Mets Merized Online » 2010 Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 25 Feb 2017 11:00:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.18 The 2009 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/the-2009-mets-where-are-they-now-2.html/#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 03:23:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128581 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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The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/the-2010-mets-where-are-they-now.html/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128129 jose-reyes-mets-2012

If you are a Mets fan, you know that David Wright is still with team, or that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are in Toronto and St. Louis, respectively. But what happened to guys like Nick Evans or Rod Barajas? We have the answers.

11 Players who made it into a game in 2010 with the Mets, are still employed by the team. That would be the aforementioned David Wright, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada (Although he is currently with Triple-A Las Vegas, he is still on the Mets payroll), Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jon Niese, Pedro Feliciano (Although he made another stop in the Bronx, he is with the Mets once again), Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, and Jenrry Mejia.

10 players are employed by another Major League team. That would be Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Beltran, Josh Thole, Henry Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Rodriguez, and Oliver Perez.

MLB: SEP 22 Mets v Marlins

As you may know, Jose Reyes was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason in a blockbuster deal involving Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and now former Met, John Buck. Reyes now puts on his uniform in the same locker room as R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, who were traded together this past offseason from the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud, Buck, and Noah Syndergaard (don’t forget Wuilmer Beccera!). Angel Pagan was traded to the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez who have both since played again for the team they were traded from.

Carlos Beltran was traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler, but has since made his home in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals, where he has enjoyed a couple of very nice seasons, including an All Star appearance this summer. Henry Blanco, who served as the Mets backup catcher in 2010, beat out Josh Thole for the same position on this year’s Toronto Blue Jays team, but was released and then signed by the Seattle Mariners who made the corresponding move by releasing 2012 Met alumni, Kelly Shoppach. Blanco played in Arizona for the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.

Joaquin Arias, of whom the Mets received for Jeff Francoeur late in the 2010 season, played for the Kansas City Royals in 2011, and was then given a championship ring after serving as Pablo Sandoval‘s ninth inning defensive replacement in 2012 for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a key hitter off the bench for the Giants in 2013. Mike Pelfrey, after failing to play a month in the 2012 season, was signed by the Minnesota Twins, where his 5-10 record and 5.06 ERA is good enough to keep him in the starting rotation.

Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers in 2011 for Daniel Herrera (yes the 5-6 guy) and a minor leaguer, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline this year, downgrading from a closer to a setup man. Finally, Oliver Perez signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and is proving to be an effective arm out of their bullpen. You would think that Perez’s ERA of 9.72 with Henry Blanco behind the plate would be the highest among catchers who have caught the Mexican native, but no. That award goes to Josh Thole, who provides Ollie with a sparkling 16.20 ERA.

Eight players are in the minor leagues with another organization. They are Mike Nickeas, Mike Hessman, Luis Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Nick Evans, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve, and Pat Misch.

Mike Nickeas, who was in the same deal that sent R.A. Dickey north of the border, is currently with the Blue Jays Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, a team Nickeas has played for many times when they were the Mets affiliate. Nickeas has failed to make the Majors this season, playing 55 games in Buffalo. Mike Hessman, who is seven home runs shy of 400 for his minor league career and one shy of 15 for his Major League career, is currently a member of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team of the Cincinnati Reds, where he is teammates with base stealing extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton. Hessman played in Japan in 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes, and was with the Astros Triple A team in 2012.

Luis Hernandez, who played all of 17 games for the Mets, is with the Indians Triple-A team, after playing in the Texas Rangers organization in 2012. Nick Evans is the only 2010 Met alumni playing in Double-A. Evans, who is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliated Mobile Baybears, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2012. Mike Jacobs was the placeholder at first base until Ike Davis came up in 2010 but he is now with the Diamondbacks Triple-A team. Jacobs also stopped in Colorado Springs, Toronto, and Mexico. Hisanori Takahashi, who has 12 games started and 21 games finished as a Met, has played in the Majors with the Angels, Pirates, and Cubs. He is now a member of the Colorado Rockies Triple-A team. Fernando Nieve hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010, but he has played with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, and currently the Athletics, all in Triple-A. Finally, Pat MIsch has seen time with the Phillies and Tigers Triple-A teams.

Five players are not currently with a Major League organization. The names are Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, John Maine, and Sean Green.

Francoeur was traded to the Rangers for Joaquin Arias in August of 2010. He spent the rest of the year there. Frenchy played in Kansas City during 2011 and 2012, but was released midway through the 2013 season. The Giants picked him up, where he played 22 games. Francouer was designated for assignment of August 20th, and released two days later. Barajas played with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012, before being signed by the Diamondbacks. He ultimately lost the bid to be Miguel Montero‘s backup, as the DBacks went with Wil Nieves instead.

Jason Bay, who was released after the 2012 season much to the delight of Mets fans, was signed by the Mariners for the 2013 season. He hit a home run in his first spring training at bat, but after a disapointing season, was released of August 6th to make room for Mike Morse. John Maine spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, and pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Bare Yankees for all of 2012. He played for the Miami Marlins in April of this year, but was released on April 22. The sidearmer, Sean Green pitched with the Brewers in 2011, before playing with the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team in 2012. He also pitched with the Somerset Patriots in 2012 of the Independent Leagues but has not found a team since.

Six players have officially retired. They are Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Tobi Stoner.

Luis Castillo was released by the Mets at the same time they released Oliver Perez. Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a disappointing spring training, he was released, at which time he retired. Alex Cora was released by the Mets in August of 2010, and he played the rest of the year with the Rangers. He played with the Washington Nationals in 2011, and was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2012, which didn’t work out. He is now a baseball analyst for ESPN (his brother Joey does the same work for MLB Network). Fernando Tatis was injured of July 4th of 2010. He was placed on the DL the next day and was transferred to the 60-day DL 10 days later. That turned out to be his last major league game as he retired after the season.

The “Son of the Sarge”, Gary Matthews Jr., was released by the Mets on June 15th, 2010. He signed with the Reds on June 24th and played the rest of the year with their Triple-A team, before retiring. Frank Catalanotto was designated for assignment of May 10th, when the Mets brought up Chris Carter. After failing to sign with another team, he retired in March of 2011. Finally, the German-born Tobi Stoner was released by the Mets in March of 2012. During that season, he played in the Independent Leagues with the Bridgeport Blue Fish and the Somerset Patriots. He retired before the 2013 season.

manny acosta

Four players are currently playing in foreign countries. Chris Carter, Manny Acosta, and Ryota Igarashi are playing in Japan, and Jesus Feliciano is playing in Mexico.

