Friday, July 31, 2009

Jeremy Reed is the Kid Who Gets Picked Last for Kickball

The only thing Jeremy Reed has to worry about these days is splinters.

Jeremy Reed is a forgotten man on the Mets bench. He never gets to play and just when you think he's about to get his shot, a new kid walks onto the playground and Jeremy gets to find that warm spot in the Mets dugout.

I liked Jeremy Reed when the season started. I thought he would be a good 4th outfielder and potential 1B backup. With all the injuries the Mets have had, you'd think Reed would have gotten a shot at playing regularly, but every time there's been an opening he's passed over for someone else.

Think of all the people who've played left field more games this season than Jeremy Reed. There's Murphy, Tatis, Sheffield, Pagan, Evans, and now Sullivan. That's got to do wonders for your ego.

I feel for the guy, but I'm not sure if I'd place him ahead of any of the previous guys on the depth chart (except for Tatis). Reed would probably be a more vital part of another team, but he's taking over the space that Ryan Church once filled in Jerry Manuel's personnel file.

Poor Jeremy Reed will have to live through the next two months knowing that he's just waiting for the season to end. I'm hopeful there's one shining moment for Jeremy at some point this season, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim.

At least he's got the best seat in the house at a brand new ballpark. More than any of us can say.

An Unfamiliar Feeling for Mets Fans

This is odd. It's been some time since this happened and it feels kind of weird.The Mets lost a game last night and yet Mets fans everywhere aren't totally depressed.

I'm not hearing the Chicken Little-like attitude permeating through talk radio.There aren't apocalyptic posts being written on the blogosphere. Could it be that Mets fans are finally starting to enjoy baseball again?

Taking three out of four from the Wild Card leading Colorado Rockies was a huge surprise to this Mets Lifer. And the fact that the Mets won 5 straight games en route to this series win would have been considered a miracle if asked last week.

The doubleheader didn't help the Mets, but no excuses need to be made for last night's loss. It happens. What doesn't normally happen, at least in 2009, is that Mets fans aren't talking about injuries or offseason moves or the need to trade Jose Reyes after it.

Of course all that discourse will return on Monday if the Mets get swept by the Diamondbacks, but for now let's enjoy the hope of entertaining baseball returning to Queens.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sure Way to Stop a Winning Streak: A Mets Doubleheader

I hate doubleheaders.

I haven't found this stat yet, but I'd venture that the Mets are one of the worst teams in baseball when playing a doubleheader. It seems like the best outcome is a split, and I can't remember the last time the Mets swept a doubleheader.

The good news is Johan Santana is on the mound for one game. The bad news is the single A Mets will be playing in the other game. Expect an Angel Berroa and Jeremy Reed sighting in that one.

The Mets are riding high coming off a 4 game win streak and I hate to see a doubleheader stand in the way. I honestly think that if the Mets played last night with Santana on the mound we would have a shot at sweeping the Rockies.

Now I'm not so confident, but I'm still hopeful.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is this Mets Run for Real?

I'm enjoying baseball these days. Winning tends to have that effect on me, but the Mets Lifer in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This recent Mets winning streak has me wondering when are they going to start losing again? Come on, the Mets can't keep up this type of run. Let's say they lose tonight and win tomorrow. When is the next series loss to the lowly Nationals or when will they lose 5 straight to erase everything good that has happened this week?

It has to happen eventually, right?

Now they're planting hopes and dreams in my head of Reyes, Beltran and Delgado potentially all coming back in August. Seriously? There's trade talk and rumors about the Mets being buyers. For real?

The Mets have become enjoyable to watch again. Francoeur is making Omar look like a genius. Castillo is making Bryan forget about Orlando Hudson. Pelfrey has folks saying "Who's Kazmir?"

What is going on? Has the world gone mad? These are the Mets. We are being setup for utter and total disappointment yet again.

Or are we? If, and that's a big "if," the Mets can get a HEALTHY Reyes, Delgado and Beltran back, and if (yes another big "if") the Mets can continue to get consistent starting pitching and if (yes, one more) the Mets can find themselves within 4 games of the Wild Card when this all happens, there's a chance.

That's all. A chance. Not a very good one either, but it's a chance. However, this cynic is still waiting for the bottom to fall out and be sent back to the disappointing baseball that was the Mets June.

However, a little thing called hope still resides.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Fall of Omar

Nice knowing ya Omar, but your days are numbered.

I won't rehash the event that took place yesterday, but it should be the signal that the final act of Omar Minaya's Mets career is coming to a close.

Possibly the worst press conference speaker since George W. Bush, Omar Minaya, found a new low yesterday and has now lost all favor with the Mets faithful. This is a guy, who my fellow blogger, Bryan, once personally thanked for bringing the Mets back to relevancy. This is a guy, who was able to make magical trades that no one thought could be done. This was a guy that made us forget about Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette.

Now all we want to do is forget about Omar.

Brad Bortone over at Bugs and Cranks does a more eloquent and in depth job of taking Omar to task for yesterday's events so you should definitely check out his post.

Thankfully Fernando Tatis swooped in to save the day last night, otherwise a Mets loss would have only added gasoline to this already out of control fire.

We'll have to see if the now "lame duck" Omar Minaya is able to make some moves to help this team before the trading deadline. Although right now, I'm not sure anybody in baseball wants to associate with him.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mr. Double Play Finds Redemption

Tell me you weren't thinking "oh no!" when you saw Fernando Tatis come in as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and one out.

The Rockies had just walked Jeff Francoeur intentionally for the very purpose of forcing a double play situation and up to the plate walks Mr. Double Play himself.

Down 0-2, Tatis reached down with his 9-iron and pushed on out to left field. Mets go up 7-3. Game over.

It was a fitting end to just a ridiculous day in the Mets organization. The Tony Bernazard drama had ended only to open up the second act of Omar Minaya vs Adam Rubin. While the front office can't get out of their own way, the Mets are making a way for themselves as they've now won 3 straight for the first time since May.

Tonight's affair was the most fun I've had watching a baseball game in what seems like months. It's always nice to see a guy who's struggling redeem himself in the biggest of spots.

