Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ollie Free's The Way To Be

For the love of God, what will it take to get this guy cut?

In just two-thirds of an inning Saturday, Oliver Perez managed to dig himself an even deeper hole, by giving up back-to-back home runs, and then a walk.

I applauded the Mets release of Luis Castillo yesterday. It was something that needed to be done. In all honesty, however, I could have lived with Castillo making the team, at least for a little while. The reason for that being because none of his replacements are all that spectacular either.

What I wouldn't be able to handle is the Mets not releasing Perez. The thought of him on the team at this point is so frustrating, it makes me want to throw things.

The Mets are actually turning out to have a pretty decent bullpen. The thought of guys like Mike O'Connor, Tim Byrdak, or Jason Isringhausen not making the team because they left Perez on the roster is idiotic.

It's time to let the other shoe drop.

Ollie Stinks It Up Against The Nats; Mets And Braves Tie

In today's split squad game against the Nationals, the Mets won 7-4.
  • Chris Capuano went 5 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, while holding the Nationals to just three hits, and striking out five.
  • Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, and Lucas Duda drove in a combined four runs in the 1st inning.
  • Scott Hairston tripled in 4th inning to bring home three runs.
  • All was fine until the 7th inning, when Oliver Perez gave up back-to-back home runs, followed by a walk. All this done in just 2/3 of an inning.

The Mets and Braves went 10 innings before calling it a day, tied 3-3.
  • Pat Misch struggled through five innings, giving up four runs, while walking one and striking out two.
  • The bullpen did its job, throwing a combined five scoreless innings of relief.
  • Willie Harris homered in the 4th inning to put the Mets on the board.
  • Ike Davis went 2-4 with an RBI double in the 5th inning.

Mets Split Up For The Day

Port St. Lucie, FL
RADIO: WFAN 660, Spanish Radio WQBU (92.7 FM)

1. Reyes SS
2. Murphy 2B
3. Wrght 3B
4. Bay LF
5. Hairston CF
6. Duda RF
7. Evans 1B
8. Thole C
9. Capuano P

Chris Capuano (0-0, 3.60 ERA) gets the start for NY.

In the Bullpen:
Oliver Perez, Tim Byrdak, Roy Merritt, Francisco Rodriguez, and Pedro Beato

Not Televised

1. Pagan CF
2. Emaus 2B
3. Harris LF
4. Davis 1B
5. Nieuwenhuis RF
6. Nickeas C
7.  Adams 3B
8. Hu SS
9. Misch P

 Pat Misch (2-0, 3.86 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets.

In the Bullpen:
Blaine Boyer, Taylor Buchholz, and Ryota Igarashi

Friday, March 18, 2011

Something's Changed...

In case you didn't know, Curious Case of Sidd Finch has been a member site of the G9 Sports Network. G9 Sports is now Aerys Sports

Aerys Sports offers the same content that G9 Sports did, but it now has a much sleeker look. It's fancy.

You may be asking yourself, "What's with the name change?" The sports network pursued the name change as a way to better represent the site and its long-term brand strategy.

Aerys Sports is still the only online sports network run entirely by women.

Nothing is changing about CCSF. You'll still get the same useful, and sometimes useless, information about your beloved New York Mets.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions for what you'd like to see here? Feel free to send them my way. 

Mets Officially Sued For $1 Billion

The Mets are now officially being sued for $1 billion. It just keeps getting better and better.

Irving Picard amended his lawsuit against the Mets in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Friday. Picard, the trustee in charge of recovering money for the victims of Bernie Madoff, issued the following press release on his web site.

Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz stated, "The amended complaint is the latest chapter in the work of fiction created by the Trustee. We will pursue a vigorous legal defense that will set the record straight and vindicate us." 

Below is the press release:

NEW YORK, NY - March 18, 2011 - Irving H. Picard, the Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ("BLMIS") today announced the filing of an amended complaint, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, against Sterling Equities ("Sterling"), its partners, their family members, and certain related trusts and entities (collectively, the "Sterling Defendants").

The amended complaint provides additional specific detail and quantification of the alleged fraudulent transfers from BLMIS received by the Sterling Defendants.

In addition to the approximately $300 million in fictitious profits received by the Sterling Defendants cited in the original complaint, the amended complaint states that the Trustee seeks more than $700 million in alleged fraudulent transfers of principal received by the Sterling Defendants, bringing the total recoveries sought by the Trustee from the Sterling Defendants to more than $1 billion. The additional alleged fraudulent transfers of principal occurred during the six years prior to the December 2008 commencement of the BLMIS liquidation proceeding and include preferential transfers received by the Sterling Defendants within the 90-day period prior to the filing date.

