Archive for June, 2011

Some Overdue Love For Terry Collins

June 30, 2011

Terry Collins has transformed a makeshift group of aging veterans, journeymen, minor leaguers and misfits into a winning team without the presence of three key contributors and Jason Bay.

It’s not like the pressure to win is any less because the Mets are supposed to lose. If anything, the Mets need to win more now because the results of the past few years have deflated the fanbase and diminished the status of the franchise to a punch line.

But they were relying on a guy who hadn’t managed a Major League game since I was in elementary school (I’m 21). Even before the 5-13 start it was still the ‘same old Mets.’

Yet, Terry has undoubtedly changed the culture of the team. Terribly cliche, but it’s true.

It was widely assumed that the Mets were upset with Jerry Manuel’s relaxed attitude (I was) and wanted a guy who would force the issue a little bit. From the epic post-game meltdown to playing every game as the aggressor, I think they’ve succeeded.

Further, I don’t think it’s entirely coincidence that Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes are playing at the level they are. I’ll concede that since it’s a walk year for both of them there’s extra financial incentive, but they are both respectively having their best year in some time.

I tend to think that Terry must have approached Carlos in just the right way in discussing his move to right field. I think he must have told Carlos that he believes in his ability to play every day and to produce like the Beltran of old. Collins’ sentiments have yielded great results.

Make no mistake that regardless of how well Collins has managed the personalities on this team, they’d be nowhere near 41-40 without Jose Reyes’ remarkable production. Because of that, I give more credit to Jose than anyone for the Mets return to respectability. Yet, I also attribute this largely to Collins for keeping Jose on the right path when he could be focused on about 145 million other things.

It’s not as if Collins has turned a team with no talent into a contender. That’s certainly exaggerated. But the Mets are overachieving. If we’re going to sit here and blame the manager when the team underachieves, I will certainly choose to praise the manager when the team exceeds expectations.

And by the way, I get a kick out of Terry Collins saying “screw you” to Fred Wilpon every time K-Rod enters a 5-run game. The guy wants to win now regardless of how his boss feels. I find that endearing.

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Atta Boy Dave

June 30, 2011

When things are going poorly for Mets hitters we are quick to point fingers at the hitting coach.  Just ask Howard Johnson.

Did you ever notice that when things are going well offensively the hitting coach largely gets ignored, much like the girl with the “great personality” at the prom?

So I wanted to take a second and give hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, an electronic pat on the back for a job well done.  He deserves some credit for having this lineup ready to hit every night.

Even before this current tsunami of hits, it has seemed as if Mets’ hitters collectively have a solid approach at the plate each game.

Atta boy Dave!

Is 16 Runs Something You Might Be Interested In?

June 29, 2011

What if I were to tell you that the Mets would set a club record by scoring 52 runs in 4 games. Is that something you might be interested in?

Yes, Bob! It is something I might be interested in.

Ah, I feel better when I do random shit on this blog. To the good news!

  • The Mets have scored 14, 8, 14, and 16 runs in their last four games. I’m not going to pretend to understand why this is happening. My apologies, but I’d rather not act like I’m smarter than you just because I have a blog and therefore have an outlet to make up some ridiculous theory about why the Mets offense is suddenly unconscious. I’m young but I’ve seen enough to know that the only predictable thing about baseball is that it’s unpredictable. You can make an educated guess if that makes you feel better, though. (Don’t let Jason’s ineptitude deter you!)
  • That said, Angel Pagan and Jason Bay’s contributions have been terrific. Bay must have made an impression with his grand slam last night because he was walked four times. That’s just odd.
  • Isn’t it funny that Jose can go 2-6 and his average actually drops?
Tomorrow:
  • I’m excited for this one. The irresistible force meets the immovable object when Justin Verlander faces the Mets white hot bats.
Lastly, the Mets aren’t gaining on Atlanta…but they’re gaining on a bunch of teams in the pack.
___________________________________________________________________________
 Atlanta 47 35 80
 Arizona 44 38 3.0 80
 St. Louis 43 38 3.5 81
 Cincinnati 42 40 5.0 80
 New York 41 39 5.0 82

