Mets Merized Online » 2009 Mets Sat, 03 Dec 2016 04:14:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 4th of July Game Thread: Rangers vs Mets, 7:10 PM Fri, 04 Jul 2014 21:26:53 +0000 citi field fireworks

Happy Independence Day! The Mets begin the homestand with a three game series against the Texas Rangers. Jon Niese (5-4, 2.88) will oppose Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42) in the Fourth of July series opener at 7:10 PM.

Niese earned a win in the Mets’ 5-3 victory over the Pirates on June 28 at PNC Park in his last start. He tossed 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, striking out five with three walks. Niese has gone 20 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less, the longest current streak in the majors.

Jeremy Hefner threw 20 batting-practice pitches Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It’s the first time he faced batters since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28. Hefner aims to return to the majors this season.

Third baseman David Wright was expected to return to the lineup, after missing six games with the bruised shoulder, but Eric Campbell is playing third base tonight. No word yet, but beat writers think he could be going to the DL. Wright has not attempted any baseball activities since injuring his shoulder on June 26. Instead, he’s been undergoing daily physical therapy at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Starting Lineup

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

The Mets look to move past their disappointing road trip by starting a series with ailing, and I mean ailing, Texas Rangers. The injury bug for the Rangers has been so bad it makes the 2009 Mets look like a joke. Anyway Jon Niese takes the mound tonight. He is 5-4 on the year over 16 games and 103.0 innings with a 2.88 ERA. In his last three starts he has pitched 6.0 innings and allowed 3 ER in each of them striking 3 then 4 then 5 batters (while walking 1 then 2 then 3 batters, numbers are strange). He has made one career start against the Rangers allowing 2 ER over 5.2 innings. The Rangers have the following numbers against the Mets:

  • Choo 2-7
  • Beltre 1-3, HR
  • Murphy 0-2
  • Pena 0-3
  • Baker 0-2

The Mets get a look at ace Yu Darvish tonight who is 8-4 over 15 starts and 104.1 innings this year with a 2.42 ERA. After two “poor” starts (By Yu’s standards) allowing 4 ER over 5 and 4 ER over 6, he came back in his latest start shutting out Twins over 8.0 innings. He has never faced the Mets before but Granderson, Recker and Chris Young are each 0-3 against Darvish in his career.

Lets Go Mets!

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The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? Mon, 09 Sep 2013 03:23:30 +0000 Welcome to the second installment of Where Are They Now?, where we take a Mets roster and check in on what the players have done since last playing in Queens. Last week, we looked at the 2010 Mets, so this week we go back a year and look at the 2009 team, the first year the Mets played their home games at Citi Field. That season, Jerry Manuel led his squad to a 70-92 record, good for a fourth place NL East finish. Let’s look at the players.

Right off the bat, 21 players also played for the Mets in 2010, who I covered covered in my previous article. If you wish to learn about what happened to Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Francoeur, Fernando Tatis, Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, Nick Evans, Josh Thole, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, Fernando Nieve, Elmer Dessens, Jon Niese, and Tobi Stoner, check out The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now?

Only one player (who hasn’t already been covered) that played for the Mets in 2009 is still playing for the Mets, Daniel Murphy who is now one of the top hitters in the Mets lineup. Murphy currently ranks second on the team in batting average and third highest with a 2.7 WAR. Not only does Murphy provide a presence in the top of the lineup, but he may give the Mets strong trade bait going forward.

Only two other players from the 2009 are still in the majors albeit with another franchise: J.J. Putz and Darren O’Day.

Putz, who amazingly only played in 29 games with the Mets, played with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, before heading to Arizona where he played for the Diamondbacks in 2011. He still plays for them now. Side-armer Darren O’Day was claimed off waivers by the Rangers in April of 2009 and played in Arlington until 2011. After that season, the Baltimore Orioles claimed him off waivers. He is currently in his second year with them.

Five players from that team are currently in the Minor Leagues with other organizations and include Omir Santos, Jeremy Reed, Fernando Martinez, Argenis Reyes, and Nelson Figueroa.

Omir Santos did the bulk of the catching for the 2009 Mets, and he now sits behind the plate for the Rockies’ Triple A affiliate in Colorado Springs. He also played for the Toledo Mud Hens in the Detroit Tigers system in 2011, before spending some time with the big league team for the Tigers in  2010. He’s also played with the Indians Triple-A team this season.

Jeremy Reed signed with the Blue Jays in January of 2010 and was called up on April 12th. On July 12th he was sent down, released, and signed with the White Sox. He played the rest of the season with their Triple A team, the Charlotte Knights. The Brewers signed him in 2011 and he made the opening day roster. He was sent down to make room for Jonathan Lucroy, which led to him being traded to the Twins, where he finished the year. He is now in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but is not currently assigned to a team.

fernando martinez

Fernando Martinez was claimed off waivers by the Astros in January of 2012 and played in Houston until he was traded to the Yankees this past June, knowing there was a chance that he could be suspended for steroids. He was among those named in the Biogenesis scandal and is currently serving a 50-game suspension.

