Dec 27

Dec. 27.09: Here’s quantifying what the Mets are thinking ….

The Mets were 70-92 last season, 11 games off the pace to finish .500 and 22 behind the wild-card Colorado Rockies. For the record, they were 23 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East.

METS: Wishing and hoping.

METS: Wishing and hoping.


They have done precious little this offseason to make anybody believe they will cut substantially into those deficits. At least, little in comparison to the front office comments spouted by Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya in the immediate days following the end of the disastrous 2009 season.

Because they know it won’t go over well in selling tickets and creating goodwill, the Mets can’t articulate that their plan is to bring back their pieces intact and hope for the best.

With each passing day that becomes clearer and clearer. Let’s try to put numbers to their thinking.

With the healthy comebacks of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and return to power for David Wright, the Mets picture 85 victories, going under the assumption each player individually accounts for five more wins over the course of the season. That’s roughly three more victories per month.

That’s doable. It gets them over .500, but still out of the wild card picture.
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Dec 14

Big pitching deals ….

John Lackey to the Red Sox. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Cliff Lee to Seattle. They are all coming down.

Lackey to the Red Sox in an $82.5-million, five-year deal pending a physical. The Red Sox have been tied to a lot of things, but this one seems to have come out of the blue. That’s a lot of money and it probably precludes them signing Matt Holliday.

The Mets were never in it for Lackey, but this deal could help them land Jason Bay. The Red Sox say they aren’t giving Bay a fifth year. Unless they are bluffing, there doesn’t seem to a chance they’ll go back to Bay. But, the Mets would have to up their offer to a fifth year.

The Mets were also never in it for Halladay, either, because they didn’t have the minor league talent to get it down.
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Dec 08

Manuel: Fast start is needed ….

Despite how last season unraveled, and the collapses of the previous two years, Mets manager Jerry Manuel insists his team doesn’t have a delicate psyche and said a fast start wasn’t essential for a good year.

MANUEL: He needs a fast start.

MANUEL: He needs a fast start.


It is, however, important for something else.

“If they want to keep me around it is,” Manuel joked.

Manuel also admitted the Phillies are the team to beat in the National League.

“How can I say we’re the team to beat,” Manuel asked. “We haven’t won anything. The Phillies are the team to beat.”

Dec 07

Pedro wants another year ….

MARTINEz: Wants another year.

MARTINEZ: Wants another year.

Pedro Martinez, at 38, is not ready to hang them up. Martinez said he’d like to pitch another season for the Phillies.

Martinez was 5-1 in nine starts for the Phillies down the stretch and started two games in the World Series. Game 2 was a decent start. Game 6 wasn’t so good. Both starts were at Yankee Stadium. The pitching deprived Mets aren’t interested in an encore. The Phillies haven’t said whether they’ll bring him back.

Martinez also said he will pitch for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican winter league. Martinez, obviously, is one of these players who won’t let go of his career. It has been a good one, but it can’t be overlooked that last year he pitched in a fraction of the games he would normally start, which must factor into his effectiveness.

Dec 07

Braves, Phillies have improved ….

While the Mets are deciding which middle-tier pitcher they should pursue, the Braves and Phillies have already improved from last season.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.

WAGNER: Now a happy Brave.


The Braves needed to address their bullpen, and have done that with the signings of Billy Wagner (I knew he wasn’t going to retire) and Takashi Saito. They’ve also offered arbitration to Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez. The Braves need an outfield bat and are interested in Marlon Byrd.

The Philles have Cliff Lee coming back and are in on the Roy Halladay Sweepstakes. Yes, they have enough chips to get that done. The Phillies just upgraded to Placido Polanco at third base.

The Phillies’ bullpen was a huge reason they didn’t repeat. Fernando Rodney is a closer option. They are also considering John Smoltz and J.J. Putz in set-up roles.