Will Resilient Mets Help Their Manager Get A Contract Extension?

 

So did you stay up for the whole game last night? I lasted as long as Matt Harvey, after the 7th inning I went to bed since it was 12:30 AM and I had to wake up at 5AM it seemed like a good time for nap before getting ready for the day ahead.  The Met win in 16 innings ended about 90 minutes before I hit the shower to ready myself to take on the world where I heard Marc Ernay break the news to me on 1010 WINS that the Mets had won in 16 innings.  This may not be a Mets team that will contend for a post season spot but there is no doubt they are the most resilient Mets team we’ve seen in a long time and it’s that resiliency that could get Terry Collins a contract extension.

I go back and forth on Collins. I don’t think he’s a very good tactician especially late in games and he and Dan Warthen have no set bullpen assignments which makes the relievers nuts. But he has the players ear and respect in the clubhouse and he’s surprisingly good with the media and if you think that’s no big deal go speak to Mr. John Tortorella of Vancouver B.C. about his tenure as NY Rangers head coach.

What will be interesting to watch is if this Mets team does the opposite of Mets teams of the past few seasons and finishes strong in the second half is that enough to give Collins a contract extension?

Sandy Alderson has said that wins and losses will not be the determining factor in bringing Collins back in 2014, if in Alderson’s eyes the club has made progress on the field that would weigh in favor of an extension of Collins contract.  So if the team keeps playing as well as it has and keeps bouncing back from defeats that in seasons past would have had a negative effect on them for a week or two, then it would be quite difficult not to bring Collins back for at least another season.

Collins should also hope that Tony LaRussa is enjoying retirement because if he’s not and itching to get back into the game, things could get very interesting around here comes the off season.

About last night’s game, it seems that Matt Harvey may be experiencing  the same lofty fan expectations that Dwight Gooden had to endure, every start has to be a near no hitter with a dozen or so strikeouts and zero base on balls and of course a complete game shutout. Gooden talks about this in his book how he would hold a team to five hits or so with a couple of walks and five or six strikeouts in seven innings and have fans and media feel let down. Are we approaching that train of thought with Matt Harvey?

Harvey threw 40 % of his total pitches (121) in the first two innings of this game, dividing his 50 pitches in half each inning. His K/BB break down in the first two innings was 33/17. He made one bad pitch, leaving a fastball up to Buster Posey on a 3-1 count that Posey turned on and deposited into the left field stands for a two run home run and just one walk, to Andres Torres in the 2nd where ball four was a strike as home plate ump Adam Hamari was inconsistent in his calls all night. What more can you expect from your Ace?

And let’s not go after Collins for letting Harvey start the 7th inning, he was still throwing his fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and he was throwing strikes and showed no sign of fatigue. After pitching in the heat and humidity in his last few starts, the cool San Francisco evening air looked to rejuvenate Harvey if anything.

My only concern with Harvey is his off the field rise of stardom. I don’t begrudge Harvey of any of the fruits of his fame; I just worry about too much, too fast. On the mound Harvey is in control and takes care of business so well that he’s not just a Mets phenom but a baseball one as well. I just worry about the off field Harvey interfering with the on field Harvey. I hope my worry is much ado about nothing.

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Time To Play Mets Wheel of Bullpen Fortune

 

While Mets fandom awaits a decision on whether Michael Bourn will be patrolling centerfield of Citi Field, leading off and becoming the catalyst for the Mets offense, we also await the official announcement of Brandon Lyon becoming a Met and another contestant on Wheel of Mets Bullpen.

Counting Lyons, I’m looking at 11 candidates for 6 or maybe 7 spots in the Mets pen, a bullpen that I feel was the biggest reason for the second half collapse the Mets found them in last season. When you have a relief core that allows close to 32 % of inherited runners to touch home plate and also finds themselves in 55 save opportunities and blowing 19 of those precious assignments, will break the spirit of even the most strong willed teams so when you have a team like the Mets that doesn’t exactly ooze self-esteem and pluck, the ineffective pen was more a kick in the gut than uplifting last season. Sandy Alderson realizes this as well and has gone out this offseason to assemble relievers to come to Port St. Lonesome to engage in a big time completion to come North and become a strength for the Mets instead of last year’s failure.

