Life got busy, I ended up getting not one new job, but two since my last post, ending up more disenfranchised with the Mets and then as time progressed, the Islanders as well. In between that time, the Isles made a playoff run and then regressed back to being god awful.
But it's another Opening Day and despite my misgivings, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Mets. Work demanded the use of a DVR for the game, but I'm watching it as I type this and felt like relaying a few thoughts as time progresses over the course of the game.
Thoughts On The Game -
- Kiner's Korner - It's going to be weird not to hear Ralph Kiner talk about the old days every few days or every few weeks in the booth with Gary, Keith, and Ron. The guy was such a fixture in the Mets family, and now he's gone. He was a colorful and outstanding man and lived a good life though. And kudos have to go to the Mets, who often do so much wrong, for doing something right. I'd like to see them name the left field corner Kiner's Korner though. It only seems fitting.
- Curtis Granderson - Guy is extremely well spoken and you have to expect a Home Run hitter like him is going to have alot of strikeouts go along with it. Hopefully he'll learn, as the season progresses to turn things into more HR's as opposed to strikeouts. He's also got some speed and could be a pretty heads up outfielder. The thing is, know what you're going to get with him. There's going to be plenty of offensive production and alot of strikeouts. Better to deal with that now.
- Pitching - I'm not as worried about the starting rotation this year, even with Harvey out of commission. That said, all pitchers, starters, relievers, and closers, NEED to stop giving up so many home runs. Citi Field is a pitcher's ballpark. The Mets can't afford to keep blowing leads on a long ball or giving up solid leads.
- Andrew Brown - I like this guy. He has some pop. He's a guy from the farm. And he did plenty with his shot today just with the first run homer.
- Ruben Tejada - How is this guy still on the team? He got a decent line drive in the 2nd Inning, but I have zero faith in him at this point and his fielding ability isn't that great, and later in the game I saw him getting back into old habits already with a lazy fly ball and a strike out.
- Ike Davis - His ground outs in the 1st Inning and the 6th were hit pretty solidly. I still think the guy can turn it around, but him and Duda both need to be kept on a short leash. Either way this giant question mark at first needs to be answered sooner rather than later. It was definitely nice to see him be more selective in his second at bat.
- First Pitch Swinging - I like that there are more guys being aggressive on the first pitch and I think that has to do with Granderson's approach. They just need to make sure they don't go crazy about it and remain at least a little selective.
- Juan Lagares - I like this guy's approach alot. He's a natural opposite field hitter. He's got some speed, and he makes crazy plays in the outfield. I know he's still young, but something about him reminds me a little of Beltran. When he hit that HR in the 8th that should have been the ballgame.
- David Wright - He's looking consistent and he's sticking his tongue out again. :P
- Travis d'Arnaud - Here's a guy I really hope comes into his own ASAP. I like him alot. I mean, the kid grew up idolizing Mike Piazza. That alone, as a Piazza fan, is good enough for me. Then he got to work with Mikey P during spring training. Hopefully some of that hitting experience rubbed off on him.
- The Bullpen - This is going to be a problem this season. And it has plagued the Mets for the last several years. They've done nothing to correct it. They bring in a bunch of has-been's and maybe's as stop gaps. They gave up the lead several times over the course of the game, and even though Collins needs to learn how to manage his pitchers better, these guys are going to need to step it up if the team has any hope of winning.
- Jose Valverde - I like the guy's enthusiasm. He was the lone bright spot out of the bullpen today it seems, being the sole guy who was able to get somebody out in that atrocious 7th inning.
- Anti-Smoking Commercials - They're still awful and god damn disgusting. And far more vile than half the stuff parents complain about on TV. They seem to play even more of them during sporting events and I can't stand them. Thank god I finished dinner by the time I forgot to hit fast forward and skip a commercial.
- Bobby Parnell - If he can't get his velocity back up, he's no use as a closer. He needs to get it back or go down to the minors until he does. 1 save attempt, 1 blown save. This game was his to close out and he blew it when he was 1 out, just one out away (1 strike, even).
- Terry Collins - Needs to learn to manage his pitchers and be more proactive than reactive about bringin in a reliever. I know our bullpen sucks, but that doesn't mean you wait until there are runners on 2nd and 3rd to pull the pitcher. The clock is ticking on you, Terry.
Final Thoughts - So I think what I'm going to do during the season when I'm talking about a game is give some thoughts at the end of the game and a few while watching it as well. Look at this as kind of your Happy Recap or your summary. Anyway, all in all, there were some things I saw that I liked and if they can have the production they had today, the Mets can definitely win some games. The thing is, the pitching absolutely has to get better for that to happen. This has been a problem for a while now, and all that Sandy Alderson has done, by corporate mandate, is to go dumpster diving for the dregs of free agency. Case in point I just saw on Metsblog that they signed Bobby Abreu to a minor league deal. I guarantee he'll be up with the team within a month instead of them going out to find more arms for the pen or figuring out what the situation is with first base.
All in all, this loss is on the bullpen. The only guy who didn't let up a run today was Jose Valverde. If Parnell needs time to get his velocity back, maybe Valverde needs to be the guy until Parnell's ready. And when you look at the bullpen being the issue, you then turn your attention to Terry Collins for not recognizing when his guys just didn't have it. First it was Dillon Gee getting tired. And then it was the rest of the fiasco in the 7th. But then you look further down the pike and it's on Alderson for not getting the necessary guys to fill those roles and on the Wilpons for not opening up their wallets.
It's one game, though. If they keep producing offensively we'll see what happens. It's still too early to tell, and you never know if all these guys who should now be on thin ice will go out and do what they have to do.
On Deck - So here's what's coming up for Bleeding Blue and Orange in the coming weeks. I want to do this with every post too so that I can set myself goals for what I want to write about as well as sharing what I have planned.
I'm going to be headed back down to Long Island and going to the game on April 19th. It's Commemorative Shea Stadium Painting promo day, so that should be cool. Another picture for my wall. I'll be sure to blog on that and the whole experience since I haven't been to Citi in about 2 years now.
I'm also probably going to start touching on the Islanders and the rumors swirling around about a potential change in ownership. I want to wait til we see some more concrete info in the news, though, rather than going by hearsay. Any change in ownership, at this point though, is likely to be a good change. I'm not happy with where the team's at, and we'll get into that when the time comes as well.
In the meantime, it's a new baseball season. The weather should be (hopefully) getting better soon. And there's new grass on the field. Let's try this again...