Mets Merized Online » Clayton Collier http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:45:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 MMO Interview: After Eventful Year, Murphy “Humbled” To Get All-Star Nod http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-interview-after-eventful-year-murphy-humbled-to-get-all-star-nod.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mmo-interview-after-eventful-year-murphy-humbled-to-get-all-star-nod.html/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:50:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160689 daniel murphy

Daniel Murphy has had a season of firsts in 2014.

Murphy celebrated the birth of his first child on Opening Day, resulting in an unjust ribbing from local radio personalities for missing time on paternal leave—also a first.

Murphy also made his first trip to the White House last month, speaking at the Working Dads Summit on the aforementioned topic of leaving his team for his wife and newborn son, Noah.

Although it wasn’t the first head-turning season for the 29-year-old Jacksonville native, Murphy finally received his first all-star selection this past week.

Murphy said he feels honored to have been selected to the All-Star game and that he and his family are “excited” to attend the three-day event.

“It’s very humbling to be even mentioned in the same breath as some of the guys that are going to be at this game,” Murphy said.

Murphy will be the lone Mets representative in Minneapolis, just the second time David Wright has not been chosen since 2006. Manager Terry Collins said he was proud of Murphy for his achievement.

“He’s so pumped up and he should be,” Collins said. “It’s a tremendous tribute to one of the hardest working players you’ll ever be around.”

Murphy is batting .294 on the season with 113 hits and 56 runs scored. He has committed to his gap power, ripping 101 doubles since taking over as the full-time second baseman in 2012.

As efficient as Murphy has been with the bat, his defensive improvements have been even more impressive for third base coach Tim Defuel, specifically on his ability to turn double plays.

“It’s increasingly getting better, he’s getting more familiarized with the footwork, the timing of the plays,” Teufel said. “He’s evolving he’s trying different techniques and making it his own.”

Murphy credits Teufel for helping him to make his transition to second.

“I don’t think I would be the second baseman I am today if it wasn’t for the work he put in with me,” he said.

Outside of speaking with six-time all-star Chase Utley, who Murphy says he sometimes “shoots the breeze” with when the Phillies come to town, he doesn’t have anyone he plans to talk to. He is just looking forward to the week ahead.

“My wife and my family are excited,” he said. “We’re just trying to soak it in for a couple of days.”

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Niese Says Shoulder Only Fatigued, Expects To Make July 21 Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/niese-says-shoulder-only-fatigued-expects-to-be-activated-for-july-21-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/niese-says-shoulder-only-fatigued-expects-to-be-activated-for-july-21-start.html/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:06:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160591 jon niese

Jon Niese downplayed the severity of his shoulder strain Saturday, telling MMO he will start the fourth game out of the All-Star break in Seattle on July 21.

Niese, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5 last week, said his shoulder is fatigued, not necessarily injured. 

“It really is not an injury, it’s pretty much just a little resting period,” Niese said. “My shoulders just got fatigued and it got progressively got worse and worse each outing.”

The 27-year-old said that although his nagging injuries in Spring Training were not related to his tired shoulder, they did hamper his ability to get his arm into the “best possible shape” entering the regular season.

Terry Collins told reporters prior to Saturday’s game that Niese will throw tomorrow, but the team has not made any determination as to when the lefty will return.

“We’re just going to wait to see, once we get out of the break, how he’s doing,” Collins said.

Bartolo Colon was announced as the starter for the second-half opener in San Diego today. Collins also said that he plans to start Dillon Gee in the Padres series as well.

Niese is 5-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 17 starts this season.

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Lagares Set For Return To Mets This Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/lagares-will-not-be-activated-from-dl-when-eligible-still-not-running.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/lagares-will-not-be-activated-from-dl-when-eligible-still-not-running.html/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 14:16:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157490 juan lagares scores

June 22

Outfielder Juan Lagares was hitless in four at-bats, while playing his second rehab game in center field on Saturday with the Gulf Coast League Mets.

Lagares continues to make progress as he works his way back to the Mets and rejoin the team at some point this week.

