A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2nd Half Swelliciousness

The Mets have now won nine straight games, which is their longest such streak since 2000 and I think ever. It is ALL Jerry Manuel and no one else.

Obviously I am kidding, but this team is in much better shape than they were with Willie.

One thing I love is the fact that Manuel is a man who is not afraid to let kids contribute. Why not? You have the players...why not let them help you regardless of how old they are?

Willie would never have batted Nick Evans in the two spot on Sunday. Now, that is not why they won, but it is encouraging that Jerry is comfortable with himself enough to throw the 'ole vote of confidence behind the young kid and he went out and had a day for himself. Willie had some sort of inferiority complex which made him belittle rookies and keep young players down until they grew a moustache and started playing second base.

Also, Jerry is not afraid to stack lefties. Willie was allergic to stacking lefties for fear at some point during the game the opposing manager might bring a lefty in and then be able to mow down his lefties in a big spot.

However, managing for a situation in the game that may never happen is poor form and Manuel has been concentrating on putting the best product on the field and in the best order regardless of some silly little propensity to live and manage by some playbook that makes sense only to one person.

Compounding mistakes? Not really Manuel's thing.

"We haven't really discussed that at length," Manuel said. "I think we're all a little worried about dealing with that. I think when the time comes, we'll make a decision and see how it fits and go forward from there. But right now, we're really playing well at that position. I mean, very well. That's going to be a tough one.

Omar paid the slappy hitting second basemen too much for too many years? So what? A good manager is not afraid to bench a guy with a four year contract in favor of a guy who is here on a one year contract and is supposed to be on the bench if the bench player is playing better. Easley is not a highly regarded fielder, but he made some sparkling plays Sunday night and certainly has not hurt the Mets defensively.

Managers may not be solely responsible for his team's performance, but he can certainly help contribute in meaningful ways and put his team in the best position to win. That is what managers are supposed to do and that is what Willie failed to do from day #1. If something is not working, fix it. Manuel seems to operate that way and is always looking to fix the team and get the best players in there.

Willie was a firm believer in staying the course and when this team was at their worst, he actually said that he does not need to say anything to his players and they know the deal and what is at stake. That is absolutely egregious and I believe Manuel will never assume his player's know the deal. He seems like the type of guy that will remind his team what exactly is going on in case they lose sight of things.

Raise your hand if you still care about how Willie was treated by the Mets....no one? Good. I'm glad we are all in sync.

* * *

  • Mike Pelfrey looks like an absolute stud. It was a frustrating ride at times getting here, but the guy had 19 starts heading into this season. Why it is assumed that any pitcher should be amazing from day #1 is beyond me.

    Since June 1st, he has tossed 109, 112, 112, 113, 98, 98, 109, 113, and 119 pitches and has been a horse. His ERA+ of 112 is extremely impressive when you think about the fact he was almost dropped from the rotation with a sub 80 ERA+ not too long ago. The fact of life is that if you want to develop young talent, you need to let them take their lumps.

    Evan Longoria, Edison Volquez, and David Wright do not come along often. Jose Reyes, Carlos Quentin, and Mike Pelfrey are more of the norm where there will be ups and downs, but confidence and patience will pay off handsomely and being at the stadium on Sunday while the fans are going absolutely nuts for Pelfrey was amazing. It felt like 2006 again when the fans were excited and there was a playoff atmosphere at Shea. The Mets may regress a bit and fall behind the Phillies again most likely, but they will catch up again if that happens.

  • Fuentes prefers Yankees!

    "I've never played in Yankee Stadium," he told The Post. "I have no preference, but putting on the New York Yankees would be something special by itself."

    No preference...NONE. Does this article have a point?

  • Ye of little faith... Aaron was simply too good and simply did not look all that off when he was getting beat like a rented mule. His K/9 is over 9 and his H/9 is under 9. Heilman is still pretty good and just had a terrible run.

  • Delgado thinks the break may be bad and when you are playing this good, it is hard to see anyone wanting to take a break.

