Mets Merized Online » MMO Fan Shot http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:35:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 MMO Fan Shot: Why Do We Act So Surprised? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-why-do-we-act-so-surprised.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-why-do-we-act-so-surprised.html/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:58:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153315 sad mets bench

An MMO Fan Shot by Dave (FalseHustle)

I’m not going to do any research on the subject, but I’m confident in proclaiming that most of us around these MMO parts projected the Mets to be a 75-80 win team in 2014. Sure, there were some optimists who claimed .500 was within reach, and those blind loyalists who thought that it would only take a coin flip falling the right way for the Mets to land at 90 wins and a wild-card berth, and then, obviously, a World Series championship, because anything can happen in these short playoff series and the Mets pitching staff is solid, and…  But really, most of us understood that the team we are trotting out this year is at best marginally better than the squad that took the field last year. So why, day in and day out, do we act so surprised that they are playing like the 70-80 win team 95% of us predicted they would be?

The losses come horribly. Some of these losses have occurred in the most “Mets” way possible. The bullpen has imploded each and every game. Terry Collins has made multiple tactical blunders. We have had injuries to major players. We have made fielding errors, flailed at pitches out of the zone, looked mismatched in general. But that’s just the Mets, right?! This is what the Mets do.  We love the Mets, but we make fun of them all the time. We make fun of our AAAA starting players, our “fat” shortstop, our clueless manager, our double-talking GM and our greedy owners. We commiserate about the product on the field and commiserate about what must be done behind the scenes to improve the team we can’t help but suffer along with. Maybe it distracts us from the product that we are forced to stomach each and every night, but I believe we complain because it’s the only form of catharsis available to us.

But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that this team is truly any worse than we all knew they were going to be. When we were all making our predictions before the season, what did we collectively believe a 75-win team looked like? A 75-win team trots out players who have no business in a major league uniform, just like the Mets do. They scrape the bottom of the barrel for free agents and pick up players off the scrap heap to keep the team afloat, just like the Mets do. They make numerous fielding and batting mistakes, just like the Mets do. They might have a manager who seems completely oblivious to in-game strategy, bungling pitcher/batter matchups and making bizarre roster moves based more on loyalty to veterans than to rookies in an ill-fated attempt to hang onto his job for just one more season, just like the Mets do.

After every game, I come to this site to see what like-minded fans think about the latest Mets’ debacle. And after reading the post-game comments, I’m often baffled. Not at the fact that we, as fans, are fed up. We hate that our team loses so embarrassingly so often, and can’t seem to get their act together, and we hate the ineptitude at seemingly every level, rightly questioning the motivation behind certain moves and the purported “plan” that was supposed to lift us into contention by 2014. I’m baffled because everyone seems so surprised that the Mets are playing the way they do. Why are we surprised when the bullpen blows it?  We never thought the bullpen was any good! Why do we moan and cry that Ike Davis and Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada and EYJ can’t seem to, as they say, hit the broadside of a barn? We never thought any of them were going to be worth anything!  Why are we surprised when Terry bungles simple in-game transitions, when for multiple seasons we have seen him do the same thing day in and day out?

I just don’t get why we are so shocked that the Mets are playing poorly.  I’m not saying to stop rooting for your team to win; of course that’s impossible.  I don’t think we should forgive the Mets’ front-office transgressions either- I think they’ve lied to us to protect themselves, but have done so in such a transparent and smug manner that we can’t help but feel personally betrayed by their every word.  I just think that we need to temper our continued anger at the day in/day out ineptitude of a team that none of us thought would go far.

They won’t lose 100 games, like some posters here now seem to think.  But they sure as hell aren’t going to win 90 games.  Can we at least set that one to rest?  Can we stop “cleverly” joking, “Hey Sandy, only 90 to go! Har har har”?  The guy got caught saying something stupid while trying to placate his clueless bosses.  Because he hasn’t fully delivered on his plans to extricate the Mets from their financial and competitive morass, we think he’s an idiot who is actually trying to make the team worse.  There’s no way Sandy (or, for that matter, David or Terry) thinks the Mets are winning 90 games (well, maybe Terry does; the guy truly is a mystery to me).  Furthermore, deep in our hearts, I don’t believe even one of us here on MMO thought the Mets would win 90.

I’m just trying to understand the lack of perspective.  I get the emotion- I have literally broken a chair and punched a hole through a wall after particularly tough Mets’ losses.  But I suppose I just can’t completely divorce my emotion from the logic of the situation.  This is exactly the sort of team I knew the Mets would field this year, and it’s exactly the sort of team you knew the Mets would field.  Going into each game with that knowledge makes it easier to roll your eyes at the on-field blunders and stay calm when the Mets “unexpectedly” blow another lead or forget to bowl over a catcher or walk in a run or whatever stupid Mets-esque thing they did that day.

Nobody likes watching their team play the way the Mets have, and we have every right to get on them for it.  But can’t we just go into each game knowing that while sometimes things will fall our way, more often than not we are going to play the way Vegas and many of our smart readers think we will play?  We shouldn’t be surprised that they lost all three to the Nationals, and we shouldn’t be surprised if we lose two out of three to the Reds.  This is who the Mets are.  And to quote Dennis Green (if you’ve read this far, you knew it was coming), “they are who we thought they were!”

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave (FalseHustle). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Despite All The Frustration, I’m Excited About Our Future http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-despite-all-the-frustration-im-excited-about-our-future.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-despite-all-the-frustration-im-excited-about-our-future.html/#comments Sat, 12 Apr 2014 14:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153085  mets fans

An MMO Fan Shot by Marc M.

For most Mets fans, the past several years have been extremely frustrating and understandably so, having registered five consecutive losing seasons coming into 2014, following back-to-back epic collapses by the team in 2007 and 2008.

The prospect of a sixth consecutive losing season has been a subject that has stirred much debate on this site and others among Mets fans. After so many frustrating years, and with the same ownership in place that many have had issues with for years, it’s been argued that “our franchise cannot endure a sixth consecutive losing season.”

I disagree with that premise for two simple reasons.

First, while I remain hopeful that the Mets can turn the corner this year, it is just as likely (maybe more so) that we WILL have another losing season this year. And guess what, the team will still be here (and will still be primed for a serious run of success – but more on that later). Second, there are some things that just cannot be rushed. Rarely does anything in life go exactly according to plan, on a precise timetable. There are just too many variables in play. So, the notion that 2014 was the year that the Mets should return to a winning record is fool’s gold.

In baseball, there are so many things that you cannot neatly drop into a firm time table. For instance, (1) the rate at which prospects develop, (2) the availability of the right players at the right contracts in the free agency market in any given year (3) the availability of the right players in the trade market in any given year, and the Mets’ ability to match up with those trade partners. Timetables are useful tools for setting goals, but, to me, it is meaningless to treat them as anything more than loose estimates – it makes little sense to set some arbitrary date by which everything should occur to propel the Mets back into a winning team.

To me, I am concerned only with whether the Mets are heading in the right direction for BOTH short term and long term success.  And I think we are, with the definition of “short term” being intentionally vague as it is simply unknown. Will it be this year? Possibly, but if it’s not, does that change the fact that we have some seriously talented players making their way onto our big league club?

The answer is obviously “no.”

wheeler harvey

 

Our greatest risk is that all these promising young players fail miserably. While possible, the odds are strongly in our favor that not all will fail, and we will have the nucleus of a strong, young team upon which to compete for years to come. Some of these promising layers will certainly fail to live up to expectations. We just don’t know who. But between Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom as starters, you have to feel good that at least two (and very possibly three) will be stalwarts of our rotation for years to come.

The degree of their success is unknown. We could be sitting on three aces, or three mid-rotation starters, or some combination. But when you add in Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Jenrry Mejia, that is one heckuva nucleus of starting pitchers, with the “spare” parts serving either as trade chips or bullpen pieces (deGrom and possibly Mejia, though I really like Mejia as a starter). And this ignores Steven Matz and Michael Fulmer, either one or both of whom could be our next “breakout” pitchers literally following in the footsteps of Harvey, Wheeler and Syndergaard/Montero.

We have a boatload of young arms who can finally make our bullpen a strength. It may take a couple of years before some sort out their issues, but we have enough that you have to feel good about them too – guys like Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Gonzalez German, Josh Edgin, Jack Leathersich, Jeff Walters, Adam Kolarek (and some more exciting arms behind them like (Rainy Lara, Gabriel Ynoa, Luis Mateo, Domingo Tapia, Luis Cessa, Hansel Robles, Matt Koch, Beck Wheeler, Bret Mitchell and Akeel Morris).

We also have some decent positional prospects close to MLB ready (Cesar Puello, Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki) and a few others behind them to really be excited about (Brandon Nimmo, Dom Smith and Amed Rosario) who can fill gaps as well. Presumably, we will be able to trade from our SP strength to fill in any other gaps we may have.

the future

Bottom Line: It is impossible to put a precise timetable on things, but it is hard to argue that things are really looking up for our future – near term and long term. It will not necessarily be linear growth; in fact, it is more likely that we take a sudden leap forward as several players take that next step and begin to put it together.  Perhaps this year; more likely next year.

So, be frustrated at the past, and maybe even a little bit at the present (because Alderson has not been perfect with all his moves by any stretch), but be excited about our future.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Marc M. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Trades, Desperation and Learning to Let Go http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-trades-desperation-and-learning-to-let-go.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-trades-desperation-and-learning-to-let-go.html/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:51:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152581 sandy alderson

An MMO Fan Shot by Dave In Spain

Sometime this season the Mets may be faced with a difficult decision: Faced with dramatically declining attendance and fan outrage (or worse, apathy), do they give up a player who is a top prospect or fan favorite in order to acquire desperately needed improvements or radically re-structure the team? (Willingness to take on extra salary with an acquired player is a subject for another post.) Or do they let the brand continue to languish while waiting for prospects to develop?

