reasons Jon Niese’ name was mentioned in trade talks this off season as the Mets were hoping a team with a solid young catching prospect (like the Blue Jays and their prize catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud) would take the bait

The middle infield will be securitized a lot this season as Ruben Tejada takes over the everyday shortstop job and Daniel Murphy will try again to master the second sack. Tejada should be stellar at short as he has very good baseball instincts and makes plays he should make. The question will be, as it seems to be every spring for the last three years, will Daniel Murphy play at least a respectable 2nd base. As long as he makes the routine play and is somewhat capable of turning the pivot at 2nd without getting maimed, his season will be a success.

Ike Davis is solid at 1st base, so no worries there.

The outfield should be markedly better with Andres Torres playing center field and a bit underrated Jason Bay in left. The question is will Lucas Duda play a serviceable right field.  I’m trying very hard not to over use the word serviceable when talking about the Mets defenders but that’s how bad this team’s defense is when serviceable play would be an upgrade at 3rd base, 2nd base, right field and catcher.

Breakout star of the spring

I would love to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis have such a fabulous spring that he forces management hand to bring him North.  Many scouting reports have Capt Kirk as a corner outfielder but I’m sure once or twice a week you could play him in centerfield. If Jason Bay continues to be awful against right handed pitching, the lefty swinging Nieuwenhuis would make a great platoon partner for Bay.

Of course the new BIG 3 of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia will be watched closely and who knows, if Harvey pitches lights out, he could take the 5th spot in the rotation from Dillion Gee but he’d have to be spectacular in order for the Mets to force the issue early in the season. Wheeler will not be in the big league camp by the way but over at the kids table for minor leaguers but as we’ve seen in years past sometimes the minor leaguers get a invite to join the big boys especially when there are spilt squad games so keep an eye out for that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY IT’S CHRIS SCHWINDEN’S PITCHING DAY

I hope it will stop raining today for a couple of reason, I’d like to harvest the robust crop that has blossomed in the rice paddy that used to be my back yard lawn and I want to see Chris Schwinden pitch in game 1 of today’s Mets-Braves double header.

Schwinden is another of these out of nowhere Mets stories that have been making the team interesting to watch. Schwinden, drafted in 2008, has never been considered a prospect by those who follow and report on the Mets minor leaguers. Even though Schwinden has been a pitcher who throws strikes and rarely walks a batter, although this season with the Bison, his walks are up more than they have in his three year Minor League career (3 per 9IP from 2 per 9IP) but his hits to innings pitched was less for the first time in his career.

Schwinden has been compared closely to Dillion Gee as both have a pretty good grasp on how to pitch by staying ahead in counts and moving their pitches to different areas of the strike zone. Neither has a real out pitch but again Schwinden like Gee, seems to have a good head on his shoulder and a game plan going into each start.

Again it’s a great move by the front office promoting Schwinden and rewarding his outstanding season in Buffalo with a major league start. Knock ‘en dead Chris!      

 

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“I GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE, AND NOW YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT IT”

Good morning you ship jumping rat bastards. I wish you’d make up your minds, are you Mets fans or just a bunch of whinny bitches? I nearly lost my mind following some Mets fans on Twitter during the game last night (I got to stop Tweeting and watching the Mets and just concentrate on the watching the game and taking notes like I did way back  in the dial up pre iPhone internet days) I understand Mike Pelfrey was horrible last night but some of you took your venom to Big Pelf like you were auditioning for a job as beat writer at the NY Daily Lupica. Get a hold of yourself for Christ sake.

Pelf morphed back into his spaceman mode last night and it will be up to him, Old School Warthen, and neophyte receiver Josh Thole to get the Big Pelf locomotive back on track. I would think that the troika I just mentioned went over their pitching game plan for last night before the game. What was most puzzling for me was the fact that young Thole was dictating to Pelfrey what to throw. We all know that Pelf’s bread and butter is the splitter that induces a plethora of ground balls when he’s right. When he adds his two seam fastball and is effective with that pitch then you get vintage Big Pelf. Sure he’s big and strong but he’s not a strikeout pitcher. He doesn’t have an overpowering pitch to get that key K, in fact the guy Pelfrey should be attached to the hip with is Chris Young.

