Hearing Harvey and Wheeler Talk About Fatigue, Leaves Me Queasy

 

I turned on Mets-Tigers late yesterday, just in time to see LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison pitch batting practice to those ferocious Detroit Tigers. For a team like the Mets, the Tigers are a most unwelcome opponent they can face; with no automatic outs in that lineup our battered bullpen hasn’t a chance. In fact when it comes to playing good teams, as in a .500 record or better, the Mets are an atrocious 27-41.   

With another loss yesterday, the 4th loss in a row, the Mets are close to that slippery slope of the last five seasons, meaningless games in September. On Friday night with a 3 ring circus of events;Social Media Night, 3rd Eye Bind concert and of course the Mets-Tigers game, the vibe coming though my TV was one of indifference. Folks at the game, said via social media, that there was a big crowd for the game but it seemed a very subdued crowd at that. I mentioned it was the same way watching on TV where it was the first time in a very long time I got the sense that Gary Cohen wished he was anyplace else than the TV booth. It seems this happens ever September, Mets fan suffer losers fatigue.

IT’s not just the fans and broadcasters that suffer from this malaise, both of our young stud starting pitchers, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler have said they are running on fumes as well. If that’s the case then why are the Mets looking to run both of these solid foundation pieces out to the mound again this season. If I’m the GM and my two young studs are going public that they have hit the wall, I have to think about shutting them down so not to risk injury. My biggest fear with the two talking about fatigue is that it will alter their mechanics and if that happens, injury will follow.  I’d much rather endure starts from Chris Schwinden and Carlos Torres than risk the very valuable right arms of Harvey and Wheeler.

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Does Anything Surprise You When It Comes To R.A. Dickey ?

As we head into the last game (thankfully) of the 2012 Mets season, we are looking at an off season that could make our heads spin. As we Mets fans question why the manager and his coaching staff gets to come back intact for the 2013 season, I think the answer is clear, Sandy Alderson is holding the players responsible for this lousy season.

All we’ve ever heard as sports fans for lousy teams is you can’t fire all the players so fire the coach or manager, well it seems Alderson is going to reverse that old bromide as it looks like a big majority of the roster will be traded or released.

I side with the majority of Mets fans who can figure out how Dan Warthen gets to come back. It seems as though the starting pitchers, especially R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, are Warthen allies as is the manager but I doubt you will find and Mets relievers who are members of the Dan Warthen Fan Club.  Granted most of the Mets bullpen problems were caused by sucky relievers but Warthen has to take a hit for not having open lines of communications with his relief pitchers. Terry Collins needs to take some accountability on this as well for not providing any structure with how guys are used and assigning roles. It’s great for us as fans to say it’s a bunch of bullshit that every reliever should be ready when called on but again you need to know your personnel and if they are pining for leadership from the manger and pitching coach then it’s up to them to provide that.

Just when you think R.A. Dickey can’t add to his legacy we find out now that he has pitched much of the season with a torn abdominal muscle that requires surgery. Are you kidding me? Last year Dickey pitched with a plantar fasciitis injury that required him to be shot with pain killers before pitching. And you don’t want to sign this guy to an extension? You’re thinking of trading him? Are you fucking kidding me? Dickey isn’t looking for a big time deal, I would guess if you add two years to his option for next season he’d sign on the bottom line and if you have to give him $20mil for those two years you do it. If the money is that tight with the Skill Sets that you can’t keep a guy who not only excels on the field but is the best representative you have off the field then you deserve every hateful comment that will come your way.

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Hey, How About Those Mets ? Who?

These two can knock the Mets right off the back pages and sports talk radio by next week

Well looks like Miguel Batista has thrown his last pitch as a Met out of the strike zone as he was DFA’d this morning and Elvin Ramirez has been asked back to audition for a role in the Mets bullpen. With Batista sent packing the Mets will need two starting pitchers for Wednesday’s matinee against the Nationals and then on Thursday in Phoenix. Word on 126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue is Jeremy Hefner will go against the Nats and Matt Harvey will be called up to face the Snakes the next night.

Seems the Mets need to do something if they want to stay relevant on the NY sports scene. With the Highlanders just about locking up the AL East and the Jets and Giants headed to training camp, the Mets are in danger of falling off the sports map here in NYC.

If you’re a sports editor for any of the fish wraps in town where do you see your space being better utilized on a Mets second half collapse or with the “Techez” QB controversy and Darrelle Revis will he or won’t he report to camp and his contract demands along with the defending Super Bowl champions getting set to make a run at another Lombardi Trophy? Hell, the Mets may have to fight with the Brooklyn Nets for some coverage as they have gone on an all-out public relations blitz to get folks to buy tickets at the Barclay Center; the Brooklyn brand goes a long way.