Carter (no not the former A’s prospect) played in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves Minor League system in 2011 before moving to Japan to play with the Seibu Lions in 2012 and 2013. Carter is 3-26 (.115) with three RBI in nine games this year. He is teammates with Kazuhisa Ishii. Manny Acosta pitched for the Mets through 2012 but signed with the Yomuri Giants in 2013 after being released. In 14 games he has an ERA of 5.54. His teammates include former major leaguers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker.

Ryota Igarashi played with the Mets until 2011. He then played in the minor leagues with the Yankees and the Blue Jays in 2012 though he pitched in the majors with both teams. He is now pitching with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he sports a 2.15 ERA in 36 games. He is teammates with with Vicente Padilla and former Mets minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena. Jesus Feliciano, who has signed with the Mets four different times in his career, played in all of his 54 career games with the Mets in 2010. He played with the Buffalo Bisons in 2011, the Durham Bulls in 2012, and he is now playing in Mexico with the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. He has only played in three games with one hit.

One player is currently a coach. Elmer Dessens is the assistant pitching coach for the AZL Reds in the Arizona League (The Arizona equivalent to Florida’s Gulf Coast League). And here’s a fun piece of information. The manager of that AZL Reds team is former Met, Eli Marrero who the Mets received in 2006 when they traded Kazuo Matsui to the Rockies.

Well, now you know what happened to the 2010 Mets. Next week we’ll look at the players from Citi Field’s inaugural year, 2009.

LGM

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The Return Of The Pitcher http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/the-return-of-the-pitcher.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/the-return-of-the-pitcher.html/#comments Sun, 24 Oct 2010 14:20:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=37706 The 2010 Postseason has seen an impressive resurgence in the art of pitching. So far six shutouts have been recorded. Only twice in major league history has there been more in a postseason, the latest being in 2001 when seven were tossed.

MLB has a cumulative ERA of 3.35, the only team that seems to have escaped this pitching swoon are the New York Yankees, who’s team ERA pushed 5.00. The same New York Yankees who spent what some have called an obscene amount of money, $234.5 million, signing the likes of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett to multi-year contracts in 2009.

What may seem obscene to some, one could argue it helped buy/earn the Yankees their 27th World Series title last season. However that was then and this is now.

If you survey the landscapes of the teams in this postseason, the evidence of pitching depth becomes more and more prevalent, as does the time tested argument that pitching and defense wins championships.

The Yankees may have had the deepest of all rotations having the likes of Sabathia, Pettite, Hughes and the beleaguered Burnett, however of all the teams this post season, none had higher expectations then the reigning champs.

Unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers, their pitching depth didn’t translate into a World Series berth this time around. How sad.

As Major League Baseball slowly recovers from the “Steroid era”, a pitching renaissance has occurred the likes of which hearkens back to the mid sixties to early seventies.

In 1965 the Minnesota Twins were offensively what the Yankees are today and were shutout a mere three times that year. That was until Sandy Koufax shut them out twice in October alone – blanking the Twins on just two days rest in game seven of the 1965 Series.

In 1968, Bob Gibson’s Cardinals took on Mickey Lolich’s Detroit Tigers and in the series opener, Gibson tossed a five-hit shutout striking out seventeen. Unfortunately for Gibson, it was Lolich and his Tigers who bested the Cardinals in ’68.

Flash forward to 2010 and the Phillies Roy Halladay joined baseball immortality when he pitched just the second perfect game in Postseason history when he beat Cincinnati this past October 6th.

Philadelphia has employed the three-headed monster approach, with a formidable rotation of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. While the Phillies shared in the Yankees postseason misfortunes this year – again so sad – it’s an approach that historically has yielded results   The 1970 World Champion Baltimore Orioles had three twenty game winners in Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, and Mike Cuellar. Take the 1995 World Champion Braves whose rotation included future Hall of Famers, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

According to Greek mythology, Cerberus is the three headed beast which guards the gates to Hades. As a Met fan is it really a mystery that the gates to hell lead to downtown Philly and Atlanta?

The San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers have featured their own pitching triple-punches and may very well ride them to the gates of postseason heaven. Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis have led the charge for the Rangers past the reigning champion Yankees while Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez are San Francisco’s treats. The Rangers have a postseason team ERA of 2.76 and the Giants have sported an even more minuscule 2.47.  Is it any wonder why these two teams have earned the right to play in the Fall Classic?

All of this has led me to reflect on the Mets pitching staff. The general consensus is that the Mets never really needed another front line pitcher. Understandably the Mets were offensively woeful partially because it’s star center-fielder missed the majority of the season and it’s newly acquired power bat in left field was anything but powerful, not to mention the time it’s star lead-off hitter spent on the disabled list. All valid reasons for their anemic offense. Not necessarily excuses – just facts.

The 2010 Mets lost 26 games by one run this season. In those 26 losses the Mets gave up an average of 4.5 runs per game and scored 3.69 runs in that span. Of the 26 games, 18 were started by someone other than Santana or Pelfrey.

Now, would the Mets have had a better chance of winning any of those 18 games if they had a front line arm at their disposal, more so than another bat? If they won 12 of those 18 games, the Mets would have won 91 games – the same total as the National League Wild Card Braves

Of course this is all moot and pie in the sky speculation. The Mets arguably could have prospered just as much if not more than from a potent hitting outfielder. And yes we all know by now all the reasons nothing was done to bring anyone in. Like I said it’s just idle speculation and if anything, it shows you just how important a one run loss in May can effect what you’re doing come October.

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And The Award For The 2010 Mets Whipping Boy Goes To… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/and-the-award-for-the-2010-mets-whipping-boy-goes-to.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/and-the-award-for-the-2010-mets-whipping-boy-goes-to.html/#comments Mon, 04 Oct 2010 09:06:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=36958 He’s a terrible manager. He burns out the bullpen. He hooks the starters too quickly. The players don’t respond to him. There’s dissension in the clubhouse. He’s lost control of the team. He needs to go. Once we get rid of him things will improve.

No, I’m not talking about Jerry Manuel. I heard these same comments leading up the heavily anticipated firing of Willie Randolph. I thought once we got rid of Willie we would be champions. So we did. And son of a gun–not a thing changed. At first, we were ready to throw Jerry Manuel his own ticker tape parade. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Mets folded in September 08 under Manuel, just like they did in September 07 under Randolph. Then we followed that up with 2 consecutive 4th place finishes, a combined 41 games out of 1st.

I’ve never been a big fan of Manuel and I will not be sorry to see him go. But on the other hand, this team has many deep seeded issues and replacing the manager will not solve all of them. Granted, it may be a step in the right direction but I don’t see things improving. It will take years and I don’t see our fan base willing to wait.

Taking baby steps helps, but not when you’re climbing Mount Everest.

