Feb 18

No Reason For Mets To Rush Parnell

There have been reports Bobby Parnell will regain his closer role when he’s activated from the disabled list roughly a month into the season. Parnell told reporters today in Port St. Lucie, “the ultimate goal when I go up there is to close.’’

PARNELL:  Treat with kid gloves. (AP)

PARNELL: Treat with kid gloves. (AP)

Although manager Terry Collins previously indicated that possibility, Parnell said he’s been promised nothing, which is the right way to go because there are too many unanswered questions.

What if Jenrry Mejia is pitching lights out at the time and the Mets are playing well? It would be foolish for Collins to disrupt the chemistry his team is building. It’s counter-productive for Collins to promise something he’d later reverse track on.

Many managers don’t like to commit to anything unless they absolutely must and there’s no reason for Collins to play his hand now. Collins has fallen into that trap before and must avoid it this time.

Parnell demonstrated promise at closing in 2013 with 22 saves, a 2.16 ERA and 1.000 WHIP. Mejia converted 28 save opportunities last year, but with a 3.65 ERA and less than impressive 1.484 WHIP. What was promising was his 98-41 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

If Mejia stumbles in April, the Mets can go with Jeurys Familia or Vic Black. The Mets enter spring training with potentially their best bullpen in three years, especially if all four are on their games.

And, if Mejia, Familia and Black pitch well in April, there’s no point to rush back Parnell, especially when we don’t know how long it will take for him to work himself into pitching shape. Parnell wanting to be out there is not a good enough reason. Neither is his $3.7-million salary.

“Obviously I want to be there at the beginning of the year, but more importantly, I want to be there at the end of the year,’’ Parnell said. “If they feel like missing the beginning of the year is going to help me be there at the end, and be solid at the end, and help with the playoff push, then I’m all aboard on that.’’

This is something that doesn’t need to be decided until late April or early May. Anything before that is premature.

Feb 17

Mets Matters: Parnell’s Elbow An Issue

Undoubtedly, Bobby Parnell’s surgically repaired elbow will be the central topic when he addresses the media Wednesday morning.

mets-matters logoWhen will Parnell, who’s expected to open the season on the disabled list, be ready to dive into spring training?

ESPN reported Tuesday it might be up to three weeks, but that’s just speculation at this point. Hopefully, Parnell will shed more light Wednesday.

Currently, Jenrry Mejia is the choice to be the closer to open the season. When Parnell is activated Mejia’s role will change again.

“That’s Terry Collins’ job,’’ Mejia told reporters Tuesday. “That’s not my job. I’ve got to be out there and do the best I can. Whatever Terry Collins wants me to do, I’ve got to do. I’ll go out there. I’ll go to the bullpen, throw the seventh, ninth, eighth inning – whatever they want me to do.’’

BLACK HOPING FOR BETTER SPRING: Thought of as a closer in the future, Vic Black has the stuff for that role, but for now he has the simple ambition of just making it out of Port St. Lucie and to New York.

That wasn’t the case last season when his miserable spring training landed him to the minor leagues.

“There was a desire to finally break camp, finally start with a team,’’ Black told reporters. “I think now it’s understanding that the spring is a preparation for April.’’

 

Jan 10

Mets’ Fan Takes On Ownership

Gary Palumbo hears the critics, but doesn’t care.

“But, you’re just a fan,’’ they say. “Fans can’t do anything against the owners that would matter.’’

Maybe not, but their voices can be heard.

“That’s one of the most infuriating comments,’’ said the long-time Mets’ fan, now a 39-year-old software implementation specialist, who grew up in Fairfield, Ct., and now lives in New Hampshire.

“I can’t see myself sitting on my hands and doing nothing. I would choose anytime to do something and fail rather than do nothing.’’

Palumbo is the driving force behind the billboard Mets’ fans, frustrated at the club’s ownership, will see beginning April 6 for a month outside Citi Field on Roosevelt Avenue. There will be two billboards, including one greeting those riders coming off the Seven Line subway.

