Apr 22

Don’t give up on Murphy

MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.

MURPHY: Mets should maintain the course.

Daniel Murphy had one of those games last night, and because of it, the Mets lost another game. It was the second time this season a Murphy fielding blunder directly cost the Mets.

If you’re Jerry Manuel, it’s tempting to sit Murphy tonight, “to clear his head,” as the manager would put it.

That would be a mistake.

The Mets made a sizable commitment to Murphy, and the timing of a benching could send the bad message of a lack of confidence. The bottom line is Murphy had considerable defensive holes in his game that will only close with playing time. The worst thing that could happen is for him to believe his manager lacks confidence in him.

So, what to do?

From the seventh inning on, unless Murphy is tearing it up at the plate, out he comes for defense. It stays that way until he substantially improved.

I’m not saying Murphy will cost the Mets the pennant, but look at it this way, he’s already cost them two games and each of the last two seasons they missed by only one.

And, after the season, he should go to Arizona to work on his defense, both in left field and first base.

Apr 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #13; The autograph edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets finally did the right thing and announced they will preserve Dwight Gooden’s autograph and try to procure others from players in their history. How this got to be an issue was embarrassing to the Mets. When one of your great players autographs a wall in your new stadium, you go with the flow.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the lack of Mets memorabilia and appreciation for their history at Citi Field. There’s so much more they could have done to honor their tradition.

At Comerica Park there are exhibits by decade. Very well done. Honestly, I thought they’d have a Hall of Fame when they build the place. Right now the place honors Jackie Robinson more than the Mets and that’s not right.

The Rotunda is well done, but there should have been something similar for the Mets history.

Most teams honor their past. The Cardinals have statues outside Busch; there are photos of past players at Wrigley Field and in Cleveland; at Fenway, you just know that’s the home of the Red Sox.

Yes, I like Citi Field, but there’s more from a historical perspective that should be recognized.

Apr 21

Tonight’s line-up at St. Louis

We talked about juggling the line-up a few nights ago and we have Carlos Beltran third and David Wright fifth. Still want Luis Castillo second and Daniel Murphy sixth or seventh.

Ryan Church is also back in the line-up.

Tonight’s line-up:

Jose Reyes, SS
Daniel Murphy, LF
Carlos Beltran, 3B
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Oliver Perez, P

Apr 21

Not buying St. Louis link ….

OK, maybe in 2007 it was plausible, that the collapse at the end of the regular season can be traced to the loss in the NLCS to St. Louis. Sure, I can see where there could be a carry over.

But not now.

If the Mets don’t have a killer instinct now it’s because their players lack it, not because they lost with Aaron Heilman’s pitch in Game 7. We’re a dozen games into the season, way too soon to spot any definable personality for this team.

However, it isn’t too soon to spot some definite trends.

The bullpen is much better than it has been in the last two seasons, BUT because of the starters’ inability to go deeper into games there will be an eventual breakdown due to stress.

Johan Santana has been terrific, but the rest of the rotation has been a pocket full of change, which is to say a bunch of Coin Flips. I have no inkling as to what kind of start we’ll see tonight from Oliver Perez. None. Good last time, but bad before that …. bad several times. John Maine has started quickly and faded. Livan Hernandez has had a good and bad outing. Eventually, three-plus innings a night for the pen will carry a toll.

Another inconsistency has been their inability to hit with RISP. Jerry Manuel keeps saying they should score more runs, but putting the pressure on is more than baserunners.

Pressure is defined as scoring. That’s one of the reasons why I want Daniel Murphy down in the order where he’ll get more RBI opportunities. For that matter, I’d like to see Ryan Church back in the line-up, too. They are leaving RISP at an alarming rate that only serves to put pressure on both facets of the pitching and the offense collectively.

The Mets are in St. Louis tonight which reminded me of the NLCS. I don’t think that loss is in their heads. What should be in their heads is how erratic they’ve played this season.

The Mets are a .500 club not because of bad luck or injuries. They are a .500 club because what they deserve to be.

Apr 20

Your thoughts on the new place?

I’ve seen Citi Field from both sides now, from its formative stages during the tours to the finished model under the bright sun.

I walked around the place yesterday, and yes there are places where you can lose sight of the ball. But, when you have a park designed with numerous angles and quirks, that’s going to happen.

It’s not a big deal. It’s not like you have to look around a pole for nine innings. I didn’t try all the things to eat – I’m on a strict budget now, you know. But, I can appreciate the variety.

What I do like is the wide concourses, and the mall-like atmosphere in the outfield. It’s that way in Cleveland and Philly, and I think it would be nice to spend one afternoon milling around and soaking in the atmosphere.

How about you? Have you been to Citi Field and what’s your impression? What do you like? What don’t you like?