NY Mets Will Be Buyers This Trade Deadline

 

Trying to get back into blogger mode after a week on Cape Cod and the cold reality that 5AM wakeup call awaits me tomorrow morning so  without much rhyme or reason here are some Mets thoughts:

The next three days with the All Star break should feature a whirlwind of Mets trade rumors in fact some are starting already. This team for all the hustle and flow it’s shown this season needs some big time renovation if they are going to go hard after a post season berth.

The biggest need is in the bullpen which posted its best ERA of the season at 3.77 but still sports the worst team ERA in MLB at 4.99.  It seems Terry Collins is relying on the arms of Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell and Miguel Batista in the late innings of games while Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have the tag of “one or two batters only” attached to their names. Pedro Beato is back up and one would hope he would replace Batista in the late inning order, moving Batista back to the long man role he’s better at. Of course all will change once Frankie Frisco comes back from oblique rehab but where will he fit? Has Bobby Parnell turned a corner in his career where he’s figured out how to get his curve over for strikes and have the confidence to throw it in a tough situation? Seems the Mets brass is not 100 % sold on Parnell and Frisco as they have let the word out they would like to obtain a closer or a pitcher who has had closer experience, that doesn’t mean Parnell and Frisco are a concern but as we’ve seen so far this half of the season a strong back end of the pen is the difference between 4.5 games back of the Nats instead of 4.5 games ahead of the Nats and first place in the NL East.

Lots of talk of the Mets getting involved in dealing for a catcher, which Sandy Alderson has made known is a priority to upgrade in the Mets system, hence the drafting of Kevin Plawecki with a supplemental pick in this year’s draft, and while myself and many Mets fans would be happy if the Mets were to upgrade the position at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if it will happen or should it. As much as Mike Nickeas makes Mets fans groan, when it comes to the pitching staff and Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, Nickeas is a valuable piece to this team. Nickeas is kind of a player/coach on this Mets team and I know there is a segment of Mets fans and bloggers who feel team chemistry is overrated, it’s hard to watch this team day in and day out and not see that the camaraderie in the clubhouse has played a major role in the success of the team in the first half.  You may not believe it but the front office, coaching staff and the players do. I would be a bit surprised if the Mets dealt for a catcher in season, best bet is the team will go hard to upgrade the backstop spot in the winter.

Much has been made about Reggie Jackson dissing the late Gary Carter saying the Kid was not Hall of Fame worthy, if you know anything about Reggie Jackson you know he loves to say things just to get his name mentioned in the papers or TV/sports talk radio. We all know the stories of Reggie’s turbulent Highlander years as a self-promoting blowhard, who always felt he was above everything and anything. I have a Reggie story that was told to me by someone who worked for the Highlanders and is now deceased and it shows the true Reggie

When Jackson retired he was hired by George Steinbrenner to work in the front office with Gene Michael. On his first day as a front office employee, Reggie went into Steinbrenner’s office which doubled as his suite at Highlander Stadium and asked to be served a turkey sandwich and an iced tea.  Jackson was told by the gentleman who ran the suite that since he was now a front office employee of the Highlanders, he could not come into the office/suite whenever he felt like it and he could not eat there either, Reggie was told he had to eat in the cafeteria with the rest of the office staff. Jackson exploded when he heard this and said “Do you know who the fuck I am? Get me that fucking sandwich and drink”. To avoid further confrontation the attendant went and got Jackson his lunch. As Reggie sat and enjoyed his turkey sandwich, Boss George entered the suite. “Who’s that down there”? “Reggie, Boss” was the workers reply. “What the fuck is he doing here”? Asked Steinbrenner. “Eating his lunch” the worker said. “Eating his lunch” doesn’t he know he has to eat in the staff cafeteria”? said Big Stein. “I told him that Boss but he told me he’s Reggie Jackson and basically told me to go fuck myself” relayed the worker.

With that Boss George erupted and starting screaming at Jackson and grabbed the plate the sandwich was on and flung it at the wall, Steinbrenner then asked Jackson if he knew “Who the fuck he was”? Steinbrenner then told Jackson if he pulls a stunt like that again, he’ll fire him but before he made him leave Steinbrenner had two more things for Reggie to do, one, apologize to the suite attendant who Steinbrenner informed him was more valuable to the organization than Jackson and two, get a broom and clean up this mess. Jackson performed both tasks.

 

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The Chickens Come Home To Roost

 

Some quick thoughts on the Mets :

Got to give Jon Ruach a break last night on that home run to Eric Chanvez. He got ahead two strikes and then threw a good waste pitch up and away but Chavez got his hands up and hit the opposite way for the game winning home run. It’s a tired cliché but never the less sometimes you have to give the hitter credit.

