Hey Jordany, Smarten Up!

Yes it was an ugly loss last night but not ugly enough to throw up your hands just yet Mets fans.  I will say though, it would be a huge boost to the Mets and the fan base if they take the next two from the Fish. Some more about last night:

Hats off to Jeremy Hefner as he continued with the parade of solid starting pitching the Mets have gotten so far this week. Hefner showed nice command of his fastball and slider, keeping the ball down in the zone as well. He threw a lot of pitches in the 2nd and 3rd innings (49 total) but all he gave up was solo home run to Greg Dobbs.

Jordany Valdespin will drive us crazy all year. As good an offensive player as he is JV1 has absolutely no baseball instincts.  The 3rd inning brought it all into perspective. From be too far off the bag at 1st on Daniel Murphy’s soft liner to short that the throw to pick him at first base caught his bicep to then getting picked off at first with David Wright up and before a pitch could be thrown to Wright. MY GOD!

SNY cameras caught a great scene in the dugout after JV1 got picked off. He retreated to the corner of the dugout both to stay out of ear shot of Terry Collins and because is arm was hurting. That didn’t stop John Buck from coming over to him to give some “advice”. The funniest part of the exchange was Buck cornered Valdespin so there was no place for him to go until Buck was done “talking” to him.

I don’t know what you expect from Lucas Duda in left field. He’s not an outfielder; he’s a first baseman/DH and at some point Sandy Alderson is going to have a make a decision on what to do with Duda.

Don’t panic about Ike

As you know I’m not a fan of Ruben Tejada and with the scuttlebutt that it was thisclose as to who went to Vegas him or Omar Ouintanilla, I agree with what Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show  as much as you can play your way on to a team, you can play your way off a team. The only way Tejada keeps his job is with his bat and his glove and range at short are subpar.

Not a great night for Greg Burke, Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins to say the least.  

Got to take the next two from the Fish. Got to

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BOBBY PARNELL AND NICK EVANS A STUDY IN CONTRASTING PLAYERS

What’s worse than watching a baseball game in September that’s meaningless? How about watching a meaningless baseball game in September being played in “Your Name Here” Stadium in South Florida in front of dozens of fans with an hour plus rain delay? Then when the game resumes your team in this meaningless contest has the lead and the pitcher who is thought to be the closer of the future comes in and blows the save for the fourth time in nine chances, but his ass is saved by a player who you couldn’t give away at least three times this season getting the game winning hit?

So is the tale of Bobby Parnell and Nick Evans. Parnell has been given the opportunity to show he should be the closer for the Mets from now until whenever but he has shown that he does not have the qualities needed to be effective at that position. Parnell has a flamethrower for a right arm but has a ton of trouble locating pitches for strikes. He also has this nasty habit of giving up a hit and then falls apart by falling behind in the count to the next batter who either walks or gets a nice juicy fastball or a flat slider to mash at. It’s not just the pitches that are ineffective; it seems Parnell loses some nerve and confidence when he’s behind the 8 ball.  Small fires become forest fires for him on the mound.

It looks as though the manager who has shown a lot of faith in him is starting to doubt if Parnell can close out games:

“Well, we’re going to talk to Bobby tomorrow,” Collins said. “I mean, there’s a couple things (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) had talked about with him, a couple of little pitch-location stuff that he’s just got to be able to make. He’s got to make some pitches.

“He’s got a great arm and he’s got really great stuff. But the bases on balls hurt him. Getting behind in the count hurts him. You saw the first hitter, he went right at him with good fastballs, got ahead of him in the count, and throws him a slider and it’s a mismatch. But you’ve got to be able to get ahead.

It has got to be deflating  to the team to have Parnell blow as many saves as he has and Collins made be sensing some frustration in the clubhouse so why not take Parnell out of this roll and let him work on getting his mind as well as his pitches back to where he can be effective. There is too much talent in that right arm to give up on Parnell, but Terry Collins wants to end this season on a winning note as well as evaluating players who have a future with the Mets and who doesn’t.  Using a committee of Manny Acosta, Jason Isringhausen  and the neophyte Josh Stinson looks to be the way to go for these final weeks of the season.

As for Nick Evans, how can you not root for him? He’s been tossed on the scrap heap time and again but never gets discouraged and when he gets opportunities, as he is now playing 1st base on a nightly basis, he is producing with his bat and his glove. From trolling around the team you can tell the players hold Evans in high regard as they know how hard he works to stay in the big leagues and if he can continue to produce like he has, and impress the manager like he has, he will have a spot on the 2012 Mets 25 man roster.

