HEY METS FANS, WE’VE GOT OUR SUMMER BASEBALL BACK!

 

ITEM: Mets Win and Hit 2 GRAND SLAMS!!!!

I’ll tell you what? I really like this team. Sure that’s easy to say after a though ass kicking of the Detroit Tigers but I’ve had this feeling for a month or so now. First off everything Terry Collins said in the winter about the team playing hard and leaving everything they have on field has become  fact and if he sees any slacking off he addresses it as he did in Pittsburgh about a month ago. Last night, Justin Turner made a nonchalant throw to Lucas Duda at first on a routine ground ball that Miguel Cabrera hit an dogged it down  the first base line ( I bet if there was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the bag he’s have busted his ass) that pulled Duda off the bag rendering Cabrera safe. You can be sure that in the giddiness of the winning clubhouse, Turner was pulled to the side by his manager and told to never take a play off  and you can bet Turner won’t do that again.

My biggest problem with the Mets on the field the last couple of years was that players went through the motions and had a “who gives a shit” attitude, well that’s in the past. This team not only cares and competes; it believes that they are one of the better teams in baseball. The one thing they don’t seem to care about is the opinion of fans and media who love to harp on the negatives, another good reason to be proud of this team.

Last night Mike Silva was my guest on This Call To The Bullpen Podcast and I said to Mike that this team reminds me a bit like the 1994 NY Rangers for the fact that their team motto was “Heave-Ho” that they all pulled the rope the same way in the tug o’ war of the hockey season. Right now this team is all up on the rope and pulling it together, their 35-26 record since the awful 5-13 start proves it.

ITEM: R.A. Dickey Tells Media “Don’t Talk to Me”

Having had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing R.A. Dickey his comment last night after the Mets win doesn’t surprise me in the least:

“What you guys are doing here is a little bit ridiculous,” he said. “You guys need to be interviewing Bay and Reyes, make the night about them. If I’m even mentioned in an article, I’m going to boycott.”

When Dickey was asked during the winter about pitching to Josh Thole, he praised Thole to the heaven’s teling me “ Oh Josh, bless his soul works so darn hard and just gets better and better behind the plate every time out, I can’t wait to hook up with him this season”

That is not Dickey blowing smoke either as he is as straightforward a guy you’ll meet. He said last season the club wasn’t prepared for the second half of the season and stressed that it was as much the players fault as it was the managers. He also was candid in saying that you don’t have to be friends with all your teammates as everyone has different likes, dislikes and lifestyles but you have to have your teammates back and always support them. That is where Dickey excels as he spoke up for Jason Bay:

about Bay. “He is so steadfast in his pursuit to get better,” Dickey said. “The guy is a tireless worker. He never complains about a dadgum thing, so it’s nice to see him get a payoff for all the hard work.”

Robert Allan Dickey is a good man, teammate and a terrific pitcher.

ITEM: It’s Time To Give Nick Evans Another Shot At The Big Leagues

Nick Evans is hotter than 5th Avenue asphalt on an August afternoon. As the Buffalo Bison continue to swoon, Evans has found his hitting stoke and would make a wonderful compliment to Lucas Duda at first base. It’s time to send Jason Pridie upstate and bring back Nick Evans to Flushing. A productive right handed bat is a terrible thing to waste.

 

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AHHHHHHHHHHH BASEBALL

Observations from the first game of spring training and how nice it is to talk about on the field issues:

The best part of the game for me were the pitchers who worked yesterday. Collectively, the six pitchers used struck out 9 and walked 3. Of the three walks Jenry Meija walked 1 and Manny Acosta walked 2. In fact , Acosta  was the only pitcher used who had trouble throwing strikes (8/7 BB/K)

Meija  was not only effective with his breaking ball but he looked happy and relaxed.  It’s just one appearance and maybe it’s just my giddiness over seeing baseball for the first time this year but my fear that the past administration may have ruined Mejia has been somewhat relieved.

I had and still have no idea who John Lujan is.

Fernando  Martinez had a throwing error and ran into a railing in foul territory chasing a fly ball and looked like he banged his knee and was limping a bit. All I could think of is, will he ever make it in the big leagues and if in order to keep Pedro Beato or Brad Emaus in the organization is via trade then hopefully the Orioles or Blue Jays would take F-Mart. Then Martinez goes and cracks a two run home run to tie the game with the replay showing just a beautiful swing and I totally change my mind about him. This is what is so frustrating about F-Mart. I hope this kid stays healthy all year and gets 450-500 AB’s in Buffalo so we can finally find out if he’s  worth keeping or if he becomes a very valuable trading chip.