40-39

June 29, 2011

Extremely Good Player On The Right

The Mets broke through the .500 barrier in a big way.  Some pretty important things happened tonight.  Here they are for those of you that had other “obligations”…

  • The New York Mets have now won five of six and have put together a lovely little three game winning streak on the road against the big bad American League.
  • Jose Reyes went 4 for 4……again.  Seriously, we have reached the point of utter insanity where there is nothing left to say about how unbelievably well he is performing.  God forbid he has a string of games in which he goes 1 for 4.  Everyone will be proclaiming he is in a major slump.  I know we had a little bit of fun with it earlier today, but it is utterly ridiculous that Troy Tulowitzki has a chance to start in front of Jose in the 2011 All-Star Game.

VOTE FOR REYES DAMNIT!

  • Jason Bay broke the 299 game grand slamless streak with a blast down the left field line in the fourth inning.  While I am tickled pink that my namesake was able to make this happen, you won’t find me claiming or hoping this means he has broken out of his season long slump.  Fool me once, shame on you Jason……
  • Not to be outdone, Carlos followed with his own grand slam the very next inning.  Brilliant.
  • One could almost forget that R.A. Dickey pitched a nice little game tonight.   He has given the Mets at least seven innings and no more than three earned runs in five of his last six starts.  His ERA is now at 3.77.
  • Angel Pagan had the quietest three for three/reach base all five times imaginable.  It was so quiet, I failed to include it in the original draft of this post.
  • Keep an eye on Justin Turner.  I have a feeling his thumb is bothering him a bit more than he is letting on.  He has certainly cooled off at the plate.  That alone is not an indicator of a troublesome thumb.  His “easy” throw to first on a throw in the second that lead to an error may be the key.  He doesn’t strike me as a guy that takes plays off, so I am wondering if his thumb is more of  a factor.
  • Josh Thole said, “Screw slap singles.” and delivered his first home run of the season.
  • Manny Acosta lowered his ERA below 10.00 with a scoreless inning in the ninth.  Baby steps.
  • Who’s counting, but …..aw who the hell am I kidding, I am.…the Mets have scored 36 runs in their last three games.  That is an average of 12 runs per game (thanks Midwestropolitan Stats Department).

Tom’s prediction of taking two of three in the Motor City is looking pretty good right now.  Damn…..I’ll never hear the end of this…

The Mets Will Take 2 of 3

June 28, 2011

I’m feeling saucy.

I think this is the time the Mets move above .500 and start making a bit of a move. I like the pitching matchups in this series in two of the three games; Dickey over Porcello, Capuano over Coke and Verlander over anybody.

Meanwhile, our friends in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Mariners, will take the next two games against Atlanta behind their two studs, Pineda and King Felix.

And voila! The Mets will move to within 3.5 games in a very mediocre Wild Card race 81 games into the schedule.

Or maybe I’ll make an ass out of myself. Probably the latter.

But I think to myself, how many times have the Mets done exactly the opposite of what conventional wisdom dictates? So if conventional wisdom dictates that they should drop 2 of 3, maybe they’ll save my ass.

That probably made no sense. But I stand by my pick.

Here is the…gulp…playoff picture…

 Atlanta 45 35 82
 Arizona 43 37 2.0 82
 St. Louis 41 38 3.5 83
 Cincinnati 41 39 4.0 82
 Pittsburgh 39 38 4.5 85
 Washington 40 39 4.5 83
 New York 39 39 5.0 84

Just Say “No” To Tulo

June 28, 2011

Dear Baseball Fan,

We at Midwestropolitan stand before you today to speak of a sad injustice that could shake this great nation to its core. Yes, we speak of Major League Baseball’s popularity contest, otherwise known as the mid-summer classic. It is with great sadness that we must reveal to you, the fan of this great game, that Jose Reyes trails Troy Tulowitzki by roughly a quarter of a million votes in the election for starting shortstop 2011.

Well, fellow baseball fan, we are mad as hell and we refuse to stand idly by. It is time to blow the lid right off of this good old-fashioned conspiracy and reveal to you the truth!

