Thursday, December 30, 2010

Link: Most Memorable Mets Moment from 2010

...7 Train to Shea has put together a short list of memorable moments from the 2010 Mets season. Of course the list is short...

..it's actually a pretty good list with a moments that i had forgotten already like Luis Hernandez's "Kirk Gibson" HR.

...from the list they put together, i guess i'd have to go with the Marathon 20 inning game against the Cardinals. i actually watched that entire game from start to finish. painful, but memorable.

...cast your vote and view the list at the link below:
Most Memorable Mets Moment from 2010? | 7TraintoShea.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Link: Mets Fans Should Embrace the Future, Let Go of the Past

..i was all ready to put a post together this morning about the lack of hope that i'm finding this Christmas season when looking at the 2011 Mets.

...fortunately my bah humbug was turned into a Christmas goose after reading this post from Brad Bortone at Bugs & Cranks.

...Brad lays out some valid points that should make Mets fans feel better about the future, not necessarily just 2011, but several years to come.

...check out the article at the link below

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Link:Cliff Lee Signs with the Phillies

...ugh

...going to be some long 3 games series in the middle of June/July. Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels/Lee vs. Dickey/Niese/Perez/Misch/Pelfrey

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mets Need an Identity for the Future

Who are the New York Mets? Besides being a painful disappointment the last few years, what do the Mets represent? Think about it. You can ask a dozen people and you'll get a dozen different answers.

Now who are the Braves? What do the Braves represent? They're a team that has been built on solid starting pitching and defense for the last decade and a half. Who are the Minnesota Twins? They're a team built on young, unproven talent who will single, double and scrap their way to a win and have a solid bullpen.

Who are the New York Yankees? They're a team who will buy their way to winning each and every year. Who are the Anaheim Angels? Who are the Florida Marlins? I could go on and on and you'd have a certain identity that you could associate with many MLB teams. They might not always be good teams, but you know what they are trying to accomplish with their ball club.

The Mets don't have that identity. They tried to be a club that would buy free agents to help them win, but that didn't work out. They used to be a team that relied on starting pitching and a 3-run home run to win games, but that's no longer the case.

Are they going to be a speed and defense team? Will they be pitching focused? Should they rely on heavy hitters with the Citi Field dimensions being what they are? For too long the Mets have been searching for an identity. It's time for them to choose one.

Sandy Alderson may be the guy to do this, but they need to come out and say it, then show it by the product they put on the field. The most hypocritical moment of Omar Minaya's tenure was when he harped on how the Mets needed to be solid defensively "up the middle" and then signs Luis Castillo to a ridiculous deal and trades Brian Schneider a year after he made the prior comments when talking about his signing.

Speed, defense, power, pitching or whatever the Mets are in desperate need of a strategy that they can point to for how they will succeed as a team in the future. If Mets fans can have an identity for their team, it will allow the Mets to have some rebuilding years because the fans will know they are building towards a goal.

Right now the only goal we see is to not lose as many games as last year. That's a horrible strategy.

My two cents, the strategy should be solid starting pitching and speed in the lineup, but right now I'll settle for at least knowing what my favorite team is aiming for.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sandy Alderson on MLB Network's Hot Stove

...just a heads up. got this alert from MLB Network about Sandy Alderson on MLB Network:

New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson will be an in-studio guest during MLB Network’s Hot Stove tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET. Hot Stove, MLB Network’s live nightly studio show during the offseason, provides updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the 2011 season.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art Howe, Part Deux

I was on vacation when the Mets hired Terry Collins as their manager and honestly I was already knee deep in pumpkin and pecan pie that I didn't really form an opinion. I was just happy the decision was made and we can focus on acquiring talent to improve the team.

But now that it's Monday and the tryptophan has worn off, I've now come to the conclusion that we are returning to the Art Howe era of Mets managers. I read Brad Bortone's post this morning over at Bugs and Cranks and have yet again found that his reaction matches my own. You know...great minds....

The one thing Collins has is some sort of talent at his disposal in Wright, a potentially healthy Reyes, a contract year Beltran and up & coming Ike Davis. Talent was pretty lacking during most of Howe's existence in New York. There was something about Howe that made you feel he just despised New York that made you want to hate him even more. I don't get that feeling with Collins, but I've yet to hear him say more than a sound byte.

What the Collins hiring does is buy Alderson some time. Hiring a Backman or Valentine would have forced Alderson to win sooner than later. Those managers would have put up a stink if they weren't given the tools to make statement sooner than later. Collins however is just happy to be out from under the rock in which he was hiding since 1999.

I should give Collins the benefit of the doubt. Let him actually manage a few weeks or months before passing judgement. But Mets fans are way past the charitable stage of our existence. Alderson better make some player moves to instill some confidence and interest because he missed the boat with the manager. If the Mets do nothing but sign some bargain basket players, Alderson may have to answer to the Wilpons for the empty seats on opening day and another dimly lit August and September in Flushing.

But maybe Alderson is the genius everyone says he is? Maybe...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Link: Backman Can’t Believe Mets Didn’t Choose Him to Manage

...well here's some proof that the Mets made the right decision with choosing Collins as manager. Backman goes off that he's shocked he wasn't chosen.

...he claims that experience doesn't matter and coaching is coaching. wow. that's spoken like a person who doesn't understand not just the major leagues but how much experience plays into any occupation.

...i'm sure Backman is disappointed and i can understand why but this is stupidity coming out at a less than stressful moment and i can only imagine what he'd do when pressured by the nyc media.

...better luck elsewhere Wally

Wally Backman Can’t Believe Mets Didn’t Choose Him to Manage | MetsBlog.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Interview with Dwight Gooden

...SNY's Gary Apple talks with Doc Gooden about life, baseball and everything between in this video.

...while part of me is always excited to see one of my childhood stars talk about old times, i'm always saddened when i see Gooden. such hope and potential that was flushed down the toilet, and he never seems to be able to overcome his demons.

...click the link below to watch the full interview.
| Gary Apple sits down with Dwight Gooden - Video | SNY.tv: video

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Mets Managerial Final Four

So it's down to Backman, Hale, Melvin, and Collins.

Yawn.....

Are you excited about any of these options or are we just waiting for this phase to pass so we can get back to baseball? While I like the idea of Wally Backman being manager, only because he's a fan favorite from the glory days of '86, he's not exactly the manager that immediately brings you into the competitive mix.

The other guys, Hale, Melvin & Collins, are giving me flashbacks of the Art Howe days. Vanilla. I'm not sure if it's that I'm jaded, but the Mets choosing a new manager just doesn't excite me. I want a new manager. I know the Mets need a new manager. I know that this hiring will dictate the course the Mets take over the next several seasons, but it's not getting my baseball juices flowing.

But maybe that's just the way Mets baseball is or will be next year? I have a feeling I'm not the only one to feel this way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mets Fans Forever: 2013 All-Star Game

...great job by MetsFanForever.com on this concept logo for the 2013 All Star Game.

...i love it and hope MLB looks to the blogosphere to infuse this type of creative concepting not just for logos but other stuff as well.

Mets Fans Forever: 2013 All-Star Game logo design

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Guys Takes Jab at Mets

...Brad over at Bugs and Cranks shares the painful truth in humor as "Family Guy" makes Mets fans a punch line.

...come on McFarlane. that's too easy for you. where's the creativity?
Bugs & Cranks » Et Tu, Seth Macfarlane?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are Mets Fans Willing to Be Patient?

The Sandy Alderson era is here. It's a stark change from the player centric, buddy-buddy feel of the Omar Minaya regime that was able to bring one NL East pennant but nothing else.

There's lots of talk about the Mets being a respectable organization now and how they have someone running the show this is experienced and will run a tight ship. But the big question is how long are Mets fans willing to wait and allow Alderson to make his chess moves toward another World Series?

The banter online and on talk radio is that it will be at least a two year process if not more. With Mets fans having endured 4 of the most painstaking baseball seasons in a row that a team can ever produce, are we ready for another two year wait?

Citi Field was empty in 2009 and this past season as meaningless August and September baseball made its way to Queens. A ton of money is lost when you can't put people in the seats so is a two year bridge to relevancy going to manageable on the balance sheet?

I don't have the answer. All I know is that Mets fans desperately want, and need, a winning product on the field. A competitive team is all we ask. Give us a playoff berth and we'll be ecstatic. Keep us close into September and we'll be pleased.

