Saturday, October 29, 2011

Get another log for the fire!

The World Series is over, and the Cardinals are champions...ok, I'm back, I just puked. Back to business, it's our favorite time of year, folks. No one is in first place right now, and every team has the same objective-get better before February. Though not at all original, I will now list my view on the top priorities of our beloved blue and orange:

1. Address the "Reyes thing". He's in, or he's out. But either way, do it quickly. If there's going to be money available from not signing Reyes, have it available when the good players are still out there. According to this, the Angels are not contenders for Reyes, so that's one down, I guess.

2. Find some pitching. Would you take a shot on Oswalt? I say "no", aren't the Mets in this predicament from spending money foolishly? Giving a contract to a 34-year-old with a bad back sounds like more of the same. Stay away from CJ Wilson, too. He wilted when the pressure was on. Let's be realistic. They aren't going to get a number 1. But maybe a middle-of-the-rotation starter? And closer must be addressed. I think they're going to bring in some guys (Broxton, Lidge, etc.) and let someone emerge. Fine. as long as that someone is not named "Parnell".

3. GET A CATCHER. I'd sign Russell Martin, since the Yankees are surely going to let him go. Give me a veteran who knows the league. Thole/Paulino was a maddening combination. Nickeas has earned the role of backup.

4. What about CF? Do you non-tender Pagan? OK, maybe, but who's your CF? Sizemore? Danger! The guy can't stay healthy. Is there an affordable option out there?

5. What about RF? Duda? I still think they should try to get some AL team to bite on him, and get someone who can hit and play the position. But who is that? Speaking of RF, it looks like Beltran is quite a sought-after commodity. Just don't end up in the Bronx, Carlos.

This is just a start. The rest of the bullpen needs help, too. And we have owners who still have not paid Uncle Bud his $25 million. And they want to cut the payroll. Is anyone hearing Credence sing, "I see a bad moon rising"? Alas, we remain hopeful. After all, it is our season. You know, the one that starts the day after the WS.

Friday, October 21, 2011

No Mets news, but how about those Rangers?

Well, I guess my title isn't 100% correct. The Mets did shake up the coaching staff and release Igarashi (yeah!). But, let's talk about last night's WS game 2.

I felt a bit vindicated after that game. I have long debated with many people one of my central theories on baseball-that speed is the most important element in the game after pitching. Let's look at the top of the 9th. Kinsler gets on with a single. The Rangers say, "screw you, Yadier" and have Kinsler steal the base. I LOVE THIS TYPE OF AGGRESSIVENESS. Then, Elvis loves himself tender and gets a base hit, moving to second on a botched cutoff. His going to second was risky, but he beat the throw of our favorite Redbird, Yadier Molina. Then, two sac flies (with Elvis going to third on the first one), and it's an even Series. Speed, and heads-up, aggressive base running made that inning. It's winning baseball, the kind I hope my team will play.

The more time goes on, the more it seems Jose is headed elsewhere. In fact, Adam Rubin points out that Tejada, according to Chip Hale, is ready to take over at SS. This would then free up money to spend on pitching. I throw the challenge flag on that one. I think it's getting to be too easy to say, "We never won with Jose....". Let's reality check. If you're 77-85 with Jose's contribution, and then remove that contribution, you need to make up the ground you've lost, and THEN try to get better. That will take a lot of pieces. Let's not be so cavalier as to think that Jose's production is easily replaceable.

The party starts 5 days after the end of the WS. It's a little un-nerving, and at the same time, exciting. I know what's on my wish list. Pitching (duh), and to me, catcher is the next priority. I close with this. Ask yourself if you could ever make this statement, "we won the WS, and Josh Thole was our catcher". I rest my case.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New coaches? How about this guy?

Yesterday, the Mets shook up the coaching staff. Mookie Wilson, Ken Oberkfell, Chip Hale, and Dave DeBus were all removed from their positions. Here are some thoughts:

Wilson: The Mets seemed to be doubled off first way too often. The OFs (other than Bay) seemed to be sub par, and if he can't help Duda (who needs a lot of help), I have no problem replacing Mookie. The '86 mystique only goes so far.

Obie: He just seems like a good guy, right? He does what the organization asks him to do, and can we really say that he did not do the job? But can we really say that he did a good job? Fact is, we don't know what he did or did not do. Best of luck, Obie.

Hale: Chip seemed to be high energy, and I don't recall seeing too many guys thrown out at the plate. The IFs were generally ok, and Tejada seemed to progress nicely. However, word is Hale wanted to go back to CA and work with Bob Melvin. Good luck, Chip. We'll miss ya.

DeBus: What does the bullpen coach do? Well, word is that this one did not work well with the pitchers or the catchers (DeBus is a former catcher). That's enough for me. In my mind, catching is a huge problem for the team. So, bye-bye, Dave.

Tim Teufel is back: I like it. Timmy is another '86er. He also has done what he's been asked to do, so best of luck to him as third base coach. We'll be rooting for you, Timmy. As a fellow CT native, I be rooting especially hard for you!

Now for the picture in the post....

The Mets need a bench coach. Rumors are the Jim Riggleman and Larry Bowa (possibly among others) are candidates. I have always liked Bowa. I liked his grit as a player. I liked his tenacity as a manager and coach. I want him on the bench. Larry is tough as nails, and not afraid to get in someone's face. Mets fans have been asking for more toughness from the team. It starts with the manager (check) and the coaching staff. Adding Bowa would be another step toward "changing the culture" of the team. Let's see... Manuel/Bowa...yep, culture change.

Finally, I'm with my fan brethren in asking how Dan Warthen survived the coaching shakeup. The team had the 7th worst ERA in baseball. Pelfrey regressed, Parnell remains awful, etc. This one is inexplicable to me.

It's only the beginning of the off season.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jose-Should I have stayed or should I have gone?

No, this is not a "should they re-sign Reyes" post. There has been enough talk about that already, and it'll linger for the next 2 months (I think he signs somewhere just before the winter meetings). This is about "bunt single gate", the events of Wednesday as Jose pursued (and won) the batting crown.

I was at the game. Was I disappointed that Jose made a cameo, dropped down his bunt, and absconded? Yes. Does he owe me anything, such as parading himself around the field for my viewing pleasure (like the Westminster Dog Show)? No. He did what he felt he had to do, to achieve a personal goal. As fans, we can enjoy his batting title, as the first in Mets history. Please don't invoke Ted Williams's name, the game was different then. We must look at life in context, the context of today. Jose did what many others have, such as Boggs. No problem, Jose, we're happy you won it. Enjoy the ride on which you're about to embark.

Too bad for Francona. Perspective is everything, right? If you told me my team would win 2 titles in 8 years (for math majors, that's 25% of the time), I'd sign for that NOW. I guess it's not good enough in Beantown. Bobby V may be a candidate up there. It would be interesting to see how he molds the "lost clubhouse". I guess we're not even sure if Theo goes back. Gotta love the off season...

And one more thought....