It’s Early But It’s Also Been An Encouraging Start For The NY Mets

Are we looking at a Mets Renascence ? 

I’ve been quite lax in posting on the site for the last week or so. It’s been tough to fine time to sit and write as I’ve been visiting colleges that my son has been admitted to and getting ready to move the office I work at to Downtown Brooklyn. In between that I’ve been doing my Kranepool Society podcast, Kult of Mets Personalities Podcast and of course The Sports Media Watchdog podcast.

But since I think I’m done visiting college campuses up and down the east coast and all I have to pack now is the crap in my desk, I figure let me take some time out and look at what’s going on with our Amazin’ Mets:

Matt Harvey is no longer a secret.  Each Harvey start has now become an event and there is much anticipation of a Friday night match up of Harvey v. Stephen Strasburg. Harvey just over powered the Twins line up going mainly with fastball after fastball, getting ahead in counts and then using his slider to keep Twins batters off balance. Fooling hitters. Pitching 101.

The Friday night game at Target Field was uncomfortable to watch on television so I can imagine how tough it was to play in those lousy conditions which of course didn’t hurt the Mets offense. Still,  playing baseball in ski hats and thermal underwear just out right sucks.

It gets no better as the Mets head to Denver where it supposed to be colder and just as snowy as it was in Minneapolis.  You wonder how and why MLB would send the Mets to two cities Minneapolis and Denver, so early in the season when you know it’s the only time this season the will visit and knowing the unpredictable weather both cities are known for in early spring? Phyllis Merhige the Sr. VP of MLB gets very defensive when she’s questioned about the ridiculous scheduling saying it’s very difficult to schedule 30 teams for a 162 game season. No one is questioning the effort in putting the scheduling together, what I question is the common sense that goes into making up the scheduling.

By the way, Happy Jackie Robinson Day, of course the Mets are on the road and not at Citi Field to celebrate the day Robinson made his big league debut, yeah, yeah I know it’s difficult to schedule 30 teams yada, yada, yada……………

I haven’t had time to go see “42”, I hope to go Wednesday to see it, but from what I’ve read and heard from those you have seen the film it’s quite informative and entertaining.  Can’t wait to see it.

Zach Wheeler pitched again yesterday and it was his best outing of the season. His last two starts Wheeler has been hampered by blister on the index finger of his pitching hand so yesterday’s start with 0 BB and 8 K’s was quite encouraging. I hope the Mets will promote Wheeler on merit and not leave him in Triple A just to keep his “Super 2” status in check. The days ofnickel and diming are over. Management should be bowing to Matt Harvey for rejuvenating the fan base and the thought of a Harvey-Wheeler-Niese top three in the rotation is the first ray of hope we’ve seen in a long time.  I hope the Skill Sets are aware that as soon as Matt Harvey finishes a start, Mets fan are going to the schedule counting off 4 days of rest to be ready for his next start. Harvey is now approaching Seaver/Gooden status. The same will happen with Wheeler as well. This is how you fill a ball park.

So far so good with the bullpen for the Mets. 30 K’s and just 8 BB in 27.2 IP and along with a 75 % inherited runners stranded percentage is outstanding.

Oh by the way, there is no way in hell I’d trade Wheeler and Travis D’arunad for Giancarlo Stanton .

 

          

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D.C. FOLLIES

Ollie Perez has signed a MINOR yes MINOR league deal with the Washington Nationals. So when the Mets asked OP to go to the bushes he and Scott Boras said “nada” but when the best deal you can find is a bush league contract with a bottom feeder team it’s a deal.

The Nats better hope Ollie-ittes isn’t contagious or they will have more to worry about than Stephen Strasburg’s Tommy John-ed elbow .

Enjoy the bus rides, Ollie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN RADIO SHOW TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET on Blog Talk Radio for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. I have no guest booked for the show so the call in line will be open. To talk baseball tonight call in at (646) 727-2465. Some of the topics I’m looking to discuss is my big concern on who will be the next Mets manager and who is making the call on that hire (Jeffy Skill Sets, Omar or a new GM ?), Rob Dibble calling out Stephen Strasburg to learn to pitch hurt, the Pittsburgh Pirates showing profitability in suckitude and the Cincinnati Reds honoring Pete Rose on the anniversary of Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s hit record and anything else that’s on my mind.

What’s on your mind? Call in and vent at (646) 727-2465 tonight on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. 

Don’t forget to check out the THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN shop at Cafe Press

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BLOOMBERG SPORTS HAS YOUR NUMBERS

I had the pleasure last night to attend a presentation at Bloomberg headquarters  by Bloomberg Sports,  updating those of us in attendance, on the new features that have been added to their baseball analytical application and the unveiling of their Fantasy Football application. I came away quite impressed with both products.

Bloomberg Sports is really making a name for itself when it comes to statistical applications dealing with baseball and the football program, which is in pre-production, should be just as compelling to fantasy sports players, fans and media types alike.  

