Carlos Beltran Turns Heel

He used to be a “baby face” but after he turned in Andres Torres for missing 1st base, Beltran is now a “heel”

The story today would have been much bigger if the Mets were fighting for a post season berth, but still the appeal at first base yesterday that Andres Torres missed the bag on his way to lead off double putting the tying run on 2nd base was an absolute joke on a number of ends.

From the replay, it looks as if Torres heel hit the bag which is why first base umpire David Rackley, a rookie umpire by the way, call was puzzling to begin with. I wonder if the game was at Citi Field would have made the same call, and how about Carlos Beltran making the call on the appeal????  

The reaction or non-reaction by Torres and first base coach Tom Goodwin was more troublesome to me than the call by Rackley, Torres didn’t flip out and neither did Goodwin, even if he did miss the bag, that was a crucial moment in the game, a game that Colin McHugh struggled in  and a game, the play out the string Mets, showed some fight in coming back from a 4-0 deficit on home runs from Kelly Shoppach and Daniel Murphy , you would think either player or coach would have gone ballistic? At least Terry Collins came out to fight the call.

I hope Terry Collins has seen the light and lets Kelly Shoppach catch every non-R.A. Dickey start.

Welcome back Wally Backman. Backman along with seven of his Bison (OF’er Fred Lewis, LHP Justin Hampson, RHP Elvin Rameirz , RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeury’s Familia, pain in the ass Jordany Valdespin, and last and least C Mike Nickeas) have been added to the Mets roster for the last month of the season .

I was out at MCU Park last night, sitting in the intermittent drizzle to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones get within one win of making the NY-Penn League post season as the Wild Card team.  A few observations:

RHP Luis Cessa pitched a fantastic game, he game within one out of a complete game victory, something quite rare in low A. Cesa only K’d two batters but he got a lot of ground ball outs.

MCU Park has to be one of tougher parks to hit home runs out of. Yesterday the wind was blowing in briskly from the Atlantic Ocean, so anything up in the air wasn’t going out of the park. In fact there was a ball hit high in the air that Lowell 3rd baseman called for at his position but ended up running down the line and making the play at home plate. That’s brisk baby.

RF Miakis De La Cruz made a sensational throw from the right field corner to nail a Lowell runner at the plate. By the way Kevin Plawecki did a great job blocking the plate.

Speaking of Plawecki, he had 3 hits and a Rib Eye Steak in the game, not that there is much competition but Plawecki has to be the best catcher in the Mets org not named Kelly Shoppach.

Brandon Nimo had a hit and looked very smooth in CF on the night that his poster was the Cyclone giveaway.

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Catcher In Awry

Who remembers this game when The Cobra took on The Dude and was not only out at the plate but suffered a broken cheekbone too! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I know the Mets need a catcher, Mets Fan Rich knows the Mets need a catcher, Sandy Alderson knows the Mets need a catcher and Terry Collins in the privacy of his mind knows the Mets need a catcher, so what are the Mets going to do about it?

Alderson when asked about the catching position not just at the big league level but throughout the organization gave me an exasperated response “that it is clearly the position that need the most upgrading” So when does he start upgrading?

In my way of baseball thinking catcher is a defensive position and offense I get from my backstop is a plus, so what happens when I have two catchers in Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas who not only can’t hit, they’re terrible defensibly as well? Who try to get a catcher who can at least execute the position defensively and hope he can hit a little bit to sustain a spot in the lineup. Can Rob Johnson do that? I’d like to find out.

Johnson was brought up with Matt Harvey as Harvey has given Johnson a ton of credit for his rise from Triple A to the big leagues. Johnson caught Harvey’s major league debut which we all know was the best pitching debut in the club history, so you’d think Johnson would be behind the plate in Harvey’s next start right? Wrong. Terry Collins had Thole behind the plate so Thole could get uses to catching Harvey. Why? As we saw last night and throughout this season, Josh Thole is not the answer to the Mets problems at catcher.

I don’t know what Alderson is waiting for to bring in a top defensive catcher. The reasoning behind not trading for Ramon Hernandez was a smoke screen of we don’t want to disrupt the relationship between our catchers and pitchers in mid-season. After watching Thole butcher the play at the plate that allowed Carlos Quentin to score I wonder how many of the Mets pitchers would sign on to that statement.