We are jaded as Mets fans. The promise of things to come is lost on us at this point. Two years to be competitive? Sure. I'll believe it when I see it.

Mr. Alderson may have the baseball community, ownership and baseball experts sold on his abilities. But it's the Mets fans that will ultimately decide his fate. Another empty Citi Field in September and Sandy will quickly learn what Omar had to deal with.

This isn't Oakland.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Metstradamus: Sandy Alderson and LeBron Parody

...the creative genius over at Metsstradamus has done it again with a hilarious take on the recent Nike LeBron James commercials only this time with Sandy Alderson as the star.

...check it out at the link below:
What Should I Do?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mets Hire Sandy Alderson

...the Mets have done it. they've hired the first GM in club history with a girl's name.

...let the games begin
Mets and Sandy Alderson have agreed to a deal | MetsBlog.com

Why It Is Okay to Cheer Against the Yankees

I grew up a Mets fan and for most of my life I have not been an anti-Yankee Mets fan, although I'm not quite ready to jump on Boomer & Carton's Mets Fan for Yankees train either. I used to pull for the Yankees when they were in the playoffs back in the late 70's more as a New York sports fan than anything else. But that attitude has changed. In fact this postseason has cemented in my mind that it's okay to cheer against the Yankees.And it probably should be encouraged.

The sad thing it pretty much has nothing to do with the product they put on the field. Look at Jeter, Canoe, Texeira, Rivera, Hughes, CC and Posada and you'll see that these are all quality players who command respect in baseball circles because they are guys anyone would want on their teams. A-Rod is obviously the lightning rod for baseball drama, but save for him the Yankees are not a group of arrogant or obnoxious players.

Unfortunately their fan base is.

It wasn't always this way, but I guarantee you know at least 2 or 3 "Yankees fans" who were fans of another team at some point in their life. I can name 5 off the top of my head. The Yankees have the largest bandwagon of any team in any sport. Not even the Cowboys or the Chicago Bulls of the 90's had as many as the Yankees currently do.

But it's not just the bandwagoners that are making this team hard to like. The lifelong die hards have become jaded too. Just yesterday I was talking with a guy who grew up a Yankees fan and has been a loyal supporter of the Yanks since he was a kid. We were talking about the baseball playoffs and pending World Series matchup when he made this comment:


"Yeah, I was upset about the Yankees losing, but 5 minutes later I was over it because I knew they'd be back next year."


That is hubris. And sadly this statement was heard more than once amongst the many Yankees fans I happen to be acquaintances with. Can you think of another sports team where their fan base would utter this type of statement after a devastating playoff defeat? Think about it. Not even Lakers fans or Patriots fans or USC fans would say something like this. It's unprecedented except for amongst the Yankee fan base.

I know for a fact that Phillies' fans don't think this way as many of them were as angry as Mets fans were when Beltran buckled under that Wainwright hanging curve.

You can cheer against the Yankees for your own reasons whether it be for spite or a deep rooted envy. But until the Yankees fan base is put in their place and this attitude of championship entitlement is squelched, you won't find this Mets fan showing any love for the crosstown rivals.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regardless of Next Mets GM, Winning is Paramount

Matthew Cerrone over at Metsblog.com wrote a post today on why he thinks the Mets need Sandy Alderson. Alderson might be the right guy for the job. Logan and Hahn could also be good options in my opinion, but one thing in the post that stood out to me was a closing statement that read:

"...winning is not necessarily the most important short-term goal. Instead, working to create an environment for winning is more necessary..."


Now Metsblog.com is probably my most visited site and favorite sports blog, but in this instance they're wrong.

Winning in sports, unlike other areas of life, solves almost every problem. The Mets have had their fair share of off the field issues. No question. But we are honing in on those issues because we can't talk about how good the team is. Losing has blinded us from baseball matters and forced us to focus on anything else. A winning team can solve the Mets issues. Environment has little to do with it.

It won't excuse the players misconduct. K-Rod should still be punished. Players with legal issues have to be dealt with. But do we honestly think the 1986 Mets had "an environment for winning?" From everything I've read and heard the 1986 clubhouse was a lair of misfits with issues around every corner. From Keith smoking cigarettes in between innings, to Doc & Darryl doing who knows what off the field, to Ray Knight throwing punches, the '86 team was not a wining environment. Need a modern day example? Look at this year's Jets team, the '98 Bulls, or pretty much any Cowboy Super Bowl team. A wining environment would be a laughable description for any of those. They were just plain winners because they did what was needed on the field/court.

In today's day and age of political correctness, heightened sensitivity and coddling of our children, we have come to believe that the right "environment" will breed success in the workplace or home or school.

Bologna.

When it comes to baseball, winning trumps everything. You can't stand your ace pitcher? Who cares if he win 19 games. Don't like your right fielder? He's batting .300 with 30+ homers and you'll love him.

Winning seasons can right the most off course teams. A winning environment is only half right. Drop the second half and you've got yourself a proposition.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who is Mets GM Candidate Dana Brown?

The buffet of GM's the Mets are interviewing is hard to keep up with. I'm not really on the pulse of the baseball GM market so often times I have to do a little research to find out exactly who these candidates are and what they stand for.

A recent name that popped up is Dana Brown. I started digging and discovered that Dana was a star centerfielder and leadoff hitter on Seton Hall's 45-10 1987 team that featured future hall of famer Craig Biggio, ex-Met Mo Vaughn, ex-Met Jon Valentin and NCAA MVP Marteese Robinson. Dana was drafted by Phillies in 1989 and made it to AA, but never any further.

He's got an eye for talent though. He was with Pirates when he drafted Chris Young. Most thought Young would play basketball out of Princeton, but Dana stuck with him and Young turned out to be a stellar pitcher before injuries plagued him these past few seasons.

Sandy Alderson may be the front runner for the job, but it's nice to see a local Jersey guy with roots in the area get a shot. I'm not a huge Alderson fan. Maybe the Mets will give Brown a closer look. I'm glad I did.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Link: Sandy Alderson and Buyer Beware

...excellent post/manifesto from Prince of New York Baseball Blog on the real story behind Sandy Alderson and how he could be a detriment to the future of the Mets.

...this is truly a great post because it's well researched and logically laid out. it's a bit long but worth the read.

...i was concerned about brining "moneyball" to citi field and this opened my eyes to some things every Mets fan should know

Prince of New York Baseball Blog: Buyer Beware

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Mets Waiting Game

This is the worst part of any season. The waiting. Here the Mets have closed another disappointing season. They've made the right move to start cleaning house by firing the GM and the manager. And now are ready to right this ship.

But now we wait.

Until a GM is hired, and probably a manager too, nothing will happen. The Mets should have someone picked to be GM by the time the World Series is ended. And then we'll have to wait and see who this GM wants this manager to be. And then, finally, we'll get to the real issue, the players on the field.

It'll be Christmas (hopefully not later) by the time we start seeing how this team will shape up for both next season and into the future. Until then we have to suffer through another Phils/Yanks World Series.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Link: Gary, Keith & Ron Can Fix the Mets

...wow....i mean, wow. this is part ludicrous, part truth, part genius.

...a must read from the boys over at MeettheMatts.com. after i finished reading the post i found myself thinking "why didn't i think of that?"

...from renaming SNY to MET (Mets Entertainment Television) to Darling as pitching coach to Cohen as GM...this is genius

GARY, KEITH & RON CAN FIX THE NY MESS | MeetTheMatts.com

Sometimes It's Painful to Be Right

I can't tell you  how many comments I received from angry Mets fans over the past two years when I lobbied for the Mets to go get Roy Halladay. I wanted to give up prospects. Give up every day players. Give up pretty much anyone to get a Halladay/Santana tandem at the top of the rotation.

The arguments I heard included comments about Halladay's age, he's never been to the playoffs,  you're wasting the future of the franchise on a small market pitcher...yada, yada, yada.

And here we have proof positive: Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball. Period. It's not just the fact that he pitched a no-hitter last night. Or that it was his second no-no of the year. It's the fact that he's a winner. Every time he steps on the mound you're guaranteed 8+ innings of 3 runs or less (most likely less) and the guys a fighter.

Omar could have saved his job if he got Halladay. I'm not saying the Mets would have been World Series champs, but they'd be a heck of a lot better.

