It Was The Best Of Nights, The Worst Of Night’s At Citi Field

The photo was from Mets Merized Online and taken by Clayton Collier who also has a great write up of the Q & A the Mets Bloggers conducted with Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield

It was another Mets blogger-rattzi day at Citi Field yesterday and it was almost the best bloggers day ever. I say almost because there was an unfortunate incident late in the game that put a damper on the events of the day. Josh Edgin and Andres Torres with his ability to kill a rally with a signal ground ball, played the sad clowns. So instead of all of us heading home with the wonderful memory of chatting with 86er Barry Lyons, Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield along with an outstanding performance by the 2012 winner of the Clff Floyd Light At The End Of The Tunnel Award Matt Harvey, the lasting image of the day was a Ryan Howard 2 run home run off closer of the day Edgin.

The day started with Terry Collins and his daily FEMA update on his club. Collins is the definition of a ‘fox hole guy”, as bad as this team is, as inept as they are at the basic fundamentals of baseball, as dismal as the outlook for next season appears, Collins still talks about his players being talented and how they are playing out the season to the fullest and those of us in the conference room feel our pant legs getting drenched from being pissed on but being told it’s just condensation from the air conditioning unit.

So after a few eye roles we head out to the field to watch and schmooze while our heroes stretch and take BP. After a few minutes of observing and kibitzing, the blogger group was introduced to former Mets catcher Barry Lyons.  We spent a good 20 minutes with Lyons talking about everything from his days as an 86er, to Davey Johnson to catchers calling pitchers other than the pitching coach and how the 1986 Mets would have fared in the new social media world.

Lyons spoke of the special bond he and his 1986 Mets teammates have and how winning a championship builds that special bond forever. Lyons was wearing his Mets Alumni golf shirt and mentioned how even though he played for other teams (Dodgers, Angels, and White Sox) he will always be a Met. In fact, Lyons even spoke of maybe getting back on the field as a manager in the Mets minor league system. I told Lyons that if he needed an advocate for him to take over the helm in Brooklyn I would be honored to head the campaign. Hopefully the Mets front office acknowledges that Lyons is interested in getting back to coaching to managing in the organization as gives him strong consideration for a job.   

From our session with Barry Lyons, we headed over to meet the stars of the movie KNUCKLEBALL , which I can’t stress enough is a must see for all baseball fans, Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, our own R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield. We first spoke with Niekro and Wakefield, and then R.A. Dickey joined the group. It was nice to see the camaraderie between these three men who belong to a special fraternity or as Niekro said “the freaky group”. We then talked about who are the next knuckleballers on the horizon. Dickey talked about Frank Viola’s son, who Dickey worked with a bit in spring training, who was trying to learn the pitch and another young many name Steven Wright. I asked Dickey whether the Mets or any other organization seeing the success that has had with the pitch, would work with pitchers who have fallen from prospect status to just organization fillers to become an asset to the big league club. His answer was all it takes is one organization to take a chance and be bold enough to take on that initiative, to which both Niekro and Wakefield nodded in approval.

All three men stated that they would do all they could to help any pitcher who had the patience, the competiveness and the work ethic needed to master the pitch. If anyone does get to work with these gentlemen and with Charlie Hough or Tom Candiotti, they should consider themselves fortunate.  

With the pre-game Q & A’s over, we went up to the Champions Club to enjoy the ambiance and watch Matt Harvey’s 2012 Farewell Tour. After getting some food and a beverage, myself, Ed Marcus, Matt Falkenbury and Randy Medina sat down to discuss this lost season and what is on the horizon for the off season and 2013. In a room with, I’ll say roughly 100 people milling around the bar area and food stations, the four of us were the only one’s talking Mets baseball or anything remotely  close to baseball talk and even in a fine establishment like the Champions Club, you still get douchenozzels walking around in Highlanders garb.  The lack of etiquette is appalling.

Matt Harvey was on the bump as we made our way to the seats, first batter Jimmy Rollins home run just over the orange line on the right field wall. UGHHHH!!!! , but then Harvey gets the next three batters , 86 year old Juan Pierre, Life Alert spokesman Chase Utley and the ghost of Ryan Howard to end the inning on a high note. From innings 2 to 5, Harvey faced just 12 batters and was in full Ace mode. But of course the Mets being the Mets and being at Citi Field all they could muster was a run to tie the game until David Wright hit a baseball over an outfield wall for a go ahead home run. A Festivus miracle I tell you.     

So going into the 9th inning we have the Mets, at home, with a lead, Josh Edgin filling in as closer with Frank Frisco nursing a right elbow riddled with tendonitis, 2 up 2 down, open the book as we are ready to put this baby……..in…….ah…………shit…………..!

