Mets Merized Online » 2006 http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:16:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Carlos Beltran Signed With Mets 10 Years Ago Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/carlos-beltran-signed-with-mets-10-years-ago-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/carlos-beltran-signed-with-mets-10-years-ago-today.html/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:04:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173090 On January 13, 2005, ten years ago today, the Mets signed free agent  Carlos Beltran to a seven year, $119 million dollar contract.

I can’t recall a greater Mets player who was as under-appreciated as Beltran was when he was with the Mets, despite always giving it everything he had and delivering countless big hits and big plays.

“He had a couple of monster seasons for us, and was a huge reason why we made it as far as we did in 2006,” Wright said of his former teammate. ”We came a couple runs from making the World Series, and we don’t get close to that without Carlos.”

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The following is where Carlos Beltran ranked in Mets franchise history after he was traded

Batting average: .280 (12th)
On-base percentage: .369 (6th)
Slugging percentage: .501 (5th)
OPS (on-base plus slugging): .870 (5th)
Runs scored: 548 (8th)
Hits: 877 (13th)
Total bases: 1,566 (10th)
Doubles: 208 (6th)
Triples: 17 (17th)
Home Runs: 149 (6th)
RBI: 557 (6th)
Bases on Balls: 446 (9th)
Stolen Bases: 100 (11th)
Extra-Base Hits: 374 (6th)
Sacrifice Flies: 37 (7th)
WAR (Position Players): 32.2 (2nd)
Offensive WAR: 27.8 (5th)
Defensive WAR: 4.4 (3rd)

Here are our Top 5 Beltran Moments…

5. The First Win As A Met – April 10, 2005

Setting the scene: For the first moment on this list, we head all the way back to Beltran’s first win as a Met. The Mets started the Pedro Martinez-Carlos Beltran era 0-5 under rookie manager Willie Randolph, and were on the verge of being swept out of Atlanta. Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with Smoltz striking out 15 Mets.

What Happened: Up came Mr. Beltran in the 8th Inning with the Mets down 1-0, and Jose Reyes on base. Beltran took Smoltz deep for a 2-Run HR that not only put the Mets ahead for good, but knocked Smoltz out of the game. With Smoltz out, the Mets were able to get to the Braves bullpen for 4 more runs, including another Beltran RBI in the 9th. Pedro Martinez picked up the complete game win.

4. Tie-Breaking 2-Run HR, 2006 NLCS Game 1 – October 12, 2006

Setting the Scene: Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver of the St. Louis Cardinals were locked in a 0-0 pitching duel in the first game of the 2006 NLCS. In the 6th Inning, Paul Lo Duca singles with two out to keep the inning alive for Beltran.

What Happened: Beltran drilled a 2-2 offering from Weaver to right-center, giving the Shea Apple a reason to come out and shine. It would be the only runs the Mets score that night, as the Mets took Game 1 from the Cardinals 2-0.

Beltran would hit two more HR’s in Game 4, tying Babe Ruth for most post-season HR’s against the Cardinals. The series would end on a sour note for the Mets and especially Beltran in Game 7. However, the Mets would never have gotten to Game 7 without the magnificent 2006 season that Beltran put up.

3. “We’re Going Home” – May 23, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Philadelphia Phillies took an early lead, and despite the best attempts of the New York Mets, the Phillies continued to hold on to their lead. Jose Reyes tied the game with a 2-Run HR in the 8th, and the Mets and Phillies carried an 8-8 score into extras. Ryan Madson pitched 7 Innings in relief to take the game to the 16th Inning.

What Happened: Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the 16th with a solo, walk-off HR. That’s it. Game over. The SNY call of the game is memorable for Gary Cohen proclaiming We’re going home after the game ended after midnight.

2. The Catch Up Tal’s Hill – July 7, 2007

Setting the Scene: On the Saturday before the All-Star Break (and the luckiest day to play the slots), the Mets and the Houston Astros played a 3-3 tie deep into extras. The Astros and the Mets frequently threatened to score, putting men on base in every inning except the 13th.

What Happened: The Astros put men on at the corners with two out. The runner on third is the only one that matters. Luke Scott steps in to pinch hit and drills the Joe Smith pitch 420 ft…to straightaway center. Carlos Beltran got an excellent jump on the ball, ran over 50 feet, and made a stunning, over the shoulder grab, while running up the hill and falling down, to save the game. Beltran, who was the top defensive CF in the National League for a stretch, had the defensive play of his career here.

Three innings later, in the 17th, Beltran drove in Jose Reyes to score the go-ahead run amidst all the usual boos from the Houston fans. David Wright would follow with an insurance run, and the Mets won 5-3 after 5 hours and the most thrilling game of the 2007 season.

1. Home Run Derby At Shea Stadium – August 22, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Mets open up a 1-0 lead on the St. Louis Cardinals with a solo HR from Carlos Delgado, before Albert Pujols smacks a 3-Run HR and a Grand Slam in back-to-back innings to give the Cardinals a 7-1 lead. Carlos Delgado answered Pujols’s Grand Slam with one of his own(his 400th career HR) in the bottom of the 5th. Jose Reyes scored in the 6th to pull the Mets to 7-6.

What Happened: Jason Isringhausen came in to close the game. After retiring Reyes, he gave up a single to Paul Lo Duca. Up stepped Carlos Beltran with the power to end the game with one swing…which is just what he did. Beltran turned one over the right-field wall to walk the Mets off the field with an 8-7 win in maybe the most thrilling game of the 2006 season.

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This Day In Mets Infamy: Random Thoughts From Yesterday’s Doubleheader http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/this-day-in-mets-infamy-random-thoughts-from-yesterdays-doubleheader.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/this-day-in-mets-infamy-random-thoughts-from-yesterdays-doubleheader.html/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 15:06:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156843 Diamondbacks Mets Baseball

Yesterday had all the trappings of being a great day at the ballpark at Citi Field. The sun was out warming the many fans that came to celebrate the recently reinstated Banner Day. Mets Rookie phenom, Rafael Montero was on the mound for the first game of a single admission doubleheader, and to boot it was Bartolo Colon poster day (albeit I had hoped the poster would show him in a string bikini looking all seductive in a Farrah Fawcett-esque pose – but that’s just me).

My Wife and I got to the game and headed directly to the Caesars Club for lunch. When we reached our seats in the sun drenched Pepsi Porch there was no sign that the Banner Day parade was about to start, and I found out later that it was held way before the gates were opened to the public.

Well this got my Irish up, I mean what is the point of  having a Banner Day in front of an empty Citi Field? How is this supposed to instill a sense of tradition in the newer generation of Mets fans – and with all this talk from their PR arm – Wouldn’t real Mets fans show up in the stands to watch Banner Day? In my opinion the Mets dropped the ball once again.

Here are some more random thoughts that I took away from yesterdays game one debacle.

I still feel that the Mets traded away their best first base option. Ike Davis would not have dropped that routine foul pop – Duda looked as though he was trying to spot clouds shaped like fuzzy bunnies while the ball plopped right in front of him.

Chris Young has no use on this team – unless there is a need for a feast or famine power hitter who doesn’t hit for average. He seemingly pops up on first pitch swings or is stranding a boatload of runners in scoring position. Oh and by the way his walk up music sucks also!!!

Yeah Stephen Drew might not be deserving of the 10 million dollar contract that he just signed with the Red Sox – but Ruben Tejada isn’t even worth the league minimum.

Murph, Murph, Murph – I understand that you have made great strides learning the second base position – but jeez that error that you committed in the eighth inning was just painful to watch!

Montero I think is going to become a stalwart of this rotation – that is if he can get any kind of run support from this anemic offense.

And lastly a message to Saul Katz….  PLEASE CONVINCE FRED TO SELL THE TEAM!!!!!

By the was I was on hand for a blogger event at Citi Field this past Thursday and I had the chance to participate in a group interview with both Dillon Gee and Travis d’Arnaud. To see the Dillon Gee interview click here and to check out d’Arnaud please click here – he reveals that he is a big New York Rangers fan!!!

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Mets coach from ’82-’83, Jim Frey turns 83 (1931). The season after he left the Mets, Frey led the Chicago Cubs to the National League East pennant over his former team.

Other transactions of note include:

The New York Mets released utility man Bobby Pfeil on May 26, 1970.

The New York Mets signed free agent pitcher, Terry Leach on May 26, 1984. Leach was  quite possibly the most dependable pitcher during the ’87 campaign. He went 11-1 with a era of 3.32 for a Mets team that saw the bulk of it’s pitching staff on the disabled list that season.

The New York Mets traded spot starter/middle reliever, Geremi Gonzalez to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher, Mike Adams on May 26, 2006.

The New York Mets purchased the contract of reserve infielder, Wilson Valdez from the Cleveland Indians on May 26, 2009.

Mo Vaughn bought 5 cases of hot dogs and buns, 10 cases of Bubba Burgers, 5 suitcases of Sam Adams, 20 2 liters of Diet Coke and at least 20 lbs of potato salad, coleslaw and chips for his Memorial Day Party.  If you attend you can’t have any of it, bring your own eats and beverages!!!

MMO HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

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Granderson’s Struggles Continue, Collins Says It’s Only April http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/grandersons-struggles-continue-collins-says-its-only-april.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/grandersons-struggles-continue-collins-says-its-only-april.html/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:35:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=153903 curtis granderson

April 23

Curtis Granderson’s struggles continue and he is now hitless in a career-high 22 straight at-bats. However, manager Terry Collins has no intentions of sitting his right fielder.

“He hasn’t changed his demeanor at all, and that’s why I know he’s not letting this get to him,” Collins said. “He’s going to battle his way through it. There’s a certain time, and you see it with a lot of guys, where after a while something is going to get slammed down. But he’s handled it great.”

“It’s April still. We’ve got to get him some at-bats and get him ready.”

I can’t imagine a worse way for Granderson to get his Mets career started. Forget the batting average which now stands at .116, nobody ever expected him to come to Flushing and bat .280 or .290. What is most alarming is that he’s shown no power whatsoever. Even when he makes contact it’s been mostly grounders and popups.

I don’t see what the harm is in giving him a couple of days off to regroup, work with Hudgens and spend some extra time in the batting cages. But as is usually the case with decision-making and the Mets, we have to take the slow and drawn out approach.  

April 22

We’re closing in on the end of the first month of the season and right fielder Curtis Granderson is batting .121 with just eight hits and a .451 OPS in 76 plate appearances.

It’s that time of the year when statisticians drum up things like “Granderson will need to bat .375 the rest of this season to finish with a .230 batting average.”

Batting in the No. 2 spot for the second straight game, Curtis Granderson struck out in all three of his at-bats during Monday’s 2-0 win over the Cardinals. He also reached base after getting hit by a pitch. That extended his hitless streak to 19 straight at-bats – two at-bats shy of his career high — an 0-for-21 skid in 2006 with the Tigers.

Despite that feel-good, walk-off sac fly on Sunday, Granderson was 0-for-6 going into that at-bat and if there was nobody on third base, it’s just a shallow fly to left.

Granderson has now struck out 23 times in 66 at-bats this season.

