Tag Archives: santana

Friday News Wire

19 Mar

What a Friday!

I wake up to the following headlines:

  • St. John’s fires Norm Roberts
  • Carlos Beltran may be back early May
  • Brad Lidge to miss Opener
  • NCAA Day 2
  • Mets on SNY at 1pm

This is some day. Let’s look at the non-Mets related items first.

Norm Goodbye

St. John’s firing Norm Roberts is not a total surprise, although it was impressive to see the Johnnies play hard and well in their loss to Memphis Wednesday night. Roberts is not the recruiter St. John’s needs to compete in the Big East.

Roberts will always be remembered for digging St. John’s out of their biggest and most embarrassing hole in school’s history. Mike Jarvis did everything to hurt this program excluding burning down the gym. From scandals to lost relationships with local coaches, Jarvis set St. John’s back for a decade.

It will be fun to hear the new names that surface for the coaches job. Maybe the first of two rumor mills for coaches that this town will be invested in this year.

March Madness

What a day in College Basketball yesterday. Georgetown, Notre Dame and Marquette were the big three to fall yesterday in bracket busters. The Big East, which receives a great deal of press for their competitive conference, was hit by  the tournament’s craziness. West Virgina kicks today off against Morgan at 12:15pm.

Beltran and Lidge

Carlos Beltran in the NY Daily News announced that he expects to return by mid- May, if not sooner. He also declared how healthy and strong he feels. The question remains: where will the Mets be when Beltran returns? See the post below addressing New York’s first 22 games.

Brad Lidge announced that he will miss at least the first week of the season, if not more, as he recovers from offseason elbow surgery. Lidge does looks healthy this spring, which is bad news for the National League. In a Phillies team that is strong in all other aspects of the game, the bullpen was the only piece of their game where they showed vulnerability last year. If Lidge is dominant, it’s going to be difficult for Philadelphia to lost.

Mets Back on TV

I missed not watching Mets games since Monday. Our reward is Johan Santana against the Twins. New York, coming off of another quality win, can be seen at 1pm on SNY.

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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.

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….

Can the Mets Pitch

6 Mar

By Jim Walters

There are many questions that surround this New York Mets ball club with less than a month before Opening Day. Health continues to be the question that will not go away, as Jose Reyes joins Carlos Beltran and Kelvim Escobar on the sideline.

There are also questions regarding performance. Can David Wright regain his power? Can Jason Bay perform in New York? Can Daniel Murphy hit? Can Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. do enough until Beltran returns?

While most teams have questions, the running list is unusually large for the Mets, especially considering the money spent to put this team on the field.

Yet, despite all of the issues regarding health and performance, the biggest and most important question facing the 2010 Mets is can they pitch?

Johan Santana, 31, appears to be recovering well from surgery and will face his first major test this Tuesday, pitching in his first Spring Training game. What follows is anyone’s guess.

The Mets paid Oliver Perez like a number two pitcher, while he is more like a number five. He is healthy and looks and sounds optimistic this early March. The Mets need him to be consistent, in fact, they will not survive if he isn’t.

Mike Pelfrey brings his question marks. He struggled in his second full season in 2009, going 10-12 with a bloated ERA over 5, but the Mets need him to be their number two starter. It is a great deal to ask of a guy who doesn’t have a second pitch to compliment his dynamic moving fastball.

New York will also call on John Maine to not only be healthy, but to pitch well for a full season. In 2007, he pitched 190 innings with an impressive record of 15-10. Management is counting on Maine to reproduce these numbers. The unknown is that Maine is overcoming shoulder issues, missing half of last season.

It appears that John Neise is the favorite to take the number five-spot in the rotation. Who can forget his collapse on the mound last year when his hamstring failed him and the Mets. Now, he is called upon to be the solid number five and the hope of this season.

If New York can stay in contention by July, they will hopefully add another starter to consume innings and win games. The biggest question facing this team now is can this combination of sub par pitchers do enough to compete in a division where this pitching staff ranks as one of the weakest.

2010 Preview: Month by Month

4 Mar

By Jim Walters

March is here and spring is right around the corner. They are playing ball in Florida and Opening Day on April 5th is drawing near.

Lets examine the schedule to see what the summer may bring:

April

New York kicks of the 2010 campaign with the first “Opening Day” at Citi Field against those pesky Florida Marlins. We will likely be treated to a Josh Johnson (Met killer) vs. Johan Santana pitching duel.

After the pomp and circumstance, New York will realize they play 17 of their first 24 games in Citi Field. A strong start is necessary for Jerry and Omar. Somewhere Bobby V will be waiting for the door to open.

The second home stand will be an instant test for this team, hosting the Braves, Cubs and Dodgers. Could this be Jerry’s last stand.

As April ends, the Mets renew their rivalry with the Phillies on April 30th in hostile Philadelphia.

May

While May begins with the Phillies, this month’s home stand of the season is from the 21st to the 27th as New York hosts the Yankees and Philadelphia where Citi will be full and the team will face its biggest test of the young season. While this home stand means a great deal to the fans, it will be the games against the Marlins, Brewers and Braves that will determine where this team is in the standings.

June

It’s interleague month and New York squares off with the Yankees, Orioles and Indians on the road while hosting the Tigers and Twins. The AL Central is a strong division that will test the Amazins’ with their quality pitching.

July

When you look at the July calendar, there is one thing that stands out: the long road trip when the Mets plays 11 straight games in San Francisco (4), Arizona (3), Dodgers (4). This trip follows the All-Star break. Every Mets fan has to wonder as this trip comes to an end, are they buyers or sellers as the trading deadline looms near.

Perhaps the most exciting day this month will by Monday July 5th when fireworks night returns to Queens as the Mets host the Reds.

August

The dog days of summer will begin with a road trip against the Braves and Phillies. How important will the stretch be in mid-August when they play 13 games against the Astros seven times, Pirates for three and Marlins for three. Can this be the time for the Mets to make their run.

September

I get chills when I think of this month and it’s not because of the weather. A 10-game home stand against the Phillies, Pirates and Braves will be pivotal for this team.  Tough road games in Chicago and Philadelphia also makes this month very interesting.

October

The season concludes with a home stand that brings us into October. Four games to end September against the Brewers and three to end the season in October against the Nationals have wild card implications written all over this schedule.

Both teams should be under .500, which sets up like 2007 and 2008. Can this city really stand another collapse?

So often the team that starts on Opening Day is different from the team that plays in September and October. If the Mets are winning, it is likely that they would have added a pitcher (Bronson Arroyo?) and that they obviously stayed healthy. If the Mets are losing, will Ike Davis be at first and Josh Thole be catching. While it is promising for the future, this youth movement will mean another lost year in Flushing and a lot of empty seats in Citi, making this new jewel of the city feeling more like good old Shea.