Mets Merized Online » believe http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 31 Mar 2015 01:34:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Citi Field Is Dressed To The Nines http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/citi-field-is-dressed-to-the-nines.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/citi-field-is-dressed-to-the-nines.html/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 03:53:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=177423 ciiti field new walls

The Mets tweeted out a photo of the new right field wall at Citi Field which looks pretty awesome. I do believe the new dimensions will have a positive impact on our offense and heading into the season with all the confidence they’ve built up at Mets camp this spring, I’m expecting some big seasons from many of our hitters.

daktronics hd centerfield video board citi field

Earlier this month, the Mets also posted a shot of the all new Daktronic HD video board in centerfield.

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Here’s what the ribbon video boards will look like. That’s pretty snazzy…

Not for nothing, but what was already one of the best looking ballparks in baseball, just got infinitely better. Citi Field looks spectacular with all the new fixes.

I’m looking forward to the Home Opener on April 13 and can’t wait for Jacob deGrom to get on that mound and beat up on those Phillies. LGM

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PSL Notes: Parnell May Only Miss 2-3 Weeks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/psl-notes-parnell-may-only-miss-2-3-weeks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/psl-notes-parnell-may-only-miss-2-3-weeks.html/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:12:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174790 bobby parnell mets

According to what a team source told ESPN New York, while closer Bobby Parnell is due to open the season on the disabled list, he does not believe the absence would be lengthy.

“I would think two to three weeks,” said the source about the absence from Opening Day, while cautioning that time frame is far from certain.

Parnell underwent Tommy John surgery on April 8 and has had no setbacks during his rehab and recovery. He is due to address the media on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie.

Meanwhile Jenrry Mejia continues to say and do the right things. Today at Port St. Lucie, Mejia told Kristie Ackert of the Daily New he is willing to do whatever the team asks from him.

“I’ll go out there and throw the 7th, 8th, 9th, whatever they want . I’ll go out there and I say give me the ball and pitch in the game.”

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Several Mets Bullpen Decisions To Be Sorted Out This Spring http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/several-mets-bullpen-decisions-to-be-sorted-out-this-spring.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/several-mets-bullpen-decisions-to-be-sorted-out-this-spring.html/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:46:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174740 rafael montero

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com recently wrote that of all the top prospects in camp including Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Kevin Plawecki, right-hander Rafael Montero is the only one with big league experience and the best bet to make New York’s Opening Day roster.

Though the Mets’ rotation is currently full, he says, the bullpen has a couple of spots up for grabs.

“Montero is a leading candidate to snag one of them, perhaps even for the long haul; many scouts still believe he is destined to become a full-time reliever, despite his success as a starting pitcher over the past few seasons.”

You know, two months ago I would have told you that the bullpen was pretty much set. But now I’m not so sure anymore given DiComo’s opinion on Montero, the still ongoing Dillon Gee situation, picking up Sean Gilmartin in Rule 5, etc.

Putting Bobby Parnell on the back-burner for now, at this point we can count on Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Carlos Torres, Josh Edgin and Vic Black as all having secured sports in the pen. That leaves two more vacancies.

Assuming Gee is still on the roster, one of those two spots goes to him, no questions asked. Then it comes down to whether you want a second lefty or if you think Montero can be more valuable than a one at-bat specialist.

This will all get sorted out over the next six weeks, but it’s now clear that the bullpen will be a main focal point this spring.

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Baseball Prospectus Projects 82 Win Season For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/bp-projects-82-wins-for-mets-gee-takes-exception.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/bp-projects-82-wins-for-mets-gee-takes-exception.html/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173938 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports mets bench dugout

Baseball Prospectus projects the Mets to finish 82-80 this year and fall short of the postseason.

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This is actually a little bit more promising than FanGraphs who projected the Mets for 79 wins this season.

Dillon Gee took exception to the projection, taking to Twitter to say, “Sometimes people get it wrong!!!”

There’s no real science to these predictions and it’s all very subjective. However if the Mets don’t finish the season with a minimum of 85 wins, I would suspect that most fans will not be pleased.

Last year was supposed to be the season the Mets began their run of sustainable success and a potential winning season. But the Matt Harvey situation derailed that and all eyes shifted to 2015.

Because expectations are so high, I’m not sure if just finishing at or above .500 would be enough to make fans ecstatic after six consecutive losing seasons.

Then there are those who believe that the Mets did not do enough this offseason to convince fans of their commitment to winning.

Because we have such a promising rotation, I do believe the Mets will have an exciting season with some high points and low points. As usual the Mets are banking on lots of “if’s” to make it all happen. Honestly, I’d feel a lot better if Terry Collins had been replaced with someone else, preferably Wally Backman. We’ll see how it goes.

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Yoan Moncada Cleared To Sign With Any MLB Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/cuban-ss-yoan-moncada-cleared-to-sign-with-any-mlb-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/cuban-ss-yoan-moncada-cleared-to-sign-with-any-mlb-team.html/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2015 05:58:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173556 yoan moncada

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com is reporting that the agent for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, received the necessary notification from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday night stating that his player is now an unblocked national.

In other words, this now clears the way for Moncada to sign with any MLB team of his choosing.

Sanchez also adds that Moncada, 19, has worked out privately for the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Rays and Brewers, and that the Cubs, Phillies and Cardinals have also shown interest.

January 28

Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada is close to being cleared to sign with an MLB team according to reports from Baseball America and Yahoo Sports. He continues to conduct private workouts for several interested teams.

The Dodgers and Yankees held a private workout for Moncada this past week and several industry sources say both of them are frontrunners to sign Moncada.

Baseball America said the 19-year-old switch-hitter would immediately become one of the game’s top prospects as soon as he signs with a team.

According to what team sources told reporter Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the Mets have done their due diligence on Moncada, but do not view him as a realistic option given their budget and financial constraints.

Top talent evaluator Ben Badler of Baseball America recently said that the Cuban infielder is a dynamic player with premium bat speed, an enticing combination of power and speed along with a strong track record of hitting.

He also added that while all 30 MLB teams would undoubtedly love to have Moncada, his high price tag ($30 million bonus plus $30 million tax) limits his signability to big market teams like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago.

“That’s why you can comfortably count out teams such as the Indians, Twins, Royals, Pirates, Athletics and Mets when it comes to handicapping the Moncada sweepstakes.”

Moncada, who has abundant speed and power, has been compared favorably to Dodgers star Yasiel Puig.

While discussing international free agency at the Winter Meetings, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters that while the Mets had been mostly bystanders in foreign markets over the years, that was going to soon change.

“We haven’t been in that category,” he said. “I expect we will be in that category, soon.”

Many took that to believe that the Mets would be players for Korean shortstop Jeong-ho Kang and five-tool prospect Moncada.

