Mets Merized Online » Bryce Harper http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Nationals GM Doesn’t Rule Out Pursuit Of Yoenis Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/nationals-gm-doesnt-rule-out-pursuit-of-yoenis-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/nationals-gm-doesnt-rule-out-pursuit-of-yoenis-cespedes.html/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2016 12:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226194 yoenis cespedes walkoff

Yoenis Cespedes is clearly the biggest free agent this offseason, and the team we all least want to see him go to is probably going to make a big push to sign him. The Nationals didn’t come out and say they would pursue Cespedes, but they certainly did not rule out the possibility.

“When [Cespedes] played for the Mets, the guy scared me,” Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo said, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. “He’s a really good offensive player. He’s a really good two-way player. He is a middle-of-the-lineup bat. He improves any team he plays for.”

Cespedes, 31, slashed .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs in 2016. He would immediately upgrade the Nationals’ lineup, but it’s not that easy. If he were to be signed by the Nationals, they would have to remove payroll in another area, according to Rizzo.

Other moving pieces would be rookie Trea Turner, who would go back to his natural position at shortstop, and former MVP Bryce Harper, who would play center field with Jayson Werth in right field and Cespedes in left.

Harper’s cannon for an arm and decent speed make him a stellar right fielder, however he has played a decent center field in his career. “Harper is very capable of playing center field,” Rizzo said. “He is all about winning and if it helps us win, I know he will be all-in.”

This could all be a bluff; a ploy to scare the Mets into possibly overspending to bring back Cespedes. If the Nationals made no other offensive moves besides signing Cespedes, it would end up being a straight lineup swap between him and Danny Espinosa.

Espinosa was the starting shortstop in 2016, however Turner would almost certainly move back to shortstop, pushing Espinosa into a utility role. While that is an upgrade, it doesn’t seem like it would be worth the amount of money it would take to sign Cespedes.

Yoenis Cespedes will surely be an expensive upgrade for any team that signs him. The worst case scenario would be him being the 2017 starting left fielder for the Washington Nationals, and unfortunately, that is a distinct possibility.

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Nats All Star Catcher Wilson Ramos Out For Season With Torn ACL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nats-all-star-catcher-wilson-ramos-out-for-season-with-torn-acl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nats-all-star-catcher-wilson-ramos-out-for-season-with-torn-acl.html/#comments Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:05:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223899 wilson-ramos

Update: It’s a torn ACL for Wilson Ramos. He’s done for at least 6 months.

Over the past two weeks, the Washington Nationals have suffered a number of injuries to some of their core players, capped off by the potential loss of all-star catcher Wilson Ramos, who appeared to injure his right knee badly on Monday night.

The Nats await the results of an MRI but fear this could be a serious ACL or MCL injury that will likely wipe out the rest of this season and postseason.

Ramos, 29, who had to be helped off the field by trainers, is batting .307/.354/.497 with 22 homers and 80 RBI for the Nats this season. His loss would be devastating for the team.

”There’s always a level of concern when you lose a guy of that caliber,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. ”But that’s why we have the depth that we have. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. We’ve just got to next man up.”

The Nationals have already been without the services of second baseman Daniel Murphy for the last eight games, as he remains out with a strained glute muscle. And reigning MVP Bryce Harper injured his thumb on an awkward head-first slide on Sunday. The Nats held their collective breaths until they learned Harper’s thumb was not broken.

The Nationals are playing it safe with them but both are expected to rejoin the lineup as soon as tonight.

“Murphy and Harper look like they are going to be okay for the playoffs. But Willie is a tough man to replace,” said Jayson Werth on Monday. “I hate that expression ‘snake bit,’ but that’s how it feels.”

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Nationals Clinch NL East Title http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nationals-clinch-nl-east-title.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/nationals-clinch-nl-east-title.html/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2016 04:40:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223711 nationals-clinch-werth

With the Mets’ loss to the Phillies this evening and a win of their own, the Washington Nationals have officially clinched the National League East title, their third in five years.

Washington earned a 6-1 victory over the Pirates tonight, getting big contributions at the plate from Stephen Drew and Jayson Werth while squeezing 5.1 relief innings from Reynaldo Lopez.

Capitalizing on mid-season struggles by the Mets, the division wasn’t much of a race. (In fact, none of the divisions — especially those in the NL — are close right now.)

How’d they do it? An effective combination of strong offense and outstanding pitching. The Nationals currently own a team ERA of 3.44, which is second in baseball only behind the Cubs. Their 718 runs scored were ninth in baseball.

Despite Bryce Harper‘s production dropping off a cliff this season, the Nats’ offense has received much greater contributions than expected from the likes of Daniel Murphy, Wilson Ramos, Trea Turner, and Stephen Drew.

If current standings hold, the Nationals will face off against the Dodgers in the NLDS while the Cubs will face off against the winner of the Wild Card game.

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Familia Falters, But Mets Stand Their Ground In Wild Card Hunt http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/familia-falters-but-mets-stand-their-ground-in-wild-card-hunt.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/familia-falters-but-mets-stand-their-ground-in-wild-card-hunt.html/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:18:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=222867 jeurys familia

Daniel Murphy started a ninth inning rally for the Nationals, but destiny was on the barrel of rookie T.J. Rivera’s bat, as he launched a tie breaking solo shot in the top of the 10th to keep the Mets in sole possession of the second wild card spot.

The native New Yorker accounted for three of the Mets four runs and since being summoned from Sin City, the Pacific Coast League Batting Champion is hitting a team high .333.

Noah Syndergaard, sporting an impressive 1.06 in his last five starts, got robbed of his 14th win when Jeurys Familia unraveled in the bottom of the ninth.  Murphy, the bane of Terry Collins’ ball club, beat out a sharp single to Asdrubal Cabrera, scoring on a base hit by Anthony Rendon.

After Jose Reyes botched a throw on Bryce Harper’s ground ball, Familia failed to corral a Wilson Ramos comebacker, which brought Rendon home with the tying run.   Pinch hitter Clint Robinson then laced a hard liner to Rivera at second base, allowing the Mets to double up Ramos at first to send the game into overtime.

In the top of the 10th, Fernando Salas recorded the first two outs before surrendering a bloop single to Jayson Werth, forcing Collins to make an emergency call to the bullpen. Jerry Blevins, facing Daniel Murphy, ran the count to 3-2, then fittingly, struck him out on a wicked breaking pitch.

It’s a shame that Syndergaard didn’t secure the well-deserved victory after seven solid innings of one-run four-hit ball.  But his 10 strikeouts brought him to 205 for the season, making him the fifth Mets pitcher to surpass 200 by the age of 24 or younger.  Not too bad of a consolation prize to become a member of a club that includes Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden and Tom “Terrific” Seaver.

The Mets have won eight of their last 10 and are 17-6 over their last 23 games. All in all, the Mets seized a much needed win (they’re all much needed wins now, right?) and stood their ground in the wild card standings despite a St. Louis Cardinals victory.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets Beat Nationals 9-7 In Roller Coaster Match http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-beat-nationals-9-7-in-roller-coaster-match.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-beat-nationals-9-7-in-roller-coaster-match.html/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2016 03:03:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217057 wilmer flores cc

The New York Mets (47-38) defeated the Washington Nationals (51-36) in a crazy game by a score of 9-7 Thursday night at Citi Field.

