NY Mets Problems Run A Bit Deeper Than Obtaining A Reliever

Sorry for the hockey interuption. This young manin the picture is Rick Nash he is a good solid hockey player. When Nash woke up this morning he was a Columbus Blue Jacket and now he is a New York Ranger. Many NY Ranger fans are doing the happy dance when this was announced. Nash coming to the Rangers had a price, three very good Rangers are now Blue Jackets. Thank you to Brandon Dubinsky for 8 teriffic years as a Ranger same to Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon  all the best   

All I asked for was a summer of competitive baseball, why is that so difficult? The Mets are in the midst of another second half free fall as they have won just one game in their last ten. The last three seasons after the break have been disasters for the Metropolitans:

2011 31-40

2010 31-43

2009 28-47

During this recent run of losing baseball, I’ve thought about a question I posed to R.A. Dickey back in the winter of 2010, about the time Terry Collins was named manager, I asked Dickey what happened in the second half of the season that led to slide he said after a long pause, “lack of preparation” I asked by whom, the coaches or players and Dickey replied “both”. Last year’s collapse and now this latest second half losing streak does not in my view, fall under the lack of preparation or commitment , it seems like it’s more like a lack of major league readiness and an overachieving first half.

We have gone over the faults of the bullpen ad nauseum  and yes those sixteen blown saves and twenty loses are the biggest kick in the nuts this season but there are still many holes on this team that need addressing and no mid-season deal can cure them.

The Mets outfield is a mess. There is not one solid “every day I can count on you” player that plays in this outfield. Scott Hairston is very good vs. lefties and as a pinch hitter but Hairston is what he is, a bench player and when bench players start to get regular work, you get to see why they are bench players. I really like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and I want him to be a Met for a long time. He plays terrific defense and he has that “baseball makeup” that scouts love. He also has a lot of holes in his swing and is quite perplexed by the breaking ball to the point where he is putting up Kingman-esque strike out rates. Lucas Duda plays right field like the displaced first baseman that his is. It’s hard to get on him for the awful reads he gets on fly balls as he was put there for his bat, and that bat has gone limp. In Duda’s last 18 games he has 1 HR and 2 RBI. That is not the production you need from your corner outfielder. What more can you say about Jason Bay? At the end of this season Bay his agent and Sandy Alderson need to sit down and figure out an exit strategy for Bay. It would be best for both parties to part ways. Andres Torres does nothing useful and I’m guessing he is just here until Mike Baxter gets healthy and is re-activated. Torres should not be taking playing time from anyone.  Is Jordany Valdespin an outfielder? An infielder?  A bench player? Late for dinner? See a pattern here?

The catching situation is a mess as well (file this under lather, rinse, repeat) not just for the big league team but throughout the organization as well (we’re counting on you Kevin Plawecki )

David Wright has been an MVP quality player and after a disastrous start to the, Ike Davis has found a pulse but you still have to question if Ike is the guy to man first base in the seasons ahead. Ruben Tejada looks set at shortstop for the next ten years and Daniel Murphy at second base……………………..there’s a big question. #ImWith28 has busted out of his slump and is producing now but he could bring back value if Alderson touted him as a 3rd baseman as 3rd basemen will be demand this winter.

Lots of work is to be done to get this Mets team up and running as a true contender. A reliever at the deadline is not the answer.  

 

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NY Rangers-NY Mets Daily Double

I’m having a tough time putting my thoughts into words this morning after spending my night at Madison Square Garden and witnessing one of those great sports moments   that will talked about for years and years.

The black and white of the box scores says Rangers 3 Capitals 2 but that in no way describes how this game was played.  This NY Ranger team is simply one of the best teams in the history of my sports fandom.  It hasn’t much to do with the winning but more with the amazing work ethic and the fact when I was ready to write them off they dug down deeper than me and many other Rangers fans could ever imagine. Funny thing is as I watched the pre-game warm ups, I thought about how many games I’ve witnessed in this building and how times have changed over the years.  For some wild reason images of John Fergurson, Phil Esposito, Ron Greschner and my favorite whipping boy Willie Huber were entering my head.  I looked around the Blue Seats and thought about Nick Fotiu throwing pucks to “his people” in the upper reaches of the 400 section after warm-ups. I thought of the day Bryan Trottier was named coach of the Rangers (that’s when my hatred for Glen Sather began) as the day I was ready to turn in my Broadway Blueshirt and of course the  euphoria of 1994 Stanley Cup winning team.

I don’t know where this playoff season is going for the NY Rangers but as nerve wracking as the ride is, I’m riding with a lot of Ranger fan pride. Time to close this series out boys tomorrow night!