Alderson also told reporters the Mets were considering a bid on Kang and that they were very interested, but a month later on the eve of the bidding deadline he announced the Mets were out.

A day later the Pittsburgh Pirates won the rights to Kang and ultimately signed the 27-year-old infielder to an $11 million, four-year contract on Friday.

Reports have suggested that Moncada will likely receive a signing bonus in excess of $30 million and in addition to that there will be a 100 percent penalty for any team who signs him.

Besides the Yankees, the San Francisco Giants also worked out Moncada last week. The Phillies. Dodgers, Rangers and Cubs are also very interested and held private workouts previously.

There have been no reports linking Moncada to the Mets.

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MMO Fan Shot: 2015 Mets Projections Using Career Splits http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-2015-mets-projections-using-career-splits.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-2015-mets-projections-using-career-splits.html/#comments Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173413 juan lagares scores

An MMO Fan Shot by Chris Maloney

I can’t believe some of the negativity I’m seeing this offseason from some Mets fans who lack confidence in our team. This one sucks, that one sucks, ad nauseam. So I decided to share some analysis just to show how good the Mets offense can be in 2015.

The charts below were created using most players’ career averages. Here’s a brief explanation.

1. I used career averages for batting splits for each player.

2. I adjusted to show as 162 games or 650 plate appearances.

3. I copied results for players vs RHP and LHP (Career splits based 650 PA)

4. I adjusted results using a 70/30 split, 70% of totals below weighted for RHP and 30% weighted for LHP.

The following example shows Murphy’s career averages vs both lefties and righties based on a total of 650 PA, 455 vs RHP and 195 vs LHP. So in his Career Average year his slash line would be .274/.306/.374/.681 vs LHP and .295/.342/.435/.777 vs RHP.

stat 1

NY METS 2015 LINEUP VS RHP

I repeated the process above for each position player for the 2015 Mets 25 man roster. The below shows IMO the best possible lineup for the Mets against RHP. The batting order can be tweaked but this is how it should shake out. The average slash line as a team reads .271/.331/.442/.774. These are based on all players having an average year not a career year vs RHP.

stat 2

BENCH VS RHP

The bench’s numbers are how they would perform given an equal number of AB vs RHP. Granted MDD is an incomplete for lack of AB, but I included him anyway for his 2014 numbers projected over 455 PA.

stat 3

NY METS 2015 LINEUP VS LHP

Here is what the career average numbers look like against LHP. What, no Duda? What, no Flores? Look at the numbers. Tejada’s numbers against LHP are great .285/.368/.347/.715, Flores’ numbers are not very good vs LHP. So Tejada starts 30% of games and is a defensive replacement in late innings of close games. Bottom line for 2015 Mets .277/.340/.447/.787, is a killer lineup vs LHP.

stat 4

BENCH VS LHP

The bench numbers are how they would perform given an equal number of AB vs LHP. Granted MDD and Flores are incomplete for lack of AB, but I included with 2014 numbers projected over 195 PA.

stat 5

NY METS 2015 PLATOON LINEUP

Finally, the 2015 Platoon lineup uses aggregate career numbers for the six non platoon player’s vs both LHP and RHP. The Duda / Mayberry platoon I will get to that below. The Flores / Tejada is the best surprise for the nay-Sayers, .285/.336/.391/.727 which are great numbers for SS and with the rest of the 2015 offense you can sacrifice a little defense. Duda, same thing but maybe not as a straight platoon even though numbers strongly suggests it.

stat 6

Platoon Duda?

The case to platoon Duda might be sacrilege to some because everybody loved what he accomplished in 2014. But as you can see below all the damage was done vs RHP. He leaves the Mets very vulnerable when he starts vs LHP. The Duda / Mayberry platoon career splits project a .265/.343/.509/.852 with 32 HR and 93 RBI. I realize these numbers are similar to what Duda put up in 2014 by himself in 596 PA.

stat 7

Now if you were to combine Duda’s 2014 numbers vs RHP with Mayberry’s career numbers vs LHP you get the monster numbers below. Duda still starts over 70% of games and is a Huge Bat off the bench in late innings in games he doesn’t start. What other team can potentially get 39 HR and 110 RBI production from First Base.

stat 8

Many are saying there are a lot of ifs and there are, but this outlook is based on players having an average year. Bottom line Team numbers of .274/.336/.445/.781 are awesome. Combine this with our pitching and the Mets should challenge the Nats for the NL East. I actually think we beat them head-to-head this year, the LaRoche numbers alone IMO won them 3-4 games last season and now he’s gone.

The numbers for the 2015 Mets reserves included above can be used to plug in if and when injuries occur and they look very good to hold down the fort if used correctly.

Let’s say for example Wright goes down with his shoulder. One choice would be to move Cuddyer to 3B and have a new RF platoon, choosing one of the below. If you go with MDD you now have a speedier lead-off hitter with much improved contact in second half of 2014, which is not included in his stats below. In any case these are not bad options if Wright is injured. So In the event of injuries we have the depth to Platoon are way forward.

stat 9

So look at the numbers and you might change your mind about the team we have going into the 2015 season. Even if all the players have an average year this season, expect the team to be making some noise. Be positive and Lets Go Mets!

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Chris Maloney. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at  FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Are The Mets A Win-Now Team That Should Go All-In? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/are-the-mets-a-win-now-team-that-should-go-all-in.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/are-the-mets-a-win-now-team-that-should-go-all-in.html/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:32:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173257 terry collins opening day

Grant Brisbee of SB Nation took an interesting approach in assessing which teams are in Win Now or Win Later mode.

He developed a matrix with four quadrants that plots a team’s nearness to contention or otherwise by considering X and Y factors based on organizational rankings, average age of roster, and number of promising prospects.

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Brisbee says the Mets are among the few teams that can lose 90 games as easily as they could win 90 games.

“All it takes is a break here, an unexpected development here (think Jacob deGrom), and that sketchy team is hustling for a division title.”

This is goes to the heart of the matter. There is a large contingent of fans who believe that after a 79 win season the Mets are a Win-Now team. This message is being pounded home by many influential sites including the Mets’ own sponsored sites.

Then you have a different segment who believes we are very close and see a bright future. These fans want to stay the course and not do something we could regret like trading Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi or Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano.

Which side of the fence do you stand on? Do you think the Mets are a win-now team that should go all-in and deal their top prospects and trade chips for a six month rental coming off a 79 win season?

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Have The Mets Done Enough To Secure A Playoff Spot? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/have-the-mets-done-enough-to-secure-a-playoff-spot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/have-the-mets-done-enough-to-secure-a-playoff-spot.html/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:02:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172792 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

With Spring Training only six weeks away, Sandy Alderson spoke with Anthony DiComo of MLB.com and addressed the still ongoing shortstop situation. “We have obviously not added anyone,” Alderson told DiComo.