It’s spring training for the Mets announcers as well. It was wonderful to turn on the TV at 1PM yesterday and see Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez  and “SNY Celeb” Kevin Burkhardt but Cohen made the first faux pau of the season as he referred to Sandy Alderson as “Sandy Martinez” . Hernandez picked up where he left off last season with his marvelous comments, yesterday’s Mex-isim was calling  Braves catcher Brian McCann “portly.  Can’t wait until he gets a gander at Bartolo Colon.

Mets Twitterverse lit up when Willie Harris belted a 2 run HR to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th inning but the most impressive part of Harris day was when in the middle of being interviewed by Kevin Burkhardt , Harris just stopped as F-Mart hit his home run and started cheering and then went to congratulated him then he went back to the interview.

Nick Evans is not going down without a fight.

Scott Hairston is going to be a guy we talk about this season in a very positive way. Harriston is going to win a few game for the Mets this year. Hairston has pop in his bat and will be a very useful 4th outfielder.

I’ve been killing Evan Roberts of WFAN all week for his non-stop NJ Nets talk and going ga-ga over the Deron Williams deal (I would say the NJ Nets have the smallest fan base of any team in the NY metro area. The NY Red Bulls of the MLS have a bigger fan base than the Nets) but today I have to give him mad props for his interview with Sandy Alderson yesterday.

It was good to see Jason Bay get a base hit in his second and last at bat as he looked awful on his time up in the first inning. After the game he did say he felt rusty but he feels great.

Let’s hope like last year with the Dickey jokes that Mets fans get the Hu Who? Jokes out of their system by the end of spring training. Chen lu Hu looks like the best defensive player on the team. No joke.

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THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF SANDY ALDERSON

Take out that Mets jacket.  Bend the brim of your Mets cap. Start putting some cash away to buy tickets to the 2011 season, my fellow Mets fans  WE ARE BACK!!!!!!!!

Our suffering summer has been replaced by a spectacular autumn. This has been the best October the Mets have had in 24 years.  First the Highlanders and Phuck Phaces went down in flames.  Then the cretins of the Mall of the South Bronx have been exposed by Mrs. Cliff Lee who was subjected to taunts, thrown objects and general fan disobedience to the point that Pee Wee Cashman better rethink putting all his eggs in a Cliff Lee free agent basket. Then the news today that CC Sabathia’s knees have given up holding up all that girth to the point his meniscus ripped, you had to wonder if the baseball gods decided that we Mets fans have had enough penance and are now due a reward.

The adults of the Skill Sets family have taken to bring back credibility, accountability and authority by naming Sandy Alderson as the new GM of the New York Mets. The pride in Flushing has returned.

Maybe I’m going a bit overboard on the Alderson hiring but I can’t hide my giddiness. Sandy Alderson was the name that first popped into my head when it was a fait accompli that Omar Minaya was done as the baseball boss. It just made so much sense to hire Alderson, the man had everything that was needed to bring back the respect this organization has lacked for years.

There is a segment of Mets fans who wanted the young hipster type of GM and I’d have had no problem with that but in Alderson you get the Mr. Myiagi of baseball execs. Alderson was baseball analytical before baseball analytical was cool. Billy Beane, Theo Epstein and Paul DePodesta (a name to keep an eye on Mets fans as he could be brought in to the Alderson Cabinet) all learned the trade from Alderson.

This hiring also sends word to fan base that the days of Little Jeffey meddling in adult decisions are over. A man of Alderson’ resume and stature in baseball did not take this job to have a no nothing like Jeffey lurk over his shoulder. This is Freddy and Uncle Saul putting Jeffey in the time out chair.

It looks as if Friday will be the day that Alderson will enjoy his day in the sun at Citi Field for his inaugural presser and I can’t wait to hear what his plan of attack is. It’s nice to have a guy in charge that has a plan, we haven’t had that around here since the days of Frank Cashen.

The biggest decision Alderson will have will be to name a manager. A majority of Mets fans want Wally Backman to get the job and I would count myself as a Backman supporter.  From reading this post from Mike Silva’ NY Baseball Digest, Backman could be exactly the guy Alderson is looking for. Backman has no problem being a manager that carries out the organizational orders from the GM. From reading the quotes in Silva’s post, Backman to me, looks like a strong choice for manager.

That discussion will be now on the front burner and I have a ton of faith that whoever Alderson picks he will do his due diligence on that choice. It’s so nice to have someone in charge that makes me feel optimistic that the Mets will be back as one the best teams in baseball.

By Friday the weather in NYC will be what it should be; autumnal so it would be nice is all Mets fans wear their Mets jackets or sweatshirts to celebrate the new day dawning in Flushing as the Alderson Era begins.

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