Pitching:

Bartolo Colon started tonight and was greeted rudely by Ben Revere, who smacked a triple down the right field line to lead off the game. Daniel Murphy then singled him in for the first run of the game, but Bryce Harper then grounded into an inning ending double play.

Colon pitched well until Bryce Harper, Clint Robinson, and Anthony Rendon all took him deep with solo shots in the 4th inning, giving the Nationals a 4-1 lead.

The 5th inning started off with base hits by Oliver Perez and Ben Revere. Jayson Werth then grounded into a fielders choice to put runners on first and third with one out. With Blevins ready in the bullpen and Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper due up, I thought this was the end of Colon’s night. Terry kept him in, and Murphy grounded into a double play… Or at least he would have if the Nationals didn’t challenge, and unfortunately the replay showed Murphy was safe at first, thus scoring the run giving the Nationals a 5-4 lead.

Harper then singled, moving Murphy to third, then Wilson Ramos singled to score Murphy and move Harper to third, still with two outs. This was the end of Colon’s night.

bartolo colon

Colon’s final line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 Ks, 3 BB

Jerry Blevins faced one batter, walking Clint Robinson to load the bases in the 5th.

Hansel Robles came in with the bases juiced in the 5th, getting Anthony Rendon to fly out to end the inning. He stayed in for the 6th inning, and despite allowing a double to Oliver Perez, pitched a scoreless inning.

Antonio Bastardo came in for the 7th inning, and proceeded to give up a solo shot to Daniel Murphy, trimming the Mets lead to 8-7. He then struck out Bryce Harper and induced a ground ball from Wilson Ramos. With two outs, Clint Robinson hit a dinky ground ball back to the mound, however Bastardo made a terrible throw to first which got by Flores, sending Robinson to second and knocking Bastardo from the game.

Addison Reed came in to face Anthony Rendon, whom he blew away with a 94 mph fastball. He then breezed through the 8th inning, conserving the Mets’ 9-7 lead.

Jeurys Familia came in for his 31st save opportunity of the season. He walked Jayson Werth to lead off the inning, bringing Daniel Murphy to the plate as the tying run. He hit a ball to the left of Asdrubal Cabrera who made an unbelievable diving stop, from his belly tossed it backhanded to Walker at second who was taken out by Werth. The umpires called a runners’ interference and called Murphy out at first base to complete the double play. The play went under review to determine if the slide was dirty, however the call on the field was upheld.

Bryce Harper then came up with two outs and nobody on. On the 8th pitch of the at bat, La Familia struck him out with an elevated 98 mph fastball to end the game. Familia is now 31-31 in save opportunities this season, and has converted 47 straight regular season saves dating back to last season.

yoenis cespedes

Offense:

After Jose Reyes struck out in the first inning, Curtis Granderson walked. Yoenis Cespedes then demolished a one-hopper to the shortstop Danny Espinosa who was eaten up by it, so instead of an inning-ending double play, there was now runners on first and second with one out. Neil Walker then grounded out to the first basemen moving both runners over. In stepped James Loney, who struck out looking to end the inning.

Loney would not miss his second opportunity with runners in scoring position, however, as with runners on first and second with two outs in the 3rd, he lined a base hit to left, scoring Yoenis Cespedes from second, then tying the game at one.

After the Nationals hit three solo home runs in the top of the fourth, Travis d’Arnaud and Jose Reyes answered with taters of their own in the bottom half. With two outs, Curtis Granderson then doubled down the right field line. After the pitcher Lucas Giolito balked moving Grandy to third, Yoenis Cespedes doubled down the left field line to tie the game at four. Neil Walker then walked, knocking Giolito from the game.

Oliver Perez entered the game to face James Loney, and on the very first pitch, the Mets pulled off a ballsy double steal. Unfortunately, Loney popped out to Murph to end the inning.

wilmer flores hr

The Mets came out firing in the 5th inning again, with Asdrubal Cabrera and Brandon Nimmo cracking back to back singles. Travis d’Arnaud struck out, and Wilmer Flores pinch hit. He socked a 3-run home run to give the Mets the lead, his 5th home run in 5 days. As Fred Flintstone would say, WIIIILMAAAAAAAAH!

Facing Matt Belisle in the 6th, Asdrubal Cabrera cracked a solo shot to give the Mets a 8-6 lead.

The 7th inning was eventful as well. Jose Reyes walked, however was caught stealing for the second out. He seemed to have gotten a good jump, however stopped and ran back to first and was thrown out by the catcher. Curtis Granderson singled up the middle and Yoenis Cespedes walked, then Neil Walker singled to left to score Grandy. In to face the lefty, Juan Lagares walked to load the bases for Asdrubal Cabrera, who grounded out.

With a 9-7 lead, Kelly Johnson, pinch hitting, led off the bottom of the 8th with a double to right center. Travis d’Arnaud grounded out to shortstop, failing to advance the runner, then Wilmer Flores walked. However, Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson could not drive in any runs.

jose reyes

Notes:

Verizon Trivia Question: Since 2014, who are the only two National League players with more hits than Daniel Murphy?

All of the Mets starters (except Big Sexy) had at least one hit.

In the 4th inning, Harper “earned” his home run, hitting it by the apple in center field, but Robinson’s and Rendon’s home runs were not struck very well. Off the bat they both seemed like pop-ups, continuing the recent trend of balls carrying to left at Citi Field.

That 4th inning was the first inning in Mets history that featured five home runs.

There were 8 home runs (4 Nationals, 4 Mets) hit in tonight’s game, which is a new Citi Field record.

With his home run tonight, Daniel Murphy has now hit 5 against the Mets this season and has a new career high 15 home runs.

The Mets have hit .313 with 22 home runs in the last 8 games.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Charlie Blackmon & Buster Posey

On Deck:

The Norse God of Thunder Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 2.41 ERA) will face off against Stephen Strasburg (11-0, 2.71 ERA) in an ace matchup Friday night at Citi Field at 7:10 PM.

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Michael Conforto Refuses To Let Slump Shake His Confidence http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/michael-conforto-refuses-to-let-slump-shake-his-confidence.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/michael-conforto-refuses-to-let-slump-shake-his-confidence.html/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2016 19:19:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=213788 michael conforto 2

To say that Michael Conforto had a rough day on Wednesday, would be an understatement. The young outfielder went 0-6 while stranding four runners on base and striking out four times.

Not only has Conforto been held hitless in his last 14 at-bats, but he has looked flat-out perplexed at the plate. However, Conforto feels that he knows the problem and the solution.

” I think I am pressing a little bit and I think I need to take a deep breath and get back to what was working,” Conforto said. “That just starts with hard work and feeling confident.” (NY Post)

“I’m just getting away from my approach, going out of the zone. I’m not going to have success that way, so I just got to get back to what was working and keep working hard. I think the confidence is still there, that’s never going to be shaken.”

