When I’m Told, “Don’t Worry About Johan Santana”, That’s When I Worry About Johan Santana

 

After a hectic weekend I finally have time to gives some thought son the Mets and the beginning of spring training:

Sandy Alderson and Johan Santana can spin his shoulders woes all they want, Santana not being ready to pitch due to fatigue in his shoulder is a red flag. Sure it’s good that there isn’t any structural issue with his left shoulder but the fact that he needs to build up strength in the shoulder is problematic.  I hope the club and Santana use good judgment and work at a pace where Santana is fit to pitch and if it means a stay in extended spring training then so be it. Truth be told, I’d rather see Matt Harvey pitch on opening day any way.

With Daniel Murphy out nursing his sore intercostal muscle the last guy I want see playing 2nd base in his stead is Justin Turner. In a perfect world Reese Havens would get the nod to show what he’s got and remain healthy to take the job form Murph. I like Murph but let’s be honest, if Havens or Jordany Valdespin or Wilmer Flores got the chance to play 2nd base on a daily basis in spring and show themselves capable on offense and more importantly a better choice on defense, then Murphy could be unseated as the everyday 2nd baseman. As much as I like Murphy he shouldn’t be guaranteed an everyday job. So it would be quite interesting to watch someone make it uncomfortable for management to make a decision at 2nd base.

I think I’m going to enjoy baseball more watching Collin Cowgill enjoy himself playing baseball.

Got to feel bad for Pedro Feliciano as he deals with his heart problems. Taking two weeks off and carrying around a heart monitor puts Perpetual Pedro behind the eight ball as he tries to regain his LOOGY role with the Mets since the team is ripe with left handed relievers.

There’s comedy and then there is high comedy. High comedy is reading my Twitter timeline as Lucas Duda was striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out and striking out

Last week I went to buy a new dishwasher for my home. I got the dishwasher and another rather unexpected purchase, a new television.  My son persuaded my wife and I into this purchase to replace a projection TV we had for close to sixteen years. So now we have a brand new 60 inch LCD television that has a built in browser and wifi and everything else you can think of, so Saturday being that is was rainy, grey and cold outside what better way to spend the afternoon than to watch Mets spring training baseball.  I made a sandwich, got a cup of coffee and sat down with my feet up in my recliner and sat back to enjoy Mets spring baseball. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! What a wonderful experience, and that’s the problem.

I have loved going to live sporting events since I was six years old. I still get all pumped up going to a ballpark or arena for a sporting event. I love that feeling because it validates that I still have a deep rooting passion for my sports teams. But I have to tell you, with this new TV, I started to wonder, do I need to go to games in person anymore?

Last week I went to Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to watch the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadians.  The Garden has gone through its second phase on renovation and it looks a lot different inside. Thankfully the iconic ceiling is still the same but that’s about it. The Green Seats and Blue Seat section have been combined into one big sloping seating area. The only nostalgic feature left in the arena is the narrow seats and sparse leg space and the long bathroom and concession lines. It was while I waited on the men’s room line that I kept thinking if I were home I’d be able to watch something else other than this dog of a game plus I could grab a snack without waiting and use a clean bathroom.

This is a new phenomenon to me because there has never been any doubt about watching a sporting event in person or staying home to watch on TV as I always felt being at the event always enhanced the experience of watching a game. Damn you 60 inches of LCD gorgeousness, why must you put these bad thoughts in my head.

If you ever doubted that Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Kevin Burkhardt are the best sports broadcasting team in all of sports broadcasting, just take a look at Saturday’s Mets-Nat SNY broadcast of last Saturday.  The Four-some picked up right where they left off at the end of last season. There is chemistry with this group that no other announcing team has and they make watching Mets baseball that much more enjoyable.

I also love having Bob Ojeda sitting behind the plate give pitching play by play. Can we see that during the regular season as well? Please SNY?

 

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Checkout The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast from 8-21-12

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Listen to internet radio with Ivie League Prod on Blog Talk Radio

 

 

Last night on Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast, I went on a bit of rant over my distaste for the way the Mets have been playing this second half. Last night’s game may have been mine and Terry Collins breaking point as the phrase “given up” was used in how this team approached last night’s game.

