Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Winter of our Mets Discontent

John Steinbeck may have penned the phrase "winter of our discontent" but it's Mets fans who are living it. What is going on with this team? Is the goal to get 5th place in the NL East? Are the Mets hoping not to sell a lot of tickets this year?

What is the master plan?

We were sold on Sandy Alderson because of his involvement in Moneyball and the strategic mind that can see 5 moves ahead and plan for the future. I'm not seeing any such plan or strategery taking place here. It looks to me like Sandy Alderson is trying to get fired, which in all honestly might not be a bad move for him. Maybe he didn't realize just what kind of mess he was getting into and now wants out.

So far the biggest move of the off season is not doing anything to sign Reyes and trading Angel Pagan for an older version of himself. Now we're talking about trading Jon Niese? Really? A guy who's under contract for the next few years for a reasonable price and has proven to be pretty much the only consistent starter that we have is going to be traded? For what? Prospects? Isn't that what Niese is? He's a guy with 2 full years pitching under his belt and we don't know his ceiling yet. We know he can pitch pretty well though. So let's trade him for two guys who MIGHT be better? This is crazy.

Show me some signs of foresight. I get that there are a number of high ceiling pitching prospects in the farm system, but the chances of ALL of them panning out to be big league contributors is slim. Look at Fernando Martinez! The untouchable prospect and apple of Omar Minaya's eye is now the talk of Queens as the Mets may actually dump him. Not trade him. Dump him.

What was supposed to a major change in the front office that would lead to future success is looking more like a continuing legacy of ineptitude by the Mets. I don't expect blockbuster moves. I just want some hope for the future.

As John Malkovich so eloquently said on his Christmas episode hosting of Saturday Night Live: "Hope is what we cling to when reality has left us nothing else."

No truer words were spoken of the 2012 New York Mets. Welcome to the winter of our discontent. The current forecast is calling for it to last well into May.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mets Make Many Mini Moves

So all it took was Jose Reyes leaving to get the Mets jump started on their off season acquisitions. Probably you've only heard of one of these guys the Mets signed yesterday which includes pitchers Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch (formerly known as Chewbacca), Ramon Ramirez and trading Angel Pagan to the Giants for Andres Torres.


Honestly, this is good. Mets biggest issue the last century and a half has been the bullpen. More blown games than a man can count have happened because of the BLOWpen. The question remains if these guys are truly the solution. It's not like Rauch, Francisco or Ramirez are known and feared. This is where you hope the Moneyball crew with offices in Flushing knows what they're doing.

The Angel Pagan trade to me is bizarre. We basically traded Pagan for an older version of himself. Torres played horribly last season although he had a decent year in 2010 which is the same story as Pagan. Some say Torres is better defensively, but in my opinion Pagan was no slouch in the field.

Right now the Mets starting outfield looks like Bay, Torres and Duda? Fearsome trio, I know.

Let's hope there's better news on the horizon or that us armchair GM's will be put in our place once the season rolls around.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bugs & Cranks: Honestly, losing Jose Reyes isn’t big news

...the always entertaining Brad Bortone gives his take on the Reyes to Marlins signing. Brad takes a different look at it and I like where he's coming from. the post to the end. the last paragraph is my favorite.

Reyes is Gone for Better or Worse

Jose Reyes was the future of the Mets, but now is just another in a long line of what could have beens. The Miami Marlins just outbid the New York Mets for the services of the All Star/NL batting champ shortstop that was the face of a franchise for many hopeful Mets fans.

One could argue that Reyes is one of the few Mets players in the last two decades that could get people in the seats just to see him. He was energetic, exciting, but often injured. Our hopes for Reyes never quite translated into reality until this past season. Just when our dreams seemed to finally becoming true, the nightmare that is the New York Mets swooped in to crush them.

I'm not going to get into the details of money, the solvency of the team or how we were outbid by a famously cheap organization. The fact is if the Mets REALLY wanted to keep Reyes, they could have. But they chose not to.

The Mets had the money to spend, but didn't.

Whether this is the right move in the long run will be overlooked by the time that moment comes. We live in a short term world and a fan base that is desperate for some glimmer of hope or ray of sunshine, this move is just another in a long line of dark clouds that hover over Queens.

Chances are Reyes will not repeat the success of 2011. He was healthy for the majority of the season and was hitting at a ridiculous rate that had been unseen in his entire career. We also saw him slow a bit on his propensity for stealing bases and of course he spent some time on the disabled list.

All that coupled by the fact that he's only played an average of 100 games over the last 4 or 5 seasons means that not signing Reyes to a long term contract for big money was a smart investment for the future.

But here's your short term losses.

The Mets just lost the interest of a major part of their casual fan base who comes to games or watches SNY to see Reyes play. The team also just flushed down the drain one of the players they have built up for the last 7 years. Wright and Reyes were the shining stars that made many 30 something Mets fans temporarily forget about the coulda/woulda/shoulda that was Doc & Darryl.

On top of that, the Mets have just parted with the best lead off hitter in the National League, one of the best defensive shortstops and their best threat on the base paths. Oh yeah, and Citi Field was made for a player with Reyes' skill set.

Again, the long term rewards of this move will not be remembered. In 6 years when Reyes only plays 80 games due to injuries, Mets fans aren't going to say, "Wow, it's a good thing we didn't give Reyes a 6 year deal!" Instead we'll be forced to remember the player we had as he continues to haunt the Mets faithful throughout the next 5 seasons as a star player on a division rival.

And we all know that when the Mets trade a player, they tend to get better. So it's time to say so long to Jose Reyes and trust that Mets management knows what their doing although if history has anything to prove that's not likely.

No one is calling the next 5 years the Ruben Tejada era, but maybe we will? Probably not. Prove us wrong Mr. Alderson.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Blues for Mets Fans

More people commit suicide during the holidays than any other time of year. Why? Usually it has to do with depression and a lack of hope while others are enjoying the fruits of the season.

I'm far from suicidal, but that's the feeling I'm getting as a Mets fan. Where is the hope? Where is the anticipation of things to come? It's gone.

Reyes has one foot out the door. Management is preparing itself for a midseason fire sale. And after 4 straight seasons of utter depravity, there appears to be no end in sight. The highlight of the Mets off season this year, I guarantee will be the fact that they are moving the walls in at Citi Field. That's it.

I'm not saying the Mets need to go out and sign pricey free agents or make trades to be contenders this year. I realize this is a rebuilding process, but the Mets need a new marketing team because there is absolutely nothing coming out to make Mets fans even feel like there's something good to come out of the 2012 season.

Ah, I'm just ranting, but the Mets have to do a better job of trying to instill some sort of hope for the Mets fan base for the sake of their own sanity as well as ticket sales.

Right now do you have any reason to be a season ticket package?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Like the Economy, Mets Are Poised for a Double Dip

There is no aid coming to the Mets in the near future. The economy may avoid a double dip recession if certain programs are eliminated or added and possibly if there's change at the top. But for the Mets the hope of change and a revival are looking less likely.

The thought of Jose Reyes leaving the Mets was an improbability just a few months ago. Now, it seems almost certain, and even worse he could likely remain in the NL East with the likes of Florida or Washington. Reyes is guaranteed to haunt the Mets and their fans for years to come if that happens.

So let's say Reyes leaves. What's that mean? It means David Wright is less likely to stay around and management may officially begin to rebuild. That leaves Johan Santana hanging as the Mets mid-season trade bait if he proves to be healthy.

And so by July of 2012 the Mets will be completely void of stars and any real identity. Tejada, Ike & Duda are all fun players to watch but hardly the players that will fill the seats. On top of that who on earth is going to pitch?

The core of the Mets will be officially dismantled. This all starts if Reyes leaves. The last 3 seasons of pitiful baseball are certain to continue for another three if these departures come true and the Mets look to save money instead of adding talent.

But what if Reyes stays? That's a totally different story. Looks like one found in fairy tales.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When Will Moneyball Payoff for the Mets?

