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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Win A Copy of KNUCKLEBALL The Movie on DVD !

The outstanding documentary “Knuckleball” will be released on DVD on April 2nd and the good folks at MPI/Film buff have offered me the chance to give away 3 DVD’s of this great documentary that follows Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, Phil Neikro and of course R.A. Dickey as they talk about how the most baffling pitch in baseball, the Knuckleball.

This DVD is a MUST HAVE for all baseball fans and having seen the movie I cannot recommend this film enough.   So when I was asked by the people at MPI/Film to participate in the giveaway of the Knuckleball DVD, I jumped at the chance.

So what we’ll do is starting on Friday March 15th during the day on my Twitter account @kranepool I will ask a trivia question and the person with the  first correct answer that is Tweeted back to me will win a copy of the Knuckleball DVD.

So brush up on your knuckleball trivia and follow my twitter account. One DVD per person and this contest is open to residents of the Continental USA only. Good luck.

 

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Communication Breakdown…………….

Was yesterday’s blow up between Tim Brydak, Josh Thole and Dan Warthen a shock or surprise to anyone? I didn’t think so. This situation has been simmering for a few weeks  and as the losses pile up the finger pointing stars to sprout and in the words of Dan Reeves, “when you point a finger, remember there are four fingers pointing back at you”. Terry Collins said something similar after the game about guys needing to take on accountability for their actions, which was directed at Tim Brydak, but is Brydak the villain here? Not to me he isn’t.

For most of this collapsible second half, the bullpen has been held as public enemy #1 but there is so much more to the ineffectiveness of the Mets relievers than lack of talent, it’s more of lack of direction.

Most Mets fans were puzzled when Dan Warthen was retained at the end of last season and many are pointing the fickle finger at him for the suckitude of the pen. I would put myself in the group questioning why Warthen was retained, but the one part of the pitching game that has been as much a problem as blown saves and three run late inning jacks is the lack of a veteran backstop.

Let’s face facts, if Josh Thole were in any other organization he’d be the Sunday catcher or the starter at Triple A, what earned him the job was his ability to hit for a decent average and get on base.  His work on defense is not very good and since he’s so green around the grills as a receiver, he’s left to relaying signs given to him by Warthen to the pitcher on the mound and as we witnessed yesterday, Brydak is tired of it.

Warthen and Terry Collins put Thole in a bad situation as he’s being told by Warthen on what fingers to throw down only to have Brydak shake him off. Warthen I guess being adamant on what pitch he wants thrown, flashes the sign to Thole again for a fastball , Brydak shakes him off again as he wants to throw a breaking ball which to me his his perogitive since he is, you know, the guy responsible for what happens when that ball leaves his hand, but Brydak gives in an releases a heater and Adam LaRoche turned on it for a home run. After giving Thole a stare down, Brydak comes out of the game is hotter than the Roosevelt Ave asphalt.

What Thole should have done before the pitch to LaRoche was call time, motion to Warthen to come to the mound and then address both the pitching coach and Brydak by saying “can you two fucktards get on the same page”. There’s no way in hell Thole would ever do this but I’m sure Jerry Grote would have punched both of them is the jaw.

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I Leave For A Half Hour and Stuff Happens In Flushing

Seems this play is the root of Johan Santana’s problems and will force him to the DL “Paging Matt Harvey, Mr. Matt Harvey…………”

 

I think we all agree that there is something not right with Johan Santana, the question is what’s wrong?

It doesn’t seem it’s a physical problem as Santana said he feels fine but know Johan, he’ll tell you he’s fine as the prep him for surgery, but again I don’t think this is a physical problem. It could be he has hit a wall. Being that Santana has said he has lost the feel for his pitches and it shows in his lack of command. Some are pointing to the no hitter of June 1st and the subsequent handling of Santana by the Mets after that, I guess that’s the easy way to look at and as we all know the favorite past time of Mets beat writers is to point their mocking fingers at the Mets.  The problem with Johan could simply be that after missing a year of pitching, he’s tired.

What would be the crime of putting Santana on the DL where he’ll miss two starts and then bring him back with limited innings or pitches? If Santana’s problems are fatigue and not structural, then the Mets are ahead of the game, beside we’re all dying to see Matt Harvey pitch aren’t we?

(UPDATE: while I was out checking the field at SI Tech to make sure it was in game shape for our 3PM playoff game , I come back to find out Santana has been placed on the DL due to the ankle injury he suffered that made him use more arm that lower body while pitching hence a fatigued arm. Carry on)

Jeremy Hefner has been recalled for today’s game as a safety net for Miguel Batista so that means someone has got to go and that someone looks to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis. It makes sense for Kirk to go to Buffalo since  he has slumped to the point Terry Collins would rather go with Andres Torres than him and when Nieuwenhuis did play he was striking out at an alarming rate. Kirk seems to have a good head on his shoulders and a trip to Buffalo won’t devastate him, I’m sure he’ll work on his game and will be back in the big leagues soon.(UPDATE PART 2 Looks Kirk gets reprieve from Buffalo with Johan on DL wish the Mets would have done this sooner and saved me the time it took to do this post)  With that said if I’m Sandy Alderson I’d have released Andres Torres and that might just happen when Mike Baxter gets back. If Baxter when healthy, is not brought right up to Queens there will be hell to pay believe me.

