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 Posted:   Apr 2, 2014 - 7:45 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Well it is the time of year again to make my annual prediction as I have on this thread the past two years. THE DETROIT TIGERS WILL GET INTO POST SEASON PLAY AND HEY, MAYBE WILL FINALLY WIN IT ALL. I love watching on YOU TUBE when I get a chance the tigers I really liked in the 80's , like when they won everything in 84.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 5:36 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

To say the least, both New York teams are not exactly getting off to heart racing starts. The Yankees are the ones with the seam busting payroll so those guys better start hitting or else. So far for the Mets Curtis Granderson looks like he's swatting flies at the plate. He's always struggled against lefty's and he is chasing low and away early and often up there. Hopefully Granderson will get this straightened out. Mets fans are still getting over the 66 million dollar free agent nightmare that was Jason Bay.

With Bobby Parnell on the shelf at least for the next 6 weeks with newly discovered arm problems (oy vey) the Mets will turn to 36 year old former Detroit Tigers closer "Papa Grande" Jose Valverde to close games. Yes, you read that right. Papa Grande will be asked to carry the heavy load out of what is once again turning out to be a shaky bullpen. I'm sure Gary will chuckle heartily as he reads this. wink Valverde, along with the guy I least wanted the Mets to pick up last season, Kyle Farnsworth, are two of the retreads that will be counted on now in the bullpen.

The saving grace is that both of these guys are getting paid peanuts and if by some miracle Valverde can flash some of his old form it may pay off in the short term. I'm not placing any bets on that. Valverde was supposed to set up for Parnell who was coming off season ending neck surgery last year. Now Farnsworth will most likely fill the set up role up for Valverde. A healthy Bobby Parnell was a big key this year in the bullpen as the closer. The Mets aren't saying (what else is new) but he may indeed need surgery in which case he'll be lost for the season. Not good news, but as a Mets fan you learn to deal with these things as they are par for the course.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 8:05 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

PAPA GRANDE, OH MY , GOOD LUCK[HA-HA-HA-HA] I better shut up , the Mets may do better then the tigers.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

It is probably me just getting older, very natural. But years ago it seem so long from the period the world series ended to the beginning of the baseball season. These days I say. it's here already. it seems just like yesterday.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Farnsworth was a retread seven years ago when he was driving me nuts in earlier sections of this thread!

But yeah, the offense looking so awful against a last place team two days in a row is really an ominous sign. I was especially ticked off with the garbage performance of Soriano at the plate who kept coming up with runners on base and always waving at bad pitches out of the strike zone or hitting into a DP. They were a perfect 0 for 10 in clutch situations.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

I give the Astros a lot of respect. There are some good young players over there on a team with an average age on the high end of only 26. Manager Bo Porter has them playing hard every game. They are letting the young players play to see what they can do and some of those guys could be future stars. An upbeat group facing an uphill climb. Everyone expected the Yankees to start off the season by just rolling over the young Astros. The Astros gave the Yankees a battle in these games. They'll be an organization to watch down the road. I'm still finding it difficult thinking of them as an American League team now though. They came into existence as a National League team along with the Mets in 1962 and I guess I'll always feel connected to them in that way.

It's early, but I am getting the feeling it's going to be a long season for the New York Metropolitans. The starting pitching has been decent so far, but holes galore at first base and shortstop. An ongoing issue. Something has to give this year between Lucas Duda and Ike Davis. I've said this here for at least the last couple of seasons now. One of those guys needs to finally break out offensively and stake a claim to first base. Both were injured during spring training and left a lot of questions unanswered. I used to be a big supporter of young Ruben Tejada at short. I often referred to him in the past here as "scrappy". The last several seasons his production has dropped off big time and his defense which was once rock solid has become a serious issue. He's botching the routine plays now. Alderson was also not pleased with his attitude and work ethic either recently. Signing veteran former Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew was an option earlier this spring to fill the hole but the price and the years was steep for what he brings to the table on this particular team at this time. I agreed with holding off there. For now, Tejada has a lot of work to do to regain the confidence that the organization once had in him. This is a make or break year.

