Mets-cetra

 

As the equipment truck heads down I-95 towards St. Lonesome there is a few pieces of Mets information in the news today, so let’s take a look-see shall we?

According to the NY Post, Fred Wilpon and Uncle Saul Katz would like to build a casino on the soon to be re-developed Iron Triangle. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.  The one think the Mets have going for them in this new scheme business venture is that Governor Cuomo is a proponent of having casinos in New York State but mostly he wants them upstate New York and not in the NYC limits. This reminds me of the time years ago the urban legend around Brooklyn was that Frank Sinatra was buying up a whole bunch of real estate because casino gambling was coming to Coney Island. Of course that never happened. Neither will Willets Point Casino. The part of the story that made me choke on my bagel was that the city has “handed” the Wilpon’s 23 acres of NYC real estate back in 2011 that they have turned into park spaces. Nice of the Bloomberg administration to be giving away land maybe folks in Staten Island, Rockaways and Breezy Point can get a nice gift like that.

Are the decision makers in the MLB Commissioners office on vacation or just asleep?   Can someone give a ruling on whether the Mets can have their 11th pick in the Entry Level draft protected or not so the club can get down to business and sign Michael Bourn. The Pirates are being reward for not doing their due diligence on Mark Appel  taking the RHP with the 8th pick in the last year draft and having the pitcher turn down $3.8 mil to go back for his senior season at Stanford.  It’s not just the draft pick that concerns the Mets it’s the slotting money that the club would lose that has them in the conundrum they’re in concerning Bourn.  Not an easy decision for Sandy Alderson.

I really, really, really like Johan Santana but can he stop with the” I want play in the WBC” proclamations?  How about getting in shape and being ready for opening day for the team that PAYS you?  I get all this Nationalism and stuff but Santana finished the season on the disabled list so the Mets are within their rights under the CBA to tell Santana no way and I would bet that Sandy Alderson will stick to that. This is Santana’s last year (months?) as a Met so what’s he gonna do? Besides the Mets need for Santana to show some positive starts so he can be used as trade bait in July.

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Bourn To Be A Met?

 

So it seems Sandy Alderson and John Ricco took a trip to Houston to have a bite with Michael Bourn and Scott Boras over the weekend. I’m sure Alderson let Bourn and Agent Orange know that, yes I’m interested in making you a Met. No I do not want to lose my spot in line to pick the Next Great Baseball Prospect but if I were to give that pick up I want you on my team at my price and my terms.

Sherman of the Post claims that the Mets could work a deal with BournBoras on multiyear deal with an out clause after one year. Interesting concept and imaginative as well but why would BourneBoras take the risk? Is it because the market for Bourn is more of a gas station mini mart with the Mets and Mariners the only teams mentioned in the running for Bourn’s services rather than the big box store teams like the Highlanders, Red Sox , Cubs or the new and biggest high end store the Rodeo Drive Dodgers?

I’m trying to see where BournBoras have any leverage, we are a mere two weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training and here’s Michael Bourn still on the free agent ho’ stroll.  It seems the only hold up in the Mets making an offer and signing Bourn is the elusive 11th pick in the entry draft. MLB it seems will not help the Metropolitans out with a favorable ruling of allowing the Mets to receive the 10th and protected pick in the draft over the Pittsburgh Pirates who are being rewarded for their incompetent handling of Stanford RHP Mark Appel in last year’s draft.  

I go back and forth on the value of the 11th pick over signing a better than average CF’er. Seems Alderson feels the same way. The shame of it is Bourn and the Mets are a perfect fit both need each other in the worst way but the obstacles in front of them may derail this match made in baseball heaven.

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Carlos Beltran Turns Heel

He used to be a “baby face” but after he turned in Andres Torres for missing 1st base, Beltran is now a “heel”

The story today would have been much bigger if the Mets were fighting for a post season berth, but still the appeal at first base yesterday that Andres Torres missed the bag on his way to lead off double putting the tying run on 2nd base was an absolute joke on a number of ends.

