STOP………………..Harvey Time

Tuesday night I Tweeted from Citi Field, the fact that I stood next to Matt Harvey in the Mets dugout during batting practice and just his presences oozed Major Leaguer to me.  He wasn’t one of these rail thin peach fuzz cheeked rookies, nope, he had that thick trunk that the best power pitchers possess and he just carried himself around the dugout, that was boarding on a three ring circus with Mets bloggers, main streamers and models posing by bat racks in tank tops. None of this fazed Harvey. I had my voice recorder in hand and wanted to get at least a five minute interview with Harvey but he was headed to the bullpen to get his work in so all I could muster was a quick “how ya doing” and “good luck”

It was a pleasure watching Harvey pitch last night (you could tell Keith Hernandez in Phoenix doing the game and Ron Darling in the SNY studios in Midtown were enjoying Harvey’s performance as well especially Darling) as I said he, has that thick trunk and uses it to push off the rubber to where he’s not using all arm to pitch. A guy named Seaver used to that way back when and he was pretty good too.  Harvey hit a high of 98 MPH with his fastball and averaged 95 for the night. One thing missing from Harvey’s repertoire was use of his curve ball which according to Brooks Baseball he threw just three times. It was a mix of fastball/slider for Harvey all night and he was at his most effective when he hit corners, especially the outside corner of the plate and work his fastball up the ladder. Bobby Parnell should sit with Harvey and watch tape of this performance because if Parnell could approach pitching like Harvey did last night, the Mets would never have another 10 game losing streak.

It’s hard to harness one’s enthusiasm for Matt Harvey and what’s to come the rest of this season and beyond after last night.  With the awful start to the second half and the infighting amongst some players and the fans looking for a miracle in Sandy Alderson’s second year of stewardship with the Mets, Matt Harvey gave the team and fans the pick me up both needed, lets’ hope it lasts.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Free Matt Harvey

I don’t think we can question the poise and maturity of Matt Harvey after last night’s performance, in fact I came away quite impressed by his demeanor. Think about how he handled this start with the knowledge that his call up to the big leagues hangs in the balance with Mets exec J.P Riccardi at the ball park in Buffalo and Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Dan Warthen monitoring his performance via SNY. Make up wise Harvey, in my opinion is big league ready, ability wise could be debated.

If Dillon Gee were healthy we don’t have this discussion on whether Harvey is a big leaguer or not but with the prospect that Gee is done for the year, the Mets need a starter and when you look at the options, Matt Harvey stands out as the best of them.

Miguel Batista or Jeremy Hefner? No thank you. We’ve seen all we need to see of Batista who is still making a living off that last game of the year shutout over the Reds. If I had to pick between the two, I’d  go with Hefner but since Harvey is in the mix, I’d give Harvey the start on Saturday for sure.

Is Harvey ready for it? It seems it’s a question with many answers. Some folks are against bringing him up fearing a meltdown of some sorts, from what we’ve seen of Harvey from spring training to last night, I hardly think that will happen. Will an early promotion stunt his growth as a pitcher? That’s a great question that I can’t answer but what we know of Harvey is he has a passion to be a major leaguer and he loves to learn and will ask questions and work on his craft to achieve success.  My question is how will being on the big league roster with veteran pitchers like R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, two guys who always make themselves available to young pitchers, hurt Matt Harvey? If anything I think he’s thrive in that environment.

I do worry about the enthusiasm level that Mets fans have for Harvey and Zack Wheeler as well.  Between the four game losing streak (7 loses in last 10 games as well) the awful bullpen and ineffective offense against left handed pitching; the fan base is headed toward meltdown mode. For the health and welfare of Mets fans everywhere, I hope the team can take two of three from the Nats.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

THE NEW YORK METS ARE UNDER MY SKIN

Now that we have the holidays out of the way, we can now look forward to spring training for what should be quite the interesting Mets season.

Eric Simon of Amazin’ Avenue had an interesting post today on how bad will the Mets be in 2012? Of course the number one item on his list of things that will impact the season is the Skill Sets financial situation, something that will most likely overshadow what goes on, on the field but Simon also touches on the health and availability of Johan Santana, the hitting of Jason Bay and David Wright and where the offensive production lost from Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes will come from.

