Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The 25 Man Roster for the 2009 Mets

Here it is folks. For opening day, the Mets players in uniform will be...

Starters= Schneider, Delgado, Castillo, Reyes, Wright, Church, Beltran, & Murphy
Bench = Castro, Tatis, Marlon Anderson, Cora, Nick Evans, & Jeremy Reed
Pitchers = Santana, Pelfrey, Maine & Ollie
Bullpen = Putz, KRod, Parnell, Stokes, Feliciano, Green & O'Day

The plan is for Nick Evans to be sent down to Triple A after four days to bring in Livan Hernandez as the fifth starter. Evidently, Jeremy Reed is seen as a better fit than Evans to start the season. However, if I'm Jerry Manuel, I keep a close eye on Reed & Marlon Anderson to see about bringing Evans back if either of these guys struggle.

So there you have it. The 25 guys who'll be in uniform on opening day. Not the most formidable squad you've ever seen, but the lineup has a balance of speed and power that I think can produce runs.

The pitching on days when a man named Santana is not on the mound will be the question mark.

Mets Broadcaster Ron Darling Talks About New Book

Former Mets pitcher and current SNY broacaster, Ron Darling, sat down the Good Day NY crew to talk about his new book called The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching and Life on the Mound.

I personally love Ron Darling and the insight he brings to the Mets telecast. I think he's arguably one of the most articulate color guys in baseball and has the ability to explain pitchers' mechanics and mentality like few others on TV. Check out this interview he did and you'll see the book highlights the '86 Mets, baseball in general and what are his thoughts on the game he loves.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Citi Field: Menus and Pricing

Some fantastic recon work was done by our friend over at Pick Me Up Some Mets. She actually took photos of various concession stand menus at the new Citi Field so you can see how much you're going to be expected to pay for a hot dog ($5.75 in case you're wondering).

The good news is the food options look really good. The prices are pricey, but not totally extravagant from what you'd expect. $17 for a lobster roll might be a little excessive.

Definitely check out the post over at Pick Me Up Some Mets.

Haven't We Had Enough of Marlon Anderson?

So I'm taking a look at the roster spots this morning and it just troubles me that Marlon Anderson's name is on the roster. Aren't we done with this guy?

Marlon Anderson was a great bench player at one time. In fact, two years ago he was money in clutch pinch hit situations that made him one of the smart mid-season pickups of 2007.

However, last year he bombed. He didn't just bomb, he did something worse than bomb but I can't think of that term should be. That's how bad he was.

Anderson batted .210 for the season and was used sparingly. He's another left handed bat, which is the last thing the Mets need coming off the bench with their starting lineup being full of lefties.

Alex Cora, who we might be talking about next season like we're talking about Anderson this season, is the backup for Castillo if & when Castillo falls apart.

I just don't see why Anderson is needed. I'd much rather let Nick Evans try and succeed at the big league level or give another young kid a shot than keep Marlon around for his shotty fielding in the outfield.

Prove me wrong Marlon Anderson. I'm begging you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Phillies and Mets Debate: Let's Settle This Now, Part 1

This past week I participated in a Mets/Phillies blogger debate on Bleacher Report with some fellow Mets bloggers and a few Phillies bloggers as well.

The debate focused on pitching and which team's set of arms was positioned for success this season. As expected you'll find logic and reason in some comments and pure wishful thinking in others.

Check out the debate here and feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts as well.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Keith Hernandez Lego Figure

Can you say "coolest Lego ever?" PlanetoftheGeeks.com has put together a Lego Keith Hernandez. Photos and details available at PlanetoftheGeeks.com.

Mom, dad, honey, kids? If you're reading this, father's day is just around the corner.

Video Tour of Citi Field

Thanks to the folks at FOX 5, below is a video tour of our beloved new home of the Mets Citi Field. I can't wait to check it out in person so this video will have to do for now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oliver Perez is Out of Shape

Richard Simmons was last seen entering the Mets locker room in Port St. Lucie carrying a fairly worn copy of "Sweatin' to the Oldies." His target: Oliver Perez.

