Jan 12

Collins Learns And Moves On From Game 5

Mets manager Terry Collins allowed himself three days to stew on his decision to let Matt Harvey pitch – and kick away – the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series. Undoubtedly, he’ll relive that decision when spring training begins in little over a month.

COLLINS: Trusted Harvey. (AP)

COLLINS: Trusted Harvey. (AP)

In the MLB Network documentary, “Terry Collins: A Life In Baseball,” which airs Tuesday night, he said: “I had my bad three days. You’ve got to move on.”

I never thought Collins should have let Harvey stay in, thinking he went away from his principles. But, it was Collins’ decision, not mine, and he has to live with what happened. We have no way of knowing what would have happened had Jeurys Familia entered the game. It isn’t a slam dunk Familia would have saved the game. Afterall, he already blew a save in the Series.

Even had Familia saved the game, the Royals would have had a 3-2 Series lead with Games 6 and 7 in Kansas City. There were no guarantees.

“I don’t know what would have happened, after [Game 5],” Collins said on the show. “But, in my mind , we should’ve made the change. … I trusted this young man. I think the world of him . I still do. We made it. It didn’t work. You’ve got to move forward from it.”

Collins has spent his entire life around baseball, and knows everything is a learning experience. Collins went against what he thought was best and trusted his player.

Here’s hoping he learned from that and will become a better manager for it.

 

Dec 16

Will Miss Murphy And Gee

Nobody knows where Daniel Murphy will land, but we know it won’t be with the Mets. I haven’t totally discounted him signing with the Yankees. I’m still thinking the Orioles and Angels are strong possibilities.

GEE: Will miss him and Murphy. (AP)

GEE: Will miss him and Murphy. (AP)

Wherever he goes, I will miss him. It was fun watching him during the playoffs and I hope his power display wasn’t a fluke. Murphy played his heart out for the Mets and he deserves his payday. I hope he gets it.

What I’ll remember most about Murphy is how he bounced from position to position before settling in a second base. He wasn’t the second coming of Roberto Alomar, but he worked hard into being a decent fielder. I’ll remember his long at-bats, often resulting in a drive in the gap. And, of course, there were his gaffs on the bases and in the field. One play I’ll always remember was him sliding into third. The third baseman kept his glove on Murphy in the hope he’d move off the bag, but Murphy grabbed the glove and moved it off him. Somehow, I found that funny.

My favorite Murphy moment was him going from first to third on a walk during the playoffs. A heads-up play from a guy whose attention has a tendency to wander.

From a reporter’s perspective, Murphy was great to work with as he didn’t duck any issue and always gave thoughtful answers.

Murphy is gone, but I’ll miss him and wish him well.

The same goes for Dillon Gee, who just signed a minor league deal with Kansas City.

As with Murphy, Gee isn’t physically gifted with those special skills. He wasn’t overpowering, but he was never afraid to take the ball. There were times when he was ripped, but he never offered any excuses. He was always stand up.

Gee had his moments of success despite being a 21-round draft pick. He is 40-37 with a 4.03 ERA lifetime. I thought he got a raw deal from the Mets last year, and with that I knew he was gone.

Both Murphy and Gee played hard and played with heart. I’ll miss them.

 

Nov 25

Mets Release Exhibition Schedule

MARCH

3 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

4 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

5 at Houston, 1:05 p.m.

6 vs. Atlanta, 1:10 p.m.

7 vs. Detroit, 1:10 p.m. (ss)

7 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m. (ss)

8 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.

9 vs. Yankees, 1:10 p.m.

10 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

11 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

12 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

13 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

14 at Detroit, 1:05 p.m.

15 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

16 OFF

17 at Miami, 1:05 p.m.

18 vs. Washington, 6:10 p.m.

19 at Washington, 1:05 p.m.

20 vs. Boston, 1:10 p.m.

21 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

22 at Yankees, 6:35 p.m.

23 at Toronto, 1:07 p.m.

24 vs. Houston, 1:10 p.m. (ss)

24 at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (ss)

25 vs. St. Louis, 1:10 p.m.

26 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.

27 vs. Washington, 1:10 p.m.

28 at St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.

29 vs. Miami, 1:10 p.m.

30 vs. Washington, 12:10 p.m.

The Mets open the season, Sunday night, April 3 at Kansas City. They are still trying to schedule two exhibition games outside of Florida.

 

Nov 22

Mets Likely To Pass On Cespedes

There is no way of knowing for sure, but the Mets likely don’t get to the World Series without Yoenis Cespedes.

He definitely has a “Wow!’’ factor about him evidenced by his 17 homers and 44 RBI in his two months with the Mets. He also has a laser for an arm and an ability to track a ball in center.

