Aug 17

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #118; Livan stays in rotation.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The core is gone, maybe never to return this season. With the Mets well below .500 and expectations of this year faded to bitter memories, there’s really no reason to rush David Wright’s return, or that of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

Yes, there are reasons to see them, but none of the compelling team variety. The only one I can see them getting something for is Delgado in a waiver trade, but let’s face it, he’s not coming back.

The 55-62 Mets have played much of the year without Beltran, Delgado and Reyes, so watching Wright take a Matt Cain fastball in the earflap was especially difficult.

“He’s in our thoughts and our prayers,’’ Daniel Murphy said. “He’s the leader of this ball club.”

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

LIVAN: Stays in rotation.

Livan Hernandez (7-7, 5.28) goes to the mound tonight against the Giants’ Joe Martinez (2-1, 6.00). Hernandez will try to rebound for his last two starts in which he gave up 12 runs on 15 hits and seven walks.

Manuel could have opted with Tim Redding or Nelson Figueroa, but stuck with Hernandez.

“Just looking back at everything, there’s been times where he’s had a couple bad outings and then he’s bounced right back,” Manuel said. “Hopefully we can get that from him now on the rest of the way.’’

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Cory Sullivan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Brian Schneider, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Livan Hernandez, RP

NOTEBOOK: Only three players, Murphy, Schneider and Castillo from the Opening Day batting order. … Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano has not allowed an earned run in 14 of his past 15 appearances. … The Mets are 16-16 in one-run games, fitting for a team below .500. … Giants catcher Bengie Molina is expected to return to the lineup after Eli Whiteside replaced him Sunday. Molina, who hit the game-winning homer Saturday, is 8 for 17 with three homers lifetime versus Hernandez. … Alex Cora is still having some issues with his hand.

Aug 17

Wright on DL ….

By this time, I’m sure you are aware the Mets placed David Wright on the disabled list after yesterday afternoon’s game. The wisest of decisions.

WRIGHT: Placed on DL.

WRIGHT: Placed on DL.


Wright was examined by neurologists twice and stayed overnight at the Hospital for Special Surgery before being discharged Sunday. GM Omar Minaya said the Mets’ medical staff consulted with an external specialist in concussion management.

The recommendation was unanimous to sit Wright.

“This is not a baseball decision,” Minaya said. “This is a medical decision.”

There’s no telling, when or if, Wright will rejoin the team. With the season seven weeks away from its merciful ending, and with Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado doubtful to return from their injuries, there is no point in pushing Wright’s return.

The Mets might not be worth watching without Wright and the rest of the core, but in doing the right thing, they will be worth watching in the future.

“At this point, it’s the right thing to do,” Jeff Francoeur said. “I’m sure he doesn’t want to hear that; I hate to hear it, too, because we need him so bad. But the last thing we want is for him to go out there and dive for a ball and get hit again, and the next thing you know something’s seriously wrong.”

That was the case with Ryan Church last season. He was flown from Atlanta to Denver, but also had a handful of pinch-hit appearances that aggravated his condition. With Church, the Mets listened to what he told the training staff rather than just shutting him down. Later, Church, to his competitive credit and his foolishness, acknowledged he was driven to prove that he could play hurt.

Manager Jerry Manuel said Wright tried to fight him on the DL decision: “David wanted to try and give it a chance, and go out there and play – but, we decided to take it away from David. He really wanted to try and play, but based upon our doctors and specialist recommendations we said no… He tried to fight me, he said, ‘Come on, man, give me a chance,’ he definitely wants to be here, but he understood.”

To their credit, the Mets learned from Church. They will treat concussions more aggressively, which includes not relying on the player’s input.

Aug 16

METS CHAT ROOM Game #117; Wright sits after beaning.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I remember talking to Willie Randolph last season and he said something incredibly odd, if not totally stupid. “We really don’t know enough about concussions in baseball,” was the essence of his comments during one pregame session when the conversation turned to Ryan Church.

It was amazing to hear Randolph say the Mets hadn’t consulted the physicians of the Giants, Jets or Rangers, teams that deal with that injury all the time.

Clearly, the Mets didn’t handle Church’s concussion properly, flying him from Atlanta to Denver, then pinch-hitting him, then shuffling him in and out of the lineup. Post Concussion Syndrome he had, and was never right the rest of the season. Hey, truth is, he hasn’t been right since.

Let’s hope the Mets learned from Church last season, but one has to wonder why he isn’t on the disabled list this morning. He might not play any time soon and with him on the disabled list there’s no temptation to push him. Leave it up to Wright and he’ll say he wants to play, but that’s his personality. Don’t given him the option.

Learn from the past and just let him rest and recover. He should be on the DL already.