Here is your NY Mets lineup for today:

Ruben Tejada – SS

Jordany Valdespin – LF

David Wright – 3B

Ike Davis – 1B

Daniel Murphy – 2B

Lucas Duda – RF

Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF

Josh Thole – C

Jonathon Niese – LHP

Terry Collins needs to play this line up 1-8 for the next two weeks straight and then let’s see where this team stands. I bet you would go no worse that 7-7 in the 14 games with this lineup

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TURNING THE SPORTS PAGE

I think I’m just about making my final landing from my Giants Super Bowl high to where I’m ready to concentrate on baseball.  In fact I have to go to a meeting tonight to place my Babe Ruth team in a league for this coming season. What has me excited about the league we are about to join is we will play some of our games at the College of Staten Island field that was once home to the Staten Island Highlanders and we will play games in Brooklyn at the field at Bay 8th St where many of my childhood sports highs (ROCKNE football league championship as a 12 year old) and lows (getting a tooth knocked out with a forearm playing same league as a 13 year old).

As for our Amazin’ Mets well there finally is some Mets news to talk about so let’s take a look see shall we:

Story in today’s NY Times tells us something we all know, the Mets are under that old Sicilian curse  “Fundsalow” thus Sandy Alderson and his troops have had to be creative with the nickels and dimes that are at their disposal.  The real trick to see if Alderson can truly turn water into a microbrew when one or two of the starting pitchers go down with injury and he has to find help from outside. With his options limited and desire to leave the crown jewel arms on the farm we as Mets fans should start to follow the Atlantic League and some of the other Independent baseball leagues around the country as I wouldn’t be shocked it a Long Island Duck or two pitch in Flushing this season.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

In regard to you buying the New York Mets and your response of “Who would want to own a sports team”?  Let’s me just say “I WOULD! I WOULD!” problem is a lack of dead presidents to accomplish this.  Now you sir are a man of considerable financial means of many billions of dollars, all you would have to do is donate about $1 or $1.2 billion of those tens of billions to me so I can buy the NY Mets, with all due respect your honor, Bill Gates and warren Buffet are wayyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of you when it comes to philanthropic ventures, a move of this magnitude would most definitely raise your charitable profile.    

Big Pelf is looking to get the sinking feeling again on the mound in 2012

What in the name of Joe Verbanic is going on in with the Bronx Bastards? First, Pee Wee Cashman’ wayward ways seemed to get out of hand as the trollop he has been stepping out on Mrs. Pee Wee  with has gone into full fatal attraction mode and now we find out that the face of the YUCK network, Bob Lorenz, was sippin’ too much Old Grand Dad, got behind the wheel of his fine automobile and was pulled over by Connecticut’s Finest.  Is this just the being of the end of the Highlander reign of terror?

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GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY NOW……..

This should be played in the Texas Ranger P.A. system

Someday, when that someday will be I don’t know, but someday a big league manager is going to have the brains and the confidence to do away with the role of the closer. Maybe that day will be when Mariano Rivera retires, which may not be for another ten years but I hope that whoever is hired by the Mets makes on of his first command decisions that the day of saving your best arm for just the ninth inning is over. The only team that can still say they have a legitimate  pitcher to finish a game are  the Highlanders and until mangers like Texas’ Ron Washington, get this though their thick skulls, they just might win more baseball games than they lose.

If Nolan Ryan is going to be the new tough guy in the Rangers front office when he claims that it’s time to re-evaluate the way bullpens are used and develop starting pitchers who should be conditioned to pitch deep into their starts, he might like to have a little sit down with Washington today before game two and let him know, when the game is on the line and you feel you’ve gotten all you can out of your starter, bring in the best arm you have in the pen.

I’m not looking to kill Ron Washington here as he managed the way every big league manager would have in that eighth inning, plus Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day needed to step up and how in the world does Ian Kinsler have a brain fart in the eighth getting picked off?

The Rangers had the Highlanders on the ropes and bleeding but they lacked that killer instinct, that solid knockout punch, hopefully they can turn the page and go out today and tattoo Phil Hughes, if not, the who gives a shit what Cliff Lee does in Game 3?

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SAY IT LOUD, HEY MIKE PELFREY WE’RE PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Mike Francesa,

Kiss my Blue and Orange Ass! In fact you can kiss the ass of every Mets fan as WE ARE ALL PROUD of Mike Pelfrey. From the time Big Pelf was drafted out of Wichita State in the 1st round of the 2005 amature draft to his  rise in 2006 through the Mets minor league system we have waited for him to mature and become one of the top starting pitchers in MLB and this year looks like his coronation.

