Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is Terry Collins Serious?

In the ninth inning this afternoon, instead of going to his closer in a tie game, Terry Collins opted to have career minor leaguer Scott Rice open the frame and allowed him to pitch to the heart of the Dodgers' lineup.  The move seemed ridiculous, and it wound up costing the Mets the game as Rice surrendered 2 runs in the Mets' eventual 3-2 loss.  So, what was Collins thinking?

After the game, Collins was asked why he turned to Rice and not Bobby Parnell.  Collins' response was that he didn't want to use Parnell in a tie game because he would then risk losing his services for tomorrow night.  There's a major flaw with that reasoning.  What's the flaw, you ask?  The flaw lies in the fact that Collins used Parnell anyway.  However, instead of using Parnell with the game tied, Collins opted to bring Parnell in after the lead was gone. 

As I noted in the game recap on Rising Apple, today's ninth inning move was a prime example why Terry Collins should not be managing the Mets beyond 2013.  Even worse than his failure to use Parnell was his contradictory excuse for it.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Listen as Zack Wheeler Pitches for Vegas Tonight at 10:05 EST

After a very solid third start, Zack Wheeler returns to the hill tonight at 10:05 PM eastern as the Las Vegas 51's take on the Sacramento River Cats. 

It's highly doubtful Wheeler will be called up after this start (or his next one for that matter), but it should be noted that this will be his last start before the Mets guarantee an extra year of team control over him.  After tomorrow, the Mets can call Wheeler up without having to worry about anything but potential Super Two status.

If you have MiLB TV, you can watch the start online.  If not, you can listen live here

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rehabbing Shaun Marcum Tosses 4 Perfect Innings

Per the beat writers, Shaun Marcum (neck, other linked maladies) tossed four perfect innings today in an extended spring training game.  He struck out five.  Adam Rubin noted that Marcum would make one more rehab appearance before potentially being activated from the disabled list.  When that appearance happens remains to be seen.

Marcum threw only 41 pitches today, meaning it's conceivable he'll be back on the mound in two or three days.  If that were to materialize (and Marcum gets through his next rehab appearance), it could pave the way for him to be activated when the Mets next need a fifth starter (April 27th). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Change to Rational Mets Musings

As is noted two articles down, the majority of my articles can now be found at Rising Apple.  After joining the staff last August, I've recently taken over as the site's editor.  I'll be posting brief thoughts/snippets to Rational (Sometimes) Mets Musings - much like the one right below.  Again, be sure to head to Rising Apple to check out my more in depth work and the work of our other talented writers.   

Collin McHugh has a 0.50 ERA for AAA Las Vegas

Over his first three starts of the AAA season, in the notoriously hitter friendly Pacific Coast League, Mets starting pitcher Collin McHugh has an ERA of 0.50 over 18 innings.  He has a WHIP of 1.06, having allowed 15 hits and 4 walks.  He's struck out 15.  McHugh, 25, struggled during a brief run with the Mets last year.  However, considering the alternative is Aaron Laffey, it's quite puzzling that the Mets have thus far refused to give McHugh another chance in the big league rotation.  McHugh had an ERA under 3.00 in AA in both 2011 and 2012, and an ERA of 3.42 last year for AAA Buffalo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heads Up!

Those who frequent this site have probably noticed that there hasn't been a new article posted in quite some time.  I wanted to note that while I may add new content to Rational (Sometimes) Mets Musings, the majority of my material can now be found at Rising Apple, which is part of the FanSided Network and is hosted by Sports Illustrated sites. 

I joined the staff at Rising Apple in August of 2012, and my articles can be found here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

An Open Letter to the Mets Organization

See that picture above?  That's me.  Not the angry looking guy on the left (that's my uncle), not the guy with the porn star mustache.  And not the kid who's clearly eating cake before he should be (my brother).  No, I'm the little guy on the shoulder of the guy with the porn star mustache (my father).  The night is October 27th, 1986.  It's my third birthday.  My cake is a Mets jersey, and the Mets are about to win the World Series.

Fast forward to today.  I just got home from work, and I'm exhausted. I'm sitting here almost at a complete loss for words.  I'm a die-hard of the die-hards.  Mets fan since birth, passed down from the roots of my Grandfather's Brooklyn Dodgers/Mets fandom.  When I was little, I used to secretly listen to Bob Murphy broadcast west coast games on my walkman while pretending to be asleep.  I mixed coffee grinds with gatorade in order to stay awake for the Playoffs in 1999.  I've stood by this team through it all.  The Mets are in my blood.  At this moment, though, I'm extraordinarily close to losing my mind over the state the franchise is in both on and off the field.  Instead of getting angry as the losses have mounted, I've found myself laughing maniacally like Jack Nicholson's joker as each miscue and missed opportunity contributes to a loss.  Frankly, I'm getting numb to it all.  I'm disappointed, disgusted, upset, and confused.

Before I go further, allow me to say the following:  Over the years, I've been more of an optimist when it comes to the Mets - and it's reflected in my writing.  I've tended to look at the bright side of things, while also trying to remain a realist.  However, I've never shied away from blasting the team, the front office, or Ownership when I thought it was necessary.  And recently, it's been necessary.  Sandy Alderson's lack of foresight has been inexcusable, the team's lack of execution and hustle has been an embarrassment, and the fact that the organization is attempting to make its loyal fans play the fool has brought me to this point.  I would never stop rooting for this team.  But if the Mets don't get their act together soon, many others will.