Building a bullpen can be a bit of a crapshoot and last year one of the players Alderson went out on a limb on was closer Frank Francisco, signing the volatile reliever for 2yrs/$12mil, a signing I’m sure the Mets GM would love to take back . Between nagging injuries and ineffectiveness it was a lost season for Francisco. Although Francisco did save 23 games in 26 opportunities, when he entered games with runners on base his percentage of inherited runners left on base was a woeful 67.2 % and he’d shoot himself in the foot many time with walks as well.

With the imminent signing of Brandon Lyons, the back end of the Mets pen should be improved over last year (in the words of Sandy Alderson when asked about whether the pen will be better in 2013 said “how could it be worse?”)  And what we will see in the camp is a good old fashion open completion for not just bullpen spots but for the very important back end of the pen spots.  So looking at the very early morning line let’s see who could or should emerge as the core of the Mets bullpen in 2013.

The guys I look for to make the move to be the 7th inning, 8th inning and closer are Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Josh Edgin, and Scott Atchison.  All five look to be Mets for 2013 but who of these 5 will step up to grab the closers job? I don’t see Bobby Parnell getting the job as he is much more effective in innings 6 thru 8 and last year he started to lose a little bit of velocity on his fastball and he has tried to make his curve to be more effective. Edgin has been on a fast track to the big leagues on the strength of using a hard fastball and effective slider that helped the stout lefty rack up K’s at a 10.53 per 9 IP.  Scott Atchinson may be the find of the off season. He was the one bright spot in the train wreck that was the 2012 Boston Red Sox. Atchinson relies on a solid cutter that he has under great command and last season he stranded 85 % of the runners on base that he inherited which is why I can’t wait to see him pitch this spring. Brandon Lyon could be the guy that takes on Frank Frank for the coveted closers role. The Mets will be banking on getting Lyon back to his effective D’Backs and Tigers days to solidify the back end of the pen and hope that the blown saves and late inning bullpen meltdowns are a thing of the past.

Jureys Familia and Jenry Mejia are two wildcards in the bullpen completion. Should either or both work as relievers or starters? There are varied opinions on the direction of both pitchers and it could boil down to how each are used this spring and if either pitchers shows more at one spot than the other. I could see Familia sticking as reliever more than Mejia who has a starter’s mentality and is also at a point in his career that the Mets love to find pitchers at, second year after Tommy John surgery.

LaTroy Hawkins comes to camp as a guy whose has seen a lot of big league baseball and could be more of an asset as a sounding board for the younger relievers that his work on the mound. Hawkins looks to be a 6th inning guy or a guy to give a break to an overused reliever that is if it makes the team.

It’s Robert Carson’ job to lose as the LOOGY especially with Pedro Feliciano back from rotator cuff surgery (2nd year after surgery seems to be the Mets pattern of obtaining pitching) and Tim Byrdak back in a minor league deal off of last season’s shoulder surgery.

So if I had to put out an early projection of the Mets bullpen I’d rank thusly:

CL Francisco/Lyon

SU Parnell

SU Edgin

SU Atchison

RP Carson

RP Familia/Hawkins

Whoever is not named closer moves to set up role and to tell you the truth; the Mets have the makings of a pretty decent bullpen. Hopefully between Terry Collins, Dan Warthen and Ricky Bones can work this pen correctly unlike last season when there was a communication breakdown between the relievers and the Manager and Pitching Coach. That’s a post for another day.

 

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R.A. Dickey Deserves Your Support

 

I know many of you have sworn off the Mets for the rest of this season due to poor play, rotten second half or your distain for ownership but if you are true blue and orange Mets fan and can get out of work or play hooky from school, you have to be at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon to root on R.A. Dickey to win number 20.

We can all hope that Dickey wins the CY Young Award that he so richly deserves but the voting for that is out of our hands as fans. What we do control is the ability to put aside our angst and anger over this season and seasons past and how we all wish the For Sale sign would go up at 126 St and Roosevelt Avenue, but if anyone has made be a Mets fan worth its while to cheer, it’s been R.A. Dickey.

I can’t wait to get to Citi Field on Thursday for maybe the second time this year we will have a Mets Moment at Ball Park worth cheering about. If there is one player on this Mets team that is deserving of the fan support we Mets fans a famous for its R.A. Dickey.