Juan Lagares has a ton of potential, and Collins needs to pencil him in to the lineup as much as possible. I love watching him cover ground and run down balls in center. This kid is a future perennial Gold Glove winner as a center fielder. The quickness and the instincts are all there. The big issue holding him back has been his bat. They've been working with him and he's showing improvement at the plate from what I saw last year. He's been getting some hits early on this season which has been a very big positive to a bleak start for the ballclub. And the upcoming schedule doesn't get any easier either.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2014 - 10:54 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

PAPA GRANDE, OH MY , GOOD LUCK[HA-HA-HA-HA] I better shut up , the Mets may do better then the tigers.

I highly doubt it. wink

The last solid closer the Mets had that was even close to Papa Grande in age was Billy Wagner. Wagner was exciting to watch each and every time out. From the time he sprinted in from the bullpen to the strains of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" on the public address system to the time he left the mound. A little guy with an explosive fastball that you could hear pop when it slammed into the catchers mitt. The hitters all knew what was coming. HEAT. He grooved a few every now and again and the hitters of course hit it a mile because he supplied most of the power he threw so hard. I talked about him quite a bit years ago on this thread.

I don't think I'll get nearly as excited watching Papa Grande do his "dance". As a matter of fact I hope he doesn't bust a move at all. I hope he spares us. Really. big grin The last thing the Mets need is for him to throw out his back or sprain an ankle and end up on the disabled list with the others at this point.

 Posted:   Apr 4, 2014 - 9:19 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Tanaka's debut, after a rough start with a leadoff homer from Melky Cabrera, settles down and the Yankee offense finally wakes up with a 7-3 victory. Breakout game for Ellsbury and the Yankees also benefit from an instant replay reversal that helped prolong an inning and allowed them to retake the lead for good.

One down note was Texieira leaving with a hamstring pull. Can only hope its not serious.

 Posted:   Apr 5, 2014 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Japanese League phenom Masahiro Tanaka garnered most of the attention last night in his first start for the Yankees in Toronto. While that was happening, Jenrry Mejia was quietly putting on a pitching show of his own last night for the Mets against the Reds at a rainy Citi Field in Queens. Before there was Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard, there was Jenrry Mejia. Mejia has been the pitching phenom that constantly gets forgotten in the mix but even though it seems he's been around the Mets organization forever he's still only 24 years old. Younger than Matt Harvey! Mejia pitched a gem last night. He was confident and in command and it was a great sight to see. Nagging injuries over the years have set back his timeline but hopefully he can finally settle into the rotation injury free. A healthy Mejia pitching the way he's capable would be a huge lift for the Mets. And another bright spot to look forward to.

I mentioned earlier above that big Lucas Duda and Ike Davis needed to step it up offensively in their competition for the first base job. Duda took a huge step toward that goal last night by launching two two run bomb home runs through the raindrops against Reds pitching. He's lost some weight this winter but none of that power that makes the baseball's quickly disappear over the right field wall when he turns on one.
Duda is one of those classic hot and cold big power hitters that can be notoriously streaky. When he's going bad, pitchers will try to get him to chase. But when he's in a groove and seeing the ball well he has the potential to pile up home runs in bunches. We shall see, but it was good to see the home run ball for a change in a Mets lineup that often struggles to score runs.

It's only one game, but it was nice to see Jose Valverde pitch well in the 9th in the closer role. All Mets fans can hope for with him is that he's happy and motivated to get another shot as the main man out of the bullpen after his well chronicled downfall in Detroit. It's Valverde's job right now with Bobby Parnell out for a least a few months. And if he's dancing a lot out there at the conclusion of games it will mean he's doing a good job.

 Posted:   Apr 5, 2014 - 11:59 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

The Tigers pounded Baltimore on Friday and are winning again today Torii Hunter has a 5 RBI so far. Yesterday Miggy had monster day including a homer for hit 2000. He is the 7th youngest player to get to 2000. Porcello is pitching well today.

 Posted:   Apr 5, 2014 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Current score 7-1 Detroit in the bottom of the 6th inning, Tigers still at bat.

