METS CHAT ROOM: Game #141; Should have meant something.



The Mets are in Philadelphia tonight for the start of a series that when the schedule was released, should have meant something. Frankly, it was just around the All-Star break when the feeling was surfacing the season would have a sour ending.

Before the end of July, it was obvious the season was lost.

The 2009 season is in its last breaths for the Mets, and manager Jerry Manuel tried to stress upon his team the need for finishing strong and upbeat. Manuel held a closed-door meeting prior to last night’s game and the team responded by getting blown out.

“I just wanted to be sure that we stay concentrating on what’s ahead,’’ Manuel said. “And, despite where we are in the standings, even though the end is very near, the quest for a championship continues.

“You have to try and prepare that mindset, despite the conclusion of the season being so close. There are enough players here who we feel are going to be a part of this, who still have to think in that mindset of championship.’’

The Class of the Division

The Class of the Division

Toward that end, Manuel wants to see an inspired series against the Phillies, but perhaps more importantly, he wants them to see and absorb how their nemesis plays the game. Usually, the Phillies play an alert, aggressive, fundamental brand of baseball, something the Mets frequently do not.

As gifted as the Mets think they are, and as dominant as they sometimes can be, too often they have this attitude where they can just throw their gloves on the field and just win. How the Phillies dissed the Mets last year in the playoffs with the Shane Victorino simulated home run trot of Jose Reyes, and Cole Hamels, “chokers,’’ comment, it is apparent they don’t respect Manuel’s team all that much.

More to the point, the Phillies know they can beat the Mets and simply believe like a hollow barrel, they make the most noise.

It would be nice to see the Mets play inspired ball this weekend. And, it is quite possible they might. However, it would be nicer to see them play inspired ball and finish the season that way. All too often, the Mets have spurted only to fizzle.

That’s not the makings of a championship caliber team, something the Mets have readily shown us the past three seasons.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.

MURPHY: Not a lot of happy moments this year for Mets and Murphy.

The Mets (62-78) will send journeyman Nelson Figueroa (2-4, 4.74 ERA) against Hamels (8–9, 4.32 ERA).

As a makeshift starter, Figueroa has a 3.00 ERA in his last three starts with 20 strikeouts 18 innings. Hamels is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season, and for all his talk, has not defeated the Mets since 2006.

The weather is wet and bleak in Philly tonight, but the Phillies are saying the show will go on. Carlos Beltran will have the night off, presumably because of the wet turf. Also getting the night off is Daniel Murphy, which I don’t see. Don’t the Mets what to get a look at him in regards to their future plans and having him bat against a left-hander can be nothing but good for him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Nick Evans, LF
Omir Santos, C
Wilson Valdez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP

93 thoughts on “METS CHAT ROOM: Game #141; Should have meant something.

  1. A rainy night here in the Northeast. They make them wait. In the meantime, if you’d like to share your memories of September 11, please feel free. … I was moving up from Maryland that day and was on the Jersey Turnpike when the planes hit. Normally, a four-hour trip. It took close to ten as all the bridges were closed and traffic was at a standstill. Didn’t have a television, so I listened to the coverage on the radio much like people followed World War II. A frightening, sobering day. One I’ll never forget. … Subsequently, I have been to Ground Zero. They’ve done a good job with the memorial. I’m not sure whatever they put there will be sufficient. They probably should just make it a memorial park. … Whatever they do, it will always be Ground Zero.-JD

  2. I will keep my commentary to the Mets. I just got back from a trip to the city. I visited the new ballpark. Its a vast upgrade from Shea. It was last friday, the game where Parnell was so impressive. Despite that, He is better suited to the pen IMO. I see Wagner is doing a great job for the red sox. Makes me wonder how he could have really given this team a lift if they were in contention.

