RE-MARCO-ABLE !

With a big workload staring back at me today I thought I’d just drop a short post and get to work. I took Friday off to head to the mountains of Pennsylvania, Resica Falls Scout camp to be precise, for a weekend camping trip (kids complained of a 7AM wakeup call on Sunday, “Why do we have to get up so early”? “Because the Giants-Redskins kick off at 1PM that’s why”)so of course there is a ton of work to be processed on my desk that I have to tackle this morning but I have a couple of points to put out there:

After seeing how the NY Highlanders are now kicking themselves in their pinstriped ass over the 5 years $117M+ owed to the fading fast Alex Rodriguez, has that changed your view on the Mets signing David Wright to a long term deal? Obliviously Wright is a more important part of the Mets organization than Rodriguez is to the Highlanders as an on field leader and off field wonderful spokesman for the team but he is hitting that magic baseball age of 30 that is the fork in the road of a baseball career. The majority of Mets fans want Wright to retire a Met and the organization feels the same way but anything more than 5 years for Wright could change that whole dynamic.  A deal of 5/$110M with team option on 6th year should be more than enough to keep Wright in orange and blue.

When I first started doing this blogger thingy over ten years ago, Marco Scutaro was a favorite of the small group of Mets fans on the internet who were blogging or commenting on message boards. Many fans started a FREE MARCO movement back in the 2002 season exalting to Art (Lights Up A Room) Howe to give Scutaro more playing time and sit the fading superstar Roberto Alomar. Seems like eons ago that Scutaro was a Met. Now here he is 9 years later as one of the most valuable cogs in the SF Giants great comeback to be one win away from a NL Pennant and a trip to the World Series. RE-MARCO-ABLE!

Speaking of flashbacks, did you see Jeffery “Penitentiary Face” Leonard throw out the first pitch last night?

Who doesn’t love a Game 7? No matter the sport, Game 7 is always a must see and be. It would be even better if it was at Citi Field tonight. I’m rooting for the Giants tonight to win and go on to win the World Series since I am the off spring of a John McGraw NY Giants fanatic. I always think about what would’ve have been if the Giants and Dodgers never left town and the Mets would never have been, you would most likely be reading the Sid Gordon Society right now.

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Last Night The Mets Were Fugly

There are loses, bad loses and I can’t believe it loses which is where I’d file last night’s stunner. To have a 4-0 lead handed to our Ace against a team that has scored the least runs in all of baseball and to do it with a Buffalo flavored lineup, it looked like this would be one the best wins of the season, but then in the 7th with one on, Santana served up an 87 mph meatball fastball to the Pirates version of Mike Nickeas, Mike McKendry, that was deposited over the left center field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

Santana seemed to labor from the 4th inning on as he lost command of his fastball and it seemed ironic that Santana who has had a tough time recording a win when he was out pitching the opposition would be in position to get a win in game where he was ordinary at best.

The Mets had a good shot at taking the lead back in the 8th as Kirk Nieuwenhuis got a pinch hit single to lead off the 8th and made it 3rd on a Ronny Cedeno ground out and a wild pitch, runner on 3rd 1 out all the Mets need is a fly ball but up steps Mike Nickeas who of course strikes out. I wish Terry Collins would give Rob Johnson the bulk of the playing time while Josh Thole recuperates. Nickeas just cannot hit and his defensive prowess quite frankly is overrated.  I’m guessing that Johnson‘sore thumb is still a problem and the reason he’s not behind the plate every day.  After Nickeas failed to get Nieuwenhuis home, it was left to Andres Torres and his icicle of a baseball bat to get the job done and of course he failed as well with his shitty little ground out 4 to 3.

When Nickeas, Torres and Ike Davis are in the same lineup they are 3 automatic outs add in the pitchers spot that 4 outs so multiply that by say 4 times through the order, that  16 of the 27 outs you get in a game that you are giving away. Nickeas shouldn’t start another game, Torres is ready to be regulated to 4th outfield status and Ike it seems is a DL activation away from becoming a Buffalo Bison. When Vinny Rottino gets the nod over you, lefty or no lefty, it’s safe to say you’ll be headed upstate soon.

Now if the top of the 8th didn’t piss you off enough, the Mike Baxter-Kirk Nieuwenhuis mix up of Neil Walker fly ball sure had to. Simple “Fundies” right there, it’s the centerfielder is king of the outfield and to their credit both Baxter and Kirk took responsibility for the screw up for what became the winning run on 3rd base. As bad an offensive team as the Bucs are, they at least were able to get the runner on 3rd home with less than 2 outs.

