The Spring of The Mets Fans Discontent

This has got to be the most ho-hum spring training I’ve experienced as a Mets fan in a long long time.  I guess with the exception of Matt Harvey and to an extent Collin Cowgill have made me sit up and take notice. It seems as if jobs are being given to players not on merit but because they are best of a mediocre at best lot. In fact let’s look at who’s who on this team that should head North in 9 days:

Ike Davis-Will this be the Summer of Ike? Is this THE breakout season we’ve been waiting for from the talented first baseman? Can he give us that 30 HR 100 RBI season we’ve dreamed of? I sure hope so.

Daniel Murphy-hard not to root for Murph. He gives you an honest effort every time out and while he’s not a home run hitter his 40 doubles is a-ok. Since Murph is not a home run hitter he needs to get on base more so his walk total needs to improve. Love to see him get that OBA back up to the .360 or better. Since he turns 28 (and on the DL) on opening day this is the season Murphy needs to make his mark to stay a Met .

Ruben Tejada-This may be one of those “it’s not you it’s me” situations when it comes to Tejada as he doesn’t stoke my excitement when I watch him play. He can’t lead off since he doesn’t get on base enough and his defense is acceptable. I hope he gains a little toughness this season and learns the difference between being hurt and being injured. I can’t wait for the Gavin Cecchini Era.

David Wright-So the organization decided to name David Wright Captain. This is the equivalent of turning on a facet and seeing water come out. Wright has gone above and beyond for this organization from the first day he arrived in Flushing.  The one player on the roster that Mets have no worries that he will produce.

Justin Turner-Like Billy Martin was Casey Stengel’s boy, Turner is Terry Collins boy

Jordany Vladespin-I never thought there was a question about JV1 making the big league team. Now that he has a lock on a roster spot he needs to grow up this year. If you’re going to be a pain in the ass you better be a productive pain in the ass. I think Valdespin will finally realize he needs to man up and will have a solid season as an outfielder/infield fill in.

Brian Bixler-I think he makes the team because of Murphy hitting the DL to start the season. He could make a case to say if he can be a productive right handed bat off the bench

Omar Quintanilia-solid infielder also makes it North  to back up Tejada.

Lucas Duda-Please, please, please let this offensive surge that Duda has had of late carry over into the season. I don’t think it’s an over statement when I say a breakout season at the plate from Duda is the difference from another play out the string season  and being the most interesting Mets season in five years.

Colin Cowgill-Cowgill has done what guys like Cowgill need to do, impress the brass with solid hitting fielding and balls to the wall hustle. He’s not only done that but it looks like he’s won the right handed hitting spot of the center field job (JV1 or MDD the left handed hitting spot) and looks like he will be a Citi Field fav.

Matt Den Dekker/Mike Baxter-Already a first class defender, question is will his bat be potent enough to keep him in the line up? Kirk Nieuwenhuis injury open the door for MDD that and the dearth of outfield completion in this spring camp as well. Baxter has had a dreadful spring it will interest to see if he stays and MDD goes to LV which is a distinct possibility since MDD has options and Baxter doesn’t.

John Buck-number one catcher for now as Buck holds the spot for Travis d’Arnaud. Buck seems to have meshed well with the pitching staff this spring and he does hit home runs and is an obvious upgrade over the woeful backstops of last year.  Once d’Arnaud  comes up to the team he and Buck will form a catching tandem that will be one of the Mets strengths after years of being a major liability.

Anthony Recker-I’ve got nothing

 

Jon Niese-Congratualtion on the opening day start. As good as Niese is this will probably be the first and last OD start of his Mets career.  That’s not a knock on Niese it just shows that the Mets will have 3 top flight pitchers leading them to years to come with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Niese gets the nod as Johan Santana will start the season on the DL and I’ve already placed Santana in my mind as a former Met.

Matt Harvey-Harvey’ starts will be must see events. Looks like the total package a physical specimen and tough as nails mentality. Could there be a wine vineyard in his future?

Dillon Gee-good solid 3-4 starter who looks to be recovered for blood clot in his arm he suffered from last year. Gee if 100% should give the Mets hopefully he stays sound, them 190+ innings pitched

Jeremy Hefner-good guy to root for as he’s one of these bang around the bushes type that realizes how lucky he is to make a big league start.  Just needs to be serviceable to be an asset.