"The amended complaint sheds more light on the deep dependency of the Sterling business
organization on the continuation of the Madoff fraud and certain knowledge of indicia of fraud by the Sterling partners," said David J. Sheehan, counsel to the Trustee and a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP, the court-appointed counsel for the Trustee.

"Perhaps the most telling evidence of Sterling's dependency on Madoff is the fact that postrevelation of Madoff's fraud, the Sterling partners were forced to negotiate with at least seven lender banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, M&T, Wachovia, and Bank of New York (the "Lender Banks"), to restructure more than a half-billion dollars in collective debt - not just the millions of dollars of debt secured by the Leveraged KW BLMIS Accounts," said Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr., counsel to the Trustee and a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP.

As described in the amended complaint, in the aftermath of the discovery of the Madoff fraud, with full notice of the potential liability to the Trustee faced by the Sterling Defendants, Sterling and the Lender Banks entered into various restructuring credit facilities containing certain provisions that attempted to circumvent any potential recovery action initiated by the Trustee.

"The restructuring demonstrates both Sterling's and the Lender Banks' serious concerns regarding potential recoveries by the Trustee, and supports the Trustee's contention that the Sterling Defendants were inextricably bound to the Madoff fraud," said Mr. Bohorquez.

The amended complaint also provides additional substantiation of the inter-dependent relationship between Sterling and BLMIS as well as certain Sterling partners' knowledge of Madoff's dishonesty in his investment advisory business. For instance, the amended complaint details a multi-milliondollar interest- and cost-free bridge loan from Madoff to Sterling in connection with its purchase of the broadcast rights for the New York Mets from Cablevision. This transaction was documented by a single letter agreement that falsely described the loan as an "investment" by Ruth Madoff in the company that would later become the SNY network.

The Sterling complaint was initially filed under seal on December 7, 2010 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The original complaint was unsealed on February 4, 2011.

In addition to Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Bohorquez, the Trustee acknowledges the contributions of the Baker & Hostetler attorneys who worked on this filing: Lauren Resnick, Kathryn Zunno, Steven Goldberg, Amanda Fein, Keith Murphy, Marc Skapof, George Klidonas, and Henry Bodenheimer.

Mets Cut Eight More

Those cut include: Pitchers Dillon Gee, Ryota Igarashi, Boof Bonser, and Taylor Tankersley, catchers Dusty Ryan and Raul Chavez, infielder Russ Adams and outfielder Jason Pridie.

Gee was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, where he will most likely be starting along with Jenrry Mejia, who was optioned to Buffalo earlier this week.

Mets Release Luis Castillo

Well, Mets fans, the day has finally come. Luis Castillo has been released.

"This was a baseball decision," said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson in a press release. "I met with Terry (Collins) and made a recommendation to Jeff (Wilpon) and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership."

Castillo had one year and $6 million left on his contract.

Talking to Newsday, Castillo said, "I said I came here to play and you didn’t give me the chance,” Castillo told the newspaper he said in the meeting. “You didn’t use me." He later added, "I'm going to wait, go home and hope to catch on with another team."

When was he not given a chance? As far as I'm concerned, the Mets appeared to be pretty accommodating to Castillo.

He arrives late, without letting management know why. Then once he did arrive, he played in 11 games, and got himself 28 at-bats. That would be one less game, yet the same number of at-bats as Ike Davis, who is one of the team's star players.

So please, Castillo, do tell how you weren't given a chance.

I'm glad this day finally arrived, although, I have to be honest I would rather it had been Oliver Perez. In all likelihood, that day will get here soon enough.

Nevertheless, this is now one less distraction the Mets will be forced to face day-in and day-out. 

Ike Is Going To The Library

Check out this preview of Ike Davis on MTV's Silent Library. This episode is scheduled to air on April 18.

Let's Talk Prospects

We hear all the time about prospects such as Jenrry Mejia, or Fernando Martinez, but what about some of the lesser known? Very few face the same media scrutiny as the two mentioned above.

For the next few weeks I'll be providing a brief overview of some of the organizations less publicized prospects. Here are the first two:

Cory Vaughn
The 2010 fourth round pick, Cory Vaughn, dominated while with Low-A Brooklyn last year. In 72 games with Brooklyn, he hit .307, with 14 home runs. He also led the league in SLG & OPS.

