SMOOTH OPERATORS

No need to ask he’s a smooth operator

There was something different about the Mets last night, not just the great pitching performance by Jon Neise or the bombs away hitting of Daivd Wright, Rod Barajas or Frenchy there was a confidence displayed by the team that has been missing for awhile. When you look at Jason Bay the guy never seems to get rattled.  Ike Davis is the same way it feels like Davis has been here for a couple of years instead of a couple of weeks. The players all said during spring training that they knew they had a good team and that they’ll prove once the season starts, I for one didn’t believe it. I’m not going over board just yet although beating the Phillies like they did and shutting up the louts that inhabit Citizen’s Bank Park has we ready to go overboard.

It’s easy to go crazy during this hot streak and hopeful Big Pelf works his magic to day against Roy Haliday but the test of the makeup of this team to me will be how they react when they hit a bump in the road. They’ve already hi one early in the year and have shown for guts than last years team ever did but at some point the pitching is going to struggle and the bats will slump a bit and how the team reacts to that adversity will be the test .

I don’t want to dwell on that now though I just want to see the Mets kick Roy Halliday and the Phillies ass this afternoon.

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AND THE 2009 SEASON CONTINUESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

If Freddi Gonzalez ever feels his job as head Fishmonger is in jeopardy, he’d better hope the Mets are on the upcoming schedule. The Marlins have now beaten the Mets 13 times in the last 24 games.

Yes, yes, yes I know the season is in its infancy stage but didn’t the last three games look as though 2009 hasn’t ended? If not for the big effort by Johan Santana on Monday the Mets might be 0 for 2010 today.

Nice work by Jon Neise last night working all his pitches and hitting the strike zone on the down low.  The way he worked his fastball and cutter was encouraging as well. Too bad the Mets couldn’t put a few crooked numbers up for him. Sure 3 runs allowed in 6 innings is an average performance but Niese did pitch to contact and after watching John Maine on Wednesday at least he threw strikes.

I keep looking and looking but I can’t find where the Mets have DFA’Mike Jacobs? By the way Ike Davis had 3 hits in 4AB’s in a losing Buffalo Bison effort last night. Just sayin’

Should SNY start Mets telecast like an episode of 24 as a count down to when Jerry Manuel gets fired, “The following occurred between 7:10PM and 10:35PM”

This weekend series against the Nationals is a “must-win” for the Mets. What? Too early?

Luis Castillo will sit out tonight’s game with calf (wink, wink) discomfort. So tonight we get Alex “Leader of Men” Cora at 2nd base and Ruben Tejada at short, and hopefully by tomorrow Jose Reyes will be activated from the DL unless of course he eats a dozen oysters on the half shell on the plane ride from St. Lonesome. Oh and Michael Highlander, I’m wearing my doo-rag today!!!!

I’m proud to say I have not watched one second of Jersey Shore being that if I want to look at wanna be tough guys and cows who have an over inflate view of their importance I can stroll the Staten Island Mall, but the commercial for Vitamin Water D-Wright shot with this cugine (pronounced COO-Jean) The Situation was pretty amusing. D-Wright by the way had a piece of the Vitamin Water and when they were bought by Coca-Cola Wright made a nice piece of change.

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METS POWERBALL NUMBERS: 77, 81, 87, 91

As you know I made reference to Joe Mc Donald proclaiming on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL last Thursday that the Mets will be a 90+ win team in 2010. His reasoning was that Oliver Perez will revert to his Good Ollie personality. I did say, it was encouraging news that OP, under the urging of both Scott Boras and Carlos Beltran, has spent the off season in Arizona, training hard to lose both the stigma of bring mentality and physically inept to pitch in the big leagues.