From the replay, it looks as if Torres heel hit the bag which is why first base umpire David Rackley, a rookie umpire by the way, call was puzzling to begin with. I wonder if the game was at Citi Field would have made the same call, and how about Carlos Beltran making the call on the appeal????  

The reaction or non-reaction by Torres and first base coach Tom Goodwin was more troublesome to me than the call by Rackley, Torres didn’t flip out and neither did Goodwin, even if he did miss the bag, that was a crucial moment in the game, a game that Colin McHugh struggled in  and a game, the play out the string Mets, showed some fight in coming back from a 4-0 deficit on home runs from Kelly Shoppach and Daniel Murphy , you would think either player or coach would have gone ballistic? At least Terry Collins came out to fight the call.

I hope Terry Collins has seen the light and lets Kelly Shoppach catch every non-R.A. Dickey start.

Welcome back Wally Backman. Backman along with seven of his Bison (OF’er Fred Lewis, LHP Justin Hampson, RHP Elvin Rameirz , RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Jeury’s Familia, pain in the ass Jordany Valdespin, and last and least C Mike Nickeas) have been added to the Mets roster for the last month of the season .

I was out at MCU Park last night, sitting in the intermittent drizzle to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones get within one win of making the NY-Penn League post season as the Wild Card team.  A few observations:

RHP Luis Cessa pitched a fantastic game, he game within one out of a complete game victory, something quite rare in low A. Cesa only K’d two batters but he got a lot of ground ball outs.

MCU Park has to be one of tougher parks to hit home runs out of. Yesterday the wind was blowing in briskly from the Atlantic Ocean, so anything up in the air wasn’t going out of the park. In fact there was a ball hit high in the air that Lowell 3rd baseman called for at his position but ended up running down the line and making the play at home plate. That’s brisk baby.

RF Miakis De La Cruz made a sensational throw from the right field corner to nail a Lowell runner at the plate. By the way Kevin Plawecki did a great job blocking the plate.

Speaking of Plawecki, he had 3 hits and a Rib Eye Steak in the game, not that there is much competition but Plawecki has to be the best catcher in the Mets org not named Kelly Shoppach.

Brandon Nimo had a hit and looked very smooth in CF on the night that his poster was the Cyclone giveaway.

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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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NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BBA WILLIE MAYS AWARD BALLOT

In a unanimous vote the NY NL Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has selected Atlanta Braves RHP Craig Kimbrel as it choice for the 2011 NL Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year.

The chapter vote was as follows:

1. Craig Kimbrel

2. Freddie Freeman

3. (tie 1 vote each) Danny Espinosa, Jose Altuve, Vance Worley, Brandon Belt, Lucas Duda

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MANNY ACOSTA, COM’ON DOWN………….

You can never be too skinny, too rich or have too many arms in the bullpen:

METS SELECT THE CONTRACT OF RHP MANNY ACOSTA FROM BUFFALO

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., June 3, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced the team has selected the contract of righthanded pitcher Manny Acosta from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League.  Acosta will wear uniform #36 and will be available for tonight’s game vs. Atlanta.  After yesterday’s game, the Mets optioned lefthanded pitcher Mike O’Connor to Buffalo.  In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets transferred righthanded pitcher Chris Young to the 60-Day Disabled List.

 

Acosta, 30, was 1-0 with four saves and a 1.77 ERA (four earned runs/20.1 innings) in 20 games with Buffalo this season.  He allowed 13 hits, issued 17 walks, recorded 27 strikeouts and held opponents to a .186 batting average against.  The righthander had allowed one run over his last 13 appearances (0.6384 ERA), spanning 14.1 innings.

 

Acosta went 3-2 with a 2.95 ERA (13 earned runs/39.2 innings) in 41 games for the Mets in 2010.  He allowed 30 hits, issued 18 walks and struck out 42 batters.  The 6-4, 213-pounder went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA (four earned runs/26.0 innings) against National League East opponents last year.

