Dec 01

Omar’s infamous moves ….

This time next week, Mets GM Omar Minaya will be in Indianapolis, working the room to make a deal. The flip side is also true, agents and GMs trying to work Minaya.

And, several have been successful in doing so.

Minaya has had an interesting tenure with the Mets, making some good and bad decisions. I’m interested in your opinion of the worst Minaya deals.

Here are some of the nominations:

MINAYA: What's this year's bombshell announcement?

MINAYA: What's this year's bombshell announcement?


OLIVER PEREZ: Re-signing lefty Oliver Perez last winter to a three-year, $36-million contract could go down as one of the worst deals in Mets history.

LUIS CASTILLO: Re-signing second baseman Luis Castillo to a four-year, $24-million deal after the 2007 season. Castillo redeemed his miserable 2008 season with a good year in 2009, but signing him meant the Mets couldn’t go after Orlando Hudson or any other viable second baseman. Two more years.

MOISES ALOU: After playing in just 87 games in 2007, the Mets picked up outfielder Moises Alou’s $7.5 million option. Injuries to the 41-year-old Alou limited him to 15 games the following season. Of course, it wasn’t a great idea to have the option in there in the first place.
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Oct 05

About yesterday …. Figueroa throws a gem in season finale.

The Mets closed one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory with Nelson Figueroa’s 4-0 blanking of the Houston Astros. Figueroa’s gem was the Mets’ third complete game of the season, with all of them thrown by pitchers who won’t be with the team, or don’t figure highly in their plans for next year. That would be Livan Hernandez, Figueroa and Pat Misch.

FIGUEROA: Has moment in sun with blanking of Astros.

FIGUEROA: Has moment in sun with blanking of Astros.


Figueroa is an underdog in every sense of the word and it is comforting to see players like that have their moments in the sun. Still, Figueroa is a journeyman, and the Mets need to upgrade their rotation. He doesn’t figure to be in it, but he could have a chance as a long-man and spot starter.

Yesterday’s season finale also marked a four-hit effort from Angel Pagan as he finished hitting over .300. Pagan fell a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.

Catching prospect Josh Thole, who broke a 1-for-22 slide with a triple Saturday, had two more hits yesterday.

Sweeping the Astros can’t erase all that went wrong for the Mets this year, but for one weekend at least they felt good about themselves.

Sep 28

About Yesterday ….

Pat Misch threw the Mets second complete game of the season, shutting out the Florida Marlins, 4-0. The other was by Livan Hernandez in May against Washington. File that under the “Go Figure” category.

Nobody could even put the odds on what that would be entering the season.

MISCH: Congratulated by Thole after masterful performance.

MISCH: Congratulated by Thole after masterful performance.


Misch had been hit hard in his previous three starts, but did have some good moments this season. Will Misch be in the Mets’ rotation next season? Doubtful, but he pitched well enough to merit a spring training invite.

Let’s face it, the Mets have pitching holes and don’t have the luxury of dumping a guy who just threw a shutout for him. If the Mets don’t make any off-season pitching acquisitions, or if Oliver Perez and John Maine have health issues, Misch could get a chance to compete for the fifth starter role or as a long-reliever. That he is left-handed works in his favor.

In addition, Jeff Francoeur homered again, and the Mets are expected to offer a contract extension. The Mets have enough off-season wants on their shopping list, and signing Francoeur would shorten it.

WRIGHT: Sets example both ways.

WRIGHT: Sets example both ways.


Lastly, David Wright did not start yesterday. He did not hustle on a ball hit by Francoeur, and consequently didn’t cross the plate before the final out was made so his run did not count. Wright met with manager Jerry Manuel in a closed-door meeting after the game and apologized to his teammates.

If the Mets are to name a team captain, Wright would be the logical choice, afterall, he is the face of the franchise. He’s had a miserable year and the one thing the Mets can’t have is for their leader not to hustle.

In a season such as this, examples are being set all the time. That Wright did not hustle can’t be tolerated. However, that he was stand-up and took accountability is also a powerful example to his teammates.