How about Tim McFullofshit saying that last year that wouldn’t have been a home run in Citi Field because the foul pole is in a different spot. Add that to his inability to pronounce Kirk Nieuwenhuis name properly  he called him Nieuwen-house, Nieuwen-hurs and Nieuwen-hiss.

I don’t think there is a fan base in all of baseball that enjoys having their team play on a National broadcast. Every fan has that “ah fuck” moment whenever they hear “Hi I’m Joe this is Tim” from the Fox broadcast booth. What’s a bit different this year is Joe Buck has been cured of his vocal cord aliment but now suffers from a chronic case of Can’t Shut The Fuck Up. Oh a great move by bringing in Charlie Sheen and Todd Zelie to the booth. Here’s all you need to know about Charlie Sheen his own father can’t stand him.

While most on Twitter were killing Terry Collins about his bullpen strategy last night, we weren’t privy to the news that El Pollo Loco had hurt himself in warmups, thus leaving the club with 5 relievers and it seems that the combo of Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak would share the closing role last night. It also answers why Chris Young stayed in the game after walking Teixeria and Special Ed Swisher but TC pressed his luck with Young facing Ibanez.

So far all season no one has said anything good or bad about the right field play of Lucas Duda but last night he misplayed Swisher’s fly ball into a double the critics come out in full force. Bunch of assholes

Go get ‘em Dickster.

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Welcome Back Chris Young, The Entry Draft, Ike’s Woe’s and My Meeting Big Mets Fan,Jon Stewart

Is it too early to say that this 3 game set in D.C. is a big series for the Mets?  With our hero’s a mere half game out of the top spot of the NL East and coming off an exciting and eventful winning series against the defending World Champion Cardinals I’d say this series with the Nats is pretty, pretty, pretty big deal. Not a, be all end all for sure but nice test for our boys.

Chris Young will make his 2012 debut tonight after spending over a year on the DL with shoulder surgery and he’ll have a Miguel Batista safety net as well as Batista will come off the DL after suffering a lower back injury. How much can the Mets expect at of both of these returning wounded pitchers?  What happens if Young is in the midst of a perfect game when he reaches his pitch count? No I haven’t been drinking.

The Mets drafted two players during last night’s Entry Draft. With their first pick the #12 overall, they chose   Gavin Cecchini a shortstop out of high school in Louisiana. In tweeting back and forth with Joe DeMayo of the St. Luice to Flushing site, I agree with him that the Mets must have a pre-draft deal set with Cecchini, which is an Alderson/DePo M.O. I’d bet the same is true with the pick they made at #35 in catcher Kevin Plawecki of Purdue. The club having a little over $7mil in their set budget for the first ten picks so my guess is if both Cecchini and Plawecki take a little less than the slot money at their draft position it gives the Mets a little bit of flexibility to draft a player who may drop due to signing constraints. Remember this is the first entry draft under the new CBA and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have running this show than Alderson and DePodesta.

If you are not following Tim Byrdak on Twitter you are missing out on one of the best shows on the internet.

Who doesn’t love Ike Davis? We all do. I want Ike to be that 20-25 HR 90-100 RBI Gold Glove first base man who plays here his whole career and gets induction into the Mets Hall of Fame if not Cooperstown but with many of the injured position players coming back from the DL and his “can’t find my way at the plate approach” Ike is giving Sandy Alderson no choice but to send him to Buffalo.  

The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is a big, big Mets fan. I’m pretty sure I’ve told this story before about how I met Stewart at The Bronx Zoo during the Christmas holiday week a few years ago when both our kids were riding the carousel. I had on a Mets jacket and Mets cap and had no idea Stewart was next to me until he said he liked my jacket. When I realized it Jon Stewart to say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  This was during the Art Howe era so rooting for the Mets was more of a secret order than a fandom. After our kids whizzed around the Merry Go Round about four times and had enough, Stewart and I shook hands and he said he’d check out this site. I hope he did and still does. Jon if you’re reading, drop me a line.

Oh and by the way I’m ecstatic that Bill Maher has bought into a minority share of the Mets, because I’m a big fan of his and because I know it pisses many of you off that Maher is now a part owner.  I do understand your anger though, I’d be pissed of O’Reily or Hannity bought into the Mets.

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Tim Byrdak Takes Time To Talk To The Mets Bloggers

Before last nights game at Citi Field, myself and fellow Mets bloggers had the opportunity to spend some time with Tim Byrdak click here to listen 

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THE SKY IS NOT REALLY FALLING

I’m already feeling Mets fatigue as the stories out of St Lonesome other than Santana’s healthy and Matt Harvey is a stud, all the other news has the stink of negativity to it. But is it really that bad or is it because it’s the Mets that it’s portrayed that way?

