Mets-cellaneous

I just hope a week from Thursday the weather is better than today in NYC. I’ll take the sunshine but this morning at 6AM it was 31 degrees which meant I had to retrieve my winter coat from my basement closet. I hate wearing my winter coat.

Speaking of a week from Thursday, I’m more than ready to get the season started as it will put up and shut up time and we get to talk about games that count.  But before we do there is some Mets Miscellany to discuss.

ITEM: Johan Santana Decreased Velocity

There was a bit of a panic in Metsville yesterday as the beat writers were sending Tweets from the frontline on Johan Santana’s start. It seems all the JUGS guns had Santana with less than Autobahn numbers, along with an ineffective first inning sent the sky is falling Mets fans out in droves.

It would be great if Santana was hitting 90+ but according to the stories from the game his velocity increased as the game went on. He walked 3 in the first inning but then regained his command to settle in and pitch very well:

 “I was struggling locating my fastballs,” Santana said. “I threw two-seamers. And, then, by the time I threw my breaking ball, I wasn’t able to throw strikes. But then I made some adjustments and I started hitting the inside corner and I was better after that. … It was just one of those days where things take a little longer. That’s all it was.”

See what gives you optimism with Santana that he will come back to form is he’s a very smart pitcher and knows exactly how to execute and how to adjust. I didn’t think we’d see Santana until the end of May but now I’ll be disappointed if Santana is not on the Citi Field bump on opening day.

ITEM: David Wright Back In Action

Good to see Wright back in action but let’s see if (when) he can go a couple, three days straight without aggravating his stomach injury. As Wright stated there is getting into physical shape and then there is game shape. Wright will be off today but then I’d like to see him play the rest of the week .

ITEM: Chris Young Signs Minor League Deal

Never have enough arms. Low risk high reward but there are still some Mets fans  that will knock this signing because that what those Mets like to do.

ITEM: Carlos Beltran pays Jon Niese $10K

Someday I’d love to carry that kind a coin around with me to just write a check to a co-worker for cosmetic surgery. I’d have my office look like the waiting area of the Bunny Ranch.

ITEM: Texas Rangers Release Connor Jackson

We are going to see a bunch of these releases as Jackson fits the description of players signed to minor league deals who are guaranteed $100 K if they are still in camp on March 30th. The Rangers are hoping to strike a deal with Jackson to start the season in the minors but it wouldn’t be bad for the Mets to swoop in a sweeten the pot a bit to add Jackson to the 25 man squad as he’s a right handed bat who can play the corner outfield spots and 1st base.

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METS PITCHING STAFF, ADD 2 SUBTRACT 1

The Mets announced this evening that they have signed LHP Chris Capuano and RHP Taylor Buchholz to 1 year contracts, and to make room on the 40 man roster they have released P Ryota Igarashi.

Cutting Igarashi is a surprised but adding Capuano and Buchholz, who both battle arm problems (Capuano is a two-time Tommy John surgery patient)  both fall under the low risk/high reward mantle.

Capuano will most likely compete for the 4/5 spot in the rotation. If (and it’s a big if) Capuano is of sound shoulder and body, he could be this years version of R.A. Dickey. Capuano did show some increase in velocity last season when he joined the Brewers after rehab assignment but he is not a power pitcher. His best pitch is his change and he incorporates a cutter as well.  When he’s on his game, Capuano will induce more ground balls than fly balls.

Buchholz is also a Tommy John-er with his surgery coming in 2009. Buchholz is a fly ball pitcher which fits very nicely in Citi Field.

So with the new year under way two low cost gambles by Sandy Alderson have arrived. I like the Capuano signing alot. Of course everything with Cap hinges on his arm being sound and if it is ,this move could pay off handsomely for Alderson. As for Buchholz, I’ll wait and see .

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QUE PASA JOHAN? YOU LOOK A LITTLE DIFERENT?

I guess we are so used to seeing an authoritarian pitcher in Johan Santana that when he’s not striking out guys at a 9K per game clip or watch that walk rate creep up last three years we ask “Have we seen that last of Dominant Johan”  when we should be asking “are we watching the re-invention of Johan”

Mike Silva has a great post on this today at NY Baseball Digest looking at the different scenarios that have made Santana less than the dominant pitcher we know and love.

I will say this for Santana, he has terrific focus and he is one of the smartest pitchers in baseball, if he has to compensate for a lack of velocity and the inability to over power a batter, I’m confident he can figure out a way to go after the hitters with a different strategy. We are seeing his Fly Ball rate dropping and his ground ball rate inching up so you could see Santana concentrate more in keeping the ball lower in the strike zone and pitching to contact.

