SATURDAY METS MINUTIA

It looks like John Franco wants to get back in uniform with the Mets, no not as a player but as a coach. Franco said in today’s NY Post, that he would love to join the club as a mentor to Bobby Parnell, which I feel would help Parnell immensely and if Franco is sincere as I’m sure he is, instead of telling this to a newspaper reporter, why not approach Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins with this idea.

When Collins was told of Franco’s wish he said “I’ll try and set that up”. One of the things Collins told me during the winter was he told his coaching staff if you see something that you thing in a player or in a way the club is going about it’s business the needs fixing, you should speak up and let’s look at it as a staff. So if John Franco feels he can help Bobby Parnell get his mindset right to be a closer and help him develop an off speed pitch to go with his supersonic fastball, Collins would definitely be on board for that.

I love Howard Johnson, his combination of speed and power makes him one of the best players to wear a Mets uniform, but really HoJo it’s time to shut the fuck up. As Mike Silva tells us, Johnson has taken to Twitter to bash Mets management claiming they are anti-86 Mets.   As Silva points out there are a number of ex-86ers that work for the team, and the Mets gave HoJo a shot at being a manager and he failed and they handed him the job as the big league batting coach and many feel he’s ruined David Wright with his tinkering of his swing. So really HoJo stop the whining you’re starting to sound like a bitter ex-wife.

The Skill Sets are confident they will find at least 20 investors in their Ponzi scheme effort to raise some capital and to keep ownership of the Mets. I’m sure Mortimer and Randolph Duke Freddy and Uncle Saul know what they’re doing, I mean what could go wrong? (BIG EYE ROLL!!!!!!!)

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MR. SKILL SETS, TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!!!!!!!

Took a day off from blogging and social media to celebrate my son’s birthday by spending the day in the city and taking in a performance of Spider Man Turn Off The Dark. The show itself was entertaining it’s no Guys and Dolls but hey what is! I was disappointed in the music since Bono and The Edge wrote the score and the only song I really enjoyed was when Patrick Page, who really saves this show as his role as Green Goblin was the highlight of the performance, sings A Freak Like Me Needs Company to open a second act that salvaged the show for me. The high flying Spider Man and Green Goblin scenes are spectacular as is the make up job doen on Page as the Green Goblin .  Just the fact that Spidey made it this far on Broadway is an accomplishment.

On to the Mets, in no particular order:

The news that John Franco and Mike Piazza will be the participants in the first pitch of the game on September 11th and the Mets will wear caps of the first responders of that tragic day, will help bring some joy to Mets fans on what should be proclaimed a National Day of Mourning. It’s still hard to believe that it will be 10 years since the attack, of all the scenes of carnage and despair of that day, the vision of seeing the smoke smoldering from the wreckage of the Towers, from my bedroom window still haunts me.

When I first heard about Howard Johnson playing for the Rockland Boulders this weekend so he could join his son Glen I thought it was a silly stunt but then I thought it’s an Independent League so really who cares?

Jason Bay to center field? Flanked by #ImWith28 and The Dude? Better find some pitchers with a high GB/FB ratio.

Safe to say something will happen with the dimensions of the Great Wall of Flushing, like cutting the wall in half to 8 ft. I’ve stood on the warning track under that Great Wall and that is some rarified air up there. Bringing in the fences is not needed but an 8 ft left field wall will make a big improvement and hopefully help the stigma that David Wright and Jason Bay seem to have with the wall.

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HOW MANY DAYS TILL SPRING?

I want to thank everyone who has contacted me letting me know how much they enjoyed my interview with Jerry Koosman last night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. I had hoped to get 20 minutes with Kooz and instead I chatted for the full hour and Jerry was a great guest. If you haven’t listened to it yet I hope you can some time to give it a listen.

Adam Rubin went out to snowy Citi Field today to watch utility infielder Chin-lung Hu take a picture with his new Mets jersey. There were rumors that Hu would be issued #17 but someone came to their senses and realized that #17 should be taken out of circulation, so instead Hu will don #25 instead. You’re no Frank Thomas, Mr. Hu.

