Sunday, March 14, 2010

Johan Santana - Our last Great Hope

Unlike most of the other Mets, our expectations for Johan Santana are very high.  We will depend on him probably too much.  We need him to be a Cy Young type pitcher, who wins twenty games.  We can hope all we want for Pelfrey, Perez and Maine to step up and have comeback years.  We can't expect that much from all three of them.

Santana has a career record of 122 wins and 60 losses with a 3.12 ERA.  He won two Cy Young Awards as a Minnesota Twin.  In his two seasons with the Mets he is 29 wins and 16 loses with a 2.78 ERA.  Last year with a sore elbow, he still finished 13-9 with a 3.13 ERA, missing the last month of the season.

Santana is an amazing competitor.  He is apparently healthy this year, having recovered from elbow surgery.  Today, Sunday March 14th, he gave all Mets fans hope for the coming season.  He pitched four shutout innings against the Marlins.  He gave up three hits, no walks, and struck out four.  Apparently his changeup was nasty.

We desperately need Johan to be our leader on the field this year.  Unfortunately, he can only be on the field once every five games.  He needs lots of help from both his pitching counterparts and his offense.  C'mon David, Jeff, Daniel and Jason.  You must step up big.  And Jose and Carlos, get healthy soon.  We need you in the lineup no later than the end of April.

Let's go, Mets!

Oh What A Night

If you are a Mets Merized reader and have gotten to this site that way, I want to tell you that this post has nothing to do with the Mets and has nothing to do with baseball.  Still I hope you stay around and read this post and the others too.

Saturday was quite a night here at the K house.  It started out early in the A.M. when BA, BR and I drove to Columbia University to check out the school for BR.  We sat through the information session and then went on the tour which was in the pouring  rain.  Then we drove home constantly in touch with A who was trying to get to Ft. Lauderdale.  As early as Friday, her Saturday 3:50 flight was canceled.  And she was switched to the 7:00 PM flight.

By mid day Saturday, her flight was delayed until 9:50PM.  One problem was her friend H was coming from DC to meet her and make this flight.  H made it to JFK by noon and would have a 9+ hour layover.  Alana got to the airport at around six and as she was moving through the security line, the flight was canceled.  H's luggage was somewhere either in JFK or Ft. Lauderdale.  It probably won't find her until much later in the week.

I picked them both up at the airport and they stayed here.  As I was leaving to get them at the airport,  I found a tree on my car; a big evergreen tree.  Oh well.  I used our other car without thinking much about the tree.

On other amazing thing was how the sky was lighting up blue and red for minutes at a time.  It looked like there would be a huge transformer blowing that would kill our power like the hundreds of thousands of other people that lost power.  Somehow our lights only went out for two minutes.  I don't understand that.  But then again I don't understand electricity.

Other than that there was the story H told about the flight that arrived during one of the many hours that she was waiting at the gate.  The plane landed and the first person who came off was being wheeled off on a stretcher.  The passengers came off crying and screaming, even the men.  Another friend K was on her way from BWI to New York.  The plane aborted a landing at the last second, then couldn't land anywhere else nearby.  It returned to BWI on a nearly empty tank of gas.

It was a harrowing day for so many people.  Everything is okay with my family.  But others were not so fortunate.  Tragedies and traumas happen all the time but usually they happen to strangers who are just anonymous faces on the news.

Still life goes on.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Mets Aren't The Only Team With Injuries

Jose Reyes has a possible thyroid disorder.  Kelvim Escobar has arm trouble.  Carlos Beltran is recovering from knee surgery.  Other than that, the Mets look pretty good this spring.  The Mets aren't the only team that has injuries.  Hopefully the law of averages will work in the Mets favor this year to make up for last year's debacle.

Here are just a few of the injuries which have been reported around the league, just in the past few days.

Alex Gordon - Royals
Has a minimally displaced fracture of the right thumb and will be out 3 to 4 weeks.

