May 28

Was an opportunity wasted?

MARTINEZ: Was a teaching lesson lost?

MARTINEZ: Was a teaching lesson lost?

Did Mets manager Jerry Manuel miss an opportunity last night to set a career molding example for Fernando Martinez?

There’s no doubt Manuel talked to Martinez after the 20-year-old rookie gazed at his pop-up, and only failed to run after it was dropped by the catcher.

I’m thinking more should have been made of it, and a mold would have been set had Manuel pulled Martinez from the game with the warning if it ever happens again he’ll go to the minor leagues. If such a reprimand scars Martinez, then doesn’t it show he’s not mentally tough enough?

I throw this out there because Martinez was warned two years ago by Tony Bernazard when he wasn’t running out ground balls. Maybe Martinez had a brain cramp, maybe he was upset because he isn’t hitting, but it doesn’t really matter.

They tell you in Little League that when you hit the ball you run hard, and don’t stop running until the play is over. And, you’ll know when the play is over.

Lastings Milledge never got it and the Mets gave up on him. Don’t you think if Milledge’s attitude was better he’s still be here? But, Milledge didn’t give the Mets hope he’d change.

And, Jose Reyes? Well, they’ve already lost him. The Mets have coddled Reyes to the point where discipline won’t help. There are too many times when Reyes fails to run hard, or loses focus and muffs a play in the field, or give away an at-bat.

What, all of a sudden they are going to clamp down on him? Don’t think so.

Martinez is a different story. By all accounts he’s a good kid with a load of talent. No ceiling, the scouts say. Now is the time to put a harness on Martinez.

I just wonder if Manuel missed an opportunity last night.

May 25

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #44: Happy Memorial Day.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Greetings all. I hope you enjoyed the holiday with your family and friends. Three-day weekends are always a treasure. Made even better when your team is doing well.

Beyond my wildest dreams, the Mets won two of three against Boston at Fenway. I expected a sweep in the other direction. But, they surprised everybody, but hopefully not themselves.

Their recent road trip was a test. They won five, lost five, so let’s take this with a grain of salt. With how they started, they should have won six. They also could have lost six had it not been for Omir Santos.

This next stretch is also a test with games against Washington, Florida and Pittsburgh. These are all series the Mets should win, but series they’ve struggled with in the past – especially when coming off a rough stretch.

May 24

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #43; going for the Fenway sweep.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I have to be honest with you. Never would I have expected the Mets to be on the verge of sweeping the Red Sox. Honestly, I thought it would be the other way.

Tim Redding vs. Tim Wakefield. Redding will try to make his second straight strong start since rejoining the team.

The Mets are already guaranteed coming home no worse than 5-5. I would like to think they have weathered the storm.

May 22

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #41: On to Fenway.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Good evening. The Mets are in Boston tonight with Johan Santana trying to snap their four-game losing streak.

The Mets began this 10-game road trip winning three straight at San Francisco before their bats feel asleep. In addition to their dormant bats, we’ve seen several flaws in the Mets’ game the past four games. They haven’t hit with runners in scoring position, their defense has been spotty and we don’t know we’re getting from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.

The injuries to Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado have exposed the Mets’ lack of depth in the farm system. Tonight they’ll put on a make shift line-up on the field against the Red Sox with four players starting who weren’t in the Opening Day line-up.

Here’s tonight’s line-up:

Daniel Murphy, 1B
Ryan Church, RF
Carlos Beltran, DH
Gary Sheffield, LF
David Wright, 3B
Jeremy Reed, CF
Omir Santos, C
Ramon Martinez, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Johan Santana, P

May 21

OFF DAY: Licking their wounds edition.

It’s almost noon on the East Coast. Most of the Mets are probably snoozing right about now after their red eye flight from LA. I know most of you are thinking they’ve been snoozing the last three days against the Dodgers.

I take four positive things from the last three days, but two of them are tempered:

1) Daniel Murphy seems comfortable at first base after the horror show that was left field. His bat, however, needs to come around again. I believe Murphy will get through this, so right now he’s gone down on my worry meter.

2) Tim Redding came back with a strong effort Monday night. It’s a good sign. Better, of course, than if he were bombed. But, he has to keep doing it.

3) I was encouraged by Livan Hernandez’s strong outing last night in the terms of innings. Still, he’s a question because you can’t rely on him every fifth day to give you what he gave them last night.

4) David Wright continues to hit as is Carlos Beltran. They are the only players performing to their capabilities offensively.

All that being said, there are more than enough areas of concern for the Mets, beginning with the leg injury to Jose Reyes. He reinjured his calf last night after missing five games and his availability for the Boston series is questionable. Ramon Martinez and Fernando Tatis aren’t the answers, which gives you an indication of how much they miss Alex Cora. The injuries to Reyes and Carlos Delgado are emblematic of the franchise’s lack of depth in the minor league system.

What else is going wrong?

* I have no idea what to get from start to start from John Maine and Mike Pelfrey is becoming a source of concern also. These are your Nos. 2 and 3 starters and they take the ball every fifth day more as question marks than exclamation points.

* Luis Castillo has returned to earth following a fast start. His range is limited and he’s in an offensive funk. Also struggling offensively is Tatis, especially with runners in scoring position.

* JJ Putz has not been as good as advertised.

* Ryan Church used to be a doubles machine but he’s not driving the ball anymore. He’s of little value as a singles hitter.

* Collectively, the offense has packed it in the last four games and they face three good arms in Fenway. This is not the weekend that screams breakout.

* The defense has been spotty, something you can’t afford with spotty starting pitching and a comatose offense.