Jun 21

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #67; avoiding another series loss.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

When you keep losing series, you’ll never get on track and that’s where the Mets find themselves today against Tampa Bay. The Mets began the month trying to avoid a June Swoon. It has turned out that way, but lucky for them nobody else in the division has been able to run away.

It’s still winnable, but not if this continues.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks with St. Louis, the Yankees and Phillies again, and Atlanta.

Especially discouraging is how the Mets have lost this year. There have been a lot of tough losses: the Murphy dropped fly in Florida that beat Santana; the Castillo dropped pop against the Yankees; the blown five-run lead against the Pirates; the Church game in LA where he failed to touch third base; yesterday’s loss to the Rays; and several others, including a couple of games in which they blew a three-run lead.

Championship caliber teams find a way to win these games and that’s something the Mets haven’t done with any consistency.

It has to change.

Jun 03

Rain out edition: What about Glavine?

Tonight’s game with the Pirates has been rained out, and despite this being their last trip to Pittsburgh, there will not be a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon.

That means a rushed trip to Pittsburgh in August or September when the Mets will need the day off. It’s just as well they aren’t playing as they need a breather. This is a bruised and battered team and the bullpen needs a rest.

Around the Horn ….

-Tom Glavine was released by the Braves which begs the obvious: Would you take him back to add some depth to the rotation which still has some issues. Glavine underwent elbow and shoulder surgery in the offseason, but said he’s ready and will pitch again this season.

-Assistant GM John Ricco said Jose Reyes experienced pain again in his calf during an extended spring training game today and will return to New York for additional tests. Translation: He won’t be back any time soon. I can’t see him back for the Philadelphia series.

-Manager Jerry Manuel said Gary Sheffield will not play during tomorrow. He’s still nursing his leg. He didn’t run well at all the other night.

-Manuel also said JJ Putz will move to the seventh inning. Hardly earthshattering news.

-Ryan Church played in an extended spring training game and says he’s feeling better. He might be ready to be activated for the Phillies series.

-Oliver Perez threw off flat ground today but there’s no timetable for his return.

Jun 02

Ripe for a June swoon?

PUTZ: What's wrong?

PUTZ: What's wrong?

One game does not make a month, but last night was not a good way to start June. Maybe the Ryan Church game in LA was worse, but it’s hard to image any more disheartening defeats than last night.

I’ve called the Mets a flawed team, and such was the case against the Pirates. The offense called it a game after the third inning and JJ Putz imploded in the eighth. Jerry Manuel didn’t help matters when he let the struggling Putz stay in after two or three hitters. It was obvious he wasn’t going to find the switch.

I wrote prior to the game that it was encouraging for the role players to step up and Reed and Valdez did that. However, role players are role players for a reason and the Mets need the return of their core big time.

We might not see Carlos Delgado this year and Jose Reyes is on the horizon. David Wright continues to slump, Carlos Beltran missed another game and there’s Putz.

The guy isn’t right. He needs to be looked at again and if something is wrong then go on the DL. He’s not doing anybody any good the way he is now.

Until Putz gets it together, Bobby Parnell should assume the eighth inning role as the bridge to Francisco Rodriguez.

May 06

Let’s not get carried away ….

Two victories over the struggling Braves (and it could have been two the other way) does not a season make.

Said David Wright: “When you win, you have energy and passion. When things aren’t going so well, it’s easy to pick apart things like that. We’ve got a good team. We’ve got good guys on this team. We’re well-prepared. We’re intense. When you win, that’s a plus – and when you lose, you start looking for reasons why.”

There have been some encouraging things the past two days, but enough of the other stuff to believe the Mets aren’t out of the woods. For one thing, they were dreadful hitting with runners in scoring position. They could have routed the Braves had they been more consistent.

And, if you’re going to squander opportunities, you can’t afford to give the opposition extra outs, which was was last night’s ninth inning was all about.

All they’ve done was win two straight games. They are home now with series against the Phillies and Braves, and don’t underestimate the Pirates, who have been getting good pitching.

Let’s see where they are after this homestand. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Sep 30

Do you want Delgado back?

Delgado: Wants to return. Few other options.

Delgado: Wants to return. Few other options.

In early June there was no way Carlos Delgado would return to the Mets. The team would undoubtedly give him a $4 million buyout as opposed to picking up his $12 million option.

Then he had a week in one afternoon at Yankee Stadium and never looked back. While the Mets floundered in September, Delgado sizzled, hitting .340 with eight homers and 22 RBI. He finished the season batting .271 with 38 homers and 115 RBI.

Those numbers warrant a return for 2009.

“I’d like to be back. I like this group of guys,” Delgado said. “I think they’re a great team. There’s a lot of talent here. In my stage, you don’t want to be bouncing around any more than you absolutely have to. The decision is in their hands.”

Since the Mets would pay Delgado $4 million regardless because of the buyout, it’s really only an $8 million investment they would be making. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things. The Mets have five days after the World Series to make a decision.

Delgado said he’d like to play several more years, but considering his off-year in 2007 and how long it took for him to get started this season, the Mets would be wise to make him earn the extension and not do anything until the end of 2009.

Should the Mets go the buyout route, there aren’t many appealing options in the free-agent market. Here’s what’s available:

Rich Aurilia (37)
Hank Blalock (28) – $6.2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Sean Casey (34)
Tony Clark (37)
Carlos Delgado (37) – $12MM club option for ’09 with a $4MM buyout
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Jason Giambi (38) – $22MM club option for ’09 with a $5MM buyout
Wes Helms (33) – $3.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.75MM buyout
Eric Hinske (31)
Doug Mientkiewicz (35)
Kevin Millar (37)
Richie Sexson (34)
Mark Teixeira (29)
Daryle Ward (34)

Should the Mets bring him back or not?