So I leave you with a post from July 2009...
http://metslifers.blogspot.com/2009/07/mets-have-to-get-roy-halladay.html

...and a confession...I was cheering for Halladay...and the Phils...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fixing the Mets for 2011 in Three Moves

Welcome to the off season. It's time for every Mets Lifer to take on the honorary role of being an armchair GM. We'll hear a new rumor every week about who the new GM or manager will be. Trade rumors will pick up after the playoffs. And it will generally be a long 6 months before regular baseball activity picks up again.

Whomever the new GM will be, they're going to have their hands full. Lots of decisions to be made, budgets to be balanced, and reputation to be restored. But I honestly believe the 2011 Mets can be fixed in just three moves. They're not easy moves. They may not be achievable. But three moves is all it will take.

Of course there are a few caveats that have to occur in order for these three moves to have their full effect. The assumption is that the Mets keep Carlos Beltran for the final year of his contract, they sign an extension to Reyes so they keep him at shortstop, and finally (save the best for last) K-Rod is able to pitch in 2011...assuming he's not in prison.

If this is the case, here are the three moves the Mets have to make to return to respectablity:

1. Get a #1 pitcher
I've been preaching this point for at least 3 off seasons now. In fact, I'd been shouting about the need for Roy Halladay specifically, but alas my cries have fallen on deaf (and dumb) ears. Johan Santana is still a great pitcher. I think we all know that, but he still needs another solid, reliable arm to support him. I'm not talking about Javier Vazquez either. He'd be a nice addition, but the Mets desperately need the likes of a Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez or Josh Johnson. Someone to partner with Santana and then allows guys like Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese to take their deserved role as supplements to the staff. Not marquee pitchers as they've been forced to be. This is the toughest achievement of the three moves, but it's the most important. If the Mets start the season with the same rotation as they've had this year, the Mets won't make the improvements they need to be competitive. Why? See #2.

2. Get a reliable 8th inning guy
Bobby Parnell may turn into a solid reliever for years to come, but I highly doubt that it starts next year. He's got heat on his fastball, but his pitches lack movement and he has no supplementary pitches that are effective. If he can develop a Wagner-esque slide to go with his fastball, then he's ready for prime time. Until that occurs, Parnell needs to start the season in the minors. The Mets biggest vacancy in the bullpen was the revolving door that became the 8th inning. Is it Takahashi? Could be. I know it's definitely not Feliciano or Dessens or Green or any other arm that currently resides in the pen. Whether the Mets have to secure someone via trade or free agency or turn Takahashi into that guy, they need to enter 2011 with a firm understanding of who will be pitching in that 8th inning. If the Mets add a #1 starter to partner with Santana, we'll see the bullpen cut down on their innings pitched and be in a better position to help down the stretch should a pennant race occur. Without an 8th inning guy, it won't matter who the closer is because we'll continue to struggle to reach that 9th inning while wearing down arms and psyches trying to figure out who that person should be.

3. Improve at second base or catcher
I doubt the Mets can improve at both, but they have to get some additional production at one of these positions. Josh Thole can hit for average, but his lack of power production leaves you two positions without a home run threat. Let's say the Mets have to keep Castillo or platoon with Tejada at second and Thole is your catcher. Between second base and catcher that's a grand total of maybe 5 home runs for a season. If you have another position player who gets injured (like a Beltran) or under performs (like a Bay) then you've got some gaping holes in your lineup. Maybe Daniel Murphy will return and become the Pete Rose type of player everyone dreams he will be (unlikely). Then you might have your solution at second base. Also it's not like there are a ton of power hitting catchers out there that you can just grab up. You don't want to pick up a Varitek or Pudge who are aging, one year rentals either. So I think your move has to be to get some extra pop at second base. Maybe a Ty Wiggington can return? I'm not sure, but there has to be some additional RBI/HR production from one of these two positions.

If the Mets can make these moves, I honestly think we'll see a significant improvement in 2011. Of course I'm assuming the Mets remain healthy and we don't see players regular production magically disappear (a la Jason Bay).

Here's to a long and interesting off season.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Open Letter to Jeff Wilpon

Dear Mr. Wilpon,
I hope you've enjoyed your summer because most Mets fans have hated theirs. Much like the economy, the Mets are on the verge of a double dip recession. The team's unemployment numbers are expected to go up and those that are employed are performing at an unacceptable level.

But unlike the federal government, you can actually stop this recession. You have the ability to set the course of correction. One man. That's pretty impressive, but here's the part you won't like. It involves you backing away.

That's right Mr. Wilpon. Step away. It's the single hardest thing for any leader of an organization to do, and that's identify when they are not suited to perform and allow others to handle the duties for them. This is no easy task but it's not an impossible one. It just involves removing pride and putting the success of your organization above anything else.

The funny thing is it will probably make you more money. You see, Mr. Wilpon,  you're not a baseball guy. I know you like to think you are, and yes I realize you do own a baseball team. But that doesn't make you suited for involvement in baseball operations.

On Monday, I fully expect you to fire Omar Minaya and begin a process to find his replacement. I implore you to find a great baseball mind and let them direct this ship. You should absolutely hold them accountable and manage the overall direction of the "business" but you must let this person take the wheel to drive the Mets towards future success. You are probably an extremely intelligent individual, but even the smartest of men don't know everything.

Admit that you're not a baseball genius and find someone that is. I guarantee that it will increase your bottom line, improve company morale, and adjust fan's perception. I don't want to hear you on with Mike Francesa talking about the direction of the Mets. That's not your job. Your job is to find someone that you can trust with one of your greatest assets. They can do the talking and know they have to answer to you as their boss for the end product that is put on the field.

The test of a truly great leader is their ability to surround themselves with great people. Be the right kind of leader. Know your strengths and find others to manage your weaknesses.

Right now your most glaring one is the Mets.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Mets Kids Can Be Clutch

I watched all of 15 minutes of last night's game, but the portion I did see made me smile. As I turned on the game around 9:30 last night, I caught the bottom of the 9th inning where the Mets were down by a run against the Brewers. What I saw was hope.

There's Ike Davis standing on second base representing the tying run. Here comes Josh Thole who fights off an inside fastball to bloop one down the 3rd base line. 1st and 3rd with one out. Now the Mets realist in me sees Ruben Tejada coming up to bat and is thinking, double play.

Tejada has had a season long affair with the Mendoza line and is potentially the last person in the Mets lineup/bench/organization that you would want up in a clutch situation. Forget about the Mets being out of contention and it's the last week of the season. For a 21-year old in his first year at the big league level, he can feel the pressure.

The most impressive thing that Tejada did was swing at the first pitch. Normally in this type of situation, a hitter takes a strike. No need to hit a ground ball to the shortstop on the first pitch and end the game in one swing. But Tejada actually was thinking. Here he is, the worst hitter in the Mets lineup, facing a predominantly fastball pitcher. Chances are he's going to throw a heater on the first pitch.

Tejada made the right choice clocking a fastball to the gap in left center field. Game over. Mets win. Tejada's reaction to his heroics may have been the most surprising. He calmly clapped in celebration and without any theatrics started to walk off the field. His teammates stopped his subtle exit by pounding him with joyous shots and I just couldn't help but feeling happy for this kid.

I'm not ready to anoint Tejada or Thole as the future saviors of the franchise. I believe Ike Davis will be a solid player for years to come, but it was a rare moment in an all together disappointing season to be able to enjoy baseball at its purest. Three rookies, without bloated heads and attitudes, getting the chance to come through for their team in the Big Apple.

It's a rare sight. Glad I got a chance to catch it because you never know when you'll see it again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Link: Jerry, What Went Wrong?

...another great post from Brad at Bugs and Cranks who writes what could be considered Jerry Manuel's Mets eulogy.

...my favorite line is: "Now, we all know that the Mets always lead the league in failed execution, which is why Manuel is destined to soon meet Willie Randolph’s fate…albeit during daylight hours."

Click below to read the full post:
Bugs & Cranks � Jerry, What Went Wrong?

Link: NY Times Agrees with Mets Lifer about Beltran

...here's a link to a good article in the New York Times today about the recent resurgence of Carlos Beltran's bat and how that may impact what the Mets plans are for next year.

Beltran Starts Hitting, Giving the Mets Some Options - NYTimes.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Link: Who's the Mets Closer in 2011?

...very good post from TedQuarters.net about the drama of KRod and the impending question of who the Mets will have as a closer next season.

