Mets Dreck Pt. 2

 

What else is there to say about last night’s game than what Terry Collins said in his post-game presser :

“I haven’t the faintest idea. I don’t know if it’s fatigue. I don’t know what it is. We didn’t run the bases. We didn’t play good defense. We didn’t drive in the runs we needed to drive in. It was a combination of a lot of things. We didn’t pitch very goodl. It was the worst Dillon’s pitched probably in awhile… We’ve played two bad baseball games here. We are a better team than what we’ve played.”

I’m not buying the fatigue factor at all, it’s not like Collins is running out the same eight guys game after game, in fact everyday seems like there is a different lineup.  Two areas that were a big problem last year and are still a big problem this year, the defense and the bullpen have to be addressed soon or the feel good first three months of this season will be forgotten fast.

As much as I love Daniel Murphy the leash on his 2nd base job is getting shorter and shorter. 28 is getting another start today against the Cubs but it could be Collins is ready to go to a platoon of Murph and Ronny Cedeno . Last time I was at Citi Field sitting in on Collins’ pre game press conference, the question of Murhpy’s slump came up. What was interesting in Collins response was he and hitting coach Dave Hudgens had told Murphy to take a break with watching video and taking batting practice in the indoor cage, which sounded to me like Collins was cryptically saying Murphy suffered from paralysis from analysis.  Collins also spoke on how Murphy keeps changing how he holds his hands from at bat to at bat along with his stance in the batter’s box. For all the hard work and dedication that Murphy puts in it seems like Collins is hinting that he’s overdoing it and needs to relax.

The one thing that should save Ike Davis from a fine and suspension is the incompetence of umpire Manny Gonzalez. Gonzalez blew the pick off call in the 8th inning last night and Ike just put his glove on the umps arm which is an automatic ejection but I’d hope Gonzalez apologies to Ike today for blowing that call.

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The Artist Known As R.A. Dickey

You’ve read the book, some have seen the movie, but nothing beat being beats watching the live performance of the Dickster.

Last night was another dominating performance by R.A. Dickey and his pitch of Mass Destruction. It wasn’t so much that Dickey dominated Rays hitters with his dancing knuckler, it was how well orchestrated his whole performance was, so well-choreographed.  Dickey is now the George Balanchine of baseball pitchers.

R.A. is now tied with Lance Lynn for most wins in the NL with 10, and 3rd in ERA (2.20) along with 4th in K’s (90) in the pitching Triple Crown stats. With his 32.2 scoreless innings pitched Dickey took over the Mets record for consecutive scoreless innings from Jerry Koosman but so far this season his pitching performance has been Seaver-esque.   

Yes it would have been an even more memorable start had David Wright gotten B.J. Upton at first in the first inning but that should not overshadow the masterpiece Dickey constructed last night at the Trop. At no time in this game was Dickey in any peril, he went to a 20 pitch inning just once (in the 1st) after that Dickey was a green energy pitcher , sending the Rays batters back to grab some pine efficiently and quietly. Of the 98 knuckleballs R.A. launched, 73 went for strikes that some hitters took swings at others just stared at but no one stepping in to the batter’s box could figure it out. It showed in the collective attitude of the Rays players, who I’m seemed like they couldn’t wait to get this game over with.

The Mets should forget the appeal of the lone hit in the game, its fine; we’re good with no hitters fifty years when it comes to no hitters. Add in that Matt Cain pitched a perfecto last night, its best leave well enough alone.

Lost in the Dickeymania is the fact the Mets have bounced back yet again this season. Last Sunday evening into last Monday, the Mets fan base was licking the wounds of a three game sweep of the hands of the Bronx Bastards and lynch mob was reading to string up Jon Rauch. Buffalo wasn’t far enough to send Ike Davis and Jason Bay……….OOOO-FAAAAA HHHHHHHH Jason Bay. Today, the bandwagon has lost a bit of the leg room it had a few days ago as the rats fans have decided time to hop back on.

I’ve been trying to tell you folks, don’t abandon this team. This is the team many of us Mets fans have been screaming for. How many times during Jerry Manuel’s reign of error did we here the cry “play the kids” well many of the kids are here and they are playing their ass off as are the vets, so stop bitchin’ and start enjoyin’.

