Petit, Kazmir and Izzy for Pitching Coach

Izzy For Pitching Mets Coach Ohhhhh this makes so much sense!!!

It has been a while since I thought about Yusmeiro Petit. Back in 2004 and 2005 Petit was moving at shooting star pace in the Mets minor league system, with great command of his pitches, none of which was a blazing fastball. In fact there were some “oooohhhs” let out by Mets fans when he was a piece in the deal that brought Carlos Delgado to the Mets from the Marlins but hey, you have to give up something to get something right?

As great as Petit’s numbers were with the Mets minor leagues, they never translated to the big leagues and Petit became a stumble bum of an arm.  So it was a shock when perusing Twitter last night I saw that Petit had a perfect game going through 7 innings.  I then saw that the game was the D’Backs vs. Giants and I thought that’s nice that the D’Backs brought him up from the minors, I had no idea the Petit was with the Giants. When did that happen?

What a heartbreaker for Petit to go 8.2 innings of perfect pitching to lose it to a 3-2 barely out of the reach of Hunter Pence single to right field.

Petit has banged around the big leagues and in Mexico, hell the Giants cut him twice to have room on the 40 man roster and each time he resigned just to stay in the organization and pitch in Fresno. It’s a shame that Petit didn’t get the perfect game as it would have been nice to have a perfect game on his imperfect resume.

While everyone is having flashbacks over Scott Kazmir’ Mets career and the reliving the Victor Zambrano trade that was made 9 years ago since Kazmir K’d 12 Mets last night, we seem to be missing the big picture, Zack Wheeler needs to be shut down for the season. Wheeler had major command issues last night and looked like he could not get comfortable on the mound. All are warning signs that Wheeler is an injury waiting to happen.  Does it really matter who starts in his place? Isn’t more important to shut him down and let him get ready for St. Lonesome in 2014? Can someone wake up Dan Warthen and have him protect his pitcher?

Speaking of Warthen, how about replacing him with Jason Isringhusen as Mets pitching coach? Izzy may be the most responsible for the emergence of Bobby Parnell as a top flight closer. Izzy worked with Parnell on mastering the knuckle curve and I’m sure he gave him the life lesson on how to be an effective closer. Izzy also would be a great guy to have on staff to advise the new generation of Mets pitchers on the trials and tribulations of what a young talented player will go through pitching in NYC.  He has also gone through the bumps and bruises of a big league career from being a starter and then converted to reliever to suffering injuries and a few arm surgeries as well. Izzy is just one season removed from being an active player so he knows how to relate to today’s pitchers.  I think Izzy taking the Mets pitching staff under his wing would a solid hire.

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THE DUDE LOOKS CONFIDENT

We’ve reached the point in the season where it’s not so much about the wins and losses, although a .500 finish would be psychologically  satisfying I guess, it’s more about what do we have here, what’s worth keeping and what has to be discarded, kind of like cleaning out your basement after taking on water (I must report, no Mets artifacts were adversely effected in my basement taking on some water, although an American Girl doll took a bit of a hit so I guess a trip to the 5th Avenue flagship store is in my immediate future) that’s why I don’t understand what is taking Terry Collins so long to place Lucas Duda in RF and let Nick Evans (Evans reminds of an old nag that runs at Aqueduct during the winter in calming races and never has anyone put in a claim and week after week keeps running over the inner dirt track in freezing weather just hoping to find a home in Kentucky to graze in the grass for the rest of his eternal life) and Whitestone Mikey platoon at first base.

It seems the biggest obstacle with Duda was his acceptance of being a big leaguer, gain the confidence to believe in himself, that he is a Major Leaguer.  As he has become an everyday player the past month or so, Duda has realized that he is of big league timber and that confidence is showing at the plate and in the field.  One of the reasons Collins wanted to leave Duda at 1st base where he is most comfortable and get his bat going. Well, the bat and the head are going very good, so now would seem to be a good time to take the next leap and insert Duda as the everyday RF’er.

