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Alan Karmin

Alan Karmin

Saturday, 11 May 2019 16:26

Baseball Like It Ought To Be?

The game has obviously changed. I never thought of baseball as a dangerous game. I thought of football as a dangerous game, but not baseball. I learned how to take out a second baseman to break up a double play in Little League. I learned how to barrel into a catcher if he had the ball and was blocking the plate. And I learned that I was going to GET BARRELED INTO if I was blocking the plate when I was catching. I got some of the eight broken noses I suffered over the years that way.

There are things that were just a part of baseball. There are things that were not in the rule book. It was just understood. It was the “code.” One thing I was always good at was stealing signs. It helped that I had a photographic memory. But I paid attention while everyone else was jerking around. I didn’t have to guess what pitch was coming when I was hitting, I often knew what was coming. And, no, I didn’t always peek back at the catcher, I wouldn’t do that. I picked up on the odd habits and, perhaps, tics that a pitcher might have that would give away what he was about to do. In fact, if a batter peeked back at MY signs, he got buzzed behind the ear on a throw back to my battery mate.

It happens every spring. The Mets strength is what? Let’s hear it…their pitching. Well, the pitching has been unimpressive, to say the least. Even Jacob deGrom has looked “human.”

The bullpen has been just brutal.

The keys to the bullpen were supposed to be the bridges to the closer – Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia. They have all been shaky at best. And Edwin Diaz, although he hasn’t blown any saves…yet…he is not exactly “lights out” either. His reputation in Seattle was to produce heart palpitations during most of his outings even during his stellar 2018 season.

The one thing you used to be able to count on was that Mets pitchers wouldn’t issue many walks. Now they are walking the ballpark. The starting staff that was supposed to be the most talented in baseball is not really looking all that great.

Thursday, 28 March 2019 02:06

It's Time Again For "Let's Go Mets!"

Opening Day is finally here. Baseball is back. It was a long winter after a disappointing season. But although there wasn’t a major overhaul, no fire sale, it was an interesting off-season to say the least. How it plays out now will be interesting and, hopefully, fun.

Before we get underway, it seems like a good time to take a look at a number of issues addressed since the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Saturday, 29 September 2018 22:05

Time To Say Good-bye To A Special Met

Every so often, someone special comes along. Someone that just makes you smile. Someone that you can look at and say, “Now THERE’S a good kid.” The Seattle Mariners had Junior Griffey. The Yankees, of course, had Derek Jeter. The Mets…well…they have had David Wright.

David Wright has been everything the Mets could have asked for. He has been everything the Mets FANS could have asked for. He was dubbed “Captain America” after captivating an audience on the world stage with his game-winning exploits during the World Baseball Classic.

With the Mets, he has grabbed just about every significant offensive record. His stats, during his prime, were worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, if only he were able to maintain his health. And that was what failed him. Sometimes the mind is willing, but the body just won’t cooperate.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 21:30

deGrom Needs A One Way Ticket

If I were Jacob deGrom, I would want to bust outta here on the first laundry truck. Why in the world would he want to stick around?

As a Mets fan, I do not want to see deGrom traded off. deGrom has become one of my favorite all-time athletes, ranking right up there with New York sports icons Derek Jeter, David Wright, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Thurman Munson, and, of course, Tom Seaver. They were all special not only because of their performances, but because of the way they conducted themselves, the way they went about their business, they were winners both on and off the field. deGrom has earned his place alongside those icons. However, he may have also earned himself alongside of Seaver in the way his career goes…out of New York.

 As a fan, I would not like to see a replay of the Midnight Massacre of June 15, 1977…the night that the obnoxiousness and arrogance of M. Donald Grant led to Seaver begging to get out of town at the 11th hour. Similarly, it could very well be the same obnoxiousness and arrogance, this time of Jeff Wilpon, that will lead to deGrom begging to get out of town.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 00:58

Hey, Don't Blame Reyes!

I love listening to sports talk radio…and watching some of my fellow Mets fans post their thoughts on social media. I get a real kick out of some of what I see and hear – ripping players, proposing ridiculous trades, firing managers, kicking general managers to the curb, and believing they can tell an owner of a business that they have to sell. Come on!

Even as a Mets fan, I am hugely impressed by the Yankees young squad put together by Brian Cashman – a combination of draft picks and young talent acquired by trade – especially Gleyber Torres acquired from the Chicago Cubs. And speaking of the Cubs, look at the job done by Theo Epstein, a combination of young talent drafted and acquired through trade. Neither team is perfect, they both have their own idiosyncrasies and deficiencies, but they are both exciting to watch. The Mets, on the other hand, are not.

