Mets Merized Online » Carlos Beltran http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:30:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Alderson Laid Groundwork For Future Deals At Winter Meetings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/alderson-laid-groundwork-for-future-deals-at-winter-meetings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/alderson-laid-groundwork-for-future-deals-at-winter-meetings.html/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227800 sandy-alderson

Before departing the Winter Meetings, Sandy Alderson met with reporters to discuss what has been seen as a relative week of inactivity for the Mets.

Alderson assured everyone the Mets have been in discussions with teams to try to make a couple of moves. However, he noted that the team has a crowded outfield that the team needs to address before moving onto other deals. Alderson did note some difficulty in resolving the situation as, “Clubs are trying to sort out priorities. When there is that type of supply, things are slower initially until someone makes an initial move.”

There has been some movement on that front during the Winter Meetings. The Houston Astros signed OF/DH Carlos Beltran, the Colorado Rockies signed IF/OF Ian Desmond, the Washington Nationals traded for OF Adam Eaton, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have recently announced Andrew McCutchen is off the trading block.

Still, a lot more movement is needed on that front as Jose Bautista, Dexter Fowler, Mark Trumbo, and even Edwin Encarnacion remain free agents. Once those situations are resolved, it is likely Alderson will be able to get to work on the deals he has laid the groundwork.

The closer market awaits just one more shoe to drop as Kenley Jansen is last elite reliever standing. Once he is signed, the movement on secondary pieces like Brad Ziegler, Joe Smith and Koji Uehara is sure to pick up.

While the Winter Meetings are coming to an end, the offseason is far from over, and the Mets roster has yet to be finalized. It should be an entertaining couple of months as the Mets continue to try to build another World Series contender.

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Astros Sign Carlos Beltran For One Year, $16M http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/astros-sign-carlos-beltran-for-one-year-16m.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/astros-sign-carlos-beltran-for-one-year-16m.html/#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:49:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227462 carlos-beltran

Ken Rosenthal reports on Twitter that former Met Carlos Beltran has signed a one year contract with the Houston Astros worth $16 million. The deal includes a full no-trade clause.

Beltran, 39, made his 9th All Star team in 2016 playing for the Yankees and Rangers. He hit .295/.337/.513 with 29 home runs and 93 RBIs.

The .281 career hitter has hit 421 home runs, driven in 1536 runs, and stolen 312 bases while tallying 2617 hits.

He has played for the Royals, Astros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees and Rangers in his long career that started in 1998. He returns to Houston who he played for in the second half of 2004 before he signed on with the Mets.

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MMO Original: The All-Time Mets Seasons Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-original-the-all-time-mets-seasons-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mmo-original-the-all-time-mets-seasons-team.html/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 14:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225342 mlb_g_reyes_wright1x_600

Just about everyone and their mother has done a piece on what the Mets’ all-time team would look like, and they all look pretty much the same.

However, when you adjust this all-time team to include the best season at every position, it looks a little bit different– and the numbers are even more impressive. Between decades of losing seasons, the Mets have actually had several fantastic individual seasons that have set both franchise and league records. So with that being said, here’s the All-Time Mets Seasons Team:

Catcher: Mike Piazza, 2000

Piazza was at the apex of his career in 2000, and put up numbers that few catchers– or any batter, for that matter– will ever put up. He batted .324/.398/.614 with 38 home runs, 113 RBIs and a 1.012 OPS. That 1.012 OPS was the third-highest ever by a catcher, and it helped bring the Mets to their fourth World Series in team history. Piazza’s 1999 season, in which he set a club record with 124 RBIs while blasting 40 home runs, could also have easily been swapped into this spot.

First Base: John Olerud, 1998

He was the guy who wore the helmet in the field. Remember him?

Olerud only played on the Mets for three seasons, but definitely made his presence felt while he was in Flushing. In 1998, he batted .354/.447/.551 with 22 home runs and 93 RBIs, giving him the highest single-season batting average in Mets history. His fWAR of 8.1 is 2.3 wins higher than any other first baseman’s season in Mets history as well, making this season a clear choice.

edgardo alfonzo

Second Base: Edgardo Alfonzo, 2000

Another pivotal part of what Sports Illustrated dubbed “The Best Infield Ever,” Alfonzo batted .324/.425/.542 with 25 home runs and 94 RBIs in 2000. Those aren’t numbers you often see a second baseman put up. Fonzie’s average, on-base percentage and fWAR from this season are all franchise records for second basemen, and his slugging percentage, home runs and RBI marks are all second.

Shortstop: Jose Reyes, 2006

Reyes did it all in ’06. He batted .300/.354/.487 as the team’s leadoff hitter, and led the league in triples with 17 and stolen bases with 64. That alone would qualify as an all-time great season, but Reyes also hit a career-high 19 home runs to go along with 81 RBIs. This was a Rickey Henderson-esque statline that may never again be seen in Mets history.

Third Base: David Wright, 2007

There are several Wright seasons that could take this spot, but 2007 takes it for a couple of reasons. First, Wright set a franchise record for all position players with an 8.4 fWAR. Second, his .325 batting average, .416 on-base percentage, .546 slugging percentage and .963 OPS were all career highs. He also became the third player in Mets history to join the 30-30 club, as he hit 30 home runs and stole 34 bases.

It’s unlikely Mets fans will ever see Wright play like this again– if he ever does play again. But it’s fun to look back on how truly dominant he was in his heyday.

Outfield: Carlos Beltran, 2006

The only thing a lot of people might remember about Carlos Beltran in 2006 is him staring blankly at Adam Wainwright‘s curveball. That’s definitely a shame, because Beltran’s 2006 was one of the best seasons of any offensive player in Mets history.

Beltran batted .275/.388/.594, tied a franchise record with 41 home runs, drove in 116 runs and stole 18 bases to go along with all of that. Oh, and he also won a Gold Glove in center field. Beltran was easily the best player on the Mets in 2006.

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Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes, 2015

Maybe Cespedes shouldn’t even be on this list since he only was a Met for two months in 2015. But it’s hard to argue that any offensive player in Mets history had more of an impact in one season than Cespedes did in 2015– even if it was just for two months. The team was 38-22 after the Cespedes trade; it was just 52-50 before the trade.

Cespedes batted .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games after the trade, with the .604 slugging percentage being the third highest in Mets history. He was on a 162 game-pace for 49 home runs and 126 RBIs, which both would have been franchise records. The Mets probably could not have made the playoffs in either of the last two years without “Yo,” and might not make them anytime soon if they don’t re-sign him.

Outfield: Darryl Strawberry, 1988

“Straw” was one of the brightest stars in baseball in the 80s, and 1988 may very well have been his brightest season. He led the league in home runs (39), slugging percentage (.545), OPS (.911) and OPS+ (165) all while stealing 29 bases and getting on base at a .366 clip. He finished second in MVP voting to Kirk Gibson that year, despite Strawberry out-homering and out-slugging him despite having a comparable on-base percentage. This definitely provided a bit of foreshadowing for that October, when the Dodgers shockingly beat the Mets in the NLCS.

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Starting pitcher #1: Dwight Gooden, 1985

Gooden’s 1985 season is easily one of the five best in the liveball era. His stats are so amazing that they don’t even need to be put into words. So I’m just going to leave them alone so that you can bask in their greatness:

24-4 record, 1.53 ERA, 16 complete games, eight shutouts, 268 strikeouts in 276.2 innings, .0965 WHIP, 229 ERA+. These numbers need no context or qualification. They’re amazing.

Perhaps the most impressive of those stats is the 229 ERA+. For those of you that aren’t up on your Bill James, 100 is always the league-average ERA+. So that means Gooden was 129 percent better than the league-average pitcher in 1985. That’s almost unfathomable.

If the “All-Time Mets Seasons Team” were compiled again in 100 years, most of the guys on this list would probably be replaced by a new century of Mets baseball. But it’s safe to say that Gooden will still be on here.

Starting pitcher #1A: Tom Seaver, 1971

Can’t have an all-time Mets list without Tom Seaver. Just can’t do it.

You could pretty much put any of Seaver’s seasons from his first stint with the Mets on here, but 1971 definitely stands out as the best– despite the fact that he didn’t win a Cy Young this year. He went 20-10 with a career-best 1.76 ERA, a career-high 289 strikeouts and a 194 ERA+. Seaver is bar none the best player in Mets history, and this is bar-none his best season.

Closer: Jeurys Familia, 2016: 

The last month-and-a-half of Familia’s life has turned what was once a good reputation upside down. For much of this season though, Familia was as good a closer as the Mets ever had.

Familia set a Mets record with 51 saves, and held a 2.55 ERA and 161 ERA+. He also had the second-longest streak of consecutive saves in baseball history this year, which was snapped in July at 52.

His season, kind of like Beltran’s 2006, will be remembered for its worst moment that manifested on the highest stage: The three-run home run he allowed to Gillaspie. But he was fantastic for just about all of the regular season– especially considering the Mets’ weak history in the bullpen.

