ROD BARAJAS GETS PAROLED

I don’t know if you heard but the Mets are rebuilding…………shhhhhhhhhhhhhh keep it on the downlow.

Rod Barajas has been emancipated and is on his way home to LA and the team he rooted for as a boy, the Hollywood Bums. This wavier deal works out for everyone as Barajas had a great month or two as a Met and Josh Thole has earned an everyday promotion with Hank White as the sage back up. Too bad Barajas couldn’t sneak Ollie Perez in his suitcase.

Apparently there is a bit of dissension in the Mets clubhouse. First, a few players were upset with HoJo taking them to task and now when Barajas was waving bye-bye, an unnamed Mets player wished he was joining him. When “One Met says” and “an unidentified player” show up, you know the end is near.

“Dant-dadant-dadant-dant-dant, dant-dadant-dan-da” (Flag of Victory) KINER’S KORNER is back!!!!!! Pay attention kids, pay attention!!!!!!

F-Mart is hurt again (you don’t say?) what makes me happy about this is at 52 years old, I’m in better shape than the 21 year old Martinez.

Good bye Sweet Lou, you had a great run.

Vin Scully will be back for another season so that means at least another year of late nights for me watching and listening to Dodgers games via Extra Innings.

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DAVID WRIGHT HAS MOURNING SICKNESS

Sorry for the late post but I was conferring with my attorneys, to see is we Mets fans can file a grievance against the MLBPA for filing a grievance against the Mets in the Mets v. K-Rod case.

I did not watch any of the Mets-Astros game last night and I’m glad I didn’t as it seems the play of the field made people wretch.

Rod Barajas will be activated some time today and word is Josh Thole’s spot is safe. So the Mets will go with 3 players out of 25 who play catcher. Then they have a pitcher who may as well sit in the bullpen in a Snuggie with a bowl of pop corn as he never gets to see the light of the pitchers mound. Now you know why the Mets organization is baseball’s equivalent of the person coming out of the bathroom with toilet paper sticking out the back of their pants.

I  have my doubts about people like Tony Dungy, who is one of  these holier

 than thou types, than I do about a guy like Rex Ryan. In fact, I would trust Rex Ryan more than I would Dungy. 

Matthew Cerrone thinks Bobby Parnell should be the Mets closer now and next year in the event that Francisco Rodriguez is gone from the team. Hard to argue that point in fact I’ve been saying for awhile the most overrated position in sports is the closer, with the exception of Mariano Rivera.

If you haven’t heard my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show with Howard Megdal, it’s well worth your while, also don’t forget to vote of Howard for Mets GM right here.

Alex Belth has touched on a great subject at his Bronx Banter site, film crews in NYC. Where my office is located downtown we have crews for the now off the air Ugly Betty, Law and Order, and Rescue Me. There is nothing funnier than a crew trying to shoot a scene and telling pedestrians to please wait before crossing a street and having New Yorkers telling to go fuck themselves and keep walking.    

Now that the Mets are done for the year, are you following any other team that’s on the march to the post season? I always have a soft spot for the Giants so I like to watch their run (even though they’ve dropped 4 of 5 to the Padres and Phillies, two teams that if they needed to beat) for the NL West or Wild Card and the watching the White Sox-Twins series has been a thrill. So tell me is their a team your following or are you just waiting for football season?

Don’t forget to check out my NO PSL REQUIRED Fantasy Football League as there are some spots remaining.

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BEWARE OF FANS IN THE METS CLUBHOUSE, SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HIT IT

God almighty I’m so sick and tired of this and it seems I’m not the only one. Bob Ojeda it seems took an ax and gave Jerry Manuel 40 whacks. The night before when asked about the Toxic Ollie situation, Ojeda gave a great reply by saying he fought through three work stoppages to get guys like Ollie Perez the right to make a decision to either go to the minors or not because of tenure. Ojeda then said that he will keep his opinion on what Ollie is doing to himself which to me says while he defends OP’s deciosn to invoke his refusal to go to Buffalo, he would love to ring his neck for being a selfish prick.