Sure the rash of pulled obliques is a concern but is it serious enough to where some fans are going off the deep end? Of all the pull muscles in the abdomen area that bother me it’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ because I thought he had a real shot of making the team but this will most likely stall his major league debut. Scott Hairston’ is somewhat disconcerting but he’s a 4th outfielder who can be replaced by a waiver pick up at end of spring. Lucas Duda’ back looks to be fine as his Grand Slam yesterday is testament to.

Tim Byrdak is having his knee operated on today and contrary to all the bridge jumpers he’ll be back by mid-April. Is there a fan base in baseball that would get all worked up about a LOOGY missing 4 weeks of action in spring, some Mets fans reacted like idiots over the news of Byrdak’s injured knee.

If you want to throw yourself on the ground and kick up a tantrum, then do so over David Wright’s sore side. That’s the injury to watch.

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THE HURT LOCKER-ROOM

You think Jack LaLane ever pulled or strained an oblique muscle? Helllllllllllllllll No!  

 

As much as we would like to have someone’s head on a platter when it comes to the rash of muscle injuries that have plagued the Mets, it seems the real culprit here is the culture of the weight room and maybe the laziness of the players for not doing their due diligence when it comes to stretching and preparing to play baseball.

The Mets strength and conditioning coach is Brad Andress. Andress has an impressive resume where he began his career with the Tigers from 1990 to 1999, he then moved on to the Colorado Rockies for nine seasons. Andress also was a member of the 1982 Penn State football team that won the National Championship in 1982. Andress joined the Mets last season. It would be a bit extreme to blame him solely for the epidemic of oblique muscle pulls and strains that have hit the Mets as this is not just a Mets problem but it seems to be a baseball problem .

I don’t think there is anyone of my generation who didn’t hear all through high school that weight lifting was bad for you as a baseball player. It was drummed into us that weight lifting would make you stiff and inflexible and hamper your ability to swing a bat properly.  As years have gone on we have seen baseball players not only embrace the weight room but adding supplements as well to bulk them up to the point they looked more liked contestants in a body building competition than ballplayers.

With the ban on PED’s and the now in place blood testing for HGH, maybe it’s time to go back in time and shut down the weight rooms or at least monitor the work the players do with weight training and go back to focusing on flexibility and working more of a callisthenic exercise routine?

Something has to change with the way baseball players are training because whatever they’re doing now is not working.

David Wright is headed to NYC for and ultra sound test and a cortisone shot. Tim Byrdak will join him to have his knee checked out which must be in bad shape if he’s being sent to NYC to have it examined. This is why the Mets are thisclose to singing CJ Nitkowski to a minor league deal as the other two lefties that had a shot at pitching out of the Mets bullpen Robert Carson and Danny Herrera have been hobbled by injury as well.

Capt. Kirk has had a set back as well from, (what else?)  a strained oblique muscle. With Scott Hairston out with (what else?) the same injury but more severe and Jason Bay lost in the batter’s box, there could not be worse time for Nieuwenhuis to go down with injury.

Lucas Duda and Danny Herrera seem to be ready to get back in action as both boarded the bus for Lakeland and today’s game against the Tigers so that’s a bit of good news. But Reese Havens is still out with back troubles, I’m very close to leaping off the Reese Havens bandwagon.

If anyone cares here’s my Final Four picks:

Baylor

Florida

Ohio St

Kansas

Florida over Baylor

Ohio State over Kansas

Florida over Ohio St

 

 

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GAME ON !

One month from today is opening day!

Busy day so far as I had to get to work by 6 AM so I can leave early as I have a meeting with my Babe Ruth team and catch Mets-Nats as well.  I called for the meeting to held at local joint that has a back room with a TV so we can discuss business, eat pizza and watch the game.

Unlike the Mets, no one from the NY Times followed me around to cover my early morning ferry and subway ride to work.

The pitching line up for tonight will start with Dillon Gee but the guy all eyes will be on is Matt Harvey, who is scheduled to come in after Gee gets his work in. Harvey will be followed by Miguel Batista who may still be basking in his wonderful 3-0 win over the Reds on the last day of the 2011 season, then Daniel Herrera, Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco to close things out.

Tomorrow we get out first look at Johan Santana. It nice to have game and performances that we can comment on finally.

While all are busy in St. Lonesome getting ready for tonight’s first spring game, The Skill Sets will be focused on the Judge Jed Rakoff’s Manhattan court room to find out if the clawback suit against them is still a go.