    "It's nice to get the break, but by the same token, you wonder if we continue to play are we going to play good?" Delgado said after the Mets' 7-0 victory over Colorado, which pushed their win streak to nine games. "It boils down to executing. We're playing good, but eventually you're not going to win, so we have to find a way to get back to where we are right now - executing, pitching well, catching the ball and coming up with some good at-bats."

  • F-Mart gets some praise.

    "When you look at the field, there are guys that stand out, guys that you notice," an NL scout who was at yesterday's Futures Game said. "He's one of those guys. He has one of the best swings of anyone out there."

  • Mr. Billy Wagner is good.

  • I may be impartial here, but Sunday night should be in the top five.

  • Some athletes just don't get it. Instead of criticizing the Mets, he should be praising them for being right! Zito would have been a bust at $75 million.

  • I am excited to start heading down the road of obesity.

    The team said today that the new Queens stadium, Citi Field, will include a Blue Smoke restaurant and a Shake Shack stand when it opens next spring.

    Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group's other offerings will include a taqueria (tah-kuh-REE-uh) and Belgian-style fries with dipping sauces.

    The award-winning restaurateur also will open the Sterling Club, which will provide premium seating and views of home plate; a bar and lounge, and a cafe serving comfort foods.


  • Sugar Pants to the rescue.

    "I spoke to David Wright," NL manager Clint Hurdle said after the game. "I told David, 'You were the last pick. I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star Game?'

    "I said, 'You wanted to be in this thing. That's all I've read, all I've heard for the last three days. You won't believe how much you might be in it here real quick.'

    "He said, 'Let's go.' He's good to go."


  • Adam Rubin was feeling quite generous when handing out his mid-season grades.

  • Callis, Law, and Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, oh my!


    Joe (Troy, NY): What do you think of Wilmer Flores? I know he is only 16 but does BA think he is legit prospect or just a flash in the pan? Please give a diehard Mets fan something to look forward to.....

    Jim Callis: He's very legit. He's one of the best prospects in the Mets system, though he may move to third base down the road.


    Hmmmm...While I like any positive endorsement of Met prospects, saying he is one of the best prospects of a shitty system really tells us nothing. That being said, it is still nice to see.

    Mark (Villanova): Any chance Flores moves to 2nd with Wright and Reyes already on one side of the infield?

    Jim Callis: He might be better suited for third base, but yes, with Wright around, Flores could wind up at second base.


    Going to second would certainly bolster his value.

    Joe: (NYC): Is Jon Niese a decent prospect or is Omar just trying to build him up in the media for a trade?

    Jim Callis: No, he's a solid prospect. Mid-rotation lefthander.


    Sweet.

    John(s. fla): How good is Fernando Martinez?

    Keith Law: I still think he's a superstar. He's going to hit, hit for power, and play a good RF.


    Sweet.

    RJ (Pittsburgh): Pelfrey's last 9: 59.7ip, 41k, 19bb, 0(!)hr, 2.26era. Still not an ace but a) has he turned a corner? b) should we expect him to continue to improve? Thanks Keith.

    Keith Law: Yes, yes.


    The experts are still cautiously optimistic, but he is a beast.

    Morgan answered like six questions and none added any value. Way to earn your keep Joe.
  • Labels: , , ,

    41 Comments:

    Anonymous gbaked said...

    Good to see your not dead

    10:26 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Not dead. Very much alive.

    10:46 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    ...and still dangerously handsome I might add.

    Let the 2nd half begin!!!!

    10:47 AM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    what'll hurt niese is that his fastball tops out at 88mph. his change up is a plus pitch though.

    volquez looks goofy as hell with the way he wears his hat.

    wagner = benitez + media skillz

    11:11 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Niese hits 91 I thought?

    Volquez earned the right to look goofy.

    Don't be hatin' on Mr. Billy Wags.

    11:58 AM

     
    Anonymous chris said...

    The fuck's a Mike?

    12:10 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Who's a Mike? If you are asking me if I'm a Mike, the answer would be yes.

    If you are saying "The fuck's a Mike" as in "The guy (who does this blog) is a Mike", then yes.

