It was only a matter of time before six men in the bullpen proved far too radical a challenge for Jerry Manuel’s management skills, and so, two weeks after returning to Class AAA Buffalo, lefthander Raul Valdes was recalled Monday. Interestingly, room for Valdes on the roster was created when the Mets disabled Fernando Tatis with a shoulder injury, raising the question of who Jerry will turn to when the opposition counters pinch hitter Chris Carter with a lefthanded pitcher: It’s quite possible his head will explode and it will be left to Dave Jauss to decide.
My apologies for the lengthy layoff: I had little to report as far as numbers went and I tried to stay out of the way of the Mets when they were playing well. That obviously came to an halt last week in Puerto Rico, where the Mets began exhibiting many of the same traits that made them look like one of the league’s worst teams earlier this year: Pitchers falling apart with two outs and none on, sloppy bullpen work, and questionable managerial tactics seemingly contributing to a team suddenly losing its nerve to win. Let’s hope it’s just a stumble in an imperfect but hardly disappointing first half.
One of the few working writers to cover both Monboquette and Manuel, Marty Noble, will be the featured guest at a special Amazin All-Star Monday coming to Two Boots pizzeria in Grand Central Station next Monday, July 12, at 7 pm. Don’t miss this! Marty is a terrific writer, a great interview and a 35-year chronicler of Metsdom. Also on the program will be Howard Megdal, author of The Baseball Talmud and candidate for the next Mets’ General Manager. Faith & Fear in Flushing’s resplendent penman, Greg Prince, will co-host with yours truly. Two Boots, located in the lower dining concourse at Grand Central Station, will offer a special All-Star inspired pizza and a free drink for all fans in exchange for a Mets baseball card. The Home Run Derby will provide televised entertainment.