Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Time for the Mets to Sign Pedro Martinez

Jason Bay is apparently our everyday left fielder for major part of the next decade, and on this New Year's Eve I'm finally realizing that the Mets should sign Pedro Martinez.

I was not a fan of the Mets bringing Pedro back last year, but a friend of mine warned me that Pedro would come back with a vengeance and boy was he ever right.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think that Pedro will be the Pedro of old, but I think he might be the best free agent pitcher for the Mets. Right now the Mets don't have a gamer outside of Santana. You've got three guys in Pelfrey, Maine & Perez who are the epitome of question marks. Then you've got a young pitcher in Niese who is coming off of a season ending injury and is still making his way in the majors.

The Mets need a veteran pitcher in the worst way. Sure you could sign Ben Sheets and I'd be open to that but not at the current price he is asking. Piniero is ok, but no better than if John Maine returns to normal.

Pedro would only start 25 games at the most, but his clubhouse presence and ability to step up during big games is what the Mets have to have. If Pedro was open to it, I'd see if he would like to take the role of what Roger Clemens did for the Yankees. Plan on coming back in June instead of having to deal with pitching in the cold weather games of April.

Who knows if Pedro wants to come back or if he'll require a multi-year deal. If the Mets aren't making moves to trade for a guy like Carlos Zambrano or another solid #2 starter, I think that at the very least they need to explore bringing Pedro back to Queens.

At the very least he'd fill some seats.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mets Get Jason Bay, Now What?

So it appears the Mets will sign Jason Bay to a four year deal. Only took Bay the entire winter to decide that money does mean more to him than happiness and sign with the Mets.

Omar Minaya is feeling pretty good right now. Angel Pagan? Not so much. Nice move Omar although I'd rather have Holliday, but Bay will be a solid bat in the middle of the lineup and fills the void the Mets have had for the last four seasons.

But now what? Is the Bay move enough to make the Mets brass feel good about 2010? I know I don't.

Pitching, pitching pitching. The starting rotation must be addressed before the winter is out. There's not many free agent pitchers that people would covet, but the Mets should exhaust every option out there from Zambrano to whomever to try and improve potentially the worst rotation in baseball outside of Johan Santana.

At least the Mets did something, but I hope no one has false hope that this is enough to field a competitive team in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Can the Mets Ever Have Enough Pitching?

The answer is no. It's impossible to have too much pitching. Ok, if you have 20 pitchers on your roster, that might be overkill, but for the most part pitching is like a good meal you never can get enough.

So while the Mets infatuate themselves with  the likes of Jason Bay and any catcher whose name ends in a vowel they're neglecting the most pivotal element of any successful team: starting pitching.

We have arguably the best pitcher in the game, but he's surrounded by Moe, Larry, Curly & Shem. Look at the Yankees that just won the World Series or the Cardinal team in 2006 or those great Braves teams in the 90's. Sure they had some decent bats in their lineup, but their success was contingent on solid, reliable pitching. Those are two adjectives that you will never hear to explain the Mets staff.

Pineiro is not the answer. Neither is Garland. While these guys might be an improvement, they're not the long term solution to the Mets problems. I'd rather see Daniel Murphy as our starting left fielder and have a solid #2 pitcher on the mound, than the Mets sign Bay/Holliday and be stuck with our existing staff.

I'd rather sign Carlos Delgado to a one-year contract and make Angel Pagan our everyday left fielder and have an upgrade to Perez or Pelfrey than get Benjie Molina and Adam LaRoche.

You can build a team around pitching. You can't build a team around a left fielder. If the Mets don't make a move in the next 45 days to improve their pitching, you can kiss the 2010 season goodbye.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mets Lifers Get Coal for Christmas

It appears the memory of the 2009 season will not soon be forgotten as the Mets continue to disappoint even when they're not playing baseball.

Holiday wishes of Roy Halladay, John Lackey or any improvement to our starting pitching have been squashed by the Grinch (a.k.a Omar Minaya) as dreams of catchers at every position danced in his head.

There will be no joy to the Mets world or rest for merry Mets gentlemen as the lack of direction, strategy or even common sense in the front office hinders the hope for good tidings of great joy.

2010, as it stands today, appears to be another rebuilding year for the Mets. Even if we sign a Jason Marquis or the highly coveted Joel Piniero, the Mets rotation will be no better than it was last season.

We may sign Jason Bay, We may even find a Festivus miracle in Matt Holliday. And pretty soon the herald will hark that the Mets have signed their 18th catcher in Bengie Molina. But all around us our rivals are improving and we seem to be fading like Frosty in that heated greenhouse.

So Merry Christmas Mets fans, but the thought of a happy new year is fading fast.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mets Starting Rotation in One Word: Shambles

The Mets starting rotation is in complete shambles.

John Lackey is off the table as it appears he's signing with the Red Sox. Roy Halladay is evidently in Philadelphia talking contract extension with the Fightin' Phils. And who are the Mets eyeing? The fearsome combo of Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis.

While Omar and team have been busy signing every catcher born in the early 70's, the top two pitching options on the market are quickly being taken off the table. So where does that leave the Mets rotation? Absolutely nowhere.

The Mets will open the 2010 with the same disarray of arms that started the stellar season that will be remembered as the 2009 campaign. So what if we sign Pineiro or Marquis? We just dropped Tim Redding and here are two guys of equal talent. Okay, they're a step up from Redding, but still #4 or #5 starters at best.

I hope and pray that I'm wrong, but the Mets starting rotation next year will be Santana, Pelfrey, Maine Perez, & #5 starter that we'll probably overpay for.

This is not rocket science. You play in one of the most cavernous parks in the league. Your starting pitching lacks anyone who can support Johan Santana. You have 3 starters who are as inconsistent as Dunkin' Donuts coffee. But yet the first item on the docket is to secure a catcher?

The only good thing that will come from this is Omar's early exit. Start looking forward to 2011.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Simmer Down Now About Josh Thole

I'm in full agreement with the universal head scratching going on in Mets fandom right now at the seemingly ridiculous amount of catchers the Mets are taking. The way the Mets are feeding on catchers is like the green room in the tryouts for The Biggest Loser.

But the one thing I take issue with is the constant reference to the fact that the Mets have Josh Thole and therefore shouldn't get an upgrade at catcher.

May I remind you of a certain fellow by the name of Daniel Murphy? Remember he came up, much like Thole, hit well and played well in September and then every Mets fan and front office employee was crowning him the second coming of Pete Rose. Look where that got us.

Let's not anoint Josh Thole the next best catcher in the world quite yet. Yes, he played well in September in pretty much meaningless games. Sure he's doing ok in winter league ball. But if you think that Thole will be a contributor to the Mets next season on an everyday basis, you're kidding yourself.

Don't rush this kid. Let him spend another season in the minors and look at potentially calling him up if needed midseason/September. He might be the future catcher for this team, but Mets fans need to simmer down before we have another Murphy-esque disappointment on our hands.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jerry Manuel Has Lost His Mind

Ah, Jerry. He's always good for a fun line or two during an interview. But this afternoon, he showed just how far off the deep end he's gone.

While on Sirius Radio's MLB Home Plate show earlier today Manuel said that people should consider Mike Pelfrey as the number 2 pitcher in the Mets rotation.


Perhaps by process of elimination, but I would argue that Elmer Dessens might even give him a run for his money there. Are you kidding me? Is this a statement to make Mets management realize the plight of this team or has Manuel just lost his marbles.

Manuel went on to say that this is a big year for Pelfrey if he wants to considered in the same class as Justin Verlander. Verlander? Verlander? Pelfrey wishes.

Omar, this should be an eye opener for you. Mike Pelfrey is your number two starter. He's your best pitcher after Johan Santana. Quit all this catcher talk and Corey Hart nonsense and go get a good (not Piniero) starting pitcher.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why Are the Mets Obsessed with Catchers?

Is it just me or is it becoming a habit that the Mets sign as many catchers as possible in the offseason?

The Mets currently have Josh Thole, Omir Santos, Chris Coste, Henry Blanco and are pursuing Bengie Molina like they're in desperate need of a prom date. Somewhere right now Robinson Cancel is crying and filling out an unemployment form.

We did the same thing last year. And the year before that the Mets had 4 catchers on their active lineup at multiple points during the season. I assume the Mets are thinking Thole will be in the minors next year which is probably a smart move, but that still leaves you with 3 potential starting catchers and a free agent who would jump them all in the depth chart.

Please Omar, tell me you have some deal in the works that requires a catcher to be traded for a top notch starting pitcher. Otherwise this looks like yet another chapter in the poor management class that is the New York Mets.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Omar Burning Up the Hot Stove

I don't know about you Mets Lifers but I'm sure getting fired up for the 2010 season. With the recent signings of Alex Cora, Chris Coste and Heny Blanco, Omar Minaya is proving his mettle yet again as a brilliant GM. How did he ever pry Chris "I'm Still a Phillie" Coste away from Philadelphia? Stroke of genius that's how. And just in case us Met fans weren't satisfied with one back up catcher, he got us another one just a day later in Blanco. Woah! Two backup cathers in two days! I can't believe it! I hear he's even thinking about signing another cather to play full time. Imagine that? Three catchers in one off season to go along with the two we already have? Just awesome! Minaya is on such a hot streak he better try his hand at the tables in Vegas.