But I guarantee tomorrow Tatis hits into a double play.

Mets Were a Mike Hampton Home Run Away from a Rare Road Sweep

Man, I hate Mike Hampton. Turns out that Hampton's home run was the only blemish in the Mets chances for an unheard of road sweep of a series. Oddly enough, the home run cam against Johan Santana who one would think would have been the only chane the Mets had for a win this weekend.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mets bats wakeup for the rookie Niese and then pull Livan Hernandez out of what could have been a blowout by the Astros.

At this point I'm think the Mets need to reconfigure Citi Field to match the dimensions of Minute Maid Park because we haven't seen this many runs since 2006.

By the way, does anyone else think of Carlos Beltran's basket catch running up the stupid hill in center field every time the Mets play there?

Now the Mets have gotten my attention when I was ready to slowly fade into fan oblivion. Frenchie Francoeur is looking like one of Omar's best trades. Omir Santos is coming alive again. Luis Castillo is on steroids. And Angel Pagan is a triples machine.

Oh and David Wright finally hit a home run.

With a four game series against the Rockies, the Mets could either make up some ground in the Wild Card or just demoralize the fan base once again.

Guess we'll wait and see.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Phillies Still Trying to Get Halladay, Mets Still "Investigating" Bernazard

Fear not Met fans. While the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies are putzing around exerting all of their energy and resources trying to acquire average right hander, Roy Halladay, our beloved NY Mets organization is tending to more important matters.

While most teams in baseball are vigorosly exploring ways to improve their teams this year or for the future, the geniuses that run our club are ferverntly "investigating" the seemingly hunderds of not so pretty allegations about VP minion, Tony Bernazard. Who needs Roy Halladay when you have such stellar management "investigating" one silly little troll responsible for giving your club a bad rap? Besides, the Blue Jays were clearly smoking crack when they foolishly asked about the availability of Fernando Martinez. One can certainly understand why Omar, or Bernazard, or whoever is actually in charge of making those kinds of important decisions for this team, immediately hung up the phone. Like, duh!

So take comfort Met fans. Take comfort in knowing that your favorite basbeall team is taking their sweet time "investigating" the man everyone hates, while every other team in the league is investigating how to make themselves better.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In Case You Missed It, Omar Minaya is Going to Investigate

Kudos to Tirico Suave for this brilliant spook on Omar Minaya's press conference yesterday where he "addressed" the issue of crazy Tony Bernazard. Is this organization a circus or what?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Even Gary Cohen Is Disgusted with the Mets

As the 9th inning came to a close, Gary Cohen vehemently declared that the Mets had just lost a series to the team with the worst record in baseball. The statement is obviously true, but the manner in which Cohen communicated the fact led me to believe that even this stellar broadcaster has seen enough of this team's pitiful play.

I honestly don't know why the Mets even bother finishing games when they fall behind by more than one run. There should be a mercy rule like in little league. If the Mets fall behind by two or more runs, the umps should just call the game.

Mike Pelfrey bounced back from his last start, but Josh Willingham just owned him tonight and it ultimately cost the Mets the game. Angel Pagan continues to impress, but unfortunately the Mets can only score runs when the other team makes mistakes.

The Mets should bat Pagan cleanup at this rate.

A much needed off day (is there any other kind this year?) arrives on Thursday. Lets you dwell on losing to the Nationals for an extra day.

Searching for Happiness in the Lost Cause Mets

While the Phillies continue to roll (how good is Jayson Werth?) and the Mets continue to slide (can I give Fernando Tatis a ride back to the Dominican Republic?), it's difficult to find joy in the 2009 Mets season. We are being forced to watch B-list players start on what was supposed to be a title contending team.

The last week has found me barely watching an inning of every game because I already know the outcome. John Lannan is pitching? 4 hit shutout. We're playing the Braves in Atlanta? Lose 3 out of 4. It's pitiful, but the optimist in me has to find something to root for.

It's been difficult to find, but there are a few glimmers of hope that I'll be watching as we head into the dog days of summer until NFL training camp starts. Here they are:

Angel Pagan: I really want to see if this guy can perform at a high level for the next few months. When he's healthy, Pagan looks like a high quality everyday outfielder. He's got speed. He can hit with some pop and he's got a solid glove. The question mark is his health and how he can handle extended playing time. With Reyes out, Pagan is our next best leadoff hitter and I really think he adds a spark. Or will too much playing time cause him to break down?

Jeff Francoeur's arm: I've always known Frenchie had a good arm, but until you see him every day you don't get a true sense of just how good it is. Last night he threw a ball to third in the air from deep right field that was on a rope. If David Wright didn't have his glove up, the ball would have hit him square in the chest. Obviously, Francoeur's bat will be the real question mark, but his arm is something to behold out there in right.

Daniel Murphy's development: Did you know Daniel Murphy was our opening day left fielder? Yup, hard to believe. But now Murphy is looking more and more comfortable at first base. The kid is making veteran plays over there and he seems to mentally be at ease over there. His bat is questionable, but I wonder if the nerves and expectations of playing left field made him lose focus at the plate or try to overcompensate for his lack of fielding by making big plays at the plate. In my mind, Murphy can be a solid defensive first baseman in a few years, but that's not ideally what you're looking for from that position. You either want some power (like Adam Dunn) or a guy who can hit for average (like Olerud or Hernandez). If Murphy can start hitting, we will have an interesting bargaining chip for offseason trades if not a guy the Mets want to hold onto.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mets Trade Rumor For Roy Halladay Is Bogus

All my angst and ajida is now subsiding. It appears that the rumor about the Mets turning down a trade for Roy Hallady is most likely bogus.

Via Keith Law's Twitter feed, he posts: "Mets-Jays trade report (Jays offered Doc for Martinez, Tejada, Niese, Parnell) is bogus. Shot down by multiple sources."

(Thanks to Brad of Bugs & Cranks for pointing me in this direction and saving me from self-mutilation.)