Joe Nathan - Twins
Will have an MRI and a CT scan.  He was pulled from game after feeling tightness and soreness in his elbow.  There is no timetable as to when he might be back on the mound.

Russell Martin - Dodgers
Has a pulled groin muscle and will be sidelined four to six weeks, missing the rest of Spring Training and Opening Day.

Brandon Webb - Diamondbacks
Took a step back in his rehab from right shoulder surgery on Aug. 3.  That decision puts his return in the Cactus League by mid-March in serious doubt. Webb has thrown eight bullpen sessions during the past month-plus and said Wednesday after the last session that he felt like he is "stagnant." He hasn't been on the mound since then

Cameron Maybin - Marlins
Churning around the bases with his long strides, Maybin touched the bag with his left foot. Something snagged, and he hobbled the final 90 feet across home plate. "I'm sore, man," Maybin said a few minutes later while sitting at his locker. "It was kind of grabbing onto my groin, when rounding third. Maybin will now miss at least a few days with a strained left groin
Brandon Lyon - Astros
His recovery from getting a cyst drained in his right shoulder has taken longer than he expected.  He has yet to pitch in a game or even face live batters in the first 15 days of camp.

Angel Guzman - Cubs
Has a significant tear in a ligament in his right shoulder and will not be ready for Opening Day. Whether he will undergo surgery is yet to be determined.  "He has a very unstable shoulder," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said on Saturday. "There's no timeframe of anywhere soon that he'll be pitching. Obviously, it wasn't good news."
Jordan Brown and Jason Grilli - Indians
Brown, the reigning International League batting champ, tore a meniscus in his right knee during outfield drills and will have arthroscopic surgery next week.  Brown will miss four to eight weeks. He was competing for a spot in the outfield.
Grilli, a non-roster invitee to camp, appears headed for potential season-ending surgery, because he has a tear in his right quadriceps, just above the knee.  Count the veteran Grilli out of the competition in the Tribe's bullpen.

Also check out all my posts on Met Merized, a blog for diehard Mets fans.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mets Hold Their Breath Again On Jose Reyes

By now this is old news.  But I know that many of my followers don't know that the world revolves around the Mets and that every blog and media outlet has already reported on this.  Still I have my thoughts and here they are.

Mets fans are paranoid and do not do well when circumstances beyond their control go south.  But I thrive on Mets adversity.  It's interesting that in the rest of my life I prefer to shy away from adversity.  Nobody wants trouble in their family or among their friends.  Or at work.  When adversity strikes I tend to withdraw to the couch.  TV reruns are a great escape.  Currently, "The Office" is tops on my list.

I didn't mean to digress.  Back to baseball.  When adversity strikes the Mets, I get excited.  I want them to win regardless of the situation.  But I dream about them coming through against all odds.  I love the underdog.  That's why I want them to win with a young, home grown team.

I know that the vast majority of Mets fans disagree with me and probably think I'm crazy. (I'm being kind to myself.)  They all want to win at any cost.    A $200M payroll.  All the $20M/year players. Copycat the Yankees.   I want to win it all a different way.  I don't want to trade the farm for Adrian Gonzalez.  I want Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, and Jerry Mejia to be the mainstays of a championship caliber team.  Then a top free agent here and there along with some mid-level free agents would hopefully catapult the team a World  Championship.

I know that if the past is any indication of the future, there is little reason to be confident about our minor leaguers becoming impact players.  It hasn't happened lately.  But it wasn't that long ago the David Wright and Jose Reyes excited the fans.  I want it to happen again.

Trading one or two top minor leaguers for an existing impact player is still on the right track.  But trading the entire farm for Adrian Gonzalez, which some have proposed, does not excite me. Furthermore, it is a short-sighted and risky move.

I digressed again.  But I guess my initial intention of blogging about Jose Reyes and his potential blood issue was not what I really wanted to do.  Anyway, apparently he is fine and has been cleared to play.

