I Can’t Wait For The Day When The Mets Are Better Than Competitive

The” Ol’ Perfeser” knew how to hold a presser 

 

I’m really starting to feel sorry for Terry Collins. No matter how he tries to construct a lineup, he can’t find a 1-8 that can provide any offensive punch.  He tries to match right vs. left and vice versa, he tries to move the parts around in different slots of the lineup and still nothing works.

If I have an issue with Collins it’s in his post-game press conference after losses which are coming at a rapid pace this second half, when he talks about competing, repeating the mantra “we have to compete”. Why settle for being competitive, why not say we need to find ways to win and find players who are winning ballplayers because right now the Mets are devoid of such animal.

Collins last night spoke of finding out who is willing to give his all to winning baseball games and who is here to just get a couple of hits, throw 6 innings and be happy with personal achievement.  This is the fourth straight season I’ve heard this late season lament. The problem is the Mets are a passive bunch. The one time a player shows any kind of fight, he’s ridiculed.

Last night Jordany Valdespin batted for Scott Hairston in the 8th inning with 2 on and 2 out and the Mets down 2-1. Valdespin hitting a little roller, runs down first base and seeing it’s going to be a foot race between him and Rockies first baseman Tyler Covin, decided to dive head first into the bag, something that is not encouraged, and was out by an eyelash. Valdespin jumped up and got in umpire Adrian Johnson’s grill even though  the replay proved Johnson’ call correct, it was good to see a Mets player upset enough to go nose to nose with a man in blue.

Sure, Valdespin head first slide into first base wasn’t the smartest move but if you listened to Gary Cohen, you’d have thought it was a pre-meditated plan by Vladespin. I’m a big Cohen fan, he’s one of the best play by play men around, but his treatment of Valdespin is over the top. I understand that Valdespin is not the most like player in the Mets organization, I’ve yet to meet anyone connected with the team that has a nice thing to say about JV1 but I’ve never heard Cohen go after players who have been under performers like Jason Bay. In fact, bring Bay’s name up to anyone in the organization and they start every conversation with “what a great guy…..”  in fact I would have like to have heard Cohen take Ike Davis to task for his lousy at bat in the 8th inning where he struck out and looked badly doing so.

There is nothing better than listening to Bobby Ojeda go off on the SNY post-game show. Ojeda pulls no punches and tells the truth is not afraid to hurt some feelings of either players or coaches. SNY is missing the boat by not giving Ojeda and Ray Lucas a show on the network.

Isn’t it time to just shut Johan Santana down for the season? Let him take this MRI and then put him on the 60 day DL so you free up a spot on the 40 man for Collin McHugh.

Let’s play guess the lineup, here is the lineup I’d use for tonight’s game:

Tejada

Murphy

Wright

Davis

Hairston

Baxter

Valdespin

Shoppach

Young

 

 

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Was Last Night’s No Hitter The Start Of Something Bigger ?

 

This post will be all over the place, so let me apologize in advance because I still can’t get my thoughts all in one place after watching Johan Santana’s no hitter last night. What has me all verklempt is this was more than just the first no hitter in the history of the NY Metropolitan Baseball Club, it was more a display of what this little thing of ours, being a Mets fan means. If the non-believers don’t grasp the concept of Mets fandom after last night, they never will and that’s their loss.

The look of determination on the face of Santana will stay with me for a long, long time as will the image of Terry Collins who was put in the worst spot of al,l worrying about the health of his Ace and the historical place this game was headed. Later we would learn that Santana would sing his own version of The Weight as he told Collins he was not coming out of this game taking the load off the manager and putting on him.

I thought of Josh Thole, just activated after suffering a concussion guiding Santana along. After a week- ten days of working out in a back field of Pt. St. Lonesome to this electrifying moment, I was hoping his head wasn’t hurting.

I thought about Mike Baxter who went above and beyond the call of duty crashing into the left field wall to make a catch that is now another in memorable catches in Mets history. Watching him come off the field with Ray Ramirez holding his arm, I thought the worst but then this morning I read Baxter quotes where he said “I’ll be ok, it’s not about me it’s Johan’s night”. Baxter typified the all for one, one for all attitude this team has taken on.