Other positive Mets news from last night besides the end of the 5 game losing streak and Izzy getting his 300 save was the signing of some of the remaining picks from the June draft . The three picks who signed that stand out are of course Brandon Nimmo, signed over slot which is a reason to celebrate in itself, infielder Phil Evans and RHP out of Baylor, Logan Verrett as the Mets front office worked right up to the deadline to get these players signed.  Good job by Paul DePodesta and his staff in putting together what most folks proficient in evaluating amateur talent claim, a very good Mets draft.

So you thought the Mets forgot about their 50th Anniversary, HA! No way, in fact the word is out that next year’s home uni will have a 1962 flavor to it and the blue top with orange piping and numbers will be back next season on a limited basis and as a regular alternative uniform top in 2013. I hope next year they  go with no name on the back of the home uniform top and no number on the front along with having the players wear white sanitary socks and blue stir ups. Please don’t half way this, even the cap should be of the darker blue of the era, and WEAR THESE UNIFORMS FOR EVERY HOME GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put the snow whites in moth balls until 2013 and place the black hats with the blue brims in a bonfire!

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ANOTHER STEP BACK

Greetings from Kissimmee, Florida where the humidity  is a rude as the European tourists at Disney World.

One of the best features of the condo we’re staying in is it has wi fi which is something the Disney hotels don’t , which always shocked me. Everything Disney’s does is first class you would think adding free wi fi would be a no brainer. Oh well.

The Mets season could be summed up by the just completed Nats series. Just when you get a burst of enthusiasm that this team has couple be a major player down the stretch and maybe have turned that corner to being relevant again, you get games like yesterday that make you think there is much more work to do. Base running errors (seems the manager blames Jon Niese for not tagging and going home on Wright’s fly ball that doubled up Murphy but the Murph-haters out there don’t agree) and the closer in training again not showing a closers mentality to finish out a game.

If Bobby Parnell wants to show the Mets brass that he is THE GUY, to be the closer in 2012, he can blow games like yesterday. A real closer comes in after a go ahead home run in the 9th and closes the game 1-2-3. With a 100MPH fastball, Parnell should have come into the game breathing fire. His makeup as much as his pitching will be on display for the next two months.

Is anyone upset that Sandy Alderson didn’t make any more moves at the trade deadline? Scott Hairston, Willie Harris or Izzy could be moves through waivers but as Terry Collins said there is anyone in Buffalo to bring up in their place.

That’s enough for today, back to my R & R

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WHEW!!!!!!!! IT’S HOTTER THAN JOSE REYES !!!

Why can’t every game be like last night’s Mets-Brewers game? A solid 6 inning by Chris Capouano in his return to Milwaukee, and 9 up 9 down by Beato, Izzy and Frankie Rodz add in a 2 run triple for Jose Reyes and you have a Mets fans paradise.

No way will Jose Reyes be traded by the Mets, no way.  Somehow, some way the Mets will sign Reyes to a new deal. When it was first mentioned that trading Reyes was on the same level as when Tom Seaver was dealt I thought that was ridiculous but now I can see that  the departure of Reyes could be the move, that straw that breaks the fan base’ back.  Mets fans of my generation will be very angry and maybe we won’t go to as many games or maybe we won’t make watching games on SNY a nightly event but even as distasteful a thought of not seeing Reyes at short, I’ll still call myself a Mets fan. It’s too late for me to switch my baseball allegiance but I could see the 30 and under crowd turning on the organization and heading elsewhere if Jose Reyes becomes an ex-Met due to money. This is a very serious issue that the Skill Sets, Minority Einhorn and Sandy Alderson have to seriously take into account when dealing with Jose Reyes. If the Mets let Jose Reyes go, then you might as well turn Citi Field into Old Trafford.  I can’t see Reyes wearing a diferent uni ,  I just can’t .

They did play soccer last night at Citi Field and it looks as if it was a success. The only problem I see is the fans are really far away from the pitch. It was smart of whoever put this match together to pick two teams from countries that make up the biggest percentage of the boro of Queens population, Ecuador and Greece.  The Ecuadorian players however, had issues with the MO-ZONE.

