Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mets Fans, Let's Remember When...

The calendar has turned to July. Be gone June. A 9-18 record in June has found the Mets below .500, riddled with injuries and looking more like the Bad News Bears than a big league club.

It's times like these that make reflecting back on the good ol' days so much more painful enjoyable. Do you remember when...

-Daniel Murphy was our every day left fielder?
-We had a lockdown 8th and 9th inning?
-Reyes used to get on base and score without the Mets getting a hit?
-Omar Minaya talked about defense being so important?
-Gary Sheffield wasn't on the Mets?
-The thought of walking a pitcher was laughable?
-The thought of Johan Santana walking a pitcher was ludicrous?
-Fernando Tatis was decent?
-Ryan Church batted 6th in the order?
-Angel Pagan was alive?
-Signing Oliver Perez was the "smarter choice" than signing Derek Lowe?
-John Maine was looked at as our #2 starter?
-Carlos Delgado played first base?
-You wanted Fernando Martinez to play because he had the potential for greatness?
-Alex Cora was just a backup?
-We used to win series?
-You thought this year was when the Mets were going to make the playoffs?

July is a welcome sight. It can't get any worse than June...right?

Hope vs Reality: The Mets Sworn Enemies

Hope: The Mets can hang on until at least one of their All Star bats can return from injury.
Reality: The Mets won't win a series before that happens.

Hope: David Wright can be more consistent.
Reality: David Wright will never be consistent this season with all the turmoil around this team.

Hope: That replacement pitchers like Redding and Nieve can keep the Mets in games.
Reality: Replacement pitchers like Redding and Nieve can't be relied upon.

Hope: Johan Santana will save us from having this losing streak continue.
Reality: The Mets will struggle to score one run for him today.

Hope: Omar Minaya can make a trade to help this team immediately.
Reality: The Mets need a fantasy baseball league draft to help this team immediately.

Hope: Oliver Perez can return to his old self and win some games.
Reality: Oliver Perez will return to his old self and win some games, but get absolutely destroyed in others.

Hope: The Mets can stay at .500 until the All Star Break.
Reality: The Mets will be games under .500 by the All Star Break.

Hope: The Mets can turn this around with a good series against Philadelphia.
Reality: The Mets might still be under .500 even if they sweep the Phillies.

Hope: Fernando Tatis will break out of this season long slump.
Reality: Fernando Tatis will lead the league in double plays.

Hope: Nick Evans can get a chance to play.
Reality: The Mets hate Nick Evans.

Hope: Fernando Martinez turns out to be the CF everyone's been talking about.
Reality: Fernando Martinez will need to see a sports psychologist before the end of July.

Hope: I need to watch the game tonight because the Mets just might win this one.
Reality: I don't need to watch the game tonight because torture is just not as enjoyable as it once was.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday's Miserable Mets Mailbag

It's Monday. We know you're miserable so it's time to take your miserable Mets questions about last night's game or any game from this past week. So have at it:

Why is Fernando Tatis playing every day? 
HatingRivera; Brooklyn, NY
Excellent question that has a simple answer: He's right handed. By simple birthright, Fernando Tatis finds himself in the lineup on a regular basis. There's no other reason for him to be in there. He's on the all-world team for hitting into double plays. He's batting below .200 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. He's not that good of an outfielder, but he's the only right handed bat the Mets have left that can play multiple positions.

I'm not saying that's a good reason for Tatis to be playing. I think he should take a long walk off a short pier, but that is the world we live in.

Why did Jerry Manuel leave Fernando Martinez in the game last night to face Brian Bruney with 2 runners on base?
Easypopup; Mahawah, NJ
Again simple answer: The Mets enjoy destroying the hopes and dreams of young players. Don't give me the lefty vs. righty scenario because Jeremy Reed was sitting on the bench at the time and would have been one of a couple options for Manuel in this spot. Sure FMart doubled and drove in a run earlier, but it was in a much less tense situation and against a very different pitcher. Bruney throws high and hard, and FMart just can't catch up to those pitches.

I was sitting there waiting for Nick Evans to pinch hit, but I'm sitting here still waiting for that to happen. So FMart strikes out on 3 pitches and then they bring in Rivera for the 4 out save. The Mets would have been better off having FMart bunt for a base hit than letting him swing away.

What's the matter with KRod?
Luv2WalkPitchers; Hartford, CT
KRod is suffering from a syndrome called hatingus losers, which is where you are infected by the inability to win that is running rampant through the veins of the people surrounding you. KRod gets no excuse for walking Mariano Rivera. That's all on him. No excuse there whatsoever.

But you got to wonder what's going through this guy's head when the players behind him can't catch a pop up every time he's on the mound. KRod needs some real save situations to get him back on track.

Is there any hope for David Wright?
Ohfor30; Parsippany, NJ
Yes, there's hope. You see David Wright has been so awful of late that we're bound to have an 18 for 25 hit streak waiting for us this week, which he'll probably use against the Brewers and Pirates so he can start a 0 for 85 streak against the Phillies this weekend.

Which injured player do the Mets miss the most?
FlorenceNightengale; Westchester, NY
Honestly, I think it's Carlos Beltran. The Mets miss his doubles desperately. David Wright misses having him looming in the on deck circle behind him. He's arguably the best (and smartest) base runner on the team. But most of all they miss his glove.

In my opinion, he's the best fielding center fielder in the game today. There's a certain sense of security when Beltran is roaming the outfield that some extra base hits just won't fall in. He was batting well over .300 and added a presence in the lineup that the Mets now desperately miss.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Honeymoon is Over

The good feelings about this scrappy Mets team are starting to fade. Reality is setting in and these young bats look totally overmatched by the top two Yankee pitchers.