Batting mostly in the lower half of the lineup, Lagares parlayed a solid start to the season into a part-time leadoff role.

He was hitting .295 with a .339 on-base in 42 games before landing on the disabled list with a right intercostal muscle strain.

He is expected to rejoin the Mets at some point next week.

June 18

According to Terry Collins, center fielder Juan Lagares will not be activated from the disabled list when he eligible to come off on June 16.

Lagares, who suffered a strained intercostal muscle, has not attempted any running drills while rehabbing at the Mets complex in Port St Lucie and has been limited to some light exercises.

The 25-year old Lagares was second on the team in batting, slugging percentage and OPS at the time he was injured and had assumed the leadoff duties.

The Mets have lost five of six games sine Lagares went on the DL.

June 2

Mets centerfielder Juan Lagares has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain, the team announced today. In a corresponding move, Matt den Dekker has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lagares originally felt discomfort in his side Friday night and after a day off felt pain free in batting practice prior to Sunday’s game against the Phillies and was inserted into the starting lineup.

The 25-year old experienced tightness again while running the bases and was subsequently pulled from the game and sent back to New York for an MRI.

In 42 games this season, Lagares is batting .288 with 11 doubles and 18 RBIs.

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MMO Game Recap: Padres 5, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-padres-5-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-padres-5-mets-0.html/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 00:46:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158585 Daniel Murphy AP

Although Zack Wheeler and Jesse Hahn had near-identical starts their last time on a major-league mound, their outings on Saturday couldn’t be any more different.

Hahn, who in his first MLB start lasted just 3 2/3 innings just 11 days ago, let up a single to his first batter of the game in Ruben Tejada. That would be the only hit the Mets would muster off of the 24-year-old as Hahn ended his day completing six shutout frames, allowing just three other base runners via walk while punching out seven, earning his first career win.

Wheeler, who also went a mere 3 2/3 frames in his last start, wasn’t much better this afternoon. The Mets prized young pitcher lacked command, surrendering two runs in the first inning, which ultimately proved to be all San Diego would need. Wheeler would last five innings, surrendering four runs on six hits while walking four and striking out three. The 24-year-old now falls to 2-7 on the season and has not collected a win at Citi Field since August 26, 2013.

The offense was nowhere to be found for New York. Chris Young was crowned with the golden sombrero, resulting in a bitterly negative reaction from the boo birds. Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Bobby Abreu went a combined 0-for-9. The Mets offense struck out a combined 13 times and managed just two hits.

Terry Collins said that when it comes to the Mets lineup poor contact rate, he has run the gamete on ways to correct the situation.

“I’ve pretty much have exhausted all the things that I have heard that work,” Collins said in his post-game press conference. “The main was you’ve got to let the ball get to the plate, let it deep in the strike zone, and therefore you are going to hit to the middle of the field. That is probably, mentally, the best approach you can take, in my opinion. Quit worrying about hitting the homer, think about making contact. And certainly, we didn’t do that.”

Dana Eveland had a solid outing in relief, delivering two shutout innings in relief. Gonzalez Germen also pitched two frames, surrendering a home run to Chase Headley, and walking four.

This is the sixth time this season the Mets have been shut out, the last time coming on May 15 against the Yankees.

The Mets (30-38) have now lost nine of their last 11 and have fallen to a season high-tying eight games under .500.

Daisuke Matsuzaka will take on Ian Kennedy and the Padres in the rubber match of this three-game set Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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Mejia Says He Is Pain-Free, Wouldn’t Rule Out Pitching Today If Needed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mejia-says-he-is-pain-free-wouldnt-rule-out-pitching-today-if-needed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mejia-says-he-is-pain-free-wouldnt-rule-out-pitching-today-if-needed.html/#comments Sat, 14 Jun 2014 21:45:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158580 jenrry mejia

Jenrry Mejia was without pain while warming up prior to Saturday’s game against the Padres, the Mets closer told MMO.

Mejia said that although he has not fully healed just yet, he would be ready if manager Terry Collins were to need him today.

“I want to see if tomorrow I will feel 100 percent,” Mejia said. “I want to be 100 percent to be in the game.” 