Omar Minaya came to NY as one of the most respected men in baseball. He leaves with his reputation tarnished–tarnished by the fans, by the media and by a megalomaniacal boss. Omar made some bad decisions during his time in NY. The signing of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo will be his legacy that fans crucify him for. But he also put the pieces in place to give us a damn good chance to win. He locked up the future, Wright and Reyes, to long term contracts. He brought in 5 tool superstar Carlos Beltran for 7 seasons in the prime years of his career. He brought in veterans like Carlos Delgado who wanted to win. And Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine who knew how to win. He shocked us all by snagging Johan when no one thought it was possible. And when we needed a closer, he gave us K-Rod after his record setting season.

Hindsight can always be 20/20. But Omar did exactly what a GM was supposed to do: He loaded the gun. The Mets just fired blanks.

Overspending on Castillo and Perez were mistakes. But keep in mind it’s still the Wilpon’s decision to pull the trigger or not. It’s the Wilpons who sign the paychecks, not Minaya.

I hope I’m wrong but I just cant “believe” that once we get rid of Minaya and Manuel things will improve. Johan will miss a good chunk of time next year, we have no closer, Beltran and Reyes may be on borrowed time. And as of right now, our ace next year may very well be a 36 year old knuckle-baller.

At this moment, I’m sure Omar and Jerry are staring at the clock more then Jack Bauer. I’m sure once we get rid of them, things will improve tenfold, hundredfold maybe. Just like they did when we got rid of Willie Randolph…or Aaron Heilman…or Braden Looper…or Rick Peterson…or Armando Benitez.

Although the 2010 Mets increased their win total by 9, 5th most in the majors this season, Jerry Manuel will be gone. The man who replaces him will be our 20th manager. 20 managers in 49 seasons.

And Omar will be gone, too. He will leave NY beaten and defeated and his reputation in question. But he will most likely be hired quickly by another organization. And while the Mets continue to wander aimlessly in the forest of mediocrity, Omar will be building a winner. A few years from now I predict he will be standing in a clubhouse, champagne spraying on his $2500 suit. He will be standing on a dais alongside a manager, an owner and the commissioner. And what will we be doing? Probably pointing the finger at someone else, finding the next poster boy for everything that is wrong with this team.

We seem to be quite adept at pointing fingers and making excuses. But while we use our fingers to point–or voice our disgust at the Wilpons–other players are putting World Series rings on theirs.

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Like The 2010 Mets, Jerry Manuel Fades Into Obscurity http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/like-the-2010-mets-jerry-manuel-fades-into-obscurity.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/like-the-2010-mets-jerry-manuel-fades-into-obscurity.html/#comments Fri, 01 Oct 2010 14:45:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=36824 It was interesting to hear Jerry Manuel evaluate his performance a couple of nights ago on SNY, admitting he pushed the envelope in bringing back Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and the experiment with Reyes at third.

Much of the self-evaluation had been written by posters at the time, but it must be remembered Manuel is working off different information and conditions that we were.

Quite simply, Manuel knew there was pressure on him to win this year, and that only made it easier to be tempted, especially when the player says he’s ready.

Manuel didn’t get into it, but there was inconsistency in how he made out his lineup, set up his bullpen and bench. Lest we not forget, it was Manuel’s insistence to stay with Jenrry Mejia, who has been shut down with a shoulder injury.

I also didn’t like how Manuel handled Jeff Francoeur and John Maine, but there will always be dust ups in the player-manager relationship.

Tuesday night Manuel was candid, forthright and honest. There was very little excuse making, other than to say the collapse of the offense played a major factor into the season’s outcome. And. I don’t look at that as an excuse as much as a statement of fact.

If this had been Manuel’s first season with the Mets, you could make an argument for another chance, but he presided over the September collapse in 2008 and last year’s disaster. There were extenuating circumstances after both that warranted a second chance, the bottom line is that through a myriad of reasons, the Mets have taken a step back since 2006, and in this market, with this stadium and the expectations, somebody will have to pay the price for failure.

Keeping Manuel with roughly the same payroll as this season is to tell the fanbase “our hope is that we stay healthy and improve,’’ which is something they’ve been saying since Carlos Beltran took that third strike from Adam Wainwright.

Keeping Manuel would be saying this year was acceptable.

***
John Delcos has covered Major League Baseball for over 20, including the last dozen in New York. You can read his blog, http://www.newyorkmetsreport.com

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Attention New York Mets: The Season Is 162 Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/attention-new-york-mets-the-season-is-162-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/10/attention-new-york-mets-the-season-is-162-games.html/#comments Fri, 01 Oct 2010 08:35:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=36810 I like to think that I know a lot about Baseball. I know more then some, less then others. One thing I am sure of, however, is the that the season is 162 games. This is one fact that appears to have been forgotten by the 2010 Mets.

The one constant theme of the Mets has been we’ve always been the underdog. And it’s one of those traits that endears this team to us. Even before we played our first game in 1962 the Yankees sought legal action to prevent NL baseball from returning to this city. It’s always been an uphill battle. But we’ve always “believed.” And we believe in this team because of one simple fact: We’ve never given up….Until now.

In 1969, we ran down a supposedly superior Cubs team to win the pennant, out slugged a Braves team loaded with power hitters and then created a miracle by defeating an Orioles team loaded with future Hall of Famers. We never gave up. 1973 saw us upset ‘The Big Red Machine’ and then push the Oakland A’s in the midst of their dynasty to 7 games. We never gave up. In 2000, we met up against the Yankees in the midst of their dynasty. And although the Yankees prevailed, we lost 4 games by a total of 5 runs. Even in 2006, when we were heavily favored, we didn’t give up, loading the bases in the bottom of the 9th of Game 7 of the NLCS. 1986 saw us dominate the season from day one. But that season will be remembered for one thing. Trailing by 2 runs with 2 outs and the bases empty in Game 6, the Mets didn’t give up. One out away from elimination, one strike away from elimination. But we didn’t roll over.

In all fairness to this years team it’s hard to win under extenuating circumstances when everyone is living on borrowed time. Jerry Manuel makes decisions on the field while wondering how he can justify the move after the game if it doesn’t work out. Omar Minaya knows that every decision he makes will be second guessed…and third guessed…and fourth guessed. The players themselves play with one eye on the game and one eye on the clock, wondering where they may be playing next season.

But these outside actions are part of the game. The good teams, winning teams, push these distractions aside and go out and play. I don’t recall any scene in a champagne-spraying clubhouse upon winning a championship and hearing a manager or player saying, ‘Winning it all this year was really easy.’

What frustrates me about this season is the lack of heart, the lack of a fire in the belly. And the willingness to seemingly give up. The season is 162 games and anything can happen. But this years club seemingly threw in the towel long before. The fear of losing replaced the desire to win.