 

 

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Mike Pelfrey Knows Who Is Friends Are

It’s not a big deal that the Mets discussed giving Mike Pelfrey his release but what is interesting is who his big supporters are.

From the story in the Daily News today, the front office is not enamored with Pelf and threw out the suggestion at an organizational meeting that maybe the $5.6 mil used to pay Pelfrey would be better spent elsewhere.  It seems both Terry Collins and Dan Warthan spoke up in Pelf’s defense and from reading further into the story; Pelf’s teammates have his back as well. He sure paid back that support last night against the Astros with a stellar performance, again it was the Astros.

We all know that David Wright and Big Pelf have a great relationship but from reading R.A. Dickey’s book (I’m half way through and I must say this book is even better than I anticipated) he has taken on the big brother role to Pelfrey.

So the 25 man roster that will line up on the first base side of Citi Field on Thursday looks to be set not many surprises unless you think Mike Baxter getting the 25th spot a surprise.  The bench is still nothing to get excited about and who knows if this is set as the club could wait and see what veterans get cut who could be an upgrade over what the Mets have. Ronny Cedeno has the glove and Justin Turner has the bat it’s just too bad one of them isn’t a left handed hitter. As far as Baxter and Scott Hairston are concerned, I like Baxter and wished he got more playing time in September of last season and Hairston does have so pop in his bat but they are going to have to prove to the front office that they can contribute in a positive way.

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SCOTT HAIRSTON MUCH BETTER VALUE SIGNING OVER CODY ROSS

With the word that Cody Ross has signed with the Boston Red Sox with the Mets in contention for his services, the question of the day is whom would you rather  have as your 4th outfielder, Cody Ross or Scott Hairston?

Ross put a .240/.325/.405/.730 line last season with the Giants in 461 plate appearances. Hairston, stepped into the batter’s box, a sporadic 145 times to fill a line of .235/.303/.470/.773. while Ross banged out 14 home runs last season Hairston put seven baseballs over the outfield walls in his limited action. When you look at FB/HR rate Hairston’s beats out Ross 13.0% to 9.3 %.

Ross hits lefties very well especially for power with a .912 lifetime OPS to Hairston’ .813 OPS which is impressive as well making it even more a head scratcher on why Terry Collins didn’t use Hairston more before a rib injury at the end of August ended his season.

I would bet that Hairston re-signed with the Mets with the promise of more playing time, especially in CF against RHP unless Andres Torres can repeat his 2010 season. But between CF and spelling Lucas Duda in RF and staying healthy, Hairston could be a very productive 4th outfielder for the Mets.

Cody Ross would have been a nice choice as well for the Mets but with the Red Sox offer of $3mil plus incentives the Mets will get as much value from Hairston as they would from Ross and Hairston only cost $1.1 mil. No way Cody Ross is worth $2mil+ more than Jerry Hairston.

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“CASTILLO, HUH YEAH, WHAT IS HE GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, SAY IT AGAIN NOW……”

It seems that the second base position for the Mets has become the black hole 3rd base had once been. None of the four competitors for the job have stepped up to make it clear he is worthy of the job. Brad Emaus has yet to hit this spring but has shown a pretty good glove. Justin Turner seems to be the odd man out due to his two minor league options in his pocket  (I don’t see Turner’s name on either travel list for today) and Daniel Murphy has hit and shown some decent footwork at 2nd base but turning the double play has been what Terry Collins wants to see before he anoints Murph the opening day Mets second sacker.  That leaves the incumbent at the spot, Luis Castillo and from reading John Harper’s piece in the Daily News today, I sure if it were up to Terry Collins he would love to rid himself of Slappy :

Furthermore, Castillo, the incumbent of sorts, has annoyed Terry Collins by moping around in apparent protest of being forced to compete for the job, to the point where the manager called him into his office a couple of days ago to tell him he better start working harder if he wanted any shot at all.

Castillo didn’t even take pregame ground balls one day last week when he was in the lineup as the DH, as Collins has had to juggle playing time to get looks at all four second-base candidates. And that didn’t sit well with the new manager, who is not going to tolerate the laissez-faire attitude that permeated the clubhouse in recent years.

Since meeting with Collins, who promised to try to get him more playing time, Castillo seems to have raised his energy level, and he had a solid game Wednesday with two walks, a bloop single to left, and a nice play going toward the hole on a ball that went off Ike Davis’ glove.

This is the Castillo M.O. when things don’t go his way or the way he wants it to, he mopes, in fact is there a bigger mope than Castillo? His attitude has sucked for a couple of years now and unless he is the starting 2nd baseman Luis will mope and be an all-out fucking malcontent.  Why keep him around? Like Oliver Perez, he’s more trouble than he’s worth.

