Aug 29

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #130; Parnell continues audition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the pitching-hungry Mets continue their audition of Bobby Parnell for a starter’s role next year as he makes his fifth start today against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s looking for presence and if Parnell has the tools and make-up to be a starter. He has the fastball, clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s, but has trouble with his secondary pitches. As a reliever going one inning or facing one hitter, Parnell can get by with his fastball. However, he can’t make it three times through the batting order with one pitch.

Parnell (3-6, 5.08) has had a rough go of it, going 1-3 with an 8.82 ERA as a starter. That included giving up five runs in five innings in his last start.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.


With four of the five starters on the Opening Day roster gone – Johan Santana, John Maine and Oliver Perez are on the DL and Livan Hernandez was released – Parnell could get another four to five starts this season. Santana and Perez will have surgery and are expected to be ready for spring training. Maine had surgery last off-season and hasn’t pitched in over two months.

NOTES: David Wright rejoined the team for workouts today. He’s expected to be activated from the disabled list (post concussion syndrome) when the Mets are in Colorado. Manuel said Wright will play after being activated, then plans to rest him the following day. … Angel Pagan has three homers in his last eight games and is continuing to make a statement for a job next season. … Adam Wogan has taken over Tony Bernazard’s old position as vice president of player development. GM Omar Minaya said he will evaluate the position after the season. … Carlos Beltran is expected to have a third MRI by the end of the month and could need microfracture surgery on his right knee. I’m not expecting him back.

The Mets’ (58-71) line-up against Ryan Dempster (7-7, 4.07):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

Aug 29

MLB: Wilpons doing fine.

Yesterday on the blog we talked about a Reuters story which quoted Erin Arvedlund, author of “Too Good to Be True,” of saying the Wilpon family lost $700 million in the Madoff scam and would be forced to sell the team by early of 2010.

Fred Wilpon told the New York Times, “I’m fine, my family’s fine, my business family’s fine.”

WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.

WILPON: Says Mets not for sale.


Wilpon also said the family has an emotional attachment to the Mets and would not sell the team. Wilpon said the team’s revenue from its share of the MLB television deal, luxury suits, ticket sales, concessions, ad revenue at Citi Field and its share of SNY were not affected by the scam. He said the Madoff losses were significantly less than $700 million, but did not specify.

Wilpon paid $135 million to buy out Nelson Doubleday’s share of the team in 2002, and the Mets, according to Forbes Magazine, are currently worth $912 million.

Major League Baseball monitors the finances of each team quarterly, and president Bob DuPuy said the team is under no financial distress.

Aug 28

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #129; Reyes might need surgery.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Jose Reyes has been on the disabled list for months and the Mets are only announcing today he might need surgery on his knee. Well, that’s a shock. It’s hard to believe when this first happened in mid-May when the Mets were in San Francisco the prognosis was he’d miss only a few days.

In retrospect, Reyes could have had surgery weeks ago. Is it a stretch to say he “should” have had surgery? Perhaps. Hamstrings are always tricky injuries and the Mets gambled, and obviously lost, he’d be able to return this year. However, it became increasingly clear he would not come back, and manager Jerry Manuel even conceded that point.

The Mets released the following statement this afternoon: “Jose Reyes continues to receive physical therapy for a torn hamstring tendon behind the right knee. Should he not respond to the physical therapy, surgery is an option.”

REYES: Could go under the knife.

REYES: Could go under the knife.


Let’s face it, surgery is inevitable. The sooner, the better, so he’ll be ready by spring training. And, we know being ready for spring training isn’t the same as being ready for the season.

Meanwhile, David Wright is scheduled to come off the disabled list from post concussion syndrome Monday when the Mets are in Colorado. Manuel said the Wright might not be physically ready to immediately play and is no hurry to push the envelope on his return. Wright is getting antsy, but must look at the big picture, that his health is the primary concern of the team, and with the competitive aspect of this season long over, there’s no reason to push him.

From the confidence level of returning from a beaning, it probably is important for him to get to the plate again this season and not wonder over the winter, but there is time.

Wright said he was embarrassed to go on the disabled list, but he needs not be. He’s a gamer in every sense of the word, and after watching what happened last season with Ryan Church he should be patient. It must be remembered Wright has not had any rehab games and should be eased back, after all, the Mets don’t want to take the chance he might hurt something else.

