Sources: Mets May Or May Not Extend Walker

On Sunday, Sandy Alderson said the Mets were all-in for 2017 and even hinted that they are working on a contract extension with Neil Walker. On Monday morning the contract extension talks were heating up and the Mets were reportedly close to a deal with Neil! By Monday at noon the extension talks had hit a snag and were all but dead. And by Tuesday evening the Mets had made “no progress” on any deal with Walker but indicated a deal was “definitely not dead.”

That news cycle of garbage serves as yet another perfect example of the mainstream media’s “Mets Cycle Of Interest.” The cycle of interest can be seen in literally every single BS rumor that involves the Mets. Whether it’s the team’s interest in signing a new player or paying big bucks to extend an existing one, the cycle is always the same.


In regards to the actual pros and cons of a Neil Walker extension, I can honestly see both sides of the debate.

Signing Neil Walker to a three year extension before the 2017 season is the kind of risky gamble on a player’s health that a big market club would consider taking. If the Mets have confidence in the early medical reports surrounding Walker, then it would totally make sense to try and lock him up on a team friendly three year deal before he hits the open market and potentially lands a four or five year deal.

On the other hand, Neil Walker is a 31 year old player with back issues and you know as soon as he signs on the dotted line that METS disease will spread from his back to every other part of his body.

Based on some of the articles printed about the possible Walker extension, it would seem that the Mets are factoring “versatility” into their opinion of Neil’s overall value. That’s somewhat confusing considering he’s logged 913 games at second base over 8 major league seasons and only 15 games at any other position. But the Mets like to pretend that Walker is a totally viable option at first base and third based on nothing and who am I to say they’re wrong?

The Walker extension debate is really just another reminder of how much Sandy and his team blew the Daniel Murphy contract evaluation. They all sat in a room and agreed that Murphy’s playoff power display was a fluke and that his versatility wasn’t worth all that much. Whoops!

For now, Neil Walkyear lives on. If we don’t extend Walker, I’m sure we’ll be “interested” in bringing Murph back to Queens in two years.

Neil Walkyear Returns To The Mets

Neil Walker has officially accepted the Mets’ 17.2 million dollar qualifying offer instead of testing free agency. Neil Walkyear 2.0 commences effective immediately. 2017 continues to go down as the year of the walk-year for the Mets as Neil is added to the list of guys playing for a contract. It’s a smart move by Neil since the market for his services may have been hurt by his late season back-surgery as well as the draft pick compensation tied to signing him as a result of the qualifying offer. Now he will have another full season to show he’s healthy, and it’s also possible that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will modify the qualifying offer system and eliminate draft pick compensation as part of the process. So in an ideal world for Neil, he will prove his health in 2017 and have a chance to sign a 3-5 year deal next offseason without being tied to a draft pick.

On the surface this is great news for the Mets, assuming Neil’s back injury doesn’t linger and turn out to be a chronic issue (i.e. it evolves into a classic strain of METS disease). Obviously as a Mets fan I fear the worst, but even if the back problem persists the Mets aren’t committed to Walker long-term. They get to keep the roster/payroll flexibility that Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons love so much. The 17.2 million dollar price tag may be a bit higher than the 13-15 million annual salary Walker would probably earn as part of a long-term deal. But it’s a small price to pay to avoid the extra commitment in terms of years.

The downside of course is that nobody really knows the Mets projected payroll for next season. I’ve heard speculation that this contract may prevent the Mets from signing Cespedes. I’ve heard speculation that this deal may force the Mets to dump some extra salary in order to make a reasonable offer to Yoenis Cespedes. I’ve heard that the Mets ideally would like to keep Cespedes and Walker and won’t make any significant additions to the roster beyond the retention of those two guys.

The bottom line is this. If Neil Walker’s decision to accept the qualifying offer truly prevents the Mets from signing Yo or making other meaningful acquisitions then the organization is a lost cause. I’m hoping the Mets keep Yo, Walker and make other big additions to both the bullpen and the bench. We’re trying to win a championship. So let’s improve this damn roster and make a run. Retaining Yo/Walker and dumping the salaries of Bartolo Colon and Jay Bruce to make that possible doesn’t exactly equate to a net improvement of the roster heading into 2017. But the offseason has just started. Let’s see what happens.

The next step is to sign Cespedes. The Mets should have already signed Yo. But there’s still time. Do it tomorrow. And at least today is a good day. A Neil Walkyear reboot is a pretty good thing. As long as he doesn’t catch the stenosis. Pray for his back. Pray for all their backs.