Shaun Marcum-what can we expect from Marcum? He’s got a sore shoulder which he claims is not a big deal, nothing a little cortisone can’t cure.  Let’s hope the Mets get 2011 Shaun Marcum and not 2012’s version.

Bobby Parnell-Meet the new closer. With Frank Francisco on the DL Parnell gets another shot of closing out games for the Mets. I hope he succeeds and I hope he has found that sumthin’ sumthin” that all successful closers have.

Brandon Lyon-solid pick up for the Mets as Lyon has closed and should be perfect set-up man for Parnell.  No secret the bullpen was the major reason for the awful season the Mets had last year. Last year’s pen was right at the bottom of every stat there was for pitching and who knows, if they were a middle of the road pen maybe Mets fans wouldn’t have the miserable attitude they have towards this team.

Scott Atchinson-As Collin Cowgill will be the position player fan favorite, Atchinson could be the pitching fan favorite. When was the last time the Mets fan embraced a reliever? Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell???? If Atchinson can duplicate his 80 % stranded base runner rate this season, this team could have a better result than we all expect.

Josh Edgin-needs to get batters to chase that slider out of the strike zone and get that LOB% to at least 75% to become more than a LOOGY

Robert Carson/Pedro Feliciano –one of them is making this team as Terry Collins has stated he will go with two lefties in the pen. Feliciano hasn’t pitched in year and Mets have to make decision to either keep him or pay him $100K to take a trip to Vegas, which could be the move allowing Carson to make it North as the LOOGY.

LaTroy Hawkins-here for veteran leadership and direction to his pen mates

Greg Burke-got to love a guy who pitches from the land down under.

There is more pessimism with this Mets team for the coming season than I’ve seen in a long time. The 2013 Mets are far, far from being one of the worst I’ve ever seen; the Joe Torre years of the late 70’s still give me night sweats.  Those teams were not just a disaster but the whole organization was in a downward spiral. Sure The Skill Sets money woes are still prevalent but at least there is some serious talent on the horizon.

Two things will make this season better than you and I think it will be. The bullpen has to become a strength and the corners have to produce some power. If that happens this summer will be much better that we all think it’ll be. YA GOTTA BELIEVE! I guess.

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Press Conference with Mets Minor Leaguers Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki (Audio)

 

This audio clip is from the press conference last Friday at Citi Field for Mets top draft picks Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawkecki

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Another Great Mets Bloggers Night at Citi Field

Yes that’s Cleon Jones sharing some pizza and great stories from back in the day with Mets Bloggers. Thanks to Shannon Forde and Danielle Parillo for the picture and the great hospitality they shows us last night at Citi Field, The pizza by the way is called the Cleon (patra) Jones from Two Boots it was delicious 

I had a great day/night out a Citi Field last night which the Mets held another of the Mets blogger nights and it was a busy one for sure. I have some audio I’ll be downloading in a few days and I’ll have more to post as well as I’m pressed for time this weekend between baseball games today and tomorrow and Monday and some family stuff to do tonight and of course tomorrow and add in I’ll be at the 92nd Street Y for the announcing of the All Time Mets team to coincide with the 50th Anniversary season.

I’ll just add a few things that I’ll have more to talk about as the week goes on.

I had the pleasure to chat with Sandy Alderson during batting practice and to observe the teams two top draft picks, SS Gavin Cecchini and C Kevin Plawecki . Alderson is very happy that both players were available to the Mets at their turn especially Cecchini who the GM was their #1 target as the not only love his on field ability but he has as the GM put it “off the charts makeup”

I spoke to Plawecki’ parents at the press conference and told them I was excited that their son would play for the Brooklyn Cyclones. I also told his mom and dad, who are staying in town to watch his debut on Monday in Brooklyn, to have Kevin take then to Gargulio’s for dinner and spend some of that bonus money.

