Tejada? Nada Hi Q and What up Gee?

So now that we have something to cheer about in what has been a less than enjoyable baseball season, the voices of sports squawk radio and those who feel they’re the conscious of Mets fans tells us not to get too giddy over this unexpected four game win streak that includes three against the Bronx Bastards. To them I say go piss in someone else’s pool. I’ll revel in whatever joy this team gives me, it could all turn to shit very quickly.

So while we can say we root for the best baseball team in NYC, there is still danger in the summer moon above.

If anything disturbs me it’s the indecision on the front office’s part on what to do with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada. It seems that brain trust is divided on what to do with both of these underachievers.  Reports are that Terry Collins gave them both what for before Tuesday’s game and that the both were saved a trip to Sin City by the Mets win as everyone in the Mets clubhouse had on party hats and were swinging at Piñatas and enjoyed ice cream after the Mets beat the Highlanders and Mariano Rivera, with the kids all having a good time no one had the heart to tell Davis and Tejada they were moving away from their friends. Kids are quite vulnerable you know.

But now it seems Ike Daivs is pulling a Hulk Hogan, when just when you think the 3 count will get him, he raises that finger on the count of two, waves that index finger, gets up and puts the big boot in the opponents face.  Tejeda did the organization a favor by straining a quad muscle and will be out for the season, well, not really but he’s on the 15 day DL, and by Tejada status means it will take him a month to heal and then his rehab then the obligatory minor league starts at Brooklyn, we looking at, oh I don’t know, Labor Day for Tejada? That’s okay as we have the man we want in Omar Quintanilla, back to play stellar D and get some big hits, or so we hope.

Nothing beats having completion on a team for jobs. The word on Tejada was he was getting very complacent thinking he had civil service status as a Met and a trip to Vegas would take him down a notch or two, let’s hope he doesn’t sit around eating Hagen Das while lounging on the beach during his recovery.  

If anything tonight’s game in the South Bronx is not just about sweeping the Highlanders and having their fans jump like rats from a sinking ship, it’s about Dillon Gee pitching for his spot in the rotation. Gee needs to step up big time tonight to keep a spot in the rotation. By next week the rotation will be Harvey-Niese-Marcum-Wheeler and either Gee or Hefner. I’m rooting for Gee to bounce back and keep the 5th spot in the rotation I just feel Hefner is best suited for the bullpen and as the old timey spot starter.

 

 

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

From Niese-ly Done to Matt-tastic Harvey

 

Some observations after last night’s Mets 2-1 win over the NY Highlanders:

I was quite perturbed that there wasn’t a pre-game show on SNY.  As the day went on yesterday I was really getting revved up for this game. But I switched on SNY at 6PM looking forward to Chris (Uncle Fester) Carlin and my main man, Bobby Ojeda to hit me up with some knowledge before the game.  Instead I got the insufferable Beer Money. Total failure by SNY to not have a pre-game show even with the telecast on PIX-11. Speaking of PIX-11

Since Ch 11 was televising the game it seems they were given the opportunity to have a pre-game show on WPIX but instead of a pre-game show Mets fans were treated to a television train wreck. There was some guy named Mario Diaz who was teamed up with Art Shamsky, who by the way has been pushing this book of his for what seems like an eternity. Really Art, enough already, that damn tome is sitting on a shelf down at the Dollar Tree give it a rest. So now this Diaz guy throws it to another guy I never heard (and if I’m lucky will never hear of him again) Dyrol Joyner. Joyner was so tongue tied and unprepared that I went from mocking him from my living room to actually feeling sorry for the dude. It was bad enough calling Mariano Rivera “Mario” but he kept stumbling and bumbling over his words, it was quite an embarrassment. Then they went to some young lady who must have just re located here to the NY area because she was reading traffic and transit report right off a script and never lifted her eyes to look into the camera. There was an on field interview with Jeremy Heftner that focus on his family during the Oklahoma tornado which happen last week, the same time Hefner addressed the effect on his family, and an interview with Matt Harvey where he was asked if he ever met Julia Roberts since she stared in Mystic Pizza filmed in the town where Harvey is from.  Oh and good news, Mr. Diaz said they will all be back on Thursday from the Bronx. Someone in the Mets organization needs to put a stop to that.

