Archive: July 13th, 2011

K-Rod May Not Close for Brewers

Though we really shouldn’t care about K-Rod now that he’s left the Mets, it’s interesting — to me, anyway — that he is going to a below-the-radar team that already has a closer, but a “no-name” one at that.

I imagined that K-Rod would wind up with someone like the Yankees — who have Mariano Rivera — or the Red Sox (Jon Papelbon), and he’d have no choice but to be happy in a setup role. On a big-market team with a well-known closer, K-Rod wouldn’t really have the option of demanding to close.

But now that he’s a Brewer, K-Rod and his new agent Scott Boras may do just that.

My ESPN SweetSpot colleague Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker had this immediate reaction to the trade:


Blog Roundup: K-Rod Edition

The first domino has fallen, as the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Milwaukee Brewers for 2 players-to-be-named-later.  Most importantly, as part of the deal, the Brewers now assume K-Rod’s $17.5MM vesting option for next year.

As a result, the Mets blogosphere is abuzz with reaction:

  • The Daily Stache thinks this is great news for Mets fans, no matter who the two players to be named later turn out to be.
  • Faith and Fear in Flushing would like to thank Frankie for the memories – if they could think of any.
  • Amazin’ Avenue explains what exactly a player-to-be-named-later is.  Who are these people walking around without names, anyway?
  • Midwestropolitan points out that this trade is not a white flag.
  • TedQuarters thinks Terry Collins usage of K-Rod essentially put the Mets in a bases-loaded situation in the ninth of a tight game.  How appropos.
  • Metstradamus looks into the future to give us a glimpse of K-Rod in a Brewers uniform, and even sneaks in a Laverne and Shirley reference.

And stay up-to-date on this story and all other Mets news here on Mets Today.


Injured Reyes Attends All Star Game

Another year at the All Star game and Jose Reyes has to sit out because of injuries. Reyes has actually only played in one All Star game after being chosen four times.

Jose was trailing behind other National League shortstop Troy Tulowitski before a the greatest fans in baseball rallied behind their shortstop and successfully voted him in.

Reyes told the Daily News Sunday:

Me personally, every time I have the opportunity to come as an All Star, I do. I want to be around the other great players and be apart of it. It’s not a good feeling because I really want to play, but its better than not being here at all.

Reyes took batting practice Monday from both sides of the plate and planned to do light work in the weight room and walk on a treadmill, still nursing his hamstring.

When asked about the injury, Reyes replied,

It is getting better every day. I did a lot of work on Sunday. I just have to make sure its healed before I play again.

Both Beltran and Jose Reyes flew from San Francisco to Arizona on a private plane with the Giants All Star selections. Reyes laughed when asked if the Giants did any recruiting of him or Beltran. No news there, they just talked about coming to the game.


Beltran Ok With Playing in Boston

Carlos Beltran is starting to sound a lot like K-Rod nowadays.

He recently told the Boston Herald of his feelings toward being traded to the Red Sox.

They’re in first place. It’s a no-brainer. Boston is a great team. Like I say man, the Mets know that I have made it clear to them , I’m willing to listen if they want to trade me. All I want to be is on a team that has a chance to go to the playoffs. I know that there are a lot of teams out there having a good season.

I think we all can understand that baseball is a business but where is the loyalty with these players nowadays? Reyes is saying all of the right things as far as his feelings toward staying with the Mets while K-Rod (who is now gone) and Beltran have already put one foot (or shoddy knee) out of the door. K-Rod couldn’t out of New York fast enough — as he made crystal clear — and now Beltran is following suit.


God of Blunder: Gene Simmons’ Throwing Error

How the sexagenarian rocker from KISS turned his back on Flushing and the Mets

Before the second game of the Mets’ most recent trip to L.A., Gene Simmons of KISS threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Dodgers. Unfortunately, the 61 year-old bassist didn’t do it in his ghoulish whiteface makeup and platform boots, but despite throwing a strike he still managed to look monstrously tall and slightly inhuman perched on the Dodger Stadium mound. Celebrities are offered this honor fairly regularly without much thought to any possible team allegiance they may harbor (and this might be especially true in La La Land), but as a die-hard fan of both the Mets and KISS, my elation at a 6-0 win dissipated as I angrily clicked through a photo series of Gene tossing the ball. Understand that this rage goes beyond a desire to ensure my childhood obsessions simply toe my own idiosyncratic party line. It’s like this: he’s from Queens and should act accordingly. Where is the hometown pride?

