10 Days Away From Opening Day…Do You Know Who Your Mets Are?

Dennis Ribant has nothing to to do with this post. I just felt like posting his baseball card. For some reason I was thinking about Ribant and why his Mets career was so short. Yes, I need to go out and get some fresh air.   

So we are a mere 10 days away from opening day and the questions at the start of spring training are still questions as we hit the training camp home stretch.  Who’s on first? What’s on second and at shortstop? I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!

Let’s peruse the Mets roster that could debut at Citi Field a week from Monday in front a lot of empty seats:

The much anticipated battle of the stiffs never materialized as both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda went down with leg injuries.  That gave us a chance to see Eric Campbell and Josh Satin play the bulk of the spring games. Both players looked to be much better choices than either Ike or Duda but only one of them will make the 25 man roster and looks to be Satin. The shame of it is Campbell will not make it north because he hits from the right side, and Ike, Satin and most likely Duda will make the club. That’s a damn shame.

Daniel Murphy will be the everyday 2nd baseman until Ike Davis and Lucas Duda flop then he would shift over to 1st base and Terry Collins favorite Eric Young Jr would become the regular 2nd baseman that is unless Wilmer Flores takes that spot and EYJ keeps a spot as a super sub. Whew! Where for art thou Edgardo Alfonzo?

None of the in house candidates to play shortstop, Ruben Tejada, Omar Quintanilla or Wilmer Flores are much with the glove so why not take the best bat out of the three which would be Flores and start him at short? Let Ruben be what he was born to be a utility infielder and let Quintanilla be what he was destined to be, a former big league player.

David Wright 3rd base. Nuff’ said

It seems as if long time minor league journeyman and Jersey boy Anthony Seratelli will make this club as a super-sub. His ability to switch hit and get on base makes him an asset.

Chris Young has picked up his offense lately this spring so let’s hope that translates into the season. $7.25 mil for a player whose offensive game has declined the last three seasons seems like a huge gamble for a team that has to scrape and scrimp to come up with that kind of scratch. Got to hope this is not the offensive version of Frank Frank  .

There is no way in hell Terry Collins cannot write Juan Lagares name in the everyday lineup.   Not just Collins but no one in the organization can make a rational argument as to why Lagares will not be in centerfield just about every day.  Here’s a newsflash, the Washing ton Nationals are going to win the division by about 20 games so let’s play Lagares every day and let him grow as a big leaguer .

Can Curtis Granderson give the Mets an average Granderson season? Would you sign on for .261/.340/.488 with 30 HR 80 RBI? Oh hell yeah!

The training wheels are off Travis d’Arnaud, it’s not only his pitching staff but he has to contribute offensively as well. TDA’s bat could be the X factor in this season’ run to respectability.  Yes that is Kevin Pawlicki in the rear view mirror

Jon Niese starts the season on the DL but could be activated by the first weekend series against the Cincinnati Red Legs. With Niese out, Dillion Gee has been given the honor of starting the first game of the season. Good for Gee who was solid the last half of last season and has paid his dues in the organization. Gee will be followed by Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon and Dice-K. That’s a solid starting staff and with Raphael Montero and the Mighty Thor waiting in the wings, the club is flush with stellar pitching arms.

The front office has had a tough time putting together a solid bullpen. It doesn’t help that Terry Collins and Dan Warthen are not the best late inning pitching strategists  either but in order to be the 90 win team Alderson thinks he has here, he’s going to need a bullpen that ranks in the top ten , something that has eluded the Mets for a few years now.

There has to be trepidation over the lack of velocity coming from the right arm of Bobby Parnell and the lack of command shown by Vic Black.  Jose Valverde looks like he’s made the team and could step in to close when needed as well as Jeurys Familia who has had a spectacular spring. Scott Rice comes back as the LOOGY with Carlos Torres and John Lannan as long men/spot starters. This could be the year the Mets have a pen to believe in.

Jeremy Gibson of the Blue Jays blog 500 Level Fan asked me for my take on the NL East race this season by the way seems the Jays fans are still hurting from the trade last year.

 

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HOW MANY DAYS TILL SPRING?

I want to thank everyone who has contacted me letting me know how much they enjoyed my interview with Jerry Koosman last night on THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN. I had hoped to get 20 minutes with Kooz and instead I chatted for the full hour and Jerry was a great guest. If you haven’t listened to it yet I hope you can some time to give it a listen.

Adam Rubin went out to snowy Citi Field today to watch utility infielder Chin-lung Hu take a picture with his new Mets jersey. There were rumors that Hu would be issued #17 but someone came to their senses and realized that #17 should be taken out of circulation, so instead Hu will don #25 instead. You’re no Frank Thomas, Mr. Hu.

Rubin also had these tidbits from his visit to Queens today. Johan Santana is NOT throwing after Sandy Alderson said that Johan was cleared to start throwing:

“To my knowledge, he’s not throwing at this point,” Alderson said. “But, again, that’s his own decision and based on how he feels. I think the PT [physical therapist] recommended that he continue to do certain exercises, and when he feels like he’s ready to toss, he will. He’s medically cleared, but to my knowledge he hasn’t actually started throwing yet.”

Hummmm not to go all Jay Cuttler here but there seems to be a bit of a contradiction, Alderson claims Santana is “medically cleared” but Johan doesn’t feel he’s ready yet. By no means should Santana start a throwing program until he feels he’s ready but after the last few years where conflicting medical reports were the norm, I hope the front office will refrain from that practice. Sometime “we’re not sure” is a good answer.