It’s amazing how Mets fans are such creatures of habit as soon as it was realized that Gary Cohen was off and Kevin Burkhardt was handling the play by play, Mets Twitter was in a dither. It wasn’t the smoothest broadcast of all time that’s for sure. First off, Keith Hernadez had a major brain fart calling Daniel Murphy’s broken bat a “dead solider” on Memorial Day no less and there was way too much Highlander love and way, way, way too many shots of Pee Wee Cashman sitting in the stands. You have to know your audience is made up of not just die hard Mets fans but also die hard Highlander haters.

There is no two ways around it, those camo unis suck and if I never see them again that would be swell. Although John Buck, Bobby Parnell and John Niese looked like they could wear the camo’s every day.

I don’t know why people get their panties in a bunch over the attendance numbers at ball parks. What the Mets and the rest of professional sports have to understand is with the advent of high definition televisions and the high ticket, parking and concessions prices, fans are finding that staying home in the living room or den with their big screen TV with full fridges of food and their favorite beverage of choice is winning out over fighting traffic, long lines to eat and pee and  watching a bad product on the field. The NFL realizes this and is trying to figure out how to make fans want to leave home and experience football in a live environment rather than staying home and watching on TV.

Great start from Jon Niese as he had total command of his especially an effective cut fastball.  This is exactly what is expected and needed from Niese 6-7 solid innings each start.

After getting robbed of a 2 run homer by Brett Gardner, Daniel (#ImWith28) Murphy comes up big with a clutch single to center to score JV1 with what proved to be the winning run.

How about Ruben Tejada in that 8th inning ? Every time he puts the ball in play recently it’s in the air for a can of corn out, yesterday when the Mets needed a fly ball to get Mike Baxter home from first, he hits it on the ground and Baxter was out at the plate. Total frustration.

Speaking of frustration, Lucas Duda with RISP has hit (can you really call it that) a buck twenty-five with ZERO home runs and a paltry 6 Rib Eye Steaks .

As for Ike Davis, just a hat trick last night 3K’s in 3AB’s

Prediction for tonight 3 hit complete game shutout for Matt Harvey #HappyHarveyDay      

 

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

Mets Fans Find Respect Away From Home

 

This past weekend a cadre of Mets fans led by Darren Meenan of The 7 Line converged on Wrigley Field for a fine weekend of baseball. Shannon from The Mets Police was there as well and today he has a post on his site that is a must read for not only every Mets fan but for Mets management as well.

Shannon writes about the wonderful experience he had at the Friendly Confines. As someone who has been to Wrigley Field I am not surprised at all. A day at Wrigley Field is unlike any at Citi Field. In fact a day at any other ball park is unlike a day at Citi Field.

A few years ago I went to Chicago with a bunch of guys, mostly cops and firemen for a weekend series of Mets and Cubs. We had spilt the group up where five of us would sit in field level seats for the Friday game and five would sit in the bleachers for the Saturday game.  My group of five sat in field level for the Friday game. An usher greeted us as we entered and saw that we were dressed in all our splendor in Mets gear. He said welcome to Wrigley Field “youes guys” and laughed. So did we. He showed us to our seats, wiped them down told us to enjoy the game. We handed the guy a 20 dollar bill and he gave us a big smile back and said, “That’s why I like you New York guys, you know how to take care of people”. Yes sir we do as long as you are nice and pleasant we take care of you. If you’re nasty and surly and act like you hate your job as the ushers at Citi Field seem to, we give you our ass to kiss.

As we sat, we were taking pictures of the field and the ball park when a guy with the game day staff at Wrigley saw us taking pictures came over and took a group shot of us. When he took the picture, we thanked him and he said “No, thank you guys for coming to Wrigley Field” you could have knocked us over with a feather.  

It’s not just Wrigley Field game day personnel that treat people the way people should be treated. First time I went to Camden Yards, my son was three years old so we still used a stroller to get around. As we entered the ball park my son was fussing so I took him out of the stroller and carried him, my wife took the stroller along with a backpack we had with food for him, jacket, toys all stuff you need to bring when you have a toddler. An usher came right over to us and said “please let we give you a hand” he looked at the tickets, which were just down the left field line and took the stroller and said “follow me please” walked us to our seats and got us situated. After saying to us “enjoy the game” I went to give him a tip the usher looked at me and said “oh no sir we do not accept gratuities, put thank you.  WHOA!

