We All Like Ike But……………

 

I’ve been away from my duties here at Kranepool Society for a couple of days, so I’ve got a lot to catch up on:

Anthony McCarron writes about David Wright today in the NY Daily News on how the Mets have for the first time in his close to 8 year career, become HIS team. Wright has always been deferential to vets like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran and made a concerted effort to share the spotlight with Jose Reyes but now that they are dearly departed it’s finally David Wright’s team and though he would never say it, he has to be thrilled to death that it is.

Wright is not the rah-rah fiery type, although he did show that side of him after the Carrasco-Braun hit by pitch affair, Wright shows the leadership a young team like the Mets needs. When a 7+ year vet is the first to report to spring training and the first one to the ball park and the last one to leave, plays through pain and never skirts from his responsibility to speak to the media win or lose, it sets the tone to the rest of the team that Wright’s Way is the Mets Way. One doesn’t need a long term history lesson to see that this Mets clubhouse is more professional and more cohesive than we’ve seen in a long time and it bodes well for the future of this franchise.

Credit for the professional turnaround has to go to Terry Collins as well. Think back to when TC was hired as Mets manager, we all had our doubts due to his previous track record as the manager but it’s a real testament to Collins that he re-invented himself at an age when most folks are rock solid set in their ways.  Most Mets fans clamored for Wally Backman to run this team and while I’m a Wally fan, I can’t see anyone else but Terry Collins running this team for the next two seasons at least. If anyone deserves a hike in pay and a two year extension of his contract it’s Terry Collins.

Boy if I could take anything back that I’ve written on this site, it may be what I posted the other day about moving Scott Hairston to make room for Jason Bay when he comes back from his rib injury. I’ve taken what Hairston brings to this team for granted and if anything having Mike Baxter and Hairston on the bench for the Mets is a great strength.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ bat has cooled off, as to be expected but his strikeout rate has to give the front office some concern that the word has gotten out to throw Kirk a steady diet of breaking balls, so a trip back upstate may not be the worst thing in the world for Nieuwenhuis who seems to have the mindset to take a demotion not as a negative but a chance to work on his deficiency of hitting breaking pitches as his ticket back to the big leagues for good.

The one thing that could keep Captain Kirk with the Mets is the fact that it is now not if Ike Davis should be sent to Buffalo it’s more like a lock he’s going once Bay comes back.  The Marlins just sent their struggling 1st baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple A to work his way back to being the All-Star he was last year. The Mets just cannot afford to play Ike every day with zero production and a stint in Buffalo should not be taken as a punishment but as an opportunity for Ike to get his groove back.

It’s amazing that the sports media dickheads in NYC who have been given the assignment to cover the NY Rangers during their playoff run are so lazy and so lacking in talent that they can’t see what this team is built on hard work, commitment to the team and the mindset that everyone is responsible for their actions on the ice and if you fuck up, you ride the pine. Doesn’t matter if you’re a multimillionaire all-star or a kid fresh off a college campus if you make a mistake that hurts the team you sit, you stew and you make damn sure you don’t do it again. It’s the same with some of these idiots who now question the Rangers commitment to blocking shots, guess what assholes, how do you think this team has gotten to where it is? Oh and for all the fawning you schmucks have been doing over Marty Brodeur, stop acting like lemmings calling him the greatest goaltender in hockey history, just because you’ve heard some of your overheated brethren say it. Sure it’s easy to look at his career stats and says he’s the best ever and I am by no means saying he isn’t a Hall of Famer but to say he’s the best ever is a slight to Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuck, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. Take some time to read up on those four before you give Marty the crown of greatest ever and remember as good as Brodeur is, he’s no KING!

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I Know It’s Early But…………

 

I had hoped to post this earlier this morning but I was having some computer issues, so now that that’s fixed I figured let me throw this up tonight since there’s no Mets to watch  

 

When I saw the lineup that Terry Collins cobbled together last night it left me speechless.  Vinny Rottino batting 5th? Ginger Tuner 6th Rob Johnson in a big league game?  I then proclaimed this as a no can do game for the Mets to win in fact if they did I felt it would be an instant Mets Classic.

Well, cut off my legs and call me Eddie Gadell, the Mets not only won the game and swept the three games series but if watched the game with someone who never watched baseball before which team do you think they would say was the favorite to win the NL East?  The Mets looked like the team to beat and the Phucks ? Like a bunch of broken down old men.  As enjoyable as it was to see the Mets make another late inning push to the finish line, how much did you enjoy the Phuck Phace Phans storming out of CBP after the Mets top of the 8th   like there was a free government cheese giveaway on Broad Street.

