A Day Late, A Buck Short

The Mets are struggling. I guess the only positive that we can take out of this, is that Jerry Manuel should start to feel the heat again. Like I’ve posted on this website, I did not attribute the 9 and 1 homestand to him and still felt like he was incompetent during the winning streak.

This season under Manuel (and Omar and the Wilpon’s), a reoccurring theme is setting in, a day late, a buck short. To me, it almost seems like the Mets hierarchy read what the media prints the team should do. Then they stubbornly say they are not going to do that. Then either a few days later or weeks later they switch their minds after their plan fails and do what the masses want.

Case in point today, Manuel is going to sit Francouer for Chris Carter. Really? It took this long to see Jeff needed a blow. He is batting 5 for 45 this month. He looks like he could not hit a ball with a tennis racket and over the past week I’d have more confidence if we sent Raul Valdez up there to hit for him. When a guy looks absolutely terrible at the plate, you must give him a day off. This move in about 4-5 games way overdue.

This move just goes with the assortment of other head scratching moves the Mets and Manuel have made. First, leaving Davis and Carter off the Opening Day team. Moving Reyes to the third slot, using Nieve and Feliciano every night so they are burned out by mid-May, the kept Ollie in the rotation one too many starts and now put him in the ‘pen. You watch they will cut him eventually like we have said for weeks now.

I think the Mets are starting to show signs of trouble in paradise, I think the players have been effected by managerial decisions and decisions like keeping Perez. I think the fans and players alike, see that baseball decisions are not put first and that this is going to get ugly if the team keeps making decisions like they have this season. I think there is one easy way to get the players back on track and that is FIRE JERRY! Hopefully, the Mets will make this decision eventually, however in my opinion it is many days late already.

More lineup head scratching

Can anyone out there please explain to me why Jerry Manuel insists on putting Mike Jacobs in the five hole batting in front of Jeff Francouer? I wont get into comparing their stats as it would be a bloodbath.

Does Jerry really think that having Jacobs in the 5 spot protects Jason Bay more then Frenchy batting .450? And we are confused why Bay hasn’t gotten things going yet? Even despite the stats, why would you put a guy who is a career all or nothing hitter in the 5 spot? Makes absolutely no sense to me.

And as I write this post, of course, the Mets get 1st and 3rd with 2 outs and Jacobs walks up to the plate and strikes out meekly. Thanks a lot Jerry, great move.

Can you tell I am so sick of this guy?

Oh and can we please stop hearing you talk about how you want to bat Reyes third? Stop talking about it and do it already so we can move on. You’ve been talking about it for 3 months now.

Francoeur’s Offical Website

For all you Frenchie fans out there, I recently came across Jeff’s official website @ www.jefffrancoeur.com. I am interested to see if Jeff will update his blog throughout the season, I read his passage about returning to Atlanta and it was great to hear him talking about missing home, seeing his wife, visiting with ex players etc. This would be a great look for us inside the locker room and to see who socializes with who etc. Hopefully, Jeff will have sometime this season to keep that blog updated. This site looks great and is a great way for the Met fan to get to know Jeff better. Definitely worth the look for any Met fan and we can only believe good things are in store for good old #12 this season.

#12 Days ‘Til Opening Day

With just 12 days ’til Spring training, I wanted to profile someone who I am still getting to know, so I picked Frenchie over Ron Darling (who I love) but felt Frenchie would be the best choice for this piece.

I was on the LIRR to CitiField last summer, when my mom called me to tell me the Mets had traded Ryan Church. I liked Church, even picked up his tee shirt, I thought he was getting a raw deal from the Mets (insert likeness to Murph comment here.) I figured we probably got a middle reliever or some player to be named later. The Mets seemed desperate to rid themselves of Ryan Church, however I was pleasantly surprised to here we stole Met killer Jeff Francoeur from the ATL. Okay, so Jeff wasn’t having a great year for the Bravos, the trade essentially was trading one headache for another. However, for the Mets, Jeff would be the aspirin that was needed for the Mets and Met fan during the ’09 season.

Jeff not only was rejuvenated coming to NY but he also rejuvenated a depressed and injured clubhouse and fan base. Jeff brought his passion for the game, his tireless work ethic and his glowing personality to Queens. Jeff played hurt, got dirty and gave everything he had to the Mets in the second half of ’09. Jeff not protected in the order still preceded to hit .311 with 10 homers and 41 RBI’s in 75 games with the Metsies. The fact that he almost led the club in homers and only played half a season should be a big reason Met fans can get excited about their offense this season. Having, Frenchie and Bay to protect Wright and Beltran is going to be huge this season. I know that very quickly, I have gone from hating Jeff Francoeur to absolutely loving him. He is a player that could fit in the 1986 Mets and I know you Met fan out there would love more gritty and tough “Wild Boyz” on the club.