Every Mets fan who has traveled to another ball park to follow the Mets have the same kind of stories, whether it be Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, PNC Park, AT&T or even CBP , Mets fans have a better game day experience away from Citi Field that at our own home park.  

There is no reason whatsoever that a fan coming to park early to watch batting practice has to be held back by a big hairy arm telling you if you don’t have a ticket you can’t go down there. Same thing if you want to visit someone in another section. How many times has a friend been at a game you get a text “hey I’m in section 207 come down and we’ll meet up” you go to the section see your buddy and make an attempt to go to the seat when your stopped and interrogated to see a ticket?  That’s why the Shea Bridge area of the ballpark is popular it’s the Guantanamo Bay of Citi Field.

Mets fans don’t want t-shirts, bobble heads, lunch pails or other gimmicks to lure us to the ball park. Just give us a competitive team and show us the respect we deserve when we enter the ball park. Kindness goes along way with Mets fans.

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

Hey Terry Collins, Only You Can Prevent Clubhouse Fires!

I like Terry Collins. Terry Collins knows more baseball than you, me and anyone else who calls themselves a baseball fan and although he didn’t say it quite the way he should have, he’s right no Mets fans knows what goes on in the teams clubhouse better than he does. But with all that it seems to me, an outsider that the players are running that clubhouse and because of past bad experiences as manager of the Angles and Astros, Collins is too worried about a repeat of those experiences in Anaheim and Houston.  The problem with that is, Nice Guy Terry Collins is going to end up in the same place as an Angry Guy Terry Collins, out of a job.

The Saga of Jordany just won’t go away.  It’s the talk of the town and now it has spread across the nation. In a story in USA Today, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd, two players new to the Mets, have called out Valdespin in print for being an obnoxious little shit. What does this have to do with Collins? Well, if I’m the Mets manager I’d call both of these veterans into my office and rip them two new assholes. Valdespin is hated for lack of baseball decorum so why is Hawkins and Byrd treated differently for violating the baseball tenant of what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse ? This Valdespin situation is been going on too long, you think a Tony LaRussa or Billy Martin would let this go on? These are the kind of situation that Joe Torre was at his best in, making sure little clubhouse fires don’t turn into infernos. Terry Collins is thisclose to having to put out a 3 alarm fire.

So Valdespin flips a bat and embarrasses Jose Contreas and is charged with a capital crime in baseball, but talking about teammates to the press has no repercussions? What a bunch of bullshit. What’s the standard? When does the manager get mad enough to call his team together and read the riot act to shut the fuck up and put all this hate towards Valdespin and aim it at the opposition?     

Sandy Alderson has said on many occasions that the Mets win/loss record would not dictate if Collins gets an extension of his contract. Collins will be judge on the progress the team has made from last year to this year so right now Collins looks like a prime candidate for a 1 bedroom at Del Bocca Vista. If anything this team has regressed badly. Now that’s not all Collins fault, that blame goes more to the front office and ownership that essentially has written off 2013 and has its sights on 2014 and beyond. The problem though that Collins has is the front office wants to see what he can do with the so called talent they have given him. That’s quite a task.

Collins needs to start challenging his players. He has to stop worrying that if he becomes Terry Hard Ass they will revolt instead of their current state of being revolting to watch. Good Guy Terry is not getting much of anything out this group so maybe it’s time to rattle some cages.

Yesterday I attended the Mike Francesa and Bobby Valentine breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Valentine, an early riser, was at the Hard Rock so early that he came around to each table to chat with the folks in attendance.  I’ve been a Valentine fan for a while and yesterday just enforced my admiration for him. After the program, Valentine hung around and was talking with a few of us who didn’t have to run to work. At one point while having a nice chat on baseball, Valentine said “com’on walk with me while I get something to eat” and as he tried to find some breakfast he never broke stride in our conversation.

Bobby V had some very interesting thoughts on the game:

As a player who was beaned, once right near his eye that a doctor said if it were an inch up, probably would have blinded him, he feels the “unwritten rule” of hitting someone is stupid and should not be tolerated.

When asked about Roger Clemens throwing the bat head of Mike Piazza’ bat at Piazza, Valentine said the team was in shock when happened and after hearing about Clemens using PED’s it all came together to him that Clemens was wound up on something that night. He also said that Bud Selig spoke to both he and Joe Torre letting them know that he didn’t want anything to go one in this series that would embarrass baseball.  So it was quite surprising when Clemens wasn’t discipline or tossed for his actions.

