Archive for August, 2011

How We Roll In The Midwest

August 26, 2011

Not much new in Metland worth kicking around so I figured I’d share this with you to let you know we are still alive here at midwestropolitan.com.

Check out this piece about Ravens rookie wide receiver, Tandon Doss.  Apparently, he broke up a fight at a local Five Guys restaurant a few hours before a pre-season game.  I particularly enjoyed his following tweets about it:

Quite simply put, this is how we roll in the Midwest.

Also, I couldn’t agree more with Doss’ conclusion that @LIKEY5 is “weaksauce”.  The thought that a professional sporting contest is more important than helping out someone in a dire situation is sad, moronic, and downright stupid.

Well done Mr. Doss, well done.

Winning Against Division Leaders Is An Illusion

August 23, 2011

We all remember that sweet little story about the Little Engine That Could.  You know the one.  The cute, sweet, little engine that tried like the Dickens to get over that big, big hill.

Bah humbug.

Life is not like the little kiddy books we read before bedtime.  It’s cold and cruel at times.  Many wanted to believe the Mets were that little engine (myself included).  It didn’t matter what reality was. We believed that if the Mets fought hard enough they would have a chance.

Unfortunately friends, the real world is settling in.  It doesn’t matter how hard the Mets try, they are simply not talented enough to beat teams like the Brewers and the Phillies.  It hurts to write that, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Be realistic.  Before the season started it was going to be a tough road to hoe.  Now look at the bumps along the way.  No Johan, David Wright missed 50 plus games, Jose Reyes has been on the DL twice, Ike Davis played a whopping 36 games….you get the point.

Avoiding sweeps is the reality.  Winning against division leaders is an illusion.

The point is, I hope Terry Collins and my fellow Mets fans put this stretch into perspective.  The Amazin’s are playing superior teams (talent wise) while they are short-handed.

Put it this way.  How well do you think the Phillies would perform if they lost Roy Halladay for the season, Ryan Howard only played 36 games, Shane Victorino was on the DL sporadically throughout the year, and Chase Utley spent 50 plus games on the DL.  Trade away Ryan Madson too while you are at it.  Would they make the playoffs?  They certainly wouldn’t be running away with the division title, that’s for sure.

Don’t mistake this for an excuse for the players to mail it in.  They are professionals and need to handle their business accordingly.  I’m just not ready to bitch and moan about how horrible this current streak is.  To use a phrase that is quickly becoming cliche, it is what it is.

Pretty Much Sums It Up

August 20, 2011

“Listless at the plate, ineffective on the mound and sloppy defensively, the loss made the Mets 0-10 to start homestands this season.”-Dan Martin, New York Post

Couldn’t have said it better myself Dan.  Hopefully, we’ll see a better effort today.

What’s In A Closer?

August 19, 2011

Permit me to ponder the closer situation for 2012.

Let’s start with the fact that I feel the closer role is one of the most over rated roles in Major League Baseball.  There are only a handful of guys that legitimately have that “Oh great, no way we’re going to score on this guy.” reputation.  The rest of the closers out there are basically the most talented reliever their respective team has in the bullpen.

When you stop and think about it, shouldn’t you expect that most major league pitchers possess the ability to stop their opponents from scoring on them in the only inning they take the hill?  They get a bit of a head start really.  The closer has the benefit of being able to watch what has been working on each hitter throughout the entire game.

That being said, I understand today’s player prefers a set role on the team and someone has to take on the responsibility of ending the game.  Clearly, the Mets are still trying to figure out who this will be in 2012.

The most important skill this person needs to have has nothing to do with 100 mph fastballs or devastating sliders.  It has everything to do with being able to have a short memory, or as Terry Collins puts it, being fearless.

Do Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato have this trait?

If I had to answer today, I would say no.  But they haven’t exactly had an opportunity to develop it either.  Maybe one of them will surprise us. In the event they do not, I don’t see Mr. Alderson investing a lot of money in a new option. I don’t have a huge problem with it either.  That money should be spent elsewhere.

If they do bring someone new into that roll, I hope they are looking for someone who has…..marbles.