I’ve been looking around at the team as it now is constructed and have tried to make the case for 90 wins. It all starts of course with the pitching staff:

#1 Santana 15-17 wins

#2 Pelf/Joel Piniero/Bronson Arroyo/Aaron Harang/Gil Meche 10-12 wins

#3 Pelf/OP/Maine/Doug Davis/Jon Garland 8-10 wins

#4 one of the above at #3  8-10 wins

#5 Maine/Neise/Neve/Holt/Stoner/(Gulp!) Smoltz 8-10 wins

That comes to 49-59 wins from your starting rotation

Now from the seven relievers you figure will be in the pen:

Frankie Rodz

Ryoto Igarashi

Bobby Parnell

Kelvin Escobar

Sean Green

Pedro Feliciano

Lefty to be named later

You figure you can and average of 4 wins from each. That’s an additional 28 wins, brining my projection to 77 to 87 wins.

Now say I leave the bullpen projection alone but I up the ante on the #2 pitcher to 12-14 wins and the #3 to 10-12 wins, that would put the team’ record between 81-91 wins. Of course all this is predicated on the Mets signing one of the remaining free agent pitchers, of which just Joel Piniero is desirable if he comes cheap or can trade for the one of the Arroyo/Harang/Meche troika.

So what do you think? Am I out of mind thinking there is a way the Mets could be a 90 win team and contend? Am I drinking the Omar/Jeffey Kool Aid? Has Joe Mac brainwashed me?  Or am I just tired of freezing my ass off this winter and dying for spring and summer and baseball season? Could be the cold has made me delirious.

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IS HELP ON THE WAY?

Trying to dry out from a soaking rain this morning so retreving my Mets news took a bit longer than usual.

Looks like the shake up we have been looking for will be internal as OP, Angel P and Jon Neise are ready to pitch in and F-Mart goes back to Buffalo and Tim Redding and Fernando Nieve go back to obscurity.

I’m sorry I’m missing Manny Being Manny in Flushing tonight and you can boo him and call him a cheat but if he were the Mets left fielder life would be a lot easier and first palce would be closer to reality than a pipe dream.

Time to cook lunch yummmmmmm sloppy joes while standing ankle deep  in mud

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I GUESS I’M JUST SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED

As I was in the middle of my interview with Bill Reynolds last night on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL, Raul Ibanez hit Ken Takahashi’ pitch that was below his ankles out of the park Iw as ready to yell OH FUCK! But I kept my composure and concentrated on the interview but if you listen to the show you could tell after the Reynolds interview I tried to fill the last half hour of the show although I was shell shocked by the Mets again unable to hold a lead.

I don’t know if it’s just frustration or that there is in power struggle between J-Man and Omar but some of Jerry Manuel’s moves have me puzzled. His choice of Fernando Tatis as and everyday player and burying Daniel Murphy on the bench is ridiculous. Tatis has been a great addition to the Mets but for Christ sake he ‘s not Lou Gehrig, he’s a very good utility guy who produces when used sparingly. Please, FREE DANIEL MURPHY at put him at first base. Same with Ryan Church can you leave the guy in RF? Let F-Mart platoon with Sheffield in LF because as great as Sheff has been he’s is 40 years old and can not play every day.

So now John Maine joins the walking wounded with a “tired arm”. How much you want to bet this is another line of happy horseshit from Flushing ?

PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Don’t tell me that Nelly Figs is coming up for Maine. I don’t care what Jon Neise’ numbers are in Buffalo bring him up and let him pitch and stop burying this kid. ENOUGH OF NELSON FIGUEROA already!

You’ll read no more criticism of D-Wright or Carols Beltran here as both of these guys have stepped up and gone above and beyond the call of duty. If I were managing a team against the Mets I’d never give either guy a pitch to hit I’d take my chances with the other six guys in the lineup.

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WILL OP SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE?

If we are to believe Jon Heyman the signing of Oliver Perez back to the Mets is eminent. If Omar goes over anything more than a 4yr/$42mil deal for OP he’s out of his mind. At this point I’d rather take a chance with Ben Sheets with a 2yr/$20 mil deal with incentives than give a big deal to OP, but it does seem like it’s Ollie to the Mets and that makes the rotation look like this:

 

Santana

Maine

Perez

Pelfrey

Garcia/Redding/Neise/Petey?