It is pivotal for Michael to get back to the approach that saw him successfully make the jump from Double-A to the Major Leagues. Sometimes when young players are struggling, they change too much of what has made them productive rather than just making gradual tweaks as the league adjusts to them.

“I’ve got to take a step back, take a look at what’s going on,” Conforto said. “Just kind of take a deep breath, slow down a little bit. …It’s easier said than done, but I can tell you I’m going to work hard and I’m going to get back to where I need to be.”

Bad players, good players, and great players all eventually get mired in a slump. Even ask Bryce Harper, who in the last 30 days is hitting an uncharacteristically poor .208/.444/.389. And just like Bryce Harper, Michael Conforto will eventually break out of his slump. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Jerry Blevins Proving To Be A Big Part Of Mets Pen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/jerry-blevins-proving-to-be-a-big-part-of-mets-pen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/jerry-blevins-proving-to-be-a-big-part-of-mets-pen.html/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 16:46:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210976 jerry blevins

The New York Mets completed one of their best April’s in team history, going 15-7 for a .682 winning percentage. As Adam Rubin noted, the Mets twice had more wins in April in 2006 (16-8) and 2002 (16-10) but those were in more games played.

A number of factors led to such an impressive month, as the Mets offense woke up halfway through April, the starting pitching was impressive despite early issues from Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, and the bullpen has done a formidable job holding leads, much better than many early predictions favored them to be.

Before Monday night’s home game with the Atlanta Braves, the Mets pen ranked 9th in baseball in ERA at 2.84, 9th in OPS at .630, and 3rd in K/9 at 10.48. The Mets bullpen is also in the bottom third of the amount of extra base hits surrendered, only giving up 17 extra base hits to date.

A key contributor has been LHP Jerry Blevins, who’s been fantastic thus far for the Mets in his short New York career.

I say short because Blevins, 32, was involved in not one, but two different broken arm injuries in 2015. The first occurred on April 19th when Blevins was pitching in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins. With one out and runners on the corners, recently suspended Dee Gordon hit a 0-1 off-speed pitch right back at Blevins, fracturing his forearm. Blevins would go on to try and rehab it without surgery, until he next incident occurred four months later.

Travis d'Arnaud, Terry Collins, Sean Barber, Jerry Blevins

While rehabbing his way back for late season action, Blevins re-injured his left arm in August, when he slipped while stepping off a curb retrieving his iPhone from his car in Florida. He re-fractured his distal radius bone in his left forearm, the same one he had initially injured in April against the Marlins.

Blevins had surgery after the incident in Florida, requiring a plate and six screws. Blevins rehabbed in the offseason and was ready for another opportunity with a clean bill of health for 2016. Blevins knew that he had to adjust after having surgery, and needed to test his arm out as soon as he was cleared to do so. He talked in spring about facing the new challenge.

“Something is new. I’ve got metal latched to bone in my arm. So there was definitely a bit of apprehension. But there’s only one way to find out how it’s going to be. And that’s to start throwing. Knock on wood, it’s been great so far. I haven’t had any issues. It feels really good now.”

Blevins is healthy and back in action for the Mets this year, after resigning with the club in December for $4 million plus incentives to be one of their their lefty specialists.

In Spring Training, Blevins talked about how the incidents from 2015 have had an impact on his life, and are a constant reminder of the wacky season he had. At least he has a sense of humor about it!

“Every time somebody tweets about me, all the comments are: ‘Watch out for a curb. Wrap him in bubble wrap,’” Blevins said. “So it’s something I’m prepared for.”

He’s off to a great start in 2016, as he’s 1-0 on the year, with a 3.38 ERA in 12 appearances. Blevins has struck out seven, and has not issued a walk in eight innings of work before Monday night’s game.

His secondary stats are excellent as well, as he owns a 0.50 WHIP, and a .148 batting average against. Blevins has inherited 12 runners, and only one has come around to score. And his FIP also reveals that Blevins has done better than what his ERA indicates, as he’s currently at 2.94.

Blevins’ splits are phenomenal against left-handed hitters, as he owns a 1.59 ERA in 5 2/3 innings, allowing only three hits, one extra-base-hit, and one earned run.

He’s essentially a three-pitch pitcher, throwing his sinker 45% of the time, followed by a curveball 31.7%, and a slider at 19.2%. He also features a changeup that he’s only employed 4.2% of the time thus far. Despite not featuring overpowering “stuff”, Blevins has been successful in his career by pitching on the first base side of the rubber, and throwing at more of a three quarter delivery, giving the opposition a more difficult task of trying to pick up the ball at an altered angle.

Blevins is going to play an important role for the Mets in the pen, especially when facing the tough left-handed hitters in the National League East. Here’s Blevins’ career numbers against some of the tougher competition in the NL East, Bryce Harper (0-1), Daniel Murphy (0-3), Freddie Freeman (3-8 with 2 strikeouts), Dee Gordon (1-7), and Ryan Howard (0-3 with 2 strikeouts), and Odubel Herrera (0-2).

The Mets bullpen has been a collective success so far, and more help is on the way in LHP Josh Edgin, and the return of Zack Wheeler in July, which would push Bartolo Colon to the pen and for some spot starts. In order for the Mets to make another run at the World Series this year, they’re relying on their pen of veterans and young arms to carry the load and turn the ball over to Jeurys Familia. Blevins and his lefty arm will be a big part of that for the Mets in 2106, but maybe keep the bubble wrap handy when he’s walking near curbs.

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Mets Minority Owner Calls Bryce Harper “A Douche-Bag” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mets-minority-owner-calls-bryce-harper-a-douche-bag.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mets-minority-owner-calls-bryce-harper-a-douche-bag.html/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2016 14:58:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209128 bill maher jeff wilpon

During an interview with Pete McCarthy of WOR 710 radio on Wednesday, Mets minority owner Bill Maher called Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals a “douche bag.”

“There’s a couple of words that I really can’t say…” Maher told McCarthy. “But next to those words in the dictionary I can see a picture of Bryce Harper.”

“He’s a douche! He’s a douche bag. He looks like a douche bag! I just don’t like him.”

Harper, 23, was unanimously named the National League MVP last season after batting .330 and leading the NL with 42 home runs and 124 walks.

“Well of course if he was a Met I’d love him,” Maher continued. “I could learn to love Bryce Harper.”

The Mets declined to comment on Bill Maher’s comments.

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Sports On Earth: Mets Won’t Repeat As NL East Champs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/sports-on-earth-mets-wont-repeat-as-nl-east-champs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/02/sports-on-earth-mets-wont-repeat-as-nl-east-champs.html/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2016 23:42:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=206728 NL East Champions Flores Wilmer

Will Leitch of Sports On Earth writes that the New York Mets will be unable to defend their division crown this season and he has them finishing second in the NL East behind the Washington Nationals in their Season Preview.