Yo News Is No News

It’s early, but so far the Mets’ offseason highlights are:

1) Eric Campbell was “cut” (and he wasn’t really cut he was just removed from the 40-man roster and sent to Vegas so he’ll be back).

2) Tim Tebow slammed into the outfield wall trying to make a catch during the Arizona Fall League. And it won’t be long before Tebow jerseys dominate the racks at Modell’s and the Cespedes jerseys are out of stock.

3) The Binghamton Mets have been renamed the “Rumble Ponies” as a result of a fan vote. Frankly, I’m surprised the Wilpons didn’t sell the naming rights and force us all to watch the Binghamton Citi Preferred Platinums.

The rest of the Mets’ offseason has basically followed the anticipated script. The Mets picked up Jay Bruce’s one year 13 million dollar contract option which was a no brainer. Now we can listen to certain fans continue to complain about the Mets choosing to play slugging outfielder Jay Bruce over the unproven Michael Conforto. The Mets picked up Jose Reyes’ contract option which pays him the league minimum salary. After all, they did their due diligence on his off the field “mistakes” and they had no problem with any of them. But trust me, if they had to pay Jose Reyes 10 million dollars instead of the league minimum they may have had a problem with some of his off the field “drama”.

The Mets also extended the 17.2 million dollar qualifying offer to Neil Walker and Yoenis Cespedes.

I think there’s a chance Neil Walker accepts the qualifying offer and becomes Neil Walkyear 2.0. The uncertainty around his back injury makes the one-year “prove it” deal so appealing. I suppose he could reject the offer, do a showcase for interested teams, and hope that he gets a multi-year offer. But if he can play next year for the Mets, have another big season and stay healthy, he could come back next offseason and potentially score a 4 or 5 year contract.

Then at the GM Meetings, Sandy Alderson finally addressed the media. And as expected, the Yo news was no news. Sandy said the Mets would like to retain Walker and Cespedes and didn’t really elaborate beyond that. I suppose it’s a positive thing that he said the Mets want Yo. That’s nice.

In my opinion, it was an enormous mistake to let Yo test free agency. The Mets already passed on a chance to lock him up and prevent the whole free agency process. Now that he’s available to everyone, I genuinely feel it’s only a matter of time before a lone wolf crazy bidder gets into the mix and steals him from the Mets.

On the flip side, the Mets only have two players on the roster signed to guaranteed multi-year deals (David Wright and Juan Lagares). They have plenty of flexibility to retain Yo on a big contract and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Plus, with Matt Harvey having injury problems and Jeurys Familia being arrested for domestic violence, I think it’s less likely that the Mets commit to them long term. So that should theoretically free up even more money to allocate towards a deal with Cespedes. But whatever. The Mets are going to do their cheap negotiating tactics no matter how much I complain.

As much as I love the Hot Stove, I’m going to make an effort this year to remain emotionally disconnected from the Mets’ news cycle (spoiler alert: I’ll fail). But obviously I pray that the free agency gods smile upon the Mets and deliver us Yo like last year because in the end, the Yo news is the only news that matters.

Are You Not Entertained?

Final Score: Mets 5, Marlins 2

Here’s where I’m at right now. The Mets have played entertaining baseball over the last 10 games or so. The team is now 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for a playoff spot and “in the race”. Sure the death toll rises every single game. We lost Neil Walker last night for the rest of the season. But all that said we are fun to watch right now, and that’s what I wanted all season. My desire for the Mets to be a part of baseball’s elite class of teams like the Cubs went out the window in like June. Once Matt Harvey and Lucas Duda went down it was clear that this season was not going to be some easy coast to the finish line situation. But in May, June, July and early August I begged to be entertained. The Mets tortured us during those months. Unwatchable. And now they are fun again. If the Mets plan to be fun from today until the last game of the regular season then I’m all in.

Error City: This game started with sloppy error filled Mets baseball. In the first inning Jose Reyes let a ball go right through his legs at third base and straight into left field. Bartolo Colon was able to get out of the inning unscathed. However in the second inning, Ichiro Suzuki hit a leadoff single and advanced to second base on a pickoff throwing error by Bartolo. Then J.T. Realmuto hit a soft grounder to Reyes at third base, and he made a wild throw to first base. Ichiro scored and Realmuto ended up at second base. Those errors gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

Again With The Fight: The Mets immediately fought back and Wilmer Flores hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning to make it 2-1 Mets.

