March 30.10: Not feeling it.

The phone rang last night around 9:15, and it was a friend who wanted to share some good news. As is the case when we talk the conversation quickly turned to the Mets.

“You know JD,” he said. “Normally, I’d be excited this time of year. Opening Day is a week away, but for some reason I’m not feeling it this year. It’s hard to get excited about this team.”

The greatest concern on his mind was the pitching, which has not been good. All the worries about the Key Three – Pelfrey, Maine and Perez – are still there, hanging over the team like the rain this morning.

They just won’t go away.

“For the last three years they’ve been saying how they need a No. 2 starter,” my friend said. “So, what do they do? They spend it all on a left fielder.”

We can debate whether what was out there is better than what the Mets currently have, but for now, we have to consider there had to have been at least one guy who could help.

I don’t know. Maybe the buzz will hit my friend and he’ll feel it next week. Maybe they’ll get off to a fast start and get us all excited.

But for now, there are more than several issues that have dampened the mood.

35 thoughts on “March 30.10: Not feeling it.

  1. well i agree with your friend.

    i posted the same yesterday. we need pitching and we don’t get it. there have been different excuses for the past few years.

    in the end they are excuses. and now they want to make our hottest pitching prospect a reliever.

    i think this may be their plan. go out every year or so and get some hot name, but cripple the team with poor pitching. eventually they will lose money and perhaps sell the team.

    that would be a good thing.

  2. Sunday night, I’ll fire up my “Major League” DVD as I always do the night before the Mets season opener, but I won’t be feeling the same, proverbial “kid on Christmas Eve” giddiness.
    How could any Mets fan, really, when he or she looks at the roster?
    Daniel Murphy is still at first base, instead of the promising first baseman of the future, Ike Davis. Two journeyman catchers in their late 30s will man home plate. Luis Castillo, whose best days are oh, only seven seasons behind him, is at second base. Until Jose Reyes returns, run of the mill Alex Cora is at short and until the team’s best all around player, Carlos Beltran is back patrolling center field three months from now, we have aging, performance-enhancing scandal- connected Gary Matthews Jr. in center.
    But as so many have said here before, it’s the pitching staff that reeks of doom.
    After Johan Santana, the Mets have a No. 2 starter who for the last four seasons has done nothing to prove he belongs in that slot; a No. 3 whose inconsistency and inability to endure an entire season the last two almost got him traded over the winter; a No. 4 coming off an injury who at best is a Jekyll and Hyde wild card; and a No. 5 who was sent back to AAA last year after a call up.
    The ‘pen? Not much better.
    There are two international imports who haven’t yet thrown a single pitch in regular season Major League game, a journeyman’s journeyman in Nelson Figueroa and a former record-setting closer who has shown considerable rust when he has limited save opportunities.
    You have to wonder whether Pedro Feliciano may break Mike Marshall’s single season MLB record of 106 appearances, back in ’74, because after the starters get knocked out of games, he’ll get plenty of work.
    Does this sound like a team to be excited about?
    Only one thing will help the Mets qualify for post-season play this year — a magic wand. And neither Omar Minaya nor Jerry Manuel, both of whom will likely be gone by the All-Star break — has one handy.

  3. Omar was on WFAN this morning and i’m pretty sure locked up Reyes not starting on opening day. Though Boomer and Carton were watching him do infield drills and said he looked great, Omar’s question to them was do you want Jose ready for opening day? Or do you want him for 150 games this year? So that leads me to believe he isn’t going to be ready to start the season.

  4. Gil: It all depends on the little three behind Santana. If they pitch to their average years…or equal their best years, the Mets will challenge for the division and wild card. If they don’t, kiss 2010 goodbye.

  5. JD: Because maybe they just don’t know. That is a possibility believe it or not.

  6. I will cheer my team on. I will moan and groan and yell but never Boo.
    However, will jump for fricken joy and yell out in the street with glee when they give M&M the boot and bring back Bobby V.

    (ok ok i just added bobby’s name because it rhymed with glee)

    I say none of the players get BLOW a game .. I mean really blow a game. like the last game played. where its obvious.

    You know what would be interesting. have a AAA day when you just bring in all your AAA players and just say what the hell and see what happens..
    Its what M&M do with the lineup anyway.

  7. To me, it’s not baseball season until you hear Mike Shannon slur a few syllables with the smell of Budweiser in his mustache.

  8. 2nd inning and Ollie has already given up 5 runs.
    and we arent supposed to be angry about this? at least Pelf hung in up to 7 innings.

  9. Tiffany: What does Pelfrey’s 2008 performance have to do with the here and now? That’s like saying Luis Castillo was an All-Star seven years ago and that makes him an excellent second baseman. And Steve: The last time Maine and Perez had good years, it was 2007.
    Remember how that season turned out?

  10. yep i know. BTW – Keith and Gary just had a discussion on when does a team turn it on. you would hope to see a glimmer during spring training. or maybe during regular season something just goes click.
    But you can hear in their voices even they think its gonna be a crap year.

  11. Gil: “After Johan Santana, the Mets have a No. 2 starter who for the last four seasons has done nothing to prove he belongs in that slot…”

    Pelfrey certainly proved he belonged in that spot in 2008. As I noted in a different thread, according to Baseball Reference, Pelfrey’s best age matches are John Lackey (age 24) and Jason Schmidt (age 25).