 

O’Connor was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA (two earned runs/6.2 innings) in nine appearances for New York this season.

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PUT ON YOUR EASTER BONNET WITH BLUE AND ORANGE ON IT

Happy Easter to one and all. It’s a great day to head to Citi Field to watch the suddenly hot NY Mets. I have a bunch of family coming over or else I’d head to the ballpark. I’d sneak out but with my luck I’d end up on TV like George Costanza with chocolate ice cream all over my face.

You hear the rumblings, how can the Mets send Dillon Gee back to Buffalo. In fact Ron Darling said during the telecast yesterday that Gee has nothing to prove at Triple A that he belongs in the big leagues and I concur. But if he stays, who goes to either the pen or Buffalo?

The names Chris Young and Chris Capuano come up as bullpen squatters which I think is ridiculous. One of the traits you need to be a reliever is the ability to warm up quickly and sometimes as in Tim Brydak’s case, often. With the pedigree and injury history neither pitcher fits the profile of a reliever.

For some reason today’s starter, Jon Niese’ name doesn’t come up when it comes to removal from the rotation or bullpen relegation and I can’t understand why it doesn’t?

Since a fine start on April 2nd against the Marlins, Niese has not been very effective getting blown up by the Phillies and Rockies and allowing 7 hits and 5 BB in 6 innings to the Astros in his last start a 6-1 Mets loss. I hope Niese throws a gem today at Citi Field but if he has another of these more hits than innings pitched along with 4 or 5 BB, then maybe Gee takes Niese’ spot in the rotation and Jon take a turn or two or three in Buffalo.

The St. Lonesome Mets of the FSL are 15-2 after another win last night and another outstanding pitching performance. After rising star Matt Harvey pitched himself closer to Binghamton on Friday, RHP Jeurys Familia tossed 7 outstanding innings for the baby Mets.

I know the strikeouts make fans crazy but really, how in the world do some Mets fans hate David Wright? There are some of you who think Wright is a JAG (just another guy) but with Bay back in the lineup and Ike on fire and Beltran back to being a solid everyday mainstay in the lineup, Wright will have the protection in the lineup that will make him not only more productive but getting it out of his head that he needs to hit 6 run home runs to get the Mets a win. It just seems to me all the Wright haters are just lazy louts who parrot what they hear on talk radio.

The Murph giveith and the Murph takeith away. Daniel Murphy is a work in progress at 2nd base to say the least but the boy can swing a baseball bat.

It’s tough to say anything bad about R.A. Dickey but Bobby Ojeda went off on The Dickster for his interview with Matt Vagisil and Tim McFullofshit last Saturday. Dickey was asked about his trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro that he will partake in in the off season. Bobby O filliped his rug  about R.A. talking about an off season endeavor in April. I can see Ojeda’s point, in fact I hate all these in game interviews and I’m sure the players and managers dislike them as well but Dickey was asked specifically about the trip and it is for charity so what was The Dickster to do?

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METS PITCHING STAFF, ADD 2 SUBTRACT 1

The Mets announced this evening that they have signed LHP Chris Capuano and RHP Taylor Buchholz to 1 year contracts, and to make room on the 40 man roster they have released P Ryota Igarashi.

Cutting Igarashi is a surprised but adding Capuano and Buchholz, who both battle arm problems (Capuano is a two-time Tommy John surgery patient)  both fall under the low risk/high reward mantle.

Capuano will most likely compete for the 4/5 spot in the rotation. If (and it’s a big if) Capuano is of sound shoulder and body, he could be this years version of R.A. Dickey. Capuano did show some increase in velocity last season when he joined the Brewers after rehab assignment but he is not a power pitcher. His best pitch is his change and he incorporates a cutter as well.  When he’s on his game, Capuano will induce more ground balls than fly balls.