Bobby V could not believe how there was this much fuss over the Vladespin home run pimp job and the fact that it’s still being talk about and how he can’t understand why Valdespin is not in the Mets lineup every day. When Francesa said that Vladespin might not produce a lot if he played every day , Valentine countered with how do we know unless he plays and pointing out that no one else is producing so give him the shot as he can hit, has power, can steal a base so why is he being wasted on the bench?

Valentine is a proponent of sabermetrics and talked about his time as Texas Rangers manger when he had hired Craig Wright as his Sabermetrician  for the Rangers. He spoke about how he also waited on line at bookstores waiting to get the latest copy of The Bill James Abstract on its release day. As much as he used advanced analytics as a manager he said that the statistics are a very good barometer of what a player did in the past but not in predicting the future. Valentine went on to talk about how you could project what a player could do but as we see with many players unforeseen circumstances arise and throw off the statistical projections.

Valentine loved the enthusiasm of the teams that participated in the World Baseball Classic and spoke to people at MLB during the finals in San Francisco about encouraging teams in MLB to not supress players to show the type of emotion that Latin countries and not be so stuffy. Valentine was candid in saying that MLB needs to find a way to get more women and minorities to come out and watch baseball games.

On his year with the Red Sox, Valentine said it was an experience and another “notch on his belt” and not much more. He also said that while he was a fan of Bill James and was looking forward to working with James, he never once heard from him nor was he ever given any statistical reports. Valentine was shaking his head as he told that story.     

 

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

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.

 

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

When Matt Harvey Pitches You Better Wear Shades

Isn’t it amazing how we feel as Mets fans after a Matt Harvey start? Have you noticed how the other fan bases around baseball look at us now that we have Matt Harvey? 

Matt Harvey’ performance hides alot of the Mets imperfections, like Ike Davis playing first base like its’ 3:45 AM or Capt Kirk getting bad jump on a fly ball in centerfield or holding our breath on a ground ball to Ruben Tejada, when you’re down about the Mets play at times all you have to say is, Is Matt Harvey a stud or what? It makes it all better.

Harvey was large and in charge again last night at a library quiet Citizen Bank Ball Park as he sliced and diced the Dirty Old Phuck Phaces with a Frisbee like slider and fast ball after fastball. Sure Harvey had a bit of an issue with command but he still was never in any danger in this game, unlike the once great Roy Halladay who turned into an old man in front of our eyes. Ron Darling even went into an old pitchers stick together soliloquy over the demise of Doc Halladay but then realized he was working this game for SNY and not TBS and stopped in mid-sentence to realize his Mets fan audience was enjoying their team stepping on Halladay’s throat.

As you all know I am a fin of Collin Cowgill but when I see him with that flat brim on his cap it drives me up a wall. I hate flat brims on baseball cap with a passion BEND THAT BRIM COLLIN!!!!!!!

I’m not worried about Ike Davis at the plate but I am stunned at how bad a first base he’s been playing. Last few games, he’s been a mess in the field.

I like the blue uni top the Mets wear at home but I’m not a fan of the blue road top. I’m ok with the snow whites but they wear them too damn much. There is nothing better than watching the Mets when they are in their pinnies in fact I’d love them even better without the names on the back. The all blue cap is the best cap in baseball. The new blue and orange caps would be better if the “ny” was all orange. I LOVE, LOVE ,LOVE the Mr. Met cap but then again I have always had a strong affection for Mr.Met.

Last night David Wright went after a pop up in foul territory. A Phuck Phace fan tried to interfere with Wright as he caught the pop up and then had the balls to ask Wright for the baseball. Wright shot this shit head a “Are you fucking me” look that was straight out of Bensonhurst.

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

Hey Jordany, Smarten Up!

Yes it was an ugly loss last night but not ugly enough to throw up your hands just yet Mets fans.  I will say though, it would be a huge boost to the Mets and the fan base if they take the next two from the Fish. Some more about last night:

Hats off to Jeremy Hefner as he continued with the parade of solid starting pitching the Mets have gotten so far this week. Hefner showed nice command of his fastball and slider, keeping the ball down in the zone as well. He threw a lot of pitches in the 2nd and 3rd innings (49 total) but all he gave up was solo home run to Greg Dobbs.