It seems our new multi-million dollar man needs to get in some better shape. The Daily News quoted Mets pitching coach, Dan Warthen, as saying "I think he's out of shape, the arm is out of shape..."

This is fantastic news. Not only did we send our second highest paid starting pitcher to the WBC, but he comes back out of shape because he wasn't working out while playing in the WBC.

Where was Ollie's babysitter? Come on. The Mets should have known Head Case Perez can't be trusted to wander off on his own. Do you think he's a mature, responsible adult?

Perez's troubles were evident in his last outing when he got lit up for six runs and six walks in just over three innings of work. Between Perez's issues and Maine's troubles, the once hopeful duo of pitchers is now looking more like the combo of Bill Pulsipher and Dae Sun Koo.

If Perez doesn't get his act together quickly.his physical shape won't be the only issue as his delicate mental state will be prone to shatter if he doesn't get off to a good start this season. Then the Mets are in a world of hurt because it will take a combination of Dr. Phil and the Dog Whisperer to get Perez back to where he should be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things I Will Miss About the Mets Off Season

Spring training is almost over and Opening Day is just days away. I'm highly anticipating the start of another Mets season (for better or worse), but there are some things I will miss about the Mets off season.

  1. I'll miss the hopeful feeling that Luis Castillo might no longer be a Mets player, and that Orlando Hudson would be.
  2. I'll miss the medication prescribed for me to deal with last September.
  3. I'll miss reading a post practically every day talking about how the Mets need to sign Derek Lowe (mine included).
  4. I'll miss reading and hearing about steroids, A-Rod and the World Baseball Classic.
  5. I'll miss being able to turn on sports and not have a Sovereign Bank, New York Smoker's Quitline and Guiseppe Franco ad staring me in the face (they were replaced in the off season by the Snuggie).
  6. I'll miss not having to hear Wayne Hagin on the radio
  7. I'll miss the fun times I had counting money with Bernie Madoff.
  8. I'll miss the trade rumors that every person wants to believe will come true, but you know never will.
  9. I'll miss seeing my children (daddy's second job is about to start up; hey, we're in a recession here).
  10. I'll miss the false hope that Fernando Tatis can actually be a legit left fielder for two straight years.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Citi Field: Up Close and Personal

Our friend over at MetsGrrl.com, put together possibly the most comprehensive preview of Citi Field you'll find online. It's like she made her very own episode of "Cribs", Mets style, as she takes you through the ins and outs, pros and cons of the new home of our beloved New York Mets.

The pictures are fantastic and I especially love the branding on each row of seats. If Citi goes belly up I'd hate to be the one that has to replace all those stickers on the sides of the seats.

Between the economy, ticket prices, and the high demand for tickets, this might be the closest some of us get to experiencing Citi Field. You have to check this out.

Click here to read MetsGrrl.com's Citi Field Preview.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Omar's Wish: Livan is the 5th Starter

It took a few years, but it looks like Omar Minaya's wish will finally come true. Livan Hernandez looks like the 5th starter in the Mets rotation.

I think Livan has been linked to the Mets in trade rumors every year for the last 4 seasons, and somehow we've gotten lucky and didn't give up anything for him. But here he is now and we'll see how much gas he has left in his tank.

The good news about Livan is...well...wait...hold on....ok, he eats up innings...in theory. Frankly, there's not a whole lot of upside to Livan Hernandez at this point in his career. He normally doesn't get injured a lot and he has a history of being able to throw a ton of pitches with zero long term effect.

But he doesn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of batters, and we're guarnateed to have a 10 run performance at least once a month from him. I have to keep reminding myself that no ballclub has a dominant 5th starter so Livan is merely just bridging a gap until Santana pitches again.

If we get 8 wins out of Livan this season, I'd be pleased. I do expect Jon Niese to make an appearance this summer if Livan becomes unbearable.

But please tell Freddy Garcia to go home.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mets Schneider out indefinitely with calf strain

According to ESPN.com Mets' catcher Brian Schneider is out indefinitely with a calf strain.