Of course it’s too early to gloat but for all the doom and gloom that surrounded the Mets all winter and into spring training (anyone still upset by the club’s shitty Grapefruit League record ?) having this team (18-13) just 2 games off the pace of the best record in the NL (Dodgers  and Cardinals are at 20-11) and 2.5 games away from the best record in all of MLB (Rangers at 20-10) is something to be proud of. But Terry Collins won’t ever show that side of him, sure he’s happy with the wins and how the team has played but he also knows there is such a small margin for error with this club and the fan base is one 3 game losing streak from turning on them so he keeps his emotions to himself and his players have taken his queue as well, hopefully sometime in October all the emotion can be released.

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Happy Opening Day

 

 

I’m getting ready to head out to Citi Field for opening day so I really don’t have the time to go into a detailed post but hopefully I will have a nice recap of the day events this evening.

Couple of things though:

Two Boots Pizza will now be severed at Citi Field. This is great news for tow reasons, one, it delicious pizza and two, the owner of Two Boots Phil Hartman is a lifelong Mets fan so it’s nice to see the Mets take care of one of our own,

The Mets players, coaches and Terry Collins will be wearing CARTER 8 BP jersey’s today before the game. The pre-game ceremony will be quite emotional today as Carter’s family will throw out the first pitch. Bring lost of Kleenex.

Seems the Skill Sets were the villains  in the scheduling of the home and home games against the Highlanders to close out spring training. A real stupid and greedy move.

The organization should re-think the selling of tickets for the Party City Deck in left field from group sales to individual tickets. From the feedback I’m getting, if sold for $100 a ticket with all the amenities included would make it the most popular seat in Citi Field.

Later everyone, LET’S GO METS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Sandy Sez

This will be a quick post as I just received my copy of R.A. Dickey’s book and I can’t wait to read it. So I want to get my work done early so I can get at it this afternoon.  

Sandy Alderson was on with Sports Bloviator to talk about the Mets spring training and the season just one week away.

It was an interesting conversation, save for Alderson battling a bad cold and the Sports Bloviator talking over Alderson while he was answering a question, and a few things I got from listening to Alderson were:

Jason Bay is more of a problem for this team than any other player due to his untradeable contract and his inability to hit a baseball. Alderson all but put up the white flag on Bay by saying “he’s healthy and he’ll be the everyday left fielder”  it will be worth watching how the club reacts to Bay if he is as unproductive at the plate as he’s was last year. If Bay announced his retirement today, Alderson would throw the retirement party to end all retirement parties

Mike Pelfrey is here only because he’s durable and for what the Mets are paying him, there weren’t any pitchers out there that can give you the quantity of innings and starts that Pelf can at the price. Now are they quality innings or starts? Not really, but it speaks to the state of pitching in baseball where a guy like Pelfrey at $5.6 mil is a bargain.

If Kirk Nieuwenhuis stayed injury free this spring I get the feeling he would have been the opening day centerfielder.   Alderson seems to be a big Capt Kirk fan and he could be up and in the lineup much sooner than later.

Alderson seems to ignore the elephant in the room when talking about Jordany Valdespin, his immaturity and poor work ethic.

With the Madoff fiasco in the Sill Sets rear view mirror if the club becomes a contender for a wild card spot, Alderson made it known there will be funds to bring in reinforcements to make a run at a  post season run. Yes, that’s getting wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of ourselves.

Every start by Johan Santana and the day after, will be scrutinized up, down, inside and out. The plan seems to be, get Chris Young ready to contribute by late May-early June, to give Santana more rest by going to a 6 man rotation.  When pressed for innings/starts projection for Santana, Alderson couldn’t put a number on it, seems Johan will be on a start by start evaluation. We are in uncharted territory here

You can tell Alderson is very concerned with the teams defense as he said a few times there are positions (2B, RF, C )  where they are sacrificing defense for offense and he hopes it doesn’t come back to bite the team in the ass.  Another big concern for Alderson is the lack of depth at the big league and Triple A level, he all but said straight out if the team is hit by injuries we’re fucked.

 

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Positively Mets

Is that a light I see at the end of the Mets spring training tunnel? This has been one of the most uninspiring Mets camps in a while, sure Johan Santana’ comeback (He is pitching today vs. the Cards) has been the best news and watching Matt Harvey (discount yesterday’s appearance) Jureys Familia and Zack Wheeler give Mets hope along with the stellar relief work by neophyte pitcher Josh Edgin, that future of the team isn’t as bleak as many think.

