No Need To Panic


I woke up yesterday, looked out my back window, and snapped the photo above. That didn’t look like Opening Day weather to me, and I live 20 minutes from Citi Field. But it was a false alarm, a speed bump, the skies cleared and the weather got warmer. A little warmer, anyway. The message Mother Nature sent me was, don’t overreact, it’s important to exhale, let things shake out. By the time the day was over, that message was pretty important for me to cling to.

Things started out well enough. Due to some offseason surgery I’m rehabbing in New York, just like Matt Harvey (okay, not anything like Matt Harvey) and I’m not yet cleared to resume ralph kiner channel 9normal baseball activities. For me that meant no trip to Citi Field this year, the TV would have to suffice. I embraced the situation and put on SNY as early as possible, and was rewarded when sometime before noon they showed a clip of Ralph Kiner calling a Darryl Strawberry walk-off homerun against John Franco. I recognized that game right away, May 6, 1988. Ten minutes before Strawberry connected, my wife, Terri, had gone into labor with what turned out to be my daughter, Kelly. I’ve never forgotten that blast, but don’t remember ever seeing it since that night, so that BlackWhiteCookiewas pretty cool. A nice quick Opening Day reminder of all the memories in my family connected to the Mets. To further emphasize that point, Kelly, out on her own all these days later, dropped in on me right before the pitch to watch the game with me. We also had Black and White Cookies available, as Terri had made sure of that. The pregame couldn’t have gone any better.

Of course, there was also a game. I don’t feel any reason to recap it in any detail, by now there have been a hundred other recaps on the Internet. The story was pretty clear cut to me. Jose-ValverdeOnce Dillon Gee couldn’t go on any more, we had to use guys from the bullpen. And one by one, with the notable exception of Jose Valverde, everybody was awful. Now bullpens are important in this modern age, and it is going to be hard to win nine games, much less ninety, when your pen pitches like this. But for one day I’m going to remember the early morning message I received. Don’t overreact, it’s important to exhale, and sometimes things need to shake out.

This bullpen is not defined yet. Going into the game, I wasn’t sure who was going to pitch in the eighth. After the game, I’m not sure who is going to end up pitching the ninth. But there is time, and an organization full of arms. One game is one game and all that. No need to panic.



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  1. Eraff says:

    3 Hr’s…. 3 walks…18 strikeouts… 2 pitchers/8 balls=tying run… sky high pop-up for a base hit… 7 pitchers.

    Meet the Mets!

    • Michael Geus says:

      Ha. But seriously, that attitude has been around long enough. I’m not talking about you, Eraff, or any other fan. Fans all cope any way they can since the position comes with zero control over things. Me, I eat Black and White cookies.

      But around the team itself, woe is me, or same old story, leads to losing. That’s why I’m not one of the people complaining about the whole 90 win thing. I have been very critical at times that the actions taken do not equate to enough winning. But that’s just my opinion, and the guys in charge get paid to make the decisions. I’m just a guy with half of a blog.

      The old contracts have rolled off the books, and Omar Minaya is a distant memory. What you see is Sandy’s vision, and he is right to expect results, because if there aren’t any it is a flawed one. This is now 100% his team.

      Not passing judgement at all, there is still a lot of baseball to be played. Defenders of Sandy Alderson have been very confident he is smarter than the average baseball man. That has always sounded great to me.

      Until it translates to wins on the field, though, it is just talk. This year is a time to see real improvement. I’m doing my part.

      I’m watching.

    • Michael Geus says:

      Like every game a lot happened. The striking thing to me is that, in theory, if any one of three pitchers (Torres, Rice, Lannan) get the one guy out they were brought in to face we win. Instead all three walked the guys.

      And sure, if one of them had done the job you don’t know exactly how the rest of the game would have played out, sliding doors and all, but the point remains. Three separate relievers couldn’t get one lousy guy out. They couldn’t even make them swing the bat.

      I see a potential positive in this. John Lannan is a contact pitcher, a control guy. That projects to back of the rotation, or long man, not LOOGY.

      The organization is short on leftys and wanted to keep two so they are trying him in the role, but if he can’t do it, we have a lot of young power righthanded pitchers down below. The sooner that is clear the better.

      And of course, it was one game. It’s funny how many people I have talked to, in less than 24 hours, who are certain the bullpen and team are doomed. I keep asking them all what they thought of Valverde, and I keep getting the same answer, that it was a fluke.

      Ha. I don’t think like that. It was one game for everybody, we’ll see. The only huge concern for me is a big one, Parnell. He is obviously not yet 100% If he is just a few weeks behind, okay, but if what we see is what he is going to be all year, that is going to be a big problem.

      Fingers crossed on Bobby.

