Mets Merized Online http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:17:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Mets Trade Ike Davis To Pirates For Reliever Zack Thornton and PTBNL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-trade-ike-davis-to-pirates-for-reliever-zack-thornton-and-ptbnl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-trade-ike-davis-to-pirates-for-reliever-zack-thornton-and-ptbnl.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:58:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153639 ike davis cage 2

With less than an 30 minutes to go before tonight’s game, the Mets have traded first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates Mets for Reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The trade has been confirmed by several other sources including the Pirates. The Bucs had shown plenty of interest in Davis over the Winter, so this makes sense…

Heyman added that Mets settled for a lot less than Tyler Thornburg or Eduardo Rodriguez which is what they were looking for initially.

zack thornton

Thornton, 26, was pitching at AAA Indianapolis with Pirates and was 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four relief appearances.

Thornton was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oregon.

Adam Rubin spoke to an MLB Executive with another MLB team who labeled Zack Thornton a soft tosser and noted he was passed over by 29 clubs — including Mets — in Rule 5 draft.

In trading away Davis, the Mets also shave about $3.5 mil of salary from their payroll.

More coming… But if this ends up being nothing but a pure salary dump, we need to schedule a rally at Citi Field to get rid of these owners… A peaceful rally that drives home our anger and makes national headlines…

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MMO Game Thread: Braves vs Mets, 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-thread-braves-vs-mets-710-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-thread-braves-vs-mets-710-pm.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:31:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153588 USATSI  jon niese

The New York Mets are back at Citi Field on Friday night to begin a 10-game homestand against the Atlanta Braves.

Jon Niese (0-1, 3.46) will make his third start of the season for New York and will be opposed by Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) for Atlanta. 

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Chris Young – CF
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – LHP

Did You Know…

Mets starting pitchers have a 15.1 scoreless innings streak dating back to Monday and that they have eight quality starts already this season.

The Mets have had double-digit hits in five of their last six games and they are now sixth in the National League with 68 runs scored. They have outscored Arizona 21-5 in their just completed series. Lets keep it going!

David Wright is batting .458 (11-for-24) with a home run, four doubles and seven RBIs in his career against Harang.

Gonzalez Germen has retired 31 of last 34 batters he faced for a career best 9.1 scoreless innings pitched. His 0.87 ERA currently ranks third among all NL relievers.

Daniel Murphy has swiped 24 consecutive bases without getting caught dating back to 2013. The longest current streak in the majors.

Eric Young, Jr. hit .333 (12-36) with 12 runs scored, three RBI, nine stolen bases with a .442 on-base percentage during the Mets nine-game road trip.

Game Preview

The Mets continue their stretch of teams with “A” as a logo tonight as they return home to play the Braves. After a tough Sunday against the Angels, the Mets bounced back strong sweeping the Diamondbacks in Arizona, negating the series where the Mets were swept by the Nationals. Anyway the Mets draw Atlanta again as they face off against Aaron Harang behind Jon Niese.

Niese is 0-1 in his two starts so far this season with a 3.46 ERA over 13.0 innings allowing 12 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB and 9 strikeouts. Jon did not face Braves the first time around this season and last year was forgettable against them as he allowed 11 ER over 14.1 innings while walking 9 and striking out 17. When you break the numbers down, this is due to a start where he allowed 7 ER over 4.0 innings and then 3 ER over 3.1 innings. He had one fantastic start, 7.0 innings with 1 ER. The Braves have the following numbers against the Braves:

  • Uggla 9-30, 3 2B, 3B
  • Freeman 9-27, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Heyward 9-24, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Upton 8-15, 2B
  • Johnson 3-13, 2B
  • Simmons 4-10, 2B
  • Schafer 0-9

Harang has been the surprise of 2014. The former Met has had a great start to the year in his first three starts logging 18.2 innings with a 2-1 record with a 0.96 ERA. He has allowed  only 9 hits this year and 2 ER. His one loss this came against the Mets where he allowed one earned run over 6.0 innings, walking 4 and striking out 9. The Mets have the following numbers against Aaron:

  • Wright 11-24, 4 2B, HR
  • Duda 2-12, HR
  • Murphy, 6-14, 4 2B, HR
  • Tejada 6-12, 2 2B
  • EY Jr 5-8, 2B
  • Granderson 1-5, 2B
  • Davis 0-4

Lets Go Mets!

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Series Preview: Atlanta Braves http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/153632.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/153632.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:30:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153632 freddie freeman

Well, the Mets find themselves in a familiar position. Coming home from a nine-game road trip in which they went 6-3, they open a ten-game homestand against Atlanta with hopes of maintaining their success. Their record at Citi Field has been a problem since the new park opened. If this season is going to be any different, if the Mets dream of meeting Sandy Alderson’s lofty 90 win goal, it has to start with playing well at home. The Amazins will play Atlanta for three, St. Louis for four, and and close the homestand with Miami for three.

The Braves – Since We Last Saw Them

It was just a week ago when the Mets went to Atlanta and won two out of three. Since then, the Braves have been taking advantage of their dominance against Washington, winning three straight, before taking two out of three from the Phillies. Atlanta leads the division with a 10-5 record. They have done so hitting home runs, playing exceptional defense, and getting excellent starting pitching despite a rash of injuries. Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana proving to be fantastic late acquisitions. Having lost Brian McCann to the Yankees, Evan Gattis has taken the catching reigns, batting .378 with 4 home runs in ten games played. Gattis joins Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton as the power group, all with four home runs on the young season.

2014 Lineup

  1. Jason Heyward RF
  2. B.J. Upton CF
  3. Freddie Freeman 1B
  4. Justin Upton LF
  5. Evan Gattis C
  6. Dan Uggla 2B
  7. Chris Johnson 3B
  8. Andrelton Simmons SS

Key Injuries

  • It is almost unfathomable to comprehend the amount of pitching the Braves lost to Tommy John surgery. Free agent SP Gavin Floyd is recovering from Tommy John, RP Jonny Venters is also recovering, but may not pitch until June. And both SP Kris Medlan and SP Brandon Beachy will miss the season due to Tommy John, as well as RP Cory Gearrin.

Interesting Notes

  • Chris Young is expected to be activated tonight. He hit .667 (8-12) with 2 home runs in his rehab play.
  • The Mets have scored first 10 times this season, yet they have had a better record when the opposing team strikes first. They are 4-6 when scoring first, and 4-1 when being scored upon.
  • Over the last 11 games, the Mets bullpen is 3-1 with 2 saves and a 3.00 ERA.