In actuality Gene was born in Israel as Chaim Weitz and immigrated to the States in 1957 at the age of eight. Does 1957 remind you of anything? Yes, it’s the same year the National League team from Brooklyn went Hollywood and left its followers bereft of joy, ruining their summers for at least another five seasons before the Mets arrived to play second husband. So although Gene wasn’t born in Queens, he grew up there. As a teen, The Beatles’ first TV appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1964 served as the impetus for his obsession with rock ‘n’ roll; so the following year he would have been aware of their historic concert at the recently constructed Shea, a mere two miles east of his high school in Elmhurst. Whether or not Gene noticed the Mets, he probably guessed they built the stadium for other uses besides the lone Beatles show. (Coincidentally, if you ever want to blame the luck of our franchise on someone, pick the person responsible for sending The Fab Four to use the Shea away team’s locker room.) Not that anyone would ever accuse him of levelheaded choices, but Gene should have had sense enough to distance himself from Chavez Ravine, and acknowledge the borough where his lifelong cash cow of KISS was born by demonstrating a shred of attachment to his old stomping ground and the team that represents it.

On the other hand, since Gene’s lived in the Los Angeles area for years, maybe he’s really come to identify with the area. Besides constantly touring and recording with KISS dating back to the early 70s, he became a B-movie Hollywood actor in the mid-1980s, and is fully entrenched in television production, while also starring in his own reality program, Family Jewels. Like most Dodgers fans, I’m perfectly aware Gene could probably care less about baseball. If anything, he probably identifies with the Dodgers as former New Yorkers; like him they’re now a southern California-based institution, transplanted decades ago.

It doesn’t sit right with me, though. If you grew up in Queens, then technically as someone from Queens you should be a Mets fan, right? Unless of course you’re one of those hateful aberrations of humanity who supports the Yankees even though you regularly buy your auto parts in the shadows of the Citi Field lighting racks.

Speaking of hateful behavior, Gene’s mother was a Nazi concentration camp survivor; she subsequently fled to Israel, where Gene recently returned for the first time in over fifty years. With his family and reality show camera crew in tow, he had an emotional homecoming. He met some estranged half-siblings he never knew existed, and recognized that despite his unwavering American patriotism he always felt like an outsider, which he’s now attributed to his long-ignored Israeli background. What Gene should realize is his self-consciousness was impacted by not only living in L.A., but because he’s forgotten about Queens. This has to change.

Next season’s Family Jewels needs to shoot in Flushing, with the Wilpons taking Gene on a nostalgic tour of the Fan Walk, escorting him up to the Promenade level to feed him a kosher pretzel, and naggingly reminding him that his longtime partner and fellow KISS founder, Paul Stanley, also moved to Queens as a teenager. As long as no one mentions the Ebbets Field-inspired design or the fact that Jackie Robinson was never on the Mets, it should be a real heart-wrenching episode.

NOTE: this was a post by new MetsToday contributor Corey Gorey. You can read his bio below.


K-Rod Traded to Brewers

The fire sale has officially begun: Francisco Rodriguez has been traded to the Brewers for two players to be named later.

Obviously, a team looking to contend for the postseason does not trade their closer. So, expect to see more trades coming as the Mets sell off their most valuable assets and build for 2012 and beyond.

I would guess that Jason Isringhausen becomes the Mets’ closer for the short-term, though they might choose to do a “closer by committee” and include Bobby Parnell and possibly Pedro Beato or Tim Byrdak. Yes, Tim Byrak, because he gets lots of swings and misses, and it could make sense to showcase him in a closer role for a week or two to develop more interest in him as trade bait.

So, what is your immediate reaction to this news? Share in the comments.