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PHIL EVANS NYPL DEBUT, PARNELL’S GROWING PAINS AND THE ONLY BOOK ON 50 YEARS OF METS BASEBALL YOU NEED

 

I got to see 2011 15th round pick Phil Evans make his Brooklyn Cyclones debut last night and came away very much impressed by the soon to be 19 year old.  Evans went 1 for 5 at the plate but even his outs were well hit with two of them “hang with em’s” as they were great defensive plays on soild hit balls. In the field Evans and 2nd baseman Ismael Tijeina had a bit of communication breakdown as to who was to cover 2nd base if the runner on first was to attempt a steal, but in the 9th inning Evans made two great leaping plays for the 2nd and 3rd outs of the inning to end the game.

I watched the end of the Mets-Nats game this morning and while I agree with Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez on questioning walking Roger Bernadina to pitch to Ryan Zimmerman I feel if this were a game that really mattered Bobby Parmell would have been pulled as Bernadina came to the plate but Collins wants Parnell to show him why he should be the Mets closer in 2012. So far Parnell has been ineffective and I hate to say it, looks scared in these pressure spots. His inability to command his slider has been his biggest downfall. He falls behind in counts and has to come in with his fastball that is all but telegraphed to the batter.

Josh Satin makes his Major League debut today at 1st base

I see that the Daily Lupica has put out a 50th Anniversay Mets book with their Phillies Beat Writer as a contributor. No way in hell will that book be a part of my library. If you want a book that details the history of the Mets in detail and with outstanding pictures you need to purchase  New York Mets 50 Amazin’ Seasons by a true Mets fan and historian, Matthew Silverman.

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CAUTION: CLOSER IN TRAINING

The slider, when thrown properly, is a devastating pitch. As the batter’s hand to eye coordination gets in synched and sees the pitch as coming over the plate and the mind makes that split second decision to swing at it, the ball breaks downward to a point where the batter is fooled and cannot adjust his swing. But when a slider is not executed properly, it hangs up in the hitting zone. If the batter has some power that flat slider usually leaves the ball park screaming like in a cartoon. This is what happened yesterday to Bobby Parnell and his pitch to Logan Morrison that left Whatevertheycallit Stadium like it was shot out of a cannon.

As bad as that pitch was and the outcome, negating the 2 run blast by David Wright to put to Mets ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the 7th, pisses us me off as a Mets fan, I think we are now at the point of the season where we can chalk this up to closer in training Parnell’s learning experience.

Look, the season is what it is, a fight to finish with between 81-85 wins. If the Mets can do that the season is a positive and if Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato work on being the future backend of the bullpen then that’s fine with me. Same thing with keeping Izzy around for the rest of the season. What can you get for Izzy? A C level prospect? He is much more valuable to the Mets as a veteran reliever working with Parnell and Beato for the next two months.

I think one thing in the Mets favor of keeping Jose Reyes with the Mets for years to come, is the consensus from the Mets players this season that the Mets clubhouse is a great place to be. Izzy for example, went to Sandy Alderson to tell him he doesn’t want to be traded. Carlos Beltran, understands the reasons why the GM is trying to move him, but Beltran will not be sad if he’s not dealt.  In fact Beltran would love to stay as he has cited this being the best clubhouse he’s been in since he became a Met.   Remember back early this season when Willie Harris caught hell from Mets fans when he spoke of the distance in the Mets clubhouse? Well, I wish those who have access to Harris would ask him if he still feels that way now that we have played more than half a season. I doubt it. For this you have to credit the manager, for keeping that clubhouse positive.

I’m worn out reading about when and where Carlos Beltran will be dealt to.  With all the debate over which team will offer the Mets the best prospect, the best take I’ve read so far on dealing Beltran comes from Paul of Random Baseball Stuff, who left this comment on my post from yesterday:

 I enjoy watching Beltran play, but I’m going to be annoyed if he’s still a Met on Aug. 1st. Sandy has got to move him for the best return he can get – the 2011 Mets aren’t going anywhere, and I don’t think Beltran fits in the 2012 budget.

 Even if he only gets salary relief, it would be better than nothing. The Mets haven’t finished signing all of their high-round draft picks yet.  

When you think about it, if you trade Beltran to a team that would take the rest of his salary for the year, it comes out to about $5-$6 mil. You could use that money to sign Brandon Nimo and RHP Logan Verret, not to mention any free agents in the Latin market as well. It may be worth more for Alderson to do that than any prospect the Giants, Phillies or Braves are willing to give up.

I’m not going to lie to you, I am ecstatic that the NFL lockout is over. I am ready for some football.

