Mets Merized Online » broadcast http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:11:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Gary Cohen’s SNY Contract Set To Expire http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/gary-cohens-sny-contract-set-to-expire.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/gary-cohens-sny-contract-set-to-expire.html/#comments Sat, 15 Oct 2016 21:58:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224910 Gary Cohen

According to the New York Daily News‘ Bob Raissman, beloved play-by-play man Gary Cohen’s SNY contract is set to expire at the end of 2016.

Cohen, 58, has been with the Mets organization for 28 years, the first 17 years as a member of their radio team on WFAN. Cohen, along with Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling, have been the Mets’ TV voices since 2006, when the Mets debuted their newest cable television network, SportsNet New York (SNY).

Sources tell Raissman that representatives at SNY have been working to hammer out a new multi-year contract for Cohen, but nothing has been finalized. Mets fans have been spoiled since 2006, having the great pleasure of listening to one of the best broadcast teams in all of baseball, a point that would be hard to dispute amongst loyal and fair fans.

Turning on the television to SNY for a 7:00 pm game, then watching the pre-game introduction, and finally hearing those familiar words fans have grown accustomed to over the years, ”And a pleasant good evening everybody” is the official indication for me that the game is about to get underway.

What makes the relationship between Cohen and the Mets even more memorable is the fact that growing up, Cohen was a huge Mets fan, so getting to broadcast the games for his childhood team is a dream that many fans have wished for at some point in their lives.

It sounds like a new deal will be reached with the veteran play-by-play broadcaster, as the trio have great chemistry and baseball knowledge together, along with multiple New York Emmy Awards. Stay tuned for future updates on the matter.

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Additional Mets Spring Training Broadcast Dates Not On SNY or WPIX http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/additional-mets-spring-training-broadcast-dates-not-on-sny-or-wpix.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/additional-mets-spring-training-broadcast-dates-not-on-sny-or-wpix.html/#comments Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:59:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207008 david wright spring

In addition to the Mets Spring Training Games that are being broadcast on SNY and WPIX, die-hard fans will also have access to Mets spring training games with no blackouts on MLB.tv which aren’t being broadcast in the Mets home market.

Eight additional available Mets broadcasts not being televised on SNY or WPIX can be watched live as follows:

Saturday, March 5 – Mets vs. Astros (Kissimmee)
Monday, March 7 – Mets vs. Cardinals (Jupiter)
Sunday, March 13 – Mets vs. Marlins (Jupiter)
Saturday, March 19 – Mets vs. Nationals (Viera)
Saturday, March 26 – Mets vs. Braves (Kissimmee)
Monday, March 28 – Mets vs. Cardinals (Jupiter)
Thursday, March 31 – Mets vs. Cubs (Las Vegas)
Friday, April 1 – Mets vs. Cubs (Las Vegas)

SNY and WPIX announced their spring training coverage for the Mets earlier this month.

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Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett To Start First Two Grapefruit League Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/rafael-montero-and-logan-verrett-to-start-first-two-grapefruit-league-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/rafael-montero-and-logan-verrett-to-start-first-two-grapefruit-league-games.html/#comments Sun, 28 Feb 2016 15:30:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=206989 spring training mets

Let the games begin.

The New York Mets announced their pitching probables for their first two spring training games and Tuesday’s intrasquad game.

Tuesday

Sean Gilmartin and Robert Gsellman will start and oppose each other in Tuesday’s intrasquad game with Logan Verrett, Zack ThorntonAkeel MorrisJosh SmokerPaul SewaldChase BradfordDuane Below and Seth Lugo also slated to pitch in that contest.

Thursday

Rafael MonteroGabriel Ynoa and Jeff Walters will pitch in New York’s Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. First pitch at 1:05 PM and will be broadcast on WOR radio.

Friday

Logan VerrettBuddy Carlyle and Zack Thornton will pitch against the Miami Marlins at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM and will be broadcast on WOR radio and SNY television.

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Tonight, We Are The Greatest Baseball Team In The World http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/tonight-we-are-the-greatest-baseball-team-in-the-world.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/tonight-we-are-the-greatest-baseball-team-in-the-world.html/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 15:19:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196625 Miracle-kurt-russell-18538616-500-375

Looking back on all my interviews preparing the book The Voices of Baseball, one particular memory would apply to tonight’s game in Dodger Stadium.

Dave Wills of the Tampa Bay Rays, on the morning of Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, noticed his broadcast partner, Andy Freed feeling a bit melancholy, knowing they were playing a Red Sox team which recent history had spelled improbable comebacks on more than one occasion.

The 2008 ALCS was shaping up to be such an occasion. Dave Wills did something some people would probably call corny and cheesy, but, all the same, it worked. He took Andy Freed aside and played for him Kurt Russell’s speech from the movie “Miracle.”

Now, Mets fans, I know you’re probably not feeling as foreboding or melancholy as Andy Freed was that morning, but, just the same, I’m going to give you Kurt Russell’s speech as Herb Brooks, head coach of the 1980 Gold Medal Winning U.S. Olympic Hockey team and tweak the words a bit so they apply.

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“Great moments are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ‘em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we play with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can!”

“Tonight, WE are the greatest baseball team in the world. You were born to be baseball players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great baseball team the Dodgers have. Screw ‘em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.”

The Dodgers have had their shot. Way more times than they possibly deserve. Now here’s your shot, Mets! I wouldn’t be surprised if Kurt Russell himself is in the stands tonight, but his speech is staying in THIS clubhouse, not theirs.

Can’t you just smell that Wrigley Field ivy right about now? The trains passing by. The coast guard horns sounding off on Lake Michigan. One shot. One game, Mets! This is YOUR time. Now go out there and TAKE IT!!!!!!!