Face it, you’re sick of being a depressed Mets fan , you’re sick of hearing about the teams finances, you’re sick of the loss after loss second half  so Thursday is your chance to go to Citi Field with a genuine purpose to root for the Mets, so that R.A. Dicey not only gets his 20th win but to show our appreciation for him and what he has done this season. The Man deserves it.

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Maybe A Showtune Would Help The Mets ?

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Nothing has worked for Terry Collins to get his team off the second half schnide, somatbe he should do a little song and dance

 

Lucas Duda is back with the big club and JV1 goes back the Wallyworld. I’m sure Valdespin will be back in September but there are many in the Mets clubhouse who I’m sure wished Valdy a nice trip to Buffalo and don’t let the clubhouse door hit you on the ass on the way out.

Scott Hairston and Anders Torres have been placed on waivers.  I’m sure Hairston will be claimed and hopefully the Mets can deal Hairston for a prospect or two but I doubt anyone is going to claim Torres, you never know but I really doubt it.  If Torres is not claimed I’d rather see the Mets release him and let Matt Den Deker play CF in September.

Seems Ruben Tejada took a shot to the nuts (he wasn’t wearing a cup, I guess he has no thoughts of being a daddy) and that was the excuse explanation for not running out a ground ball yesterday. If he was hurting so much form the shot to the McNuggets than he should have been removed from the game, if you’re in the game you got play hard even if you have swollen scrotum.

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TRADE DAVID WRIGHT? IT’S NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION

The word that David Wright was put on waivers and claimed by the Colorado Rockies is no big deal. For now.

Every team puts its players on waivers and when they are claimed either work out a deal or pull them back. Wright was pulled back but that doesn’t mean that Sandy Alderson won’t call Dan O’Dowd during the off season to talk trade.

Why not? Look, we all love D-Wright and this is no indictment on Wright but this team has some huge holes, pitching and defense to name two in general and these deficiencies  have to be address this off season or August/September 2012 will be a mirror image of August/September 2011.

The difference between the second half of this season as opposed to the last two seasons is this team still plays to win unlike the last two Mets teams of 2009 and 2010 and that is a compliment to the manager who deserves to have his 2013 option guaranteed after the season.

Sandy Alderson and his staff have a lot of work to do this off season with re-signing Jose Reyes a top priority. As we see, this is a much different team without Reyes not just his bat and defense but his personality as well ignites this team.

Alderson has no allegiance to any of the players on this roster but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that Reyes and Wright are fan favorites same as he knew the venom the fan base spewed at Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, which is why he will try very hard to sign Jose Reyes and I’m sure he doesn’t want to deal off Wright but he knows it’s his job to make this team better and if dealing Wright makes the team better then he’ll trade him.

This off season will be about acquiring pitching, pitching and more pitching as well as finding players who can play defense. You can be feisty and hustle and play balls to the wall baseball but if you can’t pitch or defend then you are a second division team and if dealing David Wright brings back some pitching I can see Alderson pulling the trigger.

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THE OMAR MINAYA PRESS CONFERENCE: A LITTLE SONG, A LITTLE DANCE, A LITTLE SELTZER DOWN YOUR PANTS

At this point in the Mets season, my mood has gone from outrage to amusement. The outrage was over the start of the second half of the season when the team decided it was time to pack it in, the amusement is listening to players and the GM tried to tell us the team is still in contention. ROFLMYFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listening to Omar Minaya discuss the Mets, is like hearing a child try to explain why filling the bathtub with water and Jell-O was a good idea. You’re so pissed off at them as you survey the situation but the more they try to explain themselves and try to wriggle out of bad situation, it starts to become comical.

Omar is trying very very hard to convince the fan base that this team is still in contention when we all know this team talks tough but when it comes down to fighting for a post season spot, they are a collection of conscientious objectors. As much as I’m a fan of D-Wright just once I’d like to hear him say in his after a loss post game statement, that the team needs to get some players who are mentally tough. Who is he worried about pissing off? The manager is clueless and the GM insults our intelligence and the owner is scare shit to be seen in public. Please can someone just say the truth in that clubhouse? Is it that hard to say it? The truth will set your sorry ass’s free.