Errros have been rampant. Absolutely no rallies have been started. Meanwhile, the Mets starting pitching has had one bad inning in the last two games that ultimately decided the fate of the game.

Fortunate for us the rest of the NL East doesn't care for interleague play either. The Mets still find themselves within 1.5 games of first place, and even with a loss tonight coupled with a Phillies win at worst will be 2.5 games out.

The Mets need to show some backbone tonight and come out swinging. Too many first pitch strikes are being let through and quickly finds Mets batters in an 0-2 hole.

This is the first time the Mets have lost a season series to the Yankees since 2003. They need to at least save face and win the final game in their own ballpark on national TV. Wang is on the mound so there's no excuse not to put some runs on the board.

Once the Yanks are through is when the real test begin against the Brewers and Phils. Please, let's get one tonight.

Friday, June 26, 2009

This Mets Team is Scrappy

Craig Carton over at WFAN has declared this Mets team's nickname to be Scrappy-Doo, and I can't argue with him.

The Mets team that we've seen this week is a very far cry from the opening day roster, and is completely different from any Mets team I've seen in the last decade.

It's full of youth.

You've got Murphy, FMart, Nick Evans, David Wright & Omir Santos all contributing (okay, FMart isn't really contributing, but he does play a good CF). Then you've got Nieve, Parnell, and Pelfrey on the mound.

Throw in Church, who's relatively young, and you've got one of the youngest Mets teams in recent history. Outside of Wright & Santana, there are no big name stars and there are absolutely no home run hitters.

This is small ball at its best and quite frankly, it's kind of fun to watch. Now how long will this honeymoon last? Who knows. It could end tomorrow. The Mets could lose the next 5 games or more, but who would think we'd find the Mets a half game out with this squad of Scrappy-Doos?

If the Mets can remain in contention while the kids are out playing and having fun, this may be one of the most entertaining and enjoyable baseball seasons in a long time. I'm still waiting for Beltran/Delgado/Reyes to come back and heaven knows how badly I want some power back in this lineup, but in the mean time I'm going to enjoy seeing what this team of feisty youngsters can do.

You should too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome Back Nick Evans

Man was it good to see Nick Evans back in a Mets uniform yesterday.

The forgotten kid had all been left for dead until the Mets called him up yesterday from the dead to fill in for Gary Sheffield who (surprise!) is out with an injury for a few games. Last month Brad Bortone at Bugs & Cranks wrote a great post about Nick Evans and the raw deal he's gotten from the Mets, but yesterday Evans let his play do the talking.

In his season debut, Evans went 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Evans turned on a high first-pitch fastball in the 4th inning yesterday that was scorched into the left field seats. If you watch the replay of Evans swing, you'll notice that he swung so hard that he almost fell over after he made contact. The kid was swinging from his heels and probably putting all his frustration about being stuck in obscurity and jubilation for being back in the majors into that one swing.

I don't think I've felt happier for a Mets player this season than I was for Nick Evans last night. I'm not here to crown Evans the savior of the Mets lineup or that he's going to become the next Ted Williams. I'm just glad the kid is getting a chance to play in the majors so we can see what he can do.

Welcome back Nick Evans. Hope you're here for a while.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

David Wright and the Scrubs

The Mets banded together last night to pull out a much needed victory. With the news of Carlos Beltran heading to the DL and the previous week's painful losses, the Mets needed a victory to take their minds off of all the bad and to stop the bleeding.

But what was most evident to me last night, besides the fact that Fernando Tatis is an automatic double play with a runner on first and one out, is that this is now David Wright and everybody else.

Wright is going to be walked more in the next two weeks than he has all of the previous games this season. If you're an opposing pitcher why on earth would you want to pitch to Wright when you can deal with Tatis or Murphy or Santos behind him?

The scrubs will put up a good show for the next few days, but then reality will set in and they will start playing up to their potential instead of exceeding it. This is going to be a trail by fire for David Wright. Can he be consistent? Can he be a leader not just in the dugout or clubhouse, but at the plate by coming through when he's needed most?

These injuries the Mets have experienced are unbelievable, but in a way this could be the struggle that David Wright needs to turn him into the reliable and clutch performer that we need him to be. Or the weight of this team could crush him and he'll rival Ryan Howard for being the strikeout leader.

Either way it appears as if David Wright will be getting zero help from the front office in the way of a trade for additional support. The Mets seem to be willing to ride out this wave of injuries and play with the hand they've been dealt for better or worse.

So get used to the power core of bats you saw in the lineup last night and say a little prayer for David Wright (and Johan Santana while you're at it).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome to Suicide Week

It's June 22 and 18 of the first 21 days in the NYC metro area have included rain, so it's not stretch to think the dark cloud that hangs over the Mets may very well continue through the end of the month.

That's why this week is suicide week because at the end of this week if you're a Mets fan you may contemplate suicide.

There are a number of factors that bring me to this conclusion including:

  • Carlos Beltran will have an MRI today. Expect a press conference at 4 pm announcing he'll have season ending surgery.
  • Ken Takahashi is currently poised to take over the 8th inning role in the bullpen.
  • David Wright is thinking about going 2 for 50 for the rest of the month.
  • Brian Schneider is arguably the Mets best power hitter
  • Albert Pujols and his magic stick are coming to town.
  • The Yankees are coming after the Cardinals.
  • The Mets get to face the best pitcher in baseball right now, Chris Carpenter.
  • There's no way the Phillies can keep losing like this.
  • Rain is in the forecast practically every day this week.
  • Daniel Murphy is looking more like Ty Wigginton than we originally thought.
  • Bobby Parnell is giving me nightmares of Scott Schoeneweiss
Add this all up and you have one of the worst times to be playing two very good teams this week in the Cards & Yanks. There's a reason Seattle has the highest suicide rate of any major city in the U.S. It's a combination of all that rain and all those really bad sports teams.