Sandy Alderson´s history has been to assign a value to a player and stick with it come hell or high water. Whether it´s Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy, or Stephen Drew on the receiving end, he has so far been unwilling to budge.

But at what point does he say ¨Maybe I misjudged¨ or ¨Maybe it´s time to bend a little for the good of the organization as a whole¨? Or ¨Maybe this player just isn’t the player we thought he was¨.

The Mets have avoided desperation moves so far, but at what point do they bite the bullet and give up more than they feel is appropriate to improve the team or win back the fanbase?

With desperation comes loss of trade leverage– Sandy knows this and so do the other GMs. Other teams smell blood in the water, and salivate at the young pitching the Mets have. This isn´t going to get any better until the Mets start winning, but the Catch-22 is that the Mets might not start winning until they make some tough decisions as far as player acquisitions go.

And as fans, we too will have to learn to let go of a player who might be a personal favorite, like Murphy, Rafael Montero, or Zack Wheeler, if in the objective view a trade improves the team overall.

And we´ll have to recognize that it´s not always the individual players that matter, but how the whole roster is put together and whether that brings us closer to a championship.

You may not think that a player being acquired is worth what you give up, but maybe it´s a necessary deal to move the team forward.

It´s easy to see that something isn’t working with the Mets. The challenge in the end will be having the courage to make the hard decisions to change that dynamic and move the team forward rather than moving the goal posts.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave in Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Should Mets Have Made the Ike Davis for Matt Joyce Trade? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-should-mets-have-made-the-ike-davis-for-matt-joyce-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-fan-shot-should-mets-have-made-the-ike-davis-for-matt-joyce-trade.html/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:20:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152101 matt joyce

An MMO Fan Shot by Adam AKA Schnitzer’s Marble Rye

Should the Mets have traded Ike Davis for Matt Joyce?

After watching a spring training filled with injuries, inconsistency, and still no clear cut answers at the first base position, I’m wondering if Sandy Alderson made a mistake by not pulling the trigger on a Matt Joyce for Ike Davis trade. In November, I read a post on MMO that the Rays had offered Joyce for Davis in an even swap. I then saw in a New York Post article in February that Sandy Alderson rejected a Joyce for Davis deal.

The Mets rejected the offer, and went on to sign OF Chris Young just a few days later to begin the process of improving the outfield (which I actually think could have been an even better signing with Joyce on the roster already..more on that shortly).

First, a quick summarization of the Duda/Davis saga – In a nutshell, Ike as we know can get raging hot, have a great streak or even half, but then OPS in the .500 or .600 range for extended periods of the time (aka the other half of the season). Duda has the lower ceiling, but is less likely to be a complete black hole in the lineup for long periods of time like Ike has often showed to be.

In all likelihood Duda or Davis full time vs. LHP & RHP would give you below average first base production in 2014 and beyond. They have similar splits vs. RHP/LHP, so either way a platoon is suggested. So hopefully Satin can continue to be good vs. LHP.

But it’s possible, dare I say likely, a Duda/Satin platoon in 2014 will give you a .750-800 OPS from the 1B position, and that’s not too bad. With Ike, the likelihood he’s going to at some point eat up a couple of hundred at-bats as a black hole in the lineup, is high. Platoon or not, with Ike I think it’s goodbye reasonably consistent first base production in 2014. Is that something the perceived-to-be offensively challenged Mets can really afford? I think the consensus is if the Mets could’ve got, or could get something decent for Ike, you pull the trigger — if Ike goes on to be an all star somewhere else, you tip your hat to the guy.

So would Matt Joyce have been “something decent” for Ike? Perhaps I’m being swayed by watching Ike flail hideously at breaking balls in today’s last spring training game, but I think so.

Matt Joyce is 29. Ike is 27. Both left-handed hitters. They’re due similar salaries in 2014. Basically, they’re somewhat comparable.

Without doing a detailed statistical analysis of every single player mentioned in this post, I must mention Joyce’s .835 career OPS vs. RHP. (Although they probably wouldn’t have if they traded for Joyce), let’s assume the Mets had still signed Chris Young. CY’s OPS vs. LHP career you ask? .837.

A platoon in RF of Joyce/Young could have been solid, giving you an .830 OPS out of the position. Hell, you could make the argument that trading Ike for Joyce would have been a better move than signing Chris Young at all. The majority of pitchers are right-handed, feeding more into Joyce strength – not CY’s.

If you want to make the argument that CY is a better glove than Joyce, and Citi Field is spacious and demands rangy outfielders, I get it. To be honest, I’m not all that familiar with Joyce’s defensive abilities. But if he’s been a major league outfielder for 6+ years, I’m guessing he’s a serviceable fielder at the very least. And besides, look at where the Mets are now, it’s March 29th, and they’re considering Lucas Duda in the outfield again.

But to wrap up the proposal of a possible Chris Young/Matt Joyce RF platoon, it could work. Because platoons work, with the right players who actually compliment their individual strengths. If Young is assumed to be a better fielder than Joyce, he becomes a defensive replacement late in games as well. And while I like Andrew Brown to a degree, I think CY off the bench is a better righthanded option.

The Oakland A’s have often used platoons and have been a much more successful team than the Mets have been in recent years for sure. I mean, even last year with CY having his worst season ever pretty much, the A’s still figured out a way to win 90+ games by using him in a platoon/part time situation.

Trading Ike could have put Duda at some ease as well. I know it wouldn’t be the popular choice to announce to the fans that Duda/Satin are are going to be our first basemen in 2014, but at least we could’ve avoided this embarrassing first base “competition.”

I’m no psychiatrist, but I’d probably say it would have been a good thing to tell Duda early on, “You’re our first baseman, at least vs. RHP.” Duda, while not perceived an amazing hitter by any means, still OPS’d .818 vs RHP over the last 3 seasons, and is .812 career vs. RHP in almost 1,000 career AB’s, a decent-sized sample size.

I’m generally an Alderson supporter, and tend to take the perspective that his biggest challenge is being handcuffed financially, but what do you guys think, did he make a mistake by not pulling the trigger on Ike Davis for Matt Joyce when he had the chance?

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Adam AKA Schnitzer’s Marble Rye. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Can We Stop Being So Afraid for Matt Harvey Please? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-can-we-stop-being-so-afraid-for-matt-harvey-please.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-can-we-stop-being-so-afraid-for-matt-harvey-please.html/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:46:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151192 matt harvey i got this

A MMO Fan Shot by Salty Gary

Hi Mets fans, can we have a little discussion about our “Dark Night” Matt Harvey? The Mets’ front office and many fans alike don’t want Matt Harvey to be a headline this season. We generally agree that we should focus the discussion on the team that takes the field this season and their performance.

My question is what is driving the latest Matt Harvey storyline? Is it Harvey’s ego or is it our own paranoia? Are we the ones creating the headlines about Matt Harvey because we are afraid of losing him to SOMETHING? Oh no, not something! Something always does something! I hate something!

Do we manifest these fears because we relate them to the past behavior of previous Mets players?

As Mets fans we have become so accustomed to drama and turmoil and devastating news – driven in part by the exploits of the last few seasons. It’s as if we now expect something bad to occur. And sometimes we even need it to occur. After all, what else is there to talk about… winning?

While following the Mets has taken on all the allure of a TMZ driven franchise, is it because we want it that way? Because truth be told, it does not have to be that way.

Let’s look at some of the public off-the-field actions that have emblazoned Harvey in the headlines and the gossip columns:

  • Matt Harvey likes to go to hockey games and has been seen at games with fellow teammate Daniel Murphy whose favorite type of music is Christian Rock, and has stated that if he wasn’t playing baseball he would be a Christian Minister.
  • Matt Harvey scored himself a hot supermodel girlfriend for the year and got to travel the globe with her during the offseason.
  • Matt Harvey did a Jimmy Fallon appearance.
  • Matt Harvey loves Qualcomm so much that he called into the Dan Patrick Show and promoted them a bit too much… Okay, a bit too, too much.
  • Matt Harvey takes care of his body so well that ESPN the magazine selected him to be featured nude in their annual “Body Issue” last year.

What an ego on the guy, is he kidding me?

Harvey is evidently out of control, how can he possibly manage that kind of work-life balance? That kind of an ego can only lead to one thing – his downfall. Or maybe not… I remember other Mets doing these same kinds of things and somehow it didn’t ruin their focus or their on-field performance. In fact, quite the contrary.

dickey

Remember when R.A. Dickey did appearances with David Letterman, and the CBS Morning Show? Remember when he told the Mets brass that he was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and there was nothing they could do to stop him. Jeez, the ego on that guy.

reyes body issue

And how about Jose Reyes? He may be the one who paved the way for Matt Harvey. That ego-maniac posed nude for the ESPN body issue too, remember? And who can forget his annoying dancing on the field after scoring a run?

Those actions negatively impacted the performance of these players so much so, that Dickey ended up winning a Cy Young award. And that Reyes guy… Well he ended up winning the NL batting title.

Of course, there are also the real tragedies of some of our Mets stars like Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. Coming up so quick and so promising they indulged and succumbed to their fame and it ultimately took away their greatest gift.

