Mets Merized Online » Aaron Heilman Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:41:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Historic First Round Picks Mon, 30 Dec 2013 23:11:08 +0000 matlack

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

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

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

Happy New Year MMO

]]> 4
This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Possible Granderson Calls Edition Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:28:21 +0000 granderson

Yes I know Opening Day is about three months away yet I found myself daydreaming during the Curtis Granderson introductory press conference yesterday. Who/what could I be daydreaming about you may ask?

Was it Jennifer Love Hewitt ? No.

Was it Jessica Alba in a string bikini ? Nope .

Could it be about the ’71 Dodge Demon 340 that I lusted over since I was 13 ? Nuh-uh.

Then what could it be that I was fantasizing about while our newest outfielder was talking about all the good things he heard about the Mets faithful (a mixture of good old-fashioned playing to the fan base with a pinch of brown-nosing thrown in for good measure). Try possible enthusiastic calls by either Howie Rose or Gary Cohen when The “Grandy Man” hits a game changing or game winning homerun or makes a stellar catch in the outfield.

So here are the Top 5 calls for Curtis Granderson when does something amazin for the Mets.


2. “IT’S A GRANDER- SON!!!!!”




But then after I stopped fantasizing I realized that our broadcasters are not named John Sterling and realized that this exercise was a moot point…

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Utility infielder from the ’03 season, Jay Bell is 49 (1965).

Mets outfielder from the ’00 season, Derek Bell is 45 (1968).

Other transactions of note includes:

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Felix Mantilla to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher, Tracy Stallard, third baseman, Pumpsie Green and utility infielder, Al Moran on December 11, 1962.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder, Ted Martinez to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder,  Mike Vail and utility infielder, Jack Heidemann on December 11, 1974.

The New York Mets released pitcher,  Bob Apodaca on December 11, 1979.

The New York Mets traded gold glove second baseman, Doug Flynn and middle reliever,  Danny Boitano to the Texas Rangers for pitcher,  Jim Kern on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded shortstop, Frank Taveras to the Montreal Expos for pitching prospect,  Steve Ratzer on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded outfielders, Kevin Mitchell, Stan Jefferson and former first round draft pick, Shawn Abner to the San Diego Padres for outfielder,Kevin McReynolds, pitcher, Gene Walter and minor league infielder,  Adam Ging on December 11, 1986.

The New York Mets traded shortstop,  Rafael Santana and minor league pitcher, Victor Garcia to the New York Yankees for reserve outfielders, Phil Lombardi, Darren Reed and minor league pitcher,  Steve Frey on December 11, 1987.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Jeff Gardner to the San Diego Padres for pitcher,  Steve Rosenberg on December 11, 1991.Rosenberg never appeared is a game for as a Met.

The New York Mets signed 2 free agent pitchers, Steve Trachsel of the Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Appier of the Oakland Athletics on December 11, 2000. I hated those signings at the time and I still dislike them today because this was when the Mets ownership and front office announced that the were not going to spend the money on a certain shortstop/third baseman who happens to be facing a 200 game suspension for PED use and instead gave us 2 mediocre pitchers.

The New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Bubba Trammell to the San Diego Padres for middle reliever, Donne Wall on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Escobar, middle reliever, Jerrod Riggan, reserve outfielder, Matt Lawton, pitching prospect,Billy Traber and minor league first baseman,  Earl Snyder to the Cleveland Indians for  second baseman, Roberto Alomar, pitcher, Mike Bacsik and Danny Peoples on December 11, 2001. This trade should have been the steal of the century – intead it turned out to be one of the worst Mets trades ever !

The Los Angeles Angels signed spot starter/middle relievers,  Darren Oliver of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2006. I like most Mets fans wished that the Mets made an attept to re-sign him.

The New York Mets traded starting pitcher,  Aaron Heilman, reserve outfielder, Endy Chavez, and middle relievers Joe Smith, Jason Vargas,along with  minor league first baseman,Mike Carp, pitching prospect, Maikel Cleto and minor league outfielder, Ezequiel Carrera to the Seattle Mariners for relievers, Sean Green, J. J. Putz and reserve outfielders, Jeremy Reed on December 11, 2008.

The Mets drafted middle reliever, Darren O’Day from the Los Angeles Angels  on December 11, 2008.

One year to the day, the Chicago White Sox signed set up man, J. J. Putz of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009. Putz should have been part of a completely overhauled bullpen in ’09 but by mid-season he sustained a shoulder injury. Needless to say a firestorm of controversy Putz claimed the Mets tried to steer him away from surgery and pitch through the injury !

The Houston Astros signed middle reliever, Jon Switzer of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009.

There were reported sightings of Mo Vaughn in Orlando yesterday- but it turned out to be Shamu at SeaWorld!!!!

shamu whale

]]> 0
Thoughts On Syndergaard or Montero Making Team Out Of Spring Training Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:58:36 +0000 syndergaard montero

Sandy Alderson retreated from a months-long stance that neither Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard had any chance of making the Mets starting rotation out of Spring Training.

While a guest on WFAN, the Mets GM announced that the plan for these two exciting power arms will be similar to the tracks taken by Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey. “No chance,” Sandy said.

At the time he also said that he expected to see both Syndergaard and Montero pitching with the big club at some point next season. “I’d be very surprised if that didn’t happen.”

That seemed to take an abrupt course-correction when he told reporters this during a press briefing:

He backpedaled a little later on in the evening to clarify: ”I think putting that kind of pressure on the system coming out of the gate is something we’d like to avoid. It might be necessary, but I think we’d like to find someone.”

Who might that someone be? According to Ken Rosenthal last night, he said that the Mets could end up turning back to Aaron Harang and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

I could certainly see that happening, but not before they at least make an attempt to sign Bronson Arroyo, or to try and see if they could pull off a trade to get a starter. I look at Dice-K and Harang as their Plans C and D.

Getting back to Syndergaard or Montero, I would have to believe that if only one were to make the team it’s be Montero. Not because he’s better than Syndergaard, but more because he might be closer to MLB ready. On Sunday, Jim Duquette thought Montero was very underrated.

If worse were to come to worse and both would make the rotation, I look at it like this… If they are blowing away the competition in St. Lucie and more so than any of the other options don’t hold them back. I understand the concerns about losing the extra year of control but the way I see it, it’s a mute point. If these two are as dominating as we all think, they’ll most likely be locked up long before their sixth season. And if the peter out like Paul Wilson or Aaron Heilman, it won’t really matter at all.

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0
A Molina Home Run Followed By Two Collapses: AKA The Good Ol’ Days Fri, 14 Jun 2013 12:00:11 +0000 mets-cardinals-2006 - CopyIn four decades of rooting for the Mets my most painful memory, without a doubt, was when Yadier Molina deposited an Aaron Heilman pitch over the wall in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. I literally could not believe what I saw. Seeing is believing—but not in this case. 2006, like 1986, was OUR year. The 162 games were a mere formality.

It took us all winter to recover but when April 07 rolled around, we were ready. Sometimes you learn and become stronger by losing. 86 was an amazin’ year, but lets not forget the fact we lost two close pennant races in 84 and 85. We’d learn, we’d grow, we’d be hungry. So obviously, 2007 would surely be our year. But it was not to be. After the Mets historical collapse, blowing a seven game lead with 17 games left, it was devastating. Choking is for OTHER teams: The Cubs in 69, the entire division in 73, Boston in the 10th inning. But still, we dusted ourselves off and looked forward to next year.

But 2008 brought more heartbreak. For the second straight year, our Mets missed the wild card by one game on the very last day of the season.