Inspired by Brad Pitt (kidding...kind of...) I picked up a copy of the book Moneyball on my iPad to finally see what it was all about. Turns out it's about the Mets. Ok, it's about the Oakland A's and Billy Beane, but the rest of the characters reads like a resume of the Mets front office. You've got Sandy Alderson in there, Paul DePodesta, JP Ricciardi and others.

The book details what truly is a remarkable change in the game of baseball and an account of how looking at things differently can pay off in a big way when others refuse to change. So this got me wondering. If many of the Moneyball brains are now in charge of the Mets, when do we see the payoff?

The takeaway I found from the book was the A's ability to identify talent to fill immediate holes left by talented players departure. The A's were able to fill holes left by Giambi, Isringhausen and Damon in one offseason by grabbing the right guys off the scrap heap and rely on previous draft picks turning into viable major leaguers.

So if there ever was an offseason where the Mets needed this All Star front office to earn their paycheck, it's this one. We have holes left by a departing KRod, Beltran and potentially Reyes that needs to be addressed. I'd even argue we have holes left by players still on the team who just aren't performing up to expectations like Pelfrey & Bay.

The Mets need a Moneyball moment. The Mets have a larger payroll than the A's did so there's no reason why Alderson & Co. can't improve on the miracle A's of 2002. Mets fans desperately want it and tickets sales drastically need it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ultimate Baseball Movie Dream Team

This is such a great post that I'm devastated I didn't come up with it first. Over at Yardbarker, Justin Thomas has assembled his view of the best fictional baseball characters to appear on the silver screen into his own Dream Team.

I'm a little disappointed Pedro Cerrano didn't make the cut, but the list is pretty solid nonetheless. Take a look at the link below:
The ultimate baseball movie dream team

Friday, October 14, 2011

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the '86 Mets

Come Celebrate The 25th anniversary of the 1986 New York Mets Championship Season with the 1986 METS Sponsored by Mead Chasky Sports Enterprises, Inc. in conjunction with Strawberry's Sports Grill.

$599 per person includes:
Open Bar, Food, Photo Opportunities and mingling with the 86 Mets purchase also includes: one (1) item that will be pre-signed by a minimum of 15 of the players in attendance
To purchase tickets please call 718-575-9500

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fact: David Wright is the Best 3rd Baseman in the NL

Here we go again with the trade David Wright talk. Oooh, the Rockies want him. Unless the words "Troy" and "Tulowitzki" are part of the conversation, I could care less. Stop the hysterics people. David Wright might just be the most undervalued player in the National League by his own fan base. No he is not Derek Jeter. He isn't Mike Piazza either. But he is the best 3rd baseman in the National League over the course of the last 5 seasons.

Take a look at this chart from which looks at 3rd basemen in the National League from 2007-2011.

Yes David Wright is ranked #1. No NL 3rd basemen has played more games, has a higher WAR or scored more runs than Mr. Wright. I'll also admit that he strikes out more than pretty much every other 3rd basemen, but his stats as a whole put him above Zimmerman, Chipper & Aramis Ramirez.

You might argue that the crop of NL 3rd basemen isn't very good. You might be right but all the more why are we trading the best option available? Do you honestly believe Daniel Murphy is a better option? Have you seen him play the infield?

These stats of Wright's include his head beaning season and his recent stint on the DL this past year. It includes him being protected by the likes of Delgado & Beltran, while also being an island unto himself the past three years.

If the Mets are going to get a stud starting pitcher like Clayton Kershaw, fine. Trade Wright. But if we're looking at a handful of maybe's, what if's and could be's, I say no thank you.

Can Wright be better than he has been the last few years? Absolutely. Does that mean he's not the best 3rd baseman available? No way.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 Takeaways from the 2011 Mets

The season is over for our beloved New York Mets. I found myself enthralled with pennant chase baseball last night and reveling in the demise of both the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves. I only wish Chipper Jones hit into that game ending double play, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless.

I'm not going to get into the Jose Reyes drama about him not playing the whole game. Please, just stop. If you missed his at bat, shame on you for not being there for the start of the game and if you're angry you only saw him once there were 161 other games that you could have watched him. Don't tarnish an amazing season by the most electric player in New York by whining about only one at bat.

Ok, so I did get into the Reyes drama but now I want to leave you with 3 takeaways from the Mets 2011 campaign.

1. Never believe what people say about the Mets farm system.
How many times have we heard in the last 4 years that the Mets farm system is depleted. That the Mets don't have the chips to make a trade. Or that they need to rebuild the minor leagues? Spare me. The Mets fielded a team of minor leaguers for the better part of 2011. Tejada, Turner, Duda, Evans, and Gee are all examples of guys who can play regularly in the majors. None of them are going to be All Stars tomorrow but there's no denying they are better than what everyone has made them out to be.

2. Pitching is paramount.
I'm tired of talking about this, but pitching is what the Mets need. There will be talk about Prince Fielder, complaining about the horribleness of Jason Bay, and the dimensions of Citi Field but the most important thing the Mets can do this off season is improve their pitching staff. Bullpen and starting rotation. Pelfrey needs to go. Parnell needs therapy and shouldn't take the mound in the 9th inning of a close game for a long time. Offensively, the Mets were actually really good this year. I know it's hard to believe. Their BA is above the NL average. For months they were leading the league in hitting with 2 outs. They're in the top 10 in runs scored and stolen bases. Home runs are obviously an issue but honestly the Mets aren't a bad hitting team. What they are bad at is pitching. How many games did the bullpen blow this year? How many times did we see Niese, Capuano and Pelfrey give up 5+ runs in a single inning that basically blew the game? Missing Santana was obviously a major hurdle to overcome but the lack of a true #2 starter and a somewhat reasonable bullpen is really what killed the Mets...and injuries too.

3. A healthy lineup makes a huge difference.
You want to know something that I would love to see? A healthy Reyes, Wright, Davis and Murphy in the lineup for 150 games. I know injuries are a part of baseball. It's unavoidable, but the Mets haven't even come close to a healthy lineup in the last 3 seasons. Look at what Reyes did running on all cylinders? He missed a few weeks, but he's the batting champ, triples machine that we knew he could become. Pair that with Wright who has his highs & lows but generally produces 30 HRs & 100 RBI and an Ike Davis who could potentially match Wright's production or exceed it. Then add in Murphy who was a top 10 hitter until that dreaded play at second base and you have a very interesting lineup to play with. If Duda continues to grow as a hitter and Jason Bay improves at all and the Mets will have no issues scoring runs. But the key is can they stay healthy? Do you think the Brewers would be in the position they are with Braun out for 2 months? Could the Cards have made the comeback they did without Pujols & Halladay for a stretch in September? Of course not. We have yet to truly see what this Mets team can do if they have a healthy lineup and some help in the rotation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jose Reyes Is the First Mets Batting Champion

One of the lone bright spots for the 2011 Mets was watching Jose Reyes play. He was on fire for the better part of the last 5 months. Sandy Alderson declared October "Sign Reyes Month." Make it so #1.

Congrats Jose Reyes!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Morning Mets Rant

This post has not structure and probably no intelligent thought in it, but it's a rant kind of day.

Love that the Mets took 2 out of 3 from the Braves and in Atlanta no less! Where the heck was this kind of play about a month ago when the Mets were still in the Wild Card conversation? Can Bobby Parnell pitch an inning without a walking a batter? He's like a crack addict with walks. How does Ronnie Paulino only have one home run? He's the size of a defensive end and you're telling me he can't muscle more than one ball over the outfield wall?

Did Dillon Gee go off steroids? He's Jekyll and Hyde this year. Stop the trade David Wright talk. It's stupid. Finding a reliable, All Star third basemen isn't easy. He's the face of the franchise and if he was healthy this year he'd have a shade 30 homers and 100 he has practically every year.

Is Lucas Duda going to be Mike Jacobs? A surprising inaugural season only to falter the next. Never to be heard from again? I hope not.

When's the last time you though about Daniel Murphy? Do we even care that he's gone or is that just the eliminated from the playoffs yet again talking?

RA Dickey is the charter member of the No Joy No Luck Club. And by the way, why the heck are you pitching to Chipper Jones in that spot? Has the guy not murdered the Mets enough over the years. Hit him in the head, load the bases and deal with whoever is next. Just don't let Chipper do it to you yet again. Get beat by somebody else for a change.