“To this point, we just haven’t found anything attractive. That’s true with respect to free agents. It’s true with respect to trade possibilities. Given all that, I think we do know a little more now than we did a few weeks ago about what’s available. And I still believe when we start Spring Training, we will have what we currently have.”

Alderson has maintained all along that Wilmer Flores will likely be the Opening Day shortstop and that he has absolutely no problem with that.

The Troy Tulowitzki talk just won’t go away even though there’s no chance the Mets can take on his $118 million dollar commitment.

“We’ve continued to have conversations, but nothing is likely to occur,” Alderson told the New York Post. “There is currently nothing imminent. I still believe at this point that we will go into spring training with what we have at shortstop.”

As I’ve been saying all along, if Tulowitzki does get traded it won’t happen until the trade deadline and not unless he can prove his hip is healthy and that his MVP style play is unaffected.

Nobody doubts that Flores can hit, but the question that lingers is what’s the backup plan if he can’t stick at shortstop? Are we in store for another 3-4 months of Ruben Tejada handling everyday duties?

Is it possible that maybe the Mets were aiming too high and instead of looking for an upgrade to Flores, they should have been looking for insurance in case he failed? A contingency plan of sorts that would have provided an alternative to Tejada?

Meanwhile, the Mets continue to have a logjam with six starting pitchers with major league contracts to fill five spots, and also the real possibility that one of them could start the season in the bullpen unless a deal gets done.

“It’s a possibility,” Alderson said about adding a starter to the pen. “But that would not be the optimum solution for the Mets or the pitcher.”

Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler are the mainstays, while Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee are on the bubble with Gee the likeliest to be dealt.

As I’ve said numerous times, I believe that the Mets are well positioned to contend all year long for the division. I base that on watching the rest of the NL East looking worse than last season after their offseason moves, while the Mets actually did improve the team even though it wasn’t as extensive as many wanted or expected.

But as things wind down, how do you feel about the Mets’ offseason, did it meet your expectations? Have we done enough to contend for a playoff spot?

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Hall of Fame Thread: Mike Piazza Shut Out Again! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/hall-of-fame-thread-mike-piazza-shut-out-again.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/hall-of-fame-thread-mike-piazza-shut-out-again.html/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 19:02:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172661 mike-piazza

The BBWAA have elected four players into the Hall of Fame and they are Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson.

Biggio received 82.7 percent of the votes (549 ballots cast). Johnson was 97.3, Martinez 97.1 and Smoltz at 82.9. It is the first time since 1955 that four players have been elected the same year.

Piazza got just 69.9 percent of the vote. Also, Carlos Delgado got less than 5 percent of the vote and was knocked off the ballot.

Total bummer….

Among some of those who didn’t cast a vote for Piazza are Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman.

The only positive to take away is that Piazza continues to trend upward for the second year in a row. Like Biggio this year, Piazza goes into 2016 with the highest percentage among all those returning on the next HOF ballot.

9:00 AM

Mike Piazza continues to slip. This morning’s latest tally of 188 public Hall of Fame ballots as tracked by Baseball Think Factory, now have him at 76.1 percent of the vote.

In a span of two weeks, Piazza has seen his support slide from 81.0 to 79.5 percent to 78.1 on Monday to the 76.1 this morning. It is still slightly ahead of the 75 percent threshold Piazza needs to get into Cooperstown, but it seems most are predicting that he’ll get shutout again.

All 571 ballots from the Baseball Writers Association of America will be tallied and announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 2 PM.

Piazza remains optimistic. In a an interview with MLB.com he said:

“I can only say that there’s been a lot of great players throughout history that have had to wait their turn. Joe DiMaggio had three ballots. Yogi Berra had three ballots. And that’s part of the process. For me, it’s not really my place, I feel, to start campaigning. I can only say that I’m proud of my work and I’m proud of my career. I’ll put my numbers against a lot of players in history, and I feel that’s all I can do.’’

Piazza remains one of the greatest offensive catchers of all time, setting the MLB record of 396 home runs as a catcher while with the Mets. Over 16 seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and A’s he finished with 427 homers, 1,335 RBI, and a .308 batting average.

A 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, he spent eight years with the Mets and helped take them to the postseason in 1999 and all the way to the World Series the following season.

Mike has said he would go into the HOF wearing a Mets cap, becoming the only position player ever to do so.

Thoughts from John Delcos

As a Hall of Fame voter, I received emails from several teams over the years lobbying for my vote for one of their players. Seattle wrote me about Edgar Martinez and Boston did likewise for Jim Rice.

There were others.

However, I never received a note from the New York Mets regarding Mike Piazza and I don’t know why.

Surely, it reflects positively on the organization if one of their own gets to Cooperstown. Piazza is one of the more popular players in franchise history, so where’s the love?

I can’t believe the organization doesn’t care, because they’ve gone out of their way to include him in team events in the past.

The only thing I can immediately think of is they are afraid of being embarrassed if he gets in and the PED accusations are later proven true. Or, perhaps they don’t want to be connected to a player with any chance of being linked to steroids.

I voted for Piazza and I didn’t need any lobbying from the Mets. The voting figures to be close, but early reports have Piazza falling short. The announcement will come this afternoon.

Could any stumping by the Mets closed the gap? Hopefully not, but maybe the Mets will get another chance next year.

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Mets Are Well Positioned To Dominate In Their Division http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-are-well-positioned-to-dominate-in-their-division.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-are-well-positioned-to-dominate-in-their-division.html/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 19:12:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172586 lucas duda david wright

It’s so easy to look at the Mets’ offseason so far and shrug your shoulders when asked if they did enough to snap their streak of six consecutive losing seasons – the longest active losing streak in baseball.

The ultra-optimistic Met fan will point to rebound seasons by David Wright and Curtis Granderson as reasons for a return to relevancy in 2015. Others say that getting Matt Harvey back will have the same impact as adding a Jon Lester to the rotation.

The ultra-pessimistic Met fan will say that giving $21 million to a 36-year old Michael Cuddyer and sacrificing a first round pick, smells a lot like the Moises Alou fiasco and will probably yield the same results. They say a middle infield combination of Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores will spell doomsday for the rotation and kill any chance to best a .500 finish.

The hopeful see the Mets winning 90 games and advancing to the postseason. The downtrodden see another losing season that hinges on way too many “if” scenarios and not nearly enough certainty.

While I wish the Mets could have done more this offseason, I do believe we not only will snap our cold streak, but with a little luck we might even nudge our way into a wild card spot. Even the latest World Series betting lines are looking increasingly good for the Mets. I know that sounds insane to a lot of you, but keep an open mind and hear me out.

As I take a good hard look at the NL East as a whole, there’s a good argument that every team in the division got worse while we improved, even if the improvement was incremental.