Mike Silva over at NY Baseball Digest has a post about the Mets players not taking losing personally and how they get this from the manager and management, here is my comment that I posted on Mike’s site:

 The players are taking their queue from management as the owner has not countered the claims that the team has money trouble. When players see Ollie Perez come back just as bad as when he left and know the only reason he’s here is the money he’s due. Same with Castillo. Now the team has 3 catchers on the roster as no one will pull the plug on Rod Barajas with either a trade or his release. Same with Jeff Francouer. Then you have Alex Cora who for all his “leadership” qualities produces next to nothing on the field.

Same reason Jerry Manuel still has a job the Wilpons would rather lose and pay a manager than try to win with a new manager while paying his replacement.

 The fans are on to this con set by the Wilpon’s no wonder they were friends with someone like Bernie Maddoff.

 

Even when this team wins, we don’t enjoy it as Mets fans are preoccupied with the awful in game moves by Jerry Manuel. Now it seems he is losing the clubhouse, especially after Grandstand Cora took Mike Pelfrey to task for his jovial behavior in the clubhouse. That should be the managers’ job in fact why not just make Grandstand the bench player/manager since he so full of piss and vinegar? The guy should do something to earn his $2mil a year than to just be a grouch. Oh and speaking of Grandstand Cora, it seems as per Kevin Kernan that Johan Santana and Frankie Rodriguez were sharing a smile as well in the clubhouse but Grandstand Cora must have had his hearing aid off:

After Tuesday’s loss to the Diamondbacks, Rodriguez and Johan Santana were seen laughing in a corner of the clubhouse. A few minutes later Mike Pelfrey was joking with a group of reporters. Alex Cora yelled in the direction of Pelfrey’s locker and reporters to “show some respect.”

 

I just want the Skill Sets to be honest with us about whether or not they have the coin to compete for big ticket items. If they can’t, it’s no disgrace; in fact it may be to the Mets advantage. Just think, how happy was the fan base when we saw the home grown infield this season? How great is it to watch Ike Davis and Jon Niese and Josh Thole?  The franchise is 323 games BELOW .500 since its inception so losing is not a deterrent for Mets fans but indifference; lack of a plan and deceit from ownership will not be tolerated. So com’on Skill Sets free your conscience, the truth shall set you free.      

So now what, well there are reports today that the Mets are looking to move Jeff Francouer. That’s a good start. Next should be sending Rod Barajas somewhere and letting Josh Thole catch when RA Dickey, Jon Niese and who ever the fifth starter is and then give Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey to Henry Blanco. Let Chris Carter be the 4th outfielder, I know his arm is atrocious but his bat is wasting away on the bench. I love defense but I’m willing to sacrifice some of it for offense. Then it’s time for the obvious move, relieve Jerry Manuel of his position as manager. It doesn’t make sense to bring in a big name manager right now, give the job to Ken Oberkfell or Tim Teufel as interim managers but if Omar Minaya is more than a figurehead he needs to go into the clubhouse along with Jeffey Skill Sets and let the team know it’s time for a change and jobs are on the line no matter what kind of contract you have.      

Awwwww who am I kidding this will never happen, I’m so fucking delusional,   forget that motto of Prevention and Recovery that real motto of the New York Mets is “Same Shit, Different Day”

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TEAM OVERBOARD

Is there a team in any sport that goes from sugar to shit faster than the NY Mets? Before the All Star break we Mets fans were pumped for the second half, I mean think about the names we were banding about getting, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly. Now fast forward a week later, and the talk is it’s better to dump Rod Barajas and play that cute little Josh Thole, Toxic Ollie is back, the most popular boy in the class, Jeff Francouer and his putrid bat has been replaced by the star some Mets fans hate, Carlos Beltran who at 75% is still superior to Frenchy in every way except in personality and the ability to sell a perp phone (Metro PCS according to my cop buddies is the phone service of choice for NYC criminals)  in radio ads. Oh yeah and the acquisition of Chad Cordero to a minor league deal. Meanwhile the Phuck Phaces are on the verge of landing Roy Oswalt and the Braves just keep padding their NL East lead. With all that should we be surprised by the latest cliff dive by the Mets especially how this team is the most homesick team in baseball?

