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Catching up with the Mets, MetsBlog.com

In preparation for the Nationals upcoming series against the Mets, The Nats Blog did a cross interview with one of the top baseball blogs on the internet, MetsBlog.com. MetsBlog, founded by Matt Cerrone, truly has been a leader in the development of sports blogging, and has really elevated itself into something special. Here is what Mike Nichols from MetsBlog had to say about the state of their team. 

The Nats Blog: Jose Reyes is such a spark plug and a key to the Mets line up, what’s the latest on his injury and when do you expect him to be back in full ‘Jose Reyes’ form?

MetsBlog: As I write this it was announced Jose Reyes has a slight tear in his right hamstring and from all reports will not be back until late July. Will Reyes come back in July? I’ll believe it when I see it. The Mets medical staff has done a poor job managing injuries this season.

Obviously losing Reyes is a huge blow to this team that is already riddled with injuries. In my mind Reyes cannot be replaced and I think it will be tough for them to keep pace with the Phillies until July when Reyes and Carlos Delgado are expected back.

TNB: Speaking of the DL, is there any legitimate concern over this mysterious flu going through the Mets clubhouse?

MetsBlog: I don’t think there is any concern among the Mets about the illness that plagued Carlos Beltran and John Maine. It was reported a member of Sportsnet New York’s production crew had contracted an unknown flu strain, but neither Beltran or Maine were showing symptoms and most likely they suffered from food poisoning. The team does not believe any of their players have contracted the flu, but coming from the Mets medical staff, you can take that for what it is worth. 

TNB: David Wright is having another solid season batting .321/431/.465 but his power numbers are noticeably down. Some have suggested this is a result of the new Citi Field, to what do you attribute Wrights lagging power numbers in 2009?

MetsBlog: I think Citi Field is a factor, but I don’t think that is the sole reason for Wright’s power outage. Through most of April it seemed as if Wright was trying to hit homeruns, which resulted in him striking out at very high rate. He still continues to strike out at an alarming pace, but it looks as if he has followed Carlos Beltran’s approach and is trying to use the whole field.

If you notice, Wright is a very streaky hitter. In a recent post on MetsBlog.com, Matthew Cerrone said it best about Wright, He’ll appear totally locked-in for 10 games or so, looking focused, with a level swing, all while hitting the other way; then, in the blink of an eye, for the next 10 days, he’ll return to looking uncomfortable, with a looping swing, while missing outside pitches and appearing pull-happy.”

TNB: Last year, the Mets were struggling and replaced manager Willie Randolph, which seemed to turn things around for the club. Now the Nationals are struggling and many are pointing the finger at Manny Acta. Based on the Mets experience last year, do you think replacing the manager is a positive move for a team going in the wrong direction?

Metsblog: I’ve always thought replacing a manager mid-season is a bit overrated. It really comes down to player performance. As long as the manager puts his best team on the field and makes the few strategic moves needed during the game, then really what else does he have control over. Sure, developing a winning culture in the clubhouse is part of it, but there have been plenty of success managers that have won while running an asylum. 

In the case of the Mets last year, I think it worked to a certain extent, as it is my opinion most of the team tuned Willie Randolph out and ignored his message. The team, especially Carlos Delgado, did respond and play well once Jerry Manuel took over in June, but the Mets failed to reached the playoffs and did so in epic fashion for the second straight season. So, in the end did the firing of Randolph help the Mets? No, the team got the same result under both managers. That’s more of an indictment of the players than the manager in my opinion

TNB: My last question, with the injury of Carlos Delgado, do you think the Mets have a legitimate interest in trading for Nick Johnson? What would they be willing to give up?

MetsBlog: That’s a tough question. I’ve really lost faith in Mets GM Omar Minaya’s ability to make in-season moves. However, in the off-season, I don’t think I’d rather have another GM than Minaya running my ball club.  

That being said, I really don’t know what Minaya’s plans are this season. With all the injuries there just seems to be so many holes to fill. Because of the injuries I think it will be harder for the Mets to make a trade as teams might drive up the price knowing the Mets are desperate.  If so, based on his track record, Minaya, who seems hellbent on not trading his top prospects, is unlikely to make a big splash as the trade deadline approaches.

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