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Bartolo Colon: One of Just Six MLB’ers Left From the 90s http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/bartolo-colon-one-of-just-six-mlbers-left-from-the-90s.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/bartolo-colon-one-of-just-six-mlbers-left-from-the-90s.html/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:55:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=220760 bartolo colon

How old does that headline make you feel? It seems like just yesterday you were listening to Sugar Ray on your Walkman. But it’s now official: The 90s were a long time ago.

Bartolo Colon has become the poster child of MLB dinosaurs left from this decade. He is the last active ex-Expo, recently became the oldest player to hit his first career home run and drew the first walk of his career a few nights ago. And now that Alex Rodriguez is no longer playing, Colon is the longest-tenured player in the majors: His April 1997 debut is farther back than any other player currently in the bigs.

In fact, the number of MLB players left from the 90s can now be counted on your fingers– and by next year, you’ll be able to count them on one hand. The only players left in the majors who played in the 90′s are Colon, David Ortiz (1997), Adrian Beltre (1998), A.J. Pierzynski (1998) and Carlos Beltran (1998) and Joe Nathan (1999). That’s six players left from the 90s. 

After this season, Ortiz said he will retire. Pierzynski is batting .218/.237.305, so it’s hard to envision him playing much longer. Nathan turns 42 in November, and recently came off of Tommy John surgery, so count him in that boat as well.   Beltran and Colon have said they will likely play no longer than 2017. Beltre is signed with the Rangers through 2018, so it seems as though he will be the last man standing from the 90s in baseball. But given Colon’s ageless status, maybe he’ll pull a Jamie Moyer and play another ten years. 

The last MLB player who played in the 80s was Omar Vizquel, who retired in 2012. The last players from the 70s were Rickey Henderson and Jesse Orosco, who each retired in 2003. Nolan Ryan was the last player from the 60s to retire when he did so in 1993. Willie McCovey was the last from the 50s when he played his last game in 1980.

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Who Will the Next Mets Hall of Famer Be? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/who-will-the-next-mets-hall-of-famer-be.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/who-will-the-next-mets-hall-of-famer-be.html/#comments Tue, 26 Jul 2016 14:50:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218559 piazza1

When Mike Piazza was inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday, he became the 14th ex-Met to gain enshrinement into Cooperstown– and only the second player to go in orange and blue.

The Mets have seen an alumnus inducted in each of the last three seasons; first with Tom Glavine in 2014 and then with Pedro Martinez last season. This is by far the most significant for the team, since Piazza is best remembered for his years with the Mets. But these Hall of Fame fortunes will likely diminish over the next couple of years; there is no imminent Met on the ballot for another couple of seasons– and definitely nobody who will be inducted as a Met for a while.

Here’s a rundown of former Mets who could become Hall of Famers. And most of these players are remembered for their times away from New York.

Jeff Kent: A lot of younger fans might not even realize that Kent was a Met; he played with the team from 1992-1996 and lacked the star power he showed in his later career. Kent has 76 more home runs than any other second baseman in baseball history, and deserves a lot more Cooperstown consideration than he has received. He only got 16.6 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot.

Kent could eventually receive a higher percentage on a less-crowded ballot. It’s definitely possible that he could become a Hall of Famer one day, but it won’t be with a Mets cap on his plaque.

Gary Sheffield: Sheffield played his last MLB season with the Mets in 2009. 500 homers used to mean a guaranteed ticket to Cooperstown– Sheffield can check off that box– but his PED ties have all but nullified that guarantee. He only received 11.6 percent of the vote in his second year of eligibility, which probably has something to do with PED’s.  He probably won’t make the Hall of Fame, and if he does it definitely won’t be as a Met.

Billy Wagner: Wagner surprised some observers by getting double-digit support on his first year of eligibility– on a crowded ballot, no less. He posted an ERA+ below 140 just once in his 16 MLB seasons, and his career mark of 187 isn’t too far behind Mariano Rivera’s record-setting 205. Should he go in, which isn’t all that impossible, Wagner will probably be wearing an Astros (or maybe a Patriots) cap– but he would owe the Mets a nod during his induction speech.

Johan Santana: Santana hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown an MLB pitch since 2012, and will be eligible in 2018 in the likely event he never pitches again. He is arguably the best pitcher of the 2000s, and had a five-year stretch where he was without question the best pitcher in baseball. From 2004-2008, he was 86-39 with a 2.82 ERA and 1,189 strikeouts in 1,146.2 innings. He won two Cy Youngs during that stretch, and finished in the top five every year.

His dominance was cut short due to shoulder injuries. Had Santana had another two years in his prime, he would be a lock for the Hall– his career ERA+ of 136 is higher than Randy Johnson, Whitey Ford or Greg Maddux. He will definitely receive consideration, and would presumably go in with the Twins. But who knows? Maybe Santana throwing the Mets’ first and only no-hitter is impressive enough to override that.

Carlos Beltran: If any of these candidates are to be inducted as Mets, it’s Beltran. He played more games with the Mets than he did with any team, and put up some of his best numbers there as well.

Beltran hasn’t received the glitz and glamor a lot of other stars of his day have, but his stats are as good as anyone’s. His career bWAR of 70 is higher than Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Tony Gwynn, Eddie Murray and Carlton Fisk to name a few. He is one of just five players ever to record 500 doubles, 400 homers and 300 steals; the others are Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson. Oh, and he also won three Gold Gloves.

Beltran is having one of the best years of his career this season. Although he won’t be eligible for a number of years, it will be hard to deny his credentials once he appears on the ballot.

David Wright: If David Wright’s career is over (which it may very well be), than he is probably not a Hall of Famer. But another two or three seasons of classic David Wright could put him into the conversation. From 2005-2013, Wright’s average season was a .302/.384/.505 slash with 23 home runs, 93 RBI and 20 steals. He’s a longshot for Cooperstown at this point, but Wright is a lock for the Mets’ Hall of Fame.

Francisco Rodriguez: “K-Rod” is sixth on the all-time saves list with 413 saves, and he’s still only 34. “K-Rod” could become baseball’s all-time saves leader by the time he hangs ‘em up. This, along with a 2.70 career ERA, 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings ratio and a 156 ERA+, will guarantee him some consideration. As every Mets fan who watched him pitch knows, he will not be going into Cooperstown as a Met. This distinction will likely come with the Angels, where he set the single-season saves record back in 2008.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Royals 3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-royals-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-royals-3.html/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2016 20:51:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215623 noah syndergaard

The Mets (38-32) defeated the Royals (38-33) by a score of 4-3 Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.

Pitching:

Noah Syndergaard started for the Mets, and despite not having his normal dominant stuff, kept the Mets in a position to win. He went 6 innings, allowing 3 ER on 8 hits and no walks, striking out 4. His season ERA now sits at 2.08.

The 3rd inning was eventful, as Jarrod Dyson, in the lineup for his speed, led off the inning with an infield single. With the pitcher up showing bunt, he swiped second base easily. Danny Duffy, the Royals pitcher, got the bunt down right in front of home plate, and Rene Rivera scooped it up and gunned it over to third. The initial call on the field was that Dyson was out on the tag, but the Royals challenged. Honestly, the replays convinced me that Wilmer Flores missed the initial tag and Dyson was safe, but there was not enough clear and convincing evidence to overturn it and the call stood.

The 5th inning was rough for Syndergaard, as Cheslor Cuthbert turned on an inside changeup and put it over the left field wall for a solo home run. On the next pitch, Jarrod Dyson singled to left, and after Danny Duffy bunted him over to second, Whitley Merrifield singled to right to score Dyson, giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.

With two outs in the 6th inning, Salvador Perez doubled to left. A wild pitch moved him to third, and Paulo Orlando hit a ball up the middle to score him. Neil Walker would have had a play on it, unfortunately it deflected off the second base bag, allowing Orlando to reach base. After a wild pitch moved Orlando to second, Noah induced a groundout back to him to end the inning, the game tied 3-3.

Jerry Blevins came in to pitch the 7th and tossed a 1-2-3 inning with the help of a stellar play by Neil Walker to keep Jarrod Dyson off the bases. This now marks 21 consecutive scoreless outings (13 innings) for Jerry.

Addison Reed worked around a base hit to work a scoreless 8th inning.

Jeurys Familia came in to close it out, and got off on the right foot by striking out the first batter he faced with a filthy 98 mph sinker. A couple ground balls later and the Mets had won, as Familia notched his 24th save of the year.

asdrubal cabrera curtis granderson

Offense:

The Mets got something going in the 4th inning, as Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a walk. Yoenis Cespedes followed that up with a line drive base hit to center field, his second hit of the game (double in the first inning). Neil Walker then popped out to the catcher for the first out, and Wilmer Flores struck out. James Loney then singled to left field, scoring Cabrera from second. Dyson’s throw was just offline, and Cabrera made a brilliant slide to evade the tag from Perez. The Mets now led 1-0 after 4.

