Sep 30

Maine to have surgery today

Maine: To have bone spur removed today.

Maine: To have bone spur removed today.

John Maine will have surgery today to shave down a bone spur that irritated muscles in his right shoulder. He said it’s not a complicated surgery and would be ready for spring training.

“It needs to get done,” Maine said. “It’s a simple surgery, nothing major. No attaching or reattaching of anything. We’ll take the rehab seriously and I’ll be good to go for spring training.”

Maine should begin his rehab program in December and is expected to long-toss by the start of the new year.

Maine was activated down the stretch and hoped to pitch out of the bullpen, but manager Jerry Manuel wisely chose not to go that route.

Sep 29

Omar searching for answers ….

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

It wasn't a ``thumbs up'' day for Minaya today at Shea.

Mets GM Omar Minaya held court this afternoon. He stated the franchise’s mission statement, but said he had no immediate answers on the team’s most pertinent issues.

In summary: “Our goal is to get to the World Series, win the World Series, and continue to win it, but the bottom line is we can’t even get to the playoffs so we need to find a better way to work hard at this. … It’s been two years a row now, but we didn’t get over that hurdle. You never feel good when you get this far and don’t make it.”

This didn’t come out good, but I knew what he meant. He didn’t want to go into immediate rip mode.

On getting over the hurdle: “Why is it we can’t get over that hurdle? I don’t have an answer right now.”

On Jerry Manuel’s status: “We’ll review what we want to do. We’ll discuss his whole status. That’s going to take a couple of days. I don’t see it being done with a day or two. It’s going to happen sooner than later.”

No doubt the bullpen needs to be improved, but he didn’t lay all the blame on the pen:
“I don’t think it’s one area. To put it on one area wouldn’t be fair. You have to ask yourself how can you score five runs this weekend? It’s a team effort.”

Sep 29

The answers to your questions.

If you have a question, I’ll try to give you an answer. I’ll post in the morning and plan to answer by the end of the day.

Here’s what we got the first day of this feature.

1. Jon asks: Since there’s no way to acquire all the players needed to fix the Mets, “Should I just stop caring now?’’

Answer: No. You’ve come this far, you might as well hang on. Seriously, they came within a game of the playoffs in a mediocre division. Assuming their bullpen can’t be that bad again, and having Ryan Church healthy for a full season, if the Mets for the most part keep the status quo they should be better.

2. RMKMets wonders whether all the demoralizing losses have caught up with the Mets.

Answer: I don’t think so. I don’t think that kind of malaise will impact every body, and that there will be enough of a turnover so it won’t happen.

3. PG wonders where Mookie was on Sunday.

Answer: I’ve asked, but was told he couldn’t make it. Nobody would say why.

Sep 29

Issues, issues and more issues ….

The Mets have as many issues as a year of Sports Illustrated. They also have a general manager, Omar Minaya, poised for another four years to answer them. Here’s what I see as the most pertinent issues facing the Mets.

1. JERRY MANUEL: Will Minaya bring back the manager who took over a floundering team and guided them into contention until the final day? And with him, his coaching staff? The Mets were fading under Willie Randolph when Manuel replaced him in June. With pretty much the same talent, the Mets turned it around. MY OPINION: Manuel should be brought back. This team worked hard for him and hustled. Talent issues beyond his control is why they failed.

Delgado's hot second half could bring him back. Or could it?

Delgado's hot second half could bring him back. Or could it?


2. CARLOS DELGADO: The struggling first baseman transformed into the slugging first baseman shortly after Manuel took over. Coincidence? Delgado says no and is annoyed with the suggestion. But, his numbers were impressive enough to merit MVP consideration. The Mets could pick up his option for $16 million or offer a $4 million buyout. Was Delgado’s second half a fluke? That’s a tough one. MY OPINION: If the Mets believe they are a contender and make some early moves to fix the pen, then Delgado should be brought back. It would be one less hassle. Should they go this route, there should not be an extension. Make him earn it. HOWEVER, if the Mets remain stagnant and believe they are in a rebuilding mode, then give him the buyout and go young. In this case, I would send Daniel Murphy to the Arizona Fall League for instruction at first. Nick Evans, too.

3. SECOND BASE: Ramon Martinez was a spark the final week of the season, but in the end, he’s still a retread player. Damion Easley is a role player I want back. Luis Castillo is not the answer. MY OPINION: Castillo can’t play here. I would try to trade him with the understanding of eating most of his salary. If they can’t do that then dump him and eat the whole thing. If this is a platoon position next year, so be it.

4. LEFT FIELD: Moises Alou can’t go in a time machine. The Mets finished the season platooning Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans and Fernando Tatis, with Endy Chavez coming in late for defense. I can see them doing that again, but acquiring a full time outfielder would be better. MY OPINION: Whatever they do, it should not be Manny Ramirez. I think they should look for a full time outfielder, but don’t overpay because they have more pressing issues.

5. STARTING PITCHING: They have two spots that are in question, Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez. Martinez was never completely healthy and was lost with the death of this father. His fastball faded and he proved to be a five-inning guy. Half of Perez’s 34 starts were no-decisions and he finished at 10-8, the numbers for a fifth starter. MY OPINION: Perez won’t come at a fifth starter’s salary. With agent Scott Boras, he’ll demand a lot. If the Mets want him, they should make their best offer during their negotiating window and sign him before CC Sabathia sets the market. If Boras says no, then fine and move on. I don’t see Perez ever becoming a No. 1. As far as Martinez, he wants to pitch and I’d bring him back as a fifth starter.

Heilman: Could be time to make a deal.

Heilman: Could be time to make a deal.


6. BULLPEN: With the exception of Joe Smith, I can see a complete housecleaning. Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis are under contract, but so what? Twenty-nine blown saves should mean everybody is vulnerable. MY OPINION: Minaya won’t bring back seven new arms. I’d look at Brian Fuentes before Francisco Rodriguez as the closer because of economics (they are already paying Billy Wagner $11 million not to close next year). The bridge is essential. I’d give Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell a shot in spring training to close. Winter ball might not be a bad idea, either. Brian Stokes, Smith, Luis Ayala and Pedro Feliciano I can see coming back. They’ve listened to trade offers for Heilman before. Now is the time to do it, because he’s gone once he’s a free agent. It’s one thing to think overhaul, but it’s another to actually do it. They have to realistic in that the entire pen can’t be replaced.

This will be the offseason Minaya earns his money.

Sep 29

About Yesterday ….

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Perez: No better than a No. 5?

Instead of packing to head to Wrigley Field, the Mets will be in today to clean out their lockers. They will drift in throughout the afternoon. The Mets are telling us 11:30 until 3:30. Why 11:30?

Let’s figure it out …

I’m guessing a lot of guys will be in before that and leave before answering questions about another late season fade.

“We failed,” David Wright said yesterday. “We failed as a team.”

That they did. Yesterday, was a microcosm of all that went wrong.

Starting pitching: Oliver Perez showed he’s not an ace. Or even close to it. Perez finished the season at 10-8 with 17 no-decisions. Out of 34 starts, he came away with a no-decision half the time. Terrible. He can’t close the deal. In his biggest game of the season he gave the Mets 5 1/3 innings. Thanks for showing up.

Bullpen: No blown save yesterday, but does it matter? Back-to-back jacks were the difference. For the record, 29 blown saves overall. That is the stat of the season.

Offense: The Mets have an offense? Not yesterday. Two runs on four hits won’t get it done.

The Mets will pack to go home. Many of them never to return to this clubhouse. Who should go and who should stay? More on that today.

Please stay tuned throughout the day.