Rubin also had these tidbits from his visit to Queens today. Johan Santana is NOT throwing after Sandy Alderson said that Johan was cleared to start throwing:

“To my knowledge, he’s not throwing at this point,” Alderson said. “But, again, that’s his own decision and based on how he feels. I think the PT [physical therapist] recommended that he continue to do certain exercises, and when he feels like he’s ready to toss, he will. He’s medically cleared, but to my knowledge he hasn’t actually started throwing yet.”

Hummmm not to go all Jay Cuttler here but there seems to be a bit of a contradiction, Alderson claims Santana is “medically cleared” but Johan doesn’t feel he’s ready yet. By no means should Santana start a throwing program until he feels he’s ready but after the last few years where conflicting medical reports were the norm, I hope the front office will refrain from that practice. Sometime “we’re not sure” is a good answer.

Howard Johnson has to feel kind of awkward as Alderson tries to find a place for him in the organization. HoJo managed one year in Brooklyn but the Mets do not look at him as managerial timber. The hitting coach jobs in Buffalo (Mike Easler) and Binghamton (Luis Natera) have been filled so where in the world will HoJo land?

Matt Artus has a great post on last weeks Citi Field Kids event at Citi Field and the Q & A the bloggers had with the players who attended. Oh and the guy standing next to Big Pelf in the picture is yours truly.

Darryl Strawberry feels the Mets missed the boat on not hiring Wally Backman as manager. His chief reason is because Wally played for the ’86 Mets. From speaking to Terry Collins on a couple of occasions they only difference I see between him and Backman is Collins didn’t play for the ’86 Mets.

Congratulations to Omar Minaya for getting hired by the New York Highlanders as a Major League talent coordinator.

Speaking of the Bronx Bastards, what the hell is going on in Da Boogy Down? First Pee Wee Cashman, thinking he was with Dr. Phil instead of the Sports Pope, starts to purge his soul by saying that El Capitan will eventually moved to center field. I don’t know what all the hub bub is over this as eventually Jeets will have to go to the outfield I mean why the outrage? It’s not like Pee Wee told the Sports Papal audience that The Captain signed an endorsement deal with Bosley Hair Restoration (oooops did I say that out loud!!!!)

And what’s with this censorship of Highlander State Commissioned bloggers? Gee you’d think they were involved in the distraction of Not So Highlander Classics (Video of games the Highlanders actually lost) instead of stating the obvious that the team got hosed in the Rafael Soriano deal. This is grounds for a repriamand? When did Michelle (WHICH CAMERA!!!!!!WHICH CAMERA!!!!!!!!!)  Bachmann was named team president.

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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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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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THE JOSE REYES STORY: A QUINN MARTIN PRODUCTION

Lot’s of noise over Jose Reyes being interrogated by the FBI, concerning Dr. Tony Galea , performance enhancer pusher to the stars, who is under investigation for trying to smuggle HGH into the U.S.

Reyes went to Dr. Galea to take part in his experimental procedure of plasma replacement therapy, hoping it would cure his leg problems last season. Reyes was accompanying by his agent Peter Greenberg and the Mets, even if they weren’t exactly on board with Reyes heading north for this treatment, stand by their player.

Of course the fact that Dr. Galea was trying to smuggle HGH into the country using his assistant as a mule is a big story but because it’s Jose Reyes and Legion of Idiots (a/k/a the Mets front office) it becomes a bigger story.

We’re starting to see that Tony Bernazard had more influence in the organization than he had any right to have. From John Harpers Daily News column today it seems Tony B strong armed his hitting philosophy of having Mets hitters concentrate on hitting to the opposite field, a philosophy that worked as well as his motivational speeches. When the season ended, it looks like Howard Johnson flexed his mussels a bit (it helps that HOJO and D-Wright are joined at the hip) and has pushed his way of hitting on the Mets as a more aggressive type of hitting. Wright of course is on board with this as is Frenchie who let Jerry Manuel know that if he had to hit 80 pitches a day to RF he won’t be coming into camp until the mandatory date of March 2. The revelation of the Bernazard way of hitting, is one more indictment of Omar Minaya’ reign of error. 

It’s March 1st Do you know who your set up man is?

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