THE DANIEL MURPHY DEFENSE FUND

I was so sorry I missed going out to Citi Field on Saturday and the tribute to Dana Brand at the location of where home plate of Shea Stadium was. I am honored to be a contributor to a book that has been published with essays by fellow Mets bloggers titled “Mets Brand” honoring Dana. All the proceeds of the book will be donated to Lynn Cohen’s Pitch for a Good Cause.

There seems to be this misconception about Daniel Murphy’s defense. I’m not proclaiming Murph is a solid defender but he’s not the liability some in the fan base make him out to be. The media plays into this as well, more the national drop ins on FOX and ESPN who have a tough time doing their homework before broadcasting games, mostly because of their disdain for statistical analysis. If you look at the numbers Murph is not a bad 1st baseman, he’s a serviceable 2nd baseman and an ok fill in at 3rd base. His biggest problem is he doesn’t have the power that is needed to play a corner position but his production is perfect for 2nd base. With David Wright ready to come back by the end of the week, figure Lucas Duda or Jason Pridie would have to be moved with Murph and Nick Evans holding down 1st base and Justin Turner taking over 2nd base with Ruben Tejada back to his utility role.

I’d love to spy on the meetings Sandy Alderson and his staff have when the subject of Jason Bay comes up. I just picture Alderson leaning back in his chair with his hands in back of his head offering a major bonus to anyone who can remotely solve this very expensive dilemma.  I have no idea how the Mets get away from Bay’s declining performance at the unbelievable price of $35 mil over the next 3 years.  That contract is untradeable unless the Mets were to eat at least half of that deal. Bay is troubled by his lack of production and he works hard to improve but you wonder what runs through his mind when each and every day he’s asked the same questions over and over again and now that the boos are reigning from the Citi Field stands, I’d be  surprised if he is in the lineup tonight, I’d bet we see Willie Harris in LF for the makeup game with the Fish.

We are in the throes of the Last Days of Mike Pelfrey. If he’s not dealt, he’ll be DFA. I’d be SHOCKED if Pelfrey is a Met in 2012.

I’m ready to add Angel Pagan in that equation as well. Pagan has had a tough season offensively and a lot of that has been due to injury but a decision will have to be made here as well with Pagan making $3.5 mil this year and looking at a bump in pay to $5-$5.5 mil. Is Pagan worth that much? I don’t think so.

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THEO EPSTEIN’S DREAM TEAM PLAYS IN FLUSHING

I wonder if Theo Epstein in the privacy of his domicile, switches his Extra Innings package over to SNY to root for the Mets ? The Mets right now are playing the way Epstein had hoped his Red Sox would when he ran all his statistical analysis that told him pitching and defense is the way to go. Right now the Mets are fueled on that formula.

When you compare the Mets up the middle versus the Red Sox up the middle the only position the Mets lose out on is second base. Even with a healthy Mike Cameron would you take him over Angel Pagan? Forget a healthy Beltran (I won’t link to the Munchkin’s story but he thinks that the Beltran contract is bad for the Mets, this from a guy who has been mailing it in for the past ten years, who stopped attending the events he writes about, and treats his colleagues like shit. If anything Mike Lupica has been stealing from Mort Zuckerman for years ) and the catchers spot, Theo would be beaming if he had the tandem of Barajas/Blanco behind the plate.

With all the fun and frolic over the last week or so of Mets baseball, when was the last time we saw a Braves team this bad? Maybe back when Ted Turner started they games on TBS at 7:35PM ? I have never seen a Bobby Cox team play so badly, I ain’t complaining, just a bit taken back.

I agree with Christopher Guy of Mets Minor League Blog, it’s time to bring up Dillon Gee and let him start over John Maine.  Not only is Maine hurting physically but these interviews with him are painful to watch, the guy is a mess physically and emotionally . Put him on the 15 day DL and send him to St Lonesome to get his game and head in order and as for the spot on the 40 man roster for Gee, I think it safe to say the Mets can put Kelvin Escobar on the 60 day DL to free up a spot.

