Nov 05

Catching up ….

Sorry for the brief hiatus, but when Mother Migraine decides she wants to put you on your butt you have no choice but to go down. Slept most of yesterday and awoke to the news we have a new president and the Mets probably won’t make much of a splash in the FA market.

Been trying to catch up on the Hot Stove News and there’s really not much that’s surprising. We know the Yankees are offering money to just about everybody while the Mets figure not to stray far from their $143 million payroll from last year.

Most of the news seems to substantiate what we’ve been talking about here, that the Mets will go after pitching, pitching and somebody to throw the ball to the catcher. They’d like to keep Oliver Perez and sign Derek Lowe, and they’ve targeted Brian Fuentes as their closer.

Nothing shocking there.

The Mets don’t figure to go after a big bat because they don’t believe that’s why they lost. Their problems hitting with runners in scoring position were brought into greater focus because of the 29 blown saves. Cut that in half, they figure, and the NL East would have been theirs for the taking.

Actually, that was their same philosophy each of the last two winters. After 2006, there was the belief of entitlement, that after coming so close they would naturally take the next step. After 2007, there was a feeling the collapse was an aberration and they were still the team to beat.

Not so then, and maybe not so now.

Oct 24

Commentary: Can HoJo really have an impact?

HoJo: How effective can he be really?

HoJo: How effective can he be really?

Howard Johnson is back as Mets’ hitting coach, which is fine by me because I enjoy talking with him. However, I’m not so sure things will be any different next year, and I wonder whether it is because of the same hitting coach or the same players.

I’m thinking the latter.

I hitting coach can go over film and mechanics with a hitter, but once he’s in the box, that guy is on his own and he’d better know what to do.

Every situation calls for a specific fundamental approach.

-It begins with getting on base, and it doesn’t matter how. Take the damn walk. And, this includes everybody, not just Jose Reyes, who fails to work the count. When they win and the offense clicks, David Wright likes to say, “we kept the line moving.” Well …. ? Why don’t they have that approach all the time. The Mets wasted way too many at-bats last year, and that starts with the approach by the hitter, who should have learned what to do in high school.

-Runner on second, no outs, hit the ball to the right side of the infield.

-Runner on third, less than two outs, hit a fly ball.

This isn’t brain surgery, it’s baseball.

Reyes need to bunt more, increase his walks and decrease his strikeouts. He needs to hit the ball on the ground. … Carlos Delgado must discover left field more than he does. … By his own admission, Wright must learn to relax and not try to do it all when runners are in scoring position.

Johnson is there to remind the players and work with them on mechanics, but it’s up to the players to be thinking the right approach. Johnson can remind them, but it’s up to Jerry Manuel from Day One in spring training to harp on them what to do.

Oct 24

Baseball after Midnight: Rays even Series.

What's keeping you up tonight?

What's keeping you up tonight?

Good evening my friends out West and you night owls. Getting hungry. My favorite after midnight diner food is an omelet and rye toast. Breakfast food is always good.

We had an interesting post during the game on the issue of clutch hitting. It doesn’t always come after the seventh inning. I remember a conversation I had with Ryan Church during spring training about stats.

The topic was a “do your job stat.” Every at-bat comes with it a defined objective. Runner on third, get the run home, even with an out. The Rays did it twice in the first inning. The Mets? Well, we’ve had that conversation more than a few times this summer.

Another good game tonight. You get the feeling this one could go the distance.

As far as the Mets were concerned today, the Mets finally finalized their coaching staff. Howard Johnson stays, which was surprising to some degree considering all the finger pointing about their inability to consistently perform with runners in scoring position.

Whatever is on your mind, here’s your message board. I’ll respond in the morning.

Oct 08

Where did it go wrong?

Now that you’ve had almost a couple of weeks to think about it, where did it go wrong for the Mets? I’m not asking about the bullpen or their inability to hit with runners in scoring position. I mean, what game in the last two months, what stretch, told you it wouldn’t happen this year?

For me, it was losing two of three to the Braves in home-and-home weekend series. It screamed to me they were in trouble.

How about you?

Sep 17

About Last Night

So much for team meetings.

As you can plainly see, it’s more than just the bullpen. Yeah, 27 blown saves says a lot, but so does ranking 11th in the league hitting with runners in scoring position. Of course, last night, they didn’t get many runners in scoring position at all.

They still control their own destiny with the wild card, but one more loss can take care of that. That’s what Brandon Knight is there for tonight.