Pitching Probables

Friday (7:10): LHP Jon Niese (0-1, 3.46) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (2-0, 0.96)
Saturday (7:10): RHP Bartolo Colon (1-2, 6.00) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.64)
Sunday (1:10): RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.76) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 2.89)

mmo

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Nieuwenhuis Could Go Down When Mets Activate Chris Young Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/nieuwenhuis-could-go-down-when-mets-activate-chris-young-today.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:47:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153525 kitk nieuwenhuis

April 18

Chris Young Is expected to be activated prior to tonight’s game. Young hit .667 (8-12) with two home runs, seven runs scored and five RBI in his three rehabilitation games with Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League.

He was placed on the DL on April 3 with a tight right groin.

A corresponding roster move will be announced prior to the game.

it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown.

But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games. Nieuwenhuis has made his time with the team count, going 3-10 a home run and four RBI.

April 17

GM Sandy Alderson wouldn’t say which player is likely to depart when the team activates outfielder Chris Young from the disabled list on Friday, but we did learn that the Mets first base situation will be unaffected.

Alderson offered no indication the Mets would use the opportunity to demote a first baseman and alleviate crowding there.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a primary consideration,” Alderson said.

Since Terry Collins named Lucas Duda the everyday first baseman and adding that he wouldn’t be platooned, Ike Davis has started there once each series, and Josh Satin has started all three games against left-handed pitchers.

“There’s one first baseman and two guys off the bench,” Alderson insisted. “So I don’t really look at them as all first basemen. If you’re referring to Josh Satin, he can play a number of positions, and as a right-handed hitter off the bench. And, right now, Ike fills a role as a left-handed hitter off the bench.”

Although Duda is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with a homer and four RBIs in his past five starts, a report on ESPN New York indicated that Terry Collins started Davis on Wednesday for two reasons: Davis has four career homers in 36 at-bats at Chase Field, and the manager felt it appropriate to give Davis one start in his hometown.

As for who does go on Friday, it will come down to lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis and righty-hitting Andrew Brown. But keep in mind that Nieuwenhuis will not burn any options if gets demoted because he would have been active less than 4 games.

mmo

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Mets Want More “Attitude” From Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-want-more-attitude-from-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-want-more-attitude-from-syndergaard.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:31:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153623 Noah_Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard has a major league fastball and curveball, but the Mets would like to see a little more “attitude” from their top pitching prospect according to what team sources told the New York Post.

According to club sources, the stud right-hander disappointed organizational officials with his approach in his first two starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, but looked better on Monday after he was challenged by manager Wally Backman to bring more of a presence to the mound.

“Backman told him to be more aggressive and asked him who he wants to become,” said a person with knowledge of the conversation. “Does he want to become a middle-of-the-road starter or top-of-the-line starter? Syndergaard said he wanted to be a No. 1. He went out with a little more of an attitude on Monday.”

Syndergaard pitched five innings in his last start, allowing two runs on five hits. Overall he is 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts for Las Vegas.

The Mets are following the road map they used with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler before him which means Syndergaard will stay at Triple-A until at least late June to help keep the clock from starting on his Super-2 arbitration status.

Rafael Montero has been light’s out in Vegas, and will most likely get the call to the majors first. Many in the organization feel he is currently major league ready, and some felt that way at the end of last season.

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Mets Farm Report: Bowman Strikes Out 11, Dykstra Homers In Vegas Rout http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-bowman-strikes-out-11-dykstra-homers-in-vegas-rout.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-bowman-strikes-out-11-dykstra-homers-in-vegas-rout.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:21:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153619 matt-bowman

LAS VEGAS 6, RENO 0

Veteran southpaw Dana Eveland took the ball for the 51′s on Thursday night as they topped the Aces. The 30-year old lasted just five innings, but held his opponents scoreless while striking out six and walking a couple. Las Vegas took the lead in the fourth inning thanks to a two-run double off the bat of Wilmer Flores, followed immediately by a two-run shot by Allan Dykstra that cleared the center field wall. The 51′s would tack on another run in the inning on a Juan Centeno single. Flores would add an RBI triple in the seventh frame. Matt den Dekker and Eric Campbell combined for five hits. Dykstra is now batting .429 for the season.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 1, BINGHAMTON 4

Matthew Bowman was absolutely brilliant on Thursday, pitching seven scoreless innings and only surrendering four hits. He also struck out 11 Fisher Cats and walked only one on his way to a victory. Through two starts, the 22-year old righty is now 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA. Offensively,Darrell Ceciliani led the charge, going 3 for 5 from the leadoff spot with a double and two runs scored. Matt Reynolds also pitched in with three hits of his own, while Matt Clark drove in two.

ST. LUCIE 6, FORT MYERS 1

Not to be outdone by Bowman, lefty Steve Matz also went seven innings for the win for St. Lucie. The New York native struck out six batters and walked one, while scattering just two hits. The offense finally broke through in support of Matz in the 6th inning, when catcher Cam Maron hit a two-run single that scored Brandon Nimmo and Brandon AllenT.J. Rivera notched two hits on the night, including a double. No other Met had more than one hit, while Nimmo was held hitless.

GREENVILLE 4, SAVANNAH 0

Robert Gsellman pitched fairly well, but it wasn’t enough as the Sand Gnats were shut out by the Drive. Gsellman pitched five innings, limiting the damage to just one run despite walking three batters. He also struck out five in the losing effort. The SAL Pitcher of the Week Akeel Morris came on in relief of Gsellman, tossing two scoreless frames while striking out a pair, but walking three. The Savannah offense was nowhere to be found, mustering just five hits in total– and not a single extra base hit. Two of those hits came off the bat of third basemen Jeff McNeil, while Jared King and Stephan Sabol each contributed a hit. Dominic Smith‘s struggles continued as he went 0 for 3 and struck out twice. His batting average has now dropped to .154 on the season. Shortstop Gavin Cecchini, who has been hot of lately, also failed to reach base in four attempts.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

For what may have been the most dominant pitching performance by a Mets prospect this season, former 13th round pick Matthew Bowman has earned player of the night honors. Bowman has been brilliant thus far in 2014, pitching to a sub-1.00 ERA and sporting a 15 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio.

Check out Mets Minors On Deck for Friday’s probable starters.

