Category Archives: Player Posts

Offering A Near Ultimatum

Yesterday, an article was posted on ESPN New York that I urge all Mets fans not to read, for their own sanity.

In  this article, much maligned pitcher Oliver Perez states his desire to return to the Mets for next season.  He also adds “I’d like to have a championship, and I know the fans want to have one too”.  Well, Ollie, do you know what the fans REALLY want?  They want you gone.  And with good reason.

You’ve pitched just 43 innings all season, none of them particularly exciting for anyone.  You’ve been hurt, you’ve lost your velocity, and you never had command.  You’ve been miserable in absolutely every aspect of the sport of baseball, and your contract is an albatross around the neck of our favorite team.  So, as much as you can be politically correct and state your desire to stay here and win here, don’t fault us as fans for wanting you gone.

Personally, I can’t imagine any way that Omar Minaya or whoever the GM is over the offseason doing everything in their power and more to rid the organization of this selfish man who wouldn’t accept a minor league assignment despite warning that he was near unusable in the majors.  He’s forced the Mets to play for nearly 2 months with a 24 man roster, and when he has pitched, he hasn’t been good.

If Oliver Perez thinks he can still be a good starting pitcher at the major league level…well, he’s wrong.  Oliver Perez is, I’m sure, a decent human being who tries to be the best he can be.  But right now, he’s being selfish, and he’s not performing.  He needs to go.

If the Mets bring back Ollie for 2011, it’s a sign of one of three things.  Either they couldn’t find any team willing to take him for ANYTHING, regardless of what else the Mets need to throw in, they are truly run by complete morons, or they are money hungry men who don’t care about success or fans’ happiness just their bottom line.

Well guess what Wilpons, Mets fans will NOT keep coming to the stadium if you keep metaphorically kicking us in the family jewels.  Mets fans aren’t stupid.  You have the offseason to rid our stadium and our organization of the trash that is Ollie, Luis Castillo, and Jeff Francoeur.  Yeah, read that back, I said OUR stadium and OUR organization.  You may run it, but we are your constituents, and if you don’t work for us…we’ll find a way to get rid of you and get someone who will.

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Can Anything Stop The Animal?

Chris Carter certainly isn’t unstoppable (or is he?), but last night he was a key part of the Mets 7-2 victory.  The Mets got offense from Carter (2 hits, 2 RBI, HR), Jose Reyes and David Wright (3 hits, 2 Runs, and a Stolen Base each).  Mike Pelfrey pitched well once again, giving up just one earned run in his 8 innings of work.

This is exactly how the Mets need to play to win.  They’ve been far to inconsistent with both their hitting and pitching.  The Mets need to have Reyes and Wright lead the way almost daily, they need 6-7 solid innings from their starters (especially Johan, Dickey, Niese, and Pelf), and they need to fight hard for every game.  As much as every loss makes me believe the Mets are done, they do have a puncher’s chance.

The stretch run gives us a bunch of games against the Mets and Phillies, as well as a few more against the Astros and Pirates, and if the Mets can play like they did last night, they might be able to at least regain some dignity, if not get back in a race.

Chris Carter has shown signs of being a pretty good hitter.  He isn’t a stellar defensive outfielder…he isn’t a stellar defensive anything, but if his hitting is consistently good, and he brings the intensity we’ve seen from him literally since his first at bat this season…especially with Jason Bay out, he needs to be in the lineup on a semi-regular basis.

Carter is an animal.  He’s ferocious, and you can just see it in his eyes.  I (and many other Met fans) love Carter’s intensity and his tendency to stalk the dugout as if he’s stalking his prey…but also his desire (and commitment) to winning.  Every quote I’ve heard from The Animal has him saying that he still believes in this team, and that this season is NOT over.  And the more I hear it, the more I believe him.  I think that Carter is an example of the kind of pieces this team needs.  He’ll almost definitely never be a star, but if you surround a talented core of players with more guys like The Animal…you can certainly build a winner.