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Featured Post: For Lindsay, Bob and Ralph… One More Happy Recap http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/for-lindsay-bob-and-ralph-one-more-happy-recap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/for-lindsay-bob-and-ralph-one-more-happy-recap.html/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:37:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196202 ralph kiner bob murphy lindsey nelson

In my formative years as a Mets Fan, there were so many vivid memories of the wonderful iconic personalities that helped mold me into the Ya Gotta Believe Mets fan I am today.

Of course there’s all the incredible bonds I formed with players such as Tommie Agee, Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw, Rusty Staub, Gary Carter and Mike Piazza to name a few.

But then there was the tremendous supporting cast that only added to my experience.

The incomparable Jane Jarvis playing “Meet the Mets” or “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on that grand old organ at Big Shea…

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Or trying to spot Karl Ehrhardt – The Sign Man – sitting somewhere at field level and always having the perfect neon sign for every moment… Or as Casey Stengel would call them, “placards.”

How about tuning into WOR to see Lindsay Nelson’s technicolor sports jackets if you were lucky enough to own a color television back then?

And no victory was ever complete without tuning in to watch Ralph Kiner on his ground-breaking post-game show Kiner’s Korner..

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Then there was the beloved Bob Murphy and his many, many happy recaps. It felt like I was watching the game with my best friend.

I was reminded of all those endearing personalities this weekend when Ray and Casey Ferriola sent me a song they wrote, composed and performed.

“As the Mets embark on their first post-season appearance in many years,” Ray wrote. “I am reminded that this is their first trip to the playoffs without Ralph Kiner. I hope he is watching with Bob and Lindsey.”

This song entitled, “One More Happy Recap” was written after Ralph passed away last year as a tribute to the three original Mets broadcasters and what they meant to Mets fans. Please enjoy…

 

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Going, Going, Gone: Cespedes Could Snare $150 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/going-going-gone-cespedes-could-snare-150-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/going-going-gone-cespedes-could-snare-150-million-deal.html/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:31:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193537 Cespedes Yoenis

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mets will be one of many teams that will be pushing to sign free agent Yoenis Cespedes beginning in November.

While Mets people won’t discuss it publicly, writes Heyman, word is they are expected to make a serious play for Cespedes, whose willingness to play center field has been a huge plus, not to mention all the well-timed bombs he’s hitting.

“The reasons they’re not talking about their intentions are two-fold; they don’t want to set fans up for a potential disappointment, and they don’t want to detract from what’s transpiring on the field, which is nothing short of special.”

Heyman believes the Giants, Rangers, Mariners, Phillies, Angels, Cubs, and Yankees will be among the teams with serious interest in Cespedes, who will be the premier outfielder available this Winter.

On Sunday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo sports spoke to six agents and general managers who believe discussions with Cespedes will begin at $125 million and end up perhaps in the $160 million range.

Almost echoing everything I said on Thursday, Passan writes that how the Mets ultimately handle Cespedes, will be a referendum on the Wilpons. Either they can act like owners of a big market team or they can remain the NL East paupers.

“The Mets used their Bernie Madoff-induced poverty to enter into this unbecoming period where they don’t even bother to meet with the marquee free agents because they wouldn’t dare wade in that financial pool.”

“The story goes the Mets were rebuilding, though that was just a red herring…They forced general manager Sandy Alderson to try and win with the resources incompatible with such a goal.”

Passan asserts that Alderson and the Mets got good in spite of ownership because of a solid player development apparatus.

On Thursday, I speculated it would take at least $150 million and likely more to sign Cespedes this winter, so I was in the same range as Passan’s expert panel. I also wrote:

“The way the Wilpons have done business over the past ten years, it seems very unlikely to me that the Mets will do anything more than put up a good pretense and ultimately retreat to the usual “we tried” white flag.”

All media outlets owned or controlled by the Wilpons have already begun the whisper campaign against Yoenis Cespedes.

On Wednesday and Friday night, the topic was broached by SNY’s Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez who highlighted all the negatives about signing Cespedes.

During one play when Cespedes swung and didn’t run to first after appearing to hurt his thumb, Cohen surprisingly said “what an embarrassment.”

During one Mets Post Game, show Nelson Figueroa laughed when asked by Gary Apple if the Mets had any chance at signing him. Then went into him “not always hustling” and “not being a team philosophy kind of hitter.”

Although I personally didn’t hear it, a reader also told me that Howie Rose said during a broadcast on WOR that Cespedes does not feel comfortable with all the media attention in New York and that he is not a big city guy.

On MetsBlog, Matt Cerrone also highlighted the same downside and negatives that were pointed out by Gary Cohen and concluded, “ I don’t know that he’ll be worth paying, say, $25 million a season when he’s 34-years-old. Do you?”

Back when Nelson Doubleday was running things, he overruled the Wilpons and signed Mike Piazza. At the time the Wilpons and their cronies were saying the same things as you are hearing now about Cespedes.

If Cespedes got you into the postseason during the first five years of his likely seven year deal, would you care that much about his last two years?

Did you care about Piazza’s last two years and wish we had never signed him? Of course not.

And remember that Cespedes is clearly a much more athletic specimen than Piazza ever was and would likely be productive well into his age 34 season.

But anyway, once the Wilpon propaganda starts doing their thing we all know the eventual outcome. So you may as well kiss any chance of signing Cespedes out the window.