I know I'm not exactly Bob Woodward with my journalistic sources, but this sounds about right. I'm hopeful the true story will come out in due time, but this deal was too good to be to true. It's hard to imagine why the Mets wouldn't jump on a deal like this for Roy Halladay, but then again the Mets have done dumber things.

So I will calm myself down and hopefully this stirs the pot in the Mets front office about their need to get Roy Halladay.

Mets Blow Deal For Roy Halladay

This is idiotic.

Jon Heyman of is reporting that the Mets turned down (that's right, the Mets turned it down) a deal for Roy Halladay (that Halladay; you know, the second best pitcher in baseball?).

Want to hear who the Blue Jays were asking for? The Blue Jays wanted Fernando Martinez (injured), Bobby Parnell (okay, sure), Jon Niese (reasonable), and 17-year old SS Ruben Tejada (who?).

FMart, Parnell & Niese are all reasonable requests for the current leading contender for the Cy Young. Tejada is a kid everyone hopes becomes great, but he's 17 years old and still a long ways from getting an answer to that one.

The Mets and Omar Minaya haven't confirmed or denied this rumor, but if it's true this will be possibly the worst move of the season.


Because the Blue Jays are going to head down the parkway and go trade Halladay to the Phillies who will then sign him to a 5-year deal and we'll have to face this guy five times a year for the next half decade.

This trade would have energized the fan base. The fans would have forgiven the Mets for this season's debacle and start looking forward to next year with a healthy lineup and the most devastating tandem in baseball.

I don't even care that the Mets won last night. I'm so infuriated that the Mets had the potential to get Roy Halladay and didn't do it. Where are all those "experts" who said the Mets didn't have the pieces to get Halladay?

Omar, hit redial on the bat phone and get the Blue Jays GM. Get this done and you'll save your job.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Insult to Injury for Mets Fans: Mets Reject Jays' Offer For Halladay

As if this 2009 season wasn't bad enough...I nearly jumped through the screen when I saw that John Heyman reported that the Mets rejected the Jay's offer for Roy Halladay. I can't even believe Halladay was a possiblity for the Mets let alone, they turned down a proposal for him. According to Heyman's report, which apparently was not denied by Omar Minaya, the Blue Jays asked for Fernando Martinez, Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese and SS Ruben Tejada. If I'm Minaya, I'm like, where do I sign? I can't beleive we have the chance to get the best right hander in the sport and we're just gonna pass on him. For what? So he can go to the Phillies? Somehow, some way, Minaya and the Mets need to get back on the phone and make this happen. I don't care what it takes, just get it done.

Having Santana and Halladay at the front of the rotation might possibly be the greatest 1-2 punch in the history of the game, let alone in 2009/2010. And listen, I'm not thinking this move would get us back in the race this year, but I no doubt would be dreaming about the 2010 season like tonight if they pulled this off. The Mets could tank the rest of the games this year for all I care, I'd still be fired up knowing we have Halladay going into next season.

I never actually thought the Mets would even be at the table so I never really considered Halladay as a real option. I know Dave has been pulling for a deal and rightfully so, I just can't believe Minaya said 'no.'

Look, with Santana and Halladay pitching 40% of the Mets' games next season, we can realistically have a chance at winning 33% of our games with just two guys. Think about that! Plus, if we ever find a way to get back to the post season, and how could they not get in (I know, they are the Mets), think about those two guys in a short series? It would be ridiculous. We all know pitching wins games. Go get him! What are we really giving up anyway? Prospects? Come on, the fact is, this organization produces just about 2 good ball players a generation. I want to win a championship and I want to win now (or next year). Guys like Halladay don't come around often, and when he's made available to you, you go get him. Period.

I mean what are we really talking about? Niese? Let's face it, he's not a can't miss prosepect, he's projected probably as a #3 at best - in fact, we'd probably sign for him to be just that and be happy about it. F. Mart? He looked pretty overmatched this year, I know he's still young, but come on, he hasn't exactly lit it up in the minors either. Besides, you can always find an outfield bat. Ruben Tejada? 17 years old. 17! He's at least 3 years away from the big leagues and...well...he's only 17. Oh, and by the way, we do have Jose Reyes at short, one of the two really good players this franchise has produced in a generation. Parnell? I like him, he throws gas, and I do think he'll be a good major leaguer. In fact, he might be the toughest one for me to give up in the deal. He has the potential to be a good closer but, we already have one, a very good one actually. Look, I'm a huge fan of letting the kids come up and develop into good home-grown NY Mets, but it so rarely happens, and I'm so tired of losing, that I, like Dave, would do whatever it takes to make this happen.

Again, Omar has to pull the trigger on this deal. He cannot let this go. If Halladay ends up going to Philly, the backlash would be so harsh on this franchise, that I truly believe it will take a long time to recover. Plus, if we can't beat the Phillies now, and the last two season for the matter without Halladay, then how are we going to beat them with him? Tell me, just how are we going to get to the post season with Roy Halladay on the Phillies?

And I really hope this isn't about money. Delgado and Wagner come off the books after this year. That's $24 million right there. Halladay I believe is due to make $14 million in 2010. That gives them $10 million to work with. If they don't do this, I will lose all faith in the future of this organization. If they don't know enough about the game, and the business for that matter, to get Roy Halladay when he's right there in front of you, then I don't know that they'll ever get anything. Memo to the Wilpons: Halladay is not Victor Zambrano.

Let's hope the movement becomes so big on this deal, much like the Mike Piazza trade in '98. We cannot let this die down. Blogs, the media, Boomer & Carton, even Francessa have to get on the horn and force the Wilpons' hand on this. Please make this happen!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In One Series, Mets Do And Don't Disappoint

Losing three out of four games to the Braves is disappointing. Having two of those games be total blowouts is disappointing. Losing Fernando Nieve after one inning is very disappointing. Watching Saturday's phenomenal game only to have Sunday's utter and total debacle follow it is disappointing.
Knowing for certain that the 2009 season is over is not.

I requested that the Mets do me the favor of not dragging out this season and they have obliged. Face it folks the 2009 season is over.