Fantastic. The one guy who didn't play in the WBC is now out for who knows how long. Ramon Castro is the easy choice to start the season behind the plate.

By the way the term "indefinitely" when associated with an injury makes it seem like such a tragic injury, when in fact it's merely that the doctors don't know how long it will take to heal.

While Schneider is not exactly the linchpin to the Mets offense, he was having a nice spring batting over .300 amidst talk that the Mets were shopping him in the offseason and potentially pursuing a better hitting catcher to add before opening day.

I really wanted Schneider to get off to a good start this season and put some of that talk behind him. I also think he calls a very good game and is one of the most sound defensive catchers in all of baseball.

You may not think the loss of Schneider is a big deal, but with Maine struggling, Perez being a mental patient and the unknown state that is the 5th starter, this injury may have a bigger impact than you would think.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Romero Is Nothing Without Steroids

There is justice in this world, sometimes it just takes a really long time before we finally get some.

David Chalk over at Bugs & Cranks wrote a fantastic post about one of our favorite Phillies pitchers, J.C. Romero, and how his performance this week is possibly the most enjoyable thing to come out of the World Baseball Classic.

Chalk also provides the very same views that we've had about J.C. Romero who inexplicably is allowed to pitch in the WBC even though he's suspended for the first 50 games of the season for testing positive twice (yes, twice) for performance enhancing drugs last season. Oh, but it was ok for him to pitch in the World Series too.

I'm glad Chalk is talking about this too. Check out his post here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The WBC is Ruining Spring Training

I know I've posted before about my dislike for the WBC, so I promise this will be the last one. But honestly folks, the WBC is ruining spring training.

Spring training is a time to get your act together for the coming season. It's a time to start that bond with your fellow teammates and get started on the right foot. It's a time to get back into shape and focus on what your contribution to the team will be.

That's not what's happening. The Mets have 16 players involved in the World Baseball Classic so it's not like a random 2 or 3 guys are out of spring training. David Wright got kneed in the head the other night. KRod is pitching lights out, but is throwing more innings on back to back nights than he's used to. Heaven forbid anything should happen to either of these guys because the Mets season would be in trouble for a glorified exhibition.

I do get the part about playing for your country. Even I was moved when in a SportsCenter clip, Brian Roberts of Team USA talked about wearing the uniform for our country and what a great feeling that is. I get that it's a time for other countries to band together and play against the world's best.

But in a week no one will even think or talk about the WBC. This isn't the Olympics. It's something created by Bud Selig to monetize baseball even more than it already is and somehow symbolize baseball as a "world game."


I want my players focused on the task at hand, overcoming the debacle that was last year and coming out of the gates strong. I can't wait for the WBC to be over and we can get back to some real baseball games.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Please No More Pedro

I've heard this topic debated from both sides and until now I haven't really cared. But now I'm ready to take a side (in case you care). The Mets should not get Pedro Martinez.

One person posed it to me this way: "Pedro Martinez at 60% is better than any other 5th starter option at 100%." If you said this in 1995, I'd say you're correct, but today, I don't think so. First off we won't be getting a 60% Pedro Martinez. More like a 25% Pedro Martinez.

Pedro's best days are behind him. We all know that he's going to be injured at some point during the season and for a long stretch you'd have to rely on a revolving door of 5th starters until he comes back. His fastball is non-existent. His changeup is losing movement.

I think it's time to burn that bridge. I love Pedro in the clubhouse, but I'm done seeing him on the mound.

At this point, I'd let Jon Niese have at it. He's young. He's got decent stuff. He needs to be tested to see if he's legit. Let him start the season in the 5th spot of the rotation with little pressure on him. If he works out, fantastic. If not, we were going to have a rotation of Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, and a pitcher to be named later anyway, so it's not a huge loss.

Low risk, potentially high reward. The same can't be said about signing Pedro...again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mets Fans, Be Prepared for a Very Long Season

162 games is a long season. A season that stretches from April to September can be a tiresome road for any fan, but this 2009 season will be even longer for Mets fans and it has nothing to do with the hours, days or months.
It has everything to do with Philadelphia Phillies' fans.