Argenis Reyes played in the Red Sox system in 2010 and was then traded to the Cleveland Indians where he played the rest of the season. He spent time with the New Jersey Jackals of the Independent Leagues in 2011 before returning to the Indians system. He is currently not playing with an Indians team although he unassigned.

Nelson Figueroa saw time in the Phillies and Astros systems in 2010, and played in the majors with the Astros in 2011. He also played in the Pirates system that year. 2012 saw him spend time with the Yankees and Red Sox minor league systems, and now plays for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate.

One 2009 Met is officially a free agent and that is Casey Fossum who played all of three games for the Amazins that season. Fossum was released at the end of April in 2009 and soon after signed with the Yankees. He played the rest of the year with their Triple A affiliate and then moved onto the Chicago Cubs system. His 2010 season was spent with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan, where he went 2-5 with a 5.72 ERA. Fossum signed with the Mets again in January of 2011 and played nine games, before being released a year later. He eventually signed with the Orioles but was soon released and has not resurfaced ever since.

13 players have retired. They are Gary Sheffield, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, Cory Sullivan, Carlos Delgado, Ramon Martinez, Emil Brown, Marlon Anderson, Brian Stokes, Ken Takahashi, Lance Broadway, Jon Switzer, and Billy Wagner.

Gary Sheffield couldn’t find a team to play with in 2010, so he retired in the spring of 2011. Ryan Church was traded to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur and finished the year in Atlanta. 2010 was spent in Pittsburgh until the Pirates traded him to the Diamondbacks along with future Met D.J. Carrasco. He was non-tendered after the year and retired.

Brian Schneider played with the Phillies from 2010 to 2012 and retired officially on January 29th this year. Cory Sullivan, who is most remembered for being the last player to hit two triples in one inning, played with the Houston Astros for half of 2010. He played with the Phillies for half of 2011, and retired after failing to make the Dodgers opening day roster in 2012.

After being injured for most of the 2009 season, the Mets released Carlos Delgado when the season was over. The Boston Red Sox signed the future Hall of Famer to a Minor League contract. He went 3-for-13, was released and retired on April 13th 2011. He was most recently the hitting coach for the 2013 Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. Current Mets pitching coach Ricky Bones was the pitching coach for that team (and if you ask me, Delgado and Bones look extremely like each other).

Not much to say about Ramon Martinez here. The infielder who played only 12 games with the 2009 Mets was released after the season and immediately retired. Emil Brown retired after being released on June 22, 2009.

Super utility man Marlon Anderson was released in April and signed with the Newark Bears of the Independent Leagues. He played the rest of the season there and retired when the season was done. He was last seen in professional baseball as the hitting coach for the Potomac Nationals in 2012.

Brian Stokes was traded to the Angels for Gary Matthews Jr. prior to the the 2010 season and made 16 appearances for the Halos that year. In 2011 he played in the Arizona D-Back’s system, and then moved onto the Camden RIversharks of the Independent League. Ken Takahashi became the third oldest player to make his Major League debut at the age of 40 on May 2nd 2009. He was released by the Mets in October of that year and went back to his homeland of Japan and played with the Hiroshima Carp in 2010. He retired after that year.

Lance “Best Name in Baseball” Broadway has not played in the Majors since his time with the Mets. He spent time with the Blue Jays organization in 2010 and played with their Triple A team, the Las Vegas 51′s. He has since retired and done what I believe no other Met has done in their lifetime. Lance played Agent O’Neil in the 2013 movie, Olympus Has Fallen. We should keep an eye out for other movies that feature Mr. Broadway.

Jon Switzer only got into four games as a New York Met, which led to a 8.10 ERA. He signed with the Astros and played in their Minor League system in 2010. He retired after 2010 and went back to school. He is now a business manager.

billy wagner

Billy Wagner, who is probably the greatest Mets closer of the last 10 years, was traded at the end of the year to the Red Sox for Chris Carter and minor leaguer Eddie Lora. Wagner played two games for Boston and then signed with the Atlanta Braves for the 2010 season. He was injured in the NLDS, but instead of going on the disabled list, he retired. Billy is currently the Head Coach for Miller High School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Two players are currently in the Independent Leagues. Wilson Valdez played for the Phillies in 2010 and 2011 and was then traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2012 season. The Reds traded Valdez to the Giants in December of 2012 but he was released this past March. He signed with the Miami Marlins the next day and was released on May 19th. He is now with the Camden River Sharks. Longtime Mets backup catcher Ramon Castro was traded to the White Sox for Lance Broadway in 2009, but I don’t think it mattered to Ramon, because later in the season he was behind the plate when Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game. He was released by Chicago after 2011, and did not play baseball in 2012. He signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers this March but was released after failing to make the roster. He now plays for the Long Island Ducks.

anderson hernandez

Three players are playing in foreign countries, and they all play in Mexico. They are Anderson Hernandez, Angel Berroa, and Robinson Cancel. Hernandez, who was traded from the Tigers to the Mets back in 2004 for Vance Wilson, was claimed off waivers by the Indians in 2010 but was claimed by the Astros in July. 2011 was spent in Triple A with the Astros franchise. In 2012, Hernandez played with the Pirates Triple A team. This year he has been playing with the Piratas de Campeche, where he is hitting five points south of .300 with 11 home runs.