We're getting a taste of Seattle in New York. Please sun, come out and and play.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fall of Bobby Parnell

Bobby Parnell was an untouchable player in trade talks, but now Mets fans are ready to run him out of town.
Parnell has hit his sophmore slump just when the Mets seem to need him most. Over his last 8 starts Parnell has an ERA over 20 and 15 of the 16 batters he's faced have gotten on base.

Sunday afternoon's game was yet another notch in his tragedy belt as he started a Tampa Bay rally that ended with the Rays scoring 4 runs in the inning en route to another Mets defeat.

The question to me is why Manuel brought him in yet again. Parnell, out of all the Mets relievers, could have used the day off. He's gotten pounded every time he's pitched this week and at this point it's as much mental as it is mechanics.

Now Parnell is not the sole reason for the Mets problems of late, but he does seem to be on the mound for the pivotal swing moments like he was on both Saturday and Sunday. Shawn Green is not far behind Parnell in regards to relief issues, but it's Parnell who has fallen the farthest from grace.

I'm not giving up on Parnell just yet, but he does need a few days off and a chance to pitch in situations where the outcome of a game is resting on his arm.

But if Parnell cannot straighten out his problems, the once formidable Mets bullpen will look as pitiful as their offense. With Putz out, a struggling Parnell and an overworked Feliciano, we're going to be seeing more Takahasi than any one wants. That's not a good thing.

(Photo from Flickr user talaba)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mets Friday Rant - 6/19/09

It's Friday and I should not be expected to put together intelligent sentences that form a paragraph, so from now on Friday will be a day for ranting on the Mets. Short & semi-short sentences to just get what's on my mind about this roller coaster of a team off my chest. Hang on:

  • You will not see me write another post like this about K-Rod for a while. I think I jinxed him.
  • Who's ready for a David Wright 0 for 30 streak. See you after July 4th David!
  • Why is Sean Green pitching in every game these days? Is running relievers into the ground enjoyable?
  • Aubrey Huff doesn't look bad, but I don't know if I'd give up prospects to get him.
  • Luis Castillo deteriorates every day. Twice on weekends.
  • Would this team be any different if we had a healthy Maine & Perez? The word no comes to mind.
  • Is it just me or do you get nervous every time you see a pop-up and the guy catches it with one hand? TWO HANDS PEOPLE!!!!
  • Thank you Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Matt Pignataro at Seven Train to Shea feels the same way I do about the new Mets goat, Fernando Tatis.
  • Very tough week ahead. Could be very bad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why Tatis? Why?

Last night's loss is one of those games that's just bound to happen in the course of a season.

Feliciano had been pitching very well of late, but has thrown in almost every game of the past week. He just didn't have his stuff and gave up a moon shot to Aubrey Huff that ultimately decided the game.

But in typical Mets fashion, there was one moment that just left me baffled. In the 7th inning last night with the bases loaded and 1 out, Jerry Manuel pinch hit Fernando Tatis for Fernando Martinez.

Normally I understand this move. Get the veteran in there instead of the rookie to come through in a pressure situation. Understood.

But Martinez was hitting the ball all over the place last night and hitting the ball hard. It's possibly the best I've seen Martinez at the plate all year. So why pinch hit for him in the 7th inning?

Martinez is also the one guy in the lineup who would be most difficult to double up. The kid flies. And late in a game why would you want Tatis in the outfield when Martinez is the much better defensive player?

It just doesn't add up.

Add that to the fact that the pitcher just walked in a run, Tatis gets thrown two straight balls and then swings on 2-0 grounding into a tailor made double play.

Tatis has been just retched of late. Martinez may have popped out, but he wouldn't have been doubled up. That brings Beltran up and could have been a much bigger inning.

That move just doesn't make sense, but things rarely do with the Mets.

For Manuel & the Mets, 5 is the Number

Jerry Manuel gave a very candid interview with Mike Francesa yesterday and the thing that stuck out most to me was the emphasis Manuel put on the number 5.

Manuel said that the key for him is stay floating around 5 games over .500 until he can start getting some injured players back, specifically Delgado & Reyes. He felt that 5 games over .500 would put the Mets within striking distance of a Wild Card.

Not striking distance of the Phillies. Not battling for a division title. Just the Wild Card.

Wow. That's candid and I like it. Manuel is not fooled into thinking this team is a division leader or World Series contender. He wants to tread water until he has his team back from the infirmary and then get ready to make a run.

If the Mets were to fall below .500, then that is when Manuel thought a move would be made. That might be too late if you ask me, and I think at least one move should be made in the mean time but the need for an all out fire sale isn't the right option.

Manuel seemed to think that if the Mets had Delgado & Reyes in the lineup every day that they would be in much better shape, and it's hard to argue that point. Couple that with the loss of Maine & Perez for extended periods of time and you basically have half a starting rotation and two major holes in your lineup. And yet the Mets are still hanging around.

Treading water until the injury plague is gone is not a bad move in my opinion, but the only caveat is that no more major injuries happen in the mean time. That could very well bury this team if a Wright, Beltran or heaven forbid, Johan Santana.