  3. A streaker who ran around Citi Field naked has been banned for life by the Mets from all their facilities, including KeySpan Park and Tradition Field. … A judge ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and $2,000 in civil penalties to the Mets and complete 20 days of community service by Dec. 15. Banned for life by the Mets? Is that really a punishment?-JD

  4. Ray (3): It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Mets will regret letting him go. I know it is negative, but I can see Rodriguez blowing out and the Mets needing a closer.-JD

  5. I am puzzled about why they are sitting Murphy two days in a row too. They need to add power next year, and it has to come from first base or LF. Despite his gaffes, Pagan has a slugging pct over .500. Maybe they have decided they are going in a different direction at first next year. Delgados bat is sorely missed and I wonder if they are thinking of bringing him back on a one year deal that is incentive laden. I know Some say cut ties with the past but the mets need to be competitive next year. If not they will lose a lot of money. If they brought back Pedro I wouldnt complain about that either.

  6. (5) Murphy’s playing winter ball – they’ll slow down his playing time so he doesnt burn out over the winer

  7. 7. Ed, If you had to choose between Murphy or pagan being a regular next year, who would you choose and why?

  8. Ray (8): That’s a great question. Don’t you think that either would represent a failure in the offseason of landing a power bat? … I’m not buying it Ed that they are resting him. I just think it’s a dumb decision by Manuel. Let the guy bat against a left-hander. He needs to learn eventually. … Back to your question Ray, I would choose Murphy. Because if Murphy isn’t starting it would probably mean a return by Delgado. They should be able to pick up a corner outfielder.-JD

  9. (8) I would chose Pagan because he has more potential and his extremely poor instincts don’t out weigh the talent he currently produces without reaching his potentail. Pagan has a an excellent bat, good speed and a decent glove his gaffes are horrible but they do appear correctable. That said I still see him as a 4th outfielder but if i had to start one of them it would be pagan.

    Murphy’s biggest asset are intangibles, which I believe makes him more of a bench player. Even if he hit .300, which i don’t think he ever will consistently last year was simply too small a pool, he doesn’t have the power to man the only position he can field 1B. Many of Murphy’s gaffes are a result of his lack of defensive talent (speed, glove ability and foot work) not mental errors the others are over aggressiveness trying to over compensate for his lack of ability

  10. (9) JD i agree that either Murphy or Pagan are starters without a late spring injury something went wrong in the off-season but both should make the team

  11. JD, I disagree. The Wilpons are going to cut payroll. We all know that. Pagan is showing speed and power. Hes been the best player since hes been starting regularly. They need speedy outfielders in the new place and Pagan will be cheap. Reed is a good pinch hitter and Sullivan is usefull. Why is bringing back Delagado on a one year incentive deal so bad?

  12. (13) rem. Alou in 2008 thats delgado this year, in 08 everybody said whats the harm in bringing him back – suddenly he’s out and we miss we thought was an extra bat – all season when anybody said when will this offense click on all cyclinders the answer was when alou returns the problem was he never did

  13. ed (15): I can very easily see a down year for Delgado. I’m more inclined to believe he’ll be more like the first half of last season instead of the second half.-JD

  14. Ray they get a monster 1B I could live with Pagan in LF – i could also live with Murphy at 1B if they get a monster LF but what I’d rather do is get one big bat. Bay, Holliday, Pena, Crawford, Gonzalez, Fielder etc.. and then a lower levvel guy Conor jackson, nick johnson etc…

  15. Ed (18): I think the Red Sox will keep Bay. They’d be stupid to let him go. … They’ll have to overpay to get anybody else on the first part of your list. I like Holliday, but wonder if he’d balk at Citi Field. Crawford would be a great fit for the park.-JD

  16. ed (19): Yeah. This is a lost season for him. He looks lost half the time. He needs an overhaul in his mechanics, stance and approach for next year. I think he’s convinced he can’t hit for power in Citi Field and changed without giving the park a real chance.-JD

  17. 18. Ed, what monster first baseman do see coming over? They need a one year plug in until Davis is ready. He may be ready in June. Who knows? Murph is insurance. In LF we still are waiting for FMart to make his grand appearance. Not wise to spend big money there unless we have given up on him. Delgado gets 4-5 mil guaranteed. Dont forget he was playing very good until his injury this year.

  18. furthermore, If they go the pagan/ Delgado route, that leaves money to sign a top flight pitcher like Lackey.

