May 03

May 3.10: It happens.

What was surprising about the weekend wasn’t that the Mets lost two of three at Philadelphia, but the manner in which they lost them. After nearly two weeks of sharp, aggressive baseball they were pummeled the last two games.

Pummeled. Slaughtered. Waxed. However you want to say it.

It was discouraging the Phillies hammered both Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana, the two best pitchers the Mets have to offer. But, it isn’t surprising they lost. These things happen. If you want to read that the Phillies are still better, than please do. We kind of knew that all along.

However, the Mets had played too good for an extended period and Santana has been superb for so long to panic over this weekend. File it away under: “It happens.’’

I can’t read anything more into it than that. Both deserve the benefit of doubt.

A mark of a good team is how it bounces back and we’ll find out more about the Mets tonight in Cincinnati, and Santana this weekend against the Giants.

Dec 22

Dec. 22.09: The calm before the storm?

If there are other teams involved with Jason Bay, that could explain the silence from his camp. The mystery team, might have to make another deal to free up salary to make the trade.

The Yankees are reportedly talking trade about bringing in a pitcher, with Javier Vazquez’s name popping up. Would the Braves be interested if that were the case? Reports still are naming the Mariners, Giants and Angels. One report had the Mariners considering moving Cliff Lee. That would only mean the Yankees.

If this is true, then the Mets have fallen in Bay’s pecking order. Not that he appeared high to begin with.

Dec 13

Non-tender list ….

There were no surprises in the list of players the Mets non-tendered yesterday, beginning with pitchers Lance Broadway and Tim Redding, and outfielders Jeremy Reed and Cory Sullivan. It’s not as if losing these guys will make a difference, but they are four more spots that need to be filled.

A couple of names did pop out to me. But, I do realize these guys were non-tendered for a reason.

Left-hander Scott Olsen as a possible fifth starter and Mike MacDougal as a possible set-up reliever (both of the Nationals) are intriguing. Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes as a bench player. The most interesting to me are Oakland outfielder Jack Cust and Giants first baseman Ryan Garko. I also wrote yesterday of taking a gamble on Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

Here’s the list of non-tendered players. Those with asterisks are injured.

Angels: RHP Jose Arredondo*, INF Matt Brown, RHP Dustin Moseley
Athletics: OF Jack Cust
Blue Jays: C Raul Chavez
Indians: RHP Adam Miller*, RHP Anthony Reyes*, RHP Jose Veras
Mariners: OF Ryan Langerhans
Orioles: RHP Brian Bass
Rays: OF Gabe Gross, C Shawn Riggans
Red Sox: OF Brian Anderson
Royals: OF Josh Anderson, C John Buck
White Sox: RHP D.J. Carrasco
Yankees: RHP Chien-Ming Wang*

Braves: OF Ryan Church, 2B Kelly Johnson
Brewers: RHP Mark DiFelice*, RHP Seth McClung, C Mike Rivera
Cubs: LHP Neal Cotts
Diamondbacks: 1B Josh Whitesell
Giants: 1B Ryan Garko
Marlins: INF-OF Alfredo Amezaga
Mets: RHP Lance Broadway, RHP Tim Redding, OF Jeremy Reed, OF Cory Sullivan
Nationals: RHP Mike MacDougal, LHP Scott Olsen
Padres: RHP Jackson Quezada, RHP Mark Worrell
Phillies: RHP Clay Condrey
Pirates: RHP Matt Capps, LHP Phil Dumatrait
Reds: OF Jonny Gomes
Rockies: 3B Garrett Atkins

Dec 01

On this Date ….

Looking Back ....

Looking Back ....

…. In 1998, the Mets dealt catcher Todd Hundley and minor league pitcher Arnold Gooch to the Dodgers for catcher Charles Johnson and Roger Cedeno. The Mets then swap Johnson to the Orioles for reliever Armando Benitez.

Benitez had a checkered career with the Mets, saving 158 games in parts of five seasons. Of course, what most remember about him was the games he didn’t save, particularly against the Braves. Benitez’s history was to unravel if something went wrong. A bloop or bad call could turn into a blown save, and it would start a string of three or four bad outings.

The Mets eventually traded him to the Yankees. Benitez would sign with the Giants and his last game was in 2008.

I covered Benitez with the Orioles and Yankees. I’ll always remember him spitting the bit in the 1997 ALCS, playing a significant part in at least three of the Orioles’ losses. The one moment that crystalizes in my memory is, when after giving up a homer, he plunked Tino Martinez in the back. Then he stood off the mound and gestured the Yankees to come get him.

They did.

ON DECK: What to do about Carlos Delgado later this morning.