Desperately Seeking Reason

I suppose it's self-evident; the lack of daily updates or comments are indicative of a general malaise that no young call-up, no veteran return and certainly no series of meaningless games against division rivals can alleviate.

Seriously, are we to get excited about the 10th homer of the season?

David Wright's two homers in one game against the Phillies to reach the big 10 milestone, is nothing but a reminder of how few homers he's hit this season, how little the game itself meant, perhaps a blessing in disguise, sparing us of another September Collapse.

Yes, a come-from-behind victory over the hated Phillies in most seasons and in most circumstances would have been cause for righteous joy, unbridled euphoria and instead, we can only yawn and scratch and think yeah, so what?

Because that is where we are in this miserable season. Not even a pair of homers by Wright, a come-from-behind victory and a homer in the first inning by Carlos Beltran, another too-little-too-late story for the season, could overwhelm the reality that by winning the Mets only forced the Phillies to sweep on Sunday to eliminate the Mets mathematically.

Maybe he'll pitch a no-hitter next time out, hahahaha.

I mean seriously, even if the season wasn't in the crapper, what's more depressing than watching yet another Mike Pelfrey On-Again-Off-Again pitching performance, this one his third outing of the season conceding 8 runs, which ties some kind of Mets record for futility. (8 runs, just think of that! Either this guy is a lousy pitcher and needs to go or the pitching coach who can't wring out an iota of consistency from him (or Oliver Perez for that matter, not that THAT matters but just sayin'...)needs to go.

The time will be ripe for a scapegoat and Dan Warthen is a convenient one. Sure he ripped Ollie early in the season for being fat and out of shape but when you look back at the pitching staff's performance this season do you really see where he's made any difference? If in looking at this realistically you come to the depressing conclusion that I have; (the Mets will retain Manuel AND Minaya and the Wilpons won't be selling the team to spare us another decade of the Idiot Collective) who else but Warthen is left? HoJo won't go. How about sacking Mr Met?

The Mets, now "only" 16 game UNDER .500 won for only the third time in 72 instances this season in which they trailed after eight innings. When you think about it, that's kind of great because it means you don't have to waste time watching the 9th inning if the Mets are behind because the chance of them coming back and winning are almost nil. It's a little gift for fans this season.

And let's be serious, with Mark Sanchez and the Jets along with the rest of the NFL set to kick off the season, waiting around to see if the Mets can avoid mathematical elimination in a pathetic, mewling season hardly seems worthwhile.

Yes, he sucks and he's ugly but he's an invaluable member of the Mets' touch football team

That's right. And you're not going to lure me with promises of John Maine's imminent return or another 30 or 40 minute outing by Tim Redding whose facial hair and pitching are like an infinite sickness one can never cure. No thanks. I've suffered more than enough at the hands of Tim Redding this season.


Mets Win On K-Rod Bobblehead Day

I suppose if you'd looked at the promotional scheme for the season back in April or even May you might have imagined that even something as exciting K-Rod Bobblehead Day would have taken a back seat to the heat of the pennant race and that maybe K-Rod's 30th save of the season would be the cause for great relief or celebration. Hell, K-Rod probably thought as much himself.

Instead, as we know, a simply meaningless early September game pairing easily the two most disappointing teams in the National League and perhaps in ALL of baseball.

Why isn't this guy a Mets target?

Watching the Cubs is like holding up a mirror to the Mets but for the fact that they didn't lose half their team to injuries this season. And of course, the Cubs are already talking about having someone like Chone Figgins on their radar to sign in the offseason. Who have the Mets got on their radar? Re-signing Carlos Delgado to a long-term contract?

Ok, the Mets won yesterday, whoop. They beat their ugly cousins from the Windy City in a completely meaningless game. (Ok, the Cubs aren't quite mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet but they are most certainly just as terminal as the Mets.)

Mr Inconsistency, in his first start since his much-mocked lap-running around the Coors Field car park, had his head together for a change which meant his stuff as well, demonstrating that sharp slider everyone loves when watching him, to compliment his fastball and pitching 8 solid innings of 5-hit ball. I mean, if we hadn't already been fooled by this guy a dozen times this season it might be cause for hope for an otherwise hopeless 2010 pitching staff but we've been dreaming about this guy before and this is no different. Let him do it in every start the rest of the season and I'll take a little notice. Otherwise, this is just a blip, a temporary salve.


