Mets Merized Online » believe http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:38:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Heyman: Fowler’s Camp Seeking $18 Million Annually http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/heyman-fowlers-camp-seeking-18-million-annually.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/heyman-fowlers-camp-seeking-18-million-annually.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:33:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227387 dexter fowler

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports on Twitter, Dexter Fowler‘s representatives believe the outfielder can land an $18 million annual, multi-year deal.

Heyman names the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays as potential suitors of Fowler’s talents.

Fowler, 31 on Opening Day, appeared in his first all-star game in 2016, while helping the Cubs take home their first World Series title since 1908.

In 125 games, Fowler hit to a .276/.393/.447 batting line, with 13 homers and 48 RBIs.

Originally acquired by the Cubs in 2015 from the Houston Astros, Fowler rejoined the Cubs on a one-year pact for 2016 for $8 million, and is now looking to capitalize on his all-star season.

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Expect Few Changes Offensively for the Mets in 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/expect-few-changes-offensively-for-the-mets-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/expect-few-changes-offensively-for-the-mets-in-2017.html/#comments Mon, 17 Oct 2016 16:57:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224965 MLB: SEP 20 Yankees at Mets

One of the questions I am asked most often is what I think the Mets will do this offseason, and quite frankly I don’t really see the Mets doing too much. Perhaps the most significant decision facing the Mets is trying to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes – and I’m hearing the front office will be focusing most of their efforts on getting some kind of resolution on this before they do anything else. Rightfully so. What the Mets do or don’t do this offseason offensively, all hinges on whether Cespedes will be back next season.

If Cespedes does re-sign with the Mets, I would expect to see the team looking very similar to the one that they ended the season with except for a few minor changes. Offensively, I would expect the starting outfield to remain intact with Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares platooning in center field flanked by Cespedes in left and Jay Bruce in right.

Despite a report by Adam Rubin to the contrary, I do not see the Mets tendering a qualifying offer to second baseman Neil Walker. Instead, the Mets will cross their fingers and hope that T.J. Rivera is every bit as good as he looked in his month-long debut. They will still have Jose Reyes as a fallback option on the roster with Gavin Cecchini providing some depth at Triple-A.

Like it or not, the Mets are locked in at the corners with Lucas Duda and David Wright. At first base, Duda finally returned in late September from his back injury and he should benefit from a full offseason of rest. Meanwhile, Wright is laser focused on returning from his neck surgery while continuing to battle with his spinal stenosis condition. With Reyes on hand, the Mets will give their captain every opportunity to mount his comeback while remaining at ease if things go awry.

Second half MVP, Asdrubal Cabrera, will be back at shortstop and will have all Winter to rest his ailing knee. Cabrera was a steadying force defensively at short and he became a force batting second in the order.

It’s behind the plate where you might see some significant change after a very disappointing season by Travis d’Arnaud. You have to believe that arbitration eligible Rene Rivera will be back, but will the front office see the catching position as an opportunity to upgrade? Or do they give their once promising catching tandem of d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki another year to step forward and win the starting backstop job?

The bench is where you’ll see at least one small change. Do the Mets roll with Brandon Nimmo in a utility outfield role or do they go out and sign another Alejandro De Aza type outfielder? Other than that, Reyes and Wilmer Flores should return as backup infielders.

Now, if the Mets fail to bring back Cespedes, you have to believe that a right-handed power bat will be high on the Mets to-do list this Winter. And that could lead to a substantial domino effect. But I have a good feeling that the Yo Show will return to Citi Field in 2017 so it’s a moot point.

Up Next: Thoughts on Rotation and Bullpen

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Featured Article: Jonathan Lucroy Is Not An Ideal Fit For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-jonathan-lucroy-is-not-an-ideal-fit-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-jonathan-lucroy-is-not-an-ideal-fit-for-mets.html/#comments Fri, 17 Jun 2016 16:54:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=214663 MJS brewers21 14 of hoffman.jpg brewers21

The Mets have three big holes due to key players going down with significant injuries. Lucas Duda has a stress fracture in his back. David Wright has a herniated disc in his neck in addition to his spinal stenosis. And Travis d’Arnaud has a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder.

With this in mind, the Mets have to answer a few questions as the trade deadline approaches:

  1. Are any of the three players likely to return?
  2. Do the Mets have viable internal options to replace that player?
  3. What is out there on the trade market?

Working backwards, the biggest name on the trade market appears to be Jonathan Lucroy if you put any credence into what Jon Heyman, Joel Sherman and others are reporting.

Lucroy is having a terrific season, hitting .304/.361/.515 with nine home runs and 28 RBI. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he is playing this well as he typically performs better in even numbered years than odd numbered years since becoming a full time starter in 2011. In 2012, his OPS+ was 132; in 2014, it was 131, and this year it is 132. In short, we can reasonably expect Lucroy to keep this up.

The Milwaukee backstop is just as proficient defensively as he is offensively. Behind the plate, he’s earned a reputation for being an excellent pitch framer. He also has a powerful arm and has gunned down 42.9% of would-be base stealers. Simply put, Lucroy is as much of a complete catcher as there is in the game. He’s also a massive upgrade over d’Arnaud’s replacements.

Since d’Arnaud’s last game on April 25th, Rene Rivera and Kevin Plawecki have combined to hit .190/.273/.289. While they have been good pitch framers, and Rivera has been a stabilizing force behind the plate, they have both established themselves as poor hitting backup catchers. The Mets need a starting catcher that can hit. That was supposed to be d’Arnaud.

With that said, I believe the Mets should take a pass on Lucroy despite the obvious upgrade he’d give the Mets over any of their current catchers.

travis d'Arnaud

With d’Arnaud already swinging a bat in rehab games and now catching as of Saturday, he is ever so close to rejoining the team. Officially, the Mets must activate him no later than Sunday, June 26th when his 20 day rehab assignment ends.

Assuming he’s healthy, d’Arnaud can continue being a good overall catcher for the Mets. He’s a better than average pitch framer, is coming off a .268/.340/.485 season, and even hit three homeruns in the postseason last year. The only issue that bears watching is if he can throw out base stealers with his injured shoulder. With the way Mets pitchers hold on base runners, that may not be as big an issue as one might normally believe.

With his injury history, there may come a point in time that the Mets may decide to move on from d’Arnaud. However, now is not that time and the Mets have bigger issues anyway.

Mets assistant GM John Ricco gave a vote of confidence to d’Arnaud on Saturday, as reported by Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, and he basically shot down any rumors that the Mets are looking to move on from him.

“We haven’t really talked about going out and getting catching. That’s not something that’s on our list right now,” Ricco said.

“I think between Travis and Plawecki, we’re still very confident both of them are going to be very good players…  The injuries are obviously something Travis is going to have to overcome to stay on the field. But between the two of those guys, I think we’re still really confident that we have two good ones.”

 Then of course, there’s one more important factor to consider regarding going after Lucroy… The price.

Given his overall offensive and defensive prowess, plus a ridiculously team-friendly contract that pays him $4 million this year and $5.25 million in 2017, the Mets would have to part with their two best prospects or maybe one of them plus Zack Wheeler. 

Sorry, that’s too steep a price to upgrade a position that may not even need upgrading if Travis d’Arnaud returns and starts delivering on all that promise.

James Loney has been a fine stopgap at first base, but he’s still only hitting .250/.302/.350 and is not a long term solution.

Wilmer Flores has done a fine job at third base, hitting .389/.450/.500 and he has been much better with his approach at the plate. But he also has an unsustainably high .500 BABIP pointing to a regression back to the .255/.292/.385 career hitter he is.

