Aug 31

Proactive selling ….

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the Mets are planning for 2010 with every move they make. The decisions on surgery and the disabled list were made to protect players and give them proper rehab time.

Time to be proactive

Time to be proactive


Sticking with Daniel Murphy at first base and Bobby Parnell in the rotation were made with an eye on holes that need to be filled over the winter.

Economically, the Mets should also be thinking about next season.

With Mets tickets on the Internet at times selling for less than face value, and the economy still in shreds, the franchise could be faced with a large number of season ticket cancellations for next year in light of how the team has performed.

Business-as-usual for the Mets would be to send out renewal notices after the playoffs. But, these are not normal times and they should be considering a more aggressive approach to get their ticket holders to return.

With 15 home games remaining and nothing to play for, the Mets should consider giving season-ticket holders the opportunity to credit September’s unused tickets toward next year’s packages. If there’s no reason to go to the park, many ticket holders will be likely to dump their tickets for whatever they can get to cut their losses.

For those ticket holders who already decided about not renewing for 2010, there’s nothing the Mets can do. However, this gesture might push those sitting on the fence to renew.

Here’s a chance for the organization to thank its ticket holders for supporting the team during this lost season, and at the same time make a dent in its off-season sales.

It’s not as if the team would lose money because the Mets could always re-sell the returned tickets, or donate them to charity for a tax write-off.

And, the team should also be considering selling one-month packages, perhaps at a discounted rate.

I can’t imagine the Mets doing this because the first impression would be they would be making less money, but with how things have gone, and taking the economy into consideration, it could turn out to be a win-win for everybody.

The Mets might be in fourth place in the NL East, but this is no time for fourth-place thinking.

Aug 30

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #131; Parnell’s status in doubt?

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I’ll start off today asking for a little peace and courtesy toward each other on the blog. Tomg is probably right in I have let things slide too much. I’ve always said I want the blog to be like a bunch of friends together is a sports bar. You can disagree, but please stop the name calling.

It’s rough enough having to watch the Mets play out the string isn’t it?

The Mets try to avoid a sweep today in the wake of Bobby Parnell’s third consecutive horrible start (22 runs in 12 2/3 innings) yesterday afternoon. Parnell gave up eight runs on nine hits and two walks in just 4 2/3 innings to put in jeopardy his experiment as a starter.

Manager Jerry Manuel said Parnell will take his next turn, but isn’t sure beyond that.

“This is the third time he’s had these types of issues, so we’ve got to find a better way to get that straightened out and pitch ahead in the count,” Manuel said. “You’d just like to see better command from a starting pitcher.”

Parnell gave up an 0-and-2 grand slam to Jake Fox on a hanging slider in the fifth. He hasn’t been the only Mets pitcher to give it up while ahead in the count. The staff has given up seven 0-and-2 homers this season, including two slams.

PARNELL: Struggling in new role.

PARNELL: Struggling in new role.

Said Parnell: “I know it’s going to be a process, and there’s going to be some tough lessons learned. I haven’t been keeping my team in the game, so I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board.”

It’s tough to make the conversion from reliever to starter during the season. Parnell has stamina questions because his body hasn’t adjusted to the work load. The team isn’t going anywhere this year, so letting Parnell start for the rest of the season can only benefit him and the Mets in finding out the answers.

Figueroa is 0-4 with a 4.40 ERA in nine career appearances, four starts against the Cubs.

Here’s today’s starting line-up against Carlos Zambrano:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy,1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Nelson Figueroa, RP (1-3, 5.40)

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.