Since his May 1st loss to the Phillies, Big Pelf has been money going 4-0 with two ND’s. with wins over the Highlanders and the Phuck Phaces.

After the misery of last season and with this seasons soap opera of Ollie Perez and waiting for Carlos Beltran to put his right foot in front of his left foot and to root that this Mets team stops the roller coaster and takes off like rocket in an all of a sudden winnable division , you can’t fault Mets fans for daydreaming that the sight of Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana will join the tandems of Seaver/Koosman, and Gooden/Darling in the pantheon of Mets dominating one-two punches.

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STARTING PITCHERS GOING DEEP INTO GAMES ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

I hope Frankie Rodriguez can pick up a fork and knife this morning to eat his breakfast, I mean the guy had to come in to pitch in the 8th inning last night instead of his customary 9th inning to get a (GASP!!!!) 5 out save!!!!!! Rodriguez had to throw 25 pitches to complete this unbelievable test of endurance and I’m hopping the 6ft 200lbd K-Rod is not just totally exhausted from that heavy duty work load.

All sarcasm aside here, when did baseball lose its way when it comes to pitching? Sure we could throw this all on The Genius as he reinvented bullpen use with the A’s and Denis Eckersley in the late 80’s but why did the rest of the sport follow suit and turn TLR into the baseball version of L. Ron Hubbard? Why hasn’t any organization stepped  up and denounced LaRussa-ology ? I know Nolan Ryan has as he is going about changing the mind set of the Texas Rangers organization into developing starting pitchers to go deep into there starts, but why are other organization so scared to follow The Express’ as an example?

As far as I know, TLR was a marginal journeyman player and as much as I can’t stand his hide behind his Foster Grants ass, he knows baseball. Just ask him he’ll tell you but when it comes to pitching if it comes down to TLR or even his top disciple Dave Duncan, or Nolan Ryan, I’m going with the Hall of Famer fireballer.

Watching Jerry Manuel work this bullpen drives me up a fucking wall. Fernando Nieve pitches in every game, as does Vitamin Pedro. Jenry Mejia, the kid who Manuel told management he needed desperately is being totally misused. Now that Ryota Igarhasi is on the DL look for Ruben Valdes to become an everyday pitcher.

Manuel manages his pen like he still in the American League, it’s excruciating to watch. But back to my original question, why does it have to be this way?

Yesterday I wrote about the 40th anniversary of Tom Seaver’ 19 K game against the SD Padres. That year the 25 year old Seaver threw a baseball in 290 innings. That’s almost two seasons worth of innings in today’s game. Seaver threw for the fourth most innings that season in the NL as Bob Gibson was third with 294 IP, Fergie Jenkins was second with 313 and Gaylord Perry led the league with 328.2 IP.

In 2009 Justin Verlander led MLB pitchers in innings pitched with 240. In 1970 that would have ranked him 29th overall (Dick Drago of the Royals threw 240 IP in 1970) Bronson Arroyo was10th overall in IP last year with 220.1 IP. In 1970 Rick Wise of the Phillies threw for 220.1 IP good for 40th overall.

One would think with the advancements today in the physical training and with all the computer and video that teams have they could come up with some kind of pitching program that would get more length and production out of starting pitchers. Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars to a guy to come in and work one inning and throw 15-20 pitches wouldn’t it make sense to spend those millions on cultivating an organizational pitching program to train pitchers go deeper into games they’ve started ? Call it Reverse-LaRussa-ology.

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“PLACE YA BETS, NO MORE BETS”

The Mets front office is trying to put a happy face on this team of theirs but deep down I’m sure they’re doing shots of Maalox over the pitching staff.

Big Pelf’ Long Balls on Parade has to be alarming to Mets decision makers so much so that the name Bronson Arroyo has come up again as a Mets trade target. A deal for Arroyo or any real life honest to goodness starting pitcher should have been done this off season but either money issued or stupidity prevented any such deal from happening.

The old saw is “don’t put too much stock in spring training” and that’s fine when your names is Santana, or Lincicum or Seaver. But when you are a struggling starter like Big Pelf, OP and Maine Man, you need to show me why I should have confidence in you on the mound and so far as we get to a week before opening day my confidence in this pitching staff on a scale of 1-10 is about a 3.

Am I being overly pessimistic? You tell me. Let’s play the Mike Francesa Approved “Unnda/Ovah Game with the pitching staff. Please go to the comments and leave your picks.

