It’s A Nationals Nightmare, The Mets Are Coming To Town

 

I am off on a two week vacation so I thought before I head off, I’d put up a post filled with Mets-nutia and more:

I have wrestled with the notion of should the Mets deal Bobby Parnell and Marlon Byrd, I’m sure the Mets front office has had the same dilemma. I’m enjoying this team right now and the fact that all the Mets-haters look like idiots talking shit about our team. No nothings in the media still make the same old stale jokes about the Mets but throughout the baseball industry, there is a ton of respect for what the Mets are building. How can you mock a team that has Matt Harvey and David Wright as its two big stars? How incredibly stupid do you look questioning the direction of this team when the Mets are the envy of baseball with the stockpile of young pitching in their minor league system? I know it’s hard for many of the numb skulls in the media to comprehend that the Mets have shown improvement and are on the right track to being a winning organization. Smarten up !

With that said, I hope the Mets don’t trade Parnell or Byrd. The time has come where to put an emphasis on winning. The Mets , Phillies and Nationals all have 53 losses . The Phillies and Nats are tied for 2nd place in the NL East with the Mets just 2 games back. Think about that, the Mets are 2 games out of 2nd place. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, then you haven’t been a long time Mets fan.

So by the end of this weekend the Mets could be right in back of the Braves for 1st place in the NL East. WOW! Ponder that!

The last team Davey Johnson wanted to see this weekend was the NY Mets. The Nats are 2-8 last 10 and 7-13 in their last 20 and have to face Matt Harvey in tonight’s night cap. Be proud Mets fans be proud!

We have seen the resiliency of this team and the solid camaraderie among the players that has sold me that this team is well worth rooting for. What the off season brings is not for today. It’s nearly August and I’m enjoying watching the NY Mets play baseball, what’s wrong with that?

I hope Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada spend the month of August in Las Vegas. Why bring either player up now? Since both players went down with injury and Eric Young Jr. joined the club, and the bullpen has been solidified,  the team’s been winning. The mantra of the Mets outfield being the worst in baseball has been silenced. In fact, defensively the Mets outfield of EYJ, Juan Lagares and Marlon Byrd is a major plus. No way Lucas Duda ever sees LF again, so it’s either 1B, be traded, or stay in LV until September.  

With Tejada, I can see bringing him up in a platoon with Omar Quintanilla but you gets sent down? Having Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown on the bench gives Terry Collins a nice late inning lefty/righty option late in games. Josh Satin isn’t even in the thought process of going to LV and Justin Turner is Terry Collins’ pet, so what to do? I say stand pat, platoon Ike and Satin at 1B and live with Turner as the backup shortstop for a month.

The Mets will giveaway Jay Horowitz Bobbleheads on August 23rd when the Detroit Tigers come to town. There will also be a post game concert by 3rd Eye Blind and a portion of the tickets sales will go to Hope Shines For Shannon. Instead of 3rd Eye Blind should the Talking Heads be the band to perform on Jay Horowitz Bobble head Night?

The Mets are also hosting a sleepover at Citi Field on August 10th

 
 
LET’S GO METS!!!

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Thanks NY Mets……For Nothing

Dear New York Mets,

Thanks for nothing or maybe I should say thank you for making me out to be a horse’s ass.  Yes that’s sarcasm as I really need no help most days to be a horses ass but by you taking four games from the hated NY Highlanders, well in had me intoxicated in a way I haven’t been in a long time while overdosing on the euphoria of the four game sweep and not to mention the fabulous May 28th win against Mariano Rivera that had me go into work the next day draped in blue and orange  and enter the office like Ric Flair screaming out “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IF YA WANT TO BE THE MAN…….YOU GOT TO BEAT THE MAN……..WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”. From there I did my best Flair strut to my cubicle withstanding the cat calls of “Shut The Fuck Up” Oh but there was no shutting me up, oh no.

As I mention I was intoxicated with Mets success, it’s not that I ask for championships, although they are fantastic and give me not better feeling as a fan, no all I want is for the Mets to be competitive. All I ask is for a summer of following the Mets and watching the rest of the division as well. How does a Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Marlins loss effect my Amazin’ Mets. I thought after the final win at The Shopping Mall of the South Bronx, there would be a kick start to the season, a season where if Matt Harvey is not on the list of probable pitchers for the day, it’s well, just another day.  