In fact there is (are you sitting down) POSSITIVE news out of St. Lonesome that David Wright will play today and bat 3rd. Also, Scott Hairston and Andres Torres seem to be ready to roll once again, which makes me wonder if hearing Terry Collins talk glowingly about Matt Den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, help speed up the healing process for the two veteran outfielders. That’s something that has been missing for a few years with the Mets; the vets seem complacent knowing there is no one in the high minors to take their place. That’s changed and that’s good.

That’s it for me today, I have a head cold that is now settling in my sinus so I’m going back to lay down  but I will make sure I’m in front  my TV at noon for the Tim Tebow presser because I’m sure if I put my hands on the TV while Tebow is speaking, he’ll cure me.

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Don’t Rush Wright

 

So it looks like David Wright is still not….well….right.  Wright has yet to make an appearance in a exhibition game and although he has begun participating in team workouts he is nowhere near ready to start the season.

Why is it so important for Wright to be at 3rd base on opening day? Isn’t it more important that he gets himself healthy and in baseball shape? I believe it’s more of psychological to fans that they see Wright lined up on the 1st base line of Citi Field doffing his cap to the patrons than it is savvy baseball thinking. What could be so bad that Wright stays in extended spring training for a week to ten days and comes up ready to perform?

Fans get too amped up for opening day, sure we all love the festivities and the atmosphere that the first day of baseball brings but I’d rather have a dull opening day than a dismal Labor Day ?

I really feel bad for Jason Bay. He has worked his ass off all spring to get his game in gear but it’s just not happening. His head is so far gone Dr. Sydney Freidman couldn’t help him. Maybe Bay should take the good docs advice and “pull down his pants and slide on the ice”. I will bet anyone a whole one dollar bill that the Mets front office discusses everyday how to rid themselves of Bay.

I have no problem with Mike Baxter starting in centerfield on opening day or Matt Den Dekker for that matter as well. I do think Den Dekker needs more time in the bushes to get his offense on par with his defense but Sandy Alderson is so worried about this team’s awful defense that he would be willing to sacrifice offense in a key spot in centerfield for Den Dekker’s potential golden glove. This is all moot of course if Andres Torres sees a faith healer for his aching calf and is fit to fight for opening day, but I still like to see Baxter make the 25 man roster.

Mets are on SNY today at 1PM with Big Pelf pitching for his big league life. Get ya popcorn ready!

 

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Yes Mets Fans, It’s Time To Be Concerened

At what point during this spring training are we as Mets fans allowed to be concerned? See there is a segment of Mets followers who feel that some of the fan base overreacts to things in the spring but as we find ourselves just a mere 16 days away from opening day there are so many questions and so many concerns about the Mets team that will open the 2012 season.

Now you can say your expectations of the 2012 Mets are not high so this spring is just par for the course. As I type up this post, Mike Pelfrey is pitching like a guy who is closer to being released than sure up a spot in the starting rotation. Pelf’s line on the day is so bad the Mets should try to get FEMA to send them disaster aid money, 2.2 innings pitched with 8 runs scored all earned 8 hits and 4BB and oh yeah 4 K’s.  At this point when do Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins sit down and make a baseball decision and either release Pelfrey or pursued him to take a minor league assignment. It’s not just today’s start  but the other two he’s made this spring weren’t any good, add that into his lousy 2011, how can you give him a roster spot? I’d rather see Miguel Batista or Chris Schwinden get Pelfrey’s starts until Matt Harvey is ready to take a big league turn every 5th day.

I hate to question the seriousness of a player’s injury but is Ruben Tejada coming back any time soon? Is he hurt or injured? There is a big difference. I don’t blame Terry Collins for being a bit of a red ass over Tejada’s inability to get back on the field with what was reported as a “strained groin”. Is it more serious than the club is letting us know? Tejada hasn’t played in 7 days so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say his groin is more than strained.

You may not think its panic time for the Mets but I can guarantee the folks in the back offices of the team that are trying to sell tickets and advertising and secure sponsorships are concerned.  Collins has said time and again this spring, it is imperative that the team gets off to a good start of the season.  There isn’t enough big league talent or depth on this team to overcome a 5-15 start. With the difficulty of selling tickets and the negative vibe with the fan base and media who cover the team, even a 12-8 start would be seen as a success.

 

 

 

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BRAVO TERRY COLLINS AT LEAST SOMEONE HAS A EDGE TO HIM ON THE METS

I have to say I am more than a little surprised that some Mets fans have made Terry Collins the bad guy for being totally, and in my mind justifiably, pissed off over the rash of injuries that have hit the Mets this spring. Two of Collins “Must Do’s” on his list of things to work on this spring were improve the defense and work on baseball fundamentals, two of the biggest deficiency of the 2011 Mets. It’s very hard to do when the players you are counting on for the season are sitting in the trainer’s room.

