Aug 18

Mets Chat Room; union files grievance.

Jerry Manuel said today he hopes the Mets can get on a run and sneak back into contention. He really doesn’t have much more than hope because the Mets are becoming more and more irrelevant for this season.

Game #120 at Astros

They started sputtering before the All-Star break, but were within serious striking distance when Carlos Beltran was activated at the break.

They’ve been 11-20 since to deepen their hole by seven games to 11 behind Atlanta.

I posted a few things to look forward to down the stretch, but another one is the fallout from the Francisco Rodriguez incident.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, not surprisingly, has already filed a grievance against the Mets on behalf of Rodriguez for placing him on the disqualified list and attempt to convert his contract to a non-guaranteed deal.

Remember, the union’s concern isn’t about right or wrong – as evidenced by its head-in-the-sand stance on steroids – but simply getting every last nickel for the players.

Aug 17

Mets Chat Room; Santana tries to keep it going.

The last time Johan Santana pitched he told manager Jerry Manuel to leave him alone, that he could go ten innings.

Game #119 at Astros

Want to bet there will be a similar conversation tonight?

For the first time in two months, the Mets the first game of a road series last night. They’ll try to make it two in a row tonight behind Santana (10-6, 2.89), who is coming off a masterful 4-0 blanking of the Colorado Rockies. They haven’t won two straight on the road since June 11-18.

Santana admits there’s a certain degree of pressure when he takes the mound considering the Mets’ lackluster offense.

“Every time we go out there, we go out there with the mentality of winning,’’ said Santana, who has given up nine hits in 16 1/3 scoreless innings in his last two starts.

Over his last nine starts Santana is 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA. With a little run support he could have 15 victories by now.

Two slumbering Mets showed wake-up signs last night. David Wright had three hits and Carlos Beltran had two, including a home run.

Aug 16

Mets Chat Room; K-Rod done for year.

Game #118 at Astros

The homestand that was supposed to be their last chance has ended in mediocrity, and now it is on to Houston and Pittsburgh, two teams with offenses even worse than the Mets.

The road trip begins with the news Francisco Rodriguez could be lost for the season after tearing a ligament in his right thumb sustained in the altercation with the father of his girlfriend. Then again, what good is a closer if you’re not scoring any runs.

The offense is hitting less than .200 in August, and the slide is personified by David Wright, who is batting .114 with no RBI in August.

Jon Niese, one of the positives of this season, goes for the Mets tonight.

Aug 15

Mets Chat Room; where’s the hope?

Game #117 vs. Phillies

Every day I look at the standings and wonder if it’s possible. Can the Mets actually turn this thing around and make this season one to remember?

Not so much anymore.

The Braves won big today and the Mets are 9 1/2 games out. It’s double digits if they lose tonight. With each passing day it is becoming more and more that this is a season to forget.

The starting pitching is getting better, but the offense – despite its talents – is listless and stagnant. The bullpen, as we long suspected, is worn and frayed. There’s no spark. No life. No reason for hope.

The Francisco Rodriguez incident really brings this into focus. The players spoke in cliche about supporting a teammate when they should have condemned the action and demanded an apology. The manager, instead of recognizing the severity of the incident and speaking out, said he was willing to pitch him.

The owners issued an 18-work statement expressing their “disappointment” when they should have been expressing their anger. Then again, ownership hasn’t taken a leadership role all season.

Hope? Hope is not an action plan.

Aug 13

Mets Chat Room; the circus is in town.

Game #115 vs. Phillies

Evidently, the Mets weren’t all that “disappointed” in the behavior of closer Francisco Rodriguez as word is the combustible closer could be available to pitch as soon as tomorrow. Of course, with their ace facing a civil suit for rape, just how much could they say?

There were suspension limitations without facing a grievance from the Players Association, but it would have been interesting to see them tangle and watch what lame defense the MLBPA would come up with to defend assault.

The Mets’ handling of their off-season issues has been embarrassingly poor from the disciplinary stances of Rodriguez and Santana to  their lack of activity in the off-season and at the trading deadline in bolstering its pitching staff.

I understand the clubhouse mentality of “he’s our teammate and we support him,” but I wonder how much they really will embrace him for his behavior in front of their wives, girlfriends and children. Carlos Beltran, the quiet one, came out strongest calling what Rodriguez did was wrong. Otherwise, the word “mistake,” was thrown out too much.

Evidently, the words from his father-in-law, to quit being a baby, man up and play better.”

Those words can apply to ownership on down.