“I just need to get results,” Granderson said. “I’ve just got to go ahead and put the bat on the ball, put it in play, and hopefully some good things will happen.”

The problem is that he isn’t putting the bat on the ball and for the most part when he does, he’s not doing any damage.

Mike Puma of the NY Post sarcastically said last night, “If Curtis Granderson keeps this up, the Jason Bay comparisons will stop. They’ll be too generous.”

“I’m still trying to get a good ball to handle,” said Granderson, who has been working with hitting coach Dave Hudgens in an attempt to get out of his slump. “I’ve talked to [Hudgens] about trying not to cover everything. Cover your strengths and work on that.”

But what are his strengths?

mlb_e_granderson11_576x324

A look at his heat map from ESPN suggests that he’s an easy out no matter where they pitch him. Granderson has no comfort zone.

The worst part of his HBP on Monday was that he had to stand at first base all that time while being suffocated by a chorus of boos. There was no hiding in the dugout.

For his sake – and ours – I hope he gets it together soon. Even last season’s .229 batting average would be a significant improvement.

Presented By Diehards

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Video Game Fans: MLB 14 The Show Is Now The Only MLB Licensed Video Game http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/video-game-fans-mlb-14-the-show-is-now-the-only-mlb-licensed-video-game.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/video-game-fans-mlb-14-the-show-is-now-the-only-mlb-licensed-video-game.html/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 17:44:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139126 It looks like baseball video game fans will have one major reason to go out and buy a PS4.

MLB 14 The Show has been the premiere baseball video game franchise since 2006, when it’s first installment was released for the Playstation 2. It’s main competitor has been the MLB 2K franchise, which started in 2004, and has been the only officially licensed baseball games available to XBOX owners.

Well, as of December 31 (when their contract expired), 2K Sports officially pulled the plug on the MLB 2k franchise. That’s right, if you own an XBOX 360 or an XBOX One, you will not have an officially licensed baseball game to play for the first time since 2004.

If that news wasn’t enough to run out and get a PS4, take a look at this tweet from MLB The Show:

Look at the difference in the graphics from the PS3 version to the PS4—gave me goosebumps (I know, I’m a nerd). The MLB The Show franchise has been one of the main reasons why I had a PS3, and also got a PS4 back in November. I’m really excited to see what the MLB The Show franchise will offer on the PS4.

Another great feature of the 2014 version will be the ability to carry over saves to future versions of the game—the first time this has ever been available. You can view the official teaser at the bottom of this post.

I will definitely have a copy of MLB 14 The Show on it’s release date. If you are looking for a friendly game, be sure to shoot me a friend request. My gamer tag is Petnick78.

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Mets Historic First Round Picks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-historic-first-round-picks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-historic-first-round-picks.html/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 23:11:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136958 matlack

The Mets have selected 62 players in the first round of the June Amateur Draft since 1965. 41 players have made it to the Majors, which is a 66% rate.

Who are some of the first rounders who have seen the most success at the Major League level?

  • Jon Matlack – Jon was the 4th overall pick in 1967 and went onto a 13 year MLB career with the Mets (1971-77) and the Texas Rangers (1978-83). He appeared in 361 games with a 125-126 record and an ERA of 3.18 and 3 saves in 2,363 MLB innings. He pitched 200+ innings 7 times, including a career high 270 innings in 1978 where he had a record of 15-13 and an ERA of 2.27. He led the National League in shutouts in 1974 (7) and 1976 (6) while with the Mets. He was the 1972 Rookie of the Year when he went 15-10 with an ERA of 2.32 in 244 innings. He was also a 3 time all star with the Mets (1974, 1975, 1976) as well as the MVP of the 1975 game.
  • Tim Foli – Tim was the 1st overall pick of the 1968 draft and spent 16 seasons (1970-85) with the Mets, Expos, Giants, Pirates, Angels, and Yankees including two stints with the Mets (1970-71, 1978-79). Tim was also part of trade that brought Rusty Staub to the Mets from the Expos on April 5, 1972. In 1,696 games, Tim hit .251 with 25 HR and 501 RBI with 1515 base hits.
  • Lee Mazzilli – Lee was the 14th overall pick of the 1973 draft and spent 14 seasons in the majors (1976-1989) with the Mets, Rangers, Yankees, Pirates and Blue Jays, including two stints with the Mets (1976-1981, 1986-1989). He was traded by the Mets to the Texas Rangers on April 1, 1982 for Ron Darling and Walt Terrell before returning to the Mets as a free agent for the stretch run of the 1986 team. He played in 1,475 games and was a career .259 hitter with 93 HR, 460 RBI, a .359 OBP and 1,068 base hits. His 162 stolen bases as a Met is 6th all time for the franchise. He is 14th in franchise history with 796 hits, 15th in doubles (148), and 10th in walks (438). Lee was an All-Star with the Mets in 1979.
  • Wally Backman – Wally was the 16th overall pick of the 1977 draft. The current AAA manager for the Las Vegas 52s played 14 seasons in the Majors (1980-93 with the Mets (1980-88), Twins, Pirates, Phillies, and Mariners. He appeared in 1,102 games in the majors, batting .275 with 10 HR, 240 RBI, 893 hits, 138 doubles and 117 stolen bases.
  • Hubie Brooks – Hubie was the 4th pick of the 1978 draft. He played 15 years in the majors (1980-94) with the Mets (1980-84, 1994), Expos, Dodgers, Angels, and Royals. He appeared in 1,645 games and hit .269 with 149 HR, 824 RBI, and 1,608 base hits. Hubie was traded to the Expos on December 10, 1984 along with Floyd Youmans, Mike Fitzgerald, and Herm Winningham for Gary Carter. Hubie was also drafted on 5 prior occasions (by the Expos, Royals, White Sox- twice, A’s) before signing with the Mets and was a two-time All-Star with the Expos (1986, 1987).
  • Tim Leary – Tim was the 2nd overall pick of the 1979 draft. Tim played 13 seasons in the majors (1981, 1983-94) with the Mets (1981, 1983-84), Brewers, Dodgers, Reds, Yankees, Mariners, and Rangers. Tim did not have much success with the Mets, appearing in only 23 games before being sent to the Brewers in a 4 team trade in 1985 that brought Frank Willis to the Mets. He pitched in 292 MLB games (224 starts) and had a career record of 78-105 with an ERA of 4.36 and 1 save. He pitched 1,491 1/3 innings and in 1990, he led the American League in losses (19) while a member of the Yankees. His best season was with the 1988 World Champion Dodgers where he went 17-11 with a 2.91 ERA in 228 2/3 innings.
  • Darryl Strawberry – Darryl was the 1st overall pick of the 1980 draft. He played 17 seasons in the majors (1983-1999) with the Mets (1983-90), Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees. He was the 1983 Rookie of the Year with the Mets, an 8 time All-Star (including 7 times with the Mets), won two Silver Sluggers (1988, 1990). In 1988, Darryl led the NL in Slugging (.545) as well as Home Runs (39). He played in 1,535 games in his career and hit .259 with 335 HR and 1,000 RBI to go with 1,401 hits, and 898 runs scored. He was a member of the 30 club in 1987 with the Mets (39 HR, 36 SB) and is among Mets franchise leaders in games played (8th – 1,109), hits (9th – 1,025), doubles (8th – 187), triples (6th – 30), home runs (1st – 252), RBI (2nd – 733), walks (2nd – 580), strikeouts (2nd – 960), stolen bases (4th – 191), OBP (11th – .359), and slugging (2nd – .520). Darryl was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on August 1st, 2010.
  • Billy Beane – Billy was the 23rd overall pick in the 1980 draft and a compensation pick from the Pirates for Andy Hassler. While he did not see much success in 6 big league seasons as a player (1984-89) with the Mets (1984-85), Twins, Tigers and A’s where he hit just .219 in 148 games with 3 HR and 29 RBI, Billy has been the longtime General Manager of the A’s (1999-present) and was played by Brad Pitt in the 2011 film Moneyball, based on the 2003 book by Michael Lewis.
  • John Gibbons – John was the 24th pick of the 1980 draft and was a compensation pick from the Red Sox for Skip Lockwood, the third of the Mets first round picks that year. John had a less than spectacular major league playing career, appearing in 18 MLB games as a player with the Mets (1984,1986) and was a career .220 hitter with 1 HR (off not-pop star Michael Jackson) and 2 RBI. John has spent two stints and the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays (2004-08, 2013-present) and has a career managerial record of 379-393.
  • Dwight Gooden – Doc was the 5th overall pick of the 1982 draft and Once Upon a Time looked like a sure lock for Cooperstown. Doc played 16 seasons in the majors (1984-94, 1996-2000) with the Mets (1984-94), Yankees, Indians, Astros, and Devil Rays. Dwight had a career record of 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA and 3 saves. He appeared in 430 games (410 starts) and threw 2,800 2/3 innings, including 7 seasons of 200+ innings and 2,293 strikeouts (48th all time in MLB history). He was the 1984 NL Rookie of the year when he went 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a league leading 276 strikeouts in 218 innings. In 1985, Doc was the National League Cy Young Award winner when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA. He won the pitching Triple Crown in 1985, leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts (268) as well as threw a league leading 276 2/3 innings to go with a 0.97 WHIP. He was a 4 time All-Star with the Mets (1984, 1985, 1986, 1988). Dwight is among the Mets all time franchise leaders in wins (2nd – 157), ERA (6th – 3.10), games pitched (8th – 305), games started (3rd – 303), innings pitched (3rd – 2,169 2/3), strikeouts (2nd – 1,875), WHIP (6th – 1.17), and opponent batting average (8th – .235). Dwight Gooden was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame on August 1st, 2010.
  • Calvin Schiraldi – Calvin was the 27th round pick in the 1983 draft and a supplemental pick for the loss of Pete Falcone. He pitched 8 seasons in the bigs (1984-91) with the Mets (1984-85), Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, and Rangers. He was part of the November 13, 1985 trade that brought Bob Ojeda to the Mets prior to the 1986 season. He appeared in 235 MLB games (47 starts) with a record of 32-39 and an ERA of 4.28 with 21 saves. In 553 1/3 innings, he struck out 471 batters. Calvin is best remembered as the losing pitcher for the Red Sox in both games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series.
  • Gregg Jefferies – Gregg was the 20th overall pick of the 1985 draft. He played 14 years in the bigs (1986-2000) with the Mets (1986-1991), Royals, Cardinals, Phillies, Angels, and Tigers. Gregg played in 1,465 MLB games and hit .289 with 126 HR, 663 RBI, 761 runs scored, 1,593 hits, 300 doubles, and 196 stolen bases. Gregg was a two-time All-Star with the Cardinals (1993, 1994), and led the National League in doubles (40) in 1990 while with the Mets. He was also a two-time Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year (1986, 1987). In December 2011, Gregg was traded along with Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller for to the Royals for Bret Saberhagen and Bill Pecota.
  • Jeromy Burnitz – Jeremy was the 17th overall pick of the 1990 draft. He played 14 years in the majors (1993-2006) with the Mets (1993-94, 2002-03) and appeared in 1,694 games, batting .253 with 315 HR, 981 RBI, 917 runs scored, and 1,447 hits. Jeromy was an All-Star in 1999 with the Brewers.
  • Bobby Jones – Bobby was the 36th overall pick of the 1991 draft and was a supplemental pick for the loss of Darryl Strawberry. Bobby played for 10 seasons in the majors (1993-2002) with the Mets (1993-2000) and Padres. In 245 games (241 starts) he had a record of 89-83 with an ERA of 4.16 in 1,518 2/3 innings. Bobby was an All-Star with the Mets in 1997. He also led the National League in losses in 2001 (19) while with the Padres.
  • Preston Wilson – Preston was the 9th overall pick of the 1992 draft and is the stepson and nephew of Mets Hall of Famer Mookie Wilson. Preston played 10 MLB seasons (1998-2007) with the Mets (1998), Marlins, Rockies, Nationals, Astros, and Cardinals. Preston was part of the 1998 trade that brought Mike Piazza to the Mets from the Marlins. He played in 1,108 MLB games and was a career .264 hitter with 189 HR, 668 RBI, and 1,055 base hits. In 2003, Preston was an All-Star with the Rockies as well as the NL RBI leader with 141. In 2000, he also led the NL in strikeouts (187).
  • Paul Wilson – Paul was the first overall pick of the 1994 draft. He played 7 seasons in the Majors (1996, 2000-05) with the Mets (1996), Devil Rays, and Reds. He pitched in 170 games (153 starts) and had a career record of 40-58 and an ERA of 4.86 in 941 2/3 innings.
  • Terrence Long – Terrance was the 20th overall pick in the 1994 draft and was a compensation pick from the Orioles for the loss of Sid Fernandez. Terrance played 8 seasons in the bigs (1999-2006) with the Mets (1999), A’s, Padres, Royals, and Yankees, playing in 890 games, batting .269 with 69 HR and 376 RBI. Terrance was part of the July 23, 1999 trade that brought Kenny Rogers from the A’s.
  • Jay Payton – Jay was the 29th overall pick in the 1994 draft and was a supplemental pick for the loss of Sid Fernandez. Jay played 12 seasons in the Majors (1998-2008, 2010) and appeared in 1,259 games, batting .279 with 119 HR, 522 RBI, and 1,157 base hits. Terrance led the American League in games played (162) in 2001 and 2002.
  • Aaron Heilman – Aaron was the 18th overall pick in the 2001 draft. He played 9 seasons in the majors (2003-11) with the Mets (2003-08), Cubs, and Diamondbacks. He pitched in 477 games (25 starts) with a record of 35-46 and an ERA of 4.40 and 16 saves. He pitched 630 innings, striking out 548 with a WHIP of 1.36.
  • David Wright – David was the 38th overall pick in the 2001 draft and was a supplemental pick for the loss of Mike Hampton. David has played 10 seasons, all with the Mets (2004-present) and the Captain has appeared in 1,374 games with a career .301 batting average, 222 HR, 876 RBI, 853 runs scored, 1,558 hits (shameless plug – follow all of David’s hits on @DavidWrightHits), 345 doubles, 183 stolen bases, and a .382 OBP. David is a 7 time All-Star (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), a two-time Gold Glove winner (2007, 2008), and has won two Silver Sluggers (2007, 2008). David is among the Mets franchise leaders in games played (2nd – 1,374), runs (1st – 853), hits (1st – 1,558), doubles (1st – 345), triples (9th – 25), home runs (2nd – 222), RBI (1st – 876), walks (1st – 671), strikeouts (1st – 1,088), stolen bases (5th – 183), batting average (2nd – .301), OBP (4th – .382), and slugging (3rd – .506).
  • Scott Kazmir – Scott was the 15th pick in the 2002 draft. He never played for the Mets and was traded in July 2004 to the Devil Rays in the trade that brought the Mets Victor Zambrano. Scott has pitched 9 seasons in the majors (2004-11, 2013-present) with the Devil Rays/Rays, Angels, and Indians. Scott signed this offseason with the A’s for two years and $24 million. He has a career record of 76-70 with an ERA of 4.16. In 1,180 innings, he has struck out 1,155 with a WHIP of 1.40. He was a two time All-Star with Tampa (2006, 2008) and in 2007, he led the American League in strikeouts (239) and starts (34).
  • Lastings Milledge – Lastings was the 12th overall pick in the 2003 draft. He played 6 MLB seasons (2006-11) with the Mets (2006-07), Nationals, Pirates and White Sox. He was traded to the Nationals in November 2007 for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. He appeared in 433 MLB games, batting .269 with 33 HR and 167 RBI with 404 hits. He is currently playing in Japan for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows on a three-year, $4.4 million contract.
  • Philip Humber – Philip was the 3rd overall pick in the 2004 draft. He has played 8 MLB seasons (2006-present) with the Mets (2006-07), Twins, Royals, White Sox, and Astros. He was part of the January 2008 trade that brought Johan Santana to the Mets. He has appeared in 97 MLB games (51 starts) with a record of 16-23 and an ERA of 5.31 in 371 innings. On April 21, 2012 as a member of the White Sox, he pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history against the Seattle Mariners. In November 2013, he signed a minor league contract with the A’s.
  • Mike Pelfrey – Mike was the 9th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He has played in 8 MLB seasons (2006-present) with the Mets (2006-12) and Twins. He has pitched in 182 games (178 starts) with a 55-67 record and an ERA of 4.48 with 1 save. He has pitched 1,049 innings and a WHIP of 1.47. On December 14, 2013, Mike agreed to a two year contract for $11 million to return to the Twins.
  • Ike Davis – Ike was the 18th pick in the 2008 draft. Ike has played 4 seasons (2010-present) all with the Mets. We know the current first base situation with the Mets. He has played in 442 games and is a career .242 hitter with 67 HR, 219 RBI and 360 hits.
  • Matt Harvey – Matt was the 7th pick in the 2010 draft. Matt was the starting pitcher for the National League in the 2013 All-Star game and while he’ll be missing the 2014 season, we’re excited to see what he does in 2015 and beyond. He has a career record of 12-10 and an ERA of 2.39 in 36 starts, 237 2/3 innings, 261 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.99.

