Browsing All Posts By loge mezzanine

June 28: Monday Morning Mets Links

The Mets are in Puerto Rico to start a three-game series against the Florida Marlins. Here are your Monday morning Mets links:

NJ.com – Angel Pagan and Pedro Feliciano are excited to play in front of family and friends in Puerto Rico.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper is very concerned about the recent struggles of Johan Santana. Who isn’t?

Hot Foot Blog – Andrew Beaton doesn’t seem too concerned about Johan Santana. That makes one. Anyone else?

The Daily Stache – Mathias Kook Ganci says the Mets are here to stay.

NY Daily News – It doesn’t look like Carlos Beltran will join the Mets in Puerto Rico.

MetsBlog – Various reports indicate Bobby Valentine will not be the next manager of the Marlins. Nothing official yet…

Mets Police – Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on July 31. You can attend the pre-game charity reception for a tax-deductible donation of $325.

(Via John Fitzgerald): And since most of you have seen the video of Wally Backman’s epic ejection in the South Coast League from a few years back, here is Wally’s explanation of what went down. The interview happened within minutes of the incident, disproving all the reports that Backman was in a blind rage. It’s also important to note that the umpire was suspended and fined for his actions on the field and Backman was not.

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Quote of the Day: Mets Need to Relax With Beltran

Rob Parker of ESPN New York on the Mets handling of Carlos Beltran’s seemingly imminent return:

The Mets need to relax, reel it in a bit.

This talk, even in the smallest of terms, about Carlos Beltran returning asap is sheer craziness.

And the Mets, of all teams, should know better. The only thing they have done more of than choking down the stretch that last five years is leading the league in medical gaffes.

There’s simply no need for Beltran to be rushed back. (ESPN New York)

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June 26: Saturday Mets Links and Open Thread

MetsToday – Buried deep within his recap of last night’s game, Joe Janish wonders if Francisco Rodriguez is having ankle problems.

Brooklyn Met Fan – Mike Pelfrey’s performance in last night’s game has allayed the fears of BMF.

OnTheBlack – Despite the naysayers, Kerel Cooper says David Wright IS clutch.

NY Daily News – Just days after he was nailed by TMZ for extracurricular activities, Johan Santana says his elbow isn’t fully recovered from surgery. Interesting timing.

Amazin’ Avenue – Sam Page loves the Mets new focus on homegrown talent. And don’t forget about the Mets’ team speed. Like a bunch of homegrown gazelles out there…

Long Live Shea Stadium – A scouting report on Minnesota’s Carl Pavano.

TODAY’S GAME

The Mets take on the Twins today at Citi Field. Johan Santana will face Carl Pavano. Here’s the lineup, via ESPN NY:

Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Rod Barajas, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Alex Cora, 2B
Johan Santana, LHP

And here is video of Johan Santana talking about facing his old team:

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June 25: PM Mets Links and Open Thread

ESPN – It looks like Carlos Beltran may join the Mets in Puerto Rico next week.

NY Post – It looks like Bobby Valentine MIGHT be managing the Marlins when they take on the Mets next week in Puerto Rico.

MetsToday – Wally Backman exhibiting restraint after the ejection of Brooklyn Cyclones’ centerfielder Darrell Ceciliani. Wally being Wally…

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – Did you realize the Tigers swept the Mets? I guess that’s why you don’t write headlines for the Associated Press.

NY Post – Andy Martino reports via Twitter that Prince Harry will throw out the first pitch at tomorrow’s game at Citi Field.

And via MetsBlog, here is video of Carlos Beltran during last night’s game:

TONIGHT’S GAME

The Mets (41-31) take on the visiting Minnesota Twins (40-32) tonight. Mike Pelfrey (9-2, 2.69) will face Kevin Slowey (7-4, 4.58).