Matt Harvey is none of these people that I detailed. He can go on to do media tours and thrive or he can get caught up in his own fame and burn away. Whatever path he takes, our fear of the unknown is not going to change anything.

It is up to Harvey and the people around him to keep our injured ace focused on the primary goal at hand, which is to be a successful ballplayer and help this team win a title. It’s for this reason that I have no worries or reservations about him rehabilitating himself in New York. I actually encourage it.

If he was to rehabilitate at Port St. Lucie, he will be undoubtedly be surrounded by trainers that will help him in his process to get back on the field. However, he does have to leave the facility at the end of the day, and that is why I am empathetic to why he would rather be in New York. He’s a young guy and it’s irrational to expect him to stay cooped up in his St. Lucie apartment waiting to go back into rehab the next day. In Florida he will be away from his friends and family and there are only so many movies he can watch for five or six months. The last thing that I want to see is him pushing his rehab to get home sooner.

If he was to rehab in New York, Harvey would have access to some of the greatest trainers in America. He also grew up in New London, Connecticut which is about a 1.5 hour drive from Manhattan. Being in a familiar area, close to friends and family is exactly the type of environment we should want him in. Having him comfortable with support systems around, will keep him mentally in tune so he can focus his energy on his physical side. Just because it’s standard practice for all players to stay in Florida to rehabilitate, it doesn’t mean it’s the right policy for all players. That’s probably why the CBA gives all players the right to choose their rehab venue.

In Matt Harvey’s case, I believe being with his teammates, family and friends is the right way to go even if it’s not the way the Mets typically handle their rehabs. Make the exception, keep morale high, and be unafraid to think outside the box. Set aside any fears.

Mets fans we cannot put Matt Harvey in a cage and just yell out “Bring out the Gimp” every fifth day. That won’t keep him from doing what he wants. As fans we need to support him and stop being so afraid of what he is doing. Let the young man have some fun and promote himself if that’s a part of the fun for him. Only Harvey can control the excess around him and so far he is handling it like a professional.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Salty Gary.. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Time for David Wright to Pull a Kobe http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-time-for-david-wright-to-pull-a-kobe.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-time-for-david-wright-to-pull-a-kobe.html/#comments Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:20:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150389  david wright

 An MMO Fan Shot by Schneck

On Wednesday, Kobe Bryant was quoted as calling out the leadership of the LA Lakers for failing to create a winning mentality. He even went as far as to name names and pulled absolutely no punches. Some may say that this was out of line as they are paying him a lot of money, but what exactly does that mean? You bring a guy in and pay him a lot of money as part of a plan to win many games. If you have your marquee guy but do little else, who has more leverage but that marquee player to discuss the situation? Obviously, nobody is happy with their lack of success and if Bryant spoke the company line, it would lack credibility and do nothing to help the situation. By speaking out, he puts extra pressure on his team to change the mentality and get something done.

This brings me to our Mets. The closest equivalent that we have to a Kobe is our captain, David Wright. When he signed his deal, he says there was a conversation that convinced him that the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson had a plan that was going to produce a winning team within a reasonable amount of time. One can certainly argue how ‘reasonable’ should be defined but forward motion would be a key component.

When we hear things about bank imposed salary caps and see piles of evidence that these caps may have indeed shaped many decisions regardless of denials from ownership, it is hard to imagine that this is the path that was presented to Wright or what he would have expected. Unless something radical happens in the next two weeks, throw in a third straight season of declining payroll and a reluctance to spend a dollar more to fix two glaring holes. Was that part of the plan too?

Most fans are smart enough to have figured out by now that neither Ruben Tejada nor Ike Davis are reliable major league players and they are not the caliber of players that one puts on the field when they are trying to build a long term winner. Last season, the Mets’ production from from those two ranked last in the majors at their respective positions. If fans can see that, so can Wright.

All of that said, our captain chooses to always tow the company line. Alderson makes a proclamation that the team will win 90 games, and yet instead of asking aloud how the team proposes to that, there is David Wright the very next morning backing up this 90 win prediction for the 2014 season. And for good measure, Wright then shared his own roadmap to a 90 win season with the group of reporters. It all seemed so orchestrated.

After that, I began to realize that despite all that’s happened over the last few years, you’d have to search pretty deeply between the lines to find even one occasion where Wright was truly critical of our ownership and management. Instead he’s always been in lockstep with them.

I truly believe that Wright would have nothing to lose and everything to gain by calling out ownership for their lack of progress toward the goals laid out in their Plan from several years ago when they talked about the future and why he should remain a Met.

As the team’s leader, like Kobe, he should accept nothing less than a full commitment to winning with no limitations. Fans would rally behind him and appreciate him putting the team ahead of the image and maybe it would set a tone that works its way up the ranks.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Schneck. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: How Ed Kranepool Turned Me Into A Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-how-ed-kranepool-turned-me-into-a-mets-fan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fan-shot-how-ed-kranepool-turned-me-into-a-mets-fan.html/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:37:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149147 casey stengel ed kranepool

An MMO Fan Shot by Elias Conde

In 1962, I was 13 years old, my current wife Carmen was barely two, President John F. Kennedy was in his first term and the New York Mets were born. I sometimes wonder why I remember the Mets back then, because I really wasn’t a baseball fan that cared too much about the teams, but for whatever reason I was made aware of their existence.

I was raised in Spanish Harlem, later moved to the Bronx, and I was only interested in hanging out with my friends, playing basketball and some baseball, but stickball was my favorite. There started to be a lot of publicity surrounding the Mets, and I started to become interested in what was going on in Queens.

Casey Stengel was the one name I remembered the most as he was constantly being quoted in the papers. I learned about Marv Thronberry and for some reason I thought he was a great player, but later on I realized he wasn’t a very good first baseman at all, even though he did hit a little. Roger Craig was on the downside of his career, but he did pitch very well even though he lost a lot of games that year.

As 1962 wore on, I began to become a true Mets fan and emotionally invested in the team. Even though they lost over 120 games, I was happy whenever they won despite it happening only 40 times that first season. This team brought some life to our city, and even though the Yankees were the team most people followed and talked about, the Mets were endearing and captured my attention. I began to learn everything I know about baseball by following the Mets, even though they didn’t play winning baseball. Most of the players were on the downside of their careers and the young ones didn’t have enough talent, but I grew to love this team.

Casey Stengel was a riot who when he spoke said things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but were nonetheless funny. Many bad things happened during the early 60’s, from Kennedy being assassinated, the demonstrations because of the Vietnam War and the Mets losing a ton of games, but when they actually won a game, it made me feel proud to be a fan.

Ed Kranepool came up with the Mets during that first season and he immediately became my favorite player. I can remember his first hit being a double and thought, “wow he is going to be a superstar”. As we later realized, he turned out to be a very good player, but not the star everyone expected. The reason he was my favorite was because when I entered high school, I started playing first base and was also pitching. I am a lefty just like Kranepool and I can remember playing at Monroe High School where Kranepool graduated from and thinking wow he actually played on that field, where he hit home runs and drew so much attention to himself from scouts and teams.

The one time I played at the Monroe High School field, I pitched and lost 1-0 in extra innings. Just being on the same field as Kranepool gave me goose bumps. I felt that if he played there and went on to the major leagues, that I might have a chance. But, even though I never lived out my dream of playing professional baseball, I was given an opportunity to live out a dream of walking on the same field that he once starred.

Kranepool went on to have a nice career with the Mets and even though the younger fans do not know much about him, he is still well known by the die-hards that followed the Mets during my generation.

As I reflect on those times, I can say the Mets were very instrumental in making me a baseball fan who now enjoys the game so much and looks forward to each upcoming Mets season. Perhaps a story for another day….

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Elias Conde. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Will the Mets Bullpen Finally Shine in 2014? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-fan-shot-will-the-mets-bullpen-finally-shine-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-fan-shot-will-the-mets-bullpen-finally-shine-in-2014.html/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 04:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149217 Jose Valverde

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

The 2013-2014 Mets offseason has painfully centered on discussion over Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Stephen Drew and Ruben Tejada, all at agonizing length. While they certainly are important, the most critical detriment to the team seems to be vastly overlooked by the media and fans alike; the strength of the Mets bullpen.

Say what you want about Sandy’s drafting abilities, the strength of his trades or the lack of spending in the free agent market, one thing cannot be argued is how disappointing the bullpen has been since he arrived.

Since the Mets GM came on board after the 2010 season, the bullpen has gotten progressively worse and ranks near the bottom of the league in many categories including Bullpen ERA, Save Percentage, Strikeout Rates, Walks Allowed, and Batting Average Against.

How the Mets stacked up in 2013 against the NL and MLB.

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The graph above captures where the Mets ranked against the MLB Average and both the NL and MLB Leaders. The Mets are shown in blue.

Innings Pitched: There seems to be an idea amongst some fans that the bullpen is consistently overworked. The Mets actually ranked right in the middle of both the MLB and NL in innings pitches at 12th and 7th, respectively. The team is only 8 innings off the pace of the MLB average.

Strike Outs: The Mets bullpen didn’t sit down hitters very often in 2013 by way of the strike out. In fact, they ranked dead last in not only the NL, but the entire MLB in that category. Understandably, some pitchers pitch more to contact and find success doing so, but strikeout rates this low is not a good thing. The Mets were nearly 30 strikeouts ahead of the the next-worst team alone and ranked 20th overall in K/9 in the majors at just 7.37

Walks: The Mets’ bullpen actually ranked well when it came to free passes. They were 11th across baseball, 6th in the NL and were better than the MLB average. Walks were not a critical issue for an overall struggling bullpen.