Not only will we prove to you why Jose Reyes is clearly the better option, but also why you must say “No” to Tulo.

1.  “Tulo” won the Rockies Heart and Hustle award in 2007.

My friends, this is an award given out to kids that cry. No one wants their shortstop representative to start crying in the middle of an All-Star Game because he booted an easy ground ball, do they? Think of the message it sends the kids. We can ill afford to have our role models and heroes be total wimps. No, not in these tough times.

2.  The mullet.

If this is not incriminating, then what is? Do you want a man who looks like this serving as an inspiration to your child? It is not Grease, nor is it 1978 folks. It is the 2010′s and we must say no to this abomination.

3.  The Incident.

In 2008, Troy received 16 stitches to his palm allegedly from slamming his bat in frustration. But is that really what happened? Troy’s make-up mirror mysteriously vanished that same year. You be the judge, America.

4.  Jose Reyes clearly has a better cheer.

My friends, Jose’s cheer is beautiful, energetic and melodic; a tune that not only incorporates his name but also adds an electricity to the air. Our adversaries at Coors Field participate in a chant by clapping nine times and shouting, “Tulo!” Can we afford to have a leader whose fans are so brainwashed that they think this chant somehow makes sense?

5.  Tulo keeps his idol in his pants.

During Troy’s college career he was known to keep a Nomar Garciaparra baseball card in his back pocket. Does this make you comfortable, America? We ask, what else is he hiding?

6.  Hannah Montana? Say It Ain’t So.

My friends, on a dark day last year, Troy Tulowitzki walked to the plate to the tune of Myley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA.”  Does this strike fear in your hearts, America? Is this the type of image a leader should present? We say no.

It is our belief that the evidence speaks for itself. But with the Thursday night deadline fast approaching, it is critical that you help us prevent this horror from unfolding. You can do something to stop it. Take action and take responsibility into your own hands America! Do the right thing and say “No” to Tulo. And please, vote for the best shortstop in the game, Jose Reyes by clicking HERE.

God Bless America!

Yours Truly,

Jason & Tom

Putting Reyes’ Brilliance Into Perspective

June 27, 2011

78 games into the Mets season, Jose Reyes has collected 113 hits. Jose did not play in three games this year, so that cuts his possible total games played down to 159. Taking that into account, by dividing his total hits (113) by his games played (75) I figure that Reyes is averaging ever so slightly above 1.5 hits per game. If he finishes his maximum 159 games, he is then on pace to reach an astounding 240 hits this year.

The MLB record for most hits in a season is Ichiro with 262 in 2004. That puts Jose 22 off of the pace for the all-time record, a record that isn’t going away any time soon. Unfortunately for Jose, Adrian Gonzalez is forcing him to share the spotlight. Adrian is playing so out of his mind that he’s on pace for 240 hits as well. More impressively, Adrian is batting 20 points higher at .361.

Back to Jose. The Mets single season record for hits is 227, held by Lance Johnson (1996). Reyes is on pace to shatter that by 13 hits. He is also on pace to break the Mets single season record in runs scored with 129 (Beltran scored 127 in 2006). Lastly, Reyes is on pace to demolish the Mets triples record with 30 (Lance Johnson holds the record with 21.)

Other statistics of note:

  • Reyes is 13 points behind John Olerud (.354) for the Mets single season record in batting.
  • Reyes is on pace to steal 59 bases. The record holder is? Yep, Jose Reyes with 78 (2007).
  • Reyes is two off the pace for the Mets single season doubles record (Bernard Gilkey had 44 in ’96).
  • Reyes currently places first in the NL in batting and runs scored, while placing in the top ten in steals, slugging and OPS.
So here’s what I’d like you to do. Vote Reyes. And while you’re at it, vote for Adrian because there is no way you can convince me he should be Teixeira’s backup the way he is mashing.
————
Wild Card Standings Entering Monday: The Mets are hanging around…
 Atlanta 44 35 83
 Arizona 43 36 1.0 83
 St. Louis 41 38 3.0 83
 Washington 40 38 3.5 84
 Cincinnati 40 39 4.0 83
 Pittsburgh 39 38 4.0 85
 New York 39 39 4.5 84
————
Shameless plugs that I’m putting zero effort into disguising…
Facebook and Twitter.
————
Making fun of Jason
His managing record really is 3-8-2. More Art Howe than Manny Acta. Hope your Monday doesn’t suck!