Jordany Valdespin will drive us crazy all year. As good an offensive player as he is JV1 has absolutely no baseball instincts.  The 3rd inning brought it all into perspective. From be too far off the bag at 1st on Daniel Murphy’s soft liner to short that the throw to pick him at first base caught his bicep to then getting picked off at first with David Wright up and before a pitch could be thrown to Wright. MY GOD!

SNY cameras caught a great scene in the dugout after JV1 got picked off. He retreated to the corner of the dugout both to stay out of ear shot of Terry Collins and because is arm was hurting. That didn’t stop John Buck from coming over to him to give some “advice”. The funniest part of the exchange was Buck cornered Valdespin so there was no place for him to go until Buck was done “talking” to him.

I don’t know what you expect from Lucas Duda in left field. He’s not an outfielder; he’s a first baseman/DH and at some point Sandy Alderson is going to have a make a decision on what to do with Duda.

Don’t panic about Ike

As you know I’m not a fan of Ruben Tejada and with the scuttlebutt that it was thisclose as to who went to Vegas him or Omar Ouintanilla, I agree with what Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show  as much as you can play your way on to a team, you can play your way off a team. The only way Tejada keeps his job is with his bat and his glove and range at short are subpar.

Not a great night for Greg Burke, Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins to say the least.  

Got to take the next two from the Fish. Got to

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

Johan Santana Stepped Up When He Was Needed

Can’t say I’m surprised about the news of Johan Santana and his re-injured left shoulder, what I was surprised about was the Mets not following Johan’s workouts over the winter and the laissez-faire attitude the front office had with the Ace lefty.  It seems no matter what regime runs this team there is always questions about how they operate.  

This re-tear of the shoulder didn’t just happen overnight, some want to blame the no hitter, some want to blame Sandy Alderson calling out Santana for reporting to camp in less than optimal condition and then responding by being a petulant child going into “I’ll show you mode” by throwing the hell out of a bullpen session that should have never been allowed to happen.   

Santana is the last of the Minaya bad signings and I have the feeling the Mets front office are not exactly pulling out one Kleenex after another mourning the loss of Santana. If they are mourning anything it’s the fact that they will pay Santana $30 mil dollars to have surgery and re-hab the shoulder for a second time.  

Safe to say, Johan Santana is now a former Met and the final piece in the purging of the Omar Minaya Era. Mets fans today are in full reminiscent mode regaling each other with stories about the June 1st no hitter and the Game 161 of 2008 when Santana kept a running on fumes Mets team in contention to the last game of the season. The game that will define Johan Santana’s time with the Mets for me though will be the game he pitched on July 27th of that year.

2008 was a year of turbulence as Willie Randolph flew with his under achieving team to Anaheim only to be told to turn around and go home as he was relieved of his managerial duties in a very unprofessional way.  Jerry Manuel took over and the team responded by making a run and landing in first place in July. On July 26th the Mets lost to the Cardinals in 14 innings using 8 pitchers in defeat.  The bullpen was in dire need of a rest and Santana gave them that the next day pitching a complete game 9-1 victory over the Cards. That is what an Ace does; he steps up when needed and performs at his best. You can bemoan the injuries Santana suffered as a Met, you can bitch about the contract he received although at the time Mets fans were tripping the light fandango over the trade and long term deal he signed and you can try to place the blame on anyone and everyone over this latest announcement of bad injury news, but never forget that Johan Santana gave the Mets everything he had when he took the mound.

As I say the 7-27-08 game will stick with me, but so will the Saturday game against the Fish on that next to last day of the season and Shea Stadium that year as well and no one will ever forget the no hitter especially Mets fans of my generation, we will always have a spot in our blue and orange heart for Johan Santana.    

 

 

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

Is There More To the David Howard Departure from the Mets Than Meets The Eye?

With the ominous dark cloud of injuries and lack of overall pizazz that engulfs the 2013 version of the NY Mets, I should be concerned with the product that I and all Mets fans will be observing for better or worse this season but the thing that has me most intrigued about the New York Mets is why did David Howard leave the organization to head Madison Square Garden Sports?

When I heard that Howard was leaving the Mets to run the Garden sports properties I was taken by surprise to say the least. Howard has been a Mets exec for 20 years and in the last few years since the Madoff debacle, he has been the public face of the Mets Ivory Tower. Howard was outstanding at being the top talking head of ownership but then again following the awful displays of public speaking from Omar Minaya, Jeffy Wilpon and the rants of Freddy Skill Sets, those are not tough acts to follow, But Howard was the perfect front man for the club as he’s intelligent, articulate and able to spin the Mets angel better than any Capitol Hill spokesman.