The 2003 American League Rookie of the Year (I still think Rocco Baldelli should have won) Angel Berroa, who before LaTroy Hawkins and David Aardsma was the last player to play for both the Mets and Yankees, played in the San Francisco Giants organization in 2010. In 2011 he played with the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple A team and the Bridgeport BlueFish of the Independent Leagues. 2012 saw Berroa play with the New Jersey Jackals. He now plays for Leones de Yucantan in Mexico. He is hitting .293 with 12 homers.

Robinson Cancel made his first big league appearance since 1999 in 2008 with the Mets. He spent 2010 with the Long Island Ducks, 2011 with the Astros Triple A team (and a few games in the Majors), 2012 with Monterrey in Mexico, and is still playing in Mexico with Minatilan.

One player is coaching. Andy Green went 1-4 with the Mets in 2009. He spent 2010 in Buffalo playing for the Bisons at the Mets Triple A level. He is now managing the Diamondbacks Double A team, the Mobile Bay Bears. He is managing former Met Nick Evans.

So there are your 2009 New York Mets. What were some of your best and worst memories of that season? Next week we’ll take a look at the 2008 team and the last year of Mets baseball at Shea Stadium.

addicted to mets button

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LHP Steven Matz, 2009 Mets Top Pick, Out For Season Fri, 29 Jul 2011 20:45:38 +0000 Steven Matz was selected with the 72nd pick in 2009 draft.

Mack from Mack’s Mets spoke to Steven Matz who will be shutdown for the rest of the 2011 season.

Matz:  -  Hey Mack, yeah, my season is definitely going to be over. I was back in simulated games in May, and I seemed to be fine. My velocity on all my pitches was back and even a little higher, but it started to hurt again.  I got a second opinion from Dr Andrews and he said its just not 100% healed yet.  I got a prp injection and have to rest six weeks.  It’s beyond frustrating, but there’s really nothing else I can do.

Unfortunate, to say the least. We hope he returns strong next season and that the pain goes away soon. Here is an interview we did with him last month.

Interview With Mets 2009 Top Draft Pick, RHP Steven Matz

Back in 2009, the name “Steven Matz” was a popular topic amongst Mets fans. The second-round pick was dominant at Ward-Melville High School on Long Island and appeared to be a candidate to shoot through the minor leagues and contribute for the big club.

However, an elbow injury delayed the start of his career, so much so that he underwent Tommy John Surgery in May 2010.

I caught up with Matz, who is a terrific young man, to see how his rehab was going and to gauge his thoughts on what it was like being a Mets fans growing up who was then drafted by the Mets.

In his senior year of high school, more and more scouts began showing up at his starts after good showings at summer showcases. Matz only gave up two earned runs that entire season, which propelled his draft status. He was notified before the draft that the Mets were prepared to select him with the 72nd overall pick.

“It was pretty exciting because a lot of my family members are big fans too,” Matz said. “It’s pretty much every kid’s dream, especially getting picked by your own team.”

Growing up, Matz was a huge fan of lefty starting pitchers but mainly Johan Santana. Santana was playing with the Twins, but Matz emulated the crafty lefty, especially in developing a nasty changeup.

When the Mets acquired Santana via trade in 2008, Matz was super excited. Little did he know that he would be learning from Santana just one year later. Matz has absorbed Santana’s knowledge and will continue learning from the veteran hurler.

Matz fondly remembers that 2000 Subway Series World Series. However, we both agreed that we wish it could’ve ended differently.

As for his rehab, Matz has experienced a few setbacks that may prolong his minor league debut. He was facing hitters several weeks ago, but a scar tissue breakup has forced him to refrain from throwing.

“It’s been a little bit of a rocky road,” said Matz. “It [his arm] was finally feeling really good, and I guess I had a little bit more scar tissue, so hopefully I can get past that again.”

Still, Matz is only 20 years old, and the Mets brass has preached patience to him. He’s itching to see live game action, but he realizes that his patience will pay off.

“That’s the key really because I started when I was 18 and now I’m 20 and I still haven’t even thrown a professional pitch,” Matz said.

During his rehab, Matz has confided in former Met pitcher and current minor league pitching coordinator Randy Niemann. Niemann has been very supportive of Matz and has encouraged him to stay the course and good things will happen.

“He’s [Niemann] been real helpful to me along the way in reiterating that that you have to be very patient, and it will come,” said Matz.