...if KRod isn't incarcerated, I'm willing to give him another go at it because honestly the other options aren't advantageous. Takahasi is a stop gap. Parnell, in my opinion, throws hard but has the makings of another Armando Benitez

Check out the full article at the link below:
So who’s gonna be the Mets’ closer next year? | Tedquarters

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mets Elimination Champs T-Shirt

...from readtheapple.com

Reader Reaction to Trading Beltran Would Be Stupid

I've had a few fellow Mets Lifers react to yesterday's post on Trading Beltran Would Be Stupid. Some disagree, but the majority of people are in agreement that Beltran is primed for a monster year.

One excellent point was made that I neglected to add to my argument for keeping Beltran. I got one email from a Mets fan that said:

However, one more wrinkle needs to be added to your argument of not trading Beltran. We all agree do not trade him in 2011– HOWEVER, the Mets absolutely cannot get suckered into another 4 year deal beginning in 2012. As soon as next year is over, let him hit the open market and become someone else’s problem. 
A typical Mets scenario would be the top brass to think he’s back because of a strong 2011 and reward him with a new deal. 
That is spot on. Typical Mets would see Beltran have a good year and then lock him up for 4 more. The Mets have to approach Beltran as a simple stop gap solution and then be ready to move on after the 2011 season. Anything else would just be stupid.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trading Beltran Would Be Stupid

The Mets are always good for a stupid deal every other year. Or maybe every year for that matter. But the dumbest move of this coming off season would be to trade Carlos Beltran.

Carlos Beltran is entering the coveted walk year of his contract and is at a pivotal point in his career where he has the opportunity to get one more decent contract before he gets put out to pasture. If there was ever a year that Beltran would be motivated, focused and totally in shape, it's next season.

We've even seen flashes of this over the last week or so as Beltran's slowly gotten into the baseball swing of things and is swinging the bat, running and covering ground in the outfield like he used to. Now he will never have the same jump on the ball like he used to wearing that mammoth brace, and I do believe that Angel Pagan should be the starting center fielder, but Beltran can contribute next year.

Plus who do the Mets have to replace him? Do they honestly believe they can upgrade from Beltran via a trade? Fernando Martinez is not exactly knocking our socks off. If Beltran goes you've got a choice between Chris Carter, Nick Evans, Lucas Duda, FMart or trying to trade/sign someone.

The only possible reason I'd trade Beltran is if I knew I was going to lock up Carl Crawford via free agency. However, I think the Mets money would be better spent on starting pitching, namely a #1 starter, than on another outfielder. There are also greater needs at second base or catcher than in center.

If the Mets trade Beltran, I predict he'll hit 29 home runs and drive in just over 100 RBIs for whomever he's traded to. And what will we get in return? Sure it frees up cap space, but you will have a gaping hole in your lineup unless you shell out more money for superior talent.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mets Say Farewell to Lex Luthor

You may call him Lex Luthor. You can call him the bane of the Mets existense. Call him nemesis, castigator, or scourge. Or you can just call him Bobby Cox.

The most consistent manager in baseball left the Mets home field in a familiar way...as victor. Bobby Cox owes much of his success to the New York Mets. His sheer dominance of the Flushing follies has given the Braves numerous victories and helped seal division titles. In fact this most recent visit to Queens may have kept Cox's hope for one final swan song title in tact as the Mets bowed a knee to the real king of New York.

Sure Cox has had Chipper Jones, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and cast of others to help him make the Braves a perennial contender, but I have to believe that the way he manages a team and handles his players has led to that stunning stretch of NL East titles and made the Braves relevant without many losing seasons like the Mets have had during his tenure.

I have to wonder what things would be like if the Mets had Bobby Cox. If there was ever a time the Mets needed a strong hand at the helm, it's now, but Cox was made for Atlanta. I can't imagine him in another uniform even though he's coached for others.

I can't say I'm sad to see him go. You can take that Larry fella with you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can You Live With This Mets Lineup in 2011?

The off season is almost here and it's one of my favorite times of year as I take on a second job of becoming a virtual Mets general manager. It's an unpaid role, but I consider it to be an unwanted charitable cause that I feel compelled to undertake.

Chances are the Mets will look to pinch pennies and we shouldn't expect them to go out and make multiple big signings to improve this team. If I had to choose between pitching or hitting, I'd want the Mets to focus on a starting pitcher. A Cliff Lee. A Felix Hernandez. Some type of #1 starter that can lock up this Mets rotation.

Bullpen help would be great, but I think almost every team outside of the Padres could use some form of bullpen help. But that leaves the Mets lineup to potentially be as follows if they don't make another signing:

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Angel Pagan-RF
3. Carlos Beltran-CF
4. David Wright-3B
5. Ike Davis-1B
6. Jason Bay -LF
7. Josh Thole-C
8. Luis Hernandez/Ruben Tejada/Luis Castillo/Daniel Murphy-2B

The big question lies with second base. Can the Mets unload Castillo? Will Tejada be another Rey Ordonez? Can Daniel Murphy play and hit at second base? If the Mets end up with a Castillo/Tejada platoon, that's a very light hitting option at second base with potentially only one home run tallied between the two of them.

Couple that with Josh Thole as your potential starting backstop and you may only get 5 or 6 home runs for a season out of your catcher and second basemen. That's not a good thing.

The focus has to be pitching. I had been campaigning for Roy Halladay the last two season to no avail, but whether it's Cliff Lee or someone else the Mets absolutely need a #1 starter. Even so the power outage at catcher and second base could be a serious issue. Second baseman, outside of Dan Uggla and Brandon Phillips, aren't known for their home run hitting talent, but you can't have that huge of a drought from both your catcher and middle infielder.

Lots of questions need to be answered. What's your comfort level with the lineup listed above?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Link: Mets Should Hire Lee Mazilli

The ultimate anti-Mets columnist, Bill Madden, chimes in with his take on the Mets managing situation. He says Bobby Valentine is too expensive, Mets brass doesn't like Wally Backman's inexperience, so instead the team should turn to Lee Mazilli.

Not sure what to think of Mazilli. I think he deserves better than just be a 1 or 2 year stop gap, but I'm not confident he's necessarily the type of guy this team needs.

Read Madden's full article at the link below:
To bring winning back to Queens, Mets should hire Kevin Towers and Lee Mazzilli to clean up the mess

Link: Dickey Top 10 in Quality Start

Our friends at Metzilla highlight the fact that R.A. Dickey is now ranked in the top 10 in quality start percentage among NL pitchers.

What else is there to say about R.A. Dickey? He's been unbelievable. The Mets would have been in dire straits back in June had they not had Dickey. While part of me wonders if he's a one hit wonder I think the Mets need to sign him up for at least another season or two.

For more details on Dickey's stats, check out the post on Metszilla at the link below:
Dickey Top 10 in Quality Start % Metszilla

Are You Watching Mets Baseball?

Last night I found myself watching more of the Mets game on my MLB phone app than on SNY. With the minor leaguers now in the majors and a Mets lineup that consists of Luca Duda, Luis Hernandez and regular intervals of Pat Misch, does anyone care to watch Mets baseball anymore?

Evidently no one wants to watch in person as attendance has plummeted faster than the economy. I talked to a few fellow Mets fans who all responded that they don't watch regularly, but rather flip to the game from time to time when nothing else is on.

That's what Mets baseball has become. Glorified channel surfing. For two straight Septembers, Mets baseball has become almost unwatchable. I want to take some joy in winning three straight games, but when it comes at the expense of the dismal Pirates I can't bring myself to wallow in team pride.

Last week the Mets had 3 batters in their starting lineup who were hitting below .200. That's Mets baseball.

Let the kids play out the year. See what we have potentially for future talent or trade bait. But don't expect me to watch religiously. Maybe a lack of eyeballs will affect the wallets of Mets brass enough to make a change.

Probably not though.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Link: Good Riddance

Our friend Brad at Bugs and Cranks is at it again. Nice little diddy on the less than time of our lives that has been the 2010 Mets campaign. Check it out at the link below.

Bugs & Cranks � Good Riddance (We Wish We Had the Time of Our Lives)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

10 Years Later Still Remembering 9/11

Every year I plan on writing a post about 9/11 and how baseball was one of the binding elements in the New York area after the horrible events on that September morning. But each year, I go back and read a post from Brad at Bugs and Cranks and realize I don't need to say anything else because this post is almost a mirror of my point of view.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get an autographed photo of that famed Mike Piazza home run swing during that first game after 9/11. It's in my office and is a constant reminder of how huge that moment was not just for a Mets fan or a baseball fan but for New York as a whole.