    12:23 PM

     
    Blogger Anthony said...

    Where you been Mike? Was I correct, working it in some whack part of the world? I hope so. Amazing what the Mets do when you don't post for a month though. Glad to have you back. Get's boring in Mets land without the Metropolitans Mike world.

    Insane Reyes wasn't on the All Star team. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck the Phils. Let's get the second half started. Will be interesting to see if this team keeps it up and just rips the rest of the season as they should in this week ass NL.

    12:57 PM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    wagner is alot like benitez. there is no denying it.

    i'm disturbed by your ability to fall in love with young players. volquez only has 34 career starts. this is the first year where he hasnt had bloated #'s

    1:15 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Mets were like 14-6 while I was postless. I'm starting to feel like the problem....It was not Willie at all.

    I have been working a lot which kind of got in the way of posting. Not much I could have done really, but I see light at the end of the tunnel.

    The Cubbies look tight...should be a fun rest of the year. I am still waiting for the Phillies to implode. Their rotation is just terrible.

    1:16 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Distrubed? Please. You need to recognize talent when you see it.

    Like in the case of Jason Phillips...Ty Wigginton...Jay Payton...Timo Perez...

    1:17 PM

     
    Anonymous chris said...

    I heart Jason Phillips. Always, forever and irrationally.

    1:22 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Preach on brother! Goggles will always hold a little corner of my heart.

    1:30 PM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I thought you left us, man.

    The Jacket whiffed pretty badly on how he tried to develop Big Pelf, no?

    Shea rockin' the way it did on Sunday night almost brought a tear to my eye.

    1:34 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Big Pelf started to put it together while the Jacket was here...he deserves some credit, no? Warthen did not magically transform him from day #1.

    Sunday @ Shea was one of those stand and stare at the field afeter the game type days. Just soaking in the goodness.

    1:49 PM

     
    Blogger Anthony said...

    Man, I haven't had one of those stand and stare at the feel days in a long time. I did have that on last Saturday's game as well with the 3-0 shutout.

    Big Pelf is the real deal. I believe The Jacket was definitely a part of it. It's just that right after Jacket was gone seems that Pelf got to loosen up which put him over the top. But jacket molded him.

    2:03 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    If Pelf keeps it together and keeps up the string of solid starts, the Mets will be fine in the division. I'm not scared of the Phils pitching, with Myers in shambles and Adam Eaton putting on a clinic on how to suck.

    There's something about a team's prospect depth that seems insignificant to me. Sure it's good to have a bunch of guys with potential in case you need to swing a few deals with smaller-market teams ... but I'll take an F-Mart, Niese, and Flores along with a winning Major League team any day.

    Welcome back, sir. Sunday at Shea was stellar.

    2:39 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    tc...your point is well taken. I'll take a few studs rather than a flat system.

    However, depth is needed!

    F-Mart, Niese, Flores, Murphy, Carp, Evans, Havens, Ike, and a few others are good to have.

    2:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    back in 02 i opened blue smoke. nothing worse than being the top waiter and having to pool tips, so i quit. not to boast about my skillz, it was a bad decision as i moved (briefly) to alabama.

    reyes snub was bs. i picked up pelfrey for fantasy so don't expect him to keep it up.

    jake

    4:24 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Welcome back!

    Wilmer Flores man... he's the real deal. A 6'1" 16 year old, jeeeezus!

    Isn't it great to know that Willie WAS the problem. Watching Mets games now I don't think there's been one time where I second guessed Manuel. Every move he makes, makes sense and I can't argue against it.

    I hate Billy Wagner because of him, I had to stay up till 1:39 am until that game ended. I don't care that the NL lost, I care I stayed up soo late! Jeeze.

    Oh and in the Chuck Norris invitational? Its over bitches. It really is over, watch out cause Baja Lo Panty is gonna get you!

    4:38 PM

     
    Anonymous whozgotnext said...

    Seriously, man, welcome back. Your blog is one of my regular stops, and I was starting to get a little concerned. Next time, how about just a quick "I am not dead, back soon" post if you're suddenly gone for three weeks.

