Matt Harvey Pitched Like A Man Last Night

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Sing it Godfather, Sing It!!!!!!!!

 

Are we seeing the last of the Dan Warthen influence on Mets pitchers? Matt Harvey pitched last night like the power pitcher he’s been advertised as. Harvey went almost exclusively with his fastball and slider and more importantly he threw inside and challenged hitters. Harvey went away from the Warthen School of Pitching which is nibble, nibble and nibble some more. Harvey pitched a man’s game last night even plunking Ryan Ludwick in the shoulder and of course Ludwick gave the phony tough guy stare down as he went to first base, because he’s a rook, Harvey just let Ludwick have his fake tough guy moment but I’d bet if Harvey had a couple of season under his belt, he’s have told Ludwick to take his ass down to first base.

Justin Turner in the outfield in 2013? You cannot be serious Terry, you just can’t.  I have to think Collins was talking out his ass on this one, as it make absolutely no sense ,hell, Turner back for 2013 doesn’t make much sense.  Don’t the Mets have an overabundance of outfielders without any power?

Heard a rumor that Sandy Alderson sent a link to the video of Jason Bay’s home run last night to Brian Sabean with the message “Com’on Brian you know you want him”

I can get the Mets going to a 6 man pitching rotation being that Johan and Young could benefit from the extra days rest as could Jon Niese, who at some point has to show he strong enough to pitch effectively  in second half of the season and as long as Dickey and Harvey stay on schedule, it’s all good but why does the spot guy have to be Jeremy Hefner? I hope come September 1st the club calls up Collin McHugh and let him take that spot or Jenry Mejia. Seriously, enough of Jeremy Hefner.

Mike Pelfrey is ready to start throwing as his rehab from Tommy John surgery is progressing well. As an arbitration eligible player much speculation is that the Mets will non-tender him come December. That much I agree with but I’d bet the Mets try to work a deal with Big Pelf for the 2013 season. I’m not ready to call Pelfrey an ex-Met yet.

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News and Views

 

 

 

NEWS: Mariano Rivera tears his ACL

UH OH! First let me say I feel very badly for Mariano as he is the greatest closer of all time and from all you read and hear he’s a first class guy and I won’t criticize him or the Highlanders for allowing him to shag fly balls in batting practice since he has been doing this his whole career but as a Mets fan I have to say if this were Johan Santana or R.A. Dickey who suffer this freak injury the Mets would be eviscerated from every keyboard and microphone in the NY sports media universe.

It’s the same as the Bronx Bastards keeping Nick Swisher on the active roster with bad hammy, remember how the Mets and Omar Minaya were smacked upside down for actions like this but Pee Wee Cashman never gets hammered for any of his bone head moves in this town. NYC sports media is Shillsville.

Just to show how fair and balanced I am when it comes to the New York Highlanders, I received a copy of Marty Appel’s new book   Pinstriped Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to after the Boss (Published by Bloomsbury USA) and I cannot wait to read it. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marty and various SABR events and have read all his books so I know Pinstriped Empire will be a winner.

NEWS: Mets Need A 5th Starter……

And it won’t be Matt Harvey. Or Jeurys  Familia or Zack Wheeler so says Sandy Alderson and of course that’s the correct course of action. Right now there are three choices to fill Big Pelf’s spot (did you ever think at any time in your Metsfandom life you say to yourself “WOW I miss Mike Pelfrey”? ) Miguel Batisita is one of the choices and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of Batisita and his total ineffectiveness so why not send up Jeremy Hafner and give him the next shot or even better how about Alderson doing some good old fashion GM’ing and make a deal for a pitcher as I said yesterday Jason Marquis would be a great fit.

NEWS: NY Knickerbockers go down 0-3 to the Miami Heat

As many of you know I am not a Knicks fan, my allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. Since my C’s didn’t play last night I watched the Knicks-Heat game and my question to Knicks fans is how do you root for Carmelo Anthony ? My God, how overrated is this guy ? Again being a fan of the Celtics I’m spoiled watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen drag their old bones up and down the court for one last run at Banner 18 but the hype for Carmelo Anthony just escapes me.    

 

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The Mets Front Office Needs To Show Me They Are Back In The Baseball Business

Not much energy to put up a post today, watching the NY Rangers play an epic 3 OT playoff game will drain a fan. Between watching Henrik Lundqvist kick and catch puck after puck and seeing Ranger after Ranger drop down and block pucks to the point that Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle got their best rest while getting stitched up so they could go back out to block some more pucks.

