Mets Merized Online » chemistry http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:00:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 David Wright Reportedly Doing Captain Stuff http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/david-wright-reportedly-doing-captain-stuff.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/david-wright-reportedly-doing-captain-stuff.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 18:11:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202255 Wright

If you thought David Wright was simply chilling out at home this Winter and hanging his stockings by the chimney with care, think again. The Mets captain was so engaged on social media, that as soon as he saw the story building up that Neil Walker was about to be a Met, he took immediate action.

Bill Brink, who my auto-correct insists is Bill Brit, he of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that before Neil Walker heard from the Pirates, before he heard from the front office of the New York Mets, he heard from David Wright just as the news was breaking.

Wright welcomed his new teammate and offered him advice on finding a place to live and anything else Walker might need.

“I guess that kind of shows what kind of guy he is,” Walker said by phone this morning.

“Talking to David, it seems like a very invited and open-arms kind of situation over there. As we’ve seen in Pittsburgh, that carries a lot of weight when you’re talking about team camaraderie and chemistry and all that.”

Walker, who knew his days were numbered, was sad to be leaving the team he loved, but looks forward to being a Met and having the team’s incredible starting pitchers on his side.

“I guess I can compare it to playing behind Gerrit Cole and playing behind Liriano,” Walker said. “It’ll be exciting. I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys work and watching these guys and in spring training, getting to know them.”

He’s gonna fit right in…

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Damn You, Heisenberg http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/damn-you-heisenberg.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/damn-you-heisenberg.html/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 19:27:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130981 It’s bad enough that my favorite show of all time, Breaking Bad, has come to an end.

But in what can only be construed as an awful attempt to throw more salt into my still open wounds, this…

What the hell, guys?!?! How can you do this to me?

Walter White is a freaking Phillies fan!?!?!

I’m shattered…

Meanwhile, an Albuquerque steakhouse has announced plans to hold a funeral for Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin. Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse says it will hold the make-believe service for White, who was killed in the September series finale.

Services will take place at Sunset Memorial Park at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, with “Breaking Bad” set decorator Michael Flowers delivering the eulogy. A Saturday night reception will follow.

BreakingBadFinale225

R.I.P. Heisenberg

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MMO Exclusive Interview With B-Mets Shortstop Danny Muno http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-b-mets-shortstop-danny-muno.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-b-mets-shortstop-danny-muno.html/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129117 The Binghamton Mets had a memorable 2013 season. They finished at 86-55 in the regular season, which was the best record in the organizations twenty-two year history.  The B-Mets won their division and entered the post season for the first time since 2004.  The results of their playoff run was not what they expected, but overall they had a great season and every person that’s a part of their organization should hold their heads up high and be very proud for all that they accomplished this year.

One of the players that stood out to me while following the B-Mets was second baseman, Daniel Muno.  Daniel and I actually connected through Twitter when he participated in the Disability Dream & Do Baseball Camp back on August 17th with his teammates.  Daniel was very excited to be involved in such a great event and was moved by it as well saying that it was “an amazing life changing experience” and that he will remember it for the rest of his life.

Daniel - Muno

The switch-hitting infielder has played well in his pro career with the Mets. He has continued to progress and proven to be a great commodity in an organization that is starting to show how ripe they are in talent. He played a pivotal role at second base and as the lead-off man for the B-Mets this past season; he set the table for the rest of their hitters. Muno led the Eastern League with 86 runs, was third with 92 walks, and sixth with a .384 OBP.

Muno, 24, started his pro career with the Brooklyn Cyclones back in 2011, and in 59 games he batted .355 with a .466 OBP and was promoted to St. Lucie in 2012 with the hopes hat he would continue with his development. But in May of 2012, he was suspended for testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs and was banned for 50 games.

He returned to the St. Lucie lineup and in 81 games he batted .280 with a .387 OBP. The quick-footed infielder also added speed to his game and swiped 19 bases. The Mets moved him up to Binghamton this past season where he became part of a great group of teammates that together made franchise history.

Looking back at his brief pro career, Muno has shown much promise even though he had a detour in his journey. What I have learned in my life is that everyone makes mistakes and what you do with those mistakes is what determines the type of person you become.  In my opinion, what he did was wrong and it just delayed his road to the big stage, but his resolve to come back, work harder and continue to perform and compete allows me to respect him more as a man than just a player.