He is just burning up the hot stove! So much so that I'm already forgetting about 2009...and 2008...and 2007. That's what I'm talking about. All you knuckleheads who are criticizing our great GM and this awesome ownership should just go shut your pie holes. In case all of you forgot, Jeff and Omar promised us they will be 100% committed to putting a a championship caliber team on the field for 2010 and boys and girls, I gotta tell ya, they are putting their money where their mouth is.

Fired up I'm tellin ya!

Who needs Roy Halladay when we got John Maine and Oliver Perez? Come on Mets fans, wake up! Roy Halladay....he's like 45 years old now. Washed up I tell ya! And you just wait, just wait, because I know Omar has another swift trick up his sleeve. That mad magician is going to bring us Joel Pinero. And when he does, I'm serious, I'll just explode with excitement. I'll probably pee in my pants. Where are those season tickets? Sign me up! Joel Freakin' Pinero - I'd like to see the Yankees top that signing. All those titles, the mega-star players, the money...Puh-lease people. The Yankees? Come on, we are the freakin' NY Mets of Flushing! The Steinbrenners? Shoot....We got the Wilpons and all that cash from the billions of billboards and ads at Citi Field. Man, I'm feeling it...we are just killing the Yankees next season and anyone else who comes into our parameters. You wait and see.

Believe? You bet'chya. We are taking it next season....and Omar needs another extension right now. Right now I'm telling you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hey Chris Coste, We Don't Want You

If you haven't heard already, Chris Coste really likes being on the Mets. Here's what he had to say:

“It’s the last team I ever saw myself playing for. I knew I was going to accept it, but had to think about it for a few days… It wasn’t my choice to leave Philly… I never wanted to leave Philadelphia, I will always consider myself a Phillie.”

The thing is I always saw you as a lousy catcher. Funny how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Right now you're an ugly bench player. Don't bother calling a real estate agent. You won't be in Queens long. Tool.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Halladay for Pelfrey and Tejada? Do It.

In a post on this morning, Matt Cerrone wrote about the Mets chances of trading for Roy Halladay. According to Cerrone's sources the pieces the Mets would have to part with to get Halladay included Mike Pelfrey and up and coming minor leaguer Ruben Tejada.

I say, "where do I sign?"

Seriously. If that's a legitimate request and a realistic offer, I say do it and throw in Luis Castillo as a bonus.

Pelfrey was a guy that I thought had the potential to be a real stud for the Mets well into the future, but his lack of mental fortitude and total inconsistency over the last two seasons have made me think otherwise. Tejada is a potential All Star, but the key word is potential.

What surprised me the most was there was no mention of FMart, Flores or even Niese, but a Pelfrey/Tejada of Halladay deal should be a no-brainer as long as the Mets workout a contract extension to lock up Halladay for more than one year.

Now these rumors are here today and gone tomorrow, but this could be the best deal the Mets could make and set the team on the right track for 2010.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Things to Be Thankful for as a Mets Lifer

  1. That the 2009 season is over
  2. Anything is possible in the offseason
  3. 1986
  4. Johan Santana is still here
  5. The hope of a healthy Jose Reyes
  6. Shake Shack
  7. That 2010 can't be any worse than 2009...right?
  8. At least we're not Royals fans
  9. Football fills voids
 Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Custom Mets Shirts

As Black Friday approaches and the dreaded holiday shopping season officially kicks into gear, I figured I would do a little shameless promotion of my new site, While Dave has been singlehandedly keeping our site alive with his typically witty posts, I have been hibernating in a cave thinking about the glory days of our futile, yet, beloved Mets franchise. Of course, Game 6 1986 is probably the greatest victory in Mets history, certainly the most improbable. But there was another Game 6 from that remarkable season and it is arguably the single best post season game ever played. So, in honor of those classic games, I have taken a stab at designing a couple of shirts that you may (or may not) like.

There’s also been a lot of talk over the years about whether the Mets should retire the numbers of Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza. I am one of those fans who feel they absolutely should, and since this organization fails miserably when it comes to honoring their past, I decided to create shirts to honor their “retired” numbers.

To check out the shirts, go to

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mets Are Going About This All Wrong...Again

Bill Madden wrote an article talking about how the Mets are focused on tier 2 free agents due to the amount of money they have available and trying to fill the needs.

This is just another chapter in the folly that is the Mets organization. Instead of focusing on creating a winning team for the future, they're focused on plugging holes to fit a budget.

Obviously, the team's budget plays a role, but it's the way they're going about their budget that's the problem. Bryan and I have talked about this before. The Mets both in the past and what seems like this offseason are paying too much for players that have limited roles. There's no reason to spend more than $1 million on a 5th starter, or even a 4th starter for that matter. Spend the money on the pivotal positions like a quality starting pitcher or a linchpin player in left field. Then fill the rest of the holes with the support players that you need.

To focus on tier 2 players is moronic. The focus should be on a quality #2 starter and a young talent at either first base of left field. Fill those spots first and use the majority of your budget to do so, then worry about filling the other voids.

Sure the Mets can afford a Jose Guillen in left field and a Joel Piniero, but does that really put us in a place that's better than where we already are?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Forgotten Fernando Martinez

Once upon a time, there was a young talent so coveted in baseball that he was deemed the future savior of the Mets at the meager age of 17. In fact he was so good and so lauded the he was not even worthy to be traded for the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana.

But then something happened that caused the Mets to lose sight of this phenom and move on without regard to what plans had been set in place many years before. It was called losing.

And so Fernando Martinez finds himself in an odd position...he has none. With the Mets pushing hard for Matt Holliday and the keeping of Jeff Franceour, Martinez will be the 4th or 5th outfielder on the team or will spend another year in the minor leagues honing his skills.

My question is what are the Mets plans for Fernando Martinez? I believe the answer is they don't know or don't have one. If the Mets sign Holliday or Bay they'll have a left fielder locked up for another 5 or 6 years. Beltran has another year left on his contract, and the question mark is how long the Mets will look to hold onto Franceour.

But in the mean time, Martinez is left blowing in the wind. Pagan looks like he'll be the 4th outfielder and I'm not sure you want Martinez riding the bench for a full season.

Do you trade him? If you can get a young starting pitcher like say Felix Hernandez? Than yes. But if it's for a middle of the road guy, I don't think you should.

For a guy that we've been hearing and talking about for at least 3 seasons, you'd think we'd know when we'd see him taking the outfield in Citi Field on a regular basis. For now, he's just trying to recover from injury and find his way back to the ballclub. In another 6 months, who knows where he might be.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Talented Mr. Chone Figgins

Chone Figgins is the latest name to pop up on the Mets rumor radar and is reporting that Omar Minaya met with Figgins' agent last night in Chicago.

Figgins is a versatile and interesting player that could fill a lot of holes for the Mets, but are they the right ones? He can play pretty much any position in the infield and even play some left field. Ok, but he's not playing third base with David Wright there. He's not playing shortstop with a healthy Jose Reyes. I don't think the Mets would sign him as an everyday left fielder because that's not really the power bat you're looking to get for that position.

Figgins is not suited to play first base full time, and I don't think you'd pay that much for him to be a bench player or platoon guy. So where do you put him?

Easy, second base.

While Luis Castillo was a solid performer last year, I think every Mets fan realizes we can't expect those kind of years from him in the future. Figgins would fit in nicely at second base, and provide a fantastic leadoff combo with Reyes at the top of the lineup.

I think I'd even like Figgins over the coveted Orlando Hudson. While Hudson would be a better clubhouse leader, I think the Mets would more years and some Citi Field optimized performance out of Figgins.

Of course the Phillies are interested in him as well and if Figgins becomes this year's Raul Ibanez, we'll be banging our heads against the wall.

It's still early in the off season so we may forget about Figgins in a few weeks, but with Carl Crawford off the market to me Figgins is the type of player that's suited for Citi Field and the Mets lineup.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mets Predictions That Are Sure to be Wrong

And the hot stove is heating up. They still haven't finished cleaning up from the Yankees' victory parade and already players are signing, trade rumors are flying and Omar Minaya's Verizon bill has exceed 4 digits.

Carl Crawford is gone. Orlando Hudson appears to be attainable. Everybody wants Matt Holliday. And so the sick cycle carousel goes round and round.

When the dust settles the question on every Mets Lifer's mind is who will the Mets end up with? As I chip the rust off my crystal ball here's who I ultimately believe the Mets will sign this offseason:

  1. Jason Marquis - he's a solid pitcher who seems destined for Queens. A reasonably priced upgrade over every Mets pitcher not named Santana.
  2. Randy Wolf - the Mets will try and forget about the Oliver Perez contract by signing the guy they should have signed last season, which pretty much guarantees he'll have a horrible year.
  3. Benji Molina - Omar will surprise everyone by overpaying for the hefty backstop who can throw runners out. Omar will cite "defense up the middle" as the reason he crushed Omir Santos' dreams
  4. Matt Holliday- While we're on the topic of overpaying, Mets win the Matt Holliday sweepstakes and throw Oliver Perez-like dollars at the flavor of the month
 Do I want the Mets to sign all these guys? No. There's a guy named Roy Halladay missing from this list and I'm not convince Matt Holliday is the power bat to help solve the Mets problems.