Update on 3/5/10 - Adam Rubin says Reyes will not play again today.  Possible he has some short of thyroid disorder.  Even I am very distressed now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As Of 3/3/10 The Mets are 1 And 1

Yesterday was opening day for the Mets in Port St. Lucie.  They won their first game of the spring.  It was a 4-2 victory over the  Atlanta Braves. 

You'll see a lot of unfamiliar names in the boxscore as the regulars did not play.  It had rained earlier and Jerry Manuel didn't want to take a chance and have one of his best slip and fall on the damp grass.  So be it.  The games don't count anyway. 

You might have heard of Ryota Igarashi.  He is our Japanese free agent signing who will hopefully be shoring up the bullpen.  He pitched a scoreless 9th inning, giving up a walk, and was credited with the save.  I'm sure you never heard of Bobby Livingston.  He is a non-roster invitee who will surely be assigned to a minor league team soon.  But he impressed with 2.2 innings of no hit, two walk pitching.

At the bat, virtually all of the starters will play in the minors this season.  Ike Davis impressed with two hits,  Ruben Tejada had a hit and RBI and Russ Adams hit a long pinch hit home run.

Today, the Braves came back and beat the Mets 9-5.  The Mets had led 4-0.  Fernando Martinez had two hit including a triple.  Other regulars with singles were Daniel Murphy, Rod Barajas, Alex Cora and Angel Pagan.  Eddie Kunz did not pitch well as he gave up the lead by allowing 4 runs in his .1 innings of work.  Josh Stinson gave up 5 run the next inning and received the loss; however it should be noted that only 1 run was earned as the Mets made four errors while he was on the mound.

Note that tomorrow's game against the Cardinals is at 1:10 PM and will be televised on SNY.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jerry Mejia Is Not Ready For The Show

It's very annoying when fans get so excited about Jerry Mejia and the possibility of him pitching in the major leagues this season.  It doesn't matter how well he pitches this spring.  He will undoubtedly be sent to AA Binghamton to start the season.

Jerry Manuel is apparently intrigued by Mejia and has said that he wouldn't object to him making the team as a set up man.  Firstly, I have a problem with the word "intrigued".  I'm tired of that word being used by so many Mets bloggers.  Find a different word, please.  Secondly, while Mejia pitched well last season at A St. Lucie, he pitched poorly in AA Binghamton and again this winter in the Arizona Fall League.  Mejia is no where close to being major league ready.  Rushing him is not the issue.  Living in a fantasy world is the issue.  I think that Mets fans are so desperate for good news that they overreact to any positive occurrence by one of their prospects.

Like I said, he will surely begin 2010 as a starter in AA Binghamton.  Let's see how he does there before Mets fans start jumping through hoops.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meaningful March Games Begin On Tuesday

For all you diehard baseball fans, spring training games start this Tuesday March 2nd.  The Mets will play the Braves at 1:10PM and the game will be televised on both SNY and MLBN.  No less than seventeen Mets spring training games will be televised locally in New York.  The long winter of discontent among Mets fans will be ending. 

Of course winning and losing these games is not meaningful.  But the games are still important.  We fans get to evaluate the players and see how they progress as the regular season approaches.  Is Johan Santana healthy and throwing 93MPH again?  There are so many questions about the other starting pitchers too.  Can Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez rebound from poor 2009 seasons?  Will John Maine be healthy and finally come into his own. 

We will also get to see for the first time, our newest star left fielder Jason Bay.  We are counting on Jason to hit at least 30 home runs this season.  But Reyes, Wright, Beltan, and Francoeur must also step up big time.  Only then can the chemistry and camaraderie develop and grow which will enable this team to succeed.

It's hard to believe that all MLB teams play about 30 exhibition games prior to playing 162 regular season games.  That's a lot of games.  But for the diehard fan, it doesn't matter.  The more the merrier.