Number of games Johan Santana will win in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 14

Number of wins combined for Big Pelf/OP/Maine Man? Unnda/Ovah 27

Number of innings combined for Big Pelf/OP/Maine Man? Unnda/Ovah 450

Number of different starting pitchers the Mets will use in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 8

Number of appearances by Vitamin Pedro in 2010? Unnda?Ovah 75

Number of saves for Frankie Rodz in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 33

Number of pitchers total used by the Mets in 2010? Unnda/Ovah 21

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BENGI GO HOME!!!!

Thank you Bengi Molina for NOT signing with the NY Mets and thank you Brian Sabean for bailing out the Mets with your offer to Bengi Molina.

Now that the Mets have $5 mil lying around they can either put that money towards giving Ben Sheets and incentive filled deal and strike before some other team grabs him or they could put that money towards a buyout of Rogers (Hornsby) Castillo or keep Castillo and use the money towards giving Orlando Hudson a deal and left Castillo be a part time player/groundskeeper. I know it’s a pipe dream that the Mets would buyout Castillo and sign O-Dog so please Jeffey Baby, let’s give the cast to Sheets!!!!!!

More good news, Jeff Francouer signed for just 1 year. Rumor is that Freddy Skill Sets and Uncle Saul Katz made a deal Richard Heene for one of his balloons and Jeffey and Omar are now orbiting around the skies of Corona.

Metsgrrl just received a framed picture from opening day at $iti field for being a loyal season ticket subscriber. The note that came with it wished her a HAPPY HOLIDAY. Obviously the Skill Sets waited until all holiday items were at 90 % off to buy the frames the pics came with.

As much as I feel the Mets need to go full force for at least 2 starting pitchers, they still need a catcher. I like Omir Santos but his presences behind the plate has been questioned within the organization. I’m fine with Henry Blanco as a one half of a catching tandem as he is strong defensively. I can’t see going after Yorvit Torrealba with a lawsuit against the Mets still awaiting trial so the guy who makes the most sense would be Rod Barajas. Barajas is nothing at the plate but he’s very good behind it and the Mets need a very good defensive catcher.

Yes it is outstanding that the Mets have announced that Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Davey Johnson and Frank Cashen will be inducted into the NY Mets Hall of Fame this summer. But isn’t it remarkable that all four of these gentlemen are not in there already. In fact the last player to be inducted into the Mets HOF was Tommie Agee in 2002.  Induction day will be August 1st,  so far that’s the first “must game to be at” for 2010.

Sad news from the NY Rangers. John Haligan the teams long time PR man and top Rangers and NHL historian passed away today at age of 68. For years I sat in Section 432 of Madison Square Garden watching the Rangers and Halligan and his wife Janet were the two of the great people at MSG. John always had time to talk to us between periods and he would bring us the score sheets and any news on injuries. He respected us as people and as Ranger fans. This is a very sad day indeed.

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IT’LL TAKE MORE THAN JASON BAY TO MAKE ME SMILE

Ok, now that Christmas and New Years are over, time to get back to work. That means you Omar Minaya. It’s nice that Jason Bay is going to turn his head and cough for the Mets quacks and the cold cut platter from King Kullen will be laid out at the Shotgun Shuba Room at $iti Field by tomorrow but until Omar and Co. sign or trade for at least two legitimate starting pitchers, well just call me under whelmed.

The Sports God’s must really hate me my guts. First, they torture me all summer with the Mets and then they tease me with the New York Football Giants going 5-0 and then amp me up with a game against the undefeated Nawlin’s Saints only to get the ass handed to them. From that game, the season went down the shitter. Now the Boston Celtics, the one team I root for that shows any heart and fight, are now bitten by the injury bug. Down goes Paul Pierce, KG, Marquis Daniels, and my man Rondo. The NY Rangers either win or lose games 2-1 depending on whether Marion Gaborik scores 1 or 2 goals. My only hope for a good run through the playoffs are the C’s as long as the PP, KG, and Rondo can stay on the court.

Let me add my voice to the “Bring David Cone to SNY” campaign. Talk about your no-brainers. Coney in studio and as a back up to Mex and Ron Darling is a perfect fit. In fact how about letting Gary Cohen get a day off or two and put Mex, Darling and Coney to do the play by play.  Com’on SNY this one is on a platter for you guys.

A must see today is this post from The Mets Police, with a exquisite collection of Mets Pennants. It makes me think back to when the vendors would be outside Shea with  souvenir boards filled with pennants, buttons with action shots of Mets players, and key chains with Mr. Met on them.

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