I’m just thankful that after investing over 5 hours of hockey watching the Rangers game away with the 2-1 win and 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

So after going to bed at about a quarter to 1 this morning, waking up at 5 AM and getting to work by 6:30AM I’m a tad fatigued. So I’ll just say this about the three games of awful pitching in Houston, the front office has to show the fan base that they will go out and find a better option than Chris Schwinden. I don’t want to see Matt Harvey or Jureys Familia, let them stay on their development course.  I’m ok with Jeremy Hefner taking Schwinden place, hell a forfeit might make better sense than starting Schwinden again. If you ever wanted to know what a 4A player looks like its Chris Schwinden

I doubt seriously that Roy Oswalt would sign a deal with the Mets but you know what? Humor me. Make an attempted and contact Oswalt’s agent and see what it would take to sign him. Sweeten the deal with a clause that if he joins the Mets and they are not in contention at the trade deadline you will either trade him to a contender or release him. As I say, I doubt Oswalt would sign with the Mets and he may not even be effective but I need a sign that the Mets are back in the baseball business.  Even a trade for an arm, and again I’m not looking for a 1, 2 or 3 starter, in fact the perfect guy for the Mets to make a move on would be Jason Marquis. Marquis would be a nice fit in place of Mike Pelfrey and I’d bet it wouldn’t take  much to rustler him away from the Minnesota Twins , add in that Marquis still lives on Staten Island I’m sure he’d jump at the chance to come  home to pitch.

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Time For Skill Sets and Sandy Alderson to Step Up

I don’t know about you but after hearing the news of Mike Pelfrey’s name getting added to the DL and that he’s now packing his bags for a date in Birmingham with Dr. Andrews, my focus was on Johan Santana and how sound his left shoulder is. Oh I know most of you were obsessing over Jose Reyes’ first at bat, quite frankly it was much ado about nothing, yeah some booed, some cheered but Reyes first at bat ended with Kirk Neuienhuis telling Jose “Bite Me” with his outstanding catch to save at least a triple, but I digress.

See it’s not the fact that Big Pelf looks to be done for the season that has me edgy , it’s the next injury to a starting pitcher that’s giving me the shakes,  the Mets can pop in a Chris Schwinden for Pelfrey and not really miss a beat, but if another starting pitcher goes down, then what? This is the byproduct of lack of depth in your upper levels of your farm system. If another starter were to go down then either Garret Olson of Jeremy Hefner would be next on the list. So now would be a good time for ownership to show the fan base that they have the resources to add a pitcher and go contact Roy Oswalt’s agent and see what it would take to bring him to NY . It’s time for Sandy Alderson and the Skill Sets to get pro-active before the next starting pitcher hits the DL. If they don’t, the Mets will be entering into the Yogi Zone where it gets late early.

Okay are we done with the cross examination of Jose Reyes’ first rip to Citi Field as a Fish ? He came, you cheered, you booed, you shrugged. In fact it was a fitting tribute for Reyes last night as there were just as many fans  for his return as there was for his departure at Citi Field. The Mets showed a little video tribute and no baby seals were killed. Let’s move on shall we.

The message was sent to Ike Davis by Terry Collins last night, produce or grab some pine and for all of you who were flabbergasted by the move, grow up this is big league baseball not Little League. If Ike doesn’t straighten out soon he’ll be a Bison in a couple of weeks.

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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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Oh Yeah #IMWITH28

There is nothing better than watching your favorite team come from behind to win a game, then to top it off, one of your favorite players not only makes a game saving defensive play but then comes up to the plate with the winning run in scoring position and comes through with the game winning hit.

There is something different about Daniel Murphy so far this season. I saw some of it this off season when I got the chance to interview him at the Thurman Munson dinner with other writers and media people but when the main streamers moved on, it was just me and Murph. I shut off my recorder so I could have an “off the record” conversation with Murphy as we talked about some stuff other than baseball, mostly how the weather in NYC this winter was almost as nice as his native Jacksonville, where he worked out all winter and his getting a kick out me trying to sell him on living in Brooklyn as I brought up his short stay as a Cyclone.  We also spoke of the negativity that from outside forces that was surrounding the team and Murphy gave me a smirk and told me that stuff doesn’t bother him or his teammates as the players, coaches and especially the manager won’t let negativity enter the clubhouse.  So far Murph was right this team as the club seems to have stayed below the noise with this hot start.

