Opening Day…….Are We There Yet ?

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Have  I lost my mind? Nope it’s time to make a BOLD move and by trading for Jimmy Rollins is as BOLD a move as you can make. See my rational below.  

It’s been pretty lackluster spring training for the Mets. Aside from watching the bumper crops of young pitching prosper and which organization is going to hand over a big league shortstop, the position battles we anticipated just haven’t happened.

The first baseman fight to the finish between Ike Davis and the new and improved Body by Lake Michigan, Lucas Duda has been non-existent. Both players have gone down with injury for most of the spring with Ike dragging a walking boot around to ease his calf injury and Duda resting a cranky hamstring.  So instead of who has the best at bats winning the first base job, the player who can walk to the batter box without a medical appliance will win that job.

We were all sold a bill of goods about the shortstop position as well. Ruben Tejada was also sent to Michigan boot camp and so far it seems like that was a big waste of time and money. Tejeda looks as bad as he did last season even with Grandpa Terry telling him how marvelous he is. While Grandpa Terry is trying to inflate Tejada’s self-esteem, Big Daddy Sandy is dangling young virile pitchers to any team with a shortstop who can move laterally and at least bat .250

The best move to fill the shortstop spot would be to sign Stephen Drew but Drew doesn’t want to play baseball he wants to be paid millions and then play baseball. It’s easy to kill Drew’s agent Scott Boras but doesn’t the agent work for the player? If Drew really had the hot desire to play baseball he would have told Agent Boras to get him the best deal out there.  There is no market for Drew except for one team, our beloved Mets, so if the GM should offer a face saving 1 yr for $14 mil to Drew/Boras and if they balk, lose their number. Then go into the contacts on your phone and dial Ruben Armaro Jr. and ask what it would take to deal Jimmy Rollins to the Mets.

Yeah you read that right, I want to bring Jimmy Rollins to the Mets as their everyday shortstop. I could care less that he’s a Phillie and that he’s rub our noses in the big stink of defeat for years, that’s exactly why I want him on the Mets. We need an everyday bad ass and since our every fifth day bad ass, Matt Harvey is out for the season. With  Rollins we get an everyday shortstop who has been told by his rookie manager that “he ain’t the ballplayer he used to be” and will be doing everything he can to prove him wrong.

Rollins makes $11 mil for this season and has very reachable clause in his deal to guarantee him $11 mil for 2015. That’s $22 mil the geriatric Phillies could use to get a player or two under 35 years old.  Since our owners declare they have cash to spend why not spend it on a guy who has a World Series ring an MVP and a prickly attitude?

I’m not saying I’d expect the Jimmy Rollins of 2007 his MVP year but if the Mets get Jimmy Rollins of the 2012 vintage it would make the season a lot more interesting .

Now for all of you, who are against this move remember not a single young stud pitcher will be moved in this transaction. That alone should get you on board the J-Roll Train.

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Tejada? Nada Hi Q and What up Gee?

So now that we have something to cheer about in what has been a less than enjoyable baseball season, the voices of sports squawk radio and those who feel they’re the conscious of Mets fans tells us not to get too giddy over this unexpected four game win streak that includes three against the Bronx Bastards. To them I say go piss in someone else’s pool. I’ll revel in whatever joy this team gives me, it could all turn to shit very quickly.

So while we can say we root for the best baseball team in NYC, there is still danger in the summer moon above.

If anything disturbs me it’s the indecision on the front office’s part on what to do with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada. It seems that brain trust is divided on what to do with both of these underachievers.  Reports are that Terry Collins gave them both what for before Tuesday’s game and that the both were saved a trip to Sin City by the Mets win as everyone in the Mets clubhouse had on party hats and were swinging at Piñatas and enjoyed ice cream after the Mets beat the Highlanders and Mariano Rivera, with the kids all having a good time no one had the heart to tell Davis and Tejada they were moving away from their friends. Kids are quite vulnerable you know.

But now it seems Ike Daivs is pulling a Hulk Hogan, when just when you think the 3 count will get him, he raises that finger on the count of two, waves that index finger, gets up and puts the big boot in the opponents face.  Tejeda did the organization a favor by straining a quad muscle and will be out for the season, well, not really but he’s on the 15 day DL, and by Tejada status means it will take him a month to heal and then his rehab then the obligatory minor league starts at Brooklyn, we looking at, oh I don’t know, Labor Day for Tejada? That’s okay as we have the man we want in Omar Quintanilla, back to play stellar D and get some big hits, or so we hope.

Nothing beats having completion on a team for jobs. The word on Tejada was he was getting very complacent thinking he had civil service status as a Met and a trip to Vegas would take him down a notch or two, let’s hope he doesn’t sit around eating Hagen Das while lounging on the beach during his recovery.  

If anything tonight’s game in the South Bronx is not just about sweeping the Highlanders and having their fans jump like rats from a sinking ship, it’s about Dillon Gee pitching for his spot in the rotation. Gee needs to step up big time tonight to keep a spot in the rotation. By next week the rotation will be Harvey-Niese-Marcum-Wheeler and either Gee or Hefner. I’m rooting for Gee to bounce back and keep the 5th spot in the rotation I just feel Hefner is best suited for the bullpen and as the old timey spot starter.

 

 

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ACCORDING TO THE 2012 BILL JAMES HANDBOOK, THE METS HAVE NO DEFENSE

for a copy of the 2012 Bill James Handbook check out ACTA Sports  

My must have book of the baseball off season is the Bill James Handbook (ACTA publishing) and this off season is no exception. I just got my hands on the 2012 edition of the Handbook and as usual it is filled with stats and essay’s that help any baseball fan make informed thoughts when looking at your teams needs for the coming season.

One of my favorite features in the Handbook is The Fielding Bible Awards.  John Dewan puts this section together and enlists some of the great baseball minds to vote on the awards. This year the voters are:

Bill James

Baseball Info Solutions (BIS) Video Scouts

Hal Richman creator of Strat-O-Matic  Baseball

Joe Posnanski

John Dewan

Peter Gammons

Doug Glanville

Rob Neyer

Todd Radcliffe Lead Video Scout for BIS

Tom Tango Fan Poll

These ten voters rank players at all nine positions using a 1-10 voting system, the votes are tallied and the top 10 players are listed. For our purposes let’s look at how the Mets defenders faired

At first base Daniel Murphy (yes Daniel Murphy) graded out at #10 with 18 total points.  Bill James voted Murph 5th, BIS Video Scouts voted him 10th, Joe Posnanski voted him 5th and John Dewan listed him 6th on his ballot. This is why I won’t be shocked when Murphy is dealt this winter  to play 1st or even 3rd base where he grades out positive as well in exchange for one of the many needs the Mets have this off season. It’s at 2nd base where Murphy is a -2 in the Runs Saved (RS) category and why the Mets need to think of defense first at second. By the way Justin Turner grades out at a woeful -11 RS at 2nd base.

So you can see neither Murph nor Ginger Turner rated in the top 10 (Ruben Tejeda by the way was a +1 in RS at 2nd base) my favorite non-Mets player Dustin Pedroia finished #1 with 97 pts

A big surprise was at shortstop where Mets icon, Jose Reyes didn’t come close to a top ten finish with a lowly 6 pts to his name.

I don’t know if this is a surprise or not (I’ll leave it up to you) but at 3rd base David Wright did not garner a single vote. The Wreck of Miguel Tejada received votes from Glanville, Posnanski and Dewan . MIGUEL TEJADA!!!!!! If that doesn’t motivate D-Wright to get his leather groove on, I don’t know what would?

Jason Bay finished out of the money in 15th but at least he was ahead of the 500 lb left fielder a/k/a Carlos Lee

In the section dealing with centerfielder’s I’ve stared at the page for hours, held it up to the light then to a mirror and still not a sign of Angel Pagan, in fact if the Handbook was released on vinyl and you played it backwards you would hear Pagan is dead. Could Sandy Alderson give us a shiny new centerfielder for Christmas?  Can he find a way to get Peter Bourjos or Adam Jones ? Hell, I’d settle for Coco Crsip.

In the right field category there isn’t a Mets representative and I have a strong feeling there won’t be one in the 2013 Handbook either.

24 catchers received Fielding Bible Award votes, none were named Josh Thole. Kelly Shoppach received 12 votes and would a perfect tag team partner for Thole who in all fairness is still learning the tools of ignorance trade on the Major League Level.

The highest rated Mets defender is none other than Robert Allen Dickey, R.A. to you and me.  I wonder if Dickster can play 2nd base or centerfield on his four days off?

That’s just some of the great features in the 2012 Bill James Handbook and it’s also a very useful reference as we play amateur GM of the Mets this off season.

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WHERE HAVE YOU GONE NELLY D, METS FANS TURN THEIR LOSING EYES TO YOU

Rumors were flying again yesterday that Jose Reyes signed with the Flamboyant Fish but those rumors seem premature but it looks like the Mets are going forward in the post-Reyes era by letting it known that #Imwith28 will be given the 2nd base job and team with Ruben Tejeda to secure the middle infield. In the name of the father…… The major problem with #Imwith28 is his two best spots on defense are filled by I Like Ike at 1B and D-Wright at 3rd. Too bad #Imwith28 wasn’t a catcher, hummmmm there’s an idea.

Chris Jaffe informs us this morning that today is the 25th Anniversary of Freddy Skill Sets becoming the sole owner of the New York Mets buying the rest of Nelson (make mine a) Doubleday controlling interest. In his column, Jaffe, informs us that the Mets have played just a tad over .500 ball since Freddy’s takeover (2,017-1,962 1962? Oh the irony) but have an overall losing record since 1989. Enjoy your Monday.

You load sixteen tons,  what do you get?