Take The Good Sex With The Bad: Bartolo Colon pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits. Another great game from Mr. Rubber Arm. Unfortunately for the Mets, he came up to hit in two really big spots and ultimately destroyed scoring opportunities. In the second inning after the Flores dinger, Jay Bruce and Travis d’Arnaud hit singles. Colon came up with runners on first and second with one out. Terry should have had him bunting. I know he’s not a great bunter but you have him bunt. You can’t allow him to hit into a double play which is exactly what he did. Then in the fourth inning Bruce, d’Arnaud, and Kelly Johnson hit back to back to back singles to load the bases. Terry should have told Bartolo to take every single pitch. After hitting into a double play last time up you can’t let him do it again. But Terry let him swing and Tolo hit into a double play. Dumb call. Killed the rally. Tolo also let up a game typing solo shot to Christian Yelich in the 6th inning to make it 2-2.

The Big Shot: In the 8th inning, Yoenis Cespedes singled off of A.J. Ramos and then Ramos walked Curtis Granderson. Ramos proceeded to retire Flores on a fly out that advanced Yo to third base, and he also retired Jay Bruce who failed to lift a sac fly to the outfield. Ramos then walked d’Arnaud, and Kelly Johnson came up in a potentially game changing spot with two outs and bases loaded. Johnson laced a double down the right field line and the right fielder bobbled the ball along the wall. Everyone scored and it was 5-2 Mets. Jeurys Familia slammed the door with that lead and that was that.

New Arm: Last night the Mets traded Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Erik Manoah to the Angels for reliever Fernando Salas. Salas is a veteran middle reliever. He’s pitched well in the second half this season. It’ll be nice to have an extra arm in the pen. Hopefully he magically becomes a stud like Addison Reed did. I trust Sandy and his waiver wire expertise.

Just Pray: As I said above, let’s not dwell on the negative. Forget the injuries. Forget about Neil Walker being put in a body bag. Forget about Asdrubal Cabrera and his bum knee. Don’t worry about Steven Matz and his elbow/shoulder woes. Are they all going to wind up on the DL and out forever? Probably. But this is just one of those seasons where nothing goes our way. Let’s just watch whoever is left and see where we are at the very end. In all likelihood the season will come down to the final game, and it will be devastating like in 2007.

Let’s Be Clear: I’ve already seen some crazy talk about Jay Bruce because he’s had a poor showing in 100 ABs or whatever. Let’s be clear. The Mets shouldn’t buy out Jay Bruce’s contract under any circumstances. They must pick up his 2017 option. Keeping Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce is the only acceptable course of action. You don’t let a 30 home run hitter who you just gave up a big prospect for leave because he had a rough month and a half. You keep Bruce. If you want to trade him before the 2017 season or during the season then fine. But you keep him.

Last Minor Note on Neil: I didn’t want to talk about this yet, but I’ll throw it out there. I think before this injury news there was almost a 0% chance that Neil Walker would accept a qualifying offer. Now there’s a chance. There is a chance that teams will be scared off by the fact that Neil had back surgery, and he may want to have another crack at a walk year. We may see Neil Walkyear again.

The Wave: Noah Syndergaard tweeted something negative about doing the wave at baseball games so I figured I’d give my thoughts. My beef with the wave is twofold. 1) As a lazy man I prefer sitting to standing 2) I don’t like when people block my view for no reason. So I’m against the wave. That being said, if kids like the wave and disinterested game attendees like to periodically grunt and swing their arms like a bunch of idiots, who am I to stop them? Swing away you fools.

TodayJacob deGrom pitches today. If deGrom looks healthy and rested during today’s start the positivity meter is going to explode. If he takes another dump on the field, we may not be in great shape after all.

Walker Done; Mets 2016 Injury Excuse Officially Valid

“I never should have let the Wilpons sign me up for that Strongman Competition.” -Neil Walkyear

I pushed back on the 2016 injury excuse all season. With every new Mets injury I’ve said that the club still has enough talent to win, and I’ve continuously pointed out that the squad has underachieved for long stretches. SNY cites the injury woes every single game and even then I’ve said that they’re just feeding us the Wilpon organizational excuses. Well I’m done fighting it. Neil Walker is out for the season. He’s getting surgery to repair the herniated disk in his back. Yeah that’s right. Another season ending back injury for the Metsies. With David Wright, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Juan Lagares, Zack Wheeler and now Neil Walker out for the season, I think we can officially say that the 2016 injury curse is ridiculous even by Mets standards. The lineup, the rotation, and the bench have all been ravaged by injuries.

