8/22/2005 07:07:00 PM
CHALLENGE OR GET OFF�
Of all of the bizarre events of this past weekend for the Mets this from Willie Randolph has me pissed:
[Randolph kept insisting we shouldn�t make �too big a deal about the trip. �I don�t want guys to get too crazy� he said, as if his players might otherwise head west whistling and skipping, and blissfully ignorant of their 23-35 record in the other guys ball park.]
Willie you�ve got to be kidding! This is the time for you to CHALLENGE this team to step up and make this road trip successful. Its time to take the gloves off and send out the step up or step off order to the following players:
Ramon Castro- Are you the man to replace the man or are you the second coming of Vance Wilson. Wilson as we all know could not handle the everyday catching job when Piazza went down with the torn groin muscle. Now it�s up to Castro to step up and show he�s worthy of the first string job. There is no compettion for him for the job as the Mets have called up Mike DiFelice to back him up.
The Bullpen-Petey threw a life preserver to his manager by telling everyone he had stiffness in his back form sleeping wrong the night before his Saturday night start. Give Petey props, as I would be livid if I left with an 8-0 lead and had the bullpen fold like a tent. Time for the pen to make its statement. What is Danny Graves and is worth keeping around? Graves is getting $500K for this season and has a $1 mil option for next year. Saturday night he was awful but yesterday he stepped up and pitch two very good innings. Now does Willie put Graves back on the shelf for 2 weeks or does he challenge him to show what he�s made of? Mr. Koo has gone away to Triple A and hopefully that�s where he�ll stay. Now we need Loppey to show what he�s made of and save a game of importance once and for all. If he�s not up to it then Randolph has to stand up and take the ninth inning away from him and give it to his best reliever Roberto Hernandez. Now with Koo gone it looks like Heath Bell and Tim Hamulack are coming up. The lefty Hamulack has pitched 32 1/3 innings for the Tides and has K�d 32 batters while walking just 8. So the question here is what took so long to make this move? Between keeping Koo and Yesshhi over guys like Hamulack and Jae Seo I wondering if Omar Minaya and his staff need to go to remedial baseball school? Put your pen on notice Willie (especially Loppey) that if you can�t do the job then get out the way so someone can step in a get it done.
Victor Diaz-I have waved the pom-poms for Baby Manny since last September but now its time to for Diaz to take some accountability for his play in the outfield. I understand that he has been shuttled back and forth from a first base experiment to right field but that�s because there is no position he can play adequately. In yesterday game Diaz� outfield play was atrocius and this is not the time to play right field like they�re throwing hand grenades at you. With Mike Cameron most likely done for the season, here is the opputunity for Diaz to show he can handle the everyday chores of the field in the National League if not enjoy DH�ing in the AL Victor.
Omar Minaya-Omar please step up and DFA either Ice Williams, Jose Offerman or both. Why can�t Mike Jacobs stay up in the big leagues until Piazza gets back? What are you afraid of? That the kid may add some more spark a la Wright and Reyes? Let Jacobs play some first base and spell Castro behind the plate, as he can�t do any worse than Anderson or DiFelice. Plus you send the message to your farm hands that your hard work and production can pay off with a big league promotion. Remember it was just a couple of years ago that minor league pitcher Jason Middlebrook had said the joke among the Mets minor leaguers was they were all auditioning for jobs elsewhere because the Mets don�t promote from within. It�s time for Minaya to change that mind set and by letting Jacobs stay up here for at least two weeks is a start.
The Zambrano Project-Sure he�s made some progress under Professor Rick but it�s time to see what the guy is really made of. Steve Trachsel is waiting impatiently in the wings to take a spot in the starting rotation. As it stands now The Zambrano Project has to step up tomorrow night and make Minaya and Randolph�s job difficult as to who gets the boot. With the emergence of Jae Seo if he were to be removed form the rotation well if you thought the natives were restless this past weekend at Shea a move like this will have Flushing looking like an overthrow of a third world government.
Willie Randolph-Willie has to take his �How to Manage in the Big Leagues� by St. Joseph of Torre and toss it in the trash where it belongs. What he needs is a bracelet that has W.W.W.R.D. (What Would the White Rat Do) written on it. How great would it be if the Mets had Whitey Herzog as Willies bench coach? Either Sandy Alomar is giving Willie some bad advice or Willie is just too pig headed to listen, but the truth of the matter is Randolph has been over matched in his in game moves. Now is the time for him to realize how to handle his bullpen and to play his eight best guys each game. Why can�t Chris Woodward get some time at second or first over Cairo or Anderson? Cairo is just awful when it comes to getting a clutch hit. I will give him his props at second even though he has limited range but the balls he gets to he makes the play. He has also helped out Reyes as well on defense. But he�s not an everyday player. Neither is Anderson. Marlon Anderson is a terrific bench player and a great pinch hitter but to play him everyday at first until Eye Chart gets back (speaking of EyeChart, he was not very happy that Omar ordered him to St. Lonesome for rehab and now claims to have the flu. Seems Meinky has some civil servant in him with his �sick out� over unfair working conditions) If your not going to give Mike Jacobs a shot at first then go with a platoon of Anderson/Woodward but give Woody some love please Willie.
Kris Benson-Maybe Lloyd McClendon was right. Of all the times to pitch like shit, yesterday was not the day my friend. Send Anna my love.
�I�D LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY�..�
I had the great pleasure to meet up with the folks who are putting together a documentary on what it�s like to be a Mets fan. I met up with Joe and Kathy at Joe�s Manhattan apartment to be interviewed for their project (Joe does the filming while Kathy does the interview) and it was a great experience to be a part of this project.
They are looking for folks who are big time Mets fans to tell them their story on what it means to be a Mets fan. They have been going to Shea and interviewing fans in and around the stadium for their take on the Mets and Mets fandom. So if you�re a long time suffering Mets fan like me and your interested in telling your story, drop them an e-mail:
Looking for Mets fans in New York. We are working on a Mets documentary and we would like to interview with some die-hard fans. We want all ages and races. We are primarily looking for people who live and breathe the Mets and want to share some of their wacky stories with us. Mets families are a plus and Metsaholics are key. If you'd like to suggest someone than just drop us an email. Also, if you know of any Mets events going on other than the game let us know. We will be down in Port St Lucie from August 26 - 30th so email us if you are in the area. Please reply to METSAHOLIC322@YAHOO.COM for more information. Thanks!
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