I thought about Gary Cohen calling the game on SNY and Howie Rose calling the action on WFAN, they are not just the Mets play by play men, they are one of us. I feel even closer to them since we are all from the same generation who got into Mets Fandom on the ground floor. I’ve always wondered if our paths ever crossed way back when in the Upper Deck at Shea maybe during a Craig Swan start or cheering a Willie Montanez home run, complete with the stutter step home run trot. When the no hitter was “in the history books” as Howie noted, Ron Darling, who was extremely fired up in the late innings of this game, and Keith Hernandez, who was astonishing quiet maybe superstition took over, asked Gary if he thought the no hitter drought would ever be broken and without missing a beat Cohen said “NO” I got a bit misty in the eyes when Gary said that because I knew exactly where he was coming from.

I thought a lot about Johan Santana. I thought about all the hard work he put in to get back on a Major League mound and like Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show pitching “on back fields in front of tumble weed and three legged dogs”. This is part of the professional athletes life that many fans either ignore or just don’t care about. The work that Santana put in after his shoulder surgery is what separates him as one of the top pitchers in MLB to the guy holding on or trying to get a roster spot. All pitchers at this level can throw a baseball, it’s the few who have the work ethic and the intelligence to make the climb to the top that stand out. When Santana went down with his shoulder injury that needed surgical repair he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. He worked his ass off in rehabilitating the shoulder and in getting himself back on his game right where he left off.  After last night’s performance all those days with the physical therapist and then on the back fields of the Mets minor league complex with the sweat dripping off him to the scrutiny of Dan Warthen and Terry Collins in spring training to the skepticism of the media and fan base, wondering which Johan Santana we would see, has paid off big time. What we’ve seen is one of the best pitchers in Mets history and a player with the heart of a lion.

Last night was not about the owner and how much money he has or doesn’t have  nor was it about whether this team is playing over their heads, no, it was about what it’s like when you sign on to become a Mets fan. There are good days and some bad days and then there are days like yesterday that wash away all the bad.  If you’ve decided not to support this team because of your disdain for the ownership, well you’re stupid. If you learned anything last night it’s not about the Skill Sets, it’s not about the Robinson Rotunda, it’s not about the outfield walls and it’s not about the Shake Shack, it’s about the 25 players and it’s about us and for all of you who have been avoiding Citi Field, you better hop back on the bandwagon and buy some tickets and come out to watch this team play because I don’t think they are done making history, the no hitter might just be the beginning of something very special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WAYNE HAGIN OUT, JOSH LEWIN IN ?

Metsblog has a link from Neil Best of Newsday stating that former Texas Rangers and current San Diego Chargers radio play by play man Josh Lewin, is the favorite to replace Wayne Hagin in Mets radio booth.

Hagin just never clicked with Mets fans, myself amongst them, as he had that generic radio announcers voice and always seemed to be a second or two behind the action on the field. The Hagin/ Howie Rose partnership just never seemed like it meshed with Howie being “one of us” and Hagin not having a Mets or NYC connection.

Lewin is a curious choice as it seems he left the Rangers due to his other commitments of doing baseball on FOX Saturday Baseball and his gig with the Chargers. Lewin enjoys tossing out a lot pop culture quotes during broadcasts to the point it becomes forced and a distraction. Being that Lewin was born in Rochester NY and grew up in the Boston area, he has knowledge of what the East Coast/NY fan is looking for in a sports broadcast so this could be a very interesting hire by the Mets.

With Lewin having Sports talk radio show experience as well maybe he could add working Mets Extra and taking phone calls or who knows him and Howie could take phone calls during games.

