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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Being Beltran

 

Carlos Beltran, another former Mets fan lighting rod returns to Flushing for the first time since he was traded to the Giants last summer and his return has stirred Mets fans passions. I never could understand the ire of Mets fans toward Beltran. Yes I know that called 3rd strike from Adam Wainright (tonight’s Cards starting pitcher by the way) has stuck in many a Mets fan craw but what the critics forget is Beltran  made a major contribution in that series hitting at .296/.387/.667 clip with 3 HR’s. It just added to his outstanding season, one of the best season ever by a Mets player where Beltran bashed 41 HR’s drove in 144 runs and complied a robust .982 OPS, good for a 4th place finish in the MVP voting plus a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award as well.

I’ve always felt Beltran’s disconnect with the Mets fan base was due to his mistrust of the front office that was in place during the bulk of Beltran’s tenure as a Met. It’s quite interesting that the front office had Latino‘s in top management positions, yet they did not mesh well with two of the best players on the team Beltran and Carlos Delgado, both men who are held in high esteem in the Latin community. Beltran never had a great relationship with Omar Minaya as proven with the botched medical care the Mets GM presided over when Beltran had to go on his own to Colorado to see a specialist to deal with his deep bone bruise in his knee and Beltran has said on many occasions that he never felt respected by the club. It wasn’t until Terry Collins took over as manager of the Mets that Beltran felt comfortable and respected as a Met.  I have no doubt that Beltran’s Mets career would be looked at in a much more positive light if Terry Collins was his manager from day one.

Beltran was never a problem or embarrassment to this organization. The P.R. debacle of the missed trip to Walter Reed Hospital was handled terribly by the Mets.  That and the medical mess ups really made Beltran become withdrawn. The Mets should have been in front of the missed trip to Walter Reed by explaining  that Beltran’s return to Puerto Rico to open a school he helped build was scheduled long before the Walter Reed trip was planned. A player should have the confront knowing that the organization has his back and would have a simple explanation instead of adding to the cluster fuck the Walter Reed trip became. Never would something like this happen today with this administration running the Mets.

Mets fans hold a grudge as well against Beltran because of the rumor that his agent Scott Boras called the Highlanders while negotiating with the Mets, offering Beltran’s service to the Bronx Bastards for less money.  It irked me too. But when you look at the seven year career Beltran had with the Mets he had one of the greatest careers of any Met in history.

If fans want to boo Beltran tonight that’s their prerogative but before they do I would hope they look at Beltran’s career numbers with the Mets and remember that he also would buy a suit for every minor leaguer who came up to the team so they had clothes to wear on the road and that he had David Wright and Jose Reyes join him at his home in the winter to workout with him when he first joined the club. Unfortunately to the narrow minded, none that means anything and for that you can’t blame Beltran.

 

 

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IKE’S ALLRIGHT? OOOHHH VALENTINO, TRIPLE A BASEBALL ON SI?

Last night was one of those games that even the witty repartee of Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez couldn’t keep me interested.  I read the paper and trolled Twitter while waiting for my favorite pawn shop owners to come on at 9PM.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t meaningful Mets news (as opposed to meaningful games) to peruse.

Ike Davis is running, hitting and fielding, not pain free but feeling much better than he has since what is still the most ridiculous Mets injury I’ve ever seen.  Davis is trying very hard to stay away from the surgeon’s scalpel as he claims the ankle while not 100%, feels much better. Ike will stay with the team in Miami and then return with them to NY to see team doctors, at which time the decision will be made on whether surgery is needed. Again, how Davis has gone from what looked like a non-injury, to what now will be something that will affect Davis for the rest of his career is stunning.

Even with or without surgery, Davis claims his ankle will never be the same. He talked about it becoming arthritic but he feels it will not hurt his plate production. That remains to be seen. What about his defense? Davis was ready to blossom into a perennial Gold Glove first baseman who know how this affect his play around the bag, as first base is all about foot work. From what looked like an innocent trip and tumble on an infield fly has turn out to be maybe a career changer for Ike.