And here is tonight’s lineup:

Jose Reyes, SS
Jesus Feliciano, CF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Josh Thole, C
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Mike Pelfrey, RHP

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Pagan Is Not Trade Bait (Yet)

I know I was a little rough on Omar Minaya yesterday, but this qualifies as good news and Omar deserves some credit:

Several senior Mets officials said that because of the uncertainty surrounding Carlos Beltran’s health, the team does not have the luxury of trading Pagan, who has greatly enhanced his value with a strong season subbing for Beltran in center field. (NY Daily News)

The only caveat here is that the same team officials also say that Pagan could become expendable if Beltran plays well upon his return. But still, it’s good to know Pagan might have a future in Queens. Hopefully, that future doesn’t come at the expense of Carlos Beltran’s health.

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Amazin’ Speed: Intentional or Accidental?

Andy Martino of the Daily News says the Mets were built for Citi Field:

Buried underneath the Mets offensive explosion Tuesday night was a possible reason for their home dominance this season: “We didn’t hit any home runs yesterday, and we scored 14 runs,” observed Jose Reyes, a few hours before hitting a home run, the hypocrite.

In that blowout, and last night save for Reyes’ blast, the Mets wore down the Tigers with an assault of singles, doubles, triples and stolen bases, the perfect skill set for cavernous Citi Field, where the Mets are 26-10 before last night’s game. The Mets are 21-7 in their last 28 games at home, the top record in baseball during that span.

“We know what it takes to be a successful team here,” said David Wright. “Our team is built around winning in a big ballpark. We’ve got speed, and guys who know how to run the bases.” (Daily News)

It’s hard to argue with the win-loss record. The Mets are certainly running and winning at home – ALOT. And it’s a good thing.

But were the Mets really built around speed? Does Omar Minaya deserve credit for recognizing the opportunities created by Citi Field and building a team based around speed? Or did it just kind of happen that way?

Let’s break it down!

Here is last night’s lineup:

1. Jose Reyes SS
2. Angel Pagan CF
3. David Wright 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Jeff Francoeur RF
7. Henry Blanco C
8. Ruben Tejada 2B

1, 2, 3 – Reyes, Pagan, Wright

Obviously, much of the team’s speed is coming from the top three spots in the order. But Reyes and Wright have been a big part of the team’s overall offensive strategy for years, so you can’t really point to the presence of either to prove the Mets built this team around speed. Pagan’s presence in the lineup is a double accident – he was initially slated to play behind Gary Matthews Jr. until Carlos Beltran came back. Even now, MetsBlog is reporting the Mets are considering dealing Pagan to the Mariners for Cliff Lee. In other words, the Mets didn’t have plans for Pagan and still don’t seem to value his presence in the lineup for the long-term.

4, 5, 6 – Davis, Bay, Francoeur

Here’s where it gets interesting. Davis started the season in AAA and may not have seen MLB action for months if Mike Jacobs had performed. Jacobs of course, is a dead pull power hitter with no speed whatsoever. Davis doesn’t have much speed either, but he’s a cleanup hitter…

Bay was the big name that Omar Minaya went after this winter. He has flashed some speed in his career and he usually can be counted on in the 10-15 SB range. To his credit, Jerry Manuel has been sending Bay often this season, as he already has 10 steals on the year. But as far as giving Omar credit for bringing in Bay for his speed, it’s not accurate.

Francoeur is not a speed threat, but he already has a career-high 7 stolen bases this season. Again, if anyone deserves credit for this, it is Jerry Manuel.

7, 8 – Blanco, Tejada

Henry Blanco was filling in for Rod Barajas. Both were brought in this offseason and neither is a threat on the basepaths, but, then again, they are catchers.

Ruben Tejada stole 19 bases in AA last season, but he has yet to steal a base this season. It should also be noted that despite his natural speed, Tejada probably would have spent the year in the minors if Luis Castillo was healthy.

Conclusion

The way I see it, Omar didn’t bring in any speed this season and should not be given credit here. The only speed in this Mets lineup is here for one of three reasons:

  1. Existing Speed (Reyes/Wright)
  2. SB Created by Jerry Manuel (Francoeur/Bay)
  3. Accidental Speed Brought on By Injury (Pagan/Tejada)
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