  19. If they re-signed Delgado and Sheffield at home town discounts with incentive laden contracts and said thats your power they’ll platoon with Pagan and Murphy but I’m getting two top starters would you take the exact same 16 position players next year for lackey and marquis

  20. Ray (32): Lackey is the best of a mediocre FA pitching market. But he’s spent a lot of time on the DL the past two years. I’d be careful about him.-JD

  21. The list includes Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro and Marquis, guys the Mets have flirted with in the past. Garland and Harden are also available and the Mets tried talking trade for those guys but nothing happened.-JD

  22. ed (34): I’m passing on Sheffield. He broke down this year and he’s not getting any younger. For all the playing time he got, which is more than I expected, had he hit 20 homers I’d think differently.-JD

  23. 35. But dont forget that Webb, Holliday and others will be available at the trade deadline next year. Why spend money on a guy like Crawford when Pagan is giving similar production? John, You have said it many times. The Mets need a solid 2 pitcher.

  24. Ray (38): You’re right. I’ll always take pitching. If they had a solid rotation, which, of course, they don’t, I’d take my chances on the same line-up next year providing it is healthy. Meaning, Beltran, Reyes and a turnaround year by Wright. … With better pitching I could live with Murphy and Pagan.-JD

  25. Ray (38): Yes, they’ll be available at the trade deadline, but the Mets still won’t have the chips to make a deal. That is, if they don’t want to part with F-Mart.-JD

  26. My problem with Pagan is he loses focus too often on the bases and has lapses defensively. I thought with all the playing time he’s been getting he’d be better. … The issue isn’t a lack of hustle, but a lack of smarts. He needs to keep his head in the game more than he does.-JD

  27. Is pagan young and just trying to do too much to show he can be a starter, one of these guys that the adrenline takes over or just isnt that smart

  28. 41. That remains to be seen. Not many teams will be able to sign these guys to lucrative long term contracts. The Mets have some attractive players in the low minors who are moving up in the system. Davis would be very attractive trade bait if the mets were willing to deal him.

  29. 46. Pitching is concern number one. If I could get a Holliday or a healthy Webb, I would make that trade in a minute. This core is not getting any younger and contracts will soon expire. They have to go for it next year.

  30. Im amazed that Figgy didnt spend ten years in the pirates, Royals or Padres rotation…he’s a AAAA guy for a contender but on a small market team he should be a fixture in the rotation

  31. Just wanted to say hello.

    Howie Rose is doing the Mets – Phillies on Fox tomorrow. Howie should at least make the broadcast better than some of the other guys they use.

    Good post today
    Much better than what the Times wrote on the Mets today.

    Murphy should be playing tonight. No matter what his future is. He needs to get AB’s against good lefties.

  32. Beltran uses Boras he’s a hired guy … Wright will retire here, I could see them getting sick of Jose and moving him in his last year and then regretting it

  33. 49. I think you meant Beltran and Reyes jumping. And that brings up another subject. Why make your poster boys home run section the longest place in the park to hit one? The Mets are truly an organization without a clue. I would rather have some of the bloggers here run the club than stupid Wilpons.

  34. It’s funny to hear Gary talking about the Mets wanting payback against the Marlins. I don’t believe most players are into that stuff. Maybe if there’s a real rivalry between the teams. But, a lot of guys who were with the Mets for the 2007 collapse aren’t around anymore. The real rivalry is with the Phillies. The Marlins just finished off the collapse. … Personally, I don’t believe that many players care. They get their salaries and go home when it is all over and don’t give it much of a second thought.-JD

  35. handely Ramirez sure as hell enjoyed being the spoiler on the last day of the year for two years he talked enough junk that anyones pride should have been hurt

  36. CORRECTION: Ray (47): Of the core, the one I can see giving the Mets a home team discount is Wright. I can see Beltran and Reyes jumping for the bucks in a second.-JD

  37. (54) I think they thought they could make wright a gap hitter and all they did was make him a singles hitter

  38. ed (56): Ramirez was pissed off at the showboating by Reyes and Milledge. Which goes to show those two don’t have a clue. Ramirez plays with passion. I’d take him on my team any time. … Remember those Ramirez or Reyes posts? No doubt about it anymore.-JD

  39. 55. Delcos. Thats a hard rap. I see Wright coming back right away from his beaning when his 15 day DL is finished. I see Beltran coming back when he doesnt have too. I see Reyes upset about criticism directed at him and vowing to come back before the end of the year. Maine coming back. These players are comptetitors and thats why they made it this far. How do you know whats in a mans heart? There are some but not the majority who dont care about winning.