I think we can all agree that the Braves and Phillies are now in full rebuild mode and will be battling for last place.

The Marlins have certainly made some noise, but have hey gotten any better? It’s debatable. You could say Dee Gordon was certainly an improvement at second base, but at what cost? Martin Prado is an upgrade over Casey McGehee, but it’s not as big an upgrade as you think. The Marlins lost two of their top three young pitchers for these upgrades in Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi. Can you imagine us trading Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard for upgrading shortstop from Ruben Tejada to Gordon, and right field from Chris Young to… to Marlon Byrd? That’s basically what they did.

The Nationals have done nothing this offseason and so far have lost a huge part of their offense in Adam LaRoche, plus they’ve lost Asdrubal CabreraNate Schierholtz and Ross Detwiler. They traded for a minor league second basemen and signed about 6-7 players to minor league deals. That’s it. This team is significantly worse than last season’s version.

So back to the Mets. Yes, Cuddyer comes with a lot of risk but you can’t say he isn’t a significant upgrade over Chris Young. And even if just one of Wright or Granderson delivers a big bounce-back season, it’s still an improvement, right? And what of Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores? Is it that much of a stretch to assume at least two of them will improve on their 2014 numbers? And yes, getting Harvey back is also a huge factor.

Whether you choose to believe it or not, this Mets team, as currently constructed, is not only headed for some definite improvement, but they’ve also taken a huge step forward within their division and that’s a fact you can’t ignore.

We are also blessed with some incredible depth in the high minors that can step in right away if help is needed. That hasn’t been the case for most of the last six years.

So for all these reasons I really believe we are well positioned for a very significant season in 2015 and you don’t have to look very hard to see why.

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MMO Fan Shot: Why I Love The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-why-i-love-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-why-i-love-the-mets.html/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:15:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171658 Last year at this time, we ran our annual MMO Fan Shot Contest. Contestants were urged to submit a Fan Shot, the theme of which was, “Why I Love The Mets.” We gave away Amazon Gift Cards to the runners up and the grand prize winner won a brand new Kindle Fire HD Tablet. We’ll soon be rolling out details for our 2014 Fan Shot Contest, but before we do here is last year’s winning entry.

john franco

Why I Love The Mets

By Steven Colasanto

I love the Mets so much and I owe it all to my dad, but not in the way you would think. After he died tragically in 1996, I was devastated and wasn’t really handling it as well as my older brothers and sisters. I was named after him, and everyone always called me Stevie instead of Steven. I hated baseball growing up and I wasn’t a big sports kid at the time. I was addicted to video games and no matter how hard my dad tried to get me to go out with him and have a catch, I always found some way to get out of it. Today, I beat myself up over it whenever I think about it.

He was a huge Mets fan and would always talk about them. My dad would never miss a game, even when my oldest sister got married. The catering hall had a bar with a TV and he’d keep going back there to watch the action to the dismay of my mom. When the game was on at home, we all knew never to disturb him, I mean he was totally addicted to the Mets. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident while driving home from work less than five miles from home. It was raining and a witness said he swerved to avoid hitting a dog and lost control of his vehicle.

About a year after his death I was home alone and had gotten into a big argument with my girlfriend that day. I was still upset and turned on the TV to get my mind off of it. It was the third or fourth inning of a Mets game and they were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of changing the channel as I would normally do, I kept watching. It was weird, but I felt like my father was sitting there with me. It felt good and I just kept watching. All that you could hear in my house was the game, and it was a good one. It drew me in. During a break in between innings, I grabbed a Coke and hurried back to watch as the Mets were three outs away from winning the game as they headed into the top of the ninth ahead 9-7. I couldn’t believe how exciting this all was to me. I grabbed the remote and raised the volume to watch the end.

But then the unthinkable happened. The Pirates came roaring back with two runs to tie the game. I don’t know why, but I moaned something inaudible in frustration as the tying run crossed the plate. I didn’t know who John Franco was at the time, a Met I’d grow to love, but at that moment I started yelling at my TV and cursed this poor guy out. The Mets didn’t score in the bottom half of the inning and so it was onto the tenth, further adding to my anxiety.

At this point I was totally engrossed in this game. I wanted to to see the Mets win. I wanted so desperately to see them come back and beat these Pirates for my dad. And wouldn’t you know it, I was going to experience my first ever Mets miracle – my first taste of Mets magic.

In the bottom of the tenth, Carl Everett hit a three-run shot that just cleared the top of the fence to beat the Bucs 12-9. I jumped up and yelled “yes!!!” at the top of my lungs just as my mother was just coming home. “What are you screaming about and why is the TV so loud!”

“The Mets won! The Mets won!” I said. “You should have seen it, mom!”

“Since when did you become a Mets fan,” my mom asked. I thought about it and said, “just now.” That was the first day of my Mets journey.

My dad left behind a huge collection of books on the Mets for me to catch up on all their history. He also left me his Mets baseball card collection which was now all mine. One day, while going through some of the cards and reading the backs, I discovered a note from him in one of the boxes of cards. It said, Dear Stevie, I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I have. Love, Dad. I was so shocked that this note from my dad was sitting in one of those old boxes for all this time.

He was probably waiting to give them to me, if I had only gone out and played that game of catch with him. So this is why I love the Mets. They are a bridge to my dad who I miss so much. But also because they taught me how to believe in miracles. I love this team.

Lets Go Mets!

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MMO Exclusive: I Guess Sandy Wasn’t Kidding After All http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mmo-exclusive-i-guess-sandy-wasnt-kidding-after-all.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mmo-exclusive-i-guess-sandy-wasnt-kidding-after-all.html/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:34:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169452 sandy alderson matt

One of our readers named Matt, reached out to me last week and wrote:

I’ve been following MMO for the last two years or so, although I’ve only commented maybe once or twice. Thank you for the great content and dedication.

Anyway, the reason I am writing is because I am taking a Literature of Baseball class this term at Drexel University, and my professor is a consultant for the Mets. Tonight, at 6 pm, Sandy Alderson will be coming to speak to the class and will be open for any questions.

The class only has 15-20 students or so, and I should have plenty of time to ask him anything and everything. I was just wondering if there is anything you would like me to ask on behalf of MMO and then pass along the answers. We were told anything is fair game, but to please refrain from the ongoing Leigh Castergine lawsuit.

Having just ran a series of posts covering MMO’s John Bernhardt’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Sandy Alderson last week, there was really only one more question that never got asked that I wanted to throw at Sandy:

“There are many fans who have become frustrated with how every decision still seems to be heavily based on dollars. There are those who believe the team should be operating with a payroll that should be on par with other teams that play in large markets. My question to you Sandy is, what do you believe is an appropriate payroll range for the New York Mets and how long until they can operate at that level again?”