Overall, the Mets have some uncertainty at first and third with no one really knowing when or if Wright and Duda will return this season.

Accordingly, the Mets should potentially use their resources toward reinforcing third and/or first base. That’s not Lucroy… UNLESS the Mets feel comfortable paying the huge price he’ll command on the trade market to play first base  - a position he has only played 43 times in his seven year career.

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Collins Still Believes In Matt Harvey http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/collins-still-believes-in-matt-harvey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/collins-still-believes-in-matt-harvey.html/#comments Mon, 30 May 2016 12:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213439 matt harvey terry collins

Despite Matt Harvey’s brutal start to the season, Terry Collins believes he will rebound.

“I do believe as we continue that Matt’s going to get better,” Collins said. “If this was something that we thought was physical, I’d say, ‘Hey, he’s going to have a tough time.’ But I think he’s going to bounce back.” (MLB.com)

Harvey enters today’s game with a 3-7 record, a 6.08 ERA and 1.68 WHIP during 51.1 innings pitched. He is coming off another disappointing start as he allowed five runs and eight hits against the Nationals while striking out only one.

Harvey also had his worst outing of his career against Washington on May 19th where he was hammered for nine runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings.

Perhaps even more concerning is how his problems go far deeper than ERA and WHIP. His numbers are down in every major category as his FIP (4.43), K./9 (7.4) and strikeout to walk ratio (2.59) are all career lows.

But prior to this season, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.

He posted a strong 2.71 ERA and 1.01 WHIP during 189 innings pitched last year, and had a career 2.53 ERA, 2.65 FIP and 9.5 K/9 through his first 65 starts.

“This is not just a Triple-A guy who’s here for a tryout,” Collins said. “This is a guy who started an All-Star Game a couple of years ago, so I think we’ve got to push a little farther.”

Despite his current struggles, Collins says Harvey is physically fine and thinks they are a result of an increased workload during the playoffs.

“He pitched later in the year than he ever has before and with great effort,” Collins said. “Those are big innings that he pitched last year in October and November. From my experience, your body doesn’t bounce back as quickly as you wish it did. Even though you’re 27-years old, sometimes it takes a little time. I think that’s exactly where Matt’s at. I’ve told him that.”

Harvey pitched 26.2 innings in the postseason, and had a 3.07 ERA with wins against both the Dodgers and Cubs. He also pitched spectacularly against the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series, even though Kansas City battled back against him in the 9th inning and later won in extra innings.

Collins also says Harvey should get stronger as the season goes on like he was able to do last year.

“I told Matt that a year ago we were all concerned that his velocity wasn’t there, that his slider wasn’t there. By mid-summer it was there. I still think the same thing’s going to happen this year.”

After the All-Star break last season, Harvey posted a stellar 2.19 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

As Harvey’s track record shows, he has the ability to be a tremendous starter. Even though his performance this year is extremely concerning, it’s easy to why Collins is still sticking by him and willing to give him every last chance to succeeded.

“We’ve discussed every possible scenario and way to deal with it,” Collins said. “We’ve talked about disabling him. But you have to have a reason. If he’s physically OK, you just can’t make up something. We’ve talked about giving him some time, sending him down, but we’ve got to get this guy to perform here. All that stuff has been discussed. We’ve just got to ring the rag dry here.”

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MMO Hall of Fame: Tug McGraw Believed When No One Else Did http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-hall-of-fame-tug-mcgraw-believed-when-no-one-else-did.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/mmo-hall-of-fame-tug-mcgraw-believed-when-no-one-else-did.html/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:00:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208026 Tug-McGraw1

Someone once said “A baseball team is a living breathing thing.” If that’s true, Tom Seaver is our heart, Gil Hodges our brain, Gary Carter our lungs (he breathed life into the Mets in Game 6), Bob Murphy our voice, Keith Hernandez our eyes. And Tug McGraw? Tug would be our spirit.

America has changed dramatically since Tug last pitched for the Mets. In 1974, a new car cost $3,750, a gallon of gas .55 cents. The biggest hit that year was Barbra Streisand’s ‘The Way We Were,’ the top grossing film was ‘Blazing Saddles’ and the highest rated TV show was ‘All in The Family.’ The nation was reeling from a president resigning in disgrace and tiring of troops in Vietnam.

Yet, despite the passage of four plus decades, we still feel Tug’s presence.

Ya-Gotta-Believe

Those of us who were lucky enough to see Tug pitch are getting older. And perhaps, as it often does, memory embellishes things. But watching Tug perform his craft was a sight to behold, a privilege. It didn’t matter if the Pirates were down by a run with the bases loaded with Willie Stargell windmilling his bat. It didn’t matter if the Reds had the tying run in scoring position with no outs and due up was Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench.

When you saw number 45 bounding out from the little bullpen cart and taking the mound, you knew—you just KNEW—everything would turn out okay. And three outs later, with Shea erupting in cheers, Jerry Grote walking to the mound shaking Tug’s hand and Tug shouting victoriously while slamming his glove against his leg, our thoughts were confirmed. Our fears alleviated. Tug made us feel better. Tug made us feel larger than life. Tug made us feel alive.

But his ascension to this level did not come overnight. It was a long arduous trek.

Frank Edwin McGraw was born in Martinez, CA on August 30, 1944. His mother nicknamed ‘Tug’ due to his “aggressive nature when he was breast-fed.” Immediately after graduating St. Vincent Ferrer High School in Vallejo, he was signed by the Mets on June 12, 1962. He was 17.

He spent one year in the minors, being used as both a starter and reliever and went 6-4 with a 1.64 ERA. The following year he made the Mets roster out of Spring Training, bypassing AA and AAA.

Tug was 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in relief when on July 28 he made his first Major League start. The team was the Cubs, the location was Wrigley Field and the wind was blowing out. He lasted just 2/3 of an inning, giving up 3 ER before being hooked. The Mets lost 9-0.

Ya Gotta Believe!  ~  Tug McGraw

Ya Gotta Believe! ~ Tug McGraw

During that summer, the Mets were in Houston. America and Baseball was changing. For the first time ever the national pastime was played indoors in a stadium that resembled a UFO on the Texas prairie. Grass couldn’t grow inside so the game was played on a specially designed synthetic material called Astro-Turf. When a reporter asked Tug if he preferred grass or Astro-Turf, he replied, “I don’t know, I never smoked Astro-Turf.”

His second start was a complete game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea. It was his first win in the big leagues. His 3rd start had him facing Sandy Koufax. Tug defeated Koufax, 5-2. It was the first time the Mets ever defeated the Dodger legend.

Tug finished 1965, both starting and relieving, with a record of 2-7 and a 3.32 ERA. He tossed 97 2/3 innings, whiffing 57 but walking 48. Decent numbers for a rookie on a team that went 50-112 and finished 47 GB.

That September, with war in Southeast Asia escalating, Tug, a US Marine, reported to Parris Island. He became a rifleman, adept at firing the M14 and M60. He later reported to Camp Lejeune where he became, as he humorously said, “a trained killer.”

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In 1966 he couldn’t regain his mediocre form. Still being used both as a spot-starter and in relief, Tug went 2-9 with a 5.52 ERA.

In 1967, he made 4 starts, going 0-3 with an embarrassing 7.79. Despite the Mets being an awful club and well on their way to another 100-loss season, even Tug couldn’t find a spot on the staff. He spent much of ’67 and all of 1968 in the minors. His career was on life support, his dream of being a big league pitcher hanging by a thread.

Early in 1969, Jerry Koosman got hurt. Manager Gil Hodges gave Tug a chance and put him in Kooz’s spot. This was Tug’s big opportunity. He could now prove to himself, a doubtful fan base and his manager that he deserved to be here.

