While You Were Whining About No Traids, The Mets Are A Win Away From Going 5-3 So Far On This Road Trip

So the Mets are a win away from closing out a 5-3 West Coast road trip. Not bad for a team that most Mets fans felt threw in the towel because the GM failed to make a trade deadline deal.

Chris Young goes for the Mets and hopefully he can bounce back from his poor showing in his last start against the Snakes.  A win today would be a huge boost to the team after such a dismal start to the second half. Again the resilience of this team is to be admired.

So Jordany Valdespin got his first taste of veteran wrath yesterday in San Fran. Seems Mets have a rule that collared shirts must be worn on the road. JV1 must have thought that rule wasn’t meant for him so he wore a white t-shirt to the ballpark. Someone in the clubhouse decided it was time for a little rough justice and the Valdy’ tee was destroyed. I love the fact that whoever gave out the punishment wrote El Hombre on the shirt because Valdespin does walk around like he is “THE MAN” and I bet he embraces that nickname unlike the original El Hombre who despises it.  Seems after first getting pissed off, Valdy realized the error in his ways and laughed it off to the point he wore the shirt during batting practice.

The big knock on Valdespin is his maturity in fact it was such a problem in Binghamton that Wally Backman told the Mets brass that if Valdy kept it up he was going to ring his neck.  Valdespin still irks some in the Mets clubhouse but hopefully yesterday was just another chapter in the Big League Education of Jordany Vladespin.

So the hot rumor is the Mets offered Jason Bay to the Fish for Heath Bell and John Buck. All three stink and all three are overpaid but all three are in dire need of change of scenery. I voted in favor of this deal as I’d wager that Bell will bounce back from this season of suckitude much more than Bay by the way, have you ever seen a player with as bad of body language as Bay recently?  I actually feel sorry for him as he knows he’s at the end of the line not just with Mets but with playing major league baseball, and Buck as bad as he’s been this year would automatically become the best catcher in the Mets organization. Not saying much I know.   

When you look at the money involved in this deal starting in 2013 Bay would cost $19 mil while Bell and Buck are due $24 mil. I can’t see the Mets making this deal man for man, they would insist in the Fish sending both players to them along with a check for the $5 mil difference.      

Anyway the deal never happened but the end of the line for Bay is close like this weekend close. The Mets won’t cut Bay this season but this off season they will either sit down with him to work out a buy out or they will try very hard to trade him. Bet on the buyout release.

A Wall-Mart next to Citi Field? Forget that. Now a Costco with their $1.50 hot dog/soda combo? OH HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The United Mets of Flushing

 

I didn’t see any of yesterday’s game as it was Mother’s Day and my kids had no sporting events (all through Little League we never scheduled games on Mother’s Day, I can’t say the same for youth soccer my kids regularly played on Mother’s Day making life difficult for a bunch of families, thankfully this season the schedule worked in our favor) but I received updates on my phone, it’s tough to be sitting in a theater during a play to check my phone when it’s vibrating with Mets news especially when my wife is sitting next to me, so it wasn’t until the conclusion of Perfect Crime did I see the carnage in Miami by left by the Mets bullpen.

So instead of a beyond belief 6-0 road trip the Mets head home to Flushing with a 4-2 mark instead. Now we all would have co-signed for that record at the start of the trip but since the two losses were of the blown by bullpen variety, it made for an angry fandom after the game because as I discussed on Saturday, nothing turns a baseball fans red like a blown save to lose a game, in fact Jon Rauch took to Twitter to lay some knowledge on some fans when it came to commitment to winning and having your teammates back. As we saw with the Frank Francisco taking on inept home plate umpire Todd Tichenor, who by the way is in his first season as an everyday MLB umpire, this Mets team has passion and they seem to have enacted the practice of no teammate left behind as Rauch put on display last night. They win as a team and they lose as a team. It seems some Mets fans are not grasping this concept; maybe some of you are pining for the days of “One Met Said” cowardice we’ve seen in the Mets clubhouse during past administrations.  Thankfully those days look to be over.