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Opinion: Where’s Our Tom Seaver Statue? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/opinion-wheres-our-tom-seaver-statue.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/opinion-wheres-our-tom-seaver-statue.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:40:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153608 tom seaver bw

In an interview on Friday morning with Boomer and Carton on WFAN, Tom Seaver said that the Mets have never approached him about erecting a statue or monument in his honor at Citi Field.

“I understand that I’m a part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

Is there anything better than going to your hometown ballpark and seeing all those bronze statues of iconic players or managers who meant so much to the team and more importantly to the fans?

Back in 2009, during the inaugural season at Citi Field, there was an uproar among the fan base because many of us believed that our new home park was not Metsmerized enough.

Eventually, our pleas led to many changes and additions to Citi Field that better represented our team’s rich history and recognized many of our beloved players and managers.

The Mets Museum also opened a year later and it has been embraced by all fans. Additionally, even the outfield walls would go from a dismal black to a royal blue. Citi Field was beginning to feel like home…

However, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to see was a bronze statue or two that would honor Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges in a similar way that other NL East teams honor their all time greats.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous sculptures you’ll find just in the NL East…

Mike Schmidt at Citizens Bank Park

Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park

Walter Johnson at Nationals Park

Frank Howard at Nationals Park

Hank Aaron at Turner Field

Phil Niekro at Turner Field

Warren Spahn at Turner Field

Isn’t it sad that we have no such monumental testaments to any of our own iconic Mets at Citi Field?

Wouldn’t it be a great to park your car in one of the lots at Citi, or get off the 7 Train and onto the walkway, and then be greeted by a beautiful statue of Tom Seaver firing a fastball, Casey Stengel in his rumpled Mets uniform with outstretched arms, or Gil Hodges and that quiet look of his holding a lineup card?

We are nearing 25 years since Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be something if we could mark that anniversary with a magnificent statue erected in his honor?

The Mets owners should make this happen, however as I see it, there’s just one obstacle in the way… The Mets owners.

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MMO Prospect Pulse: Steven Matz Takes a No-Hitter into the Sixth http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-prospect-pulse-steven-matz-takes-a-no-hitter-into-the-sixth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-prospect-pulse-steven-matz-takes-a-no-hitter-into-the-sixth.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:03:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153599 steve matz

Lefthander Steven Matz turned in another stellar performance on Thursday as St. Lucie beat Fort Myers by the score of 6-1.

Matz carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning that ended with a two-out bunt single. He ended the night with seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk while striking out six.

“My command was there. I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes,” Matz said after the game. “My fastball and changeup and the contrast between the two was really working for me, and I was able to keep them down and in the zone.”

Ranked as the 10th best Mets prospect by MMO, when he wasn’t striking hitters out, Matz was inducing groundball outs including seven consecutive grounders from the first inning through the third.

“I was pretty annoyed” Matz admitted when he was asked about losing his no-hit bid on a bunt. “It was only a 2-0 game then, so you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Looking on the bright side, I was getting a little tired and it gave me a little adrenaline kick.”

The 22-year old Long Island native finished strong, pitching a perfect seventh and striking out the last batter he faced. “It was a good feeling to get that last punchout to finish the outing,” Matz said.

The hard-throwing lefty has been coming on strong since losing two seasons to Tommy John surgery after being selected in the second round of the 2009 draft. He went 5-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts last summer.

It’s exciting to see how Matz has evolved after the many setbacks he has endured. His velocity is actually higher now than it was prior to the elbow surgery and the ball just explodes out of his hand.

Surprisingly, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen compared Matz to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw last week, in an interview with MetsBlog contributor Robert Brender. “There is no doubt in my mind,” Warthen said. “I hate to make those comparisons, but I just did.”

Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s one thing when analysts and writers make over-the-top comparisons like that, but that this came from our own pitching coach bothered me. At 22, Kershaw was on his way to the first of two Cy Young awards and three straight ERA titles, not pitching in the Florida State League.

I’ve always believed that these far-fetched comparisons are very unfair and puts undeserved pressure on prospects who rarely – if ever – live up to that kind of hype. If anything, shouldn’t Warthen be the one charged with protecting Matz from expectations like that?

Anyway, the great news is that we have ourselves a tremendous pitching prospect who could develop into something very special for us in the very near future.

I would expect Matz to make his way to Double-A Binghamton within the next 3-4 weeks. We should all look forward to his continued development and even more dazzling performances along the way, like the one on Thursday night.

For more on Matz, MMO minor league analyst David Conde was at the game and has a complete write-up on MetsMinors.net.

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Mejia Will Throw A Bullpen Today To Determine If He Makes Next Start http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-will-throw-a-bullpen-today-to-determine-if-he-makes-next-start.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mejia-will-throw-a-bullpen-today-to-determine-if-he-makes-next-start.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:53:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153443 USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

April 18

Today is a big day for Jenrry Mejia who is slated to throw a bullpen session this morning to see whether the broken blister on his right middle finger will be a factor.

After his bullpen, Terry Collins said that he will make a determination as to whether the 24-year old righty will be able to make his next scheduled start on Monday.

Mejia is coming off a stellar performance against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday in which he tossed five scoreless innings. He’s been one of the team’s top starters in the early season.

Hopefully, today goes well for Mejia, but in case he does have his next start pushed, the Mets will likely use Dice-K for a spot start.

April 16

After tossing just 77 pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, Mets starting pitcher Jenrry Mejia had to leave the game because of a torn blister on his right middle finger.

Mejia was absolutely dominant throughout his start, hurling five scoreless innings and limiting the D’Backs to just two hits while striking out three. His strong performance even drew rave reviews from some of the opposition after the game.

“He had a 94 mph cutter that was pretty filthy. And he was locating it pretty well on the outside corner,” said Arizona center fielder A.J. Pollock“I took a couple of swings and felt like I was right on it, but that much movement that late is tough. It seemed like he really had good command of his fastball and that’s what made him really hard. ” 

When it was all over, Mejia picked up his second win of the season as the Mets completed the shutout victory and beat the D’Backs by the score of 9-0.

Despite having to battle his way onto the Mets rotation this Spring, the 24-year old righthander now leads the team with a pristine 2.81 ERA and .200 BAA.

Mejia reportedly wanted to continue pitching despite the blister issue and didn’t want to show his finger to the staff after the fourth inning  However, after he completed the fifth, pitching coach Dan Warthen insisted he take a look and then told his starter his night was over..