Happy New Year MMO

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Why I Love The Mets: Honorable Mention #2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/why-i-love-the-mets-honorable-mention-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/why-i-love-the-mets-honorable-mention-2.html/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 20:52:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135974 mlb_g_reyes_wright1x_600

This Kindle Fire giveaway has been so exciting and also a big revelation to me. I never expected such a heartfelt outpouring of Amazin’ entries. Every single entry was a true telling of why that person loved the Mets. We heard from 109 different Mets fans, male and female, young and old, east coast and west coast. Honestly, I was overwhelmed and never thought we’d get a response like this. It’s true what I always say and that’s that Met fans are the best fans in baseball. But sadly, there can be only one winner. However, I do want to highlight our three Finalists  and two Honorable Mentions. Please Enjoy…

Honorable Mention No. 2

By Daniel Brennan

My grandmother was an original New York Mets fan. She was a die hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan until they moved out West. Luckily, the Mets came into existence soon after and her life would never be the same. Neither would mine.

My grandmother has since passed, but from the time I was born until she died in 2006, she ingrained being a Mets fan in my blood. My parents are big Mets fans too (my mom was at more than half of the 1986 playoff games, including the Game 7 World Series clincher), but it was my close relationship with my grandmother that facilitated my eventual love for the Mets.

I would go to my grandmother’s house every Saturday. If it happened to be during the baseball season, we would watch the games together. She was remarkably sharp for an 80 year old women, and she helped teach me most of what I eventually learned about the Mets and baseball in general. She had a strong opinion on every player, and her opinions often shaped mine (even though she never saw him play, I KNOW she would have LOVED Daniel Murphy, as do I). Even when I was not at her house, I would call her after the conclusion of every game to talk about what had happened. There was rarely a phone conversation between my grandmother and I that did not include dialogue about the Mets.

When my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005, it was not simply devastating because she was my grandmother. It was devastating because she was my best friend and the main person I could share my love for the Mets with. The thought of watching the Mets without her insight was saddening and terrifying.

During the playoffs in 2006, my grandmother had gotten significantly worse. Even though she had just led her bowling team to a championship earlier that summer, her body had slowly disintegrated to the point where she could not even stay awake during Mets game. This was the clearest indication that cancer was sucking the life out of my grandmother.

After the Mets lost to the Cardinals in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, I remember crying, sitting on the stairs that lead to my basement. I was crying not only because the Mets had just been eliminated, but also because I had thought it was the Mets’ destiny to win the World Series for my grandmother. Sadly, that did not happen and my grandmother died in December 2006.

My love for the Mets has only grown since my grandmother passed, even as the team has gotten considerably worse over that period. Considering that I was born in 1994, I have not been alive for much success. I did not begin following the Mets until the summer of 2001, with my first memories being of Brian Jordan destroying the Mets as an Atlanta Brave. Still, the love of the Mets my grandmother instilled in me has left me unaffected by the Mets downturn.

I watch the games whether it is April and the Mets are alive and full of hope, or it is September and the Mets’ season has long since died. I watch the games if they are up by 10 or down by 10. I even stay up for the games if they are on the West Coast and I should be in bed.

My grandmother made sure that I was a true Mets fan, someone who was not going to leave the team even in the darkest of times. My grandmother taught me to root for a team that depended on the aging Mo Vaughn and Roberto Alomar; I can certainly root for any Mets team now. Without my grandmother, I am sure I would not be writing this email right now.

Heading into the 2014 season, I can only hope that the Mets return to their winning ways, not only for me and all of the other die hard Mets fan who are sending in their responses right now, but also for my grandmother. 2006 was their year, but they are bound to have another (and hopefully many more after).

Let’s Go Mets and thank you for reading,

We’re all with you Daniel. Thanks for your poignant essay, and like you, we’re all waiting for the Mets to get back to their winning ways.

I heart mets button

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Mets Bullpen Will Be The Best We’ve Seen Since 2006 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bullpen-will-be-the-best-weve-seen-since-2006.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bullpen-will-be-the-best-weve-seen-since-2006.html/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:50:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135787 bobby parnell

While talking to the us at Citi Field on Tuesday, Sandy Alderson said that Bobby Parnell would be ready for Spring Training and that he doesn’t anticipate any problems.

Parnell, who is recovering from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck, has regained all the weight he lost, is feeling great and was in town for a routine checkup this week.

All in all, some great news for the Mets as it puts less of a demand on pursuing a late inning reliever on what is an over-priced free agent market. That should preserve some money for other pressing needs, but more importantly the Mets won’t have to scramble to find a temporary closer or rush a younger pitcher into a role he may not be ready for.

The 2014 bullpen is starting to take shape and unlike past offseasons where Sandy Alderson felt the need to do a full revamping, this current group seems to be full of potential. I like what I see.

Here are my pre-season thoughts on the Mets bullpen…

Bobby Parnell, RHP – The hard-throwing righty seized the closer’s role after Frank Francisco couldn’t start the 2013 season. Parnell had a fine campaign before his injury, posting a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while notching 22 saves for the Mets in 49 appearances. The good news is that he’ll be ready for spring training and we look for him to have a big year and his first 30 save season.