By the way, I am going to my first professional soccer game on Friday as my daughter’s soccer team got tickets for the Red Bulls-Revolution game at Red Bull Arena. One more venue to add to my list.

I bought one of these t-shirts. You should too.

Ok I’m out of ideas on what to do with Jason Bay and I think Terry Collins is as well.

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ANOTHER INSTINCTIVELY BAD GAME BY THE NY METS

So the doctors said David Wright could resume baseball activity in six weeks. The Mets thought that meant six weeks from the time the injury occurred. But the doctors say no, six weeks from the time of the diagnosis. What we have here is a breakdown of  communication  (just like in season’s past which was supposed to end with Sandy Alderson as boss) or Alderson was using Abbot and Costello math.

Either way when the worst news of the night isn’t the fact that  the team has become the first team in the history of MLB to lose six games at home while having a lead after seven innings but that your nice kid somewhat of a superstar third baseman has suffered the first major injury of his career and won’t be back until maybe after the All-Star break well, “you’re snake bitten baby”

Gary Cohen said last night, there are reasons the Mets blow these leads late in the game and it’s the difference between good teams and bad teams. It may be a cliché but it’s true the little mistakes add up to turn wins into losses. Whether it’s Daniel Murphy’ lack of instinct on the base paths, or Izzy coming in a game with two outs and walking a struggling Dan Uggla, Josh Thole unable to stop a pitch in the dirt (again) and Jose Reyes picking the worst time ever to make an error, it all adds up to failure.

Terry Collins was quite calm after the game. Maybe he’s come to the realization there are some things a manger can’t dictate,  like instinct .

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WINNING!!!!!!!!

Com’on you didn’t think the Mets would lose every game this season did you?  And what a game it was, give credit to Terry Collins for going radical by using Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey on their throw days in relief. Why waste those pitches in the pen.  Collins checked the data available to him that revealed Larry Jones going 1-7 against Capuano which I guess was foreign to Freddi Gonzalez who batter Larry for Freddie Freeman (whenever I hear the name Freddie Freeman I think of Freddy Cannon and the song Palisades Park) then having R.A. Dickey come in for quick inning in the 7th followed by Izzy and K-Rod.  I’m sure Tony LaRussa is distraught over not coming up with this strategy when he invented baseball.

Dillon Gee showed up at the Ted like a homeless man with no glove, no spikes but was ready for service. Gee’s bags were lost between Providence R.I. and Philadelphia and to make things worse Gee did not arrive in the ATL until 1AM. So with Bobby Parnell’s glove and Josh Thole’s spikes and a spare suit of Mike Nickeas (who will need that suit for the next profession he has because he ain’t cut out for big league baseball)  in his locker, but forth one of the better starts by a Mets starter this season. Gee will get at least one more start as a fill in for Chris Young and Collins has said that Gee will most likely go back to Buffalo so he can continue to pitch on a regular basis but if he has another strong outing like yesterday, with the shape this pitching staff is in, how do you send him back to Triple A ?

Matt Harvey had another strong outing for St Lonesome yesterday going 5 innings in the Baby Mets 4-1 win over Ft. Myers. In 16 innings pitched so far this season Harvey has not given up an earned run while striking out 20 and walking just 6. It will quite interesting to see how the front office handles the 24 year old first round pick in the 2009 entry draft.  A couple of more of these solid starts and Harvey could see himself fast tracked to Binghamton by late May.

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SHORT AND SWEET

Outstanding job by Chris Capuano last night with his only flaw the three run home run he gave up to Espinosa in the second inning. 8K’s and 1 BB in 6 innings pitched with a 71/26 spilt of strikes to balls is as good as it gets.

Carlos Beltran just can win with some folks. Instead of celebrating the fact he hit 2 home runs and is looking very comfortable at the plate, there will be critics who will bash him for the off day today and those in the media saying he will be excellent trade bait. I love to see some of the critics wear a knee brace all day and say they feel great.

Ike-Ike Baby, Vanilla Ike, Ike-nstein whatever you want to call him add big time in front of that. So far so good on no sophomore jinx.