So as we all reflect on what this day has come to mean, I hope you will take a look at Brad's post.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Link: Johan Santana to have Season-Ending Surgery

via MetsBlog.com

I guess it's better to shut him down now, but back to back season ending injuries doesn't bode well for fan confidence.

Johan Santana to have Season-Ending Surgery | MetsBlog.com

Mets Gazette: A Five Step Plan 2011

An interesting post from Mets Gazette on what they think the Mets need to do for the 2011 campaign. I'm torn with a number of their points though.

I agree the Mets should add a #2 starter and if that means trading Pelfrey to do so, I'm ok with that. I also agree that the Mets should hold onto Beltran for the final year of his contract. You know how contract years can impact a player's performance.

What I don't agree with is starting Pagan in right field. Unless Beltran magically heals, he doesn't have the closing speed he once did. Center is Pagan's position to have and I'd move Beltran to right. I'm also not sold on the concept of platooning Tejada and Murphy at second. Because I feel bad for the guy, I'd like to give Murphy a shot to prove himself and unless Tejada shows me he can hit above .200 the last thing the Mets need is another automatic out in the lineup.

Check out the full list and the nice write up on Mets Gazette at the link below:
Mets Gazette: A Five Step Plan For Success In 2011

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Link: R.A. Dickey continues stellar season

Here's a link to a recap of today's win against the Nats down in Washington. If RA Dickey isn't the comeback player of the year I don't know who is.

If he can just learn to avoid the home run balls, he'd have at least two more wins. The question this offseason will be if Dickey is a one hit wonder or has he found his second life? Only time will tell.

NY Daily News: R.A. Dickey continues stellar season for New York Mets, shuts down Washington Nationals for 10th win

Don't Short Sell David Wright

With the Mets now playing Triple A talent on a regular basis, it's time to do what every Mets Lifer does best: play armchair GM. Who should the Mets trade? What talent should the Met hold onto? And who on earth can we trick into taking Oliver Perez?

And of course it's time the annual "break up the core" discussion to begin. Trade Reyes. Trade Beltran. Trade Wright. No stone should be unturned and the Mets should listen to every offer that's out there, but we shouldn't be so quick to be rid of David Wright.

Wright is having a pretty good season right now batting .292 and is on pace for about 28 home runs and 100+ RBI. Some of his numbers are below his career averages and his MVP-esque years in 2007 and 2008. The thing to remember about Wright is he excelled in those '07 and '08 campaigns because of the other bats in the lineup he had around him. Pitchers had to deal with Delgado and Beltran when they were still threats in the lineup.

Look at what Wright has had around him the past two seasons...pretty much nobody. Beltran is a shadow of his former self. Ike Davis, while he hits massive home runs, is still just a rookie. Bay is as threatening as a baby kitten. And for the rest of the year, Wright will be flanked by the likes of Luca Duda, Nick Evans, Chris Carter and Josh Thole.

Wright has had his struggles in clutch situations and he's become exceptionally streaky. There's no denying that, but his body of work is still a great value to the Mets. He's trying to be the leader in the clubhouse. He's the one guy that's out there day in and day out even while his other stars have faded around him.

Wright will never be Albert Pujols. He'll never be an Alex Rodriguez type of talent. That's what we expected of him. We all bought into the hope and hype that this guy would be arguable one of the greatest Mets we've ever seen. But if he's not the greatest Met, he's still a really good player. He's probably the best guy to every play third base for this organization.

I'm fairly confident that if Bay turns things around next year and Beltran is inspired by the thoughts of a contract year and provides some other threats in the Mets lineup, we will see David Wright return to those '07 and '08 numbers.

But if that doesn't happen. He's an island unto himself in that lineup.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Done with the Good Guys

Over the last few seasons, there's been a lot of talk about the Mets needs for good clubhouse guys. That an improvement in personality would have a positive impact in the locker room. Veteran leaders that could change the spirit of the Mets.

Well, I'm officially done with the good guys.

The Mets had Alex Cora, Rod Barajas, Jeff Francoeur and Chris Carter in their locker room this year. Guys who anyone around baseball will tell you are solid, character guys. They hustle. They lead. They give their all out there on the field. To which I say so what?

These good guys have had zero impact on improving the Mets from last year. Sure they've all had "streaks" where they've performed well (except for Cora), but their overall body of work is less than acceptable. You root for them because you like who they are, but if you're being honest you should despise their performance on the field. See that? You were just going to defend Chris Carter or Jeff Francoeur. Look at their stats. Look at their body of work? Would you honestly rather have them on your team or Manny Ramirez as a corner outfielder?

Bring me the derelicts of society. Bring me the cocky whiners with swagger who can bat .300 and hit 40 home runs. We're not building leaders of tomorrow or a list of Supreme Court nominees. We want a winning baseball team.

I understand the need for balance in a clubhouse and personalities can make life miserable for other players. But do you know what makes things better 9 times out of 10? Winning. Lots of winning makes all the other ticky tack arguments that Mets fans and media have been harping for the last 4 years. When you're not winning you focus on every minute detail to come up with a cause for your current plight.

When you're winning, the focus stays on the field for the most part. You forgive the shortcomings and dysfunctions for the greater prize that awaits you.

After 4 years of disappointment, I'm ready to root for the bad guys.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stick a Fork in the Mets

Much like this steak, the Mets season has been well done for quite some time. Welcome to another meaningless September. The second straight one for Mets fans and the 4th straight season that ends in disappointment.

The lack of performance from this club in a series that everyone deemed pivotal to the rest of the Mets 2010 campaign has come up Vern Troyer-esque short. The question is will there be any hope come April 2011?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mets are on the Road to Mordor

What's the best way to punch the final nail in the coffin of the 2010 Mets? How about a 10 game road trip that starts with a 4 game stint at Turner Field?

Unlike Frodo's journey, the Mets trip to Mordor will end with them being tossed into the fire and being incinerated on contact. There's been this false air of hope surrounding the Mets for most of August. Can they go on a run? Is the Wild Card attainable? Will the pitching and the bats come together in perfect harmony?

This week we will have our answer and I'm telling you now it's no.

The fact that over the past two weeks the Mets have lost 3 games to the Astros and showed an inability to deal with rivals in the NL East losing multiple games to the Phils and Fish just shows you this team is going nowhere. Let's take off our Polyanna glasses and see this team for what it is. And a trip to Atlanta will do just that.

The Braves have a team that is missing its franchise player. They have a young pitching staff save for a top notch veteran in Hudson. And I bet if you tried you couldn't name any players not including McCann, Prado and Heyward. They are a team that should be in third place but because of good management, the right role players and a reliable bullpen they have turned into an NL contender.

They are the exact opposite of the New York Mets and have been for the better part of two decades. As much as it pains me to say this, the Mets organization should learn from the Atlanta Braves. They built a perennial contender on pitching and home grown talent who faltered for a year or two only to come back into contention after a brief hiatus.

It's time to learn from our nemeses. Start taking notes during Monday night's affair.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 2010 Season in One Word: Tease

The Mets are the biggest tease in baseball. From April's good start, to June's epic streak, to July's West Coast implosion, to August's hint of hope, the Mets have done everything they can to string Mets fans along while not actually accomplishing anything.

Last night's loss to the Marlins was a microcosm of this concept. The Mets seemingly are on their way to another typical defeat on the heels of a great comeback win against one of the best pitchers in the NL. Instead of folding like an origami they chip away only to fall short with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The greatest tease of it all is that seemingly every other team that's ahead of them in the standings lost last night. There was a perfect chance to gain some ground and put together some semblance of interesting September baseball, but instead the Mets fall back to .500.

It's interesting that on a number of Mets blogs, there's still talk of making a run in the Wild Card. There are postings of Wild Card standings. There's talk about what needs to be done to make a run.

Do you think that's happening amongst Marlins' faithful? Doubt it. They let Cody Ross go. They're playing with an outfield that isn't of legal drinking age. And yet they're ahead of the Mets in the standings. Have been since July.

It's time to let go. Play the season out. Enjoy watching baseball if you can, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking something is going to happen this year. We've had about 5 months worth of proof to show us that it's just not happening.