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USING TWITTER TO SET PEOPLE STRAIGHT

Last night while watching the Mets-Cards game and enjoying the return of Jose Reyes and short timer Carlos Beltran, I went back to a bad habit that I thought I had overcome, going on Twitter while watching the Mets. I tried breaking this habit because I couldn’t take the fill in the player’s name “You Suck” and then when said player comes through the same Tweeters comeback with fill in the player’s name “I<3 you”. It get tiring. Well last night I guess I’d had enough as Jose Reyes made his second great play at short. Bases loaded 1 out and Albert Pujols  at bat against Bobby Parnell and the Mets holding a 2 run lead. Pujols hits a ground ball at the 2nd base bag Reyes snares hit and touches the bag while trying to avoid getting wiped out by the runner gets a laser beam throw off to Lucas Duda for the double play. An outstanding play if there ever was one.

 

Now the play by play of than call by Gary Cohen was as usual perfect. Well to everyone but 1050 ESPN’s Don LeGreca. When I read that Tweet I was ready to scream, this guy works with arguably the worst play by play man in baseball in Michael Kay (John Sterling sucks as well, I know but at least Sterling is entertaining, Kay makes homicidal thought run through your mind) so I had to take matters into my own fingers and tweet back to Mr. LeGreca. He in turn tweets back that he is a big fan of Gary’s (don’t give that first name basis bullshit you just ripped the guy for an over the top call when in fact it was a great call and you look like a horses ass) and that wasn’t the point of the Tweet. Then what was the point? Saying the DP started by Reyes was routine? That makes you ignorant. Saying that Cohen’ call was “over the top” that just makes you look jealous and petty.

 

I think I’ll Tweet LeGreca back (before he blocks me) about he felt about his boss Kay and the way he not only ruined the Derek Jeter 3,000 hit call with his constant” listen to me try to make the moment mine” diatribe when Jeter homered and then how he went on to felate The Captain the rest of the game.

See that is the glory of Twiter, you say stupid shit and then your set straight. Let’s see who pisses me off tonight.

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OLLIE PEREZ, THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN!

Yesterday I pulled a Mike Francesa as I was “In da cawh” listening to Howie and Wayne doing the Mets game on radio. I don’t listen to the Mets radio team very much as I’m either glued to the TV or at the game (I’m not one to listen to the game when I’m there I never understood that as everything you need to know is right in front of you) so I tend to forget how much Howie is one of us. Gary Cohen, of course is one of us as well and he sometime shows his frustration during a telecast or two but Howie was beside himself watching Ollie Perez throw a baseball yesterday (I refuse to call what he did pitching)

It was very cold and very windy yesterday and Howie and Wayne made a point to let us know how much the elements plus Perez’ inability to throw a strike, was putting the Mets defense in an uncomfortable spot. Howie painted a picture of infielders walking around the dirt between pitches to keep warm and to kill the boredom of long counts and walks, and of Ike Davis sticking both hands under his arms to stay warm. Both announcers made it known that the were fed up watching and detailing the play by play of another start of suckitude by Perez. From the derisive cheers when an actual strike was tossed by OP, I’d say the paying customers felt the same way. So what to do with Ollie Perez.

Well, forget about The Skill Sets releasing OP, not with a $12 mil salary for this season and (GULP!) next and there is no one in the baseball world stupid enough to take on that contract since the only dumb ass that would pay Perez that kind of money is already his employer. The easiest move is to replace OP with either Hisanori Takahashi or Raul Valdes in the rotation and move OP to the pen. The best move would be to just put Perez on waivers, let him go unclaimed and then assign him to Buffalo. That move would work if we knew when Ryota Igarhashi is coming back from a hammy strain but there’s been no info on his progress.

Whatever way it’s handled, nothing with Perez falls in the Mets favor. Management talks about “it’s all about winning” well, if that’s the case prove it, put Perez on waivers, when he clears, assign him to Buffalo. It’s the only way, Perez just sucks the life out of the team, the fans and the announcers. He has GOT TO GO!!!!!!