I’ve never been a fan of Tony LaRussa but by naming Terry Collins as a coach to the NL All-Star team, he has gained my respect and gratitude.  It’s a well-deserved for all the hard work TC has done the last two seasons as Mets manager.

 

 

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Bay-O, Bay-OOOOO, Bay Can’t Hit So He Might Have To Go

I watched none of yesterday’s game due to my son scheduling his Boy Scout Eagle project which had us painting hop-scotch boards, box ball courts and a huge map of the United States with each state in various colors, a very time consuming but rewarding chore and now all he needs to do is file his paper work and he will officially be an Eagle Scout. Yes my wife and I are bursting with pride.

From reading the stories on the game and watching the highlights it seems home plate ump Larry Vanover was implementing the ameba strike zone as there were 14 walks called, 10 by Mets pitchers and an out of character umpire argument by Jason Bay (leading to Terry Collins getting tossed)and speaking of Bay, I’m sure the front office staff of Sandy Alderson and Co. are trying to figure out what can be done with Bay. I did catch TC on with Francesa after the game, and Collins hinted that dropping Bay in the lineup is step one. Tomorrow night you could see Bay drop to 7th and Thole moved to 2 hole with Murph at 3, that is if Wright is still out of lineup which we should know more today on DW’s status. But back to Bay, I don’t care if the club was still flush with Madoff money, releasing Bay and handing him a check for $35 mil, would be a move of last resort. TC alluded that if the drop in batting order didn’t work for Bay, then a platoon with a lefty hitter was next. Now if the Skill Sets gave Alderson the green light in releasing Bay, it would have happened already as I think it’s safe to say the he is as worn out as you are at watching Bay in the batter’s box.  I have to think if Bay continues this downward spiral in the next month a major move will be made by the Alderson to remove Bay from the team.

Break from baseball tonight as the NY Rangers get their first round series underway against the Ottawa Senators. Rangers in 5

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WHAT, ME WORRY ?

A few quick hits:

Yesterday we were told not to worry about Lucas Duda’s balky back that he was rested yesterday to spare him a long bus ride and he will be good to go today when the team buses to Viera (90 min trip) to meet the Nats. Well, Duda wasn’t on that bus and will sit out again today.

David Wright we were told will take a day or two off with some discomfort in his rib cage, nothing serious just a precaution. Wright has yet to play this week.

Pedro Beato has some soreness in the rotator cuff but it’s nothing serious a little rest and he should be fine.

Scott Hairston still has not responded to treatment of his re-strained oblique muscle and it looks like he will not start the season on the 25 man roster making a tissue thin bench even thinner.

But don’t worry we’re told, it’s early in spring these are little nagging things that will work its way out. In the Brooklyn neighborhood I grew up in there was an old saying “Don’t worry is doing 15 years in Sing Sing”

This is why Mets fans hang and cringe on every pitch that Johan Santana throws as we know it’s just a matter of time before his arm falls off.

Can a team use the disabled list for players that have a psychological injury? I ask this because if you can, Jason Bay is a candidate for shutdown. Reading the stories on how Bay is placing his feet differently in the batter’s box and thinking so much about his approach at the plate to where he knows he needs to be more selective and lay off pitches off the plate it just seems his biggest problem is he’s thinking too much and not reacting at all at the plate. It seems he spends his at bats thinking about 1,001 ways to get a hit and while his head is filled with all this distraction, he’s become absent minded to reaction to pitches.  That Capt Kirk/Jason Bay platoon in left field looks better and better every day.

When did Omar Minaya become the GM of the NY Jets? So Eli Manning coming off a Super Bowl win, the second of his career and his second Super Bowl MVP award restructures his contract down instead of asking for a well-deserved raise so his team has money to sign players that will help the Giants add to their trophy case while the Jets extend the contract of Mark Sanchez whose leadership qualities are questioned in his own locker room. Stunning.

I’m not saying you can’t win a Super Bowl with Mark Sanchez, you can, but you have to have a plan and signing free agents with questionable character is not the way to do. Rex Ryan preached “ground and pound” but the Jets do not practice that mantra. It still amazes me how Mike Tannenbaum stays below the Jets fans radar, if I were a Jets fan I’d want him fired.

