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  1. #1
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    Manuel and Wright big question marks

    Spring training finally starts today. And while most of the attention will be on A-Roid and the rest of the Yankees, Mets fans will be focused on the goings on in Port St. Lucie.

    The Mets have plenty of questions heading into the camp, and many of them have been asked in this paper and others, but I have a few questions myself. Questions that will go a long to way to determine just how good the Mets will be.

    1. Is Jerry Manuel the right man for the job?
    Manuel did a tremendous job turning the Mets around after taking over for Willie Randolph, but when all was said and done, Manuelís Mets still fell short. While Manuel gets credit for leading the Mets - who were 34-35 when he took over - into first place in September, he should get the blame for not finishing the job. And this Joe Smith story from the season finale has me wondering if this guy really knows what he's doing. Manuel was clearly a breath of fresh air following Randolph, but Iím curious how his Mr. Laughs shtick will play if the Mets get off to a lousy start.

    2. Does this team have any guts?
    The core group of the Mets (Reyes, Wright, Beltran & Delgado) is great when things are going good, but that same group has completely vanished when the going gets tough. The Mets rolled to the division title in 2006 and smoked an inept Dodger team, but as soon as the Cards showed some fight in the NLCS, the Mets were done. The same thing happened in 2007 and 2008 when they went toe-to-toe with the Phillies. This group has to show it can win a knock-em-down, drag-em-out fight before we can start talking about a World Series title.

    3. Can David Wright handle the pressure?
    Wright is the face of the franchise, and he knows more than anybody whatís expected of this team. And thatís part of the problem. In the past, he has tried too hard in the big spot, usually failing. The ninth-inning at-bat in the Daniel Murphy game last year is a perfect example. This guy does not want choking away division titles to be his Met legacy, but he must realize he canít do it all by himself. Itís a fine balance, but so far, he hasnít shown he can do it. Maybe this year he will.

    4. Which John Maine will show up?
    This is the key question of the entire season. If the 2007 John Maine shows up, the Mets could be in for a big year. With Santana and a strong Maine, the Mets would have as solid as 1-2 punch as anyone in baseball. That would also take the pressure off Pelfrey, Perez, whoever the fifth starter is and the bullpen. However, if Maine struggles like he did in 2008, and fails to get past the sixth inning every fifth day, the Mets could be in for a long season. One of the main reasons the bullpen was so awful last year was that it was overworked, and Maine was a big reason why.

    5. Can we get the ball to K-Rod and Putz?
    Not only will Maine, Pelfrey, Perez and the fifth starter determine the answer to this question, guys like Duaner Sanchez and Pedro Feliciano will, too, and thatís what worries me. Assuming Putz and K-Rod are lights out all season, the sixth and seventh inning pitchers could determine the Metsí fate. I feel much better with Heilman and Schoeneweis out of the picture, but my confidence in Sanchez, Feliciano and Brian Stokes isnít exactly sky high. This is where the lineup comes into play. Too many times last season the Mets scored early then packed it in the rest of way, putting too much pressure on the bullpen to hold the lead. The Mets need to score plenty of runs, especially in games Perez and Pelfrey start, to keep every game from being a nail-biter. This is where having Manny Ramirez, or any legitimate bat in left field, wouldíve helped.

    Well, there you have it. Hopefully everything works out.

    Things should start to pick up today with K-Rod making his first appearance in Port. St. Lucie. Itís finally here, now I just hope it was worth the wait.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/bitterbill/
    Matt Harvey - 8-2; 2.37 ERA; 94 K's; 76.0 Inning.

  2. #2
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    I don't understand how the media can single-out Wright and pick on him for "not handling the pressure" when he's seemed to have the least to do with the collapses the past two years. Did he come out of the bullpen? Oh, that's right I forgot. He failed to get a runner home from third one time. I was mistakenly under the impression that it was a traditional three-out half inning and that there were two other batters behind him who also failed, when in reality, the inning ended after he made an out.

  3. #3
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    First of all, Philly fan:

    Go **** yourself.

