Feb 07

A-Roids outed … yawn … where’s the surprise?

RODRIGUEZ: Outed.

RODRIGUEZ: Outed.

Sports Illustrated had the story. Alex Rodriguez has been outed using steriods. Nothing is ever a surprise anymore. Not that there weren’t suspicions. How could there not be questions? How could there not be questions of anybody?

It’s disappointing in a sense because I hoped Rodriguez would have been the one to break Barry Bonds’ mark. (I refuse to call Bonds’ total a record, as to me, the record holder for home runs in Hank Aaron).

Rodriguez, like Bonds, is a great player. Did he really need chemical enhancement to reach his level of excellence? That’s the puzzling thing. It’s not like he needed something to put him over the top.

Then again, we don’t know when he started. We have an idea of when Bonds started, but Rodriguez we can only speculate.

To get inside his head and wonder why he would cross over to the dark side and opt to cheat for the first time would be a fascinating study.

For now, all we can do is wonder.

Why? When? Where? How?

And, of course, who else?

Feb 06

F-Mart has sore elbow

MLB.com reported Fernando Martinez left the Carribean World Series to have his sore right elbow examined in New York.

“I felt my elbow tighten up the day before yesterday,” Martinez said. “It was a little swollen. It’s better. I feel I can play again. I don’t think I need to fly to New York to get a check up, but the Mets want me to.”

I have a gut feeling the left field platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis might not pan out and F-Mart might get unexpected time in the majors.

Feb 06

Should they change the name of Citi Field?

It’s their money, so Citi Corp., can do what it wants with it. BUT, if they are getting bailed out, it’s not their money anymore. It’s my money. And, your money.

So, given that, do you care about the naming rights issue? Should it be suspended? Should it change? What should the Mets do with they money they’ve received. Remember, the Mets have done nothing wrong here, but should they make a gesture in the name of public relations?

Feb 05

Is Torre right about Beltran?

In his book, Joe Torre took a jab at Carlos Beltran, calling him soft mentally and questioned his leadership capabilities. It’s a rap that resurfaced during the Mets’ pennant race fades the past two years.

Torre said Beltran wanted to come to the Yankees for a discount, but was talked out of it by his agent, Scott Boras, who got him an extra year and $19 million more with the Mets (seven at $119 million).

Said Torre: “Beltran wanted to come to us, so he could hide among the trees. Nobody wants to be that guy to lead.”

Not surprisingly, Beltran refuted Torre at last night’s Thurman Munson Dinner.

“First of all, I don’t know Joe Torre personally, so I don’t know what kind of person he is,” Beltran said. “The second thing I have to say is that when I met with the Yankees when I was a free agent, he wasn’t there, so you know, he didn’t know that we talked, so I didn’t meet him. So if he did say what he said, then that’s his opinion. I don’t have to comment on that. I feel very happy where I am.”

Beltran said Torre will have one less sale.

Feb 04

Positive or negative?

On one hand, perhaps baseball’s worst bullpen has been improved. The Mets blew 29 save opportunities last season, but the additions of Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz has to close the one-game gap on the Phillies assuming all else is equal.

That’s the strongest positive.

Another positive is the time Daniel Murphy  spent last season in the majors and the addition of Tim Redding improves the fifth spot in the rotation. The overall depth of the bullpen is better.

The rest isn’t so much glaring negatives as they are questions. Yes, if there’s no improvement from Luis Castillo, that becomes a glaring negative.

The following Q and A gives a thumbnail perspective of the other hand.

Q: How’s Johan Santana’s knee?
A: Nothing negative to report, but we’ll know when he he gets on the mound.

Q: How’s John Maine’s shoulder?
A: Reports are surgery went well and he should be ready for spring training. But, we really won’t know until he starts throwing.

Q: Is Mike Pelfrey ready to continue his progress?
A: Sometimes, after a large jump in innings, a pitcher hits a growth wall. We’ll have to see. You can’t just pencil him in for 200 innings and 18 wins. It’s not that simple.

Q: Who is the real Carlos Delgado?
A: Can anyone say for certain it will be the second half Delgado or the first half Delgado?

Q: How healthy is Ryan Church?
A: The Mets say he’s fine, but will be pick up where he left off before the concussion?

Q: How productive will the Murphy-Tatis platoon in left be?
A: The Mets will take what they got last year, but nobody is making any promises.

Add it up, if the Mets produce the same as they did last year, the bullpen improvement should pick up a game on the Phillies. Then again, we don’t know if the Phillies won’t be any better. However, there’s no guarantee the Mets will get the same production, or if it will be better or worse.

Given all this, with the start of spring training less than two weeks out, what’s your confidence level?