Alderson has a big decision to make as it pertains to the bullpen. Izzy is ready and able to go at the big league level, so the Mets need to decide who is cut to make room for Izzy. Tell you the truth, with the way the starting pitching has not giving many innings, I’d demote Lucas Duda, since Collins is in love with Willie Harris and Duda is rotting on the bench and buy some time with an 8 man pen until Jason Bay comes back. By that time Alderson, Collins and Warthen might have a better idea on who to keep.

Chris Young on the mound today so if Mets take this game and series that will be two out of three series the Mets have won. Take that haters.

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IZZY OR BOYER? NICK EVANS? BACKUP CATCHER? WHAT’S YOUR FINAL ANSWER ?

 

Allright back to blogging after a weekend of freezing my ass off on a camping trip in Northern New Jersey.  I spent the weekend with my son and his Boy Scout Troop at Camp No-Be Bosco in NJ, if it wasn’t bad enough the woods were snow covered, the temps were in the mid-teens on Friday night and Saturday morning, but I have to admit this was what we call “fat-ass camping” we slept in cabins with propane heat but still, we did a 5 mile hike into the mountains which was nice until we discovered a couple of huge bear paw prints. That’s when my bowels started to churn a bit.

Anyway, here it is with opening day just five days away and it feels like football season more than baseball but never the less for us Mets fans Friday night at 7:05pm at “Your Name Here Stadium” in South Florida it will be the start of the Mets 2011 season but between now and Friday the decision makers of the Mets have some tough roster moves to make.

The starting eight look set now that Carlos Beltran is confident he will be good to go on opening day. Day two of the season he may not be and that looks to be how Beltran’s season will go. He is not an everyday player any longer. If he plays two or three games in a row we will surely need a day off to rest his hurting knees.  That would make Scott Hairston or Willie Harris, Beltran’ caddy. Hairston has some power but he hasn’t played much right field so this could be problem if Beltran’s knee woes become chronic.  Harris fits the bill defensively (as we Mets fans know too well) and he has that nice OBP that’s all the rage in Metsville. Depending on the pitcher the day Terry Collins will need an understudy will determine if Hairston (bats right) or Harris (bats left) gets the nod.

The four everyday infielders are set with Brad Emaus taking over second base on a futures bet by the Mets. Emaus didn’t light up spring training but with a big endorsement from J.P. Riccardi, Emaus gets to show his stuff on opening day and beyond, how far beyond will be up to Emaus. The infield bench consists of a no hit (Chin-lung Hu) no glove (Daniel Murphy) and a man of many gloves (Willie Harris who I bet will be the emergency third catcher) and some bat, what this does is it makes Nick Evans an ex-Met, which is kind of sad.

The catcher position is becoming a mess. Josh Thole is the starter but who will back him up? The Mets waited and waited for Rony Paulino knowing he came with some carryon baggage in an 8 game suspension for PED use. He then added another piece of luggage with his visa problems and now he’s added a steamer trunk with news that some blood work that was done on him looks problematic. Mike Nickeas is ok for a week but no way can the Mets go a full season with him as the backup catcher, so if Paulino has an illness the Mets may have to scramble for a backup catcher. Anyone have Bengi Molina’s phone number?

The starting pitching is set, as is 6/7ths of the bullpen, with the competition between Blaine Boyer and the surprising Jason Isringhausen comong down to a last minute decision.  Izzy has been a great story this spring and looked to be a lock to win a job until he heard a pop in his elbow and Boyer has been fabulous this spring. As much as the club wants to keep Izzy, the worry is he will breakdown in a month or two, and Boyer has an out in his contract and will scooped up by another team in a heartbeat. 

Sandy Alderson admitted during the bloggers conference call that the decision on who gets the last bullpen spot is a very tough call.  Izzy brings a battle tested pitcher to the pen and has shown he wants to pass on his knowledge to his mates.  It’s really really tough but since the medical staff says it was just some old scar tissue that’s popped and Izzy has returned to pitching and has still been effective, I’d take a shot at keeping him on the 25 man roster.