I'd like to see the Mets go after Orlando Hudson (another guy they should've signed last offseason) and add another solid reliever, like a Chad Bradford.

But this is all speculation for now. The hopes and dreams of a better 2010 rest in the Wilpon's checkbook and the mind of Minaya. Oy, vey.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One Torture is Over and the Other is About to Begin

The Yankees are your World Series champs. (yawn)

What does that mean? It means the Yanks finally accomplished what they were expected to do for the last 9 years: win the World Series.

For Mets fans, the 2009 baseball season is finally over and along with it the torture of the lingering bad tasted that was the 2009 Mets. But now another torture begins: the unknown.

There are so many questions the Mets face this offseason that could make it just as torturous as July through September. Questions about Reyes, catcher, starting pitching, Pelfrey, free agents, trading for Halladay, Luis Castillo, Delgado, Murphy, Thole, Maine, Omar, Manuel, and on and on the list goes.

It is impossible for the Mets to solve every problem in the next 4 months, so curb your expectations now and just hope for a winning season in 2010.

While Mets management is talking about getting a bat for left field, I hope they don't lose sight of the real problem which is starting pitching. The chances of signing Lackey are slim because of his desire to play for Texas and there aren't too many free agent pitching options, but the focus needs to be on pitching first.

Would I like to sign Matt Holliday? Sure. Would I rather have a tier 1 pitcher? You betcha. The Mets made the right move last off season by signing K-Rod right away. That dealt with the number one problem in 2008.

Now you have to deal with the number one problem of 2009, inconsistent starting pitching. Then worry about the situation in left field.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Switching Horses in the Middle of the World Series

I've already detailed how tough a World Series this is for me as a Mets fan, and in a post last week I wrote about how I was going to pull for the Yankees instead of seeing the Phillies win back-to-back titles.

But a funny thing has happened while watching the first three games of this series, I found myself secretly pulling for the Phils.

I had no intention of doing this, but when A-Rod struck out three times the other night and Jeter hit into a double play I noticed a peculiar smile appearing on my face. In my mind I know I don't want Philly Nation to have the satisfaction of yet another title, but in my heart of hearts I just can't pull for the Yankees.

During the first three games of the series I secretly wanted Mariano Rivera to blow a save in front of the entire nation. I grinned as Utley sent a ball to Utley's Porch of the Bronx. I even went against everything I believe in by cheering for Victorino to throw out Swisher at home plate during last night's rain drenched game.

Why? Call it being a lifelong National Leaguer. Call it rooting for the "underdog." Call it being against evil. Whatever you call it, it's uncomfortable. But with the Phils down two games to one this Mets Lifer is switching horses.

Go National League. (I can't say it)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Most Conflicting World Series for a Mets Fan Ever

In a year when pain, injuries and exceptionally long stretches of disappointment are the norm, why should it be any surprise to Mets fans that the two teams that we loathe find themselves in the World Series.

The scrappy, nagging, pain in the neck, little brother complex Phillies have shown exceptional clutch and gotten great pitching to make their way to a second straight World Series. The bloated payroll, band box playing, A-Rod renaissance Yankees are finally back in the championship round after what seems like a long drought for the perennial contender.

And now as a Mets Lifer you must choose. Who do you root for?

It's like choosing between the Dallas Cowboys or the Philadelphia Eagles, watching The View or Glee, rooting for Lex Luthor or Charles Manson, eating brussel sprouts or lima beans; there is no good choice. Just pure evil.

Since death is not an option, a Mets fan must choose who will have their rooting interest. Never before have I been asked so many times who I'm rooting for in a World Series than this one. Even before the teams became official everybody and their mother wanted to know which team I'd be cheering for.

And so here's my decision. I'm pulling for the Yankees.

It hurts to even type that, but let me explain why. I'm traditionally a National League guy when it comes to the World Series, but the thought of the Phillies winning back to back titles is just too much to bear. If the Phils had lost last year, they'd have my backing 100%, but I can't take another 365 days of Phils as world champs.

Besides, if the Yankees win, so what? With a payroll the size of a NATO country they're expected to win. They have 5 potential hall of famers, the best hitter in the game, the best starting pitcher in the game (after Santana), the best closer in the game, and an All Star at pretty much every position. So what's there to really brag about if you win?

Some Yankee fans like to think that this is a scrappy, pull up by your bootstraps type of team, which just makes me chuckle inside. Their three free agent signings this offseason was larger than the entire payroll of the Florida Marlins. Not winning the World Series with this Yankees pitching staff and lineup would be a colossal failure in the hearts and minds of Yankee fans.

Even though I have to face Yankee fans more often than Phillies' fans, it won't bother me that they'll have "bragging rights" for another year. Pretty much everybody has bragging rights over the Mets.

And so the boys in pinstripes will have my rooting interest (as if they care), but part of me will also smile if they do end up losing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baseball Playoffs Remind of the Mets

Playoff baseball is the pinnacle of the Major League season. The best of both leagues face off in a true test of baseball superiority.

But everywhere I turn during these playoffs I'm reminded of the Mets. How can this be you ask? Well let's see.

I've seen base running errors that prevent teams from scoring potential winning runs (Gardner). I've seen multiple infield errors that you don't even see from Little Leaguers (Angels). I've seen managers do nothing while their bullpens self-destruct (Torre). I've seen 2 out bottom of the ninth comebacks when a team is up by 2 or more runs (Rockies/Dodgers). I've seen ordinarily clutch hitters crumble under the spotlight of game deciding situations (everybody not named A-Rod, Jeter or on the Phillies).

I watch these games and can commiserate with the fans of the blundered teams that are out there. Sure they've made it to the big stage and can be considered at the top of the sport, but it seems they've made it this far only to fall.

At least the Mets provide humiliation and disgrace during the regular season when the entire world isn't watching. So instead we'll be forced to watch our nemesis (Phillies) and our other nemesis (Yankees) fight for the title of baseball champions.

A long winter lies ahead.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Bid for Bobby V

Brad Bortone over at Bugs and Cranks has put together a very compelling list of reasons why Bobby Valentine should return to the New York Mets.

Besides it being the right move, the list contains enough bargaining chips to make Scott Boras blush.

Reason #4 is my fave as it involves Jerry Manuel, a not often played 20-year old, and a tire iron.

Check out the list for yourself over at Bugs and Cranks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Phillies Are Unavoidable

And so I've been sucked into postseason baseball.

I had valiant plans to avoid it completely and just wallow in my disgust of the Mets while focusing my attention on both college and pro football. But what can I say. I'm a baseball fan and the intrigue of the playoffs is honestly the first real baseball I've watched in quite some time.

Now I find myself basically rooting for anyone not named Phillies or Yankees, but this has yet to give me any joy. In fact I've found myself admiring what the Phillies are doing. Being down by 3 runs with 2 outs in the ninth and then coming back to win is something all Mets fans are familiar with. That's because we've been on the other end of those victories for the last three seasons.

But it's undeniable that this Phillies team is full of gamers, and something that Mets management would be wise to take notice of. Howard, Utley, Victorino, and Werth are all guys who thrive in the clutch.

I hate that.

Name a Mets player you have total confidence in when the game is on the line? Ok, I'll give you Santana, but after that it's a crap shoot. KRod? Wright? Beltran? Forget it.

The Mets need gamers, but that's not an easy commodity to find.

So I find myself unable to avoid the Phillies. I'm watching their games on TV. Rooting against them. Hoping for Lidge to crumble on the world stage. But it's not happening.

In fact, I'm out in California on business and guess who's staying at my hotel. Yup, the fighting Phils are arriving this evening.

I'll be the guy with a basket of bitterness waiting to yell at Pedro.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Mets and Holliday and Halladay

The playoffs have only just begun, but those who follow the Mets are already dreaming of what changes can be made to the ball club to better themselves for next year.

The two names you will hear most this offseason is Holliday and Halladay. Besides being a pronunciation nightmare, these two players are the dream of Mets fans and management and the media loves to buzz about these two high price talents.

It's highly unlikely that the Mets will be able to get either or both of these guys. But since conjecture is an accepted art form in the blogosphere, let's say the Mets are able to get both Holliday and Halladay. Would that be enough to set the Mets on the right path in 2010?

It would absolutely help with their need for a #2 starter. Roy Halladay and Johan Santana would be potentially the best starting pitching tandem since Johnson & Schilling. Holliday would help with an extra bat in the lineup and give some protection to Wright and Beltran.

But is it enough? It might be. The Mets would need to make some minor moves to get some backup infielders. And of course you have the debate about what to do at first base, but I think it might be enough to help the Mets get back on course.

I would still sign Delgado to a one year incentive laden contract, which would allow we to have Murphy and Pagan come off the bench or start once a week. But what this gives you is an interesting lineup of Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Beltran, Holliday, Delgado, Franceour, "Catcher."

That to me is a very interesting lineup to watch if everyone is healthy and returns back to normal (ahem, David Wright). Then your starting rotation would be Santana, Halladay and 3 other goons. But the good part is you've now pushed Perez/Maine/Pelfrey down in the pecking order to only be a #4 or #5 starter.