On August 13, 1969, the Mets were in 3rd place, 10 games out, but they didn’t quit. In 1973 we were 10 games under 500 and in 6th place with only 30 games remaining. They didn’t quit. They kept fighting for all 162 games. Did you see that kind of heart in 2010? I sure didn’t. What I see instead is someone hitting a slow roller along the 1st base line to Buckner—and standing motionless in the batters box, assuming the ball will roll foul.

On July 11, 2010, Johan tossed 7 shutout innings, K-Rod picked up his 21st save, we defeated the Braves 3-0 and moved to within 4 games of 1st place heading to the All-Star break. And now our All-Star CFer was returning. Things were looking good. While speaking with reporters, David Wright stated, ‘The road trip after the break is a great test for us, a big challenge.’

Truer words were never spoken. The Mets came out and proceeded to play .286 ball, losing 15 of the next 21. For all intents and purposes, the season was over by the 3rd week of July. Lifelessness became the norm. Lackadaisical play became the routine. Excuses started being made. And the clock kept ticking. Jerry and Omar became lame ducks. We were not out of it by any stretch of the imagination but yet, the players acted as if we were. Instead of attempting to dust ourselves off and turn it up a notch for the last 55-60 games, we rolled over and became a $125 million doormat for the rest of the league to wipe their feet on.

Thanks to the 2010 Mets I now see the difference between losing and giving up.

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The Best 15 Man Team In Baseball – The New York Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/09/the-best-15-man-team-in-baseball-the-new-york-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/09/the-best-15-man-team-in-baseball-the-new-york-mets.html/#comments Sun, 05 Sep 2010 14:42:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=35517 The Mets so far have had one of the best seasons of any team in Major League Baseball…seriously.  I know you must think Spector’s finally lost it. Follow me on this one.

The Mets this season have fielded about 15 players who have actually contributed – a far cry from the normal 25 man roster. Let’s reminisce and go back to early Spring – Port St. Lucie – when hope was abundant – when we all thought Oliver Perez was rip roaring and ready to hit the ground at CitiField running, repaired “injured” knee and all.

The Mets were unable – or unwilling – to land a starting pitcher this past off season. The Mets were forced to enter the 2010 season with Johan Santana leading a staff of Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez and Jon Niese or as I always liked to call it – One man and a little hazy.

How pathetic in retrospect is that rotation? Santana aside, Pelfrey and Niese were the only two usable arms in that cadre and as the year progressed we had the opportunity to see Hisanori Takahashi start as well as the emergence of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Even with the surprisingly productive year of Dickey, the Mets at times this year, were just getting by with 3 reliable arms – sometimes even less.

The lineup envisioned by the powers that be included the bats of Rod Barajas, Luis Castillo, Jason Bay, Jeff Francouer and returning from injuries Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

At times this season, Jerry Manuel’s lineup card might as well been partially left blank since more times than not there were at least four slots in the Mets lineup virtually unproductive. No team can compete for a championship with a handicap like that.

Take Rod Barajas who started the season on a torrid pace blasting 11 homeruns in his first month in Queens alone. After that glorious month, a picture of Rod Barajas’ Louisville slugger found it’s way on the side of milk cartons in local area bodegas. He hit an appalling .225 with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and a .677 OPS until being claimed off waivers by Los Angeles.

Luis Castillo. What can we say about Louie that hasn’t been already? He’s regressed worse than Chevy Chase’s career with a decaying range at second base that at this rate I bet Betty White can out-field our second baseman – but he found the stones to demand a trade for lack of playing time. Good idea Louie Louie and we gotta go, hey hey hey hey.

The outfield for the Mets this year has been a mishmash of players getting and returning from injury. Francoeur, a former “Natural” standout player with a great personality that has unfortunately seen his best days pass him – was sent packing from Atlanta last year and recently was traded to Texas. Francoeur’s numbers as a Met – .225 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI, and a .836 OPS. A good guy who gave 110% – too bad it was 110% of Jeff Francouer baseball. There was a reason Bobby Cox let him go. Still doubt his baseball acumen?

Jason Bay was brought in with the intention of powering the offense. A poor man’s Matt Holliday – if you want to call a $66 million dollar contract poor – Bay has never seemed quite comfortable in the confines of CitiField. An assessment of Bay’s production last year showed that the majority of his round trippers were dead pull shots at Fenway. Considering left field at Citi fares no worse than Fenway- in fact slightly better considering the lack of the Green Monster – it was safe to assume Bay would do quite well at CitiField.

Of course Jason decided to become more of a gap hitter at Citifield thus ending that assumption. Bay’s numbers this year, .259 BA, 6 HR, 47 RBI and a .749 OPS. To add injury to insult, Bay ingloriously ended (perhaps?) his 2010 season when he slammed his head into the outfield fence in L.A., catching a fly ball, earning a concussion. Somewhere Ryan Church is popping an Excederin in solidarity.

Here is a list of players whom the Mets could have simply gotten by without –

1. Luis Castillo

2. Rod Barajas

3. Fernando Tatis

4. Alex Cora

5. Mike Jacobs

6. Gary Matthews Jr.

7. Jeff Francoeur

8. Jason Bay

9. John Maine

And last but certainly not least in all our hearts….

10. Oliver Perez

So Mets fans, stand up and give your team some credit here.  With the group of players ownership has given them to work with this year it’s absolutely a shock that the Mets have the respectable (albeit losing) record they have – so far.  Here’s to finding the silver lining and to hoping that the Mets keep bucking the trend through the remainder of the season.  Hopefully they can salvage what little baseball is left for them.

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Pat Misch Ready For 2010 Mets Debut On Saturday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/08/pat-misch-ready-for-2010-mets-debut-on-saturday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/08/pat-misch-ready-for-2010-mets-debut-on-saturday.html/#comments Wed, 11 Aug 2010 04:27:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=33674 According to Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY, Bisons starting pitcher Pat Misch was pulled after 55 pitches on Tuesday night and could be promoted to the Mets to make a start on Saturday vs. the Phillies.

Misch has a 3.23 ERA with the Bisons this season and is in line for his 11th win if Buffalo holds a lead tonight.

Adding Misch to the rotation would send left hander Hisanori Takahashi back to the bullpen, and maybe get an opportunity to be the teams setup man. Tonight, Takahashi looked great while pitching a perfect 8th inning against the Rockies.

Jerry Manuel has already announced that Takahashi would not make his Saturday start, further strengthening the possibility that Misch will get the start and make his 2010 Mets debut.

Misch produced his first major league win last Sept. 3 at Colorado, while pairing with Josh Thole in the catcher’s major league debut. Later that month, Misch’s other major league highlight occurred. Misch, who turns 29 in two weeks, shut out the Florida Marlins on Sept. 27 at Miami.

We’ve been calling for Misch to be promoted for a couple of months here on MMO, most recently on August 4th.