Vic Black, RHP – The 25-year old righthander fared very well in his short stint with the Mets last season. Black posted a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while going 3-0 and earning his first career save in just 13 appearances. The Mets are very high on Black and he’ll be the primary setup man for Parnell in 2014, with even a few save opportunities thrown in for good measure. He’s gonna be a good one.

Scott Rice, LHP – After spending his first 14 pro seasons in the minors, Rice made his MLB debut in 2013 and was nothing short of spectacular holding lefthanded hitters to a .174 batting average and a .468 OPS. Rice was on pace to shatter the Mets record for appearances before undergoing season-ending surgery for a sports hernia. The 31-year old made 73 appearances for the Mets and tossed 51.0 innings. An amazing 60.3% of the pitches hit against him were grounders. You can bet he’ll be back and hopefully he won’t be abused by Collins the second time around.

Carlos Torres, RHP – Nobody even expected Torres to make the team and yet he became one of the more indispensable role players on the team, whether he was making a spot start, pitching 2-3 innings of relief, or coming in to get a big out. He finished the season with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP and his spot in the bullpen as the Mets’ swingman is all but guaranteed.

Gonzalez Germen, RHP - He made his major league debut at age 25 last season and delivered a very uneven performance. At times he shined on the mound and looked dominating, and at other times he left too many fat pitches over the plate. In 29 appearances he posted a 3.93 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP, with a 8.7 K/9 and a 4.2 BB/9. He showed enough promise to make him a lock for the bullpen, but clearly he’ll have to show marked improvement if he wants to keep his spot with other young arms knocking at the door. 

Josh Edgin, LHP - After a brutal start to his 2013 season, which included a demotion to Double-A Binghamton in April, Edgin came roaring back his second time around and displayed the stuff and the swagger we saw from him in his rookie season. He posted a 0.93 ERA over his final 23 appearances before suffering a broken rib to end his season. He finished the season with a respectable 3.77 ERA in 34 appearances. He’s a lefty who throws mid-nineties and should be back.

Jeurys Familia, RHP - The one time top prospect for the Mets had his season washed out due to surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. He’s still young and has loads of potential, but it’s time for him to start strutting his stuff. He made the club out of spring training last year, but unless he dazzles in camp that may not be the case this season.

Long Shots – The Mets have a nice little arsenal of young pitchers on the rise who could debut at some point this season and maybe even make the team out of Spring Training. My favorites to make the team are 25-year old righthander Jeff Walters who posted a 2.09 ERA and led the Eastern League with 38 saves, and Jacob deGrom, also a righthander, who could transition from starter to reliever in 2014. On the bubble are Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski and Jack Leathersich, but not until they earn their stripes in Las Vegas.

Outlook – I consider the Mets’ bullpen to be one of their greatest strengths in 2014 and certainly one of the best pens we’ve seen since the 2006 season. We have some solid young arms that all seem to be suited for the various roles that comprise a major league bullpen. Parnell is a solid closer who can be counted on, Black looks like he’ll be a dominant setup guy, Rice is the best LOOGY in the NL East, Torres was also among the best swing men in the league. Edgin and Germen lengthen the pen and we’ll see how the final one or two spots shake out in Spring Training. All in all, this should be a bullpen we can all be proud of. LGM

Presented By Diehards

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The Top 10 Mets Offensive Seasons Since 1980 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-top-10-mets-offensive-seasons-since-1980.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-top-10-mets-offensive-seasons-since-1980.html/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 05:19:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133664 piazza

It’s hard to believe that we’re only a few seasons removed from some of the best offensive seasons in Mets history (hard to argue they haven’t been offensive lately, just in a different sense).

So what are the 10 best Mets seasons in terms of offensive production over the last 34 seasons? (I’m using 1980 because I’ve been following the team since the 80s)

Runs Scored Per Game

1.  1999 – 853 scored – 5.23

2.  2006 – 834 scored – 5.15

3.  1987 – 823 scored – 5.08

4.  2000 – 807 scored – 4.98

5.  2007 – 804 scored – 4.96

6.  2008 – 799 scored – 4.93

7.  1986 – 783 scored – 4.83

8.  1997 – 777 scored – 4.80

9.  1990 – 775 scored  – 4.72

10. 1996 – 746 scored – 4.60

We can see that from 2006-2008, the Mets produced some of their best offensive clubs since the 80s.  Yes, they collapsed in 2007 and 2008, but they had some of their best run producing seasons those three years.  From 1996-2000, we saw 4 of the top 10 best offensive seasons (with the exception of 1998, which did not make the list).  1986-1987 also produced another two top 10 seasons.   The only season that isn’t clumped together was 1990 – which was at the tail end of their dominance and followed the 1988 and 1989 seasons which included some of their top pitching clubs.

So who made up these typical lineups during these seasons of offensive plenty?

2006-2008

C – Paul Lo Duca / Brian Schneider

1B – Carlos Delgado

2B – Jose Valentin / Luis Castillo

SS – Jose Reyes

3B – David Wright

OF – Cliff Floyd / Moises Alou / Fernando Tatis

OF – Carlos Beltran

OF – Xavier Nady / Shawn Green / Ryan Church

Where was there continuity over those three seasons?  Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran.  Four pretty good names.

1996*-1997

C – Todd Hundley

1B – Butch Huskey / John Olerud

2B – Jose Vizcaino / Carlos Baerga

SS – Rey Ordonez

3B – Jeff Kent / Edgardo Alfonzo

OF – Bernard Gilkey

OF – Lance Johnson

OF – Alex Ochoa / Butch Huskey

Edgardo Alfonzo made 85 starts in 1996 at 2B/3B/SS

1999-2000

C – Mike Piazza

1B – John Olerud / Todd Zeile

2B – Edgardo Alfonzo

SS – Rey Ordonez / Mike Bordick

3B – Robin Ventura

OF – Rickey Henderson / Benny Agbayani

OF – Brian McRae / Jay Payton

OF – Roger Cedeno / Derek Bell

1986-1987*

C – Gary Carter

1B – Keith Hernandez

2B – Wally Backman

SS – Rafael Santana

3B – Ray Knight / Howard Johnson

OF – Mookie Wilson / Kevin McReynolds

OF – Lenny Dykstra

OF – Darryl Strawberry

Tim Teufel made 70 starts in 1986 and 72 starts in 1987 as part of a platoon with Backman, Mookie Wilson made 76 starts in 1987

1990

C – Mackey Sasser

1B – Dave Magadan

2B – Gregg Jefferies

SS – Kevin Elster

3B – Howard Johnson

OF – Kevin McReynolds

OF – Daryl Boston

OF – Darryl Strawberry

edgardo alfonzo

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Bambino’s, Billy Goats…and Joan Payson: Why the Mets are Cursed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/bambinos-billy-goats-and-joan-payson-why-the-mets-are-cursed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/bambinos-billy-goats-and-joan-payson-why-the-mets-are-cursed.html/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 13:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130557 babe-ruth-red-sox_i-G-16-1685-P161D00Z - CopyOn January 3, 1920, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth along with mortgage rights on Fenway Park to the New York Yankees. On January 4, 1920, there were no newspaper articles talking about ‘The Curse of the Bambino.’ For a curse to gain traction two things must happen. First, there must be the passage of time. Secondly, a reversal of fortune based around strange and unexplainable events from that point forward must occur.

Prior to trading Ruth, the Boston club had won 5 of the first 15 World Series played. It would take 86 years to capture their 6th. And as New Englanders waited, they watched the Yankees win 27. The curse ended on October 27, 2004 when Boston completed a sweep of the Cardinals. The final out was recorded on a comebacker to the mound off the bat of Edgar Renteria. Renteria, like Babe Ruth, wore no 3.

In 1945, the Chicago Cubs were facing the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. In the stands at Wrigley that afternoon was Billy Sianis, avid Cubs fans and owner of The Billy Goat Tavern. Sianis brought his pet goat to the game but when fans seated nearby complained about the goats’ odor, security had both of them physically removed from the stands. Furious, Sianis shouted, “Them Cubs, they aint gonna win no more.” Not only have the Cubs not won a World Series since then, they have never even returned to the Fall Classic.

Over the last few decades, we have shaken our heads more times than we can recall at the amount of absurdities and “unexplainable” bad luck that has befallen our Mets. But maybe, it’s not a simple case of bad luck. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Mets, like the Red Sox and Cubs, are cursed.

To look for the origin of this curse, one must go back. Way back. Before the Mets even existed.

The year was 1957 and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley was insistent on moving his team 3000 miles away to Los Angeles. For Major League Baseball to approve a transcontinental move, a second team would also need to relocate to California. The westernmost team at the time was St. Louis and it would be too costly to have clubs fly another 1500 miles for just 3 games. Enter Horace Stoneham, owner of the New York Giants. Stoneham, like O’Malley, was getting nowhere in his quest for the city to build his club a new stadium. When the Giants decided to vacate the hills of Coogan’s Bluff for the hills of San Francisco, there were only three dissenting votes. The nays were that of Joan Whitney Payson, her husband and M. Donald Grant. When the relocation was officially announced, Joan Payson immediately sold her shares of stock and promised to do whatever necessary to bring National League Baseball back to New York.

Slide1 - Copy

Her dream came to fruition in 1962 when the Metropolitans played their first game in, of all places, the Giants old stadium. Payson became the first woman in the history of North America to be a majority owner of a professional sports franchise. She was a brilliant businesswoman who was also an avid baseball fan. And although she loved her Mets—not as an investment but as a team—her heart was in San Francisco. Her favorite player on her beloved Giants was on his way to becoming the greatest all-around athlete the game had ever known. On May 11, 1972, at the unremitting demand of Payson, the Mets sent pitcher Charlie Williams along with $50,000 to bring The Say Hey Kid back to New York. Another dream of Joan Payson’s came true as she watched her cherished Willie Mays play for the team she owned.

At 41 years old, Willie was in the twilight of his career and was focusing on what to do after his playing days ended. The Giants were financially strapped and management could not keep Mays on payroll in any capacity, be it coach, hitting instructor, scout, etc…Payson assured Willie a spot on the coaching staff after retirement. He agreed and Willie Mays once again wore NY on his cap.

Payson made Mays a promise. His time as a Met would be brief and she could not justify having his number joining Casey Stengel’s 37 as the only numbers retired. She did, however, promise that no Mets player would ever again wear no. 24.

On October 16, 1973, Willie Mays played his last professional baseball game. On October 4, 1975, Joan Whitney Payson passed away. On August 7, 1990, the Mets “accidentally” reissued number 24. And so, ladies and gentlemen, begins The Curse of the Joanbino.

payson willie

Kelvin Torve was a 30 year-old utility infielder when he entered the Shea clubhouse for the first time in the summer of 1990. He had played 12 games with the Twins 2 years earlier but now was awed as he looked around at his new teammates. Torve was back in ‘The Show,’ sharing a locker room with Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, David Cone, Sid Fernandez and Frank Viola. He was handed a jersey, number 24, and suited up to take infield practice.