I am really starting to worry about David Wright. Forget the home runs he’s not hitting doubles either and the one thing he was doing, getting on base via walks, has dried up as well.  Maybe it time to move him to the 2 hole with Castillo leading off (if the Reyes in the 3rd spot continues) some kind of shake up with Wright is needed as a lot of Mets fan are starting to feel he’s not the go to guy on this team anymore.

Mets management should do everyone a favor and call tonight’s game now. Not only is raining but it’s cold and the forecast for tonight is for rain and 50 degrees. Folks have to go to work and school tomorrow and if it was a comfortable night you wouldn’t mind but to be cold and wet, I don’t think so. So if you do play the game tonight, be prepared for the national audience to see 25,000 or so empty seats at $iti Field.

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METS BECOME BAY CITY ROLLERS

 

No one kills Mets management as much as I do, in fact I love calling out the clueless Jeffey Skill Sets and that shyster David Howard, but I’m kind of puzzled with the reaction of some Mets fans to the offers the club has made to Jason Bay and Bengi Molina.

 

Most of the criticism goes to the fact the Mets made just a $5 mil bump in monies to Bay. It’s a first offer, it’s a start, it now gets the negotiation going. The front office has concluded that Bay fits the club better than Matt Hoilday and I agree. The Mets even used (are you ready for this?) STATISTICAL  ANALYSIS to show how many fly balls Bay has hit last season would translate to $iti Field and it’s safe to say Bay would send many a souvenir baseball into the left field seats.

 

The big knock on Bay is his defense which I feel is a fallacy. The guy did have 15 outfield assists last year and his fielding number are better than league average plus with Carlos Beltran in CF I’m willing to bank on his ability to cover the ground that Bay can’t with the trade off of 30+HR and 100+ RBI.

 

So the Mets first offer is 4yr/$65mil. Bay’ counter off will be more years and of course more money. The thing to watch is who besides the Mets are in the running for Bay’s services. His former team the Red Sox are not known for giving out big deals to 30 year olds and have a track record of not getting personal with the help. Theo Epstein is all business. We’ve also seen that Bay is not giving the Sox a home team discount.

 

The Highlanders now with Curtis Granderson are not players for Bay. The Mariners? As bad as we feel the Mets are with dough they won’t be out spent by the M’s. The one team that could come in and make it interesting is the Angels.

 

It looks like the Mets want Bay and most likely will get him. For all the criticism of Omar he usually gets the guy he wants, it doesn’t always work out but count me as on board for Bay.

 

With all the jokes about the Mets cornering the market on backup catchers they still need a legit #1 backstop and if it takes 2yrs for Bengi Molina, then sign him. Sure he’s long in the tooth and as Joe Mc Donald said last night on our PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL show, you run the risk of Brian Schneider revisited but for 2yrs/$18 mil I’ll take a shot that Bengi is still on his game this year and is at worse a backup to Josh Thole in 2011. The one concern I have about Molina (and it’s not his speed on the bases ) is last year when the Giants brought up uber catching prospect Buster Posey to add some more pop in the G’ints flaccid offense, Bengi Baby didn’t ‘t respond well to having a pocket full of Posey, staring at him on the bench, so attitude is a bit of a red flag.

 

But like Casey Stengel said, You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls.”

 

Mets Police has a great post where Detective Dan had an actual conversation with an employee in the Mets office. Dan sent back his season ticket invoice, not with a check but with a “no thank you” note. It looks like the Mets are getting a lot of these no thanks notes from season ticket subscribers so they are now burning the phone lines to ask why and boy oh boy, did Dan tell them why.

 

Maybe, just maybe, there has been a revelation in management that the Mets fans are not mad anymore, but worse, they are apathetic. At least with hate there is still passion. Remember it’s a thin line between love and hate but once apathy sets in you’re fucked.

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