“I wanted to keep pitching,” Mejia said. “I wanted to take care of my bullpen, because I know they were a little bit tired. But they said no.” 

After the game manager Terry Collins said he was concerned about his young pitcher. “He’s got one hell of a blister. Tore it up completely.”

It’s not yet clear if this issue will keep Mejia from making his next start, but Collins says it will be monitored very closely, especially on Friday when Mejia will throw his next bullpen. 

“I feel bad for him. Feel terrible, because he has shown he has the stuff to be a winner at this level. But we just have to get him to stay out there.”

Mejia has had some tough luck to start the season, having to already deal with a bunion in spring training, getting hit in the arm by a come-backer in Montreal, and now this blister. But he remains optimistic and said he expects to be ready to go for his next start at Citi Field.

mmo

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Mets Among 20 Teams Who Watched Hanrahan Pitch On Thursday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-among-20-teams-who-watched-hanrahan-pitch-on-thursday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-among-20-teams-who-watched-hanrahan-pitch-on-thursday.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:31:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153381 Joel-Hanrahan

April 18

Close to 20 teams showed up to watch veteran closer Joel Hanrahan throw in a showcase at the University of Tampa on Thursday, and judging by the early reviews, don’t be surprised if there’s quite a bit of competition for the two-time All-Star, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Teams have already discussing deals, but no word if the Mets are one of those teams

Scouts there said Hanrahan looked fit and healthy, and pitched at 87-93 mph, putting him possibly ahead of schedule for someone 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery.

Hanrahan, 32, saved 76 games in 2011-12 for the Pirates.

April 15

The Mets will be one of several teams to be on-hand Thursday to watch free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan, throws for interested teams, according to an industry source.

Hanrahan, 32, who had Tommy John surgery on May 2013, threw a “light bullpen” for teams in January, and the Mets had an eye on him then as well.

Ackert adds that one talent evaluator who watched that session estimated the 32-year old, who had 76 saves over the 2011 and 2012 seasons, could be ready to return by May. Another source said that a return next month would be somewhat optimistic.

The Mets’ are in need of another veteran arm in the bullpen and that became clear during the weekend series with the Angels.

With closer Bobby Parnell out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Mets have relied on Jose Valverde to close their games and in five appearances prior to Friday’s game, Valverde did not allow a run until Raul Ibanez‘s game tying three-run home run stopped his streak.

For now the Mets have Kyle Farnsworth and Valverde and could use another competent arm to solidify the bullpen. Without having to dip into the minors for help, they may need to land an arm like Hanrahan, but only if he proves to be ready sooner than later. 

(Photo: SI)

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MMO Morning Grind: Coming Home… for Better or Worse http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-coming-home-for-better-or-worse.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-coming-home-for-better-or-worse.html/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:21:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153586

citi field fans opening day

Good morning, Mets fans!

We managed to stay over 500 yesterday, in part because we didn’t have a game. Tonight, the Mets will be coming home to begin a nice, long, 10-game homestand. I’m especially excited for tonight’s matchup with the Braves, as I will be attending my first game of the year (although, since I’m going with a Yanks fan and a pair of Braves fans, things might get hostile).

But here’s the thing: The Mets just haven’t been good at home. They were solid at home in their first 2 years at Citi Field, but over the past 3 seasons, their winning percentage in Flushing is a paltry .423, which translates to an average home record of 34-47 each year (103-140 overall).

To make things more frustrating, the Mets actually have had a winning record (122-121) on the road over those three seasons. So even a decent performance at home during that time would have made us a relevant team.

When you lose at home, two things happen. First of all, it hurts your record. That’s the obvious thing. But in addition, when fans who pay good money to come out and see the team are constantly leaving the ballpark with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths, it can hurt sales and generate disappointment and, in some cases, apathy.

A fan is far more likely to want to come back if he or she sees a thrilling victory rather than a bleak, 5-1 loss in which the team only gets 2 runners past first base. If the Mets are going to charge New York Prices for fans to come out in this New York Weather and see the New York Mets, the team had better perform if they want to be able to generate the interest and revenue that teams in the New York Market are supposed to generate.

The Mets are 2-4 at home and 6-3 on the road this season. They’ll have a chance to pad that home record in the next couple weeks. The Mets are off to a decent start at 8-7, but if they want this season to mean something, they have to perform at home. Good teams don’t lose in their own ballpark.

Citi Field is a fantastic stadium. Let’s hope our Mets can make the most of it.

Have a great day, Mets fans!

Presented By Diehards

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Remembering Shea: An Amazin’ Icon Passes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/remembering-shea-an-amazin-icon-passes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/remembering-shea-an-amazin-icon-passes.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:48:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=71539

For the next three days, we’re going back and picking out some of our favorite posts that celebrate the great memories of Shea Stadium. We begin with this post, originally written by me on February 10, 2008.

From the very first day that Shea Stadium opened its gates and embraced their new team, the New York Mets, Karl Ehrhardt became a fixture at almost every game from 1964 through 1981.

We all knew Karl by his more famous nickname, the “Sign Man”.

He had become famous for holding up the most perfect signs throughout key moments of each game. Sometimes the signs displayed his frustration, but mostly they shared our exuberance and excitement. Whatever the situation was, you can bet that the Sign Man always had the perfect words.

It is so sad that he will not be able to say a final goodbye to Shea Stadium as it too gets ready for an appointment with destiny.

Karl was 83 years old and died at his home in the Glen Oaks section of Queens. He had been recovering from vascular surgery. The German born immigrant came to the United States when he was only six years old and during World War II, he served our country and was a translator for U.S. forces overseas.

He helped popularize many of the motto’s and phrases now associated with the Mets including Amazin’ Mets, Ya Gotta Believe, Miracle Mets, Tom Terrific, etc. You name them, he had them, in fact, he had over 1,200 different signs in his arsenal.

Some of you may even remember that special night when the Mets won the 1969 World Series and left him speechless. The sign he raised high above his head during the celebration on the field read, “There Are No Words.”

“I just called them the way I saw them,” Ehrhardt told The New York Times in 2006.

“Before I went to the ballpark, I would try to crystal-ball what might happen that particular day,” he said. “I would read all the newspapers to learn who was hot and who was in a slump, stuff like that, and create my signs accordingly.”