“If they want to pitch me today, I’ll be there,” he added later.

Collins had nothing new to add in his pre-game press conference today, however; stated Friday night that Mejia would miss “another day or so” before returning to action due to some swelling. Mejia is expected to miss the remainder of the weekend.

Mejia came out for his second inning of relief Thursday night before being removed after experiencing discomfort in his lower back during his warm-up pitches. The 24-year-old underwent an MRI on Friday and participated in some light jogging and stretches during batting practice this afternoon.

Mejia is 1-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 15 games as a reliever this season.

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Carlos Torres Beating Himself Up After Rough 13th, Literally http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/carlos-torres-beating-himself-up-after-rough-13th-literally.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/carlos-torres-beating-himself-up-after-rough-13th-literally.html/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 18:18:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158531 carlos-torres

As our own 72Metsfan recapped earlier today, the frustration of an underwhelming season was readily apparent Thursday evening during the Mets 13 inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

One of the players who lost his cool was Carlos Torres, who after a valiant extra-inning effort was simply out of gas by the thirteenth and the Brew-Crew took full advantage.

Thanks to the limited commercial interruption in last night’s broadcast, we witnessed Torres beating himself up over giving up the game-winning run, literally.

Click here for the link to the video on ESPN.

 

 

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Matsuzaka “Not Too Bad” After Taking Liner Off Hammy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/matsuzaka-not-too-bad-after-taking-liner-off-hammy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/matsuzaka-not-too-bad-after-taking-liner-off-hammy.html/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 14:18:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158358 Daisuke - Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka was struck in the right thigh with a Carlos Gomez-liner to end the sixth inning Tuesday night and was subsequently pulled from the game.

Matsuzaka was already at 100 pitches, however; Terry Collins said post-game that he would have allowed the 33-year-old right-hander to begin the seventh if not for the comebacker, this according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

“Pitch-count-wise I think I would have been able to go into the next inning fine,” Matsuzaka said to Rubin through his interpreter. “During the game and right now it’s not too bad. But it should start swelling up, I think, by tomorrow. So we’ll see what happens.”

Matsuzaka is still slated to make his next scheduled start in the series finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, June 15 at 1:10 p.m., according to the Mets.com Probable Pitchers page.

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MMO Exclusive: Frank Viola All Smiles At MLB Draft Following Heart Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-exclusive-interview-frank-viola-all-smiles-at-mlb-draft-following-heart-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-exclusive-interview-frank-viola-all-smiles-at-mlb-draft-following-heart-surgery.html/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157815

frank viola mike piazza

Looking at the smiling face of Frank Viola on Thursday night, you would never know the hardship he has had to endure in recent months.

Not long after losing both of his parents over a 26-day span, Viola was diagnosed with an enlarged aorta and underwent open heart surgery on April 2, putting his new position as the Las Vegas 51s pitching coach on hold.

Just over two months later, the 54-year old has received clearance from his doctors to resume his coaching duties, and will be suited up Friday night as the Mets Triple-A affiliate takes on the Fresno Grizzlies. Viola said he is grateful to be healthy and rejoining his team.

“I was very fortunate that they caught it when they did,” said Viola Thursday at the MLB Draft, one of his first public appearances since his surgery. “It’s a situation I am very thankful for. I got in, got it taken care of. It’s up to me now to rehab and do the stuff I need to do.”

The Mets organization was wonderful as far as letting me take my time to rehab and recuperate, and my wife was fantastic because for eight weeks she had to put up with my butt, so everything was good there.”

Viola, who in two-and-change season with New York went 38-32 with a 3.31 ERA, said he doesn’t look at coming back from his surgery to coach as a challenge, but rather just following the instructions of his doctors and taking things in stride.

“You can’t fast-forward a heart surgery,” he said. “You have to take it slow, you have to go step-by-step.”

It was just a question of doing what you need to do and once you get to that point you take off from there and the last couple weeks it has gotten so much better each day. “

Now physically able to return to his job, Viola said he cannot wait to work with some of the organization’s top pitching prospects, specifically mentioning Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Viola actually texted Syndergaard to wish him luck in his first start since coming off the disabled list, to which the Mets young pitcher replied, “You can’t get here a day earlier?”

