Dec 05

Not getting those vibrations ….

Usually in the days prior to the winter meetings I usually get a feel for what the Mets might do. Not this year. There’s no such feeling. No such premonition. The name I keep hearing most is Bengie Molina and that does nothing for me. Zip, zero, nada.

The Mets’ biggest priority is pitching, but I hear them linked to nobody, much less anybody dynamic. The Mets are either keeping their cards unusually close to the vest or don’t have much of a concrete plan in action.

Care to guess which one it is?

Dec 04

Behind the plate ….

This is one of those times when I must ask you to contain yourselves. The Mets signed backup catchers Henry Blanco and Chris Coste to one-year deals yesterday. Kind of makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it?

MOLINA: The one they want.

MOLINA: The one they want.


Neither are expected to platoon with Omir Santos next year, as the Mets are still eyeing free-agent Bengie Molina, or are willing to make a trade for a No. 1. Josh Thole and Santos are expected to platoon in Triple-A. Lifetime Phillies fan Chris Coste could also see Buffalo.

The 35-year-old Molina, who hit 20 homers last year for San Francisco, is seeking a multi-year deal, while the Mets are more inclined to offer one year. With the demand for catching not strong, and the teams seeking them aren’t big spenders (Kansas City, Milwaukee and San Diego), Molina might fall back to the Mets.

If not, I’d pass on Molina as there’s no reason to get stuck on a multi-year deal for a catcher of his age.

Nov 10

Minaya faces rough road ahead ….

Mets general manager Omar Minaya faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Mets, and let’s face it, tweaking will not get it done.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.


“Some years are better than others. I think we have to find a way to slug more,” said Minaya in defining the market and one of his team’s needs.

Signing a guy like Matt Holliday or John Lackey won’t get it done. Signing both won’t get it done, either.

For the Mets to become the team they have promised they will be, there’s tweaking in some areas, hoping in a few more, and throwing money at several others in what has been described as a less-than-stellar free-agent market.
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Oct 29

Keeping up with the Mets ….

Catching up with the Mets:

* Minor league outfielder Fernando Martinez, who had season-ending surgery on his right knee in July, is expected to begin playing for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League in November.

F-MART: Not ready, yet.

F-MART: Not ready, yet.


Martinez played in 29 games for the Mets this summer and hit .176 with only seven extra base hits. Clearly, that’s not a big enough sampling to say he won’t make it, but it is fair to say he’s not ready.

Martinez showed glimpses of his talent, but it was apparent his on-field judgment in terms of base-running and defensive fundamentals need improving. To say he’ll be a star if just given the at-bats is premature.

* The Mets would like a veteran presence behind the plate to replace Brian Schneider and complement Omir Santos. Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas are on GM Omar Minaya’s short list. But, wouldn’t it be just like the Mets to made another run at Yorvit Torrealba?

* VP of scouting, Sandy Johnson, who considered retirement, will be back for another year.

* The Mets are still interested in adding former major league general managers Kevin Towers (San Diego) and J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto) to their staff.

* Reportedly, Chip Hale, former Arizona third base coach at Arizona, will be offered that position by the Mets to replace Razor Shines. It’s not a done deal Shines will be named bench coach as there are reports the team is considering former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin for that role.

Aug 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #118; Livan stays in rotation.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The core is gone, maybe never to return this season. With the Mets well below .500 and expectations of this year faded to bitter memories, there’s really no reason to rush David Wright’s return, or that of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

Yes, there are reasons to see them, but none of the compelling team variety. The only one I can see them getting something for is Delgado in a waiver trade, but let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

The 55-62 Mets have played much of the year without Beltran, Delgado and Reyes, so watching Wright take a Matt Cain fastball in the earflap was especially difficult.

“He’s in our thoughts and our prayers,’’ Daniel Murphy said. “He’s the leader of this ball club.”

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

Livan Hernandez (7-7, 5.28) goes to the mound tonight against the Giants’ Joe Martinez (2-1, 6.00). Hernandez will try to rebound for his last two starts in which he gave up 12 runs on 15 hits and seven walks.

Manuel could have opted with Tim Redding or Nelson Figueroa, but stuck with Hernandez.

“Just looking back at everything, there’s been times where he’s had a couple bad outings and then he’s bounced right back,” Manuel said. “Hopefully we can get that from him now on the rest of the way.’’

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Cory Sullivan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTEBOOK: Only three players, Murphy, Schneider and Castillo from the Opening Day batting order. … Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano has not allowed an earned run in 14 of his past 15 appearances. … The Mets are 16-16 in one-run games, fitting for a team below .500. … Giants catcher Bengie Molina is expected to return to the lineup after Eli Whiteside replaced him Sunday. Molina, who hit the game-winning homer Saturday, is 8 for 17 with three homers lifetime versus Hernandez. … Alex Cora is still having some issues with his hand.