So with the momentum of a 5 game win streak and the schedule saying the Mets must go to Miami and collect 3 more wins all I thought about was an 8 game win streak headed to Washington and an underachieving Nats team, could this be? Could the Mets now be the “uh-oh” team?

This is where me being a horses ass comes in, what the hell was I thinking?  The Mets are not a good team nor are they a team that builds off positive momentum. How stupid was I?   

I’ve learned my lesson and learned it the hard way. Now I slink into work and to the local bagel store and even to church where yesterday I made sure to stand under the statue of Mary when Highlander  fans I know wanted to ridicule and make fun of me and the baseball team I love but couldn’t as I pointed above my shoulder and said “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be”  

I’m making a vow not to get all excited again this year, not even when Zack Wheeler arrives (I don’t know if you know but Wheeler’s call up could happen at any time, it’s all over the internet I tell ya) I’m just going to suppress my enthusiasm until next year, 2014:The Resurrection of the NY Mets.  At least that’s what I heard.

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Sunday Mets-cellaneous

As this Mets season drags on, it’s not the wins and losses that matter but individual performances are the focus as the front office and fans try to determine who on this year’s team is worth keeping around to draw the franchise out of the loses abyss they’ve been swallowed up in. Last night Jon Niese put on a pitching display that shows he’s a solution and not a problem.

Niese had outstanding command of his cutter last night, his most effective pitch, to strike out seven Nats and not walk anyone. Not only that but more importantly Niese went 7 1/3 innings to bring his innings pitched for the season to 152, just 5.1 innings off his total for 2011 and 21.2 innings off his mark in 2010. If Niese has a flaw in his game its consistency and stamina so his outings are now must see as the Mets need Niese to this season strong.

I would think the prudent decision to make on Johan Santana is to shut him down for the rest of the season. Is he hurt or just fatigued or just good old fashion infective? I have no idea but I do know sending him out for more starts makes no sense at all.  For all the paralysis by analysis, maybe the problem is Santana is just out of gas? Have the Mets doctors sign him off as having fatigue and place him on the 60 DL, this way you free a spot for RHP Collin McHugh, who certainly deserves a call up and would be a more interesting watch that seeing Jeremy Hefner again.

By the way, Santana has no trade value whatsoever between uncharted territory with his type of shoulder surgery and the $31 million price tag that he drags around with him. Scouts saying that Santana could be taken in a deal are just taking Andy Martino for the fool that he is.

Mike Baxter is definitely part of the solution and not the problem. Baxter is what he is, a solid fourth outfielder and a terrific lefty bat off the bench. A gamer as I like to say.

Justin Turner gets another start today at second base and I am very puzzled about the love Terry Collins has for Turner of late.

Do the Mets have a rep around the league as soft? First we had R.A. Dickey and his bracelet troubles that should have gotten Terry Collins thrown out of the game, because as soon as Jim Joyce said there was an edict from the Commissioner’s office about bracelets, jewelry any other minutia that were against the rules, Collins should have told Joyce to stick his hand up his ass and pull out the memo. Add to that any Mets opponent that wears anything other than a baseball uniform, Collins needs to call time and have the object removed.

Then the other night, Davey Johnson pulled a ball breaker move by having Umps check Santana’s glove and have a gold emblem removed or blocked out on his glove. I’d have told Davey “no problem but tell your boy Zimmerman he’s getting the first pitch if his next at bat right in the ribs”. At some point, the have to stop being the games mud room.

 

 

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NY Mets Will Be Buyers This Trade Deadline

 

Trying to get back into blogger mode after a week on Cape Cod and the cold reality that 5AM wakeup call awaits me tomorrow morning so  without much rhyme or reason here are some Mets thoughts:

The next three days with the All Star break should feature a whirlwind of Mets trade rumors in fact some are starting already. This team for all the hustle and flow it’s shown this season needs some big time renovation if they are going to go hard after a post season berth.

The biggest need is in the bullpen which posted its best ERA of the season at 3.77 but still sports the worst team ERA in MLB at 4.99.  It seems Terry Collins is relying on the arms of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista in the late innings of games while Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have the tag of “one or two batters only” attached to their names. Pedro Beato is back up and one would hope he would replace Batista in the late inning order, moving Batista back to the long man role he’s better at. Of course all will change once Frankie Frisco comes back from oblique rehab but where will he fit? Has Bobby Parnell turned a corner in his career where he’s figured out how to get his curve over for strikes and have the confidence to throw it in a tough situation? Seems the Mets brass is not 100 % sold on Parnell and Frisco as they have let the word out they would like to obtain a closer or a pitcher who has had closer experience, that doesn’t mean Parnell and Frisco are a concern but as we’ve seen so far this half of the season a strong back end of the pen is the difference between 4.5 games back of the Nats instead of 4.5 games ahead of the Nats and first place in the NL East.