I don’t understand why some folks feel that Collins tirade yesterday meant he wanted players to spit on the injury or rub some dirt on it, no it’s more frustration as to why are these players are suffering  pulled muscles and how does the training staff help prevent these nagging hurts.

Collins is a realist he knows his team is projected by many to be awful this season add in that the same people feel Citi Field will be a ghost town as well, so he knows it’s his job to get this team off to a fast start. That’s why he gets giddy talking about Johan Santana’s performance so far this spring.

Sitting Ruben Tejada yesterday was the right thing to do, but put yourself in the managers shoes. He makes out his lineup and is set to go but then he finds out his shortstop can’t go, what is he supposed to do laugh and make jokes like Jerry Manuel? You all detested Manuel for his clown act and now you’re all pissed that Collins is intense. Your all are sick of being the laughing stock of baseball but you don’t want the players challenged?

David Wright is starting to annoy me as well, not because he’s hurt but he’s supposed to be the leader here but when he makes statements like this I shake my head a bit:

As for the frustration Terry Collins expressed the previous day about the litany of Mets injuries, Wright said: “It’s OK to be frustrated. But at the end of the day it’s spring training. You have to err on the side of caution. We spoke to Terry about it. Terry will be the first one to tell you that if you feel something, come right in. It’s frustrating, obviously, because you want all of your guys out there. But if you look around the league, every team is going to be banged up and every team is going to be more cautious than trying to push guys out there in spring training.

 

“I think sometimes a guy gets a day off or two and things get a little overblown. Spring training, it’s not about trying to go out there and push yourself. We’ll do that during the season. We’ll go out there and play banged up. Everybody has done it. But spring training you have to be a little more smart about it.”

First I don’t care what other teams are doing I care about that the Mets season not being done by Memorial Day. I care that this team is nowhere near good enough to flip a switch on April 4th and play good baseball. The margin of error for this team is slimmer than the Olsen Twins standing sideways.

The injury to Wright has me worried because what happens if the injection he received doesn’t work, what if this becomes chronic like Ryan Zimmerman last season and he misses more than a month or two? What is Plan B if Wright can’t make opening day?

Wright seems to think he can just go over to the minor league camp to make up missing at bats which is fine but as much as his offensive game has slipped the last two seasons his play at 3rd base has deteriorated even more and I worry about that part of Wrights game than his offense.

When you’ve been as bad as the Mets have been the last few years and with all the negative off the field bullshit that surrounds the team, I would hope the so called face of the franchise would have more of an edge to him.

 

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AUTHOR, JANE LEAVY WILL BE APPEARING IN VERO BEACH NEXT WEEK

If you are headed down to spring training next week,you may want to head over to Vero Beach, where Jane Leavy will be appearing at the Vero Beach Book Center on March 20th at 1PM and at the Blake Museum in Stuart at 3PM.

Jane will be signing autographs of her books The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America Childhood and Sandy Koufax:A Lefty’s Legacy” and conducting a Q & A session.

 

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CAMP FIRE

That is the patch the Mets will wear this season in remembrance of Gary Carter. I’d still like to see all uniform personnel wear CARTER 8 uni tops for a game and auction them off for charity


You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a Mets fan who feels Terry Collins is being a hard ass to Ruben Tejada for not getting to camp early and then complain that the team isn’t very good.

Collins is stressing to his team that they have to work harder than anyone else and be  focused better than anyone else if they are to succeed this season. You can see from the early interviews of TC down in St. Lonesome that he wants his team to stick it up all the naysayer’s asses and show that the Mets are a winning baseball team.

The maturation of Matt Harvey continues to be an early training camp story line. As Josh Thole has raved about Harvey’s pitch repertoire, the manager and coaches, especially Wally Backman, have raved about his willingness to get their advice on what he needs to do to reach the big league level. Sandy Alderson is on the record as saying Harvey will not break camp with the Mets but Harvey is determined to make that a difficult decision, it’s hard to get giddy over Matt Harvey.

Same for Jeurys Familia who along with Harvey was profiled in the NY Daily News today as two guys who are competing for a job in the big leagues but have grown close as teammates and hope to join the big league club together at some point this season.

It’s so early in spring training but from reading stories about the mood of the camp and camaraderie  of the players, the Mets are staring to give me a feeling that they could be baseball version of the New York Rangers.

If Jason Bay struggles against right handed pitching as he did last season, the more reason to root for Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the team as a platoon partner for Bay in LF. No one in the front office will say it but I bet the leash on Bay is short this season especially if he struggles against rhp.

 

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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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