May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.

May 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #38: On to LA

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Tim Redding goes tonight for the Mets at Los Angeles. I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled. Redding just personifies the Mets’ lingering rotation problems. It is not a deep rotation, with Johan Santana the only starter providing consistent innings.

There’s promise with Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, but there can be no assumptions with either. Livan Hernandez is good for five only, which taxes the bullpen. Oliver Perez? Well, so far he hasn’t been good for anything, and there’s no promise he’ll ever snap out of it.

The Mets won three of their first four games on this trip, but there remain flaws with this team. The pitching match-ups in the Dodgers series favors Los Angeles, and from there the team heads to Boston for three. This isn’t a critical stretch, but it is very important as they go head-to-head with playoff caliber teams. The Mets will be tested over the next six games and their flaws will be revealed.

Jan 27

Smoke coming from the Perez camp

PEREZ: Get it done.

PEREZ: Get it done.

You would think with less than three weeks before spring training there would be a market for a 27-year-old lefthander who throws heat.

There’s not.

If Oliver Perez were to get five years as agent Scott Boras wants, he would have gotten them by now. A combination of Perez’s wildness, his agent, and perhaps the prevailing thought he’d always wind up with the Mets is keeping teams at bay.

C’mon, let’s cut through the smoke. Give him three years at $12 million each with an option for a fourth year, and get this thing done.

I spoke with Boras this summer when the Mets were in LA and remember him telling me Perez wasn’t erratic. I didn’t believe him then and I don’t believe him now. If Boras really had that much faith in his client, he’d take two years and jump at the chance to do this again when Perez is 29.

Why do you think he hasn’t?

Oct 15

Talkin’ Baseball: Dodgers trying to stay alive.

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Joe Torre’s Dodgers trying to stay alive tonight in LA. Torre was roasted for his handling of the bullpen in Game 4, in particular, for not bringing in his closer early in what amounted to a do-or-die game.

Willie Randolph has surfaced the past couple of days. He says he wants to manage again. And, from what I hear, Tony Bernazard is still in it for the GM job in Seattle.