Viola hopes to be able to use his experiences throughout his career, both good and bad, to help teach New York’s budding talents.

“It’s just my job to keep the run going for these kids and to help them with the mental part more than anything,” said Viola.

“You know I’ve pitched in the seventh game of a World Series, I’ve struggled like anybody else, I’ve been through all of those stages. Hopefully they have questions for me and I’ll be able to answer some of those questions in their quest to get back to the big leagues or to get to the big leagues.”

frank viola wally backman

Top photo by Clayton Collier

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The Cold Hard Truth About What Sandy Says On Payroll, Spending, Winning http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/the-cold-hard-truth-about-what-sandy-says-on-payroll-spending-winning.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/the-cold-hard-truth-about-what-sandy-says-on-payroll-spending-winning.html/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 14:22:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157047 alderson sandy wilpon

Thoughts from Joe D.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to listen to Sandy Alderson’s interview until late last night and now that I have, I just wanted to weigh in after hearing and reading everyone else’s point of view.

I get the sense that many fans are still in denial and believe that everything is hunky-dory with regards to the team’s current payroll level, the wherewithal to get that payroll level from the bottom five in baseball to at least the middle tier, and what factors will ultimately drive that decision.

Let’s consider the message that Sandy Alderson has been preaching ever since the year began. A year when there was supposed to be no more handcuffs, no more constraints, and plenty of payroll flexibility.

February 13 - ”Yes, I feel very comfortable that it [payroll] will climb back up. But at the same time we need to have some success on the field, which drives some attendance, which drives some additional revenue, all of those things. It is incumbent on us to have some success on the field in order to do that. I said it was unlikely that we would sign another major free agent. I think that’s still the case.”

March 31 - “What I’m hoping is that as we get better and the fans respond to that improvement that payroll number will go up.”

Yesterday – “I do believe the payroll will go up if we generate the type of revenue that supports that. That’s why we have to win.”

Yesterday - “The old adage you have to spend money to make money, I don’t entirely believe that. Does it raise the probabilities? Yeah, it probably raises the probabilities, somewhat, but it doesn’t ensure anything.”

Let me give it to you straight…

Hope is not a strategy. And that’s exactly what the Mets are employing as far as their model for any future success and additional spending.

Let me further explain how all of this works…

Pay attention…

Throw some shit on the wall, and hope that it sticks.

Hopefully we’ll win, then the fans come to Citi Field in droves, and then we can end the charade, spend some money, and purchase some real major league quality talent.

I hope that clears things up for everyone.

The Mets own a giant cable company that generates tens of millions in annual positive cash flow, it’s in fact a big, huge, enormous, cash cow.

The Mets own a blog network that generates even more additional revenue as they steer all New York sports internet traffic to more than a dozen different sites generating untold millions more – courtesy of you the fans.

For crying out loud they even own the damn building which houses this huge cable and blog empire. They have thousands of hosts, analysts, producers, bloggers, technicians, etc. on their payrolls collecting the checks that drive those exorbitant revenues.

And yet they won’t invest a dime of that on the team we love. Instead they want us to make the investment. 

The cold, hard truth is that they won’t spend anymore money to increase payroll and produce a better product on the field, until we the fans bring in the additional revenue.

Payroll will not increase until an annual average of 30,000 of you get your asses to Citi Field to watch the team flounder in last place

Don’t look so shocked… MMO has been saying this for three years. Nothing has changed.

Suddenly this has become OUR PROBLEM.

Thank you Mr. Wilpon. Thank you Mr. Alderson.

As for you my friends, keep HOPE alive.

Because that’s the real plan… Hope.

May 27

Sandy Alderson joined Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN 89.7 where they touched on a wide array of topics; the most notable being payroll.

La Greca, a Met fan and ticket-plan holder, cited the teams assets–Citi Field, SNY– in addition to their New York market as reasons to have a payroll higher than the current $85 million. Alderson had a telling, and perhaps controversial, response.

