Coming Up On The 4th of July and We Are In A Pennant Race

 

Looks like the Mets roller-coaster season is rising to the top again with last night’s 3-2 win over the Hollywood Bums.  So far as we near the completion of the first half of the season, Mets fans emotions and view of this team has spun around like a weather vane in a tornado, they put together a nice little win streak and we feel this could the one of those season where the club can grab what looks like a wide open NL East and win the division. Then there are the losing streaks and we’re ready to slump our shoulders and look at each other with that “ I knew it was too good to be true” expression we’ve worn since Mike Vail looked like the second coming of Mickey Mantle until a shattered ankle ended that dream.

But here we are, at the end of June and the Mets are but a mere 3 ½ games out of 1st place. I think most of us are still stunned by that as all winter the number of wins predicted for this Mets team hovered between 75 and 81 with everyone who bleeds blue and orange saying a .500 season would be a dream come true. Has this first half changed your view of that dream?

This is what the summer should be about, your team in contention for a pennant where you’re not just following your team but every team in the division, that’s where we stand now with the Mets especially this weekend. With the Mets and Dodgers playing at 10PM, it sets up perfect for us to follow the Phillies at the Fish and the Nats at the Braves right into Mets (with the Dickster on the bump) Dodgers. Its weekends like this that I pity those who aren’t baseball fans.

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WE’RE CLOSE REEEEAAAALLLL CLOSE TO REAL BASEBALL

I had the honor of being invited to a bloggers conference call with Mets manager Terry Collins last night. Collins is upbeat , excited and quite confident about his team. I posed the question to Collins on how will he keep this club together when adversity hits, as it always does in a 162 game baseball season. Thanks to Michael Baron, here is my question and a full transcript of the conference call. I tip my Mets cap to Michael for doing this transcript under adverse conditions as there was a load of background noise during the call:

Steve Keane: This Spring, camp has been upbeat, although there have been a few bumps in the road. It seems the players have fed off your enthusiasm. Over the course of the season, there will be losing streaks, and in the past, those spread and festered. The Mets, over the past few years, haven’t been known to be mentally and physically tough. How do you combat that?

Terry Collins:   Not everyone has the answer. People think there is a process we go through to get through it. In a losing streak, a lot of guys get concerned with individual stats, and we need to combat that. Its all about communication, and making sure they continue to believe in themselves. Not sitting back, and waiting for things to happen.

The toughest part of managing or coaching is getting your players to buy in to what preaching, getting them to put team ahead of self and so far this spring from the quotes and stories from Mets players, they seem to be buying what TC is selling.

Caryn (Metsgrrl) Rose had a great question for Collins about him being a players manager and I think this was a real honest and revealing answer from TC:

I think it means a lot – in the past, I was probably not a players manager. Through the years, I have realized the importance of constant communication, and never taking anything for granted. That is done with experience – from my first few years, I was worried about only managing the game, and thinking everyone was on board with it. I look at it as a compliment.

Keeping the lines of communication open is KEY for a manager. When the players have to guess what you’re thinking or feel you’re playing head games, you are destine to lose that player and your team.  I would say TC learned that lesson in Anaheim and will not make that mistake again.

Izzy has agreed to stay in extended spring training for two weeks as the Mets try to fit this bullpen. It worked out as well as Sandy Alderson could have hoped as he gets to keep two or the three relievers he had to decide on.

The more these stories keep coming out about the Skill Sets shaky financial status, it seems the only conclusion I can see is the Skill Sets selling the team.  Freddy Skill Sets has his heart set on keeping the team in the family for generations to come but I doubt if his wish will come true.

As I was typing up this post, word came down that Luis Castillo has been cut by the Phuck Phaces. Andy Martino is getting ready to file a discrimination lawsuit against the Phuck Phaces on behalf of Castillo.

GET METS-MERIZED! GET METS-MERIZED! Cheesy? you bet Sharp Cheddar Baby!

The everyday menu at Foley’s NY is always first rate but with the start of the 2011 Baseball Season, they have added a bunch of specials to commemorate the season openers:

Appetizers

Francona’s Terry-Yaki Steak Skewers: $5.00

Thai (Cobb) Chicken Skewers: $5.00

Dustin Pedroia’s Buffalo Shrimp: $5.50

Miguel Cabrera’s Loaded Fries: $5.00

Welkes’ Wings (Bucket = three orders): $12.50

Entrees

Cliff’s Phil-Lee Cheesesteak Sandwich: $5.95

Justin Morneau’s French Dip $5.95

Sean Casey’s Irish Burger $6.50

Coursi’s Chicken Club Wrap $5.50

Additionally, Foley’s has named a menu item for every team in the major leagues:

