Aug 14

Some random thoughts ….

Going over a few things in my mind, including yesterday’s Sheffield post.

* I don’t see how anyone could think bringing back Gary Sheffield for next year is a good idea. With the complaints this year of the Mets being old and not athletic, Sheffield in 2010 does nothing to make that happen. The Mets look listless now, and Sheffield only adds to that appearance when you see him in the outfield. Sheffield has always been a me-first guy, and he’ll complain about playing time for sure. At 40, he’s not getting any younger and is already showing break-down signs. If he would had 25 homers in the bank I’d consider it, but he’s got 10. That might be decent coming off the bench, but this guy wants to play full time. Bad move.

* We’ll know this afternoon whether Livan Hernandez will stay in the rotation. Jerry Manuel talks about his respect for Hernandez, but he’s let him twist in the wind since his last start. Do the Mets really have any other viable options? Probably not. Like with Sheffield, I would be willing to see what I could get for Hernandez in a waiver deal considering we probably won’t see him next season.

* David Wright’s knee has been examined and we’ll find out the results later today. With the team going nowhere, there’s not point running him into the ground.

* In the “It’s About Time,” category, fans will notice photos of notable Mets and moments in club history around Citi Field at tonight’s game against the Giants. Why this wasn’t done from the outset, along with a Mets’ Hall of Fame, is beyond me. The Mets don’t have the glorious history of the Yankees or Dodgers, but they have an compelling history nonetheless. It should have been honored and on display all along. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a meaningful exhibit, but it isn’t about the Mets. Honor your own history before someone else’s.

* I’ve said this numerous times, so once more shouldn’t hurt. The competitive aspect of the season is over. Shut down Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to let them fully heal. Unless there are serious concerns about their health that need to be answered as to prepare for the off-season – and this doesn’t seem to be the case – there’s no benefit in dragging them out there again this year. It could only make matters worse.

* Billy Wagner is expected to be activated Sunday, and he’s somebody the Mets might be able to swing a waiver deal for to pick up a prospect. Left relievers are valuable in a pennant race and if Wagner is close to being 100 percent he could net something in return. They certainly aren’t going to offer him arbitration they might as well see what is out there.

* For the most part, I’ve held my tongue on Gannett. Not now. On a sad note, my former newspaper, The Journal News, is forcing employees to re-apply for their jobs. Even so, at least 70 people will get cut. Some good people will lose their jobs. Management said only current employees are eligible to apply, but apparently these Gannett openings are on the public job boards. Nice lie. Just a different lie than the one they told me.

Gannett still makes a profit, but apparently not enough. This used to be an aggressive newspaper with quality people putting out a quality product. It is but a shell of its former self as Corporate gut the product, presumably to write-off its self-inflicted losses. It’s a sleazy company that deserves its demise. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people get hurt.

I guess, all you need to know about the small thinking that goes on at my former place is every afternoon they cut off the air conditioning for an hour to presumably save a few pennies.

Stay classy Gannett, stay classy.

Jul 07

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #82; Dodgers in.

Mike Pelfrey will be pitching tonight to snap the Mets out of their latest losing streak. In the bigger picture, the Mets’ slide is eight losses in ten games.

And, help isn’t coming anytime soon.

Jose Reyes took a cortisone injection because he still feels pain in his right leg, and Carlos Beltran will need a rehabilitation assignment once the bone bruise below his right knee heals.

Neither will be back prior to the All-Star break.

Tonight’s line-up:

Luis Castillo, 2B
Alex Cora, SS
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Ryan Church, CF
Nick Evans, LF
Omir Santos, C
Mike Pelfrey, RH

May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #40; avoiding the broom.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The future is now for Daniel Murphy.

Murphy, the Mets’ first baseman of the future, will start at the position tonight in Los Angeles as the club attempts to avoid being swept by the Dodgers. Manager Jerry Manuel said Murphy would also start the three games in Boston.

Manuel has been going with Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis at first in place of Carlos Delgado, who underwent hip surgery Monday and will be out at least two months.

All I can say is it’s about time. Circumstances dictate drastic measures and that includes seeing if Murphy can handle the position. There’s only one way to find out, and that is to play him.

Here’s tonight’s line-up”

Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ryan Church, RF
Ramon Castro, C
Angel Pagan, LF
Livan Hernandez, P

May 20

Sporting News selects six Mets among game’s best.

A panel of Hall of Famers, former players and executives ranked the game’s top 50 players, with six Mets making the cut, more than any other team.

Johan Santana, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado made the list.

No surprise Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez were ranked 1-2. Santana was third, the first pitcher on the list.

Here’s the SPORTING NEWS’ TOP 50 PLAYERS

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
3. Johan Santana, Mets
4. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
5. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
6. Chase Utley, Phillies
7. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
8. Derek Jeter, Yankees
9. Mariano Rivera, Yankees
10. Chipper Jones, Braves
11. Ryan Howard, Phillies
12. Grady Sizemore, Indians
13. David Wright, Mets
14. Justin Morneau, Twins
15. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
16. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
17. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
18. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
19. Tim Lincecum, Giants
20. Evan Longoria, Rays
21. Lance Berkman, Astros
22. Jose Reyes, Mets
23. Carlos Beltran, Mets
24. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
25. Zack Greinke, Royals
26. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
27. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
28. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
29. CC Sabathia, Yankees
30. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
31. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
32. Ryan Braun, Brewers
33. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
34. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets
35. Matt Holliday, A’s
36. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
37. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
38. Jake Peavy, Padres
39. Joe Mauer, Twins
40. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
41. Jason Bay, Red Sox
42. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
43. Cliff Lee, Indians
44. Torii Hunter, Angels
45. Victor Martinez, Indians
46. Roy Oswalt, Astros
47. Carlos Delgado, Mets
48. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
49. Cole Hamels, Phillies
50. Brian McCann, Braves

Any reaction?