    On the Mets, very encouraging signs everywhere (other than assorted bum shoulders). Can't wait to get Church back. I really do think we're gonna rip through the second half.

    My prediction, 40-26 to the finish.

    4:53 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    jake...I heard about your legendary waitering skills all the way up here. Boast away.

    I was not sure you even existed until now.

    Benny...I agree he WAS the problem...However, I am in a Zen like mood of happiness which does not allow me be angry or say angry things.

    I'm dropping faster than a Russian prostitute. I cannot stop the freefall in fantasy baseball.

    Sorry about the scare. I don't consider myself important enough to do the "I'm alive gag".....

    4:57 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    Pedro missing his next start with a cortisone shot in his elderly hip.

    Mets selling seats to season ticket holders (so says Bloomberg.com) ... seems like the price will be ~$350. I'd probably pay $350 to have one of my seats. I'd buy both, but one is unpainted, half broken, and is covered in unknown debris from 1964.

    I too enjoy Jerry Manuel. He's a players' guy, something Willie certainly was not (or rapidly declined from if he ever was). If the boys like him, I like him. Barring a total collapse (haven't heard that ever before re: the Mets), you'd have to think he'd be brought back next year.

    5:23 PM

     
    Anonymous ossy said...

    phillie picked up joe blanton

    6:46 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    Hmm interesting. On my iPhone so I don't know who they gave up yet, but that's a clear upgrade over eaton/moyer at the back end.

    Difference maker? Not so sure about that.

    If they gave up Carrasco or their big catching prospect, I don't like it. Then again, Gillick never makes moves at the deadline to improve that team, so good for them.

    6:55 PM

     
    Anonymous mikeinspaininla said...

    Blanton is a quality MLB pitcher, but he is the wrong guy for that ballpark...

    7:25 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    Good to have you back!

    7:25 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Ooh, Joe Blanton, I'm scared.

    7:48 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Looks like the A's got 2B Adrian Cardenas, P Josh Outman and OF Matt Spencer from the Phillies.

    7:51 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Good name for a pitcher - -Outman
    For a closer...

    7:52 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    TATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    9:10 PM

     
    Anonymous department of self serving references (VT edition) said...

    Dan Murphy is playing second base at Bingo. Methinks the gimpy two bagger may not have much of a chance all things told.

    What mitigates Nady wet-dreaming: Aaron Heilman is the only thing that gets it done.

    And most Met fans should apologize to AH, he's a good pitcher who went through a bad period. NYers forget quickly.

    Save John Niese! Or start him soon!

    9:41 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Sweet jeebus!

    10:42 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    What a fuckin win!

    11:18 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I brake for Dick Pole

    11:26 PM

     
    Anonymous chris said...

    Break and dick don't belong in the same breath.

    Hehehe ... dick breath.

    What's gotten into this fucking club?!? Hell yes. More please.

    9:36 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Welcome back, f***er!

    Next time, say 'I'm not dead, just nailed to the perch'.

    'The fact of life is that if you want to develop young talent, you need to let them take their lumps.'

    AMEN! Take your hands off the radio! I've been saying that from day one, especially about Pelfrey. He's a right-handed Bruce Hurst.

    Although the Willie firing was not handled very well, it's time for everyone to get off that issue. Omar never fired a manager before, and he'll do better if he ever has to do it again. Who cares?!?

    The 5 most memorable moments are kind of like the 10 best days of weather in a year. There are always more than 5 of them. Here's some of my choices for the top 5.

    Pelfrey's 1-0 loss to the Nationals, with the great catch in left field in the 9th, costing the Mets the win.

    Last night's leviathan knocks one of those moments off the list as well.

    Pedro's injury gets knocked off.

    Blanton is a #5 at best.

    It's good to see the Mets have an emergency pitcher now. If Sugar Pants is good enough to pitch for the NL all-stars in a tie game, the sky is the limit!

    I'd love to see Gogs in the first base coaching box some day.

    10:40 AM

     
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