I hope the Wilpon’s choose to honor the Sign Man with a fitting tribute and a lasting memorial to him at the new Citi Field. He helped define the New York Mets back in the early days while they were searching for their own identity. Millions of adoring fans will always remember him for his unbridled enthusiasm and never-ending dedication to the team. Karl Ehrhardt was an icon. He was one of the first Met fans to bleed orange and blue.

I would love to see a life sized poster of him adorning one of the corridors at the field level at Shea Stadium this, our final season. As we say our goodbyes to Shea Stadium this season, seeing a poster of the Sign Man holding up a sign that says “Always Amazin”, would be so fitting.

Farewell Sign Man, we will never forget you.

* * * * * * * * * *

Karl Ehrhardt – The Sign Man

November 26, 1924 – February 5, 2008

I cant believe it’s been six years already since Karl’s passing. What a great fan he was and I’ll always remember trying to spot his signs whenever me and my dad went to Shea.

Here are some of Sign Man’s most memorable signs:

  • AMAZIN’! – Based on the team’s nickname which was first coined by Casey Stengel, the franchise’s original manager.
  • MET POWER! – Displayed after Tommie Agee hit his leadoff home run in Game 3 of the 1969 World Series
  • BACK TO YOUR NEST, BIRD! – Appeared during the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. This sign is seen in the highlight film during Game 5.
  • CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? – After many a Mets comeback win.
  • CURSES! FOILED AGAIN – We saw that one plenty!
  • AAUGHH! – Inspired by the Peanuts cartoon strip; it was used for whenever the Mets lost a game.
  • LOOK MA, NO HANDS – Was shown when a slow grounder defied the grip of Mets’ shortstop Frank Taveras at a summer Mets game in 1979.
  • JOSE, CAN YOU SEE? – Presented when Cleveland Indians’ outfielder José Cardenal struck out at a 1968-1969 Mets game.
  • IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE! – For weak hitters who rarely reached base. A head shot of Frankenstein’s monster was to the left of the letters on the sign.
  • SIT DOWN, YA BUM! – Whenever a Dodger struck out, or argued, or just for fun.
  • LEAVE IT TO SEAVER – Inspired by famous sitcom show, Leave It to Beaver; the sign was used for whenever Tom Seaver was on the mound.
  • BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? – Flashed during the decisive Game 5 of the 1969 World Series.
  • BYE, BYE, BIRDIES! – Flashed during the same game.
  • THERE ARE NO WORDS – The sign that Ehrhardt held up when the Mets’ left fielder Cleon Jones caught the final out to clinch the team’s first World Series Championship. This was his most famous creation, seen in the Series highlight film.
  • THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE – Held high from a convertible, as Ehrhardt rode with the Mets’ victory parade in the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan.
  • NAILED BY THE (picture of a hammer) – Held up after a home run was hit by slugging first baseman John Milner, whose nickname was “The Hammer”.
  • KONG! – For Dave Kingman’s first regular season home run at home as a Met, helping to tag Kingman with the nickname King Kong.
  • THE KING OF SWING – Another tribute to Kingman, drawing on the nickname given jazz legend Benny Goodman.
  • THE SIGNMAN LIVES! – Used on his return to Shea Stadium at a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in August, 2002 to help celebrate the Mets’ 40th anniversary.

Presented By Diehards

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Celebrating Shea? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/celebrating-shea.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/celebrating-shea.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:36:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153427 shea night

On April 18th during a home series versus the Braves, the Mets will honor Shea by reducing tickets to 1969 era prices. For $3.50 you can get a ticket in the promenade outfield and for $19.64 you can plop your fanny into a baseline box seat!  $3.50 is about what you might expect to pay for a slice and a soft drink nowadays so it’s a sweet deal no doubt. You could conceivably take a family of 4 to the game, (stuffing a few bags of chips and juice bags into the kids’ pockets if you’re really cheap), all for 14 dollars – that’s about the cost of a Walking Dead boxed set, or a Millennium Falcon bottle cap opener … Shoot, you can even get a plastic shark with a frickin laser beam ($12.99) for only slightly less!

It is a killer whale of a deal no doubt, but like a lot of things these days this rollback confuses and perplexes me. Box seats to a Mets game are supposed to cost what an inflatable R2-D2 remote controlled droid costs, (foot pump included) — $47.99, but apparently, that’s also the price of a cup of coffee. Oh sure it’s a venti 48-shot mocha frappuccino soy, mocha drizzle, protein powder, caramel brulee topping with strawberry, two bananas, caramel drizzle, with frappuccino chips and vanilla bean ($47.30) at Starbucks, but still, it’s a cup of coffee!

So maybe regular priced box seats at Citi are not such a bad deal? Have I been away from N.Y. too long? By the way, that amount is also more or less the price of 4 ounces of quality tea in China … But what does any of this have to do with the price of baseball in Queens? Lots. The Wilpons are still scrambling to bring fans to the ballpark, and they’re getting desperate from the looks of it. Celebrating Shea? If you loved Shea so much Mr. Wilpon why did you tear it down?

new-york-mets braintrust collins, katz, wilpon alderson

You see, if I understand this correctly, the Wilpons need our support so that they can buy better baseball players. It’s a reasonable request I suppose, it’s our duty as Mets fans right?

That’s how it works, we trust the Wilpons with our hard earned cash … (trust – that’s a loaded word isn’t it?). They then take our money and in their infinite wisdom apply it to improving the team through the most prudent and exceptional means available to them.

They will not invest in ponzi schemes, they will not take players on meaningless helicopter rides, they will not sign players like Jason Bay or Bobby Bonilla, or Kaz Matsui, they will not gamble our money away or use it to buy waffle chips and beer or a brand new schooner for Jeff. I mean, just look at Jeff Wilpon he’s got a face you could trust if I ever saw one.

See the Mets are a blue collar organization … some of them even live in Queens. There are even indications that Mets ownership encourages their players to live in Queens, you figure the less they pay in rent the less the Mets have to pay them right? Makes sense. As reported by Gary Busio in the Post last spring, unlike Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez,  many Mets actually reside in Long Island City (for thousands less per month than what they would pay to live in Trump Tower or the Aldyn) …

instead of paying up to $18,000 per month (more or less the price of a new 2014 Toyota Prius) to live in a Manhattan penthouse, many of our players (and Mr. Collins himself) live in a Queens high-rise called the Avalon Riverview for a far more reasonable $2,300 to $5,200 per month (the price of a 2001 Ford Focus).