Niemann has assisted Matz in developing a curveball. In high school, Matz was a fastball-changeup pitcher since he merely overpowered opposing hitters. However, He has realized that at this level, he needs a more diverse. When the pitch is properly developed, Matz will use his curveball as his strikeout pitch.

Matz hopes to return healthy sometime this season.

Though his 2011 debut remains uncertain, the next step for Matz is to get healthy. The little bumps in the road have been a nuisance, but Matz is willing to remain patient if it means returning at full-strength.

“I’ve done everything I possibly could, and if it’s not going to work out then that’s what it’s meant to be,” Matz said. “At the end of the day, you know you tried as hard as you possibly could to get back, and hopefully it will pay off.”

It’s this attitude that will allow Matz to recover from injury and embark on his professional career. His goal for the end of this season is to be fully healthy, whether or not that includes some live game action at one of the Mets short season Single-A affiliates.

“I’d like to end the season off on a good note, hopefully 100 percent,” said Matz.

If he continues along the path to recovery, Matz will be ready to compete in spring training next year to show he is ready. Just like he has been these last two years, we Met fans need to be patient with Matz.

After speaking with him, I can tell he’ll do whatever it takes to have a successful career. Good luck to Steven as he continues his rehab and prepares for his first professional start, which will hopefully be sometime this summer.

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

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I May Be Bitter and Jaded, But…. Wed, 03 Mar 2010 21:55:20 +0000 I’ve always been a Mets fan.  Well, since around 1970 or so…that’s as far back as I can remember.  So even though many of you have read my work on there the last six-eight months about how frustrated and annoyed I am with the way the team has played and the direction they have gone in with personnel, a new season is upon us and optimism reigns supreme.

Let’s face it, every baseball fan loves opening day, not just because it’s a prelude to summer, but because every team is on a level playing field in the standings and anything can happen.  Well, anything can happen within reason. As Mets fans, we’ve seen bad baseball over the years.  Remember when the team was so bad that they needed to fabricate a slogan, “The Magic is Back?”  It was laughable, but at one point that team (I think it was in 1980?) reeled off like 10 or 12 wins in a row, and the players started to believe that slogan even though they were woefully over-matched on the field.

The 2010 team is very much like the 2009 team, but hopefully without all the injuries.  Still, there are a few holes—most of the starting rotation, parts of the bullpen, second base, catcher and first base are question marks.  But really, if someone offered you Jason Bay, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana and K-Rod to start a team, you’d do that in a heartbeat, right?  We have to hope everyone stays healthy and plays to their potential–big ifs, but there could be big payoffs too.

Stranger things have surely happened, and I’m just glad spring is here and we’re talking real baseball again.  Now let’s do our best to strike some fear in the Phillies and the rest of the division.

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How Much I’ve Been Thinking About the Mets Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:42:59 +0000 I guess writing for this awesome site has been good for something this off season–it’s forced me to think about the Mets at least once a week.  Because honestly, I haven’t been thinking about them much since their season ended a month ago.  In fact, since I’m being honest, I didn’t watch many games after the wheels came off following the all-star break (and I know many of you are with me on that!).  And being that I currently live in Tennessee, I can avoid talk and media about the Mets altogether if I want to.

Yeah, I know, that’s not exactly being a die hard fan, but as I wrote in a recent blog entry, as you get older, more important things (especially our kids) start to vie for our time, and watching a crappy baseball team that was supposed to be a contender is one thing I can personally do without.

So as I’ve been watching more football (the Giants and Jets are stunningly mediocre right now), and watching a World Series between two teams I can’t stand, my mind has wandered back to the Mets and how important this off season to them and to us as fans.  Watching the Phillies and Yankees with their patient hitters, power bats, (mostly) smart base runners, and pitchers who know the importance of getting ahead in the count, I hope that Omar Minaya is taking notes on how to improve his club.  He’ll likely tell us again at some point that injuries marred the season, but he’d better know that’s only part of the equation and changes need to happen this winter.

I mean, by the time my 2 year old boy is old enough to understand, I want him to be rooting for a better team than the one we just witnessed in 2009.

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MMO Delivers The Eulogy For The 2009 Mets Wed, 07 Oct 2009 01:26:22 +0000 The 2009 Mets lived an interesting life even though it ended sooner than we would have liked. They wanted to be your friend throughout the season; the kind of friend that stood by you when you needed one to make you stand up and cheer. Sometimes they succeeded (the last three games of the season) and sometimes they failed (the other 159 games).  But they kept trying to be there for us, even when we stopped being there for them.  They faced many hardships and took advice from the wrong people.  But they still found time to think of us, such as the time they taught me the meaning of the word tendinosis.

I remember once when the Mets told me they were moving away from the home they had lived in since I was born.  It was hard seeing them leave.  I was thinking I’d never see them again.  But they comforted me when they told me that they were just moving beyond the bullpen fence and that we could still be together.  It was that kind of thoughtfulness that made them so special to my heart.

