Apr 22

Mr. Pelfrey, this is your wake-up call.

Spring training is over, so it is time Mike Pelfrey start pitching like he means it.  Pelfrey is 0-2, but more indicative of how he’s pitched is his 9.72 ERA. If he wants to be considered a No. 1 pitcher, he must pitch like one.

PELFREY: Time to get going.

Pelfrey is coming off a 4-0 loss last Saturday in Atlanta in which he gave up 11 hits in five-plus innings. He fooled nobody.

And, it has been that way all season. Last year, Pelfrey saw the seventh inning in 17 starts. He’s yet to last that far this year.

There are two ways to look at Pelfrey’s body of work against the Diamondbacks. He’s 0-5 with a 6.69 ERA. The first way is he’s due for some success. The other is he could be in for more trouble tonight.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself because nobody else in the league is going to feel sorry for you,’’ Pelfrey said. “I definitely have to be better.’’

Here’s Pelfrey’s supporting cast for tonight:

Jose Reyes, SS

Daniel Murphy, 2B

David Wright, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Jason Bay, LF
Ike Davis, 1B

Mike Nickeas, C

Jason Pridie, CF

Not surprisingly, the Mets placed Angel Pagan on the disabled list this afternoon when he reported to Citi Field with persistent pain in his left side from a pulled muscle. I like that Terry Collins is not jockeying Beltran and kept him in right field.

Beltran is getting comfortable in right field, and it isn’t that he can’t play center anymore, but why put him through that?

By the way, the Mets aren’t the only team to have seen something in second baseman Brad Emaus. Colorado traded for him today after he cleared waivers and was returned to Toronto.

Chris Young will throw a bullpen session tomorrow and if all goes well he could start Tuesday at Washington. Meanwhile, Dillon Gee gets the start tomorrow.

To talk during the game, click onto the Mets Chat icon to your left.


Apr 22

For one night all was well.

What a difference a well-pitched game makes. On consecutive nights the Mets received length from their starter to alleviate some of the burden from the bullpen. Tonight Mike Pelfrey will attempt to snap out of his miserable start.

Chris Capuano was superb last night, giving up a run in seven innings. He only walked two, which meant the game moved along at a crisp pace.

David Wright also snapped out of a 0-for-20 funk with a homer, double and three RBI. He’s not all the way back, but for one night at least played like an All-Star. The long loop that had been his swing during a stretch of 23 strikeouts in 73 at-bats seemed shorter and quicker.

Jason Bay went 1-for-4 in his return, but more importantly didn’t hurt himself. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Angel Pagan, who pulled a muscle in his left side. That’s a tricky injury so don’t expect him anytime soon. Such injuries usually land on the disabled list.

The Mets open a three-game series tonight against Arizona at Citi Field, with Pelfrey going against Joe Saunders.

I sure hope Pelfrey took notes last night on Capuano, who challenged hitters with his fastball and whose command was nearly flawless. Also vital was his quick pace. His tempo was up all night, and unlike Pelfrey when he struggles, Capuano didn’t labor.

One thing I’ve noticed about Terry Collins, is he sometimes writes a check with his mouth that his team can’t cash. For instance, last night he said he believes the Mets are capable of playing like they did every night.

Easy, Terry.


Apr 21

Your passion lives even if the Mets don’t.

R.A. Dickey throws a knuckleball, and last night he pitched well, but not good enough to win against the Houston Astros. After the game, Dickey threw high heat, not only at himself, but his teammates.

“We have to find a way to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are. We can’t just keep telling ourselves, ‘Oh, we’re a better team than this.’ We may not be.’’

There has not been a better analysis of the Mets this season. Maybe not for a long time.

So, let’s be brutally honest.

Their pitching, both in the rotation and out of the bullpen is not good enough to win with in the National League. It might not even be good enough to win with in Triple-A.

Fundamentals, which was supposed to be their upside, has been poor in all aspects. They have not hit for power or in the clutch. They’ve given away too many at-bats both at the plate and in the field.

And last night on the bases was atrocious, from Angel Pagan’s slide at the plate to Jose Reyes being doubled off first in the ninth inning.

It does me no joy to write this, but it is the truth. I don’t see where Jason Bay’s return will provide immediate help.

However, we all knew this heading into spring training. This was supposed to be a bridge year until payroll was cleared the Mets could be able to spend next year.

Payroll will be cleared, but probably nothing significant by the trade deadline, so let’s not expect any flashes at mid-season. Major League Baseball has taken over control of the Dodgers, and who is to say the Mets aren’t next? Who is to say the handpicked selection of Sandy Alderson as general manager isn’t close to the same thing?

Ownership is in a state of crisis, and until that is resolved things will continue to be bleak for the Mets and the crowds thin at Citi Field, where they are a dismal 1-8 for the worst home start in franchise history.

