Friday, August 31, 2012
I'm still not over the decision to let Reyes walk. Many fans pound their chests and say, "we don't need him. Tejada is having a better year." Really? Reyes is at .283, 11 HR, and 29 SB. Tejada is hitting .295, 1 HR and 2 SB. Yes, Tejada has a higher average. But over and above the other stats, folks, rely on your eyes. Is Tejada the impact player that Reyes is? Do the Mets have a leadoff hitter? No and no. I just don't get it when Mets fans act like Reyes is not missed, and absurdly point to taking himself out of the last game last year. Here's the fact-Reyes is a dynamic player who created a huge hole when he left. The hole has not been filled, and the team is worse for it. I like Tejada. I think Tejada's best defensive position is 2B, and I would have liked to see Tejada and Reyes up the middle this year and into the future. Alas, there's my intrigue for what otherwise is a ho-hum late-summer series in Miami.
It was nice to take two of three from the Phillies, only because it's always nice to take two of three from the Phillies. A few things came out in that series. Matt Harvey looks like the real deal. I'm not talking about the numbers. Just watch that kid. He pitches with guts and some anger. Those are two elements that have been sorely lacking from this team for too long. Thole is now 0 for his last 4,000 (or something like that). He needs to go, and don't talk about his April. He does nothing to contribute on offense or defense. Duda had a nice game on Wednesday, with a HR and a nice play in LF. That's fine, I hope it raises his trade value, and I hope the same can be said for Parnell's outing on Wednesday.
Here's how I'm looking at the last 31. The Mets need to ask themselves if players are winners or not, and if they can be pieces on which to build into contender. I have some definite "no" answers. Among them are Thole, Duda, and Parnell. These guys may show occasional flashes, but do you really think a team can win with them? I don't.
Reyes and player evaluation...making my own intrigue for a sad end to the season.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Wright said following the team's 2-1 win Sunday that winning will be a big factor in his decision, but reiterated he's not concerned right now with his future contract. He'd like to hear the team's plan moving forward and said he's happy with his current deal.
Well, if Wright is concerned about winning and the direction, what do you think he will do? Do you think he notices the shrinking crowds, shrinking payroll, and shrinking overall interest? I think if you put the "Moneyball" concept together with Wright's concerns, you're looking at a 50-50 shot (at best) he re-signs. That would be a tough message, and although it may be the right thing for the organization, I wouldn't want to be the one telling the fans.
How about Dickey? Well, what a shock, he wants the same thing, to win. Here are his words. "I do want to win, too, because I am at that place I am in my career and I want to be a part of that solution here, whatever that's going to be."
That word "win" is the key. The Mets have a two decisions to make, and their two most popular players have to make the same decision. Is this the place to be, are we heading in the right direction? Ask yourself that question. I hope, and I emphasize hope, the pieces are coming together. I'm not convinced they are, or that enough of them are. But I don't count. Two of those key pieces are up for grabs. I want to believe our GM's stated commitment, but I'm highly skeptical.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
here. I would not steer you wrong, take the time and listen. Then tell me if you don't agree 100%. I'm no fan of Mike's, but his points basically are as follows:
- The Mets were embarrassed at home by a team that was 25 games under .500
- To make matters worse, the Mets looked bad in the process of being beaten
- The Mets and their manager have accepted losing
- They almost (other than TC's Tuesday post game) ignore the play on the field, and try to tell you that the young pitchers are a reason to believe-that better days are in the near future
- You can't necessarily count on young pitchers, see Generation K for specifics
- They should give their "8" fans their money back
My summary of this is that it is EXACTLY what I've been thinking. It's fine to talk about youth and the building blocks. They in no way are a guarantee, because as Mike points out, they will not all pan out. There are games being played on the field, games that people (like me) have paid in advance to see, and the product is awful. It's not awful because they're losing. Heck, I lived through 1979, 1982, 1983, and 1993, as Steve Somers would say, I know from losing. It's awful because they seem to have quit, they can't execute baseball fundamentals, and there seems to be no hope for the last 37. Anger among the fans will soon become apathy, and that's the poison to any sports franchise.
Sandy Alderson was on with Francessa yesterday, 8/22. He essentially said that he knows his product, knows who will and will not be a part of the future plan, and is prepared to make major moves. He claims that the Mets have trade chips (lower minor league pitching) that people want, and that will enable the trades. Ok, fine. He also said that there is about $60MM tied up in 6 players in 2013, and that the payroll, though not yet determined, will be around $100MM. So, they'll have about $40MM for 19 players, that's about $2MM each. Get ready for more Lucas Duda, Mets fans. UGH.