Quit calling WFAN talking about the moves the Mets need to make. Quit telling me we don't need starting pitching because we can't score runs. Quit talking about injuries.

Let's focus on 2010.

This season is now all about next season. What guys can the Mets rely on in the future? What are the holes we need plugged? What's it going to take to get Roy Halladay? These are the important questions. No moves need to be made to help this team here and now, but every move should focus on the following year.

I know it's the middle of July, but this organization would be better off letting this season just play out. Sit down with Johan Santana and David Wright and let them know. Apologize to the fans for the mistakes that were made in the offseason and promise us something to look forward to next year. Put Mets Lifers on notice that you know you screwed up and now it's time to improve.

Let's see what we have with Daniel Murphy at first base. Let's have Jon Niese pitch half a season with zero pressure and zero expectations. Let's find out if Nick Evans can become a serviceable every day player.

It's time for the kids to play. It's time to make some changes. It's time to let 2009 go.

For three straight years, either Bryan and I have written a post with this same picture of a white flag. The last two have been in September. This year it's just a little earlier than we thought.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old Men Try to Teach Mets New Tricks

If you haven't seen this story yet, brace yourself for utter and total embarrassment.

It appears some senior citizens in Long Island have some advice for the New York Mets. In fact they had so much knowledge and skills about baseball that they thought the Mets lacked that they put together an instructional video for the team.

The video covers such rare, but essential tips like catching the ball with two hands or tagging up on a fly ball or keeping your eye on the ball as you swing.

It's just another chapter in the utter and total disgrace that is becoming the 2009 Mets.

According to a Newsday article "Claiming that they understand the fundamentals of the game more than the Mets, the Bristal team will focus on a number of basic plays." Wow. These guys actually think they know more than the Mets. The sad part is they might be right.

If you're waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out and claim he's just punk'd the Mets, don't hold your breath. This is the real thing.

And oddly enough, I'm kind of hoping the Mets watch the video.

For the full article, check it out on Newsday. Have a box of tissues handy because it's a sad story.

The Braves Know How to Stick It to the Mets

It never ceases to amaze me how one team can own another so consistently for years on end. Think about it. The Braves have owned the Mets in Atlanta for the last 15 years or more. Players have come and gone, styles have changed, but one thing remains the same: the Mets can't beat the Braves in Atlanta.

Last night was a game the Mets should have won. There was really no excuse. Oliver Perez pitched a great game making only 2 bad pitches the whole night which ended up being back to back home runs. But after that he settled in and the Mets even produced some runs for him.

But it was not to be.

The Braves were able to tie up the game thanks to a not-so-swift Gary Sheffield, and then take the lead thanks to a plummeting Bobby Parnell.

I still can't understand why the Mets ever pitch to Chipper Jones in a crucial spot in the game. Just hit him in the head. In the 7th inning with runners on the corners and two outs, Bobby Parnell pitched to Chipper Jones instead of walking him to load the bases.

No man has inflicted more pain and suffering on this team than Chipper Jones. Why let him do it again? Makes no sense. So of course Chipper drove in what would be the winning run of the game.

But as if that wasn't enough the Braves had to throw another little item in the Mets face. After a single in the 8th by Garrett Anderson, Bobby Cox sends in the fleet-footed Ryan Church to pinch run. Now Church isn't exactly a speed demon out there, but there he was on first base and a few seconds later scored an insurance run.

And so you arise this morning finding the Mets 7.5 games out of first. I requested that the Mets either sink or swim earlier than usual this year to save us the pain and suffering. Looks like they're willing to accommodate.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ESPN's Bad First Half Moments Starring Your New York Mets

So SportsCenter did a "Not Top 10" segment featuring the worst plays in the first half of the baseball season. One team stands out - your New York Mets. Three of the top ten most embarrassing plays star the Mets with Luis Castillo taking the #1 spot. And they didn't even include the Ryan Church missing third base in the mix.

Let's pray we've left these behind us.

Mets Need to Sink or Swim

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The hoopla and disappointment that was the All Star festivities is now over. It's time to get back to baseball that really matters, and the pain and suffering that comes with it.

The Mets have the luxury of opening up the second half of the season in Mordor. The rival Atlanta Braves play host to the Mets for a 4 game series starting tonight. Nothing like jumping in head first.

I'm ready for the Mets to either sink or swim. I don't want to this season to be drawn out and the questions of "wait til Delgado/Reyes/Beltran return" to be looming over our heads. I want the Mets to either come out of the gate with some fight or to just quickly fade into oblivion.

Just don't string us along only to have our hopes crushed in another September disappointment.

I'd rather have the Mets 10 games back at the end of this weekend than still be 6 games back at the end of the month. All that will do is give us hope that when our injured players return we'll make a run. It will give the front office the luxury of not dealing with trade talks or making tough roster moves because they're "waiting."

A series in Atlanta is the perfect litmus test. The Mets are notoriously awful in Atlanta. If this team can win 3 out of 4 games there, it would be miraculous and spark a fire in this club and the fan base heading into the second half.

If this team gets swept, it will be painful, but we'll be better off for it because we'll finally realize this team is going nowhere.

But in spite of all this, we still need to get Roy Halladay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Mets Game

After 4 years of brain washing my daughter and 18 months of doing the exact same to my son, I finally took my kids to see their first Mets game this past Sunday. For baseball-junkie dads, this is one of those milestone moments that you look forward to and for me, the day did not disappoint. It was truly special. Here’s how it unfolded.

You have to understand, for those of you who do not have kids, there is a lot of preparation involved in taking them anywhere, let alone going to a ball game. This adds a whole new level of stress to your planning. Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Extra set of clothes (vomiting may occur)? Check. Goldfish (crackers)? Check. What about the stroller? You definitely don’t want to lug your kids all over especially when your back is already shot from lifting them up. Does Citi Field allow strollers? Not sure. Unable to find a “general information” number at Citi Field, I call the ticket line and got someone to tell me that ‘yes’ I can bring a stroller. How ‘bout a double-wide? Remember, my son is 18 months old, and while my daughter is certainly very capable of walking at 4 years of age, I know her well enough to know that at some point she’ll ask my wife or I to carry her so we definitely need the double-wide. ‘Yes, you can bring the double-wide.’ Perfect! Stress level reduced somewhat.

