Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What A Crappy Night

Jeff Francoeur is traded.

Joe Smith got the loss for the Indians.

Mike Nickeas went 0-for-4 for the second game in a row.

The Mets lost.

My 1,000th post was a goodbye to Frenchy.

I need some good news.

Well, I'm Happy For Him

Jeff Francoeur has been traded.  His locker has been cleaned out.  He's going to the Texas Rangers.

When I heard the first rumblings of a trade this afternoon I was a little disappointed but I knew it was coming.  Now that it's actually happening, I'm sad.  I liked Jeff Francoeur.  I've liked him since before he was on the Mets and I was ecstatic when they got him.  He always gave everything he had.  There was nothing he wouldn't do for the Mets.  I knew he wouldn't be coming back next year but I was looking forward to watching him for the rest of the season.

Frenchy was always nice to the fans.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw him talk to the fans.  What I saw was him having an actual conversation with the fans.  He wasn't just giving short one or two word answers, he was actually talking to us while signing autographs.

I know he wasn't hitting this year.  Most fans wanted him gone.  At this point in the season I was hoping he would end up staying around.  Alas, he's going to the Rangers.  Hopefully he'll see lots of playoff baseball this season, from right field of Rangers Ballpark.

Goodbye, Frenchy.  I will miss you.

Want To See Something Awesome?

Jenrry Mejia was the story for the Bisons last night.  He was virtually un-hittable.  Of course, you can probably guess my favorite part of the game had to include Mike Nickeas.  The coolest play of the night came from Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Nickeas.  For a play at the plate Kirk threw home and Mike had to twist to get the ball and make the tag.  It was awesome as you can witness here:

Of course, that play wasn't the main excitement. Maybe I'll be more excited when I know that Jenrry Mejia is actually going to start for the Mets on Saturday.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A.K.A If All My Hopes And Dreams Came True

August is winding down and September is fast approaching.  In baseball season that means September call-ups. For contending teams it's the extra pitchers or bench players that will help take the burden off some of the overused players.  For teams that are out of the race it's the time to see some of the future.  The young players that will have a shot at making the team out of Spring Training next year.

At this point, the Mets are out of any race for the playoffs.  Jenrry Mejia is one guy that will definitely be back in the majors for September.  Nick Evans should also be back as well as Jesus Feliciano.  But there are also the players that have never been up yet.

Lucas Duda is a name that comes to mind.  He started the season with the B-Mets but has spent most of his time on the Bisons.  Overall, he's batting .299 in 113 games.  He'll hit for power, with 23 home runs this year and he's simply a big dude, being 6'5" and 240 lbs.  He's an outfielder but isn't great in the field.  I'm not an expert, but I see him as a possible 4th outfielder next year.

And there's one other guy that should get consideration.  Mike Nickeas.  He's only played 4 games in AAA but has been hitting all year.  He's known for his defense, if anything, but there's something else that could help his chances.  He's been catching Jenrry Mejia a lot this season.  If the Mets wanted to help Jenrry this season they could have a catcher he's familiar with in the big leagues.  The Mets have nothing to lose when it comes to carrying 3 catchers in September.  They wouldn't be taking a bench spot from a more useful player because there's more room on the roster.  It would be awesome if they gave Mike a chance, just amazing.

It would be a lot of fun for Mike Nickeas to get a call-up, but I really don't it'll happen.  I'll still have fun watching the other young players get a chance because that's the fun of September for otherwise-hopeless teams.  Mike would just make it better.

For now, the Mets will be playing with their 25-man roster, which is really 23 because Jose Reyes is injured and Oliver Perez isn't allowed to play.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tonight's Happenings

The Mets lost.  Johan Santana gave up 4 runs and it was 4 runs too many.  He hasn't won in a long time even though he has given the Mets a chance to win in almost every game this season.  Oh well.  R.A. Dickey is pitching tomorrow.  I like R.A. Dickey.  And R.A. Dickey's voice, but that is a story for another day.

Mike Nickeas went 1-for-2 with a walk and strikeout in the second game of the Bisons doubleheader.  They lost. He didn't play the first game, which they won.

Joe Smith walked the only batter he faced.  Rafael Perez promptly let that batter score, which means the run was charged to Joe.  This leads to more Indians fans hating Joe Smith.  All I have to say is, I'll gladly take him back to the Mets.

'Tis all for now.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thoughts From My Brain

I have a bunch of random things on my mind and figured I'd share them here instead of in a bunch of tweets.

Before we start I should mention the Mets won 2-1 without getting an RBI hit.  Go figure.