What is it that we remember when we think of the 2009 Mets?  I think everyone who knew them would agree with me on this. It was their wicked sense of humor. When Oliver Perez was signed for three years and $36 million, we laughed because we knew that signing was a joke.  When players such as Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran went down with injuries, we chuckled every time Omar said they’d be back by the All-Star Break…then August…then September…then only Carlos Beltran would be coming back.  When Luis Castillo dropped the pop-up, we laughed because we wanted to blend in with the Yankee fans at Yankee Stadium so that we wouldn’t have to be the butts of their jokes.  That is what I will miss the most about the 2009 Mets.  They could make me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry (and bang my head repeatedly on a brick on the Fanwalk outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda).  That was their trademark.  They did their best to turn our tears into laughter – incredibly demented laughter that once caused the Hospital For Special Surgery to consider opening a mental patient ward.  (They did not open one.  Apparently, they couldn’t afford the real estate needed for the expansion of the hospital.  Too many Mets players had taken up residence there.)

Their death was not sudden.  They had been dying a slow death since right before the All-Star Break.  The Wilpons refused to pull the plug on the team even when there was no hope of a recovery.  Perhaps they should have put them (and us) out of their misery sooner, but had they done that, we would have missed that one final spark of life during the season-ending sweep of the Astros.

The 2009 Mets did many things on this Earth (like educating us on the thousand and one ways to lose ballgames) and I’m sure they will do much more in Heaven.  Some angels might be taken out in the process, but they will be able to laugh it off in Heaven the way we were able to do so on Earth.

I will forever be grateful to have known the 2009 Mets. I will forever be grateful that they welcomed me with open arms into their new home.  I will forever be grateful for spending six months of my life waiting for my food at Shake Shack. All the memories I have shared with them will forever be cherished and remembered until I forget them.  The Mets will forever live in my heart…in our hearts.  The heartburn is just a coincidence.

In conclusion, this is not the time for us to grieve the death of the 2009 Mets, but it’s time to celebrate their lives, all nine of them.  They kept playing until the schedule told them they couldn’t play anymore.  They kept trying to come back to play ball despite their injuries so that we wouldn’t spend the first six innings of the game tailgating, not knowing (or caring) that there was a game going on inside.  They showed us how not to run the bases by making those mistakes for us so we could learn from them.  That shows how much they thought about us and how much we should think about them.

So at this moment when we are about to lay this season to rest, let’s all think back and remember how the 2009 Mets made an impact on our lives.  This is not the moment for us to shed our tears but we should all be thankful that we were given the chance to have known a team called the 2009 Mets.  They will be missed but I know in time (like in six months or so), I will meet the Mets again. We will all meet the Mets again and I’m sure they’ll make us laugh again, hopefully for the right reasons this time.

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This Says It All… Mon, 05 Oct 2009 01:52:58 +0000 If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one might be worth a million where the 2009 Mets concerned.

“This should motivate everybody because this season wasn’t fun at all. To just be playing for the sake of playing, this isn’t something that I want to do again and this isn’t something that we should get used to, because I don’t plan on doing it again.” - David Wright

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Things I Can Now Do in August and September Wed, 26 Aug 2009 16:25:04 +0000 The Mets have pretty much raised the white flag on the 2009 season, and if they haven’t, I’d be happy to do it for them.  They now have enough players on the DL to field a whole team, but as we are reduced to watching AAA and AA players wear the Blue and Orange, I’m embracing this time.  I’m embracing it because now I can do things in August and September without being emotionally attached to the Mets.  Here are some of those things….

Watch football.  Well, I was gonna do that anyway, but with the Mets in free-fall, the NFL and college football seasons cannot start soon enough.

Play more golf, and hang around the clubhouse for a few beers.  No need to rush home because the Mets are on TV.

Pay closer attention to reality shows like “More To Love,” because there is nothing left to love about this Mets team.

Take the wife and kid out for ice cream after dinner, knowing that we can take our time and, if we decide to turn the game on in the fifth inning, we won’t care that the Mets are already trailing 8-2.

Not care that Fox blacks out all other Saturday afternoon games, forcing those of us in the South to watch the Braves or Cardinals.  Not care because I’d almost rather watch those teams right now. 

We can peruse the NL Standings each morning, wondering if our Mets will do the unthinkable and let the Nationals catch them from behind. 

Cut grass.  Rake leaves.  Paint the house.  Clean the gutters.  When all of that seems like more fun than watching the Mets, you know the season is over before it’s over. 

Eat cheeseburgers and drink milk shakes, getting a head start on bulking up for the winter months. 

Call my dad and commiserate about the team he brought me up watching, then turn our attention to the Giants.

Finally, we can do the one thing we have no choice but to do, and it pains me to say this in August.  Yes, we can “wait ‘till next season.”

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The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? Wed, 26 Aug 2009 00:32:29 +0000 Earlier today, Joe D posted a blog on the 1969 tribute at Citi Field.  In it, he included a “where are they now” segment to catch readers up on what their heroes from 40 years ago are doing.  Perhaps I should do the same with the 2009 Mets.  After all, some of this year’s players have been gone for so long, we may not recognize them when they come back.