Ah, to dream. That's what the off season is all about. Instead we'll probably end up with Adam LaRoche and Randy Wolf.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Obituary of the 2009 Mets

On October 4th, 2009 the New York Mets laid to rest a season of turmoils. With 70 wins to their name the Mets leave behind a disappointed fan base, an injury-laden roster, the knowledge that their management team is seriously lacking, and an off season of innumerable questions.

The starting rotation on the final day of the 2009 season included such stellar arms as Pat Misch, Tim Redding, Nelson Figeuroa, Bobby Parnell, and Mike Pelfrey. When reviewing that list 70 wins doesn't seem so bad.

But the 2009 Mets would not have us dwell on the past, but look to the future. The problem is that future is considerably hazy. Will Manuel be back? Will Omar survive? Will Reyes return to being the Reyes of years past? Will the Mets trade for a middle of the road bat and give up considerable talent to get him? Which player will the Mets overpay for this off season?  Will David Wright get his groove back?

The questions seem to go on forever. What is the long term strategy for this team? Should the Mets build around pitching? Should the Mets get a power bat? Should Daniel Murphy be the every day first baseman? Should the Mets resign Delgado? Should the Mets get a left fielder or a first baseman? Should the priority be a #2 starter? Are the Mets willing to go into spring training with Perez & Pelfrey as their #2 & #3 starters?

So many questions, so few answers. In fact by April a number of these will still be unanswered. But that is the way of the Mets.

Will 2009 be an anomaly and the Mets will return to winning baseball in 2010? Or will 2009 be the beginning of another rebuilding process?

There are no answers at this point, but the next 5 months will be sure to add more questions to the mix.

It's time for a break from baseball. Mets fans have deserved that much. And so we lay to rest the 2009 Mets and pray that time truly does heal all wounds. We all know how much this team needs that.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fixing the Mets: Priorities

As I was ready to write another well thought out, stimulating post about fixing the Mets, I saw a little blip on my RSS feed. Turns out Brad Bortone over at Bugs and Cranks returned to the blogosphere after what sounds like a seriously frightening ordeal with a fever his daughter had (as a parent who has seen the thermometer hit 105 on his kids, there's nothing like it and Brad, I'm happy to hear all is back to normal).

Brad in his post addresses the need for the Mets to prioritize. A simple and elementary part of any business is knowing what tasks you need to put more focus on than others, and is ultimately a key indicator of your business's success. After reading Brad's post, I'm sure you'll agree that the Mets prioritization skills are seriously lacking.

In fact, I don't think they exist.

It is a great post that you should absolutely read if you want some sound, rational thinking about how to approach the Mets. (yes Brad, I called you sound & rational) I would however add one more item to his list of priorities: a better investment in their minor league system or player development.

It's baffling that a team like Florida can just churn out talented players from their farm systems or via trade that ultimately turn out to be solid contributors. Even Atlanta, during their 100 year reign in the NL East was able to still draft, develop and trade for guys like McCann, Franceour and this Hanson kid. Outside of Reyes & Wright who's the last major league contributor that stayed on the Mets? Strawberry? Does Greg Jeffries count?

But what all this ultimately leads to is a need for a change at the top of the organization. Nothing will be done if nothing is changed at the top.

Please check out Brad's post and chime in with your thoughts over at Bugs and Cranks. Even if the Mets heed to one of these suggestions, we'd be in a better place come next April.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Almost The Mets Worst September

What was the Mets record in September 2009? Wanna take a guess. It's 8-20. Eight wins. Twenty losses. Add that up and you have the worst team in baseball during the month of September, and this was the worst record the Mets have had in September since they went 7-19 in 2003.

A fellow Mets Lifer, Tom, had this to say when he brought this staggering stat to my attention:
8 and 20, dude. Including a last week sweep by the powerhouse Nationals. That’s miserable baseball – I don’t care how many injuries they have, the only explanation for that is the players on this team mailed it in once they were out of it and team management couldn’t motivate them. I was in Manuel’s corner last month. No more.

I couldn't agree with him more and this just reinforces my post from yesterday regard the Mets need to clean house with their coaching staff.

Getting swept by the Nationals is unacceptable at any point during the year, but just adds salt to the already gangrenous wound that is the 2009 Mets.

Agent: Jose Reyes expected back by spring is reporting that Jose Reyes is expected back by spring

Evidently Reyes' agent stepped in to squash all the hub-bub about Reyes not being ready to play for the 2010 season. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be ready for opening day or that we won't see some setbacks, but for now the news is good that we can expect to see Jose Reyes play next year.

Although we were expecting to see him play in July, August, September, etc. How'd that work out?

Reyes Done for 2010?

I nearly drove off the road this morning when I heard ESPN’s update that Jose Reyes not only tore his hamstring running yesterday, but that it will require surgery and he could miss all of next season. I started to laugh like a mental patient, like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear. I mean, are you kidding me? Out for next season? Now to be fair, Craig Carton on WFAN “heard” from someone that Jose’s surgery will be for his injury that has kept him out since May 20 and not for this new injury.

Which is really the Mets’ way isn’t it? Is he hurt? Is he not that hurt? He’s day-to-day, then week-to-week, done for the year and now maybe for next year. You cannot make this stuff up. May I ask why this guy is even trying to run in the first place? What’s the point? If I were running this team (and I wish that I was) I would have chained Reyes to a fence for the next 6 months and let him heal for spring training. But no, this stupid organization has him running with 4 games left and a 100 games out of first place. Hello? Is there anybody who has any kind of clue?

If I’m Jose, I can’t wait to get the heck out of Queens. The way he’s been handled, and frankly, pressured by management through their leaks to the media that Jose is dogging it, I wouldn’t be surprised, nor could I blame him, if he wanted out. Seriously. Would you want to play for this organization? In fact, I believe this season has been so gigantically dysfunctional, that it’s going to be very difficult for them to bring any player to this mess of a franchise.

Is this not the most inept franchise in all of sports? Think about this for a moment. Jose Reyes goes down in May with a minor tweak in his calf and is supposed to miss one game. ONE STINKIN’ GAME! And now he may be out for the 2010 season? Heads have to roll over this. GMs, managers, coaches, doctors, trainers everyone needs to go. In fact, I wish the Wilpons would just sell this team. They have done nothing but make a mockery of their organization and I implore Matt Cerrone, with his large readership, to begin a petition on behalf of the fans to force the Wilpons to sell this team. I cannot take it any longer. It’s one thing to consistently blow cheese on the field, but it’s another to be so utterly clueless about running a baseball operation. “A Comedy of Errors” is the NY Mets and the Wilpons are authoring that narrative in truly mind numbing fashion.

Mets Will Forfeit Final Series of Season

The New York Mets have an off day today. Getting swept by the Nationals takes a lot out of you, plus that 3 hour bus ride home is a real drain so rest up fellas.

But once the team arrives back in New York, the Mets will more than likely forfeit the final series of the season. There are several reasons for this. First so no one else gets injured. Second, the games are completely meaningless. Third, to save unsuspecting fans from having to pay $18 to park their car and watch putrid baseball. Fourth, to save themselves the embarrassment. Fifth, because this season just can't end fast enough.

What will be played in Queens this weekend is not baseball. It's disgrace.

Save us all from any more disappointment and suffering and just end the season today. Call up the entire Brooklyn Cyclones to play if the Astros really feel like going through the motions.

Bring on the off season where there's at least false hope of better things to come.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fixing the Mets: Coaching Staff

Injuries were the biggest issue with the Mets this year. Without a doubt, they were the major contributor to the demise of the 2009 season. No one is arguing that, but I think we're letting the coaching staff off too easy because of the injuries.

There needs to be some changes made. I've already expressed my desire to have Dave Duncan as the pitching coach and say our final farewell to Dan Warthen. But I also believe it's time for Jerry Manuel, the training staff, Razor Shines and Howard Johnson to go.

The training staff should have a major overhaul with all the injuries that we've experienced over the last two seasons. I can't blame them if one or two guys get hurt every two months, but when injuries start approaching the 20's you know there's a bigger problem. I'm not sure what workout regiment or stretching exercises these guys employ, but whatever it is, it stinks. Clean house.

Jerry Manuel is a guy that I like. I love his personality and the way he handles the media, but I don't think he's cut out to be a championship manager. The players played well for him last year mainly because they were pleased to be rid of Willie Randolph, but this year he's not getting the most from his players.

Let's put injuries aside for the moment, Manuel needs to have these guys motivated to play regardless of their position in the standings. Over the last two months, Manuel hasn't had any impact on the performance of this team, and I scratch my head to think about what influence Manuel has ever had on this ball club.

I think the Mets need to bring a guy who is known for getting players to be sound in the fundamentals and is able to help the maturity of younger players. I'm a fan of Bobby Valentine, but at this point I'd take Tony LaRussa as an upgrade to Manuel.

The amount of errors and ineptitude that this Mets team has displayed this year rests solely on the shoulders of the manager and his coaching staff. He's ultimately responsible for the overall quality of play, and the product is pretty low quality if you ask me. These problems were going on in April, but were masked because the team was winning games at that time. Now with the injuries, the errors and not-so-smart play are just amplified.