I could be taking this whole departure way out of context; Howard could be leaving for a better position and more money. He could be leaving the Mets just because 20 years in one spot is a long time and he could want a new challenge.  But this being the Wilpon Mets, I always have the hint of disaster in the back of my mind.

Does Dave Howard know something is around the corner that could cripple the franchise again?  Does he see that Freddy Skill Sets crowing about all the cash he will have at his disposal after Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians as a heap of horseshit being that there is debt on the team, ballpark and a re-finance of SNY that could take a large chunk out of the organization’s ass?  Could it be he’s tired of going public about the ridiculous ticket and concession prices the Mets charge and just can’t put a happy face on a team that has a load of opening day tickets still available?  On a bit of a side note about ticket prices and concessions, the Boston Red Sox, one of the best baseball franchises in MLB, will see their 793 home sellout streak end the first week of the season. To counter that the Red Sox, THE BOSTON RED SOX!!!! Will cut the concession prices on food (buy 1 hot dog get 1 free) drink (5 bucks for a beer , 2 bucks for a hot chocolate ) and start 11 of the first 17 home games before 7PM so the cranks of Fenway don’t freeze their arses off in the April chill. Hello?????? Anyone home in the Flushing home office??????

Back to Dave Howard leaving, I wouldn’t question Howard leaving for MSG as nothing more than a corporate transfer going from one board room to another for a loftier title and higher pay but after reading that at least three other front office honchos will take over Howard’s tasks, it makes me think the club was caught off guard. Being that Howard was a 20 year employee of the organization wouldn’t you think that he would have gone to the Skill Sets and explain to them that he needed a new challenge a fresh start and the opportunity to run all the functions of the Gardens sports properties except for drafting, trading and constructing team rosters was too good to pass up, but before I leave I will help any way I can with finding my successor and showing he or she the ropes. That didn’t happen. We have a group of executives from different units reporting to, and this is where I come close to soiling myself, Jeffy Skill Sets. That is what has me the most frightened.

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 Spring of The Mets Fans Discontent

This has got to be the most ho-hum spring training I’ve experienced as a Mets fan in a long long time.  I guess with the exception of Matt Harvey and to an extent Collin Cowgill have made me sit up and take notice. It seems as if jobs are being given to players not on merit but because they are best of a mediocre at best lot. In fact let’s look at who’s who on this team that should head North in 9 days:

Ike Davis-Will this be the Summer of Ike? Is this THE breakout season we’ve been waiting for from the talented first baseman? Can he give us that 30 HR 100 RBI season we’ve dreamed of? I sure hope so.

Daniel Murphy-hard not to root for Murph. He gives you an honest effort every time out and while he’s not a home run hitter his 40 doubles is a-ok. Since Murph is not a home run hitter he needs to get on base more so his walk total needs to improve. Love to see him get that OBA back up to the .360 or better. Since he turns 28 (and on the DL) on opening day this is the season Murphy needs to make his mark to stay a Met .

Ruben Tejada-This may be one of those “it’s not you it’s me” situations when it comes to Tejada as he doesn’t stoke my excitement when I watch him play. He can’t lead off since he doesn’t get on base enough and his defense is acceptable. I hope he gains a little toughness this season and learns the difference between being hurt and being injured. I can’t wait for the Gavin Cecchini Era.

David Wright-So the organization decided to name David Wright Captain. This is the equivalent of turning on a facet and seeing water come out. Wright has gone above and beyond for this organization from the first day he arrived in Flushing.  The one player on the roster that Mets have no worries that he will produce.

Justin Turner-Like Billy Martin was Casey Stengel’s boy, Turner is Terry Collins boy

Jordany Vladespin-I never thought there was a question about JV1 making the big league team. Now that he has a lock on a roster spot he needs to grow up this year. If you’re going to be a pain in the ass you better be a productive pain in the ass. I think Valdespin will finally realize he needs to man up and will have a solid season as an outfielder/infield fill in.

Brian Bixler-I think he makes the team because of Murphy hitting the DL to start the season. He could make a case to say if he can be a productive right handed bat off the bench

Omar Quintanilia-solid infielder also makes it North  to back up Tejada.

