It’s been one day, but the first impression is a good one on Jose Reyes’ return. Reyes, who didn’t play after May 20 with a severe hamstring injury, took part in baseball activities yesterday and reported no difficulties.
REYES: Feelin' good.
Reyes, played catch, fielded fielded grounders, did agility drills and took batting practice, all without a peep from his hammy.
“The last five weeks I’ve been feeling very good,” Reyes told reporters. “It’s different when you do it on the field. It makes me feel normal now.”
In a recent thread I wrote Reyes was the position player the Mets needed most to bounce back. He’s the one who jumpstarts the offense and gives the team an energetic spark.
Incidentally, the other day former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, now at ESPN, said Reyes should be batting third instead of leadoff. I don’t like it. Let Reyes come back in surroundings he’s comfortable with, which is leading off.
Davey Johnson is back in the majors, hired as a front office adviser to GM Mike Rizzo. One of his specialties is recognizing and working with young talent. That would be minor league players. That would be a Mets’ weakness.
JOHNSON: Now with Nationals.
This would be about a lost opportunity. If the Mets are really serious about strengthening the ties with their past, Johnson would have been a good place to start. Johnson had previously worked with the Nationals before under Jim Bowden. You would think the Mets would have kept tabs on his baseball interests just in case.
All this talk about bringing Bobby Valentine back? How about a little love for Johnson, who managed the Mets’ last championship team? Valentine has a core group of media in his corner, but not Johnson. Continue reading →
Welcome to a new feature on the blog. This will be a thread with several items attached. Random thoughts, if you will. There are a lot of things happening, some directly relating to the Mets and some not.
* If you’re a season ticket holder, have you received your 2010 invoices? When is payment due? Is there a price break? I’m under the understanding there won’t be any increase. You tell me what’s going on.
* Bobby Valentine has been passed over for three jobs since returning from Japan. Cleveland, Houston and now Washington. Doesn’t that tell you something? Yet, there are those still on his bandwagon. Sorry, not happening, even if Jerry Manuel gets fired during the season.
* The Phillies are talking about Mark DeRosa to play third base. Would be a nice pick-up for them. They’ve already taken care of some off-season business. Adding DeRosa will make them that much better.
* Word is Atlanta might trade Javier Vazquez and/Derek Lowe. They must be sold on their young pitching to entertain those thoughts. You can’t have enough pitching. And, forget it, they won’t trade a starter inside the division.
* Carlos Beltran says Carlos Delgado is in good shape and said he’d love to have him return. No surprise there.
I am so bored with this Bobby Valentine talk and those lamenting him interviewing with Cleveland because they want him back with the Mets. Cleveland might not happen, but neither will Mets, The Sequel.
VALENTINE: Wrong number with Mets.
Valentine had his run with the Mets and fizzled out. Maybe it was the Valentine-Phillips chemistry, who knows? But, the Mets got as far as they were going to go with the Valentine and then regressed.
It’s not that I dislike Valentine, but when it comes to baseball, love the second time doesn’t always work. The expectations are too high and rarely attainable.
I don’t know if Jerry Manuel with a healthy team will put the franchise back into contention, but we will find out. In the interim, good luck to Bobby in his interview with Cleveland and wish him well. But, give up the ghost already, he’s not coming back so stop living in the past, which by the way, was ringless.
If the Mets are serious about evaluating all aspects of their operation, then they can’t afford to ignore Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, the Cardinals’ manager and pitching coach. But, if this is the direction they take, it must be done quickly and decisively.
LA RUSSA: Enticing.
As a manager, I’d take La Russa hands down over Bobby Valentine, and Duncan could be one of the best pitching coaches in the business. I’d be willing to say better than the Jerry Manuel-Dan Warthen tandem currently in charge.
La Russa, who has won seven NL Central Titles, two pennants and one World Series, a significantly more impressive resume than that of Manuel. La Russa has been there and won. He’s one of the few who could come in immediately command everybody’s respect.
However, getting La Russa has to be accomplished quickly and neatly. There can’t be a long courtship as the uncertainty could chase away whatever free agents the Mets could be considering. Also, if the Mets come up empty they would have all but pushed Manuel out the door which would severely limit the respect he needs in the clubhouse.