I had no idea what was going on between the Mets and Phuck Phaces until my phone buzzed with a text telling me the Mets had won 5-2. When I got home I went searching for Rangers highlights to find out how the hell Broadway Brad Richards got that puck by Braden Holtby and to relive the resurrection of Marc Staal, I stopped on ESPN as Baseball Tonight was queuing up highlights of the Mets win (by the way, what’s up with John Kruk? He’s sitting behind a desk all hunched up like someone was lobbing hand grenades over his head. Why so tense Krukie? )  and I know there is this whole controversy over hitting batters for no reason but because they are young and talented and many times fans go overboard on wanting their pitcher to take off someone on the oppositions head with a pitch but to me if Shane Victorino doesn’t hit the dirt on his first at bat tonight I will be very angry. Victorino’s take out try on Justin Turner was an out and out dirty play and a scumbag like Victorino will continue to make that kind of play until someone sends him a message.  I don’t want Miguel Batista (YIKES!!!!) to drill Victorino in the noggin but I do want to see a pitch just under his chin.

 How do you figure out Jordany  Valdespin ? I’ve heard a few stories on how he is immature and was such a problem he was read the riot act by a few folks in the Mets minor league system. So far he seems to be exuberant as a young man should be in the big leagues and a player his teammates have embraced. Maybe it’s the fact that Terry Collins can handle a young guy feeling his oats and the fact that the team has solid mature veteran players unlike the cranky red asses who gave rookies a hard time in the clubhouse in years past. Hopefully with a little success in the big leagues, Valdespin will see what it takes to stay up here and matures before our eyes.

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HAPPY HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA

NY Ranger Royalty

Today for some reason is called Hockey Day in America and NBC is airing three early afternoon games and Versus gets the Heritage Classic, an outdoor games between the Montreal Canadians and the Calgary Flames  in Calgary (wait, Hockey Day in AMERICA and the headline game is being played in CALGARY, ALBERTA CANADA?) so to make my contribution to the day, I’m off to MSG for what could be a old time slobberknocker between the NY Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. I will also stop into the Tim Horton’s in Penn Station for an apple fritter and coffee eh?

Alright all together now, “Oh the good old hockey game, is the best game you can name, and the best game you can name is  the good old hockey game”…………….everybody “oh the good old hockey game……………

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TODAY IS NOT ABOUT THE M-E-T-S, IT’S ABOUT THE J-E-T-S

As a NY Football Giants fan, my main enjoyment this past weekend should be that the Dallas Cowgirls choked again in the NFL post season (how about a great big Kranepool Society  FUCK YOU to Jerry  Jones the owner of the Cowgirls and how about that fat fuck Flozell Adams, left a playoff game with a boo-boo on his calf, fucking coward!) but in fact I am actually happy with the Jets winning yesterday in San Diego.

The Giants fans-Jets fan relationship is strange by New York sports fan standards. As a NY Ranger fan, I hate the Icelanders immensely (da-da-da-dada da-da-da-dada da-da-da-dada da-da-da POTVIN SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!)  and as most local hockey fans, I’m blasé about the K.C. Scouts/Colorado Rockies/NJ Devils. They only player well known in Newark is their over weight and overrated goaltender. As a Boston Cletics fan the good thing about having the Knicks and Nets around is I get to see the C’s in person four times a year. As for the Bronx Bastards, the hatred between us and them is well documented. But as far as Giants-Jets fans go, we just go about our business come football season.

I got wrapped up the Jets game yesterday because the style of football they play is the antithesis of what the NFL is all about these days and a style I love. It’s all about spread offenses and quarterbacks throwing 35 times a game Wildcat formation (which is a basic Pop Warner offense) and high flying wide outs and games in domes under controlled climates but then here come the Jets with a page out of” simple still works” playbook. Pound the ball on offense, control the clock, have your QB mange the game and not have to make a big play, then on defense attack the line of scrimmage like a jail break and make the QB as uncomfortable in the pocket as you can, hit the wide outs hard early to get them out of their rhythm  . Add in a few turnovers and you have a wining formula.

During the season Jets coach Rex Ryan annoyed me with his big mouth and bluster. The reason being I was so used to the Same Old Jets who are great in April on Draft Day and then again in August in games that don’t count in the standings but then come the regular season, well Same Old Jets. But Ryan has taken that Same Old Jets stigma and turned it into a positive, a rallying cry. Last night on the SNY Jets Post Game show the played a clip of Ryan and his team in their jubilant locker room. Ryan gathered his team around him and said something that has converted me to be a Rex Ryan fan:

“ok fella’s listen up, great game today, great effort and you should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished so far. But tomorrow the headline in the papers will be THREE FIRST PLACE TEAM ADVANCE……..AND THE FUCKIN’ JETS”

With that his players roared in delight. This is Rex Ryan’ team  and the story of the Jets season so far is an unbelievable one and as crazy as this sounds from a Giants fan, I hope they win the Fuckin’ Super Bowl.

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