2006 was a dream season that wasn't destined to end with a Championship.  Both 2007 and 2008 ended in monumentally horrible fashion, but at least the team was in it in Game 162 each season.  2009 was an injury riddled nightmare.  2010, 2011, and 2012?  Those seasons are a different story.  The last three years have gone from bright to jet black as soon as the calendar turned to July.  This season's version?  They're attempting to have one of the worst second halves any team has ever had in its home ballpark.  They're currently 4-21 at Citi Field during the second half of the season, which includes two nauseating 0-6 homestands.  Their division rivals have more wins at Citi Field this half than the Mets do.  It's so appallingly bad that it's almost not believable.  I've witnessed it, though, so it's clearly happened.

I won't sit here and argue that the Mets have a roster that's Playoff caliber.  They don't.  Still, when a team goes 110 innings without scoring more than one run in an inning at home, I think it's fair to say that team has given up.  And when a team gives up, it's a slap in the face to the fans who allow them to make millions of dollars playing a children's game for a living.  It should make them want to crawl into a hole and cry.  Not only is it an indictment on the players, it's a poor reflection of Terry Collins, whose job it is to motivate them.  Clearly, the majority of this team isn't motivated.  Clearly, they don't give a damn about representing the New York Mets the right way.  I'm referring to the everyday players.  The ones who are out there night in and night out.  They've been a disgrace at the plate and in the field.  They've been idiotic and reckless on the bases, and forgotten how many outs there are while in the outfield.  It's been pathetic.

Most fans are either approaching, at, or past their breaking point.  They're disgusted that a team in the biggest market in the World has been operating like the Oakland Athletics.  They're puzzled as to why the highly touted front office has lacked foresight and done almost nothing creative in order to address this team's shortcomings.  And they're furious with the on-field performance.  The Mets have a built in excuse for the failure to spend recently.  The Madoff litigation was ongoing, and the Wilpon's were in dire straits.  Well, the litigation is over.  Loans have been paid back, losses have been reduced, and there's an enormous amount of money coming off the books after 2013.  After this season ends, so must the way this team has been operating financially.

The first order of business for the Mets has to be locking up both David Wright and R.A. Dickey to long-term contract extensions.  Come to them with fair market value offers.  Come to them with your plan for the future.  Show them that you genuinely need them here, and that they can be a huge part of something special.  If the Mets can't get that done (either because they refuse to pay or the players refuse to sign), both Wright and Dickey must be traded before the 2013 season begins.  Going into 2013 with Wright and Dickey unsigned would be an utter disaster.  To the imbeciles who run this franchise, it would be an attempt to attract fans to the games.  Know this, imbeciles: Your fans know better.  They know that if Wright and Dickey enter 2013 unsigned, they'll be gone after the season.  We see through your nonsense.  Sign them immediately, or trade them.  Letting them walk while getting nothing in return (as was the case with Jose Reyes) would be completely inexcusable.

Second, Sandy Alderson recently admitted that the time to evaluate the roster is over.  He noted that there has to be a major overhaul, mainly on the offensive side of things.  Here's a little guide to get Sandy started:  Non-tender Andres Torres.  Come to the realization that Lucas Duda is not a Major League caliber Outfielder. Understand that entering the 2013 season with Jason Bay on the roster is not an option.  Take into account the fact that Josh Thole has regressed offensively, and is afraid to block the plate when a runner is bearing down on him.  He has no future here.  Now, swapping those players out for another team's version of them isn't the answer.  Be creative for once.  Find a diamond in the rough.  Take on some salary from a team in need of relief in order to add talent.  Don't be afraid to make trades.  Alderson said that the offense needed to be overhauled, and he better be prepared to make that statement a reality.

Looking further ahead, the Mets have $40 million dollars coming off the books after next season (with Jason Bay and Johan Santana's contracts expiring).  The Wilpon's better be prepared to spend that money.  This isn't a request to hand out outlandish contracts.  It's not a plea to spend for the sake of spending.  It's a demand to invest in a team that millions of fans have been investing in.  We've supported you, so you damn well better be ready to support us.

If the Mets don't heed the above and act accordingly, instead continuing the complacency of the last three years, they won't have their network and new ballpark to fall back on for capital.  No one will be watching the games, and no one will be attending them.

I'm currently reading "To Seek a Newer World," by Robert F. Kennedy.  It's a book he wrote in 1967, just months before he was assassinated while seeking the Democratic nomination for President.  Although I've always been inspired by RFK, this book has taken my admiration of him to a whole new level.  He was not only a compassionate, brilliant, pragmatic man, but an incredible communicator and a great organizer.  The fate of a baseball team cannot be compared to the fate of a nation.  However, if the Mets continue to spit in the faces of their fans, and fail to correct the ills starting in October, the fans should take a page out of RFK's book, unite as one, and take a stand.  Before the rise of Twitter and other social media, organizing something that large scale would probably have been impossible.  Today, with sites such as Metsblog, The Mets Police, and The 7 Line, bringing this fanbase together in order to take our team back wouldn't be impossible.  Forcing the team to play one night in front of an empty ballpark and/or leading demonstrations outside of it would make our voices heard.  It would hopefully force those who have turned this team into a disgrace to either change their ways or sell.  That, however, is the worst case scenario.  It's what I do not want to happen.

So, Terry, Sandy, Jeff, and Fred: Fix this thing.  Fix it right, and fix it now.  Enough is enough.