The billboard will come off as a help-wanted ad, seeking: “Ownership committed to winning. Apply at Citi Field.’’

Speaking in a phone interview this afternoon, Palumbo said his intent isn’t to get the Wilpons to sell the team – although he indicated that would be ideal – but for them to realize Mets’ fans aren’t happy with the job they’ve done and are angry for promises not kept.

“Right now, the time is right,’’ said Palumbo. “They asked us to wait for five years so they could get their house in order and once the kids were ready to go. They didn’t fulfill their end of the bargain. They just want to build their shopping mall and condos.’’

That’s long been a popular rap against Mets’ ownership; that they are more interested in building up the area now populated by chop shops than putting together a winning team.

Ironically, the driving force for Palumbo to get the funding to come up with the $4,500 needed to pay for the billboard were the words of former Met Pedro Martinez, who was voted into the Hall the Fame this week.

Speaking in a conference call Tuesday, Martinez said Yankees’ fans are more demanding and Mets’ fans are “willing to settle.’’

That morning Palumbo was $1,362 shy, but easily passed that by midnight. Palumbo has more than $6,000 in pledges and donations and is contemplating increasing how long the billboard will be posted and even paying for a billboard in Port St. Lucie.

None of this might have happened had he not seen a game in 1985 with his cousin. The next, on Old Timers Day at Shea Stadium, he saw Gary Carter and Darryl Strawberry hit back-to-back homers, “and was sucked in.’’

But, he won’t be suckered.

“I know A couple of pissed off fans aren’t going to make a couple of billionaires sell the team,’’ Palumbo said. “I’m tired of them pretending they are the Kansas City Royals. My main goal is to elevate the conversation that we are not satisfied with direction of how ownership is operating this team.’’

Nov 14

Mets Bracing For Innings Showdown With Harvey

It’s getting close to spring training because the topic of limiting innings for Matt Harvey is again a topic. GM Sandy Alderson indicated as such at the GM meetings this week in Phoenix and manager Terry Collins said so Thursday during a public appearance at a food pantry.

HARVEY: Caution, caution, caution. (AP)

HARVEY: Caution, caution, caution. (AP)

It’s a no-brainer with Harvey coming off Tommy John surgery. With Harvey’s return, the Mets are pointing toward 2015 as when they believe they will be competitive. The one thing they can’t afford is to lose Harvey.

“Certainly we might skip him here and there once in a while, just to save him,’’ Collins told reporters. “That will all be explained to him and there’ll be arguments and he’ll throw a tantrum in the office but it’s all part of the job because he wants to pitch and he wants to win.’’

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That sounds good. Sounds heroic. Sounds inspiring. Sounds like a lot of nonsense.

If Harvey can’t understand the Mets’ reasoning for limiting, then he’s not as bright as he has been portrayed. Then again, pitching smarts and off-the-field smarts are two different things.

Don’t get me wrong, I like what Harvey brings to the table, but he can’t bring anything if he’s hurt. He’s already been a thorn to Alderson and Collins for how he handled his rehab and insistence of wanting to spend more time in New York instead of Florida.

He made a big deal about wanting to be with his teammates, yet went to Yankee Stadium to watch Derek Jeter. Nobody connected with the Mets says anything negative about Harvey for fear of alienating him.

Never mind that, my take is Harvey tweaking the Mets’ brass and Alderson’s often testy relationship with the pitcher’s agent, Scott Boras, says he’s a goner once he becomes a free agent.

Of course, that’s a bridge Alderson has to jump off of later. For now, it’s now to cut the innings.

The best way is to tell Harvey during spring training and making sure he understands this isn’t negotiable.

There are six months in a baseball season, so missing one start a month shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Assuming six innings a start, that’s 36 innings saved. They might also consider missing more time in April when the weather is still cold and there’s a greater chance of hurting his arm. Then, there are shaving innings in blowouts, one way or another. Put a cap on his starts at seven innings.

This shouldn’t be hard to figure out for Alderson and Collins. As for Harvey, he has to realize he’s not in charge. With only 12 major league victories, he’s hardly in position to be calling the shots.