Lots of talk of the Mets getting involved in dealing for a catcher, which Sandy Alderson has made known is a priority to upgrade in the Mets system, hence the drafting of Kevin Plawecki with a supplemental pick in this year’s draft, and while myself and many Mets fans would be happy if the Mets were to upgrade the position at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if it will happen or should it. As much as Mike Nickeas makes Mets fans groan, when it comes to the pitching staff and Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, Nickeas is a valuable piece to this team. Nickeas is kind of a player/coach on this Mets team and I know there is a segment of Mets fans and bloggers who feel team chemistry is overrated, it’s hard to watch this team day in and day out and not see that the camaraderie in the clubhouse has played a major role in the success of the team in the first half.  You may not believe it but the front office, coaching staff and the players do. I would be a bit surprised if the Mets dealt for a catcher in season, best bet is the team will go hard to upgrade the backstop spot in the winter.

Much has been made about Reggie Jackson dissing the late Gary Carter saying the Kid was not Hall of Fame worthy, if you know anything about Reggie Jackson you know he loves to say things just to get his name mentioned in the papers or TV/sports talk radio. We all know the stories of Reggie’s turbulent Highlander years as a self-promoting blowhard, who always felt he was above everything and anything. I have a Reggie story that was told to me by someone who worked for the Highlanders and is now deceased and it shows the true Reggie

When Jackson retired he was hired by George Steinbrenner to work in the front office with Gene Michael. On his first day as a front office employee, Reggie went into Steinbrenner’s office which doubled as his suite at Highlander Stadium and asked to be served a turkey sandwich and an iced tea.  Jackson was told by the gentleman who ran the suite that since he was now a front office employee of the Highlanders, he could not come into the office/suite whenever he felt like it and he could not eat there either, Reggie was told he had to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the office staff. Jackson exploded when he heard this and said “Do you know who the fuck I am? Get me that fucking sandwich and drink”. To avoid further confrontation the attendant went and got Jackson his lunch. As Reggie sat and enjoyed his turkey sandwich, Boss George entered the suite. “Who’s that down there”? “Reggie, Boss” was the workers reply. “What the fuck is he doing here”? Asked Steinbrenner. “Eating his lunch” the worker said. “Eating his lunch” doesn’t he know he has to eat in the staff cafeteria”? said Big Stein. “I told him that Boss but he told me he’s Reggie Jackson and basically told me to go fuck myself” relayed the worker.

With that Boss George erupted and starting screaming at Jackson and grabbed the plate the sandwich was on and flung it at the wall, Steinbrenner then asked Jackson if he knew “Who the fuck he was”? Steinbrenner then told Jackson if he pulls a stunt like that again, he’ll fire him but before he made him leave Steinbrenner had two more things for Reggie to do, one, apologize to the suite attendant who Steinbrenner informed him was more valuable to the organization than Jackson and two, get a broom and clean up this mess. Jackson performed both tasks.

 

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

 

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

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

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

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Who’s Afraid Of Who ?

 

 

I wrote this yesterday but caught up with a ton of work so I couldn’t post it so what the hell, let it fly today

There is no more reactionary fan base of any team in this town like Mets fans. This fan base goes from euphoria to despair in a Manhattan minute. Take yesterday’s game for instance.

After winning the last two series against the Pirates and Padres (yes we know Keith the Padres are bottom feeders) the fan base was sky high but then a look at the upcoming schedule made some apprehensive of what will happen to the Mets by the end of the month. A look at the records of the Mets upcoming opponents should really rattle the Mets faithful:

Dodgers  32-16

Nationals 29-19

Orioles 29-20

Rays 29-20

Reds 27-21

Cardinals 27-22

Mets 27-22

Highlanders 26-22

Phillies 26-24

Cubs 16-32

The teams I worry about in this stretch are the Dodgers, Nats and the Rays as they have outstanding pitching and could very easily shutdown the Mets offense. What makes this a mine field for the Mets is these teams come at them one after the other. So if the Mets tread water for the next 31 games and go 16-15 that would leave the club at 43-37 heading into July and the half way mark of the season. I’d be happy with that.