    Back to the story, am I missing something? What Joe Smith story in the finale is he talking about?

    And I think he was just observing that DW puts undue pressure on HIMSELF, not just the WE FANS do.

  4. #4
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    Smith did walk a batter in but that wasn't what killed the Mets it was Ayala and Show. He should have went to Pelfrey.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightins89 View Post
    I don't understand how the media can single-out Wright and pick on him for "not handling the pressure" when he's seemed to have the least to do with the collapses the past two years. Did he come out of the bullpen? Oh, that's right I forgot. He failed to get a runner home from third one time. I was mistakenly under the impression that it was a traditional three-out half inning and that there were two other batters behind him who also failed, when in reality, the inning ended after he made an out.


    Is it possible?
    a philly fan with some sort of intelligence!!!

  6. #6
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    I dont understand why its a big deal for Wright now, I mean maybe after 2 staight bad endings, but still, he has handled the pressure very well so far and dont see why he wont continue to.

    BRAIN TRUST
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  7. #7
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    i agree with the philly fan. david wright has put up averages over .300 and .OBP over 400 the last two septembers. but he'll always get singled out cause of one at bat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsfan89 View Post
    i agree with the philly fan. david wright has put up averages over .300 and .OBP over 400 the last two septembers. but he'll always get singled out cause of one at bat.
    last year Reyes got singled out, this year it is wrights turn it seems

  9. #9
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    The story about Smith is something about Manuel wanting him to come in and he was not warming up, but had been warming up earlier in the game. Well when Manuel called up to see if he was ready he was just hanging around and rushed back to get warmed up again and in the process he banged hi knee and hurt himslelf. He came in the game and walked the 1st batter he faced and well later Schoe and Ayala blew the game.


    As far as Wright goes this dude is just another IDIOT writer that does not bother to look up at stats and realize that Wright has shine late in the season both the last 2 years. Yeah lets take one at bat and call him a choker because of it. Freaking idiots.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
    last year Reyes got singled out, this year it is wrights turn it seems
    Kinda like how some people still **** all over Beltran for one pitch in 2006, huh?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbsmets View Post
    Kinda like how some people still **** all over Beltran for one pitch in 2006, huh?
    Yeah that's ridiculous, we was like 3rd in MVP voting that year was he not? And that one absolutely filthy curve...

    Every team has questions. I feel OK about everyone of those questions right now.

    I love what Manuel brings to the table. I think he's the right man for the job. I think the Mets will show the league what they're made of this year under Manuel.

    I think Wright is up to the challenge, and he's going to have a terrific year. I heard at some point he was working on his stamina over the winter to help him be more effective over a longer period of time.

    Maine was hurt last year and he had surgery to have it cleaned up and I think he'll be ready to go. In fact, after the season is over we'll look back and the Mets will have one of the top rotations in the game.

    And I think because of the rotation, the bullpen will be better and they'll get the ball to Putz and K-Rod.

    I'm very optimistic for this season.

  12. #12
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    He still can't hit a curveball

  13. #13
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    The David Wright stuff is stupid but will continue until this team wins something. Even if he hits .220, as soon as this team wins a big series, he'll lose this stupid media tag of being overwhelmed by the pressure.

    I do agree about the assessment on John Maine's role on this team. I don't think I've ever viewed him as high as a number 2 starter, but if 2007 John Maine does show up this year and he's healthy, then this team's pitching staff (top to bottom) could end up mowing down lineups throghout the year.

    Don't worry. He's got this.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie CCPBA View Post
    He still can't hit a curveball
    he didnt swing..who knows if he can hit it

  15. #15
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    everyone says they collapsed, how can an incomplete team collapse? this team is short hitters from LF, 2nd base, catcher, and a RF for All of last year, and a horrible bullpen, but to tell you the truth, if we could have filled these positions with real players, we could have slugged it out with anyone. its always 4 guys versus all of baseball, after that nothing. Alou never played, Nady is over rated,Church out, Castro out, and Schneider. Bring Paulie Back.
    Reyes
    Wright
    Beltran
    Delgado

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