I Guess The Mets Plan Is Lose The Battle and Win The War

It was a rough weekend for the NY Mets. The bats and pitching arms have gone stale, the petulant utility player affectionately known by Mets fans as JV1, who it seems the front office, manager and players have run out of patience with while waiting for him to act like a big boy, reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates for help in the form of a baseball thrown at him in anger over his “look at me, I’m El Hombre” slow dance after hitting a home run with the Mets down 7 runs. Then there was Banner Day in which only 99 banners were on display.

The Mets front office has a plan and contending in 2013 for the NL is not part of it. But we knew that coming into the season, right? So why is everyone up in arms about the abysmal play of this Mets team? Many Mets fans had the Mets pegged for a 90+ loss team and that is what they are right now. So why is everyone so upset about the recent awful play of this team?

We knew the outfield wasn’t Major League quality, we knew that back end of the rotation was weak. What we didn’t know was that Ike Davis would be this bad and Lucas Duda would morph into a little leaguer at the plate taking the walk is as good as a hit advice to new heights and that Daniel Murphy would be better with a glove than a bat.  We did know one thing, Sandy Alderson has a plan, what we didn’t know was part of the plan was do nothing in 2013.

Part of the problem is there is no worry on any offensive player on this team that there is someone within the organization to take their place. Last year when Ike Davis was slumping so bad it was a miracle he wasn’t shunned to Buffalo.  The reason Ike wasn’t sent away to Triple A wasn’t that the team wanted to show confidence in Davis it was a someone in the Mets front office told me “what’s the alternative” ? This season Ike is being Ike, looking awful at the plate, and again the question is “what do you about a problem named Ike Davis”? There is none that is if you feel Lucas Duda should be moved to first base and Jordany Valdespin goes to left field is a solid solution and either send Davis to Vegas (ooh that rhymes) or trade him. A trip to Triple A could happened this time as that scenario I laid out is a real option, as for trading him, quite frankly what team would want him?

The point is as much as Sandy Alderson is sticking to his plan it would behoove the GM to do something of a personnel move dealing with the offense just to send the fan base a signal that he is still interested in running this team and that he is as fed up with the suckitude of play as the fan base is.   

Right now there are four players who should be untouchable in any trade talks, D-Wright, Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell and John Buck. Anyone else should be put on the market and moved for the right price. But again what kind of return would you get for an Ike, Duda, Murphy or even Tejada? At least with a broken down car you can strip it for parts, not so for broken down baseball players.

On the Jordany Valdespin hit by pitch on Saturday I’ve heard or read everyone from Terry Collins to Mets players to Jay Horwitz , well maybe not Jay, chastised for allowing Valdespin to get plunked and not rushing to his aid. The one guy who hasn’t been called on out on this and is the number one culprit in all this muck and mire is Jordany Valdespin. JV1 as the kids like to call him, has been spoken too, punished, had his clothing ripped to shreds and been call out by teammates mangers coaches and front office folks as a first class horse’s ass to no avail. People associated with the Mets that I’ve talked to who have a good word for everyone associated with the team make that face like a stink bomb went off when you ask about Jordany Valdespin.  So if you want to blame Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson or the Mets players about leaving Valdespin out to dry, you’re blame and anger is misdirected.

Here’s the problem with having Banner Day in 2013, no one cares. Banner Day in 1964 was great because the team still had the new team smell to it, as the Mets were Casey’s Amazin’ Mets our lovable losers. In 2014 there is no such thing as a loveable loser in fact even after you win the next question you get after handed the trophy is, “Can you repeat”? The fan mindset is totally different than in the past. Fans don’t care how hard you try, how much your hurt, or if you’re going through some kind of personal problem all fans care about is entertain me and goddamnit WIN!

This past week while at a Mets blogger event at Citi Field I brought up the 1973 Pennant winners and how this is the 40th anniversary of the Mets team that went on a tear and had to pass five teams just to win the division and then go on to beat one the iconic teams in baseball history in The Big Red Machine, so would there be a day at Citi Field to honor them?   The answer I received on why there will not be day for the team is that the cost to run that event is prohibited and who would show up for it? After my blood pressure subsided and we discussed the pros and cons of the Mets having a day for the ’73 NL Champs, it made sense to me. The 55 year old Mets fan would love to see George Theodore , Ron Hodges and Harry Parker , the 30 year old Mets fan doesn’t care. So why go to all the time and expense to throw a party and have no one come.  

I didn’t go to Banner Day.  I don’t think it’s a crime. I spent the day watching my daughter play soccer and returning a bunch of tuxedos for my son and his friends that they dropped off after their high school prom while they took off to a day of amusement park fun with their girlfriends. Then I dropped my daughter off at the mall with her friends because teen age girls love to shop. Then I was able to spend a great afternoon just me and my wife because now that our kids are older and don’t need to be with mommy and daddy, mommy and daddy can go off and do what they want to do, like eat at restaurant with cloth napkins and no coloring books at the table and catch a movie that isn’t animated. Life is good. So I’m sorry I wasn’t there to carry a banner professing my love for the NY Mets but even so, I know how much I love the Mets and the Mets know how much I love the team, so as I said Life is good.