Daniel was gracious enough to grant me access into his world. Enjoy…

* * * * * * * * *

David – Daniel, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me and our writers. I know the Mets fans will appreciate getting to know you through your responses, as much as they have appreciated the hard work you have put out on the field.

David - Is there anything about you that the Mets fans do not know that you would like to share with them? Your interests, anything outside of baseball?

Daniel – I love the beach and anything that has to do with it. I love to surf.

David –  Who was your favorite player growing up and did you try to model yourself after him in any way?

Daniel – Growing up I loved to watch Nomar Garciaparra because he played the game hard and was a great hitter.

David  -  In 2008 you were part of the first Fresno State Baseball team to win the College World Series, can you describe the feeling of playing in the biggest game in your school’s history and actually winning it?

Daniel –  2008 will go down as one of the best moments in my life. I was apart of a team that no one expected to win the College World Series. We were the lowest seeded team to ever win the College World Series. We were a true underdog story. It was an amazing experience playing in front of 30,000 fans in Rosenblatt Stadium.

David – You had many accomplishments in college, from leading the league in walks in 2008, to breaking the school’s record for career walks and becoming the first Bull Dog to hit for the cycle; what do you feel contributed to your patience at the plate in college and do you feel it has helped you in pro ball?

Daniel – The person that helped me develop my approach at the plate in college was our head coach Mike Batesole. He taught me how to be patient and how to see pitches for the rest of the team. Being a patient hitter has definitely helped me in pro ball.

David –  You were drafted by the Mets in the 8th round of the 2011 Draft out of school; where were you when you received the news? Can you describe what was going through your mind and who was the first person you called?

Daniel – I was with my dad and grandpa at my grandpa’s house and I was watching on the computer and saw my name come up and I was extremely excited and I called my mom first to tell her because she wasn’t there.

David – While in college was there any organization you hoped would draft you?  Did you expect the Mets to be that team? 

Daniel – In college I was just hoping one team drafted me and I had a feeling the Mets were going to draft me because I was in contact with the now scouting director Doug Thurman. Also, I have to give thanks to Doug Thurman for seeing what he saw in me.

David – You played your first season of pro ball with the Brooklyn Cyclones and played well. Did you see any difference with going from College Baseball to Pro Baseball, and if so what stood out?

Daniel – The main difference was that everyone was good and in college there were maybe 5 or 6 guys on a team that were good.

David – You have played second base, shortstop, and some third base in your pro ball career, and even though you have spent the most of the time at second base, which position do you feel most comfortable?

Daniel – I feel I can play all three very well and I feel comfortable at all three.

David – What teammate has impressed you the most this season, and who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?

Daniel – Noah Syndergaard is going to be the real deal and it was very fun to watch him throw every time he pitched and also is very great teammate and kid.

David – Is there a Met manager or coach who has made an impact in your approach to the game and helped elevate your performance?

Daniel – When I first got to Brooklyn I loved learning and playing for Rich Donnelly; he is a great coach and knows how to get the best out every kid he coaches. Hitting-wise, I learned a lot from our hitting coach Louie Natera in Binghamton this season.

David – Playing with the B-Mets this year, you were able to experience playoff baseball in pro ball, how does that compare to playoff baseball in College and which was most exciting for you?

Daniel – Well anytime your a part of playoff baseball it is exciting. I have been lucky enough to be apart of the playoffs every year in pro ball and college. The atmosphere is the same from college to pro ball except for my freshman year when I was in the World Series we had about 30,000 more fans.

David – What was the chemistry like in the B-Mets clubhouse while competing for a playoff spot?

Daniel – We had a great group of guys in Binghamton this year and chemistry between the team was great.

David – You have had success in your career in the minors; do you feel like you are on track with the goals you set for yourself? If so, what are you expecting for 2014?

Daniel – In 2014, I am just going to keep trying to do what I have been doing. Also just going to keep trying to help my team win whatever team I may be on.

A few questions from a couple of our Staff Writers…

Staff Writers -  Let’s look back to last season with St. Lucie; it’s well known that you tested positive for PED’s and were suspended for 50 games, how did you deal with it, what lessons did you learn, and has it changed you as a player? Does it motivate you to go out there and prove yourself?

Daniel – Last year was a learning experience for me and it was tough to go through but ultimately it has made me a better person in life and baseball.

Staff Writers – There were plenty of special moments in Binghamton this year…what was your favorite and why?

 Daniel – Setting the record for most wins and making it to playoffs. Just because I love to win.

Staff Writers -  Moving forward, what stands between you and the big leagues? What do you specifically need to work on as a player, and improve upon, in order to be ready to compete on the big stage?

