Redemption Weekend

The mantra of Terry Collins the second half of this dismal season has been “this is the time for some guys to show they belong here’ here being in the big leagues. So far the vast majority of Mets players have not measure up to that test. What should infuriate Mets fans even more is that the wild card race has become a wide open affair in the National League.

For most of the season it looked as though the Braves and Pirates would be playing in the one game knockout tournament. The Dodgers then went out and made the deal of the millennium and the Giants lost Melkey Cabrea to doping charges. It seemed like the Giants would drop out and the Dodgers would take over the NL West.  The opposite occurred with the Giants players bonding in the wake of the Cabrea suspension and the fact that the Melk Man wasn’t man enough to face his teammates to apologize for abandoning them. It seems that back turn by Cabrera has been a rallying cry for the Giants. The Dodgers on the other hand have stopped scoring runs (sound familiar?) and the Pirates returned to form losing 15 of their last 20 games, same for the Cardinals who have dropped 12 of last 20 while the Braves have tread water at 10-10. While those teams hit the skids the left for dead Phillies and Brewers have both gone on 15-5 streaks to get them back in the thick of wild card contention.  Have you noticed I’ve failed to mention our beloved NY Mets in this conversation? Why is it that some teams like the Phillies and Brewers can go into slumps but then not give up the season and fight for a spot? How is it that team’s like the Pirates, Dodgers and Cardinals are now in slumps, at the worst time of the season to do so, but are still fighting to stay in the hunt while the New York Eeyores just plod along?  

This should be the message that Terry Collins sends his players in his pre-game talk with them. Let them know that these three games with the Brewers are a test, a test to see if they have the heart and guts to compete with a team that rose from the ranks that the Mets have made permanent residence in, the also ran’s, to a team in contention.  Let them know that this is their time to have an impact on the season to help alter the course of the post season race. To me this is a real test of Collins and his players to show that they actually give a shit about winning.  If this team can’t find it in itself to show some competiveness and some pride in this series and Terry Collins comes out in the post-game and says he saw some good things and that guys tried, I’m going to sue the Mets for the price of a 55” Samsung TV because I will throw the remote control through my television if that happens.

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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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The Mets Front Office Needs To Show Me They Are Back In The Baseball Business

Not much energy to put up a post today, watching the NY Rangers play an epic 3 OT playoff game will drain a fan. Between watching Henrik Lundqvist kick and catch puck after puck and seeing Ranger after Ranger drop down and block pucks to the point that Dan Girardi and Brian Boyle got their best rest while getting stitched up so they could go back out to block some more pucks.

I’m just thankful that after investing over 5 hours of hockey watching the Rangers game away with the 2-1 win and 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

So after going to bed at about a quarter to 1 this morning, waking up at 5 AM and getting to work by 6:30AM I’m a tad fatigued. So I’ll just say this about the three games of awful pitching in Houston, the front office has to show the fan base that they will go out and find a better option than Chris Schwinden. I don’t want to see Matt Harvey or Jureys Familia, let them stay on their development course.  I’m ok with Jeremy Hefner taking Schwinden place, hell a forfeit might make better sense than starting Schwinden again. If you ever wanted to know what a 4A player looks like its Chris Schwinden

I doubt seriously that Roy Oswalt would sign a deal with the Mets but you know what? Humor me. Make an attempted and contact Oswalt’s agent and see what it would take to sign him. Sweeten the deal with a clause that if he joins the Mets and they are not in contention at the trade deadline you will either trade him to a contender or release him. As I say, I doubt Oswalt would sign with the Mets and he may not even be effective but I need a sign that the Mets are back in the baseball business.  Even a trade for an arm, and again I’m not looking for a 1, 2 or 3 starter, in fact the perfect guy for the Mets to make a move on would be Jason Marquis. Marquis would be a nice fit in place of Mike Pelfrey and I’d bet it wouldn’t take  much to rustler him away from the Minnesota Twins , add in that Marquis still lives on Staten Island I’m sure he’d jump at the chance to come  home to pitch.

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Heave-Ho!! Three In A Row

3-0 is wonderful but I’m not ready to get jiggy with it just yet.  Put aside that the last three days were the best we’ve seen in Flushing in a while there were some subtle changes that I saw with this Mets team the first three games of 2012 that could make this season better than most of us thought.

When Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his Major League debut on Saturday, the Mets fielded a starting nine that was composed of seven home grown players. The only two “outsiders” were Jason Bay (who was a homegrown put once removed so I won’t count him here) and Robert Allen Dickey (a review of his outstanding book will be posted here soon) everyone else were born and raised, New York Mets.