“Two reasons. One, I think the Nationals are about to make a big step forward, which we’ll get into in a couple of paragraphs. And two, the Mets are basing their whole success on two theoretically strong but particularly flimsy legs. They’re counting on hitters in their 30s and pitchers in their early-to-mid-20s. If all lines up, the Mets could win 100 games. But what are they getting out of David Wright? Can Curtis Granderson keep up his late-career resurgence? What if Cespedes isn’t quite a superstar? And can all those pitchers remain healthy?”

“If the Mets get the best out of everybody and keep everyone on the field, they win the division. But after all the good fortune from last year … it feels like a minor turn could be in their future.”

Of course if everything breaks right the Mets could repeat as NL East champsand at least they killed the LOLMets meme, but he concludes that everything isn’t going to break right two years in a row. (Or can it?)

Leitch’s case for the Washington Nationals unseating the Mets atop the NL East is that last season they massively underachieved and they took a big step toward fixing that by replacing Matt Williams with a seasoned and unflappable manager in Dusty Baker.

On the player side he predicts that MVP Bryce Harper could be even better next season, a horrifying thought to say the least. He also says the Nationals are comprised of “a ton of bounce-back candidates and some help right around the corner on the farm.”

Essentially, he asserts that Washington will do this season, everything they were projected to do last season. He has the Nationals winning 94 games and the Mets 92.

Read their complete NL East Preview here.

I’ll give you Bryce Harper, but Dusty Baker? Really? Agree, disagree, let us know.

CASEY-STYLE FAREWELL

“Lord, save me from these tools and their keyboards.”

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Commissioner Manfred Needs to Lift the Ban, But Not on Pete Rose http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/commissioner-manfred-needs-to-lift-the-ban-but-not-on-pete-rose.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/commissioner-manfred-needs-to-lift-the-ban-but-not-on-pete-rose.html/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2015 13:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202803 He was arguably the greatest natural hitter of his generation. He was idolized by hometown fans and feared by those he competed against. He was the one guy opposing pitchers vowed not to be beaten by. His batting stance was copied in ball fields and backyards across the country. He was a World Series champion. He even had a cool nickname.

Am I talking about Charlie Hustle or Shoeless Joe?

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On Sept 11, 1985, Pete Rose became Baseball’s all-time hit leader, shattering a record many experts believed would stand forever. By the time he retired he was first in hits, singles, games played, AB and had appeared in 17 All-Star Games. But despite being perhaps the greatest hitter to walk onto a diamond Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame.

Days ago, in the face of growing support to have Rose’s lifetime ban lifted, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred upheld the 1989 decision in the Dowd Report. Manfred stated Rose was “misleading” in a recent meeting.

“Rose initially denied betting on baseball currently and only later in the interview did he ‘clarify’ his response to admit such betting,” Manfred wrote in his decision.

I applaud the Commissioner’s verdict to not be swayed. In the face of growing pressure, Manfred put the integrity of the National Pastime first.

In 1989, Rose agreed to a permanent inclusion on Baseball’s Ineligibility List, claiming there is “a factual reason for the ban.” In 2010, at a function attended by several former teammates, the hard-edged Rose openly wept, acknowledging he had “disrespected baseball” and promised to never do it again.

In 2004, he confessed to gambling on baseball. Attorney John Dowd who’d been retained by Commissioner Bart Giamatti revealed that Rose bet anywhere from $2000 to $10000 per game from 1985 through 1987 while managing Cincinnati. In ‘87 alone he bet on nearly one-third of all Reds games, games that as manager he had a direct impact on. Although Rose maintained he only bet on his team, never against them, there is no discrepancy in Rule 21 section D:

Any player, umpire, or club, or league official, or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Men enshrined in Cooperstown’s hallowed halls are there for what they did on the field, not off the field. The Hall of Fame includes racists, bigots, anti-Semites. If character was a judge of baseball brilliance there’d be plenty more wall space.

Granted, we are a forgiving society. But Baseball has always governed itself. And Pete Rose broke those rules.

Like Reggie Jackson or Pedro Martinez or Bryce Harper, Rose was one of those guys you loved to hate. Still, for us fans who witnessed the legends’ fall from grace in 1989, it was damn heartbreaking. Twenty five years ago the thought of Rose even being considered for eligibility was inconceivable, especially when you recall Commissioner Giamatti died only eight days after handing down his decision.

If Rose was to be enshrined does this open the door for more rule breakers to receive the same honor? A generation from now, as time passes, will the public be clamoring for others to be immortalized? Will people look back on the 90’s and laugh at the overreaction to steroids?

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How would you feel bringing your children or grandchildren to Cooperstown one day and seeing Roger Clemens’ plaque alongside Tom Seaver’s? Or seeing Alex Rodriguez a few feet from Ralph Kiner? Would you be able to explain why Rafael Palmeiro is enshrined and Gil Hodges is not?

The tide is turning. More than 60% now feel Rose’s ban should be lifted. He worked as an analyst during the post-season on FOX and was granted permission to participate in All-Star Game activities this past year in Cincinnati.

Personally, I’m against Rose being respected alongside iconic heroes like Mickey Mantle and Cal Ripken and Willie Mays. However, if Rose is one day included in this elite brotherhood I feel that another player must be enshrined first.

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Rose was found guilty of betting on Baseball for at least three full seasons. Joe Jackson was accused of accepting bribe money for 8 games and subsequently banned for life.

Life. He died more than 60 years ago.

The 1919 Chicago White Sox were one of the greatest teams in baseball’s young history and were expected to crush the NL Champion Reds. As we all know The Black Sox lost 5 games to 3.  Eight players were in on the fix. However, unlike Rose, who admitted his guilt in gambling, Jackson’s involvement is cloudier.

His .375 BA in the Fall Classic was the highest of any player on either team. He hit the Series’ only home run. He handled 30 chances in the OF without incident or making an “error.” He threw to the correct cut-off man every time. The film Eight Men Out argued the point that Jackson, who was illiterate, did not comprehend what he was getting involved in, going so far as to argue he only consented after teammate Swede Risberg threatened Jackson’s family.

Jackson himself asserted that on two occasions he refused to accept the $5,000 bribe, despite the fact it was more than double his annual salary. Teammate Lefty Williams, who was in on the fix, flung the cash onto Jackson’s bed in a hotel room and walked out just prior to the first pitch of Game One. Shoeless Joe tried to contact Sox owner Charlie Comiskey to advise him what was going down. Comiskey refused to speak with his star player.

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It seems unlikely that Jackson, who rivaled Ty Cobb in prominence, would tarnish his own legacy. This was a man who averaged an unheard of 397 over his first three seasons in the majors. By Game One of the 1919 World Series he was just 32 years old and had averaged 331 over his previous 3 seasons. Unlike co-conspirator Chick Gandil this was not an aging player with diminishing talent in the twilight of his career. Jackson’s lifetime BA of 356 is third best in history, behind only Cobb and Rogers Hornsby.

The eight men in question were acquitted of any wrongdoing. Yet, Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis overruled the courts and banned the players for life.