The mark of a true contending team is how the play in tight situations and the Mets fail terribly in that situation as their 11-17 record in one run games and the shocking 10 walk off losses indicate. The only saving grace with this team is their ability to win at home. For all the bullshit talk about Citi Field hurting the Mets, this season is quite the opposite as the club has wins at a 65 % clip in Flushing. But on the road it’s just a disaster.

So Leader of Men, Alex Cora wasn’t happy that Mike Pelfrey, while talking to reporters last night, was laughing and let him know about it. What’s missing in the story was why Big Pelf was laughing and what kind of laugh it was. Was is a smirk/chuckle (a Big Pelf trademark) explaining why he went with a ‘buzz cut” to try and change his luck? Or was a laugh over a joking about Jeff Francoeur commiserating at his locker on why Jerry Manuel has fallen out of love with him? Or was a piss your pants gut buster over seeing Oliver Perez’ pay stub? Until I find out which one of these Big Pelf is guilty of, I will reserve judgment on him. As for Cora, as much as there is sometimes ‘false hustle” on the field there is also “false leadership” off it and maybe Alex Cora is guilty of the latter.

As I said before, Chad Cordero is now a Met. No shock there except we all figured this would have happened a lot sooner as all former Expos have a home in Queens.

One of the positives from last nights game was the fact that R.A. Dickey remained on the bench after being removed and he and Josh Thole sat together in deep conversation. The more I see Thole the more impressed I am with him not just with the bat but also the way he handles himself on the field and how involved he is in discussions on the mound whenever Manuel or Old School Warthen come out to talk to the pitcher. I’m sure all the chemistry majors in Mets fandom love that fact.

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I’LL TRY BUT I DON’T KNOW IF WORDS CAN DISCRIBE THE METS SECOND HALF BLUES

No much to say about last night’s game except Big Pelf has had trouble with the Snakes for his whole career and maybe that neck of his was still stiff, but you still have to take into account that Pelfrey hasn’t pitched well in a month. No worries, because Ollie Perez is back, pass the Imodium AD.

The concern over Francoeur riding the pine still has be stupefied, as does the call fro Jason Bay to sit. Forget for a moment that Bay is being paid a shit load of dough, he also has a body of work that Francoeur could only dream about. The one good move that Jerry Manuel has made this month is telling Angel Pagan he will play day in, day out.

On top of this awful second half start, it seems like the Mets will not be players in either the Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren sweepstakes. From trying to piece together the reasons it seems a combination of not wanting to over pay in prospects, which is fine by me, and the lack of dead presidents in the Skill Sets bank account. That part worries me.    

Remember when Rod Barajas was a stud? That was when? Back in May? I know Josh Thole is up as showcase item but maybe it’s time to put young Thole on the protected list?

While most of us clicked off the television in disgust last night, Greg Prince hung in there long enough to report that Justin Turner came in to play for David Wright in the 7th and thus, became the 141st third baseman in the history of the NY Mets. Where have you gone, Roy Staiger?

Don’t forget to join me tonight THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW on Blog Talk Radio 10PM ET  

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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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“COME WATCH CRAZY JERRY MANUEL HIS IN GAME DECSION ARE IN-SAAAAAAAA-NE

Unfortunately last night, Doug Glanville had a family emergency to tend to and had to cancel his appearance with me on This Call To The Bullpen but we are both working on finding another day for Doug to come on the program to talk about his book The Game From Where I Stand (Henry Holt/Times Books) and we hope to have that hashed out in a few days. So I had to decide, cancel the show or just go on and rant for an hour and the hour rant won out. So if you want to hear me talk about Jerry Manuel, playing games that count in Puerto Rico, Bobby Valentine and Wally Backman, then check out last nights This Call To The Bullpen.

don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop at Cafe Press

It’s game like last night that stirs the demons of my Mets soul. I want nothing more than to stand on Broadway decked out in every piece of Met clothing I own and celebrate the ticker tape parade that no other city in the world gives to his championship sports teams. What has me conflicted is, if that happens, then Jerry Manuel will be the Mets manager for a minimum of three more years. Last nights game showed just about ever deficiency in Manuel’ game. Stephen Hanks of Mets Merized Online lays each and every flaw (save maybe for number one and the author agrees that my be picking at nits as well) from not running for Rod Barajas and even the pinch hitting for Ruben Tejeda but the big one for me was using Frankie Rodriguez in the 8th inning last which goes with Manuel’ “throw a reliever against the wall and see what sticks” bullpen management.