Think back Mets fans to years of when there weren’t any “growing up Mets” in the everyday lineup, just a bunch of mercenary’s who came to Flushing for the Maddoff greenbacks. Winning? Who cares about winning just make sure that big seven figure check is in my hands the 15th and 30th of the month. It was that way of building a team that resulted in losing ways and the fan base having a hard time rooting for the Mets. Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez were as hated as any Mets player not named Vince Coleman, Bobby Bonilia or Richie Hebner. Carlos Beltran, one of the best players to ever wear a Mets uniform, was never embraced by the fan base, some still held a grudge that he contacted the Bronx Bastards before signing a Mets contract on the bottom line and others just never cottoned to the right fielder because he made his bones in Kansas City and Houston. He wasn’t an authentic Met.

You’ve seen how many Mets fans were upset over Jose Reyes leaving the Mets to join the Fish and their Commie-loving manager Ozzie “Little El Jefe” Guillen, as the crying was over the Reyes being a Met his whole baseball life.  That’s why this 2012 Mets team is the kind of team we’ve always wanted, players who have come up the minor leagues ranks together, a team that truly likes one and other and is cohesive bunch with an all for one, one for all mindset.

I know there are some who feel the word “chemistry” is not just over used but meaningless when it comes to sports teams, and I totally disagree with that mindset. The fact that the majority of this Mets team has rode buses together, shared some really bad fast food at all hours of the night and grew up in the system is not something to discard. Think of how it felt to be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, you’re called up to the big leagues, your dream come true and sure your nervous but when you walk into the clubhouse there are so many familiar faces, guys who’ve played with in the minors who you know and trust will make your transition from prospect to big leaguer so much smoother than if there were a bunch of grizzled red ass vets (ask Gregg Jefferies or Lastings Milledge what that was like) who see you as a threat to their jobs.

It’s why this Mets team will be one of the easiest Mets teams to root for in awhile. Of course we know as great as a 3-0 record is, they could drop 2 of the nest three or 4 of the next 6, but watching this team play these three games and how they interact together as a team, the bad stretches that every team goes through in a grueling 162 season may not be as catastrophic as in years past, because these Mets have each other’s backs.

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RETURN OF THE JACKET

Following a Mets game on Twitter is a trip but following a Mets game on Twitter when it’s a Mike Pelfrey start is a trip on brown acid. With the absence of fan punching bags Ollie Perez and Luis Castillo, Mets fans needed to find a new player to kick the shit out of and Big Pelf stepped into that role rather well this season.

What frustrates the living shit out of me with Pelf is he has the talent to be a dominant pitcher in the big leagues  along with the classic pitchers body but what he lacks is the cerebal “SKILL SETS” to combine the physical end of pitching with the most important part of pitching, the mental part.

Let’s not dismiss the fact that Pelf lost his long time mentor with the passing of Harvey Dorfman, the psychologist who not only wrote books on the mental part of baseball and one strictly on pitching but he also was a huge part of the careers of Al Leiter and John Smoltz.

Pelf would speak to Dorfman on a regular basis and this season was the first the big righty could not pick up the phone or fly Dorfman in for a skull session.

This situation is not lost on Sandy Alderson which is why I think these are the last three games of Dan Warthen’ reign as Mets pitching coach.  This just a gut feeling, but I could definitely see Rick Peterson coming back as Mets pitching coach in 2012. Alderson and his staff have a history with Peterson who is cut from the same analytical cloth as the leaders of the Mets front office so it’s no pipe dream that this reunion could happen for 2012.

It’s also not to say that the Peterson approach will work with Big Pelf although Pelfrey had a fine season under Peterson’s tutelage in 2007, his first full year with the Mets and seeing that the Alderson plan is go younger and cheaper with pitching talent it could be the missing piece to getting the most out of Pelf, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese by having them work with Rick Peterson.

And don’t discount that fact the SNY would be sitting on a ratting bonanza by having Peterson and R.A. Dickey host a show discussing not just baseball but their views on life and the world around us. Talk about must see TV.

Even with Pelf having the representation of the Agent of Darkness, how much does he think he is going to get in arbitration; in fact you’d have to think he wouldn’t want to have anything to do with presenting his case to an arbitrator no matter what the Agent of Darkness thinks. Pelf made a shade under $4 mil this season and in his Mets career he’s cashed checks of close to $9mil so I’d say he owes the club and should sign for a modest (though underserved ) raise of maybe $4.5 for 2012 with some incentives.

It’s easy to say “dump his ass” but where do you find a guy with the physical tools and plow horse endurance of a Mike Pelfrey. Hire The Jacket and send Pelf to the lab and let’s see if this is a talent really worth saving.

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2 OF 3 FROM THE FISH TAKE THAT SUCKAS’

What’s not to like? 2 of 3 on the road from the Fish to start the season is as good as it gets. Last year the road was a scary place for the Mets who didn’t win a road series until beating the Orioles during last June’s inter league play. Not only was this an impressive road series victory but it was against a division rival that seems to give the Mets fits.

