Whitey, Bay and Fernando

I fell asleep halfway through but for the first time in weeks the Mets didn’t, earning a win behind some great defensive plays and a clutch hit by of all people, Jason Bay. And just like that, they look prepared to win a few games again (as long as they can resist bunting as much as they did last night).
I was kind of saddened to hear the team designated Fernando Nieve for assignment, even though I’m sure he’ll land safely in Buffalo. But if you need an example of what’s wrong with how Jerry Manuel uses the bullpen, here’s your guy. Forced onto the team as a result of having no minor-league options, Nieve was used in the Mets’ first four games, six of their first eight, and 9 of their first 13, a completely unsustainable pace. In all he made 24 appearances with one or no days rest. He was used in short relief and long relief, in close games winning, blowouts losing, and even got a start. Predictably, his effectiveness wobbled under the workload and he went from a 100-game pace to a forgotten man in an instant, which seems a waste of a young guy with a good repertoire if some control issues. Manny Acosta was recalled from Buffalo to take his place and outfitted in the same No. 36 he wore earlier this year.
Former Met coach and director of player development, Casey Stengel disciple, and Cardinal-managing nemesis Whitey Herzog will be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend. Richard Sandomir of the Times has a nice article today focusing on Herzog’s Mets career, quoting Keith Hernandez, Ralph Kiner … and me.

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