 

Take a look at this post by Dan Graziano’ on his NY Baseball Hack site as he lays out the question marks that make up this starting rotation. The only three that are durable are Santana, OP, and Tim Redding. Maine coming off surgery to remove a cyst on his shoulder tends to get fatigued and Big Pelf is still a blooming pitcher that for some reason, even though he is a big strapping young fellow Mets followers treat him like Grandmas Wedgworth china. I listed the Chief first in the 5th starters spot because I’m a big Freddy Garcia fan and I’ll be rooting my ass off for him this spring to make the big club. Redding could be the missing Darren Oliver link that hasn’t been discussed as much as it should have been and John Neise will be on the Buffalo/Flushing shuttle. That leaves Petey and there is a remote possibility that the Mets bring him back. 

 

Am I a little more optimistic than I was on Thursday night about the Mets chances? Maybe a little but those Marlins are still dancing in my head as the team that will give the Mets and Phillies fits all season.

 

As someone who is left handed, I always say you can never be to thin, to rich or to lefty and it seems Omar Minaya feel the same way  as he has signed Rob Mackowiak to a minor league deal. I love this signing by the Mets as Mackowiak is the definition of a super-sub as he plays just about every position on the field except pitcher. Think Super Joe McEwing but with talent.

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JONATHON AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR CURVEBALL

It’s been called a Yacker, Yellow Hammer, Uncle Charley and it some very rare cases (see Koufax, Sandy Blyleven, Bert, Viola, Sweet Music and Gooden, Dwight) Lord Charles.  It’s the curveball. As historians tell us  was developed by a pitcher with a porn star name, Candy Cummings back in the 1870 and since been perfected by the four pitchers I mentioned and when it’s thrown correctly it’s a devastating pitch.

 

Last night the Mets put a year of bad luck into the hands of a soon to be 22 year old Jonathon Neise who had the unenviable task of making sure the Mets did not get swept by the pathetic Atlanta Braves, a team that looks as broken down as it’s 104 year old manager. Niese was brilliant last night as his curveball with it’s big 12 to 6 break was unhitable and gave the fans a lesson in basic baseball, throw strikes, get ahead, win game.

 

It also helped that the offense showed up in game 2 as it’s very easy to point the finger at the bullpen for game one loss and it would have been a huge boost  if Brain Stokes got out of the 8th inning jam but you wonder if the offense had come through in big spots with the bases loaded to break open just a drag along boring game, that J-Man manages it differently by taking a hard working Johan Santana out after 7 innings and letting Figgie, Knight or even Bobby Parnell come in to mop up. But it didn’t work out that way but this is not your 2007 Mets team as they came back rejuventized by a 21 year old leftie at his coming out party.

 

Jon Niese Dan Murphy, Nick Evans, Joe Smith, Bobby Parnell, Fernando Martinez, Jose Reyes, David Wright, are not a bad bunch of home grown players that the Mets farm system has produced. Add in what’s coming up next in Brad Holt, Wilmer Flores, Jefry Marte, Josh Satin and Ike Davis the State of the Mets looks very strong. Not bad for an organization that the “experts” claimed had a barren farm.

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TONY BERNAZARD FOR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