About three hours later, Matt responded to me with a photo he took with Sandy and the following response:

It was a great experience, he is probably as knowledgeable as anyone in baseball. Some very interesting things about the Mets, as well as Major League Baseball in general. I’ll send you another email soon with more about what he said, but as for the payroll question…

In typical Sandy Alderson fashion, he said that payroll should be so that the team at least hits a break even point. Now that the Mets are at that point, payroll increase will correlate with revenue increase which he acknowledged would only come from winning.

He also said that right now, the Mets need to continue to get a little more out of their players than what the team is paying for them – a la Lucas Duda, Jacob deGrom, and others. That would lead to more winning and give the Mets increased revenue, and thus increased payroll, and hopefully even more winning.

It was an interesting response. I never expected Sandy to give me an actual payroll range simply because the truth would probably not coincide with what his employers have in mind. But that Sandy transitioned into a player’s performance outpacing their cost to the team was interesting to hear. That is the essence of the advanced metric revolution, of course.

But there was one more thing Matt mentioned that we both probably had a good laugh about.

I don’t think you can quote him on it, but a Phillies fan took a jab at Sandy and asked him, “When are the Mets ever gonna make the playoffs again?”  Sandy replied,  “Next year.”

I can tell you that neither me or Matt took that exchange very seriously, and in fact, I wasn’t even going to mention it. But in light of yesterday’s stunning events, maybe Sandy wasn’t kidding after all… Maybe he was dead serious about making the playoffs in 2015… Anyway, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. :-)

I want to thank Matt for reaching out to us and letting us share his experience with the MMO community.

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Mets Head To GM Meetings With Plenty Of Work To Do http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-head-to-gm-meetings-with-plenty-of-work-to-do.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-head-to-gm-meetings-with-plenty-of-work-to-do.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:58:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169657 sandy alderson

The annual General Managers Meetings officially begins on Monday night in Phoenix, AZ where everyone will meet for dinner and learn who was named the 2014 MLB Executive of the Year. But of course that is merely the backdrop.

The GM Meetings have evolved into a staging ground for all of the wheeling and dealing that is to come this winter. It’s the official start of the Hot Stove season and more and more trades and signings come out of it with each passing year.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Monday is also the deadline for free agents who received a $15.3 million qualifying offer to either reject or accept. And for players like Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval – who are certain to reject their QO – you can expect to see them or their agents roaming the lobbies and rubbing shoulders with team executives over the next three days.

Looking back a year ago, the Mets began the GM Meetings with a joke when Sandy Alderson told reporters he was late because he was upstairs counting big stacks of five-dollar bills in his hotel room.

Not to be outdone, Scott Boras smirked and responded, “The Mets are like NASA. They have big rockets, a lot of platforms but very few astronauts.”

The next day, after learning that Sandy Alderson had no interest in any $100 million dollar players, Boras quipped: “The hardest thing about limits is that it doesn’t limit others. It limits you.”

Mets co-owner Jeff Wilpon showed up on day two and upon arriving he told reporters that the Mets had something big cooking and that Sandy would be making an announcement later that evening.

But an hour later, when Sandy was informed about his boss’s comments he exclaimed, “No, no, no” and told reporters that “nothing was imminent.” And with that, the 2013 GM Meetings came to a close.

That was then and this is now.

This will be Sandy Alderson’s fifth offseason with the Mets and most agree that it will be his most important. With a fan base that has grown very weary and apathetic, he can’t afford to show up to Spring Training with a team that appears to be less than a bonafide pennant contender.

My guess is that this year’s GM Meetings will be more substantive and that the Mets will be spending a great deal of their time trying to gauge interest in Daniel Murphy, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese.

Of course, they’ll also try to ascertain what they would have to give up for players like Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Alexei Ramirez, and even Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki whom Sandy coveted before they got hurt.

There will be plenty of questions and story lines…

Do we go with Matt den Dekker in right field and get a right-handed bat to platoon with him?

Should we just hand shortstop to Wilmer Flores? Or does he replace Murphy at second?

Should Mets trade one of their young arms for an impact bat?

Can we unload Bartolo Colon’s contract this offseason?

We’re looking forward to covering all the action from Phoenix, and as always, MMO promises not to run with any blog sourced rumors. Our bullshit detectors will be armed and ready.

This should be a fun three days and we look forward to debating everything with all of you in our comment threads.

Lets Go Mets!

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Just A Quick Word Of Thanks… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/just-a-quick-word-of-thanks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/just-a-quick-word-of-thanks.html/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 02:50:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169280 thank-you

Tonight I was watching the Players Choice Awards when I received an email from someone whose comment wasn’t posting after several tries. I logged onto Disqus to try and figure out what the problem was and I quickly resolved the issue for him. I wrote to tell him and thanked him for reading MMO. A few minutes later I got this:

Thanks Joe. I really admire you for the site you have built. Your personal interactions with other fans is unheard of these days and your passion for the Mets really shines through. Thank you for caring so much. LGM!!!!

Wow, that really made my night… Heck, it made my week… Thank you, Tyler.

At a time when most sites are disengaging from their own fans and readers and focusing mostly on generating more revenue and expanding their social media presence, it was so nice to see someone notice that we truly do care about our readers on MMO. As I told one reader, Matlack, just yesterday, I consider all of you my extended family.

Since day one, my goal has always been to create a baseball community that truly represented all Mets fans; guys and gals, young and old, optimists and pessimists. And thanks to all of you, we’ve certainly achieved that. Together we’ve created the largest Mets community on the internet.

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Here we are, more than a month into the offseason, and we had over 34,000 comments in October. October! That is pretty impressive, And even more impressive is that it came from over 900 different users. We’ve really created something special.

One more thing… This site wouldn’t be what it is without the tremendous contributions of over 40 writers and editors, each just as passionate as the rest of us. They are all perfectionists too and care so much about presenting you with content that is not only well-articulated, but also professionally written. You can’t teach that kind of pride and purpose, you either have it or you don’t.

Anyway, I just wanted to take some time to thank all of you for making MMO what it is today. So thanks to all of our writers and editors, but most of all – thanks to all of you – our readers.

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Miracle Mets Still A Sore Spot For Frank Robinson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/miracle-mets-still-a-sore-spot-for-frank-robinson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/miracle-mets-still-a-sore-spot-for-frank-robinson.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 04:31:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168212 gal-shea-seaver-8-jpg

“It’s always good planning to have a baseball in the dugout with shoe polish on it, just in case.”

That is the expression coined following the infamous Shoe Polish incident, when in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, Cleon Jones hit the deck to evade a Dave McNally pitch that skidded into the Mets dugout, only to be retrieved by Mets skipper Gil Hodges to reveal a smudge of shoe polish, awarding Jones first base. The next batter Donn Clendenon would smash a two-run homer leading to a Mets victory and eventually winning their first World Series title in franchise history.