Daniel – There is nothing that stands between me and the big leagues. I just have to keep getting better and Lord willing things will work out.

Staff Writers – How will you prepare over the winter, can you describe your workout regimen?

Daniel – I train very hard in the off-season and I am very detail oriented in my workouts and follow the Mets off season training program.

* * * * * * * * *

I would like to thank Daniel Muno for allowing me the opportunity to interview him and giving our readers and Mets fans a better insight into who he is and what to look forward to as he continues his exciting career.  I wish Daniel much success and will continue to root for him to make his major league debut in the near future. Great things are happening in the Mets farm system and the future continues to look bright.

(Photo courtesy of Dave Clark Foundation)

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Debunking The Myths About Sabermetrics http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/debunking-the-myths-about-sabermetrics.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/debunking-the-myths-about-sabermetrics.html/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2013 15:30:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=124495

There has always been a perceived tension between pro-analytics baseball fans and anti-analytics fans. The battle is already over and done with in front offices, as both have been able to coexist, but there are still fans who disagree. Really, most of the disagreements are caused by ignorance towards the other side, a lack of knowledge. For people to understand sabermetrics, they must get past some of the biggest myths. Here are a few of those myths, debunked.

Myth: We ignore human emotion and intangibles.

Absolutely false. Intangibles, clubhouse chemistry, and more are all part of the thought process of a sabermetric front office (and the ideal sabermetric fan). Look at Paul DePodesta, known by some traditionalists as anti-intangibles, he talked non-stop after the draft about how he loved the personalities of some of the organization’s draft picks. He says it is a big part of how he drafts, even with the Mets being one of the most sabermetric teams in the game.

When you look at traditional statistics, it doesn’t incorporate intangibles or emotion either. Neither traditional nor sabermetric stats do, so it’s not just a sabermetric problem. Every organization has their own method for evaluating personalities, with some weighing personality, intangibles, and clubhouse chemistry more than others. That has existed much longer than sabermetrics has.

Myth: It’s all about the numbers — and nothing else.

Sabermetrics-BreakdownThis covers a bit of the first point, but also enters another important topic: scouting. Some think that sabermetric teams (which now includes all but one or two teams in baseball) don’t emphasize scouting, or rely too much on their metrics. I can’t tell you how a front office operates in that regard, but I can tell you that as someone who embraces sabermetrics, I value scouting. Just as statistics can be predictive of a player’s future success, a scout can see the mechanics of a hitter’s swing and see unlimited potential, even when the numbers might say otherwise. Sometimes it’s the players that don’t succeed at first, but go on to have great careers. While some may think statisticians don’t take anything but numbers into account (They think this because former players never become analysts, they become scouts), it’s simply untrue.

Myth: The stats are subjective.

Here is where the importance of being informed comes in (if it hadn’t already). The purpose of sabermetrics is to look at the game of baseball in the least subjective way possible. The goal isn’t to take human emotion out of the game, but to take human emotion out of the way we evaluate the game. There are often players who are “counted out” and cast aside. Take Josh Satin, for example. Satin didn’t receive any significant big league playing time until he was 28 years old, mostly due to his age. Satin played four years in college, and wasn’t aggressively promoted. That meant he eventually fell out of “prospect” status and was never promoted. He put up minor league numbers on par with David Wright‘s, yet he didn’t get a promotion until years later because of one aspect. That’s what sabermetrics looks to eliminate. Players who are too fat, too short, have unique mechanics are frequently not given an opportunity. It really doesn’t matter if these players have these traits if they can provide the same production as a “normal” player.

Back to the point. People tend to look at the coefficients of a statistic like wOBA (weighted On Base Average) and say it’s subjective, that the creator of the stat just chose the coefficients. But why would a group of people who strive to be as least subjective as possible arbitrarily choose coefficients to put into their equations? That answer is: they don’t. Take my example of wOBA. The equation changes slightly every year, but here is the equation from the 2012 season:

wOBA = (0.691×uBB + 0.722×HBP + 0.884×1B + 1.257×2B + 1.593×3B +
2.058×HR) / (AB + BB – IBB + SF + HBP)

Those numbers may seem random, but they are actually based on run expectancy, or how a particular event influence’s a team’s chances of scoring, which is what baseball is all about. Slugging percentage tries to value events, but only does so for hits, and itself values the hits subjectively. Is a team with a man on third three times as likely to score as a team who only has a man on first? Over one hundred years of baseball tell us no. Notice how an unintentional walk (uBB) isn’t worth the same as a single. This is because runners on base only advance one base (and only on a force) when the batter walks while runners often advance multiple bases when the batter hits a single. See how this is all starting to come together?