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WHAT, ME WORRY ?

A few quick hits:

Yesterday we were told not to worry about Lucas Duda’s balky back that he was rested yesterday to spare him a long bus ride and he will be good to go today when the team buses to Viera (90 min trip) to meet the Nats. Well, Duda wasn’t on that bus and will sit out again today.

David Wright we were told will take a day or two off with some discomfort in his rib cage, nothing serious just a precaution. Wright has yet to play this week.

Pedro Beato has some soreness in the rotator cuff but it’s nothing serious a little rest and he should be fine.

Scott Hairston still has not responded to treatment of his re-strained oblique muscle and it looks like he will not start the season on the 25 man roster making a tissue thin bench even thinner.

But don’t worry we’re told, it’s early in spring these are little nagging things that will work its way out. In the Brooklyn neighborhood I grew up in there was an old saying “Don’t worry is doing 15 years in Sing Sing”

This is why Mets fans hang and cringe on every pitch that Johan Santana throws as we know it’s just a matter of time before his arm falls off.

Can a team use the disabled list for players that have a psychological injury? I ask this because if you can, Jason Bay is a candidate for shutdown. Reading the stories on how Bay is placing his feet differently in the batter’s box and thinking so much about his approach at the plate to where he knows he needs to be more selective and lay off pitches off the plate it just seems his biggest problem is he’s thinking too much and not reacting at all at the plate. It seems he spends his at bats thinking about 1,001 ways to get a hit and while his head is filled with all this distraction, he’s become absent minded to reaction to pitches.  That Capt Kirk/Jason Bay platoon in left field looks better and better every day.

When did Omar Minaya become the GM of the NY Jets? So Eli Manning coming off a Super Bowl win, the second of his career and his second Super Bowl MVP award restructures his contract down instead of asking for a well-deserved raise so his team has money to sign players that will help the Giants add to their trophy case while the Jets extend the contract of Mark Sanchez whose leadership qualities are questioned in his own locker room. Stunning.

I’m not saying you can’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez, you can, but you have to have a plan and signing free agents with questionable character is not the way to do. Rex Ryan preached “ground and pound” but the Jets do not practice that mantra. It still amazes me how Mike Tannenbaum stays below the Jets fans radar, if I were a Jets fan I’d want him fired.

For all of us Mets fans who want the Skill Sets to sell the team, let’s be careful what we wish for.  If the Mets were up for sale, Jim Dolan and his Cablevision billions will be front and center with a bid. Now if I knew Dolan would treat the Mets like he does the Rangers, it wouldn’t be too bad but if he’s hands on like he is with the Knicks that would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Mets need another Nelson Doubleday to take over ownership of this team.  I found this article from the New York Observer from October 30th 2000, right after the Subway World Series, that details how Doubleday and Freddy Skill Sets had opposite views on how the direction of the team and of Shea Stadium.

In the beginning, Doubleday Publishing owned 95 percent of the team. Mr. Doubleday gained a reputation as a hands-off owner who let general manager Frank Cashen make all the baseball decisions. The strategy paid off in 1986, when a Mets team filled with young players cultivated by Mr. Cashen won the World Series

And when it came to Shea Stadium, Nelly D was in favor of renovation to save money and to preserve Shea:

Mr. Wilpon’s allies maintained that the stadium controversy was just a misunderstanding. Mr. Doubleday, they say, simply did not know the status of Mr. Wilpon’s negotiations. That may be true, but Mr. Doubleday apparently hasn’t changed his mind. “I’m not particularly interested in seeing a whole lot of taxpayer money going into a New York Mets fancy-dancy stadium,” Mr. Doubleday told The Observer while watching batting practice before Game 3 on Oct. 24. “We could [renovate Shea Stadium] over three years, section by section. This is a pretty nice place to play ball.”

I don’t know how much of Doubleday’s wanting to renovate Shea rather than build Citi was more his love of Shea or using that money to better the on field product or if it was just Nelly breaking Freddy’s balls. Either way I like Doubleday’s style.

Attention New York Rangers Fans: Keep Calm, Carry On Coach Torts will get this team to “Fuckin’ screw it on straight”

 

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GAME ON !

One month from today is opening day!

Busy day so far as I had to get to work by 6 AM so I can leave early as I have a meeting with my Babe Ruth team and catch Mets-Nats as well.  I called for the meeting to held at local joint that has a back room with a TV so we can discuss business, eat pizza and watch the game.