There is even a  Salon and Spa for player wives and girlfriends, where manicures run $15, a leg wax is $50, and a men’s haircut starts at $30. “The guy with the gray hair — the manager — he just came back,” a hairstylist at the shop said. “He’s a good customer!” So for the price of a box seat at Citi, Terry Collins can get his legs waxed! That’s not a bad deal at all.

caesars citi

I admit that many of our new fangled MLB venues are appealing to the eye and nose (and taste-buds), but not so much to the pocketbook. The problem is that Mets marketing has been trying to sell tickets at Manhattan penthouse prices without considering their stadium is located in Queens. Know your target audience, business 101 right?

As the National League’s blue collar descendant of the Giants and Dodgers, the Mets, from their inception, drew a working class clientele. Someone in the Mets hierarchy with a business acumen above 10th grade economics obviously realized the error in their approach and convinced the Wilpons to scale back prices.

They appear to have doubled special offers, and they instituted “dynamic pricing” intended (from what I gather) to unload tickets against low-interest opponents at low-interest prices. But one problem that remains is the blatant “stratification” of the crowd itself. so many “special” nooks and crannies reserved for the beautiful people, so many luxury boxes set aside for the jet set, so many “exclusive” clubs with the stanchions and the fuzzy ropes out front, so many “sterling” options dividing the poor slob from the rich, the really rich, and the ludicrously rich …

Sad really. One thing I miss about Shea was the feeling that we were all in one big rocking Mets melting pot.

But for a day at least you can forego the leg waxing or the most expensive cup of coffee in the world and not only take yourself to a game but bring the family and maybe even have some cash left over for that pedicure. You never know, you might even get to sit next to Terry Collins.

mmo

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Mets Are 5-0 When Eric Young Jr. Steals A Base http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-are-5-0-when-eric-young-jr-steals-a-base.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-are-5-0-when-eric-young-jr-steals-a-base.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:17:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153551 USATSI eric young jr

There have been a lot of complaints about Eric Young. He doesn’t get on base enough. His batting average is too low. He shouldn’t be an everyday player. He should be the 4th outfielder.

Guess what? Speed Kills.

Stolen bases don’t produce runs?

Last year, I went through the Mets top stolen base seasons and wrote a post about how often runs were scored when both a stolen base was attempted and when an attempt was successful.

Who’s currently 4th in the Major Leagues in Runs Scored? Eric Young. Who’s currently 2nd in the Majors in stolen bases? Eric Young.

Eric Young is only 110th in batting average among qualifiers at .255 and 89th in on-base percentage – yet when he’s getting on base, he’s scoring. Why? Because he gets on first base and proceeds to get himself into scoring position. When runners get into scoring position, they score at a higher clip than when they stay stationary on first base.

On the young season (pun intended), EY has stolen 9 bases and has yet to be caught. He has scored 5 times after attempting a steal.

When Eric Young has made/attempted a steal, he has scored 56% of the time. In other words, if EY makes it to first base and attempts to steal… there’s a better than 50/50 chance he will score.

The Mets are 5-0 when Eric Young steals a base this season.

Roger Cedeno stole 66 bases in 1999 and scored 58% of the time after a successful steal.

Mookie Wilson had a career .314 OBP and his three best OBP seasons with the Mets were 1986-88 when he had OBP’s of .345, .359, and .345. He scored 90 and 91 runs on weak hitting Mets teams in 1982 and 1983 when he had OBP’s of .314 and .300.

Eric Young has a .344 OBP through April 16th.

If EY is at the top of the lineup and runs, he will score. Even with a lower OBP, he will score. If he continues to get on base at the clip he currently is and runs, we have a top flight run scorer right under our noses.

Presented By Diehards

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Pardon The Interruption… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/pardon-the-interruption.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/pardon-the-interruption.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:36:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153549 Hey Incredibles, how about giving me a hand here?

Hi Everyone…

As I alluded to a few weeks ago, we are experiencing some tremendous growth and we’ve more than doubled our traffic from a year ago which is very remarkable considering we were already on top of the food chain back then. We’re not talking about hundreds of new visitors and page views per day, or even thousands. The number is in the tens of thousands.

As such, we needed to invest in newer and more powerful servers to accommodate all this new traffic that is expending far too many resources than our current servers can handle. That is why you may have been experiencing brief outages or slow page loads over the last 2-3 weeks.

Today is the big day. We scheduled this off day to do most of the heavy lifting.

For the next 24 hours, the site will be acting very oddly. Some posts may disappear, some of your comments may vanish into the vastness of the internet, some of our images may flash on and off, and other strange and fascinating phenomenon. This is all part of the process as the internet propagates all the information from our old database into our new database.

For at least a day you may be linking to our old server and not seeing new posts, while some of you depending on what part of the country you are, won’t see anything strange at all.

The great news is that by Friday, we will be running at top speed again and though very seamless, you’ll notice that our overall efficiency will quadruple. We went all the way and didn’t pinch any pennies on the technology side of this move.

So long story short, please pardon the interruption while we do some tidying up and some work under the hood.

Thanks!

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Farm Report: Walters Earns 4th Save, Whalen Delivers Strong Performance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-walters-earns-4th-save-whalen-delivers-strong-performance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mets-farm-report-walters-earns-4th-save-whalen-delivers-strong-performance.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:36:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153546 Jeff_Walters

LAS VEGAS 4, RENO 2

The 51’s tagged young phenom Archie Bradley for four earned runs on seven hits and handed him his second loss of the season. Allan Dykstra had a nice night, going 2 for 3 with three RBI’s. Wilmer Flores went 1 for 4, striking out twice but scoring two runs. Zach Lutz scored a run and had two hits in four at-bats, including a triple. Cesar Puello also had a hit and an RBI in four at-bats. Logan Verrett turned in a gutsy performance to earn the win, allowing ten base runners in five innings. In tossing five innings, he allowed two earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five. Jeff Walters sealed the deal with a perfect ninth to notch his fourth save of the season.

BINGHAMTON, PORTLAND – Postponed (Wet Grounds)

The match-up between the Binghamton Mets and Portland Sea Dogs on Wednesday night was postponed due to wet grounds. Matthew Bowman is scheduled to start today at home against New Hampshire.