Hits: While the Mets don’t walk many batters, they certainly manage to give up hits. They ranked 4th highest in the MLB and 2nd highest in the NL in hits allowed with 493, nearly 40 more than the MLB average. That is not where you want your stoppers to be.

Those are just raw numbers and not really the best way to evaluate performance, But I thought it would be interesting to look at them nonetheless, just to see where we placed compared to other teams. Let’s move onto percentages.

Untitled-1 copy

ERA: The Mets ranked 28th in MLB and 12th in the NL in bullpen ERA in 2013. This after two-straight seasons of having the second-to- worst bullpen ERA in the NL and nearly the worst in all of baseball. The Mets pen has been giving up runs in bunches. The Mets allowed nearly a half run more than the MLB average per nine innings and nearly 1.5 runs more than the MLB and NL Leader, the Atlanta Braves.

WHIP: The Mets ranked near the bottom when it came to walks/hits per IP. Already noting that the bullpen rarely walked batters, the amount of hits they give up drove up the WHIP considerably. The team ranked 21st in MLB and 12th in the NL with a 1.32 WHIP.

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Opponent Batting Average

The graph really speaks for itself….the higher up you go, the worse you get. The Mets were ranked among some of the games’ worst when it came to opposing team batting average, yielding a .256 average to opposing hitters. That ranked the Mets 27th in the MLB and 13th in the NL in 2013. However, the only three teams worse than the Mets play in hitters parks while the Mets play in Citi Field, a notorious pitchers park with a .867 Runs Park Factor in 2013, 29th lowest in the majors.

These statistics don’t tell the entire story and obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to know the Mets bullpen has been terrible over Sandy’s tenure, but it’s interesting to look at the numbers to see just how bad the Mets are across the league.

Bringing in the likes of veterans Frank Francisco, D.J. Carrasco, Brandon Lyon, etc. has not worked. This year, the bullpen was set to be stocked with some young and promising arms, but they may now be blanketed by more veterans like Jose Valverde, Kyle Farnsworth and possibly John Lannan.

Gambling on veteran bullpen acquisitions in free agency is always difficult because they are so hit and miss especially those in the mid-to-lower tiers where the Mets have been fishing. Hopefully our young talent proves more successful then some of the disappointing free agents and minor league signings that have passed through Flushing the last few years, with apologies to LaTroy Hawkins who proved to be a valuable acquisition.

Forget first base and shortstop for a second; one thing’s for sure: this bullpen has to improve dramatically if this team is to have any chance to compete in 2014 and Sandy has yet to prove he can make that happen. Lets hope this is the year when our bullpen finally excels and gives our rotation and lineup a better chance to win some games and get us over the hump.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Ryan Flanagan. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily.

Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: What Would Mets Look Like With A $120 Million Payroll? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-fan-shot-what-would-mets-look-like-with-a-120-million-payroll.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mmo-fan-shot-what-would-mets-look-like-with-a-120-million-payroll.html/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:37:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=148097 stephen drew

An MMO Fan Shot by Chuck Banker

What would the Mets look like if we spent $120 million in 2014?

Okay, so we made some waves, singing Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Bartolo Colon. But were they the right moves? Were they the best moves? What if we spent more?

I love the Granderson signing, very pumped about that… I am confident he will have a solid year and, as importantly, bring some winning experience to a team desperately missing that kind of leadership. I also like the Bartolo Colon signing, especially coming off a fabulous year and bringing more of those intangibles to a pitching staff that is sorely in need of some winning experience.

Chris Young is not a bad signing, but it just doesn’t make much sense as a one-year maneuver when there is nobody behind him. We could have done better here. I like him a lot as a 4th outfielder – just not at the price we paid.

We came into the offseason with multiple holes and after filling a couple of them, multiple questions still remain. We need to stop with this never-ending “building towards next year” philosophy that has us moving the goalposts each new season.

So, what could we have done? And is it too late?

cruz feat

As I said earlier, Granderson and Colon were solid moves, and they will be worthy additions. But we could have signed Nelson Cruz for our other outfield spot at the same price as Curtis, but for three years at $15MM per instead of four. By the way, it’s not too late – - I know we have Chris Young, but he is just a better version of Eric Young only a lot more costly.

We could have had Grant Balfour ( 2 years at $7MM per) examined the day after the Orioles changed their mind, but we sat around and waited until it was too late - a common ailment of ours.

We could have signed Stephen Drew (3 years at $11 per) – - I don’t understand all the noise. He is there waiting for us and has been for months. Again, we show no love to a major upgrade on the field, at the plate, and in the clubhouse.

The other obvious issue remains first base, and we have nothing but multiple question marks with Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin – - oy vay! We need a glove and bat here, a big bat, and two of these three guys have no business in the big leagues. Probably why all three logged time in Las Vegas,in 2013. So, the question we have all considered is whether Ike deserves that shot or whether he should be banished to the desert with Duda.

Given the circumstances, I would say our best play is to get Wilmer Flores into the first base battle. Let’s see how they do in spring training and play one or both.

However, if we would have increased payroll to a reasonable $120 million, our lineup could have been quite formidable in defense of our promising pitching.

Our starting pitching, even without Harvey, is pretty exciting with lots of young depth and upside. Balfour probably would have helped our bullpen considerably more than Farnsworth or Valverde, but given our young bullpen options I believe we will still be fine.

In my opinion, our current pitching coupled with the above lineup, challenges for the NL East division title and at the very least wins a wild card this season. How long has that been?

So, what do we do now? Is it too late?

I don’t think so. We clearly don’t have the guts to add Cruz, who would be a bonanza at today’s going rate, but we can keep our fingers crossed with CY knowing we have little behind him. Or, we stick CY in center instead of Lagares, and sign Cruz for a brand new outfield – - now that would be gutsy.

Either way, we need to recognize that we are in desperate need of a major league SS and that Tejada is not the answer if we want to win now. We have two choices - the simple answer is to sign Stephen Drew, or else we need to step up and make a trade for one of the young studs from Arizona, which will probably cost us Montero.

We are not as far away as you think. Let’s step up, make 2014 a playoff year, and become a perennial contender when Matt Harvey returns.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Chuck Banker. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Mets “Still Looking For More Players” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-still-looking-for-more-players.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-still-looking-for-more-players.html/#comments Sat, 01 Feb 2014 17:03:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=146767 aldersonMets fans felt mixed views on Thursday after Sandy Alderson admitted the club are still looking for new players, despite their already-burgeoning roster.

The general manager spoke to the Daily Pennsylvanian about life at Citi Field and revealed the club is still on the hunt for more players before Spring Training.

“The offseason develops over time in segments, and right now there are still a lot of players out there,” he said.

“The question with teams is: How much money do they have left and what are their needs?”

Alderson also insisted the club have ‘turned a corner’ on talent acquisition and payroll flexibility, and so his focus now was on winning baseball games.

This is all good news for Mets fans and those betting MLB World Series; few of us turn down the chance to greet a new player to Queens. But there is a real concern this roster may become overcrowded before the season begins.

As we found when comparing our 2013 roster to projected 2014, an extra arm has been added to our starting rotation (partly down to Matt Harvey’s absence until September), The addition of Daisuke Matsuzaka to compete with John Lannan and Jenrry Mejia for our final rotation spot made sense on many levels.

This leaves the question – who, if anyone, should Alderson bring in? New players like Bartolo Colon and Matsuzaka need time to settle, to know they are wanted and to not feel threatened by further arrivals. We played well last season and should build on that, not overhaul the entire roster.

The Wilpons got a reprieve from that massive $250 million debt payment originally due in June and when you couple that with what Alderson said, the message is that money is no longer the issue it once was.

But then why was it reported from a team source that the Mets were looking for a veteran reliever on a low base salary? Would such things matter to a team whose financial worries were in the rear view mirror as they would want us to believe?

Clearly there are still some mixed messages coming from the Mets. So, look out for some new signings if they happen, but do not be too disappointed if none materialize. The good news is that 2014 already looks more promising than last year, so let’s not get carried away.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Alex J.. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: First Base Competition is a Good Thing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-first-base-competition-is-a-good-thing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-first-base-competition-is-a-good-thing.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:22:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140685 lucas duda ike davis

An MMO Fan Shot by John C.

Let the competition begin.

While “open competition” has become little more than a cliché for most major league clubs, the Mets being no exception (does anyone other than Chris Young honestly believe center field will be an open competition in 2014?), I believe the first-base battle slated for St. Lucie this spring will be a very real one. I am also naïve enough to think that, barring further visits from the injury and/or weird illness demons, Mets fans will be rewarded with first base production not seen since the Carlos Delgado days.

Here’s how I see it going:

Day 1 of Spring Training: Terry Collins office. In addition to Terry, in the room are Sandy Alderson, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.

Terry: Listen guys, I’m not going to sugar-coat this. First base is an honest-to-God open competition between you two this year. Whoever puts up the best numbers over the next six weeks wins the job, pure and simple.

You two will pretty much play first base on a daily basis. You’ll get equal amounts of time with the A squad and B squad, and you should end up with a similar number of at bats. We’ll have to get Josh and a few others some work there, too, but you guys will see the majority of the playing time.

You may not agree that this is the best way to do it, but tough sh–. You put yourselves in this position and now you have to live with the consequences. You both had ample opportunity over the last couple of years to win the job outright during the regular season, but neither of you took advantage. I’m disappointed about that and you should be too, but what’s done is done. All slates are wiped clean and the only numbers that count are the ones you put up in the next six weeks.

