Sep 23

Overhauling the bullpen

The Mets blew 29 save opportunities so far this season, and with them, perhaps a chance at the playoffs. Adding a top notch closer such as Francisco Rodriguez would improve the bullpen, but not put it over the top.

Billy Wagner blew seven save opportunities, but even worse was the bridge leading up to him. It was more than just a bad season.

Here’s how I see the pen:

-Billy Wagner: Won’t pitch for the Mets again. No brainer. However, he will get paid $11 million by them, and that will inhibit what they do this winter. I don’t see them paying both Wagner and Rodriguez.

-Aaron Heilman: They’ve resisted trading him the past two winters. They should pull the trigger if they get an offer this time. Heilman wants to start and since the Mets won’t give him that opportunity, they should try to get what they can. If they wanted to give Heilman a chance at being the fifth starter, I’d entertain it because it is clear this bullpen thing isn’t working out.

-Scott Schoeneweis: I can’t believe they gave him three years. (I mistakenly said he was done after this year. He’s signed through 2009).

-Joe Smith: Has his moments, both good and bad. Will be brought back.

-Pedro Feliciano: I’ve always been cool on him for some reason, even when he’s pitched well. I think they’ll bring him back.

-Luis Ayala: He saved a few games. Big deal. I don’t see him as the answer at closer. I do see him coming back.

-Carlos Muniz: Wouldn’t miss him.

-Ricardo Rincon: Ditto.

-Duaner Sanchez: He doesn’t have his fastball anymore. Certainly not a set-up man or closer type anymore. Not a loss if they don’t bring him back.

-Brian Stokes: More good appearances than bad. I’d like to see him back.

-Nelson Figueroa: Feel good story early this season. Very hittable.

-Brandon Knight: Pitched decently. Long man?

-Bobby Parnell: Can bring the heat. Let’s see what he can do in spring training.

Sep 21

Same old story ….

Remember when I asked last weekend if the Braves were still relevant? Some of you wrote and said no, that I was worrying about nothing. Others who are sharp on your Mets’ history understood the concept: The Braves will always hold a spot in the Mets’ consciousness.

Back-to-back weekends the Mets lose two of three to a team they should beat. They’ve now lost six of their last ten games. Not the stuff of a pennant contender. This team is showing it is not deserving of the playoffs. Not with that bullpen anyway.

Today was another meltdown. I don’t want F-Rod. I want a solid bridge to whomever they get to close next year. I’m not worried about the playoffs anymore because with that pen even should they get there, winter will come soon enough.

Sep 17

Mets release 2009 schedule

The Mets today released their preliminary 2009 schedule, and yes, the Washington Nationals are still on it. I know, that’s too bad.

Because of the World Baseball Classic, Opening Day isn’t until April 6, at Cincinnati. The Mets open Citi Field, April 13, against San Diego.

In addition to their home-and-home series with the Yankees, interleague play will include games at Boston and Baltimore, and Tampa Bay coming to Citi Field.

The Phillies come in for the first time, May 6-7, and the Braves make their first appearance, May 11-13.

Click here for next year’s schedule.

Sep 15

Brewers dump Yost ….

In a stunning move, the Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ned Yost this afternoon following the team being swept over the weekend in Philadelphia.

Third base coach Dale Sveum, a former Yankee, will become interim manager for the remainder of the season.

“This was a very difficult move to make, and we appreciate all of the work that Ned has done to develop this team into a contender,” general manager Doug Melvin said. “In the end, this was a collaborative decision made to put our club in the best position for the final two weeks of the season.”

The Brewers are tied with Philly for the wild-card despite losing 11 of 14 games in September, including seven of their last eight.

I can’t remember the last time a manager was fired this late in the season despite being so close.

Sep 14

Concerned?

Today was a crusher, and that’s even before the Phillies play their second game tonight against Milwaukee. With a win, they can close even with the Brewers for the wild-card and a game behind the Mets.

The same old issues did in the Mets today. They didn’t hit in the clutch and their bullpen caved. Oliver Perez did not pitch well, but was in position to win. It looks as if Perez regressed in his last few starts and that’s another cause for concern.

If the Mets didn’t take care of business against the Braves at home, it makes you wonder if they can do it next week against them in Atlanta. And, the Washington Nationals always play them tough. For games in DC won’t be a breeze.

Pedro Martinez goes tomorrow, but your guess is as good as mine as to what he’ll give the Mets. His durability is an issue, and you know he can’t be counted on for more than five.