We also have to understand that at the age of 31 most likely we have seen the best of Santana. That’s not to say he’s done or on the down side not in the  least, what we could be seeing is a solid pitcher but he may not be the can’t miss option he’s been for the majority of his career.

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RANTS AND RAVES FRIDAY

Ah!!!!! why can‘t they all be like last nights game. No irritable bowels. No wretching. Just pleasure watching your ACE take car of business. Oh and muchas gracias to Geovany Soto for that three run bomb in the 9th yesterday. The cuchifritos are on me baby.

 

I read a lot of stuff and I write down a lot of stuff and stuff just flies into my spacious head so here is some of that stuff in no order or no rhyme or reason:

 

The Mets are scaring the living shit out me with their treatment of John Maine. The more I keep hearing that he can’t do further damage to his shoulder the more I feel he will be making a trip to Dr Andrews office in the near future. Just goes to show that the fans, manager and front office have no faith at all in the bullpen.

 

Now don’t tell me that you won’t go after K-Rod because it may cost too much. Don’t lay that bullshit excuse on me. I’m not totally sold on signing K-Rod but it has nothing to do with money, as the Skill Sets are making enough money to bail out a bunch of mortgage lenders. Even if you think the money K-Rod will be asking is outlandish please for once blow a little smoke up my ass, and tell me the bullpen will be upgraded by any means necessary.

 

There has to be more to the release of Al Reyes than saying it was loss of velocity.

 

Looks like Gimp Castillo will be the getting the bulk of the playing time at 2nd base. I love Argenis Reyes’ glove and his pluck but Castillo is league average in the field and he’s a better bat. Even though Brain Schneider hit two bombs last night, the 7-8-9 in the Mets line up is a black hole, and puts tons of pressure on the guys ahead of them and that’s a big part of the Mets late inning offensive woes.

 

I told you this week during my morning walk to work as I got to Wall St,  Boulevard of Broken Dreams was on my iPod. Today when I passed there my iPod died. I need to find a new route to work.

 

How much will it bother you if the Mets make the post season as the Wild Card rather than NL East Champs? Last week it bugged me but the more I look at to paraphrase that Crazy Old Bastard who runs the Oakland Raiders, “Just Make The Post Season Baby”.

 

Shout out to Kathy Foronjy. I swear to God I am going to take fucking hostages at the Dunkin’ Dounts on Murray St some day. First I was shocked as there were only two people ahead of me on line there this morning as the incompetent staff is so fucking slow that the line is always out the door. Then a woman in front of me spoke limited English as did the worker behind the counter. The customer wanted one of those unappetizing sandwich on flat bread that she could not pronounce and the worker could not understand what she wanted so me,  speaker of two languages Brooklynese and Profanity,  is trying to interpret for this duo while trying to order a simple Extra Large Coffee just milk.  “Fucking flat bread with vegetable spread” got lost in the translation.

 

I don’t get all this weepy stuff over Highlander Stadium closing and I really don’t get what the picture on the front of the NY Post today has to do with it either as that stadium has been gone for 35 years . As far as I’m concerned the House That  the Womanizing Boozing Home Run Hitter Built closed on September 30 1973. This edifice that’s closing in the South Bronx, The House That The Costra Nostra Made A Killing On, is a shell of it’s former self.

 

There are guys like me who rant and rave and then there are sane guys like Howard Megdal who make tremendous statements quick and to the point. Even I feel better after seeing this.

 

Even with my baseball team in the heat of a pennant race, I am looking forward to watching Rangers-Senators hockey tomorrow night on MSG

 

Also Manchester United-Chelsea on Sunday morning FSC.

 

Com’on folks broaden your horizons.

 

I usually look at Phil Mushnick as a “Get off my lawn” kind of guy but today he was dead spot on with his critique of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo. I felt sad for Francesa in away, as he is tired of fans of his show and others saying how bad he is as a solo artist. His rant about having three number one shows and how he’s been very successful just comes off as Mike being extremely jealous and petty of the attention that Russo is getting with his new gig at Sirius.  Francesa can be a big blow hard but I guess out of habit I turn the radio on at 1:05PM to his show but I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t feel he needs desperately needs and injection of youth and enthusiasm to his show fast.

 

I have no ambition to do any work today. It’s sunny and cool out so it is definitley a walking day so it’s pizza at Ben’s on Thompson St for lunch. Later, kids

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