Check Out The Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast with Special Guest Rick Peterson

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Nik Kolidas and Gene Anthony sat down with former Mets pitching coach and current Baltimore Orioles Director of Pitching Development Rick Peterson who gave his views on pitching today, his work with the Orioles and his days with the Mets. As usual when it comes to the Kult of Mets Personalities there is always a bombshell or two from our guests and Rick Peterson is no exception. Enjoy!

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RETURN OF THE JACKET

Following a Mets game on Twitter is a trip but following a Mets game on Twitter when it’s a Mike Pelfrey start is a trip on brown acid. With the absence of fan punching bags Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo, Mets fans needed to find a new player to kick the shit out of and Big Pelf stepped into that role rather well this season.

What frustrates the living shit out of me with Pelf is he has the talent to be a dominant pitcher in the big leagues  along with the classic pitchers body but what he lacks is the cerebal “SKILL SETS” to combine the physical end of pitching with the most important part of pitching, the mental part.

Let’s not dismiss the fact that Pelf lost his long time mentor with the passing of Harvey Dorfman, the psychologist who not only wrote books on the mental part of baseball and one strictly on pitching but he also was a huge part of the careers of Al Leiter and John Smoltz.

Pelf would speak to Dorfman on a regular basis and this season was the first the big righty could not pick up the phone or fly Dorfman in for a skull session.

This situation is not lost on Sandy Alderson which is why I think these are the last three games of Dan Warthen’ reign as Mets pitching coach.  This just a gut feeling, but I could definitely see Rick Peterson coming back as Mets pitching coach in 2012. Alderson and his staff have a history with Peterson who is cut from the same analytical cloth as the leaders of the Mets front office so it’s no pipe dream that this reunion could happen for 2012.

It’s also not to say that the Peterson approach will work with Big Pelf although Pelfrey had a fine season under Peterson’s tutelage in 2007, his first full year with the Mets and seeing that the Alderson plan is go younger and cheaper with pitching talent it could be the missing piece to getting the most out of Pelf, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese by having them work with Rick Peterson.

And don’t discount that fact the SNY would be sitting on a ratting bonanza by having Peterson and R.A. Dickey host a show discussing not just baseball but their views on life and the world around us. Talk about must see TV.

Even with Pelf having the representation of the Agent of Darkness, how much does he think he is going to get in arbitration; in fact you’d have to think he wouldn’t want to have anything to do with presenting his case to an arbitrator no matter what the Agent of Darkness thinks. Pelf made a shade under $4 mil this season and in his Mets career he’s cashed checks of close to $9mil so I’d say he owes the club and should sign for a modest (though underserved ) raise of maybe $4.5 for 2012 with some incentives.

It’s easy to say “dump his ass” but where do you find a guy with the physical tools and plow horse endurance of a Mike Pelfrey. Hire The Jacket and send Pelf to the lab and let’s see if this is a talent really worth saving.

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NY METS AT THE CROSSROADS

Last couple of days I’ve been  busy as all hell with real work, setting up podcasts and coaching so I’m a bit behind with my Mets rants so let me get right to ‘em:

Really were you shocked to hear that Jenry Meija blew out his elbow and is headed for Tommy John surgery? Last night on the BBA Baseball Talk Podcast, D.J. Short of Hard Ball Talk and Rotoworld was a guest and we both felt the same way, we weren’t surprised. Of course the first reaction is to curse Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel for their misuse of Mejia last season and to say that the organization didn’t do it’s best to work with Mejia to get him to use the proper pitching mechanics to try to help avoid this type of injury but as a baseball layman I really don’t know how much any of this played in Mejia blowing out his elbow.

After speaking to Rick Peterson for a bit during the winter he spoke about working on pitchers mechanics as the easy part of coaching it’s getting that pitcher to repeat the proper mechanic, that’s the hard part.

The one bright spot, I guess is most pitchers who endure TJ surgery comeback as good as ever with proper rehab and instruction. Let’s hope that’s the case with Jenry Mejia.

Jose Reyes is on fire and it has not gone unnoticed around baseball. Some reports have the Giants looking real hard at making a play for Reyes and to tell you the truth I don’t envy Sandy Alderson with having to make the decision on what to do with Reyes. Part of me wants Reyes to stay and sign a new deal and live happily ever after in Flushing. Then I think well if the Giants are as desperate as the should be (Mike Fontenot batting 3rd?) and you can pry away RHP Zach Wheeler and LHP Eric Surkamp in a Reyes deal that would be hard to turn down. The outcry from a large portion of this fan base will be ear splitting but then again this Mets fan base is the most Bi-polar any fan base in sports. They want to win but they don’t want to deal anyone they have affection for. The Reyes fans want him here forever as does the David Wright fans but as soon as both these Faces of the Franchise slump, they blame them for everything but the Skill Sets shity investments. You can’t have it your way all the time. Sometimes the adults have to make the big decisions and even the most casual baseball fan knows you’re nothing without pitching.  So the question you ask yourself is do I want to build a winning team or do I want to keep players I like around and finish in the second division again and again  or do I think it’s time to revamp my team and go with a new game plan? After all that I still don’t know what the Mets should with Reyes and I wonder if Sandy Alderson feels the same way?

