Jun 11

Does trouble await the Mets on the road?

ORIOLES: Mets must be serious.

All too often this season, the Mets gave up the ground, confidence and groove they’ve had at home once they hit the road.

Only this time, the Mets aren’t going to San Diego or Philadelphia, but Baltimore to face the horrible Orioles and then on to Cleveland.

The talk-shows have already given the Mets a 4-2 or 5-1 trip before heading into Yankee Stadium a week from today.

It doesn’t work that way. You have to play the games first and the Orioles have beaten the Yankees twice and beat up the Red Sox in a series.

If what Jerry Manuel said is correct, that the Mets alter their offensive approach on the road because of some of the smaller stadiums, they have to be doubly careful this weekend, beginning tonight, at cozy Camden Yards.

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Jan 23

Jan. 23.10: What’s the plan?

SHEETS: Would he make the off-season?

SHEETS: Would he make the off-season?

It’s strange asking this inside a month before spring training, but do the Mets have a plan to get better? With all their talk about pitching and defense/speed to complement Citi Field, what exactly have the Mets done to become that kind of team?

The best available pitcher in the market went to the Red Sox, with hardly a whimper coming from the Mets’ camp. Come to think of it, all of the available pitchers on the market went elsewhere or are lingering in the discount aisle.

Of course, adding Ben Sheets changes that to some degree. Sheets is still an injury gamble, and even with him, there are three more questions in the rotation. But, it’s better than remaining stagnant.

The biggest acquisition is an outfielder, with reports now coming his former team wanted to redo its offer because of health concerns. Adding Jason Bay without improving the rotation doesn’t improve the team dramatically, at least not to where they should be considered legitimate contenders.

Gary Matthews Jr., only illustrates there’s nothing in the minor league levels to promote in case of emergency. Don’t you think if Fernando Martinez were ready it would have been him?

The bullpen remains a mess and the rotation is Johan Santana and the Four Questions.

Plan?

The plan was to wait for everybody to get healthy and better and hope for the best. I wrote that last October. That was shot when Carlos Beltran went down. There is no real plan, at least nothing of substance.

I wonder if they have any new concession stands this year?

Dec 30

Dec. 30.09: I must admit.

I never thought the Mets would have or could have gotten Jason Bay. I also never thought they should have at the expense of pitching, which is still the team’s top priority. I had Bay returning to the Red Sox and didn’t think the Mets would go as high as potentially $80 million for him. I was surprised they targeted offense first considering the holes in their rotation.

Bay will make them better, and his production will at times overcome the defects of Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. The three-run homer, as Earl Weaver used to say, is baseball’s great eraser.

There are reports the Mets are also close to getting Bengie Molina for two years. I’m against signing a 35-year-old catcher to a two-year deal, but he might be the ticket in turning Perez around. Perhaps there will be a chemistry between the two.

Dec 29

Dec. 30.09: FLASH: METS TO SIGN BAY.

The Mets reached an agreement with outfielder Jason Bay and pending a physical will make the announcement next week. The news has been confirmed by other news outlets.

BAY: Mets to get their man.

BAY: Mets to get their man.


The deal is $66 million over four years with a vesting option for a fifth year that would bring the total value of the package to $80 million.

It had been widely speculated Bay did not want to play for the Mets and used them to drive up the price with Boston. The Red Sox, after signing John Lackey, seemingly pulled out of the Bay negotiating, but two days before Christmas reappeared as pursuers.

The sticking point was Bay wanting a fifth year, but the Mets held steadfast to their position of four years. The Red Sox cut off negotiations based on this stance. There were multiple reports coming out of Boston the Red Sox were concerned to the point where they believed the 31-year-old Bay would eventually have to be switched to DH by the end of his contract.
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Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Pitching market not great ….

The real trend-setter for starting pitcher’s contracts isn’t John Lackey but Randy Wolf, he of the 101-85 career record in 11 years (basically 10-9 a season), who signed a three-year contract with Milwaukee for $29.75 million.

Ben Sheets, despite his injury history, wants $12 million per season and Joel Pineiro wants a four-year deal with a higher annual average than Wolf. Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, has a $15.5 million offer on the table from the Red Sox.

Also, lurking are Pedro Martinez, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Brett Myers. There are three Hall of Famers there, but that’s in the future and past tenses. Present tense, well, they aren’t much better than whom the Mets have now.

For the Mets to add pitching, their choices are to overpay for mediocrity, or in the case of Sheets, take a health gamble. The Mets are gambling their current rotation will progress, and if it doesn’t, then at least they have the economics on their side (save Oliver Perez).

Not encouraging, is it?