 

Nov 05

Mets’ 2015 Promotional Schedule

The New York Mets today announced the popular weekend promotions Free Shirt Fridays, Saturday Concerts and Fireworks and Family Sundays will return in 2015. The Mets also announced that single game tickets go on sale Friday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/Tickets and (718) 507-TIXX. Tickets start at $11.

Highlights include Opening Day vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 13 at 1:10 p.m.; Weekend series vs. the Boston Red Sox August 28-30 and the Subway Series vs. the New York Yankees on the weekend of September 18-20. An exclusive presale for Citi card members starts Monday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/CitiPreSale. Fans are also encouraged to utilize their Citi ThankYou Preferred Card on all Mets offers throughout the season as they will receive 2 points for every dollar spent on all dining out and entertainment purchases.

Free Shirt Fridays – Designs below

On the following Friday dates, all fans will receive a uniquely designed Mets themed T-Shirt:

·         April 17 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 1 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 15 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 29 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 12 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 26 vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 10 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 24 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 31 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 14 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 28 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.)

·         September 18 vs. New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

·         October 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m. – Fan vote for shirt design)

 Saturday Post-Game Concerts – June 27, July 25 and August 15

Three Saturday home games will feature post-game concerts: June 27 vs. the Cincinnati Reds (time TBA), July 25 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.), and August 15 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.). The 2015 Mets Concert Series headliners will be announced in the coming weeks.

The performances will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game from a stage in the outfield behind second base.  Admission to the concert is included in the price of the game ticket.

Fireworks – April 18, August 1 and September 19

There will be three fireworks nights in 2015 following Saturday night games on April 18 vs. the Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.), August 1 vs. the Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) and September 19 vs. the New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

Fireworks will be launched from Citi Field’s roof and the centerfield grass, providing a 360-degree experience for fans throughout the ballpark.

Saturday Premium Giveaways

At the following Saturday games, the first 15,000 fans will receive the following premium giveaway items:

·         May 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Jacob deGrom Garden Gnome presented by Gold’s Horseradish

·         May 16 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fedora

·         May 30 vs. Miami Marlins (Time TBA) – Beach Towel

·         June 13 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.) – David Wright Replica Jersey

·         July 11 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Time TBA) – Juan Lagares Bobblehead presented by Geico

·         August 29 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.) – 1986 World Series Championship Bobblehead presented by Caesars

·         Oct. 3 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fleece Blanket

Family Sundays

Every Sunday home game is “Family Sunday” at Citi Field. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Mets Plaza, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, there are Mets featured family-friendly activities including kids inflatables, face painters, balloon artists, entertainment and a postgame Mr. Met Dash when kids 12 and under can come down onto the field and run the bases, weather permitting.

The following is the complete list of promotions on Sundays.  Promotional items will be given out to the first 15,000 fans.  All Sunday games are scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m.

·         April 19 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – David Wright Schedule Poster presented by Citi

·         May 3 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – MLB Network Tote Bag

·         May 17 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1:10 p.m.) – Zack Wheeler Magnet Card

·         May 31 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – Kids Sunglasses

·         June 14 vs. Atlanta Braves (1:10 p.m.) – Cap giveaway presented by Nathan’s Famous

·         June 28 vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:10 p.m.) – Lucas Duda Growth Chart Poster

·         July 12 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:10 p.m.) – Jersey Drawstring Bag

·         July 26 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1:10 p.m.) – Curtis Granderson Wall Decal presented by Citi

·         August 2 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – Player poster

·         August 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:10 p.m.) – Travis d’Arnaud Magnet Card

·         August 30 vs. Boston Red Sox (1:10 p.m.) – W.B. Mason Toy Truck

·         September 20 vs. New York Yankees (1:10 p.m.) – Player Wall Decal

·         October 4 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – 2016 Schedule Magnet (all fans)

Times for Saturday and Sunday games may change, subject to Major League Baseball’s national broadcast agreements with FOX and ESPN.