In the time it took me to type that last paragraph, Bobby Parnell just walked 3 more batters.

Where on earth is Fernando Martinez? Oh wait, he's hanging with Lastings Milledge in the Mets Over Hyped Prospects group home.

Ruben Tejada has fouled off more pitches this year than anyone in history.

Angel Pagan is half the man he used to be. Jason Bay is having a renaissance. His best game appears when teams are out of contention.

How much would you hate being Terry Collins right now? That laughter you hear is Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Link: 12 Major League Teams Running Out of Fans

...the Mets aren't on the list....this year.
The 12 major league teams running out of fans - Yahoo! Sports:

The End of Losing is Nowhere in Sight

After getting swept by the Nats, the last thing the Mets need is exactly what they're going to get: a road series at Turner Field. The hope of ending a 6 game losing streak will soon turn into the potential for a 9 game skid as the Mets dip further into the pit of losing.

I like Terry Collins. I think he's been put into a tough position, but he's going to get a ton of backlash if the Mets close out the season in last place and on a double digit losing streak. Ironic, that it's a this point in the season when Jason Bay finally starts hitting consistently.

The feel good story of young players and overachieving is now null and void. Shameful is the word to describe this team. There is little pride on display at Citi Field and it translates into its absence in the stands.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bobby Parnell Needs a Robert Downey Jr Comeback

We are all witnesses to the ultimate demise of Bobby Parnell. Right there on your TV or in person at Citi Field you are beholding the public destruction of a human being. Parnell is being trotted out to the mound to act as someone who can perform when ultimately he cannot succeed.

Last night Collins had him on the mound in a tie game in the 7th inning with runners on 1st and 2nd. 2 pitches later to Ryan Zimmerman the Nats took the lead for good. Not a save opportunity for Parnell, but a continuation in the pattern of failure that he has stitched for himself this season.

Hitters are batting over .300 against Parnell. That's just ridiculously bad. Parnell has blown 5 out of 10 save appearances, but instead of placing him in situations where he can succeed and get some confidence, the Mets are using him like he is a reliable arm to use in close games.

Parnell seems to be a quiet guy, but this public humiliation has to be eating at his confidence and can't be of any help to his performance. Very few people can come back from public disgrace. You can rattle them off pretty easily all those that have failed and yet to be redeemed. Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Richard Nixon, Bill Buckner (except for a recent Curb Your Enthusiasm cameo), Lawrence Taylor.  You get the point.

Robert Downey Jr. is one of the few exceptions. Guy was as low as you can get and now we can't get enough of him. From drug and alcohol abuse to being Iron Man. That's quite a leap.

Rick Ankiel is one of the few sports examples I can think of as far as an insurmountable comeback, but he had to switch positions to do it.

I doubt that Parnell can make this type of comeback. I think mentally he's finished. Remember Eddie Kunz? Yeah, me neither, but about 3 years ago he came up from the minors to be the Mets closer while Wagner was injured. One blown save later during a pennant race, you'll never hear from him again.

That's where Parnell is headed. Unless he's got some Iron Man rejuvenation in him somewhere.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mets’ plans to wear first responder caps thwarted by MLB

Sure I could blog about another late inning blown game or the ineffectiveness of the Mets big time players in key moments, but that's not important right now.

What is on my mind is how baffling this move by the MLB was to not allow the Mets to wear the caps of the NYPD, NYFD and PANY. You allowed ESPN to move the Mets/Cubs game to be the featured game in prime time and allow the pre-game 9/11 festivities to be shown on the broadcast, but you won't let the team wear the hats to honor those who served?

Are you kidding me? This is stupid. I'm not buying the line Joe Torre gave as an explanation that all teams were uniform in their honoring of 9/11. You know how much the Mets were involved in the events of 10 years ago. ESPN knows it. Baseball fans know it and to think that they don't deserve to be allowed to show a little extra honor the great men and women of the NYPD, NYFD & PAPD is just idiotic.

Maybe I'm being petty, but this was one of those cases where a rule was imposed without any rule usefulnees to it.

Here are some additional details via Yahoo! Sports.
Mets’ plans to wear first responder caps thwarted by MLB | The Upshot - Yahoo! News:

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

New York Coaches Remember 9/11

great video of some of the New York coaches back in 2001 reflecting on what it was like to be a coach in NYC on 9/11.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mets Fever: Has Nick Evans shown enough

Good post from our friends over at Mets Fever on the enigma of Nick Evans. Is he a AAAA player or someone worthy of a major league roster spot?

Honestly, I don't think he's been given the shot to prove either. Not until he gets a regular shot at playing everyday for more than a month. At the end of this year, let's see where he pans out. Right now I'd start him over Jason Bay or Angel Pagan?

Maybe Evans could catch...
Mets Fever: Has Nick Evans shown enough:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mets Are Too Lenient With Late Inning Walks

From now on when the Mets come back from being 5 runs down, just turn off the game. It's guaranteed to be a disappointment. In the second time in a month, the Mets came back from being way down to take the lead only to blow it in the 9th.

This time it was Parnell on the mound. He's done this before and I'm sure he'll do it again. He gave up a leadoff hit and then committed the ultimate faux paux for any closer: he walked the next batter. It's the ultimate sin, yet Collins and the Mets don't seem to see what it leads to. I guarantee every Mets fan who follows this team knew it was going to end in a loss as soon as Parnell walked the second batter. It's the same thing that Isringhausen did against the Brewers in August. It's what doomed John Franco for all those year. And Benitez. And Looper. And Wagner. Walks by a closer destroy one run games.

There has to be a point when you send a message that you will not stand for walks from your closer. I realize the Mets are not in a pennant race. I get you are trying to mold a closer in the young Parnell, but letting him bury himself out there is worse than teaching what is and isn't acceptable from a closer.

As soon as Parnell gave up that walk he needed to be pulled. I said the same thing of Izzy when he blew it against the Brewers. Izzy gave up 2 walks and was still allowed to continue. In the 9th inning of a one run game there's no acceptance of allowing free base runners. They beat you on a home run so be it. But allowing walks to put the winning run on base is just unacceptable.

If Parnell is to become a closer he learns nothing by blowing a save. Ok, he learns disappointment. If Collins pulls him every time he walks a guy in a one run game with no outs, Parnell will learn pretty quickly that he can't walk anyone or else he'll find himself back in the minors. The same should go for Beato.

With the Mets firmly out of the picture, now is the time to teach these lessons. You obviously wouldn't do this with K-Rod or an established closer (Izzy doesn't count. He's a washed up closer), but you can do this with young guys who need to learn the ropes.

I'm sick of 9th inning walks. It's time Mets relievers learned a lesson.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Like the Blue Mets Uniforms

The Mets have issues with being obsessed with a thousand different uniform options, but I am digging the blue uniforms with orange type. Kudos to Michael Baron of for posting these great photos...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jason Bay is the new Oliver Perez

Next spring, Jason Bay is likely to be the most disliked Mets player. Chances are he already is, but with this season being a wash his ineptitude is being overlooked as we long for football to start.

Yes, I'm writing a bash Jason Bay post the day after he had a 3 hit game. Here's why. It's the first good thing he's done in about 30 games. Tell me that's worth the check he's getting. To me Jason Bay is the new Oliver Perez. You want to compare him with Luis Castillo? I'm fine with that too, although that's a bit insulting to Castillo who at least was close to hitting .300 on one leg. Bay can only dream about .300 and he's got two healthy knees.

I would argue that Jason Bay doesn't even deserve to be in the starting lineup. Entering last night he was batting .230. That's your highest paid hitter in the lineup. Lucas Duda who's had almost half as many at bats as bay is potentially going to pass him in home run totals for the year. Nick Evans who was batting .180 for most of the season is now 50 points ahead of Bay's average and crushing him in slugging and OPS.

If Ike Davis returns to his old production and Duda continues to grow and Evans shows for the next month that he can be a legit hitter, why would we let Jason Bay take one of their spots in the lineup? Bay's had two years to prove that his slump is just a fluke. 730 days later, Bay still stinks. I'm done. Enough is enough.