I have seen when a deer gets struck by a vehicle, and is suffering, a police officer will take out his service revolver and put the poor thing out of its misery. Given the way the Yankees have been a virtual juggernaut, and the Mets have been like a wounded animal, it could just be that the Yankees put the final blow on the Mets season and put them out of their misery.

Nothing is looking good for the Mets right now…except for the starting pitching. In reality, the last two turns through the rotation, every starter has done a magnificent job. Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, even Jason Vargas has rebounded from his putrid performances to turn in two terrific performances. Noah Syndergaard has been good, but not great, but Seth Lugo stepped in and put up four shutout innings. And, of course, Jacob deGrom has been doing the best impression of Tom Seaver in years, and is suffering the same fate that Seaver and Jerry Koosman became accustomed to – pitching your heart out and coming away with nothing to show for it. The thing is that the Mets starters can stave off the Yankees hitters. But, unlike Seaver and Koosman, these starters can’t go nine innings, it is a shock if they go seven…or even MAKE IT INTO the seventh inning. And we all know what happens once a team gets into the Mets bullpen…BOOM!!!

Monday, 28 May 2018 13:49

Just Embarrassing!

It’s one thing to lose…it’s another thing to lose in a way that makes you want to seek the nearest hole in the ground. The Mets were so putrid in 1962 that it spawned a book by the famed writer Jimmy Breslin called, “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” And that’s because even though that 1962 inaugural team had some pretty big name players of the day, they were way past their primes and they somehow managed to lose games in the most bizarre and unfathomable ways. But back then it was kind of funny, kind of lovable. Today, it is downright embarrassing.

The loss to the Marlins in the series finale on Wednesday night, a blown save by Jeurys Familia was frustrating, yet another wasted brilliant performance by Jacob deGrom. But then, after a series opening shutout in Milwaukee on Thursday by Steven Matz, the Mets have looked absolutely and hopelessly inept against the Brewers.

Friday, 04 May 2018 22:00

The Wheels Are Coming Off

The wheels are coming off. Can the wheels really be coming off when the team is 17-12 and still in second place? Well, if you look at the fact that, take away the nine-game winning streak, the Mets have been less than stellar, the record is truly deceiving. And the Atlanta Braves, the REBUILDING Atlanta Braves, truly embarrassed the Mets in the three-game series at Citifield to move them past the Mets into first place.

And perhaps Sandy Alderson and new manager Mickey Callaway have had enough of the “embarrassments” as the shocking news is that Matt Harvey has been DFA’d (Designated For Assignment) after Harvey rejected a request that he agree to go to the minors to fix himself rather than continue to embarrass himself at the big club…and any other club he seems to be stumbling out of at night where ever he is.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 00:37

Long Balls or Long Season?

The Mets are 14-6, in first place in the Eastern Division of the National League, with the second best record in the League. Fans have to be happy about that, don’t they? But the truth is that the Mets are pretty lucky to be in this position.

In the last week, the Mets have lost…no…not just lost…have brutally blown, not one, but two brilliant performances by Jacob deGrom turning what appeared to be sure wins into gut-wrenching losses. The bullpen that appeared to be the surprising bright spot had two ugly meltdowns to contribute to the debacles.

But what is truly amazing is how the Mets are in such a good position with not only the bullpen melting down, but the Matt Harvey saga and his ultimate demotion to the bullpen, as well as the on again, off again, performances of Steven Matz. Even Noah Syndergaard, strikeouts and all, has not been able to provide the kind of lengthy performances needed to get to the back end of the bullpen.

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About New York Mets Mania

Alan Karmin is an award-winning journalist and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent most of his life growing up in the New Jersey suburbs. Alan's family were avid Brooklyn Dodgers fans and when the Dodgers moved west, the Mets became the team to root for. The Mets have always been a true focal point, Alan even wrote a term paper in high school to analyze what was wrong with the Mets. While at the University of Miami, Alan honed his craft covering the, gulp, Yankees during spring trainings in Fort Lauderdale for a local NBC affiliate, as well as the Associated Press and UPI. He broadcasted baseball games for the University of Miami, and spring training games for the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. New York Mets Mania is a forum for Alan to write about his favorite team and for baseball fans to chime in and provide their thoughts and ideas about New York's Amazin' Mets.