Years later, the seven men out disclosed Jackson was never present in a single meeting with gambler Arnold Rothstein. In 1951, Jackson had agreed to “finally set the record straight” in an exclusive interview. Sadly, as arrangements for the tell-all were being ironed out, Shoeless Joe died of a heart attack. He was just 61.

If Rose, who admitted his mistake, is granted access to the game’s Holy Land, then shouldn’t Joe Jackson, whose guilt is questionable, be honored first?

In 1920 eight men were forever excoriated with fixing the World Series. Commissioner Landis wrote the following:

Regardless of the verdict of juries…no player who sits in confidence with a bunch of crooked ballplayers and gamblers, where the ways and means of throwing a game are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will never play professional baseball.

If Landis’s statement was good enough for Shoeless Joe, isn’t it good enough for Charlie Hustle?

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Bryce Harper Wins NL MVP, Tips His Cap To Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/bryce-harper-wins-nl-mvp-tips-his-cap-to-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/bryce-harper-wins-nl-mvp-tips-his-cap-to-mets.html/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:59:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200491 bryce harper

Bryce Harper was named the National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday night, becoming the youngest unanimous MVP winner in baseball history. Harper, 23, got all 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The Nationals’ three-time All Star led the majors in slugging percentage (.649), OBP (.460), OPS (1.109) and fWAR (9.9) while batting .330 with 42 home runs, 118 runs scored, and 99 RBI.

He was the first player from a Washington franchise to win an MVP — no one on the original or expansion Senators or Nats had ever won it.

Harper had some nice things to say about the Mets after accepting his award.

“I think a lot of people saw what the National League East was about. How much pitching we had, how much competition we had in that aspect with Harvey and deGrom and Syndergaard.  Those three guys were unbelievable this year, so I tip my cap to them and the Mets organization.” (Washington Post)

Last month, Harper also complimented the Mets after winning the NL East saying:

“The Mets had everything going for them. They did a lot of things. That deadline came around and they got Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard and they built their team. They did a great job this year and they’re doing it. Coming from the East, I hope they win it all ”

Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all… Nah… Who am I kidding. :-)

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Bryce Harper Says Nationals Are “Still” The Team To Beat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/bryce-harper-says-nationals-are-still-the-team-to-beat.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/bryce-harper-says-nationals-are-still-the-team-to-beat.html/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 13:35:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=180931 USATSI_8553439_154511658_lowres

After crushing three home runs in yesterday’s 7-5 win over the Marlins, National’s slugger Bryce Harper boldly declared Washington as the team to beat. (Scott Allen, Washington Post).

“We’re such a great team,” Harper said of the 14-15 Nationals, who have won seven of their last nine since a six-game losing streak. “We’re the team to beat. Everybody knows that. We’re going to get hot. Everybody knows that too.”

Before the game, Jayson Werth also made similar comments.

“We know who we are,” Werth said. “We know our identity. We are the team to beat in the National League. Everybody knows it. We know it. It’s just how it is. It doesn’t change anything.”

Thoughts:

The Nationals remain a formidable opponent even though they have stumbled out of the gate.

Their rotation is outstanding,  and they are blessed with a blossoming young star in Harper.

This season looks like the year Harper will finally live up to his lofty expectations. Despite being on the radar for awhile now,  It’s easy to forget that he is only 22 years old.

With yesterday’s outstanding performance, he became the youngest player since 1970 to hit three home runs in a game. He now has eight homers on the season along with 20 RBI and an OBP over .400.

This is shaping up to be an exciting rivalry as the Mets are off to a surprisingly hot start. It’s going to be fun watching these two teams battle it out for the division crown for the rest of the season.

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 2, Mets 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-nationals-2-mets-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mmo-game-recap-nationals-2-mets-1.html/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 03:07:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=178512 jacob degrom

The Mets fell short against the Nationals on Wednesday night, losing 2-1 in the nation’s capital.

Jacob deGrom got the start for the Mets and was good, although he didn’t have his best stuff. deGrom went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six.

The game was delayed for nearly an hour by a rainy forecast, keeping deGrom and Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann waiting. Possibly because of this (but more likely because of the sophomore slump! panic!), deGrom didn’t come out sharp in the first inning, and surrendered a two-run shot to Ryan Zimmerman that would hold up for the rest of the night.

It probably shouldn’t have held up, however. After Michael Cuddyer lined out to start the top of the third, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, and Travis d’Arnaud strung together three straight singles, getting a run on the board and putting runners on first and second. #8 hitter Jacob deGrom failed to get a bunt down, but Wilmer Flores reached on an infield single to load the bases for Curtis Granderson with two out. Granderson worked the count full, and when the payoff pitch appeared to sail in high, Granderson started walking to first, only to be called out by the home-plate umpire, ending the inning and denying the Mets their second run.

deGrom worked in and out of trouble for the next few innings, not pitching particularly efficiently, but not allowing the Nationals to add to their lead. Meanwhile, Jordan Zimmermann coasted through the Met lineup, inducing a mix of weak pop-ups and hard-hit balls which never failed to find a Washington glove (not even the pop-ups!)

The Mets got the tying run in scoring position with two outs in the seventh when Kirk Nieuwenhuis worked a walk off the bench and stole second, but Wilmer Flores could not bring him home against Craig Stammen, symbolically grounding out to Ian Desmond. Rafael Montero came in to pitch after the Stretch and worked around a Michael Taylor double to put up a scoreless frame.

David Wright roped one for a one-out hit, his first base knock of the season, in the top of the eighth. But he wouldn’t get to spend long on the basepaths. Lucas Duda lined one right at the pitcher Blake Treinen, who caught it and doubled off the Captain at first. Montero was perfect in the home half of the eighth, and the Mets headed into their final turn at the plate needing one run to tie the game.

But Drew Storen would have none of it, retiring the side in order and striking out a pair en route to his first save of the season.

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I forgot how much I hate losses… those that count, that is. The Mets fell behind early and spent nearly the entire game fighting for the run they needed to tie it up. And they couldn’t do it. We’ve seen our fair share of those games over the years, haven’t we?

From a results standpoint, the offense has been pretty poor these first couple games after an amazing spring. We have four runs in eighteen innings, only one of which was earned. But make no mistake: the Mets could have easily put up some crooked numbers in this game. Duda, Cuddyer, and Lagares in particular had some awful luck on well-struck balls. The Nationals were somehow catching everything out there. For Exhibit A, however, we should look to one of the few baseballs that did land safely for a hit. Duda’s single in the top of the sixth had no business being a single. The Big Lebowski rocketed one to right that took a perfect carom off the wall right to where Bryce Harper was waiting for it, seemingly losing no speed after its impact with the fence. The slow-footed Duda was right to avoid testing Harper’s arm– I’m not sure if an average runner could have made it to second after that freak bounce.

