John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of MetsToday.com
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July 6: Morning Mets Links

MetsBlog – Jose Reyes will return tonight and Carlos Beltran should join the team after the All-Star break, in San Francisco.

NY Times – Hisanori Takahashi’s next start will be skipped. Taky-Baseball will be added to the bullpen until after the All-Star break.

Daily Stache – Matt Esposito thinks Mets fans are expecting too much of Johan Santana.

Read the Apple – The puzzle of Jerry Manuel’s bullpen mismanagement has been solved. But not really.

And here are Kerel Cooper’s thoughts on the state of the Mets:

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Today’s Mets Lineup and Open Thread

No Mets links today… Tune in tomorow morning to see what’s going on in the Mets-o-sphere.

TODAY’S GAME

The Mets (42-32) take on the Twins (42-33) in the rubber game of the 3-game series. Jon Niese (4-2, 4.17) will face Minnesota’s Scott Baker (6-6, 4.61).

Here is the Mets starting lineup:

Jose Reyes – SS
Jesus Feliciano – CF
David Wright – 3B
Ike Davis – 1B
Jason Bay – LF
Rod Barajas – C
Jeff Francoeur – RF
Ruben Tejada – 2B
Jonathon Niese – LHP

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WWWBD: Cyclones Win Again, Backman Ejected

Time for another installment of What Would Wally Backman Do?

The Brooklyn Cyclones routed the Hudson Valley Renegades on Thursday night, by a score of 16-5. Brooklyn improved to 5-2 on the young season, good enough for first place in the New York Penn League’s McNamara Division. The game was highlighted by Brooklyn’s 18-hit offensive barrage and Wally Backman’s first ejection of the season.

Things weren’t looking so good on the night before, when Backman’s Cyclones blew a lead in the seventh inning with shoddy defense to lose Wednesday night’s game. Brooklyn’s bats were just as bad, as the team was held to three hits on the night. It’s interesting to note that Backman actually argued with an umpire following the ejection of centerfielder Darrell Ceciliani and he wasn’t ejected. You read that right – Wally Backman confronted an umpire and wasn’t ejected. You don’t see that everyday… But you can see the video below:

According to Stephen Brown at the Brooklyn Heights Courier, the team’s uninspired play on Wednesday prompted Backman to call a team meeting. The meeting seemed to have helped jumpstart the Cyclones:

“They didn’t swing the bat well yesterday, so I called a meeting. They sure came out swinging today,” Backman said after the game. (YourNabe.com)

Backman doesn’t like losing, but he absolutely hates losing because of fundamental mistakes. His postgame speech probably sounded alot like the video below, which is from 2007:

CAUTION: Video contains adult language. Not Safe For Work!! NSFW

Fast forward back to Thursday night’s contest. With his team comfortably ahead, en route to a 16-5 victory, Backman argued a home run call and – you guessed it – he was ejected:

Backman showed his intensity — or temper, depending on your perspective — in the ninth, as he was ejected from the game after challenging a questionable two-run dinger that appeared to be foul. His team may have been up by 13 runs, but Backman ripped off his cap and got nose to nose with the umpire, much to the crowd’s delight.

“I said a word he didn’t like,” Backman said. “The ump said, ‘Don’t say that again,’ — and I let him have it. If he wants to jaw, I’ll jaw.” (YourNabe.com)

Some things never change…

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June 25: Morning Mets Links

MetsBlog – It looks like Bobby Valentine will be the new Marlins manager and the best manager in the National League. Deal with it.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper on who’s hot… and who’s not.

BrooklynMetFan – BMF talks about last night’s loss, Johan Santana’s recent off-field problems and his general sense of unease at recent events.

The Daily Stache – The best part about the “new and improved” Citi Field? The team on the field…

ESPN New York – A preview of the upcoming series against the Minnesota Twins.

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Friday Night: Pagan Out, Thole In

Andrew Marchand is reporting that Angel Pagan will likely take another night off tonight as the Mets start a three-game series against the visiting Minnesota Twins. It seems the Mets are proceeding with caution and that Pagan is on board with the decision:

“I don’t think they are going to let me play,” Pagan said.

Pagan didn’t disagree with the anticipated decision.

“I just don’t want it to be a bigger deal,” Pagan said.  (ESPN New York)

In other news, Jerry Manuel doesn’t think Rod Barajas’ back injury is serious, but he expects to start Josh Thole behind the plate tonight.

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