Sep 26

Mets in the Afternoon: Pick tomorrow’s starter.

-He’s pitched a good game and he’s pitched a poor one. The Mets are hoping Jon Niese has another good one in him and the first one wasn’t a fluke. It looks as if he’ll go Saturday. It’s not official, but he seems to have the inside track over Brandon Knight or Nelson Figueroa. Who would you go with?

-If tonight gets rained out, the Mets will have a day-night doubleheader Saturday. Assuming, of course, the weather holds up. There’s no guarantee of that, either.

-Brian Schneider didn’t play last night because of soreness in his back. He can only benefit if tonight gets rained out. No word of his status if they do play.

-Damion Easley said last night he should be available to play in the field tonight. Sorry. Right now, I’m sticking with Ramon Martinez.

-The Daily News’ Peter Botte reports Dwight Gooden will be at the closing ceremonies Sunday.

Sep 25

Bringing back Manuel

Manuel deserves to continue.

Manuel deserves to continue.

If the Mets continue their fast fade in the NL East for the second straight season, should Jerry Manuel be brought back as manager?

That’s the question the Mets are wrestling with, but in the wake of news general manager Omar Minaya will get a four-year extension, how can they not extend Manuel as well? Afterall, part of bringing back Minaya was his decision to ax Willie Randolph and how the team responded.

The Mets were sinking when Randolph was replaced by Manuel, but they’ve rebounded and are tied for the wild card. They still control their destiny despite last night’s miserable showing.

The players responded to Manuel. He has their attention and respect. They play hard for him. The bullpen is awful, but players are trying. Nobody is dogging it.

Manuel has shown he can manage this team and he should get the opportunity to continue with better pitchers.

Sep 25

About Last Night …. Say good-bye Ollie.

Perez: Gave a definable image of himself last night.

Perez: Gave a definable image of himself last night.

Let me get this straight. Oliver Perez, an underachieving pitcher throughout his career, is a free agent after this season and is seeking a payday reportedly of $15 million a year times five. That’s $75 million. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes out wanting more.

At his age, agent Scott Boras is likely to set the bar higher.

If I’m the Mets after last night, I tell him to take a hike.

Seriously, I don’t want Perez anymore. He’s been the “Bad Ollie,” the last month when the Mets needed him most. My feeling right now is it doesn’t matter who is the pitching coach, that Perez will always be like this.

Last night was one of eight games in which he walked five or more batters. That’s roughly 25 percent of his starts. If the Mets don’t make the playoffs, last night was Perez’s last start of the season for the Mets, and probably his last with the franchise.

It was fitting how he pitched, because last night is how he’ll be remembered.

Sep 24

Tonight’s pitcher: Coin flip must land on heads for Mets.

Perez: Mets need big game from Ollie.

Perez: Mets need big game from Ollie.

What the Mets got last night from Johan Santana they’ll need tonight from Oliver Perez.

Perez hasn’t faced the Cubs since April 2005, and is 0-3 with a 5.74 ERA in his last five starts against Chicago.

Perez’s career has been one of hot-and-cold, and currently he’s been cool after a strong stretch. Perez (10-7, 4.10 ERA) has one win in his last seven starts. Over his last three starts, Perez has given up 12 earned runs on 18 hits and eight walks spanning 16 1/3 innings.

That said, do you want Perez back next year? I don’t know if he’ll be worth the money he’ll get, but is he worth the angst?

Sep 24

Is it worth the risk with John Maine?

Maine: Is it worth the risk?

Maine: Is it worth the risk?

I’ve been writing “no” all along. I don’t believe it is worth running John Maine out there to work in the bullpen this weekend, no matter what is at stake. I don’t believe he will make the difference and it isn’t worth risking further injury.

What about you guys?

Tell me if they should shut him down or roll the dice, and why.