METS: Roster being finalized

From Adam Rubin.

Its 12 pitchers again. Eleven at first until Livan Hernandez is needed. Bobby Kielty must have a straight minor league contract. Nick Evans is being rewarded for his spring and impressive development.

The seventh and eighth spots in the line-up are going to be weak unless Luis Castillo rebounds. Otherwise. With only one extra catcher, look for Jerry Manual to pinch hit for the 8 and 9 hitters back – to – back at times. This can work as Jose Reyes has proved to be an able RBI guy. Here’s hoping the Daniel Murphy is as good as expected.

Lets go Mets!

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This post was written by bobsikes on March 31, 2009

METS: Considering Bobby Kielty

Its been quiet about the veteran outfielder who has had a good enough spring to make the club. But most models have him as an odd man out of the team that will go north. The Mets are probably attempting to do something with him – maybe even looking for a scenario to keep him. He has significant value snd might still make the club instead of Nick Evans who needs to be playing snd has options. The Mets probably don’t want to let Kielty get away from them.

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This post was written by bobsikes on March 31, 2009

METS: All about Ollie

The Mets saw exactly what they wanted to in Oliver Perez yesterday and in the mean time learned alot about him.

Perez is a “hand’s on” pitcher in that likley thrives in a controlled, structured environment. After his last start was so universally and publically condemned, Perez responded with the sort of dominate performances the Mets and likely the Pirates always expected from him. Consistency is performance has been the key. The largess of the stage also is factor that affects Perez as demonstrated in his performances at Yankee Stadium.

So what to do now?

Hopefully after this week Johan Santana emerges as a role model for Perez whom will begin to model his work ethic and preperation. If Santana has this kind of influence, Perez won’t want to disappoint him.

Dan Warthen has shown he’s not afraid of being hard on his guys – and in the media, too. I hope this does not become a habit of Warthen as it will backfire in an extremely dangerous way at some point. Still, if Warthen motivates in a manner in balance with staying on his ass, this combination with Santana can be a productive one for Perez.

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Britains History or Arab Appeasement and Submission to Violent Islam

Melanie Phillips points to an excellent history lesson posted today in American Thinker by Victor Sharpe.

Sharpe traces the origin of this British appeasement to non other than Winston Churchill.

This betrayal by none other than Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary at the time, was a devastating blow to the Jewish and Zionist leadership, which now saw the promised Jewish homeland reduced to the remaining narrow territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan – an area barely 50 miles at its widest.

Shortly after, in 1923, the British and French colonial powers also divided up the northern part of the Palestine Mandate. Britain stripped away the Golan Heights (ancient biblical Bashan) and gave it to French occupied Syria.

Says Phillips:

It is only if the true history of the Middle East is understood that certain things become inescapably clear: the scale of the monumental lie that has been so assiduously promulgated about the nature of this dispute, a lie which is now generally assumed in the west to be true and which is driving the genocidal hysteria against Israel; the fact that the fundamental cause of this tragic impasse was the repeated British appeasement of Arab terror, illegality and injustice, a policy which continues to this very day; and the immorality and absurdity therefore of believing that today’s ‘two-state solution’ – which among other things means that the ‘progressives’ who support it thus support the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the putative state of Palestine – would be anything other than a Final Solution for the Jews of Israel, not to mention an incalculable victory for the forces waging war against the free world.

Its no wonder British sensibilities are what they are today with the Archbishop of Canterbury praising Muslims for bringing religion back to England.

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This post was written by bobsikes on March 30, 2009

Senator Corker responds to Obama’s chilling firing of GM boss

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee is becoming a republican voice to listen to. Today on his web page he offers voters the realities of Obama’s chilling “firing” of GM CEO Rick Wagoner:

“Firing Rick Wagoner is a sideshow to distract us from the fact that the administration has no progress to announce today,” said Corker. “The administration is hoping the media and the public will stay focused on Wagoner and fail to notice that negotiations have not progressed since December.

“The administration is pursuing much of what we pushed for in December, but the delay of several months has increased the severity and sent billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain. Now any investment is likely unrecoverable and we are putting more and more jobs at the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and the supply chain at risk in a politically charged environment.

“With sweeping new power the White House will be deciding which plants will survive and which won’t, so in essence, this administration has decided they know better than our courts and our free market process how to deal with these companies.

“It’s been a long time since Washington has seen the kind of kowtowing that’s about to occur among members of Congress trying to curry favor with the administration to keep plants in their states open, and it will be interesting to see if the administration makes these decisions based on a red state and blue state strategy or based on efficiency and capable, skilled workers at each plant. If they use the latter, our GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee should do very well.