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Dilson Herrera Headed To 15-Day DL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dilson-herrera-headed-to-15-day-dl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/dilson-herrera-headed-to-15-day-dl.html/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 01:35:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=181638 Dilson 0 Herrera

During the 6th inning of tonight’s broadcast, Gary Cohen announced that Dilson Herrera is heading to the 15-day disabled list.

He fractured the tip of his right middle finger on a ground ball during pre-game before Friday night’s game vs. the Brewers. The ball also tore off his fingernail.

Eric Campbell is being called up to replace him, so he will likely play third and Daniel Murphy will move back to second base.

“We shook our heads when they came to us and told us during the game that his finger was broken,” Collins said.

“I just said, ‘Of course it is. The way things have gone for us, we certainly couldn’t have just a fingernail issue, we’ve gotta break his finger.’”

In ten games, Herrera was batting .233/.287/.353 with one home run in 37 plate appearances.

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MMO Game Thread: Red Sox vs Mets, 1:05 PM (WPIX) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-red-sox-vs-mets-105-pm-wpix.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-red-sox-vs-mets-105-pm-wpix.html/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 15:29:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175875 jon niese

The New York Mets will host the visiting Boston Red Sox at 1:10 PM at Tradition Field on Sunday. The game will be televised on WPIX and broadcast on WOR radio..

Jon Niese will start for the Mets and will be opposed by Rick Porcello for the Sox. Also scheduled to pitch for the Mets are Tyler Pill, Hansel Robles and Cody Satterwhite.

Terry Collins said that  Lucas Duda expects to begin taking batting practice on Monday and make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday.

Second Baseman Daniel Murphy participated in live batting practice today. Looks like he’ll return to action on Monday.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares, CF
  2. Curtis Granderson, RF
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, LF
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  7. Wilmer Flores, SS
  8. Johnny Monell, DH
  9. Wilfredo Tovar, 2B

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Ron Darling Will Do Play-By-Play For Spring Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ron-darling-will-do-play-by-play-for-spring-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ron-darling-will-do-play-by-play-for-spring-games.html/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174619

Mets color commentator and pitching analyst, Ron Darling, will call seven of SNY’s sixteen televised spring training games starting next month (Newsday). Darling asked executive producer Curt Gowdy Jr. about the role, and he decided to give Darling a chance at it.

“I wanted the versatility,” said Darling, an SNY analyst since 2006 and also Turner’s lead MLB analyst. “I just asked him to give me a chance in spring training to do a few games to see if I had any kind of talent at it. And he said yes, so that’s really where it came from.”

“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been working at listening, watching, trying to do games on my own at MLB Network, because they’ve got more space where you can kind of sit and do it. And I’m just hoping that I’m good enough at some point to do a creditable job.”

“The hardest part is you can’t follow [Cohen]. He’s just too good. So you have to do your own thing.”

“I just wanted Curt to give me a chance and see if I had any talent at it,” Darling said. “And listen, I wouldn’t even have thought of doing it unless I knew I was going to do it with Keith [Hernandez], because he and I have been friends a long time and that helps so much that he and I are close.

“It’ll be fun to do that broadcast where hopefully I’m professional enough to cover all the nuts and bolts but at the same time he and I can have a conversation like two guys watching a game. Hopefully it’s not like those two old guys from The Muppet Show sitting up in the balcony. I hope it’s not like those two guys. Hopefully it’s a nicer version of those two guys.”

Darling will call his first game on March 8th against the Boston Red Sox.

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Josh Lewin To Return To Mets Radio Team In 2015 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/josh-lewin-to-return-to-mets-radio-team-in-2015.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/josh-lewin-to-return-to-mets-radio-team-in-2015.html/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:14:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169429 josh lewinAccording to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Josh Lewin will be back alongside broadcast partner Howie Rose to call Mets games on WOR radio for the 2015 season.

Howie and Josh have proven to be a dynamic and entertaining broadcast team for Mets radio, and most Mets fans should be pleased with tonight’s news. The two have been doing play-by-play together

In related news, Seth Everett, who joined WOR Radio last season as the Mets pregame and postgame host, will not be returning according to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.

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It All Hinges On Granderson and Wright http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/it-all-hinges-on-granderson-and-wright.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/it-all-hinges-on-granderson-and-wright.html/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:29:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165626 curtis granderson homers

Gary Cohen brought up an interesting and sensitive point during Friday night’s broadcast, asking Ron Darling if he thought Curtis Granderson and David Wright would rebound next year.

It was a lively conversation that I thought would be worth discussing on MMO so I went ahead and transcribed it.

Gary Cohen: Granderson missed most of last year and hasn’t had a great year. But I don’t understand how you simply assume he’ll rebound next season. I mean how do you do that as an organization? How do you just go with these assumptions going forward?

Ron Darling: I don’t know. It’s a very relevant question but I don’t have a good answer for you. I think it’s almost impossible to make that assumption.

Cohen:  They can spout all these advanced stats based on age and performance and all the Pecota predictions and what have you, but they don’t give you any answers whatsoever, and lets face it, all of it only amounts to an educated guess.

Darling: That’s absolutely right.

Cohen: So are they just gonna act on that and simply hope things get better without any contingency plan to do X, Y, or Z? Are they just going to tell us, ‘of course he’s gonna bounce back why wouldn’t he?’

Darling: They really have no other options. There are only two things they can do here. First, you act on optimism and you hope that both these guys, Granderson and Wright, return to form. And secondly, and most importantly, financially the Mets are stuck in a place where they have to perform. They just have to. There’s nothing else you can do.

Cohen: I understand that. You can’t trade them… You can’t trade them… You have to play them. So no matter what, these two have to be in the lineup no matter what regardless if they are good or bad.