  40. (64) Omar got snagged during Reyes temper tantrum… Omar is quoted on July 8th saying they werent making a trade for a SS because no one was better then Reyes coming back… On June 4th they knew he had a tare and hell the info until Aug,

  41. I know the first thing guys look at is age but i hate to say it Valdez even at 33 is a better bench player then Ahern…His defense and arm is significantly better and he has baseball smarts offensively (both hit abour .220)

  42. Ray (64): I know that sounds harsh. I’m aware of it. But, I think more and more players take the Glavine approach and “aren’t devastated.” These guys, at least from what I’ve seen publicly, put things behind them. I know they stew about things a lot less than the fans do.-JD

  43. JD – do you think thats because its there job or because their particpants, I’ve always thought fans are so emotional because they have no control over the outcome nor can they change what happened the next day

  44. ed (69): That probably has something to do with it. Maybe, they expend so much energy and effort during a season that when it is over there’s nothing left. … I also think money has something to do with their short memories. These guys are set for life, so if they don’t win it is not the end of the world.-JD

  45. (70) I dont think so same as pearl harbor – national holidays are for celebrations- days of mourning are more private IMO

  46. this team is truly boring … there not fun to watch and I have a hard time not feeling they’ve mailed it in

  47. 67. John, I wonder if you would put Pedro in that category. A guy you didnt want back. He for sure doesnt need the money. So why did he do all that rehab for? You may have seen some things when you were a reporter that we dont know about. would you care to share some info with us?

  48. 2003 they won 66 games – 2004 72 games with 20 something games left which will they be closer to – they can only lose six more and end up at 500

  49. Ray (77): I’m not saying these guys don’t have pride. You can’t be an athlete without it. But, part of what makes these guys tick is the ability to overcome adversity and put disappointment behind them. Don’t forget, a hitter is a success when he fails seven of ten times. And, most players never play in a World Series. They are used to disappointment. They know how to move on. …. Pedro told me at the end of last season he wanted to return because he didn’t like how things went for him. He’s a very prideful athlete. No, he didn’t need the money, but he made sure he got what he wanted before coming back.-JD

  50. 79. what did he get? 1.5 mil guaranteed? He wanted to come back to the Mets. Mets didnt want him so now he is 4-0 for the goddam phillies. You are not making your argument stronger. your argument is now changing from dont care to put it behind. thats a big difference Delcos.

  51. i would get rid of alomar as well move shines to the bench as jerry’s alter ego and get a new third base coach manny acta

  52. Ray (82): Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Just flipped the channel to Goodfellas. … As far as Pedro goes, yes he wanted to come back to the Mets, but they didn’t want him. I agreed with that decision. It was time to move on. … As far as not caring, perhaps that was a little harsh. But, I stand by what I said, many of these guys get over losing quickly. They live in a world we’ll never understand. Once their season is over they are off to the clubs and travel and dancing with celebrities. Losing doesn’t stay with them because they have so many diversions. Sure, some of them use it for motivation. The Mets sure didn’t in 2007 following 2006 or in 2008 following 2007. No checkmate by you. Maybe by me.-JD

  53. ed (88): No way that happens. They won’t bring in Acta because it will be a terrible situation with Jerry. Very tacky. I see no reason to ditch Alomar. He hasn’t done anything wrong. … The only coaches I see in danger are Warthen and HoJo, but I can see even them getting a pass because of the injuries.-JD

  54. 92. Well, unlike you John, I cant see into a mans heart. I havent been in close contact with them. I only know what I see in the papers and the blogs. If you had some up close and personal experiences to make your point, I would be interested to hear. As for now, Its just you telling us they live in another world. Understand that what you are bringing up is a very dynamite issue.