That period was undoubtedly the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching three year span in team history. But man oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be in that situation again. I view those years as a great movie…that just had a bad ending.

The Mets fan base is an interesting bunch. Since our inception, we’ve never expected much. Look, if we wanted to win every year, we’d be Yankee fans. The difference between us and them is simple: Yankee fans feel anything less than the post-season is a failure. On the flip-side, Mets fans are generally content finishing at .500.

We don’t ask for a dynasty. We don’t hunger for 20 straight division titles or however many the Braves won. Cardinal fans have seen their team competing year-in and year-out since the 1930′s. San Francisco waited over fifty years for their first title. Yet, they have always had solid fan support.

But us? We just ask for competitive baseball. Just give us a good team. Not great. Good. Fun to watch. And maybe an actual pennant race thrown in once in awhile for good measure. That’s all we ask. Yet, we can’t even get that from the Wilpons and Alderson.

Those of us who witnessed the Seaver/Koosman days always hold it close to our heart. But think about it. In the 8 years from 69 to 76, we got just 1 championship and 2 pennants. Yet, the sweet cherished memories are recalled fondly. We talk about the 80’s as if we were the Yankees of the 1920’s. However, we only managed one World Series and one division title. The reason these years are so special for us is NOT because we won a string of championships, NOT because we dominated the league year after year. Rather, we were good. Competitive. From 69 through 76 and from 84 through 90, we knew we at least had a shot.

Those feelings of hope are now long gone. 162 games of Mets baseball is no longer fun and enjoyable, but seems more like six months of torture. In the mid 80’s, even if the Mets trailed, you could just FEEL that we’d win. It was not a matter of IF we’d win, but HOW we’d win. Over the last few years, even if the Mets are leading late, we expect the worst. We anticipate the bullpen blowing a lead or someone making an error that opens the floodgates.

124730502_display_image - Copy

Yes, we’d love to be Champions…but we’d be content with just being good and respectable. Me personally? I’d love to go through the pain and heartbreak of 06, 07, and 08 all over again. It sucked at the time. But it was nice to be oh-so-close. Ask yourself: Would you rather see the Mets lose the Wild Caed in game 162 or basically being out of it by Memorial Day.

Sandy Alderson’s first season was 2011. Since that time, our attendance and our wins have gone down while disgust and contempt has gone up. It was just 2007, not really that long ago, where the Mets were considered the powerhouse of the NL East. For once, WE were the team to beat. Yet, since Alderson has taken over, not only have we not been competitive and not only have we fans become an embittered and sour bunch, but we haven’t even played a meaningful game after the All-Star Break.

Last season we surprised some people by staying in the thick of things for the first half. But we then faltered badly. This season has been a monumental failure almost since Opening Day. I mention about the good ol’ days of 06-08. Hell, I can even refer to the good ol’ days of 2012 where, at least for a little while, we had hope. Hope– something that doesn’t exist anymore.

To Sandy, Fred and Jeff—we’re not asking for a dynasty or to dominate the league for 5 straight years. Just a decent product, a team we could support and feel excited about. That’s all. We’d be happy with that. But as we are in the midst of season number three with Alderson, not only does a championship appear nowhere on the horizon, but even respectability seems like an impossible dream.

As I said earlier, 06-08 was like a great movie that just had a bad ending. Now, with the current state of this team, we are just a bad movie. Period. If the 2013 Mets were a movie, I’d walk out of the theater after 20 minutes and ask for a refund.

]]> 0
Nice Guys Finish Last: David Wright’s Decision To Stay Wed, 01 May 2013 12:20:45 +0000 david-wright-300The street I live on is a fairly quiet residential one lane road. Three miles to the south it meanders up into the foothills that look down on the valley. It gives way to an expansive residence, the proverbial mansion on the hill. At night, the home is illuminated in a sea of blackness. There’s nothing close by and the property seems big enough to warrant its own zip code. On many Saturday nights, I will catch a glimpse of stretch limos and even vans taking guests to the manor. Last year, as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney frequented my hometown, on two occasions I saw armor plated limos heading ‘up the hill.’

The owner is obviously wealthy, a multi-millionaire probably hundreds of times over. One thing I can say is that I don’t feel sorry for the guy.

Therefore, why do I feel sorry for another multi-millionaire named David Wright?

This year David will earn $16 million. If he plays every game this season, he will earn in one afternoon more than most of us earn in an entire year: $98,765. If he plays every single inning of every single game, David will make $10,974 per inning! But yet, I actually feel bad for the man.

David’s a stand-up guy. He’s been the face of the franchise for almost a decade now and will continue to be. He’s a clean cut athlete who stays out of trouble and is never caught up in scandalous headlines or PED rumors. He’s the type of ballplayer you can have your kids look up to. After a tough loss, it’s David who sits in front of his locker and patiently answers all the repetitive questions hurled at him from reporters. While most of his teammates head off to the showers and refuse to talk to the media, David does his job by helping the media do theirs.

He has all the similar traits of another much loved and revered Met by the name of Tom Seaver.

David Wright is only 30 and has already solidified his spot as the best all-around hitter in team history. Safe to say, he will break every team record by the time he leaves. He may also surpass Ed Kranepool as the longest tenured Met.

And this past winter, Sandy Alderson, to his credit, did lock up #5 for the long term. While I do applaud Alderson’s decision and thank David for his loyalty to the blue and orange, I still find myself feeling a bit sorry for him. I feel sorry that he drank Alderson’s Kool-Aid.

Athletes, like the rest of us, want to earn as much money as possible. Unlike Mike Hampton, who accepted an exorbitant salary from the Rockies and claimed his reason for going to Colorado was for the better school system, David is a class act.

mets-marlins-baseball - Copy

The Mets GM tells us we are rebuilding. That it will take 3-5 years. By that time, David will be in his mid 30’s, his most productive years behind him. Yes, money is important, but to a professional athlete winning is more important than money. You cant buy a World Series ring.

Ty Cobb, the greatest hitter ever, never got to win a World Series. Ted Williams would have probably given up that .406 in 1941 for even the opportunity to appear in the Fall Classic.

While I applaud David’s loyalty (I never thought he’d stay), I wonder if he regrets his decision. Let’s be honest. No one is expecting a World Series flag flying over Citi Field anytime soon. Hell, no one’s even expecting us to be competitive in the foreseeable future.

I’m reminded of a little known pitcher named Ed Lynch. Lynch was mostly a spot-starter for the hapless Mets in the early 80’s. From 81-85, Lynch tossed 708 IP and posted a respectable 3.74 era. He was a workhorse who was 38-40 for a team that was far under .500. He was here as the Mets rebuilt. He was teammates with the likes of Lee Mazzilli, Hubie Brooks and John Pacella. Lynch was injured coming into the 1986 season and on June 30, after 6 years of service and just 4 months before the Mets won it all, Lynch was traded to the Cubs for the unforgettable Dave Liddell and Dave Lenderman. (who???) Ed Lynch missed all the fun.

Will this same fate meet David Wright? By the time the Mets are competitive, Wright may very well be expendable, his best days behind him.

I also fret about the boo birds. In spite of David’s stellar career and now being named Captain even he has not been without his critics. It’s been implied that he needs to be a leader on the field as well. I, too, would like to see him assume that leadership role, a la Keith Hernandez. But simply, some guys are not made that way. They don’t have that genetic makeup. And that’s not a slam on him. Cooperstown is filled with players who were not ‘team leaders.’ But yet, now that David is making $98,765 per game, will he be unfairly expected to assume that role?