-  -  -

There is a stigma surrounding analytics in baseball, just as there is in the rest of the non-sports world. People don’t like to believe that what they see (or how they perceive what they think) could be wrong. It’s why people working for financial companies get frustrated when their economists put out bad projections, even when the economy is thriving. It’s really not about choosing one side or the other. It’s about acknowledging the pros and cons of each and using what you can see and what you can’t see together. That’s the best way to evaluate a baseball team.

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It Gets Worse: Mets May Need Another Loan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/it-gets-worse-mets-may-need-another-loan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/it-gets-worse-mets-may-need-another-loan.html/#comments Wed, 02 Mar 2011 17:08:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=45422 The New York Post has broken the news that the Mets are looking for even more loan. They want tens of millions of dollars and all of this money is just to cover the team’s basic operating expenses.

The Wilpons should be focusing on selling a large chunk of the team at this point. It is beyond obvious that the Madoff scandal is greatly impacting the team’s finances.

The article also mentions that the Mets received a $430 million loan from JP Morgan Chase last year. The bank is trying to recruit other banks to put together a loan to help the Mets until the Wilpons sell a majority stake in the team.

Sources are uncertain about if the Mets can actually pay back the loan. They believe this is a very risk move considering the team could lose as much as $50 million this year.

After the Mets received a loan from the MLB, their debt total reached $505 million. Depending on the team’s worth, they could have enough money to secure another loan. It all depends on what the team is valued at.

Payments to players may eventually become an issue if the team cannot secure another loan. This could decimate the team chemistry.

It has also been revealed that banks have been selling some of the Mets debt off form 90 cents on the dollar. They believe that the Mets are a risky investment and are trying to lower their exposure.

The new loan might help the team avoid defaulting on their existing debt. This is quickly turning into a very ugly situation for the team. There will likely be major changes with the organization before the end of the season.

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Jerry Manuel Not Nearly This Bad http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/jerry-manuel-not-nearly-this-bad.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/jerry-manuel-not-nearly-this-bad.html/#comments Mon, 24 May 2010 15:30:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=27703 We’ve all seen plenty of head-scratchers from Jerry Manuel this season, and many of his major strategical blunders have been chronicled and well documented on this site, but here’s something that might make you feel more appreciative of the Mets man in the hot seat.

The Cardinals have been struggling to score runs this season and until last night’s win, they have spent most of the season looking up at the first place Reds who have played surprisingly well this year.

We’ve all heard the word chemistry thrown around a lot this season, but I’ve always believed that winning breeds chemistry and that losing will lead to a lack of it. Did the Reds, who made few changes this offseason suddenly get good chemistry, and have the Cardinals whose biggest move was re-signing Matt Holliday suddenly lose the clubhouse magic?

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports on what could be a developing rift between Cardinals slugger and MVP Albert Pujols and longtime manager Tony LaRussa, both of whom are locks for the Hall of Fame.

As the story goes, La Russa signaled for Ryan Ludwick, who was on first base, to steal second with two outs in the eighth inning. Albert Pujols, who was moved out of the third spot a few days earlier for the first time in over five years, was at the plate and batting cleanup. Unfortunately for Prince Albert, Ludwick was gunned down to end the inning. 

A very irate Pujols walked back to the dugout flipped his bat, then his helmet, and then smacked two trays of gum from a bench against the Cardinals dugout wall.

La Russa then sneers at Pujols and yells “that’s enough.”

Pujols barks right back and, according to eyewitnesses, the exchange escalated with La Russa telling Pujols at one point, “I (expletive) know how to manage.”

According to Strauss, the outburst was the second involving Pujols in as many days.  

The reigning National League MVP is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season, and moments like these will not exactly move him toward signing an extension any time soon. He is expected to demand $30 million dollars a year, and the Cardinals signed Matt Holliday mostly as a backup plan in case Pujols decides to bolt.

Getting back to La Russa though, what in the world was he thinking by letting Ludwick attempt a steal with his team’s best hitter at the plate?

Even if Ludwick had not been caught stealing, it would have opened up first base to walk Pujols, thus taking the bat out of his hands.

