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 14

What about this trip?

After a successful home stand that ended on a down note, the Mets are in San Francisco tonight for the start of a four-game series, then three in Los Angeles and three in Fenway.

If they play the way they did at the start of their homes stand, they’ll be in good shape. If they play as they did against the Braves then the miles will wear on them.

What’s your confidence level for this trip?

May 12

Stop it before it starts

The Mets have always been a streaky bunch. Hot, then cold. You knew the winning streak would end eventually, but didn’t think it would come in a game started by Johan Santana.

It’s not surprising he lost, but what is disturbing is the manner in which the Mets lost. They won by playing aggressive, crisp baseball, but last night were sloppy. Five unearned runs is inexcusable.

It’s easy to say it was only one game, but games like that can lead into bad habits. The Mets need a good start tonight from Mike Pelfrey, because, quite frankly, I don’t know if Jon Niese has two in a row. Then they have a murderous trip with four games against the Giants, three at the Dodgers and three at Fenway.

Winning is tough enough as it is and if the Mets start playing sloppy ball then this could be a very difficult stretch.

Apr 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #13; The autograph edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets finally did the right thing and announced they will preserve Dwight Gooden’s autograph and try to procure others from players in their history. How this got to be an issue was embarrassing to the Mets. When one of your great players autographs a wall in your new stadium, you go with the flow.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the lack of Mets memorabilia and appreciation for their history at Citi Field. There’s so much more they could have done to honor their tradition.

At Comerica Park there are exhibits by decade. Very well done. Honestly, I thought they’d have a Hall of Fame when they build the place. Right now the place honors Jackie Robinson more than the Mets and that’s not right.

The Rotunda is well done, but there should have been something similar for the Mets history.

Most teams honor their past. The Cardinals have statues outside Busch; there are photos of past players at Wrigley Field and in Cleveland; at Fenway, you just know that’s the home of the Red Sox.

Yes, I like Citi Field, but there’s more from a historical perspective that should be recognized.

Apr 15

Sheffield gets start tonight

Gary Sheffield will get his first start tonight for the Mets in right field, which next to Fenway, might be the hardest right field in the majors to play because of all the angles.

He’s got to play sooner or later, but I don’t like the timing after Ryan Church’s first bad game of the season. Then again, Church isn’t a Jerry favorite and they aren’t going to sit Daniel Murphy.

The question is where does Sheffield stand with the Mets? If he gets three hits tonight, he has to play tomorrow. Is he a starter or role player, and if the latter, can he handle that? He’s said all the right things, but it’s April.