Darling: Exactly. There is no Plan B. There’s no Plan B for the Mets now that they’ve decided to have that much money invested in two players. This is it. When the Mets made the decision to give those two players those kind of longterm contracts, essentially they made both Granderson and Wright their core players. Guess what, now they have to live or die with those core players.

Gary and Ron raise a lot of interesting points but the takeaway here is that with Wright and Grandy swallowing up 40% of the projected payroll, both players will need to produce and produce big. I never really thought of Granderson as a core player, but given the huge contract I guess they’re right.

Sandy Alderson has already said there’s no big bat coming via free agency and that he’s unwilling to trade a Wheeler and Syndergaard unless it’s for a difference maker under team control.

The Mets will have the pitching, but that will get them nowhere if they fail to improve an offense that ranks 29th in batting average and 28th in OPS – and that begins and ends with Granderson and Wright.

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Darling Is All For Mets Making A Mike Piazza Type Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/darling-is-all-for-mets-making-a-mike-piazza-type-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/darling-is-all-for-mets-making-a-mike-piazza-type-deal.html/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 02:30:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161098 Bob Raissman of the Daily News caught up with Ron Darling who is extremely optimistic about the Mets outlook for the second half and is as excited about broadcasting Mets games now as he’s been in many years.

“Whether this all culminates in the postseason, I don’t know,” he said. “I do think there is going to be so much more positive than there has been the last few years.”

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With the Mets still riding the tide of an 8-2 homestand as they begin the second half with a weekend series in San Diego against the lowly Padres, the players, coaches and manager are all exuding with confidence and even a swagger.

“They haven’t gotten to the point where they know they are going to kick someone’s ass every night,” Darling said, “but they’ve gotten past the point where all they did was wonder what negative thing is going to happen tonight.”

Darling even has some advice for Sandy Alderson as the trade deadline nears, imploring him not to trade any of his chips unless he can pull off a blockbuster.

“A Mike Piazza type deal. I’m all for that,” Darling said. “Anything short of that kind of player then you are just trading for small pieces and hoping they catch fire, tiny little trades that would neither bring the Mets back to the pack or push them out there.”

In May, Darling made it clear he was not happy that the Mets used his name to get fans to sign a loyalty letter. He expressed concern about the direction the front office was taking. “It was frustrating. I want these guys to figure it out. I was frustrated for them.”

“At some point, when a team is underperforming, you must explain why,” Darling said. “That presents some difficult stuff to talk about.”

Darling has already experienced the feeling of winning it all but says he is far from satisfied covering the team and wants to broadcast games for a winner.

“I was lucky enough to play on a championship team but I want to broadcast for a championship team,” Darling said. “I want to do that more than anything.”

I love Darling… Sometimes I wish he was running things, the man is brilliant.

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The Great Mets Experiment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/the-great-mets-experiment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/the-great-mets-experiment.html/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 16:13:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155948 baseball_glove_ball_and_bat

Much of the mediocrity we’ve witnessed on the field these past few seasons is the result of policies instituted years ago due to financial hardship on the part of our current ownership group. Late in 2010 Mets ownership cooperated with MLB in a “stay afloat” plan involving a $25 million dollar bridge loan and some important institutional changes — namely, massive cuts in payroll. There is more than some conjecture that Bud Selig wanted Sandy Alderson – who at that time was on assignment in the Dominican Republic – to head the process of transitioning the Mets from what they had been for decades, to what they would become.

In order to understand the current state of the Mets franchise a little history might be in order. In 1890 there was a player revolt against the two leagues operating at that time (the National League, and the American Association) that resulted in the establishment of a Player League. It was a corporate entity featuring profit sharing, no unilateral contract transfers and, most importantly, no reserve clause (the reserve clause was an agreement featured in the established leagues banning the pursuit of players already under contract). The reserve clause effectively made players bound to their parent organizations for the duration of their careers unless they were released or traded. The NL and AA leagues effectively broke up the fledgling Player League after only one season by allowing some player league teams to purchase existing NL and AA franchises. The reserve clause would not be challenged again for another 80 years.

The Major League Baseball Players Association as we know it today goes back to 1954. It was ineffective for the most part until 1966 when they hired Marvin Miller, a former negotiator for US Steel Workers, who managed to mount a case against ownership in 1972.  Flood v. Kuhn went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Curt Flood‘s case was backed by the testimony of former players. Initially unsuccessful for lack of testimony from active players, the historic challenge paved the way for federal arbitration of salary demands (Ownership gave in to some of those demands in 1973) and in 1974, an arbitrator effectively reversed the court’s earlier verdict, throwing out the reserve clause and opening the door for the modern free agency. Average salary skyrocketed from $45,000 in 1975 to $289,000 in 1983, to $3,440,000 in 2013. A shell of the reserve clause still exists today in the form of the short period of exclusivity that teams are granted for players they have developed in their own minor league systems. Teams have a 6 year window of service time and are bound by specific salary requirements and arbitration guidelines.

Labor disputes in MLB have shifted in recent years from centering on player exploitation to concerns about parity. Player salaries continued to rise over a period of years beyond the budget capacities of some smaller market teams. There may have been a poverty argument with a few select distressed teams in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, however, today’s game is awash in cash, and television & media revenue alone provide a sizable cash-flow infusion for most major league clubs. It is no wonder we see teams like Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay increasingly testing the waters of free agency.

Since 1974 we’ve nevertheless witnessed a back and forth wrangling between Ownership and the Player’s Association over MLB revenue and fair player compensation. In this era of plenty, Ownership is wary of increased player demands and has frequently been the subject of inquiries accusing them of conspiring to keep salaries down. This is where we come full circle to the present and the current state of the Mets.