After losing the lead in the top of the 5th inning, the Mets got the runs back in the bottom half. After Duffy struck out the first two batters to face him, he walked Curtis Granderson before Asdrubal Cabrera turned on an inside fastball and lined it over the left-center field fence, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Yoenis Cespedes then worked a 9-pitch walk, knocking Duffy out of the game. Joakim Soria came in to face Neil Walker, and induced a groundout to end the inning.

With two outs in the 6th inning, Matt Reynolds socked his first major league home run, an opposite field solo shot to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.

Notes:

Verizon Trivia Question: What two players had 75+ stolen bases as both a Met and Royal?

Matt Reynolds started in left field today. He had never played a professional game in left, only one game in the Cape Cod League. Facing a lefty, Terry sat Michael Conforto and wanted Reynolds in there because of his prowess against left-handed pitching.

After his 5th inning at bat, Yoenis Cespedes left the game. In the last swing of his at bat, in which he got jammed and fouled a ball off the handle, he winced and dropped the bat. He left the game with “left wrist discomfort.”

Bartolo Colon was wearing a FitBit in the dugout.

The Mets are now 15-9 in one run games this season.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Carlos Beltran & Vince Coleman

On Deck:

The Dark Knight Returns to the mound tomorrow night as Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.76 ERA) faces off against Matt Wisler (3-7, 4.23 ERA) at Turner Field in Atlanta at 7:10 PM ET.

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Carlos Beltran Belts Home Run #400, Does Hall of Fame Beckon? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/carlos-beltran-belts-home-run-400-does-hall-of-fame-beckon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/carlos-beltran-belts-home-run-400-does-hall-of-fame-beckon.html/#comments Mon, 16 May 2016 10:41:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211968 carlos beltran

Carlos Beltran joined some rare company on Sunday afternoon, as his sixth inning two-run home run was also the 400th homer of his potential Hall of Fame career.

Beltran, 39, joins a short list of switch-hitters who have 400 home runs in their career. Hall of Famers Eddie Murray, Mickey Mantle, and eventual inductee Chipper Jones are the only other switch-hitters to have accomplished the feat.

He also becomes only the fifth player in Major League history to have 500 doubles, 400 home runs, and 300 stolen bases, joining the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Barry Bonds, and Willie Mays.

The blast came in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium, as the Bronx Bombers were looking to win the series against the first place Chicago White Sox. Left-hander Zach Duke was on the mound for the White Sox, as he was looking to protect their 4-3 lead.

With Jacoby Ellsbury on second and two outs, Duke side-armed a flat 90-mph fastball over the heart of the plate, which Beltran pulled and deposited several rows back in the left field seats. The Yankees took a 5-4 lead, and ended up winning the game and the series against the White Sox.

Fans will remember Beltran signing with the New York Mets in January 2005, to a seven-year $119 million contract. Beltran was coming off his improbable postseason power display as a member of the Houston Astros, where in the NLDS and NLCS he combined to hit eight home runs, drive in 14 runs, score 21 runs, and also steal six bases in 12 games.

His tenure with the Mets was filled with some of the greatest offensive seasons in Met history, injuries, and of course the dreaded 0-2 curve by Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006.

For his Met career, Beltran put up a slash line of .280/.369/.500 for an OPS of .869. He hit 149 home runs as a member of the Mets, while driving in 559 runs. Of the six teams he has played for in his 19-year career, he has the most home runs, runs batted in, doubles, runs scored, and walks as a Metropolitan.

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One of his greatest seasons came in the magical year of 2006, when Beltran set career highs in home runs (41), runs batted in (116), runs scored (127), and OPS (.982). He received 47% share of the vote in that year’s NL MVP voting, finishing fourth behind Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Howard, the winner of the award that year.

Beltran missed 179 games from 2009-2010, and had the famous arthroscopic knee surgery in January 2010, which resulted in a back and forth between the Mets and Beltran’s agent Scott Boras of whether the Mets had given clearance for Beltran to have the surgery done in the first place.

“We told the agent for the player that we wanted to have the ability to discuss the diagnosis and possibly have a third opinion because, you know, of the nature of this injury,” Assistant general manager John Ricco said during a telephone conference. “We wanted to have the opportunity to digest the information, the diagnosis, and unfortunately we were never afforded the opportunity to do that.”

Then in Beltran’s final year with the Mets, he was traded before the trade deadline to the San Francisco Giants along with $4 million for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. This was GM Sandy Alderson’s first year with the Mets, and it set the stage for his rebuilding plan and acquiring young talent to supplant the aging veterans.

Beltran’s time in Queens should be remembered for the gaudy offensive numbers he produced when he was healthy, his smooth and ballet-like defense he provided in center, and some lingering “what could have been” questions. The Mets looked geared to be a perennial postseason force after the 2006 season, yet late season collapses, bullpen ineptitude, and injuries curtailed any chances of that.

But what Beltran did for the offense and bringing the Mets back to respectability after many seasons of dwelling near or at the bottom of the NL East should not be forgotten. Congratulations to Carlos on his achievement, and a fine career that may indeed have him going into Cooperstown one summer day, donning a NY Mets cap.

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Adam Rubin Reviews Alderson’s Biography http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/adam-rubin-reviews-aldersons-biography.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/adam-rubin-reviews-aldersons-biography.html/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:08:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=176627 baseball maverick

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York published a review last night of Sandy Alderson’s upcoming biography “Baeball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets”. In his review, Rubin highlighted Alderson’s comments on Terry Collins‘ job security and what happened behind the scenes in the Carlos Beltran trade. Here are some of the most interesting details.

  • Amid reports manager Terry Collins‘ job was safe last August, Collins’ chance of returning actually was 51 percent, according to Alderson, who told Kettmann at the time: “Frankly, for me, that percentage has been eroding.”
  • Alderson was upset about a drop in walks. ”We can’t just throw up our hands and say, ‘We’re not being selective at the plate anymore, so much for that,’” Alderson said. A meeting with hitters saved Collins’ job.
  • Alderson approached Peter Greenberg, the agent for Jose Reyes, in June of Reyes’ walk year, but the GM was rebuffed in extension talks. Alderson never made an official offer that winter, but informally indicated the Mets genuinely were prepared to bid $100 million.
  • “The sad thing is if we sign Jose, we’re just maintaining the status quo. We’re not improving the team,” Alderson told Kettmann at the time.
  • The Mets initially had insisted on Gary Brown, Brandon Belt or Zack Wheeler for Beltran. Belt was preferred.
  • Ruben Tejada is one of the few criticized. “Gradually you come to the conclusion that Tejada is just a placeholder,” Alderson said. “He’s not a long-term guy for us.”

Thoughts: There’s a lot of great information here, but I am wary of the authors portrayal of Alderson. Rubin notes that the book has an “excessively positive” tone, and it’s ridiculous to say at this point that the Mets are “revived”.

The Mets have yet to achieve a winning season during Alderson’s tenure as GM, so I don’t trust that the author will evaluate Alderson objectively after making a statement like that on the cover.

Despite its potential slant, I agree with Rubin that it’s still worth reading. I would just recommend being skeptical  and cautious about some of the claims made within the book.

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Featured Post: Do The Mets “Have The Horses” To Win? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-do-the-mets-have-the-horses-to-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-do-the-mets-have-the-horses-to-win.html/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:46:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173699 It was the 7th game of the World Series, a heavyweight championship bout, and the Kentucky Derby all rolled into one. There was a definite buzz in the air during the summer of 1960 leading up to the presidential election. In one corner was Republican Richard Nixon. Fresh off 8 years as Vice President, Americans were already familiar with him. In the other corner was a young, vibrant John Kennedy, a man who at forty three would be the second youngest president in history.  Pundits predicted it would be a nail biter.

CL24354As Election Day neared, a photo of Nixon was circulated. Grinning slyly and appearing smarmy, the caption read “Would YOU buy a used car from this man?”

After more than 68,000,000 ballots were cast on November 8, 1960, Kennedy prevailed by a mere 112,827 votes, 49.7% to 49.6%. Did one simple picture posing one simple question make the difference? Americans didn’t trust Nixon to lead the nation. They didn’t want to buy a used car from him.

Fast-forward fifty five years.

The Mets were floundering. From 2001-2004, they played .455 ball and finished a collective 92 games back. Ownership, now flush with a shipload of cash from the USS Madoff and the promise of a new ballpark in 2009, urged their new GM to go on a spending spree and bring in some pizazz. And boy, did he ever. Over the next few years, they handed out millions like candy. Contracts offered to Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner, Johan Santana, Jason Bay, Shawn Green, Luis Castillo and Tom Glavine totaled more than half a billion dollars. The return on the investment? One post-season that ended shockingly in an upset to the Cardinals. That sure didn’t work out too well.

Enter Sandy Alderson whose job it was to right the ship. The new course was for the Mets to win the old-fashioned way. We’d rebuild the farm system. We’d go with youth. We’d win with a roster flush with homegrown players just like we always have. We’d shy away from splashy trades and long-term contracts. Weary fans applauded the new direction. Yes, yes, a homegrown championship, just like before.