So we head to Citi Field from NJ, as a very clutch (I’m talking Keith Hernandez clutch!) DVD, Baby Einstein, occupies my son so he doesn’t get car sick. We found that one out on our trip to Flushing for Opening Day when we were dropping the kids off at Grammie’s Puked all over himself and the car seat. Awesome! Anyway, we begin to see the new park on the horizon as we make our way on the Grand Central and my daughter starts to get excited. She tells us she’s going to see David Wright (her favorite), Mr. Met, Jerry, Jose and Carlos and Carlos. (Remember, 4 years of brain-washing, she knows them all). I disappoint her when I tell her Jose and the Carloses are still hurt. She asks why they’re hurt and I tell her not even the team doctors know why. She didn’t understand why the doctors didn’t know why.

We arrive at Citi Field, drop $18 bucks for parking, pick up the kids’ first program, (photo op) and we stroll on over to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda entrance. Here, the stress level starts to increase because I’m thinking that we have to get the kids out of the double-wide and fold it up so we can pass through the turnstiles. Not an easy task when you consider my wife and I are also carrying backpacks containing the key ingredients; diapers, wipes, food, clothes. I wheeled the kids as close as I could and a security person came over and opened the big gate for us to walk through so we didn’t have to wait on the line. We also did not have to walk through the turnstiles as someone else came immediately over and scanned our tickets. Fantastic! That was a huge relief. But now what? Walk up the stairs or take the escalator? Both options would require some “heavy lifting.” But, once again, Citi Field staff saved the day as a lady came over and asked us if we would like to take the elevator. Bam! Absolutely! So she guided us over and we were up on the field level in no time. You could not have scripted our entrance any better. Stress level greatly reduced, all due to the personnel at Citi Field.

Before the start of the game, we walk to the Fan Fest area beyond center field in hopes of catching a glimpse of Mr. Met. Sure enough, there he is posing for pictures. My daughter is very excited as she wants to give him a hug. My son has no idea what’s going on but the look on his face says he’s having a blast. Unfortunately, the line is too long and Mr. Met has to head to the field for the start of the game. No worries, as we head over to the apple, which my daughter loves. (All kids do by the way). It is fantastic to see the legendary apple up close. The same apple that popped up on Todd Pratt’s series ending bomb in ’99, Dykstra’s walk off in Game 3 ’86 NLCS and of course Piazza’s memorable moon shot against the Braves after 9/11.

While we were near the apple, my son decided to walk over by the bullpen and stood up on the table to get a look inside. No doubt he was heckling the Reds (see pic above). ‘Atta boy. (Remember, 18 months of brain washing).

After, we headed to our seats which were perfectly located. Field level, down the right field line, 29th row, two rows from the concourse. With kids, you know you’re going to have to get up and down a lot throughout the game; bathroom, food, diaper change, so the fact that we were right there made our lives so much easier. Plus, a supervisor allowed us to park our double-wide in the handicap section. The game started and sure enough, David Wright smacks an RBI double to deep center, appropriately giving my kids their first RBI and extra base hit in person. Throughout the game, my kids were great. My son couldn’t stop smiling and clapping. He had a great time, even shaking people’s hands introducing himself. He knew he was in good company so he was fitting right in. My daughter got all kinds of food; hot dog, pretzel, ice cream, but finished none of them which was perfectly fine with her brother as he gladly took the leftovers. We had to leave in the 6th inning because we had to go to a birthday party.

Unfortunately, we missed “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” which my kids love, and we never did reconnect with Mr. Met. And of course, in typical Mets fashion, they hit back-to-back home runs in the 7th (after going like a hundred games without one) so my daughter never did get to see the new apple pop up as she was hoping for but no matter, we still had an extraordinary day.

Truth be told, this was one of the more memorable days in my life. To experience that first game with my kids, was truly priceless and I will remember it always. And while our beloved NY Mets break our hearts year after year, I know I made the right decision in raising my kids as Met Lifers. The looks on their faces reminded me of the excitement I felt when I first started going to Met games more than 30 years ago. After all the Yadier Molina’s, Mike Scocia’s, John Franco’s, Armando Benitez’s, and September choke jobs, I wouldn’t trade it for the world…or all those Yankee championships for that matter.

Now let’s get our guys back and make a run in the second half!

Special thanks goes to two key people (L&L) who scored us the free tickets. I cannot thank you enough. And special props goes to the staff at Citi Field. Citi Field has been criticized at times, and rightfully so, for its lack of Mets history on display, (not to mention those silly white tarps over the bullpen – can someone please remove those eyesores?), They were absolutely fantastic in making our day as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

Predictions for the 2009 Mid-Summer Classic

The All Star Game is here (yawn). Let's hope it's not as long or as boring as last night's home run derby. Here are my predictions for this year's all star bash:

  • David Wright will strike out at least once
  • Albert Pujols gets the largest ovation
  • Chase Utley swears on camera...again
  • The phrase "steroids era" is used at least once in the broadcast
  • Tim McCarver will make me want to break my TV
  • Tim McCarver mention catching Bob Gibson
  • Johan Santana will not pitch
  • Ryan Howard hits a home run
  • Mariano Rivera is hailed as the greatest relief pitcher to walk the face of the earth
  • Joe Buck will remark how the Cardinals' fans are the greatest baseball fans on the planet
  • Roy Halladay trade talk will start in the first inning
  • The pre game show will go too long
  • The National League will lose

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mets First Half Report Card = "I"

It's the time of year when every blog under the sun grades their baseball team's first half performance. Mets Lifer is no different although this is the only post on the Mets first half report card that was originally written in Aramaic and translated to English for the common man's understanding.

My grade for the Mets first half is an "I."

It's an appropriate grade because it's very far from an A, not even close to a B, and obviously lower than a C, but not an F.

Remember April? Hopes were high, the disappointment of '08 (and '07) still lingering, and you liked having Daniel Murphy in left field? Me neither.