I agree 100 % with what Bobby Ojeda said in the post-game show though, everyone is sky high happy as they’re winning ball games, what you want to look at is if this attitude remains during the first 4 or 5 game losing streak as Bobby O pointed out, in the past this team would wilt and get real quiet during the tough times. That will be the real test for the 2012 Mets, their reaction to adversity.

I’ve said it before that sometimes I enjoy seeing a pitcher who is struggling try to find himself during a game and righting himself than watching a guy dominate a line up and last night Mike Pelfrey gave one of those find yourself performances.  His first inning had me squirming in my chair after three straight hits by Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche as it looked like it was going to be an early Big Pelf meltdown but only one Nat crossed home plate so disaster averted. Pelf threw a lot of pitches and it seemed he was getting squeezed by home plate ump Todd Tichenor especially in the 6th when it looked like he stuck out Xavier Nady to end the inning but Tichenor blew the call and gave Nady life and on the next pitch Nady singled to center, prolonging the inning and ending Pelfs night and his attempt to go 6 full innings.

Pelf threw strikes and walked only one but he was tagged for ten base hits. He relied a lot on his sinker and slider most of the night but cranked up his four seamer to 90+ MPH when he needed it. It wasn’t a great start or an awful start but it was better than normal Big Pelf start.

I want to see the Mets get into a bench clearer this season just to see who is dumb enough to take on Jon Rauch, that’s one guy I’d hate have mad at me.

Ed Marcus a/k/a Rusty Jr over at Real Dirty Mets has a great review of R.A. Dickey’s book. If you haven’t bought Dickey’s yet shame on you.

By the way I will have a special announcement of a contest I will be running here on Friday that you won’t want to miss.   

 

 

 

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Mike Pelfrey Knows Who Is Friends Are

It’s not a big deal that the Mets discussed giving Mike Pelfrey his release but what is interesting is who his big supporters are.

From the story in the Daily News today, the front office is not enamored with Pelf and threw out the suggestion at an organizational meeting that maybe the $5.6 mil used to pay Pelfrey would be better spent elsewhere.  It seems both Terry Collins and Dan Warthan spoke up in Pelf’s defense and from reading further into the story; Pelf’s teammates have his back as well. He sure paid back that support last night against the Astros with a stellar performance, again it was the Astros.

We all know that David Wright and Big Pelf have a great relationship but from reading R.A. Dickey’s book (I’m half way through and I must say this book is even better than I anticipated) he has taken on the big brother role to Pelfrey.

So the 25 man roster that will line up on the first base side of Citi Field on Thursday looks to be set not many surprises unless you think Mike Baxter getting the 25th spot a surprise.  The bench is still nothing to get excited about and who knows if this is set as the club could wait and see what veterans get cut who could be an upgrade over what the Mets have. Ronny Cedeno has the glove and Justin Turner has the bat it’s just too bad one of them isn’t a left handed hitter. As far as Baxter and Scott Hairston are concerned, I like Baxter and wished he got more playing time in September of last season and Hairston does have so pop in his bat but they are going to have to prove to the front office that they can contribute in a positive way.

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Sandy Sez

This will be a quick post as I just received my copy of R.A. Dickey’s book and I can’t wait to read it. So I want to get my work done early so I can get at it this afternoon.  

Sandy Alderson was on with Sports Bloviator to talk about the Mets spring training and the season just one week away.

It was an interesting conversation, save for Alderson battling a bad cold and the Sports Bloviator talking over Alderson while he was answering a question, and a few things I got from listening to Alderson were:

Jason Bay is more of a problem for this team than any other player due to his untradeable contract and his inability to hit a baseball. Alderson all but put up the white flag on Bay by saying “he’s healthy and he’ll be the everyday left fielder”  it will be worth watching how the club reacts to Bay if he is as unproductive at the plate as he’s was last year. If Bay announced his retirement today, Alderson would throw the retirement party to end all retirement parties

Mike Pelfrey is here only because he’s durable and for what the Mets are paying him, there weren’t any pitchers out there that can give you the quantity of innings and starts that Pelf can at the price. Now are they quality innings or starts? Not really, but it speaks to the state of pitching in baseball where a guy like Pelfrey at $5.6 mil is a bargain.

If Kirk Nieuwenhuis stayed injury free this spring I get the feeling he would have been the opening day centerfielder.   Alderson seems to be a big Capt Kirk fan and he could be up and in the lineup much sooner than later.

Alderson seems to ignore the elephant in the room when talking about Jordany Valdespin, his immaturity and poor work ethic.