Fans began calling the front office. They started writing letters. That number was never supposed to be used again they reminded management. The Mets went on the road and while in the visiting clubhouse, equipment manager Charlie Samuels advised Torve of the uproar and asked if he’d mind changing numbers. Torve had no qualms about it. He was trying to stay in the majors and would do anything asked of him. On August 18th, he replaced his 24 with no. 39. The change of numbers happened on the road…as the Mets played, of all teams, the Giants. In the 10 days Torve wore Mays’ number, he batted .500.

In April 99, the number would be issued again, but this time not by accident. Newly acquired outfielder Rickey Henderson insisted on wearing 24. But it really didn’t matter by then. The Curse of the Joanbino had already taken hold.

As I alluded to earlier, for a ‘curse’ to have some legitimacy, there must be strange, unusual or downright weird events. Using the issuance of the Torve uniform as a benchmark, one can clearly delineate a reversal of fortunes of the Mets from that point forward.

Prior to 1990, our Mets were no strangers to bizarre plays. However, they always went in our favor.

Ron-Swoboda-Catch

In 1969, the Mets shocked the baseball world by overcoming 100-1 odds and defeating the heavily favored Cubs for the division title. Facing the power heavy Braves in the LCS, the big question was could the Mets pitching quiet the lethal bats of Hank Aaron, Rico Carty, Felipe Alou and Orlando Cepeda. Our pitching failed miserably. However, the light hitting Mets beat the Braves at their own game, scoring 27 runs in a 3-game sweep. The Mets would go on to upset the Baltimore Orioles, a team that carried 4 future Hall of Famers–Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer and manager Earl Weaver, along with 1969 Cy Young Winner, Mike Cuellar. Ron Swoboda, a well-known liability in the field, would make one of the most iconic defensive plays in Series history. A miracle indeed.

With the 1973 pennant hanging in the balance, another “strange” play occurred. On Sept 20, in a crucial game against the first place Pirates, Pittsburgh appeared ready to finally win in extra innings with a long blast to LF. The ball, however, did not go over the wall. Nor did it bounce off the wall. Rather, it bounced on TOP of the wall and back into play. Cleon Jones turned, fired to Garrett who pivoted and threw home to catcher Ron Hodges who nailed Richie Zisk at the plate. The Mets would win in the bottom of the next inning and pull to within half a game of first. Two weeks later the Mets were facing Cincinnati in the LCS. At the time my dad advised me, “The ghost of Gil Hodges was sitting on the fence and knocked the ball back into play.” I was almost 8 years old and that seemed plausible. Strange indeed.

And if the Miracle of 1969 and balls bouncing on top of walls weren’t enough, there’s also Game 6 in 86.

All of these peculiar plays went in the Mets favor. After Kelvin Torve was issued Mays’ number, the Mets underwent a reversal of fortune and everything from that day forward has seemingly gone against us. Although we only won 2 Championships and 3 pennants before the mishap of reissuing the number, the Mets still appeared almost charmed with good luck. After, we seemed, well, cursed.

Here are some of the bizarre incidents that transpired after Joan Payson’s promise was not maintained.

1991: The very first year after accidentally allowing another player to wear Mays’ number, the Mets draft 2 pitchers they intend to build their future around: Bill Pulsipsher and Jason Isringhausen.

1992: The Mets sign Bobby Bonilla to a lucrative (at the time) 5 year/$29 million contract. Bonilla was a superstar in Pittsburgh. And although he was a native New Yorker just like John Franco, Lee Mazzilli and Ed Kranepool, he would become perhaps the most despised Met in team history. A subsequent renegotiation of his contract will see us paying Bonilla until he turns 72 years old. 72, the same year Willie Mays returned to New York.

bobbybonilla

Mid 90’s: The Mets spend big bucks to bring a pennant to Flushing. The plan falls short and instead they become known as ‘The Worst Team Money Can Buy.’

1999: After one of the most dramatic moments in team history, Robin Ventura’s  famous Grand Slam single, the Mets lose the NLCS the following day on, of all things, a walk-off walk. It’s the only time in history a team lost the pennant in such fashion.

2000: The Mets lose the World Series in 5 games to the Yankees. Mike Piazza records the final out. Piazza didn’t ground out to the shortstop or strike out or pop up. He flew out—to center field, the same area Mays patrolled decades earlier.

2003: Earning more than $17 million, Mo Vaughn is the highest paid player on the team, netting more than even Piazza. His season ends on May 2 due to injuries. He retires from baseball.

2006: The Mets are expected to crush the Cardinals. St. Louis barely made the post-season and had numerous players injured. They were relying on a rookie to close named Adam Wainwright. The loss in the 7 game LCS was a shock and never expected. The decisive blow was a HR by Yadier Molina who hit only 6 HR’s all season. At the time, Molina was 24 years old.

2007: The Mets suffer what is regarded by many to be the greatest collapse in baseball history, blowing a 7 game lead with just 17 left. We even fail to make the wildcard.

2008: The Mets blow a 3 ½ game lead with 17 left. We again fail to even make the wildcard.

2009: Citi Field opens and in the inaugural game, a cat runs onto the field. Although it was not a black cat like happened to the Cubs in the heat of the 69 pennant, there is an interesting similarity. Fellow MMO blogger Ed Leyro pointed out at the time that in 69, the black cat ran out while Ron Santo was in the on deck circle. In 09, a cat ran out while David Wright stood in the on deck circle. Both Santo and Wright are considered the best third basemen in the history of their respective clubs.

2009: Mets players spend a total of 1,480 days on the disabled list. Our new home offers no immediate hope of a bright future. The Mets finish under .500 for the first time in 5 seasons.

$19SPYANKEESMURRAY

2009: Luis Castillo against the Yankees. ‘Nuff said.

2011: After 50 years and 8020 games, a Mets pitcher finally throws a no-hitter. And from this point forward, for all intents and purposes, Johan Santana’s career comes to an end.

2013: Johan Santana’s salary is $25,500,000 for the season. He pitches zero innings.

2013: Fans finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Matt Harvey conjures up images of Seaver and Gooden. He becomes the first Mets pitcher to start an All-Star Game in a quarter century. Six weeks later he is put on the disabled list. He is 24.

Maybe it’s just bad luck. Fate, perhaps? But one can easily see a difference in the Mets pre-Joanbino curse and post-Joanbino curse. In addition to the previously mentioned bad karma that has appeared since the no. 24 was reissued, there are also other, shall we say, “coincidences.”

2000 saw the Mets lose the Series to the Yankees. However, for the entire post-season, the Mets outscored their opponents, 60-51. 51…as in 1951, the year Willie Mays debuted. The last time the Mets won a World Series was 1986, our 25th year in existence. However, many don’t consider the strike-shortened 81 season a real season. Therefore, you can say that 86 was the Mets 24th season. Granted, that’s a stretch and somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Here, however, are a couple more that garner some serious attention. Things that appear too coincidental to be mere happenstance.

Game 6 of 86 saw the Mets conclude the greatest come from behind victory in World Series history. We tied the series at 3 games and game 7 was slated for the following day. However, the hand of fate intervened and the game was rained out, played instead on Monday, October 27, 1986. 10-27-86. 1+0+2+7+8+6=24.

Billy Sianis Cubs Playoffs 1984In 1969, the Mets swept Atlanta, then defeated Baltimore 4 games to 1. In 73, we defeated the heavily favored Big Red Machine in 5 before falling short to Oakland in 7. In 86, we defeated Houston in 6, Boston in 7. In 1988, we were upset in the NLCS by the Dodgers, 4 games to 3. All of these post-seasons appeared before Willie’s number was accidentally reissued. The total post-season victories—3 against Atlanta, 4 against Baltimore, 3 vs. Cincy, 3 vs Oakland, 4 vs Houston, 4 vs. Boston and 3 vs. LA totals out to…yes, you guessed it. 24.

The bad thing about curses is they are inconsiderate when it comes to time. If the Mets are in fact cursed, how long will it last? The Curse of the Bambino lasted over eight and a half decades. The Billy Goat Curse is still ongoing.

On the positive side, Mays’ old number was recirculated in 1990. 24 years from that makes it 2014. On the other hand, Joan Payson was 72 years of age when she passed away. That would make it 2062 if 72 years has to pass. And worst of all, Mays hit 660 home runs.

Do I really think our Mets are cursed? Nahhh, of course not. Probably not. I’m sure it’s not real. I mean, come on. That’s silly. Right?

But just in case the spirit of Joan Payson is really, really upset and keeping in mind Willie’s 660 career home runs, here’s to the 2650 Mets.

New York Mets owner Joan Payson

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Is a Kazmir-Mets Reunion Possible In 2014? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/is-a-kazmir-mets-reunion-possible-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/is-a-kazmir-mets-reunion-possible-in-2014.html/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 19:15:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128657

Scott Kazmir has resurrected his career with the Indians this season.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir will make his first career start against the Mets tonight, nine years, one month, and eight days after the Mets traded the budding prospect for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. The trade will always be remembered as one of the worst in Mets history, as Kazmir went on to have four very good seasons for the Devil Rays-turned Rays. Meanwhile, Zambrano had a decent 2005, but one day after striking out Andruw Jones in 2006, jogged off the mound and into the clubhouse after facing just four batters, never to be seen again, at least not in a Mets uniform.

After a few years with the Rays, however, the concerns that led the Mets to trade Kazmir flared up. He didn’t go deep into starts. He got repeatedly injured. In 2009, the roller coaster that was his career took a whole new turn. After posting a 5.92 ERA in the first half, he was dealt to the Angels where, at 25 years old, it became evident that his career was in danger. Over the next four years, Kazmir made only 55 starts, posting an ERA of 5.54 and striking out a little more than six batters per nine innings.

This season, the Clevland Indians took a chance on the journeyman lefty, signing him to a minor league deal, one which has paid off tenfold for the Indians. After winning the fifth starter job out of spring training, Kazmir now has a 4.36 ERA over 130 innings. Even more impressive, he has seen his velocity rise back into the mid-90s. When he auditioned for scouts in 2012, his fastball was clocked around 86 to 87 miles per hour. This year, according to PitchF/X, he is averaging 93.54 on his four-seam fastball this season.

With Matt Harvey‘s injury opening a big void in the Met rotation, a reunion with Kazmir may make sense for the team. He is a step up from the Mike Pelfreys and Chris Youngs of the world, meaning he will be more of a sure thing, yet still cheap, allowing the Mets to address needs in the outfield, and at shortstop and third base without having to spend a large chunk of their budget on a replacement for Harvey.

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Carlos Beltran Under-Appreciated? Not On MMO… Our Top 5 Beltran Moments http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/carlos-beltran-under-appreciated-not-on-mmo-our-top-5-beltran-moments.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/carlos-beltran-under-appreciated-not-on-mmo-our-top-5-beltran-moments.html/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:25:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125076 badbeltran

David Wright told reporters Carlos Beltran was under-appreciated when he was with the Mets before last night’s home run derby…

“He had a couple of monster seasons for us, and was a huge reason why we made it as far as we did in 2006,” Wright said of his former teammate. ”We came a couple runs from making the World Series, and we don’t get close to that without Carlos. So hopefully his reception from the fans tonight is warm.”