CESPEDES:  Don't count on his return. (Getty)

CESPEDES: Don’t count on his return. (Getty)

His agencies – Creative Artists Associates and ROC Nation, run by rapper Jay-Z – put together a 100-page coffee table style book titled “52 Reviews’’ for his uniform number featuring his stats, testimonials and a built-in disc player to highlight his greatest plays.

“It’s not the only piece to the puzzle,’’ said Brodie Van Wagenen, the lead agent in Cespedes’ negotiations, told ESPN that packaging is part of the process. “Most everyone has access to the information, but the way in which you sort the information and tell the story and define the player is an art form that’s unique from agent to agent. It’s not just the packaging.

“I think this book highlights and reminds teams of what Yoenis Cespedes’ rare skill set is. Instead of his agents telling people how good he is, teams can see it for themselves and hear it from unbiased, third-party insiders.’’

Potential suitors won’t see Cespedes’ “Oh No,” moments, such as his botched play in the outfield that lead to an inside-the-park homer, or those teams when he wasn’t always compelled to run out ground balls, or all those swings-and-misses (39 percent of the time) and .319 on-base percentage.

The Mets will make an offer – believed to be of a public relations variety – and there are a handful of other teams needing an outfielder. But, how many of them are willing to offer the six years and $150 million Cespedes’ camp is reportedly seeking?

San Francisco is intriguing, while the Angels, Cardinals, Cubs and Rangers have shown a willingness to spend. The Tigers need an outfielder, but will they go that way again?

Baltimore, Kansas City, Minnesota, Cleveland, San Diego, Cincinnati and Seattle need outfield help, but don’t have a reputation to write checks.

In the case of the Mariners, they won’t do anything unless they can get rid of Robinson Cano’s huge mistake of a contract.

None of these teams are likely to be seduced by the glitter of “52 Reviews.’’ They know all of Cespedes’ pertinent numbers, including his .150 batting average in the World Series and playing with four different teams in his four-year career.

Oh yes, $150 million will also be a telling number.

Nov 02

Harvey Should Take Some Responsibility

There are a lot of reasons why the Mets aren’t in Kansas City today, why their unlikely season isn’t continuing. Terry Collins, being the man he is, took responsibility last night, but it’s not all on him.

Fingers are being pointed in all directions. At David Wright for cutting in front of shortstop Wilmer Flores on that grounder in the ninth. At Lucas Duda for his poor throw, and the bullpen and lack of hitting. All deserve responsibility, but nobody is blaming Matt Harvey, which is wrong.

HARVEY: Diva does it again (AP)

HARVEY: Diva does it again (AP)

Much of the storylines this season were about Harvey, and such was the case last night, when with the sporting world watching, he made it all about him. I don’t want to hear any of this Dark Knight crap. Hell, even Batman had to answer to Commissioner Gordon.

Harvey knew the cameras were on on him when pitching coach Dan Warthen told him he was done. He always knows where the cameras are it seems, and knew they would follow him to Collins.

I softened on Harvey lately, but not after last night. Not anymore, or to quote the Mets’ diva, “No way.’’

With the Mets desperately trying to prolong their season, Harvey made it all about him again.

“I want this game bad,’’ Harvey told his manager. Of course, the operative word in that sentence was “I.’’

Never mind his manager, who backed him and tried to protect him all year. Never mind his teammates. Never mind the frustrated Mets’ fan base. When a team wins a championship, it takes 25 players. All of them, but that’s not how Harvey sees it. He sees it as he being the superhero. He craves the glory.

We are in the ninth inning of the most important game of the Mets’ season and Harvey basically told his manager, “screw you … I am pitching.’’ He told his teammates he cared more about his personal glory than them.

Again, as he frequently has done, he made himself bigger than his team, and last night, bigger than the game.

He has that attitude because all his life people kissed his Bat Belt. In high school, in college, and now with the Mets. GM Sandy Alderson and Collins are to blame because they caved to his petulant demands, and the latter, to his dismay, did so again last night.

A hundred pitches is Harvey’s weakness. After 100 pitches opposing hitters are batting .373 off him with a .440 on-base percentage and .448 slugging percentage. Harvey was over 100 pitches when Collins sent Warthen to pull him.

Where Collins was wrong was not doing it himself and for waffling. Where Collins was wrong was in trusting Harvey more than his gut. Hopefully, Collins won’t make that mistake again.

I raised this point during the height of Harvey’s innings fiasco, and it is time to do so again. With Zack Wheeler coming back, and Yoenis Cespedes leaving, and Harvey being a selfish diva, it is time for the Mets to explore what they can get for him.

Yes, Harvey was sensational last night for eight innings, but in a flash his selfishness wiped that away and that’s my enduring image from this World Series.

I haven’t read any admission of taking responsibility from Harvey, but, I haven’t read The Player’s Tribune, yet. Surely, it is in there.