The first presentation of the evening was a detailed look at the analytical program that Bloomberg Sports has made available to all 30 MLB teams. Part of the presentation dealt with the batter/pitcher match up, where every pitch a pitcher has thrown to that batter is broken down to pitch type, pitch location, velocity, and the break of each pitch. There are pie charts that record what pitch type the pitcher has thrown in every conceivable count.   As an added bonus, you can click on each individual at bat in the batter/pitcher confrontation and see video of the at bat. The pitcher/batter used in last night’s demo was a Stephen Strasburg/Lastings Milledge matchup where ahead in the count to LMillz, Strasburg broke off a hellacious curve ball that Milledge’s initial reaction was the pitch was coming up and in or him and as he was bailing, the ball broke right over home plate for strike three. STUNNING!!!!!

For fans, Bloomberg uses the technology to help you win your fantasy league, in fact when you subscribe to the Bloomberg Sports application, you can sync your team into the app and have Bloomberg’s extensive stats and analysis show you the pluses and minuses of your team.

The Fantasy Football package will work the same but right now if you play Fantasy Football on NFL.com, the Bloomberg stat package will be included in the price of the game. If you wish to purchase the app separately (if you play on Yahoo or ESPN) it will cost you a very reasonable $7.95.

Both application are well worth it for fantasy players and non-fantasy players alike.

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

I don’t know who I’m sick of hearing about more LeBron James or Cliff Lee? In Lee’s defense, it’s not his fault as he is no where near a self promoting Ring Leader of a media circus, that LBJ is. As much as Cliff Lee would be an injection of adrenaline to both the Mets pitching staff and it’s fan base, I feel the price for Lee will be too expensive for the Mets. Not monetarily but player wise.

I am enjoying watching the Mets this season unlike any Mets team that’s been assembled since 2006. I love watching a home grown infield and the fact that Angel Pagan a one time farm hand that returned home, and is playing All-Star caliber baseball. On the pitching side, how nice is it to see Mike Pelfrey grow up before our eyes, his lasted slump not withstanding? Jon Niese also pitching better than his scouting reports said he would.  Even Bobby Parnell coming back from a trip to Buffalo looks more grown up on the mound as well. It makes rooting for this team much more fun than when the roster is constructed of mainly mercenaries. That’s why I hope Cliff Lee goes to the Twins or Rays.

I’m sure some of you think that’s very short sighted of me to feel like that way and you may be right, maybe Josh Thole, Wilmer Flores and Jenry Mejia (the three players it would take to land Lee) never flourish in the big leagues and I know some say don’t fall in love with prospects but I guess I’m smitten by the Mets farmhands. I see Ike Davis and Jon Niese making a strong case for Rookie of Year and Ruben Tejada and his supersonic range at 2nd base (not even his natural position) and then Josh Thole comes up and shows a productive bat (his at bats against the Second Coming of Christ a/k/a Stephen Strasburg have raised Thole stock even higher) and his handling of R.A. Dickey and his magical knuckle ball has him pushing Rod Barajas for playing time.  Then there is the financial situation of the team.

This is the great mystery that surrounds this franchise. Are the Mets broke, solvent or just keeping their heads above water? No one knows. I don’t think the Skill Sets are a bunch of brokesters but they’re not exactly livin’ large either. So even if you trade your fine farm fresh products for Cliff Lee, what’s the odds you’re going to sign him long term? Not very good if you ask me.

That’s why Ted Lilly makes the most sense to try to acquire. I’m sure the Cubs would take F-Mart and a minor league pitcher of lesser renown for Lilly.

Lilly is a perfect Citi Field pitcher as he is an extreme fly ball pitcher. His velocity has been down early in the season but like Johan Santana he is coming off injury and little by little getting some speed back on his fastball that in the second half of the season should benefit him by making his change up more effective. A rotation of Santana, Big Pelf, Lilly, Neise and Dickey looks very solid to me.

Sure Cliff Lee would be a huge score but I don’t want to pay the high price in kids. Get Lilly and a reliever either Chad Qualls or Matt Lindstrom and take your shot.

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WHAT’S THE MATTER STEVE PHILLIPS? ARE YA YELLA?

Howard Megdal has challenged Steve Phillips to a debate on  what makes a good General Manager but Phillips has declined the invitation to meet with Megdal and discuss baseball management issues in a public forum. Part of me understands why Phillips is dodging Megdal, it’s a no win situation for him. Philips is seriously lacking in the “skill sets” needed to take on a man of Howard Megdal’ stature. Howard is a straight shooter when it comes to his idea of running a baseball team whereas Phillips, as we have seen with his “I’d trade Stephen Strasburg for Roy Oswalt” declaration on the Pompous Ass radio show, isn’t capable of running a t-ball team and add in his skirt chasing behavior he is now radioactive when it comes to prospective employers  in MLB.