Don't be a tease.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

These Mets are Amazing

Amazing in so many ways that you might not always consider. Last night's fall behind/comeback win that was capped off by, wait for it, a Luis Castillo walk off single was a great win for the team. They were able to defeat one of their arch nemesis pitchers in Josh Johnson. They were able to provide run support for one of their starting pitchers for a change. And they were able to get the big hit when they needed it.

Those are all positives. But that's only a fraction of what makes this team amazing.

It's amazing that Luis Castillo batted .300 and we all hate him so much that we don't complain about a guy who's batting below .180 being our starting second baseman.

It's amazing that Mets fans have more confidence in a win when R.A. Dickey takes the mound than Johan Santana.

It's amazing that Mike Pelfrey was mentioned as a Cy Young contender earlier this season.

It's amazing that the Mets can buy a run off of Zach Duke, but pound Josh Johnson who has an ERA of 0.79 over his last few starts.

It's amazing that Jeff Francoeur's average is around .250. It's amazing that he doesn't pop up or strike out every time.

It's amazing that Josh Thole has become a strikeout machine after batting over .400 for the better part of the season.

It's amazing that Rod Barajas carried this team through April and May, but is no longer here.

It's amazing that Bobby Parnell is throwing Vermont cheddar when all of a sudden KRod is no longer in the picture.

It's amazing that this team was 10 games over .500 a week before the All Star break and is now only a game over.

It's amazing that Oliver Perez is still in the major leagues and will make more than any other pitcher on the Mets not named Santana.

It's amazing that after the pain of the last 3 years and a horrid July/August, that I'm still watching every game.

Some things are beyond explanation.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mets Are A Tease

Just when you think the Mets are on the right track, they slip back into the mediocre club you know they are. During today's broadcast even Gary Cohen got caught up in the Mets tease of a win streak stating that they might find themselves back in the Wild Card race next week.

Wishful thinking Mr. Cohen.

The Mets had an unbelievable opportunity this week to make baseball interesting again, but instead they split the series against the Astros and failed to sweep the Pirates behind another complete game by Johan Santana. And so the Mets find themselves in no better place than where they were a week ago.

Treading water seems to be the plight of this team. They can't seem to go anywhere.

So the Mets return home to face the Marlins and soon the rest of the NL East will have their way with them.

Mets Love Rain and the Pirates

Two of the Mets favorite things occurred last night. First they got to play the Pirates. Second it was a rain shortened game.

Last night marked the second rain shortened game of the year that the Mets came out victorious. I can't say I remember the last time the Mets won multiple shortened games in a single season. It was a welcomed outcome though as Jon Niese was able to preserve his arm and it prevented the Mets bullpen from ruining another starter's great outing.

The Mets bats have come alive against the Pirates, but that's like saying it's cold in Canada. You kind of expect that outcome. The thing is the Mets have been awful this year against teams under .500. In fact they're about 7 games under .500 against losing teams.

You have to beat the teams you're suppose to beat if you want to be competitive. For once the Mets are doing just that and anything but a series sweep would be unacceptable.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Second Coming of Anderson Hernandez

The Mets have a long and storied history of tremendous fielders who couldn't get a hit if their life depended on it. Rey Ordonez. Rafael Santana. Anderson Hernandez. And now Ruben Tejada.

Tejada is a young and inexperienced player at the plate. At 21 years old it's amazing that he's even at the major league level playing every day. But we all know the reason why he's here. Necessity.

Tejada would not be in the majors if the Mets didn't have an injured Reyes to start the season and an abysmal Luis Castillo at second. Alex Cora was beyond awful so they released him and made Ruben Tejada the fixture at second base for the remainder of the season. Tejada has the fortune of being a versatile player at the right place and at the right time.

His glove is masterful. I openly admit there have been at least two games in which Ruben Tejada should have notched a save because he prevented hits and runs from happening that any of the Mets other options would have had no chance at stopping. The problem is Tejada has one major flaw. He can't hit worth a lick.

As a replacement for this year, it's worth having Tejada around. None of the other Mets second baseman could hit either so the fact that Tejada is currently batting a whopping .177 is overlooked. I keep hearing Gary Cohen talk about how he's hard to strikeout and makes good contact, but that's because pitchers don't care about striking him out because whenever he hits the ball he's an automatic out.

I'd like to think/hope that Tejada can develop into a major league hitter or at least be serviceable with an average around the .240 mark. But I don't think Tejada is built to be a major league hitter.

Only time will tell but like Anderson Hernandez and Rey Ordonez before him Mets management and Mets fans will soon grow tired of his amazing glove and demand some results at the plate. Tejada may have the rest of this season to enjoy his time in the spotlight, but come next spring he may find himself back in the minors struggling to earn his way back.

Prove us wrong Tejada. I hope you do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This is 500 Baseball

The Mets have had every opportunity to jump back into this race, and at every turn they choose to slam the door shut. The Mets should have swept the Houston Astros this week giving them a much needed boost of confidence and setting them on the right track as they head into another winnable series in Pittsburgh.

Instead, the Mets leave Houston splitting the series because of their inability to get any type of run support. The starting pitching has been unbelievable although recently the long ball has been the Achilles heel for Santana, Dickey and now Misch.

We were fooled earlier this year into believing this was a pennant worthy team. We soon forgot about the depression that hit us during the winter and how bad we expected this year to be. Well, it turns out we're soon to forget, but the Mets are here to remind us. They are a .500 ball club. Nothing better.

This team needs some serious retooling in almost every facet of its makeup. Coaching, pitching, hitting, bench. All of it needs work. While the Mets just sent the hype machine that is Fernando Martinez back down to the minors, they should turn his bus around and send him right back.

Put this season in the books. Treat it like spring training. Let's see what the kids can do so we can be prepared for next season and not question whether someone will be able to contribute or not.

It's hard to admit it because you want to have a reason to watch baseball, but this is a mediocre team without an identity and a lack of consistent talent. In other words, it's .500 baseball.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't Write Off KRod Yet

KRod did a horrible and down right despicable thing last week when he got into an altercation in the family clubhouse area after the Mets game with the Rockies. It's inexcusable and he should be punished for it by the Mets and the law if that is what the system ultimately decides. But I'd still consider him to be on my team next year.

The Mets are using this opportunity to try and save face with the fan base.They're posturing to get rid of KRod, but not for the moral standards by which the orgnaization wants you to believe they posses. They want to get rid of him to save money. The almighty dollar.

Let's not fool ourselves. The Mets are a business and they have every right, and are obligated, to find ways to be profitable. But exiling KRod isn't smart business.

Here's why. Would you want Kobe Bryant to be on your basketball? Hmm, yup. What about Ray Lewis? Do you want him on your defense? Even though he's not as spry as he used to be I'd absolutely want him on the Giants. These are guys who arguable have done worse things than KRod (allegedly in Lewis' case) and were publicly vilified for it. But yet here they are both on the same teams that contracted them before their public troubles unfolded. Why? Because sports fans forgive when a player can perform.

KRod had been at the top of his game since coming to the Mets before the altercation last week. The Mets have zero options for future closers. Takahashi might be ok for the rest of this season but I can't see him being a long term solution. Parnell? 102 mph fastball is stunning, but ne needs to do show his stuff for more than one game before being crowned the successor. So if the Mets are looking to save money by voiding KRod's contract due to moral clauses, they're still going to have to go out and spend money to replace him next season.

Sure they might get someone for less money, but they'll also be most likely getting someone with less talent which may in turn result in fewer saves, more Mets losses, and more outcries from the fan base. It's a vicious cycle. Also the KRod contract is not even close to being the worst contract money-wise that the Mets have on the books (see Bay, Castillo, Beltran, or Perez).

Banishing Krod gets the Mets 15 minutes of reprieve from the media. They'll be applauded for "doing the right thing." But in another year, they'll be in hot water for not having an 8th inning or a 9th inning arm in the bullpen.

Whether it's right or wrong, sports figures are able to be forgiven for their misdoings. KRod needs to pay for his misdeeds. He definitely needs some psychological help and counselling. He should get it. He should pay his dues. And come spring of 2011, we'll be ready to welcome him back...as long as he performs well.

Just ask Ron Artest, Big Ben, and Santonio Holmes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Santana Can't Handle Hunter Pence

After singing Santana's praises following his last start, he seriously let the Mets down on Tuesday night. A very winnable game was flushed down the toilet because Johan Santana couldn't get out one Hunter Pence. Pence accounted for all 4 runs on two swings of the bat, both being homers.