For one thing, Mike Pelfrey looks like he's back where he should be.  He won today because he didn't give up any runs in 8 innings.  A few starts ago he didn't do so hot and decided to shave his head after the game.  He didn't go the full D-Wright-2007 look, he just made his hair really short.  At first I thought I'd hate it.  I loved his curly hair in 2006 and before the events of 2007.  I hadn't gotten a good look at the hair until his postgame interview tonight.  I don't hate it.  I prefer the long hair but this isn't a bad look for him.

My next thought also seems to be about Mike Pelfrey.  I remember being worried about Pelf at the beginning of the season.  It was right after John Maine went on the disabled list.  I didn't know who Mikey P. would hang out with, because he was pretty much best friends with Mainer.  Now, I'm not worried about him.  I love that he found R.A. Dickey to be have as a BFF.  I remember when SNY showed Pelf filing his nails in the dugout and practicing a knuckleball grip with R.A.  I loved it.

And my final thought is completely random.  Mike Nickeas went 1-for-4 for the Bisons today.  I've noticed he tends to get one or two hits a game and then stop hitting.  When it looks like he's going into a slump he just kind of makes the 0-fer go away and keeps his hitting streak going.  And if he doesn't get a hit he takes a walk or reaches on an error.  He just always seems to get on base.  I just checked and he had a .403 OBP for the B-Mets this season.  Wow.

That is all.

Let's Go Mets!


Now I'm done.

Not The Mets

Mike Nickeas went 2-for-7 with a double last night.  Not great.  The game went 14 innings and the Bisons ultimately lost, but I like that Mike has started two games in a row.

Joe Smith pitched a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.  He had 2 walks but Chris Perez got the Indians out of the inning unscathed.  Even with all his recent scoreless outings, Indians fans still hate Joe.

Xavier Nady didn't play yesterday but will get more playing time at 1st base with the Derrek Lee trade.

Those are the only non-Mets player updates I can think of giving right now.

Let's Go Mets!

It's Not Just Jose

Jose Reyes said this oblique injury isn't as bad as the last time.  Great.  Jose Reyes also says the original pain  never really went away. Great?

I was a little confused by the quote of Reyes saying, "It never really went away."

Does he mean the original injury?  Does he mean it started bothering him in batting practice never got better after that?  When did this never ending pain start?  So many questions that I might never figure out.  All I know right now is that Jose isn't allowed to do anything until he feels better.

While he's at it, he might want to take the Mets fanbase with him.

Let's Go Mets!

But, wouldn't it be something for Jerry Manuel to be fired today?  It's a kinda weird time to fire him, even though we all want him gone.  His tenure as the manager for the Mets starts with taking Jose Reyes out of a game with an injury, and it would end with the same.

Ah, something to ponder.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Would Ya Look At That?

Just as Jose Reyes is heating up and looks almost impossible to get out, he get hurt.  He left today's game with a re-aggravated oblique injury.  The Mets say it's "mild" but they also say he won't participate in any baseball activities until he's completely pain free.

And the joy of this season continues.

Let's Go Mets!

They Will Always Be My Team

The Mets are not the best team in the league.  They haven't been the best for a while.  They haven't drifted into oblivion and stayed out of the race quietly.  They have become a laughing-stock.  A punching bag.  But, they're still the Mets.

I became a die-hard fan in 2006.  I started watching the Mets more often in 2005, but 2006 was my first full season of really caring.  I guess I chose a good year, as seeing the Mets go all the way to game 7 of the NLCS.  I was spoiled in 2006.  When the Mets played well for most of 2007 I thought playoffs would be a regularity for the Mets.  Then the collapse happened.  It was the worst feeling.  I remember having my grandparents come over for dinner that night and I just wanted to hide in my room.  The next day at school I wore my Mets cap.  I didn't care what anybody thought.  I wanted everybody to know that I was still a Mets fan and I wouldn't stop caring because they lost.  2008 was pretty similar to 2007.  They looked like a playoff team for most of the season but ultimately were left with no postseason.

2009 was its own animal.  The Mets were bad.  Really bad.  They also were embarrassing.  The absurd amount of injuries was almost okay.  What wasn't almost okay was the way the medical staff dealt with the injuries.  Not only were the Mets losing, they looked stupid while losing.  At that point, being a Mets fan was just a way of torturing oneself.  But, I still didn't care.  I was a Mets fan and I continued to wear Mets hats and shirts and jerseys and anything I had.  I wore so much Mets stuff in such a pathetic season even my teachers would make comments.  But, I always wanted to wear my Mets gear.