As much as my stomach churns watching Jason Bay’ at bats, I’m starting to really feel bad for him even with the knowledge that the team is on the hook for two more seasons and $35 mil. Bay has played a better left field than we all thought; he hustles (last night he ran out a ball that was clearly going into the first base stands foul) and from the scuttlebutt around Citi Field, he works to the point of being obsessive compulsive in finding his hitting stroke. You can see after every unproductive at bat, it is eating him up that he has not stepped up and provided the big veteran bat this team sorely needs. It would be best for both Bay and the Mets to part company but the $35 mil price tag hanging his toe makes moving to a new team almost impossible. ALMOST. Maybe I have too much faith in the power of Sandy Alderson since the trade of Frankie Rodriguez and his unsightly option that no one thought the Mets could get out from under.  Maybe there is a team out there (West Coast? SF, Seattle, Angels maybe) that sees Bay’s work ethic and thinks a change could do him good if the Mets eat half or little more of the deal? Never say never.

Welcome back to the big leagues Val Pascucci. Pascuicci’ 21 HR and 91 RBI at Buffalo earned him a promotion, perhaps for the last time, to the big leagues. Don’t think the promotion of Passcuicci will go unnoticed in the Mets clubhouse and throughout the Mets minor league system along with the call up of RHP Chris Schwinden, it shows that this front office will promote and reward players who produce. Not only that, with all the talk about the Mets money woes, all the players the Mets have added to the list of call ups have to be paid on a pro rated basis on the ML minimum. Schwinden looks like he will get to start one of the games of Thursday’s DH vs. the Braves, I bet Valentino gets a start in one of those games as well.

Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest mentioned that the Highlanders Triple A team in Scranton/Wilkes Barre will need a place to play in 2012 as the ball park will be undergoing a big renovation project. One of the spots they are looking at is Staten Island, home of the Baby Highlanders. The move to SI makes sense as the Bronx Bastards own the stadium in St. George and the team, as well as owning the Wilkes/Barre team. The problem they will have besides getting the Mets to allow them to do this (like a scene out of Goodfella’s I can see Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul listening to Randy Levine’s pitch for this project and Uncle Saul interrupting “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Fuck you pay me”) is finding a better management team to run the stadium that will have two tenants.

The SI Highlanders are very poorly run. The team has no sponsors and the majority of their tickets are sold to groups with the added attraction of all you can eat concessions. My wife bought tickets for every game SI played Brooklyn as a Fathers Day gift for me and those games draw the most fans, the majority rooting for the Cyclones. I’ve noticed that the fans that attend games on SI are there for social reasons, not many people pay attention to the game they are more involved in the all you can eat buffet and how unfair it is that they cannot grab a burger, hot dog and chicken sandwich all at the same time.  Staten Islanders are not fond of walking and taking stairs so to take just one item and then go back again is a huge crimp in their lifestyle.

There are ushers and security people employed by the team and it is a great job as you get to see a ball game, do absolutely nothing and get paid.  No one sits in his or her assigned seat. If there is a seat open behind home plate you can mosey on down and sit in it. If you see friend or neighbor at the game just go a sit in the seat next to them, no problem. “Oh wait, this is your seat? And what you wanna sit here?” “Uhh yeah” with that you get the eye roll and the nasty look.

If the SWB Highlanders were to call SI home for 2012 I would definitely  go to their games, especially when they play Buffalo but I don’t know how many Highlander fans would support the team, in fact I don’t think many Highlander fans know who the Triple A team is. If they do play here and want to draw fans just make sure you have an all you can eat plan and add delivery to your seat as an option, you’ll sell the place out every game.

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HEY METS FANS, IT’S TIME TO PLAY “THE BLAME GAME”

Now that the most important road trip of 2010 is over, and really who’s shocked by the results, it’s time for finger pointing and scapegoating to begin.