I bet if Omar came out and said “All this mess is on me. I miscalculated on a lot of the personnel here and I gave out contracts that will haunt me and the organization. I’ve learn a valuable lesson about over paying players and with the help of my front office staff, we are ready to regroup and re-invent they way personnel moves are made with this team”  If he would make a statement like that, I bet talks of fan boycotts would go away. In fact if he made a statement like that and was retained by ownership for another year, the out cry for his head, would die down a bit. But if he keeps going with this tired comedy act of his then he needs to be shown the door. 

I think it has finally sunk into Luis Castillo’ head that he has no future here in Queens. I do feel for the guy for at least he puts up a fight to get in the lineup and has some pride unlike the miserable fuck, Oliver Perez, who is no different from Bernie Madoff as first class scam artist.

See if the organization had the brains and passion of Taryn Cooper Mets fans would never complain again (SHOCKING!!! I know) last night she organized the Citi Field Sit Out where fans were asked to NOT attend last night game. Coop herself made the sacrifice of not using her tickets or putting them up for sale. The protest I’d like is where everyone shows up at Citi Field and in the third inning we all get up and walkout. I wonder if State run SNY TV would cover something like that?

I’ve always been a fan of the HBO show Hard Knocks, but having the Jets and Rex Ryan on this season had made the show appointment TV. Last night was outstanding and the more I watch, the more of a Rex Ryan fan I’m becoming. I always though Ryan was just a big blowhard but the way he interacts with his coaches and players is classic. He pats players on the back and he tells them when they suck. His confrontation with a D-lineman on the bubble after he finds out that DE Ropati Pitotua blew out his Achilles was riveting as he tells the lineman about Pitotua’ injury and asks him if “he wants to make the fuckin’ team or do I have get someone off the street” was Happy Rex morphing into Darth Vader Rex. Special Teams coach Mike Westoff needs his own show, he’s the Paulie Walnuts of Hard Knox.

For your reading pleasure please read this post by Ms. Jacqueline Conrad at Cardinal Diamond Diaries about her Grandmothers influence on her becoming a baseball fan.

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AND THE SECOND HALF BEGINS………

One good thing out here in the wilderness is my little portable radio picks up WFAN so I’m looking forward to listening to Mets-Giants tonight.

As I’ve said computer time is at a premium here so I had to send up up a plate of Ziti w/meatballs to office manager in order to get som time to crusie the internet. I’m telling this camp is combonation prison/military life.  I’m exhausted from shmoozing the counselors for ice and toliet paper too big ticket items around here.

The head of the camp is from South Philly and I’m enjoying breaking his balls most days. The councilers ears are hurting from the back and forth of one guy with a heavy South Philly accent and myself and my Brooklynese. We make this act on the road.

I can’t believe there is even a discussion about Angel Pagan playing everyday over Frenchy. Just shows what a nice smile can do for some guys.

Gotta go my cheesesatke eating buddy is back, time to annoy him

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SOME DAYS YOUR THE PEACOCK, SOMEDAYS YOUR THE FEATHER DUSTER

Tough to get too upset over last nights loss as Big Pelf was again stellar but The Wife Beater was a bit better. The Mets hitters were baffled by the Wife Beaters curve ball that was filthy and again the one area that has crept into this hot second half, the inability of the offense to get a big hit in a big spot (that means you D-Wright) was on display last night.

 

As I write this post it’s 10:27 AM and every reoprt on TV says that Hurricane Hannah will hit the area by 2 PM so why haven’t the Mets called off today’s game and announced a day/nighter for tomorrow? Why make the fans risk a trip to Shea espically on a Staurday when a lot of LI and Connecticut fans go to the game? For one once close the ledger book and do right by your supporters Skill Sets.

I can’t get too mad at Michael Jack Schmidt for sending an e mail to his former team as a little pick me up in fact I’m jealous that no former Met would do the same. No team treats it’s former players in this town like shit the way the Mets do. No wonder I’m not asked to go on Mets Weekly anymore LOL

Warlord Jerry has laid the law down to Billy Wags welcome back but prove you can still do the job before you get it back. When you look over the numbers and the performances and listen to J-Man the team really didn’t miss Wags all that much.

 

J-Man, Gimp Castillo in the 7 hole? What were you thinking?

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