“Eight five is the payroll this year, it was the payroll last year,” said Alderson. “I do believe that payroll will go up if we’re able to generate the kind of revenue that will support that and that’s why we have to win. We played pretty well for the first month, one month isn’t going to translate into a lot of people coming out to the ballpark, we played poorly this month. So you take one step forward and take a step or a step-and-a-half back. And we have to be more consistent.

“The old adage you have to spend money to make money, I don’t entirely believe that. Does it raise the probabilities? Yeah it probably raises the probabilities, somewhat, but it doesn’t ensure anything.”

Alderson summed up his thoughts on payroll correlating into wins towards the end of the 20-minute interview.

“From my standpoint the payroll is not an excuse.”

Kay and La Greca also touched on Dave Hudgens and his comments that ownership needs to “let the purse strings loose“. Alderson asserted that he is not under financial restrictions from upper management despite what many–including his former hitting coach–believe.

“The short answer to that is no,” said Alderson. “Look, I take full responsibility for the results on the field with the payroll we have and the choices we’ve been able to make. Whether we’re paying a guy $10 million or $500K, if we choose to have him on the team, he’s going to have to perform and he’s going to have to perform to an expectation that we have.

“Dave doesn’t sit in my office, I come down to the clubhouse and we talk about team matters. That’s a perception that a lot of people have, and I don’t think it’s a fair one.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

**************************************************************************************************

Thoughts:

Overall, I am surprised that, with the fanbase being as hostile toward the Mets front office and management as it is right now, Alderson would be so bold as to say that increase in attendance will have a direct relationship with payroll boosts. It simply does not work that way. Fans are not going to pay to see a sub-standard product.

Alderson is right in that the payroll doesn’t have to be sky-high to be successful. However; if you are going to be frugal in your payroll, the Mets need to be smarter with the players they bring in, and they haven’t.

Here is how it works:

Compile a competitive team, then fans will come.

It doesn’t work the other way around.

iheartnym

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National Anthem Special: Discounted Tickets Available For Friday’s Mets vs. Reds http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/national-anthem-special-discounted-tickets-available-for-fridays-mets-vs-reds.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/national-anthem-special-discounted-tickets-available-for-fridays-mets-vs-reds.html/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:30:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152397 citi field opening day 2013

Typically when I post on MMO, I am writing opinions, news, recaps as well as the occasional interview; this however, is a little different.

This Friday, April 4th, myself as well as 15 of my closest friends will be performing the National Anthem at the Mets vs. Reds game at Citi Field. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have been able to type that previous sentence.

The Gentlemen of the Hall, an A Cappella group I co-founded less than one year ago at Seton Hall, are thrilled to have this unbelievable opportunity, and we would love to share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience with you.

There are discounted tickets available for Friday night’s game in the Caesar’s Box section for $27 each, all you have to do is purchase your tickets through Mets Senior Account Executive Eric Fox by contacting him at Efox@nymets.com or (718)-559-3037 and mention The Gentlemen of the Hall to receive the discount.

As a die-hard Mets fan, I still cannot comprehend the fact that something as incredible as this is happening in just two days. I will be sure to do a write-up on the experience.

Jenrry Mejia will be the starting pitcher that night, squaring off against Mike Leake. Also, it is the Mets’ first Free-Shirt Friday of the season!

Gentlemen of the Hall group photo

We hope to see you there!

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Our Annual Opening Day Reading: Casey At The Bat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/our-annual-opening-day-reading-casey-at-the-bat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/our-annual-opening-day-reading-casey-at-the-bat.html/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 04:09:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152247 casey-at-the-bat-story-1

It has become something of an Opening Day Tradition here on MMO; our annual reading of the great baseball classic Casey At The Bat. As we prepare for the Mets to return to action, please enjoy this legendary 1888 ballad that describes everything we love about this great game:

Casey At The Bat

By Ernest Lawrence Thayer, San Francisco Examiner – June 3, 1888

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that–
We’d put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Johnnie safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped–
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted some one on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the sphereoid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville –mighty Casey has struck out.

casey 2

And as I added last year, please enjoy a recording of James Earl Jones reading Casey At The Bat complete with dramatic musical accompaniment.