Now that doesn’t mean Terry Collins will keep the status quo in the bullpen as the manager stated he has “8 options” to use as a game closer and let’s be honest here Mets fans, you can scream and curse Frank Francisco and Manny Acosta for yesterday and Friday but the toughest thing to build in baseball today is a proficient bullpen. Look at the regal Bronx Bastards, they need help in their pen but even with their unlimited financial resources, they can’t go out and buy a closer to replace the Sainted Mariano the Majestic. So TC may have to go with the hot hand to close games or use a combo of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch, the three most effective relievers so far, to finish out games.

At the end of last season, Sandy Alderson pointed out that all the blown saves that led to losses at the end of the season were unacceptable and that these types of situation’s can bring down a team. Right now this Mets team is united but you wonder how much that unity can stand if the late game meltdowns continue?

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HEADIN’ TO CITI

I’m looking forward to getting out to Citi Field this evening to watch R.A Dickey battle Aaron Harang and the Pads as it’s been awhile since I’ve been out there. Between work, vacations and baseball coaching obligations (our season ended by the way with my team losing in the Championship Series 2 games to 1, we finished in 1st place but giving up 4 and 5 out innings in the final round killed us) and the team on a long road trip, a trip to Flushing has been long overdue, I’m pumped up to get  out there tonight.

Seems the MSM is as usual a little late in picking up the fact that Mets fans really like this team. Better late than never I guess. One quote in this piece by Larry Brooks in the Post today made me smile when I read it, it comes from Ginger Turner:

“I don’t know why anyone would have thought our team would throw in the towel or give up,” Justin Turner told The Post. “That’s kind of a slap in the face to the guys who are here.

“Players get traded and players get hurt. That’s part of baseball. We’ve got 25 guys in here busting their butts to try to win games and who believe in ourselves and our team.”

Can’t you tell that Turner is new around here? Maybe it because the last two season the team has laid down and played dead but thankfully those days are gone. Did you see Terry Collins jumping up and down in the dugout the other night after Lucas Duda’ game winning single? That is passion.

Good news on Johan Santana as it “only” fatigue in the shoulder not anything structural that’s derailed is rehab from shoulder surgery.

Great story in the Times today (guess they had to make up for Jim Luttrells’ hack piece the other day) on Mike Baxter who will get a start in the outfield today. I love the part about Baxter organizing the purchase of championships rings for his Archbishop Molloy team and that legendary coach, Tom Curran still wears his every day. That is impressive.

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YOU METS FANS ARE REALLY STARTING TO ANNOY ME

Maybe it’s me. I’ve been told that I can be a bit dense at times but for the life of me I can’t understand how some Mets fans feel that the recently completed road trip from hell was because of Carlos Beltran’ return to the lineup ? Now let me set the record straight here, I am not the President nor a member of the Carlos Beltran Fan Club, in fact I have called on the Mets to deal Beltran since 2008 and I would hope he has a great second half as getting out from his contract would a huge plus for the organization, but to say that Beltran has hurt the team chemistry by coming back, is beyond stupid.

This team is only acts as  a cohesive bunch when they win, once adversity hits and that by the way is how you measure this worn out word chemistry, the NY Mets turn into the French Army. After wining games, especially at home, shirts are flying out of pants, hats are tilted to the side, players are jumping up and “high fiving” it’s quite the spectacle. But when they lose, and they do this with regularity on the road, their heads are down, shirts stay neatly in their pants, blank stares into space replace high jumping hand slaps. No team in sports acts in such a bi-polar way than the NY Mets.

Now the fans are starting to get like that. Beltran is a “clubhouse cancer” they say, huh, if anything Beltran is a low flame kind of guy, but he produces both with the bat and the glove. He has looked very rusty with both so far since his return from knee surgery but it’s such a small sampling but who knows, maybe he will never regain his old form. The same fans that hate Beltran, have fallen in love with Jeff Francoeur and seem to think he was a big reason the Mets went on a nice run in June, I guess an OPS of .845 is impressive to some. If Beltran had a month like that he’d be an underachiever.

