Oct 21

Commentary: Give the kids a chance.

Kunz: Why not give him a chance?

Kunz: Why not give him a chance?

I remember the conversation with Jerry Manuel as if it were yesterday. We were in Washington and I asked him about Eddie Kunz. (For the sake of the argument, I know he got roughed up).

How much worse could Kunz be than the older arms blowing saves for the Mets? Manuel agreed, and said maybe it was time for Kunz to pitch in a pressure situation. He didn’t get a save opportunity for several days, until Manuel had no choice but to go to him.

The amateur psychologist in me said Kunz’s confidence took a hit when opportunity after opportunity passed without him getting the ball. And, that shaken ego was ripped when he got a chance he would inevitably blow.

Here we are, August in Washington against the lowly Nationals, and the Mets were afraid to go to somebody on their roster they claim to be in their plans.

Fast forward to last Sunday, when the Rays, three outs from the World Series, went with David Price, who is a merely 23. You could see his teething ring next to the rosin bag, but he was out there throwing heat.

And succeeding.

Now, I don’t know how good Kunz will be. I can’t say the same for Bobby Parnell. But, if they are as good as they Mets trust they’ll be, then give them the chance to prove it. That’s better than to throw millions of dollars at Francisco Rodriguez, whom I believe in a couple of years will be where Billy Wagner is now – and that’s being unable to throw.

Spend the money on going after a starter and acquiring some depth in the bridge to the closer role.

Sep 12

Mets Chat Room: Santana opens series.

Jerry Manuel had his choice of either Johan Santana or Pedro Martinez to open tonight’s series against Atlanta. It was a no-brainer.

He’s the guy if you want to open a series,” Manuel said. “If you had a choice, you would choose, at this point in their careers, Johan.”

In a six-game winless stretch from June 6-July 4, the Mets gave Santana 11 runs. And, with the bullpen coughing up the lead in six of his games, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that with a little support he could be going after his 20th win tonight. His 2.70 ERA, not 13-7 record is indicative of how well he’s pitched.

Santana prevented the Mets from being swept by Philadelphia last Sunday, easily his most important victory of the season. That game is why they got him.