The Mets are a mess

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Unless something really ridiculous happens today I’m going to do my best to honor Bob’s voluntary cease fire on the Mets for as long as a I can. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t outsource the mocking.  Here’s Bob Klapisch:

None of this is good news for the Mets’ fans, who are wondering
what, exactly, Minaya has done to improve the team this winter. The
signing of Jason Bay has been virtually negated by the GM’s inertia . . . Unless Smoltz changes his mind, the Mets likely will begin the
season with journeyman Fernando Nieve as their No. 5 starter. He lines
up behind Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, all of whom will come to
camp with health issues and emotional baggage.

The gap between the Mets and Phillies has never been wider than it
is today. So unless Santana can pitch three times a week, Jerry Manuel
will have to rely on tightly crossed fingers to keep his job beyond
June 1.

Why are things so dire? According to Rosenthal it’s all about the process, or lack thereof, employed by the front office:

The Mets, multiple industry sources say, do not function like most
clubs. Their unique style would be fine if they were building
championship teams. Instead, they’re coming off a 70-win season and losing out on free agent after free agent–except for one, left fielder Jason Bay, who seemingly lacked a better option.

Ownership, rather than giving Minaya a set budget, weighs the
finances of each acquisition separately, forcing the team to run down
its priority list one move at a time. The paint-by-numbers approach,
which inhibits multitasking and creativity, would work against any GM.

In other words, despite Omar Minaya’s manifest shortcomings, he’s not the one most responsible for this mess. It’s ownership. And if the Wilpons can’t be taken down by a financial collapse and the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, nothin’ is going to take them down.

Hmmm. I guess this post didn’t honor the spirit of the cease fire.  I’ll try harder to be nicer to them tomorrow.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.