Below you will find the Opening Day roster for the 2009 Mets.  Some of these players have been traded, some are on the disabled list, some are stuck in traffic, yada, yada, yada.

Starting Pitchers: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine

Relief Pitchers:  Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, Darren O’Day, Bobby Parnell, J.J. Putz, Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Stokes

Catchers:  Brian Schneider, Ramon Castro

Infielders:  Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Alex Cora

Outfielders:  Marlon Anderson, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church, Daniel Murphy, Jeremy Reed, Gary Sheffield, Fernando Tatis

Let’s catch up on where these players are now, in case you’ve forgotten about them.  After all, those were the players referred to by Citi Field public address announcer Alex Anthony on Opening Night when he let out his traditional “Ladies and Gentlemen.  Here they are!  Your 2009 New York Mets!”

Johan Santana:  Out for the season with an elbow injury, perhaps caused by lifting too many big chipotle cheesesteak sandwiches at Subway restaurants.  His injury is like “you know who big”.

Mike Pelfrey:  Has remained injury-free all season, but it’s not like he hasn’t tried.  He tumbled to the ground on Opening Night when his cleats got caught in the dirt, but was uninjured.

Oliver Perez:  Spent over two months on the disabled list from May to July.  There is now some concern that he may have suffered a neck injury from twisting it to look at the long home runs he gave up to Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz on Sunday.

John Maine:  Has been on the disabled list with what the Guinness Book of World Records is calling the world’s most tired shoulder.  Guinness is also researching the length of his rehab assignment to determine if Maine will be adding a second world record to his résumé.

Darren O’Day:  Pitched in four games for the Mets in April before being designated for assignment.  Was picked up by the Texas Rangers and has pitched beautifully in Arlington, keeping them in the Wild Card chase that the Mets fell out of weeks ago.

J.J. Putz:  Has been on the disabled list for nearly three months and was scheduled to make rehab appearances in Brooklyn but was shut down.  His right forearm is still hurting and there is now a slight tear that has been discovered.  He will be shut down for the rest of the season and will now stay in Brooklyn to practice for the next hot dog eating contest.

The law firm of Feliciano, Green, Parnell, Rodriguez and Stokes has been able to remain healthy, but they have occasionally been known to lose a few cases.  After performing their duties on the mound, they are considering taking on some medical malpractice suits that their injured teammates have presented to them.  The suits are based on the Mets’ inability to disable them when they needed to be shut down, exacerbating their injuries and keeping them out for longer periods of time, effectively wiping out their 2009 seasons.  There are numerous plaintiffs in this case, some of which are presented below.

Brian Schneider:  Spent six weeks on the disabled list from mid-April to late May with a muscle strain in his back.  Apparently, he also has a muscle strain in his bat, as his batting average has dipped below the Mendoza line.

Ramon Castro:  Lost his backup job to Omir Santos and took his Imperial Death March theme music to the South Side of Chicago.  Soon after, he caught Mark Buehrle’s perfect game.  It was the first time he was the catcher for Buehrle.

The entire Mets infield (Delgado, Castillo, Reyes, Wright, Cora):  Except for Castillo, the other four are currently on the disabled list getting their cases together for their attorneys.  Somehow, Luis Castillo is the only infielder not to make an appearance on the disabled list this year.  However, he did miss four games when he forgot to use two hands…on the Citi Field dugout handrail.

Marlon Anderson:  Stuck in traffic somewhere.

Carlos Beltran:  Has been on the disabled list since June.  Wants to return but has not yet run the bases.  Has spent his time off practicing his new guarantee for the 2010 season to be revealed during next year’s spring training.

Ryan Church:  Took his two home runs to Atlanta in a trade for Jeff Francoeur.  No word if the Devil joined Church when he went down to Georgia.  Also apparently donated his concussion to the David Wright Foundation.

Gary Sheffield:  Did the equivalent of turning water into wine by turning a right leg cramp into a 15-day DL stint.  Has played relatively well despite his tender legs.

Daniel Murphy, Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis:  These three 2009 Mets have not been injured this year.  That’s because they hold the natural antidote to the injury bug that has permeated throughout the Mets clubhouse.  Unfortunately, since the Mets’ medical team is being taken to court by the residents of the DL Hotel, there is no one left to take their blood samples so that they can cure everyone’s maladies.  Ah, sweet irony!

Manager Jerry Manuel has not been injured, but he was recently seen in this disturbing image, making a gesture resembling a gun pointed at his head.  No word on whether GM Omar Minaya was anywhere in the room when this picture was taken.

There you have it, my friends.  You have now been reacquainted with the team that took the field and was in the dugout on that early April day when hopes were high and injuries were low.  Regarding those injuries, there is something positive that could come out of it.  The majority of the team will now be eligible for the 2010 Comeback Player of The Year Award.  Now if only somebody could just locate Marlon Anderson.  I knew the Mets should have included a GPS system for his car in his contract!