We all know that finding an everyday catcher who fits the bill for the Mets needs-defensively strong with a decent bat-is near impossible to obtain but this off season it Alderson has to secure a catcher……….and a centerfielder……..and a left fielder…………and a right fielder…………and bullpen help…….and move Jason Bay’s contract……………..I think I’m gonna be sick………….

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Here Is Your NY Mets Lineup for Today, Please Put Down All Sharp Objects Before Reading

 

Here is today’s Mets line up as the try to break through with a victory in the South Bronx:

Andres Torres – CF

Jason Bay – LF

David Wright – 3B

Scott Hairston – RF

Lucas Duda – DH

Vinny Rottino – 1B

Omar Quintanilla – SS

Mike Nickeas – C

Jordanny Valdespin – 2B

As Keith Hernandez would say, “My word”!!!!!

Andres Torres AND Jason Bay at the top of the line up?????? Sure is a far cry from the days of Lenny/Mookie and Wally.

So Terry Collins as taken out automatic out Ike Davis and replaces his anemic bat with Mike Nickeas and he gives #ImWith28 a well needed day off and slots Jordanny Valdespin at 2nd base. I hope Valdespin goes 4 for 4 thus putting pressure on Sandy Alderson to send Ike to Buffalo and move #ImWith28 over to 1st and Jordanny to 2nd base. It’s time Sandy, oh yeah, it’s time.

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Bunch of Bull-Pen

Raise your hand if you remember when relievers were escorted to the pitchers mound by the bullpen cart?

 

Loses are never good, and loses that cost you winning a series, which would have been the third straight series the Mets  had taken from the Phuck Phaces ,are awful but when you have a lead and the bullpen blows a win, that is downright  intolerable.

If I weren’t a Mets fan, I’d be doubled over laughing at the fan bases response to games the Mets bullpen blow. Nothing sets this fan base off like a good old fashion late inning bullpen melt down and last night was no different.  The only issue I have with the overreaction by some of the fan base is the back end of the pen that imploded last night hasn’t been that bad of late.  I will say as a whole the bullpen has a problem with inherited runners scoring and with the exception of Bobby Parnell and Frank Francisco, there isn’t a reliever who can come in and get the big strikeout when it’s needed.

I would have like to see Terry Collins leave Dillon Gee in finish the 7th inning. Gee has pitched so well his last three starts and the double he gave up it seems should have been played better by Andres Torres. Collins is going to have to have faith in his starters going deeper into games, especially with R.A. Dickey, who I feel he yanks too early in starts where he’s breezing along.

The Ramon Ramirez 3 run jack to J-Roll was the back breaker but then Chris Schwinden  to finish out the inning but all he did was add to the carnage. What the hell is it with Schwinden ? Talk about the poster boy for the AAAA player?

 

Update: I just wrote a whole addendum to this post and deleted by accident so I’ll abbreviate it. RHP Elvin Ramirez will be on the roster tomorrow to help out the bullpen and Jenry Mejia and Chris Young are not far behind to replace the trio of Schwinden, Heftner (maybe?) and Egbert.

Josh Thole will be activated tomorrow as well which meand the Mets have to chose between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson as Tholes understudy. I’ll say they keep Johnson.

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Last Night The Mets Were Fugly

There are loses, bad loses and I can’t believe it loses which is where I’d file last night’s stunner. To have a 4-0 lead handed to our Ace against a team that has scored the least runs in all of baseball and to do it with a Buffalo flavored lineup, it looked like this would be one the best wins of the season, but then in the 7th with one on, Santana served up an 87 mph meatball fastball to the Pirates version of Mike Nickeas, Mike McKendry, that was deposited over the left center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

Santana seemed to labor from the 4th inning on as he lost command of his fastball and it seemed ironic that Santana who has had a tough time recording a win when he was out pitching the opposition would be in position to get a win in game where he was ordinary at best.