Under-appreciated? Not around here he was…

tron

Lets see where Carlos Beltran ranks in Mets franchise history:

Batting average: .280 (12th)
On-base percentage: .369 (6th)
Slugging percentage: .501 (5th)
OPS (on-base plus slugging): .870 (5th)
Runs scored: 548 (8th)
Hits: 877 (13th)
Total bases: 1,566 (10th)
Doubles: 208 (6th)
Triples: 17 (17th)
Home Runs: 149 (6th)
RBI: 557 (6th)
Bases on Balls: 446 (9th)
Stolen Bases: 100 (11th)
Extra-Base Hits: 374 (6th)
Sacrifice Flies: 37 (7th)
WAR (Position Players): 32.2 (2nd)
Offensive WAR: 27.8 (5th)
Defensive WAR: 4.4 (3rd)

beltran

Here are our Top 5 Beltran Moments…

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5. The First Win As A Met – April 10, 2005

Setting the scene: For the first moment on this list, we head all the way back to Beltran’s first win as a Met. The Mets started the Pedro Martinez-Carlos Beltran era 0-5 under rookie manager Willie Randolph, and were on the verge of being swept out of Atlanta. Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with Smoltz striking out 15 Mets.

What Happened: Up came Mr. Beltran in the 8th Inning with the Mets down 1-0, and Jose Reyes on base. Beltran took Smoltz deep for a 2-Run HR that not only put the Mets ahead for good, but knocked Smoltz out of the game. With Smoltz out, the Mets were able to get to the Braves bullpen for 4 more runs, including another Beltran RBI in the 9th. Pedro Martinez picked up the complete game win.

4. Tie-Breaking 2-Run HR, 2006 NLCS Game 1 – October 12, 2006

Setting the Scene: Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver of the St. Louis Cardinals were locked in a 0-0 pitching duel in the first game of the 2006 NLCS. In the 6th Inning, Paul Lo Duca singles with two out to keep the inning alive for Beltran.

What Happened: Beltran drilled a 2-2 offering from Weaver to right-center, giving the Shea Apple a reason to come out and shine. It would be the only runs the Mets score that night, as the Mets took Game 1 from the Cardinals 2-0.

Beltran would hit two more HR’s in Game 4, tying Babe Ruth for most post-season HR’s against the Cardinals. The series would end on a sour note for the Mets and especially Beltran in Game 7. However, the Mets would never have gotten to Game 7 without the magnificent 2006 season that Beltran put up.

3. “We’re Going Home” – May 23, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Philadelphia Phillies took an early lead, and despite the best attempts of the New York Mets, the Phillies continued to hold on to their lead. Jose Reyes tied the game with a 2-Run HR in the 8th, and the Mets and Phillies carried an 8-8 score into extras. Ryan Madson pitched 7 Innings in relief to take the game to the 16th Inning.

What Happened: Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the 16th with a solo, walk-off HR. That’s it. Game over. The SNY call of the game is memorable for Gary Cohen proclaiming We’re going home after the game ended after midnight.

2. The Catch Up Tal’s Hill – July 7, 2007

Setting the Scene: On the Saturday before the All-Star Break (and the luckiest day to play the slots), the Mets and the Houston Astros played a 3-3 tie deep into extras. The Astros and the Mets frequently threatened to score, putting men on base in every inning except the 13th.

What Happened: The Astros put men on at the corners with two out. The runner on third is the only one that matters. Luke Scott steps in to pinch hit and drills the Joe Smith pitch 420 ft…to straightaway center. Carlos Beltran got an excellent jump on the ball, ran over 50 feet, and made a stunning, over the shoulder grab, while running up the hill and falling down, to save the game. Beltran, who was the top defensive CF in the National League for a stretch, had the defensive play of his career here.

Three innings later, in the 17th, Beltran drove in Jose Reyes to score the go-ahead run amidst all the usual boos from the Houston fans. David Wright would follow with an insurance run, and the Mets won 5-3 after 5 hours and the most thrilling game of the 2007 season.

1. Home Run Derby At Shea Stadium – August 22, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Mets open up a 1-0 lead on the St. Louis Cardinals with a solo HR from Carlos Delgado, before Albert Pujols smacks a 3-Run HR and a Grand Slam in back-to-back innings to give the Cardinals a 7-1 lead. Carlos Delgado answered Pujols’s Grand Slam with one of his own(his 400th career HR) in the bottom of the 5th. Jose Reyes scored in the 6th to pull the Mets to 7-6.

What Happened: Jason Isringhausen came in to close the game. After retiring Reyes, he gave up a single to Paul Lo Duca. Up stepped Carlos Beltran with the power to end the game with one swing…which is just what he did. Beltran turned one over the right-field wall to walk the Mets off the field with an 8-7 win in maybe the most thrilling game of the 2006 season.

beltranbw

Beltran’s time with the Mets was unforgettable.. Players like him come around once in a generation.

Here are some more original articles I picked out from the past. I hope you enjoy them.

Farewell No.15 – In Appreciation of Carlos Beltran

End Of An Era – Carlos Beltran’s Franchise Records And Rankings

Carlos Beltran: Un Icono

TRON: Legacy – How I Came To Admire Carlos Beltran

Reflecting on Carlos Beltran’s Time with the Mets

hero

 

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(Updated) The Trouble With OPS+ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/updated-the-trouble-with-ops.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/updated-the-trouble-with-ops.html/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 18:22:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124587 I wanted to update this post with a chart by Mr. North Jersey who plotted David Wright’s first 87 games for each season of his career. It helps to illustrate further why I don’t see 2013 as Wright’s career year, at least not so far…

wright gfx

Hat tip to MNJ…

Original Post:

Though I enjoy employing and often using many of the new advanced metrics in my own posts now, I still see some of these new metrics being manipulated or misused to frame a poor argument. Ken Davidoff was guilty of that when he used WAR to select the nominees for his 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot and in the process he ended up snubbing Mike Piazza for Kenny Lofton because of it.

I don’t believe that there is any one statistic that should be used that way, especially when making a determination of who is and isn’t worthy of going to Cooperstown.

There is nothing wrong with developing new ways to analyze a player’s performance and to try and project a future outcome. The more tools one can use to help render a good decision, the better. But this trend of using one “catch-all” stat to base your conclusions on and make outlandish determinations is simply not the way to go. It does more harm than good and only fuels the ire of those who find all these new stats disconcerting.

Let me show you a sampling of three seasons, two of which are historic and one partially historic (I’ll explain further along in the post). I would like you to consider what you see and choose which of these seasons is the best.

  • Example 1: 604 AB, .325/.416/.546, 113 R, 42 2B, 30 HR, 107 RBI 
  • Example 2: 626 AB, .302/.390/.534, 115 R, 42 2B, 33 HR, 124 RBI
  • Example 3: 610 AB, .308/.403/.517, 89 R, 36 2B, 23 HR, 79 RBI 

I would bet that the vast majority of you chose either of the first two examples, right? I myself would opt for Example 1.

Examples 1 and 2 are actually David Wright‘s 2007 and 2008 seasons. Example 3 is a projection of what Wright’s 2013 season would be, barring injuries and producing at his current pace.

I present this to you because I felt compelled to do so after reading an article by Matt Meyers of ESPNNewYork.com, who wrote that David Wright was having his best season ever.

Anyway you slice it, I just couldn’t wrap my brain around his assertion and conclusion. This was his explanation:

There are two good reasons why Wright’s season is flying under the radar, the first of which is that the team is mediocre. It’s a lot harder to get excited about a player having a career year when his team’s best realistic finish is third place.

But the biggest reason Wright’s not getting the attention he deserves is the decline in run scoring across the National League since he debuted. As a result, his raw numbers, such as batting average and slugging, are down relative to his early peak from 2006 through 2008, but his performance relative to the rest of the league is better.

For example, in 2007, Wright had a .325/.416/.546 line with 30 homers and 34 steals in what was previously the best season of his career. That was good enough for a 149 OPS+, a metric which scales a player’s OPS relative to league average and accounts for ballpark factors (100 is average). But in 2007, National League teams scored 4.71 runs per game.

This year, NL squads are averaging 4.09 runs per contest, which as you math majors can surely tell is 0.62 fewer runs per game than six years ago. That’s a huge difference, one that must alter our perception of what an elite performance really is.

So even though Wright’s raw line this season is .308/.403/.517, his OPS+ is 159, which reflects the change in run scoring across the league since 2007 — not to mention a change in Wright’s home park — and represents a career high.

Okay… Now lets back this baby up a bit…

david wrightIf you want to say that Wright currently has the best OPS+ of his career, that’s fine and dandy and I would absolutely concur. But to tell me that Wright is having the best season of his career? No way. No how. I’m not buying it.

This is exactly what I don’t like about “catch-all” stats like OPS+ or WAR. I like to use those statistics to compare one player to another, but using either stat to draw an empirical conclusion is simply wrong. This is exactly what Davidoff did, and it appears that Myers is no different in this regard.

I love stats to tell me who is the best batter or who has the best power or who is the best base stealer, but when it comes to deciding who’s the better player between Ike Davis and David Wright, I don’t need any one stat to make that call.

Anyone who has watched and admired the career of David Wright like I have, would never subscribe to a claim that he is in the midst of the best season of his career.

Tell me that he’s having a great year, but please don’t tell me that Wright is having a career year in 2013. He is clearly not the player he was during the 2007-2008 seasons and I don’t need any stat to tell me that. Those were his peak seasons and every season since has seen a decline – which is the absolute norm for a 30-year old baseball player. His power has deteriorated, but luckily his batting eye and average have maintained. His speed has deteriorated as well, but he makes up for it because he’s become a better base stealer and choosing his moments wisely.

Wright is having a remarkable season – an All Star season – but lets not kid ourselves here… I would take the 2007-2008 version over the 2013 version, any day and any time.

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Last Night Was An Epic Fail On Many Fronts For The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/last-night-was-an-epic-fail-on-many-fronts-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/last-night-was-an-epic-fail-on-many-fronts-for-the-mets.html/#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2013 14:11:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121519 Terry Collins

Saturday’s marathon was the longest game ever in Citi Field history and the longest in the majors since April 17, 2010, when the Mets beat St. Louis, 2-1 in 20 innings. The previous long at Citi Field was October 3, 2010, a 14-inning, 2-1 loss to the Nationals.

Saturday was also tied for the fourth-longest game in franchise history and the longest since the April 17, 2010 game in St. Louis. The last home game to go at least 20 innings was the longest game in franchise history, a 25-inning affair on September 11,1974 vs. St. Louis. Yesterday’s contest was the third-longest home game in franchise history. The other games of at least 20-innings are below:

longest

The Mets went a franchise-worst 0-19 with runners in scoring position in Saturday’s 2-1 loss. They had gone 0-15 twice, last on May 30, 2006 vs. Arizona. Since 1974, only two other teams have gone hitless in at least 19 at-bats with runners in scoring position: Boston at New York, April 24, 2004 (0-19) and Pittsburgh against San Diego, June 11, 1977 (0-19.