If Jerry Manuel ever did anything that stupid, there would be hell to pay. But for some reason whenever La Russa makes moves like this it’s looked upon as good old-fashioned aggressive managing or thinking out of the box. Umm, whatever…

I don’t know what Pujols said after La Russa’s remark, but I hope it went something like this,

“I (expletive) know how to drive in runs” or “I (expletive) know how to make you gone with the snap of my finger”.

Oh and by the way, I have never been convinced that batting the pitcher number eight is supposed to be some stroke of genius either.

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Hi, My Name is Jeffy and I Like Apples… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/hi-my-name-is-jeffy-and-i-like-apples.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/05/hi-my-name-is-jeffy-and-i-like-apples.html/#comments Fri, 14 May 2010 17:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=26906 Well I can’t say for sure whether Jeff Francoeur likes to eat apples or not, but he definitely likes to play for the Big Apple.  I figured today I would talk a little about a player for the Mets who is slowly becoming one of my favorite Met players of all-time.  Mr. Jeff Francoeur joined this team via a player swap with the Atlanta Braves for right fielder Ryan Church (and it is obvious who benefited from that trade). 

Ever since joining the club just before the All-Star break, Jeff has invigorated this ball club and has served as the glue that holds the team’s chemistry together.  Now every Mets fan out there is well aware of the fact that Jeff is a gamer, he possesses all of the “Give-em Hell” and “Never Give Up” attitude that the Mets have been without for quite some time.  On top of his aggressive style play and award winning smile, Jeff is a teammate.  

I have particularly found his personal blog that he maintains for his fan following, extremely interesting and informative, and he really communicates with his fan base unlike many major league players out there.  If you are interested in seeing his personal blog, simply go to www.jefffrancoeur.com and check it out. 

Lately, I have heard several suggestions of moving Jeff from the starting Right Fielder position and moving him to a bench role.  It is understandable that his recent struggles at the plate would generate itchy trigger fingers to pull the trigger and swap Jeff out for a current hot hand, but I think that in the long run, moving Jeff to the bench will ultimately hurt this club.   

Other than his highly touted glove, howitzer arm, and average bat, Jeff Francoeur contributes a lot to this team’s chemistry and fight.  Although it may be difficult to overlook his struggles at the plate, what would concern me much more would be to move him to the bench and possibly lose that fire and tenacity that inspires this club.  I just worry that even a temporary move to the bench might affect Jeff’s psyche to a point that even a re-instatement back to a starter role might not fix.  

I think in Jeff’s particular case, the numbers don’t show the whole picture.  It takes a certain drive, a certain willingness to win at all costs that made Jeff decide to barrel over one of his closest friends, Brian McCann at home plate to try to jar the ball loose.  There is something inside of Jeff that I believe all Mets fans wish every player on the Mets had.  That thing is “CARE”, Jeff honestly and whole-heartedly CARES about whether we win or lose.  He hates losing, because he is a winner, and quite frankly we need more winners. 

Heck even most fictional superheroes like Superman, Batman, etc. had moments of weakness, struggles, and only through hard work and the right attitude were they able to prevail in the end.  If Jeff was hitting .350, 30 HR, 20 SB, with the character and attitude he exhibits day after day, he would be the gold standard of baseball players.

You can say Jeff Francoeur is lost at the plate, a bad ball hitter, an average hitter at his best; but what you can’t ever say about Jeff Francoeur is that he “just goes through the motions”, “only cares about collecting a check”, and most certainly you can’t say he’s “not a winner”.  As Mets fans, we should feel blessed that we can say we have a guy like Jeff playing on our side, he embodies the Mets spirit through and through, everything that a Met player should stand for. 

Enjoy your Friday, and see you all when the next one comes around…

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It’s All The Little Things That Make These Mets Legit http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/its-all-the-little-things-that-make-these-mets-legit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/its-all-the-little-things-that-make-these-mets-legit.html/#comments Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:16:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=25958 Brian Costa of the Star-Ledger just posted an update to his blog about the Mets being on the field for some early batting practice at Citizen’s Bank Park. Nothing big really, every team on any given day will have a few players go out and take in some early swings before the mandatory reporting time. But I couldn’t help noticing something that Costs added at the end of his post,

It’s not unusual for the Mets to take early BP before the first game of a road series, especially if they were off the day before. But I’ve never seen so many players out this early before a game. They’ll still take regular batting practice around 90 minutes before first pitch.

Sometimes, all it takes is just one guy to reinvigorate a clubhouse and get them motivated and excited and focused on the big picture which is winning baseball games.