I don’t understand why the Mets took so long to finally give him a shot, but better late than never, right?

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The 2010 New York Mets…fellas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/the-2010-new-york-mets-fellas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/the-2010-new-york-mets-fellas.html/#comments Mon, 21 Jun 2010 04:21:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=29484 All season long so many of us have dissected in every which way possible, every move the New York Mets have made. Granted some of us have used hacksaws and some of us have used the precision of a neurosurgeon, to make our points. I’ve occasionally waded in both pools, admittedly.

The way the Mets have played this year have at times been quite frustrating, however, as fellow MMO writer Ed Leyro pointed out the Mets since starting the season at 4-8 have a record of 35 and 22.. That’s pretty damn good no matter how you dissect it.

The road has been this teams’ nemesis, sporting a record of 15-20. However this past week, these GoodFellas seem to be re-writing this season’s script having won 7 of their last 9 on the road.

The culmination of which ended Sunday in Yankee stadium as the Mets finished the 2010 Subway Series with a split, having won 2 out of 3 at Citifield and losing 2 out of 3 at Yankee Stadium.

If fortune really does favor the bold, then the next few weeks will probably determine the course the Mets take for the remainder of the season. Rumors and hopes of trading for a starter continue to meander around. Whether it be Lee, Oswalt or a cavalcade of lesser talents, a move does seem to be quite inevitable if not necessary.

Yet one thing remains constant with this team and thankfully so; they are gamers. Be it a result of the past few debacle seasons where the Mets self-destructed their way into the bowels of sports history or an organizational wide feeling that this is it –do or die– or expect wholesale changes.

The Mets, even in their losses, never fail to give 100 percent. Regardless our collective opinions of Jerry Manuel, he does deserve credit for demanding and eliciting this effort.

Take into account there are only 2 teams that seem to have had the Mets number so far this year. All in all, in spite of their issues, in spite of all of our griping, most of which is valid, the Marlins have won 6 out of 10 games against the Mets and the Nationals have won 5 out of 8. Those two teams have done the most damage to the Mets in 2010. Unfortunately both are divisional rivals, neither of which Ryan Howard or Roy Halladay play for.

There are 3 prominent axioms in baseball that have stood the test of time. Two of those being that pitching and defense wins championships. June has been a complete swoon for the Mets pitching staff having posted a 13-4 record and an ERA around 3. Defensively the Mets have committed 36 errors which ranks them 4th in the NL, with only 9 accounted so far in June.

The third axiom; to contend you have to play at least .500 on the road. Few teams have made the playoffs with losing road records. The latest being the 2008 White Sox when they compiled a 35-46 road record. The 2006 St Louis Cardinals bucked the trend. They finished that season with a road record of 34-47, and a World Series Championship.

Only two other teams in the last 15 years have won the World Series with a losing road record, both of which are the Florida Marlins of 1997 and 2003. It’s not impossible to win it all with a losing road record, but trepiditiously difficult.

As we’ve all come to witness, the 2010 Mets are unpredictable. When you think you have them pigeon holed as a certain “type” of team, anchoring the bottom of the National League East, they flick the switch and shift into that extra special gear. Win or lose, these Mets are warriors.

Considering what we’ve all felt the past 3 years it’s hard to find fault with the character of this group. We can’t demand perfection or be deterred by a single loss. Be proud of this team for its hustle and professionalism. Who knows what the next few months have in store.

 ”You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like, you’d say to somebody: You’re gonna like this guy; he’s all right. He’s a goodfella. He’s one of us. You understand? We were goodfellas, wiseguys…er..ummm….New York Mets.”

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2010 Mets: A Dynasty In The Making? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/2010-mets-a-dynasty-in-the-making.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/2010-mets-a-dynasty-in-the-making.html/#comments Fri, 18 Jun 2010 15:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=29277 As Mets fans, we’ve had our share of anguish and heartbreak over the years. In a way, we wouldn’t be Mets fans if it were not that way — long periods of frustration followed by a solitary moment of extreme jubilation and ecstasy.

I think the 2010 Mets are about to break the mold that has been the essential makeup for the Mets and their fans since their humble beginnings back in ’62 and first World Series in ’69. Nobody could ever accuse the Mets of ever being a dynasty at any point in their history. And when I say dynasty, I’m talking sheer dominance similar to how the Braves owned the NL East from 1991 to 2005. Of course, they could have done a better job of winning more than one World Series in those 14 trips to the post season, but getting their is 99.9% of the battle.

Getting back to the point of this post, I see in these 2010 Mets the potential for a long run of excellence and domination in their division. They have a foundation that all good dynasties require, and not just one or two core players to build the team around, but five or six of theses types of franchise players.

It all begins with Jose Reyes and David Wright who are the best at their positions in the NL when things are rolling right for them, of that there is no doubt. A catalyst at the top of the order and solid run producer in the middle, both only 27 and about to enter their prime years. Both also field their positions very well and are part of what will be a heck of an infield once the heir apparent as second base takes over.

Add to that, Ike Davis, who might be the first rookie in team history to debut as a seasoned veteran. Davis has shown a flair for the dramatic both at the plate and on the field where he fields his position with the best of them at first base. At 23 years old, Ike has already entrenched himself as the cleanup hitter and has performed admirably in that role. What I like best about him is that he continuously makes adjustments at the plate as the league adjusts to him, it’s a sign that he is legit. His power will only get better as he matures and hones in on his kill zone.

On the pitching side of things the Mets have a big young righthander in Mike Pelfrey, who after a down year last season, has reinvented himself to become the future ace everyone envisioned when he was selected in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He uses his size to his advantage and he has become an intimidating presence on the mound and probably more important than that, he has become the team’s stopper. Only 26, Big Pelf can still get better and take on a more significant role as one of the teams leaders.

Although he is 31-years old, don’t rule Johan Santana out as a core player. Southpaws typically pitch well into their late thirties and Santana can still confound opposing teams even if he has lost some zip on his fastball. He’s a Met until 2013 and the team still has an option for 2014, so consider him a part of the core and the veteran presence every good dynasty needs to keep the team grounded and confident.

Jonathon Niese perplexes me at this point and I’m not quite sure if he falls into my definition of a core player just yet. But apparently the Mets seem to think so, which was evidenced by their reluctance to trade the 23-year old lefthander for former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. If actions really do speak louder than words, then the Mets spoke volumes with that decision. I like Niese, but never saw him as anything more than a backend of the rotation guy as most scouts seem to believe. I love his curve and he seems to be a grinder on the mound, but for now I’ll put him on the bubble.

