The Week That Was: Mets: To Sell or Not to Sell

     Singing legend and Astoria native Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco and the New York Mets probably left their season there as well following three excruciating extra-inning losses to the Giants at Oracle Park.

      Before the All-Star Game break the Mets’ ever optimistic manager, Mickey Callaway, told the media that he felt that the Mets could go on a big run and get themselves back in the postseason hunt. Sure enough for once the Mets appeared to reward his faith by winning two consecutive road series against the Miami Marlins and the Minnesota Twins. They gave the resurgent Giants a battle in their four-game series but extra-inning games have not been the Mets’ forte this season and that was proven yet again.

      With the July 31st trading deadline rapidly approaching, where teams who are out of the playoff hunt deal veteran players who have expiring and/or lucrative contracts for minor league players who can help them in the future, it would make sense for Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to start dangling players as pitchers Zack Wheeler, Jason Vargas, and third baseman Todd Frazier who fit that profile perfectly.

     Of course with the Mets these things are always more complicated. Zack Wheeler, who had been drawing interest from a number of teams including the New York Yankees, missed the entire recent road trip as he was placed on the injured list for an aching shoulder. The conventional wisdom is that the ill-timed injury will reduce the haul of prospects that the Mets can expect from interested teams.

     It’s imperative that Brodie Van Wagenen avoid giving the appearance that he is only trading players in order to reduce payroll for the final two months of the season.

     In 2017 Van Wagenen’s predecessor, Sandy Alderson, divested the team of such familiar names as Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Curtis Granderson, and Neil Walker when the Mets decided to put up the white flag for that season. It was clear that Alderson only cared about helping the Mets’ accounting department as opposed to getting back quality minor leaguers.

    The only two players the he received in return who have spent any measurable time at Citi Field two years later are relief pitchers Drew Smith and Jacob Rhame. Smith is missing the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery while Rhame has been more of a liability than an asset whenever he has been recalled from the minors.

     My advice to Brodie Van Wagenen is to hold firm and not deal major league players for a bunch of perennial nobodies. It would send a positive message to the fans; help in the evaluation of Mickey Callaway; and it would let other teams know that you have resolve going into the winter meetings.

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     Maraino Rivera made both a great acceptance speech and a solid joke at Sunday’s induction ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. “Why do I always have to close?” he said when his was the last of the six speeches of the day. Rivera also spoke about his determination to learn English when he was pitching for the Yankees’ Greensboro Bats team of the Southern Atlantic League and thanked his former teammates for working so hard with him to accomplish that. He concluded by showing that he did not forget where he came from as he addressed in Spanish the large delegation that came to Cooperstown from his native Panama and included boxing legend Roberto Duran and the country’s president, Laurentino Cortizo.

    I have to wonder what the owners of Maximum Security, who was disqualified after finishing first in May’s Kentucky Derby, were thinking of when they allowed their horse to run in the stifling conditions of Saturday’s Haskell Invitational Stakes held at Monmouth Park. The race was delayed until around 8 PM but it was still quite oppressive. It should be noted the horse’s owners, the West family, did not allow him to run in either the Preakness or the Belmont Stakes following the controversial Kentucky Derby. Yes, Maximum Security did win this race cleanly but I have wonder if it was worth the risk to his health.

    Speaking of the intense summer heat, in addition to staying hydrated, it is important to protect your skin. is a good resource for buying a high SPF sunscreen such as Coola and refreshing Mario Badescu facial spray.

    Another good idea for summer is eating lighter than you ordinarily would and that’s why salads are a staple for this time of year. Extra virgin olive oils such as Colavita and Bono not only enhance salad taste but also possess numerous health benefits including increasing circulation and helping in the fight against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

    If you were one of the many who was enthralled by the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon then you should know that the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum will be opening towards the end of summer. It will have the largest collection of lunar rocks, meteorite fragments, and asteroid pieces in the world. The museum will be located in Bethel, Maine which is an approximate 90-minute drive northwest of Portland.

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