Jul 25

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #96; Niese tonight.

Jon Niese (0-0, 5.91) goes tonight for the Mets at Houston against Russ Ortiz (3-4, 4.33 ERA).

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Omir Santos, C
Alex Cora, SS
Jon Niese, LP

NOTE: Gary Sheffield was placed on the disabled.

Jul 24

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #95; facing the Astros.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Before we get going tonight I hope you’ll take a moment to read an earlier post I had on the need for the Wilpon ownership to speak out on the direction of the team. Feel free to post your comments either there or here.

I believe it is time for some clarity from the top because Omar Minaya isn’t really saying anything.

Meanwhile, as the Mets continue to unravel, the Phillies are reportedly close to landing Roy Halladay from Toronto, which should make them favorites to repeat as champions.

After dropping two of three at Washington, the Mets are in Houston for the weekend, not an easy place for them to play.

Here’s the line-up tonight behind Johan Santana:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Angel Berroa, SS
Johan Santana, LP

PREGAME NOTES: Billy Wagner could begin a rehab assignment next week. … Gary Sheffield remains day-to-day. It’s been that way for a week and the Mets continue to play shorthanded. … Carlos Beltran’s knee will be re-examined. … Alex Cora’s thumb continues to bother him. … Jon Niese will come up from Triple-A Buffalo to start tomorrow. Niese gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings in a May 13 start against the Braves.

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