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Will The Mets Party Like It’s 1987? Fri, 17 Jul 2009 03:00:25 +0000 Much has been made about the 2009 Mets resembling the 1987 team because of the injuries.  The difference is that this year’s injuries have mainly cost the Mets their offensive spark plugs while the 1987 team lost their starting pitchers to various injuries.  I have done extensive research on the 1987 team and I will try to show why the current team is not dead yet.  For those of you who already know the ending to the saga of the 1987 season, please don’t spoil it for our younger readers.  I’m trying to give them a little bit of hope here.

If you’re a Mets fan who’s thirty-something like I am, you might remember the 1987 season.  It was the year the Mets were supposed to repeat as World Champions.  They entered the season on such a high.  Unfortunately, for Dwight Gooden, he entered the season on a different kind of high.  His stay at the Smithers Rehabilitation Facility for cocaine abuse started the Mets DL merry-go-round that year.

The starting staff from the 1986 World Champion Mets (Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Bobby Ojeda, Sid Fernandez) were all back with the team in 1987.  Gooden’s time in rehab kept him out for the first two months of the season, moving Rick Aguilera from spot starter/fifth starter into the core of four.  Also moving up into the fifth spot was recently acquired David Cone.  As with the 2009 Mets, April went by without any additional injuries to the main guys.  All that changed once the calendar turned to May.

The 2009 Mets lost two of their best hitters in May when Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes succumbed to the injury bug.  Similarly, the 1987 Mets lost two of their starting pitchers in May when Bobby Ojeda and Rick Aguilera went down.  Ojeda was out for four months and Aguilera was out for three.  The Mets tried to fill their shoes with rookies, career minor leaguers and journeymen pitchers.  Players like John Mitchell (19 starts, 3-6 record) and Terry Leach (12 starts, 7-1 in those starts, 11-1 overall) were called upon to be key players in the Mets title defense.  Don Schulze, John Candelaria, Tom Edens and Jeff Innis also started games for the Mets in 1987.  By the All-Star Break, the Mets were a mediocre team trying to stay close to the red-uniformed rival of the day, the St. Louis Cardinals.  They were 10½ games out of first place before winning the final series before the All-Star Break.  The fans were disenchanted with the team and it appeared as if the injuries had led the Mets to a lost season.

Do you see where this is going?  Do you notice a parallel yet?  But wait, there’s more…

While we were all dancing to “La Bamba”, the 1987 Mets started to overcome their injuries.  Even with another starter going down in late July (Sid Fernandez), the Mets were coming together as a team.  They took advantage of a number of games played against second division teams and started to creep up in the standings.  Dwight Gooden had already come back from his rehab stint and Rick Aguilera returned in August.  Soon afterwards, Bobby Ojeda came off the disabled list and the team was whole again.  The Mets had cut the Cardinals’ lead in the division to 1½ games by early September and appeared to be ready to make their move into first place when St. Louis flew into New York for the start of a three-game series on September 11, 1987.  That’s when the injury bug returned to the Shea Stadium mound.  On that night, Ron Darling took one small dive for man, one painful leap for Mets-kind and Mets fans were introduced to Terry F. Pendleton.  (Before the game, he was just Terry Pendleton to Mets fans.  The middle initial was added after the game ended.  You figure it out.)

Darling had been superb that night, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning while protecting a three-run lead.  Then Vince Coleman tried to bunt his way on, forcing Darling to dive in vain for the ball.  Coleman broke up the no-hitter with his bunt single.  That wasn’t the only thing broken on the play, as Darling injured his thumb while trying to protect his no-hitter, although he did not come out of the game until the seventh inning.  Had Darling not injured himself, he might have been allowed to stay in the game.  After all, he had been shutting down the Cardinals all night and pitchers in the 1980s were more apt to finish what they started.  Because of his injury, the bullpen was pressed into action.  Still nursing a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning, Roger McDowell was called upon to shut the door on the Cardinals.  With three more outs, the Mets would have cut St. Louis’ lead in the NL East to a scant ½ game.  McDowell had recorded two outs but then gave up a run-scoring single to Willie McGee.  Up stepped Terry Pendleton to the plate as the tying run and he homered to straightaway center, earning his middle initial in perpetuity.  The Cardinals went on to score two runs in the tenth inning off Jesse Orosco to defeat the Mets 6-4 and open up a 2½ game lead in the division.  For all intents and purposes, the 1987 season ended when Roger McDowell’s sinker to Terry F. Pendleton didn’t sink.