Aug 29

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #130; Parnell continues audition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

With the competitive aspect of the season long since over, the pitching-hungry Mets continue their audition of Bobby Parnell for a starter’s role next year as he makes his fifth start today against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Jerry Manuel said he’s looking for presence and if Parnell has the tools and make-up to be a starter. He has the fastball, clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s, but has trouble with his secondary pitches. As a reliever going one inning or facing one hitter, Parnell can get by with his fastball. However, he can’t make it three times through the batting order with one pitch.

Parnell (3-6, 5.08) has had a rough go of it, going 1-3 with an 8.82 ERA as a starter. That included giving up five runs in five innings in his last start.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.

PARNELL: Getting every chance.


With four of the five starters on the Opening Day roster gone – Johan Santana, John Maine and Oliver Perez are on the DL and Livan Hernandez was released – Parnell could get another four to five starts this season. Santana and Perez will have surgery and are expected to be ready for spring training. Maine had surgery last off-season and hasn’t pitched in over two months.

NOTES: David Wright rejoined the team for workouts today. He’s expected to be activated from the disabled list (post concussion syndrome) when the Mets are in Colorado. Manuel said Wright will play after being activated, then plans to rest him the following day. … Angel Pagan has three homers in his last eight games and is continuing to make a statement for a job next season. … Adam Wogan has taken over Tony Bernazard’s old position as vice president of player development. GM Omar Minaya said he will evaluate the position after the season. … Carlos Beltran is expected to have a third MRI by the end of the month and could need microfracture surgery on his right knee. I’m not expecting him back.

The Mets’ (58-71) line-up against Ryan Dempster (7-7, 4.07):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Cory Sullivan, LF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

Aug 21

Just let him go ….

Both parties are following their nature, paths leading on an inevitable collision course. Gary Sheffield and the Mets clashed last night, and it won’t be the last time before this train wreck of a season comes to its bitter end.

SHEFFIELD: Time to let him go.

SHEFFIELD: Time to let him go.


The Mets stumble through moments like this with veteran players, holding on to them too long, hoping for glimpses of the past rather than seeing the likely end. They grasped too long with Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou, Julio Franco before finally letting go. They did right with Livan Hernandez, but saving money by not paying out innings incentives was probably the true motivation.

Sheffield, as is his wont, is complaining again about his contract. He asked for an extension last night, was turned down, demanded his release and then wanted to sit out.

For his part, Sheffield has been a model citizen this season until last night. He’s proven he still had flashes of pop, and even at 41 next year, he probably would have gotten a contract. If not with the Mets, then maybe in the American League as a designated hitter.

The Mets, as they should have, exposed him to the waiver wire earlier this month and the San Francisco Giants put in a claim. Rather then get something, the Mets pulled him off the wire. Why? They weren’t going anywhere. Would he sell that many tickets?

With this move, the Mets lost the opportunity to trade Sheffield and if he’s claimed again they get nothing. Not smart.

Concurrently, manager Jerry Manuel, who doesn’t always measure his thoughts before speaking, said he thought Sheffield still had something and wanted him back next year.

Sheffield’s timing was poor – it usually is when it comes to talking about his contract – but he had every reason to assume he was in the Mets’ plans for 2010.

When the Mets turned him down – they didn’t even say let’s talk about it after the season – they were saying he wasn’t in their future. Sheffield now says the Mets are holding him hostage, which is only partly true.

Barring his release through irrevocable waivers, he’ll languish over the next five weeks in the mediocrity that has become the Mets. There will be no postseason for Sheffield. However, he’s still making $14 million this year (Detroit is paying $13.6 million) and if he finishes quiet with him mouth and loud with his bat, he’ll play again.

It is hard to understand if Sheffield weren’t in their plans why the Mets would keep him. With the season lost, wouldn’t this be a good time to give Nick Evans extended playing time in left field to see if there is something? If Evans showed something, it might alleviate one less off-season headache. You never know.

If history is any indicator, Sheffield will purposely become a distraction. The Mets would likely blame the media for stirring the pot, but with a loose cannon like that, he’s going to be asked questions. He’s an easy story now.

He did so while with the Yankees to the point they were pleading for somebody to take him. The suckers were the Tigers who gave him a $28 million contract.

The Mets should realize this season is lost and there’s no benefit to keeping Sheffield. They should pull the trigger now and be done with it.