His stats over the last 4 years (09-12)  are still respectable. But they do fall short of the numbers he put up the previous 4 seasons (05-08.)

zzz - CopyAs the Mets “rebuild,” one can’t help but wonder if David’s numbers will continue to suffer. It’s very likely there won’t be anyone at the top of the batting order he can bring home. And very little protection behind him. In 2012, David’s line was 307-21-93. Solid stats. But even if he manages to repeat those respectable numbers, are those the type of stats that, along with not being a team leader, warrant $16 million?

David is a much loved Met. No doubt about that. But as we will stumble our way through another season, as the dog days of summer drag on, as attendance drops and our big battle will be beating Miami to stay out of the cellar, I wonder if Wright may unfairly be booed. It seems like there’s always a fall guy, someone to blame, be it Willie Randolph, Aaron Heilman, coaches, even trainers.

So, to David Wright, I thank you. Thanks for being a stand-up guy. Thanks for remaining loyal to the blue and orange. Thanks for not being all about the money and giving Alderson a chance.

He may wind up like Cobb and never win a World Series. Or Williams and never get to play in one. But hey, think of the bright side. Maybe 20 years from now the #5 will be in a circle on the outfield wall alongside #41.


]]> 0
Old Time Mets: Remembering Ray Sadecki Wed, 01 May 2013 05:02:54 +0000 Ray_SadeckiAnyone out there remember Ray Sadecki? He was a starter/reliever for the Mets from 1970-1974 and was the kind of pitcher the Mets could actually use right now because of his effectiveness in that role.

They could have also used Sadecki in 2007 or 2008, which is when I chose his name on the LoHud blog when John Delcos was running the site before Howard Megdal. Those two seasons will always be remembered for how we collapsed and needed to rely upon the likes of Brian Lawrence getting starts and Aaron Heilman and his cohorts blowing game after game in the bullpen.

Tonight Jeremy Hefner delivered a brilliant performance and needed the bullpen to preserve his shutout heading into the ninth. Unfortunately, things unravelled and his solid start went into the loss column.

This wasn’t the first time that Hefner was let down by his bullpen. Usually, the kid is done after five or six innings and he’s had to get 3-4 innings out of his pen. It was the perfect assignment for a true longman, but alas the Mets don’t have a true longman. In fact the Mets have not had one since Darren Oliver in 2006.

Now back to Ray. He was signed as a 19 year old bonus baby by the Cardinals in 1959 and won 20 games for them during their 1964 championship season.

In 1965, Sadecki’s record plummeted to 6–15 and his earned run average skyrocketed to 5.21. On May 8, 1966 he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Orlando Cepeda. In 1967 he went 12–6 with a career-best 2.78 ERA and he followed that up with another solid campaign 1968 when he posted a 2.91 ERA but with a 12–18 record, the 18 losses tying him with Claude Osteen for the the most losses in the majors.

After a 5–8 record as a spot starter in 1969, Ray Sadecki was again traded, this time to the New York Mets.

ray sadecki (11)In 1973 Sadecki pitched for the Mets’ National League champions who, like the 1964 Cardinals before them, unexpectedly won the pennant, trailing by as many as nine games behind the Chicago Cubs and winning the National League East title on the final weekend. (Coincidentally, four years earlier the Mets, prior to unexpectedly winning the World Series, had also won the division title by jumping past the Cubs.)

Sadecki pitched as a “swingman” for the Amazins’, appearing both as a relief pitcher and spot starter in a rotation that boasted Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack and was instrumental in helping the Mets win the division.

He pitched four of the seven games of the World Series, which the Mets ultimately lost to the Oakland Athletics, and earned the save in Game Four.

In his 18-year career, Sadecki won 135 games against 131 losses, with a 3.78 ERA and 1,614 strikeouts in 2,500 innings pitched.

I always appreciated Sadecki’s dual role with the Mets and realized the value of having someone like that in the bullpen. It’s not a sexy or glamorous role, but in today’s game the best teams all have a solid longman.

All the good Mets teams of the past have all had had a guy Sadecki in the bullpen. Remember Pat Mahomes in 1999-2000? And let’s not forget Roger McDowell In the mid-eighties who seemingly did it all as long man, set up man and even closer.

The versatility of a reliever like Oliver, Mahomes, McDowell and Sadecki may seem unimportant to some in the grand scheme of things. But in this age of relief specialists and one at-bat relievers, a workhorse reliever who can do whatever the team needs, is an integral part of any good bullpen.

]]> 4
Reversing the Trend of Late Inning Mets Collapses Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:23:17 +0000 Sit your ass down, sucker!

JAYSON WERTH WHIFFS: Sit your ass down, sucker!

You know that feeling when Scott Rice walked the first two batters in the 8th inning yesterday with the Mets clinging to a 2 run lead? Kind of a helpless sense of doom and despair where you can’t bear to watch? With a little help from Jayson Werth the result didn’t turn out like so many other late-inning debacles have, but as I exhaled and wiped the sweat from my forehead it got me thinking about the psychological effects of these recurring meltdowns.

Lets consider for a moment a couple of researchers who tortured some dogs for the sake of behavioral science. Like Pavlov only more twisted … they conditioned these animals to expect an electric shock after they heard a tone. Initially the dogs would leap and jerk and look for escape in an attempt to avoid the shock, but after a while the dogs became conditioned to the stimulus and quit trying to avoid it. Once the animals were thus acclimated, the researchers observed that even when the animals were presented with a lowered wall in their boxes they made no attempt to jump over it. Even with a clear avenue of escape, they did nothing to avoid the shock. The researchers were Martin Seligman and Steven F. Maier, who went on to develop a theory they called “Learned Helplessness.”

Now lets look at an unpleasant set of random shocks that the Mets have experienced over the past six seasons:

September 27, 2007

After a 3-0 loss to the Saint Louis Cardinals the Mets are tied with the Phillies atop their division. Between the beginning of their September 14th series against the Phillies and the start of last night’s game against Saint Louis, Mets relievers have given up 30 earned runs for a 6.54 ERA. The Mets are 4 and 10 in their last 14 games.

September 21. 2008

With 7 games to go and the Mets clinging to a shot at the post season, Aaron Heilman gives up a two-run double to Martin Prado that gave the Braves a 7-4 lead rendering Carlos Delgado‘s two-run home run in the ninth inning irrelevant. It was the 16th blown save since the All-Star break.

August 21, 2011

After another masterful performance by R.A. Dickey, Manny Acosta walks Nyjer Morgan to start the inning. With runners on first and third and two runs in, Tim Byrdak is brought in to pitch to Prince Fielder who hits a routine double play ball to second base. Justin Turner makes a wide throw on the double play attempt as the winning run crosses the plate. The Mets fall to 6 games under .500.

July 18, 2012

With the Mets only 5 games out of the wild card, Miguel Batista in relief of Chris Young comes in and gets two quick outs. He then allows two singles to Jesus Flores and Roger Bernadina before allowing a 2-run double to Steve Lombardozzi putting the Nationals ahead 4-1. Riding a 6 game losing streak the Mets bullpen ranks last in the Majors with a 5.03 ERA.

April 18, 2013

The Mets are swept in a weather-shortened three game set in Denver as Met relievers give up 18 runs to the Rockies.

April 20, 2013

After coming back from three runs down in the 4th inning to take a 5 – 3 lead, the Mets bullpen gives up 4 runs as the Nationals win 7 – 6 on a Saturday game following an inspiring win by Matt Harvey.  The Met bullpen has given up 28 earned runs so far this season. As of this writing the Mets have the worst bullpen ERA in baseball.

