Sep 23

Overhauling the bullpen

The Mets blew 29 save opportunities so far this season, and with them, perhaps a chance at the playoffs. Adding a top notch closer such as Francisco Rodriguez would improve the bullpen, but not put it over the top.

Billy Wagner blew seven save opportunities, but even worse was the bridge leading up to him. It was more than just a bad season.

Here’s how I see the pen:

-Billy Wagner: Won’t pitch for the Mets again. No brainer. However, he will get paid $11 million by them, and that will inhibit what they do this winter. I don’t see them paying both Wagner and Rodriguez.

-Aaron Heilman: They’ve resisted trading him the past two winters. They should pull the trigger if they get an offer this time. Heilman wants to start and since the Mets won’t give him that opportunity, they should try to get what they can. If they wanted to give Heilman a chance at being the fifth starter, I’d entertain it because it is clear this bullpen thing isn’t working out.

-Scott Schoeneweis: I can’t believe they gave him three years. (I mistakenly said he was done after this year. He’s signed through 2009).

-Joe Smith: Has his moments, both good and bad. Will be brought back.

-Pedro Feliciano: I’ve always been cool on him for some reason, even when he’s pitched well. I think they’ll bring him back.

-Luis Ayala: He saved a few games. Big deal. I don’t see him as the answer at closer. I do see him coming back.

-Carlos Muniz: Wouldn’t miss him.

-Ricardo Rincon: Ditto.

-Duaner Sanchez: He doesn’t have his fastball anymore. Certainly not a set-up man or closer type anymore. Not a loss if they don’t bring him back.

-Brian Stokes: More good appearances than bad. I’d like to see him back.

-Nelson Figueroa: Feel good story early this season. Very hittable.

-Brandon Knight: Pitched decently. Long man?

-Bobby Parnell: Can bring the heat. Let’s see what he can do in spring training.

Sep 23

About Last Night ….

Someday, Jon Niese might become a viable major league pitcher. That he started such a critical game last night indicates the seriousness of the Mets’ pitching woes and I’ve drawn these conclusions:

Maine: Don't risk him in pen.

Maine: Don't risk him in pen.


1. John Maine is too valuable for them to screw around with in the bullpen considering his health issues. He’s not going to be the difference. They will not win the World Series this year. Shut him down and have him be ready for spring training.

2. Pedro Martinez has had a Hall of Fame career. But, those days are gone. If he comes back next year, it should be as the fifth starter. They should cut ties with Martinez, but I’m entertaining his return because I anticipate Oliver Perez’s departure and Niese not being ready.

3. It is a sad state of affairs Perez will become richer than beyond his wildest dreams for being mediocre. He’s pitched well this year in parts, but his record screams mediocrity.

4. Of course, the records of Maine, Perez, Johan Santana and even Mike Pelfrey are below what they should be because of a bullpen that blew 29 saves. The pen has to be overhauled.

Sep 22

Mets in the Afternoon ….

-John Maine threw a 30-pitch simulated game today and declared himself 90 percent. Maine would like to pitch, but again, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

-The Mets announced they will move their Triple-A team to Buffalo and will be called the Bisons. Good move. The closer the Triple-A team is to New York geographically the better.

-Pedro Martinez said he could pitch out of the bullpen in the playoffs. Problem is he’s allowed over 25 percent of his runs in the first inning.

Sep 22

What is your favorite Shea memory?

The Mets open their final homestand tonight at Shea against the Cubs. However, instead of nostalgia, the Mets are in a fight to get into the playoffs. It would have been nice had they wrapped up a playoff spot by now, but the bullpen made that impossible.

Perhaps some of you might enjoy your greatest Shea memory this week should they clinch a playoff spot.

How about the rest of you? What is your favorite memory of Shea Stadium, where many of you grew up?

Sep 21

Same old story ….

Remember when I asked last weekend if the Braves were still relevant? Some of you wrote and said no, that I was worrying about nothing. Others who are sharp on your Mets’ history understood the concept: The Braves will always hold a spot in the Mets’ consciousness.

Back-to-back weekends the Mets lose two of three to a team they should beat. They’ve now lost six of their last ten games. Not the stuff of a pennant contender. This team is showing it is not deserving of the playoffs. Not with that bullpen anyway.

Today was another meltdown. I don’t want F-Rod. I want a solid bridge to whomever they get to close next year. I’m not worried about the playoffs anymore because with that pen even should they get there, winter will come soon enough.