Feb 24

Feb. 24.10: Wondering about Frenchy.

His thumb is good, so that shouldn’t be an issue with Jeff Francoeur. That doesn’t mean the Mets’ right fielder isn’t without questions or concerns.

Francoeur’s attitude – and his performance – was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant clubhouse of a listless team last summer. He played with an energy the team had been lacking, bringing with him from Atlanta that “grit” the Mets have long been accused of lacking.

However, Francoeur has been an enigma for several years, with his stock falling since he hit a career-high 29 homers with 103 RBI in 2006. Believe it or not, that is the only season he’s hit 20. He hit 19 with 105 RBI in 2007, but his numbers have been on a downward spiral since.

That’s probably why he cost the Mets only Ryan Church.

Francoeur cited a change of scenery as giving him a lift last season, and perhaps that was the case. He hit .311 with 10 homers and 41 RBI in 289 at-bats for the Mets. That projects to a decent season of a little more than 20 homers and 82 RBI. Even so, it is still shy of his best season.

So, what do we expect from Francoeur if healthy and him getting over 600 at-bats? Would it be the change of scenery and a new Francoeur? Will it be another disappointment?

Not a lot has been made of Francoeur being an issue, but his career is at a crossroads and it will be interesting, and important, to the Mets to find out in which direction he’s going.

Jan 04

Jan. 4.10: Mets still thinking about Delgado.

The Mets are still scouting Carlos Delgado, who is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. They are looking to see if he can hold up for one more season. But, can they really get the answers they need over the long haul in a few short weeks?

Probably not.

I’ve thought for awhile now that it is time to move on from Delgado for several reasons, beginning with, 1) his age and injury history, and including 2) the money that could be spent elsewhere and 3) allowing the personality of the younger guys to emerge in the clubhouse.

The Mets had their window of opportunity with Delgado to win and it never materialized.

The Mets need to get younger, cheaper and more athletic and Delgado works against them in all these areas. Delgado has become the kind of veteran a teams trade for at the July deadline. If the Mets were a player away, then sure, bring him back. But, they are more than a player away.

Oct 01

Empty barrels make the most noise

And who is more of an empty barrel than Mike Francesa?

His comments stating Ryan Church hates New York were irresponsible and baseless. When you’ve got nothing in a job like his, you have to throw something against the wall and hope it sticks.

Instead of talking to Jon Heyman for his take, why not get Church on the phone? Francesa has the juice to make that happen, but he won’t do that.

When I covered the Yankees, he would come down to Tampa to do his show from the pressbox, but in all those years, not once did I see him in the clubhouse. So, for me, it’s hard to believe it when he passes something off as fact.

There have been so many things, like saying the Mets had no shot at Santana, that were passed off as fact. We should start a list.

Sep 29

Manuel all but official ….

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

Manuel: At his first press conference. He should have another soon.

The Mets were 55-38 under Jerry Manuel, a record good enough to bring him back. GM Omar Minaya is meeting with ownership today about Manuel’s contract. An announcement could be made this week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

Minaya on Manuel: “Jerry did a very good job in a tough situation, overcoming injuries to [John] Maine and Billy [Wagner]. … I was very pleased with the job he did.”

I’ve been saying Manuel should return. Agree? Disagree?

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.