<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

Terry Collins

Terry Collins expects the Mets to make the playoffs in 2015

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He actually said “we should be playing in October,” which, yes, obviously, because the regular season doesn’t end until October 4. But he wasn’t being cutesy about it. He was referring to the Mets playing in the playoffs. Indeed, he expects it:

“We should be playing in October . . . Our young guys are starting to grow, with the addition of some offense, and … we’re not done. I don’t think Sandy by any means [is done] . . . we’re going to make some more moves before spring training starts . . . I think 2015 is going to be a good year for us.”

The Mets are likely to be a popular pick to improve greatly next year, especially if Alderson does add some more offense. The young pitching is fantastic and Matt Harvey is coming back.

For years there has been a call for patience for the team to develop. Collins is no longer content to do that. It could come back to bite him, of course, but for now it has to be encouraging to be a Mets fan and to hear this kind of positivity.

Confirmed PED-liar Andy Pettitte tells A-Rod that he just needs to come clean

Andy Pettitte
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This is about as rich as it gets. Andy Pettitte telling Alex Rodriguez through the press that he should just do what Pettitte did with PEDs and come clean:

“Just get everything out,” Pettitte said Thursday night at Chelsea Piers, where he was to be a guest of honor at Joe Torre’s annual Safe at Home charity dinner. “Everything has to be out, otherwise it seems like something’s always chasing you around. That’s just the best way to do things, I think, the easiest way to do things.”

Is that really the best thing to do? Probably! But how on Earth would Andy Pettitte know? Because anyone who has paid actual attention to the PED story for the past decade can tell you that Andy Pettitte has admitted to PED use only after he has been caught, and only to the extent to which those who caught him could prove. And he has unequivocally lied about it.

Here was Pettitte in 2006, after there were rumors that his name appeared in an affidavit pitcher Jason Grimsley gave to law enforcement:

“I absolutely killed myself over my career to work as hard as I possibly can to be as good as I possibly can and have it done natural.”

Which was a lie, of course, because the following year he would be identified as a PED user in the Mitchell Report. Here was Pettitte’s statement after that came out:

“In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped.

“This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list,” he said. “I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal. . . . If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true,” he said.

The “two days in 2002” mantra was pretty good! Except it was a lie too! Because when he was put under oath before the House of Representatives a few months later and was confronted with additional evidence of PED use in 2004 — a bit after those “two days in 2002,” it seems — he copped to that too. Pettitte has never made mention of any additional PED use. The “everything” he has “just gotten out” has been precisely the two occasions on which he was caught.

I suppose, technically, it is possible that those two occasions for which there was documented evidence of his PED were the only times in his professional life that he took PEDs. But the list of people whom the media and fans have chosen to believe only took PEDs on the isolated times for which there was documented evidence has exactly one name on it, and that name is Andy Pettitte. No one else — literally no one — is believed when they make such a claim.

So forgive me if I think maybe the better advice for Alex Rodriguez would not be to “come clean” but to “be Andy Pettitte.” Because, apparently, that’s the best way for a guy to get past it all.

None of which is to criticize Pettitte as such. He has only come as clean as people have wanted him to. Which is to say, not much at all, because for whatever reason people don’t care about his drug use. To be honest, I’d prefer every player got the Pettitte treatment as opposed to the pillorying some guys get. When I think of Pettitte I think of a really good baseball player who made some mistakes which, however controversial, shouldn’t define him. I’d prefer to think of just about every other PED user that way too.

It is, however, pretty inexcusable hackery for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York to offer up those Pettitte quotes without mentioning the fact that Pettitte himself hasn’t “come clean,” and that no one on the planet gets the benefit of the doubt he gets. Does he have no memory of the actual facts about which he is reporting? And no editor to remind him of them? Apparently not.

But I suppose me bringing this up just makes me a ‘roids apologist.

Robinson Cano’s toe was fractured by a pitch in the Japan Series

Robinson Cano toe
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We mentioned this morning that Robinson Cano left today’s Japan Series game when he was hit by a pitch in the toe. The bad news, from Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano limped out of the Tokyo Dome during the eighth inning of Saturday’s All-Star Series Game against Samurai Japan, bound for X-rays at a local hospital. According to a source, Cano learned shortly thereafter that he has a non-displaced fracture of the pinkie toe on his right foot, the result of a Yuki Nishi pitch that hit him on the cleat. He will miss the remainder of the Japan Series.

Cano is expected to be sidelined from whatever it is he does in the offseason for 3-4 weeks, which could affect conditioning and things, but should not impact his availability for spring training.

Four NPB pitchers combine to no-hit the MLBers in the Japan Series

Japan Series
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We haven’t been posting about the Japan Series because, well, it’s not really holding any of our interests. The idea is great in theory of course, but it’s just some exhibition games and they’re airing at, like, 4am and even irredeemable morning people like me are having a hard time focusing. We’d probably kill for this sort of thing in January, but right now it’s just hard to focus on it.

But something notable did happen in the this morning’s Game 3: four pitchers from team Japan combined to no-hit the MLB All-Stars.

The pitchers were Takahiro Norimoto, Yuki Nishi, Kazuhisa Makita and Yuji Nishino. The MLB lineup contained six All-Stars including American League batting champ Jose Altuve and NL batting champ Justin Morneau. Robinson Cano was in the game for a time too, but he left after being hit by a pitch in the foot. He’s off for X-Rays now. If we hear anything on that we’ll let you know.

This is not the first no-hitter in Japan Series history. In 1990 Chuck Finley and Randy Johnson combined to no-hit the Japanese players.

The Japanese team’s win puts them up 3-0 in the five-game series. Which means they have won it already, though they do play the whole thing out.

Report: Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins are discussing a $300 million deal

Giancarlo Stanton
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Whoa Nelly!  From Rosenthal:

Would Giancarlo Stanton turn down the biggest contract in professional sports history?

The Miami Marlins apparently intend to find out.

The two sides are discussing a deal that would be for at least 10 years and at least $300 million, according to major-league sources.

At the moment, Miguel Cabrera has the largest contract in baseball at ten years and $292 million. Stanton, of course, is way younger than Cabrera was when he signed that.

There is no comment from Stanton’s people. They’re probably trying to wrap their brains around this. Whether it’s in the form of an actual offer or if this is just stuff leaked to the press in order to create the perception that Stanton is the intractable one if a deal is not reached. Which, yes, is cynical of me to say, but the Marlins have created a situation over the years to where their motivations aren’t entitled to immediate deference.