Just by looking at the starting lineups for today’s spilt squad games you can see the manager wants no part of this slap hitting, diminished range, piss poor attitude has been. Castillo will start today in Viera against the Nats but as the DH. Murphy will start at 2nd base. Over in Jupiter, Brad Emaus will start against the Fish and with Luis Hernandez on the roster in Jupiter he will most likely spell Emaus at 2nd as Hernandez has made himself a dark horse candidate in the this position race.

Meanwhile over in the minor league backfields of St. Lonesome , Reese Havens works out and hopes he can stay healthy because if he does he will be the Mets 2nd baseman by Memorial Day.   

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DOWN GOES SANTANA……… AGAIN

 

I was going to take a break from blogging today but a few items of interest have given me the urge to vent, so a venting we will go:

Johan Santana either hurt his right pectoral muscle or his shoulder or he broke a finger nail or his left arm was amputated from just above his elbow. Take your pick because no one knows for sure especially the manager who has trouble decipher the difference between a pec muscle and a shoulder.

So let me see if I have this right, you can criticize the President of the U.S., the Pope, Muslims building a community center in Manhattan, the NYC Transit System and your In-Laws but you can’t criticize Jeff Francoeur and his inability to hit a baseball with any authority or the fact that his nice smile and balls to the wall hustle might be a façade as when his playing time was cut due to lack of production he had his agent go crying to management that he wanted out. You know what, sometimes you Mets fan get want you deserve, a losing team and incompetent management.

Yesterday Wally Backman met with Jeffey Skill Sets on Coney Island. Today and tomorrow Wally gets to see me at MCU Park ( I’d love to meet with him in fact I’d take him over to Gargulio’s for a little escarole and beans and scungilli my treat) It seems Wally was a little taken aback when asked if Jeffey offered him the Mets managers job while visiting the Cyclones chief. Yeah I’m sure you two talked about the carpets and drapes.

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LIKE A RAT JUMPING OFF A SINKING SHIP, FRENCHY WOULD LIKE A TRADE

So the great clubhouse chemist Jeff Francoeur has asked to be traded if he is not inserted into the everyday Mets lineup. Well, Frenchy didn’t exactly make this demand on his own he had his agent Ms. Molly Fletcher make it for him. In fact Ms. Molly had some rather pointed words for the Mets and Jerry Manuel about her client:

In a telephone interview, Fletcher indicated she would monitor Francoeur’s playing time over the next week, interested in whether or not manager Jerry Manuel follows through on his amended plan to let Francoeur face right-handed pitchers, a group he historically struggles against and is hitting just .217 against this season.

“Talk to me is just that: It’s talk,” Fletcher said. “What matters is what happens and is he in right field every day. And that’s what we’re watching.”

How does Mets management put up this bullshit? Who the fuck is Jeff Francoeur and Ms. Molly Fletcher to tell the Mets who to play and when they play? The Skill Sets cannot be this yellow bellied that they that take this from some agent not named Scott Boras? I hate to tell you this Mets fans but shit like this would never ever fly in the South Bronx. Could you imagine a player as sucky as Frenchy sending his female agent in to the Bronx Robber Baron with demands such as these?

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BELTRAN NEEDS A SHOT OF FRENCHY’S PERSONALITY

Not much in the way of Mets news but I guess we’ve all seen that Don Wakamatsu has been fired as Mariners manager,(but still has his career in Rap to fall back on) and Jerry Manuel lives on as the lamest of lame duck skippers. I see where Manuel now wants to sit Carlos Beltran who is not very happy about it. I guess he can’t tell jokes and juggle like Jeff Francoeur who persuade Manuel to give him more playing time. Maybe learn guitar Carlos and then serenade the ’Gangsta’ .

I agree here with Mathew Cerrone, Beltran needs to play but he needs to bat lower in the order and maybe move over to RF for now and let Angel Pagan play CF.

A fan is suing the Mets, MLB, Luis Castillo and just about anyone else he can fit on a legal brief for Castillo’s bat breaking and entering the stands and hitting this guy in the kisser. Who knew balsa wood could be so dangerous.  I bet this guy was either on his cell phone waving to a camera or just not paying attention. Sorry no litigation money for you!

Yesterday the Y-D Red Sox exploded for 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning against the Orleans Firebirds in the first game of the best of three East Semi-Finals on the way to an un Cape League 23-10 win. Red Sox first baseman Jordan Ribera who has a thick lower torso that generates a big power swing, homered twice in the bottom of the first and just missed a third home run in the eighth inning. I’m trying to finagle my way over to Orleans for game two tonight at 7PM

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

I don’t know who I’m sick of hearing about more LeBron James or Cliff Lee? In Lee’s defense, it’s not his fault as he is no where near a self promoting Ring Leader of a media circus, that LBJ is. As much as Cliff Lee would be an injection of adrenaline to both the Mets pitching staff and it’s fan base, I feel the price for Lee will be too expensive for the Mets. Not monetarily but player wise.