No one on the Mets roster can complain this weekend about playing time as Terry Collins used the whole roster, just about, in all three games.

What more can be said about Willie Harris ? A HR today a couple of doubles in his last game, and 4 RBI as well as Howie Rose said last night on the radio, “what took so long for the Mets to get this guy”

Ike Davis hit a blast in the 3rd off Javy Vasquez who is just a mess on the mound, almost as much a mess as the Marlins D. It’s that god awful defense that holds the Fish back from being a legit contender.

Usually the April Fools gag that was perpetrated by the SNY employee who played the Family Guy clip mocking the Mets losing on opening day, would have the club say, see we can take a joke” but with all the negative vibe being generated from the ownership mess and unprofessionalism by the main steam media, whoever was guilty of the prank has to be fired immediately. If the organization is going to take a stand and stop allowing itself to be a patsy for no talent hacks like Fillip Bondy in the NY Daily Lupica, then this is a good place to start.

I don’t see how the Mets look bad as per the comments that Pee Wee Cashman made about Pedro Feliciano being “damaged goods”. If any one should be embarrassed its Pee Wee.  When Old School Dan Warthen heard Cashman’s comments I guess he got a laugh as he said “why do you think we didn’t resign him”? Didn’t Pee Wee know that Gary Cohen gave Feliciano the name “Perpetual Pedro” for a reason?  He led all of baseball in pitching appearances the last three seasons and to Feliciano’s credit, he asked for the ball everyday, the only real gamer on the club the last two seasons. Warthen knew Pedro was on his last legs (or arm) and I’m sure he recommended to Sandy Alderson to take a Pasadena on PP. Maybe someone in the Highlander front office could show Pee Wee the Baseball-Reference website, it might be helpful when he makes his next player move.

Jason Isringhausen felt a twinge in his back as he pitched in a minor league game today. Alderson comes up smelling like a rose once again.

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IZZY OR BOYER? NICK EVANS? BACKUP CATCHER? WHAT’S YOUR FINAL ANSWER ?

 

Allright back to blogging after a weekend of freezing my ass off on a camping trip in Northern New Jersey.  I spent the weekend with my son and his Boy Scout Troop at Camp No-Be Bosco in NJ, if it wasn’t bad enough the woods were snow covered, the temps were in the mid-teens on Friday night and Saturday morning, but I have to admit this was what we call “fat-ass camping” we slept in cabins with propane heat but still, we did a 5 mile hike into the mountains which was nice until we discovered a couple of huge bear paw prints. That’s when my bowels started to churn a bit.

Anyway, here it is with opening day just five days away and it feels like football season more than baseball but never the less for us Mets fans Friday night at 7:05pm at “Your Name Here Stadium” in South Florida it will be the start of the Mets 2011 season but between now and Friday the decision makers of the Mets have some tough roster moves to make.

The starting eight look set now that Carlos Beltran is confident he will be good to go on opening day. Day two of the season he may not be and that looks to be how Beltran’s season will go. He is not an everyday player any longer. If he plays two or three games in a row we will surely need a day off to rest his hurting knees.  That would make Scott Hairston or Willie Harris, Beltran’ caddy. Hairston has some power but he hasn’t played much right field so this could be problem if Beltran’s knee woes become chronic.  Harris fits the bill defensively (as we Mets fans know too well) and he has that nice OBP that’s all the rage in Metsville. Depending on the pitcher the day Terry Collins will need an understudy will determine if Hairston (bats right) or Harris (bats left) gets the nod.

The four everyday infielders are set with Brad Emaus taking over second base on a futures bet by the Mets. Emaus didn’t light up spring training but with a big endorsement from J.P. Riccardi, Emaus gets to show his stuff on opening day and beyond, how far beyond will be up to Emaus. The infield bench consists of a no hit (Chin-lung Hu) no glove (Daniel Murphy) and a man of many gloves (Willie Harris who I bet will be the emergency third catcher) and some bat, what this does is it makes Nick Evans an ex-Met, which is kind of sad.

The catcher position is becoming a mess. Josh Thole is the starter but who will back him up? The Mets waited and waited for Rony Paulino knowing he came with some carryon baggage in an 8 game suspension for PED use. He then added another piece of luggage with his visa problems and now he’s added a steamer trunk with news that some blood work that was done on him looks problematic. Mike Nickeas is ok for a week but no way can the Mets go a full season with him as the backup catcher, so if Paulino has an illness the Mets may have to scramble for a backup catcher. Anyone have Bengi Molina’s phone number?