The Mets had a good shot at taking the lead back in the 8th as Kirk Nieuwenhuis got a pinch hit single to lead off the 8th and made it 3rd on a Ronny Cedeno ground out and a wild pitch, runner on 3rd 1 out all the Mets need is a fly ball but up steps Mike Nickeas who of course strikes out. I wish Terry Collins would give Rob Johnson the bulk of the playing time while Josh Thole recuperates. Nickeas just cannot hit and his defensive prowess quite frankly is overrated.  I’m guessing that Johnson‘sore thumb is still a problem and the reason he’s not behind the plate every day.  After Nickeas failed to get Nieuwenhuis home, it was left to Andres Torres and his icicle of a baseball bat to get the job done and of course he failed as well with his shitty little ground out 4 to 3.

When Nickeas, Torres and Ike Davis are in the same lineup they are 3 automatic outs add in the pitchers spot that 4 outs so multiply that by say 4 times through the order, that  16 of the 27 outs you get in a game that you are giving away. Nickeas shouldn’t start another game, Torres is ready to be regulated to 4th outfield status and Ike it seems is a DL activation away from becoming a Buffalo Bison. When Vinny Rottino gets the nod over you, lefty or no lefty, it’s safe to say you’ll be headed upstate soon.

Now if the top of the 8th didn’t piss you off enough, the Mike Baxter-Kirk Nieuwenhuis mix up of Neil Walker fly ball sure had to. Simple “Fundies” right there, it’s the centerfielder is king of the outfield and to their credit both Baxter and Kirk took responsibility for the screw up for what became the winning run on 3rd base. As bad an offensive team as the Bucs are, they at least were able to get the runner on 3rd home with less than 2 outs.

 

 

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Gee, The Mets Go For The Sweep

I’m sure many Mets fans bailed out of this game after the 2nd inning, down 4-0 with Miguel Batista on the mound in Filthadelphia really doesn’t make Mets fans very optimistic but maybe this team and the manager are telling the truth that they don’t listen to the negativity from the media and some in the fan base and they really don’t give a shit what the naysayers think of them.

Last night Batista started off shaky but after the 2nd inning, he settled down to give the team a very good 3.1 innings until he ran out of gas. Manny Acosta took over and came up huge getting out of a 2nd and 3rd 1 out jam with a ground out by Joe Blanton and punching out J-Roll to keep the score deficient to 3 runs.

I love when a player steps up when all eyes are on them to make decisions by the front office difficult. Andres Torres came back to the team when his understudy Kirk Nieuwenhuis broke out as a major contributor to the team.  Torres has stepped in and produced both at bat and in the field and now the Mets will have a major decision to make when Jason Bay comes back. There is no place for Bay on this team right now and if Bay is force fed into the lineup while this outfield is as productive as it is, the front office will take a huge credibility hit with the fan base.  While Bay’s ribs are healing hopefully Sandy Alderson is exhausting all options to deal Bay. Any type of removal from the team of Bay is going to coast money so if the Skill Sets want to prove to the fan base that they are back in the game they will authorize Alderson to move Bay by any means necessary.

The word on Josh Thole is not very encouraging. It seems Thole has been concussed before so it looks like a stay on the 15 day DL is more realistic than the short stay 7 day concussion DL. This will be a huge problem for the Mets in two areas. Between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson, the Mets just took a major downgrade in the catching department. Nickeas can’t hit but he’s superior to Johnson behind the plate and quite frankly Johnson is only in the big leagues because of the dearth of catching talent in baseball. One thing is for sure, Johnson will not be behind the plate with The Dickster is on the mound as Johnson has a problem catching conventional pitches he’d need a tuna net to catch the knuckle ball.

The other obvious problem is replacing Thole’ bat.  With Ruben Tejada on the DL, the bottom third of the Mets batting order could become a Black Hole. The Mets have to hope that Valdespin can hit at least .250 and get on base at least MLB average of .315 because what can you expect from Nickeas at the plate a .220 BA ?  When Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey start it would not be crazy to bat them 8 and Nickeas 9th.

While your sitting at your computer at lunch time checkout Greg Prince’s writeup of the Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. You can thank me later.

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The New York Mets 50th Anniversary Conference Is In Full Swing At Hofstra University

For some reason I had a problem getting the site to load but seems like we are good to go now, so let me put up a late day stream of Mets consciousness:

The 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets conference on now in Day 2 at Hofstra University and from hanging out on Twitter it looks like it’s been a success and a lot of fun, a true tribute to Dana Brand. I will be out at Hofstra tomorrow and I will join a panel discussion with Taryn Cooper and John Coppinger with Greg Prince as our moderator.