Now let’s walk like an Egyptian back to the present day.  It’s no longer 1987.  It’s the beginning of the second half of the 2009 season.  Once again, the Mets are putting together a team of rookies and journeymen players to fill in for key players who have gone down for extended periods of time.  Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado’s positions are being kept warm by Alex Cora, Jeremy Reed and Daniel Murphy.  The team has struggled but is still only 6½ games out of first.  Whether it’s by Minaya’s machinations or the imminent (or not so imminent in some cases) return of the injured players, this team will find a way to improve itself.  The 1987 team remained afloat for months until the stars returned to help them make a run at first that ultimately fell three games short.  The 2009 team is trying to repeat that feat.  The pessimist will see this team and think of it as an epic fail, making poor baserunning decisions and not playing fundamentally sound baseball.  The optimist will look back at the 1987 Mets who had to face similar injuries and come back from a larger deficit at the All-Star Break.  Which one am I?  Let’s just say that I expect to see meaningful games in September at Citi Field.  The Mets might fall short at the end like they did in 1987, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

The big hair might have been replaced by dreadlocks and the acid-washed jeans might have decomposed by now, but I’m still a believer in 1987.  We don’t have to be “Livin’ On A Prayer” to make it this season.  I believe the Mets still have what it takes to “Push It”.  Why, I even think they can push it real good!  Starting with their first game in Atlanta, the Mets must also believe, not in 1987, but in themselves.  Who knows?  If they go on a little run, they might get their confidence back just in time to say “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Okay, enough of the 1987 references.  I hope you all enjoy the second half of the 2009 baseball season!  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lie down and try to catch a rerun of ALF.  I hope it’s one of my favorite episodes.  Where’s the VHS tape when you need it?

]]> 0 These Mets Are Not “Loveable Losers” Sun, 28 Jun 2009 15:03:06 +0000 The Mets go into tonight’s nationally broadcast game having already lost the season series to the Yankees. With Livan Hernandez taking on Chien-Ming Wang, we should have a chance. Key word: should. With the recent luck of this team, we will probably embarrass ourselves while making Wang look like Cy Young. The Mets are coasting by, hoping that the Phillies will continue to lose and making every game a “don’t have to win but it wouldn’t hurt to win situation.” The only thing amazing about the Amazin’s right now is that they never fail to find a new way to lose.

I keep going back to the 1962 Mets, trying to figure out what the difference was between this current depleted Mets team and the scraps from the other teams that were used to establish this team. The 1962 Mets were the worst team in modern history, going 40-120 and they were 60.5 games behind the NL Champ San Francisco Giants. Sure, the 2009 Mets may be in second place right now, but they aren’t doing anything to catch up to the Phillies OR try to run away from the Braves (who are now only a half game out of second).

The 1962 Mets were bad. Their pitchers allowed 948 runs, which was the most in the majors that season. Our pitching staff, I feel, does their job by keeping this team in the game (except for the occasional blowout); the offense lets them down. The leading hitter on the 1962 Mets was Felix Mantilla, and he only hit .275! Craig Anderson wishes he had K-Rod’s 20 saves but his 4 saves led the team.

The 2009 Mets, I believe, are worse than the ’62 Mets. They are uninspiring to watch. They make Little League errors and have already stranded the population of Rhode Island on the base paths. The only thing we have going for us is David Wright and his NL-Leading .348 batting average. My only hope for this team right now is that the front office realizes that we totally stink and try to make it better, even if it means giving up Fernando Martinez or Daniel Murphy.

The 1962 Mets were at least likeable. They were an escape from the Pinstripes of Evil. Sure, they lost, but at least Mets fans back then thought it couldn’t get any worse. It just did.

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Are You Hanging On For This Roller Coaster Ride? Wed, 20 May 2009 14:28:52 +0000 Okay, I’ll admit that even though I live in the central time zone, I’m not staying up until midnight or later to watch our Mets.  And I’m certainly not going to watch as they are on the big drop portion of the roller coaster ride that is the 2009 season.  An error and timely hitting by the other team once again did the Mets in last night, and they have now lost three in a row after winning the first three games in San Francisco late last week. 


I said last week that the errors were still happening but that awesome hitting, speed, run production and effective pitching were covering them up.  Now, as injuries to Carlos Delgado, Alex Cora and Jose Reyes have hurt the team offensively and defensively, the weaknesses are once again exposed, and they have also run into a very hot (though Manny-less) Dodgers’ team. 


I have no doubt that the Mets will regain the magic they showed in the first half of this month, but the ugly baseball being played is a very disturbing constant.  Pelfrey balks three times?  Church forgets to touch third base?  Those types of mistakes should never happen in the big leagues.  And the Mets, with their enormous payroll, should not rank third in the majors in errors (32, trailing only Washington and Seattle).


And I don’t want to harp on the negative, because there has been so much to be optimistic about as well, but the Mets currently rank tied for 27th in baseball with just 26 home runs.  The Yankees, by contrast, have 61 homers even with A-Rod missing the first month and a half of the season.  The division-leading Phillies have 51, and do you want a telling statistic?  The Phillies have committed just 11 errors, lowest in the majors. 


Like I said, I really believe the Mets will turn it back around, and hopefully they do before facing the Red Sox this weekend.  But it’s not going to be a smooth ride.  So strap yourself in, Mets fans, and let’s hope we don’t all puke at the end of the ride. 

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