We are starting to get inundated with Cliff Lee rumors, not just every day but just about every hour. I don’t think there is a Mets fan out there who doesn’t want Lee on the team, as his presence alone will make the Phuck Phaces and Squaws go “GULP”. But at what price would you pay for this rental Ace? At this point there is no way you can trade Angel Pagan. Saying that, when Carlos Beltran does come back, Beltran is THE CENTERFIELDER and he is the centerfielder until he shows he physically can’t play the position any longer. However, Beltran will not be out there day after day so Pagan gets say two days a week in CF, then another couple in the corners with more time in RF. Beltran is not a corner outfield and there is a huge difference between playing CF from playing a corner outfield spot as we saw with the horrific collision between Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran back in San Diego a few years ago. Pagan has played corner outfield so the transition is easier for him.

The price on Roy Oswalt may not be too high but Drayton McClain is an Al Davis clone. He wants to shed payroll but he hates to part with his good ol’ boys like Oswalt and Lance Berkman, even when both player say it’s best for the organization to trade both of them.

The most intriguing move would be to get Carlos Zambrano as the Cubs would move the high strung Z and take players non grata, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. The problem is when all the contracts change hands it could cost the Mets $18 mil for Z . Ted Lilly is attractive as well after pitching a great game last night so there are some options for the Mets (Jeffey Skill Sets and John Ricco that is I still say Ricco is running the baseball ops with Jeffey and Omar has been relegated to high paid scout)

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NY METS : NUMBER 1.5 WITH A BULLET

I figure sooner or later the bill on R.A. Dickey’s career resurgence will come due, so until then let’s just enjoy his knuckler and the fact that he’s been rock solid in his five starts, the anti-Ollie so to speak.

Rod Barajas had a tough night behind the plate trying to catch those floaters by Dickey saying as much after the game as he claimed it was his toughest night as a catcher but as bad as it looks on Barajas’ stat sheet it looks better for Dickey as it means his knuckler was getting’ jiggy with it all night.

One of the story lines of the last month or so has been that this year’s Mets are very easy to root for and no one player personifies that trait like Chris Carter. Finally getting a chance to play a full game The Animal hit his first big league home run and look very pleased about it as were his teammates, the same teammates who respect the hell out him for his work ethic. I’d love to see The Animal get a few more starts.

Bingo (and NY Mets future) 2nd baseman Reese Havens had a bit of a set back as he was scratched from the Binghamton lineup for soreness. It could be an aggravation of an oblique injury Havens has been nagged with but I sure hope not as Havens is showing signs of being a power bat at 2nd base that would be a boon to the Mets

Jerry Manuel is nuts if he thinks the Mets will activate Carlos Beltran next week so he can use him as a DH in Highlander Park. De-Facto GM John Ricco said as much when informed by the Daily News of Manuel’ thinking out loud scheme.  The most optimistic view of when we will see Beltran in a big league game, August 1st is my guess.

Anyone have a 2013 calendar?

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ROD BARAJAS MAY WALK OFF, BUT HE DOES NOT WALK OFF ALONE

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the Mets win in walk off fashion, in fact the last time was August 7, 2008 as David Wright took Heath Bell of the Padres yard, so watching the mosh pit at home plate for Rod Barajas was special. With all the negativity that has surrounded the Mets just seeing all the players waiting for Barajas at home plate and slamming him around was wonderful. But the best part of the celebration was after they mugged the catcher for his blast, the players all ran to Ike Davis and hugged him and patted him on the back  not just for the fact he hit two bombs in the game but his defensive play in the 9th inning saved the game.

For the second time in his short stint with the Mets, Davis grabbed a foul pop and then used the dugout railing as a parallel bar which at 6’4” is an astonishing act of athleticism and kudos to Alex Cora for breaking his fall.