As for fielding, we could be seeing him in right field for the Mets sometime down the road.

Expect to see Vaughn to begin the 2011 season in High-A ball.

Vaughn, the son of former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn, played under the watchful eye of the one and only, Tony Gwynn, while at San Diego State.

Kai Gronauer
With Josh Thole now taking his place behind the plate in the big leagues, Kai Gronauer is most likely the Mets' top catching prospect.

The 24-year-old from Germany, was signed by the Mets in 2007. Considered the top baseball player in Germany, he's arrived in the U.S. to work his way through Low-A ball.

Gronauer spent 2008 in the Gulf Coast League, before moving up to Savannah throughout 2009 and the first half of 2010. He went on to finish the 2010 season with High-A St. Lucie, where he hit .324 with two home runs and 20 RBIs.

Adam Rubin, however, believes he will end up being the primary catcher in Double-A Binghamton.

Bring On The Braves: Game Preview

March 18, 2011
1:05 PM ET
Port St. Lucie, FL

D.J. Carrasco (1-1, 9.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets.

In the Bullpen:
Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Boof Bonser, Taylor Tankersley, Blaine Boyer, Jason Isringhausen, and Tim Byrdak are also expected to pitch. 

Jair Jurrjens (1-1, 3.86 ERA) gets the start for Atlanta.

In the Bullpen:
Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, both closer candidates, are scheduled to pitch.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Luck Of The Irish For Mets

Mets lose...again. They lost to the Red Sox in Fort Myers by a score of 8-5.
  • Jon Niese gave up five runs on seven hits, while striking out seven, in 5 innings pitched. Four of those runs were earned.
  • Daniel Murphy had an RBI in the 5th inning, his eighth of the Spring. 
  • Manny Acosta allowed one run in 1.2 innings pitched. Bobby Parnell gave up two runs in one inning pitched.
  • The Mets did attempt to make a comeback. Trailing 8-1 in the 9th inning, Justin Turner hit a three-run double. Jason Pridie followed with an RBI double off Jonathan Papelbon.
Next up: The Mets take on the Braves in Port St. Lucie.

Is Friday The Day Mets Fans Have Been Waiting For?

Will tomorrow be the day that either Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo get the boot? I don't see the Mets being kind enough to get rid of both on the same day. That might be asking too much.

Congrats Philadelphia, You're #1

GQ compiled a list of the worst sports fans in America, and look at who topped the list: Philadelphia.

"Over the years, Philadelphia fans have booed Santa Claus, their own star players, and most absurdly, the recipient of America's very first hand transplant, whose crime was dribbling in a ceremonial first pitch—thrown with his freshly transplanted hand. Boooo! Admittedly, there are some things fans have cheered. Like Michael Irvin's career-ending neck injury and a fan being tased on the outfield grass. Things reached their nadir last season, when Citizens Bank Park played host to arguably the most heinous incident in the history of sports: A drunken fan intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl."

The Yankees were number 9 on the list, ranking as "Satan's Chosen Team." 

Thanks for being a somewhat civilized bunch Mets fans. We didn't make the list.

Archbishop Dolan Talking Trash

Archbishop Timothy Dolan addressed rumors that he could one day be the first American Pope, comparing the rumor to deluded Mets fans. He responded during an interview on 60 Minutes:

"The people that say that, Morley [Safer], also think the Mets are going to win the World Series. So...I wouldn't put too much credibility in that one."

It should be noted Dolan is a Yankee fan. 'Nuff said.

This Is The Best Thing The Mets Have Done All Year

If you haven't already, check out this link:

This link from the Mets, allows you to put yourself inside Mets personalized online video. It's hilarious. Do it.

Mets vs. Red Sox: St. Patrick's Day Preview

March 17, 2011
1:05 PM ET
Fort Myers, FL

Jon Niese (1-0, 1.59 ERA) gets the start for the Mets this afternoon.

In the Bullpen:
Mike O'Connor, Taylor Tankersley, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Beato, Taylor Buchholz and Manny Acosta are all scheduled to pitch.

John Lackey (1-0, 1.74 ERA) will take the mound for Boston.

