Dec 17

Rodriguez eyes big year ….

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel stood at the podium and in a classic photo opportunity helped his closer, Francisco Rodriguez, put on his new jersey.

“Seventy-five,’’ Manuel said as he looked at the number. “That’s the number of saves he’s going to have.’’

Rodriguez, introduced this afternoon at the Citi Bank Building in Long Island City, understands the math.

“I’m aware of what is expected,’’ said Rodriguez, who expects the same after his record 62 saves last season for the Angels earned him a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets.

“Every year I come to spring training with the goal to have better numbers than I had the year before.’’

Why the Mets?

Besides money, Rodriguez said his decision “was easy … they are one team that is hungry to win.’’

General manager Omar Minaya said the acquisitions of Rodriguez, and J.J. Putz from Seattle, who’ll be introduced tomorrow at Citi Field, have solved the Mets’ bullpen problem, which was defined by 29 blown saves last season.

“One thing we lacked last year was being able to close out a game, but we went out and got the best closer in the game,’’ Minaya said of Rodriguez.

Dec 11

Mets make huge deal to shore up bullpen ….

PUTZ: Perfect bridge to Rodriguez.

PUTZ: Perfect bridge to Rodriguez.

We’ve talked about it all along, that the closer means little if he’s on the other end of a rickety bridge. The Mets have solidified their bullpen with the addition of Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz. The Putz deal will be announced this afternoon.

Here’s how the 12-player, three-way deal with Seattle and Cleveland shakes out:

Coming to the Mets:

From Seattle – J.J. Putz, Sean Green.
From Cleveland – OF Jeremy Reed

Coming to Seattle –
From Mets – Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto, Ezequiel Carrera
Jason Vargas, Mike Carp
From Cleveland – Franklin Gutierrez

Coming to Cleveland –
From Mets – Joe Smith
From Seattle – Luis Valbuena

Oct 25

Talkin’ Baseball: Game 3 in Philly

Talkin' Baseball: Game 3 chatter.

Talkin' Baseball: Game 3 chatter.

Good evening. A lot going on today kept me away from the blog. We have a few items to touch on before we get to Garza vs. Moyer.

-Willie Randolph turned down the Washington Nationals to be a coach. He must have a good feeling about either the Milwaukee or Seattle jobs. He’ll land somewhere.

-The Phillies are feeling a bit miffed because their complete rosters weren’t introduced. They weren’t because MLB and the network, that would be FOX, couldn’t have the time to squeeze that in. Actually, that’s part of the World Series TV experience I enjoy.

Oct 15

Talkin’ Baseball: Dodgers trying to stay alive.

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Joe Torre’s Dodgers trying to stay alive tonight in LA. Torre was roasted for his handling of the bullpen in Game 4, in particular, for not bringing in his closer early in what amounted to a do-or-die game.

Willie Randolph has surfaced the past couple of days. He says he wants to manage again. And, from what I hear, Tony Bernazard is still in it for the GM job in Seattle.

Oct 15

Randolph wants to return ….

Randolpoh: Wants another chance.

Randolpoh: Wants another chance.

Former Mets manager Willie Randolph told the New York Post he wants to manage again, but said he’s open to a return to coaching with the Yankees. He’s owed $2.25 million from the Mets.

Said Randolph: “I don’t get a sense much will open up. … Seattle is expected to open after they hire a GM and there is a chance the Brewers will have a vacancy. I will keep an eye on managing. To go back to the field as a bench coach or third-base coach is an option to explore. Let’s wait and see.”

Should Tony Bernazard get the Seattle job, that’s not going to work out for Willie.

I hope Randolph gets another job, but for that to happen, he’ll have to admit he made some mistakes and learned something with the Mets. That’s something he hasn’t done.