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35 One Hitters

Last night, R.A. Dickey threw the 35th one hitter in New York Mets history, the 27th of which that was a complete game for the starting pitcher.  In discussing this with a couple of women, including my mother, the consistent response I got was that it reminded them of the movie “27 dresses”.  The old “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” idea.  And I think that is kinda appropriate.  The Mets so often have been THAT close to a no-hitter, and yet, they’ve never had it happen.

In fact, 16 different pitchers have thrown no-hitters either before joining the Mets, or after leaving the team.  You can read more about those pitchers here and here.  Nolan Ryan, as most baseball fans know, even threw SEVEN no hitters after leaving the Mets.

Even worse for R.A. Dickey last night was that the sole base hit was earned by the opposing pitcher, Cole Hamels.  Hamels was already high on many Mets fans’ hate lists thanks to his “choke artist” comments.  Now he will join players like Jimmy Qualls and LeRon Lee on the list of less than stellar hitters to break up Mets no-hitters.

7,759 games.  That’s how many games the Mets have played without a single no hitter.  Seven thousand seven hundred fifty nine.  Maybe it will eventually happen…maybe it won’t.  The Mets and the Padres (a team just 7 years younger than the Mets) are the only franchises without no-hitters.  Who knows if any Met will ever pitch a no-no?  From Seaver to Heilman to Dickey, many have come close.  But for now, the Mets lead the MLB with 37 one-hitters, and on a day where R.A. Dickey came as close as he did, that’s enough for me.

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Midseason Pitcher Grades

Starters:
Johan Santana: B+

While he’s been criticized harshly and seemed to have been a far cry from the Johan we’re used to, he finished the half on a streak of 3 great games.  He’s always been a second half pitcher, and he actually deserves FAR better than his numbers show.  His ERA is 2.98 and yet he’s just 7-5.  In 6 no decisions, he’s pitched 42.2 innings and given up just 8 runs (7 earned).  He could easily have 10-12 wins right now if the offense and bullpen hadn’t failed him a few times.  I think Johan will end up being just what we expected all along, an ace, down the stretch.

Mike Pelfrey: B+

His last 3 poor starts have put a damper on the stunning first half he was having, but overall he’s still been better than most people probably expected.  According to reports, his three recent bad starts have been at least partially caused by a blister that effects his signature splitter combined with a dead arm phase.  Hopefully he returns from the All-Star Break rejuvenated and he comes back looking like the Pelfrey of April-June.

Jonathan Niese: B

Niese has been pretty much all the Mets could ask of him.  Outside of 3 real bad games, Niese has kept the team in most games, and has grown into the 3 slot in the Mets rotation.

R.A. Dickey: A-

If you can honestly say you predicted this, then let me know next week’s lotto numbers too.  Dickey has been absolutely incredible for the Mets this year, owning the best ERA in the Mets’ rotation.  Will it continue, who knows? But for now, Dickey has certainly given the Mets no ability to remove him from the rotation.

John Maine: F

Maine has just been bad.  He wasn’t effective, then he was hurt, then he had the fight with Jerry Manuel.  I get the sense that John is seeing his last days as a New York Met, and as much as I loved Maine in 2006 and 2007, there’s no other choice.

Oliver Perez: F-

What more do I need to say, it’s Oliver Perez.  The best thing he did for the team this year was be hurt.

Hisanori Takahashi: C-

Consistently inconsistent.  A couple good starts against the Yankees and Phillies, and a handful of really bad starts.  Not sure what to make of H-Tak as a starter, but I guess the best thing I can say about him is that he’s not Oliver Perez or John Maine.

Bullpen:

Francisco Rodriguez: B+

K-Rod has been exactly what he always has been, a heart attack waiting to happen.  He makes 9th innings scary for Mets fans, but after all, isn’t that what we’ve been trained to expect (Mel Rojas, John Franco, Armando Benitez, Braden Looper)? He’s blown a few saves he shouldn’t have, but he’s still a pretty darn good effective (yet scary) closer.