No escape … Learned Helplessness.

The “D” adjectives keep coming … disheartening, demoralizing, deflating … Met fans have been stuck in a perpetual electro-shock holding pattern for the greater part of a decade owing primarily to this organization’s persistent inability to construct even a league average bullpen. We know this, we’ve been over this ad nauseam … the above list is just a sampling, there were other grueling losses, too many to list.

In May of 1978, Diener and Dweck published a fascinating analysis of Learned Helplessness in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in which they concluded that helpless children showed marked decrements in performance when put in situations where they failed, whereas children who were oriented to mastery focused more on self-monitoring and self-instruction. The study looked specifically at the attribution of failure in these learners. It was posited that for helpless children (their “helplessness” was based on how they perceived the tasks), failure was internalized and attributed to a lack of ability (even when that wasn’t necessarily the case), while mastery oriented children tended to engage in more positive behaviors following a failed attempt.

Learners who are conditioned to fail, show performance decrements with each failure. They give up, they stop trying, even when subsequently presented with tasks that are well within their ability, they stumble. Like the dogs in the electrified pens, they neglect to look for a solution, they acquiesce to their condition.

Baseball players are only human and they reflect the same patterns of response to failure that any of us might, but bullpen meltdowns are unlike other kinds of failures in some very important ways. They tend to be games that were “in the bag” at some point – which is to say many other aspects of the team’s play (namely starting pitching and offense) were successful for the greater part of the contest. The team played well, the team should have won, but the game unraveled somehow at the very end. These losses are gut punches to morale, exasperating in that they reinforce a sense of helplessness … no matter how well you play, no matter how many runs you drive in or how well your starting pitcher performs, you become conditioned to believing that the bullpen will find a way to give it up.

Players can only suffer through so many games of this sort before they stop investing their heart and soul into a game’s outcome – if only to preserve their sanity. You might call it developing a thick skin, letting failure bounce off of you, turning the page — there are lots of clichés to describe moving past failure — but, in the end, acclimating to failure increases the likelihood that it will recur. As shown in the study above, failure itself can be toxic — individuals conditioned to fail show decrements in performance relative to individuals oriented towards success even when their ability levels are commensurate.

This should not be confused with the notion that a good reliever has to have the temerity to ignore the occasional bad performance … that trait is advanced by the innate confidence that the reliever will return to his successful norm. The above has more to do with players who experience repeated failure, and thus begin to expect it.

Take two kids of equal ability who are learning to play shortstop. With player one you hit 20 hard smashes always just out of his reach. Then you bounce 20 routine grounders to player two. Follow that up by giving both players an identical set of grounders at a variety of difficulty levels and you will find that the player conditioned to failure is likely to make more errors than the player who handled the easy grounders. This is why coaches like to end sessions with a few successful reps.

Over the past few seasons the Mets have been conditioned to the late inning (and the late season) collapse. Beyond the hard work and talent unquestionably necessary to reverse this malaise of the spirit, this team needs individuals who refuse to turn the page, individuals who do not accept the loss. Sometimes all it takes is one guy. In 1967 it was Tom Seaver, perhaps Matt Harvey can act as this sort of catalyst in 2013. We need more Matt Harveys, we need players who refuse to acquiesce to failure.

But you absolutely have to have a bullpen that will hold it’s own and prevent these recurring gut-wrenching morale-killing failure-conditioning losses, because one thing is certain, you can only take so many late inning meltdowns before the dog decides to just stay in the box.

]]> 0
Mets Locker Room Real Estate Values: Past and Present Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:38:14 +0000 MetsYou can learn a lot about a baseball team from its locker room. The clubhouse is where relationships form, character is revealed and leaders speak out (or not). For the major league rookie, clubhouse real estate is valuable — sometimes priceless. Imagine being the rookie who spent eight months out of the year next to Sandy Koufax? Roberto Clemente? Lou Gehrig? Tom Seaver? These were model athletes, wise and humble men, who used their talent to teach.

Danny Frisella and Tug McGraw were in heated competition for fame and fortune from the outset of the 1972 season. The late Gil Hodges remembers both pitchers begging for their manager to pick them when he signaled to the bullpen. If Frisella was selected, and won the game, McGraw would give Frisella the “cold shoulder.” If McGraw got the nod (and won) Frisella would mimic the gesture.

There is no evidence whether or not the Mets clubhouse manager made an intentional effort to put Frisella and McGraw side-by-side in the locker room, but their adjoining lockers created more fun and competition. The two Mets pitchers would sometimes switch the locker nameplates to appear that the other won the game.

While Frisella and McGraw jockeyed for their manager’s affection, that same season a rookie named Jon Matlack was granted locker space between Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Matlack was named 1972 Rookie of the Year, winning 15 of his 32 starts. He compiled 244 innings pitched, eight complete games and a skinny 2.32 ERA. Coincidence? Possibly. Seaver will tell you, for certain, it meant nothing then and means nothing now.

“Where you lockered really wasn’t that important,” Seaver told the New York Times in 2008. “It didn’t make any difference. Just your own little space; it could have been anywhere.”

For Seaver, locker space was irrelevant. It was a place – and space – where he took out his frustrations after a poor start. “When I make a mistake and beat myself with a bad pitch, then I get kicking mad and go after stools and water buckets,” Seaver told People Magazine.

Other times, Seaver used his locker as a prop. After getting off to a slow start in 1974, a Mets beat writer asked him if he had lost his fastball. Seaver paused, then started rummaging in his locker muttering, “Where are you, fastball? Are you in there somewhere?”

Seaver didn’t need sabermetrics to figure out the 1975 New York Mets were in for a long year. The Mets, a team renowned for their pitching stock, found themselves lacking. That spring, Seaver sat on a stool in front of his locker and looked up at the adjoining lockers. SEAVER. KOOSMAN, MATLACK.

Who are the rest of these guys? Seaver thought. “That’s Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Where are 4 and 5?” He rolled his eyes in frustration.

He knew, if something doesn’t change (and it didn’t), the Mets would not compete. The Mets were within four games of the lead in the National League East on September 1, 1975; then the bottom fell out on the season. They finished in third place 10 ½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Seaver’s real estate at Shea Stadium was the site where many of the organizations proudest moments were celebrated. He sprayed champagne over the heads of his teammates in 1969 from that “little space.” Seaver helped the Mets win another National League title from that hole in the wall. He encouraged and mentored Matlack, Jackson Todd, Bob Myrick, George Stone and many others within earshot.

In one respect Seaver is right; a locker isn’t important. There’s nothing glamorous about an athlete’s locker. It’s literally a hole in the wall. For the common man, a locker is a lot like an office cubicle, a place to store your personal effects while you go take care of business. But, location is valuable, sometimes educational.

“I learned an awful lot from having my locker room stuck between Koosman and Seaver,” said Matlack. “”It was a very, very good location to be in.”

Seaver’s locker was physically unique, well, maybe for its modesty. Former Mets beat writer Marty Noble described the space this way: “there was no locker to the immediate left, just a three-foot-wide panel. A trash can was placed there.” Seaver’s “little space” was nondescript. Seaver, himself, was so Seaver was so impervious to his surroundings that, to this day, he is unsure whether he had the now famous locker space his rookie year of 1967.

Over time, Seaver’s locker took on a life of its own. After he we traded in June 1977, Bud Harrelson asked if he could move in. Not happening, said Mets equipment manager Herb Norman. The locker would be assigned to Seaver’s successor, Pat Zachry.