Nothing could be further from the truth. No team in history, not even our beloved Mets, has ever won with only homegrown talent.

donn clendenon

1969 was actually shaping up to be a decent year. For the first time in our history, the Amazins actually had an outside shot to finish over .500. At the trading deadline we were 30-26 and nine games behind the powerhouse Chicago Cubs. And that’s when management acted. Four players were sent to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Donn Clendenon. Buddy Harrelson would later state this was the turning point of the season. It indicated to the guys in uniform that the guys in suits were willing to take the next step, that they believed. With this acquisition the Mets now possessed a legitimate power hitter in the middle of the lineup. Clendenon would go deep 12 times in 14 weeks. The Mets would go 70-36 after the trade.

When we think back to ‘69, we like to think we did it with just the kids. Homegrown talent like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Cleon Jones and Gary Gentry definitely did their part. But it was the players acquired that cinched the deal. Clendenon would become the first player in history to hit three home runs in a five-game World Series. His performance would earn him the World Series MVP. Tommie Agee, who arrived the previous year, led the team in home runs and RBIs and single-handedly – or perhaps single glovedly – won Game 3. Yes, the kids were an integral part. But would the Mets have won their first championship without key big additions like Agee and Clendenon?

Four years later, we were back in the Fall Classic. Many kids remained from that first championship club and now had the experience of post-season baseball. But it was players who’d been traded for that made the difference in 1973.

Felix Millan came from Atlanta that spring. In addition to solid defense, he led the team in hits (185) and batting average (290). Rusty Staub, obtained the previous season, was the team’s leader in RBIs, setting a new team record with 105. He also led the Mets in on-base percentage (.361) and doubles (36), while finishing second in base hits, batting average and slugging percentage.

On the pitching side we had the most intimidating trio of starters in the NL. But in 1973, homegrown Seaver, Koosman and Matlack were just a combined 6 games over .500. It was George Stone, acquired in the same trade that brought Millan over, that made the difference. Stone was 12-3, nine games over .500 for a team that was only three games over at 82-79. Without George Stone, the Mets don’t win. Without Stone, Millan and Staub, the Mets get no pennant.

keith hernandez gary carter

1986. Ah, yes. The kids. Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson, Wally Backman, Kevin Mitchell, Lenny Dykstra all played in Tidewater. But Mets do not win by kids alone. It was Keith Hernandez, acquired three years prior, who led that championship club in hits, runs, doubles and OBP. Like Clendenon and Staub, it was a former Expo who cemented the deal. Gary Carter, aka KID, went deep 24 times and tied Rusty’s record with 105 RBIs.

Oh, and the young pitching we had. Doc Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez. But it was Bobby Ojeda, 18-5, 2.57 who the Mets traded for the previous winter that led the team in wins and ERA. His +13 was higher than Doc, Darling or El Sid.

The MVP of the 86 Series? Ray Knight, who like Clendenon, had been acquired through a trade.

In 2000, Mets fans adored homegrown stars like Edgardo Alfonzo, Timo Perez and Benny Agbayani. But let’s face it; it was primarily Mike Piazza along with Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile who guided us to the NL pennant. They combined for an astounding 84 HR’s and 276 RBIs. Without those three acquisitions, the Mets accomplish nothing in 2000.

In 2006, the Mets returned to the post-season for what we believed would be the first of many. We were on the cusp of recapturing the city from the Yankees thanks to a pair of exciting youngsters named David Wright and Jose Reyes. The Mets collected 97 victories and finished 12 games ahead of the second place Phillies. But it was a pair of Carlos’ who spearheaded the offensive assault all summer long. Carlos Beltran was an offensive juggernaut and led the team in runs score, home runs, slugging, OBP, and he tied Wright for first in RBIs. Carlos Delgado added not only a stellar glove at first, but slammed 38 homers while knocking in 114 RBIs. Without Beltran and Delgado, two key acquisitions, there’s no post-season in 2006.

In just over two months the 2015 Mets, a team largely comprised of homegrown talent and kids, will take the field against Max Scherzer and the Nationals. The goal is to return to the post-season for the first time in almost a decade and hopefully capture our first pennant since 2000 and maybe, just maybe, win a championship for the first time since Ronald Reagan was president. How confident are you?

Can outfielder Curtis Granderson lead the team the way outfielder Rusty Staub did in 1973? Can one-time Red Sox Bartolo Colon replicate the performance of another one time Red Sox named Ojeda? Can catcher Travis d’Arnaud, imported from Canada, lead team the way another catcher from Canada once did?

fred wilpon

Will this team unseat the defending NL East Champions? Have they done enough to jump from a 79 win team to a 90 win team? Everyone from the players on down to the coaches, manager and front office say yes. But that’s expected, nobody goes into Spring Training and tells reporters they’re going to stink.

The Mets are selling. More importantly Mets owner Fred Wilpon is selling. And he’s hoping you’re buying. Last week he said the Mets now have “the horses to win,” but when pressed for details Wilpon refused to comment and would only defer to his GM.

The Mets have put together an exciting bunch, and as far as pitching goes they have what it would take to make a legitimate run. But pitching alone doesn’t win games, do the Mets have the offense and defense to compliment their rotation and bullpen?

During previous championship runs, Mets brass always acted when they knew they had the young core to challenge for a title. They went out and added all star caliber players who were in their prime to support the team and maximize their chances to win it all.

There’s no denying that the Mets are at this point right now. We all can see it in our up and coming stars like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. We can see it in a farm system loaded with blue-chip prospects that’s ranked among the best in baseball. We have David Wright and Curtis Granderson, and let’s face it, neither one is getting any younger. So if not now then when?

Do the Mets really have the horses as presently constructed to advance to the playoffs as Fred Wilpon says? Or was there more he could have done?

Wilpon says he has never once denied Sandy Alderson any player he wanted to acquire. Are you buying that?  I’m not sure I can. I’m not sure I’d buy a used car from this man, would you?

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Carlos Beltran Signed With Mets 10 Years Ago Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/carlos-beltran-signed-with-mets-10-years-ago-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/carlos-beltran-signed-with-mets-10-years-ago-today.html/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:04:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173090 On January 13, 2005, ten years ago today, the Mets signed free agent  Carlos Beltran to a seven year, $119 million dollar contract.

I can’t recall a greater Mets player who was as under-appreciated as Beltran was when he was with the Mets, despite always giving it everything he had and delivering countless big hits and big plays.

“He had a couple of monster seasons for us, and was a huge reason why we made it as far as we did in 2006,” Wright said of his former teammate. ”We came a couple runs from making the World Series, and we don’t get close to that without Carlos.”

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The following is where Carlos Beltran ranked in Mets franchise history after he was traded

Batting average: .280 (12th)
On-base percentage: .369 (6th)
Slugging percentage: .501 (5th)
OPS (on-base plus slugging): .870 (5th)
Runs scored: 548 (8th)
Hits: 877 (13th)
Total bases: 1,566 (10th)
Doubles: 208 (6th)
Triples: 17 (17th)
Home Runs: 149 (6th)
RBI: 557 (6th)
Bases on Balls: 446 (9th)
Stolen Bases: 100 (11th)
Extra-Base Hits: 374 (6th)
Sacrifice Flies: 37 (7th)
WAR (Position Players): 32.2 (2nd)
Offensive WAR: 27.8 (5th)
Defensive WAR: 4.4 (3rd)

Here are our Top 5 Beltran Moments…

5. The First Win As A Met – April 10, 2005

Setting the scene: For the first moment on this list, we head all the way back to Beltran’s first win as a Met. The Mets started the Pedro Martinez-Carlos Beltran era 0-5 under rookie manager Willie Randolph, and were on the verge of being swept out of Atlanta. Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with Smoltz striking out 15 Mets.

What Happened: Up came Mr. Beltran in the 8th Inning with the Mets down 1-0, and Jose Reyes on base. Beltran took Smoltz deep for a 2-Run HR that not only put the Mets ahead for good, but knocked Smoltz out of the game. With Smoltz out, the Mets were able to get to the Braves bullpen for 4 more runs, including another Beltran RBI in the 9th. Pedro Martinez picked up the complete game win.

4. Tie-Breaking 2-Run HR, 2006 NLCS Game 1 – October 12, 2006

Setting the Scene: Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver of the St. Louis Cardinals were locked in a 0-0 pitching duel in the first game of the 2006 NLCS. In the 6th Inning, Paul Lo Duca singles with two out to keep the inning alive for Beltran.

What Happened: Beltran drilled a 2-2 offering from Weaver to right-center, giving the Shea Apple a reason to come out and shine. It would be the only runs the Mets score that night, as the Mets took Game 1 from the Cardinals 2-0.

Beltran would hit two more HR’s in Game 4, tying Babe Ruth for most post-season HR’s against the Cardinals. The series would end on a sour note for the Mets and especially Beltran in Game 7. However, the Mets would never have gotten to Game 7 without the magnificent 2006 season that Beltran put up.

