Archive: June 19th, 2008

Mets Summer Items

With the first day of summer upon us, and a day without a game, I invite you to check out a page full of Mets-themed summer items I found on eBay. If you place bids and/or buy anything after clicking on any of the items, you’ll also be sending a few cents toward the server fees and coffee expenses that keep MetsToday running.


Mets Summer and Tailgate Items

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Bernazard Bandwagon

tony_bernazard.jpgHmm … seems I’m not the only one wondering about Tony Bernazard’s influence in the Mets’ organization.

Check out what Mark Healey had to say about Shea’s resident Rasputin in his article “Peas in a Pod” at Gotham Baseball.

Speaking of Gotham, I’m scheduled to appear as a special guest this Friday at 6pm on their weekly radio show “Live From Mickey Mantle’s“. If you are in NYC on Friday, come on down and heckle me. If not, you can listen to the show live online or download it afterward and listen at your leisure.

[nms:tony bernazard signed, 1]

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Managing Metspectations

Underdog_mets.jpgLess than a week ago, I was rooting for Willie Randolph, since he had assumed the role of underdog. And that is the natural inclination of a Mets fan.

Now Randolph is gone, and the team is mired in fourth place, a game under .500. To win 90 games, they’ll have to play better than .600 baseball going forward. In fact, they’ll have to go on a tear that has them playing almost 30 games over .500 to reach that magic 90-win mark. And 90 wins might not even be enough to get a wild card berth, much less win the division. In short, the Mets have little realistic chance of getting to the postseason.

But don’t take it from me what do I know? Listen to the “professionals” — the oddsmakers in Las Vegas. They have adjusted the odds of the Mets going to the World Series:

For the Mets, once they picked up standout pitcher Johan Santana during the off-season, they were immediately installed as a heavy favorite for the NL pennant. Just look back to February when New York was listed at +175 at Betonline.com, the best odds of any team to represent the NL in the World Series.

The Mets were even made a strong favorite to win this season’s World Series with 5.5-1 odds at Bodoglife.com. Only the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox had better numbers at 3.5-1.

But by the time the Mets replaced Randolph with interim Manager Jerry Manuel on Tuesday, their odds had already dropped to 6-1 to win the NL pennant, behind Chicago (9-4), Arizona (4-1) and Philadelphia (9-2).

(Admission: I never bet and am not entirely sure what some of these numbers mean. But I get the gist of it.)

Call me crazy, but I’m liking the odds stacked against my team. I’m starting to feel like a Mets fan again.

[nms:rusty staub mets signed,2]

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Mets Game 71: Win Over Angels

Mets 5 Angels 4

After leading, losing, and tying, the Mets finally pulled out a win thanks to a solo homer by Damion Easley in the top of the tenth inning to take the rubber match, win the series, and give new manager Jerry Manuel his first win as Mets manager.

At one point in the game, the Mets led three-zip. They blew the lead, then tied it up against Francisco Rodriguez, who had converted 25 consecutive saves to that point. Actually, “they” didn’t do much of anything — this was the Jose Reyes Show. Reyes had three hits, scored three runs, hit a triple, and stole a base. He did get some help in the form of solo shots by Easley and Carlos Delgado, but the bottom line is, without Reyes, the Mets don’t have a chance in this contest.

Oliver Perez pitched OK, going six innings and allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks. Not great, but not bad, especially considering the appearances of Mr. Hyde lately.

Notes

In the bottom of the ninth, Fernando Tatis (playing first base) made a diving stab at a line drive off the bat of Reggie Willits, deflecting the drive to Damion Easley, who tossed out Willits at first with Duaner Sanchez covering. It made me wonder, “what if Carlos Delgado was playing first base?”. There have been so many balls that drifted by Delgado without so much as a second look, it makes me wonder how many led to eventual runs, and how many cost the Mets the game.

Speaking of, DH is a great spot for Delgado. I think the Mets should do the right thing and trade him to an AL team ASAP.

I had a hard time paying attention to this game. Maybe it was my lack of sleep since the 3 am firing of Willie 48 hours ago. Perhaps I’m feeling sympathetic jet lag for the men in orange and blue (not unlike couvade syndrome). Or perhaps I’ve thrown in the towel on the season, and therefore have little passion one way or the other. I think I’m just tired.

The SNY lovefest for Jerry Manuel must stop. I don’t know if it was an edict handed down from the Mets’ front office or genuine butt-kissing, but enough already. Manuel is not a demigod, and we don’t need to hear about how he’s affecting every single nuance of the game. For example, it was pointed out that Jose Reyes sprinted from home to second on a routine popup to shortstop. This is nothing new, and had nothing to do with the Reyes tantrum / Manuel scolding from the night before. Reyes has always been one of the few Mets who hustled all the time, despite being benched for “not hustling” in a game last July.

And please, Ron Darling, don’t add the nonsensical, irrelevant quip “Reyes gets a talking to last night and tonight gets three hits”. Reyes is hitting .313 for the month of June and was 10 for his last 21 in the five games immediately before Manuel took over the helm.

Oh gawd … about 15 minutes after I chide Darling, I have to hear similar bullcrap from Gary Cohen’s mouth. How it was so “fascinating” to see Reyes’ performance in this game one night after seeing the way Manuel handled Jose’s tantrum of the night before. PLEASE STOP REACHING FOR A STORY!!! I reiterate: Reyes was hitting close to .500 prior to Manuel’s assignment. His 3-for-5 evening was a COINCIDENCE!

Darling and Cohen also pointed out that the Mets did not have “focus and energy late in games” and “had trouble coming back from deficits late in games”, and insinuated that Manuel was the reason for the team suddenly pulling out a come-from-behind victory. Well isn’t it interesting how short memories can be? Am I nuts, or did the Mets start playing full games, and coming from behind to win, in the last two weeks of Willie Randolph’s managerial career?

I’m happy to see the Mets win, but PLEASE stop painting Manuel as some kind of messiah.


Next Game

The Mets move on to the mountains and land of “near beer” during an off day, then have a 9:05 pm EST start in Colorado on Friday night. John Maine heads to the hill against Dennis Aaron Cook.

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