In the meantime for Manuel and the Mets, the goal is 5 games over .500. Right now they're 3 games over. There's work to be done.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The K-Rod Difference

When you think about it, K-Rod is no different than any of our other relievers from the past. He gives up base hits like John Franco. He fails to throw first pitch strikes like Braden Looper. He throws hard, but can get hit hard like Benitez and Wagner.

The only difference between K-Rod and our past relievers is in the end he gets the job done.

Last night was the perfect case in point. The scenario in last night's 9th inning has been played out countless times before over the course of the last decade. Mets are up a few runs in the 9th. Closer comes in. Base hit. Then another base hit. Then a walk. Then a run scores and the winning run is at the plate and the tying run at second base.

We've all seen it. And we know what happens. The closer blows the game. But that's not what happened last night.

To say K-Rod has a flair for the dramatic would be like saying John Daly has a weight problem. K-Rod loves the spotlight. He loves the tense moments. And you know what, he thrives in them.

Other than Luis Castillo's Buckneresque play the other night, K-Rod has been perfect even when he has found himself, or gotten himself, in dicey situations.

This is the first time the Mets have had a real closer who can handle the pressure. I love that he wasn't going to take any garbage from Bruney. Now other closers, like Wagner or Franco, may have played it out in the media with some jawing back and forth, but K-Rod backs up his smack by going straight after Brian Bruney on the field..

That's the kind of guy I want closing out games. I know he's going to blow a few saves this season because no one is perfect. But for the first time in a long time, I feel confident that the man pitching in the 9th inning knows how to seal the deal.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I'm Done With Fernando Tatis

The Comeback Player of the Year can go back to where he came from. I'm done with Fernando Tatis.

The great story of last season, a guy I referred to in 2008 as Mr. Clutch, is now absolutely dreadful. He's an automatic double play if there's a runner on first and one out. He's only starting because Delgado is hurt. He's batting under .200 over the past month with runners in scoring position.

Honestly I'd rather see Jeremy Reed get more playing time than Tatis.

During Friday night's game, Keith Hernandez noted that Tatis' swing is different this year than last year. He's not holding his bat up straight, but rather pointing it more towards the dugout than perpendicular to the ground (that's right McCarver PER-PIN-DIC-ULAR, not parallel you moron) like he was last year. This causing his bat to be slower to get through the hitting zone and why he's having trouble catching up to fastballs.

Two notes here. First, why are we paying HoJo to be the hitting coach if Hernandez is seeing these issues from the broadcast booth and no one is telling Tatis? Second...ok there is no second, it's the same as the first, why isn't anyone telling this to Tatis and making this adjustment?

It's worth a try because Tatis is quickly becoming a liability at the plate.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Jerry Manuel says he's the best defensive first baseman on the roster, but Murphy looks fairly comfortable over there. The fact that Tatis is righthanded may be the only thing keeping him alive.

Time is ticking Mr. Tatis. Fix that bat position in your stance. Go talk to Keith Hernandez before you hit into yet another double play.

A Mets Weekend to Forget?

The bad news? Johan Santana had his worst outing of the season. Possibly worst outing ever.

The good news? It's done. You can expect nothing worse from Santana for another 365 days.

But was this the worst Mets weekend of the season? Possibly, but in actuality all it resulted in was a loss of one game in the standings.

That's it. All the drama, all the pain, all the sufferring and all the Mets ended up with after this dreadful weekend was losing one game in the standings (thank you Boston Red Sox).

The Mets should have taken the first game against the Yanks. The Mets should have won the last two games against the Phillies too. Should, should, should.

But here we are. 4 games back. Playing with starters who wouldn't even start for the Washington Nationals. Ok, maybe they would start for the Nationals.

Is this the ideal position to be in? Absolutely not. Am I pleased this is where we find ourselves? Not a bit. Could it be ten times worse? For sure.

I find I need to remind myself from time to time that we have no Delgado, no Reyes, no Perez, no Putz, and no Maine. This is not half a team, it's a quarter of a team.

The Mets just need to tread water until either a deal is made or we can get some resemblance of our starting roster put back together.

A Mets Win Heals Wounds

As bad as I felt on Friday evening and Saturday morning, there was a wonderful sense of relief on Saturday evening as the Mets beat the Yanks 6-2.


Another loss would have sent this team, and by this team I really mean me, into a tailspin. You needed (again by "you" I really mean "me') a win after such a crushing loss to help ease the pain and put it in the past.

I don't know about you, but  I think I saw Castillo actually running away from infield pop ups on Saturday. But Saturday belonged to Fernando Nieve who really pitched an amazing game with A-Rod's home run being the only blemish on his afternoon of work. Here's a guy who hasn't started a game in 3 years and turns in a gem at one of the most prolific hitter's parks in baseball.

Of course his next start he'll last 3 innings and give up 6 runs.

The statisitc that amazed me the most is David Wright's batting average. Here is a guy who many have said just isn't as good as we thought and is leading the majors, that's right Major League Baseball, in hitting with .365 average. This is the first time a Mets player has ever lead the majors in hitting.


Wright is swinging the bat well and let's just pray he doesn't go into another cold spell any time soon.

One more against the Yanks this afternoon. No one wants a win more than Luis Castillo so people can stop talking about Friday night.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bruney Rips K-Rod, K-Rod Doesn't Know Who Bruney Is

In what are some of the more laughable comments you will hear, Brian Bruney, a middle reliever for the Yankees said that last night's loss could not have happened to a "better guy." Sounds like he might have been piling on Castillo, right? I mean, he was the guy who dropped a pop up. But no, Bruney was actually talking about K-Rod, when he said "his act is getting tired," apparently referring to K-Rod's controversial celebrations after he saves a game.