 

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ANGEL PAGAN GOES EL KABONG

It was quite a night at Citi Field last night. The SNY crew set up shop in the Pepsi Porch and I don’t know who enjoyed it more, Gary, Keith and Ron or us fans watching on TV. Between Ron wearing a glove like a Little Leaguer hoping to catch a ball or Keith buying hot dogs for him and his mates, it was one of the more enjoyable Mets games I’ve watched in awhile.   

There was a little bit of everything last night. R.A. Dickey showing all those of little faith that he is a legit big league pitcher and one I hope is around here for some time. After falling behind 4-0, Dickey got himself back on track and as much as I love to watch a pitcher dominant a lineup, when you see a guy start out shaky but refuse to panic and think out what pitches are working and which one isn’t and then have the ability to make adjustments on the fly is just as great to watch. If Mike Pelfrey could just have a sliver of R.A. Dickey’s guile and pitching smarts we would be talking about locking him up to a multi year deal instead of hoping he gets non-tendered in the off season.

Angel (El Kabong) Pagan has not been very good this season in the field and at bat. Pagan is another player that I’m sure will be part of a big discussion in the Mets front office meetings as to whether he’s worth bringing back next season or not. Pagan, like the rest of this team is an easy guy to root for. He’s worked his way back from oblivion of the bushes to be a bonafide big leaguer. In Pagan’s defense he is not a leadoff hitter and is not comfortable in the 1 or 2 spot of the lineup. This season his best offensive production as come when he is slotted in the 5 or hole. So last night was the right spot for Pagan in the bottom of the 10th when he drilled his walk off home run. Good for Angel and good for the Mets. This is a day to reflect on the goodness of Pagan, we’ll have all winter to debate is fate as a Met going forward.

The stories today are all about Carlos Beltran and what is most likely his farewell game at home as a Met. If anything last night was his going away party. The crowd seemed to feel the same way. I was hoping that after Beltran launched his 2 run homer in the 5th to tie the game that the fans at Citi Field would prolong their enthusiasm to the point that Carlos would come out for a curtain call. When was the last time a Mets player came out for bow after a home run? With today being a day game and the temperature climbing toward 100 degrees I wonder how many folks will show up for the game today (besides the day camp kids for whom the 12 noon start was scheduled for) but it would be nice if the fans gave Beltran a standing O in his first at bat to the point where he steps out of the box and doffs his helmet. We’re going to miss him.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Josh Thole on the birth of their son Cameron and how about Daddy Josh hitting RBI single in the 8th to tie the game at 5. I hope someone saved the ball to give to Thole as it would be a great conversation piece between him and his son when he gets older to relive the night after his birth daddy got a big clutch hit for the Mets.

Jason Pridie will start in LF for the Mets today for Jason Bay who is nursing a sore hammy. Bay claims his hip and leg have been bothering him for a few days and this doesn’t seem too serious. I know we’d all love to see Bay take a seat on the bench but we shouldn’t revel in an injury that puts him there. Mike Francesa had one of the few good points he makes every now and then about calling the Pirates about taking Jason Bay off the Mets hands for 50 cents on the dollar. Bay is owed $35 mil over the next three seasons so if the Mets offer Bay to the Pirates along with $17-$18 mil they would save $17-$18 mil. I doubt the Bucs would do this but Bay did have a great six years in Pittsburgh so maybe he Bucs need a love re-connection. Can’t hurt to ask.

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JERRY’S HEAD GAMES

I’m starting to realize that I am more of a fan of Jerry Manuel the person than I am of Jerry Manuel the manager. Most nights win or lose Manuel is usually a cool cat at his press conference as he never gets rattled by questions and he takes his time giving an answer to the tough inquiries. In that, Manuel reminds me of St Joseph of Torre in his handling of the media and that is a major challenge for any manager or head coach in this town.  But some of the tactical moves that Manuel has made on this road trip and in the recent weeks have be befuddled.

Take last night. When Jeremy Reed was obtained in the Putz deal this past winter we were told he was as good as Endy Chavez at bat and in the field. So if Reed is such a good outfielder why was he playing first base last night while the defensively challenged Daniel Murphy  was put in left field. I swear I was in a daze for the first inning trying to figure the logic here and sure enough the first batter for the Hollywood Bums, Juan Pierre hits a ball to left that Murphy botched. Just stunning.

Why not just leave Murphy at first base and tell him it’s all yours until Delgado gets back maybe it would relive a bit of pressure off this kid because this is not the same Daniel Murphy we fell in love with. The Murphy kid I saw last year and early this year does not get picked off first base like an inept little leaguer. How many times have we heard Keith Hernandez say that “someone taught Murphy the right way to play baseball”?

Same with second base. If Ramon Martinez is the best we have to play back up infielder then we’re in trouble. I know that Castillo has sucked at the plate lately so if you’re going to give him the night off the let the Latin Joe McEwing (Fernando Tatis) play second he can’t do any worse than Martinez.