Hell the Mets just put Justin Ruggiano on the 60-Day DL. The guy arrived a month ago and now he’s out for good. I don’t even know what happened to him. Apparently he got here and injured his shoulder on some play in the outfield. Then he went on the DL with a hamstring injury that happened when he was running out a grounder. And then out of nowhere the shoulder is what ultimately did him in for the rest of the season. Old Dr. Death Ray Ramirez has really outdone himself in 2016.

Whatever. The team is playing solid ball right now and Wilmer Flores/Kelly Johnson are stepping up. I’d like to complain about Dilson Herrera not being here, but honestly I doubt he’d get the shot to take the job right now anyway. Terry refuses to play Michael Conforto in the outfield, and he’s had some major league success. I can’t imagine him throwing Herrera out there during this Wild Card race even if he was still in the organization.

I’m not going to start speculating regarding how this will impact Neil’s free agency or the qualifying offer or his tenure with the Mets. I’m just focusing on the rest of the season and this playoff race. Pray for Neil Walkyear. Even when the Mets bring a guy in and he posts career high numbers across the board, it still ends with a horrible crippling injury. C’est la vie for Mets fans.

Mets Have One Game Winning Streak Snapped

Final Score: D-Backs 5, Mets 3

After such an incredible run of success, the Mets had their one game winning streak snapped yesterday by their archrival the Arizona Diamondbacks. Obviously I use the term “archrival” loosely. In this case archrival just means another horrendous team that was supposedly worse than the Mets, but we will now learn is in fact better than this garbage Mets squad.

I can’t believe Don Mattingly is going to get a managerial lap dance at the end of the season for falling ass backwards into a freaking Wild Card spot. All the moron talking heads will say, “Ohh Donnie Baseball! He really inspired this Marlins club! He’s so great!” Then they’ll get crushed in the Wild Card playoff and the world will keep spinning. Stupid Yankee jerk.

I Wish We Had Big Innings: I was at this game. In the first inning, Neil Walker and Jay Bruce hit back to back one out singles. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish the Mets had big innings.” Then I sighed and went back to eating my sausage. I knew the Mets would at most get one run out of the situation. And that’s exactly what happened. James Loney hit a stupid RBI ground out to make it 1-0 Mets and that was that. No big hits for us. It’s amazing that Mets fans still talk about how this team hits a lot of home runs like it should be a source of pride for this ball club. Ummmm homers are at sky high levels across the sport people. MLB juiced the balls this year. It’s a meaningless accomplishment. We might as well be using corked bats like Sammy Sosa.

Destroy His Arm: Steven Matz and Zack Greinke actually both pitched well. Steven Matz went 6 innings, gave up 5 hits, 2 runs, and struck out 9. Matz wasn’t efficient early on, but settled in as the game progressed. The two runs were both on solo home runs. He gave up a jack to Brandon Drury in the second inning and to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning. Those dingers made it 2-1 D-Backs. The problem I had was Terry Collins let Matz throw 120 pitches with his elbow bone spurs. Wilmer Flores certainly didn’t help matters by prolonging the sixth inning with a brutal throwing error. But 120 pitches?!? Let’s just kill him before the season is over folks! Terry won’t be around to see what happens anyway. And what was the reward for all those pitches and strikeouts? Did Matz get a win? No. Did the team get a win? No. I’ll tell you what the reward was. Matz and the bullpen combined for 10+ strikeouts. So everyone at Citi Field receives a 2 for 1 coupon good for any six inch sub at Subway. Hooray! I’d rather eat old Chinese food out of a trash can while watching a healthy Matz pitch in 2017 then have Terry blow his arm out and eat a free Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub while occasionally taking a break to dry my tears.

Walkyear Is Scorching: Neil Walker had three hits again. He’s so hot that it presents the rare opportunity for fans such as myself to call his hits like we’re fortune tellers. Right before he hit the home run, I said to my girlfriend at the game, “You gotta watch Neil here. He’s hot.” Boom. He hits a two-run shot to make it 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth and just like that I look like a genius. Thanks Neil.

Hansel Blowbles: Hansel Robles came in for the 7th and instead of pitching like his normal dependable self he completely blew the game. No other way to describe it. He gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs. Terry left him in too long. When your team is playing like dog crap your manager always “left him in too long”.