Hell, the 1962 Mets did better than that at the Polo Grounds.

Three weeks into the season and the Mets have five victories to show for their efforts. The Angels’ Jered Weaver has that many by himself.

But, this is your team. You’ve cheered for them in gloomy times before and will pull for them again. That’s what loyal fans do.

All you Mets fans on this blog and the dozens of others that follow your team. All of you who watch on SNY and tune into WFAN, and to those who read the papers every morning. You do so because the Mets are your passion.

And, they are lucky to have you.


Apr 01

Terry Collins sends open letter to Mets’ fans

What we’ve been waiting for since that final Sunday at Citi Field, when Oliver Perez was booed off the mound for the last time is hours away: The start of another era in Mets’ history.

COLLINS: A new era begins

The Yankees had their moment yesterday, and I’m watching Roy Halladay and the Phillies are in a pitching duel with Houston. Meanwhile, in Florida, Mets manager Terry Collins is already at the ballpark and his players are trickling into the clubhouse.

For today, at least, the disappointments of the past have given way to optimism despite the issues – on and off the field – swirling around this team. It’s Opening Day, for some the real New Year’s day, and the air is full of hope and positive feelings.

Collins, who hasn’t stopped working since he was hired to replace Jerry Manuel, began his work day by sending the following open letter to Mets’ fans:


Dear Mets Fan:

With our 2011 opener tonight in Florida, I want to make this pledge to Mets fans — our team will play the game the right way.

We will always hustle on the bases, run balls down in the outfield and never take anything for granted, no matter the score of the game.

We had a great Spring Training. From Day 1 my message has been look ahead, not backward, and not to worry about what the people outside the clubhouse are saying. If we pitch and play defense like I know we can, we will surprise a lot of people, a lot of people.

I stack our lineup against anyone else’s in the league. Getting Carlos Beltran back and hitting cleanup is really big. The way Carlos handled his move to right field was one of the classiest things I have ever seen. Angel Pagan is coming off a great season. While we had a little setback this week with Jason Bay — who was swinging the bat well — going on the disabled list, he shouldn’t be out too long. We believe with the three of them on the field, we have one of the top outfields in baseball.

Our infield is anchored by the two All-Stars on the left side: David Wright at third and Jose Reyes at short. I think David will add on to his numbers from last year and Jose is ready to have a tremendous season. He is one of the most dynamic players in the game. Ike Davis will continue to develop at first base and Josh Thole is one of the fine young catchers in the game. Brad Emaus, a Rule 5 pick, got better and better as the spring went on and won the second base job.

On the mound, sure, we are going to miss Johan Santana until he comes back, hopefully in mid-year. But this spring, I think we established a solid rotation with Mike Pelfrey, followed by R.A. Dickey and Jonathon Niese. Chris Young and Chris Capuano proved that they are healthy, and they really strengthen us on the back end.

We remade our bullpen and we think we have quality arms who throw strikes to get to closer Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod has just had a fantastic spring and I never have seen him throwing better. People like Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz, Blaine Boyer, Tim Byrdak and Pedro Beato — another Rule 5 selection who is from Queens — will give us a solid ‘pen.

I believe we have fortified our bench with the additions of Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Ronny Paulino (who will begin the year on the disabled list) and Chin-lung Hu, along with Daniel Murphy.

It’s been 12 years since I have started a season as a Major League manager. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be leading the New York Mets and am very excited about the season ahead.

Thanks for your support and see you at Citi Field.


Terry Collins


Realistically, I didn’t expect Collins to write anything else, but then again I don’t recall a gesture like this recently from a Mets’ manager. David Wright said Collins’ team speech to close spring training was like something out of “Hoosiers.”

Maybe the odds are as long for the Mets this year as they were for Hickory High School, but for today at least, it is time to believe in miracles.

Afterall, isn’t that what Opening Days are for.


NEXT UP: Tonight’s lineup and 2011 Over/Unders









Mar 24

Alderson conference call

I just finished up a conference call with GM Sandy Alderson. Among the highlights:

* If the Mets were in contention at the trade deadline he would have the financial flexibility to add a player or pitcher.

* Alderson would like to see an improvement in Jose Reyes’ on-base percentage. He said Reyes’ performance, along with where the team is will be the key factors in a contract extension. If Reyes is performing well and the team is not, the Mets could still sign him to an extension. Alderson said the Mets would have the financial resources to extend Reyes.

* He said he is not concerned with Jason Bay’s lack of power during spring training and believes he will adjust to Citi Field this summer.

* Said Nick Evans is still in the mix to make the team, especially if Carlos Beltran starts the season on the disabled list.

* Is not surprised the second base decision is lasting this long.