Baseball ownership is not what it used to be. It is far more common in today’s game to see corporately owned franchises. The reasons for this are many with perhaps the biggest being the tax benefits available to baseball clubs that can demonstrate negative net earnings while showing a positive cash flow – thereby potentially securing considerable tax relief by offsetting income from other businesses. Another benefit of corporate ownership is the ability to promote merchandise through media exposure and television rights to market related business enterprises. The Mets are one of an increasingly fewer number of teams still owned by a family partnership. As such not only are they less inclined to channel losses into other business domains (although SNY theoretically offers them that venue), but they are more vulnerable to fluctuations in their personal fortunes, and here’s where it gets messy. The Wilpons post-Madoff, are not the owners they were before. They are, in effect, a small market team which happens to reside in the largest market in baseball.

So what does all this have to do with the “Great Mets Experiment”? Selig hoisted Alderson onto the Mets as a counterfoil to the behemoth across town that routinely drives salaries up and makes things awfully difficult for small markets (like his former Milwaukee franchise) … so really the great Mets experiment involves building a winner by means of small market operational tenets and resources, independent of market forces.

This would theoretically drive the cost of running a major league ball club down in any market, if (and it’s a big “if”) the Mets can serve as a model. The implications here for Mets fans are significant, Fred Wilpon basically sold out the N.Y. Mets fan base so Selig could promote his small market philosophy. If MLB had denied the Wilpon’s their bridge loan and pushed them to sell with a vote of no confidence, it would have been far less painful for the fans. Sadly, the fans don’t seem to matter much in these machinations. It seems it’s more about undermining free agency and pocketing a greater share of the profits.

The experiment? So far, not so good to be honest, but there’s still time. If in the coming years the Mets emerge as a perennial contender with a sustainable payroll based on staggered big contracts and a top-notch farm system, Sandy Alderson will have done his job (and will probably be sitting in the Commissioner’s chair some day).

It remains to be seen whether the experiment is a success, and furthermore, whether it’s enough of a success to cause other clubs to follow suit. The Mets and Yankees have shamelessly pilfered each other (both in terms of players and ideas) as cross-town rivals over the years, and I think it’s interesting that with the Mets embarking on this era of austerity, we (for the first time in forever) began to hear whispers of “restraint” coming from the Bronx, actually watching them drop to #2 in total MLB payroll.

The other incentive of course is that Ownership will in effect be colluding to keep salaries down in a perfectly legal manner if more teams focus resources on their farm systems, thereby exploiting that last vestige of the “reserve clause,” their 6 year window with their own emerging players. Ownership has always known there is a relatively short time from the expiration of arbitration eligibility to the onset of decline, and it tends to be during this period that players strike gold by signing massive contracts that contain hundreds of millions in sunken costs (across MLB) as these players enter their declining years.This is a big problem for ownership and MLB might just be inclined to take a page out of Sandy Aldersons “no to Cano” approach, again if the Mets are successful.

By focusing on developing a farm system that can routinely churn out quality players that remain under control for 6 years (or more if you can extend them) you give your major league team quite the window to instal a competitive, dynamic, youthful, but most importantly cheap roster. Contracts that absorb arbitration and tack on 2 or 3 years can often be huge bargains for Major League clubs, especially when you consider many players begin to decline past the age of 30. The strategy effectively undermines free agency and makes contracts like the ones Pujols and Cano signed even more onerous. With only supplemental resources directed at free agents, a team with an upper echelon farm system (like the Braves and Twins) and a few carefully targeted extensions can sustain contention almost indefinitely.

What better place to model this than the biggest stage of all? New York, New York baby!

mmo

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Lagares To Return Tomorrow, Won’t Go On Bereavement List http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/lagares-to-return-tomorrow-wont-go-on-bereavement-list.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/lagares-to-return-tomorrow-wont-go-on-bereavement-list.html/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 19:53:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156118 juan lagares single

May 20

Sandy Alderson told reporters at Citi Field that Juan Lagares is expected back from the DR on Wednesday and that he will not be placed on the bereavement list.

Lagares traveled to the Dominican Republic late Sunday night, while mourning the death of a family member, team officials told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

The gifted outfielder was expected to be back with the team some time today and in time for the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field, but the absence is totally understandable.

Lagares was at the center of a social media hailstorm after manager Terry Collins benched his top performing outfielder while saying it was to improve the team’s offense.

The Mets proceeded to get shutout twice by the Yankees and lost the first game of the series in Washington before Lagares was inserted in the lineup Saturday for the Mets only win in five games. Lagares drove in three runs and was the difference in the Mets’ 5-2 win.

Afterward, Collins berated the beat writers and fans during the post game, essentially accusing them of being hysterical because he “rested” Lagares for two games. It was actually four of five games including three consecutive pine-rides.  

In the two games since his return to the lineup, Lagares is 3-for-8 with a home run and four RBI, accounting for 50% of the Mets run production in that span.

May 17

After being relegated to the bench for three straight games, Juan Lagares gave his manager Terry Collins an In-Your-Face performance that won’t be soon forgot by die-hard fans like the ones that frequent this site. Lagares went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs, proving to be the difference-maker in the Mets 5-2 win over the Nationals.

Batting sixth in the lineup, Lagares got things started in the first inning when he laced a Gio Gonzalez fastball into right field for a single to score Chris Young. In the third inning, Lagares blasted the seventh pitch of an impressive at-bat deep over the center field wall for a two-run homer.

Don Juan was denied a third hit in the sixth, when he ripped a laser into right field that was snared at the last second by a diving Jayson Werth.