Speaking of Harper, he was everywhere tonight. He is absurdly talented, and he’s my MVP pick for a reason. He had two hits tonight after going deep in the opener, and wreaked havoc defensively despite not making any highlight-reel plays. His arm (and good positioning, and good fortune) held Duda to a single in the sixth and did the same to Wright in the eighth. He showed great range, covering a good amount of ground to flag down some balls in the gap, and he never looked like he was trying all that hard while he was doing it. I can’t stand that guy, because he’s missing one key thing: he’s not on my team.

deGrom wasn’t the guy we’ve become accustomed to seeing, but he was quite solid. I’m tempted to give him a pass on the first-inning mistake due to the rain delay (and even if I don’t, two runs isn’t too bad). After falling behind early, he did what he needed to do, giving the Mets a chance to beat Zimmermann, working out of jams to keep that precious third run off the board. The bats (and the BABIP gods) just didn’t pick him up tonight.

Montero looked great out of the pen. His command was terrific. The offense has been a bit of a letdown over the first couple games, but the bullpen has been a pleasant surprise (including Mejia becoming the first Met in a century to be diagnosed with an elbow issue and not going under the Tommy John knife within the next week. I hope. The week is young.)

Another Spring-defying “trend” (and I use the term way too loosely) in the opening days of the season? Travis d’Arnaud has been picking up some hits, after struggling mightily in Port St. Lucie. It’d be great if he could get off to a good start after what he went through early last season.

One big complaint: Curtis Granderson. Curtis is a veteran. He’s a smart guy. And he absolutely HAS to know by now that the easiest way to get called out on a 3-2 pitch is to start walking to first base! That pitch didn’t look like a strike. Regardless of Granderson’s actions, the umpire probably should have called it a ball and made it a 2-2 game, which might have changed the outcome of the evening. But Grandy may have sealed his fate with the premature reaction. Curtis, my basketball team (Let’s go Knicks!) is already losing games on purpose. I don’t need my baseball team throwing ballgames away as well.

Up Next: 1:05 PM Thursday. You know who’s pitching. Let’s take this series.

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Mets Need A Killer Instinct Mentality Against The Nationals http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-need-a-killer-instinct-mentality-against-the-nationals.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mets-need-a-killer-instinct-mentality-against-the-nationals.html/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:49:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175703 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

The Mets aren’t the only ones in the division talking about stacked rotations, October baseball and winning a championship. Last week, Bryce Harper of the Nationals did some touting of his own.

“It’s absolutely stupid how good our staff is. To add a Cy Young, to add a guy that’s unbelievable in the postseason… Where’s my ring? I’m going to bring back a title to D.C. no matter what. And I’m getting chills thinking about it.”

Harper’s boasts didn’t escape Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, who says he and his teammates can’t wait to thwart the Nationals’ and Harper’s plans to win a World Series.

“I guarantee you we all saw what Bryce Harper said,’ ” Wheeler said with a smile. “We’re going to make it hard for him to get that ring, I’ll guarantee you that.”

Harper and the Nationals might chuckle at any notion that they’ve fueled the Mets’ aspirations for a breakthrough 2015 season, writes Andy Martino of the Daily News.

“After all, they’ve owned Terry Collins’ ballclub in recent seasons, especially last year when they won 15 of the 19 games the two teams played.”

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Wheeler admits he loves the challenge of trying to outpitch the Nats and shut them up.

“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “It’s like, ‘they’ve got a good staff, but I wonder if we can go out there and sort of put them to shame. A bunch of young guys against the older guys; put ’em to shame, you know.”

“Obviously they’re a good team, but that’s baseball. We’ve got a good pitching staff, so do they. We’ve got good athletes, so do they. Who cares? Let’s go.”

With 23 of the first 26 games this season coming against the NL East, Sandy Alderson was asked how important it is for the Mets to get off to a strong start this season?

“We played very well against the NL East last year, with one obvious exception. When they signed Max Scherzer, my response was, how much worse can we be?”

“It’s extremely important to establish a fighting posture against these newly constructed teams, and I think the first impression is critical, as is the last impression. We hope it goes reasonably well. We started off well last year but things tailed off. The beginning of the season is important.”

While getting off to a strong start would be great, I’d say it’s more important to improve our performance against the Nationals.

The Nats have owned the Mets in recent years, compiling a 41-15 record against them over the last three seasons, and they beat the Mets in 15 of 19 contests in 2014, outscoring them 95 to 52.

If you take away those 19 games (4-15) against the Nationals last season, the Mets were a surprising 75-68 against everyone else – seven games over .500.

Solving and beating the Nats will go a long way in getting to the playoffs. I’m hoping Terry Collins knows this and goes into the season opening series in Washington with a killer instinct mentality.

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MMO Fan Shot: Big Market Hickory http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-big-market-hickory.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mmo-fan-shot-big-market-hickory.html/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:28:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173639 HoosiersTeam

An MMO Fan Shot by Dezzy S.

To state the painfully obvious, Mets fans have not been given many gifts from the Baseball Gods over the years. Disasters, yes. Collapses, for sure. Heartbreaks, more than we care to count. But with the signing of Max Scherzer, we might have been given the greatest gift we could ever ask for…

Unquestionable underdog status.

Here me out for a second, as this article is light on metrics and WAR and long on gut feel.

Let’s face it, the Mets don’t do a particularly good job of meeting lofty expectations, and they have a comical track record of signing formerly respectable free agents who disintegrate before our eyes under the New York spotlight (I won’t list them here so your salty tears don’t interfere with your ability to read on).

We win — with one rare exception in 1986 — when no one expects it. The Nationals, on the other hand, cannot seem to win when everyone expects it. How many years has the press talked about Bryce Harper’s projectable awesomeness, which somehow always seems to translate into a .270 and 55 RBI season? The Nationals have been a favored team to win it all for several years running now, and how many times have they made it out of the first round of the playoffs?

The way I look at the Scherzer deal is that it adds enormous pressure on a team that has yet to prove it can handle it. Bryce Harper, Matt Williams, Stephen Strasburg, and the whole crew can thank the $210 million dollar Boras monster contract for exponentially increasing the pressure on the Nats to win right now.

To me, the Scherzer signing makes 2015 a make-or-break year for the Nationals’ collective psyche. If they choke again, how will they exorcise what will become The Curse of Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit? How can you not win it all with far and away the best pitching staff in baseball and a lineup stocked with stars? The Nats’ core group won’t be the same, psychologically, or, for that matter, from a personnel standpoint due to impending free agent departures of key players.

If they don’t win it all this year I think they are done.

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The Mets have a perfect opportunity to thrive as the underdog here. Crappy ownership. Small market budget in a big market city. A bunch of kids looking to make their mark, older guys looking to return to glory, and major contributors returning from injury. Who would have thought a New York City team could actually become the Hickory of MLB.

The Baseball Gods are lining things up for Mets fans to truly embrace our real heritage and identity – and why we love the team so dearly. We love the fighter and the underdog and the disrespected. This is who we are and now the Mets have the absolute perfect opportunity to embody everything that we love. We have always been more Rocky than Drago, more David than Goliath, more Hickory than South Bend.

Here’s how you can bring some light to what feels like a very dark Mets’ winter:

Think Ed Pinckney and Patrick Ewing, Villanova versus Georgetown. The 1985 National Championship game that stunned the sports world just one year before the Mets won it all.