 Posted:   Apr 6, 2014 - 2:24 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Former Met R.A. Dickey just keeps on tweaking and perfecting his now famous knuckleball. He's picking up where he left off last season after a tough first half in Toronto as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees yesterday. A great pitching duel between Dickey and the Yankees Michael Pineda. Pineda made his long anticipated return to the Yankee rotation and he was superb. A good sign for the Yankees after years of wondering if he'd ever return to the form from his days as a Seattle Mariner. Dickey continues to amaze approaching age 40 as he stymied a talented Yankee lineup all afternoon. I still follow Dickey's pitching exploits with Toronto whenever I can.

Another pitching duel in Queens between Dillon Gee of the Mets and ace Johnny Cueto of the Reds was no less interesting. Gee was on top of his game early as usual but once again he began to run out of gas in the middle innings and Terry Collins left him in to face one Reds batter too many. You always walk a tightrope with Gee. He will be sailing along so well through 5 innings and then suddenly out of nowhere he'll get lit up. Pitching coach Dan Warthen and the staff have made numerous attempts over the years to try to stretch him out but the bottom line with Gee has been that the low fuel light turns on like clockwork around the 5th or 6th inning as the pitch count rises. Time to get the bullpen going and cross your fingers.

With the Mets trailing and on the brink of another early season loss, the game was eventually decided on a dramatic walk off grand slam home run by Ike Davis coming off the bench in a pinch hitting role. Davis came through big time with a heaping helping dose of power just as Duda did twice the night before. Terry Collins may have made up his mind about Duda winning the first base job but Davis proved with one swing he wasn't going to go quietly. Ike has been through a lot the last few years and that shot was yet again a reminder of the year not so long ago when he finished with 32 home runs after getting off to a dreadful start. Curtis Granderson's bat has warmed up recently and he gave the Mets a brief lead with a big home run as well.

 Posted:   Apr 7, 2014 - 2:06 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Yankees win their home opener 4-2 over the Orioles. Another good outing from Kuroda and the bullpen held even though they're now without Robertson for two weeks due to a groin injury.

Great ceremony with Rivera and Pettitte throwing out the first pitch to Jeter and Posada. We may never see the likes of four greats for one team with such a legacy of championship triumphs over such a long period (13 years between first and last titles) again.

 Posted:   Apr 9, 2014 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Last night was the 40th anniversary of Henry Aaron hitting his historic 715th career home run breaking Babe Ruth's all time record. Aaron hit it off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium on the night of April 8th, 1974. There was a celebration at Turner Field in Atlanta before the Mets vs. Braves game. As I watched Hank Aaron speak I was once again reminded not only of how lucky we are to still have him with us, but what a real hero is all about. Aaron was announced to the crowd as "The All Time Home Run King". And to many of us that was indeed proper and will always remain so. A section of outfield wall of the since demolished Fulton County Stadium now stands in the parking lot of Turner Field to mark the historic spot.

Oh..and there was a game last night. The Mets beat the Braves on a solid pitching performance by the veteran Bartolo Colon.

 Posted:   Apr 27, 2014 - 7:13 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Well the Yankees have gone through some bad injuries (and Nova's gone for the season) but they've been weathering the problem with some good starting pitching from Tanaka and Sabathia and are in first place now in the AL East. Robertson has also I think settled into the job as closer and not made us feel strong Rivera withdrawal symptoms yet.

 Posted:   Apr 29, 2014 - 10:47 AM   
 By:   Donna   (Member)

I've been MIA here but enjoyed catching up.

My head spins each morning with all the drama in sports lately, but it's much better than the other news.

Batter up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Posted:   Apr 30, 2014 - 6:26 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Welcome back Donna. I hope you'll continue to participate as time allows. smile

The Mets are 15-11 as we enter May, and the starting pitching is a big reason why. Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee are bulldogs. Pure and simple. Both those guys have had quality outings since the season began. Niese pitched an absolute gem against the Phillies in the rain last night in Philadelphia. He threw strikes and kept the Phillies off balance the whole night. Jon Niese has become a solid lefthander who knows how to pitch. His health has always been an issue but if he can just hang in there and get innings I think he's at the very least a 15 game winner type of pitcher provided he gets some run support. When you consider the possibilities of this pitching staff at full strength next year with a (hopefully) healthy Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Noah Syndergaard added to the mix along with Mejia and Montero the near future for this franchise looks very very good.

