Trying to get back into blogger mode after a week on Cape Cod and the cold reality that 5AM wakeup call awaits me tomorrow morning so without much rhyme or reason here are some Mets thoughts:
The next three days with the All Star break should feature a whirlwind of Mets trade rumors in fact some are starting already. This team for all the hustle and flow it’s shown this season needs some big time renovation if they are going to go hard after a post season berth.
The biggest need is in the bullpen which posted its best ERA of the season at 3.77 but still sports the worst team ERA in MLB at 4.99. It seems Terry Collins is relying on the arms of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista in the late innings of games while Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have the tag of “one or two batters only” attached to their names. Pedro Beato is back up and one would hope he would replace Batista in the late inning order, moving Batista back to the long man role he’s better at. Of course all will change once Frankie Frisco comes back from oblique rehab but where will he fit? Has Bobby Parnell turned a corner in his career where he’s figured out how to get his curve over for strikes and have the confidence to throw it in a tough situation? Seems the Mets brass is not 100 % sold on Parnell and Frisco as they have let the word out they would like to obtain a closer or a pitcher who has had closer experience, that doesn’t mean Parnell and Frisco are a concern but as we’ve seen so far this half of the season a strong back end of the pen is the difference between 4.5 games back of the Nats instead of 4.5 games ahead of the Nats and first place in the NL East.
Lots of talk of the Mets getting involved in dealing for a catcher, which Sandy Alderson has made known is a priority to upgrade in the Mets system, hence the drafting of Kevin Plawecki with a supplemental pick in this year’s draft, and while myself and many Mets fans would be happy if the Mets were to upgrade the position at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if it will happen or should it. As much as Mike Nickeas makes Mets fans groan, when it comes to the pitching staff and Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, Nickeas is a valuable piece to this team. Nickeas is kind of a player/coach on this Mets team and I know there is a segment of Mets fans and bloggers who feel team chemistry is overrated, it’s hard to watch this team day in and day out and not see that the camaraderie in the clubhouse has played a major role in the success of the team in the first half. You may not believe it but the front office, coaching staff and the players do. I would be a bit surprised if the Mets dealt for a catcher in season, best bet is the team will go hard to upgrade the backstop spot in the winter.
Much has been made about Reggie Jackson dissing the late Gary Carter saying the Kid was not Hall of Fame worthy, if you know anything about Reggie Jackson you know he loves to say things just to get his name mentioned in the papers or TV/sports talk radio. We all know the stories of Reggie’s turbulent Highlander years as a self-promoting blowhard, who always felt he was above everything and anything. I have a Reggie story that was told to me by someone who worked for the Highlanders and is now deceased and it shows the true Reggie
When Jackson retired he was hired by George Steinbrenner to work in the front office with Gene Michael. On his first day as a front office employee, Reggie went into Steinbrenner’s office which doubled as his suite at Highlander Stadium and asked to be served a turkey sandwich and an iced tea. Jackson was told by the gentleman who ran the suite that since he was now a front office employee of the Highlanders, he could not come into the office/suite whenever he felt like it and he could not eat there either, Reggie was told he had to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the office staff. Jackson exploded when he heard this and said “Do you know who the fuck I am? Get me that fucking sandwich and drink”. To avoid further confrontation the attendant went and got Jackson his lunch. As Reggie sat and enjoyed his turkey sandwich, Boss George entered the suite. “Who’s that down there”? “Reggie, Boss” was the workers reply. “What the fuck is he doing here”? Asked Steinbrenner. “Eating his lunch” the worker said. “Eating his lunch” doesn’t he know he has to eat in the staff cafeteria”? said Big Stein. “I told him that Boss but he told me he’s Reggie Jackson and basically told me to go fuck myself” relayed the worker.
With that Boss George erupted and starting screaming at Jackson and grabbed the plate the sandwich was on and flung it at the wall, Steinbrenner then asked Jackson if he knew “Who the fuck he was”? Steinbrenner then told Jackson if he pulls a stunt like that again, he’ll fire him but before he made him leave Steinbrenner had two more things for Reggie to do, one, apologize to the suite attendant who Steinbrenner informed him was more valuable to the organization than Jackson and two, get a broom and clean up this mess. Jackson performed both tasks.