“This is a major power grab by the White House on the heels of another power grab from Secretary Geithner who asked last week for the freedom to decide on his own which companies are ‘systemically’ important to our country and worthy of taxpayer investment and which are not.

“This is a marked departure from the past, truly breathtaking, and should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise. I worry that in one fell swoop we’ve lost our moral high ground throughout the global community as it relates to chastising other countries that use strong arm tactics to invade on private property rights.”

H/T Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO’s The Corner.

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METS: Ranked 5th as an organization?

Dave Cameron has a thorough study in FanGraphs of all major league franchises and gives the Mets a surprising raanking of 5th.

He clearly likes Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Johan Santana. But while saying that the three are among the game’s very best, he maintains there’s a significant drop-off in talent and value of the rest of the roster. He curiously leaves out Jose Reyes in his statistical value and comments. He has his greatest criticism for Omar Minaya:

Omar Minaya is a pretty good scout. He does a good job of identifying young players who can contribute at the major league level. However, he’s just not good at the valuation aspect of the GM job – trying to figure out how much to pay for different skills, finding inefficiencies in the market, and putting together a roster that maximizes the assets he has. The Oliver Perez signing, the K-Rod signing, the J.J. Putz trade are all examples of identifying players who could help his team but not understanding how much those players should cost, given the availability of alternatives in the market. When handed a payroll large enough to give him the ability to overpay, he can build a contending roster, but most GMs in baseball could do more with the same resources. There are smart people working for the Mets, but they have the wrong guy in charge, and that’s a problem.

Fair enough, but I believe that Minaya’s tenure has brought significant improvements to scouting, the minor leagues and overall player development. If the Mets are able to get to the World Series this season, Minaya will (and should) get significant credit. This outcome is reasonable. And as I wrote in an earlier post, Minaya efforts at buliding organizational depth this off-season of major league talent will prove to be a benefit.

Cameron’s entire work is worth a look.

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This post was written by bobsikes on March 28, 2009

EDUCATION: Teachers being let go in my district

Essentially, all non-tenured teachers are being told they will not be returning next year in Okaloosa County. We go through this from time to time, but with the economy being as bad as it is the cuts sadly serve to increase anxiety for all.

At Crestview High School, on paper we will be losing two Science teachers in my department. One is retiring and the other falls into the three years or less category. To put in in perspective, we are likely to have the same amount of students next year as this one, but there will be 10 less classes. I teach six classes right now – by choice – but have over 30 in each. The number will go up for each teacher.

But we are forced to do things backwards as we have not been told by the state how much funding will be coming on our way. Our union does not believe it will be so bad, but the district is letting teachers know as early as it can nonetheless.

Still this demonstrates the state and local role of education and its implementation. Mandates come down from the federal level, but it is up to states and local school boards to actually get the job done. There’s a disconnect between federal and the state-local combination with the federal mandates currently outweighing in power what’s far beyond the intention of the founding fathers. Its why an untold Jimmy Carter folly was the establishment of the Department of Education. One wonders how much money we’d save with it’s abolishment.

In addition this local problem reveals just how much President Obama’s claim that he’s saved teacher’s jobs. Only if states could actually use stimlus money as they see fit could Obama make this claim.

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WAR: Are the Paks playing us?

An Investors Business Daily editorial spells out the dangerous conundrum we find ourselves in by giving money to Pakistan. It seems that Pak intellligence uses the money to aid the Taliban to inhibit their enemy India. Here’s more:

The plan to reward Islamabad with another $15 billion comes as stunning new U.S. intelligence — gathered from electronic surveillance and trusted informants — reveals Pakistan’s spy service has been supporting the Taliban.

And they’ve been doing it with our intelligence, our weapons and our money. In effect, we are funding the Taliban.

Pakistan’s secret war has pushed violence in Afghanistan to its highest level since U.S.-led forces invaded in 2001. U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan rose 35% in 2008.

Why would Pakistan’s military intelligence destabilize the Afghan government? To limit archenemy India’s influence next door. It’s now confirmed that the Taliban bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul with help from Pakistani intelligence, the ISI.

The ISI has even shared intelligence with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the al-Qaida subcontractor that recently massacred 160 people in Mumbai. It’s no coincidence that Indian trains and commercial centers and parliament buildings have been attacked since we drove the Taliban out of Afghanistan.