Seaver returned home, and to his “little space” in 1983, then, Ron Darling assumed the space from 1984-1991, followed by David Cone (July 1991-August 1992), John Franco (1992-2003), Steve Trachsel (2004-2006) and Aaron Heilman (2007).

“That locker did have history; more than any other in that place,” said Franco. “Nobody made the kind of history here that Tom Seaver made. It doesn’t matter how long anyone had it, it was always Seaver’s.”

“It doesn’t matter [who preceded Seaver],” added Darling. “It’s his.”

In some ballparks, because of some professional athletes, lockers can become hallowed ground. When Lou Gehrig died, his locker was sealed and sent to Cooperstown. Before Shea Stadium was demolished after the 2008 season, Seaver’s locker was preserved and put on the block for a cool $41,000.

That’s some valuable real estate.

In 1984, the New York Mets were on the rise. Jesse Orosco and Doug Sisk anchored the Mets bullpen on the field, roommates off the field and lived out of adjoining lockers during the team’s championship run in the 80s.

“We’re just a couple of ordinary guys who get along, and have no professional jealousy,” said Sisk. “We’re both fairly serious, but we have different personalities. But we’re not rivals. You can’t be rivals. It won’t work.”

When it does work, the team benefits – at least that’s what Mets manager Terry Collins hopes will happen by placing Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey side-by-side in Port St. Lucie. Collins told the media he intentionally put Harvey, 23, and Wheeler, 22, at adjoining lockers to give Wheeler the opportunity to ask questions and “soak up” the experience like Harvey did last season.

“Having lockers next to each other, we’re both baseball players who have the same mindset,” said Harvey. “Getting along, I don’t think, is going to be very tough.”

Wheeler has prime real estate in Port St. Lucie. Like Harvey in 2012, he will receive a valuable education a lot by watching and listening. Harvey described the experience as “eye-opening.” Last spring he watched Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee prepare for a major league baseball season.

“That’s something that I’ve never seen,” Harvey told “Watching the preparation that those guys had in order to throw 200 innings … Sometimes it’s stepping back and realizing, ‘Hey, this is a long process. Throwing until the end of September is a long time from now.’”

Let’s be honest here, Harvey is still learning too. Collins hopes the location will be the seed to a long-term successful relationship between his two future stars.

Spring Training, which officially starts today, is always an intriguing place for reporters to take stock in how and where players are positioned. The nameplates begin to disappear as February turns to March and the minor league players are dispatched for reassignment. The last days of March mark the time for final cuts. The veteran invited to spring training is playing his heart out and biting their nails in one corner of the clubhouse while the fresh-faced 20-something is bouncing off the walls hoping this will be his year.

As Opening Day creeps closer, locker room real estate values will increase.

]]> 0
A Victim of Circumstance Sat, 10 Jul 2010 12:48:52 +0000 When I first heard rumbling during Spring Training that pitching phenom prospect Jenrry Mejia may be brought up with the big club to make Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya look good…erm, uh…I mean of course to get Mejia adjusted to major league hitting, well, I was dead set against the idea.  See, while the Mets have traditionally played in a pitcher-friendly dimensional park and have had a rich pitching history, their history of handling prospects is not so great.  I won’t insult your intelligence by bringing up the likes of Tim Leary or Generation K.

When it was obvious that Mejia wasn’t quite working out well and his talents weren’t being fully utilized in the majors, thank goodness Mets management saw the error in their ways and sent him back down to work on his endurance in the minors.  Most recently, he was sent to the minors, had “shoulder soreness,” now scratched with “rotator cuff strain,” but should be back and working on his stamina in no time.

(Jenrry Mejia photo credit to Sharon Chapman)

However, it did make me think of a former Mets pitching prospect whom the Mets mistreated, misjudged then quickly cast aside when it no longer suited them.  I hoped that Mejia would not go that route and it looks like he won’t, thank goodness.

That pitcher I speak of, though, is Aaron Heilman.  Aaron “F” Heilman, as some have taken to calling him in the Mets lexicon.

By now, most of you are aware that Heilman, a former University of Notre Dame pitcher, has been recently tapped to be the closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  In typical Coop fashion, I joked that it might be better for the D-Backs to “just forfeit.”

My joking wasn’t so much a reflection on Heilman’s abilities.  To this day, I truly believe that the Mets destroyed his chances of being taken seriously as a starter, which he had shown many times he had the goods to be, and is being groomed to be in a position that his psyche will not be able to handle.

My philosophy with Heilman is this: his psyche was more tailored to be a starter.  When he comes into a game in the first inning, there are zeroes across the board.  If he gives up a three-run home run, say, in the second inning, guess what?  There are probably at least four more innings the team can make that up to him.  If he’s coming into a game with two out, two on and the tying run at the plate, well…we all know too well what would happen in those instances with Heilman.  There’s less of a margin of error, therefore causing a more pressure-filled situation.

My point is, as a starter, which the Mets were convinced he would not serve in, he was not as bad as some people would think.

Friend-of-Coop and Mets blogger Joe Janish from Mets Today has been an unabashed supporter of Heilman.  I remember quite distinctly when he and I were having an off-the-cuff conversation where he said he believed Heilman was one of the best pitchers in the National League.  When I scoffed at the notion, I was pretty much brainwashed the way most of us Mets fans were, regarding Heilman’s development.  HE ONLY HAS TWO PITCHES!!! HE IS MORE VALUABLE AS A RELIEVER!  HE DOES NOT HAVE ENOUGH PITCHES TO GO A FULL GAME.  Etc, etc.

Not so.  Janish, in my estimation, is not just a Heilman proponent but has done extensive research on the pitches he did have (Janish is also a player/coach, so I do tend to take his baseball critiques seriously).  In an email exchange we had where I asked him to summarize Heilman’s pitches, Janish writes: “He always threw a hard sinking, good moving fastball, an outstanding changeup, and an above-average slider.  His ‘changeup’ was actually two pitches — an ‘OK’ change that moved away from LH hitters and a forkball that sunk straight down that he used mostly vs. RH hitters.  And his ‘fastball’ includes a straight four-seamer, a sinker that goes in on RH hitters’ hands, and a tailing two-seamer that runs away from RHs/into LHs.  But as a reliever he pretty much focused on three of those pitches.”

In one of my favorite blog posts on Heilman written ever, Janish disputes some of the Heilman myths, circa 2007.  The big four included: Heilman is more valuable to the team as a reliever than a starter; Heilman does not have good numbers as a starter; Heilman doesn’t throw enough pitches to be a starter (see above where he explained that myth away); and Heilman is a selfish whiner with a bad attitude.  Now for the arguments set above, we see that as a reliever, he wasn’t able to use most of his pitches or get into a groove using them, so that ties into him not being able to throw enough pitches to be a starter.

What was also interesting is that up to 2007, his numbers as a starter were pretty solid, at least in the small sample set enough to give him a whirl or more of a chance than the Mets actually did:

7 GS/ 42 IP / 34 K / 12BB / 4.37 ERA / 1.19 WHIP / 2-3 record / 1 CG (SH)

Not atrocious as the media or the Mets brass would have you think.  Not phenomenal either…but decent enough to be a strong back of the rotation starter (which I’d like to point out is what the Mets were missing in the last few weeks of 2007 and 2008 while Heilman was languishing in the bullpen).

Also, I never bought into the whole selfish whiner myth either.  This is why I call Heilman a “victim of circumstance.”  Think about us at our day jobs.  Let’s say you are looking for more responsibility, and your boss tells you if you continue to excel at your current role, you’ll get a promotion or a different role.  Then as time goes on, you become a little too good at your role and you are told that you are now too valuable to vacate the role.  However, when the role you feel you are better suited for opens up, management puts someone else in who is less-than-qualified, only because they feel your contributions are better suited in the role you are already in.