Who’s gonna be our Harold Jansen or Jimmy Chitwood? Who’s gonna stand up and say, “I’ll make it.”

My bet, Matt Harvey, whether he is 100% back or 50% back from his injury.

He’s the one that will stand up and say, “Bring it on Nats. Let’s see what you got, Beltway Evil Empire. We cannot wait to see you wilt under the heat of the spotlight. And when you do, we’ll be there to snatch that NL East title right out of your grasp.”

Lets Go Mets! Opening Day can’t come fast enough.

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

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Nationals 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-nationals-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-nationals-3.html/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 02:52:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165645 travis d'arnaud

The Mets (72-76) won the second game of this 4-game set against the division leading Washington Nationals (83-63) by a score of 4 to 3.

What You Should Know: 

The Mets started off strong, coming right out of the gate with three runs in the 1st inning. An Eric Young Jr. single, Juan Lagares hit-by-pitch and Lucas Duda walk loaded the bases and set the stage for Travis d’Arnaud. D’Arnaud delivered a base-clearing double down the left-field line. Duda scored all the way from first when he slid into Wilson Ramos’ glove as he applied the tag, knocking the ball loose.

The Nationals started their comeback in the top of the 3rd with a double, RBI single and double off the bats of Anthony Rendon, Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond respectively. After Bryce Harper grounded into a double-play, Wilson Ramos hit a two-out, RBI single to tack on the second run of the inning.

The 5th inning featured one-run innings by both teams. The Nationals scored with an Anthony Rendon solo homerun off the top of the wall in left field. However, the Mets retaliated. After another leadoff single off the bat of EY, Lagares drove him in with an RBI double.

Dillon Gee found himself pitching out of the stretch for the majority of the game. He managed to pitch 5.1 innings, giving up a season high nine hits, three earned runs and two walks while striking out four. Of his 108 pitches, 71 were thrown for strikes.

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Carlos Torres relieved Gee and induced an inning ending double-play. He stuck around for the 7th, inducing yet another double-play to end the inning once again. Jeurys Familia pitched an electric 8th, striking out both Harper and Ramos while making them look silly.

Jenrry Mejia closed it out for the Mets in the 9th, clinging to a one-run lead. After allowing a single to Denard Span, Mejia retired Cabrera and Rendon. He fell behind Adam LaRoche 3-0 and then intentionally walked him to bring up Ian Desmond, who Mejia struck out. Everyone should know by now that Mejia needs the adrenaline of a couple runners on base to get the save.

On Deck:

The Mets will play the third game of this four-game-series against the Nationals tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. when Zack Wheeler (10-9) squares off against Doug Fister (13-8).

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Video: Must See Play By Daniel Murphy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/video-must-see-play-by-daniel-murphy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/video-must-see-play-by-daniel-murphy.html/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 01:46:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151490 daniel murphy

Why is this man laughing?

I’ll tell you why, it’s because he just shocked the shit out of this guy…

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That’s Washington Nationals’ phenom Bryce Harper, who just got robbed of a basehit by Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.

With one out in the sixth in Sunday’s win against the Nationals, Harper laid down a bunt to the right side of the infield. Murphy charges the ball, bare-hands it, and then fires a throw to first base between his legs. That’s right, between his legs. Watch it:

The expression on Harper’s face was priceless…

“It was a really good bunt by Bryce,” Murphy said. “I just felt like it was the only way I could get it over to first from the angle I was going to have to take. I could probably do it another 15 times, and throw all 15 of them in the fourth row of the stands.”

Remember all the coaches, scouts and experts who said Murphy could never play second base adequately?

It kind of reminds me a similar situation we have going on right now. :-)

By the way, Murphy says his leg feels great.

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Why The Mets Won’t Invest $100 Million On Any Player… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/why-the-mets-wont-invest-100-million-on-any-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/why-the-mets-wont-invest-100-million-on-any-player.html/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:03:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132232 wilpon alderson sandy

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog weighed in on the $100 million dollar player issue and explains why the Mets won’t go there.

There are revenue reasons, I’m sure, no question. But, also, regardless of budget size and your team’s financial situation, I just don’t think Sandy Alderson believes in those sort of commitments when building a baseball team. What’s more, thanks to some of Omar Minaya‘s handy work, ownership sounds skeptical of getting bogged down in those sort of deals again. So, I think when you add these three things together (less revenue, Alderson’s principals and ownership’s fear), it makes sense.

So there you have it… Blame 3M – Money, Methodology, Minaya

Class dismissed…

Original Post 11/7

Rather than draw up another post on something I already touched on yesterday, I wanted to update this with something that Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo reported.

Hitting on something I’ve been saying for nearly two months now, I don’t believe the Mets are in a position to offer any player a $100 million contract – even if it was “hypothetically” for players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper or Giancarlo Stanton.

Here is what DiComo said:

Speaking this month with a number of people both inside and outside the Mets organization, I came away with the impression that no one really expects general manager Sandy Alderson to commit a $100 million contract to any one player.

Looking at the current free agent crop, that would eliminate players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and if the bidding gets out of hand, Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson too.

It would also take potential trade targets like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and others out of the equation too…

You can read my reply to a mailbag question below…

Andrew asks…

Well now that the Mets say they will be willing to give up a draft pick to sign a free agent who received a qualifying offer, do you feel more confident that we will have a good offseason and play meaningful games next September?

Joe D. replies…

The fact that Sandy Alderson said a draft pick wouldn’t prevent him from signing one of those free agents doesn’t sway my opinion of this upcoming offseason one bit. It was said in a vacuum and he was appealing to those fans who needed to hear him say that. I operate at a different level.

The real question is will the Mets be able to win a bidding war for any of those top tier free agents that will require big dollars in addition to the loss of a draft pick?

Remember that all of those players who will become free agents are walking away from a guaranteed $14.1 annual salary. Consider that the starting point for most of those players and then multiply that by the 3-7 year deals they will all get. That is the starting point in any bidding.

Also consider the flood of revenue all the teams will be getting from the new National TV deal. To most teams that is found money and they will spend it. Even the lowly Astros have said as much. The Mets on the other hand, will be using that money to pay down mounting debt.

The way I figure it, the Mets will likely spend $25 million of the $40 million coming off the books. Assuming that’s correct, do you think they will spend more than half of that budget on just one free agent? I don’t.

I’d expect them to spread that $25 million around to sign or acquire 4-5 players. The Mets have stated needs at shortstop, two outfield spots, at least one starter if not two, two bullpen pieces, and a backup catcher. This is what general manager Sandy Alderson outlined in an interview with WFAN after the season ended.

Realistically, with all those needs and so little money to fill them all, how can Sandy target and sign any top tier free agent this offseason?

The answer is he can’t.

So of course it’s safe to say he won’t let a draft pick stop him from signing any free agent. That’s because it will never come to that.