Other than his abysmal outing out on the west coast when he got lit up badly by the Angels 40 year old veteran Bartolo Colon has overall so far been a good pick up. Colon is a crafty veteran who lives and dies on the two seam fastball that he throws in the high 80's to low 90's. He can ramp it up or dial it down as the game progresses depending on the situation. No surprises from him. It's all he throws. When he's on and painting the corners, the infielders will be busy with ground balls. When he's not, and if he's getting the ball up in the zone the outfielders will get stiff necks watching balls fly over their heads and out of the ballpark. I'm not sure where Colon is going to fit in to the Mets crowded rotation down the road, but for now he's a veteran who knows how to pitch and will keep you in most ballgames when he moves the ball around and stays out of the hitters wheelhouses. The Mets have him inked for one more season, and given Alderson's past moves I would not at all be surprised if Colon (provided he continues to pitch well) is used as trade bait to a contender at some point after the All Star break.

The offense of course needs to get going to help support that good pitching. Curtis Granderson is swinging at pitcher's pitches and is striking out at an alarming clip. This is a guy who was once viewed as a home run threat each and every time he strode to the plate. Not so long ago, the Mets signed another guy who came in with a similar reputation. It's only been one month, but with the Mets outfield situation already crowded as it is (and with Lagares set to come off the disabled list) Granderson, if he wasn't making 60 million dollars would certainly be the odd man out. He needs to break out. Badly. I've referenced Jason Bay in the recent past on this thread far more often in a negative way than I'd have liked to, and as a Mets fan you can't help but be reminded of those years when you look at the awful at bats so far this season by Granderson night after night. We shall see.

 Posted:   May 1, 2014 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Donna   (Member)

The METS pitching has been a surprise to me. If we can get the bats working, it might prove to be a better season than even I imagined! Ed was so down on the team in the off-season that he refused to see a game when we were in Florida in March. LOL!

 Posted:   May 4, 2014 - 8:06 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Ok so the Tigers continue to be the team with the least games played this season what with scheduled days off and rain outs. However, they have won 5 in a row and the hitting seems to be coming alive. The starting pitching is the best 5 man rotation in the majors, although Sanchez is out on the 15 day dl with what manager Brad Ausmus calls "the worst blister I've ever seen."

Just think, Cabrera hasn't even warmed up his power stroke yet, it is coming as his recent rash of 2 base hits is just the tip of the iceberg. Austin Jackson is hitting much better down in the order. Victor Martinez is hitting so well the Royals repeatedly walked him intentionally.

Tigers are home and start a series against the Astros, Scherzer pitches the opening game on Monday. Robbie Ray, called up from AAA Toledo where he was tearing up opposing hitters, will pitch Tueday in the place of Sanchez.

 Posted:   May 7, 2014 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Well, no sooner do I get excited about the prospects for the Mets this year and then I'm brought back to the reality of expectations. While still hovering around .500, the team has stumbled over the last week and much of that has to do with..surprise, the shakier than Don Knotts on a high wire Mets bullpen. This continues to be an issue and as the season wears on if the cast of characters out there remains the same it does not instill much confidence. No lead feels safe. Jon Niese was handed an early lead and pitched yet another gem deep into the game the other night against Miami and the effort went up in smoke when Collins lifted Niese late and turned over a 3-0 lead to the bullpen. While the jury is still out on Matsuzaka, Familia, Rice, Germen, and Torres, Farnsworth and Valverde filling in at closer is enough to make most Mets fans reach early and often for the roll of stomach antacids.

The starting pitching is still doing a very good job, but those guys can't provide their own offense to help themselves. Matsuzaka could not find the strike zone and the 2014 upstart Marlins (as they so often do even in their "off years") made the Mets pay. When you stock a bullpen in the offseason with budget friendly aging retreads, faded former stars, and castoffs from other organizations as GM Sandy Alderson has the last several years, you only hope to discover the occasional small gold nugget that may be buried deep within the compost pile. Terry Collins can only use the tools he's been provided with. Alderson handed him a pitchfork. Collins will just have to keep digging to find some combination that works. It's years like this that make a Mets fan long for the days of the solid pen from both sides that former Mets manager Willie Randolph had. A long time ago now.

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