And last but not least is HoJo. I loved this guy growing up and I know he's had an influence on the development of David Wright, but is he really helping. A lot of people argue that what impact does a hitting coach have on established ballplayers? Good question, but it's obvious he's not helping with the highs and lows that David Wright has had this year at the plate. Murphy's sophomore campaign was less than stellar. Strikeouts are up across the board.

Is HoJo really helping or does he have a job just because he coached David Wright in the minors? I don't have an answer as to who should replace him, but if we want a very different product on the field for the 2010 season I truly believe you need a new management team at the rudder steering us in the right direction.

It's time to clean house.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fixing the Mets: First Base

The most glaring hole with the Mets, outside of starting pitching, is what to do with first base. I'm sure Adrien Gonzalez's name will be bantered about this offseason, but the reality is the Mets probably won't be able to get him if they plan on trading for a top notch pitcher.

So you have really three options.

Option 1: Do nothing
With this option Daniel Murphy is your 2010 first baseman for better or worse. Maybe you sign a veteran backup/pinch hitter to relieve Murphy on occasion or you resign a guy like Jeremy Reed who's an OF/1B. You're hoping hear that Murphy develops into the player we dream he can be. The free agent market for first baseman is rather thin so you keep Murphy instead of paying big bucks for a Paul Konerko or the often injured Nick Johnson. The Mets would be power weak at first base and have a mediocre glove. Going with this option requires an upgrade in left field to make up for the power drought at first.

Option 2: Trade/Free Agency
I've seen several writers talk about the need to get Nick Johnson. Has this past season taught us nothing? The guy's as fragile as they come and hasn't played a full season this decade. Sure he can hit and he's an ok glove, but he's not worth the risk given the Mets experience this year. Free agency is very light on the first base front and I don't even want to hear the words Bobby Abreu. The only trades that make sense for the Mets is if you can get a young, proven player like an Adrien Gonzalez or a James Loney. These guys are few and far between and probably cost you more than the #2 pitcher the Mets desperately need. Option 2 is not a good one.

Option 3: Sign Carlos Delgado
My first reaction to this option is I'm against it. The ghosts of Moises Alou still haunt me at night so why take a chance on another aging hitter who's already shown he's not longer a spring chicken? Delgado is a motivated guy and I think he'd be willing to sign a one year deal packed with incentives to prove that he's not done. Delgado's days of playing 7 games a week are over so you'd allow Murphy to fill in as the backup and still get a decent number of at-bats over the course of the year. Delgado is the power hitter the Mets have missed and may potentially be the best first baseman available that won't break the bank. I believe Delgado enjoys New York and wants to make up for this past season. If Delgado gets injured again, then you're back to Option 1 but at least you gave it a shot.

Unless Omar Minaya can work a miracle trade for a young stud first baseman, I honestly believe signing Delgado to a one year deal is the way to go. Then you position yourselves for going after a Gonzalez in the 2010 offseason or a Morneau in 2011 with some other pieces coming off the payroll to make room for a big acquisition. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Face of the Mets Franchise

This guy is the face of the Mets franchise.

I know I've used this photo for many a post talking about the sad state that is the New York Mets. But now Deadspin has uncovered who this tragic fan is and to no one's surprise, he's just like you and me.

A long suffering Mets fan who embraces the pain and tragedy that it takes to be one.

Really this is a great article written by Seth Fleischauer (that's the dude's name) and is a must read for all Mets Lifers.

Fixing the Mets: Starting Pitching

The final week of the 2009 season is here. I've never looked forward to the end of baseball as I have this season. So it is only appropriate that at Mets Lifer we focus on what needs to be done beyond the 2009 campaign to position the Mets to compete, not just next year but in the years ahead.

Over the course of the next week, we will take a look at the different aspects of the Mets that need to be addressed and debate about what should be done to improve this team in the future.

And so we begin with the most important aspect of the Mets, starting pitching.

At this point the 2010 starting rotation looks like this: Johan Santana and four other guys who aren't really that good. Oliver Perez has us dreaming about the days of Victor Zambrano. John Maine's health is a question mark. Pelfrey is a nut job. And Tim Redding can pitch really well in September when you're out of a pennant race but not so good any other time of year.

But talent isn't the only need the Mets have. A new teacher is a necessity.

Dan Warthen has to go. Warthen's tenure started smoothly when he briefly "fixed" Oliver Perez after Rick Peterson's zen philosophy had Ollie P in fits, but since then Warthen has done little to warrant him sticking around. Pelfrey's utter decline does not bode well for Mr. Warthen. Before Maine got hurt, his performance was also on the decline.

I'm sure Warthen is a nice guy, but with so many question marks in the starting rotation and a number of younger arms that could potentially get a lot of starts next year (i.e. Niese, Nieve, etc.) a solid, proven pitching coach is exactly what the Mets need.

Enter Dave Duncan.

Duncan is known for working extremely well with young arms and being able to mold pitchers into solid, reliable arms. Any guy who can turn Adam Wainwright into a Cy Young candidate is worth a look. Duncan's contract with the Cards expires in the offseason and he should be the #1 target for the Mets.

Solid pitching never goes out of style. I don't care what size the stadium is or how many power bats you sign through free agency, starting pitching makes or breaks a ballclub. The Mets have succeeded when they had starting pitching and I truly believe Duncan is a guy that can help develop the young arms and instruct the weaker ones that need tweaking.

After signing Duncan, the Mets have to make a play for Roy Halladay. The Santana/Halladay tandem would be unbelievable and would almost guarantee the Mets to have a fighting chance in almost 40% of their games.

Halladay will not come cheap, but I am convinced he's worth every penny. A lot of people whine about the Mets having to give up all their prospects for him, but look at how that worked out with Santana. Other than Carlos Gomez can you even remember what other prospects were involved?

Jon Lackey will be a name that's tossed around but when it comes down to it Lackey isn't on the same plain as Halladay, and if Halladay is available via a trade the Mets absolutely should make every effort to get him.

Those two moves, Duncan & Halladay, would be a fantastic starting point for the Mets. With Santana and Halladay as your top 2 starters, the Mets would then be able to explore having an all out battle royal for the final 3 spots between Perez, Maine, Pelfrey, Niese, Figueroa, Nieve and others. I wouldn't mind the Mets pursuing another reliable arm as a #5 starter, someone like Randy Wolf, but I'd be pleased if the Mets only get Duncan and Halladay and move on from there.

But if the Mets start spring training with Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez as their top starters after Johan Santana, I'm afraid come September 2010 we'll be in much the same situation as we find ourselves today.

Mets Hazing the Rookies

Since everyone is laughing at the Mets this year, the Mets thought they'd take matters into their own hands and start laughing at themselves.

The Mets instituted some good ol' fashion hazing on the newbies of the ball club, requiring them to dress up like it's Halloween. Omir Santos looks much slimmer as Robin than he does in his uniform. Might be a look he wants to stick with.

You can see photos of the ridiculous outfits worn by Santos, Parnell, Takahashi, Murphy, Thole and others over at the Daily News.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mike Pelfrey: Talent Rich, Mentally Poor

I'm not saying Mike Pelfrey is stupid, but when the going gets tough Mike Pelfrey becomes a mental midget.

If you look at Pelfrey and just watch him pitch in warm ups, he looks like a major league pitcher. I'm sure the Mets scouts saw it as well. Throws in the mid-90's. Has a good sinker. Produces ground balls.

But the problem with the Mets scouting system is that they fail to look at mental toughness as being an essential part of a New York ballplayer. In no other market is that trait more important than in New York where the media is ready to love you one minute and pound you the next.

Mike Pelfrey may have been the shining star of the Mets pitching prospects, but no one bothered to find out if the kid could handle pressure. It's too late now, but we know he can't.

In seemingly every outing, Pelfrey pitches well up to a certain point and then crumbles when he gets into trouble. It could be 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter, but if that guy gets a base hit watch the world come crashing down on Big Mike Pelf.

We now have not just one, but two head cases in the starting rotation. The other one's name start with a "P" and ends with an "erez." I'm not sure Pelfrey's problems are fixable. His mechanics are solid. The velocity on his pitches are there. But Pelfrey needs a shrink more than anything else.

How much more time are you willing to give Pelfrey? Sure he's young, but the Mets have wasted many a season in the mid-90's waiting for young pitchers to develop into the stars they thought they would be.

As we mercifully limp into the off season, the Mets should consider mental fortitude just as valuable a commodity as a good fastball. This team has too many weak minds as it is.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jeff Francoeur is Mr. Met

Everyone is talking about that kid from Atlanta. Turns out it's for good reason.

Jeff Francoeur may be the lone bright spot of this lost season, but it's not this season that has me excited about the man with a rocket arm.

Francoeur is a heaven sent gift. The Mets haven't had a reliable arm in right since...think about it...since Strawberry? Oh wait, I forgot about Richard Hidalgo...right. Francoeur won't be the power bat and potential MVP candidate that Straw was but he's the first legitimate right fielder the Mets have had in what seems like the better part of two decades.