JUPITER 8, ST. LUCIE 6

Gabriel Ynoa was roughed up by Jupiter in this one. He allowed six earned runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings while walking three and striking out one. Ynoa looked solid in his first two starts of the season but after this one, his ERA ballooned to 5.79 on the season. Aderlin Rodriguezhad a 2 for 5 night including a triple. He scored a run and drove in two. Dilson Herrera scored two runs and had three hits in five at-bats batting in the lead-off spot. His average is now up to .364 on the season. Who else but Brandon Nimmo had another two hits, adding a walk, a run and an RBI. That’s Nimmo’s sixth multi-hit game in his last seven contests now. His batting average now sits at a gaudy .400. Cam Maron and T.J. Rivera also picked up an RBI apiece.Steven Matz will look to earn his first win of the season as he takes the hill in Fort Myers tonight.

SAVANNAH 4, AUGUSTA 1

Savannah was in cruise control in this one as Robert Whalen spun five beautiful innings only allowing two hits and one unearned run, while striking out six. He improved to 2-0 as his ERA is now 1.00 for the season. Gavin Cecchini is starting to sizzle as he scored two runs and picked up another two hits Wednesday night out of the lead-off spot. Cecchini has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, raising his average to .265. He has even started showing some pop, hitting two doubles in four games. Jeff McNeil, Stefan Sabol and Jared King all picked up RBI’s last night. Dominic Smith went 0 for 4 with a strikeout as his average fell to .163. Robert Gsellman will get the ball tonight.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

Robert Whalen of the Savannah Sand Gnats turned in a fantastic performance on Wednesday night, going five innings, only allowing two hits. He struck out six and earned his second win of the season on top of that.

Check out Mets Minors On Deck for today’s probable starters.

(Photo Credit: Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News )

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Are the Mets Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/are-the-mets-playing-to-win-or-playing-not-to-lose.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/are-the-mets-playing-to-win-or-playing-not-to-lose.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:10:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153246 gary carter

After Gary Carter got a hit with two outs in the bottom of the 10th in Game Six, he turned to 1B coach Bill Robinson and said, “There’s no way I was making the last ******* out.” Moments later, pinch hitter Kevin Mitchell, void of his cup, got a base hit. He turned to 1B coach Bill Robinson and also said, “There’s no way I was making the last ******* out.”

When you look at the Mets today, do you see that same determination?

There’s a difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. When I watch the Mets, I see the latter. I see a team that’s not loose, that’s timid, almost waiting for something to go wrong and have a loss snatched from the jaws of victory.

I look at the Mets and, even this early into the season, it appears they are going through the motions. Willie Stargell once said, “Baseball is fun. That’s why the umpire says ‘Play Ball,’ not ‘Work Ball.” But to me it doesn’t seem like the Mets are having fun. They play hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Last Friday night, the Mets arrived in Anaheim after a cross-country flight from Atlanta. But you’d think they were the first team to ever do this. They seemed lethargic, a far off distant look in their eyes. If this was the dog days of August I’d understand. But to see—in my view—a team this weary and this sluggish on their first road trip of the season made me wonder.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game One

In the top of the 3rd, Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo HR to tie the game at 2-2. It was only the second homer of his career. Upon returning to the dugout, d’Arnaud smiled briefly, got a couple of proper pats on the butt from teammates and promptly sat on the bench putting on his catching gear. Very formal, very businesslike.

Three innings later, the opposite happened. J.B. Shuck, just called up to replace injured Josh Hamilton, hit a HR in the bottom of the 6th to knot the game at 4. It was the only the third of his career. Several of his teammates stepped onto the field, giving him high-fives after he rounded the bases, hugging him as he walked through the dugout. By the Angels’ reaction, you’d think it was a post-season game in October, not a Friday night in early April.

The stark difference was…amazing. The Angels were ecstatic, exuberant, nine-year-olds in Little League. The Mets were blasé, nonchalant, and almost indifferent.

In the 1970’s our hitting was definitely anemic. But out excellent pitching and stellar defense always kept us in the game. We had a legitimate chance to win. At the end of the 20th century, we had good enough pitching and enough big hitters that a win, no matter the score, seemed within our grasp. From 2005-2008, with a lineup consisting of David Wright and Jose Reyes—both coming into their prime–the power of Carlos Delgado and the 5 tools of Carlos Beltran, no deficit seemed insurmountable.

And then, there was ’86. If the Mets jumped out in front, it felt as if ‘that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’ Business as usual. And if we fell behind, our confidence never wavered. It wasn’t a matter of IF we’d win but HOW. And we did win. 2 of every 3 all year. But now it’s just the opposite. It feels like when the Mets take a lead, we don’t count on the win. Instead we ‘hope the bullpen can hold it.’ And if we fall behind, well, that’s when it feels like business as usual.

Why is this? Where does this culture stem from? When and how did mediocrity become acceptable and losses expected? Does it start in the executive office with ownership and the GM? Is it the fault of the manager and coaching staff? Perhaps, the players themselves?

When you look back at the good times there is one underlying consistency. We created a culture of winning.

On Opening Day 1969, Tom Seaver was a 24 year-old kid, Jerry Koosman was 26, Gary Gentry didn’t even look old enough to shave and Wayne Garret looked like he arrived at Shea via his tricycle. They were inexperienced kids but yet they won. How? The reason is they were surrounded by people who were winners. Manager Gil Hodges and coach Yogi Berra had played in 114 World Series games combined!

In June, management acquired Donn Clendenon, the player who Buddy Harrelson stated, “…gave us credibility.” Clendenon spent the bulk of his career in Pittsburgh alongside the likes of Stargell and Roberto Clemente, players who knew how to win.

When the Mets returned to the Series four years later, much of the team were holdovers from ’69. They were already champions.

By 1986, we had young stars like Gooden, Strawberry, and Dykstra. But we also had Gary Carter who, at this late stage in his career, would’ve done anything to get a ring. Keith Hernandez already had a ring as well as an MVP on his mantel. And at the helm was Davey Johnson, a player who spent the bulk of his career playing under Earl Weaver, one of the games’ winningest managers. Davey had two rings. He knew about winning.

The 99/00 club didn’t have “winners” but we had a roster loaded with guys who had that fire in the belly: Piazza, Ventura, Franco, Leiter, Payton. Even over-achiever Benny Agbayani.