Let it be known that Tom should receive credit for the marbles reference.

Produce Selection Techniques Of Colin McHugh

August 17, 2011

This is funny…

Some Quick Game Notes

August 17, 2011

I’m tired so here’s some quick hits…

  • Dillon Gee’s performance tonight snapped a streak of 36 games in which Mets’ starter’s gave up two or more runs.  Out of all of the stats I’ve seen recently, this one illustrates the point I have been making about how average the rotation is collectively this year.
  • Ron Darling’s annoyance at how much the Padres’ bullpen slowed the game down was amusing.

“These relief pitcher’s have put a parachute on this game.  Thatcher has faked to second four times this inning…”-Ron Darling

  • Even though he had only one hit, David Wright had a huge impact on this game.  His three run blast is obvious, but I really enjoyed his fake throw to first to fool Maybin for an out in the bottom of the frame.  Don’t forget, this happened after his diving stop prevented Maybin from scoring in the first place.
  • Chalk up two more runs allowed by Igarashi.  Seems like a nice dude, but I can’t say I’ll be too upset the day we see him leave the franchise permanently.  He is a run allowing machine.
  • Jason Bay is Baying again (0 for his last 20)…
  • No matter what the situation, a road series win is always a good thing.  Particularly at a park that the Mets have struggled in historically.

Isringhausen, Duda, and Getting Dumped In High School

August 16, 2011

Belated Congrats Izzy

I have a confession to make.  It’s 9:05pm (eastern standard time for our west coast Midwestropolitans out there), and I just finished watching portions of last night’s game.

Does this make me less of a fan?

Nah.

The combination of this west coast swing and it being one of the busiest times of the year for my job, has taken away from the number of innings I have been able to watch.  Suffice it to say this means the in-depth, play by-play, recaps you have come so custom to receiving from me will be on a short hiatus until the Mets return to this side of the Mississippi.

I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me.

For now, I’ll drop a few quick hits your way.

Quick Hits Volume 1
  • It was pretty cool to see Izzy close out his 300th save.  I’m also a fan of Terry Collins giving him the opportunity to do so.  It was the right thing to do in my humble opinion.  Now it’s time to see what Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato can do in that role.
  • Did anyone else notice how cowlike Izzy and Lucas Duda were during the post game hand shakes in terms of chewing their gum?  I mean easy fellas.  You do realize you play for the Mets and are aware of their injury history the last few years right?  I would hate to see either of you find yourselves on the DL due to a freak case of lock-jaw.
  • I am trying to stop myself from getting my hopes up that Lucas Duda will become a stud for the 2012 Mets.  Not because I am one of “those guys” that thrives on misery or that I don’t want him to.  It’s more of a defense mechanism.  Similar to when you prepare yourself for inevitably getting dumped by the current girl you were dating in high school.

Should Capuano Stay Or Go?

August 14, 2011

Based on Terry Collins’ recent comments about guys auditioning for future jobs, I’ve been trying to decide whether or not certain players should be a part of the 2012 season.  That’s really all we have left at this point.

I realize there is still a lot of baseball to be played and making any kind of final decision is futile, but it is fun to ponder as things stand today.

Today, I focused on Chris Capuano.  Largely due to the fact that the starting rotation is the area in which I feel needs the most work.  I’ll get into that more as the days progress.

Cap deserves some credit.  He was a gamble going into the season and he has been a consistent innings eater. For the most part, he’s kept the Mets in contention during his starts.

If you look at his numbers, I feel it is fair to expect him to give you six innings and anywhere between 3 to 6 earned runs a start.  In other words, average to above average.

Cap makes sense on a team as a fifth starter/relief pitcher.  That’s the only way I would bring him back.  He can handle either role nicely.

That’s also the problem. If you keep Cap, who goes?  You can’t throw three or four average to above average starting pitchers in one rotation.  With the exception of R.A. Dickey, all of the Mets starters have Capuano type numbers.  You have to aim higher if you want to improve the club in 2012.

Cap’s age doesn’t help him either.  Niese and Gee are still young and developing, so their ceiling is certainly higher.  Pelfrey may be treading on thin ice but he is also younger and has flashes of brilliance.