Ty Kelly: Honestly, the Mets went down in the 7th, 8th, and 9th without so much as a damn teaser rally. The most hilarious moment was when Terry pinch hit Ty Kelly for Travis d’Arnaud in the 9th inning. The fans were naturally baffled by the decision. We were all baffled because it made no sense. Ty Kelly gets a hit 1 out of every 10 times he steps to the plate and Travis gets a hit 2 out of every 10 times. When your hitting options are that awful, who the hell cares?

T.J. Rivera: The Mets demoted Brandon Nimmo and recalled T.J. Rivera. Rivera is a 27 year old minor league lifer. There’s been a big online movement among Mets fans pushing for the promotion of T.J. Rivera all season long. Part of the reason for that movement is Rivera’s .349/.391/.513 batting line in Vegas. Part of the reason is he’s from the Bronx and everyone loves a local guy. And part of the reason is because the alternatives are Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell. Well now we get to watch Triple-A dynamos Kelly and Rivera at the same time! Can’t wait.

Bill Simmons Must Read The Metssiah: My friend told me that on Bill Simmons’ new HBO show, he talked about how Bartolo Colon is a real crappy human being on account of his documented PED use and his refusal to pay child support to his second family etc. Yet he’s seemingly forgiven for his behavior and beloved by fans across the sport. Bill Simmons postulates that he’s beloved no matter what because he’s a big fat dynamo and people love fat guys. Ummm where have I heard that before? Oh right I talked about it in May. The Santa Claus Effect baby! Everyone loves a big jolly fat guy. Bill must read my blog.

Today: Speaking of Bartolo, he pitches tonight for the Mets. The quest for .500 continues.

Wright/Reyes 2017: Make The Mets Injured Again

If you’ve been paying attention to the Mets news cycle, you’ve already picked up on the signals the team has been sending out. First we traded for Jay Bruce, and now all we’ve been hearing is how he’s “insurance” for “if” Yoenis Cespedes opts-out of his current “deal”. As if to say Cespedes might not opt-out and cash in on an almost certain 125-150 million dollar payday. And the Daily News even reported yesterday that the Mets now expect their 2017 outfield to be Michael Conforto in center, Curtis Granderson in left, and Jay Bruce in right. Yo is a goner folks.

When we traded Dilson Herrera for Bruce, we started hearing about second base options for 2017. Sandy Alderson made no mention of Neil Walker in the possible 2017 plan. You know Neil? He’s just been one of the most productive second baseman in the league this year, especially after his recent run of success at the end of July into August. Right after the Bruce trade, I wrote about the case to re-sign Walker and how the Mets probably won’t do that. Instead, we’ve heard Gavin Cecchini and Wilmer Flores thrown out as options and of course the headliner…Jose Reyes!

So first we hear Reyes and his league minimum contract thrown out as an option at second base for next season. Now we are seeing David Wright visiting with the team and supposedly making great progress on his neck injury rehab. He says he plans to play in 2017. You know what all this means? Wright/Reyes 2017 is an absolute lock! Lock it up! Guaranteed. They will be penciled into the Opening Day 2017 lineup by the Mets in the offseason and will probably play under 30 games combined.

If a Wright/Reyes 2017 ticket is genuinely in the cards for the Mets, then we need to flood the Citi Field parking lot with protestors now. If that’s really the plan, then we might as well flush our chances next season down the toilet and close our supposed championship window that started last season. We’ve pinned our hopes on Jose and David so many times before this. How many times did we wait for Jose to rehab his injuries in hopes of making a late summer run with him back in the lineup (including right now as I type)? Then as soon as Reyes departed after 2011, Wright filled the injury void. Wright’s been on the DL for most of the season between 2013-2016. We can’t afford to spend another year penciling these guys into our fantasy world lineups and expecting big production.

This post isn’t a commentary on our chances this season. Obviously Wright and Reyes are hurt, and despite that this team is still in the race. But their absence during crunch time this season is about as telling as it gets. This is now the second year in a row where we’ve depleted our minor league resources trying to fill the void on offense left by the absence of our captain and third baseman. We traded for Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson (twice), Yoenis Cespedes, and Jay Bruce all in the hopes of filling the Wright hole on offense. We just keep trading away prospects. Trading and trading.