Put him in a platoon with Evans if you want to. Don't talk to me about his fielding. We aren't paying him to win a gold glove. The hope was he'd hit some home runs and drive in 100 RBI. He's a good clubhouse guy and he can remain one with his rear firmly planted on the bench.

Money does not equal talent. Salary does not dictate who should play. Performance does. And Bay is the complete opposite of a player who is performing. Sit him down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Do Mets Fans Still Care?

In case you don't believe in miracles, you now have evidence they are real as the Mets actually swept a double home!  Unbelievable, I know. During the first game of the double dip I was in my office listening to the game when someone walked in, saw I was streaming the game on my iPad and asked, "Why do you still care?"

A valid question. The Mets are firmly out of the playoff picture and well out of the general interest of the sports world. They are under .500 with a team of minor leaguers peppering their everyday roster. No star pitchers to speak of and a bullpen that has more holes than a Connect Four game. But yet I still watch. I still listen to the games on the radio. I'm even taking the time to write a blog about this wretched season.

The answer is Mets fans are more than fans.

Hence the name of this blog is Mets Lifers. Being a Mets fan is part of the fabric of our lives. We all know of a fair weather Yankees fan. Do you know any fair weather Mets fans? No, because there's no such thing. It's all or nothing.

I love the fact that Mets fans still call up Mike Francesa to talk about the value of David Wright or if Parnell can really be the Mets closer, when it's the last thing Francesa wants to talk about at this time. Mets fans can't stop thinking about our team.

Right now it's a horrible team. Pelfrey is painful. Izzy gives me agida. Pagan throws like Chuck Knoblauch. And Reyes can't stay on the field. But despite this all I'm enjoying Lucas Duda. I'm happy Nick Evans is getting a shot at playing everyday. I still despise Jason Bay, but that's all part of being a Mets Lifer.

We take the good with the bad. Ok, we a take a lot of bad with occasional good and hope that there will some day soon be a time when our investment as a fan pays off.

And so we watch and wait.

Friday, August 26, 2011

David Wright is Sidney Prescott

Having just flown on a plane and being left with limited entertainment options, I succumbed to curiosity and watched Scream 4. I'm not a huge horror fan, but I've seen the other Scream movies and found them mildly interesting so I thought why not.

As I watched the main character, Sidney Prescott, yet again be hunted down by masked murderers and watch her loved ones fall down around her I realized something. Sidney Prescott is the fictional representation of David Wright.

Scream 4 is the fourth iteration of this horror franchise featuring Sidney Prescott. David Wright is in the 4th year of his own horror film known as the New York Mets.

Everyone that Sidney hopes to rely on or turns to for help ends up dying or betraying her. Everyone Wright needs to help ends up getting injured (Reyes, Davis, Murphy, etc., etc.) or betraying him (Jason Bay).

The Scream films appear to be getting worse and worse while also becoming more violent. The same is true for the Mets.

The creators of Scream could try and make a version of the franchise without Sidney as the star, but it just wouldn't be the same and fans would quickly lose interest. The same is true for the Mets and David Wright.

Turns out I'm a bigger horror fan than I thought. You see I watch the Mets play every day and subject myself to violence, maiming, and bloodshed on a daily basis. But I'm just watching it, David Wright is living it.

And like Sidney Prescott, David Wright at this point is just trying to survive.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Misadventures of Nick Evans

Nick Evans might be one of the unluckiest players in baseball. Honestly, the kid cannot catch a break.

Evans isn't a young stud player with tons of potential and hype around him. He's a serviceable player who can field multiple positions and has some signs of power in his bat. He's an ok player or at least that's what we think because Evans can never seem to get the opportunity to prove if he's more than that.

Evans had an offensive explosion yesterday in Philadelphia and single-handedly led the Mets to a desperate victory. We've seen these glimpses of success before, but that's all they are. Glimpses. Nick has the misfortune of being stuck behind a true young stud in Ike Davis, and now the emergence of the gentle giant, Lucas Duda, has pushed Evans further down the depth chart.

Besides Davis & Duda, Daniel Murphy is also a guy who's pushed Evans further out of the minds of Mets management. If you'll remember it was Murphy & Evans who platooning in left field just a few seasons ago. Murphy ultimately stayed on the club while Evans has been gaining frequent flier miles on his trips to and from the minors.

Why do I like Nick Evans? Who knows. I think it's the whole underdog vibe I get from him. The Jason Bay contract is keeping him in the lineup, but would we get an improvement in production if Nick Evans was given the shot to play everyday? I guarantee you it couldn't get that much worse. Does Evans deserve more playing time than Scott Hairsston and Willie Harris? Probably, but those two veterans have experience on their side and force Evans to the bench.

I doubt Evans will ever become an every day player. At least on the Mets. Because we all know how the Mets have a fantastic track record of trading away young players who don't amount to anything....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Culture of Losing

You could call Saturday's loss devastating, but it would seem repetitive. The Mets have defined devestating losses over the last 3 seasons. Time after time they find ways to disappoint. It might be the BLOWpen. It might be starting pitching. It might be an inability to execute. Whatever it is the Mets are creating a culture of losing.

Don't believe me? Visit any Mets blog and look at the tone of the daily posts. Disappointment abounds. Now that's just the fan base, but the culture is evident in the performance on the field. Every team has a culture. You know when you play for the New York Giants that it's a defensive, run-first grind it out type of play. When you're on the St. Louis Cardinals you're going to play a fundementals first style.

When you're on the Mets, you're going to play disappointing baseball. There's a need for a change.

Sandy Alderson might be the answer. He might not. You may argue that calling 3 losing seasons a culture of losing is being overly dramatic. It was only 3 years ago that the Mets contended for the NL East. True but the absence of consistent playoff appearances has put the Mets in the same company of many a bottom dweller in both leagues. There's no long an expectation of winning.

There's a desire to win. There's a fire in the fan base to win. But the product on the field doesn't win.

You say the Mets were a winning team just last month. That's just the thing. It only lasts for a month. I don't have the answer for what to do to change the culture. It might be personnel. It might be the managing staff. It might be some new trainers for all I know.

But one thing is for certain. This Mets culture needs to change.

updated Sunday at 3:26 pm
Now having watched most of Sunday's game it's becoming more evident to me about this culture of losing. There are teams that get bad breaks or have a string of bad luck and then there's the Mets. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Tie the game with late inning home runs? Let's give up not just one run, but multiple runs in the very next inning. Have a runner on 2nd and no outs? Let's fumble our way thru the inning and find new ways not to score. Double play ground ball gives you a chance to get out of serious damage? How about an error to extend the torture?

Sure this weekend is just an awful series to use as an example, but it's not like this same dissertation couldn't have been written in countless series over the past three years. We all know it and it's becoming commonplace. That has to change or the Mets will soon find themselves in the company of the Pirates and Royals in postseason apathy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Quiet Fall of Angel Pagan

With injuries, rookie mistakes and lackluster baseball abounding in New York, one Mets player is avoiding the scrutiny he deserves. And that man is Angel Pagan.

Pagan is half the man he was last year and is somehow flying under the radar of criticism. What we saw last year was a player who would rightfully be the heir to the center field throne for years to come. We thought we had a #2 hitter to put behind Reyes that would be an on base percentage machine and once in a while give you some pop. He'd be a good defender and put the ball in play.

That Angel Pagan is gone. I'm starting to think that 2010 was an anomaly for Pagan. His patience at the plate is gone. His swing has changed to try and hit the ball for power instead of going the opposite way. His arm in the field is proving to be not even close to what we were used to with Beltran.

Is he the biggest problem with the Mets? Not even close. Is he the center fielder we should be happy to have for the foreseeable future? I think that's a question that needs to be asked.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Lead Is Ever Safe from the BLOWpen

Like a villain that always seems to come back from the dead, the Mets BLOWpen is always lurking to ruin any game. It's like the 8th and 9th inning have some curse on them where Mets pitchers are suddenly unable to get ordinary hitters out.