I do know this, The Skill Sets need to sell the team, if not all of it a majority of it as it would break my heart to see the Mets end up like the Dodgers and not be able to meet payroll. Either Fred gets some new cash flowing into this organization or the Skill Sets need to get the fuck out. I’m tired of all this sentimentality bullshit from him, his incompetent brother in law and his dopey kid, about wanting to keep the team in the family for years and years. You should have though about that when your pal Bernie was fucking you over but you didn’t see it because the money was flowing like a Niagara Falls. Now you want sympathy. You won’t get it here, my sympathy is with the team and with Mets fan, Fred you love the Mets so much then do the right thing, sell the whole fucking kit and caboodle and keep a little piece for you along with a suite and go off into the sunset.

Those caps the Mets wore last night were horrendous, I thought I was watching an episode of 30 Rock.

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WOULD YOU LIKE ANYTHING ELSE WITH THAT POUND OF FLESH ?

Sorry, I’m just standing here wondering what all the hubbub is over Mark McGwire’ admission on his steroid use last night. The best part of the evening was watching the sanctimonious Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal not accepting McGwire’s mea culpa. I love how Verducci, Rosenthal and Jon Heyman are now all over McGwire and the rest of the Steroid Sluggers but never confronted them or did any investigative reporting during that era but now they’ve all become holier than thou. Th eonly reporter who spoke up at that time was Steve Wilstein of AP who asked about the bottle of Andro in McGwire’s locker. Too bad MLBN didn’t have him on.  

By the way I still have a few questions for Big Mac than Bob Costas failed to hit on. “Who got you the dope”? “Did it occur to you that this was a Federal crime having illegal narcotics “? Were you willing to pay any price to succeed in the game even if it meant getting arrested and going to jail”? “Who instructed you on how to administer the PED’s”?

I love how the panel on MLB Network was up in arms by McGwire saying he didn’t think the drugs made him better, he said he took them for the sole purpose of helping recover from a string if injuries he suffered from. Sure you can call bullshit on that statement but like Rick Peterson says “In God we trust, all others bring data” in other words, It’s all opinion on how much affect the drugs had on his home run total. That’s not to say I don’t agree with those who feel the PED’s didn’t help him jack up his HR total, it’s just that I can’t prove it.

Last word on this whole situation, I have never been a fan of Tony LaRussa but I will say this for TLR, he is one loyal son of a bitch. He has had McGwire’ pock marked back all these years and still has it.

I’ll take this as good news. Seven Train to Shea quotes a Twitter feed from Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse saying that Carlos Delgado is not moving to well around first base. If the move was strictly Omar’s, Delgado would have been re-signed by the Mets already but it looks like Omar has doesn’t have final say on personnel matters anymore. This off season has not been a typical Omar Minaya off season. The Mets are much more patient, to the point of Mets fans screaming in panic (me included) I guess that’s we are used to, the Omar Way. Let’s face it, if Omar had full autonomy Bengi Moilina would be sitting with a 3yr guaranteed contract right now.

Also on Ed Price’ Twiiter feed he claims Mets are talking 2yr/$15 mil contract for Joel Piniero

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HELLO JEFFEY? IT’S YOUR UNCLE LEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

After watching Big Pelf suffer through another bad outing and a partial melt down on the mound where I think it’s now at least three straight stats that D-Wright had to go to the mound early to have a heart to heart with Pelf.  Add the struggle back from injury to John Maine,  Bobby Parnell’ difficulty making pitching adjustments the second time around,  Ollie P being Ollie P, Tim Redding not rehabbing correctly from off season surgery, not dealing with J J Putz injured elbow and back to the reporting to pitchers and catchers in late February when Johan Santana seemed to be on a training schedule that did more harm than good and the whispers that maybe it was a mistake caning The Jacket, Old School Dan Werthen should be squarely in the cross hairs of management to be the first coach relived of duties by the end of the weekend.