Well now the Mets farm system is nearly depleted, and our best player (Cespedes) is probably leaving. But our young stars are still under team control. We still have the pitching. This offseason is the make or break moment for Sandy. If we plan to actually take advantage of this 2-4 year window, then we cannot rely on Wright and Reyes for another second. I’m not saying release them. Jose Reyes at the league minimum on the bench sounds fine to me. David was productive when he played this year. His contract is a sunk cost. David and the Mets need to accept that he is a bench contributor at best in 2017, and they need to find a starting caliber player to man third base on Opening Day. That is the only acceptable path going forward.

The other option would be to let Jose Reyes and David Wright go to either the Yankees or Cardinals. Carlos Beltran was ravaged by injuries at almost the same age (32/33) as Reyes and Wright. Then Beltran went to the Cardinals/Yankees and went on to have 5 more incredibly productive seasons. Perhaps the Lord’s chosen teams would help heal Wright and Reyes and restore them to greatness. One thing is certain. They are not recovering as long as they don blue and orange with the Mets. So it’s time to move on. It’s time to vote no on Wright/Reyes 2017! Let’s make the Mets great again, not injured.

Mets Hit A Clutch Homer Late; Pigs Fly 

Final Score: Mets 3, Tigers 1

The Mets won on a clutch two-run homer off the bat of Neil Walker in the 9th inning. A clutch late hit by the 2016 New York Mets? Unfathomable. I’ll just ignore the inning before when the Tigers handed us the game by committing Little League base running gaffes.

Conforto Bomb: In the 7th inning, Michael Conforto hit a solo homer off of Anibal Sanchez for the first run of the game. It was an opposite field shot. I really wish 2016 wasn’t a complete waste of a season for our stud sophomore. I hope the challenges and experience help him take his game to the next level.

Poor deGrom: They really need to create a new stat for Jacob deGrom. Quality start doesn’t really cut it because he’s always better than 6 innings and 3 runs. Maybe they could give him a NP (Near Perfect)? If he goes 6+ and gives up 1 run, he’s credited with a NP. He’d probably be among the league leaders in NPs over the last few years. Anyway, he went 6.2 innings in this game and gave up 1 run. He was pulled in a questionable spot, but all in all he had another NP performance. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez has had a bad season, but not in this game. He went 8 innings, gave up 1 run on 4 hits, and he struck out 10 Mets.

Terry’s Going Full Costanza: In the 7th inning, deGrom gave up a one out single to Justin Upton and a two out walk to James McCann. Then Andrew Romine hit a little BS infield hit to load the bases. Terry decided to yank deGrom in that spot instead of letting him face outfielder Ty Collins (who’s hitting .250). Yup. Terry elected to have lefty Jerry Blevins face pinch-hitter and right-handed hitting star Ian Kinsler. Terry has been making some awful decisions lately. I really hope he’s not going full Costanza and just trying to get canned. Anyway, Blevins gave up another little infield hit to Neil Walker that scored a run to tie the game at 1-1. Addison Reed was then summoned, and he was able to get out of the jam.

Little League Disgrace: The Tigers literally handed the Mets a Little League break in the bottom of the 8th inning. With two outs Addison Reed gave up a double to J.D. Martinez and then intentionally walked Justin Upton to face Casey McGehee. As a side note, I thought McGehee was playing in Japan or something. That guy really keeps finding a way to stick around MLB. Anyway he hit a ball that James Loney should have fielded cleanly, but instead he deflected it into right field past Neil Walker at second base. The Loney blunder should have created a bases loaded situation for the Tigers. But Justin Upton decided to keep running to third base even though J.D. Martinez was just staying on the bag. Martinez then realized Upton was approaching third base, and he took off for home. The Mets easily tagged Martinez out in a brief rundown. It was a pathetic base running blunder by Upton. Something out of the Mets playbook. That mistake kept the score tied at 1.

They’re All Dead: In the 9th inning, Alejandro De Aza was nailed by a pitch in the hand to start the inning. X-Rays were negative, but for a second I thought he would join Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares in our center fielder burial ground.

A Late Clutch Hit: The next batter was Neil Walker, and he launched the game winning two-run homer! A late clutch hit. Unbelievable. We had some luck in this game? This word l-u-c-k that you say. What does it mean? It was a huge hit by Walker, and now you can fully expect to start hearing all the fans and talking heads calling for the Mets to re-sign him. If you missed it, I said that over a week ago.

Gary Apple: Gary Apple was calling the shots in the booth for the Mets. We may be in the Wild Card race, but putting Apple in the booth is essentially waving the white flag. Bring back Cohen ASAP.