Tug failed. He went 1-1 but his ERA was well over 5.00.

When Koosman returned from the DL, Tug was banished to the pen. He found his home.

Tug pitched exceptionally well, going 9-3, posted a career best to that point 2.24 ERA and fanned 92 batters in 100 IP.

However, he was erratic, streaky. And when the Amazins’ found themselves in the post-season for the first time ever, Hodges knew what was at stake. McGraw was too inconsistent to be trusted. He pitched just once, a game 2 slugfest, where he went 3 innings, allowing just 1 hit and 0 ER. He did not pitch again that October.

Tug would later say that 1969 was the turning point in his career. Although he had no impact on the post-season, he felt motivated by what the team did. “We were Goddamned Amazin!”

Quicker than a Nolan Ryan fastball and mastering his signature pitch, the Screwball, Tug became one of the premier closers in the league. He was respected by opponents, valued by teammates and adored by fans. He became arguably the most loved player ever to wear a Mets jersey. Tom Seaver was ‘The Franchise,’ the guy you’d enjoy sitting down and discussing Baseball with. But Tug was the guy you’d want to hang out with.

When he pitched in a game, Tug threw left-handed. However, when he loosened up in the bullpen prior to the game or played catch in the outfield with teammates, he threw right-handed. Fans frequently wondered who was that guy wearing Tug’s jersey.

The game was different back then. Closers didn’t come in to face just one batter. They earned the save. They stayed on the mound. No one cared about pitch counts. In 1970, Tug appeared in 57 games while tossing 90+ innings. He went 4-6 with a 3.28.

The following year, he went 11-4 with a 1.70 ERA, threw 111 innings in 51 games and recorded 109 K’s. Tug continued his dominance in 1972. He went 8-6, again posted a 1.70 ERA and set a team record of 27 saves, a mark that would stand until Jesse Orosco broke it in 1984. ’72 saw Tug picked for his first All-Star Game. In 2 innings of work he fanned 4 batters—Reggie Jackson, Norm Cash, Bobby Grich and Carlton Fisk—and picked up the win.

Tug McGraw had merited his spot amongst the greats of the day. And now, it was 1973.

Shockingly, once again, the Mets closer was erratic, unreliable and inconsistent. He found himself reduced to co-closer with Harry Parker.

On August 30, Tom Seaver suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in 10 innings to STL. The Mets fell into last place and were 61-71. And although they were just 6 ½ GB, they’d need to leapfrog 5 other clubs.

M. Donald Grant held a closed door meeting with the players.

He endeavored to motivate the team that’d been playing run-of-the-mill ball most of the year. Not much heart. He said they needed to believe in themselves, believe in each other and believe in their abilities.

Of all people to echo Grant’s generic speech Tug seemed the least likely. After all, he was 1-6 with an ERA north of 5. If anyone should sit there and keep his mouth shut, it was McGraw.

But not Tug. He began jumping around exuberantly, shouting and screaming, “Ya Gotta Believe! Ya Gotta Believe!” Some teammates chuckled, others rolled their eyes. Grant was offended and felt McGraw was mocking him. It was Tug being Tug.

Most likely no one really did believe. Perhaps Tug didn’t either.

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The very next day, August 31, the Mets won a thriller over STL in extra innings and rose out of the cellar. Winning pitcher? Tug McGraw.

It was one of those strange pennant races that seemingly no one wanted to win. As the Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs and Expos beat up on each other, the Mets beat up on everyone. Slowly but surely, the players started to believe. Fans started to believe. The Mets went 19-8 in September, Tug went 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA and recorded 10 saves in a month.

Number 45 took us on one hell of a ride.

Tug’s dominance continued into October. In the LCS he tossed 5 innings, scattering just 4 hits and allowing no runs. In the World Series against the A’s, he pitched in 5 of the 7 games, fanning 14 in 13 2/3 IP. It was Tug who picked up the win in crucial Game 2, a 12-inning affair that brought the Series back to NY deadlocked 1-1.

It was not to be. Despite falling short of another miracle, 1973 remains a true testament to the Mets will, drive and to believing.

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The following year, the defending NL Champion Mets struggled all season. They hobbled across the finish line going 71-91. Tug also struggled, going 6-11 with a 4.16 ERA.

If you were a fan in the 70’s, you remember–vividly and painfully–the tortuously slow disassembling of the club piece by piece. Seaver, Koosman, Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub, Cleon Jones, Buddy Harrelson, Jerry Grote, John Milner. All sent away.

But it was number 45 who was the first to go.

On December 3, 1974, Tug, along with outfielders Don Hahn and Dave Schneck, were traded to division rival Philadelphia in exchange for Del Unser, John Stearns and Mac Scarce. However, the trade was nearly voided.

The Phillies accused the Mets of sending ‘damaged goods.’ New York had been tightlipped about McGraw’s shoulder problems during the ‘74 season. The Phillies quickly discovered the arm issue was a due to a simple cyst. The cyst was removed and the trade went through. The Mets believed that at 30 years-old McGraw’s career was probably over.

He’d pitch another ten years.

Stats show that Tug actually put up better numbers in Philly than NY. They, too, grew to love their new closer and for the last half of the decade, as the Phillies appeared in numerous post-seasons while the Mets floundered and flirted with 100-losses annually, Tug established himself as one of the best of his era.

In 1980, Tug saved 20 games and cemented the Phillies first Championship in history. Before a sold-out Veterans Stadium, he whiffed Willie Wilson for the final out of Game 6, did a quick dance on the mound like Rocky and was hugged by teammates like a conquering hero returning home.

Tug turned 40 in 1982 and although putting up respectable numbers, found himself in a set-up role for closers Ron Reed and Ed Farmer. It was time for Tug to step aside and let the national pastime move on without him.

Tug remained in Philadelphia as a sports reporter for WPVI through much of the 1980’s and ’90’s. In addition to sharing his knowledge with young prospects and penning several books during his career, he wrote a syndicated comic strip entitled “Scroogie.” Scroogie was a screwball pitcher who pitched for a team named The Pets. The Pets star pitcher was a refined guy named Royce Rawls (a clear-cut tribute to Tug’s former teammate Tom Seaver,) The Pets broadcaster, Herb, wore loud multi-colored sports jackets, a homage to Lindsey Nelson.

It was while working as a special instructor to the Phillies during Spring Training in 2003 when Tug realized something wasn’t right. He’d been getting headaches, forgetting names of players he worked with daily. Occasionally he’d arrive at the ballpark at the wrong time. Sometimes he showed up and the stadium was empty, having forgotten the Phillies were across the state playing elsewhere. A trip to a doctor, then an oncologist and a battery of tests revealed that Frank Edwin McGraw had a brain tumor.

He was operated on and the outcome was labeled a “success.” Chances of full recovery were “excellent” and Tug, we were told, should “live a long time.”

However, the tumor was not excised completely. It metastasized and returned to a part of the brain that was inoperable.

Tug McGraw was dying.

His final public appearance came on September 28, 2003. It was the last game ever played at Veteran’s Stadium and before a sold-out crowd, Tug stood on the mound and recreated fanning Willie Wilson for the final out of the 1980 World Series.

A little over three months later, January 5, 2004, Tug McGraw passed away. He was 59.

tug-mcgraw-8

“Tug was one of the greatest characters in the game,” former teammate, friend and roommate Tom Seaver said. “But what people overlook was what kind of competitor he was on the mound. No one competed with more intensity than he did.”

Mike Schmidt said, “His passing is hard to take because his presence meant so much to people around him.”