Final thoughts-Thole is not a major-league player. I think the organization knows it, and I think they will act on it. Parnell continues to be Parnell, with the "wow, he throws hard" thing, along with bad results. Just a hunch, but I think they'll move him too. And has Murphy fallen out of favor? TC said Murphy is "out of gas" and Turner will play 2B. That doesn't add up. Murphy has been sufficiently rested. There's more to it. Maybe Murphy just isn't a "Sandy" player-no power. Or maybe Murphy's clubhouse persona is not what we think it is. We'll see. Either way, he is as good as gone, absolutely not a "Sandy" type of player.
Harvey and McHugh have been great the last 2 days. They do provide some hope. We all know SP is most important. But this ship has other holes, not little ones, holes like the one in the Titanic. And they're sinking in exactly the same fashion.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Turner- 0 for 4
Bay- 2 for 5 with a HR
Shoppach- 0 for 3 with 2 runs scored
Most important result- Mets 8, Reds 4
We could talk about the bullpen's woes in the 9th, making an 8-1 laugher an 8-4 "smiler". But that topic gets old. One thing I would say is that at least for now, Rauch has to be given some consideration as closer. Frankie was awful, and the point is still (last time I checked) to win games. Rauch threw 3 pitches to get the last out last night. That makes 6 pitches to get 2 outs in his last 2 outings, both times to close the game after a Frankie meltdown.
One point on Shoppach- it's time for a change at catcher. We all know it. Thole, in my opinion, has regressed in both aspects of the game, and if you listen to Harvey after the game, he extolled the virtues of Shoppach's ability to call the game. It worked. Harvey went 7.2 with 4 hits allowed and 8 Ks. While I'm not a fan of the "moneyball" concept of OBP and the long ball, I think both of these will work against Thole as leadership assesses his performance. I'm thankful. Thole needs to go, and quickly. His offensive and defensive struggles are readily apparent. But his deficiency in the subtlety of game calling is becoming more apparent as we listen more closely to the pitchers.
The Nats are up next. At least we miss Strassburg, and Harper has a stomach virus, so maybe that's a good sign. However, the Mets still see Gio on Sunday, and the Nats, yes the Nats, have the best record in baseball. I'm really sick of losing to them, as they've taken 9 of 12 from the Mets.
I spoke to an executive from the Mets about the whole blogger issue of who gets invited to the blogger events. In fairness, I was told that if I'd like to be invited, I'd have to demonstrate my popularity by showing them my blog and Twitter following. I'm at 194 on Twitter, and I'm trying to find a way to show some blog stats. I guess, when all is said and done, the Mets want to hang with the cool kids. Maybe I'm just a geek.
Monday, August 13, 2012
There's new talk of trading Scott Hairston, a concept with which I disagree. Hairston would have to clear waivers (which he would, since he's owed less than a third of his $1.1 million). The Mets would deal him for a low-level (I'll go so far as to say "non") prospect. So, what's the point? I'd bet my mortgage that the player coming back would never make it, and the Mets would have made a contribution to another team's stretch run. What is this, 1-800-KARS4KIDS? Why not keep Scotty H and let him help out here? There still are 47 to play, and it's nice to be competitive (though they haven't been lately, but that's another story).
My last post here caused a bit of a stir. The Mets contacted me to discuss it, and we've played a bit of phone tag. I appreciate their call quite a bit. Let me clarify my point. They can invite anyone they choose to invite into their home. They owe me and other fans absolutely nothing (over and above a clean facility to enjoy the games, and they certainly provide that). That said, they've chosen to provide special access to bloggers who have launched scathing attacks on ownership, and many of these attacks delve into the personal arena. I'd be happy to link to these posts, since they're archived on the blogs. These bloggers are the folks who are right there on "blogger night", smiling away with their recorders, talking to players and management. The message being sent is "if you rip us enough, we'll give you access, because you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer". Okay, fine. Maybe you can turn an enemy into a friend. That's clearly the goal. But those of us who try to be fair, support the team unconditionally, and invest heavily in the team, might see occasional access as a perk too.
That was the point. It's free advice, not just coming from me, but shared by other bloggers to whom I've spoken about the topic. Do with it what you will. You can't kill my (or many others') support. Our blogs' "reach" may not equal those of the "elite" among us, but we love the team. If we didn't, we wouldn't openly express our views as we do. Also, we wouldn't take our time to write and share these blogs. It's another expression of fandom, and it'll never stop. I hope the last part of the previous sentence is not the problem.