For all of us Mets fans who want the Skill Sets to sell the team, let’s be careful what we wish for.  If the Mets were up for sale, Jim Dolan and his Cablevision billions will be front and center with a bid. Now if I knew Dolan would treat the Mets like he does the Rangers, it wouldn’t be too bad but if he’s hands on like he is with the Knicks that would be an unmitigated disaster.

The Mets need another Nelson Doubleday to take over ownership of this team.  I found this article from the New York Observer from October 30th 2000, right after the Subway World Series, that details how Doubleday and Freddy Skill Sets had opposite views on how the direction of the team and of Shea Stadium.

In the beginning, Doubleday Publishing owned 95 percent of the team. Mr. Doubleday gained a reputation as a hands-off owner who let general manager Frank Cashen make all the baseball decisions. The strategy paid off in 1986, when a Mets team filled with young players cultivated by Mr. Cashen won the World Series

And when it came to Shea Stadium, Nelly D was in favor of renovation to save money and to preserve Shea:

Mr. Wilpon’s allies maintained that the stadium controversy was just a misunderstanding. Mr. Doubleday, they say, simply did not know the status of Mr. Wilpon’s negotiations. That may be true, but Mr. Doubleday apparently hasn’t changed his mind. “I’m not particularly interested in seeing a whole lot of taxpayer money going into a New York Mets fancy-dancy stadium,” Mr. Doubleday told The Observer while watching batting practice before Game 3 on Oct. 24. “We could [renovate Shea Stadium] over three years, section by section. This is a pretty nice place to play ball.”

I don’t know how much of Doubleday’s wanting to renovate Shea rather than build Citi was more his love of Shea or using that money to better the on field product or if it was just Nelly breaking Freddy’s balls. Either way I like Doubleday’s style.

Attention New York Rangers Fans: Keep Calm, Carry On Coach Torts will get this team to “Fuckin’ screw it on straight”

 

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HATERS GOT TO HATE I GUESS

It was just the first exhibition game of the spring but that won’t stop the negativity surrounding the Mets to permeate via the MSM and some in the fan base.

First up with anti-Mets propaganda is Joel Sherman, who feels that Mets fans are idiots and expect Sandy Alderson to turn around this clusterfuck in a season and a half. There are certain guys I usually avoid reading and Sherman is one along with Filip Bondy, Ian O’Connor and Andy Martino as they seem to have a real deep hatred for the Mets and zero objectivity.  The three hacks, Sherman, Bondy and O’Connor are just Highlander shills whereas Martino wishes he was anyplace else but the Mets beat.

It’s hard to get all work up over last night’s game. Sure as Mets fans we were excited just to see baseball on our flat screens but you have to remember one thing THE GAMES DO NOT COUNT!!!! That is why they are exhibition games, practice games, an exercise on working on different aspects of hitting pitching and defense to get ready for the season.     

But with all that some things did stand out:

The Mets may lead the majors in hair, lots of hair.

That is some outstanding chin hair that Dillon Gee possesses. I would grow one of myself but it would look like a big bundle of steel wool.

I’m pulling for Mike Baxter to make the 25 man but he’s got use his head better in the field. I believe it was in the top of the 5th with a runner on 1st, Lombardozi executed a hit and run with a single to left. Baxter rushed to the ball and tried to throw the runner out at 3rd   instead of looking at the batter/runner to hold him at 1st this allowed Lombardozi to take 2nd base.

Adam Loewen sure looks like a pitcher in the batter’s box. He’s big with a lot of hair so he fits the mold of the modern Met

What was up with all the bases the Mets were stealing? Did Terry Collins summon his inner Al Lopez ? Will the Mets be the Go-Go Mets of 2012?

Matt Harvey had some command issues  but nothing to get worked up over.

Josh Thole look pretty good behind the plate.

Bryce Harper is going to be a pain in our ass for the next 15 years.

I liked seeing Kirk Nieuwenhuis get into the game. He looks bigger than the listed 6’ 3” 215 lbs  and he made a nice diving catch in the 5th but then got a little cocky in the 8th trying to make a one hand catch that he dropped. Two hands Capt Kirk.