So my question to you my loyal readers, what is your expectation for the Mets this coming season? What is a realistic expectation of this team and what will be their standing in the NL East, a division that could be up for grabs if the reports of Prince Fielder signing with Washington are true. Can you see anything short of a last place finish in the division? Right now, I can’t.

Where do you see Johan Santana this season? For me, I’d be surprised if we see Santana pitch for the Mets before June.

What to do with David Wright? Wright is not a player, right now that could realistically bring back a treasure trove of young talent but what if he is invigorated by good health and more friendly dimensions of Citi Field and puts up a .300/.380/.500 line with 15-17 HR’s and 75-80 + RBI by the All-Star break, do you keep him and hope a new owner comes in with cash to re-sign him or is the lure of young robust baseball players to tempting to turn down in a trade?  I’m still undecided on this one but I am leaning towards a deal if the Mets get back a blue ribbon prospect or a young Major Leaguer under club control.

When I go to opening day at Citi Field, who else will be there? If you are a true blue Mets fan and having been going to Mets games your whole life I can’t see how now you decide to sit this season out. No one has a right to tell you how to spend your time or money but as Boggy said, “a hot dog at a ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz”. So true, I mean today when I left for work I had on a sweater, coat, scarf and wool hat. You know what? That sucks. I want to wear shorts and t-shirt and have a scorecard in my hand. I have made peace with myself that the Mets will not be very good this season to the point that 100 losses would not shock me. However, there is still a part of me that small sliver of Mets fan naivete` that still has me holding out hope that this season could be full of surprises and I want to be there to enjoy them.  I know all the die-hards will be out at Citi Field on Thursday April 5th at 1:10PM, will you be there? If not tell me why not?

It’s funny the other teams I root for in other sports are playing at a level where they are contenders for championships in their respective leagues but it’s the Mets that are on my mind the most  and my biggest concern. Crazy shit eh?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

PAGAN? HE GONE AND THE REBUILT BULLPEN

Well, if nothing else, Rauch and Francisco won’t tolerate much bullshit!

 

Well, the Mets won’t be coming home from Dallas empty handed. Maybe they are not the most sexy moves Mets fans wanted but they are practical, kind of like getting an iron or power tool for Christmas.  Let’s take a gander at the transaction shall we:

Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez

Note to all Mets personnel, don’t piss off Terry Collins or you too will be shown the door.  It seems many of Pagan’s ex-teammates won’t be shedding any tears that he’s gone and neither will I. Talk about addition by subtraction. Pagan fell out of favor with the club because a piss poor attitude and putting oneself above the team that don’t fly here no more, especially when you’re fringe major leaguer.

The return from the Giants is quite intriguing. Torres is an upgrade defensively but he not much to look at in the batter’s box. Can Dave Hudgens can do the voodoo they he do-do and bring Torres back offensively to where he was in 2010 (.268/.343/.479 16 HR 43 2b 6.8 WAR) ?

The best part of the deal is getting Ramirez   added to this new look bullpen. Ramirez walks a few batters more than I like but he is effective against right handed hitters. I’m surprised Brian Sabean would include Ramirez in this deal because on the surface Pagan and Torres cancel each other at as both were non-tender candidates and if you’d look to deal Ramirez I’m sure the Giants could have gotten a better offer.

Mets sign Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco

One year deal for $3.5 mil for Rauch and a 2 year $12 mil for Francisco. Are either of these guys top flight pitchers? No ,but for the price they’ll should be more than serviceable . When you look at the Mets bullpen right now, it is far better than it was on the last day of the 2011 season. Rauch should be fine as the 8th inning set up man and Francisco  will take the role as closer but both could interchange the roles if need be. Francisco is a strike out pitcher who throws his fastball and split both effectively and comes with a manageable contract.

So right now the Mets bullpen looks as so:

Francisco  RHP

Rauch  RHP

Ramirez RHP

Parnell RHP

Acosta RHP

Brydak LHP

 

I don’t think Bobby Parnell is a lock for a bullpen spot but to not have to close or set up in the 8th inning could help as he could be the ROOGY to Brydak’s LOOGY. I’m sure Alderson would love to add another lefty to this group. What to do with DJ Carrasco? He has another year left on his deal but it’s just for a million and change so he could see himself included as a thrown in a deal (with Daniel Murphy?) . It seems Pedro Beato is ticketed for Buffalo and there isn’t anyone else from last season arson squad I’d want to keep.