Pedro Feliciano: A-

Feliciano has been great this year, mainly because despite the overwork, and far too many walks, he’s been able to prevent runs from scoring.  I think Manuel needs to stop using him against righties, because Feliciano is so much more effective against lefties, but until the results start being poor, I’m content with Perpetual Pedro.

Fernando Nieve: D

Nightly Nieve has been worked harder than any pitcher ever should be.  And Nieve’s not even been that good.  I guess his best effect is taking some of the workload off of the other guys.

Hisanori Takahashi: B

As a reliever, H-Tak was spectacular.  He was forced into the rotation out of necessity with his qualifications being: He’s not Ollie P, and he used to start in Japan.  The best thing the Mets can do is add a middle of the rotation (or better) starter before the trade deadline and move Takahashi back to the bullpen, where he was very effective.

Jenrry Mejia: C

Put simply enough, Mejia never should have been in the Majors on Opening Day, but if he was going to be, he should have had a MUCH more defined role.  He could have pitched worse, but at this point the biggest hope is that Manuel and Minaya didn’t mess up his development too badly.

Raul Valdez: D+

Valdez was useful earlier in the season, but as of lately, he’s been pretty mediocre, and surprisingly has been more effective against righties than lefties.  Will he be effective in the second half?  I wouldn’t bet on it, but odds are he’s not going anywhere.

Elmer Dessens: B/B+

I can’t really say anything negative about Dessens.  He’s old, he was crappy in the past, but this year, he’s got an ERA under 2.  Dessens is another guy who I’m sure no one expects to keep it up, but for the first half, Elmer’s been the glue (sorry) that kept the bullpen together.

Ryota Igarashi: F

I can describe Igarashi’s season pretty easily. April: Incredible, Very Effective.  Then the Hamstring injury.  Since May: UGLY, Bad, Ineffective.  Igarashi has been sent down to A-ball and that’s probably best for him, because he seems to have lost EVERYTHING that made him effective in April.  Hopefully he gets that back, but I’m not holding my breath.

Bobby Parnell: (judgement incomplete A-)

After a pretty poor year last year, Parnell has been VERY effective this year.  It’s been limited time, but he has an ERA of 1.64, a K:BB ratio of 14:3, and has allowed 0 HR.  His H/9 is a little high, allowing over a hit per inning, but he’s been solid, and Manuel seems to be giving him a shot to be the 8th inning man.  Hopefully he keeps this string of success up in the second half.

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Midseason Position Player Grades

We’ve reached the All-Star Break for the 2010 season, and let’s be fair: the All-Star Break can be the most boring 3 days during the MLB season.  Sure, the HR Derby is fun for a few minutes, and the Celebrity/Legend Softball game is funny, but for 3 days we get taken out of our rhythm.  So, in an attempt to keep the focus on our surprisingly entertaining Mets, I figured I’d recap the first half in a few different posts over the next couple of days.

In part 1, you’ll find grades for each of the players that have had an impact on this Mets season (and perhaps even some that haven’t):

Catchers:

Rod Barajas: C

His Batting Average and On Base Percentage have been pretty miserable, and outside of his handful of multi-HR games, he hasn’t been as outstanding as his early season numbers would show.  He’s also struggled offensively since May ended.  Rumors say Rod is banged up, and maybe the break will help him.  Overall though, his job with the pitching staff has been pretty good, and his overall impact has been far better than anyone would have predicted.

Henry Blanco: C+

Blanco’s been a perfectly good backup Catcher.  He’s succeeded offensively in limited at bats, he too has been great with the pitchers, and he’s thrown out an impressive 47% of base stealers (in limited chances).  Is he capable of playing more often, probably not, but he’s certainly impressed me.

