Oct 23

Mets talking Chapman ….

When you’re young, left-handed, and can throw a ball 100 mph., you’re going to get the attention of major league scouts. And, because he escaped the attention of those assigned to guard him, Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, is starting to make the rounds.

He’s talking with the Mets today.

CHAPMAN: Fishing for a ML deal.

CHAPMAN: Fishing for a ML deal.


Edwin Mejia, Chapman’s agent, says his client has a two and four-seam fastball, curve, slider, change and forkball. That’s a hefty scouting report, but until we get the same report from major league scouts take it with a grain of salt.

It has also been reported Chapman will get a contract up to $50 million, which is a lot for somebody who hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues. Let’s also not forget he has left behind a wife and daughter, parents and sisters. Who is to say he won’t be distracted by being away from them. Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras had separation pangs.

It’s reported he’s 21, but there’s no real assurances yet, of that. Latin players are notorious for lying about their age. Hey, Hernandez still is.

While there’s no disputing there’s a wealth of talent in Cuba, remember it is not major league talent. We do not know what Chapman is capable of against major league hitters. We also don’t know how he’ll deal with the pressures and anxieties of living away from home.

If he’s the real deal, the Mets should be interested. But there are a lot of variables, so buyer beware.

Oct 22

Slogan stealing ….

Yes, Tug McGraw coined “Ya Gotta Believe,” during the 1973 pennant race. And, yes, the Phillies are using it now.

Question: Who cares?

YA GOTTA BELIEVE

YA GOTTA BELIEVE


Yes, that was a part of Mets Lore, a part in which a team barely over .500 snuck into the World Series. But, it was a Series they lost (yes, Yogi started the wrong guy in the end). However, I don’t recall either McGraw or the Mets copywriting the slogan. Fact is, McGraw re-used the slogan in 1980 while with the Phillies.

So what if Phillies’ fans are using it? Isn’t imitation the most sincerest form of flattery?

I find it puzzling Mets’ fans would be upset by this. Afterall, we’re talking about a slogan nearly 40 years old. In that span, the Phillies have won two World Series and the Mets only one.

I believe Mets fans should be more upset the Phillies have the superior team rather than them using a tired slogan.

Oct 22

Enough with the Valentine mourning ….

I am so bored with this Bobby Valentine talk and those lamenting him interviewing with Cleveland because they want him back with the Mets. Cleveland might not happen, but neither will Mets, The Sequel.

VALENTINE: Wrong number with Mets.

VALENTINE: Wrong number with Mets.


Valentine had his run with the Mets and fizzled out. Maybe it was the Valentine-Phillips chemistry, who knows? But, the Mets got as far as they were going to go with the Valentine and then regressed.

It’s not that I dislike Valentine, but when it comes to baseball, love the second time doesn’t always work. The expectations are too high and rarely attainable.

I don’t know if Jerry Manuel with a healthy team will put the franchise back into contention, but we will find out. In the interim, good luck to Bobby in his interview with Cleveland and wish him well. But, give up the ghost already, he’s not coming back so stop living in the past, which by the way, was ringless.

Oct 20

The Jacket finds a closet in Milwaukee.

Former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson – known as The Jacket to readers of this blog – was given a two-year contract by the Milwaukee Brewers, where he becomes part of the staff that includes Willie Randolph.

Evidently, if there was a rift between Peterson and Randolph, there is no more as Willie had to have been asked for a reference.

THE JACKET: Rejoins Willie in Milwaukee.

THE JACKET: Rejoins Willie in Milwaukee.


“When I walked out of the interview, I was so pleasantly surprised and excited,” said Peterson, who has a unique coaching style steeped in biomechanics.

Peterson was axed along with Randolph during the 2008 season. Peterson helped some members of the Mets staff, notably John Maine and Mike Pelfrey to a degree, but is known for the development of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito while with Oakland.

Said Brewers GM Doug Melvin: “Rick brings a number of years of experience as a pitching coach and an extensive background in the study of motion analysis. He is a high-energy individual and a forward thinker with a comprehensive program of motivation and instruction that is in tune with our current pitching philosophy.”

Oct 20

Gotta say no to Vlad ….

The Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero will be a free-agent after this season, the last year of a five-year, $70 million contract. Five years ago, cautious about his back, the Mets passed. Of course, Guerrero went on to have some fabulous years with the Angels, including hitting at least 27 homers with 90 RBI in the 2007-8 seasons.

GUERRERO: Too risky for Mets?

GUERRERO: Too risky for Mets?


This year, however, because of a torn pectoral muscle and strained muscle behind his left knee, Guerrero, 33, hit .295 – a good average – but only 15 homers and 50 RBI in 100 games. The question of Guerrero’s durability is now an issue. The Mets, and any other team, would be foolish to ignore his health.

And, being a favorite of Omar Minaya’s is no guarantee, either. Minaya’s job security and the Mets’ finances, along with their other priorities, are all variables.

The Mets are a rebuilding organization that can’t afford to make mistakes. Guerrero won’t go to that kind of team, but one that can afford to take the hit should he flame out. Given that, and all else on the Mets’ shopping list, they should pass of Guerrero this time, too.