Archive: August 14th, 2010

Mets Game 116: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 4 Mets 0

You can’t blame Pat Misch for this one.

Misch made the most of his first MLB start in 2010, going six innings and allowing only one unearned run on 8 hits and 2 walks. It was far from a spectacular outing, but it was more than acceptable for a AAA journeyman spot starter going up against Roy Halladay.

Unfortunately for Misch, the Mets could neither play defense nor offense on this particular evening. They made three errors that led to three unearned runs, and could manage to reach base only four times in eight innings against Halladay.

Game Notes

Jose Reyes led off the fourth with his 7th triple, but could not be brought home. The Mets are hitting an anemic .212 in the month of August.

When Placido Polanco singled in Roy Halladay in the third, it was the first time the Phillies scored a run in Citi Field in 2010.

The return of Carlos Beltran after the All-Star exhibition was supposed to “spark” the Mets. Still waiting. Similarly, the promotions of Ruben Tejada and Fernando Martinez were supposed to “bring youthful energy” to the club. Again, still waiting.

Francisco Rodriguez came in to pitch the 9th, making an immediate appearance on his first day back after his lengthy suspension. There were some boos upon his entrance, but it wasn’t overwhelming since the most disgruntled Mets fans left the game an inning before when they saw Elmer Dessens take the mound.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Mets mounted a mild rally against reliever Ryan Madson, loading the bases with two outs. Had the Mets come back and won, K-Rod would’ve been in line for the victory. As much as I’d prefer to see the Mets win, at this point in the season, and with the way I feel about this K-Rod situation, I don’t think I would’ve been able to stomach such an outcome.

By the way, K-Rod apologized to the owners, his teammates, and the fans in a brief press conference prior to the game. There was no apology issued to his common-law wife, her father, nor his children — I guess because doing so might cause him problems in court later on (?). Also no apology to his teammates’ wives and children and every other innocent bystander who had to be subjected to his lack of civility on Wednesday night, but maybe that will come soon.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match happens on Sunday night at 8:05 PM, with Mike Pelfrey going to the hill against Kyle Kendrick. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.


K-Rod Activated, Mets Remain Impotent

According to The New York Times, Francisco Rodriguez has completed his two-day suspension, has agreed to participate in anger management treatment, and will return to the Mets roster today.

Per The Times:

In fact, the Mets were considering a more severe punishment but settled on two games because the union agreed to the two games in consultation with Major League Baseball.

“We felt that was the right thing,” Minaya said, “and of course any time you do these things you also have to have conversations with the players association. We felt it was something we needed to do. We felt we needed to act upon it immediately.”

This followed up Thursday’s official statement from the Mets:

The New York Mets today announced they are taking the following disciplinary action against pitcher Francisco Rodriguez: The team has placed Rodriguez on the restricted list for two days. He will be removed from the roster, will not be with the team, and will not be paid during that time.

“Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco’s inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

Once again, the Mets show their impotence, and cower to the opinions of others rather than taking the bull by the horns and making their own decision on a situation.

If the Mets cared one bit about their “brand”, the team, their fans, Francisco Rodriguez, and Rodriguez’s family, the punishment would have been delivered harsher, swifter, and with conviction. But the Mets don’t have the chutzpah or the cojones to make a decision on their own, and don’t know what’s “right” until others tell them.

Two days? Really? That’s “taking the matter very seriously”? And one of those didn’t count because it was spent in jail and court. And considering that Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey both pitched complete games, K-Rod didn’t really miss anything other than the $125K taken from his salary.

Jeff Wilpon had the opportunity to set the tone, to act as a potent leader, by acting swiftly and confidently. He could have said the Mets do not and will not tolerate such behavior on their property from anyone, and followed his “harsh words” with action — a one-month suspension, for example. Then, we wouldn’t have had to be subjected to the irrational comments of Jerry Manuel later that Thursday morning, who said he wouldn’t hesitate to use K-Rod if he were available. You can’t blame Manuel for saying such an idiotic thing, because the bosses above him were just as clueless and impotent as he was. Manuel wasn’t sure because Minaya wasn’t sure, and Minaya wasn’t sure because Wilpon wasn’t sure.