Guys, you both have the ability to be good major league first basemen. It’s time to stop talking about “ability,” though, and to actually go out and do the job. It’s time to put up or shut up, gentlemen. We can’t wait any longer for you to figure it out. The time is now.

Sandy: Yeah, what he said.

Before all you Negative Nellies start piling on Ike and Lucas and assuming we’re doomed, give them a chance. Maybe you’re right and it turns out neither of them will be cut out for the job, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

The bottom line is Ike has proven he can be a productive first baseman, both offensively and defensively, over the course of a season. Why he’s lost his way since the freakish injury sustained when colliding with David on an infield fly a few years ago is anyone’s guess. Let it go and get off his back this spring. Clean the slate and give him this one last chance to prove he can return to the “I Like Ike” t-shirt days. If he fails, so be it. Just hold off on the vitriol and “I-told-you-so” comments until April 1.

As for Lucas, I admit he hasn’t proven anything yet. He’s been susceptible to the breaking ball and is more often than not badly fooled by the pitch. But look at him! When he gets a hold of one, he crushes it – as well he should with that physique. It’s the mental part of the game that has escaped him so far. I don’t know if it’s nerves, lack of confidence or something else, but he’s got to conquer it. The physical ability is unquestionably there; this spring we find out if he can handle the big leagues emotionally and mentally. As with Ike, leave him alone this spring and let him try to work it out. If he can’t, he can’t and everybody moves on.

I just can’t shake this feeling that both men know this is their last chance. If that’s not motivation enough for one or both of them to succeed, I don’t know what is. If one or both can’t get it together this spring, then maybe they just aren’t major leaguers. I refuse to believe that’s the case, though. They both have too much talent.

I’m also banking on the “everything evens out long term” karma this year. We’ve had such bad play at first base the past few years that the odds are we’re due for some good play this year, right? Magical thinking maybe, but we are talking about the Miracle Mets…

So let the competition begin and may the best man win. Seize the day, gentlemen, and shows us what you can do. As the tagline says, Just Do It.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by John C.. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: A Middle Infield Of Drew and Kipnis http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-a-middle-infield-of-drew-and-kipnis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-a-middle-infield-of-drew-and-kipnis.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:15:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140135 edwin-encarnacion

An MMO Fan Shot by Dave in Spain

It’s cold and it’s snowing… Put on your hypothetical thinking caps…

The Mets have three major problems that don´t have any obvious in-house solutions: shortstop, first base, and a true leadoff hitter. In an attempt to solve those problems I propose the following:

1. Sign Stephen Drew for 2 years $24 million with an option for a third year. Yes, I know he´s not ideal, but he’s the best option out there. Giving him a 2-3 year deal will bridge the gap until Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are close or even ready.

2. Trade Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese to the Blue Jays for first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. If you have to add Lucas Duda or Ike Davis and/or some second tier pitching prospects, do it. Toronto is very weak at 2B (and 3b), and at the mid to back of their rotation. Murphy and Niese would address those needs. Encarnacion is a beast, and is under control at a reasonable salary through 2016 (with an option). Toronto still has power in their lineup, but lacks balance and pitching. Encarnacion would hold down 1B and provide prodigious power until Dominic Smith is potentially ready.

3. Trade Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, Rafael Montero, and a lower level prospect to Cleveland for 2B Jason Kipnis. At 26-years old, Kipnis is a good second baseman who provides a high OBP (.366 in 2013) and speed (30 SB) for the top of the lineup. Why would Cleveland trade him? Because they have virtually nothing at third base and a logjam of close-to-MLB-ready middle infield prospects. Flores would give them a good third baseman for a long time, and Tejada would bridge the gap at second until their prospects are ready in a year or less. Montero could slide into their rotation either at the beginning of the season or soon thereafter. I don´t want to trade Montero, but you have to give up quality to get quality. I know this seems like an overpay, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet to get the pieces you need and relieve logjams.

4. Sign a Free Agent pitcher to replace Niese for part of the season. Someone like Bronson Arroyo if you could get him on a short term deal, or even a Dice-K type if not.

What Are The Results?

Starting Lineup

  1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  2. Stephen Drew, SS
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Edwin Encarnación, 1B
  5. Curtis Granderson, LF
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  7. Chris Young, RF
  8. Juan Lagares, CF

Starting Rotation

  1. Zack Wheeler
  2. Bartolo Colon
  3. Dillon Gee
  4. Bronson Arroyo or Daisuke Matsuzaka
  5. Jenrry Mejia (Jacob deGrom/Carlos Torres)

In 2015, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard take over.

In Closing…

As with all trades, you have to give up quality to get quality. Would we miss Murphy, Niese, and Montero? Sure, but what Kipnis and Encarnación provide would dramatically eclipse whatever was lost with Murphy, and a FA pitcher could replace some of what Niese did.

What happens with Davis and Duda? Either at AAA, traded, or released to save money. Would the Wilpons have to pony up money for Drew? Yes. But this series of moves would make the Mets a much more dangerous and competitive team in 2014 and beyond, and would likely draw many more fans to the park as well.

OK, fire away!

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave In Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: How About A 211 Game Suspension For Bud Selig? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-how-about-a-211-game-suspension-for-bud-selig.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-how-about-a-211-game-suspension-for-bud-selig.html/#comments Sat, 18 Jan 2014 14:51:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140133 2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

An MMO Fan Shot by Steven Pacchiano

Selig is the ninth and current Commissioner of Major League Baseball, he’s been at the helm since 1992. His reign began at in the steroid era, and that was his bad luck. He had the opportunity to protect the game at the time but chose the wrong path. He turned a blind eye to it when it served his needs and reaped all the rewards after the strike. Guys like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were at the forefront of the impending debacle in 1998 with their home run chase which sparked the MLB financial turnaround. Fans, owners and Selig all cheered them on. As fans poured into the seats money poured into MLB.

Bud’s resumé boasts that he oversaw Interleague Play and the World Baseball Classic, both of which I think aren’t good for the game, but lets not get off topic. I did like the addition of the Wild Card that came about during his tenure, but this was no genius idea, well maybe it was, but MLB just adopted it from the NFL, so lets give credit to the NFL for that one.

Bud’s true legacy is that of a commissioner who tolerated steroids to advance the game, then flipped on those players who re-populated the stands. These players, who we all cheered for, who brought baseball back into the spotlight and began the run of record-breaking attendance are now all tarnished forever. These players were thought of as living legends as we watched Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Piazza step to the plate every night. We all know the rest of the names of the best players that played in the 90’s and 00’s, we all had our favorites. Like a book with blank pages, the Hall of Fame – a history of the best players ever – over those 20 seasons will not have the greatest players of that era.

Some did it, some did not, no one stopped it, and everyone knew… That will be Selig’s legacy.

What’s the incentive NOT do steroids?

The player puts up numbers, helps their team win games, and makes a lot of money. The result is the Player, Owner and Commissioner are all happy.

If the player fails a test he’s suspended for 50 games and then gets right back to business. I can say, speaking for myself, that I would have no issue doing steroids if it meant being able to sign a nice contract that would take care of my family. Many players now don’t care about the HOF, they are looking for a big payday looking to take care of their family.

Lets not forget the owners, who don’t care either. When a player fails a test, let’s just take Jhonny Peralta for example; after the player is caught a team quickly signs him to a 4 year, $60 million dollar deal. It doesn’t seem that the teams care if they are on steroids or HGH or Fairy dust. The teams just want results and production. Owners are looking for wins and revenue and players are looking for a salary. It’s pretty simple.

If they really wanted to clean up the game, if a player fails a drug test, then the player would get his suspension, (50, 100 or whatever amount of games) but the team should also suffer a punishment.

What about if the team looses their First Round Pick in the upcoming draft if a guy on that team fails a test? Sounds good to me. And if there were two players on the team that failed a test, the team would loose their first AND second round picks in that upcoming draft. And so on.

That would make the team actually think, and say, “is it worth it to sign this player and risk losing a pick?”

If Selig and the owners want to really clean up the game I think this would be the best way.

Singling out Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod, chasing them around town and spending tens of millions of dollars investigating them makes no sense. Hundred’s of players did it and no other professional sport hunts down clues outside of the sport beyond the basic random drug testing. Teams would actually police themselves and be responsible for their own players. MLB should randomly test players and the Owners should take care of their own locker rooms. Together they can clean up the sport, together they should be responsible.

The biggest joke is that Bud Selig intends to do a farewell tour of all 30 parks and say goodbye to all his loving fans. Hmmm wait a second, something’s wrong there. He’s not a beloved MLB player, jeesh he’s not even a player. I don’t think fans want to see him, at least no one I know does.

Does he think that chasing down three players who did steroids publicly will get him applause from the fans?

Does he think he transcends the game?

Is he admired by fans in the same way as The Mick, or Mo or even Chipper? Players who were worthy of doing a farewell tour?

I don’t think there will be any fan buying a ticket to go say goodbye to Selig, that is unless they want an opportunity to boo him. And I think he will likely get booed out of every park, maybe even Milwaukee where he was once their owner.

Maybe he’s delusional. Maybe he’s on something. Maybe Bud Selig should be suspended for 211 Games.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Steven Pacchiano. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: A Mets Wild Card Spot May Be Two Moves Away http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-a-mets-wild-card-spot-may-be-two-moves-away.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-a-mets-wild-card-spot-may-be-two-moves-away.html/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:04:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139727 Kendrys+Morales

An MMO Fan Shot by reader CyYout

Following remarks by Sandy Alderson that a trade at this point in the offseason is unlikely, with most mutually-beneficial scenarios for an exchange explored, it seems the only way to improve the team by addition is by signing free agents.