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HEY METS FANS, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO STOP ALL OF YOUR SOBBING

The best part of the early morning release of Oliver Perez is not just the fact that the ineffective pitcher is mercifully gone but what has to have the Mets fan base giddy on this rainy cold morning is Sandy Alderson is running the baseball operations of the NY Mets. He is the man calling the shots; he put Baby Jeffy in the corner.

For all the gloom and doom financial news about the Skill Sets, the head baseball man in charge went to them and said time to eat $18 mil in contract, and all the Skill Sets could do is stand at attention and say “Sir, yes sir” You can debate that this should have been done before spring training or earlier but the bottom line is the Faces of Failure of the Minaya regime are gone.

With the Phuck Phaces signing Luis Castillo to a minor league deal as insurance in case Chase Utley will not make it to opening day and beyond tells me the Phuck Phace’s may not be the lead pipe cinch to win the NL Pennant most thought they were this winter.

Adam Rubin has a great Ollie Perez retrospective. It wasn’t  always days of suckitude with OP but his Mets career did end badly for all sides.

The feel good story of spring, the return of Izzy, has his a bump as Isringhausen is taking anti-inflamitories  for his surgically repaired elbow

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R.A. DICKEY, IS READY TO JOIN THE “WHERE ARE THEY NOW” CLUB

Every casual Mets fan can rattle off the names of great pitchers in Mets history, Seaver, Koosman, Matlack, Gooden, Darling, but the die hard Mets fan has guys that when they  here the nam,e one of those cartoon clouds form over their head with reminisces of terrific performance of the past. The mention of their name is usually followed with the refrain “What ever happened to that guy”?

Don Cardwell was one of them, a journeyman who pitched for three full and part of a fourth season for the Mets back in the late 60’s and was on the ’69 World Champion team as a spot/starter long reliever. Cardwell was better than his record and was one of those guys who when called upon either won a game for you or at worse kept the team in a game.

Ron Taylor was another ‘69er who was key in the pen and today is a physician in his naïve Toronto and works for the Blue Jays.  His problem was he was overshadowed by a young, brash fellow reliever, Frank (Tug) McGraw

George Stone came to the Mets with Felix Milan in one of the most underrated deals in Mets history (Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry were shipped to Atlanta) and went 12-3 in 1973 and his misuse by Yogi Berra in the 1973 World Series still bothers me to this day. 

Rick Reed, Skip Lockwood, Craig Swan, Bruce Berenyi, Bill Pulshiper, Izzy and Neil Allen are guys who I think about now and then, about the contribution to the Mets teams they played or how some like Reed came out of nowhere or Stone who had the year of his life in 1973 or Lockwood an very underrated reliever or poor Puls’ one of the Titanic Trio along with Izzy and Paul Wilson, the ill fated Generation K. Craig Swan the Ace of some bad pitching staff of the late 70’s. Berenyi, a June 15th pick up in 1984 when the Mets were starting to turn things around and became pennant contenders. All these guys forever etched in my Mets fan memory of players. Now we have one more pitcher who I can add to that list, R.A. Dickey.

If the Mets go on to win a seat at the post season table, R.A. Dickey will have played a major role. Dickey is the kind of pitcher I’ve always wanted the Mets to have. He looks like a guy right out of Bull Durham. The long hair, three day stubble, the southern drawl, a real dirtbag and I say that with the utmost affection. Sometimes a guy starts to realize he has nothing to lose anymore and stops listening to others and just goes out and does things the way he wants, and it works, you just have to root like hell for him. I even like the fact that he knows Jerry Manuel wanted no part of him on the team and Dickey saying, He could care less what Manuel thinks as he doesn’t pitch for Manuel he pitches for himself and the team.

Who knows maybe in the year 2020 at Old Timers Day, R.A. Dickey will be welcomed with a huge ovation as he’s introduced or maybe he will be a guy that pops in my head when I see a homeless guy with a cap pulled down to his eyes and stubble on his face bringing cans and bottles in for nickel deposit and say “I wonder what ever happened to R.A. Dickey.”

Whatever happens, it’s a joy to watch this Mets team play. As we head toward the end of June, that Mets are a mere ½ game out of first place. Let the summer fun begin!

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