The starting pitching is set, as is 6/7ths of the bullpen, with the competition between Blaine Boyer and the surprising Jason Isringhausen comong down to a last minute decision.  Izzy has been a great story this spring and looked to be a lock to win a job until he heard a pop in his elbow and Boyer has been fabulous this spring. As much as the club wants to keep Izzy, the worry is he will breakdown in a month or two, and Boyer has an out in his contract and will scooped up by another team in a heartbeat. 

Sandy Alderson admitted during the bloggers conference call that the decision on who gets the last bullpen spot is a very tough call.  Izzy brings a battle tested pitcher to the pen and has shown he wants to pass on his knowledge to his mates.  It’s really really tough but since the medical staff says it was just some old scar tissue that’s popped and Izzy has returned to pitching and has still been effective, I’d take a shot at keeping him on the 25 man roster.

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STILL IN LIMBO

So I’m still a man without a home, a work home that is as the renovation of my office is taking on a rebuilding of London after WWII feel to it, but I figured give a little bit of an opinion of the last few days as per the Mets GM search and the post season:

It looks like Sandy Alderson is very much interested in running the Mets baseball ops and I as giddy as a character on GLEE if he gets the job. The fact that John Ricco was retained by the Skill Sets bodes well for Alderson coming on board and grooming Ricco to learn the GM the right way.  

Look I’m not happy with the Phuck Phaces domination of the Reds and Halladay’s no hitter, but I have to give him his due, that was one of the greatest pitched games I have ever seen from a guy not named Seaver.

Is it worse to not make the playoffs where at least you know your team needs to make some big changes or is it better to win your division but get your ass kicked in three games like the Twins? Just once I’d like to see the Twins step up in a post season match up vs. the Highlanders.

Same with the Rays, this is not the way to get folks to come out and support you

My boy Tim Lincecum was down right nasty last night as he dominated the Tomahawkers. Anyone for a NLCS Lincecum v. Halladay? Fuck Yeah!!!!

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READY TO BURST WITH CELTIC PRIDE

Sorry for the fragmented posts but I’m tired. I did THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN from 10Pm to 11PM then I co-hosted with Michael Jong of Marlins Maniac on BBA TALK also on BLOG TALK RADIO so I’m a bit tired and if you are reading my Tweets, I am one cranky bastard today.

So thankfully I’m off today from work and due to the rain and cold I canceled baseball practice for this afternoon, for the good of the kids because when I am in my cranky bastard mood and add in that we practice at a field next to South Beach on Staten Island and it’s cold and damp, that is a very explosive combination. Add in that my pitchers have been falling into the bad habit of pitching from behind on just about every hitter that last three games, nothing would good would come from being around people today.

So I will hit my Man Cave at 1PM to watch the Mets-Nats, close the door and activate the OLD MAN IS CRANKY alert to serve as a warning.

You’re surrounded LeBron,  come out with your hands up!

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AND THE 2009 SEASON CONTINUESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

If Freddi Gonzalez ever feels his job as head Fishmonger is in jeopardy, he’d better hope the Mets are on the upcoming schedule. The Marlins have now beaten the Mets 13 times in the last 24 games.

Yes, yes, yes I know the season is in its infancy stage but didn’t the last three games look as though 2009 hasn’t ended? If not for the big effort by Johan Santana on Monday the Mets might be 0 for 2010 today.

Nice work by Jon Neise last night working all his pitches and hitting the strike zone on the down low.  The way he worked his fastball and cutter was encouraging as well. Too bad the Mets couldn’t put a few crooked numbers up for him. Sure 3 runs allowed in 6 innings is an average performance but Niese did pitch to contact and after watching John Maine on Wednesday at least he threw strikes.

I keep looking and looking but I can’t find where the Mets have DFA’Mike Jacobs? By the way Ike Davis had 3 hits in 4AB’s in a losing Buffalo Bison effort last night. Just sayin’

Should SNY start Mets telecast like an episode of 24 as a count down to when Jerry Manuel gets fired, “The following occurred between 7:10PM and 10:35PM”

This weekend series against the Nationals is a “must-win” for the Mets. What? Too early?

Luis Castillo will sit out tonight’s game with calf (wink, wink) discomfort. So tonight we get Alex “Leader of Men” Cora at 2nd base and Ruben Tejada at short, and hopefully by tomorrow Jose Reyes will be activated from the DL unless of course he eats a dozen oysters on the half shell on the plane ride from St. Lonesome. Oh and Michael Highlander, I’m wearing my doo-rag today!!!!

I’m proud to say I have not watched one second of Jersey Shore being that if I want to look at wanna be tough guys and cows who have an over inflate view of their importance I can stroll the Staten Island Mall, but the commercial for Vitamin Water D-Wright shot with this cugine (pronounced COO-Jean) The Situation was pretty amusing. D-Wright by the way had a piece of the Vitamin Water and when they were bought by Coca-Cola Wright made a nice piece of change.

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Tickets

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