Tag Archives: news

Irish Mets

17 Mar

By Jim Walters

As the world celebrates St. Patrick’s day, I can’t help but remember two  memories of the Mets that connect to the Irish culture.

My first is an obvious one, the green hats on St. Patrick’s day. It’s a shame today’s game will not be on television, and I am not even sure if they are wearing green as they face the Red Sox at 1pm.

I remember being a kid and watching one of the late 80s teams wearing green Mets hats. It was a reminder that the season was close and soon we would be celebrating Opening Day.

My second memory is my first Irish night in August of 1998 at Shea Stadium. I went with a group of friends, and we purchased tickets to the upper deck. We moved down to the loge section and I, for the first and only time, slipped the usher $20 to sit our group together.

The usher sat us in left field, but he had to keep moving us as the crowd filled in. We ended up getting pretty good seats when all was said and done.

I also remember as if it was yesterday the feeling of excitement when the Mets turned a triple play. With the echo that you received sitting in the loge under the mezzanine, it was a great memory. To this day its the only triple play that I saw live.

I looked up this game and the NY Times story brought me right back to those exciting days. The story by Steve Popper really captures the nervousness surrounding Mike Piazza’s future.

As much as I remember from that night, I didn’t remember the fact that the Mets lost and that Lenny Harris failed in the team’s last at bat. I guess the green hat made up for it.

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Mejia Debate Continues

16 Mar

By Jim Walters

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports adds his two cents about the Jenrry Mejia debate.

Rosenthal highlights the risk of bringing such a young, in-experienced pitcher into the pressure cooker of New York.

He does give an interesting variety of quotes from Mets players about Mejia and what they see in the young pitcher.

One has to think that even if they don’t call him up at the start of the season, management will call Mejia up during the season as the bullpen falters. With Kelvim Escobar out of the mix, New York will have many questions in the bullpen and with Manuel and Minaya’s job on the line, Mejia may be the last hope for the manager and GM.

Mets Youth Movement

16 Mar

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By Jim Walters

All of  a sudden, the New York Mets look young.

Consider this. Johan Santana is the oldest pitcher in the starting rotation. This is a far cry from the days of Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez.

In the outfield, Carlos Beltran is the veteran at age 32. In the infield, Luis Castillo takes the crown at the age of 33.

Yet all around the team, you see a youth movement. The following players are some of the 30 and younger Mets:  David Wright, Jose Reyes, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bay, Daniel Murphy, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine, John Neise, Francisco Rodriguez.

When the Opening Day rosters are determined, this team will rank near the top as one of the younger teams in the game. Give Minaya credit as the Mets turned young before our eyes.

Unfortunately, they will depend on this youth  in the starting rotation to compete in a division that’s starting pitching is as young, but only better.

Manuel, Stay of Go

16 Mar

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By Jim Walters

Mike Lupica of the NY Daily News reports this morning that Jerry Manuel should stay as  the coach of the Mets this season, despite whatever happens during the course of the season.

Lupica depicts Manuel as the product of bad luck. He also looks back to 2008 when Manuel replaced Randolph, listing other coaches who would’ve lost that final game at Shea.

The media in this town is interesting. When they love a guy, he gets more passes than he deserves. But when the media dislikes a guy, they can write him off before the season even starts.

Manuel is loved in this town, probably due to his easy demeanor and sense of humor. He is an easy guy to root for.

However, he is no different that Willie Randolph who the Mets showed the door at the early morning hours on a west coast trip.

The only difference is that the media likes Manuel, and the injuries of last year and this spring will always be included into the explanation for his failures. Yet for Randolph, the lack of starting pitching during his tenure was his fault, not Minaya’s.

Last year, in addition to the injuries, the Mets did not play fundamental baseball. This falls on the manager. You don’t see this with Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa.

Manuel and Minaya are on thin ice despite what the media says because Mets ownership is as dysfunctional as the starting rotation is.

Perhaps the winner after this season will be Manuel who may get kicked out-of-town and doesn’t have to deal with the nonsense of this franchise anymore.