Back to my puzzlement on the short circuited battery. Pelf has taken it on his shoulders to let it be known that even though Thole was calling for him to throw his third and fourth pitches in his arsenal (curve and slider) he could have shaken him off until he saw the finger he liked the best. In a way it’s refreshing that Old School and Terry Collins let Thole call the pitchers instead of having them called for him by Warthen but perhaps with the lack of a veteran catcher (please don’t even mention Nickeas) on the roster, Old School should institute pitch selection from the bench in Big Pelfs next start or let Thole know next time he catches Pelfrey and calls for curves an sliders, there will be a plane ticket to Buffalo waiting for him in at his locker.

Another thing that should not be overlooked in this recent Pelfrey meltdown is the death of Harvey Dorfman, the sports psychologists and the shoulder that Pelfrey has cried on in recent years. With Dorfman gone all Pelfrey has left is the advice Drofman has given him through their late night conversations and a copy of Dorfman’s The Mental ABC’s of Pitching. Hopefully the lessons and the book and whatever magic Old School has in that tool box of his will right Big Pelf.

All this drivel written this morning in the fishwraps about trading Pelfrey is just another example of Mets bashing and lazy ass journalism that has permeated the NYC main stream media. Why write a column that looks into what is causing Pelfrey’s problems and see what is being done to correct them when you can just write that Pelfrey sucks and should be traded just to embrace yourself with the lunatic fringe of Mets fans. You know what you folks in the MSM are right; leave the heavy lifting to bloggers.

By the way here was my tweet when it was 7-0 Phillies and Mets fan tweeters were jumping ship. I then tweeted that the Mets would comeback. I then went after Evan Roberts of WFAN again as he proclaimed we would be ripping Mike Pelfrey on his show.

Now that I’ve cleared the air, will all of you GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN!

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WE WILL BE THE MOST WELL FED FANS IN BASEBALL

We can’t predict exactly how the Mets will fare in the field this season (I really, really want to go to a parade in October) but one thing is for sure, we lemmings of $iti Field will be well fed, in fact they may need to open a CRUNCH Gym in the Iron Triangle.

 

After reading Lawrence Weibman’s NYC Food Guy blog and his $iti Field food preview I have to say those roomier seats will not be a luxury but a necessity.

 

Just looking at the wonderful pictured that Lawrence posted had me drooling especially the Grandma Pie, I love Grandma pizza which is a Sicilian pie made thin with fresh mozzarella (pronounced mutz-a-rell ) tomato sauce and basil.

 

I’m glad that Mama’s of Corona still has a presence at $iti and on my first game to $iti my biggest decision will be to have either the Turkey with mozzarella on a semolina roll or hit the Shake Shack for a burger. There was a time where I’d hit eat both then grab a pizza wash it down with about 6 Bud’s and stop at the Lemon Ice King on the way home. Those days are looooooooooooooooooooooong gong. In fact after going to $tit I may not eat for a week so as not to spoil my boyish figure.

 

Check out Lawrence site for all the food options at $iti Field as he gives us Mets fans a great gastric game plan.       

 

 

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“ANSWER THE QUESTION MR. MINAYA”

So last night Omar Minaya was a guest on SNY’s Hot Stove show and of course one of the big questions was about Manny Ramirez (is it me or are the Skill Sets the only folks in Metsdom who against Manny as a Met?) but Omar never answered the question in fact all he needed was fruit basket on his head because he did a great Carmen Miranda imitation:

From Matt Cerrone’s Mets Blog:

Asked specifically about Manny Ramirez, and whether he has recommended signing him to ownership, Minaya said:

{“Manny Ramirez is a great player… But, the reality is, we have been focused on pitching… If you don’t have the foundation with starting pitching, I just don’t believe you win championships… So, we have to address our starting pitching and our bullpen first… Like anything else, you put your team together, like all GMs, you have a game plan, but the bottom line is you have to focus on pitching.”}

Huh? Omar? Manny? The question was about acquiring Manny Ramirez? Yes we need pitching no doubt but a right handed hitting outfielder should on your shopping list as well. Omar seems to be ready to become a City Councilman. 

 

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