Over the last 22 home games, the Mets are hitting .158 (26-165) with runners in scoring position and for the season they batting .237 with runners in scoring position this season. The Mets also stranded 22 runners on base last night, prompting manager Terry Collins to say:

“I wish I could give you all the philosophies we talk about, the things we go through, moving runners over, productive outs, using the field to hit, but the bottom line is we’re just not getting it done,” Terry Collins said. “We’re not doing the things that got a lot of us to the big leagues. We’ve got to be better than that. I wish I had an explanation.”

Over the Mets’ last 19 games at home, dating back to April 25, the club is batting .200 (129-645). They are 5-14 during this span and are averaging 2.2 runs (42 total) per game.

Last night was an epic fail on many fronts for the Mets…

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The Toughness Factor: Why the Mets Need an Edge http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/the-toughness-factor-why-the-mets-need-an-edge.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/the-toughness-factor-why-the-mets-need-an-edge.html/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:15:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110702 collin cowgill sage

Something struck me as odd earlier this spring as I watched SNY’s first broadcast of the season from Tradition Field. Our splendid announcers were interviewing Collin Cowgill and at one point I believe it was Ron Darling asked whether Collin was getting a lot of ribbing about something or other in his background (I think it was about an underperforming college team he was affiliated with – I can’t remember exactly).

The thing I found odd was the awkward pause after the question when Collin looked at the camera like Dirty Harry staring down some “punk,” as if to say “I’m not the sort of guy that gets teased a lot.” What he did say after finally breaking the tension with a smile was “um, no not really, but yeah they’re having an off-year.” Did anyone else catch that?

Jordany Valdespin

Then there’s Valdespin, whose had all sorts of fanciful terms describing him, from to “loose wire” to  “screw loose” to “plays with a certain flair,” to “brash and inaudible.” After getting plunked in the privates Monday by a Justin Verlander fastball maybe we should call him “Lefty.”

The dude showed up to play second base for a Major League baseball club without a cup … now if that isn’t tough I don’t know what is. When Valdespin was asked where the pitch hit him, Valdespin replied, “in the d–k,” adding that everything is “fine” and he doesn’t expect to miss action

“Everything is good, working good, normally, everything is great,” Valdespin said. What’s really amazing is where he found the time between getting plunked, the visit to the clinic, and being interviewed by the Post, to come to the conclusion that everything is in fact “working fine.”

Now see, that’s the kind of crazy I want on my ball club. What is nevertheless obvious in all of this is the effect he has on opposing pitchers, he is exquisitely annoying with his mannerisms, and that’s not a bad thing if you ask me. Also, you get the sense that he’d be more than willing to scrap if you piss him off enough — unless of  course Justin Verlander is on the mound and you’re gunning for a roster spot in spring training and you just got your eggs scrambled by a 94 mile an hour fastball — lets be reasonable — nobody wants to get Robin Ventura’d.

travis d'arnaud

Now there’s this new barrel-chested shifty eyed kid named Travis D’Arnaud. He’s not particularly brash or cocky, but his reputation as a tough guy preceded him to such an extent that Collins felt he had to specifically warn him against outrageous notions such as blocking the plate. Also, you look at Travis, and he looks like a tough guy … didn’t really get that with Josh Thole, Josh talks to deaf puppies … I’d rather have a guy back there who looks like he eats puppies. People talk about how D’Arnaud’s stats are skewed because he played in a hitter’s league but you know what? You can tell a lot about a hitter from the way major league pitchers pitch to him, and all spring left-handers in particular seem to want to part of him.

Who is the toughest guy on the Mets? Well it isn’t David Wright, nothing against the Captain, but David’s just too damned nice. He’s the guy who you can always count on to do the right thing, the sensible thing (his dad was a cop for crying out loud) …  David is more likely to try and break up a fight. It sure isn’t Duda, who I could imagine getting punched in the face and responding with “hey? What was that all about?” Now granted Duda is one guy you really wouldn’t want to get angry as he could probably hold his own in single combat against an enraged Yeti, but he also seems like just a really peaceful fellow. No, it’s Ike, and I’ll tell you why. After that high slide into Tejada by Chased Mutley a couple of years back, Ike took a really weird rout to the dugout and he was jawing at Utley the entire time, boy was he fuming. I didn’t know Ike had it in him. Up until then I thought he was just another nice kid.

So when all the crap about Ike keeping late hours came out I was pretty upset, not with the perception that Ike isn’t the goody two-shoes wholesome kid we all thought he was (he isn’t, that much is obvious), but with the realization that someone in ownership or management didn’t like it. But who? And more importantly, why?

I’ve gotten into more arguments with other Mets fans over this issue than any other I can think of. The curse of Mike Piazza, which actually started before Mike was even on the team. See, in 1986 the Mets accumulated a lot of negative Karma because of all the people they punched out. They also won the World Series so the “bad guy” Karma was not exacted through some fitting heartbreaking loss in game 6 of the World Series, nope, the bad guys got away with it. The 2000 World Series rolls around with all this negative Karma still looking for a chance to stab Met fans in the eyeball, and Mike Piazza, gets into this weird confrontation where Clemens throws the barrel of a bat in Mike’s direction.

roger clemens mike piazza

That was Piazza’s chance to exorcise the bad juju by putting a bully in his place while vanquishing a great and bloated evil, but he didn’t. He should have at least started walking to the mound with the understanding that if no one stopped him he’d proceed to punch Clemens in the face. Nope, Mike more or less trots to first base with this “dude, what is wrong with you?”  look on his face. That was the worst thing that could have happened at that moment in time. The best thing would have been if Mike had the presence to realize that getting tossed (even if it meant a one game suspension which I doubt would have happened) would be worth giving your team the galvanizing jolt of courage and resolve that that the moment demanded. I knew then that the Mets were going to lose the series.

So here we are in 2013, and I’m starting to see a bit of an edge on the peripheries of this roster again. Maybe a gag order has been placed on someone in ownership. Maybe the “bad guy” Karma was finally satiated in 2006 when the nice guys lost … but the curse of Mike Piazza won’t officially be put to rest without a least one bench clearing brawl. It says so in the Karma rule book (I looked it up). Even more imperative, however, is that upper management find the doofus wiener who made those comments about Ike and lock him in a basement somewhere under the bowels of City Field for the remainder of the season. Maybe give him use of a flat screen and provide him with lots of snacks and a direct line to the Shake Shack, but under no circumstances should he to be allowed to leave his room or to speak.

Ever since the late 80’s the Wilpons have vigorously implemented this “character” requirement to being a N.Y. Met. I think the reasoning was largely intended as a corrective measure after the late 80′s debacle. It was also grounded in the fact that over in the Bronx, by employing a blueprint similar to Cashen’s, the Yankees secured the dynasty we should have had because they insisted on “+ character “ players. So, Jeff … er, ownership goes above and beyond ownership’s purview, insisting on “character” guys (to a fault) at the expense of that “by any means” edge and grit that almost all successful teams have. Sure maybe I’m overstating toughness, after all this isn’t football and I’m not Howie Long. Maybe in the end it still comes down to talent on the field, but with the exception of some of the more recent Yankee teams, I can’t come up with too many world series winners who didn’t have that “edge.”

One thing that a lot of us might agree on when it comes to this Alderson fellow, is he’s not the nicest guy in the world when it comes to the manner in which he executes his duties … In fact he can be kind of a cold-hearted, wise cracking, box of chocolates sending, disappointed in Santana jerk, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. If he’s remaking this team in his image my guess is there will be at least a few guys like Cowgill and D’Arnaud and Valdespin who look like they might just have enough crazy in them to stir things up. Guys who might give you that split second after they get dusted where you’re not quite sure what they’re going to do … Who will more or less guarantee some payback if you go into second spikes high. I sure hope so, because if we don’t incorporate that element we’re just going to keep getting run over by the Chase Utley’s of this world. It’s no coincidence that Utley did that to maybe the nicest kid on the team. Nice doesn’t win championships.

Dirty Harry

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The 2013 Mets Have No Chance To Win. However… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/the-2013-mets-have-no-chance-to-win-however.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/the-2013-mets-have-no-chance-to-win-however.html/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 04:54:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=108983 Kranepool was one Casey's favorite students.

We wont win this season. We wont compete this season. We wont be any good this season. Okay, now that that’s settled, lets go ‘Play Ball’ this season and see what happens. Opening Day is a little over one month away and when that first pitch is thrown, the Mets technically have just as good a chance as anyone to win.

We Mets fans are an interesting bunch Always have been. In 1962 that other team in New York were defending World Champions (again) They had guys named Yogi and Mickey and Whitey and Moose. And they had Roger Maris fresh off breaking what had been deemed the unbreakable record. However, just a few miles away, playing in a dilapidated stadium that was close to being demolished, there was a new team in a town. The Mets countered with guys named Choo Choo, Elio, Marvelous Marv and ‘Hot’ Rod.

And yet, even though the 62 Yankees won 96 games and their eighth World Championship in 13 years, it was the new kids in town who drew more fans.

The difference between the fan bases of our two clubs is simple: Yankees fans feel that anything less than a Championship is simply unacceptable. Mets fans, on the other hand, are ecstatic over finishing .500.

We always hope for the best…but prepare for the worst.

When you think back to 1986, what are the words that come to mind? Swagger. Confidence. Arrogance. Buckner. One word that never really gets brought up is ‘Miracle.’ Sure, Mookie’s slow roller was a gift from the ghosts of Joan Payson and Gil Hodges. But ‘miracle’ is more fitting of 1969 than 1986.

Think back to Game Six. No, not that one. The one against Houston. The Mets were leading the Astros three games to two but we came into the ninth trailing by three and Mike Scott, who’d already shut us down twice in a week and on his way to winning the Cy Young Award, was poised for game seven. Remember that feeling?

Remember that feeling in another Game Six? After Keith flied out, Gary stepped to the plate. The Mets trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the tenth, bases empty and two outs. No hope. Shea was deathly quiet. Failure was written on Davey’s face. The players sat on the bench staring in utter shock and despair at what was playing out before them. Losing was bad enough. Being the team whom the Red Sox would break their curse against was downright embarrassing. But the most heart-wrenching feeling of all was disbelief. Why?

1986 was OUR year. We were supposed to win. We deserved to win. We were entitled. We were the best team. My heavens—We had turned into the Yankees.

And two days later when ‘the dream came true,’ sure, we were elated. But the agony of possible defeat far outweighed the thrill of victory.

In the mid and late 80’s expectations were always high. This was something new for our Metsies. We’re never favored or picked to go far. But with this new burden comes a heavy task. When excellence is expected, almost demanded, anything less is deemed failure. However, when nothing at all is expected and something great happens, it’s that much sweeter.

Over the last quarter century, the two most heartbreaking moments for us came off the bat of catchers: Mike Scioscia and Yadier %$#&^% Molina.

In 1988, the Mets were expected to repeat their ’86 performance. We won 100 games, 10 of those coming in 11 matchups against the Dodgers that season. When Scioscia hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth in game four against Doc, we were shell-shocked. The Mets never recovered. We were supposed to win. But in the blink of an eye (or the swing of a bat) our expectations and sense of entitlement was crushed.

Same could be said of 2006. That years’ Mets were similar in many ways to the 1986 club. Confident, some arrogance. We dethroned the much hated Braves. Yes, 2006 would definitely be our year. That is until Yadier Molina dug in.