You have to take these deals as a positive, not a jump up and down positive but the team is better than it was on the last day of the season positive.

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

YOUR MOMENT OF ALDERSON ZEN

I think we all need to take a big deep breath. This Skill Sets Cash Call has gotten the fan base acting like a bunch of blue and orange Chicken Little’s.  The skies of Flushing may look dark and ominous but it’s not falling. This may in fact, be the best thing that could happen to the Mets.

There seems to be a misunderstanding in the fan base that thinks spending lots of money equals championships, if that’s the case, how come there are only two World Series trophy’s on display at the Mets Hall of Fame? No one was better at pissing away the Skill Sets cash than Omar Minaya but his administration had no structure or foresight  or the balls to tell Jeffey stay out the baseball operations way. The minor league system, the life blood of any organization, has been run about as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s snow removal system. The biggest indictment of the failure of the Mets system is the image still burned in my memory of Fernando Martinez in his first day as a major leaguer, failing to run out a ball hit in front of home plate. At that point, F-Mart should have been taken to La Guardia Airport and sent back to Buffalo and then the whole minor league system should have been bulldozed and built back from the ground up. It didn’t because there was no one in charge with balls or brains to fix it. Until now.

The best move in the last couple of days by the Mets (besides signing R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan clearing the arbitration eligible list) was hearing Sandy Alderson in his straight shooter way, talk to us like intelligent adults. There was no spin or sleight of hand like we’re used to, there was a right between the eyes shot of reality (Adam Rubin’ transcript of the Alderson conference call is required reading for the Mets masses)

“First of all, I want to emphasize that the plan that we have pursued the last couple of months was limited by only one fact, and that was the level of the existing payroll. Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between $140 million and $150 million. I think that is significantly higher than we’d like to be on an annual basis — a product of adding some additional players that we felt the roster needed as well as some existing commitments. The plan and the approach that I’ve taken over the last two months has not been affected at all by any other outside factors.

 

“From my standpoint, when I took this position, when I interviewed and took this position, I was of course aware of the pre-existing involvement of the Wilpons and the Mets with Bernie Madoff. I wasn’t privy to all of the detail, nor am I or most of us at this point privy to all that detail. And I wouldn’t expect to be. At the same time, none of that has affected what I have done over the last two months. I don’t expect that it will have any impact on what I do over the next several months, including into the 2012 offseason.”

Gone are the days of wasting money on has beens and underachievers as bench players just because they are your friends or are good at playing Hearts. Why give a 35 year old utility infielder $2mil when you can use a minor leaguer for $450K or a journeyman for a make good deal where performance equals a pay raise? We’re not used to such competence around here and I guess it takes time to understand, there is spending money and there is spending money wisely.

Alderson also showed his leadership qualities by turning negative news into a positive when asked if he was worried about having the cash resources going forward:

No. I mean, obviously there’s a certain level of ambiguity surrounding this news. But from my standpoint, the facts are as they currently exist. And to some extent the decision to find a minority partner or some other source of recapitalizing the franchise is positive news from my standpoint. If there was an initial problem before, that can only be positive from my standpoint.”

There seems to be a panic by a small group of Mets fans about the future of Jose Reyes and his tenure with the Mets. From hearing Alderson address this it will be Reyes performance and his contract demands that will dictate if he stays a Met for years to come. Ken Davidoff of Newsday has said of Pee Wee Cashman, that he is “a stone cold killer” in the way he deal s with players as we’ve seen with Derek Jeter and the Rafael Soriano signing. I would say Alderson is a more of a calculated assassin.  Alderson will do what’s best for the Mets not Reyes and for that Mets should be grateful.  Alderson is not going to make the Mets a small market team he is going to make then a more efficient organization when it comes to handing out long term deals.  Anyone have a problem with that?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

DOUG GLANVILLE JOINS ME TONIGHT ON THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW ON BLOGTALK RADIO

Doug was to join me last month but circumstances beyond his control prevented him from coiming on the show, but I am happy to say he will join me tonught on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN

 

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for This Call To The Bullpen Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. My guest is former Major Leaguer and current ESPN baseball analyst, Doug Glanville. Doug and I will be discussing his new book, THE GAME FROM WHERE I STAND: A Ballplayer’s Inside View (published by Henry Holt/Times Books) and we’ll also get Doug’ views and what’s happening today in MLB.