Oh yes. Be prepared for a grueling road ahead. For the first time in decades, Philadelphia fans have something to boast about. Sure they were obnoxious before and have had plenty of opportunity to spew venom in our general direction, but never like this.

The difference is they're hate speak, boasting, bragging and general disdain for all things New York has a championship ring behind it. They have every right to say they're the best team in baseball. They have actual facts and statistics and box scores that they can shove in our faces to support their claims. And in turn, as Mets Lifers, we have the choking/collapse/implosion of not just last year, but also the year before that looms over us like the dark cloud that it is.

I write this so you can prepare your thick skin for the persecution that lies ahead. Case in point: This past week I looked at the calendar and updated my Facebook status to read "Dave is excited that opening day is less than a month away." A simple, innocent, baseball-loving status update.

But because of my work with the mentally ill and clinically insane, I do have some Facebook friends that are Phillies fans. And one wrote in reply: "You miss hearing the choking sound?"

And so it begins.

This may be the longest baseball season we've ever experienced, and honestly there's nothing we can do or say in return until the calendar turns to October 1 and we find ourselves in postseason play.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Duaner Sanchez: Coulda Been a Contender

Oh Duaner, Duaner, Duaner. He's not quite the Greg Jeffries of the Mets bullpen, but he's fallen just as far off the Mets radar as Jeffries did back in the early 90's.

A guy who was once considered a possible replacement for Billy Wagner is now no longer employed. The Mets today announced that they released Duaner Sanchez and broke the news to him this morning so he could enjoy his afternoon in Port St. Lucie taking in the sights.

I do fully expect Sanchez to get picked up by another major league team, specifically the Brewers. Come on, he's one of Willie's "guys." What better bullpen could you ask for than Mota & Sanchez in the 8th & 9th innings?

In any case, Duaner Sanchez has been a huge letdown ever since that ill-fated cab ride he took a couple years back that ended his season in 2006. If you think about it, that cab ride started the downward spiral for the Mets. They were forced to trade Nady for another reliever. Nady goes on to be a fantastic outfielder while the Mets bullpen continues to implode and they lack a reliable person to play in left field. Ah, the irony.

With Sanchez headed to unemployment, it looks like Brian Stokes will probably fill his spot in the bullpen, but with the additions of Putz & K-Rod, Sanchez's role was not what it once would have been. The same can be said for his career.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's the Deal with all the Mets Injuires?

I know spring training is the time when you have to "work the kinks out," but this is getting ridiculous. It seems like every other Mets player is injured in spring training. What are these guys doing during the offseason?

Castillo is banged up (expected), Church (ok), Pagan (not again), Pelfrey (please, no), and Santana (make it stop). Someone tell David Wright and Jose Reyes to stay away from the other players because this is becoming contagious.

The good news is it's only spring training. Still time to recover, but I think Ryan Church should wear a football helmet everywhere he goes just to make sure he avoids banging his head on something again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Johan Santana Drama

To pitch opening day or not? That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the minds of Mets fans to tough it out and be the name on the marquee for opening day or to rehab the elbow until it heals.

Like a Shakespearean drama, the media and Mets fandom are adding excessive oratory to the case of Johan Santana's elbow. Right now it looks like Santana will not be able to pitch on opening day.

Wait a second....this just in. Now Santana is aiming for opening day.

Whether or not Santana pitches on opening day is irrelevant. The important things is that Santana is healthy and injury free this season. If that means Santana has to sit out the entire month of April, I'm ok with that. I just want Santana to be healthy when he starts pitching.

Santana is possibly more valuable to the Mets than any other pitcher is to their team. He is our workhorse. He is our go-to guy. He is the ultimate gamer. In the words of Jerry Manuel, he's "gangsta."

I don't want Santana to pitch opening day and then have 3 more starts before he has to sit out another month because he rushed back to quickly. Let's make sure he's 100%, especially when September comes.