10 Days Away From Opening Day…Do You Know Who Your Mets Are?

Dennis Ribant has nothing to to do with this post. I just felt like posting his baseball card. For some reason I was thinking about Ribant and why his Mets career was so short. Yes, I need to go out and get some fresh air.   

So we are a mere 10 days away from opening day and the questions at the start of spring training are still questions as we hit the training camp home stretch.  Who’s on first? What’s on second and at shortstop? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!

Let’s peruse the Mets roster that could debut at Citi Field a week from Monday in front a lot of empty seats:

The much anticipated battle of the stiffs never materialized as both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda went down with leg injuries.  That gave us a chance to see Eric Campbell and Josh Satin play the bulk of the spring games. Both players looked to be much better choices than either Ike or Duda but only one of them will make the 25 man roster and looks to be Satin. The shame of it is Campbell will not make it north because he hits from the right side, and Ike, Satin and most likely Duda will make the club. That’s a damn shame.

Daniel Murphy will be the everyday 2nd baseman until Ike Davis and Lucas Duda flop then he would shift over to 1st base and Terry Collins favorite Eric Young Jr would become the regular 2nd baseman that is unless Wilmer Flores takes that spot and EYJ keeps a spot as a super sub. Whew! Where for art thou Edgardo Alfonzo?

None of the in house candidates to play shortstop, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla or Wilmer Flores are much with the glove so why not take the best bat out of the three which would be Flores and start him at short? Let Ruben be what he was born to be a utility infielder and let Quintanilla be what he was destined to be, a former big league player.

David Wright 3rd base. Nuff’ said

It seems as if long time minor league journeyman and Jersey boy Anthony Seratelli will make this club as a super-sub. His ability to switch hit and get on base makes him an asset.

Chris Young has picked up his offense lately this spring so let’s hope that translates into the season. $7.25 mil for a player whose offensive game has declined the last three seasons seems like a huge gamble for a team that has to scrape and scrimp to come up with that kind of scratch. Got to hope this is not the offensive version of Frank Frank  .

There is no way in hell Terry Collins cannot write Juan Lagares name in the everyday lineup.   Not just Collins but no one in the organization can make a rational argument as to why Lagares will not be in centerfield just about every day.  Here’s a newsflash, the Washing ton Nationals are going to win the division by about 20 games so let’s play Lagares every day and let him grow as a big leaguer .

Can Curtis Granderson give the Mets an average Granderson season? Would you sign on for .261/.340/.488 with 30 HR 80 RBI? Oh hell yeah!

The training wheels are off Travis d’Arnaud, it’s not only his pitching staff but he has to contribute offensively as well. TDA’s bat could be the X factor in this season’ run to respectability.  Yes that is Kevin Pawlicki in the rear view mirror

Jon Niese starts the season on the DL but could be activated by the first weekend series against the Cincinnati Red Legs. With Niese out, Dillion Gee has been given the honor of starting the first game of the season. Good for Gee who was solid the last half of last season and has paid his dues in the organization. Gee will be followed by Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon and Dice-K. That’s a solid starting staff and with Raphael Montero and the Mighty Thor waiting in the wings, the club is flush with stellar pitching arms.

The front office has had a tough time putting together a solid bullpen. It doesn’t help that Terry Collins and Dan Warthen are not the best late inning pitching strategists  either but in order to be the 90 win team Alderson thinks he has here, he’s going to need a bullpen that ranks in the top ten , something that has eluded the Mets for a few years now.

There has to be trepidation over the lack of velocity coming from the right arm of Bobby Parnell and the lack of command shown by Vic Black.  Jose Valverde looks like he’s made the team and could step in to close when needed as well as Jeurys Familia who has had a spectacular spring. Scott Rice comes back as the LOOGY with Carlos Torres and John Lannan as long men/spot starters. This could be the year the Mets have a pen to believe in.

Jeremy Gibson of the Blue Jays blog 500 Level Fan asked me for my take on the NL East race this season by the way seems the Jays fans are still hurting from the trade last year.

 

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“GOT ANY HITS”? GO FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, well, well it seems like someone other than a  paying customer, has finally had enough of the slackers that makeup the 2010 Mets:

The day after Jerry Manuel called the Mets’ offense “pathetic,” hitting coach Howard Johnson  convened a meeting before Friday’s game and harshly criticized his hitters for their recent performances and pregame card-playing, team sources told the Daily News.

“It was really in your face, and some guys didn’t like that, but it needed to be said,” one player said.

Wait, when did Rickey Henderson get back to town? CARD PLAYING!!!!! So I guess this team is looking toward making the World Series of Poker instead of baseball’s Fall Classic.