First of all, who is Brian Bruney anyway? "I don't even know who the guy is," said Rodriguez when asked about the comments. "He should just say it to my face, and not through the media if he feels that way." Bamn, right back at ya!

What's even more hysterical is that the only thing that happened to K-Rod last night was that his blown save was a mere statistic, a technicality to complete the box score. Other than that, K-Rod was well on his way toward his 17th save in 17 chances. So what was Bruney even talking about "couldn't have happened to a better guy"? Hello?

Bruney's misplaced comments are all the more perplexing when you consider the fact that his own teammate, Joba Chamberlain, is one of the more demonstrative pitchers in the sport. Chamberlain is consistently criticized by his peers for showing the other team up. When Aubrey Huff hit a moon shot off him last month, he actually imitated Chamberlain as he ran around the bases. Huff said he never got so many calls, text messages before from players around the league who loved it, and thought it was hilarious.

This story will be all over the papers tomorrow and talk radio. I hope a reporter has the guts to ask Bruney what he thinks of Chamberlain's "act", because I would love to hear that response.

By the way, is it me or does Bruney look a little amped up in that photo?

Mets, Castillo, Pain and Blogs as Therapy

While I do write on this blog, I do not consider myself a blogger. And while I do write, I hardly consider myself a writer. Instead, I consider myself an unfortunate junkie of the NY Mets. So obsessed with this team for reasons I can never explain, I am a perpetual slave to their torture.

And so to counter that pain, I use this site as therapy. It gives me an outlet to express my frustration, to get things off my chest. To vent, as they say. Those of you who read this site may notice that I write more frequently after a crushing defeat. That's because I need an outlet to go off. (Dave, my counterpat on this aptly named blog, is a prolific blogger and the main engine behind it). My wife, while supportive of my silly addiction to this perennial loser of a franchise, isn't interested in my sulking. She'll listen sure, but she still can't relate and who could blame her? We're talking about a baseball team playing a game. There are a million other important things going on in this world right now that is more important than the Mets winning. But whatever it is inside me, whatever vice is gripping me, I cannot control it. I cannot get rid of it. And when the Mets puke one out like last night, it just knocks me out.

This morning, when I woke up (barely slept mind you) still dazed from the inexplicable "drop" by Castillo, I started to check out the blogs. I needed to find the community of die hard Mets fans who are relentlessly loyal and similarly tortured. There, I found the voices of agony, years of pain heartache, and misery all pouring out like one gigantic therapy session. "Hi, my name is Bryan, and I am a Mets Lifer." "Hi, Bryan." Many articles shared the same sentiment: We're fed up with this team, with this organization. We can't take the hurt anymore. This one was spot on.

And then I checked out Greg Prince's Faith and Fear in Flushing and read the most articulate, the most insightful and honest piece ever written about the Mets and their management. Prince is so dead on accurate about what has happened and what needs to happen in Queens that his piece should be given the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizer for sports blogging. It is that good. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Don't Blame Castillo For Debacle

This may come as a surprise, but I do not blame Luis Castillo for failing to catch a little league pop up. No, for I always knew Luis Castillo sucked so how could I blame him? The one that deserves all the blame in the world for Castillo wearing...check that...disgracing a Mets uniform is Omar Minaya. He was the one who handed him the most laughable contract in all of baseball two years ago and he is the one who opted to keep him rather than sign All Star second baseman Orlando Hudson for a bag of peanuts this year - WHO BY THE WAY MUST I REMIND YOU - WANTED TO PLAY FOR THE METS!!!! And what do we have to show for it? A gimpy, hobbled old man who freakin' blows one of the worst games I can remember in all of my years as a Mets fan.

OMAR MINAYA, I beg of you, release this person from the club. I do not ever want to see him put on the orange and blue again! It's one thing to have to ednure years of humilation, embarrasment, and downright mocking of our team (on the MLB network, Mitch Williams and Dan Plesac were cracking up about this, in fact, Plesac pulled out a Freddy Krugar glove saying that's what Castillo was wearing). But it's another thing to continue to accept the lacidasical, apatehic style pf play that your team displays night in, night out.

I am so sick and tired of losing. I am so fed up with this absolute garbage of a franchise. Are you kidding me? Are you freaking kidding me? He actually dropped that ball and lost the game?

But you know what? He will be back there tomorow manning second base and we Mets Lifers have to continue taking it. We'll have to continue watching that guy play for our team. Awesome...

Omar you are a joke! Your team is the joke of baseball, around the league. Do you know how many teams are laugning their heads off right now watching that highlight? Do something about it or please, dismiss yourself from this organization because I truly cannot take it anymore. I really can't.

Sad to say, but I was very prophetic when I wrote this post before the season started.

What the Mets Need

The question is simple. The answer is near impossible.

In the past when this question was posed the answer was relatively easy. For the last two seasons it was bullpen help, bullpen help, bullpen help. At times it's been starting pitching or an outfielder with a bat. But after dropping two painful games to the rival Phillies and with the toughest stretch of the season before us the question has become much more complicated.

Why? Because the Mets need a little of everything.

John Maine has just been put on the DL, Tim Redding is good only every other start and Pelfrey is not quite ready to be a #2 starter. So the answer could be the Mets need to get a starting pitcher.

But then I look at the abysmal effort the Mets have shown in the field lately. Errors are occurring every game and outside of Beltran there's a question mark at almost every position when it comes to defense. So the answer could be the Mets need to get some defensive help.