Alderson has made clear he is still looking for an innings eater in the rotation to compete with the young guns for that fifth spot and also for a veteran presence in the bullpen, preferably a late-inning option.

As most fans know, as it has been discussed endlessly on these boards, the Mets could also benefit, at least in the short term, from an upgrade at first base and shortstop.

Many think that Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada, young players with a track record of success who are probably just as likely to turn it around as they are to repeat their 2013 performances, deserve another crack at nailing down their positions. While I think that is an acceptable decision, and would still go into the season full of optimism, there are two players who would legitimize the lineup and go a long way toward giving the Mets an outside chance at a wild card this year.

drew

The first is Stephen Drew, who while not an elite player, brings above-average defense, and after a career year in 2013, significant offensive upside to the position. The second, Kendrys Morales, has been labeled as DH and unsuited to handle a full-time role at first base in the National League. But for all his time at DH, he has also played plenty of games at first base, and can generally be considered only a minor defensive liability at worst. At 30 years of age, in my opinion, he still has youth and the athleticism that comes with it, to handle the field for a full season. Not much needs to be said about his bat, which has always been a middle-of-the-order presence and consistently productive.

The benefits of having two upgraded positions also comes with secondary benefits for the rest of the Mets players individually. Pitchers won’t feel they need to pitch a perfect game for a chance to win as was the case with Matt Harvey and last year’s anemic offense.

Similarly, Davis and Tejada will not have the added pressure of needing to perform on the biggest stage in the biggest market and can continue their development; Davis’ success in Las Vegas after his demotion mid-summer is a testament to the fact kinks are better worked out before the curtain goes up at showtime. If Davis does find success again, his value increases as a trade candidate, or he will be better-prepared to handle a promotion if the occasion arises. Which brings me to my next point.

The fact is both Drew and Morales turned down qualifying offers, which immediately made them unmarketable to a majority of teams unwilling to give up a first-round pick for them. However, since the Mets have their 2014 first-round pick protected, and have relinquished their second-round pick for Granderson, these players would only cost a third and fourth-round pick, respectively. They are also likely willing to commit to a short-term deal for a reasonable salary considering the lack of a market if it gets late enough in the game.

Many fans would rather wait for next offseason to get a shortstop in the event, and inevitability as some fans see it, that Tejada continues to regress. Though there is a stronger shortstop free agent class next year, there will also be more competition with teams like the Yankees presumably in the market as well. And it could also cost a first-round pick if the Mets are good enough this year to avoid a bottom-third record, which could very well happen considering the already-upgraded offense and the promotion and progress of young players like Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares, and Noah Syndergaard, among others.

Finally, the Mets could potentially benefit from Drew and Morales leaving the team after a one or two-year contract. If the Mets made qualifying offers to both and were turned down they would be entitled to a first-round compensation pick for each. Or better yet, if a team got desperate at the trading deadline, which is when teams become desperate, Alderson could use his best talent and find some nice prospects in return.

Ultimately, every move comes with risks, and not making a move at all might be the riskiest. In my opinion, these two players can do what the front office has been wanting all along. To improve the team now without mortgaging away the future.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader CyYout. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Mets Finances: How Low Is Too Low To Win? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-finances-how-low-is-too-low-to-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-finances-how-low-is-too-low-to-win.html/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:03:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139729 alderson sandy wilpon

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, points of contention between Met fans and its ownership is the current state of payroll and spending power. The Mets, in the largest market in the United States, held a payroll in the bottom 10 in baseball and in 2013 that ranked 22 out of 30 total teams. This, in a market where a borough away another MLB team held a payroll of over $238 million in 2013, roughly $161 million dollars greater than the Mets. In fact, the Yankee payroll was over three times the Mets last season. I know, it’s not fair to compare to the Yankees. That said, it’s not just the Yankees that have far surpassed the Mets spending power.

To get a sense of Met fan frustration, the Mets have not been a broke franchise. In fact, in a vacuum, the team should be set up to have a great ability to spend. Though the team’s finances are tight-lipped and generally unknown to the public, there are certain revenue streams that cannot be ignored and that fail to make their way to improving a baseball team that boasts a majority of minor league players on a major league roster.

SNY: Sportsnet New York has been a very successful venture for the Mets. The network, shared by Time Warner, Comcast and the Mets has seen tremendous revenues in recent years. Quoted by Forbes.com, the revenues for the network were $268 million in 2012. The Mets, whom own a 65% stake in the network, would have received a $174.2 million dollar profit in that year alone. (The numbers aren’t yet out for 2013) While this would seem an obvious revenue source for payroll flexibility, the Mets use leverage those funds to pay debts and litigation fees.

MLB TV Deal: The MLB struck blockbuster deals with ESPN, TBS and FOX for game airing rights, both running through 2021. The ESPN deal is worth $700 million and the TBS and FOX deal is worth $800 million. This $1.5 billion TV contract awarded each team 25 million to spend in 2013, at the team’s discretion. Again, while this would normally be seen as a no-brainer to improve payroll, it’s unknown where the funds will end up. The $25 million received from the MLB, alone, can nearly pay for all the Mets 2013 acquisitions.

Selling Shares of the Team: The Wilpons, in a desperate attempt to salvage ownership of the struggling franchise, sold off 48% of the team to investors to the tune of $248 million dollars. This, of course, was not used for the team but rather to pay for their own financial conflicts and debt accumulation.

Amway Deal: In a rather head-scratching move, the Mets brought Amway into Citi Field, after the company paid out $155 million in lawsuits due to similar illegality of financial moves. Sound familiar? While the terms of the deal between the Mets and Amway was not publicized, the Mets are surely getting revenue from the company to hold a storefront on the blighted 126th street.

Advertisements: Citi Field, as gorgeous and enjoyable as it is, houses a tremendous amount of advertising seemingly on every surface in the ballpark. Though the revenue numbers are unknown, it is surely a lucrative venture for the Mets.

MLBAM: The MLB Advanced Media deal is the general fund of online ticket sales, MLB shop sales, content subscriptions and advertising/sponsorships. In 2012, the revenue totaled $650 million dollars which each team receiving around $100 million in revenue, which is estimated to be reach $150 million a team in 2013.

Gate Sales: It’s been widely documented that the Mets have had declining attendance as a result of the recession and declining performance. That said, the Mets still grossed 84 million in sales ranking 21st in the league in attendance.

2013 Revenue: The Mets, even at one of the worst stretches in a long time, ranked 11th in total revenue in 2013 at $232 million. Even with low attendance and a struggling team, the Mets still remain among the top in revenue.

Deal with Citi: While the Mets are on the hook for roughly $600 million to build Citi Field, which would typically seen as a major hurdle, is being subsidized $400 million by Citicorp on a 20 million per-year deal. That limits the Mets stadium obligations to around just $200 million which should be manageable.

While the above remain the largest revenue streams, the Mets also gain revenue from several other sources. Below is a list of 2012 stadium-only revenue for the Mets, provided by Newsday:

REVENUE, 2012 (as of Sept. 30)

Retained seats: $44,111,395*

Advertising: $44,170,209

Concessions: $11,986,369

Luxury suite: $8,583,116

Parking: $7,167,770

Other: $2,642,348

Revenue total: $118,661,207

*Represents about 25 percent of all tickets sold; includes 10,635 premium seats. Source: New York City Industrial Development Agency

So, how much does it take to win?

The Mets payroll, in early January 2013, stands at $85.9 million dollars. That is set to be near the bottom of the MLB with the likes of Tampa Bay, Houston and Florida – a place the Mets never want to be. So much discussion centers on payroll to the literal dollar amount, so I did some research on the past 13 World Series Champion payrolls to see what winning clubs have been paying on average in an effort to bring fact to argument.

** Of course, inflation over that decade plays a major role in payroll as the early 2000s produced contracts that don’t even compare to those given out in 2013.**

World Series Champion

Payroll (dollars)

2013 Red Sox $150,655,500
2012: Giants 117,620,683
2011: St. Louis 105,433,572
2010: San Francisco 97,828,833
2009: Yankees $201,449,289
2008: Philles $98,269,881
2007: Red Sox $143,026,214
2006: Cardinals $88,891,371
2005: Red Sox $121,311,945
2004: White Sox $65,212,500
2003: Marlins $49,050,000
2002: Angels $61,721,667
2001: Diamondbacks $81,206,513
2000: Yankees $92,538,260
Average Payroll $105,301,159
Mets 2013 Payroll 85,900,000

fanshot

Figure 1: World Series Championship Payrolls. *Red Line signifies Mets 2013 Payroll

The average payroll of World Series Champions, over the past 13 years, is $105,301,159. There are a few cases where teams that didn’t spend a lot won the championship. That list includes the Angels in ’02 with a payroll of $61,721,667, the Marlins in ’03 with a payroll under $50 million and the ’04 White Sox with a payroll of $65 million. It must be noted, however, that the payrolls of the ’02 Angels and ’03 Marlins were not that low by payroll standards at the time. The only other team that arguably didn’t spend a great deal to win could be the 2006 Cardinals  who spent $88 million, but that still was a reasonable number 8 years ago.

So what does this mean?

Beyond the 3 or 4 teams out of the past 13 champions that won on limited budgets, the rest have spent considerably to win.