And even if Wilpon wasn’t sure of exactly what he wanted to do, he still had a chance to appear firm. Instead of conferring with MLB and the MLBPA, the Mets could have immediately announced that K-Rod was suspended indefinitely, and then let the MLBPA file a protest against them. Maybe K-Rod would still wind up with only a two-game suspension, but at least the Mets take a stand for themselves and publicly show that they are more concerned with preserving respect for their organization than in appeasing everyone. Let the MLBPA look like the bad guys for changing the punishment to a mere slap on the wrist.

Does anyone remember the last time a fireballing Mets relief pitcher was arrested in Flushing for assaulting a family member? It wasn’t that long ago that Ambiorix Burgos beat up his girlfriend in an eerily similar fashion — throwing her up against a wall, slapping her, and punching her to the ground. Just as similar was the Mets’ reaction to the news that Burgos had been arrested; from ESPN / AP:

The Mets said they were “disturbed by the allegations.” They said Burgos was in town for reasons unrelated to the team.

How did the Mets react then? They didn’t. Burgos was still technically in the minors, recovering from Tommy John surgery. So, rather than address the situation — possibly by suspending him or arranging anger management counseling — The Mets did what they thought was best — they ignored the situation and waited for it to go away. Eventually, it DID go away — Burgos went back to his home in the Dominican Republic and allegedly ran over two women with his SUV.

Burgos wasn’t officially on the 25-man roster at the time, so it was a different situation than the present one. The Mets didn’t really “need” Burgos like they “need” K-Rod right now. Maybe Jeff Wilpon didn’t act swifty and with certainty because he feared losing more games without a closer, and in turn losing more ticket sales.

One has to wonder: what if it was Oliver Perez who was arrested for assault in the Mets’ family room? Would he have been “punished” for only two days? Or would the Mets, MLB, and MLBPA agreed on, say, a 30-day, with-pay suspension so he could focus on “family matters”, psychiatric help, and anger management treatment?


Mets Game 115: Win Over Phillies

Mets 1 Phillies 0

The R.A. Dickey dreamscape continues …

For the first time in 42 games — about a month and a half — the Mets won back-to-back games. And it took two straight shutouts, the first time they did that in eight years (the last time it was Pedro Astacio and Jeff D’Amico).

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey was tremendous, and would’ve thrown a no-hitter had it not been for a duck snort by opposing pitcher Cole Hamels. The only other baserunner was a walk to Wilson Valdez in the third inning. Remember Wilson Valdez? Dickey struck out 7 and expended only 105 pitches. How can you not love this guy?

Tough-luck loser Cole Hamels gave up only five hits and two walks, striking out 8 in 8 innings. He also threw only 105 pitches. If Shane Victorino didn’t misplay David Wright‘s liner in the sixth, this game could still be going on — with both pitchers still on the hill. Gutsy, competitive performance by both.

In the fifth, it appeared as though the Mets went up 1-0 when Mike Hessman hit a ball that appeared to be a homerun to left — though, Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez protested immediately, possibly citing interference by a fan. After six and a half minutes of video review, the umpires ruled it interference and gave Hessman a ground-rule triple.

I don’t get how they decided it was a triple and not a double. Anytime a fan interferes it is automatically a double, and had Ibanez played the ball rather than stopped immediately and pointed to the fan, I’m not sure the lead-footed Hessman would’ve made it all the way to third base.

The SNY crew was convinced it was NOT interference, despite seeing only one vague, fuzzy camera view. They were condescending and critical of the umpires about the call, which I found annoying, because to me, it was not crystal clear. I don’t care whether the call went for or against the Mets, I care about getting the right call, and I don’t like being made to feel stupid for disagreeing with Gary, Keith, and Ron. A rare misfire by what is usually an outstanding announcing team.

As it was, the Mets couldn’t score Hessman from third, getting three shots to do so. They also failed to score Angel Pagan from third with one out in the first.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies play again at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Pat Misch makes his first MLB start of 2010 against Roy Halladay.