Opening Day…….Are We There Yet ?

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Have  I lost my mind? Nope it’s time to make a BOLD move and by trading for Jimmy Rollins is as BOLD a move as you can make. See my rational below.  

It’s been pretty lackluster spring training for the Mets. Aside from watching the bumper crops of young pitching prosper and which organization is going to hand over a big league shortstop, the position battles we anticipated just haven’t happened.

The first baseman fight to the finish between Ike Davis and the new and improved Body by Lake Michigan, Lucas Duda has been non-existent. Both players have gone down with injury for most of the spring with Ike dragging a walking boot around to ease his calf injury and Duda resting a cranky hamstring.  So instead of who has the best at bats winning the first base job, the player who can walk to the batter box without a medical appliance will win that job.

We were all sold a bill of goods about the shortstop position as well. Ruben Tejada was also sent to Michigan boot camp and so far it seems like that was a big waste of time and money. Tejeda looks as bad as he did last season even with Grandpa Terry telling him how marvelous he is. While Grandpa Terry is trying to inflate Tejada’s self-esteem, Big Daddy Sandy is dangling young virile pitchers to any team with a shortstop who can move laterally and at least bat .250

The best move to fill the shortstop spot would be to sign Stephen Drew but Drew doesn’t want to play baseball he wants to be paid millions and then play baseball. It’s easy to kill Drew’s agent Scott Boras but doesn’t the agent work for the player? If Drew really had the hot desire to play baseball he would have told Agent Boras to get him the best deal out there.  There is no market for Drew except for one team, our beloved Mets, so if the GM should offer a face saving 1 yr for $14 mil to Drew/Boras and if they balk, lose their number. Then go into the contacts on your phone and dial Ruben Armaro Jr. and ask what it would take to deal Jimmy Rollins to the Mets.

Yeah you read that right, I want to bring Jimmy Rollins to the Mets as their everyday shortstop. I could care less that he’s a Phillie and that he’s rub our noses in the big stink of defeat for years, that’s exactly why I want him on the Mets. We need an everyday bad ass and since our every fifth day bad ass, Matt Harvey is out for the season. With  Rollins we get an everyday shortstop who has been told by his rookie manager that “he ain’t the ballplayer he used to be” and will be doing everything he can to prove him wrong.

Rollins makes $11 mil for this season and has very reachable clause in his deal to guarantee him $11 mil for 2015. That’s $22 mil the geriatric Phillies could use to get a player or two under 35 years old.  Since our owners declare they have cash to spend why not spend it on a guy who has a World Series ring an MVP and a prickly attitude?

I’m not saying I’d expect the Jimmy Rollins of 2007 his MVP year but if the Mets get Jimmy Rollins of the 2012 vintage it would make the season a lot more interesting .

Now for all of you, who are against this move remember not a single young stud pitcher will be moved in this transaction. That alone should get you on board the J-Roll Train.

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NY Mets Notes for 4-1-13

A few Opening Day notes form the NY Mets:

Last Met to hit a leadoff home run on opening day was Kaz Matsui on 4-6-04 at Turner Field

In the history of MLB the NY Mets have the best opening day winning percentage of all time at .647 (33-18)

David Wright has had at least one hit in every opening day game he’s played in for the Mets since his debut in 2005

There has been only one Mets Grand Slam hit on opening day and that was by Todd Hundley in Colorado on 4-26-1995

Happy Birthday to Daniel Murphy (#Imwith28 who turns 28) and Rusty Staub (Le Grand Orange) who turns 69 years old and will throw out the first pitch of today’s game.

The Mets will honor the first responders who did outstanding work during Hurricane Sandy.

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The Spring of The Mets Fans Discontent

This has got to be the most ho-hum spring training I’ve experienced as a Mets fan in a long long time.  I guess with the exception of Matt Harvey and to an extent Collin Cowgill have made me sit up and take notice. It seems as if jobs are being given to players not on merit but because they are best of a mediocre at best lot. In fact let’s look at who’s who on this team that should head North in 9 days:

Ike Davis-Will this be the Summer of Ike? Is this THE breakout season we’ve been waiting for from the talented first baseman? Can he give us that 30 HR 100 RBI season we’ve dreamed of? I sure hope so.