I really don’t get it. The Mets right now are playing their three best outfielders in Bay, Beltran and Pagan. Unfortunately, Bay and Beltran are struggling but what both have over Francoeur is they have a body of work that is All Star caliber, whereas Frenchy has a strong right arm and a great smile. I’d rather take the proven All Stars myself.

Again it comes down to what has been a problem in Flushing for the past couple or three years, this team is made up of some very fragile folks who turn to over cooked spaghetti when times get tough. See,  a guy like Jason Bay has surprised me as he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t make a lot of noise with his mouth and has proven to be capable of stepping up and performing when the spotlight is blinding as we saw when he went to Boston to replace Manny Ramirez. But then again when you have guys like Big Papi, Mike Lowell, Youk and Dustin Pedrioa it helps. The Mets don’t have anyone close to those guys on their team. Sure you have a  fake tough guy like Leader of Men, Alex Cora but there is no one (sadly David Wright isn’t one either) who says” jump on my back boys and I’ll carry you” the closet guy like that amongst the everyday players right now is Angel Pagan. It’s not the loudest guy or the rah-rah guy who fits the leader mold, it’s the guy who knows when to take pitches to get on base, who gets the big base hit with two out man in scoring position but Mets fans seem to think the louder you shout the more productive you are, that’s a fallacy. The People’s Cherce, Jeff Francoeur with all his personality had never carried a team but the guy Mets fans love to hate, Carlos Beltran has.

I can’t figure you people out sometimes.

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A SHAKE UP IS BADLY NEEDED IN FLUSHING

Has there ever been two groups so closely aligned but such poplar opposites like Mets fans and Mets management? The one thing both groups have in common is they both root for the Mets to win (as inept as ownership is they want to win, they don’t have a clue as to how to accomplish that but they want to win) and that’s where the similarities end.

Mets fans are furious with the way this team has gone into the shitter on this past road trip. If your fans are going to stay up until 1AM then goddamnit we want a win. But with the anemic offense and the bumbling managerial tactics, this was one of the worst west cost trips ever for the Mets.

When the team left Flushing after losing four of six games to the Reds and Braves, we figured the All-Star break would be a good tonic for the club to recharge and get rested for the second half before the start of an 11 game West Coast road trip. I think we all felt if the Mets could go 6-5 on this trip that would be great. The road has been a house of horrors for the team all year but this would be a test for the team and a good trip would solidify the Mets as a true contender in the NL. Who knew that the 11 game trip would turn into Armageddon!  

So from optimism, we Mets fans have turned into an angry mob, something we’ve gotten very good at the last couple of seasons, and we want a body. Someone has to be sacrificed, but who?

There’s talk of Howard Johnson getting either fired or reassigned in the organization. HoJo is a Mets lifer but quite frankly firing HoJo is just window dressing. In fact firing any of the coaches makes no sense as it’s not coaches’ fault this team can’t hit. So that leaves the manager.

If any coach gets the boot, and Jerry Manuel gets to stay on then that is just an insult to Mets fans and a good reason for them to keep their credit cards in their pocket and to stay off Mets.com to but tickets. The news I would like to see today is Ken Oberkfell named as interim manager, then reassign HoJo to manage Buffalo and leave the rest of the staff intact.

After the season, then it will be time for an organization wide colonic. Reassign Omar Minaya to head of scouting, in fact give his a fancy title like Czar of Player Development and Scouting and make it like it’s a real important high fluent position that will shape the feature of the franchise and then go out find a GM who is not locked in the dark ages. A guy who understands that statistical analysis is a must for success but can also meld that in with good old fashion boots on the ground scouting.    

Seems to me, Bobby Valentine is kind of forcing the Mets hand to make some sort of move by throwing his hat in the ring to succeed Lou Pinella in Chicago.  Most Mets fans are split between Bobby V and Wally Backman as to who they’d like see manage the Mets and with BV open politicking for the Cubs job he’s let it be known he’s more than ready for a high profile managing position.