It's not like the Padres are stacked with explosive bats either. Jesus Guzman is hardly a fearsome opponent, but the flame throwing Bobby Parnell can't get him or anyone else out for that matter. I don't understand why Terry Collins thought he could get an inning and two thirds out of Parnell either.That's just pushing your luck.

Amazingly, the Mets came back to win it. But they can't win it on a double in the gap or home run in the bleachers. No, they win it on a fielders choice.

Izzy notched the 300th save of his career, but is still a major component of the BLOWpen. There is no lead that can't escape its clutches.

Monday, August 15, 2011

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Downward Spiral

I knew it was coming. Just didn't realize it would happen this way. Losing 11 of 14 and their last 5 games has put the Mets in mid season form and firmly planted in baseball irrelevance.

The worst part about it is everything that the Mets were doing right has somehow disappeared. The most patient team at the plate is now swinging at every first pitch. Those surprising young studs have been sent back to normalcy. Jason Bay is hitting. What other sign is there of impending doom?

West Coast trips are historically awful for this team. With 3 games blow in Arizona and a stint in San Diego yet to come, the Mets may return home closer to 10 games under .500 than being a winning team.

The Mets demise is no surprise, but all I wanted was a winning ball club. The climb back to .500 might as well be K2 at this rate.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why Do We Root for Jason Bay?

Mets players are quickly vilified for their horrendous performance. More players have been run out of town by Mets fandom then managers fired by Steinbrehenner.

But why do I find myself rooting for Jason Bay?

He's been awful. To say he's under performed would be like Mount Everest a bump in the road. Yet every game I'm watching him and just hoping he's going to break out. He's been playing much better of late, but would a 15 home run season really be a success?

Luis Castillo was still batting around .300 when we were ready to send him out to pasture. Armando Benitez was 2nd in the NL in saves when we couldn't wait to get rid of him. Why is that Jason Bay still has the hopes of Mets fans?

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he plays hard, but that will only get you so far. The other part is that he doesn't make stupid mistakes. No Murphy-esque base running blunders. No Tejada moments in the field. He's not a Franceour free swinger at the plate. And he's doesn't run his mouth.

So for now we want this good guy to have a happy ending. But our patience does ware thin. I have a feeling we'll give him a pass again this season as the Mets fate is pretty much decided, but a slow April in 2012 will find Jason Bay in Jeromy Burnitz's company in the minds of the Mets faithful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Parnell is the Next Mike Pelfrey

Huge amounts of upside, but minuscule mental toughness. Am I referring to Bobby Parnell or Mike Pelfrey? Doesn't matter. Their both the same person.

Sure Pelf doesn't have the same heat on his fastball the Parnell does, but the concept is the same. Two young pitchers with an enormous amount of talent and they just can't put it all together.

Am I being too hard on Parnell? He's young you say? Give him time to grow you request? Hmmm, I said those same things about Mike Pelfrey and look where it's gotten us. Do you really have any confidence that Pelfrey will become a consistent and reliable pitcher? I know I don't. Those 15 wins last year was like Haley's comet. Hope you got a good luck because it ain't coming back.

Parnell will pitch in this league for years to come because he can hit triple digits on the radar gun, but that doesn't mean the Mets need to keep him around in their bullpen. There's a long history of hard throwing closers in Mets lore, but none of them panned out to be pitchers we ever wanted to hold onto.

Parnell might turn out to be an All Star closer. But not in New York. KC or Pittsburgh or even Oakland might suit him better. The big stage in the Big Apple messes with his mind. Throwing changeups to an aging Chipper Jones. Missing the bag when covering first. Throwing arrow straight fastballs that are set on a tee for big league hitters.

I've been burned before by young stud hurlers. Not since Doc Gooden has one panned out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mets Prove You Can Ruin a Season in April

When the baseball season starts there's a lot of talk about how players need to get into their groove and that it's a long season. The 2011 Mets are proving that kind of thinking is dumb. The Mets may very well have ruined their season in April.

Let's look at the numbers:

  • The Mets started the season with a 5-13 record
  • Since then the Mets are 53-44. That's 9 games over .500
  • If the Mets had just played .500 ball for those first 18 games, their record would now be 62-53.
  • That would put them in second place in the Wild Card at 4.5 games out.
That would be with losing 5 games in a row last week and all the injuries and chaos that perpetually surrounds this team. Of course there still is a month and half left in the season and the Mets could still fall completely apart but so far April has ruined the 2011 Mets.

Oh and a sub .500 record at home doesn't help much either. 

If We Only Had a Bullpen

This is getting ridiculous. The Mets yet again came back with some late inning heroics to beat the Padres. Sure the Padres walked in the winning run, but it was the 18 singles before that set the stage for the win. That makes back to back games where the Mets took the lead in the final at bat while being down multiple runs.

However, as soon as the Mets took the lead the only thing I could think of was Isringhausen is going to blow this. It's a horrible thing to think after a great comeback, but it's the Mets way. Get a lead. Blow it late.

While the Mets needed to trade K-Rod because of his contract, he was a more valuable asset then we give him credit for. Sure he blew some saves but for the most part over the last few seasons he's closed out a number of games that this current bullpen couldn't have handled.

The current state of the Mets bullpen is beyond disastrous. I don't want to hear about the positives of Pedro Beato and the youth of Bobby Parnell. On any given day Terry Collins is forced to use DJ Carrasco and Manny Acosta as 8th inning relievers to hold onto a lead or prevent a lead from growing. Collins brought in Igarashi two nights ago in the 8th who we all knew is just a Japanese version of Guillermo Mota.

While fans wants bats in the lineup, the real need for this team is an overhauled bullpen. The current one is a makeshift crew of inexperience and has beens. Looks at the Braves bullpen. That's what the Mets need. Mentally tough young arms and a definitive closer to finish out the 9th.

I would even argue that the bullpen is even more of a need than starting pitching. It pains me to write that with Mike Pelfrey as our alleged #1 starter, but the number of games the Mets have lost this year due to bullpen meltdowns in the 7th and 8th inning are brutal.

I'm glad Izzy was able to close it out last night, but if the same situation were to come up tonight I think I would have the same suspicions as I did last night.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sad But True Mets Sign


The Unlikeliest of Wins

You can't say the Mets aren't an interesting team to watch. On any given night you can see massive leads blow, comebacks fall short and potentially a life threatening injury unfold on your television.

But last night's 9-8 win was one of the unlikeliest of comebacks. After giving Mike Pelfrey a 4-1 lead behind three home runs, Pelf once again settled into his routine of giving up smash hit after smash hit to see the lead become a tie game.

And then comes Igarashi. Does this guy ever do anything but give up runs? A 4-4 game became 8-4 in the span of 5 minutes. So here comes the unlikely part. The Mets came win! Yes! No comeback only to blow it in the 9th. They actually won! I know, it's crazy.

The craziest part is that they scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th against possibly the best closer in the National League, Heath Bell, who is also historically a Mets killer. Ever since he was traded, he lives to destroy the Mets.

But the Mets somehow prevailed with a Jason Pridie leadoff single. A Justin Turner single. A David Wright single. A wild pitch. And then Lucas Duda with a seeing eye single to clinch it.

Sure it's just the Padres but that's a game the Mets should have lost. You gotta say that this team never seems to give up. I like that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For Mets No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

This is the mantra for the New York Mets: No good deed goes unpunished.