    If you want to say Pelfrey has been a major disappointment since 2008, so be it; but let’s not pretend that he’s never performed like a #2 starter.

  12. Ollie out after in the 3rd inning. unreal. nearing the end of spring training and they dont leave him in to get over the demons?
    TERRIBLE coaching. just terrible.

    leave him in.. let him suffer and get out of it. .

  13. Steve C: Its only spring training its only spring training its only spring training its only spring training….keep on saying that to yourself..that’s what I am doing to keep myself sain. lol.

  14. SteveC: Unless he was hurt, I agree with you. Maybe there was a mechanical flaw he could have fixed. Then again, his psyche is so fragile maybe they didn’t want to set him back.-JD

  15. tiffany

    he was good for half a season in 08. not exactly a #2.

    i was hopeful after that season that he had figured it out. but it seems not to be.

  16. Hey Delcos, How can you stand being with all these folks who are more negative than you? (except for the always positive O and Tiffany, the defender of all Met players)

  17. Dave: He was 18th in the league in ERA in a 16-team league. Please explain how that’s “not exactly a #2.”

    Harry: I don’t defend Murphy. I don’t defend Frenchy. If Jacobs makes the team, I don’t plan on defending him, either. Ditto for this new Japanese reliever, who seems to have had nothing but problems this spring.

  18. Tiffany: Again, I ask: What bearing on does Pelfrey’s good “half of 2008″ as Dave accurately describes have on 2010? That’s like saying Daniel Murphy’s great half of 2008 now makes him a legitimate contender for a batting championship. Pelfrey is NOT a No. 2 starter by any stretch of the imagination and 2008 is ancient history.

  19. Gil: Here are the two quotes I’m responding to:

    “…the Mets have a No. 2 starter who for the last four seasons has done nothing to prove he belongs in that slot…”

    and

    “he was good for half a season in 08. not exactly a #2.”

    Pelfrey finished 18th in ERA in 2008 in a 16-team league. If you and Dave would like to re=write the above quotes and use the re-written quotes as the basis of a new discussion, knock yourselves out. But, Pelfrey’s performance in 2008 is _entirely relevant_ to answering the quotes listed above.

  20. Ok Tiffany, was trying to be humorous. It obviosuly never works here. But I’ll defend this new guy. He came to the Mets and the first thing Warthen did was make him throw out some of his breaking balls and use new ones. same way the jacket messed with Pelfrey. At least the jacket had seen Pelfrey live. Warthen just does it for kicks.

  21. Tiffany

    April/May/Sep he was 2-9. that was the other half of his season. his era was close to 5 in that period. not exactly #2 numbers. Granted the other half was good.

    Unfortunately he has not been able to recapture that feeling he had. Most likely he lost something and the hitters started studying him more.

    I would like him to grow into the #2 we need, but it does not look like he has figured it out.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7807/splits;_ylt=AiNDVGGLM5a4ZQGypvWMl8.FCLcF?year=2008&type=Pitching

  22. Dave: He was 18th in the league in ERA, regardless of how you cherry-pick stats from particular months. The only people ahead of him were named Santana, Hamels, Moyer, Haren, Webb, Lincecum, Dempster, Volquez, Jurrjens, Nolasco, Maholm, Billingsley, Lowe, Wellmeyer, Oswalt and Peavy.

    Harry: I couldn’t help but see that Bobby V., who I grudgingly respect as an evaluator of talent but disrespect as a manager, said the same thing about this guy’s repertoire: That his breaking stuff would look like batting practice in the big leagues. To me, if that’s the case, why would they invest money in this guy? (Don’t answer that. Please.)

  23. dave; thanks for the link. Looks like you can jack the Marlins up 10 million. With the Robertson acquisition, I don’t think they got him and his big salary for long man duty. You can fault Omar for one guy’s contract only (OP). Santana himself puts the Mets in the top half. Seeing how OP can’t throw 90 anymore do you think the Mets should bury him like Detroit did with Willis and hope for a recovery someday, or release him? Willis is apparently back since he has won the 5th spot in Detroit. If OP can’t throw 94 anymore he won’t be good no matter what delivery the great (NOT) Warthen gives him on any given night.

  24. Tiffany,

    So you are arguing Pelf was the 18th best pitcher in 2008?

    Harry,

    I didn’t know he lost his fastball. I thought it was just not finding the plate.

  25. Dave: Pretty much. I think ERA is a much better indicator than a W-L record.

    Here’s some food for thought regarding whether W-L record reflects the performance of the pitcher or the team on the whole:

    In 2008, Pelfrey was tied for fourth in the NL in “Wins Lost,” which is a stat that counts how many times a starter left the game in a position to win, only to have the game lost by the bullpen. This happened to Pelfrey four times in 2008.

    The NL leader in Wins Lost in 2008 was Johan Santana with 7. In a tie for second place with 6 was Oliver Perez. The Mets as a team led the NL with 24 — seven more than their nearest competitor.

    In 2008, Pelfrey was 18th in ERA; tied for seventh in wins; and 15th in innings pitched. Those stats scream #2 starter.

  26. Tiffany,

    OK

    As I said earlier in this thread. I was hoping he would grow into the #2. It looks like that hope will be delayed or unfullfilled.

    I never saw him as a #2 because quite frankly I think you need to provide the performance for more than a few months.

  27. dave; he wasn’t hitting 90 in the game and hernandez was commenting how much difference it makes when your fast ball and your breaking balls are about the same speed.