May 15

Mets Should Have No Untouchables

With the Mets’ eight-game lead over Washington down to one, we are at the part of the season when panic sets in. They must do something, and fast.

Yes, Wilmer Flores – who leads the team in home runs, by the way – has been dreadful at shortstop. Naturally, he’s the one who must go and the Mets have to trade for a shortstop. In the car, if not the Rolling Stones or Eagles, I will sometimes listen to sports talk radio. Yes, yes, I know it’s a dumb thing to do, but like chocolate it is sometimes hard to resist.

HARVEY: No untouchables. (Getty)

HARVEY: No untouchables. (Getty)

Something I heard today made me laugh out loud. The topic was the Mets’ urgent need for a power bat, to which I can’t disagree. Of course Troy Tulowitzki‘s name came up. It always does. But what was said next is proof most of these guys don’t know what they are talking about.

“The Mets need a shortstop, because they are set everyplace else.”

This is dumb on so many levels, beginning with this – the Mets haven’t had a winning season in six years and despite their hot start there’s no guarantee they will have one this year. That they are 7-12 since their 11-game winning streak is proof this team can’t say it is set. That hot start is a memory.

“Just who are you going to replace?” the voice droned on.

Just who can’t they replace? That’s the better question. After 35 games, the Mets are ninth in the National League with 26 home runs. They are 12th in the league in runs scored with 130. The only player with a batting average higher than .250 in the lineup yesterday was Lucas Duda. Take your pick as to who should be replaced. If the goal is a winning season and the playoffs, everybody should be made available if it improves the team.

After losing four straight to the Cubs, the Mets must beat the Brewers this weekend before the Cardinals come to town. If they lose the Milwaukee series, who can’t see them below .500 by the end of next week, even if Matt Harvey wins his game?

There’s not a player on the team – Harvey included – I wouldn’t trade for the right package. They must get a star already signed to a multi-year deal to make it worthwhile. The often-injured, pricey Tulowitzki is not the answer. There are players, such as Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia, I prefer to keep, but entice me. Make me think before I say no.

Juan Lagares? Why not? Duda? Why not? Please don’t tell me they are set in the outfield with Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer. Maybe the Mets have players like Lagares they see locked into their future, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t better players who could help.

When you’re the Mets and haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2006, can they be that set to where they say they have untouchables?

Nobody expected an 11-game winning streak, but what it did was not serve notice the Mets are contenders, but allowed them a margin for error which is down to one game. If you can’t see below .500, surely you can see them out of first place.

The Mets entered the season hoping for bounce-back years from David Wright, Granderson and Harvey, and for Flores to develop. The Mets entered the season hoping for a lot of things, but how many times do I have to say “hoping is not a strategy?”

Hope is what GM Sandy Alderson built this season around, and it if all goes to hell, it will be Terry Collins who takes the fall. Such is the plan of baseball’s greatest general manager.

There should be no players who are untouchables given the right circumstances. None. Flores and Collins aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about their jobs.

Nov 01

Good afternoon …. football on your mind?

Sunday football on the tube.

Sunday football on the tube.

Watching some football this afternoon until the game tonight. Giants losing and Eagles just picked off Manning and took it in again. I’m waiting to watch Favre back in Green Bay. I think the ratings will be high for that one.

Up 13-0, it’s too soon to say it will be a blowout. Giants score and we’ve got a game again.

The Green Bay-Minnesota game is the one with the most interest to me. There aren’t too many players as magnetic as Favre. Everybody knew last year, or had to at least suspect it, that the Jets were just a rest stop on the Turnpike for him.

Watch. Enjoy. If you want to comment on anything that would be great. Thanks.

Oct 01

NIKE and Vick in bed again ….

As a pet lover, I’m more than annoyed. As a follower of professional sports, I’m not surprised by NIKE’s decision to get back together with dog-killer quarterback Michael Vick.

At the time, when Vick’s dog fighting hobby came to the surface and he was sent to prison and the National Football League suspended him, NIKE fell itself in a splash of self-righteousness, calling cruelty to animals, “inhumane, abhorrent and unacceptable.’’

The release of Vick’s shoe was stopped.

VICK: Head down, but no shame.

VICK: Head down, but no shame.


However, Vick’s return to the NFL has been met with hardly a whimper, with perhaps most people distracted by the economy. Whatever the reason, there has been no outcry against Vick and the Eagles.

The barometer has been no backlash from the Eagles’ sponsors. NIKE, seeing this, figured it was safe to get back into bed with Vick.

I know this is wishful thinking on my part, but it would have been nice to see Vick donating a portion of his salary, and NIKE making contributions, to animal shelters.

But, we won’t see any of that until there’s some kind of protest against Vick and NIKE. Until then, they will continue on in arrogant bliss.