You're on track to compete for NL MVP, hitting over .340 and the catalyst for your team. Injure your hamstring...twice.(Reyes)

After a season out for a knee injury it's a breakout year where you're playing everyday. You're in the top 10 in batting and the team's best hitter with runners in scoring position. Now you injure the same knee that forced you to miss an entire season. (Murphy)

You are the most overpaid player on the team who can't deliver. You finally have a breakout game reaching base 5 times and scoring 3 runs. Without your bat, this team isn't even in this game. But all that is forgotten because you don't have bullpen that can close a door, never mind a game. (Bay)

With a patchwork lineup and your All Star 3B forced to play shortstop you find your self down 3 runs only to claw your way back to tie. A bloop single to start an inning and walked batter in front of your team's archnemesis player forces you to pitch to the one guy who always kills you. Game over. (6-5 Braves win)

You trade away the most expensive pitcher on the club to make sure his option for next year doesn't vest leaving you without a closer, but with 3 solid options to rotate through. The most reliable option chokes. The rising stud can't handle the pressure. The 3rd guy...well..he's up next. (Izzy, Parnell, Beato)

You are a candidate for manager of the year. After a 5-13 start, you brink the club back from the brink to make them competitive in a wild card hunt. A 5 game winning streak is followed up by losing 5 out of 6, sending you back under .500 and you lose your only two hitters batting over .300 for potentially the rest of the year.Welcome to the Mets, Terry Collins.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time to Try and Just Enjoy Baseball

While some have held onto the hope that the Mets still have a chance in the Wild Card race, it's time for all Mets fans to snap back to reality. This season is going nowhere.

The Mets had yet another late inning nail in the coffin to drop them further out of baseball relevance and continue their horrendous play at Citi Field. It's boggling that the Mets have the best record in the NL on the road, but one of the worst at home.

With another pennant race out of the picture, Mets fans will have to try and just enjoy baseball while it's still on. Enjoy Jose Reyes. Enjoy an unknown like Dillon Gee who will be the Mets best pitcher this year. Enjoy Daniel Murphy's hitting, and try and ignore his haplessness on the base paths and the field. See if Lucas Duda can become a legitimate everyday player.

There are angles of interest for every Mets fan to find a reason to watch baseball, but of course there will be plenty of disappointment too like Angel Pagan's fall from grace, the BLOWpen, any Mike Pelfrey start, and let's not forget Jason Bay.

If you're truly a Mets fan, you'll still follow this team even if they plunge deeper into obscurity. But the one thing I have confidence in is that Sandy Alderson knows what he's doing. There's hope for the Mets. It's just not going to come as quickly as we'd like.

Friday, August 5, 2011

This Brave Series Determines the Season

And so the Mets are back to .500. Man, good feelings fade so fast in this town. The road for the Mets has a fork smack in the middle of it. To the left, is the road to another late summer/early fall trip to baseball obscurity. On the right is a road of somewhat relevance and interest.

But in the middle are the Atlanta Braves.

This weekend series with the Braves will send the Mets on one of those two paths. A sweep of Braves (insert laughter here) would put the Mets back in the hunt and excite the fan base again before the next 4 game losing streak. Being swept by the Braves or losing 2 out of 3, places the Mets firmly outside of the baseball relevancy picture.

What if they win 2 out of 3. Eh, doesn't do much of anything. Moving one game up in the standings at this point doesn't have much of a long term impact, but it might extend hope for a few more days.

The good news for the Mets is no Mike Pelfrey in this series. The bad news is Tim Hudson kicks things off tonight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lacking Baseball Instincts

Keith Hernandez summed up Daniel Murphy better than anyone during last night's Mets' broadcast. He simply said, "Daniel Murphy lacks good baseball instincts." And it showed again last night as Murphy botched what should have been an easy out in the 10th inning that instead turned into an extended inning and painful loss to the Marlins.

Murphy's bat is unbelievable, but after that he becomes a serious liability. He can't run the bases right. His fielding is questionable at best. And it begs the question if Ike Davis was healthy where on earth would you put him?

Last night's loss was beyond Murphy's fault but his screw ups just add to his legend. Isringhausen should have never gotten himself into that jam and he'd been better off hitting Mike Stanton in the back than throwing him a fastball down the pipe.

And so the sick cycle carousel continues to turn. Great win streak followed by pitiful play. Somehow Mike Pelfrey always seems to be in the middle of it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why A Sweep of the Marlins is so Important

Amazingly enough the Mets are entering August in a better position than they started July. This bucks a trend of falling apart towards the end of July that the Mets made fashionable the last few seasons. The record could be better. In fact, it should be better but this is the hand we've been dealt.

And so the Mets come home to Citi Field, where they've been just awful, and face NL East rivals the Marlins followed by the Wild Card leading Braves. The Mets for some reason have the worst time dealing with the Marlins. A team that is mediocre at best and filled with young inexperienced talent just always seems to reek havoc on the Mets.

But it's imperative that the Mets sweep the Marlins this week. Here's why.

A sweep of the Marlins would put them at 5 games over .500 with the rival Braves coming into town. A sweep of the Braves would be bordering on fairy tale dreaming, but it would give the Mets a fighting chance to stay relevant in the Wild Card race as they face off against the Wild Card leader.

Besides just Wild Card relevance, a sweep of the Marlins would make a statement that you need to come out and see this team play. Their sub .500 record at home is a big reason why seats are still empty at Citi Field even though the team is competitive and fun to watch. Why would you want to make the effort to head to the ballpark when the chance are  you will see them lose?

Winning 2 out of 3 would be fine, but not great. If they were able to sweep the Reds on the road why shouldn't they be able to take care of the lowly Marlins? There are plenty of reasons why a sweep won't happen (Pelfrey is pitching, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, road trip weariness, etc.), but the Mets need to find a way to play well at home and keep fans interested.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Habit of Not Capitalizing

This has nothing to do with grammar and everything to do with anti-climax. The Mets were on a torrid hitting streak and used that to win 5 straight. They were 4 games over .500 and meaningful baseball appeared to be back.

But in typical Mets fashion they have found the nearest ditch for them to jump in and dig their way out. The Mets dropped two straight to the struggling and unimpressive Washington Nationals. I understand the Mets couldn't possibly keep up the offensive explosion of last week, but they seem to be in a pattern of following up great successes with plummeting failures.

Sunday's contest was a perfect example. One bad inning from Jon Niese gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead, but Scott Hairston, by himself, got the Mets to a 2-2 tie with 2 solo home runs including one in the top of the 9th.

So what do the Mets do the following half inning after a climactic comeback and a chance to win a series against a division rival? They do their best Tom Glavine impression and choke. Bringing Parnell into a tie game on the road in the bottom of the 9th was a stupid move. The guy is a few outings away from having Oliver Perez's mental strength and couldn't throw a strike. The Nationals were just inept to wave at a few of them.

Then you have Josh "King of the Pass Ball" Thole who couldn't catch the straightest fastball ever thrown because it was up in the zone which lead to runners on 2nd and 3rd  right after Daniel Murphy made a Hernandez-esque move to break up an attempted sacrifice bunt.

The pass ball ended up being the deciding play as the next pitch was chopped over Parnell's head into no-man's land allowing the runner to score. Game over.

The Mets are still above .500 but by only 2 games. I don't understand why this ballclub has such an inability to beat team's in their own division. It's becoming an epidemic and guess who's coming to town this week: Marlins & Braves.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beltran Trade Closes Another Mets Chapter

Carlos Beltran is headed to San Francisco. He'll do well there and I wish him the best, but his departure is the end of a particular era in Mets history. And come to think about it, it signals the start of another.

With the signing of Beltran 7 years ago, the Mets became relevant players again. He opened the door for some signings of other players like Carlos Delgado and Pedro Martinez. He was the start of the Mets attempt to buy a championship team.

There's no arguing that Beltran is the best center fielder to ever put on a Mets uniform, but you'd also be hard pressed to find as unloveable a superstar. One pitch will define his career as a Met for those who lived through it. Younger and future fans will look back on his stats and see just how amazing his career was, but those who saw it firsthand will be plagued with what could have been.

The Beltran trade is also the official beginning of the Sandy Alderson era. The name, Omar Minaya, is now officially forgotten as the bulk of his players have now left the Big Apple. So Alderson is establishing himself at the helm of this Mets franchise. No one said the Mets would be able to get the prospect they wanted, but Alderson did. Gone are the days of overpaying for mediocre players or not thinking about long term implications when making a mid-season trade. Here come the days of sound, rational thinking with a goal in mind.

Those days haven't been seen here in a while, and  I welcome them.