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MATINEE DAY

A couple of notes from last night:

On last night’s THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN I had a great time talking to Dave Payne and Aviv Blasbalg of the website Sox vs. Stripes as we talked about the Red Sox, Yankees and the AL East.  When I gave their site a plug of the broadcast, I gave out the wrong web address and for that I apologize to Dave and Aviv for that. Check out Sox vs Stripes for your Yankees and Red Sox information.

All of baseball is sadden by the death of Ernie Harwell. A must read today is Joe Posnanski’s reminisces of Harwell, and this video of Vin Scully talking about Harwell during the Dodgers-Brewers game last night. Scully tells a great story about Ernie and does not miss a beat of the play by play.

I’m sure Fernando Nieve can file an unfair labor grievance against Jerry Manuel, give the guy a day off J-Man.

At what point do Phillies fans stop embarrassing themselves?  For me, I hope never. I can’t believe there are people who feel that Philly cop was WRONG to Tased that little jerk off who ran on the field the other night. That video was priceless. Just to watch that little shit head, prancing around the field with his  “LOOK AT ME,  “LOOK AT ME” attitude and when he wouldn’t stop, the cop zapped him and he goes down like the sack of shit he is was outstanding. By the way the reason the guy last night wasn’t Tased is that whales are protected spices and by the way you fat fuck, Uncle Floyd called and he wants his pants back.

Game time see ya later!

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THE STAIN ON MY NOTE BOOK, REMAIN ALL THATS LEFT, OF THE MEMORY OF LATE NIGHTS, AND COFFEE IN BED

I stayed up to watch the Phillies fall to the Friars (the Padres play by play man kept calling the Padres that all night so now it’s stuck in my head) as Mets fans are happy Brian Giles turned down a deal to the Red Sox as he drove in the late inning runs to lead the Friars to the win. I then turned over to see J.J. Hardy beat the Dodgers in 10 innings so by the time I got to sleep it was about 1:30AM. I didn’t get up this morning until 9:30 which is like slipping into a coma for me. So by the time I rolled out of bed, went for bagels and the papers (yes I’m a dinosaur that loves to read a hard copy newspaper) had my coffee it’s now like 20 to 1. My day is thrown off terribly. With no baseball games to coach I’m not used to weekend morinings with nothing to do. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to write about but the late start to my day (even on my day off I’m up by 6 AM) I’ll just give a couple of quick hits:

Kudos to Petey for a great game last night. Maybe, just maybe he can stay healthy for the stretch run and have a few more like last night left in him. Pitching back to back starts against the same team is very difficult even to a second division team like the Bucs so that makes last night start more impressive.

Don’t kill Eddie Kunz for last night, either J-Man uses this kid like he is conditioned to, to close or pitch the 8th inning or just send him back to Bingo. As Kunz said last night after the game he is used to pitching everyday or every other day last night appearance was his first in a week. This kid has been conditioned to close since college, so he is what he is so either let him pitch late innings here or send him back to Bingo but whatever the Mets do stop dicking around with the kid.

With the news that Billy Wags is not ready to get back to action, Omar and J-Man have to sit down and figure out what will be done about the late innings. One thing is for sure this mix and match of releivers has got to go. I guess we won’t know until tomorrow when Wags gets yet another MRI on his forearm/elbow but one thing is for sure the Mets need a game plan and if it involves taking either John Maine or Big Pelf to the pen then lets do it already.

Omar aquired Luis Ayala from the Nats for Anderson Hernandez early today. I guess Mel Rojas didn’t return his call.

D-Wright gets a day off today and Damien Easley will play thrid and bat third.

Joel Sherman had a column today on how the Highlanders will have a decison to make on the direction of the franchise and what to do with Captain Craptastic. Can you imagine the aggony of Highlander fans if Capt Crap ever was traded? How about to the Dodgers and Mr. T? We can only pray it happens. Also Sherman snuck in a comment about will the Steinbrenners even own the Highlanders after 2010. As soon as The Bronx Robber Baron takes his last breath, Pack A Day Hank, and Horse Whisper Hal will put the For Sale sign up so fast it will make your inter-locking NY cap spin. Remember what Peter O’Malley did so don’t think this is far fetched.

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