Daniel Murphy-hard not to root for Murph. He gives you an honest effort every time out and while he’s not a home run hitter his 40 doubles is a-ok. Since Murph is not a home run hitter he needs to get on base more so his walk total needs to improve. Love to see him get that OBA back up to the .360 or better. Since he turns 28 (and on the DL) on opening day this is the season Murphy needs to make his mark to stay a Met .

Ruben Tejada-This may be one of those “it’s not you it’s me” situations when it comes to Tejada as he doesn’t stoke my excitement when I watch him play. He can’t lead off since he doesn’t get on base enough and his defense is acceptable. I hope he gains a little toughness this season and learns the difference between being hurt and being injured. I can’t wait for the Gavin Cecchini Era.

David Wright-So the organization decided to name David Wright Captain. This is the equivalent of turning on a facet and seeing water come out. Wright has gone above and beyond for this organization from the first day he arrived in Flushing.  The one player on the roster that Mets have no worries that he will produce.

Justin Turner-Like Billy Martin was Casey Stengel’s boy, Turner is Terry Collins boy

Jordany Vladespin-I never thought there was a question about JV1 making the big league team. Now that he has a lock on a roster spot he needs to grow up this year. If you’re going to be a pain in the ass you better be a productive pain in the ass. I think Valdespin will finally realize he needs to man up and will have a solid season as an outfielder/infield fill in.

Brian Bixler-I think he makes the team because of Murphy hitting the DL to start the season. He could make a case to say if he can be a productive right handed bat off the bench

Omar Quintanilia-solid infielder also makes it North  to back up Tejada.

Lucas Duda-Please, please, please let this offensive surge that Duda has had of late carry over into the season. I don’t think it’s an over statement when I say a breakout season at the plate from Duda is the difference from another play out the string season  and being the most interesting Mets season in five years.

Colin Cowgill-Cowgill has done what guys like Cowgill need to do, impress the brass with solid hitting fielding and balls to the wall hustle. He’s not only done that but it looks like he’s won the right handed hitting spot of the center field job (JV1 or MDD the left handed hitting spot) and looks like he will be a Citi Field fav.

Matt Den Dekker/Mike Baxter-Already a first class defender, question is will his bat be potent enough to keep him in the line up? Kirk Nieuwenhuis injury open the door for MDD that and the dearth of outfield completion in this spring camp as well. Baxter has had a dreadful spring it will interest to see if he stays and MDD goes to LV which is a distinct possibility since MDD has options and Baxter doesn’t.

John Buck-number one catcher for now as Buck holds the spot for Travis d’Arnaud. Buck seems to have meshed well with the pitching staff this spring and he does hit home runs and is an obvious upgrade over the woeful backstops of last year.  Once d’Arnaud  comes up to the team he and Buck will form a catching tandem that will be one of the Mets strengths after years of being a major liability.

Anthony Recker-I’ve got nothing

 

Jon Niese-Congratualtion on the opening day start. As good as Niese is this will probably be the first and last OD start of his Mets career.  That’s not a knock on Niese it just shows that the Mets will have 3 top flight pitchers leading them to years to come with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Niese gets the nod as Johan Santana will start the season on the DL and I’ve already placed Santana in my mind as a former Met.

Matt Harvey-Harvey’ starts will be must see events. Looks like the total package a physical specimen and tough as nails mentality. Could there be a wine vineyard in his future?

Dillon Gee-good solid 3-4 starter who looks to be recovered for blood clot in his arm he suffered from last year. Gee if 100% should give the Mets hopefully he stays sound, them 190+ innings pitched

Jeremy Hefner-good guy to root for as he’s one of these bang around the bushes type that realizes how lucky he is to make a big league start.  Just needs to be serviceable to be an asset.

Shaun Marcum-what can we expect from Marcum? He’s got a sore shoulder which he claims is not a big deal, nothing a little cortisone can’t cure.  Let’s hope the Mets get 2011 Shaun Marcum and not 2012’s version.

Bobby Parnell-Meet the new closer. With Frank Francisco on the DL Parnell gets another shot of closing out games for the Mets. I hope he succeeds and I hope he has found that sumthin’ sumthin” that all successful closers have.

Brandon Lyon-solid pick up for the Mets as Lyon has closed and should be perfect set-up man for Parnell.  No secret the bullpen was the major reason for the awful season the Mets had last year. Last year’s pen was right at the bottom of every stat there was for pitching and who knows, if they were a middle of the road pen maybe Mets fans wouldn’t have the miserable attitude they have towards this team.