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ROAD KILL

Where to begin with another losing road trip, tons of Mets road kill all around so lets hit it:

Johan Santana threw his heart and soul into yesterday’s game. It wasn’t pretty but like I’ve said before, sometime the game where your pitcher doesn’t have his best stuff and still finds a way to be effective is as impressive as a 3 hit shutout. But it seems all Santana’ starts end with a no-decision for him and a bullpen induced loss for the Mets.

After the game Jerry Manuel was asked about his bullpen and said it may be time to look for other options, well yeah Jerry since most of your relievers arms are ready to fall off and it’s only June. It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. Check out this graph by Justin Bopp of Beyond the Boxscore that shows the average number of relief appearances by all MLB teams. Of course the Mets lead all of baseball in use of relievers and one of Manuel’s big faults is he has absolutely no clue on how to run a bullpen.

Manuel threw a fit about keeping Jenry Mejia on the team saying he needed this kid’ electric arm in the pen. Fine, but Manuel has no idea how to use him. At first Mejia was to be the set up man for Frankie Rodriguez because Kelvin Escobar the guy with the sore arm that Omar Minaya signed over the winter for the job came up with a sore arm. Go figure?

But Manuel decided that the role of set up was too much for the 20 year old Mejia so when Pedro Feliciano screamed PICK ME! PICK ME! Manuel did but then felt Felicano was better served in a situational role. That led to Fernando Nieve getting the nod and he did well for a while until he was used everyday and his arm turned to overcooked linguine. Then Ryaota Igarashi took over the roll or did Igarashi come before Nieve I don’t know, I’m as confused as Jerry Manuel, but anyway, Igarashi was the set up guy until he pulled a hammy. Now all I’ve heard about Japanese baseball players is their dedication to conditioning but leave it to the Mets to find the one slacker in all of Japanese baseball but then again the Mets training staff could help itself by watching some tapes of Jack LaLane. Now the set up role has fallen on Old Uncle Elmer Dessens, the released, DFA, minor league contract, scrap heap pitcher from Mexico. Maybe Uncle Elmer can do the job with his combo special of fastball/slider and if he doesn’t, I’m sure Jerry Manuel can find another sacrificial arm to offer up.

I, like the majority of Mets fans wish the team would have left Jenry Mejia in the minors to work on his craft and blossom but if you’re going to keep him here why not let him be the set up man? His walk rate is high but he throws gas and gets tons of ground ball outs then add in the fact you’ve already screwed him over this season and ruined a year of his development, why not?  What could happen? Failure? Shit we’re used to that by now around here. Last night as Adrian Gonzalez’ Granny was sailing over the left field wall I had no emotion at all. This is what it’s come down to, the Mets lose on a walk off Grand Slam home run and my reaction is “Honey? Is dinner ready”?

I have a feeling that by this afternoon, Ollie Perez will accept an assignment to either Buffalo or St. Lonesome. The heat is on Scott Boras more than Ollie to make this move as Ollie isn’t smart enough to know what damage he is doing to his team and his reputation but Boras isn’t a dummy, he knows Perez needs to do this and with players coming out voicing their resentment to his selfishness and that guys at MLB Network speaking out in unison that Perez is a selfish prick, and the fact that the mere site of #46 in the bullpen will incite the crowd at $tit Field, it’s in everyone’s best interest, Perez, Boras, General Manager Jeffey Skill Sets, to bring this distraction to a close.    

Just like last year the Mets can’t make up their mind about putting a player on the DL. This time is Luis Castillo and his bad feet. We’ve been hearing for about two weeks that Castillo has foot problems and to the Gimps credit he has hung in there without much production but he’s a real (broken down) trooper but it seems like a trip to the DL is in his immediate future so who gets the call? It looked like Daniel Murphy but last night he was helped off the field in Buffalo with a knee injury after getting knocked over at 2nd base, then there is scuttlebutt that Jesus is coming. Fleiciano that is but he’s not an infielder (could this be the end of GMJ? Please say it’s so GM Jeffey) so look for Ruben Tejada to get the recall notice and that’s fine with me but how about a really bold move and letting Reese Havens get a chance? How great would it be to have Ike Davis and Reese Havens, two former Brooklyn Cyclones make up half the infield?