Battery mate and close friend, Bob Boone, the first man to embrace Tug after that strikeout in 1980, stated, “He got more living out of his 59 years than anybody.”

Tug left behind 4 children and 2 step-sons. In 1966, he had, according to him, “a one night stand” with a woman named Betty D’Agostino. A son, Tim, arrived. But Tug didn’t accept the child as his own until Tim turned 17. Tug McGraw died in the Nashville home of his son. Both Tim and his wife, Faith Hill, were with him at the end.

Almost five years later, 2008, with Veterans Stadium gone, Tim McGraw walked to the pitching rubber at Citizens Bank Park prior to Game 3 of the World Series. He knelt down and spread some of his father’s ashes across the mound. Two days later, the Phillies won their second Championship.

Congratulations to Tug McGraw who joins Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, Keith Hernandez, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, Cleon Jones and David Wright in our Metsmerized Hall of Fame.

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Mets 2016 Breakout Prospect: 3B Jhoan Urena http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-2016-breakout-prospect-3b-jhoan-urena.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-2016-breakout-prospect-3b-jhoan-urena.html/#comments Wed, 27 Jan 2016 17:18:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205160 MLB BASEBALL TOURNAMENT TORNEO SUPREMO IN GUERRA JUNE 13

This is my first post in a while. MetsMinors.Net is starting a new series of who we believe will be our top breakout candidates for 2016. Both editors have picked 3 prospects we believe will break out in 2016 and be on the radar for this coming minor league system. I will kick this off with sweet-swinging Jhoan Urena.

Urena was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for $425,000. In his first 3 seasons between three short-season clubs, Ureña never batted below .279 (DSL, 2012), and showed a little pop, hitting 5 home runs and 20 doubles while hitting .300/.356/.431 in 75 games with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2014.

In 2015 however, he had a year to forget. Promoted with his left-side infield companion Amed Rosario to High-A St. Lucie from the Cyclones, Ureña did not do very well in .214/.257./267 in 64 games. There is an explanation however for why Ureña did not perform: he broke hamate bones in both hands, and had a couple wrist sprains before and afterwards. Hamate bones are notorious injuries with repercussions in power.  They also take a long time, multiple months to heal, and surgery to remove the broken bones.

The Mets have assured that the 21-year-old Ureña will be ready for Spring Training, and if healthy, he could go back to his old hitting ways, and find himself permanently on the prospect radar as a legitimate candidate for the future of 3rd base. A true third baseman with a great arm, he still has a couple of issues he needs to address in the field in terms of his fielding, however, he is young and projects out to an average fielder.

The switch-hitter has a nice stroke from both sides, and has a solid line-drive approach, as well as advanced bat-to-ball skills that allow him  to make contact,. He could produce a .280 average with home run projection in the teens. He will likely repeat at St. Lucie to start out 2016, but we believe it will be a tale of two seasons in contrast to last year.

 For more Mets prospect coverage check us out on MMO partner site MetsMinors.net.

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Should Mets Trade Wilmer Flores http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/should-mets-trade-wilmer-flores.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/should-mets-trade-wilmer-flores.html/#comments Wed, 13 Jan 2016 14:10:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204133 wilmer flores

MLB.com reporter Phil Rogers speculates that if the Mets were to consider dealing infielder Wilmer Flores, they may have a couple of willing trade partners in the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox. He writes:

“Remember when no one thought the Mets had one shortstop? They’ve got three now, since signing Asdrubal Cabrera a few days after Terry Collins said Tejada and Flores would compete for the everyday job. Teams like the Padres and White Sox are still exploring shortstop options, so maybe there’s a deal to be made for Flores, who raised his stock after Chase Utley took Tejada down in the National League Division Series.”

Here’s the thing. Whether you believe or agree with the strategy, the Mets have spent the entire offseason dodging questions about adding a significant star-quality bat by professing a philosophy of depth and versatility.

When the Mets signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year deal right after they traded for Neil Walker, it put Wilmer Flores in exactly the position the Mets have always envisioned for him. – that is becoming the team’s super utility player who can cover all four infield positions, and give them a potent bat against left-handed pitching.

The other important factor to note is that for now, Flores may be the only insurance the Mets have at third base to cover David Wright when he’s going to need a game or two off. While both Walker and Cabrera said they’d play third in a pinch if needed, it’s been years since either of them fielded the position, and they’ve played just 16 games combined at third base in their big-league careers.

What exactly is Flores’ trade value? In my opinion it’s not more than the value he currently gives the Mets. In other words, I don’t believe there’s a team who who view Flores with as much value as we do.

Apparently Phil Rogers believes there are teams out there who view Flores as an everyday shortstop, and particularly the White Sox who are still in play for bringing back Alexei Ramirez, and the Padres. It’s a bold statement considering the team that knows Flores best have never viewed him like that. Although, I felt Flores did make some great strides defensively

Flores, 24, batted .263 with a .403 slugging percentage last season, with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 59 RBI in 510 plate appearances.

Let’s say you could deal Flores for a right-handed reliever, what happens next? Are we back to Eric Campbell (who continues to occupy space on the 40 man roster) and Ruben Tejada as our bench guys? There goes that whole “we’re not cheap, we’re just focused on depth” argument.

Unless Flores is part of a bigger deal for a significant addition – a difference maker – I don’t see the logic in dealing him now while his value is greater to us than anything we’d likely get back in return.

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Proving Piazza Didn’t Use Steroids http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/proving-piazza-didnt-use-steroids.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/proving-piazza-didnt-use-steroids.html/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2016 16:00:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203839 mike piazza

There have been some irresponsible opinions that Mike Piazza‘s election to the Hall of Fame means it will pave the way for  known steroid users to be elected to the Hall of Fame. This premise contains one potential logic fallacy. It presupposes Piazza used steroids. Did he?

Let’s start with the case against him. There are no reports, investigations, or tests linking him to steroids. The case against him boils down to rumor, innuendo, and skin problems. We have no statements from teammates, clubhouse workers, or anyone else who may have any link to Piazza establishing he used steroids. So that makes me question how do you counteract rumors and innuendo?  Facts don’t work. Piazza’s denials haven’t worked.  Overall, the only way to combat rumors and innuendo is to present what people will actually say in public about a person.

Cliff Floyd was a teammate of Piazza from 2003 – 2005. Floyd is an analyst all over the place from MLB Radio, MLB Network, and SNY.  Here’s his opinion on steroid users and the Hall of Fame:

Floyd doesn’t want steroid users in the Hall of Fame. Here’s how he reacted when Mike Piazza was elected:

Floyd didn’t choose to ignore Piazza’s election. He didn’t condemn the choice. He celebrated Piazza’s induction. Floyd shared a clubhouse with Piazza for three years. If anyone would know he used steroids, it was Floyd. However, there were no accusations from him. Just congratulations. From this it is apparent that Cliff Floyd does not believe his former teammate used steroids.

I already know the rebuttal. Steroid testing  in baseball began in 2003. Of course Floyd saw nothing. This rebuttal doesn’t take into account that no teammate has ever spoken about Piazza using steroids. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been good enough thus far. To that, my next example is Al Leiter.

Like Floyd, Leiter is all over the place covering baseball. Leiter was Piazza’s teammate from 1998 – 2004. They played together a long time, and Leiter threw to Piazza more than any other catcher. Here was Leiter’s ballot on MLB Network:

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It should first be noted Leiter doesn’t actually have a ballot. The above photo from MLB Network shows how he would have voted if he had a vote.

Note, there’s no Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens on the ballot. Leiter didn’t vote for two people who have been linked to steroids use during their careers.  These are two people who would’ve been elected but for their steroid use.  Leiter didn’t vote for people who we know from various sources that used steroids. Yet, Leiter voted for Piazza. Other than Piazza himself, who would know better than Leiter if Piazza used steroids?