The notion that spending does not equate to championships is rather a poor-man’s perspective. Sure, teams have been able to win by not spending a lot, but they are anomalies and the minority of champions.

Every team, beyond the few mentioned that won with little, spent over $95 million to win the World Series. If you exclude the Cardinals, the low-budget winners account for only 23% of teams that won over the past 13 years.

That means roughly 77% of teams that have won the World Series over the past 13 years, have done so with “big” payrolls.

That is just statistical fact, no matter how you look at it.

Does this mean the Mets have to spend over $105,301,159 in order to compete? Of course not, but under-spending the way the club has does not seem like a promising recipe for success. By the data, it looks as if the Mets would want to spend at least around 100 million to contend. Who knows, maybe they are that anomaly. Maybe the Mets have enough young talent to overcome the lack of experienced, proven MLB talent that comes with spending money. I won’t hold my breath, however.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Ryan Flanagan. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Going To WAR For Stephen Drew? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-going-to-war-for-stephen-drew.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-going-to-war-for-stephen-drew.html/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 19:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139366 MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

An MMO Fan Shot by Steven Pacchiano

Call me old fashioned, call me a dinosaur, I’m 39 years old BUT I still have 20/20 vision. I understand the concept of WAR and all the stats that go into it, but I really prefer to look at the classic numbers and watch the player play in order to decide if one player is better than another.

WAR supposedly is a stat that determines the value of a player’s total contributions to their team. It is claimed to show the number of additional wins a player would contribute to a team compared to a replacement level player at that position, usually a minor league player or bench player. It is an attempt by the sabermetric baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic. An example would be, saying that Player A is worth 3 wins and player B is worth 6 wins.

I think it’s a very interesting idea for a stat and would love to be able to put a “number” on a guy like this. But I think there is something flawed somewhere in the calculations. Maybe there is too much weight for one stat over another or maybe they are missing a value or two, because to me something just doesn’t add up.

So lets relate this to Stephen Drew since he’s still in the headlines. Drew had a WAR of 3.1 in 2013 for the World Champions Red Sox. He had a batting average of .253, 13 HR and a .333 on base percentage. He played in 124 games in 2013. Let’s pretend and say the Mets do sign him, with the current roster where would he on opening day? Sixth or seventh?

Lets take a look at some players with a lower WAR than Drew and consider where they would hit in our lineup for comparison:

Norichika Aoki, who had a lower WAR 3.03 (not by much), who hit .286 with a .356 OBP, 20 SB and 80 Runs scored in 155 games on a Bad MIL team. (Would be a great leadoff hitter if the Mets had him)

Matt Holliday had a WAR of 2.66, Matt hit .300 with 22 HR, & 94 RBI with a .389 OBP, in 141 Games. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Justin Upton had a bad year (for him) and had a WAR of 2.64 BUT he still hit, .263 with 27 HR, 70 RBI, 94 Runs and a .354 OBP. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Domonic Brown, Had a WAR of 2.51, He hit .272 with 27 HR, and 83 RBI in 139 Games. (Would hit clean up in our lineup)

Allen Craig, Had a 2.25 WAR, Allen hit .315 with 97 RBI and a .373 OBP (Allen would hit 3 or 4 in our lineup)

Now WAR or no WAR, I would much prefer any of these guys on my team than Drew. ,Their numbers BLOW his away. Most of these players are big difference makers. Please look over their numbers again for yourselves. Yes, yes I know WAR also takes into consideration what position a player fields, so lets look at a few shortstops…

Alexei Ramirez, had a 2.58 WAR, but he hit .284, 39 doubles and 30 SB. In 158 Games (He would leadoff if he was on the Mets)

Jose Reyes (A name we all know) Had a WAR of 2.55. Yes, he did only play 93 Games (31 less than Drew), but Jose hit .296 with 10 HR, with a .353 OBP (Jose would take back his leadoff spot in our lineup)

Jed Lowrie Had a WAR of 2.27, And he hit .290 with 15 HR, 45 Doubles, 80 Runs scored, 75 RBI and a .344 OBP. (He would hit second in the Mets lineup)

I do know that Drew is a better defender than these other shortstops, Lowrie and Alexei committed a lot more errors BUT Reyes only had one more error than Drew. But the way I see it, committing an error doesn’t always lose you a game. Sometimes it doesn’t even cost you a run. Maybe there is a bit too much weight on defense?

Hey, if GM’s thought WAR really determined the value of a player’s total contributions to their team in games won, than we should sign Drew and trade him for one of those other guys I mentioned. Maybe they would think they were getting a good deal?

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Steven Pacchiano. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Is Baseball Too Long for Most Fans? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-is-baseball-too-long-for-most-fans.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-is-baseball-too-long-for-most-fans.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 16:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139267 kids baseball fence

An MMO Fan Shot by Peter Miles

Baseball is a classic sport that has often been called “America’s pastime”, and rightly so. Baseball fits right in with apple pie, fireworks on the Fourth of July, and picnics in the summer. Many people still tune into baseball, but the younger generation is starting to tune out. What is causing the younger generation to be disinterested in a sport that has been a young person’s game for so long? The baseball games of the past were much shorter, and some posit that today’s long, drawn out games might be off-putting to some people. A few simple changes to the game could make it faster and more accessible for people’s attention spans and schedules.

Why is the Game So Long?

Many people delight in analysis of baseball and other sports. People like Kevin Kerekes in Florham Park are well acquainted with the game, and have seen how it can positively affect the lives of youths and adults alike. But as much as people love the game, they have also started to analyze why the game is so long. Two main problems have come to the forefront; the batter continually steps in and out of the batter’s box, and the pitcher takes eons to decide which pitch to throw.

Repercussions of a Long Game

It’s no secret that kids have shorter attention spans now, and with the average World Series viewer being 54 years of age, it’s clear that kids are falling away from the sport. In fact, kids watch more hockey, basketball, football, and even English Professional League soccer than baseball. America’s Pastime is starting to past most Americans’ bedtimes, with three and four hour games being the norm. Not only does this affect kids, who don’t want to sit for three hours to watch a ball game, but it also affects those who can’t stay up all night to watch a game due to work or other obligations. The repercussions of a long game seem to be the loss of young fans, and the overall boredom of even the most passionate viewers.

How to Fix the Problem

It would be relatively simple to fix baseball’s current game length by making two minor changes. For one thing, if the batter steps out of the box, it should be a strike. There’s no need to go back and forth; once the batter is in the box, he needs to stay there. Secondly, the pitcher should have 7 seconds to throw the ball if nobody is on base; otherwise, it’s a ball.

The Positive Impact of Change

Changing just these two simple things could shorten the game dramatically, and could help the game last for generations to come. Of course, changing the game could also pose some challenges to players and viewers alike, such as having to get used to new rules and adjust game play strategy. But overall, it could help encourage the younger generation to be more engaged, drive sales, and make the game more enjoyable. And if less time were required to watch a baseball game, more people may be able to go to the stadiums and enjoy the pastime that has so long been a part of America’s culture.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Peter Miles, who writes about investment and baseball, but prefers baseball. He’s active, spending time exercising outdoors with his two daughters several times per week.

Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Building A Lineup From The Current Mets Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-building-a-lineup-from-the-current-mets-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-building-a-lineup-from-the-current-mets-roster.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 15:30:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139316 wright davis

An MMO Fan Shot by David Eckert

With the recent additions of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, the New York Mets have improved their lineup significantly, or so it would seem. Neither of these signings comes without risk, but they seem solid enough at the moment. Combine them with the potential for improvement in Travis d’Arnaud and Juan Lagares, the Mets should see a decent increase in their run production next season. Also, there is no way Ike Davis (if he isn’t traded) can be as bad as he was last year, right? With that said, let’s take a look at the lineup I would use if I was in Terry Collins’ shoes.

1. CF Juan Lagares

The Mets, yet again, are without a true leadoff hitter. So, they are going to have to make do with what they have. Lagares’ glove is too good to not have him in the lineup on an everyday basis. Typically, you don’t use someone who is playing because of his defense as your leadoff hitter, but, as I said before, the Mets don’t have many options. Despite his struggles with the bat last season, Juan has hit very well in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. He has good speed, and if he can learn to walk more, he has the potential to be a good leadoff hitter in the big leagues. If Lagares fails here and shortstop Ruben Tejada shows that 2013 was just a hiccup, maybe you see him batting 1st for the Mets at some point in 2014.

2. 2B Daniel Murphy

Murphy was the 2nd best hitter on the Mets throughout the season last year. Although he was rather inconsistent, he was a doubles machine and showed a lot of improvement running the bases. The defense still isn’t very good, but I’ll trade that for another good bat in the order.

3. 3B David Wright

David is obviously the best hitter and all-around player on the team. The only way you see someone else in the 3-hole is if he is injured.

4. RF Curtis Granderson

Ah yes, the cleanup hitter that Mets fans have been waiting to see. Obviously his homerun totals are going to be a little down from his years with the Yankees due to age and not playing in one of the most hitter friendly parks in baseball. But, he should still be productive, and act as that all important protection for David.

5. LF Chris Young

The Young signing has the potential to be one of the best or one of the worst made this offseason. Chris has not been the same the past couple of years, but if he can somehow turn it around and play like he did with Arizona, the Mets will have found a diamond in the rough. On opening day, he should be hitting fifth because of his power, and because he is right-handed, hitting behind the lefty Granderson. If you put Ike Davis here, teams will be able to get 2 outs from their lefty specialist in the late innings. Young likely forces them to take the specialist out after facing Granderson.