Buchholz is also a Tommy John-er with his surgery coming in 2009. Buchholz is a fly ball pitcher which fits very nicely in Citi Field.

So with the new year under way two low cost gambles by Sandy Alderson have arrived. I like the Capuano signing alot. Of course everything with Cap hinges on his arm being sound and if it is ,this move could pay off handsomely for Alderson. As for Buchholz, I’ll wait and see .

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DON’T HATE ME BECAUSE I’M EXCITED ABOUT THE RULE V DRAFT

I had the pleasure of appearing on Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Talk show last night on Blog Talk Radio where we discussed the disconnect that some Mets have with reality.

The fact that I know who Boof Bonser is has impressed my friends.  Hey, we can’t neglect our Bisons now, can we?

The Mets selected 2B Brad Emaus from the Toronto Blue Jays (JP must know something here) and RHP Pedro Beato (FINALLY A MET!!!!) from the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule V draft. Emaus has some power and is built like Dan Uggla, so I guess throw Emaus name in the 2B competition this spring. Beato was drafted by the Mets in 2007 as a draft and follow and tried to sign him for $1mil in 2008 but the Commissioner’s office advised against spending that money on a 15th round pick. Beato went back into the draft was taken by the O’s and given the same $1mil the Mets were willing to give out. Oh well, Beato born in the DR was is a Brooklyn boy as he excelled at Xaverian H.S. in beautiful Bay Ridge Brooklyn.

Looks like Ken Oberkfell will be rewarded with the position as Terry Collins consigliere, good to have Obie on board.

Word on the street is Johan Santana won’t be ready to pitch for the Mets until June. No problem. What I’m curious about is how the manager and GM handle the everyday questions about Santana. I’m hoping they address it in spring and inform the MSM that the next time you hear about Johan is when he’s ready to join the big league. Let’s concentrate on the living.

So the Highlanders look ready to shit their pants and offer Cliff Lee a 7 year deal. The kicker will be if the Rangers make a play of 6yrs and sweeten the dough, what will Lee do? Now that Carl Crawford will be grazing in the left field of Fenway Park , the Red Sox have to be favored to win the AL East with that potent lineup and terrific pitching, Lee has the Boss’s Boys by the balls. Yes, I fuckin’ love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

We will now have a moment of silence to mourn the death of #Frenchtober

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JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU’VE SEEN IT ALL……………

What the hell is going on in Flushing ? Did Frankie Rodriguez mistake his father in law for Jerry Manuel ? I mean if KO-Rod was going to yoke someone, Manuel would have been the best target for not brining him into the game in the 8th inning. How do you justify leaving your best reliever with his ass nailed to a seat in the bullpen in big spot late in the game?

So today KO-Rod will be arraigned in Queen Criminal Court on domestic violence charges and no matter if his father in law doesn’t want to press charges it’s out of his hands as in NYC the law is the City of NY is now the plaintiff in this case.  This could be the best news the Mets get all year, maybe Rodriguez gets two years in the slammer and the Mets get to void his contract. Props to the Pops for taking one for the team.

I have a very funny feeling that David Wright will go to management very very quietly this winter and ask to be traded.

I’m leaving the Cape tomorrow and heading back to NYC and what I’ll miss most besides the beach and Main St in Hyannis is the great baseball I’ve seen here the last 10 days.  Yesterday in Game 1 of the Cape League Finals I saw one of the best pitching performances of the year as  RHP Matt Andreise out of Cal-Riverside pitched a complete game shutout to give the Cotuit Kettlers a 3-0 win over the Y-D Red Sox. Y-D is an offensive power house and that makes this game more special.

Then I’ve been watching some Red Sox games as you can’t help it they are on every TV in every bar and restaurant on the Cape.  For all the injuries the club has suffered this year they keep on playing good hard fundi baseball and are still on the Highlanders tail.

There is a ton of good baseball and well run baseball teams out there just don’t go looking on 126th St and Roosevelt Ave in Queens for it though.

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Tickets

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