John Harper has concluded the reason the Mets have a lack of depth on the Major League roster is due to finances. Tomorrow Harper will report on how jumping into the Atlantic Ocean will cause you to get wet.

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GO METS! SIS-BOOM-BAH!

As first reported by Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, LOOGY Deluxe Tim Byrdak has signed a contract extension with the Mets for next season. Seems Sandy Alderson would like to keep two lefties in the pen and so far Little LOOGY Danny (Give me a LOOGY with Hair, long beautiful Hair, shining, gleaming…..)Herrera is making his bid to be Byrdak’s stablemate.

Between having John Franco babysit Bobby Parnell and now having Terry Collins breakdown of Dillion Gee’s pitch selection and approach, it seems like Dan Warthen is on shaky ground when it comes to his job security for next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a return of The Jacket to Flushing.

How much does the stellar play of Ruben Tejeda play into the Mets maybe not going all out to re-sign Jose Reyes?  I’m sure he will never admit it but I’d bet Sandy Alderson is praying that some dumb owner offers Reyes a ridiculous contract that he can’t match so he can use the $18-$20 mil on pitching.

What a schizo team we root for. They lose four games at home to the Nats and look like they packed it in for the year. The manager calls his team out saying they “folded up” and says “the fans are right to be angry”  So they go into Atlanta, usually a house of horrors for the Mets and take 2 of 3 from a Braves team that needed to win these three games to keep the Cardinals and Giants off their heels. Amazing Mets indeed.

This is beyond disturbing!

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25 DAYS AND COUNTING TO OPENING DAY

Mets stay home in St. Lonesome to play the Tigers at 1:10PM with R.A. Dickey making his second spring start.  Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, Ryaota Igarashi, Mike O’Connor and Jason Isringhausen will pitch today and tomorrow as Terry Collins and Dan Werthen try to formulate the Mets bullpen. Ollie Perez will be on the bus to Kissimmee to face the Astros in what could (should) be his last appearance as a Met.

Luis Castillo will start at 2nd base today but it looks more and more that his days a Met are numbered. Collins loves Daniel Murphy and more and more it looks like Murph is the leader in the 2nd base starter’s competition.

F Mart gets the start in RF and is hoping to add to his en fuego spring as does Jason Bay in LF. Carlos Beltran was thought to have been in the lineup today as DH but he reported to DDP and told Terry Collins he’s sore, so Willie Harris starts as DH. Too early to panic on Beltran but it seems he if he’s ready for opening day, he won’t be in the lineup every day.  Scott Hairston will play a big role early in the season for the Mets.

I wonder if Nick Evans getting the start at 1B is to let him show his stuff against the Tigers as a possible landing spot for Evans?

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TIME FOR AN OLIVER PEREZ NEWS BLACKOUT

My God, it’s day one of pitchers and catcher reporting to St Lonesome and I’m already sick of the Ollie Perez stories.

Perez came to camp and proclaimed he wanted to compete for a starting spot in the Mets rotation.  The Mets plan for Perez was to compete with Tim Byrdak, Mike O’Conner, and Taylor Tankersley for the role of LOOGY in the Alderson/Collins production. But OP had other plans when he had his sit down with the GM and manager letting them know he wants a shot at the two spots up for grabs.

Odds are long that Perez is going to out pitch Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee or Chris Young and Terry Collins is concerned about his mind set which shows some nativity on Collins part as no one, not even Perez  knows what’s going on in that noggin.

What hurts Perez is of course his inability to throw strikes and that’s due to some of the worst mechanics this side of the constantly out of service escalator at the South Ferry subway station.  Perez is full of bad habits, awful arm angle on release, bad balance in his delivery and not really understanding how to pitch. Perez is a classic thrower. Add in two straight years of constant nagging injuries and hard headedness you wonder, why bother with this guy? All these deficiencies lead to the bane of Perez’ problem,  his command and control is awful  which lead to base on balls which lead to loads of base runners, base runners who wind up touching home plate at an alarming rate.

 The fans can’t stand the sight of him and they’re not wrong. If OP would have taken management’s advice and agreed to accept a minor league assignment to work out his problems, the fan base would be much more sympathetic and in fact I bet those fans who are repulsed by Perez would rally behind him.  But Perez in essence told the Mets management and fans “Fuck You” and the fans responded with “Fuck Me”? No. “Fuck You”

It would a major upset and disappointment if Perez makes the 25 man roster. I don’t think he will, in fact he’ s only around because he’s not drawing a paycheck yet for 2011 (players don’t start getting paid until opening day they get per diem during spring) as once he does I’m sure it will be as a former Met.

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Tickets

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