Gee, The Mets Go For The Sweep

I’m sure many Mets fans bailed out of this game after the 2nd inning, down 4-0 with Miguel Batista on the mound in Filthadelphia really doesn’t make Mets fans very optimistic but maybe this team and the manager are telling the truth that they don’t listen to the negativity from the media and some in the fan base and they really don’t give a shit what the naysayers think of them.

Last night Batista started off shaky but after the 2nd inning, he settled down to give the team a very good 3.1 innings until he ran out of gas. Manny Acosta took over and came up huge getting out of a 2nd and 3rd 1 out jam with a ground out by Joe Blanton and punching out J-Roll to keep the score deficient to 3 runs.

I love when a player steps up when all eyes are on them to make decisions by the front office difficult. Andres Torres came back to the team when his understudy Kirk Nieuwenhuis broke out as a major contributor to the team.  Torres has stepped in and produced both at bat and in the field and now the Mets will have a major decision to make when Jason Bay comes back. There is no place for Bay on this team right now and if Bay is force fed into the lineup while this outfield is as productive as it is, the front office will take a huge credibility hit with the fan base.  While Bay’s ribs are healing hopefully Sandy Alderson is exhausting all options to deal Bay. Any type of removal from the team of Bay is going to coast money so if the Skill Sets want to prove to the fan base that they are back in the game they will authorize Alderson to move Bay by any means necessary.

The word on Josh Thole is not very encouraging. It seems Thole has been concussed before so it looks like a stay on the 15 day DL is more realistic than the short stay 7 day concussion DL. This will be a huge problem for the Mets in two areas. Between Mike Nickeas and Rob Johnson, the Mets just took a major downgrade in the catching department. Nickeas can’t hit but he’s superior to Johnson behind the plate and quite frankly Johnson is only in the big leagues because of the dearth of catching talent in baseball. One thing is for sure, Johnson will not be behind the plate with The Dickster is on the mound as Johnson has a problem catching conventional pitches he’d need a tuna net to catch the knuckle ball.

The other obvious problem is replacing Thole’ bat.  With Ruben Tejada on the DL, the bottom third of the Mets batting order could become a Black Hole. The Mets have to hope that Valdespin can hit at least .250 and get on base at least MLB average of .315 because what can you expect from Nickeas at the plate a .220 BA ?  When Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey start it would not be crazy to bat them 8 and Nickeas 9th.

While your sitting at your computer at lunch time checkout Greg Prince’s writeup of the Mets 50th Anniversary Conference at Hofstra University. You can thank me later.

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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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PARDON ME BUT HU YOU?

We are so starved for Mets news that a deal for a backup shortstop for a 27 year old minor leaguer is being critiqued like the David Cone for Ed Hearn deal.

That’s not to say it’s not a deal to discuss. By acquiring shortstop Chin-lung Hu from the Dodgers for LHP Mike Antonini it solidifies Sandy Alderson’ statement that Ruben Tejada will be the everyday short stop in Buffalo in 2011 and that’s a good thing.  It also says there will be some competition for bench positions come spring in training camp.

Hu has shown a good bat in Triple A but his minor league offense has not translated well in the big leagues. If anything he’s known for his glove at short and the Mets have not had a true backup at shortstop so this is a positive as well.   

Hu has played some second base but if he makes the team it will be as Jose Reyes understudy.

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BACK BY POPULAR DEAMND, ITS’ “ROSTER MON”

Less than three weeks to go before opening day and we can only hope the baseball gods gives weather like today. How does 70 degrees sound ? So today seemed like a good day to take a look at what the 25 man roster for the Mets could look like on April 5th.

1st base

Daniel Murphy is making Omar’ job very difficult by having a lousy spring, while Ike Davis has done everything short of healing Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran of their woes. With both those bats out of the lineup to start the year, it will be very interesting to see if the club is bold enough to give Davis the opening day start.  If Davis does make the big club does Murphy stay as a lefty bat off the bench over Mike Jacobs?

2nd base

For all the shit I give Luis Castillo he is producing offensively, Alex Cora will be his understudy

3rd base

D-Wright. ‘Nuff said

Shortstop

Just give the damn job to Ruben Tejada already. Let him play as much as possible at the position to be ready for opening day. Alex Cora is what he is a backup. Between Tejada and Castillo, Cora will get enough playing time to be effective.

Catcher

Barajas/Blanco.

LF

Jason Bay

CF

Here is where it get interesting again. As great as Fernando Martinez has played this spring and by the way, if there is any positives coming out of St. Lonesome it’s we have discovers life on the farm. The death of the Mets minor league system has been greatly exaggerated. Maybe this is F-Marts coming out party but with his history of injury as much as the Mets would love to give him the CF job until Carlos B comes back, it may be better for him to go to Buffalo and get 400 AB’s. It’s also easier to send Martinez down as both Angel Pagan and Gary Mathews Jr are producing this spring. 

RF

For all the positive influence stories about Frenchie so far this spring has anyone noticed he’s been awful at the plate? Good thing he has endeared himself with Wright and HOJO otherwise the discussion would be keeping F-Mart over Frenchie in right.

Tomorrow I’ll look at the pitching and bench. Busy day today.

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HEY I LIKE 20 YEAR OLD LATIN GUYS….UH WAIT…..THAT DIDN’T COME OUT RIGHT……….BASEBALL PLAYERS THAT IS……….