As we all know the Mets played a solid 1-9 “homegrown” lineup yesterday for the first time since September 19th 1971, a 5-2 Mets win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. The lineup for that game was:

Teddy Martinez 2B

Bud Harrelson SS

John “The Hamer” Milner LF

Ed Kranepool 1B

Mike Jorgensen CF

Ken Singleton RF

Duffy Dyer C

Jerry Koosman P

Interesting as well about that home grown lineup was having three homegrown New Yorkers in there as well, Kranepool of the Bronx, Jorgensen of Bayside Queens and Singleton of Mt. Vernon.

It’s real early in the season but a positive sign for this team is that they are 5-1 in 1 run games and 7-1 in games of 2 runs or less, only good teams mange that kind of record.

Here’s your line up for tonight as the Mets start Chris Schwinden in Big Pelfs rotation spot against LHP Drew Pomeranz

 Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF

Ruben Tejada – SS

Daniel Murphy – 2B

David Wright – 3B

Scott Hairston – LF

Lucas Duda – RF

Zach Lutz – 1B

Mike Nickeas – C

Chris Schwinden – RHP

So Ike Davis sits against Pomeranz a neophyte big leaguer, very interesting move by Terry Collins

 

 

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NY Mets Had A Good Weekend, But It Could Have Been A Great Weekend

The good news is the Mets are 6-3 and took 2 of 3 from the Phuck Phaces in Filthadelphia. Should they have swept?  It not only would have been very sweet but I would have had a much better vibe about this team than I do this morning if they did. Do not get me wrong, I am very happy with this start and any time you can go to Filthadelphia and win a series is a solid positive but again the Mets allowed a team to get 4 or 5 outs in an inning will be the difference between the club staying in playoff contention or dropping to the second division.  The Mets are just not good enough to make a lot of mistakes.

Mike Pelfrey had another solid start yesterday, sure that WHIP of 1.80 is not good at all and he does leave pitches up in the zones that get smashed but yesterday after the first inning that looked like the beginning of a disastrous start, Pelf made adjustments and relied a lot on his sinker, a 90+MPH sinker I might add, and got ground ball out after ground ball out. Nice job out of Pelf.

I know Mike Nickeas is here for his defense but I don’t see how he is this solid defensive receiver.  Throwing out Juan Pierre at third was more on Pierre being an idiot making the third out at third base, than Nickeas being Jerry Grote. I’ll give Nickeas a bit of a hat tip as he seems to call a decent game but his backhanding of balls in the dirt and inability to keep balls in front of him has me turned off a bit.

Teams that have 2-1 leads going into the 7th inning have to get those last 9 outs and the ones that do are the teams that are pennant contenders. So far the bullpen has done a great job (Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco) but yesterday when the frontline relievers weren’t used and the second tier arms came in the game, the results were a disaster. It wasn’t all Ramon Ramirez, Miguel Batista and Manny Acosta’ fault as Ruben Tejada made a bad throwing error and Scott Hairston played left field like he had marbles instead of spike on his shoes but again this team has a super model thin margin of error.

Congrats to Mets Fan Rich for sending in the correct answer to yesterday’s trivia question (R.A. Dickey gave up 6 HR’s in a game tying a modern MLB record) and winning the VIP tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival showing of Knuckleball! On Saturday April 21 at 8PM. This event is open to the public for FREE. So come on down and get a chance to meet R.A. Dickey, Charlie Hough, Tim Wakefield and Jim Bouton.

 

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BATS IN THE PELFREY

As I sat and watched last nights game and another Mike Pelfrey melt down I wondered if Mike Pelfrey still had minor league options and would the Mets make a move to send him to Buffalo? I was set to tweet this to find an answer  and just as I was about to type, Gary Cohen (belated Happy Birthday to Gary by the way) answered my question for me, yes Pelf has options and Cohen took it a step further and asked would the Mets send him to Buffalo? Cohen and Ron Darling thought that might be the move to make but Keith Hernandez was not in favor. If you ask me, if you can option Pelfrey to Triple A then you have to do it for his sake, the teams sake, and maybe the least, for the fans.

