Tag Archive for Jake Reed

Confessions of a Technical Illiterate Who Also Never Heard of R.J. Alvarez

Let me start by saying, I’m sorry.

This site, kind of like the Mets, has struggled a little recently. Without getting too deeply into detail, there was an issue of a disagreement between my antivirus software and my domain host, that prevented me, or rather, just made it too complicated, to promptly update the site, and between that, and a new job I have that’s incredibly busy, and the fact that my keyboard needed to be replaced, etc etc … I fell way behind and makes it look as though this site (meaning, me) was not paying attention to the Mets, even though I was (the database, for example was being updated). It was like being gagged. Over the 23 years I’ve operated this site, it has survived a few similar periods, and … there’s more work to be done.

I don’t know about you guys, but I worked out the above issue this morning only to find out doing so made the website “theme” look wrong (it looks wrong doesn’t it?), and when I went to address that I was surprised to find the theme host stopped supporting this particular theme… omg, EIGHT YEARS AGO. So that’s another project that might interfere, just warning you. It’s been so long since I last updated the bones of this site, I’ve pretty much forgotten how to do that, so be patient and wish me luck, and maybe I can do a Cliff Floyd and try put off major surgery till the offseason, even if I have to limp around and fake it for a bit.

But what I really want to say is how have YOU been? And how about those Mets?

Me, I’ve veered between worry and elation over the last month or so. Neither of the home-and-home sets with Houston was in any sense encouraging, except, if you could step back and say to yourself, as I’ve often said to myself this year, that we are still witness to one of the very best Mets seasons ever (though not necessarily the best Mets *team ever) and one thing about the 2022 Mets, the 1986 Mets and the 1969 Mets clubs was, they struggled against Houston in the regular season.

Since the last time we “talked” (looks it up… mid-May, Jesus!) we’ve seen the return of Tommy Hunter, now wearing 34; the debut of Ender Inciarte in 22; a ghost appearance by Gosuke Katoh in 25; guys like Jake Reed return, still wearing 72; and yesterday I guy I swear I never heard of, nor even knew was in the organization, but has played on several MLB teams, R.J. Alvarez, shows up wearing 71 in the bullpen. Did I forget anything? I mean, other than how to maintain a website?

 

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Seek Your Level

So last year, the Mets were never once were any better than 11 games over .500, a point they reached just once, following a sweep of the Cubs in June. Their failure to exit that range-bound 6 or 7 over .500 while the rest of the division was worse during the season’s first months was the story of the year, until that club revealed all kind of other problems (injuries, underperformance, lapsed priorities and so on) when they ultimately revealed their level was not actually 6 or 7 games over but 6 or 7 games under.

So it’s with a small amount of trauma that I’ll note this team has so far twice had the opportunity to exceed last year’s high-water mark and twice failed to get there, and doing so with games that weren’t so fun to watch. We shouldn’t be losing to Paul Sewald, as nice a guy as he was (he once acknowledged me yelling “Sewald!” through the bullpen fence at the Cyclones park). If this is really to be as good a year as it looks like it can be, we can’t hover while the rest of the division struggles. Now’s not the time to hover–get to 20 over, a point at which hovering will likely get you to the playoffs.

Catching up again on the comings and goings, we saw Stephen Nogosek and his ridiculous 85 jersey come ago go, and recently welcomed back Jake Reed, who’s still wearing 72. James McCann’s broken hamate–a bad injury for a catcher who already can’t hit, I’d reckon–is out for several weeks and Patrick Mazeika is back. That’s notable only because Mazieka, unlike Nogosek or Reed, got reassigned a normal number and what was 76 last year is now 4.

 

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O Positive

Marcus Stroman’s acrimonious departure from the Mets doesn’t necessary mean that No. 0 is going out with him. The Mets this week have signed veteran reliever Adam Ottavino to a 1-year contract.

Ottavino, who’s notable around here for having come though the same Brooklyn little league baseball program my kid plays in, is a former Cardinal, Rockie, Yankee and Red Sock, and has worn 0 — for O, you know — since 2013 so it’s a fair bet that’s what he’ll suit up in here, though the Mets as of this morning hadn’t updated their numerical roster yet.

Stroman, who’s listed in 0 on the Cubs’ roster, by the way, always came off to me as one of those guys who had to invent things to be pissed off about in order to maintain an edge he thought he needed. That’s a really hard demeanor to sustain as a ballplayer and though we missed having clubhouse reporters to pass it along surely something wasn’t right with the chemistry.

In other news, Brad Hand, the 63rd and final Met of last year’s record-smashing player personnel explosion, has gone and signed with the Phillies. Hand wore 52 last season, one of two. The other, Jake Reed, is still on the 40, and still listed in 72 so let’s watch that.

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The Mazeik Is Back (Not)

Just as we feared, the Mets’ failure to capitalize on the graciousness of struggling divisional opponents early this season is turning the second half into a complete disaster.

Yeah there’s been key injuries but there’s plenty more blame to go around, including a passive posture at the trade deadline that’s already blown up in their faces, a teamwide hitting approach that simply looks awful, and a return to black uniforms that at some level, speaks to misplaced priorities and a poor sense of taste.

I’m not against mixing up things up sartorially, and acknowledge the sense of excitement and nostalgia that accompanies the black era, but to me this is another manifestation of a poor approach leading to missed opportunity. The problem with the black jerseys wasn’t that they were black, necessarily, but they were poorly designed. Try something different already: Hit against the shift. Take a strike down by a run in the 9th. Get a fashion expert to take another look at incorporating black without a clashy, busy, and depressing expression.

I’m cranky because I stayed up last night to watch these palookas finally do enough offensively to win (with some missed opportunity) only to see the bullpen cough up any chance. The team is infected somehow and begun to resemble Luis Rojas’s 2020 squad, which missed the playoffs in the easiest year ever to make the playoffs. This might be the second.

There’s now been a club record 60 guys on the roster this year. Sidearmer Jake Reed (who?) is the latest, wearing No. 52 (Nick Tropeano, we hardly knew ye). Reed came to us from the … (looks it up) Rays, who released him and was previously with the … Dodgers … and Angels … and Twins orgs.

Trevor Williams, collected in the ill-fated deadline day giveaway with the Cubs, in the meantime has been up and back and now back again, wearing 29 and reminding me of another Cubs-bred Met starter, Steve Trachsel and adding to our league-leading collection of Trevors. Travis Blankenorn (73) is back. Geoff Hartlieb (40) has been up and back. Patrick Mazeika (76) is even back (Tomas Nido is injured, because). What difference does it make?

Just last night, Billy McKinney homered off Anthony Banda.

 

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