One pitcher who the Mets believe has the highest ceiling in the organization is Jenrry Mejia who now toils for the Mets bullpen. The kid has shown some flashes and has impressed at times, but still needs to refine his secondary pitches if he is to cash in on his enormous potential as a top of the rotation starter. Everyday he spends in the Mets bullpen, is another day wasted in terms of his development. Until the Mets put him back on the road to the rotation he is just your average, ordinary bullpen guy, and does not rise to the level of core player.

By my count, the Mets have five bona-fide core players, and that number could rise depending on how Niese and Mejia play out, as well as this year’s first rounder Matt Harvey, oft-injured outfielder Fernando Martinez, and a few others who need a little more simmering like Wilmer Flores, Reese Havens, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Dillon Gee and my sleeper pick, lefthander Mark Cohoon. 

Nobody knows how far this current Mets team will go, but they have already exceeded expectations, even those of ESPN who mocked the Mets all offseason and now sing their praises. But one thing is certain about the Mets that Omar built, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they are poised for the start of a great run of championship caliber baseball.

The Mets clearly have the core pieces to build around and complimentary players like Jason Bay, Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas and Angel Pagan who are all productive and add to the chemistry, help to complete the overall package and make the Mets contenders. Those complimentary players will always change and come and go over the next few years, but the core, which will be the driving force of this team, should remain steady and solid for many years to come and keep the Mets in the mix for the postseason for a long time.

If you are into sports betting, don’t be afraid to place your bets on the Mets going forward. Hey… they have already jumped from 100:1 on April 1st to 20:1 this week, to win the World Series this year. So I can’t be the only one feeling this optimistic about the future of this great franchise.

Lets Go Mets!

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Players Doing Their Part, Time For Fans And Management To Do Theirs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/players-doing-their-part-time-for-fans-and-management-to-do-theirs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/players-doing-their-part-time-for-fans-and-management-to-do-theirs.html/#comments Tue, 15 Jun 2010 14:21:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=29088 Today is June 15th and the NY Mets are currently 1 1/2 games out of first place in the division.  Pre-season analysts regarded the 2010 Mets as a cellar team, questioning Omar Minaya’s lack of motivation during free agency and through the countless “On Paper” comparisons of this 2010 Mets team with the 2008 World Series Winning and 2009 World Series Losing Philadelphia Phillies.  All in All, Mets fans were painted an uninspiring picture to look at even before the first pitch was thrown.

The first 1/3 of the season was anything but consisted, filled with peaks and valleys, winning streaks and losing streaks; the ability to label this team as a contender or pretender was apparently more difficult then pre-season predictions suggested.  One thing that the 2010 Mets have been consistent at is winning at home, with a home record of 24-10 through 63 games.  Even more surprising that their 14 games over 0.500 record at home, is the fact that the majority of these home victories have taken place in front of an unpacked Citi Field. 

Baseball is an interesting sport in that I believe a Championship team is produce as a result of 3 contributing factors all coming together to produce a winning environment.  These three factors are:

1) The Team – Team Chemistry, Overall Talent, Quality Reserves, Ability to Stay Healthy, Picking Each Other Up, Fighting and Battling through every game, Never Quitting on a Play, Staying In Contention

2) The Ownership – Ability to make Mid-Season Additions/Subtractions to aid the club for the second half and post-season

3) The Fans – In seat support of the team, create hostile environment for opposing teams, giving the ballpark it’s electricity!

As of June 15th, 2010 only one of these three factors have come through, that is the NY Mets, “The Team”.  They have grinded through the tough blow outs, continually trying to battle back when behind.  They have tacked on late inning runs to widen their lead and further ensuring a victory.  They have had minor leaguer’s step up and produce.  Fielders have picked up their Pitchers when they make bad pitches and the Pitchers have picked up the fielders when they have made fielding errors.  The NY Mets as a team are holding their end of the bargain, that is keep within striking distance of making the post-season. 

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, soon it will be time for the second piece of the the “Mets Tri Force” to step up and do it’s part by retrieving the necessary players needed to succeed in the second half of the season as well as the post-season.  The Team is doing their part by ensuring the Mets will be Buyers, not Sellers this July; and if I were Mets management, I would feel like I was sitting on a gold mine, where 1 or 2 good acquisitions could result in PAYDAY.  I can understand it may be hard to extend faith to Mets management, it is no mystery that the Mets have shown empty pockets in previous years, or the ability to shoot itself in the foot by over-estimating it’s prospects value.  Us Mets fans are put in the unfortunate position where we have very little influence on what moves the front office makes, or doesn’t make.

Or Do We…

Typically the third factor in the “Tri Force” usually comes into play during the stretch run when the Mets are a game or two in front or behind a spot for the post-season.  Only then do the fans show up and try to motivate the team into producing on field miracles.  But I believe for 2010, the “Fan Factor” must be used a lot earlier than it ever has before.  I think the fan factor must be used now, in full force, before the trade deadline expires and before we lose out on obtaining that “Big” piece.

The 1962-2009 Met Fan attitude towards the front office and the fans desire to get big name players here is to not attend the games until management signs that big name player.  Then once management signs the big name player, Mets fans flock to the ballpark in essence thanking management for making the move.  Personally, I feel this is stupid, because it forces management to put tons of faith on it’s fan base to attend games after they acquire the big name player.  This is bad because it combines a team oriented decision such as improving your ball club with a financial decision, such as can we afford to add this player if fans continue not to attend games.  In essence, what ends up happening is both the fans and management end up hurting the ball club, basically by it’s lack of support and faith in each other.

What I am trying to suggest here for 2010 is a complete reversal to the traditional Mets Fan – Mets Ownership relationship.  For decades the pattern has always been; first the team produces, then the management produces, then the fans show up.  This must change, at least for this year if not here on out.  I am suggesting that for 2010, the fans step up and show up in the 2-hole.  The team came through and has produced to this point, now I think it is time for the Mets fans to do their part and start filling out Citi Field. 

Think about it, for decades we, the fans, have sent the same message to Mets management year after year; that is, “Go get us those big name players or we won’t buy your tickets”.  That is a terrible message to send to ownership, just as bad as if someone were to say “I will only buy them a present if they buy me one”.  If I were management receiving this message year after year, I would not go after the big name players, because it is not worth the risk.  I could get the biggest name pitcher or bat, and the fans might still not attend the games, so why take the financial risk or trading away cheap prospects for expensive big name players, when there is no guarantee that the fans will produce.

That is why for 2010, we the fans will change the message we send to ownership!  We are going to take the first step, we are going to show the Wilpons and Minaya that they can count on us for ticket sales and concessions and merchandise.  We are going to send the message:

“Hey Freddy, Hey Omar, We Got This One.  Here is your motivation to sign that big name starting pitcher.  We are going to fill Citi Field for the remainder or June and July to give you the financial security you need to make a big move for our team”. 