It’s to the point where watching Pelfrey pitch has become very uncomfortable. The hand licking thing is really, really annoying, it’s like a nervous twitch.  I always get the feeling we are one hit or walk or balk away from Pelfrey  curling up on the mound in the fetal position and sucking his thumb. Especially in Philadelphia where he routinely melts down.

The 4th inning last night was a prime example. You knew as soon as Ryan Howard hit that home run, Pelfrey was done for the night. That home run would stay in his head for the rest of the start. There is no “turn the page” in the Mike Pelfrey Playbook.  After the home run, next batter Ben Francisco gets a base hit and steals second because Pelfrey is still thinking about the home run and Josh Thole is still a green horn behind the plate and that’s a problem as well. Pelfrey needs a veteran catcher to call the game for him. He’s stated this as the less he has to think the better he is, that’s why he loved pitching to Henry Blanco, and to an extent pitched his best game of the year throwing to Mike Nickeas. If the front office feels they want to keep Pelfrey up here then they should make Pelf become Ronnie Paulino’s pet project and have him become his pitching chauffer.

The decision on what to do with Pelfrey becomes even dicier with Dillion Gee still here. It’s clear, if the Mets are not going to put Gee in the rotation then they need to send him to Buffalo and let him pitch every fifth day. It’s not fair to him. His mind set is as a starting pitcher and I felt Terry Collins (who did an awful managerial job last night, how do you walk Brain Schneider intentionally with two out and the pitcher up next?) did Gee a real disservice by bringing him in relief like he did. Collins wanted to start Gee last night to give Pelfrey a couple of more days to get over the flu bug that wore him out. Collins let Pelf talk him into giving him the ball. I hope TC learned always go  with your first instinct next time.

So my patience is up with Pelfrey and a shuffle up to Buffalo or a trip to Dr. Phil’ couch look to be in order. As for Pelfrey being the ace of the staff, that was some made up main stream media mumbo jumbo bullshit. As Bobby Valentine says, the ace of your staff is that day starting pitcher. Amen!

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PUT IT IN THE BOOKS, FOR THE 5TH TIME IN A ROW

Another game another win, and the Tea Party Mets fans have quieted down as there isn’t anything to get hysterical about.

I’m not ready to block out the month of October yet on my calendar, as the caliber of opponent  has not been challenging during this win streak but again good teams put the bottom feeders away and it’s made this weekend’s games in Philly a must see.

Chris Young admitted after the game that his command was off but he hadn’t pitched in over two weeks and at 88 pitches he made the mark that club set for him. The home runs were a product of not being able to hit his spots but then again they were all solo shots.  The big test will be today for Young when he gets to the park. If he feels as good as he said he did last night after the game, then it’s a win and if he does feel fine to make his next start, then you’ll see Dillon Gee go back to Buffalo.

It also helps that the bullpen has settled in to a groove and Terry Collins has a reliever for every situation. The back end is set with Taylor Bucholz and Pedro Beato as 7th inning or 8th inning guys depending on the status of set up man deluxe Jason Issringhausen followed by closer for now Frankie Rodriguez.  You also have Tim Brydak and Ryota Igarashi as the LOOGY/ROOGY Yin-Yang and the Gee/Carrasco long man role. It’s always nice when relievers know their set roles. It’s a beautiful  thing.

I’m looking forward to Friday night’s game against the Phuck Phaces just to see who catches Big Plef.  Even with Joe Blanton going for the Phuck’s, I be surprised if Josh Thole is behind the plate. I could see Mike Nickeas or Ronnie Paulino getting the task to talk Pelfrey through his start. The Mets could activate Paulino and keep Nickeas up going with three catchers for this game only and sending Dillon Gee back to Buffalo. Then after the game send Nickeas to Buffalo as well and bring back DJ Carrasco to take up long man duty in the bullpen. If Nickeas catches Pelfrey then it would give Paulino a chance to work with Pelf between starts. Listen, if finding a personal catcher for Mike Pelfrey translates into quality starts then I’m all for it. Josh Thole shouldn’t be upset, it’s not personal it’s business.

I guess we won’t be hearing any of the stupid trade Ike talk anymore huh? How about Ike for MVP?

I’m ready to throw some batting practice today to my team so I have go out and re-stock the medicine cabinet with some Extra Strength Tylenol and some Icy-Hot patches. Later!

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