So, why fund someone to kill our soldiers? To be fair, the Bush administration likley would have followed a similar path. But the path reveals an overreach in the endless talk for talk’s sake of diplomacy. More from IBD:

This confirms what we’ve been warning for a long time: Islamabad is playing a dangerous double game of stringing us along for more and more cash, while mouthing hollow promises of cooperation in our war on terror.

Islamabad aided the Taliban and al-Qaida before 9/11. What made us think Western money could get it to untangle itself from them?

After 9/11, as outlined in official U.S. demands, Pakistan promised to “stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban” and to “end support for the Taliban.”

It has done neither. And our answer is to rush more aid there, under the misguided notion that we can strengthen Pakistan’s social fabric and democracy and walk it away from decades of Islamic extremism.

Washington still doesn’t understand that in Pakistan, terrorism is a state policy. It’s as true today as it was when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan. Only difference is, we’re now on the other side of that treachery. To the ISI, we’re the new Soviet Union.

Obama is right to worry that the Afghan government is in peril of falling to the Islamic militants of the Taliban once again. But sending more troops there without also addressing the problem next door in Pakistan is just kicking the can down the road.

The president must at least put verifiable conditions on any aid we send to Islamabad in the future: Cut off support for militant groups, or we’ll cut off the supply of cash.

Otherwise, we’re just letting terrorism pay — and pay big — while bankrolling our own defeat.

The evidence is there that Pakistan is playing us for a fool and a sucker. Eventually a President John McCain would have gotten it, but President Obama is sending money to Pakistan with intell is on the books that says the cash is being used to fund our enemy. Hopefully the check went with clear requirements of the payee.

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This post was written by bobsikes on March 28, 2009

METS: Matt Cerrone the first to say Elbow Gate was nonsense to begin with

Thank goodness someone finally said it. Matt Cerrone accurately tells how the tightness in Johan Santana’s elbow was blown out of proportion by the media for its shock value. Here’s Cerrone’s take:

…actually, if you paid attention during that week of spring training, elbow-gate never really started… he never really complained of pain in the elbow, he complained of pain in the muscle and tendon in the tricep, above the elbow… also, the Mets never needed to send him for an MRI, and, believe me, if it was truly an elbow injury, he would not have been allowed to look at a pitcher’s mound, let alone throw a simulated game three days later… he’s fine, so it seems…

It was always never more that tightness in a spot above the elbow in the tricep that always gets tight. Both Ray Ramirez and Mike Herbst learned under the late Tommy McKenna. They knew what they were dealing with, and so did the the rest of the staff.

Many in the media made fools of themselves and seem to have developed a tendency to go after the Mets medical staff. They did so last year in the Ryan Church concussion escapade.

After getting burned in 1991 over some back spasms John Franco had, Frank Cashen put a muzzle on Steve Garland and me. I don’t know what the situation is now. But if the writers had either listened to or had gotten their information from Ramirez, the story would never had grown legs as it did. But the way the New York print media likes to run with things, accuraccy can’t get in the way of a good headline.

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METS: Roster cuts still leave some mystery but reveal more AAA depth than in previous seasons

Adam Rubin reports the Mets have cut seven – Ron Villone(released), Rene Rivera, Jose Valentin, Cory Sullivan, Nelson Figueroa, Carlos Muniz and Andy Green.

There’s some hidden good news in that its clear that the Mets will start the season with more depth in AAA than previous years. Its been a problem in previous seasons. Only the surprise emergences of Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans and Brian Stokes last season provided spark. This year’s AAA roster will have players who are major league ready and had good springs.

Manuel still has some tough choices. First in Nick Evans. He’s ceratainly earned a spot. But do they keep him for the number of at bats thats limited by Fernando Tatis? The smart play might be to option Evans and keep Bobby Kielty who’s much better suited for a bench role, and also has had a very good spring. Kielty is a switch hitter to. I predict that Evans will go north – a bit as a reward – until Livan Hernandez is needed to start a game. Unless a middle infielder or catcher is injured, Evans will be the first player recalled.

The Mets will probably have a short leash on both Tatis and Ryan Church. If either gets off to a slow start, they won’t hesitate to go to Kielty and or Evans.

Brian Stokes and Bobby Parnell will likely round out the bullpen and leave just one lefty-Pedro Felicaino. With JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez getting the last two innings, its understandable why the Mets feel they can get by with just one. Parnell did not allow a hit to a left-handed batter this spring. Stokes good finish to 2008 was backed up this spring. He can start or relieve.

Still, with all the talk of additions the Mets did not make, this club goes north with more depth – both of the major league roster and at AAA – than at any time of the Omar Minaya regime.

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