Oct 21

Commentary: Give the kids a chance.

Kunz: Why not give him a chance?

Kunz: Why not give him a chance?

I remember the conversation with Jerry Manuel as if it were yesterday. We were in Washington and I asked him about Eddie Kunz. (For the sake of the argument, I know he got roughed up).

How much worse could Kunz be than the older arms blowing saves for the Mets? Manuel agreed, and said maybe it was time for Kunz to pitch in a pressure situation. He didn’t get a save opportunity for several days, until Manuel had no choice but to go to him.

The amateur psychologist in me said Kunz’s confidence took a hit when opportunity after opportunity passed without him getting the ball. And, that shaken ego was ripped when he got a chance he would inevitably blow.

Here we are, August in Washington against the lowly Nationals, and the Mets were afraid to go to somebody on their roster they claim to be in their plans.

Fast forward to last Sunday, when the Rays, three outs from the World Series, went with David Price, who is a merely 23. You could see his teething ring next to the rosin bag, but he was out there throwing heat.

And succeeding.

Now, I don’t know how good Kunz will be. I can’t say the same for Bobby Parnell. But, if they are as good as they Mets trust they’ll be, then give them the chance to prove it. That’s better than to throw millions of dollars at Francisco Rodriguez, whom I believe in a couple of years will be where Billy Wagner is now – and that’s being unable to throw.

Spend the money on going after a starter and acquiring some depth in the bridge to the closer role.

Sep 20

About Last Night ….

Several things come to mind, the most important being they won the type of game they have lost in the past in Atlanta.

-Nice job by the pen last night. Brian Stokes will probably be unavailable tonight. Huge strikeout by Aaron Heilman. I hope this helps turn him around.

-Oliver Perez did not pitch well, but as was posted last night he minimized the damage to some degree. He needs to do better, but he didn’t implode.

-David Wright will snap out of it. He went the other way last night and that’s a good sign. There seems little doubt he took his offense out on the field with him. That’s unlike him. But, overall, I have a lot of confidence in Wright. He will be fine.

-I’m going to keep saying it: I want Daniel Murphy in the lineup against everybody. Play him until he proves he can’t hit lefties.

Sep 19

About Last Night …. Santana does it again.

Last winter I wrote how I didn’t want the Mets to trade for Johan Santana. I was thinking he would cost too much in prospects and money, and would break down before the end of the contract. Who knows about injuries?

But, he’s been worth it. Every time he goes out there you expect him to throw a good game and have the feeling the Mets will win. He provides a sense of confidence. You are surprised when he doesn’t pitch well.

That’s an ace.

The man should have 20 wins this season. Seven games the bullpen coughed up for him. Many more times the offense snoozed.

If he keeps pitching like this and the Mets give him some help, he will win a Cy Young Award here. I’m glad he’s here. I always enjoy seen the best perform.

Sep 17

In case you were wondering ….

Aaron Heilman wants to be a starter and the Mets needed a starter for tonight. They came up with Brandon Knight.

Why not finally give Heilman his shot?

Well, for one thing, he hasn’t proven he can get hitters out in one inning, much less five or six. He’s only thrown 1 1/3 innings this month. Obviously, Jerry Manuel has no faith in him, and consequently, Heilman has no faith in himself.

Heilman struggled much of this season and he had one chance to piece together his fragile confidence, and that was when Billy Wagner went down. Manuel gave Heilman a chance to close a game and he blew it. Manuel then pulled the plug on Heilman in the closer role.

You want to crush whatever confidence he had left, and that’s the way to do it.

Anyway, Heilman was good in his role for the Mets, but he never seemed to recover from giving up the homer to Molina in the 2006 NLCS. He said all the right things, but something was missing.

The Mets resisted dealing Heilman the past two winters, but I don’t see that this time around. If they are offered a package they’ll bite. They have to.