Pretty frustrating, right?  Well, my theory on Aaron Heilman is he WAS that guy who was “pigeonholed,” and jerked around.  Think about how many times the Mets put someone in the starting rotation (Jose Lima ring a bell in 2006?) when Heilman could have and should have been starting.  By that time, the damage had been done.

No, he doesn’t see himself as a starter, and neither do the teams he plays on.  Quite frankly, he might be in need of a shrink more so than Oliver Perez.  And it’s sad, since as you can see by Janish’s research, Heilman had a lot of promise as a starting pitcher.  His numbers were nothing short of outstanding at the University of Notre Dame.  For brevity sake, I will use his last year at UND which was 2001, prior to being drafted by the Mets.  In 15 games started, he boasted a 15-0 record, 1.74 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 111 Ks in 114 IP.

Prior to that, he had a low-3ish ERA and over-.500 W/L record.  He was an innings eater too!  (Go figure)

Far be it for me to rehash the past or wonder “what could have been.”  However, I know I had to laugh when I heard that Aaron Heilman is now the Diamondbacks closer.  Not because I thought that the D-Backs must be so bad that Heilman is their best option as closer (well, maybe I did think that). Currently, he has three saves with a 2-3 record for the D-Backs.

What I really thought was, in a roundabout fashion, that the Mets got it right with a prospect this time.  Aaron Heilman has become a cautionary tale for messing with pitcher’s mechanics when they could have excelled in other roles and been more valuable to the team in the long term.

**Many thanks to Joe Janish for his excellent research, spot-on commentary and fighting the good fight in defense of Aaron Heilman.**

]]> 0
Bob Howry Signs With Arizona Diamondbacks Sun, 27 Dec 2009 00:29:05 +0000 The Arizona Diamondbacks have come to terms with reliever, Bob Howry, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic [Hat tip MLB Trade Rumors].

Terms of the deal are not immediately available, however it includes an option for the 2011 season and is rumored to be worth somewhere in the ball park of $2 million to $3 million.

Last season with the San Francisco Giants, the Arizona native appeared in 63 games and pitched to an ERA of 3.39. His K:BB ratio was 2:1 (46:23).

Throughout his eleven year career, Howry has an ERA of 3.66.

This is a pretty solid signing for the D’Backs in my opinion as it gives them a viable setup man to help strengthen a bullpen that includes ex-Met Aaron Heilman and Chad Qualls.

Although the Mets were never publicly connected to Howry, I think that these are the types of players they should be targeting. Although Howry’s numbers are not earth shattering he is a very consistent pitcher.

]]> 0
Hot Stove Update: Heilman, Halladay, Bay, Swisher Thu, 19 Nov 2009 22:29:38 +0000 A recap of today’s hot stove news.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of, the Cubs have traded Aaron Heilman to the Diamondbacks for prospect LHP Scott Maine and 1B Ryne White. Heilman finished 2009 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 70 relief appearances. The Cubs may have also found a suitor for outfielder Milton Bradley. Bob Nightengale reported that the Tampa Bay Rays are close to acquiring the problematic, but talented outfielder.

Nightengale also reported via Twitter, that the Yankees are quietly shopping Nick Swisher. The 28-year-old outfielder batted just .249, but had a very respectable .371 OBP and hit 29 homers with 89 RBIs. Considering his age and production, I’m sure plenty of teams will be interested.

ESPN reported that Jason Bay rejected a $60 million dollar offer for 4 years from the Boston Red Sox and will now test the free agent waters. His agent did say that he will continue to negotiate with Boston. Meanwhile, a source told Jon Heyman that the Mets would have interest in Jason Bay if the price for Matt Holliday is too high.

Add the Los Angeles Dodgers to the growing list of teams that will try to acquire starting pitcher Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays. It became abundantly clear during the playoffs that the Dodgers desperately lacked an ace pitcher and if your going to get one, why not go after the best. Still, I thought it was odd that they would simply let Randy Wolf go after giving them a solid season at a very reasonable cost.

]]> 0
Breaking Down The Mets Bullpen: Sean Green Sun, 01 Nov 2009 10:43:15 +0000 Last off-season, I started writing a series of columns that profiled each member of the Mets bullpen and analyzed their performance in the previous season.

At the conclusion of each article, I would make a determination on whether or not I thought the pitcher should be brought back.

The articles, for the most part, were met with solid reader reception so this year we will continue the tradition.

To kickoff the off-season we will analyze the most criticized member of the 2009 bullpen, Sean Green.

Green, who was acquired in the J.J. Putz trade, was supposed to provide the team with solid middle relief and replace the void left by Joe Smith.

Needless to say, Green wasn’t as spectacular as ownership was presumably hoping he would be.

After getting off to a rough start in April, in which the righty posted an ugly ERA of 8.49, Green seemed to begin to find his groove in June and July posting two straight months of an ERA in the mid-to-low threes.

However, the pitcher regressed in August and his ERA for the month was nearly double its predecessor (5.91). There came a point that many fans, including myself, began to turn green at the very sight of the pitcher (pun intended).

It seemed as if Green was becoming Aaron Heilman 2.0.

After hearing a chorus of boos over and over again, Green recognized a change needed to be made and he tweaked his delivery to more of a side-arm style in an attempt to throw off opposing batters’ timing.

The change proved to be effective, as he had a 2.79 ERA for the month of September, along with two shut-out relief appearances in October.

To be fair the sample size with the new delivery is a rather small one and it isn’t wise to judge a player based on their September performance.

Having appeared in 79 games for the Mets last season, Sean Green’s final line consisted of a 4.52 ERA and a (1-4) record.

While these numbers are certainly far from ideal, keep in mind that they do not stray far away from Green’s past seasons with Seattle. Also, it is important to note that Green only took home a salary of $471,000, which isn’t much more than league minimum.

Final Verdict: Although, I am not a fan of Sean Green, personally, I do believe the Mets should bring back the reliever because he is a low risk option that offers the potential of solid middle relief at a rather affordable rate.

]]> 0
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: The Jason Marquis Story Tue, 07 Jul 2009 15:42:09 +0000 Before the injuries started mounting, before the fielding and mental errors began to grow, the Mets’ front office made another error.  This error happened in the offseason and it was made by Omar Minaya.  The Mets could have acquired Jason Marquis from the Cubs for practically nothing and didn’t pull the trigger.

First, as reported by Dan Graziano in the Star-Ledger,  the Mets could have sent much-beleaguered reliever Aaron Heilman to the Cubs for Marquis.  The Cubs would also have paid part of Marquis’ nearly $10 million salary, but the Mets passed on the deal because they were trying to include Heilman in a deal for relief pitching.  Instead, Heilman was sent to the Mariners as part of a three-team, 12-player trade that netted the Mets J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed.  Putz had been scuffling along until he was placed on the disabled list in early June. Green has been maddeningly inconsistent this season with an ERA of 5.00. Reed has been serviceable, but this Mets fan will remember him for the throwing error he made against the Dodgers while playing out of position at first base to give Los Angeles the extra-inning victory.  The irony of this story is that Heilman was eventually traded to the Cubs by the Mariners.  The Cubs desperately wanted Heilman and eventually got their man.  The Mets were left with an injury, a scrub and a defensive replacement.  Strike one.