The incident capped off one of most incredible World Series upsets in baseball history. The Miracle Mets, more commonly known as the “Lovable Losers” since their inception, needed just five games to best Earl Weaver‘s 109-win Baltimore Orioles and become champions.

I spoke to one of those mighty 1969 Orioles about this controversial moment in Mets history when I was covering the MLB Draft for MMO. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson did not hesitate to speak his mind on the subject when I broached it with him.

“It had to be a trick,” said Robinson. “People forget the length of time that ball went into the dugout before Gil Hodges brought it out to show it to the umpire.”

“That ball didn’t go into the dugout with black shoe polish on it, but it came out with black shoe polish on it,” he said.

Several different Met accounts have come out over the years including Ron Swoboda claiming that the pitch hit an open bag of balls, spilling identical baseballs all over the dugout, one of which Gil picked up that had a black mark on it.

Of the most recent claims was Jerry Koosman, who in 2009 stated that Hodges instructed him to rub the ball on his shoe, however neither accounts put to rest whether the pitch actually hit Jones, a truth that will likely never be known for sure.

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Although even if Jones wasn’t awarded first base in Game 5, Robinson doesn’t believe it would have made all that great of a difference in the outcome of the game or the series.

“The Mets deserved to win, they did what they had to to win,” said Robinson. “I still watch it on classic sports and I still don’t believe we lost.”

Like Robinson, many were in shock at the fact that the lowly New York Mets, just seven years into existence, stood atop the baseball world. After their improbable comeback to beat out the Chicago Cubs for the division crown, they had an even greater upset of the Orioles and the ‘Bird’s Big Four’ in stunning fashion. Robinson recalls what he found most impressive about the Mets in that series.

“They got contributions from everybody, the little guys we used to call them, and they did what they had to do,” said Robinson almost begrudgingly. “They also had some great pitching.”

Despite his high praise of the team, it was clear that the Miracle Mets to this day are still not Robinson’s favorite subject as he brought the conversation of the Amazin’s to an abrupt close.

“That’s all I’ve got to say about ‘69.”

The legend of the 1969 Mets lives on to this day as one of the greatest Cinderella stories in the game’s history, who with the help of a little shoe-polished baseball, were able to put National League baseball in New York back on the map with their first World Series title.

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Puppets, Puppeteers and Pedagogy, Why Managers Matter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/puppets-puppeteers-and-pedagogy-why-managers-matter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/puppets-puppeteers-and-pedagogy-why-managers-matter.html/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167595 terry collins 2

Pedagogy: the method and practice of teaching. From the Greek “ped” (child) and “agogi” (a place where you undergo a test or “trial by suffering” that you learn from – as in “agony”).

We all teach and we all learn throughout our lives. Some of us are better at it than others. There is a misconception in many circles that teaching (and learning) are exclusive to academic settings, and that once a person reaches a level of mastery they graduate to some sort of real world where they no longer stand to benefit from the acquisition of new information. This is of course absurd. I cannot think of a single occupation outside of perhaps the most banal and menial where you would not benefit from continued learning and growth. Those of us who open our minds continue to grow, while those us us who resist the novel and the new, do not.

There is a bias in baseball, one that implies that a player’s physical skills are all that matters. That once a player learns the essentials of the game, he is ready for the big leagues provided he has the physical talent to compete.  And yet this is clearly not the case as nearly half of all high draft picks never make it to the show. You cannot in good conscience say that they didn’t have the tools because they are drafted almost entirely on the merits of their physical gifts. Clearly there is something else at work, clearly there is a psychological, cognitive, and perhaps even emotional aspect to the game that isn’t quite understood in a world of how high can you jump how fast is your bat and how hard can you throw? Consider for a moment what life is like for a kid far from home, cast into a world of “b” list cities, vending machine fare, crummy hotels, and endless grueling bus rides. It’s not for everyone.

A great mystery of Major League Baseball is why the jump to the majors is so difficult for so many. Is it the level of skill? The increased speed and strength and agility required to compete against the best of the best? Or is it something else?

Many have argued that what makes Major League Baseball so difficult is the pressure of the big stage itself. The bright lights and the unforgiving lens of the media and the fans can make the mental aspect of the game overwhelming. In reality it is of course some combination of both, but fans of this great game have often wondered why some organizations, the Cardinals and Braves for instance (Minnesota and Oakland are up there also), seem to routinely produce more viable major league players?

Scouting certainly may have something to do with it, but how often have we seen two players with comparable physical gifts take different paths? One succeeds while the other ends up back in San Antonio working in the old man’s furniture shop. The fact of the matter is that the more time and money an organization invests in a prospect, the greater the chances that prospect will succeed. Mike Piazza was a 62nd round draft pick, but he had a godfather in the organization looking after his needs and he was of a mindset that allowed him to take batting practice for hours on end until his hands bled.

Player development may play a greater role than we think. The pedagogy of preparing young athletes for the rigors and challenges of major league baseball is no small undertaking. It takes a certain kind of person … patient, intelligent, creative, experienced, with impeccable communication skills. They need to be part teacher, part parent, part psychiatrist. Coaches in the minor leagues have a uniquely challenging job. You have to believe that organizations that devote exceptional resources to their player development programs do a better job of producing major league players, and this does in fact appear to be true. The Braves for instance actually employ a mental skills coach who conducts psychological evaluations of potential draft selections for the Scouting Department – his name is Geoff Miller. Mr. Miller has even written a book on “Intangibles.”

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But this story isn’t about intangibles or even player development. This story is about pedagogy, the teaching and learning involved in competitive baseball. Sandy Alderson came to us with his own set of beliefs and inclinations. His doctrine involves securing young controllable pitching assets, managing the strike-zone, clogging the basepaths — we’ve been over Mr. Alderson’s tenets ad nauseam … But one of his long held beliefs is that the coaching staff  at the major league level shouldn’t be working on teaching a whole lot … they’re maybe tweaking a thing here or there and providing lots of incidental support but not much else.

For this reason Mr. Alderson has always taken a watered down approach to selecting his major league coaching staff … as if his manager is a token figurehead with little impact or influence who more or less goes through the motions of creating a lineup and making fairly cut and dry in-game moves that don’t require a lot of sophistication and don’t amount to much anyway. This goes against virtually everything that Alderson the man represents … from his military background to his experience in academia, he more than anyone should know that leadership and teaching are indispensable.

His approach is one of there only being one leader, one clear chain of command, and field managers who usurp this chain with their own ideas are dangerous because they may deviate from organizational tenets thereby interfering with their integrity and application … But If there’s one thing we know about our species it’s that we’re all different and the best teachers have always been those most tuned into those differences, able to tailor learning tasks to individual needs, able to work around a particular learner’s blocks and shortcomings by being creative, by thinking outside the box, by taking alternate perspectives.