 Another day older and deeper in debt

  Saint Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go

   I owe my soul to the company store

 

Look, I’m a fan of the New York Football Giants and you’re a fan of the NY Jets and we’re both upset today after how our teams fared yesterday but my question to you today is would you be surprised if the Patriots won the Super Bowl? I wouldn’t unless of course their played the Giants in the big game ‘cause the G-Men got the Pats number. Oh and how about BB HC of NEP telling the J-E-T-S defense to felaite him? Oh my!

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TEJEDA AND PITCHING IS THE METS WAY TO GO

Six pitchers to win a nine inning baseball game, welcome to the next re-invention of baseball, courtesy of The Genius.  The biggest impression I have of the post season is that we are now going from having a setup man and closer as your main relievers to having to have at least seven pitchers who can come out of your pen, game in game out.  Before the post season even started, Sandy Alderson made it known that rebuilding his bullpen would be job one.  

The story of Game one changes dramatically if Allen Craig does not come through with that huge pinch hit single to put the Cards ahead 3-2. The second guessers and LaRussa haters (I raise my hand) would have been out in full force. Just goes to show the difference between a genius and an asshole in baseball is a fair ball.

There was a terrific column by Adam Rubin on ESPNNY.com on how the readiness of Ruben Tejada could soften the blow of Jose Reyes leaving for greener (backs) pastures. Rubin quotes Mark Simon, ESPN’s numbers cruncher with stats that show me the Mets would be better off with Reyes leaving and Tejada taking over shortstop and using the money saved on pitching. Defensively you really don’t lose much with Tejeda (according to the metrics the Mets would gain with Tejeda at shortstop) it’s on offense where you lose the most.

“If you look at it from a WAR [wins above replacement] perspective, Reyes was a 6.2 last year via Fangraphs. Tejada was a 1.8,” Simon said. “The question would be: What is Tejada at his best … maybe a 3-WAR player? So there is a drop-off.”

You’d think that a healthy Ike Davis, David Wright (if he’s not dealt) with the fences of Citi Field lower and closers (and painted blue I hope),and a rejuvenated Jason Bay (a guy can dream can’t he) would make up for the offensive slack lost by the dearly departed Reyes   

I think this quote from an NL scout sums it up:

  Said one National League scout: “Tejada is ready to play every day. Save the money and go get some pitching. You’re not winning anything in 2012 anyway. Find out if the kid can do it. He really has improved with the bat and gotten physically stronger. He’s going to need a backup, though, in case he gets hurt or needs a day off”

As Mets fans, we need to root for three more Redbird wins in a row so we can get our off season started, the suspense is killing me.

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A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT KIND OF POST TODAY

 

Here is today’s stream of (un) consciences in no particular order of importance or relevancy:

Why send Lucas Duda to the Instructional League to work on playing right field when he can just be left there for the next 45 games of the season.  While we’re at it, let Mike Baxter play some 1st base and even a little centerfield as well. I don’t know if you’ve heard but the Mets are not going to the post season….shhhhhhhhhh……keep it on the downlow…….

It’s been a pleasure watching the maturation of Jon Niese as a pitcher and a player this season. Niese seems to be over his problems of fatigue and injury. His BB is down as his K/BB ratio is up to 3:1. He’s kept the ball in the park as well with his HR rate lower than last year but his hits to innings pitched is still high. He has become one of the young leaders of this team as he handled the disappointment of a loss due to the two errors of neophyte shortstop Ruben Tejeda like a seasoned pro.

Terry Collins has stopped with giving pep talks and is focused on watching who gives all and who gives none down the stretch of the season. Good move, I’m going to do the same thing, no more rally cries for Mets fans to support this team. If you can’t see the positive change this season in this organization, you’re not worth preaching to anyway.

When it comes to the 10th Anniversary of the attack of September 11th, the last thing I’m concerned with is what time the Mets are playing and what kind of caps they’ll wear. Quite frankly, the day should be a day of remembrance and reflection on the tragic events of that day and how that day has changed our lives forever.  

The news that ESPN 710 in Los Angeles will be broadcast New York Jets games this season made we wonder if the Dodgers and Giants ever broadcast games back to New York when the left after the 1957 season?

Jerry Reese is lucky he’s not the GM of the Mets or Highlanders as the outcry of his non-moves and letting key Giants players leave would be off the charts hysterical. Can you imagine the screaming headlines if Sandy Alderson or Pee Wee Cashman, after two seasons of not making the playoffs and losing a game in embarrassing manner to your biggest arch rival, stood pat while big time free agents signed with other teams?  Football may be the number one sport in America but baseball still rules the roost in NYC.

If you are not following Giants VP of Communications, Pat Hanlon on Twitter (@giantspathanlon) you are missing out. Hanlon is the loyalist of loyal Mara employees and will take on all critics of Big Blue. Rex Ryan gets a lot of pub for his outlandish behavior but he’s a wallflower compared to Giants Pat.

By the way, all the Giants fans that are ready to leap off the George Washington Bridge thinking this season will be a disaster calm the fuck down. Let the season play out before you leap off the bridge.

Congrats to David Wright as he passed Ed Kranepool as the All-Time Mets leader in Total Bases. See, I can take the high road sometimes.

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