The Mets scored 3 runs on 8 hits which for them is an unbelievable offensive onslaught. David Wright even tallied his first RBI of August with a game tying home run in the top of the 8th. While the Mets had opportunities to score more runs, squeezing out 3 runs against a horrid Astros offense should be enough to win for a top pitcher like Santana.

Instead the dream of a series sweep and igniting some energy into the ball club is flushed away and replaced by a familiar sub .500 feeling.

Again, it's one bad inning from Santana that put the Mets behind the eight ball and unable to notch the win. Off the top of my head I can recall at least 5 starts in which this issue has plagued Santana and all of them ended in Mets losses. And so the pain continues.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Already Looking Forward to 2011 Mets

The hope of success in 2010 is gone. You can watch the Mets games if you enjoy pain and disappointment, but I'm already thinking about 2011.

For some reason, I think 2011 has the potential to be interesting. Sure, that's what every Mets fan says about the next season, but for once the cards might fall in the Mets favor. The Mets have some truly awful contracts on the books next year, but even with those abysmal deals there's a silver lining.

First off it's a contract year for Beltran & KRod. Beltran will be playing for his last major payday and nothing is a motivator like the almighty dollar. Having an awful comeback in 2010, I believe Beltran will have a big year as he woos the Mets and other teams into giving him a few more dollars and years to add to his quiver. KRod has been lights out of late. In 2011 he'll put his personal issues to rest and like Beltran be on a quest for another big time paycheck.

Secondly, it's Jason Bay's second year. In 2005, Carlos Beltran was awful. He did nothing for most of the year after coming from small markets in Kansas City and Houston the year before. In 2006, Beltran broke out in a major way and we got to see the player we hoped we'd have. I honestly believe the same will come true for Jason Bay. Playing in New York is a major adjustment. Concussion aside, Bay will be ready in 2011. He's a guy that works hard and plays hard, and his sophomore season should be a significant improvement.

Lastly, the kids are going to grow up. Jon Niese is turning into a really solid middle of the rotation pitcher. Ike Davis will have been through his rookie slumps and be ready to start the season as the everyday first baseman. Tejada will play winter ball and develop his swing. Who knows what Kirk Nieuwenhuis will do if given the chance to perform?

All of this and I haven't mentioned Johan Santana, David Wright or Jose Reyes. Sure there are negatives like what's the deal with Mike Pelfrey, what do you do with Oliver Perez/John Maine, and how do you solve a problem like Luis Castillo? But for now there's hope. It's something to look forward to.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Almost Perfect Dickey

Cole Hamels was the lone blemish against Comeback Player of the Year candidate, RA Dickey, last night. It just figures that a pitcher would get a hit to blow the Mets chance at their first no hitter in team history. 

Dickey commented after the game that he could have blamed Jeff Francoeur for not throwing Hamels out at first, but decided to push through and finish the game. Not only has Dickey proven to be a tremendous asset on the mound, but his comments after the game are made for the New York media.

Dickey followed Santana's lead and came out with the goal of finishing the game and leaving no room for any bullpen drama. I don't think I can imagine how horrible this season would be without Dickey. It's bad enough the way the Mets have played over the last month, but with another question mark in the rotation we would have derailed back in May. Dickey should have 10+ wins by now and is pitching well enough to be considered the #2 starter in the rotation.

For the first time since June, the Mets finally won back to back games. Of course we have Pat Misch on the mound today against Roy Halladay so enjoy the feeling while it lasts.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Johan Santana is Underappreciated


In a 24 hour span the Mets went from winning back-to-back games for the first time in months to utter disappointment to pure chaos and criminal charges to back to baseball. The reason for this turnaround is one man: Johan Santana.

We don't fully appreciate what we have in Johan Santana. You think I'm being hyperbolic? Remember earlier this year when you were making the statement that Pelfrey was really the #1 starter because Santana was on the decline? Remember when you talked about how if the Mets got another top notch starter they would be the #1 starter and Santana would be 1a. Remember when you thought Santana's best days were past him?

I do and I was wrong.

Johan Santana has the best winning percentage after the All Star break than any other active pitcher. We know he's a second half stud, yet we want to write him off when he doesn't perform well in April. Sure he's had some horrific starts that are inexcusable from a #1 starter, but the body of work that Santana has produced in a Mets uniform should be legendary. But it's not.

The Mets have a 15-20 game winner for the last three seasons, but the lack of run support and bullpen implosions have prevented Santana from being that perennial Cy Young contender. His ability to acknowledge situations where he knows he needs to dominate for the good of the team is unparalleled and he rarely lets us down.

Before yesterday's game he approached Jerry Manuel and said, "Don't bother coming out to get me today." That's a guy who knows what he needs to do for his team to win. With the circus of KRod, the devastating loss the night before and the early game to be played, Santana put this team on his back and carried them to victory.

He's done this before. He'll do it again. Don't let the side show that has become this Mets team blind you from the fact that we have one of the best pitchers in the game on our side.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Mets Will Drive You Mad, Just Ask K-Rod

The Mets will drive you absolutely insane. To call Wednesday night's loss devastating sadly sounds so repititve that you might as well just call it another Wednesday in Flushing. While I mildly resort to tossing remotes and pillows, the Mets have made KRod so frustrated that he's throwing his father-in-law around.

After Tuesday night's loss (yawn), KRod was asked by reporters how he felt about not getting called into the game in the tense 8th inning when the Mets were desperately trying to hold onto the lead. Silly reporters. Don't they know the outcome would probably have been the same if the Mets brought in KRod? Some people never learn.

In any case, KRod erupted, unlike the Mets bats, and went on a tirade basically telling the reporters to get out of his way. I had hoped he was hunting for Jerry Manuel's head, but instead the decent guy that KRod is took his frustrations out on his in-laws. But before we jump to conclusions, maybe his father-in-law deserved it? Doesn't make it right, but hey...

Oh KRod. It was only a matter of time before the losing, disappointment, sadness, apathy and vile circus that has become the New York Mets finally sent someone over the edge. Let this be a lesson to family members of Mets Lifers out there. Stay away after a bad loss...so basically come see us in October when it's all over.

It's amazing how in the span of an hour the Mets can go from a potentially great win and opportunity to sweep a series to utter implosion that ultimately results in physical blows. That's the effect of Mets baseball.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying to Stay Positive as a Mets Fan

Last night's game was a great pitching performance all around, but it's hard to get excited about Mets baseball after last week's let down and a serious lack of wins since the All Star break. However, I'm trying to look at the glass half full and find a few things to stay positive about at least for today:
  • Mike Pelfrey looked fantastic on the mound...his pitching was good too.
  • The Mets haven't lost a game in two consecutive days.
  • All winning streaks start with 1 win.
  • The Rockies are a team that's worse with runners in scoring position than the Mets.
  • Pray Rod has pitched consecutive 1-2-3 9th innings his last two starts and pigs are flying over NYC.
  • Jeff Francoeur is unbelievably consistent...he swings at every first pitch.
  • The Phillies got spanked.
  • Yesterday's starting lineup consisted of 8 players who came up in the Mets farm system.
  • The Mets are finally starting to man up and sit players who can't perform regardless of contract size.
 The last point is my favorite. It's about time the Mets starting putting the play on the field as the preeminent indicator of who deserves to be marched out there every day. If that means the kids play, so be it. It's signings like Castillo, Perez and Cora that have put us in a bind the last two seasons with injuries and inconsistencies.

I welcome the chance for the kids from the farm to see what they can do. This year is done for the New York Mets so let's start planning the right way for the future.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Vicious Mets Win Cycle

History show us the Mets are by and large a streaky baseball team. They have ups. They have downs. But like the economy there seems to be a cycle to this madness.

The good news is that given time the team usually finds a way to climb out of the hole they find themselves in. The bad news...well, there's lots of it.

According to the cycle outlined in the chart above the Mets are smack in the midst of their decline. The sad part is they're plummeting at a faster pace than previous downturns and it usually takes a good 3-4 years before there's a recovery back to the top of the food chain.

Every team has it's skids, but the last 4 seasons, starting with Yadier Molina's home run, have ushered in what is arguable 4 of the most painful seasons in modern baseball history.

And history shows the potential for more to come.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Run Games Are Mets Kryptonite

The Mets are 14-22 in one run games this year. That's 36 games decided by a single run. Sunday was no exception. The Mets battled back against arguably the best pitcher in the National League in Roy Halladay but leave Philly with nothing to show for it.