Scott Atchinson-As Collin Cowgill will be the position player fan favorite, Atchinson could be the pitching fan favorite. When was the last time the Mets fan embraced a reliever? Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell???? If Atchinson can duplicate his 80 % stranded base runner rate this season, this team could have a better result than we all expect.

Josh Edgin-needs to get batters to chase that slider out of the strike zone and get that LOB% to at least 75% to become more than a LOOGY

Robert Carson/Pedro Feliciano –one of them is making this team as Terry Collins has stated he will go with two lefties in the pen. Feliciano hasn’t pitched in year and Mets have to make decision to either keep him or pay him $100K to take a trip to Vegas, which could be the move allowing Carson to make it North as the LOOGY.

LaTroy Hawkins-here for veteran leadership and direction to his pen mates

Greg Burke-got to love a guy who pitches from the land down under.

There is more pessimism with this Mets team for the coming season than I’ve seen in a long time. The 2013 Mets are far, far from being one of the worst I’ve ever seen; the Joe Torre years of the late 70’s still give me night sweats.  Those teams were not just a disaster but the whole organization was in a downward spiral. Sure The Skill Sets money woes are still prevalent but at least there is some serious talent on the horizon.

Two things will make this season better than you and I think it will be. The bullpen has to become a strength and the corners have to produce some power. If that happens this summer will be much better that we all think it’ll be. YA GOTTA BELIEVE! I guess.

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NY Mets Need Johan Santana Ready, But Not For Opening Day

 

The NY Mets hired a new Strength and Conditioning coach for 2013, his name is Jim Malone. Malone was hired in early November in an effort to upgrade the way the players in the organization physically conditions themselves for the 2013 season and beyond, especially when little nagging aches and pains have some guys taking time off due to soreness not injury, you would also think his first duties as the S&C coach would be to meet with Johan Santana and oversee a workout plan for him after the abrupt end of his season. I mean, it stands to reason right that Santana’s health would be of optimum importance to the Mets?

I don’t just look at Santana as the Ace of this Mets staff, I also look at him as Sandy Alderson’s prime blue ribbon steer, the one commodity that Alderson has left to sell off for some much needed calf’s to restock the Mets farm. Santana should have been given the best feed and a comprehensive workout program that would strengthen his surgically repaired shoulder and his endurance. He was given none of that by the Mets, and now Alderson is surprised that Johan Santana cannot make the proclamation that 99.9 % of players make when they report to spring camp that “he is in the best shape of his life”.

Talk about not doing due diligence, how in the world did the Mets not monitor the lefties off season workout activities?  I would think that every player in the organization sits down with the training staff and strength and conditioning staff and charts out a winter routine to make sure guys report to St. Lonesome in tip top shape. This isn’t reserve clause era baseball anymore where players have to take jobs selling insurance or laying brick, the biggest job most players have is staying out of their wives way, so I’m sure vast majority of baseball players hit the gym in the winter time, because as I said in the above paragraph all we here from players today at reporting time is they are “in the best shape of their lives”.

All the talk now is about getting Santana ready for an opening day start at Citi Field. Seriously, that should not be the top priority, no the Mets need for Santana to work at getting that left shoulder strong and if that means he doesn’t come up North until the beginning of May then so be it. Santana’s value to the Mets isn’t what he brings in his starts, no, his importance to the Mets is what he can bring back in trade.

Johan Santana is the last of the high priced players of the Omar Minaya era and the last real trade chip Sandy Alderson has left that isn’t named Harvey or Wheeler, if he is healthy.  Right now the Mets need Santana and Malone to sit down and work out a conditioning plan that gets him back on the mound with a strong left wing that throws strikes. If it takes the next 4 weeks of spring and a DL stint and a couple of rehab starts in Las Vegas then so be it.

This is not to disparage Santana or to call him out for not working out this winter, not at all. Santana when healthy was a force with the Mets  a guy who not just competed but rose to challenges  when faced with them.  Of course there was last years no hitter which will leave Santana (and Mike Baxter) mark on Mets history.  His first year with the Mets on July 27th 2008, a day after the Mets used every pitcher on the roster in a 14 inning loss to the Cardinals; Santana pitched a complete game and beat the Cards 9-1. Then on September 27th Santana beat the Marlins 3 hit shutout on 3 days rest to keep the Mets playoff chances alive. Oh yeah he did that with a torn meniscus in his knee as well.