Part of my rant was my opinion that Wally Backman may have to take over as manager of the Mets in 2013. In no way am I going in the Collins Must Go direction as the last two seasons I’ve grown to respect Collins a lot for his work ethic and for taking bullets for his players (sometimes too many bullets) but in my opinion I’d like to see Collins given a position in the player development department, maybe as the head of minor league instruction with an extra year on his current contract and a bump in (combat) pay. I just feel at this point in the organization rebuild, with Sandy Alderson committed to build this team through the minor league system why not bring in the guy that the majority of the young players have dealt with and that’s Wally Backman.  The players who are the future of the Mets have all played under Backman whether it was at Brooklyn or Binghamton or Buffalo so why not have him tutor them at the big league level as well.

Again this is no knock on Terry Collins who has vindicated himself for his past failures as a big league manager but this organization needs a major wake up call. In a perfect world The Skill Sets would sell the team to Mikhail “The Big Man” Prokhorov  who would tell Sandy Alderson here is your checkbook there is $500 million go buy some players, but that’s not happening. Something has got to give here; you cannot bring back the same group that’s here now back next season that goes from coaches and players. Right now on the current roster the only players I’d keep would be Wright, Tejada, Niese, Dickey, Santana, Harvey, Rauch, Parnell and Edgin, everyone else can shipped out, released, bought out eradicated  whatever.

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NOT MUCH METS NEWS BUT………………………

If you’re looking for Mets news looks like you’ll have to wait until after the New Year, and quite frankly, Greg Prince hit it right on the head, we’ve been overdosing on  Mets news this month, there isn’t much more to dissect.  Starting pitching, relievers, a fourth outfielder and a open tryout for second base has be talked about and talked about and talked about……………………you get my drift (by the way like Greg, I am still battling an awful head cold that has made me more cranky and ornery as usual so the slightest little thing can set me off, you’ve been warned!) but of course there are still a few topics that can be discussed and Adam Rubin did a nice chat over at ESPNNY yesterday and a couple of Q’s & A’s got my interest.

As much as the, to deal or not to deal when it comes to Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes will be an ongoing saga this coming season, I feel the Frankie Rodriguez “55” will be blog fodder come the dog days of summer. Matt  Cerrone stated on Metsblog that the Mets tried to trade K-Rod and found out he’s radioactive.  Rubin in his chat answer feels the Mets will use Rodriguez as closer even if the team is just treading water. I strongly disagree with that. If anything I can see Terry Collins with the blessing of Sandy Alderson letting Rodriguez know that he might be seeing work in the 7th or 8th inning with Bobby Parnell getting the 9th inning job. In a perfect world the Mets would tell their relievers that they will be used when the situation call for their talents, games can be won or lost in the 7th or 8th inning as well as the 9th. As far as I can see, Rodriguez has no recourse but to toe the line. The team wishes he would go away. There are teammates who still hold a grudge about what Rodriguez did in front of their families, and the fans hate his guts.  If the GM takes a hard line stance with Rodriguez, he’d have the backing of the majority of the fan base. If the Mets are lucky, Rodriguez will have a melt down and become insubordinate, forcing the team to suspend him once again. Sure he could grieve this but I’m sure the Mets will put up a enough of a defense to show Rodriguez and his agent he’s not wanted and he’s better off starting over elsewhere, maybe at some betting sites like BetUS.

Another question that came up was the status of Lucas Duda. Rubin claims that Terry Collins (for now until he’s no longer manager, Terry Collins will be known here as TC) has stated that Duda will not be a bench player for the 2011 Mets. I agree 100% with TC. Reed Johnson or Fred Lewis and Nick Evans can be the perfect 4th outfielder, Duda should not look at going to Buffalo as a demotion but a way to play every day, so when one of the regular outfielder’s goes down with the inevitable injury, Duda can come up and go right into the starting lineup.

The fella’s at Amazin’ Avenue are prepping for the 2011 Amazin’ Avenue Annual. It will be hard to top last year’s Annual but I’m sure they will in fact I’d be my R.A. Dickey on it.