I am enjoying watching the Mets this season unlike any Mets team that’s been assembled since 2006. I love watching a home grown infield and the fact that Angel Pagan a one time farm hand that returned home, and is playing All-Star caliber baseball. On the pitching side, how nice is it to see Mike Pelfrey grow up before our eyes, his lasted slump not withstanding? Jon Niese also pitching better than his scouting reports said he would.  Even Bobby Parnell coming back from a trip to Buffalo looks more grown up on the mound as well. It makes rooting for this team much more fun than when the roster is constructed of mainly mercenaries. That’s why I hope Cliff Lee goes to the Twins or Rays.

I’m sure some of you think that’s very short sighted of me to feel like that way and you may be right, maybe Josh Thole, Wilmer Flores and Jenry Mejia (the three players it would take to land Lee) never flourish in the big leagues and I know some say don’t fall in love with prospects but I guess I’m smitten by the Mets farmhands. I see Ike Davis and Jon Niese making a strong case for Rookie of Year and Ruben Tejada and his supersonic range at 2nd base (not even his natural position) and then Josh Thole comes up and shows a productive bat (his at bats against the Second Coming of Christ a/k/a Stephen Strasburg have raised Thole stock even higher) and his handling of R.A. Dickey and his magical knuckle ball has him pushing Rod Barajas for playing time.  Then there is the financial situation of the team.

This is the great mystery that surrounds this franchise. Are the Mets broke, solvent or just keeping their heads above water? No one knows. I don’t think the Skill Sets are a bunch of brokesters but they’re not exactly livin’ large either. So even if you trade your fine farm fresh products for Cliff Lee, what’s the odds you’re going to sign him long term? Not very good if you ask me.

That’s why Ted Lilly makes the most sense to try to acquire. I’m sure the Cubs would take F-Mart and a minor league pitcher of lesser renown for Lilly.

Lilly is a perfect Citi Field pitcher as he is an extreme fly ball pitcher. His velocity has been down early in the season but like Johan Santana he is coming off injury and little by little getting some speed back on his fastball that in the second half of the season should benefit him by making his change up more effective. A rotation of Santana, Big Pelf, Lilly, Neise and Dickey looks very solid to me.

Sure Cliff Lee would be a huge score but I don’t want to pay the high price in kids. Get Lilly and a reliever either Chad Qualls or Matt Lindstrom and take your shot.

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EXCUSE ME JERRY, MAY I INTRODUCE YOU TO BOBBY PARNELL

It’s not the loss that has me pissed, it the way it happened that makes me wonder if under the stewardship on Mr. Jerry Manuel, this team can make the post season as the manager has absolutely no feel for in game managing.

First there was the lineup. With both Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan ailing, was it wise to give Jason Bay the day off? I’ve advocated giving Chris Carter some playing time but again the manager has to have a feel for knowing when to play guys and when to let them sit, you can’t keep Bay out the line up when your two offensive catalysts are sitting. Wouldn’t giving Bay a game off in Puerto Rico be more beneficial since he wouldn’t have to run on an artificial turf laded outfield?

Then we have this whole “I wanted to get Johan out on a positive note” line of bullshit? Santana pitched his best game in over a month and not just that he is still the Ace of the staff. Maybe it’s just a figurehead title but can you imagine Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia or Cliff Lee coming out of a game like last night? I know Johan said he wanted to stay in the game but acquiesced to the managers move, maybe he should have demanded to stay in I bet those pitchers I mentioned would get into a fist fight with their skipper to finish a game like that.

The 9th inning was just a pure disaster as Manuel let Ryota Igarashi, a guy who walks as many batters as he strikes out, pitch in bases loaded spot one out and Ryan Zimmerman up. I can buy the notion of saving Frankie Rodriguez for the save spot as the Mets are the road team, but if you’re not going to use Bobby Parnell in that spot, then why is Parnell here?    

You could hear the disgust in Ron Darling’ voice as Igarashi fell behind 2-0 to Zimmerman by throwing tow breaking balls, when the situation called for challenging the hitter with fastballs. That’s why this situation cried out for Parnell to be brought in. If Zim hits a 98 mph fastball for a game winning hit, tip your hat and move on. I just wonder if Igarashi would have walked in the winning run, would that be grounds for the manager’s dismissal?

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