Santana is as tough as a two dollar steak, coming back from the meniscus tear, elbow chips and reconstructive shoulder surgery. No question Santana will now work to get back into the rotation but now in the last year of his contract with the Mets, the cold reality is, he’s a short timer.  The question Mets fans should have about Santana isn’t if he will make the opening day start, it should be can Sandy Alderson move Santana to a contending team for a blue chip outfield prospect by the July trade deadline.

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Darryl Strawberry and John Franco Will Be At Bryant Park Today For The Mets Citi Tickets Pre-Sale

 

If you are in the area by Bryant Park (42 St bet.  5th and 6th Ave) today between 12PM and 1PM who can meet former Mets stars Darryl Strawberry and John Franco who will be on hand for the kickoff of the Citi card holders pre-sale for 2013 Mets tickets.

The three day exclusive presale will begin on Monday, February 25 and run until Wednesday, February 27 at 11:59 PM. Citi customers will have special access to purchase single home game tickets online at http://mets.com/Citipresale, Citi Field or any Mets Clubhouse Shop.

The Citi exclusive presale is the first opportunity for fans to purchase Opening Day, as well as Subway Series tickets. Fans must use their Citi credit or debit card to take advantage of this special offer.

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The 1969 World Champion Mets Had Alot of Heart

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See this why we are Mets fans. I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show when the World Champion NY Mets performed this live. I also have the vinyl album. This should be played at Citi Field on Opening Day.

“you gotta have heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrt, lots and lots of heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttt”………….

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$63? Yeah That’s The Ticket !

 I’m pretty sure the hold up in the R.A. Dickey, David Wright contract negotiations is how to deal with the Sanity Claus  

I’ve been off the blogging grid the past week so I missed out on commenting on some Mets news of the past few days. So with sometime to pontificate let me do so without further ado.

The $63 opening day Promenade Reserved ticket price was received by the Mets fan base as expected, with anger, vile threats, and calls for ownership to get the hell out of the baseball business also known as business as usual.

Seriously, how did the policy makers of the Mets organization think this would go over?  I was SHOCKED when I clicked on the BUY TICKETS icon to secure a couple of opening day tickets as Christmas presents but when I saw the $63 price tag (that’s before the all-important handling charges and the fee that that you are charged to print your tickets at home using your own computer, printer and ink…I need more coffee….I’ll be right back….) I thought I clicked on the wrong section or was I suffering from a sudden case of dyslexia but low and behold that was the” outrageous inflated you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” price. Thank you but I’ll pass.

The Mets can charge whatever price they want for tickets and you and I as Mets fans/consumers can either buy or pass em’ by and from the reaction of sticker shock by Mets fans it seems they are ready to pass em’ by.

Buying tickets for Mets games has become a real chore.  I would love to buy a weekend plan except you are not guaranteed the time of the game on your ticket is the time the game will start. How many times have you bought a ticket for a 1PM Saturday afternoon game and thought this is great, I can go to the game and still have time to plan a late afternoon early evening date with friends or other event. But then you find out that the game has been taken hostage by FOX and game time is now 4PM. So now you have to rearrange your plans which as us married folks/parents know is a huge pain in the ass. Even worse is buying a Sunday game that was advertised as a 1PM game only to be hijacked by ESPN for the very family unfriendly and extremely unpopular 8PM start time. I don’t know about you but I’m fed up.

No more buying tickets in advance for me, I’ll pick the games I want to see and I’ll go to Stub Hub on that day and buy my tickets. It’s the beauty of supply and demand and I’m not going out on a limp when I say when it comes to Mets tickets they will be a huge supply and little demand in 2013.

Jeffy Skill Sets strikes again. Jeffy went out with Johan Santana to Coney Island  (word id Uncle Saul Katz was upset to find out that Nathan’s has not re-opened yet as he wanted Jeffy to bring back an order of frogs legs)  and with Matt Harvey to Far Rockaway to serve food to those still suffering from Hurricane Sandy (what? Staten Island wasn’t on the team’s radar? I would have personally squired young Jeffery down to South Beach for a photo op) a noble gesture indeed by the ball club. But as usually happens when Jeffy is left alone without parental accompaniment, he starts talking “Wilponese” and makes everyone’s head spin:

But chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said Tuesday that trades would be only a last resort, and that if deals can’t be reached, he’d rather have both play out the final year of their deals. The goal remains signing both to long-term extensions.