I wish Beltran success and I have a lingering feeling we are going to see him go on a tare a la his short stint with the Astros. Don't fret Mets fans. We must not sacrifice the future on the alter of the immediate. Words Minaya never understood, but Alderson appears to live by.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Frustration that is Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy is in the midst of a great season. He started off slow, but his recent hitting rampage has parked him in the top 10 in the National League in batting and is one of the Mets best hitters with runners in scoring position.

He's also the most frustrating player to watch. While Murphy has shown great discipline at the plate, he needs a serious time out for his play in the field. Murphy handles ground balls like their hand grenades. He may look more comfortable at the corner infield positions, but even Murphy makes David Wright look like a gold glover.

Murphy is also potentially the worst base runner I've seen in the last decade. The guy cannot grasp the fundamentals of being on base. He's been thrown out a third base more times than I can count. He's stealing bases in odd situations. He tries to take an extra base when Beltran or Wright or coming up next.

And don't even get me started on his attempted drag bunt the other night with no outs and Wright on second.

What is wrong with this boy? And why is it he only seems to hit well when others are injured? Two years ago was the same thing. Wright, Reyes and Beltran were all hurt and all of a sudden Murphy starts hitting .300?

He's an enigma. I can't question what he's doing at the plate. He's easily the hottest hitter in baseball since the middle of June and he has shown discipline in going the opposite way. But why can't he get the rest of his game on track? Is he the next Dave Kingman minus the home run power?

Daniel Murphy needs some training in the fundamentals. Maybe this comes with experience and age. For the meantime we have to live with his Magoo-esque blunder in the field and on the base paths because we certainly can't live without his bat right now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a Difference a Division Makes

As I listened to the start of last night's Mets/Reds game on the radio, I was shocked when the statement was made that the Reds and Mets had the same record, but the Reds were a mere 3 games out of first place. How is a .500 team that close to contention?

I don't pay too much attention to the NL Central. Normally it's the forgotten division where the Pirates, Brewers & Astros wallow in obscurity while the Cardinals normally have a decent team. But I looked and yes, Wayne & Howie were right. The Mets would be, as of today, 3.5 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Just bizarre. This got me to thinking about the whole restructuring of the divisions in baseball and how there is talk of realigning teams. Honestly, it doesn't matter. There's an ebb and flow to baseball where some teams are good for a while and then they're bad for a while. If you restructure solely based on location, that's one thing, but thinking that a restructure will add balance to baseball is short-sighted.

So while the Mets fade into mediocrity in the NL East, it appears the Reds will be contenders into August even at a sub .500 level. Where is justice?

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Seesaw Mets

This team is like riding on a seesaw. When something goes up, anothing thing must go down. A 6 game win streak must be followed by losing 8 out of 10. A slew of injuries unleashes an unexpected offensive onslaught from no-name players. The return of injured sluggers brings on horrendous pitching. The hope of a Wild Card hunt is followed up by a dose of the full reality that the 2011 Mets are all but finished.

The series against the Marlins showed just how much of a roller coaster ride this team is. Pelfrey's awful performance was matched with Wright's triumphant return and game winning theatrics. Then horrible pitching was teamed with a great offensive output only to lead to back to back losses.

This is the way the rest of the season will go. A few highs followed by a few lows followed get the picture. Beltran is about to go and I wouldn't be surprised if a few others will join him before August rolls around.

It signals the end of a meaningful season, but the hope is that the seesaw swings back the other way.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Annoyance that is Mike Francesa

I have grown up listening to WFAN in New York. I love the station and it's always the #1 spot on my car radio. However, I can't stand Mike Francesa.

When it was Mike & the Mad Dog (or the Jerk & the Fatman as Imus used to call them), I could deal with them. Chris Russo was good for a crazy rant and Mike would call him down. Both were total anti-Mets personalities so I did find it annoying that the most listened to drive time sports program in New York had guys that were totally against my favorite team.

But it's gotten worse.

With the Mad Dog off on satellite radio, Francesa has for the last few years been the lone voice during the largest block of sports programming on radio. The Mets hating continues and the "pope of sports" is left repeating himself for 5 hours a day, yet he continues to dominate sports radio. There really isn't an alternative

Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's just Mets fans that get annoyed by Mike "I Repeat Everything I Say 20 Times" Francesa. So I headed over to Facebook and asked my Yankee fan friends to chime in. Turns out they can't stand Francesa either.

Here are some of the comments I got when I asked if they found Francesa annoying & repetitive:
-Yes I do. Yes. He is anoying. Yes. He's repetitive. Yes I agree with you. Annoying. Yes.
-He is a nightmare - maddog was very valuable - he took up half of the broadcast whic was better than a whole broadcast of francesa...... He thinks he is the "all knowing" of sports...
-I think he's annoying, and his callers are bumbling morons!
-I just remember listening to him growing up and wanting to punch myself in the face
-yes, he's annoying... i used to think maddog was annoying, but i agree w Gary that he somehow made it bearable bc it wasn't just francesa droning on and on. As yankee fans, we have few options... Sterling and Waldman are the worst! i guess Kay is the lesser evil? sad.
So it's not just me and it's not just Mets fans. I will say this about Francesa - he does a good job with covering the NFL. But do we have to listen to him the other 8 months out of the year. Why isn't someone doing something about this?

Don't even get me started with that Mike'd up theme song...

P.S. I've loving Joe & Evan as his replacements while he's on vacation.

A Heaven Sent Home Run

...great ending to a great comeback. a much needed win before a scorcher today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Reyes is MVP

Jose Reyes returned to the Mets lineup Tuesday night. What a difference a day makes. The addition of Reyes completely changes the dynamic of the Mets team and their lineup. Just a day before the Mets trotted out what looked like the worst lineup in baseball. But add Reyes and all of a sudden mediocre becomes competitive.

How can one player make this much of a difference? It's the same thing that guys named Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman used to do. They get on base. They cause havoc. They create runs.

When you have someone you know you can slot in the lead off spot every single day, it allows the rest of your lineup to be a bit more robust. It let Collins move Pagan to the middle of the lineup, where he had success earlier this year. It makes Justin Turner in the #2 spot a better hitter as he sees a lot more fastballs. Simply, it makes the Mets a more dynamic team.

The Mets don't have this with Beltran. They don't have it with Wright either. Neither of those guys make enough of an impact in the lineup on their own like Reyes. Reyes' statistical successes this year are unmatched. At this point in the season, he is easily the National League MVP.

By the time October rolls around, Reyes may not be leading the league in hitting. He might be second in stolen bases, but he'll be close to the top in hits, doubles, triples and runs scored. But beyond the stats there is no player that is more valuable to their team than Reyes is to the Mets.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saddest Story Ever: Jason Bay with runners in scoring position

...this is a real tearjerker. those who are easily depressed should not read.

Jason Bay with runners in scoring position |

Be Thankful the Worst Lineup in Baseball Won a Game

Sure losing a series to the rival Phils is disappointing, but did you actually expect this rag tag lineup to produce 20+ runs? The Mets trotted out what is arguably the worst lineup in baseball on Saturday and Sunday. No Beltran. No Reyes. No Wright. No Davis. Nobody. When Willie Harris is your #3 hitter, you know you've got problems.

Somehow the Mets were still able to score enough runs that they should have won both games on Saturday and Sunday. But errors and horrendous pitching doomed them to lose.

The Phillies have the best record in baseball. You can't be too disappointed. At least the Mets avoided a sweep and were able to entertain you with some late inning comebacks and unexpected offensive explosions. It's clear this is not the team the Mets wanted to put in front of their fans. It's time to accept things as they are until the injury plague is lifted.

We need Moses in the worst way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Link: Mets Are About to Be Sent to Bed

...fantastic analogy by Brad Bortone of Bugs and Cranks in this post. he compares the Mets current above .500 record and lingering Wild Card hopes to the times as a kid when you got to stay up late because your parents had guests over.

...with the K-Rod trade and the rough schedule that awaits, it appears as if the kids (a.k.a. Mets) are about to be out of the picture.

...i'm not sure if they'll be as much of a wholesale departure of players as we originally thought, but it appears as if Sandy Alderson is ready for a blue light special the minute the teams dips below .500.

