Dec 17

Rodriguez eyes big year ….

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel stood at the podium and in a classic photo opportunity helped his closer, Francisco Rodriguez, put on his new jersey.

“Seventy-five,’’ Manuel said as he looked at the number. “That’s the number of saves he’s going to have.’’

Rodriguez, introduced this afternoon at the Citi Bank Building in Long Island City, understands the math.

“I’m aware of what is expected,’’ said Rodriguez, who expects the same after his record 62 saves last season for the Angels earned him a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets.

“Every year I come to spring training with the goal to have better numbers than I had the year before.’’

Why the Mets?

Besides money, Rodriguez said his decision “was easy … they are one team that is hungry to win.’’

General manager Omar Minaya said the acquisitions of Rodriguez, and J.J. Putz from Seattle, who’ll be introduced tomorrow at Citi Field, have solved the Mets’ bullpen problem, which was defined by 29 blown saves last season.

“One thing we lacked last year was being able to close out a game, but we went out and got the best closer in the game,’’ Minaya said of Rodriguez.

Dec 09

Closing in on K-Rod ….

K-ROD: Will he celebrate soon?

K-ROD: Will he celebrate soon?

The Mets are getting closer to getting a deal done with soon-to-be former Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez. The numbers are being reported at $37 million over three years, which is a far cry from the original asking price of $75 million over five years.

I’m guessing the agent’s thinking could be to take the three years in this rotten economy because Rodriguez will be young enough at the end of the contract (27 now) for another huge pay day.

You know things are heating up when the player talks. Here’s what Rodriguez told the LA Times: “I don’t want to say much about it. But it’s going well with them. Everything is going OK, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Nov 24

K-Rod price dropping.

K-Rod’s asking price of $75 million over five is heading south. With the traditional big spenders having their closers, the Mets could have a clear shot at him.

But, how much is he worth? And, just because he’s on sale doesn’t make him a bargain when you consider all the other variables.

Doesn’t it tell you something that his team, the Angels, isn’t making a lot of noise about keeping him? and, there’s the drop off his fastball and a violent delivery that could make him vulnerable to injury.

All these things scream, “buyer beware,” not to mention the Mets initially had Brian Fuentes first on their closer wish list.

If your gut instinct was no, then shouldn’t that prevail? Especially, since the price won’t drop to the point where he’s a no-brainer.

Oct 22

Talkin’ World Series Baseball: Game 1.

World Series Chat

World Series Chat

Every World Series has its storyline, but when was the last time we had a really compelling Classic? Probably Angels-Giants in 2002. Yankees and D-Backs in 2001, for sure.

This one has that capability as it pits two gritty teams, clubs with resiliency to match their talent. Tampa Bay has that karma thing going for it, but let’s not overlook the Phillies, no matter how much you hate them.

They also can make a destiny argument.

Both teams can mash, but the Phillies have Ryan Howard, capable of controlling a Series. The Rays have a young, talented staff, but Philadelphia probably has the best pitcher in Cole Hamels and the dominant closer in Brad Lidge.

I believe the Rays shook the jitters when they blew Game 5 at Boston and hung on to win. They won’t be rattled. I think they’ll prevail in seven.

And if they don’t? Well, I’m happy if it goes seven.

Sep 09

Mets pregame notebook: Surgery tomorrow for Wagner.

-Billy Wagner will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow. He will miss this year and probably all of next year. He’s not ready to retire and said he would win a championship for somebody someday.

-Manager Jerry Manuel flipped Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez in his rotation for next weekend against the Braves, with Santana going Friday and Martinez Saturday. Protecting Martinez is yet another sign he’s not able to help the Mets.

-ESPN Radio Andrew Marchand reported reliever Francisco Rodriguez will be seeking $75 million over five years. He says the Mets, Angels, Los Angeles, Detroit and St. Louis would have interest. Want to bet that list grows this winter?