The Mets continued to discuss a trade with the Cubs for Jason Marquis in December.  Jon Heyman of reported that the Mets could have sent whipping boy Scott Schoeneweis to the Cubs in exchange for Marquis.  For the second time, the Cubs would have paid part of Marquis’ salary to make the deal more attractive to the Mets.  Once again, the deal was not made.  Instead, the Mets traded Schoeneweis to the Diamondbacks for reliever Connor Robertson.  So what has Roberston done since his trade to the Mets?  Absolutely nothing!  He had been languishing at Triple-A Buffalo, with an 0-3 record and a 5.46 ERA and was designated for assignment in late June.  Strike two.

After the Mets failed to pull the trigger on a deal for Marquis, the Cubs stopped being patient and made a deal on their own.  They traded Marquis to Colorado for reliever Luis Vizcaino, who was eventually released and signed by the Cleveland Indians.

So why am I making such a big deal about what might have been?  After all, Jason Marquis had always been no more than a back of the rotation starter.  He was barely over .500 coming into this season (79-70) and had not pitched 200 innings since 2005.  He even found a way to lead the league in losses for a team that won the World Series, by going 14-16 for the 2006 Cardinals.

Well, my friends, after pitching eight shutout innings last night against the Nationals, Marquis is now 11-5.  His 11 victories now lead the major leagues.  He was also recently selected to represent the Rockies in the All-Star Game.  Think about that for a moment.  He pitches in Colorado.  That’s not exactly a place where pitchers thrive.  Normally, they only go to Colorado for the excellent school system. (Right, Mr. Hampton?)  Yet Jason Marquis has not only pitched well in Colorado, but this season he has become one of the best pitchers in the league.  Along with his 11-5 record, his ERA is 3.61.  He has also only allowed nine home runs in 117 1/3 innings, while pitching half his games in a ballpark that gives up its share of long balls.

Obviously, we can’t possibly know how he would have performed for his hometown Mets (Marquis was born in Manhasset and raised in Staten Island), but every time Tim Redding or Fernando Nieve takes the mound, think of what that scene would have looked like if it was Jason Marquis on the hill.  With the Mets still somehow within reasonable distance of the first place Phillies, Marquis could have made a difference.  With the Cubs willing to pay a portion of his salary, he would have been a cheaper option than Oliver Perez without the long-term commitment.  Even if the Mets would have signed Marquis to a long-term deal, they probably could have gotten him for less than the $12 million average annual salary that was needed to sign Ollie.

Omar was slow to make a deal for Jason Marquis and is now paying for it.  The team has struggled to keep a consistent starting staff together.  No one could have predicted the injuries that have decimated the team, but a healthy and consistent Jason Marquis could have alleviated some of the suffering that the fans have been forced to endure watching this team attempt to compete.  Strike three.

]]> 0
Heilman Being Heilman Fri, 01 May 2009 17:20:42 +0000 As the Mets venture South to Philly this weekend following a less-than-stellar beginning to their season, I thought it might brighten some peoples’ day by pointing out what occurred last night in Chicago.

The Cubs and Marlins were locked in a 2-2 tie going into the 10th.

In walks Aaron Heilman.  Heilman did not record an out, and gave up three hits, two walks and six runs. Flashbacks anyone?

Up until last night, Heilman was actually pitching well, with an 0.82 ERA. Unfortunately, as all of us Mets fans know, he’s always one pitch from disaster on the mound.

Carry on wayward son.

]]> 0
We’re in the Home Stretch! Sat, 13 Sep 2008 14:21:31 +0000 The New York Mets have 17 games left to play. As has been the story all season, we blew a 7 game lead with 17 left to play. It’s bad enough we historically collapsed, but if I have to hear about it on a national broadcast one more time, I’ll break my TV. Seriously, the Mets have moved on and so should the media. There are teams that are slumping right now *cough* Brewers *cough* and nobody says anything about them (or the Cubs for that matter). Welcome to another installment of Hot or Not. We’re nearing the home stretch and I know that we’ll be able to hold off the Phillies; I have faith!

Carlos Delgado continues to be the MVP of the team. He is nearing the home run record set by Todd Hundley and tied by his teammate Carlos Beltran. And yes, we are talking about the same Carlos Delgado that wasn’t supposed to hit 30 home runs and have 80 RBI. Comeback Player of the Year? MVP? We’ll find out soon enough. Our bullpen has been doing well as of late. I like Luis Ayala in the closer’s role; maybe he did just need a change of scenery. I still think we should go after K-Rod because he’s still a young player that could be a long term addition. David Wright’s 4-for-4 night bumped his average up to .296 after a miserable slump. With him and Delgado both hitting, it’ll give for offense an extra punch.

Now for the not so pretty. Gotta love Pedro Martinez because he’s a team leader. After being rocked by Philly, his next start got pushed back to Monday. He’s certainly a Hall of Famer, but I see the Mets going with someone else for 2009. Aaron Heilman continues to make his case for why Jerry should shut him down. Seriously, they just asked him to pitch against the Nationals. It’s not like we’re asking him to pitch in a game that actually means anything.

3 up with 17 left to play. We need to sweep this double header. LGM.

]]> 0
Carlos Beltran 5, Marlins 4 Sat, 30 Aug 2008 17:32:27 +0000 Last night, the New York Mets were down to their last strike. Luis Castillo got on base, followed by David Wright and Carlos Delgado. Enter Carlos Beltran. The first pitch he sees off Kevin Gregg ends up in the right-center field stands, in the section of Dolphin Stadium aptly known as the “Fish Tank.” And with that swing of the bat, Carlos Beltran single-handedly beat the Marlins.

Welcome to another installment of “Hot or Not.” As you can probably tell, Carlos Beltran made it back onto my Christmas card list. As did Aaron Heilman; who knew he could pitch three scoreless innings, even though his effort turned out be fruitless. My favorite player as of late continues to be Mike Pelfrey (sorry David) and I really hope he dominates the Marlins lineup tonight….or at least makes it to the fifth inning.

As for the “Not” section, I could write a plethora of posts concerning the Mets bullpen, but I won’t. I could write about a certain 3rd baseman who has the tendency to choke with runners in scoring position, and I don’t mean A-Rod. But, I am a softy and the Mets have a two game lead in the division over the Phillies, who are currently having their own bullpen issues. Brad Lidge had to crack some time. Gotta love that karma.

As long as the Mets continue to win, and hold on to their division lead, I will be happy. Our very own Redeem Team looks to amaze us more than they already have. Lets go Mets!

]]> 0
Hot as Fire or Not at All? Sat, 28 Jun 2008 19:21:09 +0000 Welcome to another installment of Hot or Not. This week was an interseting one in Mets Nation. After losing 2 out of three to the MLB worst Mariners, the Mets really picked up their game against the Yankees. Despite the 9-0 loss in the second game, the Mets offense did manage to get on base. I only hope for continued success throughout the season.

Hot As Fire
Carlos Delgado: It’s still too early to tell whether he’s back for sure or if he just got lucky. All I have to say is he had 10 RBI in the entire month of June; he nearly doubled that in one game. Hopefully, the Carlos that we saw yesterday afternoon is here to stay.

Aaron Heilman: The man hasn’t allowed an earned run in 13 innings. Some Mets fans still believe he has to go. I think the Heilman from 2006 (before The Home Run) is coming back. Everybody’s entitled to a bad start but now Heilman is seeing that he has to step up his game.

David Wright: After sitting out of Tuesday’s game, my boy is on a tear. If rest was all he needed, maybe Jerry might continue to do this with all of his regular players.

Not At All
Pedro Martinez: I understand the guy is getting old. I understand he’s a great veteran pitcher. But his last two starts have been shaky, at best. Hopefully, age won’t get the best of him until the end of the season.