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DO THE METS NEED TO MAKE A BLOCKBUSTER DEAL ?

Have you noticed that the Mets telecast on SNY has turned more into a sports/general interest talk show than focusing on the action on the field? Not that I have a problem with that, not at all, in fact if it weren’t for Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Kevin Burkhardt along with Bobby Ojeda in the studio, I don’t think I’d be watching many more Mets games. As much as I love our announcing crew though, it’s a sad state of affairs when they are the main draw to watching Mets baseball.

During the game yesterday, Gary posed the question to Hernandez about dangling the names Jose Reyes and David Wright out there as pieces in trade talk. Hernandez said (paraphrasing here) “of course you would; you’d have to as a GM just to see who is interested and what kind of package you’d get in return.” Now Hernandez DID NOT say Yes dump them, get rid of them, off with them. He just said what any smart thinking Mets fan would say, you have to at least see what you can get for either or both.

I am in no way advocating the trading of Wright or Reyes, in a perfect world both players would continue their careers as Mets and retire as Mets, I would be very happy if the end of their Mets careers finished with “…and they lived happily ever after…” but as we know too well we Mets fans live in a imperfect world.

When I Tweeted that I agreed with Hernandez on this issue you would have thought I opened up a Mosques R Us on Cortlandt St. The question I posed is this, Say the Skill Sets hire a new GM like Kevin Towers, or Mark Shapiro or even promote John Ricco and they get a call from an team with a deep farm and young players who are on the Major League team already. For either player I want a at least a starting pitcher, a second baseman, an outfielder and prospects (of course the Mets will throw in a few other players as well) as you see it would take a blockbuster to have me trade Wright and or Reyes but as a GM you have to see if that blockbuster is out there.

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ZZZzzzzzz WHAT? THE METS LOST? UHH THANKS! ZZZzzzzzz

With all the talk of canning Jerry Manuel, isn’t that just a smoke screen to cover up the inactivity of the Mets front office? I use the term “front office” instead of just signaling out Omar Minaya who in my opinion has been de-nutted by ownership. If Omar was axed today, it wouldn’t bother me in the least, same with the manager, but until someone on the inside tells us the story of who is actually making the personnel decisions around here, I have to put all the blame on the Skill Sets for the team not making moves to show the players and the fans they want to win.

Mets fans are in a much better position than the players, who have no choice but to show up every day, the fans, they can go spend their time and money someplace else. That’s the beauty of living in NYC, plenty of options here to spend those discretionary funds.

So fine you fire J-Man, who is coming in Bob Melvin? I have no clue what Bob Melvin can do to shake this up. If you make a change why not give Ken Oberkfell the job, and let him bring Ricky Bones with him to be the pitching coach. Obbie has been a loyal Skill Sets solider and Bones has plenty of knowledge of the younger arms in the system  as he like Obbie has been in the org for awhile, so that  would seem to be the move to make.

Look in a perfect world, I’d want the return of Bobby Valentine as my first choice. BV seems to like being on the tele but the allure of running a big league team and his return as a long lost hero would be just the thing to make BV say yes to the job but the Skill Sets are so stupid that they can not comprehend that by offering a sweet deal to Bobby V it would rejuvenate the team and the fan base. If the Mets announced today that BV will be the new manager I’d guarantee they phone and internet lines at the $iti Field ticket office would be overloaded. The only guy right now that can knock LeBron James watch over the back page is Bobby Valentine.

What about Kid Carter? Sure he went about things the wrong way when Willie Randolph was ready for the firing squard but I’m not mad at him. His personality and his stature as a former Met with a World Sereis ring and a plaque in the Hall of Fame gives him instant cred in the clubhouse and with the fan base.

Until the Skill Sets get it through their numb skulls that the fan base is now leaning toward apathy and have voiced their displeasure with the way this team operates by coming down with a chronic case of alligator arms when it comes to buying tickets, they need a big splash to reinvigorate things in Flushing, if not the only lines on 126th and Roosevelt will be for a tire change or a new car radiator.

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