A debate has raged in education in recent years as standardized testing and common core curricula have blanketed the profession making many tenured experienced teachers feel like mindless automatons forced to teach to faulty tests in a system that deprives them of the ingenuity, flexibility, and creativity that was once the driving force of that all important student-teacher bond … teachers know their students better than administrators, test developers, and politicians … managers and coaches know their players better than general managers (and owners).

It’s an odd and peculiar irony that the same micromanaging and standardization plaguing our educational system also presents as quite possibly the biggest impediment that our Mets are facing in their attempt to take the next step. Terry Collins is a veteran’s coach. He’s a guy who says the right things to the media, does what he’s told, and doesn’t make waves, but he is also very, very old. He’s not the motivator, the inspirational leader, the win at all costs find a way to succeed pioneering thinker that this very young team needs.

Terry Collins is not that teacher or coach that we all remember got in our faces and forced us to become better, to look at ourselves, to believe in ourselves and to push through doubt. He just isn’t. It’s not a knock on Collins … I’m sure he is a good person with deep knowledge of the game that might be perfectly suited to any number of other baseball scenarios, but he isn’t a teacher, he is more of a caretaker. This team needs someone who will get personal, who will find ways of helping players solve their issues, be they psychological, physical, or emotional.

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A figurehead placeholder, a puppet if you will, cannot do that. No one wants Pinocchio for a boss – as the recent Geico “did you know” commercial points out. Pinocchio doesn’t make for a good inspirational speaker. Puppets aren’t very good listeners either, and if there’s one thing I’ve discovered over the years, it’s that you can’t teach if you can’t listen.

Sometimes refusing to admit you are wrong precludes learning. We’ve all had those moments in our lives when we’ve had to come to terms with our mistakes, and for this front office, they need to confront the possibility that they’ve been fabulously amiss in their approach to selecting a manager for their major league club.

Until that time when the Mets front office recognizes that you can only pull the strings so far and you need someone on the ground who is uniquely involved with his players and who can teach and motivate and solve complex problems, this team will be mired much more in the agony part of pedagogy, than the learning part.

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Di-Jest Song Parody: Eve Of Contention http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-song-parody-eve-of-contention.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-song-parody-eve-of-contention.html/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:25:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165753 terry collins

Di-Jest readers know that I started watching the Mets in ’62 when I was just a teenager. The music that I fell in love with is almost entirely from the ’60′s and ’70′s. By the time disco arrived I was already, to quote Gary Cohen, “outta here.”

Sometimes Di-Jest articles are song parodies and the songs almost always date back forty or more years. One of my favorite protest tunes back then was recorded by Barry McGuire in 1965. It was called “Eve of Destruction” which you can play below. But before that, here’s my version of it called:

Eve of Contention

(You’ll have to supply your own harmonica breaks)

September’s come again and still the Mets are losin’
The Nats have just come in to give the team a bruisin’
The captain’s on the shelf – he’s got an injured shoulder
He hasn’t hit a lick and now he’s getting older
Attendance really sucks and it sure is getting colder.

But you tell me…
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you do believe
We’re on the eve of contention.

The guys we added on were Bart, Young and Grandy
Supposed to be all good – that’s what we heard from Sandy
Bartolo’s worked out well – he’s really pitched okay
But Chris sucked so much – he got sent the Yankees’ way
While Curtis goes hitless – almost every day.

But you tell me…
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you do believe
We’re on the eve of contention.

The fans are fightin’ mad. All the time they’re bitchin’
The F.O. says but wait, you know we got the pitchin’
Harvey’s coming back and he’s beyond compare
DeGrom is deBoss and how about his hair
And Jenrry gets those saves and then he’s got that flair.

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you do believe
We’re on the eve of contention.

Wilmer’s now at short – but he lacks the range for that.
The other guy is Ruben – who doesn’t have the bat.
Left field’s a black hole – no one can hit and play it
EY and Kirk and Dekker – it really hurts to say it
They need another guy – but you know the Mets won’t pay it.

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you do believe
We’re on the eve of contention.

Jeff has caused a mess. I don’t mean maybe
He fired someone just because she had a baby
We’re hoping it’s a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire
And boorish Jeff himself heads to the waiver wire
And that the Wilpons time is ready to expire.

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you do believe
We’re on the eve of contention.

Yeah, yeah
You do believe we’re on the eve of contention.

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Keep Murphy As Super Utility Player? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/keep-murphy-as-super-utility-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/keep-murphy-as-super-utility-player.html/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:53:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164826 daniel murphy

Wait, what?

That’s exactly what Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests the Mets do with Daniel Murphy next season.

The Mets should pay Murphy roughly $8 million to be a utility man next year, or really a super-utility man. Their defenseless version of Ben Zobrist.

His reasoning is that a team that already struggles on offense and plans to contend next season, should not be trading the National League’s hits leader over the last two seasons. He adds that the Mets should be looking to add quality players for 2015 and not subtracting them – If there was any truth to them being contenders next season.

“That is unless you are trading him for other hitters who can help in 2015,” Sherman says, though he doesn’t believe that’s possible..

“A club that wanted Murphy would either trade pitching — and that is not an area the Mets need to further solidify — or prospects. And why would a contending team, like the Mets intend to be next year, want more prospects?”

Sherman adds that If the Mets actually turn out to be contenders, they can retain Murphy all season and decide how to handle his free agency afterward. And if they are not contenders, then they could deal him in July for a return probably not all that different from what they could get this offseason.

However, Sherman contends that the Mets handling this offseason as if they’re contenders is mostly folly.

“We are just a few weeks away from the Mets’ now-familiar offseason mantra — the one in which they proclaim plans to be contenders the following year and there is no clamp on their wallet to make that happen.”

“Mets fans will be forgiven for believing in this and the tooth fairy equally — fool me once, shame on you, fool me several times, well, you understand.”

There is no way that the Mets retains Murphy for $8 million to be a utility player who gets 300 at-bats next season. And quite frankly, I doubt that Murphy would sign on for that. Then of course there’s the matter of Murphy not having enough glove to fill a super utility role. Isn’t that a prerequisite for being a super utility player?

But who knows… There are some fans who believe that Sandy Alderson gave Chris Young $7.25 million to be an insurance policy for Juan Lagares because that was the spin after the Mets cut him loose.

So if that’s true, then keeping Murphy for those same reasons may not be such a bad idea, right?

After all, at least Murphy has given the Mets $16 million in value this season compared to $1 million for that other guy – that other insurance policy.

In the end, I believe that Murphy won’t be with the Mets and that’s mostly because they can’t spare the $8 million it will cost to keep him. Get used to this, because you’ll see it again and again as more and more young players get into their arbitration years.