When the Phils knocked out Dickey with a 6-2 lead I could have sworn that was it. Halladay would cruise to victory. But like the Mets often do, they teased you enough to keep you interested only to ultimately come up short in the end.

The Mets record in one run games is a microcosm of their season and the last few years. They can't seem to get that one big hit when they need it. And in the 7th inning when Beltran came up with runners on 1st and 2nd I was actually hoping they'd pinch hit for him because Beltran looks as bad as Castillo at the plate.

Another road series loss. Another series loss to the NL East. Another disappointing weekend of Mets baseball.

Welcome back to the feelings of 2009. Until the Mets can find players that are able to have some semblance of clutchness, we're going to see a lot more of these 1 run losses.

On a side note, big kudos to the bullpen who were in total lockdown for a change, but yet again one massively bad inning from a starting pitcher ruins what should have been a good baseball game.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ruben Tejada Knotches His First Save

Johan Santana pitched most of the game in masterful fashion. Jeff Francoeur was the lone player to drive in a run. Pray Rod amazingly pitched for 5 outs without giving up a run. But Ruben Tejada is the one who saved the game for the Mets.

The recently called up babyface second baseman went 0 for 4 on the night. In fact, he'll probably hit a shade over the Mendoza line for the rest of the season, but he proved what a liability the Mets had at second base with Castillo and Cora.

Tejada made three separate plays tonight that drastically affected the outcome of the game. All three of these of the plays would have been impossible for Castillo or Cora to make because of their lack of quickness. But Tejada has the agility, the speed and the youthful ignorance to be able to make some amazing plays in the field.

Tejada was able to save the Mets from back to back crushing defeats not with the bat, but with his glove, or more specifically his young legs. So long Alex Cora. You're a great character guy, but character doesn't get you W's. Castillo, you're on notice.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gut Punching Entertainment

Just when you think you can't sink any lower, the Mets find a way. The Mets teased their way to a 2-1 lead behind a solid performance by Jon Niese only to have the rug pulled out from under them by Bobby Parnell and the bullpen as they gave up a 6 spot in the bottom of the 8th.

A nice bounce back performance in hostile territory is now replaced by an epic fail. But such is the way of the Mets. In the 9th inning the Mets score 3 runs they could have used earlier in the game only to fall short. Typical Mets. Dangle a carrot, then slap you with the stick on which it hangs.

There is no hope for 2010. There hasn't been hope since a Johan Santana pitched game at the end of September 2008. And even the year before that was nothing but delayed psychological torture for Mets fans.

The Mets might very well win tomorrow, but don't be fooled. There's a kidney punch lingering in the shadows.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pelfrey's Epic Fail

Mike Pelfrey is unraveling before our very eyes. During Wednesday night's matchup with the Braves, Pelfrey came undone and every Mets Lifer knew it was over. You could just tell that once Pelfrey got into trouble and some ridiculous errors forced him into a tough spot that Pelfrey would not man-up and grind out a gritty inning like Dickey, but rather come unglued and bring his team along with him.

There's plenty of blame to go around. Mets didn't get hits with runners in scoring position. Ridiculous errors extended innings when they should have been over. But I'm sorry. Pelfrey is the goat of this one. In what was potentially his biggest start of the season and coming off a gutsy comeback win yesterday, Pelfrey crumbled under the pressure.

He's become almost as unreliable as Oliver Perez. What? Pelfrey has 10 wins you say? Yes, he does but since he got win #10, Pelfrey has reverted back to the timid, unstable and inconsistent pitcher that he was last year. How on earth does Jon Niese, a rookie pitcher, have more poise and control than Pelfrey?

The Mets lost two out of three from the Braves. Their play throughout the three games was lacking the intensity and focus that you would have hoped from a team with their season on the line. But the saddest thing was the paltry performances you received from your supposed top two pitchers in Santana and Pelfrey allowing the Braves to score runs early and dig holes your team would struggle to get out of.

Meanwhile, perennial journeyman R.A. Dickey, without his best stuff, manages to fight through 7 innings and put the Mets in position to try and win.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Frenchie's Monkey Finally Leaves Back

Jeff Francoeur has been abysmal this year. He's been relegated to bench warming duties and rightfully so. But last night, Frenchie finally had a moment in the sun and it couldn't have happened in a better situation.

Jeff Francoeur smacked an opposite field home run not only to help the Mets win a much needed game against the Braves, but he did it in the town he loves, against the team he thought he'd be with for his entire career, and off of the former Mets closer who let up so many game winning home runs when he was in Queens.

It was the ultimate form of sweet justice/revenge.

I don't know what was the bigger miracle. Frenchie hitting a home run or Pray Rod pitching a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth. I think I actually saw Pray Rod hit 94 mph on his fastball too.

But let's not get too excited about last night's win. Let's enjoy the moment and move on because a loss tonight put's us in the same position we were in just 24 hours earlier and would ruin the good feelings from yesterday's victory.

On the other hand a win would be some unbelievable momentum as the Mets head to Philly to phase a depleted Phillie lineup.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Time Santana Took Some Blame

Johan Santana has been an exceptional pitcher. He doesn't get the run support he deserves for most of his time with the Mets. Some might argue that's been the case this year as well and you probably have a point, but for the last two starts Santana has been a let down in some key spots.

In what has been heralded by everyone as the biggest series of the year (myself included) who else would you want on the mound than your #1 guy, your big game pitcher, Johan Santana. And what does Santana do? He strikes out 11 batters. He's pitching out of jams. Oh yeah, but he forgot one thing: how to get out of the first inning.

There is nothing worse for the psyche of a ball club than being down early in a pivotal game. You're then forced to press situations the whole night. Yes, Hudson was good tonight as he has been against the Mets for most of his time with the Braves, but you see Hudson didn't put his team in a hole that they would have to spend 8 innings digging out of.

The Mets bats are awful right now. I won't argue that, but Santana was a huge letdown tonight. He got beat by two pitchers on Monday: Tim Hudson and Rick Ankiel. A loss on Tuesday and we'll start talking about 2011.

Mets Season on the Brink

I know how melodramatic this sounds, but there's absolute truth in it. This week will decide the direction of the Mets not just for this year, but well into the off season. The players status with the team is on the line. Manager Jerry Manuel and GM Omar Minaya are on the line. And the Mets management direction for the coming years is on the line in this pivotal six game series with the Braves and Phillies.

Why so much drama? Well it's because the Mets are either heading in the wrong direction for the second straight year or putting up a fight to stay relevant into September.

The Mets have the unfortunate task of being put in this position on the road and starting off in the one destination that has plagued them for the last decade...Atlanta. The Mets may very well end the week 10+ games out of first and well out of wild card contention. If that happens, the rest of the season is just a formality. Jerry Manuel will be gone. Omar can back his bags. And players like Beltran, Castillo, Francoeur, and Perez should keep their phones handy as the Mets will more than likely look to break things up before the 2011 season begins.

On the other hand, if the Mets are able to put up a fight and gain some ground in the standings there's a stay of execution for the aforementioned Mets personnel and revival of hope in what remains of 2010.

But what if the Mets somehow escape this week with losing or gaining any ground in the standings? Honestly, I think that's close to impossible. The Mets will either implode as they have against the Diamondbacks or give us an improbably streak of wins like they did earlier this year.

The Mets are missing the infusion of youth that helped them put together 8 game win streaks earlier this season. Their lineup is mostly made up of what was expected, but along with it is the familiar feeling that most Mets had to start the season...low expectations.

A sweep of Atlanta would be like a Southern baptist tent revival for Mets fans with "ya gotta believe" as the chorus in our songbooks. A sweep by Atlanta will bring out the pitchforks and torches which are already quite handily accessible.

I want to believe. This team still has me watching every game, but Mets fans can only be strung along for so long. And I truly believe this week will break the Mets path in one of two directions. We have 6 games to see where it pans out.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Meet the Mets New Daddy

Embarrassing. Just embarrassing. The Mets are 6-12 against the Diamondbacks and Nationals this year. Pitiful. If they instead went 12-6, they'd potentially be a game out of first place.

You have to beat the teams you're supposed to beat. Now the Mets can prepare for the pivotal week of the season. If the Mets go 2-4 on their road trip through Atlanta and Philly, they'll find themselves potentailly 10+ games out of first and ready to usher in the end of the season.

Good thing football camps start this week.