If you can’t join is live, you can listen to the podcast on the show page, or right here at Kranepool Society (scroll down to the lower left hand side bar) or download the show on iTunes.

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop for t-shirts, mugs bags and many other items.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

DOUG GLANVILLE JOINS ME TONIGHT ON THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for This Call To The Bullpen Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. My guest is former Major Leaguer and current ESPN baseball analyst, Doug Glanville. Doug and I will be discussing his new book, THE GAME FROM WHERE I STAND: A Ballplayer’s Inside View (published by Henry Holt/Times Books) and we’ll also get Doug’ views and what’s happening today in MLB.

If you can’t join is live, you can listen to the podcast on the show page, or right here at Kranepool Society (scroll down to the lower left hand side bar) or download the show on iTunes.

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop for t-shirts, mugs bags and many other items.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

BUS STOP WET DAY SHE’S THERE PLEASE SHARE MY UMBRELLA

 

It’s been a very busy morning so this will be a short post. I hate weather like today as we have a 5:30 game and it’s either going to rain this afternoon or this evening and I have to plan to go home early or stay at work so I’m very indecisive on what to do kind of like the Mets on the base paths.

Big Pelf was the pitcher we all thought we’d grow up to be yesterday. He got ahead with his sinker and used an effective spilt as well. It also helps it have a craftsman behind the plate like Henry Blanco. What we need now is consistency from Big Mike.

This whole Reyes in the third spot is just Jerry Manuel standing on a trap door waiting for it to open. I love how J-Man tells the press he advised Reyes to stay with his game when the move is made and not try to be a power hitter. What the hell is your 3 hitter anyway? He’s your best bat and one of your best power bats which is why D-Wright is the best option at the 3 spot. The problem with the lineup is both Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis suck and Ike Davis is playing for Buffalo. I know there are some who think Davis needs more time at Triple A but when you take into account his fine spring plus he went to one of the finest baseball schools-Arizona St.-in the country and his dad was a major leaguer so he knows the life better than most, that baseball pedigree tells me the risk of bringing up and under cooked Davis is better than a burnt Mike Jacobs or Fernando Tatis.

The Wee-Fellow at the Daily News has for the most part become an irrelevant writer in this town but he is still the house organ for the Skill Sets which leads me to believe the Skill Sets some how collaborated with him on this Bobby Valentine homecoming story to reclaim the Mets managers office.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

NOT JUST THIN ICE BUT THIN AIR AS WELL

Not much to talk about today with the off day and most of the “woe is us” post were done yesterday, so lets take a ride around the blogsphere and see what the more fertile minds are saying:

Dillion Gee was a pitcher that Jerry Manuel was fond of last spring in fact Gee was one of those players Manuel picked out of camp to proclaim he could break camp a la Jenry Mejia this year. Gee though suffered from a partially torn labrum that sidelined him for most of last season but now Gee is back and after his first start with the Bisons he’ shown some nice numbers and could just vault himself up North soon. Check out Fonzie Forever’ post on Dillion Gee.

As from chicken wing country, Ike Davis continues to hit at Triple A and for reasons I can’t comprehend, Jerry Manuel is not storming Omar’s office and demanding that Davis be brought up. If my ass were on the line like J-Man’s I’d take no prisoners.

Matthew Cerrone has a post on MetsBlog on the debut of Aroldis Chapman in Double A yesterday and what effect this would have on the Reds trading Aaron Harang ? The thing with Chapman, you wonder what kind of scouting and how hard did the Mets look at Chapman ? As fans we have no knowledge of what this young man from Cuba translates into as a bonifide Major Leaguer but Omar Minaya and his scouts get paid to find the Chapman’s of the baseball world. The question is, did Omar and the scouts do the leg work scouting Chapman and then get shot down on by ownership when the price went high? If the Mets lost out on Chapman, solely for monetary reasons then the Wilpon’s need to get out of the baseball business. If the Omar and his scouts said he wasn’t worth it? Then they need to be fired. In any case as Mats fan we should be given the reason why the Mets did not get involved with Aroldis Chapman. Also forget about Roy Oswalt and Chris Young coming to the Mets, both are damaged goods.

Nick Evans life story will be made into a Lifetime movie some day.

Tonight at 11PM ET join me and Adam Bernacchio of The Ghost of Moonlight Graham as we host the Baseball Bloggers Alliance BBA TALK on BLOGTALK RADIO. 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.