By the way how much do you think the Mets fortunes would be different if David Eckstein played for the Mets?

What more can be said about what happened last night in Detroit? I’d have to think that Jim Joyce was of sound mind and knew he was in the middle of history here. It wasn’t even a difficult call, Jason Donald was so out that he couldn’t believe he was called safe. All the name calling of Joyce is all emotion and Joyce later admitted he blew the call and Armado Galarraga’s moment of fame but this is becoming a very serious issue for MLB. Last post season we saw umpires screw up badly and that has carried over to the 2010 regular season as well. Joe West and Mark Buehrle, Angel Hernandez the other night with no clue of what the strike zone was during the Rays-Blue Jays game. Bill Hohn tossing Roy Oswalt in the third inning of his start, it’s Umpires Gone Wild. Time for The Used Car Salesman to let Mike Port flex some muscle and start suspending these umpires and get some of the old goats an incentive package to retire and then stay true to the evaluation process and ban some of these incompetent ass’ from working in the post season.        

I have been so unbelievably busy between blogging here and doing my This Call To The Bullpen Radio Show and getting ready to cheer on the Boston Celtics to Banner 18 and doing my job that pays me in real money and benefits that I’ve been looking to hire an assistant to help me out with some of my daily tasks and after reading this story in today’s NY Post I’m hoping Ms. Debralee Lorenzana sends me her resume as I would really, REALLY love to hire her for the position any position, all positions, missionary position. If you want to be accepted for who you are Ms. Lorenzana, you’ve come to the right place, you will welcomed with open arms.

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WORSE THAN THE SWINE FLU, THE PHILLIES ARE COMING TO TOWN

 

 

 

 

Maybe it’s that phenomena of the Mets playing down to the competition as they come off a 2-4 abbreviated road trip against the Bucs and Nats the suck and suck more teams of baseball and now the biggest three weeks of the Mets 2009 season starts tomorrow here in the Greatest City on the Planet against the Phucking Phillies in the biggest series of the season.

 

To start off this series I sat with an enemy correspondent , Bill Bear of Crashburn Alley who has been a guest on PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL and a guy I like to e mail back and forth during the season as I like to be an annoying ball breaker but even though Bill has a major character flaw being a Phucking Phillies fan he’s a good guy and is always great when he comes on PBC and I like his in depth stat work on Crashburn Alley so click here to read the Q & A I did with Bill .

 

Over at Jorge Says No they have a very good interview with Wally Backman who is now managing in the Northern League for the Joilet Jackhamers. Backman of course would love to get a shot at a big league managerial job and the hard work as a player and perseverance as a manager at the most obscure outposts of baseball only make his resolve stronger. Maybe some day he will be back in Flushing where his work ethic and passion for the game would be a boost for the organization and the fans.

 

Doug Branch at Mets Merized Online is getting drawn and quartered for a post that suggests that the Mets might look at being sellers and if they do maybe Carlos Beltran would be the guy to trade. Well if you read the comments Branch is called out for not only suggesting that the Mets become sellers but think about trading Beltran. I won’t speak for Branch but as for myself I’ll say I don’t want the Mets to be sellers and I don’t want to deal off Beltran but as I wrote in a post over the weekend maybe it’s time for the front office and ownership to take stock in what it is the team and what this franchise is looking to accomplish. The reason I think like this is that as much as I think Omar Minaya has done a pretty good job he could do much better and I never feel like there is a plan in place or a course of action for this team. Sure Omar went out and retooled the bullpen to the point it’s one of the best in baseball but he never addressed the need for a left fielder with power and seems to be more enthralled with finding players left on the side of the curb than being creative in making a deal for bona fide major league talent.

 

It is good though to see the Mets fan exuding passion like the commentators are doing on that site and of course here. Too bad that ownership is to inept to realize what a great fan base they have.