3. “We’re Going Home” – May 23, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Philadelphia Phillies took an early lead, and despite the best attempts of the New York Mets, the Phillies continued to hold on to their lead. Jose Reyes tied the game with a 2-Run HR in the 8th, and the Mets and Phillies carried an 8-8 score into extras. Ryan Madson pitched 7 Innings in relief to take the game to the 16th Inning.

What Happened: Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the 16th with a solo, walk-off HR. That’s it. Game over. The SNY call of the game is memorable for Gary Cohen proclaiming We’re going home after the game ended after midnight.

2. The Catch Up Tal’s Hill – July 7, 2007

Setting the Scene: On the Saturday before the All-Star Break (and the luckiest day to play the slots), the Mets and the Houston Astros played a 3-3 tie deep into extras. The Astros and the Mets frequently threatened to score, putting men on base in every inning except the 13th.

What Happened: The Astros put men on at the corners with two out. The runner on third is the only one that matters. Luke Scott steps in to pinch hit and drills the Joe Smith pitch 420 ft…to straightaway center. Carlos Beltran got an excellent jump on the ball, ran over 50 feet, and made a stunning, over the shoulder grab, while running up the hill and falling down, to save the game. Beltran, who was the top defensive CF in the National League for a stretch, had the defensive play of his career here.

Three innings later, in the 17th, Beltran drove in Jose Reyes to score the go-ahead run amidst all the usual boos from the Houston fans. David Wright would follow with an insurance run, and the Mets won 5-3 after 5 hours and the most thrilling game of the 2007 season.

1. Home Run Derby At Shea Stadium – August 22, 2006

Setting the Scene: The Mets open up a 1-0 lead on the St. Louis Cardinals with a solo HR from Carlos Delgado, before Albert Pujols smacks a 3-Run HR and a Grand Slam in back-to-back innings to give the Cardinals a 7-1 lead. Carlos Delgado answered Pujols’s Grand Slam with one of his own(his 400th career HR) in the bottom of the 5th. Jose Reyes scored in the 6th to pull the Mets to 7-6.

What Happened: Jason Isringhausen came in to close the game. After retiring Reyes, he gave up a single to Paul Lo Duca. Up stepped Carlos Beltran with the power to end the game with one swing…which is just what he did. Beltran turned one over the right-field wall to walk the Mets off the field with an 8-7 win in maybe the most thrilling game of the 2006 season.

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Beltran’s Deal With Mets Was The Gift That Keeps On Giving http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/beltrans-deal-with-mets-was-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/beltrans-deal-with-mets-was-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:51:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170491 tron carlos beltran

Paul Casella of Sports on Earth analyzed 15 years of data and ranked the top producing $100+ million dollar deals in baseball history. Coming in second was the seven year deal Carlos Beltran signed with the Mets in 2005. Casella considered every deal since 1999 when Kevin Brown became the first player to land a $100 million contract. Alex Rodriguez’ first 10-year mega deal with the Texas Rangers came in first.

2. Carlos Beltran, Mets (2005-11)
Contract details: Seven years, $119 million
Total/Projected WAR: 32.3
WAR/million: 0.27

Beltran was traded to the Giants during the final year of this deal, but that didn’t stop the Mets from getting their money’s worth. Not only did Beltran put up a .280/.369/.500 line to go with 149 home runs over his six and a half seasons with the Mets, but the return in that eventual trade was 2009 first-round pick Zack Wheeler.

In just his second year of the seven-year deal, Beltran racked up 41 homers and 116 RBIs, while helping the Mets come within a game of the 2006 World Series. He then exceeded 100 RBIs in each of the next two seasons, as well. That production is still paying off to this day as it ultimately helped the Mets bring in Wheeler, an integral part of the Mets’ highly-regarded starting rotation.

Always good to read something like this – it keeps the haters in check… Beltran was my favorite Met during his time with the team. It’s a shame he was so under-appreciated.

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What Kind Of Free Agent Should Mets Sign? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/what-kind-of-free-agent-should-mets-sign.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/what-kind-of-free-agent-should-mets-sign.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:24:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167941 large_asdrubal-cabrera

Could The Mets Pursue Asdrubal Cabrera To Play Shortstop?

What was the best free agent deal the Mets ever pulled off? Unquestionably, it was Carlos Beltran. The uber-talented thoroughbred outfielder that the Mets used to have patrolling center field during much of the last decade….when he was healthy enough to play. Those Mets clubs of the 2000′s will go down in history as a monumentally under-achieving baseball franchise.

After all, they had the talent: Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Delgado, Alou, Pedro, Wagner. They spent money and lured many big names to come and play alongside Jose and David. But they always fell short, there were never enough complimentary players to help the stars carry the team. Corner outfield has been an absolute joke for a long time now. The Shawn Greens and Chris Youngs seem to keep on coming in a never ending conga-line of futility. Until this past season, the bullpen never had anyone beyond the closer and sometimes not even a viable one of those.

In the recent past, if any of their key players ever went down with an injury there was rarely anyone to replace them. Mets fans would agonize over those seemingly constant and lengthy DL stays by Beltran, Reyes, Pedro, Alou and Delgado. Having the big names is not always the answer.

Todd_Pratt

Winning a World Series is more often done by the little guys, the complimentary players. They may not be big name stars that make the fan base salivate, but if you have enough productive players on a given roster, you can win a championship anyway. Just ask Al Weis. Don’t remember the “Mighty Might”? How about “Sugar” Ray Knight? Too long ago? Todd Pratt…surely you remember “Tank”? (I know, they didn’t win a W.S. while he was coming off the bench for the Amazins, but it wasn’t his fault that they fell short.)

Let me bring up an example of the most recent Mets excursion into the world of free agency. Let’s step into the Wayback Machine, and join me as we travel all the way back to a year ago. Remember when they signed a power-hitting outfielder with upside, who is in the prime of his career? Yes I’m referring to Curtis Granderson….who sure doesn’t seem so grand to me.

Now they have an elephant in the corner (of the outfield). A pig-in-a-poke, a $15 million dollar a year non-contributor to the everyday lineup through the 2017 season. We were so happy to be rid of Jason Bay‘s contract, but then go right out and replace it with a similar 4-year deal for the Grandy-Man as soon as we have some money to spend.

I know many of the glass-half-full fans out there are burning at those last few remarks. You are thinking to yourself that Granderson may very well have a renaissance season in 2015, and he may. You are hoping he is poised to have a huge year just like in his Bronx heyday. So let me put it a different way because in respects to this guy I am a glass-half-empty type, even if they are moving in the fences mostly for his sake.

I think back to the free agents that were signed by past Met teams to be the ‘savior’, guys like: George Foster, Pedro Martinez and the aforementioned Beltran. It didn’t work, it rarely does.

But it’s too late for that. With the Mets now stuck in a Granderson gamble, the question is: do they have a reliable starting outfielder who will produce at  level commensurate with his huge annual outlay? It’s anyone’s guess but as a Mets fan I hate to be in that situation.

How many more times are the Mets going to go down the same path that got them to where they were the last few seasons?

I know it’s not the most popular sentiment among Mets fans who have suffered mightily, and who long to have a team they can take pride in. But patience right now will pay dividends. Within two years the Mets will have a wealth of young and talented players competing for major league opportunities.

kevin plaweckiPlayers like Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, and Steven Matz, just to name a few. High-round draft picks, players with immense upside and talent, players who will make a difference.

Sure the Mets can afford to trade young talent to acquire some more advanced young talent, but there is no need to make a huge splash, or overpay. This is where “smarts” will prevail, and a conservative approach will serve Met interests better.

Shortstop and corner outfield remain the key right now. But with their obvious desire to explore trades for Daniel Murphy and their ability to move an established starting pitcher this winter, the Mets can upgrade one or both spots without necessarily trading any prospects, or signing a big time free agent.

When can you remember the Mets having a solid big league starting pitcher and an All-Star second-baseman that they head into the hot-stove season looking to trade for help elsewhere? I believe this is a first in that regard. So we need to sit back, relax, and see how this thing plays out.

As far as free agents are concerned, I like the complementary types right now. The lunch-box guys, the grinders, the over-achievers. Experienced players, but the type that are aiming to prove that they have something left in the tank. Low risk, high reward players. This may not be sexy, but it is smart. And where building a World Series winner is concerned, smart couldn’t hurt.

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Where Is The Accountability? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/where-is-the-accountability.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/where-is-the-accountability.html/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:24:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158365 terry collins sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson gave his manager Terry Collins yet another vote of confidence on Tuesday, despite the team being on course for their sixth losing season in a row.

The Mets are currently on pace for a 73 win season – or in other words the lowest win total since 2009 and before that 2004.

Here is Sandy Alderson telling everyone that Collins is safe when in fact nobody should be safe under these circumstances and while the team is floundering in the season that was supposed to be transformative and relevant. Are these guys kidding me?