But then there's the loss of Delgado, the decline of Sheffield, the lack of clutchness from Wright & Beltran. FMart is still learning the ropes and Daniel Murphy hasn't quite lived up to the hype. The Mets can't score runs late so maybe the answer is the Mets need a big RBI bat.

There are so many things the Mets need. An argument could be made that the Mets need some extra bullpen help or a first baseman or a new trainer.

The possibilites are endless, but the options available are very few.

But the one thing that is for certain is that the Mets need something. A few wins would be a good place to start.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mets Get Robbed as Umpire Helps Phillies Win

I can talk about the army of men the Mets left on base. I can talk about the poor fielding that led to 3 runs for the Phillies in the 7th to tie the game. I can talk about David Wright being a good player, but not great. (The great ones come through in clutch moments). I can talk about how much I can't stand watching Luis Castillo hit. I can even talk about how much we miss Reyes and Delgado. I can talk about all of that. But, unfortunately, all I can think about...and I knew the moment it happened given the way the Phillies have beaten us in recent years...is that blown call by the umpire in the 5th inning when Beltran grouned into an inning ending double play.

He ws clearly safe and not only would a run have scored, but the inning would have continued with Sheffield at the plate. Instead, the umpires's gift to the Phillies enabled them to claw back and literally steal the game. For a team who has not made the post season by one game the last two years, that just plain sucks. It's one of those brutal games that rips your heart out, that makes you toss and turn in bed all night, replaying it over and over in your head.

Sure the Mets had their chances, but the fact is they got robbed!

Citi Field: Home Run Haven

You would have thought the game was being played in Philadelphia. A total of 6 home runs were hit last night and ended up being the only way the Mets could score against the Phils on Tuesday night.

Wright, Beltran & the newly returned Ryan Church all hit blasts to give the Mets a much need win against the division leading Phillies.

Johan Santana was not on his A game and I was fearful that the Mets would continue their habit of not giving him run support, but that was not the case. The Mets should have scored 8 or 9 runs, but the bottom half of the order is extremely light on "clutch" and it showed.

But really the key to this game was the bullpen. Santana gave up all 5 runs, but Parnell, Felciano, & KRod were able to help out Santana and lock down the Phillies power bats to close out a 1 run victory.

What a difference a year makes. Another game tonight, and I'm hoping the Mets can take 2 out of 3 before the Yanks come in on the weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Mighty Fall of Tom Glavine

When Tom Glavine first signed with the Mets, I was hopeful that this pitcher who had tortured the Mets as part of the Atlanta Braves would be just as effective in our uniforms.
Boy was I ever wrong.
The Mets acquiring of Tom Glavine may have signaled his ultimate demise as a baseball player and possibly a legendary pitcher. The final chapter of this horror novel has just been written as Tom Glavine was released by the Braves and now is considering filing grievances against the team according to ESPN.com.

One of the last 300 game winners that we may ever see has been released by the same team that gave him his start and who he helped pitch to a World Series title. But instead of bowing out gracefully, Tom Glavine wants reparations.

Some may call this a sad state of affairs, but I call it sweet justice.

You see I won't remember Tom Glavine for his off-speed pitches or his 300 wins or his ability to stay in this league without a pitch over 85 mph. I will remember Glavine solely for his putrid performance against the Florida Marlins on that late September day in 2007 where he puked all over the Mets season giving up 9 runs in half an inning's work on the most crucial game of the Mets season.

Possibly the worst part about Glavine's performance that day was his nonchalant comments after the game and his "oh well" attitude as the dreams of many a Mets Lifer was crushed, then spit on, then run over again in that 24 hour period. Glavine wanted to be rid of the Mets, be rid of New York and go home to his beloved Braves.

The prodigal son got his wish as he returned to Atlanta.

So Mr. Glavine, you got what you wished for and then some. Call it karma. Call it justice. Call it sweet revenge.

The hall of fame lefty is no longer the glowing last 300 game winner that he was once remembered. Glavine leaves the game of baseball as a washed up pitcher who was trying to hold on to the game for one more season and in the end had his beloved Braves toss him out to the curb.

Here's to you Mr. Glavine.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hop on the David Wright Hot Streak

Here we go again.

David Wright is on fire. After several weeks of abysmal baseball, David Wright is heating up, and just in time.

Wright is batting over .500 on this last road trip and getting multiple hits per game. I fully expect his average to jump 50 points over the next several days.

While this type of performance is not what we expect from David Wright (we expect him to bat .400 all season long) it couldn't come at a better time. The Mets are about to embark on their toughest stretch of the season as they play the Phils, the Yanks, the Orioles and Cards in the next two weeks.

We'll see if Wright's new found swing continues against more formidable opponents than the Pirates & Nats although when you look at the Phillies starting rotation it hardly the fearful force many Phillies' fans made it out to be at the start of the season.

In any case, a streaky, hot David Wright is what the Mets need. We'd like him to be a steady hitter, but that's obviously not what we're going to get from him at this point so we might as well ride this gravy train as long as it last until Omar can make a trade.

Bring on the Phils.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jose Reyes Probably Out Until All Star Break

Just hit me in the head with a billy club and wake me up when this is over.

The Mets, more than likely, have lost their All Star SS Jose Reyes until after the All Star break. According to Kevin Burkhardt (via Twitter) Reyes has a tear in his hamstring and "the Mets will reevaluate him in 2 days."