I'm not sure where this season will end.  I'd love for it to end during the playoffs.  For the Mets to make a run and show why all the fans have stuck with them.  But, even if they don't go anywhere for the rest of the season, I'll still have hope.  I will have hope for next season and for all the seasons after that.  I'll wear my Mets shirts and Mets caps.  I want people to know I'm a Mets fan.  I like being a Mets fan.  I like never knowing what will happen in a season.  There are some teams that always seem to have a winning record and some that, unfortunately, never can win a season.  The Mets seem to be on neither end of the extreme.

There are so many reasons why I'm a Mets fan and I don't see that fandom going away.  I probably follow more teams than anybody else, with all the former Mets I still love to watch, but I follow those teams because of the Mets.  Just four and a half years of caring about the Mets has me completely attached.  If it's wrong to like the Mets as well as the former Mets that I grew to love, I don't want to be right.  The Mets are the middle of my baseball obsession.  Actually, I'm pretty sure it's more than an obsession.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mike Nickeas Is Movin' On Up

Today the Buffalo Bisons added a catcher to their roster.  That catcher is none other than the super-dooper Mike Nickeas.  In his 2010 AAA debut Mike went 1-for-4 with a single.  The Bisons lost in extra innings, but Mike Nickeas was there and was the starting catcher.

It was pretty awesome.

Let's Go Bisons!

We've Got Some Catching Up To Do

The Mets have gone from being completely out of it, to kind of back into it, to back to irrelevance since my last post.  That's just the kind of season it has been.  The good news is, their future looks bright.  And by that I mean the young players they will want for next season look pretty good this season.

Mike Pelfrey seems to be back on track with his last few starts.  I actually had a chance to wear my Pelf-A-Holic shirt without feeling like an idiot for ever being obsessed with the guy.  It's hard to imagine Mike Pelfrey being one of the older guys in the Mets rotation, but next year he could almost be that.  With a rotation that could be Johan, Pelf, Dickey, Jon Niese, and Jenrry Mejia things would look good.  Mikey P. would be right in the middle of the rotation, in age and ranking.

Jon Niese is obviously also a part of that pitching rotation.  I don't remember the last time there was a game he started and I thought things would end badly.  He has stepped up this year in a way nobody could've expected.  As long as he doesn't pull a Pelfrey-2009, next season should be fun to watch.

Of course, the Mets need a catcher.  That catcher seems to be the one and only Joshua Michael Thole.  Josh has quickly become one of my favorite players, if not my favorite right now.  What's not to love about Joshy? He chokes up on the bat, he makes contact, and he's a catcher.  I haven't seen any outright hatred from pitchers about his game-calling and R.A. Dickey seems to like him.  And, yeah, he can catch a knuckleball.
I also would be an idiot not to mention his adorable smile.

Second base can seemingly be upgraded by anybody.  Ruben "Taylor Swift" Tejada seems to be the guy to take the job for 2011.  He hasn't hit much in the way of batting average, but he's also had plenty of hits taken away.  His defense has been pretty awesome so as long as he doesn't look completely like a pitcher at the plate he'll be good for next year.

And, finally, the closer.  Bum.Bum.Bum.  Robert Allen Parnell looks to take the closing duties for 2011 and beyond.  In Houston he hit 102.5 MPH on the radar gun and threw almost half of his pitches in a 2 inning outing at 100 MPH or above.  I was impressed.  Bobby seemed impressed, himself, and if he can continue to flat-out overpower the opposition things will look pretty awesome.  B-Parnz will get the chance to close out some games at the end of this season, hopefully passing Mike Pelfrey for career saves by the end of 2010.

Of course, there is also Ike Davis, Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, and David Wright.  Ike has been up for most of the season and has shown both his absolutely amazing hitting ability and the rookie mistakes that can be expected.  His glove will always be there but once he fizes some of the holes in his swing he will me even more awesome than he is now.  Angel, Jose, and David are already awesome and just need to continue to produce the way they have been.

Ahh.  It felt good to say all of that.  I can honestly say I'm excited for 2011.  The Mets have some really good young players.  If they can get production from all of their young guys for the entire season next year, it will be fun to watch.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just Keep Rotating Players

For most of the season the Mets played without some seemingly-important part of their roster.  At the beginning of the year it was Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.  Soon after, it was just Beltran.  Now that Beltran's back the Mets aren't really missing anybody.

But, wait.  The Mets have finally won 2 games in a row for the first time since June.  Francisco Rodriguez has been away from the team for the past 2 days.

It's clear the Mets did most of their winning before Carlos Beltran came back.  I'm not seriously joining the #BlameBeltran committee, because it isn't his fault.  I'm just saying the Mets won when they were missing Beltran and then won again when they were missing K-Rod.  The way I see it, the Mets simply have to keep taking out players that really should help them win, but don't really make a difference.