Defense is a weakness for this ballclub and Frenchie sures up the outfield providing a stellar tandem with him in right and Beltran in center.

But don't get me wrong, Francoeur is more than just a glove and an arm. The gauty numbers of his rookie campaign may have you questioning Francoeur's ability at the plate, but everything that I've seen makes me believe he's exactly the right fit for this team.

Frenchie is batting .314 since joining the Mets while also driving in 34 runs and scoring another 30. He's gritty. He's hard-nosed. He's intense. And he's not camera shy. Could New York get a better combination in an athlete?

Francoeur will not be the power bat the Mets desperately need. He's not an offensive leader that you will rely on, but he's exactly the type of player the Mets need to fill in their lineup. He'll most likely bat 6th next season, and don't be surprised if the Mets lock him up for a few extra years before the calendar changes.

Sure he swings at bad pitches still and strikes out a lot, but Francoeur may go down in history as the only win the Mets can get in Atlanta.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Two Missed Moves Will Haunt Mets

Hindsight is always 20/20. I realize that. But there are two missed moves that are glaring in the face of every Mets fan and will trouble our minds not just this year, but in the seasons to follow.

The names are familiar: Adam Dunn & Derek Lowe. These two players while not perennial All Stars are the pieces the Mets needed, but opted for other options. I'm not saying that having these guys would have changed the outcome of this season. Injuries played too large a role to salvage any part of 2009. But the mismanagement of not getting these guys will impact the moves that need to be made in this coming off season.

Instead of signing Derek Lowe, the Mets opted for the unlovable, inconsistent head case that is Oliver Perez. The reason being that Perez is much younger than Lowe. So instead of a solid, proven veteran who is a legitimate #2 starter behind Johan Santana, the Mets are now saddled to the $140 million mental patient.

Injuries and his psyche, now make you question whether Perez can be a reliable starter, let alone considered a #2 starter. And one year later the Mets will enter the winter months looking for more starting pitching. They'll be forced to spend even more money potentially on a Jon Lackey or force a trade for a guy like Roy Halladay or Roy Oswalt.

Not that any of those options aren't better than signing Lowe, but there's a chance the Mets might not even have the money or the pieces to get any of these guys. And the Mets will now have spent $140 million on a risky #4 starter and spend another $100 million on a #2. That's just poor money management.

Which brings me to Adam Dunn. The most glaring omission from the Mets lineup is a power bat. We expected to get that from Delgado, Beltran and Wright, but of course injuries and the curious case of David Wright have impacted that situation. But in the cavernous Citi Field, any baseball mind knows that you need a power guy who can just plain mash, which is what Adam Dunn does year in and year out. He's got 40 dingers and can potentially reach 100 RBI this year for the dismal Nats.

The Mets needed a left fielder, but they rolled the dice by going with a selection of tier 2 options that included Murphy, Tatis, eventually Sheffield, Sullivan, Evans and Reed. If the Mets had signed Dunn they would have had an extra power bat and a solid backup to Delgado at first base. Of course Dunn is a liability with the glove, but you can say that about pretty much every Mets player these days. When Delgado went down, Dunn could have slid over to first base or Murphy could have moved from bench player to first baseman rather than dancing around that option for a few months.

But the bigger impact of not signing Dunn is in this off season. Now the Mets will seriously consider signing Delgado for one year even though he hasn't stepped on a playing field for almost an entire season. They may get him cheap, but he's yet again a one year fix and the Mets will shop for a replacement again the following year.

If they don't sign Delgado, the first base free agent crop is cast of B-list players which don't quite fit the bill of what the Mets need. So the Mets may be forced to trade for a player or try and salvage a season with a roll call of backups or making Murphy fit into their first base plans for the future.

Instead the Mets could have had Dunn as their first baseman for the next two seasons and be in a position to sign Adrien Gonzalez or Justin Morneau when they are free agents and Dunn would come off the books.

There is little to be happy about this season when it comes to the Mets. But I hope the torture of this season and the missed moves of the last off season will cause the front office to think, not short term, but long term about the impact their moves have on this team for years to come.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mangled Mets Baseball Cards

The fellas over at More Hardball have put their twisted talents to the test and developed a set of "Mangled Mets" baseball cards.

Warning, the cards are not for the squeamish, but I have to say the effort put into this is A+. My personal favorite is Jonathan Niese's card.

In any case, check it out at More Hardball.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Are You Still Watching the Mets?

Unfortunately I am. I'm a baseball junkie and there's just something about the Mets playing that I can't turn away from.

It's torturous. It's appalling. It's downright painful. But yet I watch.

Hence the name of this blog is Mets Lifer. It's both a badge and a sentence. Through suffering and joy, I'm there watching. Now I will admit that I do turn away from the game from time to time, but I'm still checking the score on my iTouch or Blackberry.

It's a serious addiction, I know. But the needle is in and I'm still wanting more.

That's potentially why I think this is the most painful season yet for the Mets. There was hope for good things to happen, but something inexplicable and unforeseeable has taken that chance away. Even with the collapses the past two years, there were meaningful games in September. There was baseball fever. A pennant race in Queens.

It was starting to become something I expected, but now question marks and disappointments are all on the horizon.

Thankfully football is here, both college & pro, to help feed my sports fix, but the absences of pennant race baseball is a void that cannot be filled.

And so I watch this lackluster lineup and pitiful pitching looking for some nugget of excitement or interest to give me hope for the future. Those moments are few and far between, but it doesn't take much when you're a Mets Lifer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Return of Pedro

Pedro Martinez was masterful last night. He threw a ridiculous 130+ pitches and had movement on his changeup and fastball that you haven't seen since 2004.

I do think the home plate umpire had a strike zone the size of Minnesota, but even still Pedro was hitting his spots and making the Mets lineup look foolish.

I didn't want the Mets to sign Pedro. I thought he was done. Man was I wrong. In hindsight, the Mets could have signed him to an incentive laden contract that would have been right around the same dollars we paid Tim Redding.

Now the real question is whether Pedro can pitch like this for 6 months or has he become more of a Roger Clemens, second half of the season type of starter. I think the latter is the case, but it was painful to see his masterful stuff against the Mets while being in a Phillies uniform.

If Pedro wins a ring with the Phillies, it will just be more salt in the wounds of Mets fans. I'm buying stock in Morton Salt right now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

David Wright: Your Home Run King

The power drought has gone on too long, but for one day David Wright found enough juice to make Mets fans forget about the plight of the 2009 season.

David Wright hit...wait for it...2 home runs in one game. Yes folks, David Wright is now tied for the team lead in dingers at 10 thanks to his multi home run effort on Saturday.

But it's not the home run totals that make this such a great story, it's when they came. Wright's bombs came in the 7th when the Mets were down 5 and then the game winning shot came with 2 outs in the top of the 9th. While Brad Lidge was somewhere in Citizens Bank Park in the fetal position, Ryan Madsen was showing just how much he can be like Lidge giving up the game winning blast.

About a month ago, I remarked that Daniel Murphy's walk off double was one of the games to remember for 2009 as it would be the last highlight Mets fans would see for the rest of the season. September 12th has taken its place as it came in such dramatic fashion against a bitter opponent.

Despite all the jubilation of the Mets being able to score 10 runs in the last 3 innings, Mike Pelfrey continues to be pitiful. But today's game is not a time to dwell on the despair that has been the 2009 Mets. For one day, Mets fans could see the David Wright that they have missed and look forward to some hope in 2010 and of course NFL football tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mets Lifer: Buy or Sell

As the season comes mercifully to a close, Bryan and I take a look at some of the issues the Mets will face when October 4th comes around in a little Mets Lifer: Buy or Sell.

Buy or Sell: The Mets will get Adrien Gonzalez this off season.
Bryan: Sell. While I would love him on the Mets, this is a pipe dream. Gonzalez is one of the best first basemen in the sport and he is dirt cheap right now. Mets do not have anything to offer to get him. I pray he becomes a free agent after 2011 but I suspect the Red Sox will land him in a trade.

Dave: Sell. I would trade the farm system for Gonzalez but I doubt the Mets will. Instead I hope they realize how important starting pitching is and instead go after a Doc Halladay or Felix Hernandez to support Johan Santana.

Buy or Sell: Angel Pagan is your starting left fielder in 2010.
Bryan: Sell. While a good hitter, and fielder, he makes way too many mental errors. I see him as a solid 4th outfielder. The Mets have to give F Mart a chance to play every day, assuming he’s healthy.

Dave: Buy. Pagan is like a college basketball freshman. Great talent, but inexperienced so he lacks the in-game intelligence. Pagan hasn’t played a full season in the bigs, ever. So these mental lapses are all part of the growth process to turn into an everyday player. The guy can hit. He’s got a solid glove and he can run like the wind. Those are three things that are a perfect match for Citi Field. Give him a shot to start and use Sullivan as your #4. Besides, hopefully FMart will be traded in a deal for Halladay or King Felix.