The only reason some are still holding out hope for the Mets this season, is because it happens to be a year where nobody in the NL has really ran away with it yet. And while the Mets may only be 5-6 games back out of a wild card, they have to outperform and leapfrog 8-9 other teams to get there and at the same time hope all those other teams start tanking.

To put that into perspective, the Mets had better odds of making the postseason when they decided to trade team MVP Carlos Beltran in 2011. Remember what the front office and most fans were saying back then? “We weren’t going anywhere anyway.”

Guess what? We’re still not going anywhere – unless you call moving in reverse going places.

Four years under Collins and Alderson and forget the notion of not producing one winning season, how about a .500 season? How about a few more wins each season instead of fewer and fewer? Is that asking too much?

In the history of the Mets, most managers and general managers have never gotten this much rope in terms of losing seasons than the current undynamic duo.

You have the team pulling out all the stops to try and get fans to come to Cit Field ranging from giving away free tickets, free merchandise, free food, daily promotions, anything to get you to bite.

They’ve recently hired in an army of new accountants, marketing and public relations executives, to try and figure out how to draw fans and get into your good graces using every trick in the book except for the one marketing strategy that always works – producing a winning product. Ah, but that costs money. Money the team doesn’t have or is unwilling to spend.

Sandy has the gall to keep getting in front of a Wilpon-owned SNY camera crew virtually every homestand to tell us Terry is safe and is doing a great job? Where is his outrage? Where is the accountability?

For two months straight this man was singing the praises of the 90-win team he constructed. It was apparently an unintentional leak meant only for team brass. But who still believes that it was unintentional when for nearly eight weeks straight Sandy kept bringing it up again and again and again and again?

This season was supposed to be Sandy’s coming out party. He had $50 million to spend and finally bolster the offense and he decided to parlay a huge portion of it on free agents Curtis Granderson and Chris Young

The Mets lead the majors in blowing one-run leads (21) and worse yet blowing two-run leads (11).

And now he tells Terry not to worry?

The truth is that both of them should be worried.

Where is the accountability?

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From Left Field: Mets Have No Luck With Free Agents http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/from-left-field-mets-have-no-luck-with-free-agents.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/from-left-field-mets-have-no-luck-with-free-agents.html/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:16:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154034 MLB Opening Day at Citi Field

We’ve played about a month of the season, and already the Mets’ prized free agent of the offseason – Curtis Granderson – has appeared lost at the plate.

As a Met fan, I understand what patience truly is, but Granderson’s struggles are certainly alarming for a player who has not only experienced success but has also done so in New York.

With a $15 million per year price tag, Granderson is going to play every day. If that’s the case, please Terry, get him out of the No. 2 hole. All he does is kill rallies, so I’d say bat him sixth or seventh until he figures it out.

Granderson’s slow start in Flushing got me thinking that this organization really has no luck when it comes to bringing in high-profile free agents.

From Vince Coleman, to Bobby Bonilla, to Kaz Matsui and of course to Jason Bay – arguably the worst of them all – good players sometimes forget how to play when they arrive here.

Some guys, like Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, were traded to the Mets before flopping completely.

And other guys, like Pedro Martinez, Frankie Rodriguez and Johan Santana, were productive for a time but will always be remembered for their injuries in New York.

Really, the only guys I can think of that played well after a free-agent contract were Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran.

Piazza of course was acquired via trade and would sign a seven-year, $91 million contract. Sure, he wasn’t the same player the final few years, but his production during the prime of his Mets career lived up to that contract.

As for Beltran, he may have gotten off to a slow start after signing a seven-year, $119 million, but he very quietly put together a solid Mets career. The strikeout against Adam Wainwright may cast a dark cloud over his Mets legacy, but he did have some good years in orange and blue.

It’s an unfortunate trend that the Mets have had so much trouble striking gold on the free-agent market. If things don’t turn around for Granderson, he could be next on the long list of Mets free-agent flops.

But luckily for Curtis, his Mets tenure has just begun. Guys go through slumps to start a season all the time. Keep in mind, he missed most of last year, so he’s still trying to rediscover his stroke.

Frankly, I don’t even care about the low batting average or the strikeouts as long as he’s driving in runs. He’s not all of a sudden going to transform into a .300 hitter.

It’s all about making productive outs and driving in runs when given the opportunity. Striking out with runners on second and third and nobody is unacceptable, especially for a middle of the order type hitter.

Since the other Mets are struggling offensively as well, Granderson’s woes are that much more noticeable, since he was brought in to give some stability to the offense and some protection behind David Wright.

For Granderson, I’ve already been hearing the Jason Bay comparisons. Through the first few weeks, “The Grandyman Can’t,” but he still has some time before a change is necessary.

It’s not like Bobby Abreu is going to be playing right field every day…

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If Justin Turner Were Running the Mets… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/if-justin-turner-were-running-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/if-justin-turner-were-running-the-mets.html/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 14:03:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=150795 Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks

Howard Megdal of Capital New York, caught up with utility infielder Justin Turner, formerly of the Mets and now with the Dodgers, on Friday morning.

Like Carlos Beltran last month, Turner called out the Mets handling of Ruben Tejada and the way they use the media to say things with no real accountability.

“I think the issue is that nobody takes responsibility for what they say,” Turner told me as we chatted in front of his spring training locker. “You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks. It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

“I’ve been there for three years. All I can do is say if I was running an organization, in charge of it, I would look at all my players as assets, and want to build them up. So even if I didn’t want them to be on my team, they would have value. But for some reason, I don’t know, that’s not the thought process over there.

Turner says he’s happy in LA and was recently told he won a spot on the opening day roster.

(Photo: LA Times)

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Beltran and Wright Defend Tejada Against Team’s Anonymous Jab http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/beltran-and-wright-defend-tejada-against-teams-anonymous-jab.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/beltran-and-wright-defend-tejada-against-teams-anonymous-jab.html/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:30:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149131 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Andy Martino of the Daily News, wrote on Wednesday that former Met Carlos Beltran spent a few moments in the Yankee clubhouse wondering about the Ruben Tejada drama in Port St. Lucie.

“What’s going on with (Ruben) Tejada?” Beltran asked Martino, referring to the negativity that has been surrounding the Mets shortstop.  

Martino tells him that Mets officials have long criticized Tejada on the record, and most recently anonymously, for his work ethic and conditioning. That struck a chord with Beltran, who has endured similar experiences during his time with the Mets.

“Anonymous?” Beltran said. “Come on. Anonymous? Come forward, brother. If you have something to say, come forward and say it.”

Beltran said that when a young player like Tejada sees negative stories about him and being generated from his team, he is deeply affected and not in a good way.

“Of course, it has to make you feel bad. Horrible. When you see all that coming out, you feel bad about yourself, and feel bad about the whole situation. The best way to solve that is by communicating. Not in the papers. You solve things by talking to the person. Person-to-person.”

Martino states that Beltran was impressed by Tejada when they played together in 2010 and 2011.

“Sometimes when you’re quiet and you don’t say much, and you respond back with a smile, some people misunderstand,” Beltran said.  “Maybe they start putting a stamp on him, that he is that type of guy. But my experience with him is that he is a great kid, and I love him.”

Martino recounts Sandy Alderson’s response to the anonymous comment from someone on his staff. “Look, we have probably 30 front office and coaching staff down here. There’s going to be a stray comment about players from time to time. That’s unfortunately the nature of the media in New York.”

“I’m not surprised,” Beltran humorously shared with Martino. “No, I’m not surprised. By anything anymore.”

All the negativity about Tejada compelled Beltran to come to the defense and moral support of the young shortstop. From Beltran’s perspective, this is a continuing problem that has gone on in the past and it’s unfair.

I have to agree somewhat with Beltran in the sense that if someone in Mets management had something negative to say why did he run to the NY Post?

A young player can be ruined by all the negativity surrounding him and I am not saying that Tejada hasn’t brought some of it upon himself, but how much will he be able to take before it truly breaks him?

If it’s a motivational tactic, to get Tejada to do more or be more, I can see that backfiring. The only way to get a player to perform well is to lift him up, not tear him down.

Mets captain David Wright did not attempt to hide his anger about the anonymous jab on Tejada and also came to his teammate’s defense.

“That’s one of my biggest pet peeves in all of baseball,” Wright said. “If you’re going to criticize the guy, put your name behind it.”

“This is the best shape I have seen him come into spring in,” the third baseman said, “and I can see he is moving around a lot better out there.”

Hopefully all this drama will come to an end soon and we can all concentrate on playing baseball games again.

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi)

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Alderson Discusses His Process On Rebuilding The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 04:55:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147493 sandy alderson

In an interview with ESPN.com’s Keith Law, Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed the processes he implemented since taking over the club and how it has led to a system with improved depth and several players being looked at as top 100 prospects.

On building through the draft:

“With respect to the draft, we have taken a more aggressive posture with regard to higher ceiling players coming out of the draft. All of our first round picks since I’ve been with the Mets have been high school players. We haven’t done that intentionally, but I think we’ve had a tendency to go with those higher ceiling players.”

