Jul 24

Bottom line: Wilpons need to speak up.

First things first, the Wilpons aren’t selling the Mets. The future of the team is in their hands, and whomever they entrust with the reigns. Right now it is Omar Minaya, and most aspects of the franchise is heading south.

The major league team and two top minor league affiliates are all playing below .500. The drop is worse below, which tells you the talent there is not adequate either for immediate help or in making a big time trade. And, for the latter, there aren’t enough chips to patch all the holes.

WILPONS: Need to speak up.

WILPONS: Need to speak up.


Tony Bernazard, whose responsibility it is to stock and train that farm system, shares greatly in that.

A substantial part of the team is on the disabled list, and the medical staff is under scrutiny. However, there is no real common thread to the injury other than some players tried to push themselves. There is always the wonder, after the Ryan Church episode last season, of injuries being mishandled. Of those players on the disabled list, only Carlos Beltran has raised the issue, and he’s a big enough star to where what he says must be taken seriously.

There are rumblings about the job security of Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel. Despite the supposed vote of confidence, we know those aren’t etched in stone. Teams always say things like that before dropping the ax. If a significant number of the injured returns and the Mets make a run but fall short, injuries should give them a pass.

However, it would be a grave mistake throwing everything about this season under the umbrella of injuries because there is no much wrong with this team.

It doesn’t hit well, especially with runners in scoring position. Howard Johnson has to take some responsibility there. David Wright’s power outage has been a mystery. Why would he change his mechanics because to the stadium? Why would anybody let him? He’s always been around .300, which is where he is now. If he mechanics were changed and he was hitting .350, it would be more acceptable. What isn’t acceptable are the number of strikeouts.

Then there is Daniel Murphy. He appears rushed. A bust in left, he’s comfortable at first defensively, but his offense – the strength of his game – has deteriorated.

Look at also what Johnson has had to work with. Fernando Tatis played over his head last season, and this year is more his norm. Most of the starters started the season as role players and are getting more time than they should.

Pitching? Well, so much was counted on from Oliver Perez, but his failure falls on many levels. No way, is he worth the contract. Choosing Perez over Derek Lowe and Randy Wolf is on Minaya. Letting him play in the WBC is also on Minaya, and the Wilpons, who give their unconditional support to the meaningless exhibition series. Pitching coach Dan Warthen hasn’t been able to harness him. Then, there is Perez himself, who believes walks aren’t such a big deal.

Personally, I think Perez is as good as he’s going to be. I’m tired of hearing about his potential. If the Mets can’t trade him, perhaps they should consider putting him in the bullpen, where he can be overpowering for an inning or two.

BERNAZARD: Shameful.

BERNAZARD: Shamed Mets.


With everything unraveling with the Mets, now the team is being embarrassed by Bernazard’s behavior. Bernazard is currently under house arrest in New Jersey with the perception his relationship with Jeff Wilpon could save his job.

If it does, who will be surprised?

If it does not, there will be no impact on the field as Bernazard can’t do anything about the team scoring runs or all the problems listed above.

Bernazard’s firing, which would be deserved, will only act as a diversion and him being made a potential scapegoat.

The hard core fans are upset, but many of those who go to Citi Field are numbed by the excitement of the new park. Let’s go get some BBQ or clam chowder. How many types of beer do they sell?

However, even in New York, the newness of the park won’t last long if the team doesn’t perform. It was that way in Baltimore. In Toronto. In Pittsburgh. In Washington.

Build it and they will come. Play well and they will stay.

During this tumultuous time with the franchise, the lone voice has been Minaya’s, and that’s not good enough. Times are strained enough now where the Wilpons, preferably both, step up with their state-of-the-team address.

The ticket-buying public must be assured of what direction is the team headed. Among other things, it should include statements on whether the team is a buyer or seller at the trade deadline. Are they waiting for the injured to return? They should state firmly all aspects of the organization will be under review after the season and nobody is safe. They should state what direction they will take in the offseason to rebuild. They should state its concern on the medical staff and is there blame for the injuries or bad luck.

No aspect of the team should be spared the scrutiny, because few things are right with it.

Jul 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #94; Throw a tent over this circus.

METS CHAT

METS CHAT

It’s now getting ridiculous.

The Mets are investigating reports about assistant GM Tony Bernazard’s bizarre behavior, which reportedly include challenging a minor league player to a fight, exchanged words on the team bus with Francisco Rodriguez and got in a shouting match with a scout over a seat.

On the injury front, Gary Sheffield tested his hammy and we could know more by the end of the week. Alex Cora aggravated his injured thumb and will be replaced by Angel Berroa is starting at shortstop tonight.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Angel Berroa, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Mike Pelfrey, RP

Is it me, or does Pelfrey remind you of a right-handed Oliver Perez? Like Coin Flip, Pelfrey always seems to run into that one inning where everything seems to unravel, beginning with a lack of control where he can’t find the plate with a GPS system.

Pelfrey, who is supposed to be a No. 2 starter, hasn’t pitched any better than a No. 4. This is a guy who has the size to be intimidating, but has only parlayed it to inconsistentcy.

Jul 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #93; Why do you need Halladay when you’ve got Ollie?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I am kidding, of course, with the headline. Not surprisingly, multiple media outlets have shot down the published report that had the Mets turning down a trade proposal for Roy Halladay.

As we discussed last night on the blog, it is unlikely Halladay will be moved for several reasons, beginning with the Blue Jays’ asking price and their refusal to give a negotiating window to a prospective buyer.

Tonight, the Mets will try to make it two in a row behind Oliver Perez against the hapless Washington Nationals. Gary Sheffield is out of the line-up for a fourth straight game, and here’s a surprise, he could go on the DL if there is no improvement by the end of the week.

Here’s the line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Muprhy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Alex Cora, SS
Oliver Perez, LP

Jul 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #92; Finally, a team with even more troubles.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

According to reports, GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will get a pass on the season, presumably because of the number and severity of the Mets’ injuries.

That’s now, and things could change if they lose 20 in a row or some other unfathomable number.

Of course, the last time such a conversation circulated about the Mets Willie Randolph was fired, so, who really knows?

The offensively challenged Mets have lost 14 of their last 20 games, and nine times in that span they’ve scored no more than one run.

They are in Washington tonight against the Nationals, who have lost 10 of their last 11. If the Mets are to get on a little run, it has to start tonight. Nine games behind the Phillies, and 10 in the loss column, the Mets have nowhere to go but up.

Technically, that’s not true, but you get the idea.

“Where do we go from here?’’ Manuel said. “We have to sit down and make some decisions. We talked about that today. We feel like we still can get some things done.’’

What those things are, he wouldn’t say, but they’ll have to be accomplished without Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, both whom remain without a return timetable.

The Mets will go tonight with Livan Hernandez, who is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.56 ERA this year against the Nationals. However, once 5-1, Hernandez has lost his last four starts and is winless since June 7.

He has given up 15 runs on 21 hits with eight walks in his last two games, totaling just seven innings.

The Mets will be without Gary Sheffield again tonight, and will go with this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Livan Hernandez, RP

Jul 19

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #91; Two in a row?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets (43-47) close their four-game series against the Braves tonight before a national TV audience for the second straight day. Fernando Nieve (3-3, 3.03 ERA), who has received no run support in his last three starts, will attempt to duplicate what Johan Santana did yesterday.

Santana was superb yesterday, but it was only a glimmer. One game does not mean a turnaround.

The same scintillating line-up will go against Javier Vazquez:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Fernando Nieve, RP