This is still about money and financial flexibility… Or a lack of it…

monopoly-mccain

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The New York Mets And Their Mysterious Arizona Fall League Strategy http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-new-york-mets-and-their-mysterious-arizona-fall-league-strategy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-new-york-mets-and-their-mysterious-arizona-fall-league-strategy.html/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:48:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132495 AFL13

I always thought that the Arizona Fall League was a place where teams sent their top prospects to play against the top prospects of other teams. The reasoning behind this is to get them playing against the best competition available, which would be beneficial to their development. In fact, on the AFL official website, it states “given the top prospects who play here, every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game. It’s a definite destination for baseball fans and families who want to see great action on the diamond.”

Most teams send a wide range of prospects, but the majority of them rank in the top 20 of their organizations. The stands are packed with scouts who are all their to see and evaluate. This season, the AFL features Byron Buxton, who many consider the top prospect in all of baseball. In previous years, we have seen Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, David Wright, and many other top players in the game grace the AFL fields in October.

The question is why do the Mets continue to use this league as an extension of the regular season for players that missed time, rather than send their top prospects?

Hansel Robles is the highest ranked prospect that was sent to the AFL this season. Robles is currently ranked as the Mets’ No. 20 prospect on MLB.com, but depending on who you ask, that ranking could be lower. Don’t get me wrong, the five players they sent are nice players, but they aren’t considered the cream of the crop.

I had a brief discussion with Metsblog’s Michael Baron on Twitter yesterday, and we both have differing views on what the AFL is about. He argued that it was a way for the Mets to get the players they sent extra at-bats since they missed time due to injuries, and to further evaluate players. I argued that while it is about evaluating players, the AFL is supposed to be reserved for the top talent in the minor leagues.

The Mets obviously side with Baron’s idea of what the AFL is all about, while the majority of other teams in baseball seem to side with my view.

cory vaughn

If it were up to me, I would be sending guys like Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd, and T.J. Rivera to see what they can do against upper-echelon prospects of other teams. I would also had sent Cesar Puello.

Having these guys play against other top players would be incredibly beneficial to their development, and a way for the Mets to showcase some of their top talent.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Mets top talent is still in the lower levels of the minors, and you can only send one player that is below Double-A to participate in the AFL.

I scratched my head when I saw the players that the Mets sent this year. I understand that with strict innings limitations, they are limited with the pitchers they can send. I understand sending Cory Vaughn, but if they are trying to get players that were injured during the season more time, then why not send guys like Travis d’Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Fulmer? Those guys could all use the extra work and they fit the bill of being top prospects in the organization.

While fans of other teams in baseball get to watch their teams’ top prospects playing AFL games on MLB Network, Mets fans get to watch players that the Mets send to get more at-bats. The Mets must’ve missed the memo that “every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game.” The AFL is a showcase league, and the Mets can’t even get that right.

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2014 MLB Draft Profile: Alex Jackson, C/RF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/2014-mlb-draft-profile-alex-jackson-crf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/2014-mlb-draft-profile-alex-jackson-crf.html/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 18:47:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130978 alex jackson

Alex Jackson, Rancho Bernardo H.S (CA)

Position: C/RF

Height: 6’2

Weight: 210

Bats/Throws: R/R

Last week we took a look at high school shortstop Jacob Gatewood. We’ll keep it in the high school ranks this week and take a look at a fellow Californian in Alex Jackson– a high-ceiling, potential top five pick that I’ll be hoping the Mets can get their hands on.

Jackson is listed at 210, but he’s probably bigger than that– and not in a bad way. He’s a monster of a kid — built like a man already. He enters his senior season coming off a year that ended with him being named Baseball Prospectus’ Prospect of the Year. Already widely considered a top-10 pick and the best high schooler in the 2014 class, Jackson looks to add to his résumé and solidify his draft spot. He has verbally committed to attend Oregon University (not likely to happen).

Hit

Alex is a veritable tool-shed, and this may be his finest tool. Jackson has a smooth swing with above-average bat speed and strong hands. He demonstrates excellent plate coverage and an approach that is considered advanced for a player his age. He keeps his lower half quiet which allows him to stay balanced. Alex has a deep load and tends to wrap his bat, which can lead to his swing becoming long at times– a mechanical issue which can be fixed and shouldn’t be a problem long term.

Current: 45

Future: 65+

Power

Scouts are somewhat split on Jackson’s power. Some see plus raw power that could be his carrying tool, others think it’s above-average and is aided by his advanced hit tool. He uses his big frame and sturdy lower half to spray the ball out of the ballpark to all fields. Development and physical maturity may allow the power to play up in games, but it’s at least above-average power.

Current: 50

Future: 65

Fielding

Before putting any grades on his defense you first have to decide where Jackson will play on the diamond. Most scouts like his chances to stick behind the dish. He’s athletic for a kid his size, and a hard worker as well. It’s definitely a work in progress, but the makings of an average catcher are there. Some scouts simply don’t think his defense behind the dish will be enough of a factor to risk keeping him there– a similar situation to that of Bryce Harper. Unless he’s going to be a game-changer, why risk all the foul-tips, collisions and the mental workload required of a catcher? I guess that question will be answered by the team drafting him. His most likely spot is right field where he figures to be at least average.

Current: 30 at C

Future: 50 at C, 55 in RF.

Arm

One reason scouts like the idea of keeping him as a backstop is his arm. Jackson has an absolute cannon– posting sub 1.80 pop times to second base. He likes to show his arm off as well, often attempting to back-pick runners. Should Alex move to the outfield, his arm would still be an exceptional weapon.

Current: 65

Future: 70

Speed

Jackson runs pretty well for a kid his size. The speed certainly isn’t a weapon, but he moves well and should handle right field just fine if need be.

Current: 45

Future: 45

Summary

Much like Gatewood, Jackson looks the part of a certain top five pick, making it unlikely he gets to the Mets when they pick 10th. His tools, combined with his excellent makeup has scouts drooling. However the draft is a long way off and there’s plenty of time for other players to pop-up and jump ahead of said players. There’s also the chance a player like Jackson falls due to expected demands considering the new draft budget and his college commitment.

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Harvey and Wright Crack Top 20 Best Selling Jerseys http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/harvey-and-wright-crack-top-20-best-selling-jerseys.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/harvey-and-wright-crack-top-20-best-selling-jerseys.html/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:23:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130077 harvey wright

Matt Harvey (# 2) and David Wright (# 13) are among the top 20 selling jerseys in a list released by Major League Baseball.

The list which follows, is based on MLB jersey sales since the All-Star break.

Top 20 Selling Jerseys

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees
2. Matt Harvey, Mets
3. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
4. Manny Machado, Orioles
5. Buster Posey, Giants
6. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
7. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
8. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
9. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
10. Mike Trout, Angels
11. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
12. Derek Jeter, Yankees
13. David Wright, Mets
14. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
15. Bryce Harper, Nationals
16. Chris Davis, Orioles
17. Hyun-jin Ryu, Dodgers
18. David Ortiz, Red Sox
19. Robinson Cano, Yankees
20. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Wright was actually fourth on this list prior to the All-Star break, but dropped to thirteenth. Cant help but notice Puig and Cespedes ranked so high… Wonder if Abreu will be there next year?

harvey wright jerseys

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