However, Lagares would get his revenge in the bottom of the frame when with Werth at the plate he did this:

Lagares Steals HR

Oh baby, that was freaking wicked…

It was a tremendous game for Lagares who dazzled both at the plate and the field. “I know I can play. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”

The clueless as ever Terry Collins, well aware of the growing tide of sentiment crying for Lagares to play everyday, would only offer up a bone during his post-game press conference.

When asked if Lagares did enough to reclaim the center field job, he responded: “Well, he’ll play tomorrow, if that’s what you’re asking.” 

“I knew it was coming. Of course it’s coming. He had a good game. That’s great. That’s why we put him in there today.”

Wow… This guy just doesn’t get it…

One more thing… I almost fell off my seat during the broadcast, when SNY’s Gary Cohen credited Terry Collins for what Lagares did tonight. Cohen went as far as calling the benching “genius.”

Really? Come on Gary…

Anyway, this was one of my favorite games of the year, and we’ll have more on the exploits of Jenrry Mejia and Eric Campbell coming up next – they also had standout performances. Keep it at Metsmerized…

MMO

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Francesa Calls Mets Jackasses For Boycotting WFAN http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/francesa-calls-mets-jackasses-for-boycotting-wfan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/francesa-calls-mets-jackasses-for-boycotting-wfan.html/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 14:48:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155522 francesa

A team source told Justin Tasch of the Daily News that the Mets were not “boycotting” WFAN, rather trying to build up their new radio relationship with WOR.

Mike Francesa blasted the Mets on Monday and unleashed one of his signature tirades against the franchise whom he referred to as “jackasses” for banning them

“It’s just ridiculous. The Mets are acting like jackasses. They really are,” Francesa said. “They get what they deserve. I hope there’s 10,000 people at Citi Field in a couple of days. You can quote me: jackasses. You hear me?”

“By banning guys from the show, it’s just stupid. Their poor manager, who they’ll probably boot out the door any day, is not allowed on the show. Sandy (Alderson) makes moves, he’s not allowed on the show. Even Keith’s not allowed on the show. I mean, you’re banning Keith Hernandez from the show. It’s utter nonsense.”

“No wonder you have to run around and put out fires about Saul Katz wanting to sell. If I was Saul I’d want to sell the franchise too, the way things were going. You know what? I’ve had enough of the Mets.”

This is merely backlash from the Mets switching to their new broadcast partner. But it was WFAN that severed ties with the Mets and not the other way around.

Francesa takes much joy in criticizing the team and hammering them whenever he could. On rare occasions his rants have merit, but the majority of the time he’s just a windbag full of hot air who frequently displays how shallow his baseball IQ really is.

MMO

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MMO Game Thread: Cards vs Mets 1:10 PM, Cubs vs Mets 4:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-cards-vs-mets-110-pm-cubs-vs-mets-410-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-cards-vs-mets-110-pm-cubs-vs-mets-410-pm.html/#comments Sun, 16 Mar 2014 15:35:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150696 Jon_Niese

(Photo by David Conde, Metsmerized Online)

The Mets play another pair of split-squad games today beginning at 1:10 PM when lefthander Jonathon Niese makes his second Grapefruit League start against Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals. This game will be broadcast only on WOR 710 AM.

Niese missed ten days this Spring with what the team called shoulder fatigue and has 15 days to show he’s ready to make the Opening Day start against the Washington Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field. His average fastball velocity of 88-89 in a start five days ago is a concern. 

The Mets wrap up their two game series in Las Vegas this afternoon at 4:10 PM when Jenrry Mejia gets the start against the Chicago Cubs who will counter with lefthander Chris Rusin. This game will NOT be broadcast on TV or Radio.

Mejia’s odds of making the rotation are very long and he could very well end up beginning the season in Triple-A Las Vegas as Terry Collins opts for Daisuke Matsuzaka as his fifth starter.

Mejia has tossed just two scoreless innings in one Grapefruit League appearance this Spring and also pitched in a “B” game. He has looked dominant each time he’s taken the mound.

Here are the lineups for the 1:05 PM game against the Cubs:

Mets

  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. Chris Young, cf
  4. Josh Satin, 3b
  5. Matt Clark, 1b
  6. Anthony Recker, c
  7. Taylor Teagarden, dh
  8. Matt den Dekker, rf
  9. Cory Vaughn, lf

Cardinals

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3b
  2. Jhonny Peralta, ss
  3. Matt Holliday, dh
  4. Allen Craig, 1b
  5. Yadier Molina, c
  6. Stephen Piscotty, rf
  7. Kolten Wong, 2b
  8. Jon Jay, cf
  9. Randal Grichuk, lf

Here are the lineups for the 4:10 PM game against the Cubs:

Mets 

  1. Eric Young Jr., dh
  2. Juan Lagares, cf
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Curtis Granderson, rf
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, lf
  7. Zach Lutz, 1b
  8. Wilmer Flores, ss
  9. Anthony Seratelli, 2b

Enjoy the games and Lets Go Mets!

casey stengel

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Nationals at 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-at-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-nationals-at-105-pm.html/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:27:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150346 terry collins Mets Spring Training

The Mets travel to Viera, Fla. this afternoon to play the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium at 1:05 PM.

Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start for the Mets and will oppose Nationals lefthander Ross Detwiler.

Terry Collins plans to have Dice-K and Noah Syndergaard piggyback and combine to throw all nine innings. For Syndergaard, this will likely be his final Grapefruit League appearance in big league camp.

The game will not be broadcast on local radio or TV.

Matsuzaka (4.50 ERA) entered spring training as the frontrunner for the Mets’ fifth starter role, and despite a lackluster two starts, he remains the favorite.