F-Mart Not Heading North

15 Mar

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By Jim Walters

Fernando Martinez is not heading north with the big club in a few weeks. GM Omar Minaya said that Martinez will head to Triple-A to get at-bats and prove he can stay healthy for a full season.

New York will live with Gary Matthews Jr. and today’s hero, Angel Pagan until Carlos Beltran returns in either late April or early May.

You have to wonder if Martinez will see action with the big club until September when the rosters expand. If the regular outfield of Beltran, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur stay healthy, Martinez will not get the call up because of the need to get regular bats in as an everyday player.

As we consider his future, you have to also think of him as a trade chip. If New York is going to contend, they will still need a chip during the season. If they showed interest in a starting pitcher or batter like Adrian Gonzalez, Martinez’ name will be mentioned.

Maine Problem

15 Mar

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By Jim Walters

John Maine got lit up yesterday following Johan Santana’s strong starts in the spring. However, it was his post-game comments that really made him worthy of 45,000 jeers at Citi Field in three weeks.

Following the game, one in which he only pitched 2/3 of an inning and served up five runs to the Marlins, Maine said this:

“My mechanics felt fine,” Maine said. “I just wasn’t kind of that into it. It wasn’t good. It’s just I wasn’t all that prepared. The feeling that it’s not my game is the hardest thing. It’s a waste of a day.”

“I wasn’t into it. I wasn’t all that prepared.”

Are you kidding me.

This is simply unacceptable.

It wouldn’t be acceptable if it came out of Santana’s mouth. It’s certainly not acceptable when it comes from a pitcher who has only won more than 11 games in a season once in his career.

This team is supposed to be different. They are supposed to be embarrassed from last season, doing everything they can to rewrite the history books.

It’s just a matter of time before Maine is history. And I will be first in line to show him the door.

Biazarro World

14 Mar

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By Jim Walters

Remember when Elaine entered bizarro world in that classic Seinfeld episode. Her new friends were complete opposites from her regular crew of Jerry, George and Kramer.

Imagine if this season for the Mets is bizarro world and everything goes right. Here’s one man’s guess of what that would  look like.

  • Jose Reyes is out for only two weeks instead of 8 and he is playing short at Citi Field on April 5th. He proves to be innocent of the hgh questions, but a certain third baseman of the Bronx can’t say the same.
  • Carlos Beltran is in centerfield by the end of April, but fans will miss the tag team efforts of Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr, who held down the fort. Beltran comes back and does for the Mets what A-Rod did for the Yankees upon his May return last year. He also reveals that his mole gives him his mojo.
  • Johan Santana wins 20 games, the Cy Young and beats Roy Halladay in the three head to head match-ups this season.
  • Daniel Murphy proves Omar right, hitting .305 with 20 home runs and 95 RBIs. He also manages to play a decent first base. Keith Hernandez reminds us that he’s responsible.
  • Benjie Molina pulls a hamstring in week three and Rod Barajas hits 20 home runs and bats .260.
  • David Wright returns to his old form, hitting 30 home runs, 120 RBIs and bats .310. Wright wins the first MVP for New York.
  • Jason Bay hits 35 home runs, bats .280 and drives in 120 runs. His legs prove to be fine as Peter Gammons offers a public apology. Unfortunately its on the MLB network and no one sees it.
  • John Maine and Mike Pelfrey each win 15 games. Oliver Perez, well, not even in bizarro world is he very good.
  • Jenrry Mejia and Francisco Rodriguez become the best 1-2 punch, making most games feel like a 7-inning game.
  • Luis Castillo doesn’t drop any pop-ups.
  • Jerry Manuel doesn’t have to foolishly say he expects any of his players to be back in a week.
  • Omar Minaya gets to lead press conferences again.
  • Citi Field lowers ticket prices so families can go to a game and not miss a mortgage payment.
  • Mets retire Mike Piazza’s number.
  • Mets win the division, go on to get revenge against the Cardinals and beat the Yankees in the World Series.
  • Mets don’t mention Phillies in their championship celebration.
  • And finally, kids throughout the city trade in their Yankees jerseys for “Don’t Mess with the Johan” t-shirts.

A guy could dream….