Feb 16

Feb. 16.10: Open competition at first.

Omar Minaya said first base is wide open, but is it really?

“He’ll compete for the job,” Minaya said of Jacobs, and then of Murphy, added, “I think it’s fair to say that Murphy has proven himself worthy of being considered, but he’s going to have to continue. It’s an open competition.”

Not quite a ringing endorsement. Jacobs is 29, and hit 18 homers last year and with 92 RBI the season before that.

With Carlos Beltran out and Carlos Delgado gone, the Mets are in need of left-handed power. Yesterday I said Murphy had the potential to hit 20 homers. Well, Jacobs has proven he can hit more than that and he’s not learning a new position.

I can see Jacobs winning this thing with Murphy coming off the bench.

Who would you like to see at first?

Feb 15

Feb. 15.10: Who’s primed for a breakout year?

When you look at all the Mets’ issues, it must be remembered the flip side is also true and that the positive could happen. No, today I’m not looking at who I consider the most important Met to be – for me it is Jose Reyes in the field and Mike Pelfrey on the mound – but the guy poised for a breakout season. By that, I mean his best year and finally showing signs of potential.

MAINE: Could this be a breakout year?

MAINE: Could this be a breakout year?


What’s your gut telling you?

Will one of the catchers step up and shed the platoon label?
Will Daniel Murphy show some power?
Will Pelfrey, John Maine or Oliver Perez shake the inconsistency label and win north of 15 games?
Will Jeff Francoeur become the power the Braves once projected of him?

Scanning the Mets’ roster, two names immediately grab my attention as possibilities for breakout seasons: Murphy and Maine.

I like Murphy to have a big year because of last year was a learn-on-the-job experience which he picked up fairly well. I also believe with a full year of learning the pitchers and getting stronger, that his power numbers should increase. He won’t hit 40, but 20 would be a significant improvement.

I’m also liking Maine because all indications are he’s healthy. Sometimes, it is the second year after the surgery when a pitcher feels comfortable again. I believe Pelfrey will improve; have no clue about Perez, but I’m trying to think positive; but I think Maine is poised to have a year better than 2007 when he won 15 games.

Nov 11

What about Trevor Hoffman?

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

In a previous thread, Dave wondered about Trevor Hoffman. Well, what about him?

The San Diego Padres are rebuilding and withdrew a contract offer to Hoffman. The Mets, however, playing in New York, aren’t in a rebuilding mode despite being old in several areas.

They call it retooling.

So, should they “retool” with Hoffman if they aren’t able to land a marquee closer in the free-agent market? Hoffman is 41, and signing him does nothing about breaking away from Omar Minaya’s reputation for signing older players.

The Padres pulled off the table a one-year, $4 million deal, with a $4 million option for 2010. That’s not a lot of money. Hoffman converted 30 of 34 save opportunities, including 16 straight during one stretch.

Assuming Hoffman is willing to come to New York, and there’s been nothing written indicating he doesn’t want to, he would presumably fill the closer void until Bobby Parnell and Eddie Kunz are ready. That’s a plus.

Said agent Rick Thurman: “He’s a free agent. So many teams consider him to be a San Diego Padre. Not a lot of teams took him very seriously as a free agent. We’ll find out very shortly. A lot of teams need a closer. He’s the cream of the closers, and we’ll see what teams have interest in him.”

Last year’s numbers indicates he can still get the job done, but his age will be a concern, because you have to wonder when will the breakdown start?

Signing him does nothing about getting the Mets younger, but it does buy time for Parnell and Kunz, and gives them a mentor. It also addresses a need at a reasonable cost and enables them to spend most of their money on starting pitching.

While the first impression would be his age, remember the priority is winning and he’s a plus toward that goal. I know there’s not a groundswell for bringing in a 41-year-old closer, but if he makes them better it’s something they should consider.

Oct 24

Baseball after Midnight: Rays even Series.

What's keeping you up tonight?

What's keeping you up tonight?

Good evening my friends out West and you night owls. Getting hungry. My favorite after midnight diner food is an omelet and rye toast. Breakfast food is always good.

We had an interesting post during the game on the issue of clutch hitting. It doesn’t always come after the seventh inning. I remember a conversation I had with Ryan Church during spring training about stats.

The topic was a “do your job stat.” Every at-bat comes with it a defined objective. Runner on third, get the run home, even with an out. The Rays did it twice in the first inning. The Mets? Well, we’ve had that conversation more than a few times this summer.

Another good game tonight. You get the feeling this one could go the distance.

As far as the Mets were concerned today, the Mets finally finalized their coaching staff. Howard Johnson stays, which was surprising to some degree considering all the finger pointing about their inability to consistently perform with runners in scoring position.

Whatever is on your mind, here’s your message board. I’ll respond in the morning.

Oct 23

Baseball after Midnight: Phillies take Game 1

What's keeping you up tonight?

What's keeping you up tonight?

Greetings to all my friends on the West Coast. During the season I’ll call this post “Mets after Midnight.” I had this post before and will do my best to keep it going as to get a dialogue going with you guys two and three time zones away.

I have a good feeling about this World Series. Not so much in the winner, but in that it will be a compelling Series. How did the Phillies leave as many guys on base as they did and still win? Oh yeah, the Rays left a bunch, too.

As far as the Mets go, Mets.Com wrote today that HoJo will be back as hitting coach. That’s not the impression a lot of us had after the season when the Mets were whining about their situational hitting.

Willie Randolph will interview with Milwaukee. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee GM, was once in the Yankee farm system. He knows Willie well. Wouldn’t be surprising if he got the job.

If you don’t want to talk about the game or the Mets’ coaching, don’t worry. This is the message board for you night owls and those on the Coast. And, I’ll answer your questions and address your comments in the morning.