Lefthander John Lannan (1.13 ERA) is having a better spring, and Jenrry Mejia (0.00 ERA) is ready, willing and able, but Collins seemingly had his mind made up almost from the start which hardly made this the competition it was initially portrayed to be.

Ruben Tejada, who is 1-for-12 with two errors this spring, is expected to play shortstop again today as the Mets continue to monitor the shortstop market,

“We continue to look at how he’s doing, but it won’t be a judgment based on one game or two games or three games,” said Mets GM Sandy Alderson. “We’ve got a lot of spring training left. In the meantime, we’ll continue to look at our other options.”

Reliever Kyle Farnsworth is running out of rope after another rocky appearance on Wednesday. He now carries a 5.40 ERA and I would be shocked if he bounces Mejia out of a bullpen spot.

Meanwhile, Jose Valverde isn’t doing any better as his 6.75 ERA would attest, but his veteran status gives him a free pass this Spring and Collins will have him pass Go and collect $200.

Here is the starting lineup for the Mets:

  1. Ruben Tejada, ss
  2. Daniel Murphy, 2b
  3. David Wright, 3b
  4. Curtis Granderson, rf
  5. Josh Satin, 1b
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, c
  7. Andrew Brown, lf
  8. Anthony Recker, dh
  9. Matt den Dekker, cf

Recker and Dekker back to back?

I think Terry Collins is trolling us… :-)

(Photo: NY Mets)

lets go Mets button

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Mets Announce Howie Rose and Josh Lewin To Return As Radio Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-announce-howie-rose-and-josh-lewin-to-return-as-radio-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/mets-announce-howie-rose-and-josh-lewin-to-return-as-radio-team.html/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 22:08:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147834 howie rose

The New York Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment today announced Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will return as the radio voices for Mets games broadcast on 710 WOR, the new radio home of the Mets.

SiriusXM baseball host Casey Stern is the leading — and probably likely — candidate to replace Ed Coleman for the pregame and post game show, multiple sources told ESPNNewYork.com.

Rose will start his 19th season calling play-by-play for Mets games.  He first began covering the team on the radio in 1987, hosting the Mets pre- and post-game shows. The Queens native published his first book last year, “Put It in the Book!: A Half-Century of Mets Mania,” named after his famous catchphrase that punctuates Mets victories.

Lewin enters his third season as a Mets radio broadcaster.  From 2002-2010, he was the television play-by-play broadcaster for the Texas Rangers and was a part of Fox’s Saturday National baseball coverage including serving as the “dugout reporter” for the American League Championship Series and National League Championship Series.  Lewin has also served as the radio play-by-play voice for the San Diego Chargers since 2005.

The 50,000-watt AM powerhouse 710 WOR, the flagship radio station of the Mets, will broadcast 15 Spring Training games, starting Friday, February 28, at 1:10 p.m. against the Washington Nationals.  Regular season coverage begins Opening Day, Monday March 31, when the Mets host the Nationals at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

Original Post

After considering a shakeup, the Mets’ in-game radio team will remain intact with the switch to WOR, reports Adam Rubin..

An industry source told ESPN New York that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has decided to keep Howie Rose and Josh Lewin as the broadcast team.

Rubin says an official announcement is expected later this week.

This will make a lot of Met fans happy.

Howie Rose is the best and a Mets icon in the mold of Bob and Ralph. Lewin compliments him very well and together make for a great radio team.

I posted the broadcast schedule for Spring Training earlier today, WOR will be broadcasting 15 games.

Presented By Diehards

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Life Under the Big Top http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/life-under-the-big-top.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/life-under-the-big-top.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134989 The Houston Astrodome is coming down as we speak. The following is just one of the memorable games the New York Mets played at historic dome.

legends-lindsey-nelsonThe original New York Mets were more often described as a circus act than a competitive professional baseball team. Fans flocked to the Polo Grounds, and later Shea Stadium, to catch a glimpse of Casey Stengel, or maybe Marv Throneberry miss touching a base running from first to third. Fans reveled when Jimmy Piersall opted to round the bases in reverse.

Everywhere Mets fans looked, they were delighted and surprised by the offbeat characters on and off the field. Lindsey Nelson, one of the Mets play-by-play announcer, was no exception. His wild and colorful blazers were conversation pieces. His analysis was sharp and colorful and, on occasion, reached new heights – literally.

On April 28, 1965, Nelson, the “daredevil” of all the Mets broadcasters according to the New York Times, and executive producer Joel Nixon became the first (and only) baseball announcers to broadcast from a gondola, dangling 208 feet above second base, the equivalent of 18 stories, the highest point of the Astrodome.

“There I was, swinging back and forth like a monkey in a cage,” Nelson described in the opening chapter of the 1966 book Backstage at the Mets. “The ballplayers looked like animated pushbuttons. At the moment I didn’t have foggiest notion what they were doing, where they were going, or why. It was the perfect spot for a New York Met announcer.”

This was all Joe Gallagher’s fault. From the moment he saw the gondola, Gallagher was obsessed, asking questions throughout the first game of the series in Houston.

Can you get up there?

Yes.

Is it safe?

I guess so.

How many people will it hold?

4-6.

Can you broadcast from it?

Yes.

That’s all Gallagher really needed to hear.

He spent the next day making arrangements to send Nelson into the air, and on the air, in the gondola to broadcast the game. Nelson hesitated, but agreed to do it. That evening the Astros lowered the gondola until it hovered over second base, about 12 feet off the ground.

The “flying saucer,” as it was described in newspaper reports, took 45 minutes to descend. Nelson, Nixon, members of the Astros organization and Yogi Berra watched and waited.