From today’s NY Times we get Scott Boras crying about the ownership of the Mets and Dodgers in a crock of shit lament that it’s bad for baseball that both major market teams are in bad financial straits. No Scott you mean not having both team especially the Skill Sets making dumb ass baseball business decisions and agreeing to bad contracts is bad for the business of Scott Boras.

Also in that story is word that Nails is headed to the big house for a 3 years stretch, a sad ending for sure.

Good to see Mike Steffanos is back to blogging about the Mets at his Mike’s Mets site, do yourself a favor and check out his site.

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SCOTT HAIRSTON MUCH BETTER VALUE SIGNING OVER CODY ROSS

With the word that Cody Ross has signed with the Boston Red Sox with the Mets in contention for his services, the question of the day is whom would you rather  have as your 4th outfielder, Cody Ross or Scott Hairston?

Ross put a .240/.325/.405/.730 line last season with the Giants in 461 plate appearances. Hairston, stepped into the batter’s box, a sporadic 145 times to fill a line of .235/.303/.470/.773. while Ross banged out 14 home runs last season Hairston put seven baseballs over the outfield walls in his limited action. When you look at FB/HR rate Hairston’s beats out Ross 13.0% to 9.3 %.

Ross hits lefties very well especially for power with a .912 lifetime OPS to Hairston’ .813 OPS which is impressive as well making it even more a head scratcher on why Terry Collins didn’t use Hairston more before a rib injury at the end of August ended his season.

I would bet that Hairston re-signed with the Mets with the promise of more playing time, especially in CF against RHP unless Andres Torres can repeat his 2010 season. But between CF and spelling Lucas Duda in RF and staying healthy, Hairston could be a very productive 4th outfielder for the Mets.

Cody Ross would have been a nice choice as well for the Mets but with the Red Sox offer of $3mil plus incentives the Mets will get as much value from Hairston as they would from Ross and Hairston only cost $1.1 mil. No way Cody Ross is worth $2mil+ more than Jerry Hairston.

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PAGAN? HE GONE AND THE REBUILT BULLPEN

Well, if nothing else, Rauch and Francisco won’t tolerate much bullshit!

 

Well, the Mets won’t be coming home from Dallas empty handed. Maybe they are not the most sexy moves Mets fans wanted but they are practical, kind of like getting an iron or power tool for Christmas.  Let’s take a gander at the transaction shall we:

Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez

Note to all Mets personnel, don’t piss off Terry Collins or you too will be shown the door.  It seems many of Pagan’s ex-teammates won’t be shedding any tears that he’s gone and neither will I. Talk about addition by subtraction. Pagan fell out of favor with the club because a piss poor attitude and putting oneself above the team that don’t fly here no more, especially when you’re fringe major leaguer.

The return from the Giants is quite intriguing. Torres is an upgrade defensively but he not much to look at in the batter’s box. Can Dave Hudgens can do the voodoo they he do-do and bring Torres back offensively to where he was in 2010 (.268/.343/.479 16 HR 43 2b 6.8 WAR) ?

The best part of the deal is getting Ramirez   added to this new look bullpen. Ramirez walks a few batters more than I like but he is effective against right handed hitters. I’m surprised Brian Sabean would include Ramirez in this deal because on the surface Pagan and Torres cancel each other at as both were non-tender candidates and if you’d look to deal Ramirez I’m sure the Giants could have gotten a better offer.

Mets sign Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco

One year deal for $3.5 mil for Rauch and a 2 year $12 mil for Francisco. Are either of these guys top flight pitchers? No ,but for the price they’ll should be more than serviceable . When you look at the Mets bullpen right now, it is far better than it was on the last day of the 2011 season. Rauch should be fine as the 8th inning set up man and Francisco  will take the role as closer but both could interchange the roles if need be. Francisco is a strike out pitcher who throws his fastball and split both effectively and comes with a manageable contract.