Let us fans do our part now!  Let us make the decision for management to do nothing almost impossible.  How could management not make a move when the team is thriving, and the ballpark is packed to capacity! 

I am asking all Mets fans to take a leap of faith with me, just this once.  If management lets us down, I will never ask this from the fans ever again, but my gut and my heart tell me that if we make the first move, if we fill those seats between now and trade deadline holding signs exclaiming “Ok Freddy, the fans are doing their part, now it’s your time to produce”; I think the message will be received and in the end, the fans, the team, and ownership can all win by being rewarded with a World Series Trophy.

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/players-doing-their-part-time-for-fans-and-management-to-do-theirs.html/feed/ 0 Happy Memorial Day From MMO http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/happy-memorial-day-from-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/happy-memorial-day-from-mmo.html/#comments Mon, 31 May 2010 11:08:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=28122 The Mets have ended this past week taking 2 out of 3 from the World Champion New York Yankees to sweeping the National League Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies, impressively shutting them out in all 3 games.

To call 2010 a rollercoaster year for the Mets is more than an understatement. To go from worst to first, back to worst and once again to being in contention in a few weeks is borderline manic, and we all admittedly love every moment of it.

The exception being that once again the Mets went on the road this weekend and lost 2 out of 3 games against the Milwaukee Brewers. I think some might call the Mets, Major League Baseballs’ bi-polar boys of summer.

It’s a delicate balancing act keeping our cynicism from overtaking our optimism. It’s no easy task with the 2010 New York Mets. As a writer on MMO I try with due diligence to be a voice that offers an unfiltered and honest view of the New York Mets.

As I’ve aged I’ve taken on a deep disdain for spin, spin in all aspects of life. As a fan it isn’t easy to point out our teams’ faults. As a writer trying to be unbiased it becomes much easier, at least for me. It’s a welcome refuge; but sometimes that refuge can get a little too comfortable.

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. “ James Earl Jones – Field of Dreams

Amazing isn’t it? So much of what we all feel emotionally about this game and the Mets, is distilled in that quote from the memorable movie, Field of Dreams.  It makes you forget the soap opera of New York sports and all of its trappings.

I had to watch it the other day, just to purge myself of the cynicism that occasionally takes up residence in my head. I had to adjust my mind’s pendulum. So much of the joy all of us experience watching the Mets play comes from our love that was formed in our childhood. We had no worries no responsibilities. It was just a game.

Today is Memorial Day and we commemorate those who have died while serving in the military. Today should also be a day to renew ourselves; to swing that pendulum back to the positive.

For me, the love of the Mets was instilled by my father and grandfather. Both of who served in the Army. Grandad served in World War II and dad served right before Vietnam. They taught me the love of the Mets.

None of us want to come across as mind numb lemmings but, and here’s the linchpin, fan is technically short for fanatic. So that said, those of us writers on here are really fans first.

We shared the same unbridled joy as you when Mookie’s grounder went under Buckner’s glove and the same dread when we closed beloved Shea to the second consecutive season ending disaster that was ’08. You can never purge the fan out of me. I can’t either and I don’t think I’d ever want to.

Thinking of dad and grandad and what today means, brings me hope.

God bless America and to all those who have served and have given their lives so we may all be fanatics of the New York Mets.

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Now…back to biz.  I will probably contribute once a week, and I’ll try to make my posts as interactive as possible.  That said, my “Coffee Talk” topic of the week would be Ike Davis.  Since he’s joined the team on April 19, they’ve gone 9-1 on an “amazin” (no irony intended) homestand, on their way into the City of Brotherly Love to reignite the I-95 rivalry versus the hated Phillies.

Is the injection of so-called new blood in the name of Ike Davis like the rug in the movie The Big Lebowski?  While not tying the room together like that blasted rug did, he could very well be tying the team together.

Let’s take a look at the evidence in the form of stats.  In this homestand, which he played in every game, he boasted an impressive line of .355/432/.538 with 1 HR, 6 RBIs and even 5 walks.  What’s more is that he even made some impressive defensive plays at first base, which got first baseman extraordinaire Keith Hernandez to remark on positively in some of the broadcasts.

At the same time, an interesting phenomenon occurred.  Things started to come together.  They won two in a row, lost the third game to the Cubs and won the fourth.  On Friday, April 23, Jerry Manuel decided that change was, indeed, good, and mixed up the lineup with Jose Reyes, perennial lead-off hitter, started to bat third.  Jason Bay, who had yet to impress Mets fans, was batting cleanup, and he started to turn it on as well.  In the last week hitting .333 with 1 HR (his first of the season and as a Met!) and driving in 5 runs.  David Wright got his 1,000th hit.  Mike Pelfrey has barely given up a run.  Mets fans were left wondering “Carlos Who?” with Angel Pagan starting centerfield…okay, that’s a little joke, to see if you were paying attention.  And the bullpen has been more than a pleasant surprise, they’ve been absolutely rocking it so far this season, with head rock star Hisanori Takahashi making us have Darren Oliver chills again as long man in the ‘pen.

One could argue that the lineup change could very well have been the flashpoint of this occurrence.  And who knows, if they continue to roll over the competition, especially in the NL East with the lineup constructed the way it has been since April 23, maybe just maybe the shake up is what the team needed.

I think, however, there is a bit more to the equation than just shifting some players around to get more at-bats in a game.  I’m a firm believer that sometimes young blood can come in and make a change for the better.  According to the Mets 2010 Maple Street Press, Toby Hyde’s Mining for Gold piece ranked Ike Davis the Number One Mets prospect.  After watching his performance in Spring Training this year, it was baffling to this Mets fan why he was not brought up with the team in April, while players like Mike Jacobs and Frank Catalanotto were given a chance to start.  To the naked eye (or super-passionate fan) It was evident that Ike Davis was very well ready for action on the major league level.

The Mets often do things pretty backwards, and I felt this was no different.  As a “for example,” I do not like Jenrry Mejia in the ‘pen right now (I have my asbestos suit on, so flame away).  I will admit that they were quick to right a wrong and bring Ike Davis up to inject life into a team that desperately needed to get a hot start in 2010.  And what happens?  They go on a 9-1 homestand tear and are currently in FIRST PLACE in the NL East, storming across the Delaware River much like General George Washington did in the Revolutionary War.

I consider myself a realistic Mets fan.  I get excited when they win, down when they lose, but I don’t lose sight of the “big picture.”  I know that Mike Pelfrey will not sustain a 0.69 ERA all season and I also know that Ike Davis will come down to earth eventually. Jason Bay and David Wright will continue to be incredibly streaky.  And we’ll still manage to scratch our heads on some patented Manuel Moves.  That’s the realness you get with the Coop, folks.

All I can say right now is IF we are looking back on the season in late September with some fall anticipation in the air, we may just very well look to this homestand as a reason why.