As if 2006 was not heartbreaking enough, the subsequent collapses the next two seasons were downright unfathomable. Choking is hard enough to swallow. But choking when you’re expected to win? That just seems unfair, cruel.

Tug McGrawIn 1973, the Mets were not good. To say our hitting was anemic would be an understatement. Only one player had over 16 HRs. Only one player hit over 280, Rusty Staub was our RBI leader, plating a whopping 76. No one even had double digits in SB’s. Even our traditionally strong pitching was a letdown. Two of our big three pitchers, Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack both finished with more losses than wins. And on August 31, our closer Tug McGraw, had an ERA north of 5.00.

But somehow, with no expectations, 1973 remains one of the best years in Mets history. We managed to finagle the NL East title, upset a Big Red Machine team that was filled top to bottom with would-be Hall of Famers. And then, pushed the A’s in the midst of their dynasty, to seven games, even getting the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning of Game Seven.

There are certain players that are held in reverence by their team’s fans. The Red Sox have Ted Williams, the Cubs Ernie Banks, the Royals George Brett. And for us it’s No. 41.

But Tom Seaver was not always Tom Seaver. In the spring of 1969, Seaver was not yet Tom Terrific. He was a promising 24-year old kid with a mediocre 32 wins and 25 losses. (No one expected Seaver to win almost as many games that season as he’d won in the previous two). In Spring Training that March Seaver was joined by Cleon Jones who was a career .272 hitter. (No one dreamed that Cleon would hit .340 in 1969) Former Rookie of the Year Tommie Agee was coming off hitting .217 the previous year. At 26, Agee was considered a has-been.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, our manager was none other than Gil Hodges. Sure, Hodges was loved by New York fans but as a skipper, he achieved little success. With 6 managerial seasons under his belt, the former Brooklyn first baseman had a lackluster .407 winning percentage.

Now, as we inch our way closer to another season, we have little hope. Will Jon Niese turn into another Tom Seaver? No. Will Lucas Duda, like Cleon, hit 340? Of course not. Will Terry Collins join Davey and Gil as championship managers? No way.

But just for the hell of it, lets play out the season and see what happens. In 1962, Casey Stengel told his team, “All I ask is that you bust your hiney on that field.”

Do the Mets have any chance to win it all this season? I think we have about as good a chance as we did in the spring of 1969.

we're number one 1969 mets topps

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Director of MLB Operations Adam Wogan Will Not Return To Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/highly-regarded-exec-adam-wogan-will-not-return-to-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/highly-regarded-exec-adam-wogan-will-not-return-to-mets.html/#comments Thu, 22 Nov 2012 09:38:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=101281 Major league sources told the Daily News that director of major league operations Adam Wogan, with the team since 2006, has been told that he will not have his contract renewed.

Wogan plans to continue in his role until the end of the year, but has been given immediate permission to speak with other teams.

General manager Sandy Alderson confirmed the move, and spoke of Wogan in highly complimentary terms.

“Adam did a terrific job for us over a long period of time,” Alderson said.  “This is not about Adam. This is about some restructuring in the organization.”

Wogan served as director of minor league operations under Omar Minaya starting in 2006, before being promoted to a front office position last season.

This comes almost a year to the day that another very respected executive left the Mets, Chad MacDonald, who oversaw amateur scouting and the draft. MacDonald was largely responsible for the Mets 2011 draft that included taking high school outfielder Brandon Nimmo 13th overall, then prep right-hander Michael Fulmer out of Oklahoma with the 44th overall selection. MacDonald emphasized the importance of drafting higher ceiling players despite the risk, rather than making safe picks on marginal players who were more polished. He is now with the San Diego Padres.

So if Wogan is that highly regarded in MLB circles, why is he being let go?

Martino says it’s all part of Alderson’s vision for a leaner organization and one that is inline with organizational philosophies.

Many of the duties of Wogan and other executives that are no longer with the team, have shifted to one man, Dick Scott, who worked with Mets executive J.P. Ricciardi when they were with the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricciardi was just signed to a three-year extension last month.

It’s pretty obvious now that Sandy Alderson is making sure that everyone is on-board with implementing philosophies that he considers critically important, like plate discipline. It doesn’t seem like there is any room for differing onions or perspectives.

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Remember When We Were MetsMerized In 2006? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/remember-when-we-were-metsmerized-in-2006.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/remember-when-we-were-metsmerized-in-2006.html/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2012 13:18:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=96630

How awesome was this scene in the clubhouse?

Man, 2006 feels like so long ago now. That season was the most exciting one I have witnessed since the World Series run in 2000. The Mets were a juggernaut. We had swagger, power, pitching, speed. We had a attitude and everyone hated us, especially when Reyes, Delgado, and others would dance on the field.

Remember the slogan?

“The Team. The Time. The Mets.”

Remember how much we loved Willie Randolph? We thought he was our savior, and everything he touched was gold.

The 2005 off-season was Omar Minaya’s second season at the helm. He spared no expense, and left no stone unturned as he built a powerhouse of a team.

Notable moves from the 2005 off-season that helped lead us to the 2006 NL East Crown.

  • The lasting image of the young Wright celebrating

    November 18, 2005: Xavier Nady was traded by the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets for Mike Cameron.

  • November 24, 2005: Carlos Delgado was traded by the Florida Marlins with cash to the New York Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas (minors).
  • November 29, 2005: Billy Wagner was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
  • December 5, 2005: Paul Lo Duca was traded by the Florida Marlins to the New York Mets for Dante Brinkley (minors) and Gaby Hernandez (minors).
  • December 12, 2005: Julio Franco was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
  • January 22, 2006: Kris Benson was traded by the New York Mets to the Baltimore Orioles for Jorge Julio and John Maine.

The pitching staff was headed by long time nemesis Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Steve Trachsel, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, while Oliver Perez and John Maine filled in when injuries hit.

The starting lineup boasted supreme talent across the board from the youngsters Reyes and Wright, to the veteran sluggers Delgado and Beltran.

This team had a great bullpen led by all-star closer Billy Wagner, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez and Chad Bradford.

Despite the season ending in an utter letdown, 2006 was a wild ride. We had some of the greatest moments in our history during that season.

Boy, don’t you miss Lo Duca’s fire?

Remember the double play at home versus the Dodgers in the NLDS?

With nobody out and runners on first and second base, Russell Martin drilled a single toward right field. When it hit off the wall, it seemed definite that Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew would score. As Lo Duca looked up to see home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck call Kent out, he almost didn’t see Drew sliding headfirst toward the plate. But with one quick motion, the veteran catcher turned his head back toward the field and applied the tag that completed an improbable double play.

Remember Endy Chavez’s catch versus the Cardinals in the NLCS?

Endy made arguably one of the best defensive plays in Mets history, and it will be forever remembered as “The Catch”. 

It’s too bad this catch did not

I’ll let Gary Cohen refresh your memory in case you forgot exactly how it happened.

“Edmonds at first and one out, and Perez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that’s deep, back goes Chavez  back near the wall…leaping, and…. he made the catch! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first, Edmonds… he’s doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chavez saved the day! He reached high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chavez  and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Oliver Perez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chavez  and the inning is over”

The Mets had so many memorable moments from that season, but now it just feels so long ago.

How does a big market team like us always find a way to fail?

We have so many resources, but fail to build a complete team. The 2006 team was the strongest we have had in a very long time.

It’s just really sad that we have to think back seven years to remember what it was like to really enjoy watching our favorite team. The Mets have had their moments over the past few seasons, but they always end in disappointment  When will it end? When Harvey and Wheeler get here? I know they will help, but as my dad said the other day, “how awful would it be to have Harvey and Wheeler here and no team around them?”.

That would be awful, but it would also be typical of the Mets. I just really hope I get to stop saying that one day…

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Hairston Becomes 10th Met Ever To Hit For Cycle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/hairston-becomes-10th-met-ever-to-hit-for-cycle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/hairston-becomes-10th-met-ever-to-hit-for-cycle.html/#comments Sat, 28 Apr 2012 03:56:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=79161

Scott Hairston strokes a double in the sixth inning to become 10th player in Mets history to hit for cycle.

 

Mets outfielder Scott Hairston has just hit for the cycle tonight in Colorado. He is the 10th Mets player to record a cycle in team history and the first to accomplish the feat since Jose Reyes did it on June 21, 2006 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Hairston started things off with a single in the second inning, a home run in the fourth, a triple in the fifth inning and finally a double in the top of the sixth inning.

Congratulations to Scott!

Mets Who Hit For Cycle

  1. August 7, 1963 – Jim Hickman vs. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. July 6, 1970 – Tommie Agee vs. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. June 25, 1976 – Mike Phillips vs. Chicago Cubs
  4. July 4, 1985 – Keith Hernandez vs Atlanta Braves
  5. August 1, 1989 – Kevin McReynolds vs. St. Louis Cardinals
  6. July 3, 1996 – Alex Ochoa vs. Philadelphia Phillies
  7. September 11, 1997 - John Olerud vs. Montreal Expos
  8. July 29, 2004 – Eric Valent vs. Montreal Expos
  9. June 21, 2006 – Jose Reyes vs. Cincinnati Reds
  10. April 27, 2012 – Scott Hairston vs. Colorado Rockies
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Wright Hopeful For A Return To His Former Glory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/wright-hopeful-for-a-return-to-his-former-glory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/wright-hopeful-for-a-return-to-his-former-glory.html/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 20:31:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=72273

Nice article by Dan Martin of the Post who writes that Mets third baseman David Wright would like to avoid many of the things that happened to him last year, and that the broken back that limited him to 104 games and a .254 average last season, now feels good.

“My back feels real good,” Wright said Wednesday. “It was important that I got through a whole offseason to kind of strengthen it. When you get halfway or three-quarters of the way through the season, it’s tough to build up that area. This offseason allowed me to build up the muscles around the bone that fractured.”

He said he doesn’t expect it to be an issue going forward.

“I feel strong,” said Wright, who added he has not had to have any follow-ups with back specialists since he was cleared to play last season. Instead, the training staff keeps tabs on him. “It’s just an extra couple of minutes a day when I’m doing my [workout] routine.”

Wright said he wants to become more of a complete hitter and that he is looking forward spraying the ball more and making more contact.

I’ve had the feeling that one of the driving forces for the decision to move in the fences at Citi Field, was to help David Wright get back to driving the ball as he did from 2006-2008.

The cavernous Citi Field led Wright to some bad habits and an alarming increase in strikeouts. I feel confident that we’ll see a new and invigorated Wright in 2012.

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Mets Had Plenty Of Missed Opportunities In Last Quarter Century http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/mets-had-plenty-of-missed-opportunities-in-last-quarter-century.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/mets-had-plenty-of-missed-opportunities-in-last-quarter-century.html/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 19:12:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=71479

Here’s an interesting quote from Rich Couthino via Twitter:

Honestly, I never looked at it this way, but it still doesn’t make me feel any better and that’s mostly because I thought we were good enough to win in about ten of those 25 seasons since 1986. In fact, 86 should have been the start of a dynasty, but it didn’t turn out that way. Possibly 2006 as well.

Plenty of missed opportunities…

 

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