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Wilmer Flores Continues To Get Look At Shortstop http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/wilmer-flores-continues-to-get-look-at-shortstop-in-camp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/wilmer-flores-continues-to-get-look-at-shortstop-in-camp.html/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:00:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150239 wilmer flores Photo by Anthony J. Causi

Terry Collins told reporters yesterday that Mets infield prospect Wilmer Flores will have “more” opportunities to get reps at shortstop during spring training.

Yesterday marked the first start for Flores at short since the 2011 season. The Mets have moved the 22-year old all over the infield over the past two years in an effort to find him a position.

Collins also stated that Ruben Tejada, who is slated to be the everyday shortstop in 2014, will start at short for the next two Grapefruit League games says Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com says it best in his article regarding Flores playing short:

“For now, consider this an experiment and nothing more. By giving Flores significant innings at shortstop, the Mets are overturning every stone on their 40-man roster. Multiple front-office members — not to mention an even larger contingent of scouts — do not seriously believe that Flores is athletic enough to handle one of the game’s most difficult defensive positions. But Collins in particular is curious about Flores given the work he did this winter during two stints at a fitness camp near Ann Arbor, Mich.”

The Mets have been connected to the Mariners’ Nick Franklin in recent weeks, and to a lesser extent the Diamondbacks’ Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. Both teams are seeking a significant haul of prospects in return. 

In 453 minor league games at the shortstop position, Flores committed 80 errors, amounting to a .959 fielding percentage.

Thoughts:

If the Mariners are seeking a Rafael Montero-type prospect for Nick Franklin, and they are; I would consider Flores at shortstop too if I were the Mets. Flores has almost double the number of games played at the position compared to Franklin, who also sports a lower fielding percentage (.943) than Flores. If the Mets decide they drastically need offensive production and are willing to sacrifice defense at short, then the in-house option in Flores would be worth a look.

That said, I cannot foresee Flores getting the nod as the everyday shortstop over Tejada. Flores has amazing bat potential, he has told me he believes he can be a 20-home run hitter and I believe he has that potential as well. I just don’t see him putting it all together defensively in the next 20 days to make the Mets feel comfortable giving him regular reps at short.

Not to mention, many forget that Flores regressed offensively in the minors when playing shortstop, and it wasn’t until his move to third/second that he began to find his hitting stride.

A utility role seems to be the most promising option for Flores to have a shot at breaking camp with the team. 

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi)

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Congratulations to David Wright, the Face of MLB! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/congratulations-to-david-wright-the-face-of-mlb.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/congratulations-to-david-wright-the-face-of-mlb.html/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 14:06:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149253 wright face of mlb

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAVID WRIGHT!

David Wright came from behind to beat Oakland’s Eric Sogard (who?) and win the title of the Face of MLB for the 2014 season.

Wright received a round of applause and a standing ovation in the Mets clubhouse after it was announced.

wright faceofmlb

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Sharknado 2 Filming At Citi Field Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/sharknado-2-filming-at-citi-field-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/sharknado-2-filming-at-citi-field-today.html/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:26:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149087 022614Sharknado2CitiFieldBZ

 

Something fishy is going on in Flushing.

Filming for the  Sharknado 2, is going on today at Citi Field. Scenes for the sequel to the Horror B-movie, which will take place in New York, were shot in the streets on Manhattan last week.

The film, set to come out this July, includes stars such as Tara Reid, Vivicia A. Fox, Ian Ziering, Kelly Osbourne, Mark McGrath, and Andy Dick.

Like the first installment, Sharknado 2 will not hit theaters, and will instead debut on the SyFy Channel.

Let’s hope there are no sharks in the forecast when the Mets play the Nationals come March 31.