Oliver Perez: We were supposed to beat the Mariners. Because of this guy, we lost in the worst shutout at Shea since 1999. I’m tired of trying to guess which Ollie we’re going to get. I’m cringing at the thought of tomorrow’s game.

What do you think Mets fans? Was I on the money or was I wrong? Was there anybody I excluded on either side? Hopefully thing continue to look up for us as we move forward. Ya gotta believe! 

]]> 0
Hot as Fire or Not at All? Sat, 21 Jun 2008 14:47:26 +0000 Happy Saturday Mets fans and welcome to another installment of Hot or Not! This week turned out to be quite interesting for our Mets, as they saw Willie Randolph and two of their coaches get fired. Interim manager Jerry Manuel declared he was a gangsta and then guided our Mets to a .500 record for the first time in two weeks. We also climbed into sole possession of third place, gained in on Philly and Florida and widened the gap between 3rd and 4th place.

Hot as Fire
Carlos Beltran: Big C is back and he’s ready to roll (this time)! He’s batting a .390 in his last 10 games and has 11 RBI in the same time span. His average rose to a .315 on the month and a .277 on the season. He’s actually starting to look like a clean up hitter and I sincerely hope he keeps it up.

Jose Reyes: Jose is also back and ready to roll. Kudos to Jerry Manuel for taking him out on Tuesday; we could have lost one of our key players to the DL but we didn’t. He’s hitting a .325 on the month but the stolen base total is down. It may be because he wasn’t getting on base before. It may be because he’s getting smarter at reading the pitchers. Whatever it is, Jose is doing what every catalyst should do–get on base.

Most Improved
I’m going to stick two pitchers in this category. John Maine let the first two batters he faced score last night, but that was it. After 3 shaky starts, Maine was effective enough to keep his team in the game. He needs to work on his pitch count; I wouldn’t say Dan Wharten has his work cut out for him, but the Maine Man could certainly use a few tips. Aaron Heilman has also been effective as of late. After letting off 4 runs on May 30, Heilman has been lights out with one or two little slip-ups.

Not at All
David Wright: Okay, so D-Wright appears on this part of the column for the second week in a row. With numerous 1-for and 0-for games, I don’t think it’s anything David is or isn’t doing; I simply think fatigue is getting the best of him. Do the Wright thing Jerry: rest him!

Carlos Delgado: Okay, I am aware Delgado homered yesterday and he has put up some numbers as of late. Going 1-13 in the Anaheim series didn’t help his cause. He is hitting for average in the month of June (batting a .275 on the month) but in the last 10 games, he is hitting a .214 with 6 RBI. Delgado is certainly not worse than before, but his performance last week was better. Hopefully he continues to improve so I don’t have to put him on my not list (again).

Next week, the Mets face the MLB’s worst Seattle Mariners at Shea and then play 4 games in the final Subway Series at Shea. Keep the faith Mets fans! Things are getting better!

]]> 0
Hot as Fire or Cold as Ice? Sat, 24 May 2008 12:43:59 +0000 Welcome, Mets fans, to another edition of Hot or Not! Usually, this list is put into three categories: the players who are doing so amazingly well, the players who I feel are doing better than they were the week before, and the players who are slumping and could do a lot better (or the players who blow games in the bottom of the 13th). This week, I feel this list only needs two categories: the Hot and the Not. So lets get started:

Scott Schoeneweis: He isn’t getting enough credit. I feel that we are focusing so much energy onto what Aaron Heilman isn’t doing, that we don’t see what Scotty is doing: he currently has a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 IP. It seems like Willie is using him as he’s supposed to be used this year (a lefty specialist) and the experience has been nothing but a positive one for the man we booed Opening Day. Plus he hit Larry Jones, my least favorite player ever.

Oliver Perez: He pretty much shut down the Yankees. The Rockies? Not so much, but he still kept us in the game, which means he did his job. Hopefully, he does a better job with his control and the Ollie of 2007 shines through in the end.

Anyone not named Schoeneweis or Perez: Since I can’t pick one or two people, I’m calling out the whole team! Our starters manage to keep the games close; however, neither the offense of the bullpen comes through for them. I don’t know what hurt more: Aaron Heilman letting off the winning run in the 13th or Luis Castillo striking out with the bases loaded. All the blame is going to come down on Willie because he runs the "show." He needs to step up and be a leader on his team because if he won’t, Jerry Manuel will. Thanks Jerry.

Luis Castillo: Okay, so I really had to say something about this guy. He currently holds a .260 average, which is about 30 points below his career average. He strikes out with the bases loaded, he grounds into double plays, he fumbled the Mark Texieira grounder that would have been the third out. And you’re telling me we have three more years with this guy? Say it ‘aint so Omar!

Well, Mets fans, that’s just what I think. I still have faith that they can turn things around, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to believe that they will. As Mets fans, we’ve been through worse and this is just another chapter in our history. The true fans will shine through in the end. What do you think Mets fans? Was I right to call out the entire team? Is there someone you would say is doing better than the rest?

Ya gotta believe! Lets go Mets!

]]> 0
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? And Who’s Stuck in the Middle? Sat, 10 May 2008 16:45:50 +0000 Welcome back to another addition of Hot and Not. The Mets have shown great strides towards improvement, but they had good numbers against Brad Penny to begin with. Hopefully, they’ll sweep this doubleheader and they get the confidence they need.

Who’s Hot
Moises Alou: Okay, so he’s only played in a couple of games. And he may need time to get his swagger back. But the man is certainly making up for lost time. Any 41-year-old who steals home plate has earned my respect.

Ryan Church: The Reverand continues to carry the Mets on his back. He currently leads the team in batting average with a .328 and is certainly making a campaign for his first All Star Game. I’m still trying to think of a cool nickname for him. The Reverand’s the best I got. Your suggestions are welcomed.

John Maine: The Maine of last year is back, as he proved in his last start. Okay, so he didn’t really need to pitch all that effectively with such a lop-sided score, but he gave the same effort to a 12-1 game as he would have a 2-1 game. And for that John Maine, I thank you.

Who’s Close
Carlos Delgado: For what it’s worth, he is certainly making his way back. Slowly but surely, Delgado is on his way. In his last 10 games, he is batting a .257 but it is certainly much better than the .186 he was posting last week. Look for him to perform in the afternoon game today. He currently has a .277 average during the day.

Nelson Figueroa: I was actually considering him for my "not" column. However, Figs has kept the Mets in the game while he was on the mound. He needs to be able to work past the fifth inning, so Willie doesn’t have to put Heilman in to "boost up his confidence."

Aaron Heilman: He’s on his way back. He’s only allowed 4 earned runs in his last 10 outings, lowering his ERA to a 4.66 before today’s doubleheader. He’s gaining his conifdence back bit by bit. He’ll put putting up Heilman-esque numbers (circa 2006-2007) soon enough.

Who’s Not
Mets offense: This is why Figs and Pelf don’t fall in this category. Okay, so the offense stepped up big time on Wednesday; however, they need to put on performances like that every day and not just when they do good against a certain pitcher (this type of offense, however, is welcomed and appreciated next weekend).

Carlos Beltran: Strike 3…and again and again. He probably looks at Strike 3 more than any player I have ever seen. If he’s going to strike out, can he at least swing? I understand we have a pretty patient line-up, but swing when the count’s 3-0! His .218 average, 2 homers, and 13 RBI are nothing like the pre-NLCS Beltran. 

I would also like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mets Moms out there! You guys rock!

]]> 0