First up is Carlos Beltran who looked anything like the premier Gold Glove centerfielder and offensive force we’ve seen.  Beltran has been blamed for this mid summer collapse and the inability of the New York State Senate to pass a balanced budget  but lost in all the hyperbole is the fact the organization bungled the medical handleing of his leg injury to where he had to go outside the organization to get the treatment he needed.  This left a bitter Beltran and Omar Minaya once again having to use flash cards to explain the situation to Jeffey Skill Sets. The biggest mistake Beltran made was rushing his rehab to tru to help this mess of a baseball team he should have been selfish and thought of himself and stay out until September. When the organization fucks you over, and the fans and MSM can’t stand you, then it’s time to think of you and your future because no matter what Carlos Beltran does, he can’t win around here.  So the Mets front office needs to do anything it can to move Beltran to another team this offseason. It’s a move that benefits both sides.

The Klapper writes a column today saying what we all have been saying for about a year now that Jerry Manuel needs to be fired. If you need more proof of this, he and Jeff Francoeur had a sit down yesterday where Manuel retracted his stance that Frenchy and F-Mart would form a platoon in right field. The “Me First” Francoeur (funny how Francoeur is portrayed as this rah-rah team guy but in reality is a selfish prick and Beltran who is portrayed as the less than team guy, shows more of a team first attitude by coming back from serious injury to early to help the team) cmae out of the meeting laughing and back slapping with Manuel with the news that I won’t be a strict platoon, that Frenchy will play bulk of the time in RF. If Omar Minaya were a real GM after hearing this, he’d cut Francoeur on the spot.

Hey Mets are back home tomorrow night against the Rockies, I’m guessing there are seats available?

Want to feel old? Lee Mazzilli Jr. is playing for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape League, so is Michael Yazstremski the GRAND SON of Carl Yazstremski

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JEFF FRANCOEUR COMES DOWN WITH A CASE OF “THE DISEASE OF ME”

Jeff Francoeur, “Frenchy” to his fans and teammates has always portrayed  himself as a man of the people, a guy the MSM loves as he fills a notebook with great quotes, and a teammate to die for. But in reality, Francoeur is just another selfish guy whose true colors come out when times are tough.

Francoeur has made it known that if he is not going to play everyday as a Met then it would be best to have his fan mail forwarded to a new address. What a guy. Just as the team is reeling in a horrendous hitting slump and watching the season slip away, “Frenchy” acts like a rat and wants to jump the sinking ship.

What makes this more of a story is the fact that some fans of the Amazin’s have killed Carlos Beltran for having the unmitigated gall to work his way back from a catastrophic knee injury and don a knee brace that reminds one of Joe Namath circa 1970 to make a contribution to the team with his bat an hopefully with his Gold Glove defense. The bat is still there but the range in center field is rusty, no doubt but there are still some fans and a guy who gets paid to be on the radio who think that Beltran is the reason the Mets are losing because the precious team chemistry has been altered. The only one altering the chemistry here is their beloved Francoeur who is living up to his nickname by retreating when times are tough.

I wonder if the other General Patton on the team, Alex Cora yelled at Jerry Manuel after his stand up act yesterday before the Mets-Dodgers game when Omar Minaya made his way into the Mets dugout to speak to the press:

Jerry Manuel sat on the bench in the visitors’ dugout at Dodger Stadium for five hot minutes Thursday afternoon, when Omar Minaya entered from the stands. With cameras, tape recorders and sun in his face, the manager once again faced questions about job security.

Manuel flashed a broad grin and employed his favorite coping strategy, humor.

“O, what’s going on?” he yelled to the GM. “Did you say two-year extension?”

I’m pretty sure Fernando Nieve and Manny Acosta are the same person

My baseball season ended last night as my Babe Ruth team was eliminated from the play offs a win shy of reaching this weekends Championship Game. Last year we made to the Championship Game and came up short so this season not making it back to the final game is a disappointment. I have one more season with this team so hopefully next year we can take the title. So now it’s time to ice my old tired left arm that has thrown a lot of bating practice and put my fungo bat on the shelf for a few months. Now this frees me up for more trips to $iti Field and to clean out my garage. I don’t know which is worse.