IMG_3319

(Photo Taken By Brian Zak, New York Post)

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Mejia Will Be Considered For Bullpen If He Doesn’t Win Rotation Spot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mejia-will-be-considered-for-bullpen-if-he-doesnt-win-rotation-spot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mejia-will-be-considered-for-bullpen-if-he-doesnt-win-rotation-spot.html/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 02:06:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148288 mejia

Terry Collins told reporters today that if pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia doesn’t win the fifth spot in the Mets rotation, he will be considered for the Opening Day bullpen.

Mejia will be competing with the likes of John Lannan and Daisuke Matsuzaka for the final rotation spot. Recent reports have indicated that the Mets would like a veteran to round out the rotation.

Mejia, 24, has a career 4.53 ERA in 11 major-league starts. In 32 games as a reliever however, his ERA drops to 3.23.

 

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Terry Collins Ranked MLB’s 13th Best Manager http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/terry-collins-ranked-mlbs-13th-best-manager.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/terry-collins-ranked-mlbs-13th-best-manager.html/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 01:08:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148277 Washington Nationals v New York Mets

The Boston Globe staff put to together their annual ranking of Major League Baseball’s managers from best-to-worst.

Mets manager Terry Collins clocked in at number 13, higher than any other manager in the NL East and fifth in the National League overall.

The Globe’s staff has the following to say on Collins:

“Extremely underrated, according to our panel. Collins hasn’t had much to work with in New York, but has maintained a very upbeat approach to the Mets’ rebuilding process that has resonated with his players. He was once a feisty type but has mellowed to adapt to the modern player.”

John Farrell, skipper of the reigning World-Champion Boston Red Sox received the top-slot.

Former Red Sox and current Indian’s manager Terry Francona took third place with Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s sliding in at second.

At the bottom were primarily the new men on the scene, Brian Pryce  (Reds), Brad Ausmus (Tigers), Matt Williams (Nationals), Rick Renteria (Cubs) took spots 27 through 30 as they have yet to showcase their abilities as a manager.

THOUGHTS:

I thought the ranking was extremely AL East-centric. In addition to two Red Sox managers taking the first three spots, three of the top six managers and four of the top eight were all managers from the Red Sox division. Since this is the primary division that the Boston Globe covers, I am not surprised by the results. In their defense however, there are a number of great managers in that division.

As for Terry Collins, I agree. He has grown as a coach since his days in Houston and Anaheim. He has an improved connection with the players in New York and has been able to remain calm in an otherwise frustrating past few seasons.

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Jeff Wilpon on Drew, Payroll, Alderson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeff-wilpon-on-drew-payroll-alderson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeff-wilpon-on-drew-payroll-alderson.html/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 00:49:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148235 wilpon alderson

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon sat down with MLB.com, touching on a wide variety of topics regarding the team and their future.

When asked about the current state of the Mets, Wilpon appeared positive and said the team is invested in Sandy Alderson’s plan.

“I think we’re in a better state than we’ve been, and we’re ready to move forward with the plan that [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] put in place three years ago,” he said. “This is going into the fourth season of his plan, and we’re primed to take advantage of that.”

When it comes to increasing payroll, Wilpon said Alderson does not have the ability to go out and spend without there at least being a conversation first.

“There’s always a conversation on it,” he said when asked if Alderson had the green light to increase payroll. “It’s not something that Sandy can just go out and do whatever he wants, but yes we’ve had multiple conversations, and we’ve had the ability to go after some guys that I don’t think anybody knew we were going after. They didn’t all hit, but we did try, and those all would have expanded the payroll above where we are now.”

On Stephen Drew and why the Mets opted not to spend on another high-end free-agent:

“If those one or two things were there, we would have expanded the budget for them,” he said. “Just to get a guy because the fans think that’s the right thing to do, that’s not part of the plan. Sandy’s not going to overspend for something he doesn’t see value in. The value that we see in those guys versus what their agents were asking for does not meet.”

Wilpon said the team’s biggest current weakness is their major-league ready position player prospects.

“I don’t think we have enough position-player prospects that are ready to compete for jobs at the Major League level right now,” he said. “We’d like to have more, like we have with the pitchers. We’d like to have that same stable of young guys competing for position player jobs. The guys we have are a couple years away.”