Same with Mr Can't Hit The Inside Pitches Murphy. Yeah, he drove in all four of the Mets runs yesterday, even a hit a homer and a triple for good measure. Does this make him next season's starting first baseman? Barely keeping his head above .250 all season? Our 2010 first baseman batting clean up? Pshaw.

I don't mean to belittle an event as rare as a Met victory or a sterling pitching performance from our number two starter (or is he now our number one starter with Johan gone?) or a surprising outburst from our former left field clown turned competently fielding first baseman, but it's really hard to get excited about this.

I'm still thinking about Chone Figgins, who can play second base or third base or any outfield position, switch hits, hits for average and plays with speed and is a great potential lead-off hitter. I'm still wondering why there's no speculation about the Mets signing this free agent, why they aren't already bandying about absurdist Yankee-like numbers to make sure he's a Met next season.

What? Jose Reyes is the 2010 lead off hitter for the Mets? G'won. I've wanted to see this guy traded for the last two seasons while he could still fetch something good (like, remember the days back when the allegedly untradable Lastings Milledge could have helped fetch a high-class starter?)

Do we really want another season of high-strung hammies wreaking havoc on the 2010 season? Bonehead running or fielding and a lack of baseball discipline getting in the way of the team's successes next season? His market value is still probably reasonably high, a package deal could fetch something valuable in return if we had a competent GM. But rest assured there will be no Chase for Chone and if his hammies haven't turned to wet linguine by then, Old Crazy Eyes will be back at short, leading off for the Mets next season. And look on the bright side - the fact that he choked in the 2007 and 2008 races in September won't matter because in 2010, the chances of the Mets being in the race by the All Star break are pretty much nil anyway.

Hey, good news! Brian Schneider had two whole hits yesterday which allowed him to inch ever-closer to the .200 batting average he's sought to reach most of the season. Better to give him a chance and playing time than the best hope the Mets have for a future catcher in the system, innit?

Angel Pagan, although hitting over .300 as the lead-off hitter is still a defensive liability in center.

I try to imagine the 2010 Mets and can't help but wonder how much longer Beltran, who is due to return for the Marlins in two days, can patrol centerfield. He's ageing fast, he's always been fragile and while he's a great fielder, surely it's nearly time to reduce his load and swing him over to left field.

Unfortunately, a quick glance at this off-season's potential free agents reveals no clear power-hitting replacement. In fact, when you look at that list, it's clear the Mets are not going to be able to buy their way into contention next season. What's also clear is that they will need a manager who can preach speed, manufacturing runs and great defence. The 2010 Mets, like the 2009 Mets, are not likely to be a power team, rather a team that could have used someone cagey, like Billy Martin, managing them. (Remember "Billy Ball"?) Billy Martin is dead of course but I still can't really say Jerry Manuel will do.

Jerry's avoided alot of criticism because he's managing what is in essence a Triple AAA team against Major League competition. That and his notoriously interesting press room banter.

Is he worth another punt? I'd certainly love to see Bobby V back as the Mets manager. I mean if you look at those 2000 Mets he managed to the World Series you'll see that the 2010 Mets, potentially anyway, could be alot better.

Sure, there's no Mike Piazza to hit 38 homers and .324 but surely even Beltran is an upgrade in centerfield over Jay Payton. And Wright is better than Robin Ventura at third. In theory, Murph could be as good or nearly so as was Todd Zeile at first base. Reyes, if he's healthy but even if he's not, Anderson Hernandez is an upgrade over Mike Bordick. (and you could do up the entire roster like that...)

And the pitching staff? Even a return of this year's starters and bullpen (with a few tweeks, of course) are just as good as the 2000 Mets.

So there's no reason why it couldn't be done.

Jesus, did I really just say that?

Must be time for some more coffee.

Next up - let's knock the Marlins out of their last dying chances for a 2009 post season. A small comeuppance, eh?

Murph Drives In Enough Runs To Beat Cubs


Mets Win First Battle of Mediocrity Against Cubs; Thank God for Grabow!

It's as though the minute Carlos Zambrano was out of the game the Mets came to life.

Only Super Sully could solve Big Z last night...

Other than a solo homer by Scott Sullivan to give them a 1-0 lead they held until Angel Pagan let a pop up drop in front of him for a double (which was actually an out considering the ump blew the call on Francouer's bullet to 2nd base that should have rendered a slow-moving Milton Bradley out), the Mets' Batting Order of Mediocrity had been predictably silent.

Fortunately, the Cubs, whose own batting order is equally mediocre, were equally silent, even in a bases-loaded nobody out situation in the 7th when Lou pinch hit for Zambrano like a fool and watched the inning dither away.

And by the time Zambrano was gone in the bottom of the 8th, the score was knotted at 1-1 and the Cubs bullpen was ripe for attack. Especially with John Grabow, shattered in every appearance at Shitty Field, on the mound.

Tatis pinch hitting for Murphy, singled a run home, justifying Jerry Manuel's move.

And just like that you could almost feel hey, we suck but here's a team that makes just as many if not more mental mistakes, has just as weak hitting, has an esteemed manager making questionable moves so why not just pour it on and smack the Cubbies or more specifically Grabow, around - Grabow, just to rub in it, faced five batters and got NONE of them out.

And whilst Sullivan was surely the man of the match, let's not forget that Bobby Parnell threw 7 shutout innings, got out of that bases-loaded none out jam and looked in better command as a starter than he has all season. I read a snide remark the other the day that he is nothing more than the new Aaron Heilman which is an reductionist absurdity and perhaps inspired Parnell to something more inspirational. On the other hand, he may get pounded in his next outing. That's just how Mets starters roll.


"He's got to find that middle ground," David Wright was heard mumbling afterwards, demonstrating his team-leader skills at pointing out the obvious, "where the highs aren't so high and the lows aren't so low." Coming from a guy with 110 whiffs in 438 at-bats, that's certainly speaking from experience.

And thanks to the pen, the game was interesting right down to the last few outs. It's not as big a crap shoot as last season but let's face it, this isn't the kind of bullpen that you can be safe feeling will hold a lead for the final three innings, ever.


Now of course, Saturday's game will have to be watched on delay as the Mets hosting the Cubs, palatable as that may be from a prison cell or a desert island, is simply no match for an afternoon of International Football friendlies and the opening weekend of NCAA football.


Catcher of Mets Future Makes Debut In Rare Met Victory

I can't say as I really care that Pat Misch avoided pitching in a 13th consecutive loss without a victory for his team to avoid a rather ignominious start to his Major League career.

Misch officially ent pisch no more with his first career victory

Sure, it's good to see the guy pitch his second consecutive quality start for the Mets since arriving off the waiver wire from San Francisco but let's face it, watching this Nowhere Man pitch a meaningless game for the Mets in the beginning of September only reminds us all that at least this season there can't be a September collapse.

Nor can I find much comfort in the too-little-too-late news that Carlos Beltran is inching his way back to recovery.

After all, much like David Wright's return from concussion the night before, it only underscores the waste and futility of the hideously injury-prone 2009 season. Even if Wright went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs and showed encouraging signs that he won't be plate-shy after getting beaned.

And to be honest, whilst it beats bearing witness to yet another disappointing Met loss, a rare victory yesterday over the Rockies hardly shook the rafters of the soul with joy and optimism. The soul of joy and optimism for these Mets died months ago.

The faster this guy develops the faster we can see Schneider out the door...

But I can say that the MLB debut of catcher Josh Thole was indeed an exciting event. At 22, the youngest Met catcher since Todd Hundley, Thole, who only started catching full time last season, went 2 for 5 in his debut after being awarded with a passed ball in the first inning but generated at the very least, the tinniest shred of hope in an otherwise dreary and hopeless Met farm system.

Not that Thole will be the catcher for Johan Santana on Opening Day 2010 - he still needs another year or so of seasoning in the Minors but it's something to hold on to in this miserable season, a faint sign that not everything about the Mets future is as bleak as it appears.

(OH yes it is, don't let the debut of one simple catcher fool you...)


One of the thousands of pitchers the Omar DIDN'T sign this off season out-dueled the Giants top young ace last night.

Even if he's wearing a Phillies uniform, I'm still rooting for Pedro to close out his career with dignity and last night's 5-hit, 9-K, 7 inning performance gives me the impression he still just might.


After concluding a 3 win, 9 game road trip the Mets host the similarly disappointing Chicago Cubs on Friday for a mutual misery meeting to celebrate another meaningless September. Whoop.

Maybe they can have an open reading of an open letter to Mets owner Fred Wilpon to start the festivities.

I mean, over the PA, with a crowd listening as reverently as any national anthem, an perhaps concluded by a Burn Fred Wilpon In Effigy ceremony before the game.

Now THAT would make the game worth watching.

And for an encore on Saturday, a Burn Omar Minaya in Effigy night.

Yeah baby!