Tomorrow, the Mets are sending down Raul Valdes and Ryota Igarashi to make room for Pat Misch and K-Rod.  It doesn't look like big pieces being sent down, but Raul Valdes has saved a few games and a lot of pitches from the bullpen.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Is Dedicated To Mike Nickeas

I went to the Binghamton Mets game in Trenton tonight.  Mike Nickeas is the catcher for the B-Mets and made this an awesome night.

I got to the ballpark about ten minutes before the gates opened at 6 pm.  When I got in I went straight down to the third base side of home plate and waited for Mike Nickeas, the one player I could easily recognize.  When the B-Mets finished taking ground balls and warming up I first saw their manager, Tim Teuful, walking over.  I don't want to say I ran away from an autograph from a World Series winning Met, but I did.  I saw Nickeas and called out to him to try to get an autograph.  He came over and not only did I get an autograph, I also took a picture with him.  He was very polite and asked me how I was or "what's up" or something but I honestly was too starstruck to put together full sentences.  He went into the clubhouse with the rest of team and I was still beyond excited.

For a while I was standing next to the B-Mets dugout with nothing going on.  There was a guy about 18 years old who I talked to.  He had gotten some autographs after yesterday's game and was sorta teaching me the best ways to get players to sign.  It turned out to be pretty easy, actually.  Players started to make their way into the dugout.  It was easy to tell who everyone was using the roster given out and their uniform numbers.  I had already gotten Mike Nickeas to sign my hat so I was using my baseball for the rest of the autographs.  The first one I got was Tim Teuful.  He was taping up the lineup card and I simply asked if he would sign.  He was really nice and came over after he finished with the lineup.  I definitely wanted an autograph from Teuful because he is my favorite from the 1986 Mets and I felt bad for ditching him before.

There were some other cool autographs.  Eric Niesen came out with a pink "hazing" backpack.  He wears #20 and I told him that's my softball number and he thought it was cool.  Luke Montz is one of the other catchers and when he came to sign I told him what I wish I could've had the control to tell Mike Nickeas, that I'm also a catcher.  Luke also had braces and was quite cute.  I also noticed Marshall Hubbard was really cute.  At one point in the game Nickeas call him 'Hub'.  I liked getting an autograph from Zach Lutz because he was really, really cute.  Even though I loved the game, I definitely had my girly moments.

Once the game started I took a ton of pictures.  Jenrry Mejia was starting for the B-Mets so I wanted to get some of him, and of course I need Mike Nickeas, Zach Lutz, and Marshall Hubbard.  In the bottom of the 6th inning the last out was a popup in foul territory that Mike Nickeas caught.  I switched from my camera to my mitt and got Mike to throw me the ball.  I felt like the biggest fail in the world when I didn't catch the ball.  I tried not to sound too disappointed but I really was upset.  The usher near my seats was really, really nice and went to the guys that ended up with the baseball.  It was a group of three men and they seemed perfectly content giving me the baseball.  I was ecstatic and I think those guys are really cool.  I GOT A MIKE NICKEAS BASEBALL!!!

I had my baseball but I couldn't help thinking about how much of a fail I must've looked like missing that throw.  I took pictures for the rest of the game and tried not to think about it.  Once the game ended my brother was already next to the B-Mets dugout getting high-5s from the WINNING team.  I went down to meet him and Mike Nickeas ended up being the last one to leave the dugout.  There really wasn't anybody else waiting there at that point.  I told Mike I got the baseball and it seemed like he actually remembered throwing it to me.  He also seemed glad I got the ball.

As we were leaving he handed my brother a bat.  It was broken so he obviously wasn't going to use it again.  My brother was really awesome and noticed how much the bat meant to me, so he gave it to me.  Thank you.  It turns out Mike uses a Daniel Murphy model bat, at least this one.  On the bottom of the knob his #50 is written in black marker.  I really think this is the coolest thing ever.  Especially getting it from Mike Nickeas.

Tonight was awesome.  I really cannot put into words how much fun the entire game was.  I took a ton of pictures and I'm planning on uploading them tomorrow (later today?).  I came to this game knowing of one player.  I am beyond glad that player is as nicer than ever could be imagined.

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Something Is Going On

Both Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada were scratched from the Bisons game briefly before it started.  I have no idea what is going on but after the game Omar hinted that he can't expand on why they were abruptly taken out of the game.

I really don't know what's happening but I feel like it's something.  It's just a weird feeling that one of my favorites won't be on the Mets for much longer.  If you asked me, I'd say it's Jeff Francoeur leaving.

Ugh. I don't like this.