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YEAH, I KNOW THE METS STINK BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T ENJOY A DAY AT CITI FIELD ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S FOR A PITCH IN FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Lynn Cohen works tirelessly for her Pitch In For A Good Cause foundation and as her last event of the season she has a deal for you  remember, there will come a day during the winter that you wish you were at a ball game even to watch this bunch of slugs :

Come celebrate with GKR and our loyal supporters! Food, free GKR tee, stand on the Citi Field warning track during anthem, raffles and fun, fun fun! Get 15% off tickets and all GKR merchandise for blog readers only now through August 15th. Use coupon code “blogger”

In April 2009, a bright-eyed woman named Lynn Cohen began exciting plans for the second annual fundraising event for her beloved foundation, Pitch in for a Good Cause (aka garykeithandron.com). Hope for the future couldn’t have been more rosy, and the inaugural event at Shea Stadium had sold out so fast that she’d had to add extra tickets. Surely the final weekend of Citi Field’s first season would be just as thrilling, if not more so. Hey, maybe our Mets would already be in the playoffs by then!

Optimistic Lynn purchased 800 tickets in the Big Apple seating area at Citi Field for the October 3, 2009 game. With those tickets, she happily added on 800 “meal plans,” including a tasty gourmet appetizer extravaganza and a $15 swipe card to be used anywhere in the ballpark–more than enough for Shake shack burger and shake! What a gorgeous day it will be, she thought. And the cheering, smiling GKR fans would send our Metsies off into October baseball…

Clearly Optimistic Lynn will not be working as a fortune teller anytime soon. Her powers of telling the future are alas way less potent than her ability to design a supercute t-shirt. Who could have foretold what our August 2009 lineup would look like? Where’s our slugging first baseman, our lightening fast short stop, our brand new 8th inning set-up pitcher, our multi-Gold Glove center fielder? Lynn could swear this team looked different when she bought those shiny new tickets…

On August 10th, Less Optimistic Lynn woke up and said “UH OH.” Obviously if the team is firmly in 5th place, the fundraiser is in danger! What to do with all of the tickets and swipe cards on the desk? Let’s make it a party, she thought. Not an end of the year party, but the beginning of a new one! A 2010 New Beginning party. Come to Citi Field with your GKR friends to purge the bad moments of 2009 and celebrate the good ones…and the even better ones that are sure to come next year.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Come to our party and
Let’s start anew!

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WE’RE SHIPPING OFF TO BOSTON OHHHHHHHH OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night was a tough one but I’m trying to keep a positive outlook (which is very very difficult) as Livan Hernandez was outstanding throwing strikes in a great bounce back start of his stinker in SF. Wright and Beltran are still carrying the team on their offensive shoulders and lo and behold Daniel Murphy was Gold Glove caliber at first base (just makes J-Man putting Jeremy Reed at first look more stupid) I didn’t see the bot of 8th as I passed out and when I woke up at 1AM saw the results and turned over for four hours of sleep but from looking at the Gameday charts it looks like JJ Putz was throwing hard as his fastball was low mid 90’s so that is encouraging but when your offense is lacking protection for your big boys your pitching walks a slender tight rope. Add in the fact that the Hollywood Bums are a good baseball team that has not lost a step from the loss of Manny and are tough to beat at home. That being said I don’t have a good feeling about going into Boston this weekend. It didn’t take much for my positive outlook to turn to shit.

 

One area that I will roast the front office is another in the many episode of not getting injured players looked at and put on the DL. Reyes should have been sent for tests while in SF or LA as I know those two major cities have competent doctors and MRI machines that work very well. From Church’s mishandling from concussion to Delgado being flown across the country with a hip that needed surgery to the newest fuck up with Jose Reyes now looking like a DL candidate makes the Mets look amateurish and is one of the reasons fans have no faith in Omar Minaya and his board of directors.

 

On that note with Reyes looking like he will be gone for awhile and Alex Cora gone for a couple of months as well, how about going after Jeff Keppinger or even Ramon Santiago of the Tigers? Or Nick Green on the Red Sox it’s time for Omar to get to work.

 

I’ll have a lot more to talk about tonight on Pro Baseball Central so join us at 9PM EDST live and call in with your rants and raves at (646) 595-4462 If you can’t join us then listen to the podcast on our PBC site or on the upper right on this page.   

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