Tag: david lennon

Citi Field Earned Its Stripes (So to Speak)

Yankees fans are notorious for proclaiming if and how a player has “earned his Yankees stripes.” It’s a bit ridiculous and it can get incredibly annoying to have a conversation with someone who insists a player on the level of Mark Texeiria wasn’t REALLY a Yankee until [insert appropriate Yankeeography episode title here] happened.

But… I get it. They want to feel like a guy is worthy of their support. They want everyone to know that they won’t blindly accept a player just because he is drawing a hefty paycheck from Yankee Baseball Industries & Merchandising Supply Co, Ltd.

Newsday’s David Lennon makes the case that Citi Field had its moment of Mets fan acceptance this past week, as the Mets steamrolled the Yankees and the Phillies:

I think it is fair to say, though, that the Mets new park has established its identity. Fans were rightfully upset last year when they noticed that the place looked nice and it had great food and all, but it just didn’t seem like home. The franchise did some improvements to address that, such as the Mets Hall of Fame and the Hodges and Stengel entrance and the banners depicting former Mets on the perimeter. [Citi Field finds its identity]

It’s an interesting theory and it makes perfect sense. Whether you think the Mets are now on their way to the postseason or not, you won’t forget this past week for a long time.

Whether you will now forget all of the negativity that has surrounded Citi Field up to this point is another story. But it seems like the Mets may have settled into their new home.


Q&A and More with Wally Backman

Steve Serby has an entertaining Q&A with Wally Backman in today’s New York Post, which I encourage you to read.

In case you missed it, Bart Hubbach posits Backman as a possible successor to Jerry Manuel.

David Lennon presented “leftover thoughts” regarding the Backman hiring.

Ben Shpigel of The New York Times gives his take on the second chance afforded Wally.

In between officiating a mustache contest and getting hired to be the Brooklyn manager, Wally visited a nursing home near Shea Stadium Citi Field.

From the archives, here is Toby Hyde‘s take on the possibility of Wally returning in a minor league role with the Mets running the Mets’ player development system — which he termed “crazy talk” — written back in August. Ironically, Toby likely will be covering the Cyclones as part of his MetsMinorLeagueBlog next summer.

If you missed it, you can listen to Mike Francesa’s interview with Wally Backman on WFAN

And here is Wally reading from cue cards:

Can you ever remember so much media attention given to the hiring of a Rookie Short-Season A league manager?


Manuel On Mets Inability to Come Back

During last night’s postgame press conference, David Lennon posed a direct question to Jerry Manuel regarding the Mets’ inability to come back in games after falling behind.

Please listen, and if you can glean anything that resembles something other than blithering idiocy, please post it in the comments. It sounds like Manuel wants the Mets to hit more line drives when they fall behind … which I guess makes sense, since you want to hit line drives all the time, regardless of the situation.

Though I’m not sure what he means by “… what it is, that we do, that other teams do, well, in those situations … ”

Crank up the volume and listen to this file


Mets Consider Ben Sheets, Andy Pettitte

According to David Lennon of Newsday, the Mets are considering Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte to fill out their starting rotation.

Per Lennon:

For his part, Minaya has played it cool, suggesting that he has other options if Perez falls through. Two of the most intriguing names still available are Ben Sheets and Andy Pettitte, with the Mets only recently showing interest in the former Brewers ace. A person familiar with the situation said yesterday that Sheets is now being discussed, but it’s unclear what the parameters of such a deal would be.

In other words, Sheets and Pettite are fallback options in the event Oliver Perez can’t be signed. Why? Why not sign Sheets or Pettitte IN ADDITION TO continuing negotiations with Perez? Why do the Mets seem focused on having “just enough” when every other playoff-bound team is stockpiling starting pitchers? (The Cubs, for example, just added LHP Garrett Olson to their stable of arms.)

First off, I’m not putting any stock into the Andy Pettitte talk. Sure, I’d love to see him in a Mets uniform, but it smells to me to be a negotiation ploy on Pettitte’s part — not unlike Jorge Posada’s insincere overtures of a year ago. With talk of the Yankees dropping their $10M offer, Pettitte is desperate for leverage, and the possibility of becoming a Met is too much for the Bronx faithful to bear. Fleeing for a faraway location such as Houston or LA is not as devastating as seeing Pettitte in a Mets cap on the back page of the tabloids every fifth day — the Yankees would overpay for no reason other than to appease their fan base.

That the Mets are considering Sheets is great news, as he has big-game skills (whether he can execute in big games, unfortunately, is another story). But, Sheets is certainly not the type of pitcher that the Mets can rely on to make 30+ starts and provide 190-200 innings. He’s an ideal gamble to fill out the back end — much the way the Red Sox are counting on Brad Penny. If they sign Sheets, the Mets are still short one pitcher for the front end. There are too many existing question marks — the health of Johan Santana and John Maine, the readiness of Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell — to bring in another question mark to fill a hole.

Again, I love the idea of Sheets — so long as the Mets don’t stop there. Bring in Sheets, AND Perez, AND Freddy Garcia or Pedro Martinez too. To make the postseason, a team needs both quantity and quality comprising the starting rotation pool.