It wasn’t too long ago we heard about the next Chipper Jones who was going to come take the Bravos into the future. His name, Jeff Francoeur. In his rookie season, he posted very similar numbers to those of his ’09 Mets half season. Batting .300 with 14 homers and 45 RBI in 70 games, had to get Brave fans excited and Met fans nervous about this new Met killer. As a matter of fact, Frenchie hit a 3 run homer in his first ever game. Even though Jeff only played 70 games, he still was voted 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. Frenchie put up good numbers in his first two seasons, hitting .260 with 29 homers and 103 RBI’s in ’06 and .293, 19, 105 in ’07.

Francoeur’s average slumped in ’08, where he was unhappily sent to the minors. This may have been the move that started the ball in motion for Jeff to end up a Met. Jeff’s .239 average put together with his .250,5, 35 in ’09 pushed Atlanta to the boiling point and in my opinion the terrible move of giving up on Jeff. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, Jeff was acquired by the Mets and flourished in Queens.

Jeff seems like a man’s man, he’s a guy I can see myself drinking a beer with while discussing women. He loves college football and playing golf. He seems to be a jokester and tries his best to keep the clubhouse loose. I really hope that Jeff can keep up the good work with the Mets and get back to that .290′s, 20+, 90 RBI a year for the next bunch of years. Let’s not forget to mention Jeff’s arm and outfield prowess, which is huge in CitiField. I think this just may be the year that Jeff Francoeur shows his promise and becomes one of the best outfielders in the National League.

Mets Fantasy Outlook: Bay and Frenchy

In this third blog on fantasy baseball, I am reviewing Mets players, their value, where they are being drafted and my prediction if they are going to help or hurt your squad. If you missed, check Sunday’s post on Jose Reyes and Johan Santana and Monday’s on David Wright and Frankie Rodriguez.

I have decided to group two players together based on their similarities, today I have grouped Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur mainly because I fell in love with these guys after the interview on last week’s edition of Hot Stove. Obviously, Frenchie was around last year and quickly became one of my favorite players but after hearing all the good things about him this spring and watching him and Bay’s chemistry during the Hot Stove show, it was a no doubter for me to group them together for this report.

Jason Bay-OF: Jason’s time in Boston, help bring to light that he is a premier player in MLB today. Bay’s 36 dongs and 119 RBI’s made him a fantasy stud in 2009. Let it be known that, that is just about an average year for Bay over the last 7 seasons. Bay is a .280 career hitter and is known not only for his power but also his K total. Bay’s Yahoo rank is 57 and he has been going at an average selection spot of 58. 2. Once again the question about Bay is how will CitiField effect his power this season. The Sox has questions about Bay’s health which may scare you but history says he will be fine as he has played over 145 game since 2004.

Jeff Francoeur- OF: My guess is that many fantasy owners are not highlighting Jeff Francoeur’s name in their fantasy guides but I am. I loved what I saw from Frenchie last season. But him around Bay, Beltran, Reyes and Wright and he will see alot of good pitches. Francoeur of course is a free swinger which means lots of K and low on base percentage. This is a guy who hit 29 jacks in ’06 and had over 100 RBI’s in both ’06 and ’07. Frenchie is still only 25 and I think finding his way after a few down years in the ATL. I feel that he has a renewed fervor for the game and is ready to explode. Jeff is ranked 230 by Yahoo and has been dropping to 249 in drafts. He seems to be durable and is alot of NY Media’s guy to explode to 25 to 30 homers this season.

My prediction: If the Mets offense can stay healthy, they are going to be one of the NL’s best offenses. Since I’m keeping my fingers crossed, I’m going to think that’s exactly what will happen. I think Jason Bay will have a big season, it will be hard to ask for a repeat of the 36, 119 but I still expect 30, 100. I think if the Mets are going to make a run, Bay is going to be the difference on offense.

Francoeur is everyone’s darling this spring. I think the attitude, looseness and hardwork he brings all points to a great season. I saw on Loud Mouths were they were thinking 25 to 30 homers, I won’t aim that high but I would think he gets at least 20 homers and 80 RBI’s. These numbers might not jump at you but could be huge as your 3rd OF’er or a utlility man. I know if he lasts a big I am going to try to scoop him right up.

Right Field: Francoeur is good medicine

As spring training fast approaches I want to go around-the-horn on the projected Mets opening day lineup position by position.  I will talk about my thoughts on how that position matches up and how it should be handled.  Hope you enjoy.

When the Mets made the deal last year to trade Ryan Church to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur in return I was not happy.  I was a Church guy and never could understand why the Mets never seemed to give him a chance.  It baffled me why they would trade for a guy and then treat him like he ran over their dog.  It was obvious that Jerry Manuel couldn’t stand Church.  I thought it was unfair and really hated to see him go.  After watching Frenchie play in 82 games for the Mets I have to admit he’s one of my favorite players.