  2. Patrick Boegel says:

    I guess since everything mostly happened the way the last few years have yesterday, I can barely manage a shrug.

    I like the idea of getting more out of your starting pitching, but yesterday was one of those tell tale heart moments for Terry Collins and his approach to game management that are just dizzying.

    Dillon Gee is wild, up in the zone, it is becoming painfully obvious he is out of gas, leaving pitch after pitch after pitch up. Logically in Game #1 when a guy is not fully stretched out yet for the season and it’s impact is glaring, you begin to manage to see if you can scratch one more out from him.

    Terry Collins in a nutshell, a good motivational speaker, a bad task manager.

  3. Eraff says:

    Mike– I was actually encouraged yesterday. Gee MOSTLY threw very well. The K’s in the Lineup are a fact of life, but they were aggressive.

    The 8 straight balls/tying run— MLB Managers get paid to suffer through that stuff. Imagine how the Manager and team feel about that!

    The praise for Sandy’s plan juxtaposed with his supposed commitment to 90 wins— you don’t construct THAT roster when you’re committed to winning. They have made some pretty strange choices with their 25 names.

    Lego showed some major pop on that inside fastball—very encouraging.

  4. Patrick Boegel says:

    Parnell, UCL tear. Of course logically they are going the route of rest and the faux hope of platelet rich plasma injection.

    Knife, it is April 1st, he could conceivably pitch in 2015 the sooner he gets knifed. Knife, knife, knife.

  5. James Preller says:

    Parnell on DL, UCL tear. Farnsworth up.

    Can we panic now?

  6. Michael Geus says:

    Okay, panic.

  7. IB says:

    Slighty off topic: Lotta grumbling already about Curtis in the Met blogosphere. One game in! Amazing! I was at the game and I came out of it looking at the positives: Curtis’ absolute rocket to the warning track in dead center (tough break) and the fact that DW had a great game with CG hitting behind him. BP blew it. Happens.

    • James Preller says:

      The stat I recall is that he’s 5-47 with 18 strikeouts. A lot has to do with expectations.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        That is the major fear. What I would have wanted in Granderson ahead of Wright and getting on base. He is going to k 140 times, I get it, but pull back a little use the gaps and get on base more.

        I’d rather have .280/.360/.500 Granderson with 20 HRs circa 2007-09 3 year average

  8. Warren Zvon says:

    All I’m going to take away from opening day is :

    1)Gee looked like a business man going about his business (until he reached his tiring point-and he lasted long enough).

    2)Laggy’s HR was a very good inside pitch. Juan jumped on it and powered that out without getting his arms extended. That shot was all wrists. That’s not easy to do, even for HR hitters. That shows a possibility of extreme power if it can be harnessed. I know that’s crazy talk but I’m goin there.

    3) V was impressive.

    That’s about it, but it’s something. NEXT game please! (who gave them today off?!)

    I’d rather they win em all but , but they never do and just seeing guys running around with METS embroidered on their chest does it for me, at least at this point.
    I’ll give em til May 22 to show me what they are made of. After that, if no improvement, I’ll start bitchin’ & moanin’.

    Parnell’s elbow woes: Well this sucks but I’m not surprised.

    • Lagares has a good body. It’s not hard to imagine him hitting 10-12 HRs a season. Given his outstanding glove, if he can give the Mets .275/.325/.375 he’ll be one of the best centerfielders in baseball. There’s simply not a lot of hitting in that position around the MLB. You factor in his plus-plus defense and he’s an asset already — and the upside is tremendous.

  9. Raff says:

    Prediction # 46 > Sooner , rather than later- The Mets, upon playing no meaningful games in May and June, will satisfy the Fan-Base’s craving to see the Young Talent, and they will promote- ALL AT ONCE, Thor, Montero, Puello, and Flores…

  10. IB says:

    James – Yes. It is about expectations. I think that’s what I’m getting at. Unfulfilled expectations after one friggin’ game. I can’t read any more of it.

    • I liked and still like the Granderson signing for a lot of reasons. I don’t expect greatness, he’s a deeply flawed guy who is getting long in the tooth. I figured years 3 and 4 could be rough. At the same time, he’s a real ballplayer and has the ability to change the game in the swing of the bat. I honestly expect something less than what Byrd gave us last season. And I’ll be okay with that. The problem is that he’s the cleanup guy, the high-priced free agent, and some crappy fans will somehow bravely “demand” that he plays like the new messiah. He won’t, he can’t. I keep coming back to something Mike once said about another guy, I think: “He’s a professional ballplayer. We need some of those.”

      I’ll be rooting for Curtis.

      That said, what’s the Mother Goose rhyme? I won’t look it up. Something like, “When he was good, he was very, very good./ When he was bad, he was horrid.”

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