Feb 08

Feb. 8.10: Let’s not get carried away.

The Mets got some positive news when 21–year-old outfield prospect Fernando Martinez was named MVP of the Caribbean Series. They should, however, resist the temptation to say he’s ready because it was a 23-at-bat sampling in which he hit .348 with two home runs. The Mets have rushed prospects before and I don’t want to see them toy with Martinez’s confidence.

Assuming the best on Carlos Beltran, I’m sure center field will be safe with Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr., in the interim, which should be a couple of months. Martinez wouldn’t get regular at-bats and would only be sent down once Beltran is ready.

I’m still thinking the prudent decision would be for him to get regular playing time in Triple-A and then make an evaluation around the All-Star break whether he should be promoted for the second half.

Oct 29

What about Griffey?

Griffey: Would he fit in for a year?

Griffey: Would he fit in for a year?

This time, Ken Griffey would be a full-season rental. The White Sox will not re-sign Griffey, making him a free agent and available to the Mets.

Griffey falls into the category of an old player with an injury history, just the type GM Omar Minaya has been criticized of pursuing. Even so, he hit 18 homers with 71 RBI in 490 at-bats, so there’s still life in his bat.

Griffey has never been enamored with New York, but that was the Yankees. Griffey would only cost the Mets money, and a lot less than they’d pay for Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn. The best thing is they won’t have to dip into their farm system.

So, if they want a rental bat for a year, Griffey could be a viable alternative. He doesn’t make the Mets younger, but improves their bench and outfield for a minimal cost.

Oct 24

Commentary: Can HoJo really have an impact?

HoJo: How effective can he be really?

HoJo: How effective can he be really?

Howard Johnson is back as Mets’ hitting coach, which is fine by me because I enjoy talking with him. However, I’m not so sure things will be any different next year, and I wonder whether it is because of the same hitting coach or the same players.

I’m thinking the latter.

I hitting coach can go over film and mechanics with a hitter, but once he’s in the box, that guy is on his own and he’d better know what to do.

Every situation calls for a specific fundamental approach.

-It begins with getting on base, and it doesn’t matter how. Take the damn walk. And, this includes everybody, not just Jose Reyes, who fails to work the count. When they win and the offense clicks, David Wright likes to say, “we kept the line moving.” Well …. ? Why don’t they have that approach all the time. The Mets wasted way too many at-bats last year, and that starts with the approach by the hitter, who should have learned what to do in high school.

-Runner on second, no outs, hit the ball to the right side of the infield.

-Runner on third, less than two outs, hit a fly ball.

This isn’t brain surgery, it’s baseball.

Reyes need to bunt more, increase his walks and decrease his strikeouts. He needs to hit the ball on the ground. … Carlos Delgado must discover left field more than he does. … By his own admission, Wright must learn to relax and not try to do it all when runners are in scoring position.

Johnson is there to remind the players and work with them on mechanics, but it’s up to the players to be thinking the right approach. Johnson can remind them, but it’s up to Jerry Manuel from Day One in spring training to harp on them what to do.

Sep 16

Mets in the Afternoon

-Jerry Manuel said John Maine’s role next year will be as a starter and not out of the bullpen. With the possible departures of Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez, what would you expect him to say?

-Nice job by Robert Parnell last night, but remember there was no pressure. He deserves a chance under the gun.

-Damion Easley’s quad is still not right and he’s several days away from playing in the field. I’m changing my position on Luis Castillo. I said the Mets are trying to give him the at-bats over Argenis Reyes to prepare him for the playoffs. But, there might not be any playoffs and Castillo brings nothing to the table. I’m all for buying out his contract for next year, so why not cut ties now?