Tag: nelson cruz

Mets Fans’ Dream Come True

OK, maybe seeing the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers face off in the World Series isn’t exactly a “dream” for a Mets fan. But a World Series played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees is pretty much a Mets fan’s worst nightmare, isn’t it?

Even though the Giants used to play in the Polo Grounds, and wear the same shade of orange as the Mets, I have a hard time rooting for them — mainly because they are an NL rival. Further, I just can’t bring my self to pull for specific players on the Giants; namely, Tim Lincecum, Pat Burrell, Cody Ross, and Guillermo Mota. And I don’t find “fear the beard” to be particularly inspiring, either.

At the same time, it’s hard for me to favor a team that plays in the Adulterated League — the one that continues to experiment with the designated pinch hitter rather than engage in real baseball. But I happen to like watching some of the Rangers players (Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Jorge Cantu, Cliff Lee, Darren O’Day, Darren Oliver, and Jeff Francoer top the list), and I’m eager to see Nolan Ryan succeed — mainly because of his dedication to developing pitchers based on sound mechanics and conditioning rather than pitch counts and other inane recommendations by surgeons.

Tough call, but I’m leaning toward rooting for the Rangers.

Which team will you be rooting for, and why?


A Source of Power


Jerry Manuel’s opine for power has so far fallen on deaf ears in the front office. But, perhaps the solution can be found from within.

That’s right, there’s a slugging outfielder-first baseman right under our nose (well, actually, in Buffalo) — and he hits from the right side of the plate.

His name is Wily Mo Pena.

Stop laughing … he may be on the way up.

Though he struggled mightily upon joining the organization, Wily Mo has recently picked it up. In his last ten games, Pena is hitting .351 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, and 9 RBI, and is hitting .345 for the month of June.

As mentioned several weeks ago, Pena has tremendous raw power and is only 27 — on the brink of entering his prime. There are many who believe he’ll never recapture the magic that led to his hitting 51 homers before the age of 24, but I point the critics to Nelson Cruz. Cruz — someone I advocated acquiring last year — was labeled as a career “tweener” or “AAAA guy”, but has blossomed in this, his 28th year, with 17 homers and a .288 average in his first 236 at-bats in Texas.

I’m not predicting that a Wily Mo will come in and mash 40 homers. But considering that the Mets are desperate for some punch, and have little chance of acquiring someone from the outside, logic would dictate that Pena’s promotion is imminent.

By the way, not only does Pena play in Buffalo, but he also resembles one. Check out this photo I found of him on Flickr, standing next to Javier Valentin. Even if he can’t hit, his mere presence should cause a bit of fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers: