Sep 24

This Day in Baseball History ….

Looking Back

Looking Back

On this day in 1991, the Mets’ Howard Johnson hit his 37th homer to set a National League record for switch-hitters. Johnson will finish the season with 38 homers and 117 RBI.

It has been a rough season for Johnson, who, as with most Mets’ coaches, is getting heat for the team’s collapse.

In particular, Johnson is under scrutiny for the team’s poor power showing, especially that of David Wright, who reached double-digits in homers this month with a pair at Philadelphia.

Wright and Jeff Francoeur are planning to work with Johnson in the off-season.

Sep 15

Mets Chat Room: Game #144; Nothing to play for edition.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Fred Wilpon’s goal when hiring Omar Minaya was for the Mets to play meaningful games in September. That ended with Sunday’s double-header loss at Philadelphia. The Mets are playing for answers and pride, and that’s about it. Some individuals have statistical motivations, and, of course, the Mets are playing to sell more hot dogs and T-shirts.

The Mets (63-81) need to run the table to finish at .500. Guess what?

The Mets are in Atlanta tonight to face the Braves, who are 7.5 games with 19 remaining, are close to seeing their season end. What’s working against Atlanta is that the Mets aren’t in first place. Cruel, but a degree of truth.

Turner Field has not been kind to the Mets recently, as they’ve lost 11 of their last 15 games there, with the Braves hitting .337 in the victories.

Pat Misch (1-2, 3.86) will start tonight for the Mets. Misch is looking to rebound from a horrid start against Florida in which he gave up five runs in six innings, including two homers. Misch has a 3.00 ERA in four relief appearances against Atlanta.

NOTEBOOK: Francisco Rodriguez is not be available tonight due to the birth of his twins in New York.

Sep 10

Reyes still wants to play

There are games left to be played, and Mets shortstop Jose Reyes wants to play in them. OK, maybe a few. All right, at least one.

REYES: Wants to take a few swings this year.

REYES: Wants to take a few swings this year.

With the Mets playing out the string, Reyes wants to test his torn right hamstring one more time. The thought of sitting out the winter and not knowing what to expect next spring training gnaws at him. It’s not much the hitting, or fielding and throwing. It’s the all out running. He wants to know if he can air it out between first and third the way he used to.

This isn’t about the Mets wanting to know his health for the sake of testing the trade market, but for Reyes’ peace of mind. By extension, the Mets would breath easier, too.

“I’m going to still try to come back. I’ve been working so hard to come back, so right now I don’t want to say when but I’m still trying,” Reyes said. “I missed so much time. I’d like to come back to get my confidence back and go into spring training with a better idea.”

Reyes has been on the disabled list since May 26 after sustaining a calf injury that was only supposed to keep him out a few days. He has played in only 36 games with a .279 average and 11 steals.

At the time of the injury, the Mets were in second place, a half-game behind Philadelphia. They are 17 back and should be mathematically eliminated in a few days. Even with nothing to play for, manager Jerry Manuel would like to see Reyes out there.

“The more questions we can answer now, the better off we will be in spring training,” Manuel said.

REYES: Not flying so high anymore.

REYES: Not flying so high anymore.


True enough, but Reyes isn’t even doing any baseball drills. The worst case scenario is out there staring at the Mets as if it were in neon. Reyes completely tears out the hamstring, surgery is required and he’s not ready for spring training.

Reyes isn’t ready and the Mets shouldn’t be considering this kind of talk. If the odds are he’ll need the surgery they should do it now and leave nothing to chance.

Another motivation for Reyes to get out there, and it isn’t a good one, although you have to admire his pride, is he’s chapped by criticism – although nobody with the Mets is publicly saying anything – he’s dogging it.

Carlos Beltran’s return, and the possibility of Carlos Delgado coming back. has fueled Reyes’ ire.

“I don’t know why some people think I don’t want to be on the field,” Reyes said. “I live for baseball. I always play baseball since I was little. I love to be on the field. That’s my main goal. If I ready the last week of the season, I’m going to play the last week of the season.”

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.

Dec 31

Mets make offer to Lowe ….

The Mets have a three-year, $36-million offer on the table to Derek Lowe, which is considerably less than the five year, $90-million he was seeking.

Lowe has averaged 15 wins and over 200 innings the last seven seasons, which statistically would make him the Mets’ No. 2 pitcher.

His production blows away that of Oliver Perez, who has being 27, left-handed and a blazing fastball in his arsenal.

While Lowe’s career is marked by durability and inconsistency, Perez’s is the opposite.

Agent Scott Boras is throwing out the mystery teams again, saying there are more teams interested now than a week ago.

He doesn’t have to go to the trouble, because in addition to the Mets, there is Boston and Philadelphia.

The Mets rank their pitching priorities as Lowe, Perez and Randy Wolf.