As much as Rick Peterson is one of the great pitching minds around it wasn’t a mistake to fire him during the season and when Old School Werthen came on board he made a difference but it seems to me that Werthen is either fed up or just out of ideas on how to get the best out of the Mets pitching staff. The most telling non-move from last night that brings me to this conclusion was the fact that Werthen never left the dugout in the first inning when Pelfrey was struggling with his command especially his fastball that was up, up and away, even Gary Cohen couldn’t believe that Werthen never came out after first Wright then Santos went out to check on the young righty as the situation was crying for an old head intervention. Maybe Werthen has given up, maybe he’s tired of going out there and spewing the same old advice, maybe he’d love to put his foot up Pelfrey’s ass but management is holding him back. Whatever it is, it’s a problem and one that needs to be addressed not for this season as this season is over but for 2010 and beyond.

Are you getting the vibe that J-Man may not want to be fired as Mets manager? Last night during his post game presser Manuel made a joke at the expense of the Mets medical staff, that validated those of us that have questioned the front office, the training staff and the doctors.  When asked about Gary Sheffield leaving in the 5th with a leg problem, Manuel said “They’re calling it cramps,…. surgery is Thursday” and then he let out a laugh which translates to me Manuel saying to the fans “you guys are right this organization is a joke” After realizing that his boss will not be happy with his comment (J-Man has been called on the carpet about talking about making trades to bring in reinforcements) he tired to get SNY to not air the footage, fat chance Jerry besides you said nothing that we weren’t thinking ourselves.

Last night looks to be Tim Redding’ last appearance as a Met word in the NYDN is Redding will be released and another move in the minus column for Omar. I said back in spring that Redding looked fat and out of shape but just his track record alone should have been a red flag for the Mets to sign him. But don’t worry Julio Lugo is working out at the Mets academy in the D.R. and will be here once he passes waviers. The longggggggggggggggggggggg summer continues.

The headline on Adam Rubin’ story says” Mets Deny Claims That Jose Reyes Suffered A Set Back in Port St. Luice” The Mets are also denying that today is Saturday, water is wet and the organization is in FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All  Recogntion) mode.

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ROLL METS ROLL

Thank you to everyone who commented and emailed me with suggestions to help me with my pitching staff. I am happy to report that we won our first game of the season 10-0 (now 1-3 on the year) with only three walks against us in the game. Rick Peterson would be proud of all of you.

Speaking of The Jacket, he will play himself in the movie version of “Moneyball” with Brad Pitt playing Billy Bean.  Art Howe will also be in the film playing the cadaver they extract  the ligaments from for Tommy John surgery.

The Mets are rolling through NOCAL yesterday 9-6 win. Another strong start I felt, by Johan Santana who had one bad inning (the 6th) in the 7 innings he pitched as he had an incredible 79/22 K/B spilt plus he got the win to go to 5-2.

The pitching and hitting is as good for the Mets as any in baseball right now but the fielding needs to tighten up a bit especially with Wright and Castillo. Yes I’m never happy I have to find something to bitch about with this team.

With Carlos Delgado on the DL (what a shock!) the Mets have to make decision on what to do with first base. I don’t see how Jeremy Reed is an option over Daniel Murphy if they want to go a righty/lefty platoon. In fact it looks like the increased playing time for Reed is more of a showcase as why would you need both Reed and Angel Pagan on this roster that now is top heavy with outfielders? Pagan can do as much if not more than Reed both with the bat and in the field plus the added bonus of being a switch hitter. Maybe  a deal with the Orioles for Aubry Huff that would have the Mets send Reed and Eddie Kunz to Baltimore could snare Huff? By the way can we let Murphy play tonight at first base? It’s been four games since his last start. FREE DANIEL MURPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A reminder, I will be a guest tonight on The Seven Train To Shea Radio Program tonight at 7PM EDST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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METS ARE IN FULL GANGSTA’ MODE

As we get ourselves ready for the big three game series with the Cheesesteakers let’s take a look at some of the Mets news of the day:

 

John Harper has become the P.R. agent for Warlord Jerry as he has for the second day in row wrote a story giving us the feel that Randolph was out of touch with his players and didn’t know what buttons to push to motivate his team. Also there are more quotes from Tony Bernazard who is taking on a much more public persona. Now I don’t know if that is for the better but if you think this turnaround is not in part due to the change on manager your, delusional. The players like Delgado and Reyes won’t come out and say it but Ron Darling had no problem on the post game show last night saying that the Mets clubhouse is a much more relaxed place with J-Man. The facial hair ban, the music ban and not having the ability to interact with his players led to the charge that Randolph didn’t have the feel or pulse of his clubhouse which is one of the biggest thing a manager needs to be successful. The x’s and o’s are not as big as some of us think but the ability to connect with your players is something Randolph via his Highlander training couldn’t do. After awhile Rick Peterson couldn’t do it either. What you hear about J-Man is that he is a straight shooter that we tells his players up front what their role will be and what he is doing. He looks them in the eye and let’s them know the deal which it seem is something Randolph and a hard time doing. J-Man is as cool as the other side of the pillow whereas Willie was in meltdown mode as we saw with his race comments and ripping SNY coverage sent a message to his team that he was losing it.