Buy or Sell: The Mets need to adjust the Citi Field dimensions.
Bryan: A BIG BUY here. Listen, I hate band box parks like the one in Philly, or the Bronx for that matter, but take one look at David Wright’s putrid numbers this year, and you’d have to be a fool not to consider moving the fences in, especially in right. I’ve said this before, but David Wright is the most glaring concern I have with this club going into 2010. He looks nothing like the hitter he used to be and that scares the heck out of me because if he no longer produces like he’s supposed to, the Mets and their fan base will suffer greatly. I’m shocked that more people aren’t as concerned about his decline. 8 HRs…EIGHT! He needs to seek out Jeff Kent to learn how to lay off the slider, b/c he reminds me of Kent when he was on the Mets. Slider down and away, and Kent was toast. Same thing now with Wright. If he’s not half-swinging at it, it’s totally in his head and he gets beat on the fast ball. Now somewhere along the way, Kent figured it out and we all know what happened to his career post Mets. Wright desperately needs to find the remedy. And bringing in that right field fence is a good start.

Dave: Sell, with an exception. I was as much a proponent of adjusting the dimensions as Bryan a month or so ago. But since then I’ve seen Derek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Dan Uggla, Brad Hawpe and others have zero issue with putting the ball over the fence. It seems like the only team struggling to hit home runs at Citi is the Mets. The power drought is an issue with the player not the field. However, the right field fence is just stupid. The Mo Zone fence should be moved up so it's even with “Utley’s Porch.” That has less to do with hitting home runs and more with creating a better playing field for the outfielders. Plus it serves no purpose being back that far other than to just be annoying. Kinda like that stupid hill in center field in Houston.

Buy or Sell: Mets fans will root for the Yankees in the playoffs.
Bryan: Sell. No true Mets fan will root for the Yanks in the playoffs, unless of course, they meet Philly in the World Series. Then I want the Yanks to win. It’s the lesser of two evils for me.

Dave: Sell. I’m with Bryan. Word for word.

Remembering 9/11 Again

The following is a post I wrote about a year ago after reading a post by Brad Bortone at Bugs and Cranks. I was pleased this morning to see that Brad has reposted that same article he wrote on this 8th anniversary of that horrific day that is now known as 9/11. I hope you find this post an honorable reflection of that day.

I was going to write a post on how still 8 years later I remember the impact that baseball, and specifically the New York Mets, had after the attacks of September 11th, but Brad over at Bugs & Cranks has done the work for me.

I remember reading this write up last year at about this time and even as I read it again today I think it's one of the best commentaries on that emotional game the Mets played on September 21, 2001.

Brad's closing statement sums it up the best when he writes, "September 11 was all too real. I finally realized this. But for the first time in two weeks, I also realized that it was okay to smile. It was okay to cheer. It was perfectly okay to start living again."

It's definitely worth a read, and even if you've read it before, you should read it again and never forget those feelings we all experienced just 7 (now 8) years ago.

Click here to read the full article on Bugs & Cranks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Done With Daniel Murphy

I've now learned never trust a guy who performs well in September.

Daniel Murphy burst onto the scene last year with little fanfare, but made an immediate impact in the Mets lineup. He was patient at the plate. He was hitting to all fields. He had a sound mind at the plate.

That player does not exist anymore as Daniel Murphy has struggled this season. Sure he's been forced to play two positions which are both out of his natural comfort zone. Sure he's missing the protection in the lineup that he had last year because of all the injuries. Sure he's hitting the ball well of late. But for me he's just not cutting it.

We had visions of grandeur that he was going to be the next Pete Rose, but that was just a ridiculous assessment by most Mets fans. To me he's not an everyday player in the Big Apple. In Cincinnati or Kansas City or Pittsburgh? Sure, he's an asset to the lineup, but for what this Mets team needs, Murphy is not the answer.

The Mets need a big bat at first base. That's not Murphy. So if he's not playing first base, where does he play? Do you really want to stick him back in left field? I think that's too much of a risk.

Murphy is in the unfortunate position of being a man without a position. If the Mets didn't have Wright or Castillo, you might get away with putting him at second base to fill a need, but even that seems like a stretch.

I like the kid. I like his hustle and his glove is surprisingly decent at first base. But I'd rather replace him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Return of the Mole

Superman got his powers from Earth's yellow sun, and it appears the Mets power can only be seen when it's in the vicinity of Carlos Beltran's mole. Carlos Beltran will be bringing his mole back to Queens and potentially be seen in tonight's lineup adding a much missed power bat in the middle of the order.

I've said it before, but because I lack original thoughts from time to time I must say it again: the Mets have missed Carlos Beltran more than any other injured every day player. He's a guy that talk radio callers like to complain about but it's undeniable that Beltran brings a stability to the Mets lineup and defense.

Beltran, with his enormous contract, may be one of the most under appreciated players in baseball. He's a doubles machine. He's smart on the base paths. Plays the best center field since Andruw Jones put on 200 pounds. But Mets fans are ready to trade him or hang him at a moments notice.

I don't expect Beltran to look like the Beltran of old right away. I expect he'll struggle for a few weeks and then turn things on at the very end of the season. But it'll be nice to see someone other than Daniel Murphy batting cleanup and give David Wright some backup both on the field and in the order.

For the guy who's never "100%" it was a welcome surprise to see him declare that he's back to full health and eager to play.

Friday, September 4, 2009


This is legendary. Jason Fry of Faith and Fear in Flushing created this unbelievable mock Monopoly board for the Wall Street Journal that depicts the mess that is the Mets season.

It is appropriately named Metssloppily.

Unbeliveable job on this. Jason, your mom must be proud.

Click here to see the interactive piece.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Memories of Past Mets Are Becoming Present

The more I watch the 2009 Mets, the more I am reminded of past failures from my beloved team. I experience a bit of deja vu during every game and find myself being sent back to such glorious teams at the '93 or '03 Mets teams.

Why are the Mets so destined to relive their past mistakes and seem to attract the same type of talent they have in years before? It's creepy. Don't know what I mean? Take a look at past Mets who are now reincarnated on the current Mets roster:

Daniel Murphy is Ty Wiggington
Scrappy, hard nosed player who came up with some sparks in his bat only to find out that when he plays full time he's more like a .250 hitter without the pop that you hoped he'd have. Also you're not quite sure what position he should play because he's not exactly dominant at any of them. Are we talking about Daniel Murphy or Ty Wiggington?

Mike Pelfrey is Oliver Perez
A neurotic pitcher who can throw hard, but can't find the strike zone which forces him to implode in at least one inning every game. One innings worth of mistakes is enough to sink the Mets chance for victory. But then in another 4 starts, this pitcher shows up and just dominates the opposing lineup making you forget just what an unreliable nut job he really is. Sure they're both on the current roster, but Mike Pelfrey is becoming the Oliver Perez the Pirates traded and that Mets fans have experienced for the last two years.

Brian Schneider is Charlie O'Brien
I've detailed this ad naseum in a previous post which you can read here.

Anderson Hernandez is Rey Ordonez
A gifted fielder who can't hit to save his life. Sure he'll surprise you with a 3 for 4 outing once a month, but in every subsequent at bat it appears he hits a ground ball to the second baseman. Now Ordonez was more talented with his glove than Hernandez, but they're basically the same player.

Gary Sheffield is Mo Vaughn
A career All Star who's on his last legs comes to Queens and only tries to hit home runs. He can't play the field because moving laterally is like giving birth so he's relinquished to serving as a pinch hitter who can't hit unless he gets lucky on a fastball. Sheffield is obviously in better shape than Mo ever was, but still. Is he really that different?

Bobby Parnell is Bill Pulsipher
Young pitcher with great arm becomes "untouchable" before he even finishes a complete season, but turns out he's not the starting pitching talent that you had envisioned. A few down on his luck starts and he has now lost all confidence in himself as well as the fan base. Parnell obviously started in the bullpen, where Pulsipher was always a starter, but I fear that Parnell will meet the same fate as Pulsipher.

Tim Redding is Bobby Jones
Mediocre pitcher is forced into #1 starter because of injuries and just sheer lack of a better option. Grows goatee, pitches well for a few months, and then slowly fades away. Redding is pitching well of late, but let's pray the Mets aren't desperate enough to offer him an extension.

Other notable similarities include:
Angel Pagan is Derek Bell; Johan Santana is Mike Hampton; David Wright is Mike Piazza; Nick Evans is Jeff Keppinger; Carlos Delgado is Bobby Bonilla

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcoming Back David Wright

In a season where practically every Mets player has missed games due to injury, I personally have missed David Wright the most. I think the circumstances regarding his trip to the DL makes him a more compelling story, but I believe it has as much to do with the fact that David Wright is the leader of this team. And no team feels complete without their leader.

Questions have been made in seasons past about Wright's leadership skills and whether he is outspoken enough to be the leader of a New York team. The media likes to harp on the outward display of leadership skills, but anyone worth their salt knows that leadership is less about what you do when everyone's watching and more about how you act when no one is.

Wright has become the last man standing for the Mets during this pitiful trip to the depths of the NL East, but through it all Wright has been there answering questions, handling the media, and showing up to play every night with the same intensity as he did that first week in April.

While other players have been criticized for their lackadaisical play at times, including All Stars like Reyes and Beltran, have you ever found yourself saying that about Mr. Wright? Have you ever seen Wright take a play off or be less intense about striking out with runners on when the Mets are down by 6 runs or up by 1?