Unlike the Mets, no one from the NY Times followed me around to cover my early morning ferry and subway ride to work.

The pitching line up for tonight will start with Dillon Gee but the guy all eyes will be on is Matt Harvey, who is scheduled to come in after Gee gets his work in. Harvey will be followed by Miguel Batista who may still be basking in his wonderful 3-0 win over the Reds on the last day of the 2011 season, then Daniel Herrera, Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco to close things out.

Tomorrow we get out first look at Johan Santana. It nice to have game and performances that we can comment on finally.

While all are busy in St. Lonesome getting ready for tonight’s first spring game, The Skill Sets will be focused on the Judge Jed Rakoff’s Manhattan court room to find out if the clawback suit against them is still a go.

John Harper has concluded the reason the Mets have a lack of depth on the Major League roster is due to finances. Tomorrow Harper will report on how jumping into the Atlantic Ocean will cause you to get wet.

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FADE THE BLACK

Blogging will be a bit spotty here next week as I’ll be heading down to Florida for a week of R & R, unlike the week I spent upstate in the woods camping this is a real vacation.

Lots of positives for the Mets organization last night as the club swept a four game series from the Red Legs for the first time ever, Johan Santana pitched in a rehab game in St Lonesome and his arm did not fall off, and Daniel Murphy is now 3rd in the NL Batting race behind Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes. No Mets player has ever won a Batting Crown and the way Reyes is playing this season there is a very good shot that he will be the first. Who knows after that, maybe Zack Wheeler could be the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 2013.

Speaking of Mets pitching phenoms, Matt Harvey was on the mound last night for Bingo against Harrisburg and Nats phenom, Bryce Harper. Harvey had a very strong showing and K’d the much hyped Bryce twice but the B-Mets went down in defeat 2-1 in 14 innings. Harvey went 7 innings and K’d 10 and walked only 2.

Sad news about Hideki Irabu taking his own life yesterday in California. As Mike Silva points out, Irabu’s downfall in coming to the U.S. to pitch was his insistence to pitch for the Highlanders. The San Diego Padres held his rights and after a contentious back and forth with Padres ownership, Irabu forced a  trade Irabu to the Bronx where the pitcher thought it would be just like in the movies. He soon found out the myth of the Bronx Bastards failed to mirror the reality of playing for an overheated blow hard  self-promoting owner, who didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.  Maybe Irabu life would have been different if he stayed in San Diego or Japan. We’ll never know but playing for the Highlanders did not improve his quality of life.    

Lost in the euphoria of the Mets four game sweep of the Red Legs and the fact they have been road warriors all season, is that the dreaded black uniform top and cap has been making many more appearance the last month or so than it did during the early part of the season.  I’ll never understand this fixation with the black jersey and hat when the Mets road greys are one of the best looking uniforms in all of baseball. Now that Sandy Alderson has put this organization in his vice-grip hands, I am begging him to order all the black uniforms gathered up for an end of the season bon fire at Citi Field. I sure this guy will bring the gasoline and matches.   

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A FRIDAY QUICK HIT

I’ve got a ton of work to get to today and if the rain holds off a baseball game to manage tonight so just a few quickies before my nose meets the old grind stone:

Good medical news finally as Davis Wright will head to Port St. Lonesome and engage in baseball activities that hopefully gets him back to the Mets by the All Star break. I love Jose Reyes telling Wright to “Have fun in St. Lucie” then laughing to reporters “There is nothing to do there”

Hopefully all Chris Capuano is suffering from is a cramp in his abdomen from not being sufficiently hydrated and not some oblique-intercostal bullshit muscle pull thingy.

The whole back page of the NY Daily News today is just bunch of sensational bullshit, in fact I just spent more time on it than I should have.

The Jim Riggleman resignation is the talk of baseball today. After reading Ken Rosenthal’s article on Riggleman walking out on the Nats you can say there are two sides to the story and when you start hearing the manager and scouts all agree that GM Mike Rizzo has a problem with communicating with them, you could see that Riggelman’ ultimatum that his contract option for 2012 be picked up or else was a cry to get the GM’s attention. Bottom line is Riggleman quit on his team and what makes it worse is his team is on a roll as they are just 4 ½ games off the Wild Card and they have been winning at home so Riggleman comes off as a real selfish prick with this move. I agree with Rosenthal as I definitely see Davey Johnson being the first choice to take over the Nats for at least the rest of the season as this is the perfect Davey Johnson situation.

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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.

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