So let's see the Mets need a SS, a power bat, a 1B, possibly another starting pitcher, we may have lost our supposedly 8th inning guy, Pagan can't stop hurting himself, who knows where Church is, Sheffield is in line waiting for a ride on the DL and David Wright can't stop striking out.

This is so much fun.

Omar Minaya is scrambling, or at least he should be. At this point, the Mets need something to help them keep their heads above water until these injuries die down. While the Mets can survive without Reyes, the question will be if they can succeed in the long run with such a gaping hole in the top of the lineup.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Mets Injuries Please!

JJ Putz is headed back to New York and has been quoted as saying he may need to have surgery on the bone spur in his elbow sooner rather than later.

It's not like we can't live without Putz, especially the way he's been pitching lately, but that makes two major signings this offseason are headed to the DL either permanently or for an extended period of time.

Bobby Parnell may be feeling a bit heavier when he wakes up tomorrow as a huge burden known as the 8th inning solely rests on his shoulders.

This MASH unit known as the New York Mets needs to sign a better team doctor, a physical therapist, and a power bat for the outfield.

Get ready for the trade rumors folks. Matt Holliday, Carlos Lee, Ramon Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez and Jason Bay are sure to be mentioned in the next 72 hours.

Getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates is enough to make anyone rethink their team's talent, but Omar needs to make sure any move he makes is for the long term. Learn from the idiocy of Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette.

At least Beltran is back. Reyes is hopeful for next week. And Perez...well....do we care?

Break out the Advil and keep some ace bandages handy. The next week could be a bumpy ride.

The New Man Named Darryl Strawberry

In elementary school there was no bigger Darryl Strawberry fan than yours truly. His life size poster hung on my bedroom door. His jersey had a special place in my closet. I had mastered imitating his swing so I could impress my friends in our daily games of wiffle ball.

His talent, his swagger, his name. Practically everything about him drew me to this larger than life sports figure, not to mention he was on my favorite team.

And then it hit me. This guy was messed up. I tried to deny it. I tried to understand how a guy so talented and all-round awesome at the game of baseball could find himself in such a damaging lifestyle. But I was a kid and couldn't quite comprehend just how in trouble Darryl Strawberry really was.

Then he was traded. Killed me. Darryl? A Dodger? Then it got worse. Darryl? A Yankee? That feeling was worse than any break up could have ever felt, but unbelievably things could get worse.

Darryl Strawberry was in jail.

Thankfully Darryl Strawberry's life and story doesn't end there. After countless indiscretions and monumentally bad decisions, Darryl Strawberry is finally back on the right track. It's a travesty that man of his talent, and Doc Gooden's for that matter, could throw it all away. Two Mets hall of famers could be anticipating an induction in the coming years.

But life isn't about getting into the hall of fame. Strawberry has learned from his mistakes and his very candid book talks about the paths he chose and how he has found his way out of the destruction he so long lingered in.

Here's a video I was sent from RootZoo where Darryl Strawberry talks about his book, steroids, Pete Rose and pretty much anything else. For Strawberry his life is an open book and no Mets fan is happier to see him back from the proverbial dead than this Mets Lifer.

Good to see you found your way back, Straw. Enjoy the video.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Mets Scene: Glass Half Empty vs. Glass Half Full

Scene: Exterior
Mets vs. Pirates Rain out, PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA. Glass Half Empty, and Glass Half Full sit on the bar table in the ballpark restaurant.

Glass Half Empty:
Same ‘ole Mets…get on a nice run and bam, lose two in a row to the lowly Pirates.

Glass Half Full:
Yeah, but we’re only 2 ½ games out of first place.

Glass Half Empty:
But now the Braves are in the thick of it with a dramatic come-from-behind win last night and a great trade for Nate McClouth. That’s a big move for them and could make them better a team than ours. And we’re the team with all of these injuries and nothing’s been done to fix it. I’m like, Omar…what are you doing?

Glass Half Full:
Well for one, he traded Castro to make room for a surprise catcher who’s not only been a great story for this 2009 club, but he’s a big part of why they’re – as I said – only 2 ½ games out.

Glass Half Empty:
I’ll give you that but really, if we have to rely on Omir Santos to get us to the Promised Land, then we will once again, be doomed.

Glass Half Full:
No one is saying that Omir Santos is the saviour for this organization. But, you have to admit, the guy has been clutch…

Glass Half Empty:
Too bad we can’t say the same for David Wright. What is with this guy already? He’s on pace to strike out like 500 times this year! Hey, David, shorten the swing and go to right field already. And please, for the love of mankind, stop over-breathing when you’re stepping into the box with men on base. You’re idea of trying to relax is actually causing you to think too much about the situation.

Glass Half Full:
As bad as Wright has been, and as much criticism as he has received this year, the guy is still hitting .330 and is on pace for close to 100 RBI. Judging from all the heat he’s been taking you would think he’s Luis Castillo.

Glass Half Empty:
Wright has been brutally disappointing all around; I don’t care what his average is. He had a stretch of 15 good games and that’s it. Plus, he is an awful thrower. Good glove, bad arm. And while you’re on Castillo, can we please dump this guy already? How many more times do I have to watch him swing the bat like a school girl. Really, he swings like a little leaguer. And the opposing teams’ defense plays him shallower than when a pitcher is up. Omar dropped the ball once again by not signing Orlando Hudson, who by the way hits 3rd in the lineup for the best team in baseball right now. We’ll see him at the All Star game for sure.

Glass Half Full
Castillo is hitting .290 you know. It’s not like he’s hitting .240. He’s been productive.