6. 1B Ike Davis

I really hope that the Mets keep Ike Davis. I am probably in the minority here, but I am just not ready to give up on him. If he reaches his potential he can be a guy that gives you anywhere from 30-40 homers a year. Because of this, I think you’ve got to put him in the 6 spot. Doing this also allows you to have lefties and righties alternating down the order until you get to the 7 and 8 spots. If he plays well, you may see him move up throughout the season.

7. C Travis d’Arnaud

Travis’ disappointed with the bat a bit during his first taste of the majors a year ago, but I think most Mets fans, including myself, think he can improve in his sophomore campaign. If he stays healthy, I think he hits pretty well and is a contributor for the Mets this year.

8. SS Ruben Tejada

Ruben is another player that just wants to make you rip your hair out sometimes. In 2012 1t age 22, he gave all of us a taste of how good he can be. What did he do for a follow up? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. However, there is a possibility that he returns to form. But, until he does, he should be in the 8th spot.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader David Eckert. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: Replacing What Was Lost, Will $29.25 Million Suffice? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-replacing-what-was-lost-will-29-25-million-suffice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-replacing-what-was-lost-will-29-25-million-suffice.html/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:30:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139186 fred wilpon

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

Recent off-seasons for the Metropolitans have been full of angst, speculation and in the end, money unspent and fans restless. As the Mets were a top three spender of all MLB franchises just a few years ago, the team’s off-the-field financial decisions, most notably the participation in the ill-famed Ponzi scheme run by Bernie Madoff, have limited the club’s ability to take on payroll in recent years.

The team has strayed from handing big money contracts to top-tier free agents and has instead taken a course of building through the draft, grooming prospects to field a perennial contender similar to that baseball team a borough away did in the late 1990s.

The 2013 offseason was, as promised the past couple seasons by the front office, supposed to be the fruitful acquisition of talent to make the Mets a legit contender entering the 2014 season. An injury to Matt Harvey had derailed much of the hope that this team could in fact contend this year, but it still should have had no impact on who the team was set to acquire towards the future. As we stand at the turn of the calendar year, have the Mets offseason moves warranted any excitement? Moreover, have the Mets offseason moves even replaced what was lost? For that, we analyze:

The 2013 season was certainly a career year for Marlon Byrd. Signed to be a backup’s backup, the Mets had no intention of Byrd, coming off suspension for using estrogen to mask PEDs, to produce anywhere near what he accomplished last year. In a split season for the Mets and Pirates, Byrd hit .291 with 24 home runs and 88 RBIs. That, at a payroll cost of only $700,000. (Even less to the Mets, who shipped him to Pittsburgh for a quarter of the season and with a pro-rated share of the remaining owed salary. His replacement will be making $12,300,000 more than Byrd did in 2013.

Last season was a also monumental year for young ace Matt Harvey. His first full rookie season provided the most buzz around the Mets since 2006 notching 178.1 IP with 191 SOs and a dazzling 2.27 ERA. To the dismay of Met fans everywhere and any true fan of the game, Harvey’s season was tragically cut short with a need for Tommy John surgery, shelving Matt for the entire 2014 season.

Both these players, the team’s most productive pitcher and arguably the team’s most productive hitter in 2013, are not on the roster for 2014. So, what have the Mets done to replace that production? Enter Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson.

granderson

Pressured to make a move, the Mets quietly acquired Granderson coming off his worst and most injury-plagued season notching just 7 HRs and 15 RBIs over 60 games. The prior year, Granderson smashed 43 home runs and netted 106 RBIs in the friendly and borderline laughable confines of Yankee Stadium’s “Little League” dimensions. Pull-happy home runs don’t occur with frequency at Citi Field, and Granderson stands a much better chance to hit doubles and triples than the long ball.

Playing the opposite corner outfield position, Chris Young was signed on a one year, 7.25 million dollar deal coming off his worst offensive season to date batting just .200 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs. The Mets are hoping to rekindle Young’s 2010 All-Star caliber season in which he hit 27 home runs and 91 RBIs in Arizona.

Lastly, in an attempt to replace Harvey’s loss in the rotation, the Mets signed 40+ year old Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million dollar contract coming off a season that was arguably better than his 2005 Cy Young performance, notching a 2.65 ERA over 190.1 innings. The “Big 3” offseason moves equate to a tune of $29.25 million in payroll acquisitions for 2014 with Granderson making $13 million, Colon making $9 million and Young making $7.25 million in 2014.

2013 was also the year of addition-by-subtraction in that the Mets freed themselves from Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Frank Francisco’s contracts to a tune of roughly $50 million dollars. That’s $50 million dollars that came off the books towards 2014 of which only $29.25 million has been replaced to-date. That’s a difference of $18.75 million dollars.

The Mets have failed to replace the payroll that was freed this offseason, even though on the surface it appears the Mets have certainly spent. Does this mean that the Mets will surely fail? Absolutely not.

It is, however, rather disturbing that the Mets, whom play in the largest market in the nation and have a fanbase that ranks in the Top 5 in spending power and strength in numbers, fail to maintain a payroll in the top half of MLB franchises.

The fact that this was the “big offseason” where they had all that money coming off the books to spend, and so far in early January have failed to even replace what was lost, is disturbing.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Ryan Flanagan. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Fan Shot: An Open Letter To The Baseball Hall Of Fame http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-an-open-letter-to-baseball-hall-of-fame.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-fan-shot-an-open-letter-to-baseball-hall-of-fame.html/#comments Sat, 04 Jan 2014 19:13:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=138832 cooperstown hall of fame hof

An MMO Fan Shot by Steven Pacchiano (MLBGM)

To Whom It May Concern:

I know this will have no influence over any voting as current members and writer’s only vote, but I felt I had to express my opinion and observations not for myself, but ALSO for my son who is 3-years old.

I’m 38 years old and live in New York. I grew up a big Mets fan and I got to see the Mets win the World Series when I was a kid. God I loved watching baseball and that was some team to watch. A lot of those players drank and did drugs, cocaine specifically. I also watched players cork their bats and fill their bats with batteries to give them an advantage at the plate. It was baseball and fun to watch. Players always did and always will do what they have to do to get an advantage.

I have seen Mike Scott scuff balls and of course there was the Joe Niekro incident when he was suspended for having a nail file in his pocket and scuffing the ball. Kevin Gross was caught with sandpaper, Gaylord Perry was famous for his spit ball as well.

mickey-mantleI have heard stories from my grand father of how Mickey Mantle was a big drinker and Speed user and how Ty Cobb would sharpen his cleats so to give him an advantage sliding into second base. Many players back then did a lot of Amphetamines, this is not a secret and Amphetamines are also a PED.

Red Faber, Stan Coveleski, and Burleigh Grimes are among the 17 pitchers who were allowed to keep throwing the spitball under a “grandfather” clause when the spitball was banned.

These players got caught, I’m sure this wasn’t the 1st time they cheated and im sure its wasn’t the last. I am also sure that there are others that have done the same and gotten away with it. Everyone who cheats doesn’t always get caught. There was that “list” with 100 players on it who were caught doing PED’s, but how many players weren’t caught? 200? 300? More? We will never know.

I can continue but I know you get the jist of this. Corking bats, stuffing bats with batteries, throwing spit balls and scuffing balls is cheating. And yes so is PED’s.

I now see players drinking “Protein drinks” to get an edge. I see players on the bench drinking cans of red bull to get them selves UP for their next at bat. Is this also performance enhancing?

A player has always done and will always do whatever they can to have an advantage. This will never change. Weather its, sharpening his cleats, corking bats, popping speed, snorting cocaine, doing steroids, or HGH and whatever is the next thing that comes around that can enhance a player’s performance. And make no mistake there will be more PED down the road.

Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Piazza, Griffey, Biggio, Bagwell, Clemens, Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Arod, Sheffield, Manny, etc – Some were caught some were not, Some did it, some maybe didn’t, they were all great and a part of the history of the game and were some of the best ever players in baseball.

I hope when my son is old enough I can take him to the Baseball Hall of fame and not only show him Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle, but also the amazing players that played when I was a kid.

But like I said, I know this letter will have no impact, so if some of the greatest players of all time never get voted into the Hall Of Fame, when I bring my son I will also have to bring my old news paper clippings and baseball cards of players who I watched and who put up some amazing numbers. I will have to teach him on my own which players were dominant during their time. Or maybe there will be another Baseball Museum I can go to with all the great players from the 80′s and 90′s.

I want my Son to know the history of baseball, just like I was told about The Mick, the Bambino, the Georgia Peach, and all the others. I will tell him about Bonds and McGwire and the rest of the 1990’s players who also put up amazing numbers. He will know how great and dominant they were and also what they did, just like I know how great Cobb and Mantle were but also what they did.

Hopefully the HOF will continue to have all the best players that have played the game to be on display. A history and showcase of the greatest players ever. …That’s the whole concept isn’t it? If not I hope there will be a place I can take my son to show him all these players in baseball history who were the elite of their time. Weather they sharpened their cleats, scuffed balls, threw spitters, corked bats, popped speed, snorting cocaine, drank Red Bull, took caffeine pills, used caffeine inhalants, did steroids, or HGH. And what ever comes next.

They are all the greatest players to ever play this game.

Isn’t the Hall’s Motto “Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations.”

PS – Banning Pete Rose from Baseball makes sense, keeping him from working for a team and out of the actual game is his sentence for betting on baseball. BUT keeping him out of the HOF makes no sense at all – again the HOF is a history of the games best.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Steven Pacchiano (MLBGM). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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