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Guess The Met and Win 2 Tickets to Thursday’s Mets-Reds Game

 

Attention my fellow Mets fans, I have a pair of Field Level seats for this Thursday’s 1PM Mets-Reds game and I want one of you loyal readers of The Eddie Kranepool Society to have them, so the first person to identify the player in the picture above by Tweeting me, will win the ducats.

3 hints:

He was born in Renton WA

He made his ML debut on September 6th 1982

He saved 15 games for the Mets in 1984

So if go to Twitter right now and  Tweet me with this players name, the first person to do so will win the Field Box tickets and the opportunity to see R.A. Dickey pitch the first no hitter in NY Mets history.

 All you need to do is go to the Will Call window at Citi Field with a valid photo ID to claim the tickets. So you get an R.A. Dickey start (vs. Matt Lattos) a sunny 75 degree day and free tickets. What’s not to like!

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Always Put Off To Tomorrow, What You Can Do Today

I admit I have some bad traits not many I want to get into here but two I will talk about is my inability to organize and that I am a world class procrastinator.  I think my lack of organizing skill comes from my hatred for the telephone. I rarely answer the phone at home (thank you FiOS for the ability to have caller ID come up in HD on my TV giving me The Power of Francesa to hand wave those interrupting my ball game watching) which runs in all the males of my family, if it weren’t for our spouses we would never speak to one another, that goes for texts as well, in fact if it weren’t for the women in my life I don’t think I’d do much communicating.   

I admit that I relay on the ladies of my life for more of my daily routine than I should. I went from a mother who took care of me to a wife who takes care of me to a daughter who fawns over me to the ladies I work with who help me all day every day with work. I love women. The dilemma I have though now is the ladies of my life don’t know much about baseball.

See for the first time in 12 years of coaching youth baseball, I have to register my team, collect registrations fees from them and recruit players to fill out my roster and order uniforms. This has become an unorganized procrastinator’s nightmare.  Well, not a total nightmare as I have designated my son as my Paul DePodesta, not only as my right hand man but my starting 2nd baseman and 2 hole hitter (he’s cut from the Alderson/Dave Hudgens cloth, work the count and a walk is as good as a hit, he’s so good at it, that when we get certain umpires who do the plate they will give him benefit of the doubt when he takes a 2 strike pitch) he does all my contacting of the players via Facebook and text for me but I shouldn’t really burden him with my tasks as he’s preparing to take the SAT’s and that’s more important than putting a baseball team together but he’s such a good son he knows when dad is in distress.

So I’m hoping today to get my shit together and find out how many definites I have to play and figure out the cost per player and give the league the dates we want to play. In fact I should have started on this already and had it all done but first I had to read the game stories on last night’s Rangers-Senators game (no panic in this Rangers fan but I will say this the Rangers need to put the Sens away when they have a lead, stay aggressive in the offensive end. Last night the Blueshirts looked exhausted in the 3rd period that worries me a bit but coming back to MSG should revitalize them.) then read the Mets stories (more on them in a minute) and last but not least the hanging on in procrastinators nirvana, Twitter.

But before I really, really go and push myself to get this work done, a few words on the Mets:

The true test of the mettle of this team will come now that they lost this series to the Braves and their two best pitchers got pounded. With the Giants coming in for 4 games (coming off a classic 1-0 old time pitcher duel last night as Cliff Lee want 10 innings and Matt Cain 9 scoreless) Jon Niese gets to match up with Barry Zito, I like the matchup in the Mets favor.

Terry Collins has said that Kirk Nieuwenhuis will start tomorrow night against the lefty Zito.  TC had also mentioned that when Andres` Torres is of sound mind and calf muscle, he will return as the starting CF and Capt Kirk will go back to Buffalo. Yeah right! With a .375/.444/.531 batting line the only way Capt Kirk is going back to Buffalo is when they retire his number.

I can’t get too angry over losing 2 of 3 to the Braves but I’m a little uncomfortable with using the weather as an excuse for the loss. I understand R.A. Dickey saying his throwing of the knuckleball was like throw a “wet water balloon” but TC saying it wasn’t up to him to play, the conditions as I watched on TV weren’t that bad, it didn’t hurt the Braves hitter that’s for sure.

David Wright is playing some of the best baseball of his career right now and it’s great to see but let’s take it easy on the contract extension talk. I hope Wright has a tremendous season and I’m rooting hard for him, if has a big year,  his contract will take care of itself.

That’s it I got to get this baseball stuff done…..oooooh look The People’s Court is on……I love me some Judge Milian.

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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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HOW WILL THE METS HONOR JOSE REYES IN HIS FIRST GAME AS AN EX-MET ?