“And by the way, we’ve actually had those first round picks because we didn’t sign any free agent players like the Mets have done previously.”

Being More Systematic:

“Paul DePodesta oversees scouting and player development and he’s done a terrific job not just by the selections we’ve made, but approaching it all in a very systematic way. That means using the information, but doing it in a way that gives us some leverage and using less traditional means of player evaluation.”

On building through International arena:

“We’ve had some luck and signed some guys who have been over age for the International market. Rafael Montero who we signed at age 20 has come on rather quickly. So we’ve tried to do some nontraditional things in the International market as well.”

Building Via Trades:

“Talent acquisition has been important to us. We’ve made some trades involving high quality players like Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey and most recently Marlon Byrd, so we picked up some prospects in that way as well. We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made and hopefully those prospects will emerge soon at the major league level.”

On Organizational Patience:

Sandy credited the success of International players to the fact the Mets have not one, but two teams in the Dominican Republic at the Mets Academy. He pointed out how critical it was to have the diversified staff in place to work with these players who are rough around the edges and help them to their ultimate transition to the United States.

“Development today is far more sophisticated than it was 20 or 25 years ago.”

You can listen to Keith Law’s entire interview with Sandy here.

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Around the Diamond: Center Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/around-the-diamond-center-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/around-the-diamond-center-field.html/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:19:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137617 mookie wilson

In the Mets’ 52 seasons, there have been 26 different Center Fielders who could be classified as the “primary” player in any given season.

As we continue this series, who were the ten Mets who have played the most games at each position, we now look at center field. (seasons as the primary in parenthesis)

10. Don Hahn (1973-74) – 268 games in Center (188 starts). In 1974, Don hit .251 with 4 HR and 28 RBI.

9. Cleon Jones (1966-67) – 268 games in Center (235 starts). Cleon played more games in Left Field than any other Met, but he also made the list in Center. In 1966, he hit .275 with 8 HR and 57 RBI.

8. Jim Hickman (1962-64) – 268 games in Center (246 starts). In 1963, Jim hit .29 with 17 HR and 51 RBI.

7. Angel Pagan (2010-11) – 278 games in Center (268 starts). In 2010, he hit .290 with 11 HR, 69 RBI, and 37 stolen bases.

6. Brian McRae (1998-99) – 282 games in Center (257 starts). In 1998, he hit .264 with 21 HR, 79 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.

5. Lenny Dykstra (1986-88) – 493 games in Center (392 starts). In 1986, he hit .295 with 8 HR, 45 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.

4. Lee Mazzilli (1977-79) – 572 games in Center (547 starts). In 1979, he hit .303 with 15 HR, 79 RBI, and 34 stolen bases.

3. Tommie Agee (1968-72) – 591 games in Center (544 starts). In 1969, he hit .271 with 26 HR and 76 RBI.

2. Carlos Beltran (2005-09) – 723 games in Center (719 starts). In 2006, he hit .275 with 41 HR and 116 RBI.

1. Mookie Wilson (1981-85) – 907 games in Center (816 starts). In 1982, he hit .279 with 5 HR, 55 RBI, and 58 stolen bases. And then there was that little ROLLER up along first….

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Featured Post: I’d Rather Have Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/featured-post-id-rather-have-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/featured-post-id-rather-have-syndergaard.html/#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 15:26:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139006 pineda

Speculation is the fuel that stokes the Hot Stove fires. As the fires of speculation simmer in Met land, sometimes during the off-season it’s easy for Met fans to forget there’s another major league baseball team sharing NYC with pinstriped baseball fans surmising what baseball in 2014 will look like in the Bronx.

Recently, those predictions have seen the name of Yankee prospect Michael Pineda reemerge on the pages of the NYC dailies or on baseball blogs. With the Yankees shedding big bucks to bring in position playing upgrades that include Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran, attention has turned to Yankee pitching. That’s when Pineda’s name resurfaced.

In a conversation with the Star Ledger, Yankee minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson indicated Pineda should be ready to make a case for a spot in the Yankees 2014 starting rotation. Paterson feels Pineda has completed his recovery from the torn labrum he suffered in 2012 and the former American League all-star can pitch again in the majors. “I was very happy with everything he did, so I certainly see him being able to do that,” Paterson told the Star Ledger.

After returning to the mound last summer, Pineda threw 10 games in the minors posting a 3.32 earned run average while striking out a batter in each of the 40.2 innings he threw. That output caught the attention of Yankee GM Brian Cashman who says Pineda will be given the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot in the spring.

All that Michael Pineda speculation leaves me smiling. You see, on a sunny day on the first day of July last summer, I sat behind home plate to watch Pineda pitch. The recovering Yankee was pitching for Trenton’s Double-A Thunder. The game was Pineda’s second starting assignment for the Thunder with optimism running high for Yankee fans after the big righthander threw six shutout innings in his first start for Trenton.

On the mound for the Binghamton Mets was none other than Noah Syndergaard making this pitching showdown between the top starting prospects of each of New York’s major league franchises a must see Sunday afternoon baseball treat.

Things got off to a shaky start for B-Met fans when Trenton left fielder Ramon Flores lifted a Syndergaard fastball over the left field wall for a lead-off homerun. But, the unflappable Syndergaard settled in nicely to turn in a dazzling effort on the hill.

The B-Mets more than made up the difference of the Flores shot in their half of the first. With one man out and a runner on base, Cesar Puello stepped to the plate waving his bat in the air. Puello muscled a long homerun to put Binghamton on top, 2-1.

But, it was the pitcher’s I had really come to see. Both young hurlers make imposing figures on the pitching mound. Pineda is a giant standing 6’7” tall and weighing a beefy 260 pounds. And, Syndergaard is no slouch giving up only one inch and 20 pounds to the Yankee prospect. Sitting directly behind home plate I got the full effect of what it feels like to have these baseball giants falling forward off the mound and firing bullets.

Pineda, with a fastball a few ticks lower on the radar than the mid to high range 90’s he fired before his injury, struggled with command. The Trenton behemoth was all over the lot. He simply couldn’t find the strike zone. A frustrated Pineda lasted only three innings, surrendering a second gopher ball to B-Met Richard Lucas and surrendering 4 hits and 4 earned runs.

But, it was Pineda’s lack of control that had to be disheartening to Yankee fans. The big righty walked four batters and hit one. Pineda faced 17 hitters in his 3 innings of work throwing 67 pitches with more balls (35) than strikes (32).

In contrast, after the Flores lead-off homer, Syndergaard shined. Thor was overpowering over five innings chalking up nine strikeouts, a season high at that point of Thor’s 2013 campaign.

Syndergaard walked only 2 of the 22 batters he faced and allowed four hits, two of the infield variety. In fact, back-to-back infield singles, compounded by a Syndergaard throwing error left Trenton runners on second and third with no one out in the visitor’s third. Thor worked out of the jam without surrendering a run.

The future Met fireballer threw 93 pitches, his final pitch a 98 m.p.h. fastball for his ninth K. Syndergaard threw 67 strikes with only 26 offerings out of the zone.

Syndergaard left the game with a 4-1 lead, but Trenton rallied to tie the game with three runs in the top of the sixth off the B-Met bullpen. Binghamton would eventually secure a 5-4 victory.

I treated my brother, a huge Yankee fan to the game, and he came away shaking his head in awe at Syndergaard. The previous season, we saw a Zack Wheeler start against Trenton on me, a game where Wheeler, like Syndergaard, yielded a first inning long ball, and was then, pretty much, not hittable. Needless to say, my Yankee loving brother thinks the Mets have the making of a pretty decent rotation in the years to come. On that point, two baseball loving brothers can agree.

(Photo MiLB)

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The Long And The Short On Carlos Beltran http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-long-and-the-short-on-carlos-beltran.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-long-and-the-short-on-carlos-beltran.html/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 22:33:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136202 endy_chavez_catch

The Baseball Gods smiled down on Flushing all season. It seemed more than just a coincidence that as the Mets paid homage to the ‘86 Championship, 20 years later we were destined to again make the dream come true. The ’06 Mets played with confidence and swagger. David Wright was a clean-cut leader, an athlete your kids could look up to, a la Gary Carter. Speedy and much-loved Jose Reyes batted lead-off as did speedy and much loved Mookie Wilson. Paul Lo Duca had  a fiery intensity that conjured up images of Ray Knight. Yes, 2006, just like 1986, was a mere formality.

Shockingly, as the 86 club had found itself struggling against an inferior Houston team, the ’06 Mets were also fighting for survival against the pesky St. Louis Cardinals. When Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a HR to keep the score tied at 1-1, it was clear this one iconic image would live forever in Mets folklore: Tommie Agee in 69, Jesse Orosco on his knees in 86, Endy against the wall in 06. It would be the one play that would shift momentum back in our favor and carry us to Detroit in the World Series. Endy’s catch, however, was nothing more than premature celebration.