Glass Half Empty:
Look. For crying out loud, Raul Ibanez has more home runs right now David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield combined. Combined! And we’re nearly 1/3 of the season in.

Glass Half Full:
Yes, and remarkably, we’re still only 2 ½ games out.

Glass Half Empty:
We play sloppy baseball. We make errors all of the time. We don’t slide, we don’t touch third base, we send runners home when they have no business being sent home, we don’t run hard out of the box, I mean this club is hardly a fundamentally sound team. They’re pathetic out there.

Glass Half Full:
Do you realize that we have been playing without Delgado, Reyes, Beltran recently, Ollie Perez and…we have fielded a roster that more closely resembles a Babe Ruth league team? And…yet we’re right in the heart of the pennant race.

Glass Half Empty:
Perez? I’m glad you mentioned that thief. He’s literally stealing money from the Wilpons Madoff style. Omar should be fired based on that signing alone. I still can’t believe we have him and passed up on Derek Lowe.

Glass Half Full:
I’ll give you Perez. I never wanted to resign him but you have to give it to Omar for brining in Livan Hernandez. He’s been a pleasant surprise. And what about the signing of Sheffield? Imagine where we would be without him?

Glass Half Empty:
Well let’s not start singing Omar’s praises just yet. Sheffield can implode in a heartbeat, and we all know the Livan dream is going to turn into a nightmare sooner or later. And by the way, Putz has been a disaster, a complete bust. He’s going to kill us.

Glass Half Full:
Well at least we don’t have the same bullpen from last year, which is what had sunk us the prior 2 seasons. Yes, Putz has been disappoting. But, we have K-Rod who has been nothing short of perfect, and we have this kid from the system, Bobby Parnell who has been brilliant. Throws hard, has developed a wicked slider. There’s two key guys right there that we didn’t have last year.

Glass Half Empty:
Parnell will flame out. Everyone will talk about pitch count, innings pitched, that this is his first long season, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I mean, we’ve already pissed away like 10 games this year that we should have won. How about the Santana game in Florida, the dropped fly ball by Murphy, or Reyes’ error against the Braves? And of course the Putz debacle the other night, when we blew a 5-0 lead. We flat out stink. And to tell you the truth, I'm tired of this team losing all the time. I'm still hurting from the last two choke jobs!

Glass Half Full:
Yes, we’ve been terrible. We’ve played poorly; dropped routine pop ups, missed bags, failed to slide, lacked clutch hitting, didn’t run hard out of the box, and mismanaged games. Putz has underachieved, Razor “Not So Sharp” Shines has exhibited signs of attention deficit disorder, and yes, Raul Ibanez has out-homered all of our big bats combined, but we did take 2 out of 3 in Fenway when no one thought we’d win a game, and one of those games was one of the most dramatic regular season victories in recent memory, and yet, after all of that, after all of that garbage, negativity, the heartbreaking defeats, we’re still only 2 ½ games out and there are 111 games left to play. A hundred an eleven! We've had an inordinate amount of injuries, guys with stomach viruses. We’ll get Reyes back and Delgado will return for his Willis Reed moment. And I still have faith Omar is going to pull off a race-changing move. In the meantime, what are you, a ridiculous Mets Lifer going to do? Are you going to dwell on the past, go over and over on the shoulda, coulda, wouldas? Or are you going to buck up, enjoy the ride, and rally behind this 2009 Mets team? This is, what we, as baseball junkies live for. Baseball seasons come around for only 6 months out of the year. And right now we are just entering our third month of another competitive, heart pounding, nail biting run. You're tired of all this losing? So am I but remeber one thing, we're not the Pirates and always be thankful you're not a Cubs fan. It’s your call. Either you’re in, or you’re out. I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to BELIEVE!

The Mets Dream Team is Done

The dream is over, and reality has just smacked the Mets like they were talking about his momma.

The Dream Team of super subs, has beens and wanna be's has come to an end. Thinking that this team of misfits could handle this unfortunate string of injuries by continuing to win series after series was simply just a dream.

The last two days have been a serious reality check. No Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, Cora or Church has finally begun to show. You can't win 17 of 20 games with Wilson Valdez and Ramon Martinez batting 6th & 7th in your order. Or having a rookie playing his first week in the majors batting #2.

The Mets should have won game 1 against the Pirates, but game 2 was proof that this team needs some help from the infirmary. They couldn't put together any run support for Santana (again). No big innings. The game lasted barely 2 hours because everyone was swinging on the first pitch or hitting into double plays.

Think about this: Jeremy Reed was the best hitter in the lineup yesterday. Jeremy Reed.

Wright is struggling. Sheffield looks like he needs a wheelchair. We need Carlos "I Think I Have Swine Flu" Beltran to come back and add another bat. We need Reyes to get an inning started and steal some bases.

We need help. Or maybe it's just we need health?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Post Full of Putz

Q: What do you call a guy who can't get a Pittsburgh Pirate out?
A: Putz

Q: What's the name of someone who can't perform in the 8th inning?
A: Putz

Q: What has Mets Lifers talking trade faster than Oliver Perez's decline?
A: Putz

Q: Who gave you nightmares last night of Aaron Heilman?
A: Putz

Q: Who's bigger than Goliath, but is pitching as well as Doug Sisk?
A: Putz

Q: Who should have gotten their name legally changed before coming to New York?
A: Putz

Q: Who better get his head straightened before he gets his wish to be a closer and finds himself on the Kansas City Royals?
A: Putz

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Putz in the Gut

What is a Putz in the gut? How 'bout this line:
0 4 4 1 0 5.08 LOSS