“You really going up in that thing?” Berra asked Nelson.

Nelson nodded uncomfortably.

“What are you nuts?” asked Berra.

Nelson and Nixon climbed in with a pair of walkie-talkies, a microphone, binoculars, a scorecard and a couple locker stools. As they climbed into the box, Nelson asked an Astros engineer, “Have you ever been up there?”

“Up there?” he asked back.

“You think I’m nuts?”

The gondola cables jerked Nelson and Nixon back and began its ascent over the next four minutes. When they reached their destination, Nelson peered over the edge, “hanging on for dear life.” He later described the scene saying, “At first I couldn’t see anything except a lot of tiny figures. Everybody looked the same height, everybody looked short. You couldn’t tell a line drive from a pop fly.”

Murphy, Ralph Kiner and Gallagher tried to communicate with Nelson using the walkie-talkie, only one problem: the two-way device was on the same frequency as a local Houston cab company. Murphy’s messages were randomly interrupted by street intersections, hotel names and frustrated cabbie which were equally confused by the ballpark sound effects.

“The confusion that resulted from all the racket in the gondola would have given an ordinary man the screaming-meemies, but I’m not an ordinary man,” wrote Nelson. “I’m a Met fan, wish us Mets fans confusion is a way of life. So is cacophony.”

Nelson held steady through the early innings. He refused to stand, refused to wave to fans, refused to keep score (fearing he’d drop his pencil on a player). The sixth inning was torture. The Mets and Astros combined to score eight runs, four apiece. Nelson called play-by-play for the seventh and eighth innings.

Bob Hope sat in the crowd and watched, both the game and the gondola in fascination. The Astros eventually beat the Mets 12-9, a game that officially lasted three hours and 24 minutes.

For Nelson and Nixon it felt like an eternity. After the game, Hope was invited back to Hofheinz apartment inside the stadium. He asked to wait a moment to see if Nelson and Nixon made it down safely as the gondola lowered before his eyes. As the gondola came to a stop, just feet from the diamond, Nelson took a deep breath and climbed out of the container while fans hooted, hollered and cheered the Mets broadcaster like a hero.

Like the circus clown, Nelson understood his role: Another city; another show; another smile; another night under the big top.

Presented By Diehards

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Best News Of The Night, Ron Darling Signs New Deal With SNY http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/best-news-of-the-night-ron-darling-signs-new-deal-with-sny.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/best-news-of-the-night-ron-darling-signs-new-deal-with-sny.html/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 05:15:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133433 I watched the season premiere of Mets Hot Stove on SNY which was kind of a bore-fest of full of week old rumors that have been beaten to death already here on MMO or on Mets Twitter. There was one item of note and that was the announcement that Ron Darling had agreed to a multiyear deal to remain part of the SNY broadcast team. It was the best 23 seconds of the night…

With Darling’s star rising fast in the broadcast world, I feared we might end up losing him to FOX, ESPN or the MLB Network. I’m so glad to hear he’s sticking around to compliment Gary and Keith in the booth. I especially loved Ronnie on those rare occasions where he covered for Bobby Ojeda during the pre and post games. I hope we get to see him do more of that.

We had a chance to interview Ron Darling a few times and each time we came away in awe of his incredible knowledge and baseball presence. He’s always the smartest guy in the room, but his friendly demeanor doesn’t make him intimidating to talk to at all. As a matter of fact you get the sense you’re hanging out with an old friend and having a beer and talking baseball.

Congratulations on your new deal Ronnie!

Here are a few quotes from Ron Darling, a couple of which came from our own interviews:

On Making It In The Majors

“The three things that I benchmark, that I judge pitchers by is their ability to throw fastballs on the corner and both sides of the plate, that they can throw a breaking ball over the plate behind in the count, and that they have a bulldog and a competitive mentality.”

On Mets Off-Season

“They have to get a starting pitcher with Matt Harvey out. Maybe you get a veteran guy out there on a one or two-year deal to help with the younger pitchers, teach them how to be pros. And they need offense, whether you make a big splash or do what the Red Sox did and get some capable pros. The toughest decision for the Mets is what players on the roster they want to keep.”

On Zack Wheeler

“A bulldog comes in many shapes and forms. In my day, Dave Stewart was considered a bulldog with the stare, but so was Orel Hershiser without the stare. It comes in a lot of different ways. A lot of guys try to fake it, you can see through it. Zack Wheeler might have a different way of doing it; he might be quieter about it, as opposed to Matt Harvey who may be a bit more overt about it. Matt’s from the East Coast, and East coast kids tend to be a little more overt anyway, and Zack might be a little quieter. It doesn’t mean that they both can’t be pitching assassins in their own way.”

button simplyamazing

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Ron Darling To Join MLB Network As Hot Stove Analyst http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/ron-darling-to-join-mlb-network-as-hot-stove-analyst.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/ron-darling-to-join-mlb-network-as-hot-stove-analyst.html/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 13:39:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131998 alg-ripken-wells-darling-jpg

On Thursday, the MLB Network announced that they’ve hired Ron Darling as an analyst for the 2013-2014 Hot Stove Season.

Darling, fresh off his stint as a postseason analyst for TBS, has become a very hot commodity in the broadcast world. His savvy insights and keen intellect serve him well as an analyst and he always comes off looking like the smartest guy in the booth.

The two-time Emmy Award winning analyst, has been entertaining Met fans since 2006 when he joined color man Keith Hernandez and play-by-play man Gary Cohen to form one of the best broadcast teams in baseball.

I love Ronnie and it’s great to see him get the recognition he so richly deserves.

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