One hour later, Shea was deathly quiet. Fans stared in shock as the unimaginable happened. Carlos Beltran –post-season legend, our highest paid player, the guy you’d want at-bat with the game on the line — was paralyzed by a knee-buckling curveball. The bat never left his shoulder. As I watched the Cardinals rejoice I stared in disbelief. Seeing is believing—but not in this case. At that moment, I wanted to leap through my TV and choke the daylights out of Beltran.

20061020beltran

We were confident there’d be other chances, other post-seasons, other opportunities. But seven years later and the Mets have failed to come as close as they had that October night.

With the exception of perhaps only Gregg Jefferies no other player brings out more passionate opinions.

Beltran is back in NY. But he’ll be wearing pinstripes this time. During his press conference, when asked about the Mets, Beltran voiced his own strong opinion:  ”I can deal with 0-for-4s and three strikeouts and talking to you guys. I can deal with that,” Beltran said. “When somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble.”

“You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down. In that aspect, I felt hurt. I’m a player but they don’t only hurt me, they hurt my family, they hurt people around me. It wasn’t right, put it that way.”

Cue the Beltran bashing.

Here on MMO as well social media, Mets “fans” have resorted to insulting him, blaming him and using language that’s not family friendly. Yes, Carlos Beltran was our highest paid star. And yes, he was brought here to bring us a championship. However, he is not the first, nor will he be the last, to earn big bucks and not win it all. Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr, Ralph Kiner, Rod Carew, Willie McCovey, Tony Gwynn, Harmon Killebrew, Nap Lajoie, Craig Biggio and Don Sutton all earned huge amounts of money while hoping to lead their team to a Series victory. Yet, none of them did. However, these men are idolized as heroes. But not Beltran. Even though, in the next 10 years, he will join all of them in Cooperstown.

Ralph-Kiner

During his stint here, Beltran put up impressive numbers, compiling some of the best stats in Mets history. From 05-08, he hit 117 HR’s while plating 418 RBI’s and maintaining a respectable .275 BA. Only Keith Hernandez has won more Gold Gloves as a Met. His 41 round-trippers tied him with Todd Hundley for most in a season. His 127 runs scored is a team record. He declared one spring “The Mets are the team to beat.” And although his prediction did not pan out, wouldn’t it be nice to again hear that kind of confidence? From 05-08, Beltran’s most productive seasons, the Mets averaged 89 wins. In 2009, when he missed half the season due to injuries, the Mets won just 70. Coincidence?

True, it was Beltran’s stationary AB in Game 7 that closed the curtain on 2006. However, without his 41 HRs, 116 RBI’s, 38 doubles and 18 steals in 21 attempts, we don’t even get to Game 7, much less the post-season.

In the 2006 LCS, Beltran hit .296 with 3 HR’s and 4 RBI’s. By comparison, David Wright batted .160 with a .276 OBP and 2 RBI’s.

However, it’s Beltran that’s caught the ire of fans, He’s the whipping boy, the poster child of failure simply because he didn’t connect on a pitch that Stan Musial couldn’t have hit, a pitch thrown by a guy who would go on to be one of the top pitchers in the NL. But because he had the misfortune of being #3 in our batting order, he sucks!

By that logic, he’s in good company. Here are some others players who “suck.”

Has anyone ever sucked more than Mike Piazza? He made the final out not in the LCS, but in the WORLD SERIES!!! And to the Yankees??? He really sucks, doesn’t he? Let’s not forget the guy with the mustache. Yes, that guy. Keith Hernandez hit a paltry 231 in the ’86 series and after making the second out in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6, he promptly walked into the clubhouse, removed his jersey and was gulping a beer as teammate Gary Carter walked to the plate. I guess Keith couldn’t wait to do some crossword puzzles, right? And would any discussion about Mets who suck be complete without including Doc Gooden? Gooden lost 2 of the 3 games to Boston, posting an ERA of 8.00 and allowing 17 hits in 9IP. That’s an ace? He REALLY must suck.

Baseball history is filled with players who suck. Beltran is just the latest one.

In 1952, the Dodgers lost to, who else, the Yankees, in 7 games. Gil Hodges went an unheard of 0-21. One measly hit, one little Texas leaguer anytime during the course of a week and Dem Bums defeat the hated Yankees. Boy, that Hodges guy sucks.

But sucking goes back further. In the 9th inning of game 7 of the 1926 World Series, with his team losing 3-2, Babe Ruth was thrown out trying to steal 2b. It’s the only time a Fall Classic ended that way. And Ruth’s caught stealing took the bat out of the hands of Lou Gehrig! Wow, no wonder he’s known as The Sultan of Suck.

babe-20ruth_jpg

Piazza, Hodges, Hernandez, Ruth, Beltran. I’d say that’s pretty good company.

Carlos Beltran now joins many former Mets who spent their later career in the Bronx. Gooden, Strawberry and David Cone all played for the Yankees after establishing themselves in Flushing. Gooden, Strawberry and Cone all went on to get a ring while playing in the Bronx.

It’s obvious Carlos felt disrespected by the Mets front office. Join the group, Carlos. We’re fans and get disrespected by that same front office.

He was vilified for skipping a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center due to a scheduling conflict, even though he’d already agreed to appear at a charity event in his native Puerto Rico. Despite the fact Reyes and Wright also were no-shows, it was Beltran who caught the brunt of ownership’s wrath.

Can anyone blame Carlos for feeling unappreciated by management? In 2011, Mets owner Fred Wilpon called his own team “shi**y.” About Jose Reyes, Wilpon said, “(Reyes) ain’t worth Carl Crawford money because he’s always injured.” He called David Wright, “a nice guy and very good but not a superstar.”

And in regards to signing Beltran for 7 years/$119 Wilpon called himself “a schmuck” for doing it.

A schmuck. Finally! For the first time in years, I find myself agreeing with Fred Wilpon on something.

fred_wilpon

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Reviewing the Beltran-for-Wheeler Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/reviewing-the-beltran-for-wheeler-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/reviewing-the-beltran-for-wheeler-trade.html/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:38:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137135 MLB: SEP 22 Mets v MarlinsTwo and a half years have passed since Sandy Alderson traded Carlos Beltran to the Giants for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. At the time, the move was widely praised. In fact, most considered it a steal, particularly since Beltran went on to sign with the Cardinals that offseason making the deal a clear loser for the Giants. But were the Mets winners here? Maybe not.

At the time, the team viewed Beltran as expendable because he was in the last season of his seven-year deal with the Mets and, at 34, most likely on the backside of a distinguished career. They also worried that a new contract for Beltran would be too much money while the team was looking to rebuild and looking to do it with a treasury depleted by the disastrous effects of the Madoff episode.

By contrast, Wheeler represented the future, a top pitching prospect with plus velocity and, significantly, he came cheap. But Beltran’s performance did not go south. Indeed, after signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals for $26 million, he hit 56 home runs and collected 181 RBIs over that span, far greater than the totals for any Met over the same two seasons. He was healthy both years – with over 600 plate appearances each season – and was critical to the Cardinals success in getting to the World Series in 2013. This winter he signed with the Yankees for three more years and $45 million. Some decline.

Now, let’s assume for the moment that Beltran remains similarly productive for two of the next three years. (A big if, I realize, but maybe not when you consider that as a switch-hitter Beltran will be able to take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short right field fence.) That means that he will have had four and a half productive seasons after leaving the Mets. If he remains productive for his entire Yankee contract, he will have had five and a half.

WheelerMeanwhile, what has Wheeler done? Sure, he moved into the rotation last year and put up solid numbers. The team is now hoping that he will have a break out season in 2014 the way that Matt Harvey did in 2013. But nearly three years after he was traded to the Mets Wheeler is still essentially unrealized potential while Beltran has been fact. The Mets, as it turns out, have plenty of young pitchers with potential, but what have they most needed over the past two years? A solid bat to hit behind Wright. A power hitter who responds in the clutch. They’ve needed, well, Beltran.

Of course, this winter the team signed Curtis Granderson to be that bat. They spent $60 million for four years, which averages out to $15 million a year, two million dollars more than the Cardinals paid him in 2012 and 2013 and the same salary the Yankees will now be paying Beltran for three years. Grandy does not hit much for average, but at his best, he has shown more power than Beltran. Still, in the last full season by which to make a comparison, 2012 (Grandy missed most of 2013 due to injury), the lefty Granderson hit all but three of his 42 home runs to right field and 28 of those were to the short porch in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Beltran’s 32 homers were evenly divided between left and right. Most telling, eight of Grandy’s homers would have been outs in Citi Field while all of Beltran’s would have cleared the fences in Queens.

You may be wondering how Sandy Alderson would have found the $13 million a year necessary to sign Beltran for 2012 and 2013, but just note that between them Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch made $12 million in 2012 for what turned out to be a collectively undistinguished performance. Let’s hope that Wheeler turns into a stud pitcher for the Mets and that Granderson finds the few extra feet of power that will make him a valuable bat behind Wright. But it is no longer so clear that sending Beltran out of town for Wheeler was such a slam dunk, and now we have to watch him finish his career in close proximity, across town with the Yankees.

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