 

“That’s the first preference; that has been the first preference,” Wilpon said. “Second preference is probably keep them and have them play out the season. Third preference would be to trade them. They’re both very important to the franchise; they’re both fan favorites, so we’d like to keep it that way.”

Wilpon declined to elaborate on why he believes trades are the least desirable option.

“We’re dealing in hypothetical now,” he said. “So I don’t want to go there. In terms of right now, the process is ongoing, and we want to get something done.”

Oh brother!!!! I love the last paragraph as it seems Jeffy realizes that he is talking out of turn and knows that Big Daddy Fred has the Time Out chair waiting for him when he gets home. The guy just can’t help himself, instead of telling the media at the event that he was here to give food and comfort to those whose lives have been affected by the storm and this was not the appropriate time or place to talk about baseball and his daddy’s line “Talk to Sandy about that” Jeffy did what Jeffy does, talk nonsense.

There are only two options, re-signed Wright and Dickey or trade Wright and Dickey. No way both players make opening day as Mets without new deals. Now should both players get new deals? That’s the great debate.  I’d love to have both players in the fold for the long term but what I’d like better is for Sandy Alderson to make a solid baseball decision. If trading Dickey or Wright brings back pieces of solid value then make a deal.  Sure I’d miss them and the fan out cry would be fierce but I want Alderson to do what is best for the NY Mets in the long term not appease the fan base and worry about selling tickets. If Dickey and Wright can bring back a young power hitting outfielder, a front line catcher and some bullpen depth then pull the trigger.

Congratulations to Ike Davis who will be honored at the 33rd Annual Thurman Munson Dinner on Tuesday February 5th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Davis will be given an award for his work with charities that help children stricken with cancer. For tickets and information about the dinner call (212) 249-6188

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Happy Opening Day

 

 

I’m getting ready to head out to Citi Field for opening day so I really don’t have the time to go into a detailed post but hopefully I will have a nice recap of the day events this evening.

Couple of things though:

Two Boots Pizza will now be severed at Citi Field. This is great news for tow reasons, one, it delicious pizza and two, the owner of Two Boots Phil Hartman is a lifelong Mets fan so it’s nice to see the Mets take care of one of our own,

The Mets players, coaches and Terry Collins will be wearing CARTER 8 BP jersey’s today before the game. The pre-game ceremony will be quite emotional today as Carter’s family will throw out the first pitch. Bring lost of Kleenex.

Seems the Skill Sets were the villains  in the scheduling of the home and home games against the Highlanders to close out spring training. A real stupid and greedy move.

The organization should re-think the selling of tickets for the Party City Deck in left field from group sales to individual tickets. From the feedback I’m getting, if sold for $100 a ticket with all the amenities included would make it the most popular seat in Citi Field.

Later everyone, LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Let’s Go Rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know we are a day away from opening day, and believe me if it were up to me I’d camp out in the Citi Field parking lot tonight, but others in my family don’t share my overzealous Mets fandom, but I must digress from the Mets for a moment to revel in the NY Rangers clinching the #1 seed in the NHL Eastern Conference (some fans are a bit confused, the Rangers are not the Eastern Division Champs, at least not yet) with a rockem’-sockem’ win over the Filthadelphia Flyers last night.

It’s been awhile since I enjoyed a Rangers season as much as this one and I can not wait for the Stanley Cup tournament begins . The Rangers have a great shot at wining the Stanley Cup and yet it won’t be easy but no matter what all Rangers fans know one thing, this team will not be out work or out prepared.

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What? Positive NY Mets News?

There are times when I’m glad I was wrong, and this is one of them and I have a lot of company. Not many Mets fans thought Johan Santana would be ready to take the mound at Citi Field on April 5th but the word out of St. Lonesome is Santana will indeed be the NY Mets opening day pitcher. Maybe that will movtivate some Mets fans to buy a ticket for opening day.

This is a big step for Johan and the Mets as it gives the fan base some hope that this will not be the dismal season many predict and hopefully a healthy and productive Santana will help raise the game of the rest of his teammates. Don’t underestimate the fact the Mets ace will pitch on opening day, I can guarantee you the teams of the NL East and rest of MLB look at the NY Mets a lot differently than they did a month ago.

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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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