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BATS IN THE PELFREY

As I sat and watched last nights game and another Mike Pelfrey melt down I wondered if Mike Pelfrey still had minor league options and would the Mets make a move to send him to Buffalo? I was set to tweet this to find an answer  and just as I was about to type, Gary Cohen (belated Happy Birthday to Gary by the way) answered my question for me, yes Pelf has options and Cohen took it a step further and asked would the Mets send him to Buffalo? Cohen and Ron Darling thought that might be the move to make but Keith Hernandez was not in favor. If you ask me, if you can option Pelfrey to Triple A then you have to do it for his sake, the teams sake, and maybe the least, for the fans.

It’s to the point where watching Pelfrey pitch has become very uncomfortable. The hand licking thing is really, really annoying, it’s like a nervous twitch.  I always get the feeling we are one hit or walk or balk away from Pelfrey  curling up on the mound in the fetal position and sucking his thumb. Especially in Philadelphia where he routinely melts down.

The 4th inning last night was a prime example. You knew as soon as Ryan Howard hit that home run, Pelfrey was done for the night. That home run would stay in his head for the rest of the start. There is no “turn the page” in the Mike Pelfrey Playbook.  After the home run, next batter Ben Francisco gets a base hit and steals second because Pelfrey is still thinking about the home run and Josh Thole is still a green horn behind the plate and that’s a problem as well. Pelfrey needs a veteran catcher to call the game for him. He’s stated this as the less he has to think the better he is, that’s why he loved pitching to Henry Blanco, and to an extent pitched his best game of the year throwing to Mike Nickeas. If the front office feels they want to keep Pelfrey up here then they should make Pelf become Ronnie Paulino’s pet project and have him become his pitching chauffer.

The decision on what to do with Pelfrey becomes even dicier with Dillion Gee still here. It’s clear, if the Mets are not going to put Gee in the rotation then they need to send him to Buffalo and let him pitch every fifth day. It’s not fair to him. His mind set is as a starting pitcher and I felt Terry Collins (who did an awful managerial job last night, how do you walk Brain Schneider intentionally with two out and the pitcher up next?) did Gee a real disservice by bringing him in relief like he did. Collins wanted to start Gee last night to give Pelfrey a couple of more days to get over the flu bug that wore him out. Collins let Pelf talk him into giving him the ball. I hope TC learned always go  with your first instinct next time.

So my patience is up with Pelfrey and a shuffle up to Buffalo or a trip to Dr. Phil’ couch look to be in order. As for Pelfrey being the ace of the staff, that was some made up main stream media mumbo jumbo bullshit. As Bobby Valentine says, the ace of your staff is that day starting pitcher. Amen!

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THE NY NL CHAPTER OF THE BBA STAN MUSIAL AWARD BALLOT

The NY NL Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is proud to cast its vote for the 2010 Stan Musial Award given to the leagues Most Valuable Player. The Chapters vote is as follows:

1st Place-Joey Votto

2nd Place-Albert Pujols

3rd Place-Carlos Gonzalez

4th Place-Troy Tulowitzki

5th Place-Adrian Gonzalez

6th Place-Matt Holliday

7th Place-Ryan Zimmerman

8th Place-Dan Uggla

9th Place-Ryan Howard

10th Place-Aubry Huff

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MORE IMPURE THOUGHTS

Daniel Shoptaw, the Prime Minister of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the operator of the Cardinals blog C70 At The Bat, does a series on his site, Playing Pepper where he interviews bloggers from other teams sites to get the lowdown on their season. Now up on C70 At The Bat are the New York Mets and yours truly is a contributor.

Where did this Albert Puljos trade to the Phillies for Ryan Howard come from? Ruben Armaro is calling bullshit and I’m sure Cards GM John Mozeliak said the same thing because it really makes no sense. But I did learn something from this rumor, if you really need page views just pull something ridiculous out of your ass like Buster Olney did by reporting this.

First camp cuts are out and Josh Thole will be sent to minor league camp. No surprise there.

Okay Rielle Hunter thanks for the dirt now go away and take your pictures with you, you’re extremely unattractive.

I see the point that Alex Cora is a smart player and is looked up to in the Mets clubhouse and I appreciate that but as long as he plays no more than two games a week, his short comings will come through. Just let Ruben Tejda play everyday until Jose Reyes comes back.

Maybe Fernando Martinez has turned the corner from prospect/suspect to solid major leaguer but he hasn’t played or stayed healthy enough to be the everyday CF’er until Carlos Beltran comes back. I could be persuaded though is Angle Pagan continues with his brain farts on the field.

The voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame has nothing on the shit heads who vote for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here are some of the names who are NOT in the Rock and Roll HOF:

Joe Cocker (did they send him a Letter?)

Alice Cooper (unconscionable)

Deep Purple (ever hear of Richie Blackmore ? )

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (I nearly cried over this one come here Joanie I’ll give ya a hug)

King Crimson (Robert Fripp? Adrian Belew? Hello?)

Mott The Hoople (something against Young Dudes ?)

Motorhead (It’s Lemmy for God sake)

New York Dolls (THIS IS A NATIONAL FUCKING DISGRACE!!!!)

Warren Zevon (no wonder the HOF is Cleveland bunch of losers!!!)

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M.W.A. METS WITH ATTITUDE

The only thing missing at $iti Field last night was heat and humidity as last night’s game had that classic middle of the summer feel to it.  

The Mets showed the fight that we have been clamoring for out this group and the leader of the pack is the Ace Johan Santana. It’s tough for a pitcher to be the team leader but there is no question that Santana is the emotional leader of this team and I believe that his fiery way is rubbing off on Carlos Beltran as well as we’ve seen Beltran be much more vocal than ever in his Mets career.

I agreed with Ron Darling who during last night telecast made mention of J-Man taking Johan out of the game that Santana has to be careful not to show up J-Man when Manuel came to the mound. But as a Mets fan who has been screaming for someone to show a pulse and have some pluck, watching Santana fight to stay in the game was outstanding.

Santana had a weird pitching performance. He was throwing strikes all night but his pitch selection when he was ahead in the count was a bit dicey. In the 4th after the Mets added to their lead to 3-0, Santana got two quick outs and looked to do what you have to when your teams scores and that’s shut down the opposition in their next at bat. He got ahead of Ryan Howard 0-1 but then hung the next pitch (I think it was a change up) belt high middle of the plate and Howard teed off on it. Maybe going outside with a waste pitch would have been better something down and away  that Howard may chase but at least it was a solo shot.  Same with Ibanez up next.  Santana got ahead 0-2 before giving up a HR on a breaking ball that hung up over the middle. Strange pitch selection.

Lance Barksdale blew the call at the plate against Fernando Tatis in the 6th as Tatis was safe at the plate by not only sliding under the glove of Carlos Ruiz but Ruiz never had possession of the ball. But Tatis never argued the call and J-Man said he didn’t come out because he can’t see it from his spot in the dugout and Tatis didn’t fight it either. But SNY showed D-Wright (must have seen the reply) telling Manuel that Tatis was safe.  J-Man should have gone out between innings to let Barksdale know that when the highlights are shown that night that he will be embarrassed.

Faith and Fear in Flushing is hosting a METSTOCK night at Two Boots restaurant in Manhattan next Thursday night. The evening in which the Mets will be playing the Orioles will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 World Championship and the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival.  Click here for all the details and a list of writers who will be on hand.

The Mets Police has more ideas for a better Mets alternate uni.  I would love to see something where they keep the snow whites and instead of METS across the front have an orange NY on the left side and no name on the back. I do like the hat that the Mets po-po suggests but the suggestion of putting QUEENS on the roadie uhhhhhhhhhhh NO WAY! .

Alex Nelson at Mets Geek has an outstanding  in depth scouting report on LHP Steve Matz and SS Robbie Shields.  In the comments section of this post is story that Matz is looking for a $1mil signing bonus or he will go to college instead. If the Mets believe this kid is worth keeping then I’d say give him the mil and get him in the system. The Skill Sets make more than that on the nickel deposits from the beer bottles at $iti Field.

It seems that Larry Jones regrets he was never a Met. The guy has an unhealthy envy problem with the Mets and NYC.

   

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WHAT’CH YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT COLE HAMELS?

 

 

You have a World Series ring, a multi-million dollar condo and hot blond wife what else could Cole Hamels want in life? Why a little African kid that’s what.  Not to be out done by Brad and Angelina or Alex Rodriguez’ stray piece of saggy ass,  Cole and Hedi Hamels want their own little Ethiopian orphan too.

At first Hedi wanted to adopt Shane Victorino but Victorino insisted on being breast feed. Then she thought about Ryan Howard but trying to find a diapers for him,  well com’on.  Cole Hamels felt a bit uncomfortable with Jimmy Rollins begging to be the baby to Hedi being the babby’s momma so it’s off the Africa to find a newborn.

Hey some guys use their World Series check to buy a Porsche some guys buy African babies.

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Tickets

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