 

Last night watching the Celtics-Thunder game, midway into the game during a break in the action, the Celtics gave tribute to Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who was a major player in the C’s Championship run back in 2008. Perk wasn’t just a major part of the C’s on court rotation, he was a huge fan favorite for his toughness, hustle and desire and it was Perkins first game in the Garden since he was traded. Perk was clearly touched as his teammates stayed on the bench while he stood at center court thanking the Celtics and fans for a very classy tribute.

It got me to think, what will the Mets do for Jose Reyes when he makes his first appearance as a former Met with the Marlins on April 24th.  They have to have some kind of Reyes career retrospective on the video board unlike the way they club never acknowledge the existence of Reyes during the video presentation at the new uniform unveilings a couple of months ago at Citi Field.

You have to figure, as Reyes comes up to lead off the game, there will be a raucous and long standing ovation so maybe when Reyes goes out to his shortstop position in the bottom of the first, before first pitch the Mets announce for everyone to turn their attention to video board for a tribute to Reyes.

You would think it’s a no brainer that the Mets honor Reyes some way but then again these are the Mets we’re talking about.

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RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY IT’S CHRIS SCHWINDEN’S PITCHING DAY

I hope it will stop raining today for a couple of reason, I’d like to harvest the robust crop that has blossomed in the rice paddy that used to be my back yard lawn and I want to see Chris Schwinden pitch in game 1 of today’s Mets-Braves double header.

Schwinden is another of these out of nowhere Mets stories that have been making the team interesting to watch. Schwinden, drafted in 2008, has never been considered a prospect by those who follow and report on the Mets minor leaguers. Even though Schwinden has been a pitcher who throws strikes and rarely walks a batter, although this season with the Bison, his walks are up more than they have in his three year Minor League career (3 per 9IP from 2 per 9IP) but his hits to innings pitched was less for the first time in his career.

Schwinden has been compared closely to Dillion Gee as both have a pretty good grasp on how to pitch by staying ahead in counts and moving their pitches to different areas of the strike zone. Neither has a real out pitch but again Schwinden like Gee, seems to have a good head on his shoulder and a game plan going into each start.

Again it’s a great move by the front office promoting Schwinden and rewarding his outstanding season in Buffalo with a major league start. Knock ‘en dead Chris!      

 

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CAUTION: CLOSER IN TRAINING

The slider, when thrown properly, is a devastating pitch. As the batter’s hand to eye coordination gets in synched and sees the pitch as coming over the plate and the mind makes that split second decision to swing at it, the ball breaks downward to a point where the batter is fooled and cannot adjust his swing. But when a slider is not executed properly, it hangs up in the hitting zone. If the batter has some power that flat slider usually leaves the ball park screaming like in a cartoon. This is what happened yesterday to Bobby Parnell and his pitch to Logan Morrison that left Whatevertheycallit Stadium like it was shot out of a cannon.

As bad as that pitch was and the outcome, negating the 2 run blast by David Wright to put to Mets ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the 7th, pisses us me off as a Mets fan, I think we are now at the point of the season where we can chalk this up to closer in training Parnell’s learning experience.

Look, the season is what it is, a fight to finish with between 81-85 wins. If the Mets can do that the season is a positive and if Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato work on being the future backend of the bullpen then that’s fine with me. Same thing with keeping Izzy around for the rest of the season. What can you get for Izzy? A C level prospect? He is much more valuable to the Mets as a veteran reliever working with Parnell and Beato for the next two months.

I think one thing in the Mets favor of keeping Jose Reyes with the Mets for years to come, is the consensus from the Mets players this season that the Mets clubhouse is a great place to be. Izzy for example, went to Sandy Alderson to tell him he doesn’t want to be traded. Carlos Beltran, understands the reasons why the GM is trying to move him, but Beltran will not be sad if he’s not dealt.  In fact Beltran would love to stay as he has cited this being the best clubhouse he’s been in since he became a Met.   Remember back early this season when Willie Harris caught hell from Mets fans when he spoke of the distance in the Mets clubhouse? Well, I wish those who have access to Harris would ask him if he still feels that way now that we have played more than half a season. I doubt it. For this you have to credit the manager, for keeping that clubhouse positive.

I’m worn out reading about when and where Carlos Beltran will be dealt to.  With all the debate over which team will offer the Mets the best prospect, the best take I’ve read so far on dealing Beltran comes from Paul of Random Baseball Stuff, who left this comment on my post from yesterday:

 I enjoy watching Beltran play, but I’m going to be annoyed if he’s still a Met on Aug. 1st. Sandy has got to move him for the best return he can get – the 2011 Mets aren’t going anywhere, and I don’t think Beltran fits in the 2012 budget.

 Even if he only gets salary relief, it would be better than nothing. The Mets haven’t finished signing all of their high-round draft picks yet.  

When you think about it, if you trade Beltran to a team that would take the rest of his salary for the year, it comes out to about $5-$6 mil. You could use that money to sign Brandon Nimo and RHP Logan Verret, not to mention any free agents in the Latin market as well. It may be worth more for Alderson to do that than any prospect the Giants, Phillies or Braves are willing to give up.

I’m not going to lie to you, I am ecstatic that the NFL lockout is over. I am ready for some football.

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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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