Tag: keith hernandez

Blog Roundup: Sputtering to the Finish

The good news: Matt Harvey finished up a very promising abbreviated season with 7 innings of one-hit ball.  The bad news: Josh Edgin, making his first (and maybe last) appearance as closer, gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard, which gave the Phillies a 3-2 win, and their second win of the 3 game series.

Once again, the Mets couldn’t score more than 2 runs.  Their offense has been futile, especially at home.  I believe the exact statistic is “they haven’t scored bupkis in ever.”  It’s hard to imagine anything short of an overhaul of their lineup will fix their current conundrum.  But that’s the task that faces Sandy Alderson this winter.

The Blogs:

  • MMO weighs in on how many years is too many for David Wright.
  • The Bitter Bill ranks the current team in the pantheon of Mets futility.
  • Ted Berg goes in-depth on Matt Harvey’s performance this year.
  • WFAN makes it official – Keith Hernandez will shave off the ol’ push broom before the home finale.
  • Rising Apple says that the MLB Commish has confidence in Mets ownership.  Sigh.
  • Faith and Fear writes of bad pitches and bitter losses.

Hang in there folks, only two weeks to go.  And keep checking out Mets Today.


17 DUPACR: Guess Who?

There are 17 Days Until Pitchers and Catchers Report to spring training at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida. So today I honor a former player who wore New York Mets uniform number 17.

But which #17 do I bestow this honor?

I’ll give you a few hints:

– he was an infielder
– he was known for his outstanding defense on the right side of the infield
– he wore a distinctive, memorable mustache
– he was a great contact hitter who rarely struck out
– he was more of a line-drive / singles hitter than a homerun threat
– he led the Mets in hits in multiple seasons
– he played with plenty of passion, and had a fiery temper
– he was of Latin descent

Can you guess what #17 I’m honoring today?


2009 Analysis: Daniel Murphy

dan-murphy-profileDaniel Murphy tries hard. He plays hard. He works hard. He hustles all the time. He puts the team ahead of himself. He is willing to play anywhere, anytime. He doesn’t complain. He doesn’t say much at all, really. And he is a Product Of The Farm System. So as a Mets fan it’s hard not to like him.

Unfortunately, Daniel’s strength — his bat — hasn’t proven strong enough to justify penciling him into his best defensive position, which is first base. And unfortunately, his prowess at the position is unlike that of Keith Hernandez. Although UZR says that Murphy was the second-best defensive first baseman in the NL, our eyes know better — UZR doesn’t take into consideration the low balls that aren’t scooped, the over-ranging that confuses the second baseman, the bumbled tosses to the pitcher covering first, or the incorrect positioning on relay throws. It also doesn’t count the errors that were called as hits by a generous official scorer.

But even if Daniel Murphy did resemble “Mex” in the field,


Keith: Latin Players Reason for Willie Randolph’s Firing

In case you missed it, Keith Hernandez was a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show yesterday afternoon, talking baseball and promoting a book he wrote with Matt Silverman called Shea Good Bye: The Untold Inside Story of the Historic 2008 Season.

The entire interview was enjoyable, and I recommend you give it a listen, as Keith spoke honestly on a variety of subjects. Two of them, specifically, caught my attention …


Three Mets Books

This week’s heat wave has me thinking about the beach, where I tend to do a lot of reading. Here are three Mets books worth considering for your beach reading this spring / summer.

From my blogging friend Greg Prince is Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets. I don’t know how he kept it to 320 pages … he’s written longer blog posts (just kidding, Greg!).

From Keith Hernandez, Shea Good Bye: The Untold Inside Story of the Historic 2008 Season.

From Ron Darling, The Complete Game: Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound

Nothing yet from Gary Cohen … or Kevin Burkhardt, for that matter.

Speaking of books, one last item, which is not Mets-specific, but is pretty cool nonetheless: the Amazon Kindle. The first generation Kindle had its kinks — if you were able to obtain one (they were perpetually out of stock). This second try at digital book reading is much more stable and easy to use. As soon as a major media outlet bankrolls MetsToday I will be buying one of these devices for myself. Buy it here: Kindle 2: Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)


Pelfrey Looking Sharp

Mike Pelfrey turned in an outstanding performance against the Astros in the most recently televised spring training game, showing exactly why many people are looking at him as the Mets’ #2 starter.

The two things that most impressed me about Pelfrey in this particular outing were his ability to change speeds and his supreme confidence. This time last year, Pelfrey was pitching scared, thinking too much, and picking around the plate. In this game, his manner and body language oozed with confidence, and he looked like he had a plan. The curveball was dropping nicely at an 11-to-5 angle and staying around the strike zone, at a 75-MPH speed — which maybe is a little too slow, but hey, he’s still shaking the dust off it. Pelf also started to hammer his sinker in on the hands of lefthanded hitters — a new concept, since he has always in the past tended to stay on the third-base side of the plate with that pitch. A number of pundits are already getting silly about the “new” pitch (the NY Times coined it a “front-door sinker”), but really it’s the same sinker he’s always thrown, but he’s now spotting it on the other side of the plate. I’m liking it.

In addition to Pelfrey’s performance, Nick Evans continues to make roster decisions difficult for manager Jerry Manuel. Evans is driving the ball with power, spraying to all fields, and showing patience at the plate. His fielding is still a bit suspect, but you can’t knock him for his effort — he’s a hustler. Taken out of the optimism of Port St. Lucie, Evans looks like he could evolve into a “mistake hitter” — the kind of guy who can jack a pitcher’s mistake over the fence. At the same time, he has some holes in his swing and will get overmatched by hard fastballs inside. I love the kid, and am rooting for him, but it’s going to be tough to carry him on a roster that includes 11-12 pitchers and at least one backup catcher. Those 3-4 bench players have to be versatile, and bring more than one tool to the table. Alex Cora and Fernando Tatis have two of those spots sewn up, and you have to figure at least one other spot goes to either one of the defensive-minded outfielders in camp, or Marlon Anderson (another guy who can play multiple positions). Evans’ glove just isn’t strong enough at either 1B or in the OF, and he doesn’t have the speed of a pinch-runner, so he either has to win a platoon job (not happening) or hope for an injury, to go north in April.

Speaking of Tatis, a strange comment by Keith Hernandez during the SNY broadcast of Thursday’s game, in regard to how Tatis’ versatility can be used to keep people fresh:

“One thing we know about Jerry Manuel, Jerry Manuel likes to REST HIS REGULARS”.

For the record, Keith, here are some of the “regulars”, and their games played in 2008:

Jose Reyes: 159
David Wright: 160
Carlos Delgado: 159
Carlos Beltran: 161
Brian Schneider: 110

Of course, the other positions — LF, RF, 2B — were originally supposed to be manned by players who ended up on the DL for extensive periods (Moises Alou, Ryan Church, and Luis Castillo). So other than Schneider, who missed games due to minor injuries eight different times during the season, the “regulars” certainly didn’t get rest. Manuel TALKED about resting the regulars when he took over the club last June, but never actually FOLLOWED THROUGH with that plan. Funny though, how some people’s words speak louder than actions.