Quite the conundrum for Chris Capuano in 2012.

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Don’t Take The Bait On Pelfrey Comments

August 13, 2011

Before we go any further, I need you to do two things.

  1. Understand this post is not about Mike Pelfrey’s performance in 2011 or whether or not I feel he should play a role in future seasons.  Those are topics for another time.
  2. Read this article by the New York Post’s Mike Puma.

This article reeks of a setup.  It reads as if Puma went fishing for something “controversial”, took a portion of what Pelfrey gave him, fed it to the anonymous Met in the piece, and got a reaction he could go to print with.

Take a look at the state of the 2011 Mets and convince me I’m wrong.

  • Hopes of the post season are over, so writing about a pennant chase is out.
  • The front office has a plan, is sticking to that plan, and is no longer fodder for interesting material.
  • The Wilpons have been eerily quiet and uncontroversial since Fred hit bottom back in April.
  • Nothing very relevant has developed with the Madoff Mess recently.
  • Terry Collins has control of the clubhouse, and all of the players understand their roles and are giving max effort.

What in the world can the media write about to obtain top advertising dollars?

I will give Puma some credit.  He does attempt to be fair by including Pelf’s approval of the organization’s future direction, and his desire to remain a Met.

Shame on the anonymous Met quoted in the piece.  Regardless of how you feel about how well Pelfrey has performed this season, you should know better than to go off on him in front of a reporter/reporters.  Surely you knew said reporter’s motive was to create a controversy to write about.  You flat-out have to be smarter than that.

That being said, this is much a do about nothing.  Don’t take the bait.

UPDATE:  The Day After

For the first time in quite some time I was disappointed with SNY’s Gary Cohen and Ron Darling.  I stopped listening to last night’s telecast right before Pelf got drilled with the line drive.  Turned the volume off and just watched.  It troubled me that no one seemed to pick up that the quote attributed to Pelf was clearly a portion of a larger conversation. 

Don’t worry Gary and Ron, you’re still the best in the biz, no one’s perfect. 

Don’t get me wrong, Pelf shouldn’t have started talking about this year’s playoff hopes not being realistic.  However, I don’t feel it’s fair to bash him without being able to read the entire statement/quote.

Again, why aren’t more people bothered by the  “anonymous” teammate?

For the record, here’s Pelfrey’s thoughts about the quote provided by ESPN New York:

As for his comments in the Post, Pelfrey said his thoughts were taken out of context and misinterpreted during what he thought was a positive conversation.

“I didn’t think I said a negative thing,” he said. “That is why I was shocked.”

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What’s Up With Gee Lately?

August 13, 2011

Stubborn S.O.B.

I have a pretty simple philosophy when it comes to starting pitching.  Give me at least six innings, hold the opposing team to three runs or less, and don’t walk anyone.  I.E.,  give me a quality start.  Anything beyond that is gravy and I’ll be as giddy as a goose.

During the course of the season, I feel it is fair to say Dillon Gee has been my favorite Mets’ starter.  I don’t have a clear reason why.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been hoping he would get a shot in the rotation for a while.  Once he did, he took advantage.

Things haven’t been so peachy for my boy recently.  He hasn’t exactly met the criteria I provided above.

For you stat geeks out there, he has averaged 5.40 innings, 3.67 earned runs, and 2.67 walks over the course of his last three starts.  That’s a 1.42 W.H.I.P for my fellow über dorks.

So what’s wrong?

Permit me to read between the lines a bit here.  Terry Collins seems to think Dillon is being a stubborn S.O.B.,

“It goes to show what’s happening right now with Dillon.  He gets frustrated with something and, if he doesn’t make a good pitch, he gets away from things. He’s got to stick to what’s made him successful.”- Terry Collins

My assumption is this comment is based on the fact that after Justin Upton took Gee yard in the 1st inning, he didn’t throw another curveball for another 39 pitches.

Seems like a logical explanation for Gee’s struggles lately.  It doesn’t appear as if he’s hurting at this point.

So knock it off Dillon.  Don’t be so bull-headed already….sheesh.

If only it were that easy…

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