Howard Johnson has to feel kind of awkward as Alderson tries to find a place for him in the organization. HoJo managed one year in Brooklyn but the Mets do not look at him as managerial timber. The hitting coach jobs in Buffalo (Mike Easler) and Binghamton (Luis Natera) have been filled so where in the world will HoJo land?

Matt Artus has a great post on last weeks Citi Field Kids event at Citi Field and the Q & A the bloggers had with the players who attended. Oh and the guy standing next to Big Pelf in the picture is yours truly.

Darryl Strawberry feels the Mets missed the boat on not hiring Wally Backman as manager. His chief reason is because Wally played for the ’86 Mets. From speaking to Terry Collins on a couple of occasions they only difference I see between him and Backman is Collins didn’t play for the ’86 Mets.

Congratulations to Omar Minaya for getting hired by the New York Highlanders as a Major League talent coordinator.

Speaking of the Bronx Bastards, what the hell is going on in Da Boogy Down? First Pee Wee Cashman, thinking he was with Dr. Phil instead of the Sports Pope, starts to purge his soul by saying that El Capitan will eventually moved to center field. I don’t know what all the hub bub is over this as eventually Jeets will have to go to the outfield I mean why the outrage? It’s not like Pee Wee told the Sports Papal audience that The Captain signed an endorsement deal with Bosley Hair Restoration (oooops did I say that out loud!!!!)

And what’s with this censorship of Highlander State Commissioned bloggers? Gee you’d think they were involved in the distraction of Not So Highlander Classics (Video of games the Highlanders actually lost) instead of stating the obvious that the team got hosed in the Rafael Soriano deal. This is grounds for a repriamand? When did Michelle (WHICH CAMERA!!!!!!WHICH CAMERA!!!!!!!!!)  Bachmann was named team president.

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SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

Talk about your information over load, It’s tough to keep up with every rumor and innuendo coming out of Orlando , it’s like when my kids came back from trick or treating on Halloween. They dump their bag of candy on the table and separate all the good stuff (Kit Kats, Peanut M & M, and Butterfingers) from the crap (some dolt gave my kids Trail Mix and Granola Bars who eats that shit?) that’s how I look at the communiqués coming from the meetings.

The Carlos Beltran trade rumors are the most fun.  It’s clear that Sandy Alderson would love to deal Beltran but he’s not going to give him away, not even for 50 cents on the dollar. I love this quote from Nick Cafaro of the Boston Globe (via Mets Blog) on the Red Sox interest in Beltran:

“?The Sox like the right side of Beltran’s switch-hitting bat and feel he could play left field … ?If the Mets can eat a little more than half of his salary and don’t ask for too much in return, it’s a deal that could get done.”


Does Sandy Alderson look wicked stupid to you?  Sure the Mets will send Beltran to the Sawx along with $12 mil for a case of Sam Adams Winter Lager and play date for Wally and Mr. Met. You hear the names Dice-K and Marco Scutaro thrown in the trade banter but that’s $31 mil in salary coming back to the Mets , where the plan is take on LESS money. Plus the fact that Dice-K sucks and is a prima donna and Scutaro, while once the Mets bloggers darling, would be regulated to utility infielder. The only way a deal like this makes sense is if the Sawx take our other two un-adoptable’s OP and Castillo. In that case, you can keep the beer.

Alderson said he’d bring back a couple of players from the meetings and he delivered as promised in the form of reliever D.J. Carrasco and catcher Rony Paulino. Not a big purchase but two serviceable pieces to fill two holes on the team. These signings are similar to going to an auto parts store and buying spark plugs and a fan belt for your car, not a big time purchase but two parts you need to keep the engine running.

By the way, Paulino will have to sit out the first eight games of the season due t o testing positive for banned substance. Paulino is using the defense that he ingested a diet supplement and didn’t know it contained something on MLB banned list. This defense has become the baseball version of “But you honor, she swore to me that she was 18”.

The Skill Sets are in a bit of a jam as they made some money off the Bernie Madoff scheme and now the retirees of Sterling Equities want part of the dough. From the looks of things, Freddy and Uncle Saul want this to go away and will try to settle out of court with the defendants. Smart move as who knows what could come out at a court hearing.

Tip of the Mets cap to Brooklyn Mets Fan for this under the radar news that strength coach Rick Slate has been fired. A long overdue firing at that.

While some are getting their Fruit of the Looms in a bunch over the lack of player movement by the Mets, the important parts of the plan are taking shape in form of hiring Chad MacDonald as amateur scouting director and Dick Scott as minor league field coordinator (Terry Collins old job) who will work with J.P. Riccardi in rebuilding the Mets famr system. This, my fellow Mets fans is the BIG picture.

No one in this town did more to hurt their reputation than Derek Jeter did yesterday at his ridiculous press conference. Jeter came off as whinny little over pampered brat.  There is no one on the Highlanders who misses St. Joseph of Torre more that Jeter as there is no one in the organization that will fawn over him and tell him his shit smells fresh cut grass, like St Joe did. The fact that Pee Wee Cashman told Jeter to take your flabby ass and saggy tities out on the street and see what you get was downright Gangsta’ . Oh yeah by way Jeets, A-Rod’s Better HA! HA!

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