In the Bullpen:
Sheduled toJonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and Rich Hill

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pelfrey Not So Sharp In Mets Loss

The Mets dropped this afternoon's game against the Twins by a score of 4-3. Today was not one of Mike Pelfrey's prettier days on the mound. Here's what you missed:
  • Pelfrey pitched 5 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits, including a home run to Denard Span. 
  • Jose Reyes had a single, two walks, and a stolen base.
  • Luis Castillo had an RBI single in the 3rd inning. He then had a hard grounder go off his glove in the 4th inning, which led to two runs scoring for the Twins.
  • Justin Turner had one hit after coming in to take over second base from Castillo.
  • Mike O'Connor, Taylor Buchholz each pitched one scoreless inning, while Ryota Igarashi gave up the go ahead run in the 9th inning.
Next up: The Mets stay in Fort Myers to take on the Red Sox.

Mets Head to Fort Myers To Take On Twins

March 16, 2011
1:05 PM ET
Fort Myers, FL

New York Mets 
Mike Pelfrey gets the start. He is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

In the bullpen:
 Taylor Buchholz, Manny Acosta, Ryota Igarashi, Mike O'Connor, and Bobby Parnell

Minnesota Twins
Left-hander, Brian Duensing, is scheduled to start for the Twins. Duensing is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

In the bullpen:
Jose Mijares, Joe Nathan, and Jim Hoey

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mets Win, But It Was A Night Castillo Hopes To Forget

The Mets defeated the Nationals Tuesday by a score of 5-2. Here's what you missed:

  • Chris Young allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings of work. That one run was the result of an RBI single by Rick Ankiel in the 2nd inning.
  • Ike Davis went 2-3 with a two-run double in the 6th inning, finishing the night with three RBIs.
  • Luis Castillo went 0-3 and failed to cover first base on a routine double play in the 2nd inning. 
  • Oliver Perez pitched a scoreless 6th inning, giving up one walk, while striking out one and finishing the inning with a ground out.
Next up: The Mets take on the Twins in Fort Myers, FL. All of the regulars, with the exception of Davis, will be on hand.

Mets Playing First Spring Game Under The Lights

March 15, 2011
7:10 p.m.

New York Mets Starting Lineup

                                                          1. Jose Reyes, SS
                                                          2. Luis Castillo, 2B
                                                          3. Angel Pagan, CF
                                                          4. David Wright, 3B
                                                          5. Jason Bay, LF
                                                          6. Ike Davis, 1B
                                                          7. Willie Harris, RF
                                                          8. Josh Thole, C
                                                          9. Chris Young, P

In the bullpen: 
Oliver Perez, Taylor Tankersley, Pedro Beato, Blaine Boyer, Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Isringhausen.

Looking For Contributors

For the past few months I have been covering the Mets through their ups and many, many downs. Now, I'm looking to branch out. 

Opening Day is right around the corner, and to ensure that all our bases are covered, I'm looking for contributing writers. Here's what I'm looking for:

Prospects writer: Do you keep up with the prospects in the Mets farm system? This position is for you! This position will be responsible for keeping tabs on prospects in all levels of the organization from Buffalo to St. Lucie.

Trade Rumors writer: The person in this role will be responsible for tracking down all of the trade rumors surrounding the Mets throughout the season.

Guest contributors: If you don’t feel as if you fit any of the above, but you still want to write for Curious Case of Sidd Finch, I will accept guest contributions to the site. Send any ideas you have for posts and we'll see if they meet the needs of the site.

If you’re interested in any of the above positions, please send in a writing sample to and label it with what position you’re writing for. If you’re writing for a specific position, I’m looking for a sample that shows that not only you can write, but you know what you’re writing about.

To Tweet, Or Not To Tweet?

More and more athletes are making their way to Twitter these days. It's great for fans, but depending on the player, it can be a potential headache for a team's public relations department.

Twitter is a fun and easy way to interact with players, and vice versa. That is if the players actually tweet.

Some players get a little out of hand with the tweeting, but that's okay. That's the point of following your favorite athletes on Twitter. It allows you to see what these guys are like off the field, and occasionally what their thoughts are about what's happening on the field.

On the other hand, some hardly tweet at all. For those who do the latter, I sometimes wonder if the team is making them join just as a way for them to say that they are connecting with the fans.

Mets players have been coming out of the woodwork on Twitter the past couple of days. A few of the minor leaguers have been on for a while, but the major leaguers are starting to come around.  Here's a list of Mets players (Major AND Minor League):

Major Leaguers
Johan Santana - @johansantana
Josh Thole - @josh_thole

Minor Leaguers
Justin Turner - @redturn2
Cory Vaughn - @InsulinBombs
Jon Malo - @jonmalo11
Matt den Dekker - @UpperDekker

For a full list of MLB players on Twitter, click here.