When Willie Randolph was let go a lot of venom was spewed in the direction of Tony Bernazard, Omar Minaya’ First Lieutenant and the Mets Director of Player Development .Bernazard was portrayed as a meddler and was no fan of Randolph and was one of the voices in Omar’s head to can Willie. I bring this up today because as I was reading John Harpers pieces in the Daily News today , he mentions how it was Bernazard who pushed for the promotion of Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans and Argenis Reyes all three have made big contributions to the resurgence of the Mets season. Bernazard also looks to have made the big decision to give Jon Niese a start last night which from listening to J-Man was not his first choice to start last night. I’d love to know how hard J-Man pushed to have either Brain Stokes or Nelly Figs get the start last night. From the parting words of Willie Randolph it is hinted that Bernazard and Manuel have a very good relationship and difference of opinion is good as who wants “yes” men around them al the time. So I’m sure J-Man made his case but in the end Tony B had a stronger case. Taken on face value, J-Man was most likely right about going with either Figs or Stokes or even returning Olympian Brandon Knight, not because of the green gills of Neise but with Santana and OP sandwiched around Neise that’s three lefties in a row which you want to avoid at any cost but especially with a team like the Brewski’s who pound left handed pitching. Remember back a few months ago the Mets moved John Maine up in the rotation to go between Santana and OP as J-Man wanted to avoid the three lefties rotation. But back to TB, I never thought of him as a villain that the media made him out to be now I don’t know the guy but I have to give him props for running a better minor league system than we all thought the Mets had.. All the so called expert publications told us Mets fans that the organization was lacking in Major League ready and lucky for the team they were wrong. 

 

So now Petey is working out to get his arm loose as that was the reason for him not feeling “comfortable” in his last start in Miami.  You all know I’m a Petey fan boy but he is becoming like an old car that burns oil and keeps breaking down. As much affection as I have for the Great Petey no matter how the season turns out it’s time to let Petey ride off into the sunset, as there is no reason to bring him back next season. Too much maintenance.

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THE RIGHT TO BEAR RELIEF ARMS

Sorry for the late posting but I’ve been on the phone with Barack Obama as he is pleading with me to be his running mate in Novemeber. I’m taking time to contemplate what to do. Obama has promised me that when we win in Novemeber my duties as Vice President will not take away from my blogging about the Mets, in fact he assured me of being at opening day next year at $iti Field as I woud be his rep at the game. This is a very tough decison I have to make. J-Man thinks he has it tough.

 

I have to give credit to the Mets relievers, they are far more restrained than I could ever be if I were in their shoes. Everyday now that Billy Wags looks like he’s done for the year (you know one the inflammation in his elbow goes down an MRI will show a tear, it’s Mets luck kids) their ability, guts and talent are questioned by the fans, media and the manager and not one guy has exploded in anger. I wish I had that kind of temperament because I know if I were a Mets reliever I’d have told this whole city to go fuck itself by now.

Here is what me, you the media and the players need to get into their heads, there is no white knight on the way to close out games for the Mets. If the Mets and I mean Omar, Jeffy and Tony B even think about dealing Nick Evans, Dan Murphy, Jon Neise or the Teen Aged Hitting Machine for some ragged arm reliever off the wavier wire then the name of the blog will be changed to I Hate The Mets. No one is going to hand over a reliever to the Mets (Nick Evans for David Weathers? I will burn every piece of Mets clothing and memorabilia I have if that deal is ever made ) and the Phillies will block every wavier move that favors the Mets so forget it. The best you can hope for right now is that Al (Curly) Reyes, joins Jose (Moe) Reyes and Argenis (Larry) Reyes as the Mets have done well with guys named Reyes.

Oh and scratch Todd Jones off your wish list as he just landed on the DL with a sore shoulder.

If John Maine were healthy he would move to the closer role but with his shoulder problems you can’t ask him to pitch on an day to day basis, in fact when he does start it looks like 5 to 6 innings tops is what your going to get out of him so the four days rest he gets between starts is much needed. Forget Petey as well even though he has the mind set and heart to close he just doesn’t have the pitching arsenal to succeeded in that spot. OP? to valuable as a starter. Santana? “Nuff said. That leaves Big Pelf and if in the next two weeks that no one steps up and does the job Big Pelf would be the guy that heads to the pen. If Pelfrey were a big strike out guy the move would have been made already I think but since he’s not then the Mets brass will use him in the late innings only as a last resort. He woul dsuced there for the fact that he has mastered hitting the low strike zone and can induce double plays . If the Mets can’t find someone to step in or step up and they do make the post season more likely than not Big Plef will head to the pen.

Now I’m calling on citizens from all over the world this is Captain America calling.

Hey things could be worse, Carl Pavano could be your starting pitcher

This has to be seen to be believed.

 

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