 

 

The Mets Police checked out the cuisine at Highlander Stadium and found it to be overpriced and bland just like its tenants.

 

After watching my kid’s soccer games yesterday I had to make a trip to the mall to buy a sports jacket (one that didn’t have METS or an NY on it but a sports jacket that adult men wear. The two that I own are way too big and my son is graduating from grammar school this Friday and I need to dress up like a grown up so hence the sports jacket. I guess it’s a shame that a soon to be 51 year old man owns just two pair of slacks but 12 pairs of jeans, and has more than 200 t-shirts and maybe three dress shirts, one pair of shoes but  2 pair of Cons’ 3 pair of running shoes, 2 pair of basketball shoes, and 2 pair of baseball cleats and the only neck ties I have are hand me downs from my brothers. I’d be more than happy to live everyday in shorts, a t shirt, flip flops and my Mets cap) when I returned home I relaxed by watching the Padres-D’Backs game that went to 18 innings. I picked the game up in the 10th inning and when it ended in the 18th I realized the D’Backs bullpen did not give up a hit from the 10th to the 18th inning an extra inning no hitter! The D’Backs blew a 6-0 lead and the Padres had shortstop Josh Wilson pitch the 18th and he almost got out of jam with two on and 0-2 count on Mark Reynolds before Reynolds put one just over the right field wall. Wilson by the way was a D’Back just a month ago before he was claimed by the Padres. Even stranger was of the 27,000 plus who were in attendance for the beginning of the game morphed into empty seats by the 18th inning.

 

I’ll leave you with this from Henry Aaron on the release of Tom Glavine and the apology from John Schuerholz:

 

“I wouldn’t have said anything if I were John Schuerholz. I think that was a mistake, because it was a no-win situation in his case, as much as [Schuerholz] tried to patch up the differences,” Aaron said. Then he laughed, adding, “This is the first time I’ve ever been on management’s side. I mean, Glavine got paid very well through the years to play here, and there’s never a good way to handle these situations. But if you’re the Braves, you’ve got to throw those kids out there and let them pitch. If you’re Glavine, you have to be gracious enough to step aside.”

 

Why don’t the Glavines of any sport do so? “The hardest thing for anybody — especially athletes — is to wake up in the morning and realize everything has stopped for them,” Aaron said. “The cheering. The booing. The traveling. All the things that you used to be doing are no longer there, and it’s hard for you to realize that, along with the idea of losing all of the money that I made. It’s just not there any more.

 

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JERRY’S HEAD GAMES

I’m starting to realize that I am more of a fan of Jerry Manuel the person than I am of Jerry Manuel the manager. Most nights win or lose Manuel is usually a cool cat at his press conference as he never gets rattled by questions and he takes his time giving an answer to the tough inquiries. In that, Manuel reminds me of St Joseph of Torre in his handling of the media and that is a major challenge for any manager or head coach in this town.  But some of the tactical moves that Manuel has made on this road trip and in the recent weeks have be befuddled.

Take last night. When Jeremy Reed was obtained in the Putz deal this past winter we were told he was as good as Endy Chavez at bat and in the field. So if Reed is such a good outfielder why was he playing first base last night while the defensively challenged Daniel Murphy  was put in left field. I swear I was in a daze for the first inning trying to figure the logic here and sure enough the first batter for the Hollywood Bums, Juan Pierre hits a ball to left that Murphy botched. Just stunning.

Why not just leave Murphy at first base and tell him it’s all yours until Delgado gets back maybe it would relive a bit of pressure off this kid because this is not the same Daniel Murphy we fell in love with. The Murphy kid I saw last year and early this year does not get picked off first base like an inept little leaguer. How many times have we heard Keith Hernandez say that “someone taught Murphy the right way to play baseball”?

Same with second base. If Ramon Martinez is the best we have to play back up infielder then we’re in trouble. I know that Castillo has sucked at the plate lately so if you’re going to give him the night off the let the Latin Joe McEwing (Fernando Tatis) play second he can’t do any worse than Martinez.

 

   

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