Aug 11

About last night …. enough is enough.

OK, I understand about the injuries. The Mets are a hurting group and won’t be whole again this season. We probably won’t see Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran until spring training. The next time we see Carlos Delgado at Citi Field will likely be in a road uniform.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.


Lack of all their parts has cost the Mets a considerable number of their 60 losses, but also damaging has been their often uninspired, lazy, sloppy brand of baseball. Sloppy was on full display in last night’s loss at Arizona.

Manager Jerry Manuel simply told reporters last night, “we were a bad team,” and privately lashed out at several players. Daniel Murphy failed to cover first base on what could have been a double play; instead Anderson Hernandez threw to an empty base. (Not too bright, either.) Angel Pagan didn’t think on two costly outfield plays, one a careless dive and the other an errant throw. Both led to runs.

And, Mike Pelfrey continued to languish in mediocrity. Pelfrey, who had been expected to make significant strides this season, is floating through this season in Oliver Perez-like fashion.

OK, the Mets aren’t whole, but that’s no excuse for playing lazy-thinking and lazy-hustling baseball. Physical errors are part of the game, but errors caused by a lack of concentration or preparation are never acceptable. Never.

Here’s the deal. Before every pitch, a defensive player must ask himself what he would do if the ball were hit to him. He should have a plan. Hustle is admirable, but misplaced hustle, as in Pagan’s dive, is not smart baseball. And, Pagan has made more than his fair share of poor-thinking plays on the bases.

Injuries are one thing, but there have been numerous instances of undermanned and under talented teams winning – and that includes the World Series – by playing fundamentally sound. Not doing so is the first indication a team is packing in a season. It is a sign of quitting, and that’s a reflection on a manager, and Manuel can’t be happy about that prospect.

Believe me, everything will be open to evaluation after the season and that includes the manager. Manuel will be judged more on if he still has the ear and backing of the players than a won-loss record that at this rate will be lucky to be .500.

After chewing on his players, Manuel also blamed fatigue, but that’s his responsibility. David Wright gets only his second rest of the season tonight, but there have been other opportunities to give him a blow. There is simply no reason why fatigue should be an issue if the players are utilized properly. Conversely, there’s no reason why Francisco Rodriguez’s slide can be attributed to rust. Giving regular and consistent workloads to a player is also the responsibility of the manager and coaching staff.

When the story of this season is written, four sentences from Manuel last night will neatly summarize what has been the storyline to too many games this season: “A very poor game. A poor effort on our part. Despite maybe not having what we’d like to have, still it’s the major leagues. We have to perform better than that.”

Says it all, really.

It is true, true character is more revealed in times of adversity than prosperity. And, with the season dwindling away, the Mets still have a chance to salvage something. Their pride and self-respect, or at least a fraction of what is left. The season won’t just be neatly packaged by the injuries, but by the effort in the remaining 50 games.

Those 50 games will also go a long way toward the off-season evaluation process and the quest for jobs next spring.

Apr 27

Hi folks …. give Coin Flip another game.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

PEREZ: Patience is wearing thin.

I just wanted to thank you all for continuing to post while I was away and your well wishes. It meant a lot to me to see your responses. It told me you like the blog and that made me feel good.

Of course, I heard about the weekend. Two up, one down, with that one again being Oliver Perez. Should the Mets give Coin Flip start this weekend against Philadelphia?

Before shipping him off the bullpen or the minor leagues, I say they should for two reasons:

1) The strength of the Phillies’ line-up are left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and he’s had success against Philadelphia. If Perez is going to turn it around, one would think it would be against a team he’s had some good fortune facing.

2) He’s due for a good game.

OK, what if he spits the bit again? If that happens, then the Mets need to seriously think about taking him out of the rotation to fix him. He can reject a minor league assignment – which I see him doing – so they probably have no choice but to stick him in the pen.

I’d rather have him correct his problems on this level because I can envision him in the minor leagues overpowering Triple A hitters and returning to the same problems. Let’s face it, the Mets have this guy for three years and the best thing is to make him better. We know he has the ability because he’s done it before.

Actually, of all the Mets’ starters who are having problems the one I’m most concerned with is John Maine because he’s coming off surgery and everybody’s body reacts differently and at different paces. It’s just an oversimplification to say, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” because we really don’t know.

Livan Hernandez? C’mon, he’s at the end of his career. For him to get hit around is expected. He was good in his first start but has been getting hit since. It should all even out to mediocrity in the end.

Perez? Well, he’s living up to his history so this can’t be too surprising. Just aggravating.

Jan 13

Braves get Lowe. What’s next?

Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.

Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.

The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.

Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.

John Maine: Coming off surgery.

Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.

Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.

Dec 12

One move to make ….

Let’s face it, the Mets have done most of their important heavy lifting. But, there’s still work to be done. OK, you’ve got one more move to make. Who is it? Oliver Perez, which seems to be the consensus, or somebody else?

Ben Sheets? Andy Pettitte? Brad Penny?

Or, do you splurge on a hitter?

You can add one, so realistically who is it?

Dec 10

What’s next?

PEREZ: Next priority? (Photo: AP)

PEREZ: Next priority? (Photo: AP)

OK, the Mets have their closer. What’s next? Just adding Francisco Rodriguez won’t be enough. There’s still need of adding another reliever as well as a starter.

Whom do you choose?

My thinking is they’ll need to go after a starter first, which could translate into bringing back Oliver Perez. They have three starters as of now, with two questions in the back end of the rotation. Make it three questions if you’re concerned about John Maine coming back from arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Agree?