If teammates like Leiter and Floyd don’t link Piazza to steroid use, how can anyone else?  If we’re going by word of mouth or rumor, shouldn’t we at least take into account the opinions of Piazza’s teammates?  These are people who have put their name out there and have separated Piazza from the group of known steroid users. They now are now members of the media and are staking their reputations if it ever came out that Piazza used steroids.  I find it hard to believe there is a massive Mets cover up afoot; a coverup which includes each and every player and former player.

Isn’t this substantive proof that Piazza DID NOT use steroids?  Isn’t this more than what has been presented by anyone as a factual basis to prove Piazza used steroids?  Why doesn’t anyone ever discuss this aspect of whether or not someone used steroids?  It seems the people saying Piazza used steroids are the ones that didn’t play the game. They weren’t the ones in the Mets locker room. Somehow, we’re supposed to believe they know more about Piazza than people who were with him every day from February to early October. It doesn’t add up.

Therefore, using the same “standard of proof” others have used, it is conclusive Piazza didn’t use steroids.

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Tommy Tanous Will Likely Replace DePodesta http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/tommy-tanous-will-likely-replace-depodesta.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/tommy-tanous-will-likely-replace-depodesta.html/#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:28:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203664 tommy-tanous-2013

Following Paul DePodesta’s departure, John Harper of the NY Post says that Tommy Tanous will likely take over his role as the head of player development. Tanous originally joined the organization as a professional scout in 2010, and he was named the Director of Amateur Scouting the following year.

This decision seems to make the most sense as he was heavily involved in the draft the past several seasons with DePodesta. He has done a great job helping build the Mets minors, and should be able to adjust to the new role just fine.

“Whatever Sandy decides, I think it will be a seamless transition,” J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday. “We have enough people in place. Even though Sandy wasn’t at the Winter Meetings, this has been business as usual for us this winter. It’s always a team effort, with Sandy listening to everyone’s opinions and making decisions from there.”

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Some May Say He’s A Dreamer… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/some-may-say-hes-a-dreamer-but-hes-not-the-only-one-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/some-may-say-hes-a-dreamer-but-hes-not-the-only-one-2.html/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 05:16:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=102427 john lennon 2

“I’m not claiming divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can… But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”

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“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

john . lennon

October 8, 1940 – December 8, 1980

It’s December 8th, and it was 35 years ago today that the world lost one of the most influential musicians and composers it has ever known. More than that, John Lennon was was a shining light in a dark and uncertain world who believed that love and peace were not just concepts, but parallel roads to a perfect society.

We still mourn the passing of this extraordinary man whose unwavering spirit still touches millions today. I’ll never forget the night he was shot down and taken away from us in the prime of his life. He taught us that it was okay to dream…

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Mets and Nationals Expected To Be Highest Bidders For Ben Zobrist http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-and-nationals-expected-to-be-highest-bidders-for-ben-zobrist.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-and-nationals-expected-to-be-highest-bidders-for-ben-zobrist.html/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:03:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200397 zobrist ben

Here is something to open up your appetites for Thanksgiving dinner.

Tom Verducci appeared on the MLB Network this afternoon and reported that the Mets and Nationals are expected to be the high bidders for free agent Ben Zobrist. Yes, that Ben Zobrist…

I find that extremely difficult to believe as being the “high bidder” will mean two things…

First, a four-year deal which I definitely don’t see Sandy Alderson doing, especially for a 35-year old player who regressed a little in 2015.

Second, an average annual salary higher than $15 million dollars for a total package worth upwards of $60 million dollars. That would mean payroll rises to at least $120 million unless they shed some other contracts.

Anything could happen, but I’m a huge “Seeing Is Believing” kind of guy…. That said, you are free to believe what you want to believe because that’s the way we roll here.

November 20

The New York Mets remain “very interested” in infielder Ben Zobrist after meeting with his agents at the GM Meetings last week in Boca Raton. According to Tim Rohan of the New York Times, the Mets held a conference call with the sought-after free agent this afternoon.

The Mets have long been interested in Zobrist going back to the trading deadline when they tried hard to acquire him before he was dealt to the Kansas City Royals.

The team now view him as someone who could replace Daniel Murphy while also playing some third base and corner outfield. Zobrist is a career .265/.355/.431 hitter with 127 home runs, 567 RBIs, and 105 stolen bases.

Last season in 126 games with the Athletics and Royals, the 34-year old Zobrist hit .276/.359/.450 with 13 home runs, 36 doubles and 56 RBIs. He had a strong postseason, batting .303 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Struggling to come back from an injury in April and May, Zobrist had a down year in 2015. But his .349 wOBA and 123 wRC+ were still better than Daniel Murphy who had his best season and produced a .325 wOBA and 110 wRC+.

Additionally, Zobrist batted a respectable .253 with a .753 OPS against right-handed pitching last season. But he absolutely torched left-handers with a .329 average against them with a .409 on-base and .926 OPS.

All of that said, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, hears that it’s unlikely the Mets make a strong offer to sign Zobrist and that the plan is to hand the job to 22-year old Dilson Herrera who they are extremely high on.

Who the Mets’ Opening Day second baseman will be in 2016 is anybody’s guess right now and akin to professional sports handicapping.

Zobrist is looking for a four-year deal worth $60 million. I think you all know my thoughts on Zobrist. If he was 2-3 years younger, I’m all over it, but this could blow up in our faces like Cuddyer only worse. Paying him $15 million a year through his age 38 season sounds like a plan for disaster.

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The 2015 Mets: A Journey To Remember http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/the-2015-mets-a-journey-to-remember.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/the-2015-mets-a-journey-to-remember.html/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2015 16:48:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200648 mets win nlcs

Mets fan Drew Palazzo wrote in to MMO this morning to share his thrilling tribute video dedicated to the 2015 Mets.

He writes:

“Looking back on 2015, I personally believe that the New York Mets proved to us that a story doesn’t necessarily require a happy ending in order to be truly memorable. The season ended up being all about the journey, an exhilarating one that we’ll never forget! ”

Enjoy the show…

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Alderson, Collins, Maddon On Cubs Sweeping Season Series Against Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-collins-maddon-on-cubs-sweeping-season-series-against-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-collins-maddon-on-cubs-sweeping-season-series-against-mets.html/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 00:36:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196877 Here’s something I hope you find interesting. During the media sessions at Citi Field on Friday evening, I noticed that Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and Cubs manager Joe Maddon were each asked to respond the Cubs winning the regular season series 7-0 over the Mets, and whether it mattered in the NLCS. Here is what they each had to say:

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Terry Collins - No, we played good — I think we’re a different team for sure. I think we’re a different team. But they’ve got a good club. They’ve had a good club. They play very well. They played us extremely well. They have for two years.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead. I mean, their team has changed. They’ve got a few new guys, but we’re still going to see Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, who are two very, very good pitchers. We just went through that with the Dodgers, so we’ve got to get ourselves ready, but we’re a different lineup, too. We’re looking forward to it. Again, I think postseason is a whole different game than it is in the regular season, you know, just by the way you work some guys. We’ll hopefully play better than we did during the season.

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Sandy Alderson – Well, I’d say a couple things from our standpoint. In looking at the pitching, I think that our young guys are a little more experienced, a little better command, more confidence. So I think from that standpoint, we’re in a better position.

Offensively it’s a different team. Not totally but significantly. So I don’t think that 0-7 registers much concern on the part of our players, but we certainly have to turn that around. We’d like to be 4-10 at the end of this with the Cubs.