The grade of "I" stands for 3 things: injuries, ineptness, and inconsitent.

Injuries is obvious. Everyone not named Santana and Wright has appeared on the DL at some point. Where this team would be with Reyes, Delgado & Beltran in the lineup everyday will be a mystery and there's no use reflecting on it any more because there's absolutely nothing that can be done about it.

Ineptness is inexcusable. The amount of stupid and just plain odd plays that this team has seen in the first half is remarkable. Off the top of my head I can recount the ineptness of Luis Castillo's dropped pop-up against the Yanks, Daniel Murphy's missed fly ball against the Marlins, Delgado's dropped pop-up in the 9th inning, Church missing 3rd base, all 143 double plays by Fernando Tatis, FMart falling flat on his face, KRod walking Rivera and the list goes on and on.

It's remarkable the Nationals are worse than we are. The ineptness of this team has to come to a screeching halt for any shot at a respectable second half. The errors, the balks, the idiotic walks and all of that stupidity has got stop completely.

Finally the incosistency that has plagued this team should have the Mets 10 games below .500 or worse. Pelfrey is either magical or Jose Lima reincarnated. David Wright is either Ted Williams or Bobby Bonilla. Daniel Murphy looks like Pete Rose one game and then Ross Gellar the next.

Every facet of this team is just riddled with inconsistency from defense to offense to starting pitching. I wouldn't mind if the Mets were mediocre all the time because at least I'd know what I'm getting from this team, but the ups and downs have got to even out to a more solid level of play.

I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to a break from the Mets for a few days. It's exhausting being a Mets fan, but I like that they finished out the first half on a high note.

Omar, Jerry Manuel and Mets players alike have talked about "making it to the All Star break" with their heads above water and then have the ability to turn things around or make a move. That watershed moment is here.

Let's see if they can put their money where their mouth is and make a second half turnaround that warrants another "I" grade: improbable.

Photo from Flickr user Leo Reynolds

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Church for Francoeur

'Been listening to the radio and reading the blogs and it appears the consesus on the Church for Francoeur deal is mixed. Some like, some don't. I actually like it. I mean, I don't love it, I don't hate it, but I like it. I know one thing, I am somewhat more intrigued to watch this team play tonight with Francouer in the lineup. This offense has been putrid so any change is welcome in my eyes. Plus, let's face it, Church only had 23 RBIs. 23! He was quite simply, dispensable. Is anyone really going to miss Ryan Church? Nice guy, hard-nosed player for sure, but after he inexplicably (the game was pretty much over) ran head first into Escobar last year and suffered a second concussion, he was reduced to an average player from then on. I always thought he would recover and return to the form he exhbited those first two monhts of the season last year but unfortunately he never recaptured it.

As for Francoeur, he's still only 25. Five years younger than Church, and truthfully, he's more productive, even if he has a huge hole in his swing. He has a lot more upaisde for sure, and hey, if he doesn't work out, so be it.

What I really would have liked to have seen Omar do is acquire Alex Rios from Toronto. I know he makes alot of money, and that's the biggest reason why he's available but I think this is where Omar misses the boat as far as managing a budget.

When you have budget to work with, and in this case, let's say it's $145 million, it's not so much about what you're paying per player but rather what you've spent on the whole team. The same way Omar missed the boat on both Derek Lowe and Orlando Hudson, he may do the same by not getting Rios. You think right now, Omar would add Hudson to this team for $3,8M if he was available as a free agent? Or what about Lowe instead of Ollie and Tim Redding? Since combined, they make the same as Lowe. Uh....yeah. That't what I mean when managing a budget.

So I would have talked to the Jays and depending on how motivated they are to move Rios (I hear very motivated by the way), I would asked them to eat $1-$2 million a year off his contract and traded Church to them. That way, you get Church's $2.8M off the books, and you get Rios (who is due to make $12M per) at $10M per year (Jays picking up $2M) and your net for Rios is actually $7M-$8M per. That's not bad actually. I know Rios hasn't lived up to his potential, but, he's still more productive than anyone on the Mets right now. Think about that.

So Long Ryan Church, Hello Jeff Francoeur

I always thought Ryan Church would break out into a solid, reliable player. If he didn't have those concussions last year, I think he would have been a different player. I think he got a raw deal in New York and I hate to think of any Mets player going to the Braves and haunting us for years to come.

Here's the word from Buster Olney at ESPN:

Friday, July 10, 2009

David Wright on SportScenter's My Wish

For some reason I'm a sucker for these My Wish segments. Great one with David Wright. Enjoy.

Quit Being Short Sighted About Roy Halladay

Ever since I started on my Roy Halladay soap box I've got Mets fans telling me that I'm ignoring the real issue which is lack of hitting, I've got Phillies fans mocking me thinking that Halladay will make us a contender & I've got my wife telling me that Roy Halladay is my new girlfriend.

Well you're all correct, sort of.

You can't think of adding Roy Halladay as a short term fix to the Mets woes this season. Without a doubt our offense is atrocious. We lack any sense of clutch. We hit into more double plays than Julio Franco did. We need to fix our offense. But honestly there's not much that can done to fix it until (a) some of our best offensive players are off the deal and (b) we get to the offseason and can unload some contracts and sign some free agents.

Oh and by the way, if you think offense is our only issue did you happen to see Livan pitch last night? Or what about his start before that? Or the one before that? Or perhaps Oliver Perez at any point this season? Or Redding last night? Or Redding the start before that? Or Pelfrey's last start? Catch my drift?

Getting Roy Halladay is not a short term fix. If the Mets traded for him this season, I still believe that we'd fall short of the playoffs. He's not a fix for this season. There is no fix for this season unless there's a witch doctor who can heal muscles, bones and slumping bats.

Halladay is a fix for the next several seasons when you have healthy players, some maturing youngsters, and few offseason moves. The Mets absolutely, positively have to upgrade their offense, but it probably won't be done until the offseason when they'll have Delgado & Wagner off the books and can look at addressing their needs at first base and in the outfield.

