Sep 16

Glad Parnell is going tonight

PARNELL: More on the job training.

PARNELL: More on the job training.

After Jerry Manuel’s song-and-dance about not knowing if Bobby Parnell would stay in the rotation, I’m glad to see he’s starting tonight. I don’t even care if he gets lit up, I just want him out there to learn.

He’s been on the major league roster all year, and he’s pitched with success, albeit most of it in a relief role. But, this is the opportunity for him to learn how to pitch out of trouble if not avoid it entirely.

The point was made last night about diminishing his value like that of Daniel Murphy. I’m not buying because Parnell has too good an arm for the Mets to be thinking about trading him.

I think Manuel waffling hurts Parnell’s confidence more than him getting hammered.

He should stay because these remaining few games is about learning what certain players are capable of in the planning for next year, and certainly Parnell has a better chance of starting in 2010 than the rest of the current rotation, save Mike Pelfrey (who really does need saving).

He should get two more starts after tonight, maybe three, and the larger the sampling the better.

He could get his butt handed to him tonight as most Mets pitchers experience in Atlanta, but that’s better than having it planted on the bench.

Sep 14

The key issues remaining for the Mets

The Mets have made it clear they are thinking toward next season with their decisions to activate Carlos Beltran and John Maine from the disabled list. As this disappointing year draws to a close these are some of the key issues remaining that need to be addressed.

1) John Maine proving he’s healthy over the next three starts?
My take: This is a key domino because it dictates in large part what the team does in the off-season.

MAINE: Needs to close strong.

MAINE: Needs to close strong.

2) Jose Reyes being activated from the disabled list?
My take: With how long it has taken him and talk of surgery, Reyes playing can only lead to bad things.

3) Carlos Delgado being activated from the disabled list?
My take: I don’t think he’s coming back, so no, especially if they are still high on Daniel Murphy at first base.

4) Mike Pelfrey putting several consistently good starts together?
My take: It would be good for his self-confidence, which right now has to be close to rock bottom.

5) David Wright regaining his power stroke?
My take: I think Philadelphia was a start. He’s had such a streaky season. I’d like to see him go long at Citi Field to get that out of his head.

6) Francisco Rodriguez being healthy and not making every save an adventure?
My take: He hasn’t pitched to expectations, especially after that game at Yankee Stadium when Luis Castillo dropped the pop-up. Something isn’t right with him.

7) Angel Pagan getting a clue on the bases?
My take: If it hasn’t happened now, it won’t the rest of the way. If he’s to contend for the left job next year he has to be smarter, both in the field and on the bases.

8) Daniel Murphy improving at first base?
My take: Important, because if they are confident in Murphy that’s one less thing on their plate this winter.

Sep 10

Delgado in 2010?

Jerry Manuel hasn’t closed the door for a return of Carlos Delgado to the Mets for next season. What had been a foregone conclusion might not happen.

“I think it depends a lot on the makeup of the rest of the team, if you have excess in another area – say, speed, then that balances that out,” Manuel said. “If we gear in that direction, it has to be excess if we don’t have any power to balance the team out.”

DELGADO: Do you want him back?

DELGADO: Do you want him back?

An assumption is the Mets would have more power next season with Carlos Beltran available, Jeff Francoeur there for the entire season, and the hoped-for return of David Wright’s power numbers. Given that, the need for Delgado would be lessened.

Of course, none of the above are guaranteed. Then again, neither is Delgado returning to his second-half 2008 form.

Delgado does not help the Mets get younger, faster, more athletic and cheaper. The Mets have to weigh whether Delgado is closer to being the player he was in the second half last season or the first half and most of 2007.

He also has an injury history, and age and his contract are factors. I’d rather leave first base to Daniel Murphy and use the money elsewhere, preferably pitching. The Mets are rapidly making the transition from being the team that had the World Series door slammed in their faces in 2006, and Delgado is holding onto the past.

Agree or not?

Aug 31

Proactive selling ….

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the Mets are planning for 2010 with every move they make. The decisions on surgery and the disabled list were made to protect players and give them proper rehab time.

Time to be proactive

Time to be proactive

Sticking with Daniel Murphy at first base and Bobby Parnell in the rotation were made with an eye on holes that need to be filled over the winter.

Economically, the Mets should also be thinking about next season.

With Mets tickets on the Internet at times selling for less than face value, and the economy still in shreds, the franchise could be faced with a large number of season ticket cancellations for next year in light of how the team has performed.

Business-as-usual for the Mets would be to send out renewal notices after the playoffs. But, these are not normal times and they should be considering a more aggressive approach to get their ticket holders to return.

With 15 home games remaining and nothing to play for, the Mets should consider giving season-ticket holders the opportunity to credit September’s unused tickets toward next year’s packages. If there’s no reason to go to the park, many ticket holders will be likely to dump their tickets for whatever they can get to cut their losses.

For those ticket holders who already decided about not renewing for 2010, there’s nothing the Mets can do. However, this gesture might push those sitting on the fence to renew.

Here’s a chance for the organization to thank its ticket holders for supporting the team during this lost season, and at the same time make a dent in its off-season sales.

It’s not as if the team would lose money because the Mets could always re-sell the returned tickets, or donate them to charity for a tax write-off.

And, the team should also be considering selling one-month packages, perhaps at a discounted rate.

I can’t imagine the Mets doing this because the first impression would be they would be making less money, but with how things have gone, and taking the economy into consideration, it could turn out to be a win-win for everybody.

The Mets might be in fourth place in the NL East, but this is no time for fourth-place thinking.