So right now the Mets bullpen looks as so:

Francisco  RHP

Rauch  RHP

Ramirez RHP

Parnell RHP

Acosta RHP

Brydak LHP

 

I don’t think Bobby Parnell is a lock for a bullpen spot but to not have to close or set up in the 8th inning could help as he could be the ROOGY to Brydak’s LOOGY. I’m sure Alderson would love to add another lefty to this group. What to do with DJ Carrasco? He has another year left on his deal but it’s just for a million and change so he could see himself included as a thrown in a deal (with Daniel Murphy?) . It seems Pedro Beato is ticketed for Buffalo and there isn’t anyone else from last season arson squad I’d want to keep.

You have to take these deals as a positive, not a jump up and down positive but the team is better than it was on the last day of the season positive.

 

 

 

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INTER-LEAGUE SNOOOOOOOOOOZER

Oakland A’s getting ready for a trip to Citi Field

Anyone else upset that the riveting Mets-Angels series is over? The Mets sure played yesterday like it was an exhibition game to the point where I feel Terry Collins pulled Jon Niese the way a hockey coach pulls his goalie to wake up his team. Granted, Niese was far from sharp yesterday as he had no feel for his curve, leaving the Angels running to the batter’s box for that first pitch fast ball, the Mets defense especially the Ginger Turner, let Niese down and the rest of the team looked sluggish. I’m sure the club will perk up when those  Swingin’ Oakland A’s come to town tomorrow. Thank God the Mets miss Vida Blue and Ken Holtzman this time around.

David Wright was out early at Citi Field playing catch and taking ground balls while kneeling down. Wright should be ready by February when he reports to Cardinals spring training camp in Jupiter FL

At least there was a Wright sighting, where in the world is Ike Davis?

Went to Cyclones-Baby Highlanders game yesterday with the added attraction of Phil Hughes making a rehab start. Kevin Kernan was there too; in fact he sat a section over from me.   

First impression of some of the Cyclones, I like what I saw in Daniel Muno both at bat but he made. Third baseman Richard Lucas for a guy with some heft played some nice “D” and first baseman Luke Stewart reminds me of Lucas Duda with his size, hopefully as the season goes on he’ll show some power.

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RAIN OR SHINE IT DOESN’T MATTER. METS OFFENSE STILL SUCKS

Tired of railing against this organization, who again screwed over the Mets fans by playing last night’s game in the rain, which made the field conditions so dicey that even Joe Morgan could see it was stupid to play with puddles (which I named Lake Wilpon) in the infield. How about poor ol’ Luis Castillo? He thinks Jerry Manuel put him in the lineup last night to boost the offense, when in reality management forced Manuel to put Gimp in the game hoping he’d break an ankle on that marsh of an infield.

Joe DeMayo put on his investigative fedora and found out that word on the street is the Mets will sign Matt Harvey, Greg Peavey and Drew Martinez. It may take a lot of these to get the deals done though.

Why wouldn’t the Mets pick up Jose Reyes option for 2011? You’re not going to trade him off this season as his trade value is not very strong and you have no one to replace him at short stop. The guy that has me concerned is David Wright, whose roller-coaster season is the ultimate head scratcher.  When Wright is on, there aren’t many better than him in baseball but when he falls into these awful funks at the plate as he is now, (how far outside of home plate can you stand that you’re not out of the batter’s box?) and you fuse that with the general malaise over this team, it makes for a toxic stew that pushes the fan base over the edge. Part of Wright’s problem, in my view, is he tries to hard. It seems he takes it like if he doesn’t do it, no one else will. What he lacks is a mentor, and I’ve mentioned this numerous times, Wright still misses Cliff Floyd terribly. Wright needs a veteran player who has been around the block a time or two who he can talk to and who can be honest with him when he fucks up. HoJo is the favorite uncle who takes Wright to Nathan’s and a ride on the Cyclone and gets him a candy apple for the ride home. Maybe David needs some tough love to straighten himself out. I’d love to get inside his head for a moment to find out how he really feels about the direction of this organization and if he wants to be a long term member of the Mets family.

As a Mets fan and as someone who has watched him beat the Mets ass for years, I should hate Chipper Jones and not give a shit if he comes back from knee surgery. But I can’t. I admire the shit out of him as he took everything the Mets fans threw at him and gave it back. With a smile. He kicked our ass for years, but I still have to tip my Mets cap at him if this is Larry’s Last Stand.

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