If you would have told me back in 1969 when I was an 11 year old watching Cleon Jones catch Davey Johnson’s fly ball for the final out of the World Series that sealed the Mets as World Champions that 43 years later I’d be hangin’ with Cleon and eating pizza at Mets game with him I’d have thought you were on strong narcotics. Well, there we were me, Cleon Jones and Two Boots pizza. WOW!!! Or as Greg Prince said to me “that’s Cleon Freakin’ Jones “

If you were at the game last night and you booed Jason Bay as he came off the field with what we now know is a concussion, you need to stop calling yourself a Mets and you need to take stock of what a low class asshole you are. Bay has been a major disappointment since he signed with the Mets and I understand the frustration fans have as he is the last remnant of the old regime that ran the baseball ops but to boo a guy who gave his body to make a play and a guy who gives 100 % and goes head first into the wall with his history of concussions, is totally classless and you should be ashamed of booing him but then you knuckle draggers have no shame.

I didn’t stay for the Reo Speedwagon concert and if it were 30 years ago I still wouldn’t have stayed for the concert .

 

I am still with 28 (#ImWith28) but I have to say, Daniel Murphy needs a couple of days off. Terry Collins would like to have him stay out of the batting cage as well but that goes against Murph’s work ethic. Collins made mention on how Murph is non-stop at working on his stance and hitting in the cage and viewing video and as much as TC and Dave Hudgens tell him to take it easy a bit that just makes him work even harder. With Justin Turner back from the DL you could see Turner and Jordany Vladespin  give Murph a needed break from 2nd base for a couple of games.

 

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Welcome Back Chris Young, The Entry Draft, Ike’s Woe’s and My Meeting Big Mets Fan,Jon Stewart

Is it too early to say that this 3 game set in D.C. is a big series for the Mets?  With our hero’s a mere half game out of the top spot of the NL East and coming off an exciting and eventful winning series against the defending World Champion Cardinals I’d say this series with the Nats is pretty, pretty, pretty big deal. Not a, be all end all for sure but nice test for our boys.

Chris Young will make his 2012 debut tonight after spending over a year on the DL with shoulder surgery and he’ll have a Miguel Batista safety net as well as Batista will come off the DL after suffering a lower back injury. How much can the Mets expect at of both of these returning wounded pitchers?  What happens if Young is in the midst of a perfect game when he reaches his pitch count? No I haven’t been drinking.

The Mets drafted two players during last night’s Entry Draft. With their first pick the #12 overall, they chose   Gavin Cecchini a shortstop out of high school in Louisiana. In tweeting back and forth with Joe DeMayo of the St. Luice to Flushing site, I agree with him that the Mets must have a pre-draft deal set with Cecchini, which is an Alderson/DePo M.O. I’d bet the same is true with the pick they made at #35 in catcher Kevin Plawecki of Purdue. The club having a little over $7mil in their set budget for the first ten picks so my guess is if both Cecchini and Plawecki take a little less than the slot money at their draft position it gives the Mets a little bit of flexibility to draft a player who may drop due to signing constraints. Remember this is the first entry draft under the new CBA and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have running this show than Alderson and DePodesta.

If you are not following Tim Byrdak on Twitter you are missing out on one of the best shows on the internet.

Who doesn’t love Ike Davis? We all do. I want Ike to be that 20-25 HR 90-100 RBI Gold Glove first base man who plays here his whole career and gets induction into the Mets Hall of Fame if not Cooperstown but with many of the injured position players coming back from the DL and his “can’t find my way at the plate approach” Ike is giving Sandy Alderson no choice but to send him to Buffalo.  

The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is a big, big Mets fan. I’m pretty sure I’ve told this story before about how I met Stewart at The Bronx Zoo during the Christmas holiday week a few years ago when both our kids were riding the carousel. I had on a Mets jacket and Mets cap and had no idea Stewart was next to me until he said he liked my jacket. When I realized it Jon Stewart to say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  This was during the Art Howe era so rooting for the Mets was more of a secret order than a fandom. After our kids whizzed around the Merry Go Round about four times and had enough, Stewart and I shook hands and he said he’d check out this site. I hope he did and still does. Jon if you’re reading, drop me a line.

Oh and by the way I’m ecstatic that Bill Maher has bought into a minority share of the Mets, because I’m a big fan of his and because I know it pisses many of you off that Maher is now a part owner.  I do understand your anger though, I’d be pissed of O’Reily or Hannity bought into the Mets.

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