Tomorrow: Mets play the D-backs and Steven Matz will face Zack Greinke. Let’s win two in a row. That will literally be the greatest accomplishment of the summer for the Mets. Let’s do it.

The Dirty Little Neil Walker Secret

As much as the Mets would like the fans to believe yesterday’s Jay Bruce trade was solely about bolstering the inept offense, it also said a lot about the Mets future plans. It undoubtedly exposed the Mets dirty little secret. The first thing it showed was fairly obvious. Jay Bruce is “insurance” for when Yoenis Cespedes opts-out of his contract. But insurance isn’t really a fair term to use because it implies that Bruce is protection against something unexpected happening. The “unexpected” thing to protect against would be Yoenis Cespedes taking big money to go elsewhere at the end of the season. I would argue that’s not unexpected. It’s seemingly an absolute lock. The Mets made it clear last offseason they had no intention of paying Cespedes the money he has earned and giving him the long term deal he deserves. They lucked out because the free agent market was skeptical of Yo repeating his career best 2015 season. As a result, he was willing to spurn the Nationals and accept the Mets ridiculous one year opt-out deal.

But the other thing the Bruce deal officially confirmed is we are about to experience Daniel Murphy 2.0 with Neil Walker in free agency. The Mets supposedly let Daniel Murphy go because they felt his defense was too much of a liability, but they also sold everyone on the notion that Dilson Herrera was the unquestioned second baseman of the future for the organization. Yet yesterday they put him into the Bruce deal in place of Brandon Nimmo like it was nothing and shipped him off to the Reds. When he was asked about second base beyond this season, Sandy Alderson mentioned Jose Reyes and Triple-A shortstop Gavin Cecchini . He made no mention of Neil Walker in the pool of candidates. Why? Because there’s no chance the Mets retain him. He’s Neil Walkyear. He was brought in to ultimately walk away and make room for Herrera. That was his destiny. But now Herrera is gone, and I feel like everyone has just accepted the notion that Walker will be gone soon too. Nobody is asking why.

Why wouldn’t the Mets consider retaining Walker? After a scorching hot April where he hit 9 home runs and posted a .962 OPS, he cooled a lot between May and July. His .565 June OPS was exceptionally bad. But he still posted a respectable .754 OPS in May and a .753 OPS in July. He still ranks 6th in the NL in OPS among qualifying second baseman. He still ranks second among NL second baseman with 17 home runs behind you know who. If he finishes strong in August and September, he’ll rank among the top second baseman in the NL in plenty of offensive categories. That’s the exact player we were told we were getting when we traded for him. He also has an UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) of 8.2 according to FanGraphs which is tops among MLB second baseman. So one of the advanced metrics says he’s been a strong defender in 2016. Based on all that, why wouldn’t we consider signing him to the reasonable 3 or 4 year deal that he’s likely to command as a free agent? I’ll tell you why. It’s the same reason we didn’t even entertain signing Murph. The Mets have no interest in signing players to long-term deals, especially if they can fill the need for free (see Jose Reyes). And I’m not saying Neil Walker is the unequivocal choice for second base or a long term deal either. I’m not solely making an impassioned plea for Neil Walker. If the Mets want to consider other infielders like Martin Prado, Justin Turner, or someone else in the offseason that’s fine by me. But you know they won’t do that. They will all command multi-year contracts. The Mets haven’t said a word about that because it’s not in the cards.

Can you believe Sandy cited Jose Reyes as the second baseman of the future? The same Jose Reyes that was the subject of deplorable off-field actions and the same Reyes that currently sits on the DL (where he spends most of his time). Well now we know the dirty little secret. We know that the Herrera second baseman of the future story was just a line we were fed to make it easier to stomach the front office’s decision to pass on signing Murph to a reasonable 3-year deal. I’m sure they’ll come up with an even better spin as we get closer to the offseason to rationalize not even pursuing Walker at all in free agency. Sure he’s a former Silver Slugger winner and has a chance to lead all NL second baseman in home runs this season, but who cares? We have Jose! At least until he strains his hammy in Spring Training.

Don’t You Go Dying On Me 2016 Mets

For Mets fans, death is just a part of life.
Final Score: Mets 6, Rockies 4

The goddamn 2016 Mets season is on life support right now. There’s no doubt about it. I don’t care that we’re only a few games out of the Wild Card. We’ve been free falling. The Cardinals and Rockies have been embarrassing us at home. We may flatline any day now. A four game set against the Yankees seems like the appropriate time for a 2016 Mets funeral. But you know what? We won today. And if the Mets are going to revive this damn season, they needed to start somewhere.