Listening to Barajas in the post game interview with Kevin Burkhardt its clear the Mets have taken on a “no one believes in us but us” approach. Barajas deflected all the talk of what he did to talking about what the team did and he also sent a message to Mets fans who have sworn off attending games at $iti Field, get your tickets now or you’ll be shit outta luck latter.

The biggest improvement with the Mets is all the news on focused on the field. No one is talking about ownership or the front office. Sure Jerry Manuel gets slapped around every other game but that’s part of the managers job to take the hits as the out front guy. Talk to Mets fans and you here real live baseball talk, sure after the Cincinnati defeats we wanted to cut a lot of guys but still it’s on field baseball talk.

If the Mets keep playing as hard nosed as they have the past couple of weeks, I’ll put up with clueless “Hospitality agents” , snail like speed of concession workers, and even the dreaded black jerseys, just keep giving us games like last night and Mets will put up with anything management tosses at them.

Not only was Rod Barajas the hero last night but he hit that home run while Bengi Molina was behind the plate. Molina did not start the game and during an interview with Kevin Burkhardt, Molina whined about how he wanted t be a Met sooooo badddddddddly and was upset a deal could not be reached. What a cry baby, I wonder how Bruce Bochy and Brain Sabean feel hearing this whine session. The Giants did Moilina a favor by bringing him back as they’ve wanted top prospect Buster Posey to take over the job. When Posey was brought up late last season, Molina was pissed and never helped the young catcher that’s why the Giants didn’t want Molina back. But once they figured to give Posey a little more time in Triple A, they threw Molina a bone, and after hearing him last night with KB, one of the best moves Omar made this past off season was not bringing this ingrate on board.

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“OMAR-R-R-R-R-R, COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU AR-R-R-R-R-E”

At the end of the day, you know what I mean, it is what it is, at the end of the day that is”

From the Tao of Omar

If you came here to day for an explanation on the moves made by Jerry Manuel, well, you came to the wrong place. How do you explain taking out David Wright for Fernando Tatis ? By saying Tatis is the emergency 3rd catcher? Well, fine but how do you justify keeping GMJ in the game in left field? How do you justify GMJ being on this team?  

The shame here is the waste of good pitching by the Mets with this anemic offense, The Jose Reyes experiment as the 3 hitter should end right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of not being comfortable in that spot or if it’s just that Reyes was rushed back, whatever it is something’s not right with Reyes. So put him back on the top of the order. I hate to go after Luis Castillo as he is the only one other than Wright who actually gets on base, but he’s not even a banjo hitter at this point, he’s more ukulele at this point, so drop him to 8th .  Rod Barajas has the hot power bat so keep in the 7 spot. As for Jason Bay, there is no sense in benching him, this is a bad slump for sure but if you did give him a day or two off who do you replace him with ? The Mets bench sucks, except for Hank White.  So what to do, well here would be my lineup for Friday vs the Giants

Reyes

Pagan

Wright

Bay

Davis

Francoeur

Barajas

Castillo

Pelfrey

I know that Manuel likes to spilt up left/right but you don’t have personnel for that set up. By letting Davis hit 5th that’s the best you can do to keep from tipping too much to the right.

The biggest knock I have with management is the lack of creativity. As I stated ,the Mets bench is awful. Mets fans want GMJ gone and I agree but Frank Catalanotto is just as bad and needs to go as well. Daniel Murphy is a long way from getting back to Flushing so he’s not an option right now. But Chris Carter is an option right now. Carter can’t do anymore than he’s doing in Buffalo and with GMJ proving the Angles right in giving him away, it reeks of penny pinching that GMJ is not shown the door and Carter is not given a  shot with the big league team. I have no problem keeping Tatis as he had value as a pinch hitter and can fill in any where on the field.

How about going after Matt Stairs of the Padres ? or Mark Kotsay of the White Sox or Scott Podsednik and Willie Bloomquist of the Royals. Time for Omar and Manuel to stop with all the double talk jive bullshit and shake this offense up. If neither guy is up to the job then get out and let someone in who can. No team is going to run away with the NL east nor the Wild Card, it’s time to get aggressive.

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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