But for the first time in a long time, the Mets won't have to worry about pitching as much as they have in the past. Our starting rotation would consist of the two most dominant pitchers in the NL (if not both leagues). Our bullpen would be solid with KRod & Putz still around. So the focus can then turn to the offense.

If you don't get Halladay you still need a starting pitcher this offseason unless you feel that Maine/Perez/Pelfrey/Livan is the rotation you want to go to the mattresses with for the next 3 seasons.

Acquiring Halladay drastically improves the Mets rotation, prevents the Phillies from acquiring a dominant ace, and allows you to not worry about your pitching staff in the offseason so you can focus on the offense.

Forget about the 2009 season. No moves made this year will send this team to the playoffs. The Mets need their injured players to return and for their existing players to be more consistent.

Halladay will not solve our 2009 problems, but he will absolutely help the Mets in the years to come if they can sign him to a multi-year deal.

A Post A Day for Roy Halladay - Reason #1

I've decided to make it my mission to be obnoxious about the Mets need to sign Roy Halladay. There are an infinite amount of reasons why the Mets need to go out and get this guy.

I could be commenting on last night's debacle, but why bother? It would be the same type of post I wrote on Tuesday or Wednesday or Friday of last week or Thursday of the week before. You catch my drift.

So instead I'm starting a series of posts for Roy Halladay. Here's reason #1 why the Mets need to get Halladay -  Oliver Perez becomes your #5 starter.

The Mets right now have a rotation of #5 starters. You got Livan. You got Redding. You got Nieve. You got Perez.

Adding Halladay adds another stud to your rotation that then looks something like this (when everyone's healthy): Santana, Halladay, Pelfrey, Maine, & Perez.

No more relying on Perez to be a #2 or Maine to be a #3 or even Pelfrey to be a #2 type of starter. You have to horses you can bet on day in and day out. When's the last time the Mets had something like that? Think about it and you'll find that when the Mets make the playoffs, it's because they have two reliable starters they can count on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Prepare for More Pain and Sufferring if the Phillies Get Roy Halladay

I'm warning you, Omar. If the Phillies get Roy Halladay, you are out of job and Mets fans are in a world of hurt for years to come.

People keep telling me that Roy Halladay will not fix the Mets problems this year. You're absolutely right. Forget this year. Let's focus on the years to come.

If the Phillies are able to trade for Halladay, they will have 1-2 punch in their rotation that can't be matched in the NL with Halladay as their #1 starter and Cole Hamels as #2. Add to that the potential that J.A. Happ is showing and the Mets will have to face at least one of these 3 guys every time they play.

Meanwhile the Mets will still have the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana, but we're then left with our potluck of Pelfrey, Perez, & Maine as #2 guys.

Halladay is the best investment you're going to find east of Albert Pujols. It's not like the Blue Jays are asking for Wright, Reyes & Beltran for him. They want prospects who may or may not pan out. We're talking guys who are in double A right now.

Remember how untouchable Lastings Milledge was? Now look at him. There are no guarantees when it comes to prospects. Chances are they won't become the next Manny Ramirez, Josh Beckett or Mariano Rivera.

Give me Roy Halladay for the next five years and the Mets will have the best pitching tandem in baseball. It's the smartest, safest investment in these troubled times. Pitchers like Halladay don't come around very often.

Grab Roy Halladay while you can or else we'll be dealing with his complete game shutouts during the heart of a pennant race for the next several seasons.

The Mets Have to Get Roy Halladay

I'm telling you right now the Mets have to get this done. They HAVE TO.

Via, according to Jon Heyman of "a deal for Blue Jays RHP Roy Halladay will certainly cost some combination of Holt, Mejia, Davis or Martinez, and so a deal with the Mets is not likely to happen." That's just ludicrous. Plain vile, egregious thinking.

If Roy Halladay is seriously available the Mets need to let go of their coveted prospects and go get the second best pitcher in baseball. Can you imagine a Halladay/Santana tandem? I just got chills.

I hear the argument about his age, and how the Mets always give up on prospects to soon. Understood, but this isn't a chance the Mets are taking. This is a lock it up, guaranteed win.

Look at all the prospects we gave up for Santana. So far looks like we're on the winning end of that one. FMart may turn out to be a great player. Same can be said for Flores. But then again they might not. Halladay is already a great player and will be for the next several years.

The Mets are a franchise that has proven success when they have a stellar starting pitching tandem. Koosman & Seaver. Gooden & Darling. Leiter & Hampton/Reed. This is a franchise (not to mention a ballpark) that is built and succeeds with pitching.

The alternative? The Phillies sign Halladay. That's what is going to happen if the Mets don't get on the phone right now and make this happen.

Santana/Halladay for the next 5 years will give you 30+ wins a season, rest your bullpen and give you 18 innings of quality pitching when you throw in the fact that KRod/Putz are there for the 8th & 9th.

This has to be done. FMart, Murphy, Evans, Flores, Holt, or whoever they want (how 'bout Castillo?). Omar Minaya better be on the phone with the Blue Jays right now. If Halladay is a Phillie this year, we'll be hating ourselves for the next half a decade.

Same Old Oliver Perez

Who wins games throwing 108 pitches in 5 innings? Who has the ability to walk the first batter he faces in 4 pitches? Who can walk 7 batters, but only give up 2 hits?

The answer to all those questions is Oliver Perez.

Perez returned to the big leagues last night and "helped" the Mets stop their 4 game skid with a much needed victory. It's odd to see Perez's pitching line as it's improbable that someone who threw 55 strikes and 53 balls could only give up 2 runs on 4 hits.

But that's Perez for you. He's a mystery wrapped in an enigma with a side of multiple personality disorder.

Daniel Murphy produced on all fronts last night including a couple of hits and a SportsCenter Top 10 play where he flipped the ball behind his back to Bobby Parnell covering first. The runner was absolutely safe, but how can you call a guy safe when the fielder makes a play like that.

But back to Perez. Will there really be a difference in Perez from what we saw in April and May? I doubt it. He still lacks command. His fastball has good velocity, but he's all over the place. Walks kills pitchers. Perez was lucky to survive a 7 walk outing with only 2 runs and that's not likely to happen again.

I'm even lacking confidence that Perez can beat the Braves/Yanks/Phils like he used to. You at least knew if there was a big game, Perez could gear himself up for it. But right now Perez is a total crap shoot.

Better get used to it because that's pretty much what the entire Mets rotation is these days outside of Santana.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good News About the Mets Being So Bad

There's always a silver lining, and the Mets being plain painful to watch has a bright side as well.

  • For a change, you won't have to suffer through utter and total disappointed on the last day of September for 3 straight years
  • The Mets being unwatchable frees up time for you to watch such fantastic summer shows as Wipeout and Big Brother
  • You can learn a foreign language before the Mets hit their next home run
  • You've never watched a double A baseball team before so now's your chance to see one on HD!
  • At least we're not the Nationals
  • You can for the first time in a long time talk to your wife and children and not be distracted by a baseball game
  • Gives you time to reflect back on the good ol' days when we just couldn't beat the Braves instead of not being able to beat anyone
  • You suddenly have dreams of Rick Reed making a comeback
  • At least K-Rod will be well rested for 2010
  • Your Carlos Delgado jersey won't get any stains on it at your next BBQ
  • Every 5 days you get to watch the best pitcher in baseball not get any run support
  • Only 3 more years of Luis Castillo
  • Whining and complaining is always much more fun than winning

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mets Should Be Ashamed

There are injuries that can't be planned for nor expected. But then there's just bad baseball. That's what the Mets are playing now. It's beyond pitiful. It's unwatchable, disgraceful and down right shameful. Let the the numbers do the talking.

Over the last 4 games the Mets have more errors than runs.
David Wright has 5 hits in his last 40 at bats.
The Mets hit into more double plays than runs scored in the last 4 games.
Mets pitchers walked in more runs on Tuesday night than the Mets have scored in the last 4 games.
Mike Pelfrey couldn't make it through the 4th inning.
The 7th & 8th hitters have more home runs than the entire Mets lineup.
No one has hit into more double plays in all of baseball than the Mets.

Heaven help us. Oliver Perez is pitching tomorrow. Prepare for more disappointment. I feel bad for those paying to watch these games.

Is It Time for HoJo to Go?

Let me preface this post by saying I realize that hitting coaches can't swing the bat for the players, but I'm starting to think that it's time for Howard Johnson to go.

I don't know how much of an impact hitting coaches have on players, especially veterans, but I can tell you that if Howard Johnson is having an impact on this bunch of Mets hitters it's not very good.

While the Mets bats continue to slumber, HoJo's name is somehow being left out of the mix. We're ready to trade Wright, Reyes & Beltran but no one is asking what the heck is HoJo doing with these players? He was supposedly brought up to the majors as a coach because of the influence he had on David Wright. Well that influence has worn out or it's starting spoil with the way Wright looks up at the plate.

This is on top of the fact that two of the Mets commentators have offered advice that HoJo should already have picked upon. Keith Hernandez mentioned on air about 3 weeks ago how Fernando Tatis has changed the way he holds his bat which is slowing down his swing. This week Darryl Strawberry was quoted as saying he mentioned to HoJo that David Wright is dropping his back shoulder on his swing which is potentially causing some problems.

Now HoJo could already be on top of both these items or maybe Tatis and Wright refuse to heed his advice, but somehow I don't think that's the case.

HoJo is not the root of the Mets problems by any means. But if you're team is horrendous at the plate and your star player whom you tutored is struggling mightily, and commentators are pointing out things you should already notice, maybe it's time for a change?

The Mets Will Be Below .500 At the All Star Break

Unless the Mets go 5-1 against the Dodgers and Reds this week, the Mets will find themselves in an unlikely place: under .500 at the All Star Break.

Few teams that are under .500 at the break, find themselves in playoff contention at the end of September. The scarier thought is that the Mets could be worse than just under .500, but more like 8 games back if they don't win one of the next two series.

The crazy part is just when you think the Mets can't spiral down any further or can't get any worse, they do. It seems like all the injured players are now not expect to return until it's almost September. The top prospects we once had dreams of are looking more like nightmares. Talk of breaking up "the core" has started earlier than expected.

All this still begs the question, what else is going to happen this year?

The answer is uncertain, but the most likely choice is "nothing good."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

No Change for this Mets Team

Remember when Jerry Manuel said the key for this team was to stay around 5 games over .500 and if they fell below that the team would look at making some adjustments?

Well the Mets find themselves closer to 5 games under .500 and on the brink of a season to forget but there are no signs of change.

The Mets still don't score for Santana. There isn't a single bat in the lineup that teams are afraid of. No one can hit with runners in scoring position. And David Wright looks absolutely lost at the plate.

Getting swept by the Phillies is the least of the Mets problems. Losing 7 straight games and finding themselves 8 games out come the All Star break is looking like a real possibility.

The only thing changing for this team is that number in the loss column. And Mets fans patience.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Unlikely W

If there was ever a game the Mets were destined to lose it was today's game against the Pirates. They were down 5 runs. They were playing a hated makeup game in between two tough series. They had Redding on the mound.

But somehow they came back.

Tatis finally produced. Church is showing Wright how to hit when it counts. Sean Green was sharp yet again. The defense was solid.

K-Rod had to make things too exciting, but was given a chance at redemption thanks to Church's single in the 10th.

I fully expected a loss today, but this team is painfully surprising at times. It's on to Philly. What waits for this team is anyone's guess, but one thing is for certain it won't be easy.

Really Big Mike Pelf

Mike Pelfrey pitched the biggest game of his career yesterday and saved the Mets from falling into utter and total despair.

Hyperbole? Perhaps, but there's no doubting how badly the Mets needed a win to forget the debacle that was the game before.

The amazing part is Pelfrey did it with zero help from the offense. Wright looked lost, yet again but thankfully Church was able to squeek a single through at just the right time to give the Mets the lone run they needed.

Solid defense and an even more solid bullpen locked up a rare victory.
On to Pittsburgh.