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Joe Maddon: I really don’t believe it does. The only thing that matters is we know we can beat them. They know they can beat us because based on what they’ve gone through through this particular moment. So I don’t think there is any real weight to be attached to that whatsoever. They’re an entirely different team. We’re pretty different too compared to that particular moment, but they are really different.

Believe me, I don’t even take any — I take zero stock in that whatsoever, honestly. Those are some really close games, too, that we played against them. We won some close games. Things just happened to work in our favor in those moments. Their offense wasn’t nearly what it is right now, so I — I’m not even looking at that as being pertinent.

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Well as you can see, all the adults in the room pretty much agreed that both these teams are very different than the ones who last played each other in May and June. Buckle up and get ready for a great and very competitive NL Championship Series.

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10 Signs You Root for the New York Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/10-signs-you-root-for-the-new-york-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/10-signs-you-root-for-the-new-york-mets.html/#comments Sat, 12 Sep 2015 17:42:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193166 kelly johnson mets win

Meaningful September baseball? A real lineup? A starting rotation that dominates, and a reliable bullpen? Are we sure these are the same Mets that looked all but dead in June? The short answer is no, they aren’t; they’re a rejuvenated, electric, never-say-die bunch that feed off the crowd’s energy while simultaneously creating their own (and believe me, there is plenty of momentum in the crowd).

Yoenis Cespedes is a complete game changer, Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia are a lockdown combination, and there are no longer any automatic outs in the lineup. Chances are you’ve been loyal to the orange and blue quite some time now, and you may have picked up some of these habits that make it more obvious than you think that you’re a Mets fan.

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1. Your eyes are trained to spot the colors orange and blue.

That’s a nice looking, vaguely blue water bottle sitting on the counter over there. Holy crap, there’s an orange right next to it!

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2. In fact, half the things you own are orange and blue.

Orange shirt, blue shorts. Blue sheets, orange pillowcase. Blue shoes, orange laces. Definitely a blue and orange phone case. Is there a pattern here?

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3. You style your hair like Jacob deGrom.

And you’ve sent him multiple fan letters asking him what kind of shampoo and conditioner he uses.

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4. You have the urge to scream extremely crass things whenever you hear the name “Fred” or “Jeff”

It’s a built in defense mechanism.

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5. You hate everything about Philadelphia.

Screw you too, Washington Nationals.

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6. You stick your tongue out like David Wright while performing everyday activities.

Taking out the garbage, paying bills, walking the dog, you name it, tongue out.

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7.  Something in your family is named Shea.

Your dog, your kid, your car…

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8. You cringe at the mere mention of the year 2006.

“I can’t believe it’s been nine years since we married, honey. On this day in 2006—honey… why are you crying…?”

 

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9. Your pin number is some variation of the numbers 86 and 69.

I just can’t imagine why!

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10. The word “amazing” is your favorite word.

But you usually shorten it to “Amazin’”. Life is strange like that sometimes.

casey stengel

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Morning Grind: Oh, How Sweep It Is! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/morning-grind-oh-how-sweep-it-is.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/morning-grind-oh-how-sweep-it-is.html/#comments Thu, 10 Sep 2015 10:00:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193089 USATSI_8791139_154511658_lowres

After Stephen Strasburg absolutely dominated the Mets hitters all night on Wednesday, it seemed like 2-1 might be an insurmountable deficit.

Strasburg was dealing right out of the gate, making the Mets look silly, striking out hitters left and right with his filthy hook that was falling right off the table.

mmo feature original footerI should have known not to worry, especially with how the Mets have been playing the last several weeks, but I guess it’s just in my DNA.

The Mets, like they’ve done 35 times this year, came back from behind to beat the floundering Washington Nationals by a score of 5-3. The Mets are now 59-11 when scoring four or more runs in a game this season.

Yesterday, I wrote an article and spoke about unlikely heroes. Tonight, another one presented himself. Kelly Johnson played difference maker as he blasted the tying home run off of Strasburg in the eighth inning.

Then Yoenis Cespedes, who I truly believe is a superhuman, appropriately hit the go ahead home run to lead the Mets to victory. He just makes it look so easy. To him, the pitchers are throwing beach balls.

It’s been such a Jekyll and Hide season for the Mets. The wins the last three nights would never have been possible even just two months ago.

Going from worst the first half of the season, to first from July 25th on in almost every offensive category has made all the difference.

Had the Mets been down tonight that late in the game earlier this year, they would have just lied down and took the loss. Well guess what? Not anymore.

On winning teams like this one, everyone does their job. The bullpen, which had looked horrendous the last few weeks pitched 11.1 innings this series and allowed just one earned run.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a huge home run last night to help win the game, and Kelly Johnson did the same thing tonight. It’s not just the sexy names that are getting the job the done, everyone is firing on all cylinders.

“At this point in the season, two or three weeks left, you’re looking pretty good if you have a six-or seven-game lead,” Johnson said. “Hopefully those games we play them in New York won’t matter and we can celebrate early.”

The team has such a great chemistry, and believes it can win every single night. And hell, they can. They just came into the Nationals home ball park and completely shell shocked them.

“This has been the three biggest games of my career.” Terry Collins said in his post game interview. “We’re legitimate, this is not a fluke.”

Much of the reason behind the Mets’ success has been slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Kelly Johnson, who delivered a clutch home run of his own, had nothing but positive things to say about the Cuban phenom.

“It’s like he’s some throwback player, like your dad used to tell you about Clemente or Mantle,” said Johnson. “He’s so cool.”

“I don’t know how it works, but he should be in the discussion for the NL MVP.” The Mets captain, David Wright, said after the huge offensive output Cespedes has delivered since the Mets acquired him.

Nobody could have predicted that on September 10th, the Mets would have a commanding seven game lead in the NL East. This is the most exciting team I’ve ever had the pleasure of rooting for, and I truly believe we can go all the way. We aren’t called the Miracle Mets for nothing!

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The Last Word: Only the Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/the-last-word-only-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/the-last-word-only-the-mets.html/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:13:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188813 Wilmer - Flores

The fiasco that was Wednesday, July 29 at Citi Field will for a long time stand as Exhibit A for a couple of truisms my wife and I share as we watch the Mets most every night from April to October (yeah, October):

One, every game features something you’ve never seen before, and two, baseball is so great because it’s a daily, unscripted soap opera.

I mean, when did you ever see a Met hit three home runs, and get no attention for it?  When did you ever see a player crying a river on the field?  When did you ever see a player on the field that you were told belonged to another team?  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Having watched thousands of Mets games over the years, and having witnessed – or lived through – the whole uniquely bizarre evening, I was left with one impression,  independent of whether you blame Joel Sherman, Sandy Alderson, Doug Melvin,  the bat boy, or whoever.

Only the Mets.

Only the Mets could have been at the center of this tragicomedy, whether it was their fault or not.  The infrequent highs and frequent lows for this franchise have always been so uniquely pronounced.

From the impossible World Series title in ‘69 to the impossible comeback in Game 6 of the ‘86 Series to an Agbayani-Timo-Payton outfield making it to the October Classic to the prospect of five young controllable aces in the same rotation, the mountaintop experiences have been…really high.

And we all know enough about the lows to forego cataloguing them here.

But Wednesday night added a new dimension to the 53-year old soap opera: The utterly bizarre.

Forget the emotions of Wilmer Flores for a moment.  How about the unparalleled emotional rollercoaster for Mets fans?  By my count, there were 15 such swings of emotion over the course of three or four hours:

Wow, fantastic, we’re getting Gomez, just what we need.  Wait, we’re giving up on Wheeler, one of our budding studs?  Hold on, are we gonna get burned when Flores turns into a real hitter in Milwaukee?  Hey, why are Gomez’s numbers down this year?  Why the hell hasn’t Collins pulled Flores out of the game?