Let's Go Mets!

The Double Standard

The Mets lost tonight.  Jon Niese pitched phenomenally after a rough first inning.  The game took a turn for the worst when Bobby Parnell couldn't retire a batter in the eighth inning and it took four more batters for Pedro Feliciano to get the first out of the inning.

Mets fans were angry, frustrated, tired.   A lot of the displeasure was aimed towards Bobby Parnell.  Fine.  I understand if you're mad at him right now.  He had a very rough outing and lost the game.  I don't understand the people saying he flat-out sucks.  It's his second season in the big leagues, his second season ever being a relief pitcher, and he started the season in the minors learning new pitches.  When he first came up this season he was dominating the league.  Jerry Manuel has admitted he likes to ride the hot arm in the bullpen and for a while it was Bobby.  He was pitching most days of the week and that would take a toll on anybody's arm.  Now, he's still throwing heat, but he isn't as sharp as before.

Hitters go through slumps.  It's looked at as part of the season.  Pitchers can go through slumps, too.  But, when pitchers go through slumps it looks a lot worse.  There is only one pitcher in the lineup at a time.  It's harder for a team to play through a rough-patch in a pitcher's season.  They can't be buried in the batting order.  The pitcher is out their on the mound, with all the pressure.  It's up to them to make the pitches that get the outs.  Sure, there are ways to protect them and get them back, but they're more involved than getting a hitter out of a slump.  There isn't always a blow-out game to put them in, or an easy out for them to get.

Bobby Parnell is going through a slump.  His age and experience mean he may not get out of it as quickly as everybody would like, but that doesn't mean he won't work out of it.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do It For The Fans

Right now the Mets record is 54 - 54.  They didn't make any moves at the trade deadline and their season has gone downhill since their trip to San Juan at the end of June.  The Mets haven't shown any desire to win this season, not from the management, to the coaching staff, to the players on the field.  They talk about must-win games and working hard and doing extra work, but there hasn't been anything to show progress.

For the most part, the fans have stuck with the Mets.  When we hear Jeff Francoeur, or Jason Bay, or Jose Reyes is out for early batting practice we think 'Hey!  Maybe they'll find their way out of this slump!' and hope for the best.  We keep watching the games on TV and even going to some of the home games.  We have stuck with the team.  We have thought of ways we would fix the Mets.  We have thought of ways the Mets could give us hope.

Not necessarily hope of getting anywhere this year, but hope of improving the team for years to come.  There are the short term moves they can make, like cutting Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.  Then there are the moves for the future, like calling up Ruben Tejada and guaranteeing Josh Thole is the starting catcher, bringing in a new coaching staff that can work with young players.  If management has made the decision to rebuild, tell the fans, don't leave us hanging while we hope they know what they're doing.

The fans have the right to know what is going on.  The Mets are constantly claiming they don't have money issues.  If that's the case they shouldn't suffer from a couple of down months in attendance.  But, if there are issues, the fans should know.  The off-season shouldn't come and go with the Mets spending minimal money and insisting there is nothing wrong with the Wilpon's wallet.  Just like the fans have a right to know which direction the Mets are going, they also have a right to know if the team is somewhat "forced" into going that direction.

Mets fans probably complain more than any other fan-base.  It's not going to be fun to hear more complaining about the Mets not making any moves this winter.  I'll only complain if there isn't any explanation for the possible lack of moves.

Ah, well.
Let's Go Mets!

I'm Sensing A Pattern

Two days ago the Mets won.  The game was tied going into the ninth inning and the Mets were on the road.  They have already lost so many of those games when the other team gets a heroic walk-off hit.  Finally, they didn't lost.  Jeff Francoeur, of all people, hit a home run off Billy Wagner, of all other people.  The Mets took the lead and for once in an eternity Francisco Rodriguez pitched a clean inning for the save.  It was a win that should have sparked the Mets.  

It didn't.  Yesterday the Mets were the same flat team they have been for the entire season, save the month of June.  Actually, they were worse.  The game was thrown away with errors from Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, and David Wright.

Yet, after the game they still seem to be talking about having to win everyday and making a run for the playoffs.  Right now, the only playoff chances the Mets have would be with a 2007 Mets-esque collapse from the Braves and a 2007 Rockies-esque run from the Mets.  Realistically, it just is not going to happen.  The Mets will still win games this year.  They could still finish the season with a winning record.  But, they simply do not have the ability to build any momentum.  The most encouraging of wins brought them nothing the next day.

At this point, the Mets will be in position to play spoiler for playoff hopefuls this year.  I'm still going to watch but I don't expect them to win anything this year.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, August 2, 2010