Infielders:

Ike Davis: B-

Ike has been about as good as we could have asked from a rookie 1B.  He had a spectacular start, and has certainly cooled off greatly since, but his poise has been impressive, and his numbers as a whole are decent.  With 11 Home Runs (and seemingly all of them BOMBS), and at least above average glovework, Davis has really injected energy into the Mets team.  Plus, his presence signaled the end of the Mike Jacobs era, and that’s a HUGE positive.

Luis Castillo: C-

Castillo has been pretty much what most people seemed to expect coming into the season, a $6 Million dollar anchor that the Mets just can’t seem to untie from their own feet.  Last year, he put up somewhat respectable numbers, but it seems that was a fluke.  Poor hitting, no power, poor range, and injury prone, Castillo shouldn’t even be an option to start at 2B for the Mets down the stretch (let alone next year).

Ruben Tejada: D

Don’t get me wrong, I love the kid (and I use the term kid because he looks like he’s 13), but Tejada is not an MLB ready hitter.  His defensive work has been excellent, but he just can’t seem to put the bat on the ball frequently enough.  The Mets don’t really have a better option, but I’d rather seem them send him down to AAA when Castillo comes back, hoping Tejada can grow into the starting role next season.

Alex Cora: D-

What can I say about Alex Cora? He’s a great clubhouse guy and would totally make a great manager! But seriously, Cora’s been pretty poor this season (and last season).  He along with Castillo and Tejada have to have among the worst stats of any Second Basemen in the Majors.

Jose Reyes: B

Jose was miserable statistically for the first 30 or so games he played in this year, and really seemed to need a lot of time after the Thyroid condition in Spring Training.  He had an absolutely blistering hot June, bringing his numbers up and helping the Mets tighten up the race in the NL East.  Now, he’s struggling with an oblique injury, but if he can get and stay healthy, I fully expect Jose to be a major key for the Mets in the second half, and hopefully lead us back to the playoffs.

David Wright: A

He’s been an MVP Candidate.  He’s really shown the critics after last year’s struggles by hitting for average, hitting for power, driving in runs, and being a team leader.  His strikeouts are up, and he’s been caught stealing too often, but I don’t think any Met fan can complain about the first half Wright has had.

Outfielders:

Jason Bay: C+

Bay has just not been that good this year.  Period.  His power is pretty much non-existent outside of 2 multi-HR games.  He’s on pace for about his career average in doubles, and he’s hit a bunch of triples, so hopefully his HR power will return during the second half.

Angel Pagan: A-

Pagan has been the Mets’ biggest surprise and a true godsend for this team.  Considering Carlos Beltran was initially “supposed” to be back by May, no one knew we’d need Pagan to put up the numbers he has, but he’s in the top 5 in the NL in batting average, and has been very good for the Mets in terms of scoring runs, stealing bases, getting on base, driving in runs, and defensively too.  Pagan should never have been sitting in place of Gary Matthews Jr, but that’s a story for another time.

Jeff Francoeur: D+

Francoeur is just a mediocre ballplayer.  His defense is solid, and his arm is spectacular, but his plate discipline is just abysmal.  I’ve long been a Frenchy apologist, but at this point, he’s never going to recreate his 2 good seasons in Atlanta.  He’s going to end up the Mets 4th OF in the second half, and that’s how it should be as long as Beltran can be effective.

Remaining Hitters: Mike Jacobs, Chris Carter, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr, Jesus Feliciano, Frank Catalanotto, Josh Thole: D+/C-

The guys that started the year with the team, Jacobs, Carter, Tatis, Matthews, and Catalanotto were horrendous.  Awful.  Terrible.  Miserable.  Vomit Inducing.  Glad we got that out of the way.  On the other hand, in limited at bats, Thole has been great, Feliciano was pretty good before getting sent back down, and Carter has been fun to watch.  As a whole, this group would have been an F had Jacobs, The Cat, and GMJ not been DFA’d/Demoted months ago.

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