Cabrera Dead: So I had my brother over today for lunch and a nice little game watch. I must say when we made the plan I didn’t think we’d be watching the Mets on Sunday trying to salvage one game in a four game home series against the Rockies. Anyway my brother shows up, we make sandwiches, and sit down to watch the game together. And within 10 seconds of sitting down, Asdrubal Cabrera blows out his damn knee scoring from first base on a Neil Walker triple. Well he didn’t blow it out, but he strained the hell out of his patella tendon. It’s a more serious version of the injury he suffered in Spring Training that cost him 3 weeks. I’ve been watching METS disease and Mets curse in action for years. But the injuries this season combined with the team’s historic struggle to hit with runners in scoring position really has taken things to the next level. Unprecedented curse levels. Anyway that RBI triple made it 1-0 Mets. Hooray!

Put Them Away Thor: Bone spur version of Noah Syndergaard still throws a 100 MPH, but he just doesn’t put hitters away like No Chip Thor. Noah went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs (2 ER) on 6 hits and 2 walks. But he only struck out 6 and his pitch count was 118. I’m just going to pretend that the insane pitch count won’t negatively affect his already damaged elbow. But the point is he can’t put guys away as easily as he could pre-spur, and it drives his pitch count up. The Mets took the lead 1-0 in the first inning and he gave the run back in the second on an RBI single by Daniel Descalso. The Mets had a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, and he gave up another RBI single to Descalso. Then the Rockies tied it at 3 in the 5th inning on a Carlos Gonzalez RBI double. The Rockies have a nice lineup. So it’s not as if Thor was struggling against a bunch of bums. But he hasn’t been as dominant pitching with the bone spur. That being said, other than Jacob deGrom he’s still the best arm in our arsenal.

Play At The Plate: In the 6th inning, the Rockies almost took a 4-3 lead against the Mets when Thor threw a wild pitch. But luckily the ball ricocheted back to Rene Rivera, and he was able to dive back to home plate and tag out Carlos Gonzalez trying to score. There wasn’t enough replay evidence to overturn a close call. The Mets did get some luck today. Nice to see that for a change.

Alejandro De Best: In the second inning Brandon Nimmo and Rene Rivera walked with one out. And with two outs Alejandro De Aza hit an RBI single to make it 2-1 Mets. Alejandro is our best hitter now. Remember when we all wanted to bury him in Vegas next to Eric Campbell? Well I for one couldn’t be happier that he’s turning his season around. I’m not exactly thrilled that he’s our best player now. That’s not great. But if he can get two out hits with runners in scoring position he’s welcome to play every day.

Nimmo and Jesus: In the third inning, a red hot Neil Walker singled with one out and then with two outs Wilmer Flores got drilled. Wilmer was barking at the pitcher. Wilmer is so fired up after last night’s fan interference play. He went from crybaby Wilmer to furious Wilmer. Anyway, with two men on Brandon Nimmo hit a two out RBI single to make it 3-1 Mets. Nimmo did his thing where he points to God. If he has the Lord’s ear then we desperately need him to use his divine connection to help save our season. Help us Brandon. Tell Jesus to help us.

Walkyear Ain’t Dead Yet: In the 7th inning, James Loney and Kelly Johnson reached on walks, and with two outs Neil Walker hit an enormous three run homer to make it 6-4 Mets. That was the game winning hit. It was Neil’s third hit of the game. It was his fourth multi-hit game in his last five. I wrote a post about how Daniel Murphy has defeated Walker in the 2016 battle for second base supremacy. Since then Murph re-injured himself and Walker has been on fire. Obviously I take full responsibility for altering the course of their respective seasons.

Super Pen Kind Of Worked Today: After having a rough week, the Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia relief combo was able to close this game out. Jerry Blevins did give up a 7th inning sac fly to Carlos Gonzalez to make it 4-3 Rockies, but Neil Walker bailed him out with his huge blast.

Funeral Services Start Tomorrow: The four game Subway Series against the Yankees begins tomorrow at Citi Field. Please let us win some of these games and turn our season around. I can’t handle an agonizing and painful death at the hands of the Yankees. To quote Switch from the Matrix, “Not like this! Not like this!”