 

So Mets fans instead of ripping Tony Bernazard you should be praising him for being adamant in his stance that a managerial change had to be made. Omar wanted to be more patient but it looks as if Jeffey Skill Set was siding with TB but Full Autonomy Omar wanted to keep his guy Randolph as he felt is was his failure that Randolph wasn’t working out but TB prevailed and that makes me think that’s why the Randolph axing was handled so badly.

 

When the off season comes at what point do the Mets drop out of the Oliver Perez Sweepstakes?  Does OP let that dictator of an agent Scott Boras sell his service to the highest bidder or does OP uses his brains and works out a deal with the Mets and stays where he’s comfortable? Remember OP was a throw in the Roberto Hernandez deal and was a mess when he arrived in NY. But with extensive work by Rick Peterson, Dan Warthen and Randy Neiman Perez has emerged as a top line starter. Sure he is still an enigma especially when he gives up walks after walk but still LHP like OP are a valuable commodity. So if you’re the Mets what is your first offer? He’s not getting Ace money or even #2 starter money so I’d start off with a 3yr/$36mil which of course Boras will be insulted by. My counter would be still 3 yrs but sweeten up the money to $37.5 mil with incentives that boost it over $40mil. Now Boras will want at least 5 yrs I figure but I don’t see the Mets going for 5 yrs with OP but then again he is only 27 years old but 5 yrs to a pitcher who is not a 1 or a 2 is tough pill to swallow. So how about a 4 year deal for $40mil with incentives that could bring the deal to $50mil total with a mutual option for a fifth year. If OP produces in those four years he could again be a free agent at the age of 31 and if he doesn’t produce, well at least he’ll have a very nice nest egg to fall back on.

 

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest not just for his great interviews and all around insight on baseball but he has a great piece on the Ford C Frick Award and is looking to get out the vote for our own Gary Cohen.

 

The Brooklyn Cyclones are taking a page out of the parent club’s book as they are making a surge to the NY-Penn League playoffs.

 

Where O’ where has Aaron Heilman gone? O’ where O’ where can he be?  Right now the pecking order of the pen in the late innings is the hybrid Felicano/Smith, Brian Stokes as the set up and Luis Ayala as the closer. Billy Wags could be back next week and if healthy goes back to closer and that drops each releiver down a peg.    

   

 

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JUST A SONG BEFORE I GO

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh vacation time, it’s wonderful. Before I leave for Cape Cod and a trip to Boston and Fenway Park I will be in attendance at Shea for tonight’s game as the turnaround season rolls on. No post tomorrow as it’s a long travel day but I hope to post Monday my “Fitty’ Birthday” by the way , so before I get some last minute stuff done and head to Shea a few thoughts:

 

Two of the biggest players of this turnaround have been Carlos Delgado and Mike Pelfrey and not surprisingly both players have been helped by the change in manager and pitching coach. Delgado seemed to hate being at the ball park when Willie Randolph was in charge as it seems Randolph’s reign in the clubhouse was a tension convention but for some reason the main streamers give us just bits and pieces of  life in Mets clubhouse under Willie. I guess theiy will let us know when their books come out. Rick Peterson told Mike Pelfrey to never throw a curveball again. Dean of School Dan Werthen worked with Pelfery on his breaking ball to go with his 90+ heater to make him a complete pitcher. No bracelets, no gem stones just good common sense.

 

I can’t figure out Dirty Duaner. He gets ahead of batters and can’t finish them off. Is it bad luck or poor performance?

 

Brandon Knight, the definition of a journeyman, makes his Mets debut tonight as a stand in for Petey. Knight has had a great year in NOLA and was ready to join Davey Johnson and Team USA in Beijing but on the insistence of Dan Werthen he was summoned for this spot start.

 

Looks like the Highlanders stole Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Bucs but I’m not worried about that as with all the rumors and names out there the guy I hope we land is Casey Blake. Blake has descent power and can player OF, 3B, and 1st  his one draw back is striking out a lot but we can live with that as Blake is the righty bat the Mets need.

 

Manny isn’t happy in Boston. The Red Sox front office, owners, players and fans are not happy with Manny.  I think you know where I’m going here, If I’m Omar I have to make a call in fact if Omar wants to give me Theo Epstein’s number and I’ll meet him for lunch when I get  into town.

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