Then, It sure looks like Flores has been crying – hey, he HAS been crying.  Look, the fans are giving him a Standing O – touching.  Look, Collins finally pulled Flores out of the game – the deal must be done.  Wait, Flores said they told him there was no deal.  I don’t believe this – Collins is swearing like a drunken sailor and saying he, the manager of the damn team, was never told what the rest of the world knew.

Then,  I really don’t believe this – Alderson is now saying there is and will be no deal.  It must be because the Brewers didn’t like the medicals on Wheeler and got cold feet – maybe Wheeler is in worse shape than they’re saying.  Wait, they’re now saying it was actually the Mets who didn’t like the medicals on Gomez.  Oh, boy, they missed a chance to get a difference maker.  Oh, thank God they didn’t get damaged goods and resurrect the ghost of Victor Zambrano.

Whew!  There’s only one thing I’m sure of:  though this could only happen to the Mets, even they – and we – will never witness a night like that again. But keep your fingers crossed just in case.

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Hey Sandy, Are You Freaking Kidding Me??? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/hey-sandy-are-you-freaking-kidding-me.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/hey-sandy-are-you-freaking-kidding-me.html/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 21:54:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187984 Sandy Alderson

Speaking with reporters at Citi Field on Thursday, Sandy Alderson said he has room in his budget to acquire an impact player and that he is scouring the market for an outfielder.

“We have the ability to take on money,” he said, “even though none of you will believe me.”

Well Sandy, the reason we don’t believe you is because you speak for a couple of crooked and inept owners who have done nothing but lie to this fanbase for the better part of two decades.

How many times have you yourself been duped by them? We all know you were blindsided by the shock waves of the Madoff scandal. You get paid to cover for the Wilpons, we don’t.

Did you forget when you said you had a $100 million budget in 2013 and 2014 and came away with $85 and $79 million payrolls instead? Guess what, Met fans didn’t forget.

And how often have you told us that you had money to spend at the trade deadline and didn’t. Nobody expected you to bring in a rental but you said that you could make trades for pieces that would “help the team in the long view.” You did nothing… NOTHING…

So there are plenty of reasons for why nobody believes you, the least of which is the fact that you’ve done nothing yet to address the lackluster offense you put together.

For crying out loud, you have John Mayberry and his .170 batting average batting cleanup today against Clayton Kershaw. Are you freaking kidding me? All of Omar Minaya’s pitchers are batting higher than the guys on your bench. What a joke…

Where are all these big bats you were gonna bring in once the young pitching was ready? Gimme a break…

In June you said you had the resources to add one big bat… Wake up, Sandy… next week is August.

It’s common knowledge that you’ve already balked at Ben Zobrist and Justin Upton, and please don’t tell us that it didn’t have anything to do with money, because we both know that it did. It’s always about the money with this team!

Oh and another thing, it’s pretty apparent that you and I have completely different definitions of what adding a big bat to the payroll means.

In your Wilponian world a big bat is a player who makes $3-4 million dollars. However, in the real world a big bat is someone who makes in excess of $10 million or $15 million dollars.

So when you say we probably won’t believe you, it’s with pretty freaking good cause. It’s because you have let us down time and time and time again. How can we ever take you at your word. How can we ever take anything you or your bosses say at face value?

You’ve proven to be quite adept at having a fire sale and selling off major-league assets for prospects. But as far as I’m concerned you’ve done a lousy job adding any major-league talent to this team.

By the way, you’re 0-for-4 with your offseason moves this past Winter. (Cuddyer, Mayberry, Torres, Blevins) Not one of them have panned out, they were all busts.

I’ve got to tell you, I’m worried that you are incapable of bringing in the pieces we need to take this team to the next level. Prove me wrong.

I’ve defended you for 4 1/2 years, but I’m completely done with that. You owe me… I want to see some results and I want to see them now. The time for big talk is at an end,  and the time for action is now.

So enough with all the snark and enough with all the jokes. It’s time to get serious already and do something. And guess what… seeing is believing.

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I’ve Got An Ax To Grind http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/ive-got-an-ax-to-grind.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/ive-got-an-ax-to-grind.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 22:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187717 wilpon alderson

I’m sorry Mets fans, but what I’m about to tell you really has me beyond frustrated and I have this urgent need to vent.

First, I want you to know, that in my 12 years of running this site, I have never sold my integrity for access to the team. And as a matter of fact, I believe I may have lost what little access I had, solely because I refused to relent when it came to how I truly felt about team ownership.

Lately, I often get asked why I often come off sounding so angry when I write, and the truth is it’s because I see things that frustrate me, especially when I see the Wilpon-powered media duping fans with their non-stop propaganda. It sickens me. I wish people could see through their veil of lies and see things the way I see them.

This afternoon, when I learned Eddie Coleman reported that the Mets balked at Ben Zobrist because he is owed about $2-3 million for the rest of year, I wanted to punch my first through a wall.

I have no way of knowing whether it’s true or not, but using history – both past and recent – as a guide, and knowing Coleman is one of those high integrity reporters, I absolutely do believe it to be true.

Of course this comes on the heels of two separate SNY/Wilpon entity reports today, that the Mets have money to spend at the deadline, and even general manager Sandy Alderson saying last week, the team is ready to overpay for what they need if they have to. Really?

How can we believe anything that they say? Where do you draw the line? Only in a Wilponian world gone mad, is the majority of team news, hyperbole, speculation and propaganda reported through Wilpon owned subsidiaries. And still there are those who defend this process and let it thrive into the cash cow it has become.

This latest ball-twisting news shouldn’t be shocking, but it is because nobody expected the Mets to be this stingy in a year when attendance is thriving, concessions sales are skyrocketing, and SNY and MetsBlog are enjoying record earnings.

Well how about a little something for the fucking fans? How about a little chump change for the loyalists whose emotions and pockets you’ve sucked dry over these last eight years? Is a mere pittance of $2-3 million dollars, too fucking much to ask?

Why do you insist on torturing us the way you do when all we want to do is love the team and root for them to win a championship?

You run this team like a couple of leeches sucking the orange and blue blood out of us. A couple of pariahs… Everything is a money-grab…

How can we talk about a long run of sustained success with a couple of louses like you running this team? You are the antithesis of success when it comes to running this team. You are the cross all Met fans have to bear…

If you really cared about the Mets, you’d sell the team to better stewards and then just disappear. Don’t you get that’s how most fans feel about you? Well, at least the ones who aren’t on your payroll. Just leave…

mmo

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Finally, Flores and Tejada Played At Their Best Defensive Positions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/finally-flores-and-tejada-play-their-best-defensive-positions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/finally-flores-and-tejada-play-their-best-defensive-positions.html/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185787 ruben-tejada

Better late than never?

After nearly three months as the Mets’ everyday shortstop, Wilmer Flores started at second base on Sunday, and wouldn’t you know it, he looked great.

Last week, Terry Collins told reporters he was coming around on moving Flores to second, after weeks and weeks of resisting it for fear of hurting Flores’ feelings.

“We told him he’s going to be our shortstop, how do you think he’s going to feel if I move him to second or third? I’m not going to do that to him.”

Honestly, Flores hasn’t ushered in the “end of days” like many feared as the Mets shortstop. He has 10 errors, so do a lot of other shortstops.

But if you have a wide open opportunity to play Flores at his best defensive position, and Ruben Tejada at his best defensive position, and Daniel Murphy at his best defensive position, why the hell did it take 2 1/2 months to get this done?

