Archive: June 21st, 2008

Valentin Packs It In

The 2008 comeback attempt of Jose Valentin has come to an end.

After hitting a pinch-hit homerun for New Orleans, Valentin called the Mets’ front office to say that he was shutting it down for the rest of the season — but is not yet ready to retire.

Valentin had been struggling in his recovery from both a pinched nerve in his neck and a strained right elbow, and that the lack of progress in rehabilitating those injuries was the major factor in his decision. He did say that he would rest and looked forward to initiating another comeback beginning with winter ball later this year.

Too bad for Jose, who is a class act, a legitimate gamer, and missed presence in the Mets’ clubhouse.

Somewhat related to this news was the plethora of quotes by Tony Bernazard in the “official” report on Mets.com. Personally, I don’t remember Bernazard being directly quoted in an official Mets news article more than three times in the last two years. However, he’s quoted several times in this one. Hmmmmmmmmmm …..

In other injury news, Ryan Church is now jogging and throwing, and will be hitting next week, according to John Delcos.

Delcos also reports that Moises Alou “might take batting practice next week”. Additionally, Delcos’ column states:

Assistant GM Tony Bernazard said he wouldn’t be surprised either way if Alou is available by the All-Star break.

Once again, what the heck is up with Tony “Rasputin” Bernazard supplying information?

By the way, what does “surprised either way” mean? He wouldn’t be surprised if he’s available, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not? This is supposed to be a scoop-worthy nugget of wisdom unearthed by a tenacious journalist? Or is it a writer scared to death of losing his credentials, and trying to get on Tony’s good side?

This Machiavellian routine grows more disturbing every day.

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Mets Game 73: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 7 Mets 1

Well … what the heck happened?

Pedro Martinez looked brilliant through four shutout innings, and the Mets jumped ahead in the first frame thanks to a leadoff triple by Jose Reyes followed by a Luis Castillo sac fly.

However, everything unraveled in the fifth, when Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe began the frame with back-to-back homers to put the Rockies ahead and spark a six-run inning.

Meantime, the Mets offense was hamstrung by Ubaldo Jimenez — a pitcher unable to win in his previous 13 starts. After Reyes’ triple, the Mets did not get another hit until the eighth inning, when Damion Easley singled. They bunched together another two in the final frame, but by that point it didn’t matter.

The lack of offense was odd indeed here in the “Jerry Manuel Era” — this was the first time since Manuel took the helm that the lineup looked inept. Check that — the second time. With the wild run the Mets have been on, I completely forgot about the first game managed by Manuel, way back on June 17th. I imagine he didn’t call for extra batting practice on that day, either.

Notes

To the Mets’ credit, they did try to be selective against Jimenez, drawing four walks against him. Getting hits, however, was another issue.

The last time Pedro Martinez pitched in Coors was July 29, 1997 — and he pitched one of only three shutouts by opposing pitchers in Denver since then.

Jimenez pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his Major League career, expending only 110 pitches in the process. Interestingly, he threw 110 pitches in his last start as well — though that outing (against the Braves) lasted only five innings. Huh.

Funny how the team looked lifeless after the fifth inning. The game got so arduous that even the umpires were generous in calling strikes and outs in an effort to end the game.

Question: why was Scott Schoeneweis brought in to face Todd Helton with two outs in the seventh inning of a game with the Mets down by five? Was it so vital to set up a lefty-lefty matchup in that situation? Why not just leave mopup man Claudio Vargas in there to finish the frame? I guess Scho needed work, not having pitched in three days … and his “role” is as the LOOGY — apparently even in games long lost.

Aaron Heilman pitched another scoreless inning in his role as the one-inning reliever in lost-cause contests.

As good a hitter Matt Holliday is, he’s just as bad in the outfield. He badly misplayed another ball in this game, allowing Damion Easley to reach third base on a single.

Next Game

The rubber match will be played in Denver at 3:05 pm EST. Mike Pelfrey goes to the mound against Greg Reynolds, whose ERA is a hair below six. The game will be broadcast on CW11, WFAN and XM 183.

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All Mets All the Time

Joe Janish and Mark Healey recording Live From Mickey Mantle's radio show

In case you missed it — and believe me, I won’t begrudge you for not tuning in to a two-hour radio show on a Friday night that also happened to be the first day of summer — you can download the podcast / MP3 of Live From Mickey Mantle’s, which featured yours truly as the main guest.

Download it from here and listen to it at your leisure.

Have to say, I’m a huge fan of internet radio and podcasts, simply because I can listen to what I want, when I want — rather than be a slave to some radio station’s programming schedule.

In any case, if you listen to the show you’ll hear me spew on and on about our beloved Mets. Some of the topics we covered included the Willie Randolph firing (as if you needed to hear MORE on that subject), my first impressions on Jerry Manuel, who we think is the best Mets announcing team of all-time, and myriad other Mets topics.

Listen closely, in fact, and you will hear me reveal a realistic trade proposition that involves Brian Schneider and would bring back a future Hall of Famer — straight up.

Many thanks to Mark Healey and Gene Berardelli of Gotham Baseball for having me on the show and keeping my whistle wet through the evening.

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