A TWEAK AND A TEAR EQUAL A BAD DAY AT CITI FIELD

 

Two injuries yesterday will bring two major decisions for Sandy Alderson this off season.  There are still 49 games left in the 2011 season, but the injuries to Jose Reyes and the season ender for Daniel Murphy will have Alderson and his staff busy trying to decide what to do with both players.

While we Mets fans have overdosed on Jose Reyes’ coming out season, we have seen twice now in the last month why a long term deal for the charismatic shortstop may be what the fans want but front office may have, with good reason point to the caveat of Reyes is Reyes, when he’s of sound mind and hammy. Right now, the hammy is not so fine and for each time it’s tweaked, Reyes’ bargaining position takes a hit. Before this small outbreak of hamstring aliments, it looked like a longshot that the Mets would go 7 years on a deal for Jose. Now, I doubt the Mets would go over a 5 year deal, nor should they.  If Reyes were to sign with the Mets for 5/$110 mil, I feel it would be a win for both sides, if there is a team out there willing to get into a bidding war where a contract of 6-7 years for $132-$154 million becomes the bid price, then I’m sure Alderson will step aside and wish Jose well. If that happens there will be a huge outcry from Mets fans against the organization and that anger will be short sided.

As for Daniel Murphy, My love and admiration of Murph has never been disguised at this site.  Given an everyday spot in the lineup has proven that Murph is not just a big league hitter but he is a batting crown contender. His work ethic is second to none and he never is insubordinate which believe me is a big deal to a manager, as he plays wherever the manager places him. Is he a complete player? No and his baseball instinct has been rightly questioned but the positives with Murphy greatly outweighs the negatives. He not only hit for average but he hits doubles and he is a very productive hitter with runners in scoring position (.364) and with RISP 2/out (.355). With all that, we may have seen the last of Daniel Murphy in a Mets uniform. 

The only reason I come to this conclusion is the only two position that fit Murph are 1st base and 3rd base, which are positions that are not open now or next year or the year after. I’ve heard some rumblings by Mets fans of having D-Wright move to LF next year and shift Jason Bay (if Alderson can’t pull a disappearing act on Bay this off season) to RF, and then you could place Murph at 3rd. That is a lot of player movement and I’m sure Wright will not be happy about being asked to move and I don’t see Bay as a RF’er.

Murph has proven he is an everyday player and he’s proven that if he plays 2nd base anymore he might  get killed, so with no corner to go to, Murph may be a valuable trade chip this winter. A solid hitter like Murph has American League written all over him. I’m sure the A’s, Rays, Tigers or White Sox would love to get their hands on a player like Murphy.  I’d hate to see it happen but there may be no choice, as much as Murph has a potent bat, the Mets just don’t have a place to put him when it comes to defense.

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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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A SHAKE UP IS BADLY NEEDED IN FLUSHING

Has there ever been two groups so closely aligned but such poplar opposites like Mets fans and Mets management? The one thing both groups have in common is they both root for the Mets to win (as inept as ownership is they want to win, they don’t have a clue as to how to accomplish that but they want to win) and that’s where the similarities end.

Mets fans are furious with the way this team has gone into the shitter on this past road trip. If your fans are going to stay up until 1AM then goddamnit we want a win. But with the anemic offense and the bumbling managerial tactics, this was one of the worst west cost trips ever for the Mets.

When the team left Flushing after losing four of six games to the Reds and Braves, we figured the All-Star break would be a good tonic for the club to recharge and get rested for the second half before the start of an 11 game West Coast road trip. I think we all felt if the Mets could go 6-5 on this trip that would be great. The road has been a house of horrors for the team all year but this would be a test for the team and a good trip would solidify the Mets as a true contender in the NL. Who knew that the 11 game trip would turn into Armageddon!  

So from optimism, we Mets fans have turned into an angry mob, something we’ve gotten very good at the last couple of seasons, and we want a body. Someone has to be sacrificed, but who?

There’s talk of Howard Johnson getting either fired or reassigned in the organization. HoJo is a Mets lifer but quite frankly firing HoJo is just window dressing. In fact firing any of the coaches makes no sense as it’s not coaches’ fault this team can’t hit. So that leaves the manager.

If any coach gets the boot, and Jerry Manuel gets to stay on then that is just an insult to Mets fans and a good reason for them to keep their credit cards in their pocket and to stay off Mets.com to but tickets. The news I would like to see today is Ken Oberkfell named as interim manager, then reassign HoJo to manage Buffalo and leave the rest of the staff intact.

After the season, then it will be time for an organization wide colonic. Reassign Omar Minaya to head of scouting, in fact give his a fancy title like Czar of Player Development and Scouting and make it like it’s a real important high fluent position that will shape the feature of the franchise and then go out find a GM who is not locked in the dark ages. A guy who understands that statistical analysis is a must for success but can also meld that in with good old fashion boots on the ground scouting.    

Seems to me, Bobby Valentine is kind of forcing the Mets hand to make some sort of move by throwing his hat in the ring to succeed Lou Pinella in Chicago.  Most Mets fans are split between Bobby V and Wally Backman as to who they’d like see manage the Mets and with BV open politicking for the Cubs job he’s let it be known he’s more than ready for a high profile managing position.

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