Around 2006, we had the perfect blend of young talent and veterans who knew the game. Delgado was running out of time to become a champion, Beltran was determined to quiet the critics, Pedro Martinez was a big game pitcher, El Duque was a post-season stud, Paul Lo Duca played with the passion of Jerry Grote. And our skipper, Willie Randolph, had won 5 pennants and 4 World Series.

paul_lo_duca

Which one doesn’t fit in with this group: Hodges, Berra, Johnson, Valentine, Randolph, Collins.

The 2014 Mets are centered around David Wright. Like Seaver before, he is the face of this team. He already holds many team records and by the time he hangs up his cleats, he will be at the top of every offensive category in our history. We all love him, no doubt about that. It’s as if we get through the other 8 guys just to get back to Wright, who seems like he’s the only one who can give us a chance. And although we all love him, he can’t be called a winner yet.

That’s not a knock on David. Cooperstown is filled with legends who never won a ring. No one should diminish the accomplishments of Ernie Banks, Juan Marichal, Tony Gwynn, Nap Lajoie, Ted Williams and countless others. And while David puts up great numbers year after year, he can’t be lumped together with winners like a Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson, Keith Hernandez, Tom Seaver, Derek Jeter and Dustin Pedroia.

The 2014 Mets do have Curtis Granderson, a player with extensive post-season experience. But can he be labeled a ‘winner?’ In 36 post-season games he’s compiled a paltry .229 BA. His one World Series appearance, 2006 with Detroit, his team lost in five. Granderson went 2-for-21, an .095 BA.

When I look at the Mets today, I see a lot of things. I see management that operates a big market club with a small market mentality. I see a GM whose hands are financially tied, searching the bottom of the barrel, hoping for one more good year from players well beyond their prime. I see a manager and a coaching staff who has never won. I see a third baseman who’s the only real player we have on our team, a role model for kids, but not a champion. I see the future of our team, Matt Harvey, a 25 year-old who has already undergone Tommy John surgery. I also see potential. Young pitchers with a lot of upside who are still unproven.

I see a lot of different things. Regrettably, though, I don’t see any winners.

mlb_a_collins_gb2_600

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MMO Morning Grind: The Cautionary Tale of John Buck http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-the-cautionary-tale-of-john-buck.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-the-cautionary-tale-of-john-buck.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:27:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153536 john buck homers

Good morning, Mets fans!

Nice win yesterday! We’re over 500. Can we get to 90? Time will tell.

Anyway, we’ve reached the point in the season where we can start to throw around terms like “good start” and “bad start” for certain players. But stats at this point in the season can still be incredibly deceiving.

Yesterday, I wrote about how amazing Gonzalez Germen has been. His stats are eye-popping, although, as I said, they are not sustainable. Juan Lagares has also been fantastic, but he just landed on the disabled list and only time will tell if he can hit the ground running once he returns. Lucas Duda has been mashing the ball, Kyle Farnsworth is pitching well… there have been some good signs so far.

There have also been some struggling players. David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Ruben Tejada, and Travis d’Arnaud have had their struggles in these first couple weeks.

It is important that we remember not to get too high or too low on any given player so early in the season, because while there have been enough games played for noticeable trends to develop, there are more than enough games remaining for those trends to strengthen, stop, reverse, and reverse again several times over.

Even within the small sample size we have been given, we can see how fickle these trends can be. Jose Valverde was awesome in his first couple outings, but had a disastrous meltdown in Anaheim and then gave up home runs to the first two batters he faced yesterday. Eric Young was dreadful for the first few games, but has been red hot lately and has been a major catalyst at the top of our lineup.

Curtis Granderson won’t hit 170. Gonzalez Germen won’t have an ERA of 0.89. April stats are tempting, but can be very misleading, and that’s why I have dedicated this edition of the MMO Morning Grind to John Buck, who was Mike Piazza at the plate for one month and then Brian Schneider for the rest of the season.

The season isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and that goes for every player on every team in the league. Keep that in mind, and enjoy your day, Mets fans!

Presented By Diehards

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Lagares Says Recovery Will Take 1-2 Weeks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lagares-says-recovery-will-take-1-2-weeks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/lagares-says-recovery-will-take-1-2-weeks.html/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:08:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153398 juan-lagares

April 16

Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger reports that Juan Lagares received his MRI results on Wednesday and after talking to the trainer, said his recovery time should take about 1-2 weeks.

“I feel better now,” said Lagares.

April 15

Citing a source from the team, Marc Carig of Newsday is reporting that the Mets will place Juan Lagares on the 15-day disabled list prior to tonight’s game in Arizona.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has already be re-called and is headed to Phoenix to join the team and should be available to play tonight’s contest against the Diamondbacks.

The loss of Lagares is a major blow to the Mets as he was leading the team in many offensive categories including a .314 batting average and an .816 OPS.

Nieuwenhuis was hitting .310 with two homers and eight RBIs in 42 at-bats for Las Vegas.

As for Curtis Granderson, the news is much better. He told reporters that he is feeling good and that he will avoid the Disabled List. He may even be available off the bench today if needed as a pinch-hitter.

Granderson custom-ordered cleats he’ll wear for Jackie Robinson Day tonight and will auction them off for charity after game.

thank you jackie

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Diamondbacks 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-5-diamondbacks-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-game-recap-mets-5-diamondbacks-2.html/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:22:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153527 anthony recker

Recker Comes Through Again 

The Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks after a 5-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field. With the win, the Mets complete a very successful 6-3 road trip.

Dillon Gee, making his fourth start of the season, was perfect through 4.2 innings, retiring 14 batters in a row before giving up a fifth inning double. Gee tossed seven scoreless, allowing just three hits, no walks, and striking out three.

After 72 pitches from Gee, manager Terry Collins turned to the bullpen to get the final six outs. Collins said he wanted to remove Gee while he was riding high.

Kyle Farnsworth got two outs in the eighth, but after allowing two hits, Scott Rice came in to finish the inning. Jose Valverde entered the ninth in a non-save situation and promptly gave up back-to-back home runs before finally collecting three outs to secure the win and complete the sweep.

Offensively, Anthony Recker had a big game going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. Collins said after the game to look for Recker to start getting more playing time.

Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Andrew Brown each had a pair of hits. The Mets swiped four bases in the game including two by Eric Young Jr. who singled, walked and scored a run.

The Mets improve to 8-7 on the season and end a long road trip on a positive note and head back home to host the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Excellent win for the Mets!

Presented By Diehards

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