 

   

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“CATCH ME NOW I’M FALLING, I’M IN YOUR HANDS IT’S UP TO YOU, CATCH ME NOW I’M FALLING”

 

 

 

 

The one bright spot in Daniel Murphy’s error yesterday was it verified my rant to every Little Leaguer I’ve ever coached “CATCH THE BALL WITH TWO HANDS”!!!!!!!

 

Murphy the outfielder is a work in progress and if you just read the headline you’d think Johan Santana was looking to jack up Murphy for costing him and the Mets a win but after you read the quotes, Santana came off showing leadership qualities instead of being a finger pointer:

 

 “It’s one mistake that he made. It cost us the whole ballgame, but its part of the game,” Santana said of Murphy’s gaffe. “I know he’s in a learning process. This is not going to be the first time. I don’t think it’s going to be the last one, either. The only thing is we learn from our mistakes. That’s all I can say. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back and try to do better.”

 

“We cannot afford to make a lot of mistakes,” he continued. “We were out by one game last year. Every game is very important. We have to do the routine plays, and I’m pretty sure (Murphy) was trying his best there and it didn’t work out.”

 

I have no problem with want Santana said as it’s true. Its basic baseball, don’t give the opposition more than 3 outs. When you do, you lose and Murphy’s error was negligence. I still love you Danny Boy but next time “TWO HANDS”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Do you get the feeling that if J-Man could have one wish it would be to have someone other than Gimp Castillo playing 2nd base?

 

How about this, on this day in 1962 the New York Mets had their inaugural home opener at the Polo Grounds losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3. The “crowd” that day was 12, 447 which will be the same amount standing in the cue at the Shake Shack concession stand tonight at the Grand Opening of $iti Field.

 

Wouldn’t have been a nice idea to incorporate the first ever home game for the Mets with the first game at the Shea and $iti? You could introduce the starting lineups from each Mets team (or a surviving member of the players family) and how about this, Shea opened on April 17th 1964 also against the Pirates and the Pirates won that one 4-3 as well. If MLB had used their heads and made the Pirates the Mets opponent in this first series then maybe Opening Day at $iti would have been in the day time?

 

Check out Adam Rubin’s Mets-Padres preview and to all you are headed to $ti tonight, ENJOY!!!!!!!  

  

 

 

 

 

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JOE MADDON’ GOT THOSE BLOWN SAVE BLUES

I did take some perverse pleasure watching the Famous Rays bullpen implode last night in one of the great collapse not involving the NY Mets. I admit I turned the channel at 7-0 to watch Life On Mars (Can we just give Harvey Kitel the Best Actor in a Drama Emmy now and save time later)  and flipped back at 11PM waiting to see the Famous Rays celebrate their first Pennant so you know I was shit shocked to see the game was at 7-4. I hung for the rest and I must say that Coco Crisp at bat in the 8th should shown to every little leaguer in the country as that is how you work an AB and a pitcher.  Wheeler is a classic reliever with two pitches, fastball/slider and Crisp just kept fouling off pitch after pitch until he got hanging slider to drive to right field. You have a pitcher on the ropes and team that is now drowning in self doubt and defending championship team that is never out of a game. Just classic baseball. Now Game 6 becomes must see as the Rays and Joe Maddon are in uncharted territory as they gave the Red Sox life. They had the pillow over their faces but lifted up too early.

 

The dark clouds of Flushing seem to be lifting a bit after reading Adam Rubin’s Q & A with Daniel Murphy maybe the hard nosed Dykstra/Backman type we have been looking for is right under our nose.

 

It doesn’t look like the market of Manny will be a large one. Manny and Agent Bloodsucker are looking for a 6yr deal for over $120 mil. Unless the United Arab Emirates is getting an expansion team next season, that’s not happening.  Those demands are off base. The Dodgers management is in a bind here as they have to make an offer to Manny but how long can they hang in with the Mets, Highlanders and the dark horse in the Manny races the Blue Jays? I don’t really see the Highlanders going for Manny but they could make a bid just to break balls. The Dodgers should be the favorite to sign Manny but Frank McCourt not only doesn’t own a TV station that flows dough he has a piss poor relationship with PrimeTicket but you would think he’d try to sit down with the station to workout a partnership to keep Manny. McCourt should plead his case that if they add more to the rights fee for Dodger games it helps the team sign Manny and that brings up ratings which brings up the ad revenues and everyone makes some scratch.    

 

If I’m Omar, I offer 4yrs/$100mil and wait for the counter offer. I wouldn’t budge off the years but I would go a bit higher on the money by using incentive bonuses but I’d cap my offer at $110 mil. Now in these economic times that looks like I’m bat shit crazy but as loony as it looks Manny will pay for himself as the SNY ratings go up and the merchandise revenues as well. If it’s just a question of money then Mets will make Manny theirs to loose if it’s all the other questions about attitude and the Manny Being Manny baggage that’ s another story. But if Manny gets away from Flushing again that will be sad. 

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