God knows this team isn’t an offensive juggernaut, so if pitching is your ticket to the post season, shouldn’t your best defensive alignment be a top priority to support that pitching?

Like I said, better late than never, I guess…

The move was supposed to go into effect on Tuesday, when Daniel Murphy would be activated from the disabled list and take over at third base. But Collins said he wanted to give it a test drive.

After the game, Collins sounded like he just invented the wheel. “I think this is going to be the best infield we’ve had and we’re gonna run it out there on a nightly basis,” he said. Great idea, Terry.

While Collins and Sandy Alderson remained tight-lipped about it, it sounds like Ruben Tejada has won himself an everyday job again as the Mets shortstop, which makes me believe that Dilson Herrera could be optioned to Las Vegas when Murphy is activated.

I don’t believe they’ll let a 21-year old prospect expected to be the second baseman of the future sit idly on the bench in a utility role. But I could be wrong.

I guess as long as Tejada keeps producing, and give him credit for how he’s performed this season, he’ll remain fixed as the everyday shortstop. But if his performance declines, then what?

Do they bring Herrera back to play short? Or does he go to second and Flores slides back to short? I guess we’ll deal with that issue if and when it occurs.

For now, all I care about is that we have our best defensive alignment in place and we’re getting a key bat back in the lineup on Tuesday. LGM

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Should Mets Trade One Of Their Top Young Pitchers For Tulowitzki? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/should-mets-trade-one-of-their-top-young-pitchers-for-tulowitzki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/should-mets-trade-one-of-their-top-young-pitchers-for-tulowitzki.html/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:20:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185728 troy tulowitzki

Columnist Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke to a couple of MLB executives who say the Mets are still the best match for trading with the Colorado Rockies for All Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Cafardo believes the Mets would have to part with one of their young pitchers, and says Steven Matz could be the one who gets a deal done.

“The Mets continue to be the best match for Tulowitzki, according to the baseball executives who have offered an opinion,” writes Cafardo.

“The Mets have the young pitching (lefthander Steven Matz) to start with in a deal for Tulowitzki, who could improve a Mets offense that has the worst OPS in the majors on offspeed pitches, of which they’re getting a steady diet, according to MLB Network researcher Elliott Kalb.”

“Tulowitzki could man shortstop or third base and electrify the Mets’ fan base, which is starving for its team to be relevant from April to October.”

On Thursday, MMO’s Michael Branda made a case for Tulowitzki which you can read here. He writes:

They need impact.

They need a player that would join this roster and instantly awaken players like Juan Lagares, and Lucas Duda.

They need a player that lessens the pressure on aging players like Curtis Granderson or Michael Cuddyer and allows them to be veteran leaders without feeling like they need to carry the team offensively every night.

They need a player that would instantly make the pitchers feel as though this organization is doing everything they can to ensure their talents are not wasted.

They need a player that will ignite the fan base – and give the fans a reason to believe that this organization does believe this team can be special if given the chance. And even with all of the reasons to not make the trade – Troy Tulowitzki is that player.

* * * * *

What do you say? Would you trade Matz for Tulo as Cafardo suggests? Would you trade one of our other pitchers for Tulo instead?

Or do you keep the pitchers and hope Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, and Lucas Duda can somehow turn it on offensively, while keeping your fingers crossed that Michael Conforto is the missing piece to the puzzle?

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Why Doesn’t Sandy Alderson Do Something Already? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/why-doesnt-sandy-alderson-do-something-already.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/why-doesnt-sandy-alderson-do-something-already.html/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 16:48:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185135 sandy-alderson

Oftentimes I feel as though we have some of the most irrational, bipolar, manic-depressive, flip-flopping fans and writers I’ve ever seen. Win three games, order the champagne and playoff tickets. Lose three games, open the windows and get out on your ledges.

In a matter of 13 days I saw one site go from “Do Something Mets” to “Sandy’s In All-Out, Full-On, Hustle Mode” to “Where’s Sandy? He Needs To Get The Cavalry”.

For years I’ve seen fans absolutely thrilled to get away from the knee-jerk-reaction way of doing things under Omar Minaya, and embracing Sandy Alderson’s methodical, well-thought-out approach to building a team that can give us a long run of sustainable championship caliber success.

It’s amazing how after a little taste of winning and contending, you now have many fans and bloggers caving in, and who want to go back to the old, dated, and counterproductive ways of doing things.

These are actual quotes:

“Let’s do something! We gotta do something! Look at the Atlanta Braves, they’re doing something!”

“Sandy needs to get off his ass and do something! Anything! Stop sitting on your f–king hands and do something!”

“Obviously this front office don’t give a shit about winning!”

One of things I love about our team of writers is how they will often post on potential options for the Mets in such an objective manner, considering all the pros and cons and not ignoring the cost in dollars and prospects.

What drives me insane is all the drivel about the Mets needing to sign a bat, or a reliever, or a glove, but never mentioning any specific players and what they’re willing to part with. Just a bunch of incoherent ramblings and mutterings with no substance or ideas, just mindless screaming and dubious finger pointing.

I’d love to know exactly what these people want Sandy Alderson to do? 

They act as though the Mets have their pick of any players they could possibly want, all for the rock-bottom price of Dillon Gee and Danny Muno.

“Why weren’t the Mets in on Trumbo? At least we’d know they actually care about winning.”

That was another gem I read elsewhere. It’s like no rational thought is given about acquiring a player that actually fits a need and has an open position to fill.

The Mets are reeling after a great start. The Mets have been mired in a June swoon since losing Daniel Murphy. I get it.

I’d love to see the Mets get a bat to beef up the offense, but who? And at what position? And most importantly, at what cost?

What I don’t want to see is Alderson make a move that will undermine what we’ve been trying to build over the last five years just so we could win 3-4 more games. And that’s if we’re lucky and the move actually pans out. Most of the time such fixes never work out.

Imagine if we had a general manager who would react and make moves just to pacify the lunatic fringe of the blogosphere? Well actually we don’t have to imagine it, we’ve already experienced it.

This is exactly what led to the downfall of Omar Minaya. He came in talking about a five year vision, but as soon as he got a taste of winning four years ahead of time, he scrapped his plan and went into balls-to-the-wall, win at all costs mode. And as we’ve seen all too many times, it failed epically and set the organization back another five years.

Now we have some who would see us go though this vicious cycle again, all because we spent a few weeks in first place.

We have some who are willing to trade seven years of Steven Matz or Noah Syndergaard to get a bandaid type fix that probably backfires on us. I’m sick and tired of shooting ourselves in the foot.

What blows my mind about those calling for Alderson to go out and get the cavalry, is that they have their heads so far up their asses they can’t even comprehend that the cavalry may already be here in the form of Dilson Herrera and knocking-at-the-door Michael Conforto.

We’ve been so patient for five years, why can’t we wait another few months? Why can’t we allow “the plan” to play out and come to fruition when we’re so f–king close?

In the meantime why can’t we just enjoy what we’re seeing and understand that whether or not we win or lose this season, our young players are getting the experience of grinding it out in the heat of a playoff push. This is so invaluable to say the least.

The Mets are tempering and hardening many of their young core players and readying them not for a one-and-done as in 2006, but for something much more substantial and lasting. This is our 1984 and 1985. Let’s not ruin it.

So my message to Sandy Alderson is to ignore the lunatic fringe and stay the course. If you can find a tweak or two for this season at a reasonable cost, fine.

But if other teams are only demanding our best prospects for their over the hill, overpaid, and overrated dispensable parts, please take a pass.

The smarts ones among us understand the greater good and realize that the other 29 teams are not bending over backwards to help us as others seem to think.

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