Word is the SNY has reached a deal in principle with Keith Hernandez on a new contract. I obviously haven’t heard them all, but I find it difficult to imagine a better group than Hernandez, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.
HERNANDEZ: He's coming back. That's great.
They provide insight with humor. Of the three, Hernandez comes across as the least polished and at times a bit spacy … but that’s his delight. Yeah, I don’t mind hearing about Hernandez’s travel plans and Cohen busting his chops by saying, “it’s all about you, isn’t it?”
Hernandez is witty and honest and pulls no punches. He’s not afraid to rip the home team, and this year they needed it for sure. That’s honesty and it is rare from team announcers.
What’s best about them is they don’t come across as blatant homers like you get from the team across town. We’re not stupid. We know what we’re watching, and Hernandez doesn’t come across as patronizing or condescending.
Of all the Mets last season, Mike Pelfrey was the biggest disappointment. To me, that also makes him the biggest issue for next season of those Mets on the current roster.
PELFREY: There were a lot of conferences this summer.
After a what many thought was a big step in 2008, Pelfrey took a step back last summer. He unraveled like a ball of yarn, unable to work his way out of trouble and finish off hitters and innings, never mind games. His moments of dominance were scarce. And, the old problem of not having command of his secondary pitches and being reliant on his fastball was a constant theme.
Maybe it was the wall many pitchers get the season after throwing a career high in innings. Then again, maybe it wasn’t and he’s a right-handed Oliver Perez. I have no faith in Perez; Pelfrey I haven’t given up on, yet.
I don’t know why it took criticism and a year to do these things, but better late than never. Even so, the Mets made three announcements Saturday reflecting the ties to their past that should have been announced when Citi Field opened.
CITI FIELD: Missed the link to the old.
First, various VIP entrances were named after: Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver and Casey Stengel. The outfield bridge will be named Shea bridge.
Secondly, there will be a Hall of Fame, which should have been in the original blue prints. It will be next the Jackie Robinson Rotundra.
Lastly, there will be banners of Mets players on Mets Plaza in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the light poles in the parking lots will be adorned with the team’s logo.
Yes, this is something that should should have been done in the beginning, but better late than never. I love it when a team acknowledges its past. The Mets history isn’t as successful as several teams, say the Yankees, Dodgers and Cardinals, but it is colorful and rich and closing in on 50 years.
There’s no question the fans honor Mets history. The team should do the same.
If the Mets are reduced to making a Santana-like trade this winter, how big should the package be? With the assumption being the Mets will land somebody good in a deal for prospects, whom from the package should be excluded? F-Mart, Jennry Mejia, Ike Davis, Brad Holt, Mike Pelfrey?
Who stays? Who is your untouchable? Who do you drive to the airport?
Today is the first day teams are able to negotiate with free agents. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely coincidental that Commissioner Bud Selig came out with the announcement several teams lost money.
The market is open.
I don’t believe it for a second. I don’t because the owners have always cried poverty yet continue to spend. The owners have also never been willing to let a neutral third party audit their books. Then again, you could cook the books any way you want.
The three top free agents are John Lackey, Matt Holiday and Jason Bay.
Bay has already turned down the Red Sox, but you knew that was just posturing for the market to open so there’s competition to drive up the price.
The Mets say they will spend and I believe them. I just don’t believe they’ll spend enough to land Holliday or Lackey. I would be stunned to see either as a Met. But, I also don’t believe they aren’t willing to make a splash.
Regardless of whether the market came back to them or not, the Mets did bring in Johan Santana and signed him to a $137.5 million extension two winters ago. Last year, they spent $36 million for Francisco Rodriguez.
In previous seasons, they spent for Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Billy Wagner and Carlos Delgado. Remember, their payroll was on the MLB’s highest. The problem, is they haven’t gotten the return on their money.