...for those optimists...since a 5-13 start, the Mets have been 9 games over .500. they would need to replicate that play and then some to overcome the Braves. Brad's full post at the link below:
Bugs & Cranks » And so it begins…

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

W2W4: Parnell's 2nd-half pitch

...great post from Mark Simon at ESPN New York on Bobby Parnell.

...while I love the unloading of K-Rod to prevent any monetary issues from holding the Mets back next season, Parnell is a serious step down from Rodriguez.

...Parnell is the only pitcher I know that can throw a 100 mph and make me nervous about getting pounded. He's inconsistent and I think has some confidence issues. But looks like Parnell will be given the opportunity to succeed or fail.

...the fan base's patience will be tested, especially if things get competitive in the Wild Card hunt.
W2W4: Parnell's 2nd-half pitch - Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Monday, July 11, 2011

Should the Mets Resign Beltran?

The first half of the season is over. The Mets are surprisingly above .500 and remain an interesting team to watch despite everything they've gone through. Think about it. The Mets have basically lost what many expected to be their four best players in Reyes, Wright, Davis and Santana. Jason Bay still underwhelms and the rag tag infield of minor leaguers is holding their own with a few daily errors thrown in for good measure.

But possibly the biggest surprise is Carlos Beltran. As the iron man of the Mets, Beltran has played virtually every game and showed that his legs are fine and his bat is still valuable. Beltran leads the Mets in every category that Jose Reyes doesn't. Beltran leads the team in homers, doubles, and RBIs and is virtually the only power threat in the Mets light hitting lineup.

While it was a foregone conclusion when the season began that Beltran would be traded by the end of July, the Mets quasi-competitive position makes that prediction a bit fuzzier. With Davis, Wright and Reyes still out for at least the next two weeks, the Mets can't trade Beltran and still be competitive. In fact, I think this begs the question should the Mets resign Beltran?

Money is a big issue for the ball club, but can the Mets get Beltran to sign a 2 year contract with an option for a third based on certain performance levels? If so, I think it might be the right move.

The Mets do not have an heir apparent for Beltran. Fernando Martinez was that guy, but he's proven to be more injury prone than Moises Alou. Duda is not the answer. Nick Evans isn't either. Jason Pridie is not an every day player. So the Mets would have to look at signing a free agent replacement if they wanted to maintain Beltran-like production from right field.

Beltran is a doubles machine which is a perfect fit for Citi Field. If Davis were healthy and Wright was in the lineup, I would bet that Beltran's numbers would see an increase as he would be getting some better pitches to hit. I don't believe the Mets would be able to get a better replacement on the free agent market or in their farm system so if the dollars can work out, why not sign Beltran?

Of course Scott Boras is his agent so that might be reason enough why a deal couldn't be made, but even if they can't sign Beltran, they can't trade him either. Nothing they would get in return would be worth it, and the team needs his bat to remain competitive.

I think Mets fandom has succeeded in the "don't trade Reyes" efforts. It's time to move our focus to Carlos Beltran. Possibly the most underappreciated Mets player of all time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Clayton Kershaw is no Mike Pelfrey

It became fairly clear to me last night that the Dodgers young left, Clayton Kershaw, is no Mike Pelfrey. No, he isn't even close. I didn't see him lick his hand, lose his head or get off track at all in what was a stellar start.

Kershaw had me salivating at the thought of him in a Mets uniform. And even worse, he had me thinking this is what I thought Mike Pelfrey was going to be. At 23 years old, Kershaw is one of the best kept secrets in the National League. He's on an awful team and doesn't get the exposure that Lincecum or Cain got.

Mets fans once hoped that Pelfrey would be their version of a young stud pitcher. We're still waiting.

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Unexpected Comeback

The Mets were dead to rights Rivera on the mound with 2 outs and 2 strikes. The game is over.

But somehow the unexpected happened. The Mets season could have been done. Going 2 under .500 with a West coast road trip coming may have put theMets too far under to recover. But Ronnie Paulino came through against the greatest closer in history. The Mets showed patience at the plate. The bullpen held on. And the biggest surprise? Jason Bay came through in the clutch.

Losing 2 out of 3 at home is nothing to be happy about, but Sunday's win was an unbelievable comeback that hopefully this team can build on.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Problems at Home

And so the cycle continues. Win 3. Lose 2. Win 2. Lose 3. The Mets cannot get out of this rut. The worst of it is they cannot seem to win a series at home. Saturday was no different as the Mets gave up runs early and started scoring too late.

So the Mets are back to under .500 and yet again ruin the positives from a great roadtrip. Let's hope that at the least there is nothing wrong with Reyes or the end could come a lot sooner than you think.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mets Berzerker Barrage

...this is what the Mets offense has been lately. a thousand little cuts that eventually leads to victory. this team is suddenly fun to watch. winning tends to do that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lady Luck is Shining on Mets

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and the Mets appear to have luck on their side. You want to argue about the talent the Mets possess? Fine, but I want to ride this lucky streak for as long as we can.

Think about it. The Mets have scored 40+ runs over the last week on only 3 home runs which all came yesterday. The Mets are without their #1 starter, Santana, and their #2 starter, Pelfrey, isn't exactly striking fear in the hearts of men. A guy by the name of Dillon Gee is potentially an All Star. Jose Reyes is having arguably the best year of any New York baseball history.

The powerless Jason Bay is the man to break the 2 year grand slam drought. Injuries have abounded yet again, but minor league call ups like Tejada, Turner & Duda are contributing more than seasoned veterans Harris & Hairston. Ronnie Paulino has the second best average on the team. KRod is the best closer in the NL. And after starting 5-13, the Mets are miraculously over .500.

If you can't see some sort of good fortune in this, you're as blind as the home plate umpire in Sunday's game against the Rangers. I hope this wave continues well into the weekend series and beyond.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Mets Trading Perdicament

At the beginning of this year it was a given that the Mets would be ready for a trading bonanza come mid-July in an effort to get some value back for those expiring contracts. The picture is a bit muddier now that the Mets are overachieving and consistently find themselves floating around .500, just within reach of Wild Card dreams.

While there is much baseball to be played before the July trading deadline, the idea of the Mets unloading talent and payroll is becoming less appealing to Mets fans. Injuries have depleted the roster as it is and we have been pleasantly surprised to see those players we were ready to trade at the drop of a hat have now become the best performers on the team.

For the sake of this post I'm going to leave Jose Reyes out of it. At this point, there's no way the Mets are trading this guy in the midst of an MVP season. Just not going to happen.

But the two other popular names in trade conversation, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodgriguez, are now less likely to be traded in my estimation. Let's start with Beltran. He's leading the team in home runs, RBIs, and trades off every other week with Jose Reyes in leading in doubles too. If you look at the Mets lineup, he is the only thing the Mets have that even comes close to being a home run threat. If the Mets were to trade him at this point, there would be a crater in the middle of the lineup and the Mets may set the record for longest game streak without a home run.

With Bay being Bay, Davis out potentially for the season and Wright struggling to come back, the Mets can't trade Beltran. Who would replace him? Jason Pridie? Fernando Martinez? Egads! Scott Hairston? All of those options are serious downgrades from a Beltran who is having a great year. And what would the Mets get back for Beltran? Perhaps some minor league talent? Maybe a struggling middle reliever? The return for Beltran won't be much as he's simply a rental player for a few months. The Mets would be better off keeping Beltran, providing the fan base with a notable player performing at the top of his game who can potentially help win some ball games down the stretch.

So what if he leaves for free agency? The biggest thing Beltran can provide the Mets is payroll space, not minor league talent. The same goes for KRod. He's easily the best closer in the NL this year even with his recent blown saves. If you get rid of KRod, do you really think the Mets ability to close out games will improve? We know how Parnell gets. Izzy is inconsistent. Don't think Beato is ready for that role.

The vesting option for KRod is a concern for the Mets and that might be the sole reason they trade him, but if the Mets are anywhere near a Wild Card race ditching KRod would be detrimental even though he makes me incredibly nervous every time he takes the mound.

Ultimately the Mets will do what they think is best. I just hope that a chance at some entertaining, pennant related baseball and fan interest weighs into their equation.

It should.