Lucas Duda-Please, please, please let this offensive surge that Duda has had of late carry over into the season. I don’t think it’s an over statement when I say a breakout season at the plate from Duda is the difference from another play out the string season  and being the most interesting Mets season in five years.

Colin Cowgill-Cowgill has done what guys like Cowgill need to do, impress the brass with solid hitting fielding and balls to the wall hustle. He’s not only done that but it looks like he’s won the right handed hitting spot of the center field job (JV1 or MDD the left handed hitting spot) and looks like he will be a Citi Field fav.

Matt Den Dekker/Mike Baxter-Already a first class defender, question is will his bat be potent enough to keep him in the line up? Kirk Nieuwenhuis injury open the door for MDD that and the dearth of outfield completion in this spring camp as well. Baxter has had a dreadful spring it will interest to see if he stays and MDD goes to LV which is a distinct possibility since MDD has options and Baxter doesn’t.

John Buck-number one catcher for now as Buck holds the spot for Travis d’Arnaud. Buck seems to have meshed well with the pitching staff this spring and he does hit home runs and is an obvious upgrade over the woeful backstops of last year.  Once d’Arnaud  comes up to the team he and Buck will form a catching tandem that will be one of the Mets strengths after years of being a major liability.

Anthony Recker-I’ve got nothing

 

Jon Niese-Congratualtion on the opening day start. As good as Niese is this will probably be the first and last OD start of his Mets career.  That’s not a knock on Niese it just shows that the Mets will have 3 top flight pitchers leading them to years to come with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Niese gets the nod as Johan Santana will start the season on the DL and I’ve already placed Santana in my mind as a former Met.

Matt Harvey-Harvey’ starts will be must see events. Looks like the total package a physical specimen and tough as nails mentality. Could there be a wine vineyard in his future?

Dillon Gee-good solid 3-4 starter who looks to be recovered for blood clot in his arm he suffered from last year. Gee if 100% should give the Mets hopefully he stays sound, them 190+ innings pitched

Jeremy Hefner-good guy to root for as he’s one of these bang around the bushes type that realizes how lucky he is to make a big league start.  Just needs to be serviceable to be an asset.

Shaun Marcum-what can we expect from Marcum? He’s got a sore shoulder which he claims is not a big deal, nothing a little cortisone can’t cure.  Let’s hope the Mets get 2011 Shaun Marcum and not 2012’s version.

Bobby Parnell-Meet the new closer. With Frank Francisco on the DL Parnell gets another shot of closing out games for the Mets. I hope he succeeds and I hope he has found that sumthin’ sumthin” that all successful closers have.

Brandon Lyon-solid pick up for the Mets as Lyon has closed and should be perfect set-up man for Parnell.  No secret the bullpen was the major reason for the awful season the Mets had last year. Last year’s pen was right at the bottom of every stat there was for pitching and who knows, if they were a middle of the road pen maybe Mets fans wouldn’t have the miserable attitude they have towards this team.

Scott Atchinson-As Collin Cowgill will be the position player fan favorite, Atchinson could be the pitching fan favorite. When was the last time the Mets fan embraced a reliever? Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell???? If Atchinson can duplicate his 80 % stranded base runner rate this season, this team could have a better result than we all expect.

Josh Edgin-needs to get batters to chase that slider out of the strike zone and get that LOB% to at least 75% to become more than a LOOGY

Robert Carson/Pedro Feliciano –one of them is making this team as Terry Collins has stated he will go with two lefties in the pen. Feliciano hasn’t pitched in year and Mets have to make decision to either keep him or pay him $100K to take a trip to Vegas, which could be the move allowing Carson to make it North as the LOOGY.

LaTroy Hawkins-here for veteran leadership and direction to his pen mates

Greg Burke-got to love a guy who pitches from the land down under.

There is more pessimism with this Mets team for the coming season than I’ve seen in a long time. The 2013 Mets are far, far from being one of the worst I’ve ever seen; the Joe Torre years of the late 70’s still give me night sweats.  Those teams were not just a disaster but the whole organization was in a downward spiral. Sure The Skill Sets money woes are still prevalent but at least there is some serious talent on the horizon.

Two things will make this season better than you and I think it will be. The bullpen has to become a strength and the corners have to produce some power. If that happens this summer will be much better that we all think it’ll be. YA GOTTA BELIEVE! I guess.

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.