This year is the year Wright officially became a veteran. He had no say in the matter. He's been forced into the role of team spokesperson, on-field leader and big bat in the lineup without asking for it. But somehow I think he welcomes being tested. He's not one to back down.

While the Mets will plunge farther in the standings, I find hope in David Wright and that the trials he has experienced this year will pay dividends in future seasons because of his experiences in 2009.

Welcome back David Wright. Even with his dorky new helmet.

Monday, August 31, 2009

13 Ways to Stay Positive as a Mets Fan

And on the third day...the Mets win. This is bound to be our plight for the remainder of the baseball season. Lose two, win one, if we're lucky. It's difficult to even talk baseball as a Mets fan unless you're commiserating with other down on their luck Mets Lifers.

But you have to try and stay positive while you're waiting for your refill of Zoloft. Here are some ways:

  1. You're better off watching the Mets than watching any episode of Glee
  2. Any win is a little Festivus miracle
  3. Imagine that Bobby Parnell is the second coming of Bill Pulsipher
  4. Take joy in the fact that Luis Castillo is your 2009 Mets MVP
  5. In every Mets game there's a chance you'll get to see someone mortally wounded
  6. Last preseason football game is this weekend
  7. You could be Jeff Wilpon and be down like $700 million
  8. Every day is a day closer to ending the pain
  9. Find hope in the Phillies potentially losing in the Wild Card to the Rockies
  10. In every game there's a chance to witness an embarrassing play that hasn't been seen in the last 50 years
  11. Christmas is coming
  12. You wanted the Mets to get younger, so now you have your wish
  13. Only 30 more losses to get Bryce Harper

Friday, August 28, 2009

Worst Mets Lineup Scores 10, Shows Clutch

The Mets just enjoy messing with me.

Just a few short hours after I declared Thursday's Mets lineup as potentially one of the worst lineups I've seen in my 30 year existence, that same lineup goes out and puts up a 10 spot on the Marlins.

Sure even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, but this Mets lineup scored 9 of their 10 runs with 2 outs.


Yup.I couldn't believe it either and in fact I didn't even realize until a comment was made about it this morning on WFAN. Tatis didn't even hit into a double play if you can believe that.

Maybe it was pent up anger or the stars aligned or whatever, but the key is the Mets finally won a game and Tim Redding looks like a guy who's pitching for his life. I like that. Only took him 6 months to do it, but what position are we in to be picky?

An afternoon delight at Wrigley today at 2 pm.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Worst Mets Lineup Ever?

There were some pretty bad ones in the early 90's and 2000's, but today's lineup against the Marlins has to be up there.

Here is the lineup for the 2009 Mets on this 27th day of August:

Angel Pagan
Wilson Valdez
Daniel Murphy
Jeff Francoeur
Cory Sullivan
Fernando Tatis
Omir Santos
Anderson Hernandez

Mets Should Focus on the Fundamentals

The lost cause of 2009 should be a time for the Mets to consider September as a really early spring training. The games are meaningless, except for a few "pride games" so the Mets might as well use the rest of the season to celebrate the fundamentals and punish those that ignore it.

Think of it as in-season scrimmages. Winning or losing doesn't matter. It's making sure the young players are playing the game the right way and the veterans are doing the little things consistently.

Here is what the Mets should be promoting:

No walks
This pitiful starting rotation should at the very least get it in their heads that walking the leadoff batter is unacceptable. Walk a leadoff batter, you're fined $1,000. Walk three batters in the game, you're fined $5,000 and immediately pulled from the mound. These walks are ridiculous. Throw it over the plate and put the ball in play.

Hitting the ball to the opposite field
This is something that is greatly lacking from the lineup, especially with runners in scoring position. Murphy and Franceour should get rewarded every time they go the opposite way.

Getting the runner over
If you're up with a runner on first or second base and less than two outs and don't at least get the runner over, you're fined $1,000. How many times have we seen innings begin with a runner on second and no one out and they still don't score. Unacceptable.

Reward/Punish Poor Hitting
You go 2 for 4 in a game, you're guaranteed to play the next day. You put up an 0 for 4, you're benched for 1 game. 0 for 2 with a walk and a sac bunt, you live to play another day. 1 for 5 but your hit came with 2 outs and runners in scoring position, you get the game ball.

These are little league level things, but it's obvious the Mets need to be worked on at that level. No one is watching these games once football season is under way, so the Mets should envision September 2009 as a way to work on developing their players and if wins come along the way so be it.

Don't give me the "they need to put fans in the seats" argument either. Fans aren't flocking to this team no matter what they do, so we might as well watch some fundamentally sound baseball. Anything is better than what we've seen over the last week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Week's Sign the Mets Apocalypse Is Upon Us...

Here's your starting rotation for the New York Mets for the rest of the year: Pat "Squee" Misch (kudos to Brad Bortone for that one), Tim "I look like Rick White" Redding, Bobby "Bullpen Please" Parnell, Nelson "Long Shot" Figueroa and Mike "The Licker" Pelfrey.

Let that sink in....

Now enjoy your dinner.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Reasonable Phillies' Fan Misses the Rivalry

When Matt Seeker commented on one of my posts today, I saw that he linked to his Phillies' blog and rolled my eyes as I clicked the link. But to my surprise, Matt's Phillyosophy is a blog written by a reasonable Phillies fan.

Matt's post today about the Great Misfortune is an insightful take from the folks down 95 about the current plight of the Mets. Matt takes the position that he's sorry to see this happen to the Mets because there's no joy in beating this current Mets club. There's no competition that made the past two seasons of matchups so exciting.

I'm with you Matt. I think the Mets/Phillies rivalry is really the first rivalry the Mets (or even the Phillies) have had in recent memory. Sure the Braves were the Mets hated nemesis, but it wasn't a rivalry of heated battles or back and forth jockeying for first place.

That's what I'm missing this year. The competition. The rivalry.

At least one Phillies fan feels the same way.

Citi Field: Home to Amateur Baseball

Citi Field opened its door to amateur baseball so it only makes sense that the closing month would feature amateur baseball as well. St. John's University baseball team played the first ever baseball game at Citi Field, and right now I might rather have their lineup and starting rotation than what the Mets will put on the field this week.

21 players will have seen the disabled list before the end of August. The Mets can now add Johan Santana and Jeff Francoeur to the list of casualties as both appear to be done for the season. Santana's injuries open up a Pandora's box of questions and issues that are sure to stir the winter hot stove fire for months to come.

For those optimists out there, there is a bright side. Let's get the blood letting done now while we're still numb to the pain. Let's clean house in August and get ready for an extremely busy and anxious offseason unlike any the Mets have ever seen.

If you thought last September was painful, September 2009 might be worse. The games will be without interest and meaning. It's sure to flood Mets fans with memories of those glorious seasons of 1994 or 2003 where baseball was merely a gap to fill between basketball and football.

I will say this. There is no team, I repeat no team, out there that could that have predicted or withstood this onslaught of injuries. The Mets could have made moves to improve their team, but it's undeniable that preparing for an injury epidemic of such magnitude could have been prevented. The Mets disabled list looks like an All Star lineup featuring Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Delgado, and now Santana.

But what this does for the Mets is force them to start over and build anew. The focus must be on starting pitching and then filling the holes of a power bat and a few bench adjustments.

If you thought the wait from last season's end to this season's start was long, you've just been given an extra month to endure this offseason. The wait for 2010 starts today, August 25th, 2009.

Mets Reality Check

Time for a quick Mets reality check as a lot of folks have been talking to me about their thoughts on this pathetic team and their hopes for what's to come. Let's set the record straight.

Bobby Parnell is not your saving grace
It's only his third start, but let's not paint Parnell to be the Queens version of Joba Chamberlain. I do think Parnell should stay in the bullpen and develop into that future closer for the ball club, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I hope this doesn't ruin him for future seasons.

The 2009 seasons is over
In case you didn't notice, but I think we're all at that point now.

Mets management is moronic
Omar Minaya has done everything to get himself fired. He's made some dumb moves. He's said some stupid things. He's even started a public fight with a reporter. But this is the guy management is supporting. Now they could be lying about backing Minaya and Manuel, but that's even dumber. Just don't say anything. Why come out with this vote of confidence during the most dismal stretch of games we've seen in the last 3 seasons? Because management is moronic.

Jeff Franceour is a New York guy
Jeff Franceour has done everything right since coming to the Mets. He's played hard. He's produced. He's dealt with the media better than guys who were here for a decade. His demeanor in the clubhouse and the dugout are infectious. The guy belongs here and I think he deserves a shot to stick around.

Mets farm system can't develop talent
Develop is the key word here. Outside of Reyes and Wright can you name the last great talents to come out of the Mets farm system? Ok, how about mediocre talent that at least deserves to play in the big leagues every day? Even the lock-it-up, shooting star players like Milledge haven't turned out so well. I don't know what's wrong, but there's something awry here.

Training staff has got to go
You can't tell me that all these injuries doesn't reflect in some way the training staff on the Mets. If guys are popping hamstrings like Pringles, it's time to look into a new training staff. I think you'd switch mechanics if every car you brought in for a tune up ended up having something else go wrong with it, right?