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Difficult to See How Mets and Cubs Match Up For Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/difficult-to-see-how-mets-and-cubs-match-up-for-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/difficult-to-see-how-mets-and-cubs-match-up-for-trade.html/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:27:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163607 starlin castro

“It’s hard to see how we would actually match up,” a team official told Andy Martino of the Daily News when asked if the Cubs were ideal trade partners for the Mets..

The problem is that neither team is eager to part with its top prospects, and both would require a major haul to do so. In other words, the Mets will likely find the Cubs’ prices too high, and vice-versa.

Martino provides two examples:

1. The Mets might consider parting with Noah Syndergaard for shortstop prospect Addison Russell. That’s great, but we’re told that the Cubs would almost certainly want another top prospect. The Mets would consider that too steep. No deal.

2. The Mets consider Zack Wheeler, plus a “sweetener” like Wilmer Flores, a reasonable price for Starlin Castro. That does not mean that the Mets would definitely make that deal, just that they wouldn’t consider the request inappropriate. But guess what? The Cubs would say, “Ok, Wheeler and Flores. That’s a decent start. What else will you give us? Maybe Jacob deGrom? Syndergaard?”

One more important factor to note is that the Cubs are ready to spend significant money on pitching, so they don’t need to sacrifice any prospects.

The Mets on the other hand have no such luxury. Last offseason the Mets said they were ready to spend and instead cut payroll by another $10 million from the previous season.

Look, I believe the Mets are two significant pieces away from making some real noise in the NL East for the rest of this decade. However I have no faith that we have the dollars or commitment to see this through.

I hope I’m wrong.

August 20

With Chicago in town, John Harper of the Daily News has been talking with different front office people from both sides, asking what it would take for the Mets and Cubs to make a trade this winter.

Many baseball people speculate that it’s practically inevitable, considering the Cubs are loaded with shortstops and the Mets clearly need one, no matter how much they try to wish Wilmer Flores into being the answer there.

One source told him that the most obvious trade chip would be Starlin Castro, however the Mets seem reluctant to give up one of their top young pitchers for what they see as the “talented but flawed” shortstop.

The Mets would prefer to deal for Addison Russell, the 20-year-old Double-A shortstop acquired from the A’s in July in the Jeff Samardzija trade, who is expected to be major-league ready at some point next season. But as I’ve written before, it would require a major, major, overpay and that’s never been Sandy Alderson’s style.

Then you have Javier Baez, the power-hitting middle infielder who already has four home runs in 12 big-league games. But Harper learned that the Mets front office doesn’t believe the Cubs would trade him even if it was for Noah Syndergaard, who “they have scouted repeatedly.”

Unsurprisingly, another source believes that Mets may just hold onto their young pitchers and the plan will be the same as last offseason, trying to find s left fielder and shortstop upgrade in free agency.

On the trade front, the Mets would prefer to give up Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, or Rafael Montero, but none of them will attract any trade with the Cubs who will certainly want one of the high-end guys — Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom or Syndergaard.

But the bottom line is that if the Mets don’t give the Cubs the young high-ceiling pitcher they covet, there’s no shortage of teams in the majors that are also looking to get their hands on either Russell, Baez or Castro.

Also, I agree with Harper that Castro will be the one to go. I liken it to the Mets version of trading wanting to trade Gee and keeping Wheeler (Baez) and Thor (Russell).

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Wright Still Frustrated, Alderson Says He’s Handling It Well http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/wright-still-frustrated-alderson-says-hes-handling-it-well.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/wright-still-frustrated-alderson-says-hes-handling-it-well.html/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:23:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163696 david wright

David Wright went 0-for-4 in yesterday’s finale against the Athletics, and is just 1-for-17 in his last five games while batting .268 this season.

In an interview with the Rockland Times, Wright said:

“No one is happy with the position we are in” and the team has missed opportunities to win games they should have won, but the team has young players “learning on the job…and that’s the best way to learn.”

Sandy Alderson addressed Wright’s current slump and his overall decline this season, in an interview with flagship stadium WOR.

“First of all, no player is ever going to be at the top of his game consistently throughout a season, or over ‘X’ number of seasons. And part of dealing with the adversity is how it’s handled. David handles it very well. We certainly recognize this is a collective thing.”

Alderson is inferring that the problem is not Wright, but rather the team-wide effect which he believes is impacting Wright’s numbers.

“It’s been pretty much across the board, starting with the top of our lineup all the way through. When you only get three or four hits a night, there’s a collective issue. We’ve got some young players in the lineup who we’ve got to give some time, but I think it’s been a collective thing. I do believe that offensively we will get better. The question is how much better.”

Yes that is the question. It’s been the question for six years now.

August 19

David Wright is mired in another slump as his career worst season continues. The Mets Captain insists it’s not his shoulder.

“The shoulder is not an excuse. Again, when I go tell the manager that I’m good to play, I expect to produce. I’m not thinking about the shoulder. I’m not thinking about bad habits. I’m thinking about going out there and trying to excel and doing what I’m capable of doing, that I’ve proven I can do. When I don’t do that, I’m as frustrated as anybody.”

Wright returned to the lineup on Monday after sitting out a day with a sore shoulder and went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. Worse yet, were the resounding boos Wright heard in the ninth as he headed back to the dugout.  

“If I’m in the lineup, I expect to produce to a certain standard,” he said. “When I don’t, it’s frustrating.”

You can almost read the tension in every at-bat this season for Wright. Gone is that confident swagger he took to the plate, and in its place is a player searching for answers, swimming in doubt, and fighting to rediscover his former self.

Wright will turn 32 in December and he clearly is in the decline phase of his career. But there seems to be more going on here than just a gradual and typical decline. I am concerned that there’s more to his sore shoulder than he’s letting on. He’s altered his whole approach, has made several mechanical adjustments to his swing, and just last week he admitted that he can’t remember what it feels like to be in a good hitting groove.

I do believe that batting third is also adding undue pressure at a time when he’s battling the burden of a huge contract, playing through various injuries, aches and pains, while also coming to the realization that his skills are now declining.

As the Mets wrap up the final 35 games of what will be a sixth straight losing season, Wright will have all Winter to rest up and hopefully show up next Spring with the confidence we’ve come to expect from him, but more importantly the player the team needs him to be – and that is a reliable top-flight run producer in the middle of the lineup.

Additionally, Wright’s not getting any younger and even he understands that it’s time for Sandy Alderson to deliver on his promise of a better future.

“This offseason is going to be an important one,” Wright told the Daily News. “Because we have gotten to the point where I do think that we’re talking about a piece or two away from being a really, really good team.”

Of course the one or two pieces Wright speaks of will have to be difference makers, and that requires either a huge outlay of money or surrendering some top prospects, neither of which I believe the front office is prepared to do.

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