I think that Ike Davis will be a BIG reason why we are considering that as well.

Talk amongst yourselves!

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To Swagger Or Not To Swagger? That Is The Question http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/to-swagger-or-not-to-swagger-that-is-the-question.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/to-swagger-or-not-to-swagger-that-is-the-question.html/#comments Wed, 28 Apr 2010 09:50:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=25771 Over the past few heartbreaking seasons we have spent much time on this site debating the importance of ‘swagger.’ I have personally been a huge advocate of this. Some have agreed. Some have disagreed. There is something to be said about walking onto a field and displaying a sense of confidence.

As our Mets now sit alone atop the NL East I still don’t see us displaying that ‘swagger.’ And you know what? I like it.

The fact that we are in 1st only 3 weeks into a season is probably not cause to strut onto the field with an aura of invincibility. Four months from now? Perhaps. But not yet. I do admit that I like this new approach, an approach of almost uncertainty.

Our beloved 86 team demonstrated swagger and yes, even arrogance. Keith, Gary and company had the mindset that we deserved victory. No matter who our opposition was there was no way in hell we’d lose. Even our own skipper indicated this when he stated at the outset of the post-season, “We are the best team in baseball.”

But these actions resulted in the team putting extra pressure on themselves. The fact that we won 108 games during the regular season, the fact that we clinched the division early and won by 21 ½ games put us in an unusual spot. Based on the way we dominated all year anything less then a championship would have been unacceptable. If we had been the team to end the Red Sox curse would Doc and Darryl hold the same place in our hearts as they do now? The 86 Mets, due to their swagger–and rightfully so–acted almost in a sense of entitlement. We were almost–pardon the expression–Yankee-like.

Unlike their 86 counterparts, the 69 Mets were also confident but not in such a brazen way. That started at the top with Gil Hodges and his stoic, quiet belief in his players. Ed Charles never would have hauled off and decked an opposing player the way Ray Knight clobbered Eric Davis. Ron Swoboda never made fist-pumping curtain calls to incite the frenzied fans the way Gary Carter did.

That 86 team displayed in-your-face swagger and confidence. The 69 club exuded a more quiet swagger and confidence. Even the 06 club displayed some swagger. The 2010 Mets, thus far, seem a bit…unsure.

We came into this season with low expectations. Reyes had no spring training. We are still not sure exactly when Beltran will return. David Wright has struggled since the beaning last year and is on pace to strike out close to 175 times. Our ace–not Pelfrey, that other guy–came into the season returning from an injury. The ERA’s for our pitchers during spring training looked like Social Security numbers. Just tonight, after 21 games, our big off-season signing finally hit his first HR. We have complained about the cavernous dimensions of our home park…but yet we have the 2nd best home record in all of baseball. Already this year we have set the record for the 2 lowest attendance figures in the brief history of Citi Field. With each loss and each wrong decision, Jerry Manuel comes closer and closer to his head on the chopping block. Each injury results in fans screaming for the head of Omar on a blue and orange platter. Every time Roy Halladay wins, fans refer to Fred and Jeff ‘Coupon.’

David Wright has not assumed the role of team leader the way Keith did. Angel Pagan has not quite matched the excitement of previous lead-off hitters like Lenny or Mookie.  Castillo is nowhere near as loved as another 2b-man named Backman. Pedro Feliciano does not even come close to the charismatic Roger McDowell.

Twenty one games is not long enough to form an opinion. Just how good are the 2010 Mets? We really don’t know yet. What’s interesting is that they themselves don’t know either. This will be a learning process for both fans and players alike. As this club matures and grows and develops–and maybe even competes for a pennant–we fans will be along for the ride. Who knows? Maybe before this thing is over we will see a couple of fist pumping curtain calls and, yes, maybe even swagger, too—Just for old times sake.

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A Preview Of The 2010 Mets: Believe In Miracles http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/a-preview-of-the-2010-mets-believe-in-miracles.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/a-preview-of-the-2010-mets-believe-in-miracles.html/#comments Sat, 03 Apr 2010 12:49:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=23811 After yesterday’s big round of cuts and today’s expected cuts of Omir Santos and Raul Valdez, the Mets 25 Man Roster looks hardly like anything we expected after the offseason began. That’s not to say it’s good or bad, but somewhat surprising to say the least.

The 2010 reconstruction plan was going to be predicated on three things according to Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon; Pitching, Speed and Defense.

The biggest changes to the offense were the additions of Jason Bay, Mike Jacobs, Frank Catalanotto, Rod Barajas, Gary Matthews and Henry Blanco. So much for speed, and only time will tell if there was any improvement on the defensive side of things. We may have gotten a little better behind the plate, but I would hardly call Matthews, Jacobs and Bay defensive upgrades.

The starting rotation will see no changes and of course it goes to say, no upgrades as well. Four-fifths of the rotation will be returning from injuries, while Mike Pelfrey tries to improve on a dismal 2009 season. If any of our starters should falter, it’s not clear who is next on the depth chart after the release of  Nelson Figueroa, and the addition of 20-year old Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen.

At this point, only Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez are certainties to make solid contributions in the pen. Everyone after that is basically a roll of the dice. Japanese imports Takahashi and Igarashi have much to prove, and Sean Green has shown very little last season and even less this spring. Waiver wire find, Fernando Nieve was kept over fire-baller Bobby Parnell because he was out of options and not because of an impressive spring.

There are so many question marks and gray areas surrounding the overall makeup of this team. The decision not to add a frontline or even a middle of the rotation starter will loom over Omar Minaya’s head all season.

Jerry Manuel’s insistence to include Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen, and his decision to bat Mike Jacobs in the cleanup spot are just two big things to watch as Manuel’s job could ride on both those decisions.

Of course the Mets will need to have healthy and speedy returns from their catalyst Jose Reyes, and their big gun in centerfield, Carlos Beltran.

All we can ask for at this point is to see the Mets play some competitive baseball and hopefully play some meaningful games in September. Unless things go terribly wrong, I expect the Mets to fulfill those expectations. There’s a lot of “ifs” for us to worry about, but if the core players stay healthy it’s still a very capable team. Add in the one ingredient all contenders rely upon, luck, and anything can happen.

Here’s to seeing it through all the way to a championship in 2010. It may take a miracle this time, but miracles are nothing new to our beloved Mets. As for us fans, all we can do is what we’ve always done, “Ya Gotta Believe”.

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/a-preview-of-the-2010-mets-believe-in-miracles.html/feed/ 0 I May Be Bitter and Jaded, But…. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/i-may-be-bitter-and-jaded-but.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/i-may-be-bitter-and-jaded-but.html/#comments Wed, 03 Mar 2010 21:55:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=21829 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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