Regarding the low payroll in a high-market area like New York:

“I would point to the fact that you don’t have to have that kind of payroll to win.”

Finally, Wilpon on Sandy Alderson’s tenure as Mets general manager thus far:

“I think he’s put the plan in place, and we’re ready to see the fruits of that labor now.”

You can view MLB.com’s full transcription of their sit-down with Jeff Wilpon here.

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Jeremy Hefner Throws For First Time Since Tommy John Surgery http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeremy-hefner-throws-for-first-time-since-tommy-john-surgery.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/jeremy-hefner-throws-for-first-time-since-tommy-john-surgery.html/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:00:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148306 jeremy hefner

Jeremy Hefner threw today at the Mets Spring Training Complex in Port St. Lucie for the first time since undergoing Tommy John Surgery in late August.

Hefner, who announced via Twitter that he was cleared to play yesterday, made 20 tosses at 60 feet today and said he felt “great”, said Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

 

The 27-year old, who was re-signed to a minor-league contract with New York in January after being non-tendered, went 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 130.2 innings pitched in 2013 before being shut down with a torn elbow ligament.

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Flores to Get a Long Look at 2B, SS, 3B in Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/flores-to-get-a-long-look-at-2b-ss-3b-in-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/flores-to-get-a-long-look-at-2b-ss-3b-in-spring-training.html/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:10:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146674 wilmer flores

Terry Collins said he will be taking a long look at Wilmer Flores at second, third and shortstop during spring training, reports Kevin Kernan of the NY Post.

“There’s a lot of potential there and this is the time to see it,’’ Collins said.

On Friday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com first reported that Flores could get a look at shortstop. Mets GM Sandy Alderson told DiComo that he remains a possibility despite not playing the position since 2011 at the age of 19.

“I don’t think we’d rule it out,” Alderson said in a telephone interview. “Why should we? I think we have to see how Spring Training plays out for him — is there going to be a spot for him in the lineup? Is there not? Is he going to be a bench player for us? Is he going to go to Las Vegas?”

Flores has been participating in a nutrition and agility winter program in Michigan, and the team is hoping the Venezuela-native will make significant strides in his development.

Ruben Tejada has been widely assumed to be the starting shortstop, however many in and out of the organization do not see him as an attractive option as his commitment and focus came into question over the past year.

Flores told MMO back in September that his primary goal this winter was to improve his speed.

(Updated 2/3) (photo US Presswire)

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Collins: Eric Young Jr Is The Leading Leadoff Candidate http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/collins-eric-young-jr-is-the-leading-leadoff-candidate.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/collins-eric-young-jr-is-the-leading-leadoff-candidate.html/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 04:30:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146678 eric young jr

Terry Collins believes that Eric Young Jr. is his primary suitor for the leadoff position in the batting order say Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

The question, as Rubin also highlights, is how exactly the Mets will get Young into the lineup. The signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have created a bit of a logjam in the outfield that doesn’t favor EY Jr.

As Alderson told MMO in December, there may be some “variation in the configuration” of the outfield in 2014, likely with Granderson as the only everyday starter.

The Mets may go with the option of having a three-man rotation between Juan Lagares, EY and Young in the centerfield and rightfield positions. This system would allow for each to earn their playing time, similar to how Marlon Byrd became an everyday starter this past season.

Eric Young Jr. played 90 games in the leadoff spot for New York this past season and led the National League with 46 stolen bases between his time for the Mets and Rockies in 2014.

Thoughts from Mitch Petanick

When I was being recruited to play college ball, one of the main questions I would ask was whether I would start right away. The response I often heard was “if you can hit, you will play.” In other words, the best offensive player with get the time—the coaches really never cared who the best defender was. That always resonated with me.

I’m sure the same holds true in the major leagues—the best offensive players will be on the field. The Mets would feel very comfortable with Chris Young in center (he’s no slouch defensively), and Eric Young Jr in left. The bottom line is whoever is performing the best offensively will play.

They may start with a mix of Juan Lagares and the two Youngs early in the season, but the hope is that two out of the three will establish themselves as everyday players—and that determination will be made by looking at offensive production.  

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