I love the levity he brings to the team.  He likes to have fun and that helps keep baseball fun.   That’s no small thing as I think the Mets by and large have forgotten how to do that years ago.  I hate cliches but Francoeur’s arrival at CitiField was like a breath of fresh air.

The Braves had obviously given up on their hometown rightfielder.   I am not sure what they thought they saw to make them think that, but I saw nothing to indicate that in the half season I watched him.  It sure looked to me like he was a guy who really needed a change of scenery as his stats jumped right back up to the level that had people labeling him as “The Natural” in his first few seasons.  This is a guy who in his first four and a half seasons has batted .271, hit 88 homeruns, and driven in 400 RBI’s.  He had on real “down” year in 2008 and that’s why those stats are even as low as they are.  The Braves obviously felt that was more the norm then a down year.  Lets hope they were wrong.

I am not really a stats guy when it comes to analyzing players and I feel Francoeur will bring a lot more to this team then just his production on the field.  We saw this team buckle last year when Jose Reyes went down.  They seemed unable to smile, and going to work each day seemed unbearable, and these guys play a game for a living.  It’s long been documented how much “fun” Reyes can make the clubhouse.  I think Francoeur is in the same vein.  I am really hoping his approach to the game will rub off a bit onto David Wright and at the same time take some of the heat off him.  He’s not one to shy away from the media like some Mets have in the past, this will help take some of that spotlight off players like Wright.

I really enjoy watching Francoeur play.  He plays a sound fundamental game that should play well in CitiField.  I think he is a personality “plus” guy and it’s good to get players like this into the organization.  Here’s to hoping his trend back upwards during the second half of last season continues into a big 2010 for Frenchie.

New Year, New Leadership

new york mets leadership david wright jeff francoeurBeen thinking a lot about this years New York Mets lately.  As spring training quickly approaches I am trying to remain positive and search out new considerations on why I think this team will fair better then in the past.  I was surprised when I thought about this latest topic that it hasn’t gotten more talk from around the blogosphere.  With a new year, and especially the departures of players like Delgado, these New York Mets will hopefully have a new leadership core.

I feel very strongly that this team should be pushed onto the shoulders of David Wright and Jeff Francoeur.  I think it’s time for a change of “heart” on this team and say whatever you want about these two players, but they play hard, and they play all the time.  They have grit and they have professionalism.

I wont bash Delgado, I feel he was a professional and worked hard at his craft.  But at the same time it’s hard to ignore the fact that it has been reported many time that it was his clubhouse and that it’s widely believed to be an addition by subtraction.  I don’t think it’s really anything bad about Delgado, it’s just more about his strong personality that his removal will create a gap that hopefully Wright can grow into.

I have said before I love Francoeur and really hope he helps Wright along as a player with his approach to the game.  I loved what I saw from him last season and would love for more people to follow that style.  Wright is the natural hope when you consider leadership into the future.  Wendy Adair over at BleacherReport.com seems to agree with me:

Jeff Francoeur is undoubtedly a gamer and will fight for his convictions. Whoever it is that stands in his way had better yield, and the Mets will benefit from his fiery mentality.

I admit I was not a fan of Francoeur when he was a Brave and was very upset when Ryan Church was sent packing to Atlanta.

His play and attitude in the second half of 2009 made me a believer that Francoeur is and can continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the Mets.

David Wright is also a tough gamer, the face and voice of the franchise, and de-facto captain who will most likely be a lifetime Met, if he has any say in the matter.

I do think that Jeff Francoeur and David Wright should be co-captains, officially or otherwise. They are the present and future of the Mets and they are both in their prime and seem to work well together

She and I basically felt the same way about Francoeur when the initial deal was made.  I too liked Church and hated how he was treated by the Mets, and despite having seen a lot of Francoeur as a Brave, I had a hard time liking him.  Maybe it was the french name, and maybe it was the Braves heritage and how he was touted as a “natural” when he came up, but I was a hard convert.  But he did it and now he’s one of my favorite players on the team.

We aren’t the only ones too, as Matt Ceronne of MetsBlog.com is also excited about the possiblities:

…that’s awesome… i’m so excited to see how wright and Jose Reyeslead camp this spring, considering a) they’re essentially the longest tenured players, and b) without Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, it’s their camp, it’s their time to lead

If nothing else this year I really hope that the Mets show me something for the future.  Show me that the team has a solid core of players that want to play.  That will work to improve.  That actually like each other and want to play for each other.  Even if it’s a losing season, show me some progress.  Show me leadership and most importantly show me an overall grand plan.   It’s a make or break season for so many of the Mets players, coaches, and personnel that they should have absolutely no problem with motivation.  Hopefully Jeff Francoeur and David Wright will step and fill the leadership role this team so badly needs.