Nov 27

Hot Stove to heat up ….

Thanks Annie and Ray for the kind words yesterday. I hope you all had a happy holiday with your family and friends.

WRIGHT: Will he get his HR swing back?

WRIGHT: Will he get his HR swing back?


The day after Thanksgiving should be pretty quiet. I’m figuring things will heat up at the beginning of next week on into the winter meetings in Indianapolis, starting Dec. 7.

I don’t believe the Mets will be as aggressive as Jeff Wilpon lead us to believe after the season or as many of you want them to be. I also don’t think they’ll be totally stagnant, either, as even they know another season like next year won’t fly.

They can’t and shouldn’t be thinking a healthy return of the injured will be enough, because it won’t be.
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Nov 16

Men on Base …. Backman leading off

Just a few things:

* Single-A Brooklyn named Wally Backman as manager today. In a release by the team, Backman said: “I am thrilled and grateful to be coming back to the Mets organization. The greatest days of my professional career were spent here in New York, and I have always felt a special connection to the city.”

BACKMAN: Once a Mets' sparkplug.

BACKMAN: Once a Mets' sparkplug.


I like the idea of Backman returning to the organization and getting another chance after he was unceremoniously dumped by Arizona. Backman provides an energy and a link to when the Mets were a great team. Guys like Backman, who relied on guile and grit as players, often make good managers.

To see him grow within the organization would be a positive, and welcomed, change from how things have been done in the past.

* Reportedly, Eric Wedge is candidate for the Mets bench coach job. Sure beats Razor Shines. Yeah, I know there will be rumblings about Jerry Manuel looking over his shoulder. If Manuel is any kind of manager, if this happens he’ll pick Wedge for all the knowledge he can. You can’t have too many brains on the bench. Just look at Joe Girardi’s and Joe Torre’s supporting staffs.
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Nov 10

Why trade Castillo?

I find it amusing some people still believe the Mets would, should or could trade Luis Castillo.

CASTILLO: Two more years.

CASTILLO: Two more years.


After a dreadful 2008 season in which injuries limited him to 87 games and a .245 average, Castillo showed up to spring training 17 pounds lighter, and except a brief stumble down the dugout steps, was healthy for much of a rebound season in which he hit .302 with a .387 on-base percentage.

Q: So why trade him?

A: The Mets are fearful last season might be a fluke, that at 34 he might have had his encore. The Mets are wondering if his knees will give out again and that he’s always on the edge of the DL. There’s also concern about his shrinking defensive range, and the frequency of lapses when he does reach a ball. The Mets also would like to shed themselves of the remaining $12 million left on his contract over the next two seasons.

Sure, the Mets would love to get out from under his contract and not be around for his fall.

The only problem, is that for the same reasons the Mets should deal Castillo are the same reasons no team wants to trade for him.

Oct 01

About Yesterday …. Rodriguez blows save.

The Mets have had several horrific defeats this season, with yesterday’s loss at Washington taking its place among them.

The Nationals sent seven batters to the plate in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez, and with five of them scoring. Rodriguez walked in one run then gave up a game-winning grand slam to Justin Maxwell.

Yesterday drops into the category with the Luis Castillo pop-up game, Daniel Murphy’s dropped fly in Florida, blowing a five-run lead to Pittsburgh and Ryan Church’s failure to touch third. Those were more serious because the Mets were alive then. Now they are dead, but yesterday was a complete tank job.

The loss wasted another strong outing by Tim Redding, who continued this bid for fifth starter consideration next spring by giving up one run on four hits in six innings.

The Mets are 3–0 in Redding’s last three starts, He has a 2.84 ERA in that span and a 3.23 ERA in six starts this September.

Sep 30

About Last Night …. Ugly

Just another microcosm of the season in nine fitful innings. Mike Pelfrey pitched great at the start retiring the first seven hitters, but who didn’t have a nagging feeling he would implode?

Pelfrey blew a 3-0 lead as the Mets lost at Washington, with David Wright being robbed by Elijah Dukes for the final out. It’s way too easy to say that play cost the Mets as the night was another example of creative losing.

The Mets had the bases loaded with nobody out in the first and eighth innings and came away with one run. You should come away with more by accident. I’ve lost track of how many times the Mets have kicked away bases-loaded opportunities.

“We had some opportunities,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “That’s been the story of the season.”

Pelfrey, as usual, unraveled. He again had hitters sitting on his fastball, with this time Ian Desmond unloading for a homer in the fifth.

Defensively, Anderson Hernandez and Luis Castillo butchered double-play opportunities, which enabled the eventual winning run to score.