There you have it, Mets fans. Start following, and happy tweeting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sing Your Heart Out For the Mets

Hey, Mets fans in the New York City area, have you got what it takes to sing the National Anthem (Or think you do)? Then the Mets want you.

The Mets are hosting their annual Anthem Search today at Citi Field at 11 a.m. Hundreds of contestants are expected to audition before guest judges and radio personalities, Nikki and Sarah Lee, from 92.3 NOW.

This just so happens to coincide with single game tickets going on sale at 10 a.m. Very smooth move there by the Mets.

Only the first 100 people will be guaranteed a spot in the contest. In this round of auditions, contestants are free to sing any song they want, excluding the National Anthem.

Please, contestants, pick a song that you know and can actually sing.

Can Anyone Play Second Base?

Photo courtesy: Michael G. Baron
"Forget it. I'll play it myself."
The battle for second base is shaping up to be, well...less than stellar. Please don't hate me for saying this Mets fans, but it's looking like Luis Castillo may be the best of the bunch.

The thought of Castillo being the opening day second baseman is enough to send Mets fans into a frenzy, and set my Twitter feed ablaze with angry messages.

With the current crop of players being less than impressive, Terry Collins has decided to mix things up and add Luis Hernandez to the group vying for a job at second base.

Hernandez got off to a hot start in Sunday's game against the Cardinals, driving in two runs on a triple. 

Of the previous fab four in contention for the position, Daniel Murphy has the highest batting average at .303, followed by Castillo with .263. Brad Emaus is hitting whopping .200, while Justin Turner is doing even worse at .130.

Unfortunately for Murphy, this isn't a hitting competition, it's also a fielding competition. Murphy made two errors in Saturday's 12-0 loss to the Braves.

Hernandez could make things interesting. The media has been saying for a few weeks that it's Murphy's job to lose. Collins' addition of Hernandez to the second base mix may be his way of saying Murphy isn't all that far from doing just that.

Don't Mess With the Johan

Johan says he's fine.   
Johan Santana may not pitch the entire 2011 season, according to Steve Popper and Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.

Well that's lovely news for Santana to wake up to, and on all days, his birthday.

Popper and Klapisch have sources, albeit, unnamed sources. According to the two reporters, "Internally, the Mets believe they’ll be 'lucky' if Santana pitches this year."

The Mets are refuting the entire report, saying Santana is right on track. He's experienced some soreness, but nothing unexpected.

The fact that Popper and Klapisch were the only ones reporting this story makes it a little sketchy.

Zach Berman of the Star-Ledger quoted Santana as saying:

"I don't know who's saying that I'm not ready or whatever, because according to everything, the way it has been done, we're right on the right track and where we're supposed to be," Santana said. "Whoever is saying that I'm not ready I think is lying. We are all on the same page here. And I've been doing my job and doing my rehab and everything the way it's supposed to be done. There's many updates I can do on a day-to-day basis. It's going to take some time, and we're all aware of that."

I believe Santana here. Yes, he's a tough player who will do what it takes to get back on the mound. He's also a smart player, however, and one that I don't think would lie about his progress and risk postponing his comeback.

Guess we'll find out soon enough.

By the way, Johan Santana has joined twitter. You can follow him @johansantana, and while you're at it, you can follow me as well @KellyL1332.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Woman Making History at Mets Camp, Throws BP

Justine Siegal has always wanted to play baseball with the boys. This Spring, her wish has come true.

Since Spring Training has begun, she has thrown batting practice to the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, and today she will throw BP for the Mets.

Siegal has been chronicling her journey from one team to the next, from Arizona to Florida, in her own blog Justine's Baseball Journey.

In 2009, Siegal became the first woman to coach a men's professional baseball team, the Brockton Rox (Can Am League).

Her motto is, "If you tell a girl she can't play baseball what else will she believe she can't do? But what if you tell a girl she can play baseball. What else will she then believe SHE CAN DO."

She runs a non-profit organization called, Baseball For All, which provides young girls with the same baseball opportunities and instruction as the boys.

Baseball For All and Siegal don't discriminate though. Boys are always welcome to participate in camp. She believes, as the name of the organization says, that baseball really is for all.

I have been reading Siegal's blog for the past few weeks, and find the entire thing interesting. I would never have thought that I would see such a thing allowed by Major League Baseball.

Good luck, Justine, on your baseball journey.