The first thought that popped in my head was, someone (Jeffey) whispered in HoJo’s ear that he will be back next year as part of Wally Backman’ staff so we need you to fire the first salvo of the soon to be Under New Manager Mets. Then I saw that HoJo was not too happy that Manuel called the offense “pathetic” and in turn threw HoJo under the bus, so The HoJo strikes back by calling out the players and in turn showing up Manuel by doing the mangers works by shaking up his players.

Look if the clubhouse is going to blow like a powder keg it might as well happen in Pittsburgh where the Mets are on the verge of an almost impossible three game road series sweep today.

After the Hojo Blow-Blow, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Jerry Manuel Mets Era is in the home stretch and that thought will be cemented when Backman and his Brooklyn Cyclones show up at Citi Field for Celebrate the 2010 NY-Penn League Championship Day next month and Backman joining the Skill Sets, Uncle Saul and Dave the Shyster in the Skill Sets Suite.

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DELIVER US FROM EVIL, FRED WILPON!

11 days until pitchers and catchers

Yesterday I hopped over to Mid-Town Manhattan (where miraculously  there was no snow on the ground when I left about four inches of the white stuff on my walkway in Staten Island) to attend a meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). It was there that I met up with Dana Brand who was one of the guest speakers at the event.

As I greeted Dana I asked him “So are you ready for pitchers and catchers” ? He gave me that look you give the dentist when he says “would you like Novocain or gas”?  Dana was not the only Mets fan in attendance that had that same queasy feeling bout the 2010 Mets season.

I never thought it could happen but the Wilpon’s have now displaced the Dolan’s of MSG as the worst owners of a NYC franchise.  I thought I despised Jeffey Skill Sets more than most but after talking to the Mets fans yesterday, I see I have competition.

By this time in the winter, as a baseball fan ,Super Bowl Sunday signals the home stretch of winter and knowing that spring training is around the corner. Usually for Mets fans we start to think of April and opening day, and opening day is usually cold. But we never cared about the cold. We wore Mets sweatshirts under our Mets jackets and figured our Mets gloves and the knit Mets hat we got last season on Fan Apprecitaion Day would shied us from the elements. We were just happy to have a ticket and a seat to root for our favorite baseball team. But from what I’ve read and heard from Mets fans this winter,  I have a feeling opening day at $iti Field will not be a hot ticket, in fact I figure the longer you hold out the better your chance to get a prime seat for below cost.

Where and when did this all go wrong? I’m starting to think the demolition of Shea Stadium will become our Curse of the Bambino, or Billy Goat.

When a team opens a new ballpark, the fan base is usually fired up about the new home and the great amenities so you’d think as Mets fans we’d be happy about all there is at $iti Field. But the more I talk to Mets fans and the more I think about it, maybe we should have stayed at Shea. Shea was a pitchers park and no one screamed to pull in it’s fences. But after one season at $tit, the cry is, “the outfield fence is too high” “the ball doesn’t carry” “the fences need to come in” what we’re really saying is “this place sucks, we want our Shea Stadium back”. Face it Mets fans we hate change and we hate $iti Field.

Now I ‘d say it’s mostly us old timey Mets fans that hate change and I know I’m of that crowd, it surprises me that I’m like that with the Mets as I embrace progress with everything else in my world. I guess I need one small part of the old world to stay with me. I still want pinstripe unis with no name on the back and blue caps with and orange NY. I want organ music instead of ear splitting pop shit, and this from a guy who still listens to Black Sabbath albums with the volume on 10 but at a baseball game I want to here the Mexican Hat dance played on a Thomas organ. I don’t want to be told to “Clap my hands” I’m not a idiot I know when to clap and when to cheer and when to say “AH SHIT!!”. I want my teams National League heritage to be displayed and educate fans of where we came from how our lineage evolved from the days of John McGraw and Mel Ott and Carl Hubble to Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays along with Zack Wheat and Joe Medwick and Dolph Camli and Jackie Ribinson and Duke Synder. NYC was always an NL town until now that the Wilpon’s let that distinction slip away and for that they should be ashamed of themselves.

Jeff Wilpon has not only surpassed Jim Dolan as the most spoil son of a rich man in NY sports but he is close to reaching M. Donald Grant status as a franchise killer. But we shouldn’t put the blame all on young Jeffey, I put  90% of the fiasco that is now the NY Mets on Fred Wilpon. Freddy has the power to tell sonny boy, “I’m sorry but you are in way over your head here my boy, it’s time for me to find a real baseball man to run this franchise and bring it back to respectability and to being a championship baseball team”. If Fred Wilpon does not step up and do what is right for the NY Mets franchise, he will become as hated here as much as Walter O’Malley. The only difference is Mets fans might be wishing he move himself and team someplace else.

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