Who Gives A Shit How They Score?

June 27, 2011

Lately I’ve been somewhat down trodden about the lack of power production by the Mets.  It’s rather natural for many of us I’m sure.

I mean, how can you not have at least a minor case of the blues after the realization that Ike Davis probably won’t be playing another game this season, we’re still a number of weeks away from the return of David Wright, and Jason Bay has become a facsimile of Rafael Santana?

Tonight, I had an epiphany of sorts.  OK, that may be over doing at a bit, it was more of a reassuring thought really.  The Mets just scored 22 runs in two games without the aid of a single home run.  Who gives a shit how they score?

Frankly, their style of offense has to be more irritating to their opponents. I’m all for being the annoying little pain in the ass team in 2011.  In my book it sure beats being the heavily favored squad that winds up choking in September and October.  Right 2007 and 2008?

Some Random Thoughts From Today’s House Money Game Win

1.  Why does Rangers pitching coach, Mike Maddux, wear two watches?

2.  What did Ron Washington say to home plate umpire, Andy Fletcher, to get tossed before he could even complete his jog out to defend his player?

3.  When is Jason Bay going to stop going o for 4 or 0 for 5 every other game?  Sandwiched between 1 for 5 or 1 for 4 game of course.

4.  Which will be the first team to employe a little league style outfield by moving their third baseman to the outfield allowing the center fielder to move into the right center gap to defend the “Jose Triple”?

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Fourteen Runs?!?

June 26, 2011

With 8,000 other Mets blogs out there surely you’ve read a riveting recap of the Mets 14-5 win by now. So, as always, I’ll take no part in that.

Anyway, the 14 run outburst had me wondering just how good the Mets offense is. Naturally I consulted the Midwestropolitan Research staff, and let’s just say I was surprised to find that the Mets are the highest scoring team in the division.

Ok, Atlanta, Washington and Florida are all pretty bad offensively. But I figured at least Philadelphia would be ahead of New York (the Mets hold a 12-run advantage, 329-317).

The difference? The Phillies lead the NL in ERA and the Mets are 12th, almost a full run higher. That’s why the Mets only (slim) shot is the Wild Card…unless another one of the fantastic four goes down to injury…

So who is to blame?

Well, the Mets team ERA of 3.99 would be pretty awesome any other year, but it is the year of the pitcher. Clearly Mike Pelfrey (4.78 ERA) is the one dragging down the starting staff. Capuano has picked it up, Gee has been great, Dickey gets no run support and Niese is solid.

Four names have really messed up any chance of the team having a lower ERA though – Carrasco, Misch, Boyer, and Acosta. All of them have 5 or more games pitched and an ERA ranging from 6 point something to 11 point something.

The Point?

There is none!

Kings Of The Obvious

June 25, 2011

"No Way"

I always get a kick out of the New York Post’s headlines.  I envision their editing meetings going something like this:

“Alright, does anyone have any ideas for tonight’s headline?  Bernie?”

“Um, how about “Met’s Lose?””

“I like where your head is at Bernie, but we just used that one against Oakland.  Barry?”

“How does, “Met’s Defeated” sound boss?”

“Ooh.  I think we’re close but not quite there.  Bobby?”

“I’ve got it!  “Bad Start”.  It’s like a double entendre because Pelfrey had a bad start and it was a bad way to begin the series!”

“Perfect!  Mission accomplished!  Nice work gentlemen!”

Update:

I’m not sure which is worse.  The fact that the New York Post recycles the “Bad Start” headline when Big Pelf has issues, or the fact that I didn’t realize the fact that I made fun of it back on April second.

Check out my post from April 2nd below to see what I mean:

Gotta Love The Media

April 2, 2011

From the people that brought you The Sky Is Blue and Don’t Run With Scissors…..

Thanks New York Post.  Riveting.


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