The Mets will be without Gary Sheffield (back spasms) again today. That’s three straight games.

The Mets (58–70) begin a three-game series at Chicago (63-62) this afternoon with Pat Misch going against Ted Lilly.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Cory Sullivan, LF
Wilson Valdez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

Misch (0-1, 4.09 ERA) will make his first start of the year after throwing four scoreless innings last Sunday against Philadelphia.

Aug 27

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #128; Can’t anybody here play this game?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

It was the Mets’ first season when Casey Stengel asked: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

It has proven a timeless quote, as the same question must be asked this season. Sure, there have been injuries that crippled this year, but even so, the Mets should be better. As much as they miss David Wright, John Maine, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, and now Johan Santana, they are also missing something else. They are missing the intangibles possessed by all winning teams.

The Mets have given up on the season and you can see it in their faces. You can also see it in their efforts and attention to details and fundamentals. Part of this responsibility must be assumed by Jerry Manuel, who has not always cracked the whip. He treats his players like men, assuming they will focus, not like the minor leaguers they often resemble.

The Mets don’t consistently do what winners do. They don’t take the extra base. They don’t advance runners. Manuel said it himself, they habitually leave runners on third with less than two outs. They give away far too many at-bats.

Defensively, and we saw this last night, they don’t consistently execute the double play and often give the opposition extra outs. Some of this is due to players, such as Daniel Murphy, learning new positions. But, Luis Castillo has played second for a long time.

And, the pitching. Injured as it is, walks far too many batters and doesn’t finish them off when they are ahead in the count. Staggering are the number of two-strike and two-out hits, and pitches left over the plate.

And, it isn’t all Oliver Perez, either. Mike Pelfrey, a supposed rotation stalwart of the future, has taken a step back.

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?

STENGEL: Would he be mystified?


This is not a healthy team, but it is also not a fundamentally sound team, either. You are what you are, and the Mets aren’t a good team. They have been a study in creative losing.

They are in Florida today, the site where Murphy dropped the fly ball that beat Santana. … There was blowing the five-run lead to the Pirates. … The Ryan Church game in LA. … The Castillo pop-up. … The triple-play game. … The wild-pitch loss in Philly.

As Stengel once said, and we can repeat it this year: “Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose ‘em I never knew existed before.”

They have lost five straight and are on the verge of being swept today by the Marlins. Standing in their way is, gasp, Tim Redding, and this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Wilson Valdez, SS
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, 2B
Tim Redding, RP

Aug 26

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #127; Perez out for year.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Another day, another season-ending injury. Mets fans were put out of their misery today of having to watch Oliver Perez pitch again this year with the news the combustible and wild left-hander has patella tendon tendinosis in his right knee and will have surgery.

This can’t be a shock to anybody, is it? Or, even a disappointment. I don’t like to see anybody hurt, including Perez, but I won’t miss having to watch him until next year.

Perez, 28, who was signed to a three-year, $36-million contract last winter, was 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts. His balky knee forced him to spent more than two months on the disabled list earlier this season.

PEREZ: Done for year.

PEREZ: Done for year.


Yesterday, it was Johan Santana who was announced would have surgery. The Mets say both Santana and Perez will be ready for spring training, but what they don’t know, is what condition they will be or if they’ll be ready for the start of the season as no surgery is guaranteed.

The Mets had enough pitching questions as it was, now they must have to think about how much they’ll have to add in the off-season via free agency to protect against the chance of either of those two not being ready.

Only Mike Pelfrey remains in the rotation that opened the season. The rest includes Pat Misch, Tim Redding, Bobby Parnell and Nelson Figueroa.

Lance Broadway has been called up from Triple-A Buffalo to replace Perez. He’s got a great New York name, but also a combined 5-9 record with a 6.17 ERA with Buffalo and Charlotte.

Is he the answer? I think not.

The erratic Pelfrey (9-8, 4.67) will start for the Mets tonight at Florida in a match-up that does not favor New York. Pelfrey has been strong in his last two starts, including a win over Philadelphia. However, Josh Johnson (12-3, 2.99 ERA) will start for the Marlins. He has dominated the Mets in three starts this season, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. He is 6-0 lifetime against the Mets.

Johnson will face this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP