Moment of truth for the Mets

Meet them in St.Louis or beat them in St Louis. The New York Mets are a .500 to sub .500 team. They are on the fringes of the second wildcard and also are on the verge of being out for all purposes of getting that second wildcard. They are 4.5 behind the Cardinals. If they win then they are 3.5 with an easy,or hopefully easy, schedule on the horizon from late August to early September.
The Mets took game one 6-4 in this series after not having the pitching advantage and the starter(Niese) getting injured after he threw one pitch. Gdsell and the bullpen got it done! You would have thought with degrom the Mets would have been in good shape to have taken two out of three in St. Louis. Now after degrom got bombed again; the Mets are on the fasttrack to next season.
Listen the Mets have had injuries. However so has most teams and nobody feels sorry for you! The Mets now need one of those games! Like they got this past Sunday in San Francisco! Like they got in the series against the Cubs in June in Citifield. Maybe this is asking too much?! Maybe it is a lovely and wayward dream!
Yet if the Mets win tonight and take care of business against Philly and the Marlins; then September becomes relevant. Then September offers hope. However if the Mets lose they are 5.5 out instead of 3.5 and really no hope! I don’t know about Seth Lugo. Also Adam Wainwright has spent part of his very good and underrated career in the nightmares of Met fans from 2006 forward. Yet it is in front of the Mets. Crossroad games make or break seasons and can lead to teams staying together of being split apart. Stay tuned for what will happen.
I have to say I am starting to get impressed by Gary Sanchez. However before he is ordained as the next Mike Piazza, give Sanchez a few more at bats. The Yanks have become a sweet unsung story and could have a storied finish.
Take care and please be well.

One night,not in heaven,for the Amazins

The New York Mets had it all in front of them last night at Citifiled. They were celebrating their 2nd most glorious team of their history(The 1986 world champion New York Mets). The 1986 team, that won 108 games and had a post-season of the ages in 1986, were all there in attendance or being represented by family members for those who have sadly passed on. I listened on the radio and why the ceremonies were  not televised is another story for another time. However on this night it was about remembering the glory of the past and living the nightmare of the present.

First let me say something. I have all out respect for Chase Utley. He plays and has played the game hard and with no excuses and no extensive self-promotion.

While I do think his takeout slide of Tejada in the 2015 LDS was dirty, the fact is Tejada is not on the Mets anymore.The Mets won twice in Chavez Ravine in 2015 to ultimately beat the Dodgers in 2015 where it counts, on the field. With this said I could understand the Mets wanting to retaliate against Utley. Yet what I can’t grasp is the home plate umpire in last night’s game thinking that Noah Syndergaard was throwing at him.

The pitch was nowhere near Utley’s head and/or back. Moreover if the umpire really believed this was Noah’s intention then why not give him a warning! Instead he threw out the Mets’ best pitcher and took all of the air out of their sails.

The Mets went on to lose 9-1, but it really did not matter because after Noah got tossed the Mets were not going to win the game. The feel and moxy of the team had been tainted and strained with Noah’s ejection. The balloon had been popped. Citifield was stunned and reduced to booing Utley who became the uber-villian with two homeruns and great defense in the field last night.

The home plate umpire, in my opinion, gave the Dodgers a gift and now the Mets need to beat Kershaw to win this weekend series. Oh yeah, if Kershaw throws close to any NY met player, does he get tossed?! It would only be fair if that occured. The umpires need to keep their presence out of the game unless needed. They are not the show!

Have a happy and wonderful Memorial day. Take time to celebrate the holiday and remember the sacifice that the brave men and women of generations past made for our freedoms enjoyed today. Take care and be well!

After the fall classic

Congratulations to the Kansas City Royals. They were the best team from nearly start of the 2015 regular season to the finish last night.
They played a “national league” style of baseball. Stealing bases,timely hitting,rock-solid pitching,great relief pitching and lots of guts and fire with brilliant defense.
The Royals took every base and took advantage of D’Arnaud not being able to throw out runners and the pitching not being able to hold runners. The Royals caught the ball and made all the defensive plays needed.
Give kudos to Eric Hosmer,who might be the most underrated player in the American League and even on the Royals. Eric took a chance by,in essence,trying to steal home after Wright took the ground ball with the infield in and went to first after looking Hosmer back to 3rd.
If Lucas made a better throw then the Mets are in KC tomorrow night for game six. Yet Lucas made a bad throw and the momentum switched from the Mets to the Royals, who were going to win the game sooner or later in the extra frames because of the KC bullpen being better than the Met bullpen.
As for the fateful ninth Terry had to remove Harvey after Cain was walked. It does not matter if Harvey was going to retire tomorrow or if Harvey was a member of Collins’ family.
Once Matt walked Cain then Matt was done. Terry,who is a good manager,had a bad series. Ned Yost out managed him. Collins could have pitched out more to prevent the Royals from running wild in this series. I don’t understand the use of Clippard and Reed at inappropriate times. Plus if Terry was going for defense near the end of these games, how about switching Murphy to first taking out Duda and letting Kelly Johnson or Wilmer Flores play second.
Daniel was great the first two rounds of the playoffs. Yet he was not hitting in the World Series. Daniel did not deserve to play the late innings at second if he was not hitting.
Oh by the way I know Cespedes played great in the regular season. Yet his play this postseason was absent at best. Daniel hit and made plays in the NLDS and NLCS. Yoenis was not heard from. You can’t just lock-in one player for north of 25 million yearly for five or six years. Cesepedes was even worse in the field.
The Royals were four outs away against the Astros in game four of the ALDS. They were down 6-2 and won 9-6 to tie up the series. That was the Royals’ moment of truth and they survived. The Mets were challenged by the Dodgers and made it. They took care of the Cubs in easy fashion. Then game one in KC. A 4-3 lead became a 4-4 nightmare after Alex Gordon hit the ball to St. Louis off of Familia. The armor of Familia got dented and his bravado was never the same.
The Mets went on to lose in 14 innings and game one started the Mets on the road to ruin in this fall classic. This does sting because you never know if the Mets can get back.
David Wright has to deal with spinal sten-osis and he will be one year older. Granderson played great; yet who knows if he can play this way again in 2016. Outside of Familia the bullpen has more questions in 2016 than answers. The starting pitching will be fine. Yet the bullpen,defense and offense now has to be sured up.
Who knows maybe the Mets will be back in 2016 as the Royals were this season from 2014. For now tip your cap to the Royals who are Baseball’s best and a worthy champion at that!
Take care,be well and see you next season.

It will be the Mets and Royals in the fall classic

The New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals will meet in the 2015 World Series starting Tuesday night in Kansas City Missouri. The Mets dispatched of the Chicago Cubs in very matter-of-fact fashion in four games. Lucas Duda hit a homerun and went 3-4 in the 4th game with five RBI’s. Daniel Murphy,the series’ MVP, went 4-5 in the final game and hit a round-tripper for his 6th homerun this magical postseason. Jacob deGrom who has won three postseason games might or might not open up the fall classic in KC for the Amazins. Yet,to be fair,he has distinguish himself as the Mets’ ace. If Matt Harvey starts then Jacob can be given full rest to come back in game six, after he pitches in game two. As far as the NLCS there is not much to say. The Mets outplayed the Cubs. They beat Arrieta and Lester. Terry out-managed Joe Madden to aplumb. His moves worked perfectly and he now gets a chance to cap off a long-time career as a lifer as a manager,with a chance at a title. The only concern is the health of Cespedes with a balky shoulder. Yoenis did take a shot and hopefully he will be 100%. The Mets have been lead by Wright, Murphy, Granderson,Familia and deGrom so far this postseason. David for his leadership on the field.Murphy with his magical play. Familia,the new Mariano Rivera and deGrom who is 3-0 this postseason. They will go into a tough series with the Royals who finished off the Bluejays last night 4-3 with 2nd and 3rd and nobody out with the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Wade Davis closed the door after a one hour rain delay. The Royals lost in seven to the Giants in KC last October. I think they present the most problem to the Mets. Yet I think the Mets will win the series in seven. Their pitching is deeper and better. Plus the Mets have more depth on the bench. Watch for Conforto,Kelly Johnson and Cuddyer to play significant roles off the bench. Also Juan Uribe could be back as well. The Mets are close and the dream is in their grasp. Lets ‘go Mets!
Take care and please be well.

It is the Mets and Cubs for all the marbles in the senior circuit

The New York Mets are in the National League championship series which begins tonight in Citifield.

The Mets have gotten back there for the first time in nine years. The Cubs are there for the first time since 2003 when they lost a 3-1 lead to the eventual champion Marlins. The Mets wrapped up their NLDS series with the Dodgers with a dramatic 3-2 win in the 5th and deciding game. The Mets got heroics from Daniel Murphy who hit .333 with 3 homeruns 5 RBI’s and stole third when the Dodgers were caught napping.

This “steal” of third was clearly the most important play of the game because it allowed the Mets to tie the game at 2-2 with D’arnaud’s subsequent sacrifice fly. Then for an encore Murphy hit a homerun off of Greinke for the 3-2 lead which the Mets carried from that point to the bottom of the ninth to victory. Jacob Degrom was fantastic in battling the Dodgers with less than his best stuff to keep the Mets in the game and keep the Dodgers from big innings and taking control of the game. Syndergard and Familia closed out the Dodgers in the 7th,8th and the fateful 9th. Familia with a six out save looked like Mariano Rivera in taking the Mets home. Now the Mets have to deal with the Cubs who have a great offense and a great manager to help them possibly win the pennant for the first time since 1945.

The Cubs won’t be easy. Yet this Met team is poised and ready. Enjoy this series as the Met look for ultimate glory to a title if all goes well.
Final thoughts. I know that Murphy does not have a position and he does not have great regular season numbers, yet I think he should be signed for a reasonable price(i.e.3 years 30 Million).After all he is clutch and savvy. Plus Daniel does allow for David Wright to play less in the regular season when and if he is needed to fill-in for David at third because of the spinal steno-sis.
I am afraid Don Mattingly will be fired from the Dodgera. To be fair it is not all his fault. Yet the Dodger payroll is too high for them not to advance to the World Series. Plus Don did not have a good series managing. Don did not have the better team. Yet his moves from taking out Kershaw in game one to playing Grandal at catcher when he had not hit in the series or really before the LDS; Don did not distinguish himself. I think he will probably get another chance, maybe with the Marlins.
Great series for Terry Collins who had a tour du force in managing this series. Terry made all the right moves and was not afraid to take chances which worked out.
Finally I am glad Lamar Odom is out of his coma. He is too young to lose his life and he has too much to live for. It does not matter what the circumstances were that lead to him being in a coma. Now Lamar needs rehab and/or therapy to heal and to move past his demons for himself and his family.
Take care and please be well.

Joe Torre’s move might help save the Mets

Even though the suspension of Chase Utley is being appealed to one or no games,this post is about the actions that Joe Torre took in suspending Chase Utley. In my opinion what Torre did is the exact right thing to do and it hopefully will eliminate the distraction for the Mets to exact revenge instead of focusing on winning the LDS. Again Utley’s slide,if you can call it that, was late,and not really near the base.This slide was more designed to be aggressive and hard on Tejada more than it was to break up the double play. The Mets lost a very important part of their infield defense and not punishing Utley would have added to the offense Utley perpetrated on Saturday night in Los Angeles. The ruling hopefully stems the Mets’ blood-lust for retaliation. The Mets don’t need that and neither does baseball. Further this notion that Utley is a hard-nose player and he should be commended for his play is silly because I know if one of the Mets did this to one of the Dodgers,their organization from Mattingly to Magic Johnson would want a pound of flesh and rightfully so. This is a sport. This is not ancient Rome. Having a sport means the participants need to act like sportsmen and not wild out of control participants. I hope he is turned down on the appeal because for the sake of the Mets in this series and the mental health of the game, this ruling needs to stand firm. Take care and please be well.

Time of crisis for the Amazins

The New York Mets are 1-1 in their divisional playoff series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now while I will give the Dodgers credit for tying this series, I do think the New York Mets are the better overall team,sans Kershaw and Greinke. Now specifically about last night’s 5-2 win by the Dodgers to tie this series.The 7th inning,particularly the near double-play that was not, was clearly the turning point in the game. I am a Met fan, so anybody might conclude this post is somewhat or totally bias. Yet Chase Utley’s takeout slide at second base was late and dirty in my opinion. It does not matter if Utley intended to hurt Tejada or not. The fact that it happened is all that matters. Now Ruben has a broken leg and the Mets have lost their best fielding infielder for the rest of the season. Utley’s slide was not a slide but more of a roll block. If this was a football game Utley would have been cited for a personal foul 15 yard penalty. If this was a basketball game Utley would have been tossed,fined and subsequently suspended. This could and should be a rallying point for the Mets for game three and the rest of the divisional series. Matt Harvey will pitch game three. If Utley starts I think Harvey will send a message and try to drill Utley. The Mets need to be careful in exacting revenge for Ruben because they could lose focus and this series since they are the better team. I think Don Mattingly is too smart and shrewd to put the Dodgers in a situation to bring on more and unnecessary heat. The crowd at Citifield will be already stoked-up and for Mattingly to start Utley would not make sense, unless their is a dire emergency. This incident over-shadowed the brilliant pitching of Noah Syndergard who is on the verge of being a star. Noah deserved better luck and if Noah had stuck more to pitching fastballs and/or sliders instead of his curve and off-speed pitches then Noah could have pitched all the way through the 7th inning. Bartolo Colon,when he came into pitch,got the ground ball needed. Unfortunately and sadly the ground-ball lead to the events that got Ruben’s leg broken. The Mets now must balance the need for revenge with the focus of winning this series. They are the better team and they need to keep their eyes on the prize of moving forward to the National League Championship series.
The umpires need to do a better job! How can the umpires now allow Terry Collins to challenge Utley’s slide. Plus how is Murphy, Wright or any other Met infielder suppose to think to themselves to tag Utley since Utley was never able to touch the base with his hand or foot and dealing with what had happened to Ruben. It was because of this and Mattingly’s subsequent challenge that Tejada did not step on second which allowed Utley to stay on second after what occured. Replay is suppose to help umpires get the call right not replace umpires totally. It is time to look at the rules and the system itself.
The Cubs are in great shape. They are 1-1 in their series and have Arietta going in game three. If the Cubs go-ahead 2-1 then I think the Cubs will win the series in four in Wrigley Field.
I think The Bluejays are in big trouble.Cole Hammels is pitching in game three to closeout the Bluejays in Arlington. Then Derek Holland will pitch game four. Texas is up 2-0 and the Bluejays are not getting the pitching they did get for the last eight weeks of the regular season. Unless there is a HUGE turn-around the Rangers will be in the ALCS before the end of the week.
Take care and please be well.

It’s a wonderful life at Citifield

Magic! Sports and life can have magic to make the impossible seem possible.

Wilmer Flores was in tears on Wednesday night when he seemingly was traded to the Brewers,along with Zack Wheeler,for Carlos Gomez. Whatever the reason Sandy Alderson nixes the trade. Wilmer gets a reprieve. Instead of the Mets getting Gomez they get Cepedes at 3:50 pm. He is a better player and a more impactful player than Gomez. Even though he probably is a rental, Yoenis Cepedes can take the Mets over the top. More importantly they don’t give up Wheeler!

Fast forward to last night’s game. The Mets and Nationals are in a hard fought 1-1 duel which goes to the 12th inning. Wilmer,who made a great defensive play and drove in the Mets’ run,comes up and wins the game with a homerun to left-center field. His teammates greet him at the play with all the joy and glee of a Christmas holiday.

While Wilmer might not have been George Bailey; he did have an amazing moment! He now has the fans on his side and management thankful of not making that move that came close to happening Wednesday night. The Mets are now two games out with Jacob degrom on the mound tonight. From despair to joy all in the span of 48 hours.

A beautiful moment that won’t be forgotten for a player the fans now have come to see as their “George Bailey”. For now Wilmer is the luckiest guy in town.Take care and be well.

Time to decide if they are players or pretenders

This is my first post in a very long time. I guess I had nothing much to say and I have been busy with work and life as everyone else has as well. Yesterday, on WFAN the fan in New York City, I heard that the Mets and the Rockies were in discussions about bringing back Troy Tulowitski back from the Rockies for a package that would include Noah Synergard. Now understand I don’t want the Mets to give away all of their future for the present. Also it would not make sense for the Mets to spend a lot on a player who has been often injured and is not now healthy moving forward. Troy is 30 and has not been able to stay healthy for the last few seasons. Yet if healthy he is a great player, not just good. Great! Moreover if the price tag is not too high in terms of what the Rockies want in return or paying Troy’s contract through 2020; the Mets then need to step up! Adding Cuddyer is nice. Adding Granderson last season was a step in the right direction. Yet it is time now for the Mets to make a real move. Add a star of high quality. If the Rockies want a reasonable package back and the only real issue is Tulo’s contract, then the Mets need to get over themselves and take a chance. The NL east has only the Nationals as a main roadblock in terms of competition. The Marlins are not as good as the Mets. The Braves are in a rebuilding mode with trading Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. The Phillies are not the Phillies anymore. The Mets with a few moves could win the NL East. the question remains do they want to go for it or give fluff and false hope to their fans which I am one of. It is time for a Mets to go for it. Matt Harvey will be back. Jacob DeGrom is a legit star on the rise. Wheeler has all the potential in the world. Parnell will come back to add depth to their bullpen. The Mets have the pitching. They need more offense to protect David Wright and Curtis Granderson.Adding Tulo would do this as long as the cost is within reason! Time to put up or say nothing! The Mets want to count, then count! Take care and please be well!

The master-builder has passed

Frank Cashen was more than just a general manager. He came to the Mets in 1980 when Fred Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday purchased the team from Miss Payson’s daughters.
The Mets at the time were awful in every respect. As a teen my junior high school took a bunch of us students,before we would all graduate to high school, to Shea Stadium.
There were empty seats galore for the afternoon game with the Expos. The Mets would win that day as Neil Allen would save it for the Amazins in 1980.
Frank would build the team from that time into what it became,which was a power in the national league. Eventually they would become the team in baseball and in this city as well.
1983 when I did graduate high school I got to see the Mets and Phillies. The Mets would showcase Mr. Keith Hernandez who was acquired earlier that month in June for Neil Allen and Rick Owneby. Even though 1983 would end in disaster Frank had layed the groundwork for the glory that would come. Other moves and Davey Johnson at the helm made all the difference in future years.
Frank left a legacy when he would leave after the 1991. The Mets mattered! The Mets were not “the stems” anymore.
The Mets were to be taken seriously and they owned this town and it’s collective soul. Those Mets would only win once and should have won a lot more! The gentleman from Baltimore with his bow-ties and grand wisdom took my baseball team I grew up routing for and gave it pride. The Mets became a brand. Shea became the place to be. It was summer everyday and night in Flushing for a very long time. Frank was 88.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Frank will be missed. However those times and those summers when the Mets played in the 80’s will be in all Met fans’ memories and hearts forever. Frank the master-builder was at the helm.

This is probably the wrong website to mention this. However I would be remiss if I did not mention and pay my respects to the family of Bob Hastings. Bob passed away at the age of 89. Known for his work in McHale’s Navy,All in the Family(Kelsey the bar owner)and on General Hospital as Bert Ramsey. Bob was a consumate pro and added a lot to any project he was involve with. I watched General Hospital when he was on the show. Of course I saw McHale’s Navy and All in the family. Fans of As the World Turns should know the gentleman that played Bob Hughes is the brother of Bob Hastings, Don Hastings. Even though Don was more well-known,Bob had a career in TV that was very fine and that was distinguished in his own right as well.

Have a Happy 4th of July. Celebrate life, love and this great country. Take care and be well.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.