But on the other hand, Phillips would learn a thing or three from Megdal which would be helpful if he did want to get back into baseball.

For once in your life Steve Phillips MAN UP and take Howard Megdal’ challenge !!!!!!!!

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THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, TONIGHT AT 10PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join me tonight at 10PM ET for THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN, as my guest will be Mike Henderson of Nationals Daily News. We will discuss Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and what the present and future looks like for Washington Nationals.

As always if you can’t join us live, you can listen to the podcast here at Kranepool Society (lower left sidebar) or at my show page on Blog Talk Radio or download the show to your iPod, iPhone or iTouch at iTunes.

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MY, THOSE ARE SOME LOVELY KIDS YOU HAVE THERE

While the baseball world was drooling over the debut of Stephen Strasburg, and let me say, all joking aside Strasburg’ pitching was mesmerizing, but there was another story of strapping young men playing ball in Flushing. First Mike Pelfrey continues his coming out season and THANK YOU, THANK YOU to whoever pursued Jerry Manuel to allow Big Pelf to go out for the 9th inning. The site of Fernando Nieve in that situation would have brought me to tears, and then we had the walk off bomb by Ike Davis, who launched the ball into the far reaches of the Pepsi Porch, the spot we’ve been told no Mets player could ever hit a ball, to win a game that had 1969 written all over it. That was the type of game the Miracle Mets of that year used to win and around this time during that season, Mets fans felt there was something happing here, what it is ain’t exactly clear, and that’s how I feel about this vintage of Mets, if they can ever figure how to succeed away from Queens, well this summer could be pre-ty, pre-ty, pre-ty special around here.

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WELL, AT LEAST IT’S COOLER IN THE SUMMER DOWN THE BASEMENT

If what I’m reading in the local fish wraps is correct, it seems the Mets have been mathematically eliminated (Hey Kathy and Joe is it time for a sequel? ) for the 2010 season.

It doesn’t look like any big ticket items will be on Jeffey’s credit card this winter, so the question is why go half assed? Why not just blow the whole team up?

As it stands now, only the Nationals stand in the way of the Mets of the Mets hitting rock bottom in the NL East (for the first Stephen Strasburg-Big Pelf match up, I will be going into solitary confinement) so unless Jeffey (Omar is GM emeritus by the way, as he is earning his million a year as being the Skill Sets “Spider”) decides to empty the more bountiful than they lead us to believe, Mets coffers, the only thing we’ll have to look forward to is Alex Cora  player/interim manager bobble head day.

I leave you with this from Bill Madden’ Daily News column:

Mets? Did somebody say the Mets? They won’t spend the money for Holliday, Bay or Lackey and apparently, they’re only interested in signing low-budget Latin players, having shown little or no interest in Byrd, Figgins, DeRosa, Wolf or even Staten Island’s Jason Marquis, while waiting for their markets to come to them. At the same time, the Phillies and Braves wasted no time in addressing their needs. Sad.

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CAN THE METS SUCK ENOUGH TO BE IN LINE TO DRAFT BRYCE HARPER ?

 

 

After yesterday’s ass whipping by the Braves a game where another player went down with a leg muscle strain and a player who allegedly is getting released by today pitched like his usual shitty self the thought came over me as maybe the Mets should get involved in a reverse pennant race, the race for the top pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

 

Right now the Nationals again lead the way for the first overall pick in the next draft with a 26-65 record and lead the Mets by 17 games for that pick. Unless the Mets assign the rest of the big league team on the DL (not a bad idea, eh?) and bring up the whole Buffalo Bisons team then the Mets have no shot at beating DC for the top pick. The next team in line would be the Cleveland Indians who at 36-57 lead the Mets by a mere 8 games. Now passing the Indians could be done with the help of keeping Tim Redding not only on the team but putting him in the rotation and giving D-Wright the rest of the summer off and pitching Ollie Perez on two days rest.

 

Say this happened, no not Wright’s vacation or Redding and Perez every other day but say the Mets tank to the point of finishing with the second worst record in baseball, they would have a shot at drafting Bryce Harper.

 

You’ve all read about Bryce Harper, who has been hailed as the next great thing since the birth of Jesus. Harper just 16 years old will skip his junior and senior years of high school by obtaining a GED and enrolling in Junior College with the sole purpose of being drafted number 1 in the next draft. Now where this gets interesting is if the Nationals have that pick would they draft Harper who will probably ask for part of the franchise to sign after dealing with Scott Boras in their dealing with Stephen Strasburg? Can the Nationals shell out big bucks for two potential super start players? Would Freddy Skill Sets call in his marker with the Used Car Salesman to rig the draft so the Mets could get their hands on Harper? Am I drunk? Oh sorry no,  but when your team is 10 games off the pace and players are dropping to wayside every game the only thing to hang your hat on is securing a top 10 draft pick. Sad isn’t it?

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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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