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.

Nov 18

Manager of the Year ….

The Manager of the Year for both leagues will be announced in about an hour. I’ve voted for this award several times and the criteria varies as it does this year.

Most often the award goes to a manager who leads an under achieving team into the playoffs or to a dramatic improvement. That’s the case this year with my choice, Jim Tracy of the Rockies. The Rockies entered the season ranked behind the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West, and in some circles behind Arizona.

But, the Rockies got hot in the second half, much like they did in 2007, and rolled into the playoffs. They lost to the Phillies, but that didn’t change the fact they had a surprising season.

Another variable is a lifetime achievement award when there’s no surprise winner. That would go to Mike Scioscia of the Angels, who always has his team playing alert, aggressive and fundamental baseball. OK, except for the ALCS this year, but the voting is done prior to the start of the playoffs.

Sep 21

First things first, a lunch of crow ….

Yours truly posted this several days ago about the weekend’s football match-ups.

John Delcos September 17, 2009 11:20 pm

Jeff (110): The Mets are getting closer to winter. That’s about it. … By the way, I’m betting Pats and Cowboys this weekend against the NY teams.-JD

And, I was thinking blowout in the Jets game. I thought the Patriots would really take it to them for all their talking during the week. I flipped between the Mets and Jets, and the green guys played a very inspired game. But, even in the end, Tom Brady was driving late in the fourth with a chance to force overtime.

Still, the defense played well and went after Brady with the blitz.

The Giants won a shootout in Dallas, but wasn’t the game really decided in how the defense went after Tony Romo?

Of the two teams, I believe the Giants have a much better chance of reaching the Super Bowl because, 1) they’ve been there before and won, 2) the NFC is a weaker conference, 3) Eli Manning is a tested successful quarterback, and 4) they have a solid defense.

With both teams off to 2-0 starts, undoubtedly the newspapers will be writing this week about an all New York Super Bowl. Don’t think it would happen, but it would be interesting. It is odd, but the Subway Series is such a big deal around here during the season. A much bigger deal than a Jets-Giants game. However, the Subway Series in 2000 was a dud nationally as much of the country doesn’t give a damn about New York.

The Super Bowl, however, is a national holiday, and I’m willing to bet a Giants-Jets Super Bowl could be dynamite.

It has been suggested several times I write a football blog. I started last year, but it collapsed much like the Mets in Septembers past. I will put football posts in here and see the response and go from there.

I am toying with a number of ideas and formats, but not sure.

1) Do I have a separate site from this one or add the Jets and Giants here?
2) Do I do just the Jets, just the Giants, both, or the two teams along with the NFL at large?
3) Do I keep it commentary and in-game, or do a do something like MetsBlog with football and link to newspapers?

If you have some ideas, shoot them my way.

Thank you.-JD

Aug 16

METS CHAT ROOM Game #117; Wright sits after beaning.



I remember talking to Willie Randolph last season and he said something incredibly odd, if not totally stupid. “We really don’t know enough about concussions in baseball,” was the essence of his comments during one pregame session when the conversation turned to Ryan Church.

It was amazing to hear Randolph say the Mets hadn’t consulted the physicians of the Giants, Jets or Rangers, teams that deal with that injury all the time.

Clearly, the Mets didn’t handle Church’s concussion properly, flying him from Atlanta to Denver, then pinch-hitting him, then shuffling him in and out of the lineup. Post Concussion Syndrome he had, and was never right the rest of the season. Hey, truth is, he hasn’t been right since.

Let’s hope the Mets learned from Church last season, but one has to wonder why he isn’t on the disabled list this morning. He might not play any time soon and with him on the disabled list there’s no temptation to push him. Leave it up to Wright and he’ll say he wants to play, but that’s his personality. Don’t given him the option.

Learn from the past and just let him rest and recover. He should be on the DL already.

Here’s today’s line-up behind Mike Pelfrey (8-8. 4.88):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

NOTES: Pelfrey balked three times against the Giants, May 17. … He is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career appearances against San Francisco.

Aug 14

METS CHAT ROOM: Games #115/116; Home again.



First of all, I’d like to begin by saying thank you to all of you out there. The last week or so, after the email prodding of a few, I have started to post longer threads in addition to the Mets Chat Room. I am appreciative that you still like reading what I have to say and I am grateful that although I haven’t been around the team as much as I would like that you are still interested in my thoughts and what I can dig up.

Your interest and support is carrying me through a difficult time and I will try to finish the season strong with more writing and analysis. Again, thank you.

Tonight, our heroes return home after a hideous road trip. They are still mathematically alive, but let’s be realistic. With the Giants, Atlanta and Philly in during this homestand, even the pipe dreams could soon be over.

The 53–61 Mets host the Giants (62–62), with Bobby Parnell (2–4, 3.94 ERA) going against Barry Zito (8–10, 4.40 ERA).

Pitching is a key issue for the Mets, and Parnell could be a rotation answer next season. He was limited in his last start to around 60 pitches, but will have a 75-pitch ceiling tonight. As with all young pitchers, development of his secondary pitches is critical, and in Parnell’s case, that means better use of his slider and splitter. Last time, it was too much fastball, of which he had little control.

Here’s the batting order:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: Manager Jerry Manuel said Livan Hernandez will remain in the rotation. That’s hardly a surprise considering his options. … David Wright’s sore knee is good enough for him to play. … Manuel said he believes Carlos Beltran will play again this summer. Why?