  13 days until pitchers and catchers

Last night’s hour long PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL show, went by in a flash thanks our own Yankee-Doodle, Michael calling in and Matt Silverman coming on to talk about the ’69 Mets. Some of the topics I wanted to get to in the opening of the show got pushed back as I went on a bit of a Fernando Martinez rant, so I guess I’ll touch on those here.

By the way I got to see F-Mart’s AB last night with the bases loaded and two out in the Dominican Republic v. Venezuela Caribbean World Series game. Martinez did not get a hit in the AB but it was an impressive turn at the plate that lasted 10 pitches until he hit a foul pop that was caught by the Venezuelan right fielder.

I’m not anti-Fernando in any way; I just want the kid to stop acing like he’s a 27 year old journeyman who has never gotten a chance and be the 20 year old who plays so well this spring that he beats out Angel Pagan to be Carlos Beltran’s understudy.

Looks like me and Orlando Hudson have something in common; we both will never play second base for the Mets. So after all the debate about second base for the Mets what’s done is done, Luis Castillo is the Mets second baseman for better or worse till death due us part (or until Reese Havens can prove he can play at the big league level) for 2010.

What is the under/over on how many times Gary Cohen or Howie Rose say “Just out of the reach of Castillo, for a base hit” this season? Let’s set the number at 75.

The last place in the world I thought I’d ever see the name Municipal Credit Union would be on a ball park marquee.  I wonder if those of us with accounts at MCU will get a discount on Cyclones tickets.

I’m very happy for Nelly Figs and his great performance the other day for DR in the Caribbean Series but it wasn’t like he was pitching against the Phillies or Highlanders, it was against Mexico and 45 year old  270 lb Vinny Castila, The Big Fajita!

Maybe things are not as bleak for the Mets as we think. FOX has the Amazin’s scheduled for broadcast 8 times this coming season and one of the games is a prime timer versus the Bronx Bastards.

Maple Street Press is coming out with it’s Mets Annual in a few weeks and there will be a section on the Mets Blogosphere, that will include yours truly.

Matt Silverman is putting out a revised paperback version of his book “100 Things Mets Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die” 

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CAN THE METS AT LEAST RUN A PROFESSIONAL SPRING TRAINING CAMP ?

Loss in all the Beltran minutia is the fact that the Mets are going to need a centerfield for the first three months of the season, and the pickin’s are slim.

I don’t know how some folks have come to the conclusion that Angel Pagan is the centerfielder understudy for Carlos Beltan. What has Angel Pagan done in his career that allows this position to be handed to him this spring? I don’t dislike Pagan, I think he’s a good backup, his baseball I.Q. sucks but he is a good 4th OF’er. The big knock I have on him is he’s a journeyman with injury issues and quite frankly he has not earned a permanent spot in the starting 8.

When you look at the Mets today January 17, the only positions that should be givens are 3B, SS, LF, RF, Ace pitcher and closer. Everyother position should be open competition (throw Perpetual Pedro in the lock column as well)

To that issue, where is the manger of the Mets, the Gangsta’? I wrote a few weeks ago that I felt he should have been at the Jason Bay unveiling and now with Beltran out we haven’t heard from him again. Of all the imbeciles in the Mets organization, the one guy I want to hear from has clamed up. Maybe Jerry Manuel has to get permission from the head beer vendor, the ladies room matron in the Acela Club and then Jay Horowitz before he can speak about his team? If  I were Jerry Manuel and I know I’ll most likely be out of a job but Memorial Day, instead of being a Gansta’ I’d be going all Conan O’Brian on the Mets ass’

I need for Jerry Manuel to come out and say that if Angel Pagan thinks he’s the CF’er he is sorely mistaken. I need for Jerry Manuel to say that the 2nd base job is wide open and the amount of money you make does not influence who plays. I’d make it know to every right handed hitter coming into camp that you would be doing yourself a favor by brining a 1st baseman’ glove with you to spring training. I’d also let it be known that a team that has two collapses and season of indifferent play better be ready to come to work early and stay late. You don’t want to be the first guy clocking out of a spring workout.

But then again this would only happen to a team that is committed to winning. As it stands now I feel that Jerry Manuel is Art Howe with a sense of humor and all the Mets organization cares about is that you renew your Sunday ticket plan.

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RAG ARM RELIVERS SHOULD NOT SPEAK

Who the fuck is Brian Bruney and who gave him permission to speak? How about waiting until you’ve done something in th ebig leagues besides hold Mariano Rivera’ wam up jacket before you open your pie hole about another player, especially a guy who could pitch better with his left arm than you do with your right. Bruney is still an understudy and he has the brass balls to comment on Frankie Rodriguez a bona fide All Star reliever. I like how Frankie handled it when he said if Bruney had something to say then when the Highlander’s come to $iti Field say it to his face. Yeah , like that will ever happen Bruney will probley find a way to go back to his favorite spot the DL. Now go help A J Burnett make whip cream pies douche bag!

I should thank Brunet and the Highlanders though because with all the injuries and bad play of late my enthusiasm is running a bit low but with the win yesterday and Bruney’s big mouth and the team rallying around Castillo and David Wright kicking ass, I’m one stoke Mets fan and from reading stories n the fish wraps this morning a win today with Johan and the Mets could just become the darlings of New York.

As I type this checking out Twitter, David Lennon reports that Frankie Rodriguez just went after Brian Bruney to give him an ass kicking Now we got something here. With Johan pitching could we see a bench clearer?

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