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PITCHING AIN’T NUTHIN’ BUT A GEE THANG

It’s like this and like that and like this and uh
It’s like that and like this and like that and uh
It’s like this and like that and like this and uh

 

It’s hard not to get excited watching Dillon Gee pitch; he’s like a combination artist/illusionist on the mound. To be a successful pitcher you have to be able to deceive the batter and Gee’s pitch of deception last night was a cut fastball. Gee felt his slider would not be effective after throwing his pre-game bullpen so he decided the out pitch of the night would be a combination of his two seamer with a bit of cutter movement and his changeup, add that  to his fastball and the Braves hitters were off balance all night. No matter what happens for here on this season, Dillion Gee’s starts are a must watch for Mets fans.

Terry Collins is using his last option with Jason Bay by dropping him to the 6th spot in the lineup. If he can’t get it together there then it’s time to bring up Lucas Duda or F-Mart to platoon in LF with Bay or as Mike Silva suggests, ask him to go to Buffalo to work out whatever problems it is he’s having. If it comes down to where he’s spooked by Citi Field then Bay has a big decision to make, right now with his contract he is untradeable and he’ll to make to some big time concessions to go to a team where  hitting the ball over the left field seats is a bit easier.

More debate over the subject of retiring Gary Carter’s #8. What gets lost in this debate is the fact that the Skill Sets are so clueless when it comes to the history of the team, that’s why when you read the recent magazine articles where Freddy Skill Sets claims his love for the Mets is pure 100 % BULLSHIT. He’s a Brooklyn Dodger fan who never got over the team leaving Brooklyn. He and the rest of this dysfunctional ownership have no appreciation for those you have worn the Mets uniform or for you and me who love the team, they have to be shamed into doing anything positive when it comes to this team. As Mets fans we want something to celebrate, the negativity has drained most of the life out of the fan base.

On this day in 1973, the Mets made Lee Mazzilli out of Lincoln High School in Brooklyn their first pick in the MLB Entry Draft. If you’ve read this site for a while you know I’m not a big Mazzilli fan.  I was a sophomore at FDR High in Bensonhurst when Mazzilli was drafted and though I had never met him I heard a lot about him, not any of it complementary from players on the varsity baseball team.  When Mazzilli came up with the Mets he’d frequent a few of the Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge spots my friends and I hung out in and he acted like an ass anytime I saw him. When he was traded to the Rangers in ’82 it was the best thing for him, he needed to be taken down a notch or two.

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WORLD’S ARE COLLIDING HERE

 

 

 

As I was channel surfing last night I stumbled upon the US-PR WBC game on the MLB Network and I nearly passed out when I saw D-Wright sliding head first into home plate for Team America.  I figured Wright, the Mets and Mets fans had dodged a bullet when Wright taking in knee to the head was ok but now here comes the separated shoulder and 6 months on the DL but Wright jumped up clapping his hands and was in fine shape.  So relieved , I went back to Rangers-Canadians on MSG.

After a thrilling Rangers victory in a shootout of the Habs (and a jump to 6th place in the East, I so want the Devils in the first round just to kick Fat Marty’s ass) I flip back over to the classic which is now in the 9th inning just in time to see D-Wright take Fernando Cabrera’ slider that was down and away-a pretty good pitch-the other way (J-Man’s hitting drill comes thru again) for a well placed single to win the game for USA.

As happy as I was for Wright it was still a bit unnerving to see Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins grabbing Wright and hugging him during the celebration. I bet Jeter wishes his third baseman was hot like ours

  

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SEE SPOT RUN

The idea of the slider is to fool the batter that it’s a fastball but then when it breaks the way it should (like down and away or down and in) it should it is an extremely effective pitch but it is also a high risk, high reward pitch especially when Pedro Feliciano throws it.  So today Feliciano took a risk and threw a slider to a couple of guys Brad Asmus and Darin Erstad who had five HR’s combined coming into the game and instead of just challenging both batters Feliciano goes with sliders which hung just enough over the middle of the for both batters to tee off and take him long. As the Bobby Valentine always says, Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, that saying should be hung in Pedro Feliciano’s locker.

I have to say I love that the Shea in game staff was hip enough to play the Dropkick Murphy’s when Daniel Murphy comes to bat, I am curious if he chose that or not.

Today I was in beautiful Bay Ridge Brooklyn and as we were walking on 5th Ave I passed a sporting goods store named LEDGENDS. They had a rack on the side walk of MLB baseball jerseys on sale for 10 bucks. No bullshit these were like $200 jerseys with names and numbers sewed on for 10 bucks. The problem was most were Cardinal jerseys with Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds names on them so they were out. There were Red Sox road jersey with RAMIREZ on them so no go there either as were the Cubs, Phillies and the Mets Tom Glavine top. But there was one that caught my eye and after a lot of thinking and putting it back, picking it up, putting it back, I said “ah what the hell I got to take this for 10 bucks” it’s a home pinstripe Mets with 44 MILLEDGE on the back For a double fin I’ll represent for my boy LMILLZ.

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Tickets

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