With the Madoff fiasco in the Sill Sets rear view mirror if the club becomes a contender for a wild card spot, Alderson made it known there will be funds to bring in reinforcements to make a run at a  post season run. Yes, that’s getting wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of ourselves.

Every start by Johan Santana and the day after, will be scrutinized up, down, inside and out. The plan seems to be, get Chris Young ready to contribute by late May-early June, to give Santana more rest by going to a 6 man rotation.  When pressed for innings/starts projection for Santana, Alderson couldn’t put a number on it, seems Johan will be on a start by start evaluation. We are in uncharted territory here

You can tell Alderson is very concerned with the teams defense as he said a few times there are positions (2B, RF, C )  where they are sacrificing defense for offense and he hopes it doesn’t come back to bite the team in the ass.  Another big concern for Alderson is the lack of depth at the big league and Triple A level, he all but said straight out if the team is hit by injuries we’re fucked.

 

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I Pray To Tebow that Johan Santana Starts On Opening Day

I guess the rumblings from the fan base inquiring about the Mets ability to release Mike Pelfrey and using that money to hire someone who can actually throw strikes, forced the team to come clean and let us know that Pelf has been suffering from a high ankle sprain that is finally feeling better. Okay so that means no excuse next time out right?

Andres Torres calf injury doesn’t seem too serious but it does put the spotlight again on the lack of depth on this team. Maybe Sandy Alderson is waiting until the end of spring to see what’s available on the scrap heap but decent or serviceable centerfielders don’t usually end up in the dumpster so why not improvise and put Jordany Valdespin in CF. The last guy we need to see in CF is Jason bay, sure it’s noble of him to step up in a time of need but Terry Collins should say thanks but no thanks. Valdespin has a lot of issues with a reputation of a piss poor attitude and not very good approach at the plate but you know what he’s 24 years old, he’s athletic so why not? I’d love to see the organization challenge him to shit or get off the pot.

Even though Mets fans still hold their breath on every pitch, it looks like Johan Santana’s get better and better both health wise and stuff wise so maybe opening day is not a pipedream but a reality for Santana.

Larry Jones has announced he will retire at the end of the season. As much as he has killed the Mets over the years, I have tons of respect for him and will give him a standing ovation at his last at bat in Citi Field. If anyone has ever been down the 3rd base side at Shea or Citi during a home stand the Braves were here know why I have such respect for Jones. He knew how to play to the fans as he never said no to an autograph to fans dressed head to toe in Mets paraphernalia and he always got a kick out the Mets faithful. The way Stan Musial was respected by Brooklyn Dodger fans and Willie Stargell was held in high esteem by the Shea crowd you can add Chipper in that group as well.

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Yes Mets Fans, It’s Time To Be Concerened

At what point during this spring training are we as Mets fans allowed to be concerned? See there is a segment of Mets followers who feel that some of the fan base overreacts to things in the spring but as we find ourselves just a mere 16 days away from opening day there are so many questions and so many concerns about the Mets team that will open the 2012 season.

Now you can say your expectations of the 2012 Mets are not high so this spring is just par for the course. As I type up this post, Mike Pelfrey is pitching like a guy who is closer to being released than sure up a spot in the starting rotation. Pelf’s line on the day is so bad the Mets should try to get FEMA to send them disaster aid money, 2.2 innings pitched with 8 runs scored all earned 8 hits and 4BB and oh yeah 4 K’s.  At this point when do Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins sit down and make a baseball decision and either release Pelfrey or pursued him to take a minor league assignment. It’s not just today’s start  but the other two he’s made this spring weren’t any good, add that into his lousy 2011, how can you give him a roster spot? I’d rather see Miguel Batista or Chris Schwinden get Pelfrey’s starts until Matt Harvey is ready to take a big league turn every 5th day.

I hate to question the seriousness of a player’s injury but is Ruben Tejada coming back any time soon? Is he hurt or injured? There is a big difference. I don’t blame Terry Collins for being a bit of a red ass over Tejada’s inability to get back on the field with what was reported as a “strained groin”. Is it more serious than the club is letting us know? Tejada hasn’t played in 7 days so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say his groin is more than strained.

You may not think its panic time for the Mets but I can guarantee the folks in the back offices of the team that are trying to sell tickets and advertising and secure sponsorships are concerned.  Collins has said time and again this spring, it is imperative that the team gets off to a good start of the season.  There isn’t enough big league talent or depth on this team to overcome a 5-15 start. With the difficulty of selling tickets and the negative vibe with the fan base and media who cover the team, even a 12-8 start would be seen as a success.

 

 

 

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