Oct 07

Something with your morning coffee ….

This Day in Mets History

This Day in Mets History

It was a sweet memory and it wasn’t too long ago. On this day in 2006, the Mets defeated the, 9-5, to sweep their NLDS.

The Mets would lose to the Cardinals in the NLCS, and their window of opportunity has closed in the following three years, being slammed shut this season.

I covered the 2006 team, it was my first year on the Mets beat after long time with the Yankees. I was impressed with how the Mets played that season. They were sharp, aggressive, fundamentally sound. They had some pitching injuries, but the bullpen was deep and strong.

Times sure have changed.

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They Said It

They Said It

The Yankees won their season series over Minnesota, 7-0, but these are the playoffs.

The Twins might be exhausted, but they are hot and playing sharp, crisp baseball right now. They are the underdog, but they are a fundamentally sound team with good pitching. They always seem to find a way to stay in a game.

Said outfielder Denard Span: “We just feel like we have nothing to lose.”

The Twins are dangerous and they know it. The Yankees better know it, too.

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Oct 06

Talkin’ Baseball: Tigers at Twins (AL playoff)

The finality of these one-game playoffs breeds the tension and excitement. On the surface, the Twins carry all the momentum and the Tigers are reeling. It’s the second straight year in which the Twins needed a playoff, with last year saw them losing 1-0 at Chicago.

Twins roll into playoffs.

Twins roll into playoffs.

Few could see this happening a month ago when the Twins trailed Detroit by seven games. A week later, they lost All-Star Justin Morneau to a season-ending back injury and most thought their chances were cooked. And, just last week, they were three down with four to play.

While the Tigers went 11-15 down the stretch, the Twins won 16 of 20 and four straight to force the extra game. They are kind of like the roll the Colorado Rockies were on in 2007. The winner of today’s game gets the Yankees, who had the option of having until after today’s game to decide whether to open the ALDS Wednesday or Thursday.

Tigers stagger into playoffs.

Tigers stagger into playoffs.


Gamesmanship all the way, they chose tomorrow, giving today’s winner no chance to catch its breath.

“Everybody wrote off the Twins, it seems like, a long time ago, especially when Morneau went down,” said Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon. “A team needs to keep fighting and they’ve been one of those special teams for a long time. It seems like they don’t give up. That’s the great thing about baseball. You never know.”

The one thing we do know about today’s game is it will be loud.

My plan is to blog as much of the postseason as I can, and that begins today. I don’t have a favorite in this game. The consensus seems to be Detroit has a better chance to unseat the Yankees than Minnesota.

Oct 06

Reyes and the knife ….

After months of delaying the inevitable, the Mets finally announced Jose Reyes will have surgery to clean out scar tissue around the accessory hamstring tendon behind the right knee. However, Reyes will not require surgery for the separate hamstring muscle tear.

No date has been set, but the surgery will be performed by Dallas Cowboys team doctor Dr. Daniel E. Cooper.

Cooper is one of the leading expert in the country on hamstring injuries.

Of course, the Mets said Reyes would be ready for spring training.

They always say that, but what if he isn’t? The Mets have to be thinking of a replacement in case he his not.

Oct 06

Trade who?

One of the most interesting comments from yesterday’s damage control afternoon at Citi Field was GM Omar Minaya’s proclamation he would improve the team through the trade route.

Sounded good except for one thing.

Who will the Mets deal?

The same farm system that couldn’t produce a quality trade this summer is now being asked to come up with the chips now. To me that signals a willingness to deal players the club wanted to hold onto. That could spell that the Mets are growing frustrated with Mike Pelfrey and might listen to offers they previously would have ignored.

Also ignored in the past were overtures for Francisco Martinez.

I’m not saying it is imminent either will go, just that it wouldn’t be surprising if it did.

Oct 06

Reaching out ….

Sure, on the surface Mets GM Omar Minaya could be reaching out for his successor, but if it happens they will be a better team.

Minaya contacted recently disposed general managers Kevin Towers (Padres) and J.P. Ricciardi (Blue Jays), both of whom have excellent credentials in player development, and let’s face it, that’s a huge hole with the Mets.

Yes, this team was crippled by injuries this season, but that revealed a glaring weakness of a barren farm system that could produce immediate help or enough chips to trade for major league fill-ins.

The Mets, also accused of ignoring their past, reached out to Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman, two of the sparkplugs from the 1986 championship teams.