NL

Mets: David Wright Sandwich

Phillies: Philly Cheesesteak Wrap

Braves: Fried Chicken Dinner

Marlins: Fried Fish Sandwich

Nats: Washington Apple Pie

Brewers: Bratwurst

Cardinals: Toasted Ravioli

Pirates: Pittsburgh Steak Salad

Cubs: Chicago Dog

Astros: Texas Sirloin Steak

Reds: “Reds Hot” Chili

Dodgers: LA Pizza

Padres: Fish Tacos

Rockies: Beer Battered Onion Rings

Arizona: Chicken Southwest

Giants: French Dip

AL

Yankees: “Swish” & Chips

Red Sox: Shrimp & Scallops

Toronto: Poutine (French fries topped by cheese curds and gravy)

Orioles: Maryland Crab Cake Sliders

Rays: Cuban Sandwich

Tigers: Mini Chili Dogs

White Sox: Chicago Dog

Twins: “Juicy Lucy” Burger

Royals: KC Burger

Indians: Cleveland Carrot Cake

Rangers: Texas T Bone

Angels: Artie’s Nachos

Mariners: Chicken Eggrolls

A’s:  Garlic Wings

Looks like tomorrow or Friday will be a long lunch day for me to sneak over to Foley’s

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN Podcast from last night with my guest Matthew Silverman author of 50 AMAZIN’ SEASON . You can listen here at Kranepool Society (lower right side bar) or at the show page or as a download on iTunes.

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NO SINK IN THIS SHIP

{ I wrote this post at about 9AM this morning but forgot to hit the publish button. Yes, I’m an idiot) 

 

 

 

The Collapse2007 is dead and buried, thanks to a couple of grave diggers named Santana and Delgado. Johan Santana did what an ace does, prevents long losing streaks and then we have Carlos Delgado who has transformed himself in mid season, the likes I don’t think has been seen in baseball ever. I don’t have the time or patience to research it but if anyone can tell me different let me know what player has gone from shit to sugar in mid-season like Delgado? I mean those were M-V-P chants I heard last night from Shea right? I wasn’t sure as my head felt like it was injected with Novocain listing to Joe Morgan’s analyisis of the game.

 

So the Mets are in the same spot as they were before Friday’s game two games up on the Phellatios instead of being even. If you’re the Phellatios, even with two of three weekend you’ve got to be somewhat verklempt after last nights game because you are banking on the Mets folding up like a home mortgage lender and you find out that will not happen again for two reasons, the Mets strong starting pitching and new leadership in the managers office. Now that the Mets held serve they must, MUST beat the ever loving shit out the Nats and Braves this week, as if any lesson was learned from last year it’s take no opponent for granted as these two teams hate the Mets and will be at their best to try and beat them.

 

Pardon me for not panicking about Billy Wags being done for the season. Of more concern is  the up and down starts by Petey as the bullpen looks to be in descent shape but the starting rotation can not have another member go down. The pressure is on Santana, OP and Big Pelf to keep up their stellar starts but if Petey is not going to give the Mets effective starts then J-Man will have to act and from what we’ve seen so far if you perform you play is the Warlord Jerry’s Golden Rule.

 

Now if Wags is gone for the year then I don’t want to here a word about him or out of him until spring. Now I know I’m prick for saying that but I’m of the mindset if you’re injured and can’t play then get out of the way. Cold hearted yes but it’s the only way to go. Losers make excuses for poor play due to injury (see Highlander, New York, Girardi, Joe, Clueless) Wags is out. No problem.  Luis Ayala is doing fine and I also think Al Reyes will see some significant innings as will Ricardo Rincon. The Mets have the arms what is needed is the execution.

 

Do you get the idea that Warlord Jerry looks at Aaron Heilman like the Jets looked at Baby John in West Side Story? What is J-Man quote? “Gangsta’s take the field, ladies take the bus”? Looks like J-Man gave Heilman an unlimited Metro Card.

 

Same with Gimp Castillo, by playing Damien Easley in both games it shows J-Man was true to his word that he doesn’t care about contracts he is playing his best guys.

 

According to ESPN MLB Schedule the match ups the next four games, the Mets will see four LH starters (Jon Lanan-Odalis Perez for the Nats Denver School Superintendent Mike Hampton and Jo-Jo Reyes of the Braves) so my question How does J-Man get Danny Boy Murphy at bats? Out of the next four Murphy has to get at least one start and if a righty comes in, then Murphy should be put in for either Tatis or Evans which ever gets the start.

 

  

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