Here’s today’s line-up behind Mike Pelfrey (8-8. 4.88):

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP

NOTES: Pelfrey balked three times against the Giants, May 17. … He is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career appearances against San Francisco.

Aug 14

METS CHAT ROOM: Games #115/116; Home again.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

First of all, I’d like to begin by saying thank you to all of you out there. The last week or so, after the email prodding of a few, I have started to post longer threads in addition to the Mets Chat Room. I am appreciative that you still like reading what I have to say and I am grateful that although I haven’t been around the team as much as I would like that you are still interested in my thoughts and what I can dig up.

Your interest and support is carrying me through a difficult time and I will try to finish the season strong with more writing and analysis. Again, thank you.

Tonight, our heroes return home after a hideous road trip. They are still mathematically alive, but let’s be realistic. With the Giants, Atlanta and Philly in during this homestand, even the pipe dreams could soon be over.

The 53–61 Mets host the Giants (62–62), with Bobby Parnell (2–4, 3.94 ERA) going against Barry Zito (8–10, 4.40 ERA).

Pitching is a key issue for the Mets, and Parnell could be a rotation answer next season. He was limited in his last start to around 60 pitches, but will have a 75-pitch ceiling tonight. As with all young pitchers, development of his secondary pitches is critical, and in Parnell’s case, that means better use of his slider and splitter. Last time, it was too much fastball, of which he had little control.

Here’s the batting order:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Fernando Tatis, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Bobby Parnell, RP

NOTEBOOK: Manager Jerry Manuel said Livan Hernandez will remain in the rotation. That’s hardly a surprise considering his options. … David Wright’s sore knee is good enough for him to play. … Manuel said he believes Carlos Beltran will play again this summer. Why?

Aug 14

Some random thoughts ….

Going over a few things in my mind, including yesterday’s Sheffield post.

* I don’t see how anyone could think bringing back Gary Sheffield for next year is a good idea. With the complaints this year of the Mets being old and not athletic, Sheffield in 2010 does nothing to make that happen. The Mets look listless now, and Sheffield only adds to that appearance when you see him in the outfield. Sheffield has always been a me-first guy, and he’ll complain about playing time for sure. At 40, he’s not getting any younger and is already showing break-down signs. If he would had 25 homers in the bank I’d consider it, but he’s got 10. That might be decent coming off the bench, but this guy wants to play full time. Bad move.

* We’ll know this afternoon whether Livan Hernandez will stay in the rotation. Jerry Manuel talks about his respect for Hernandez, but he’s let him twist in the wind since his last start. Do the Mets really have any other viable options? Probably not. Like with Sheffield, I would be willing to see what I could get for Hernandez in a waiver deal considering we probably won’t see him next season.

* David Wright’s knee has been examined and we’ll find out the results later today. With the team going nowhere, there’s not point running him into the ground.

* In the “It’s About Time,” category, fans will notice photos of notable Mets and moments in club history around Citi Field at tonight’s game against the Giants. Why this wasn’t done from the outset, along with a Mets’ Hall of Fame, is beyond me. The Mets don’t have the glorious history of the Yankees or Dodgers, but they have an compelling history nonetheless. It should have been honored and on display all along. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a meaningful exhibit, but it isn’t about the Mets. Honor your own history before someone else’s.

* I’ve said this numerous times, so once more shouldn’t hurt. The competitive aspect of the season is over. Shut down Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to let them fully heal. Unless there are serious concerns about their health that need to be answered as to prepare for the off-season – and this doesn’t seem to be the case – there’s no benefit in dragging them out there again this year. It could only make matters worse.

* Billy Wagner is expected to be activated Sunday, and he’s somebody the Mets might be able to swing a waiver deal for to pick up a prospect. Left relievers are valuable in a pennant race and if Wagner is close to being 100 percent he could net something in return. They certainly aren’t going to offer him arbitration they might as well see what is out there.

* For the most part, I’ve held my tongue on Gannett. Not now. On a sad note, my former newspaper, The Journal News, is forcing employees to re-apply for their jobs. Even so, at least 70 people will get cut. Some good people will lose their jobs. Management said only current employees are eligible to apply, but apparently these Gannett openings are on the public job boards. Nice lie. Just a different lie than the one they told me.

Gannett still makes a profit, but apparently not enough. This used to be an aggressive newspaper with quality people putting out a quality product. It is but a shell of its former self as Corporate gut the product, presumably to write-off its self-inflicted losses. It’s a sleazy company that deserves its demise. Unfortunately, a lot of innocent people get hurt.

I guess, all you need to know about the small thinking that goes on at my former place is every afternoon they cut off the air conditioning for an hour to presumably save a few pennies.

Stay classy Gannett, stay classy.