The change in the clubhouse started when Jeff Francoeur arrived, and it’s taken longer than I expected for everyone to start coming around, but ultimately they have and that’s what is most important.

The arrival of Ike Davis was the finishing touch on what is now a rejuvenated clubhouse that once again believes in themselves and are determined to elevate their level of play.

I know that there are still many of who continue to rein in your optimism. But believe me when I tell you that this bullpen is as good as, if not better, than the one we had in 2006 when we came sooooo close to the World Series. The depth which was sorely lacking last season is suddenly very good and probably the best in the NL East. Imagine when Murphy and Beltran do return and the bench all of a sudden becomes the best in the league? Pelfrey’s improvement is not a fluke, it’s just a year late, but it’s for real. The world did not fall apart with Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur manning the corner outfield spots as some speculated. Citi Field is no longer the albatross so many believed it to be. The Mets can win in Citi Field and DO have a homefield advantage. Everyone who wondered if Jose Reyes would be the same upon his return, have seen the evidence with their own eyes. Reyes is back.

These things I just ran off are just a few of the reasons that lead me to believe these Mets are not a fluke. These Mets are completely legit.

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/its-all-the-little-things-that-make-these-mets-legit.html/feed/ 0 Team Chemistry Is Real http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/team-chemistry-is-real-so-deal-with-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/team-chemistry-is-real-so-deal-with-it.html/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2010 03:59:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=20201 On Tuesday, Peter Botte of the The Daily News had some quotes from Darryl Strawberry regarding the Mets offseason and whether he felt they could do more, and while his remarks set off a mild ripple effect in the Mets blogosphere, Steve Popper of The Record tells us that there’s even more to the story. 

Strawberry didn’t mince words while describing the Mets apparent lack of toughness and chemistry.

“Teams come over here and drill hitters and stuff like that, and you don’t do nothing, you don’t retaliate? We (86 Mets) didn’t allow that to happen. They have the capability. It’s just a matter of, ‘Are we confident enough? Do we believe in ourselves?’ Because, when you look across town, those boys over there…they play together, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about individual stats. It’s about team effort.’’

Kudos to Strawberry for telling it like it is and not holding back. He could have easily punted, but instead he nailed a 55 yard field goal.

Speaking of chemistry, former Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd, had plenty to say about the subject while a guest on WFAN and went so far as saying that the current Mets have none. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog has a nice recap of the interview and transcribes the following,

“I think they’re missing chemistry.  These guys are just not coming together… I have some friends there who say it is just not a good mix… It’s not a good locker room… I mean, you need that… It should never be that way.  Having played this long, having been on winning teams, losing teams, no matter what you say about chemistry you need guys on the same page.  They need to believe in what they’re trying to do day in and day out, and if you don’t have that you’re gonna find yourself in the situation the Mets have been in, and it’s a shame because their teams have been good enough to go to the World Series.”

Here’s the thing about team chemistry, it’s real.

I hear and read all the long-winded rants whenever a player talks about chemistry. I’m fully aware of the many baseball fans that not only downplay it, but say there’s no such thing. For some, the mere mention of the word will incite a tirade of epic proportions.

Here’s the thing though… If the players themselves believe in chemistry who are all these self professed intellects to say that “chemistry” is not real?

I recently read a great piece on the subject of team chemistry by Patrick Dobel,

“Chemistry” presents a good metaphor because it suggests that players react to each other. Chemistry depends upon relations and reactions can, break or diffuse bonds among team members. Reactions can explode, go passive or create dynamic equilibriums. Reactions can disrupt and disorganize a system or bring it coherence and new levels. Relations altered by chemistry can form strong or negative bond, push people apart or bring them together into coherent entities. We’ve all experienced teams that fall apart with players recriminating and blaming each other; teams that  lose heart, go inert and players “go through the motions.” We’ve also experienced teams where players challenge each other to perform to their highest levels; where struggling or injured players  get help and support from each other; where team bonds and relations help players accept roles and perform with competence while supporting and rooting for their starting teammates even as they compete with them.

It amazes me how so many can speak out against something so emphatically, when they themselves have never even experienced what guys like Vladimir Guerrero, Chase Utley, Paul O’Neill and Darryl Strawberry have in their careers?

Why take the side of a couch potato or desk jockey over players who have reached the absolute pinnacle of baseball achievement and won a World Series?

Good chemistry builds resilience into a team. No plan survives contact with reality. The best put together teams encounter injuries, accidents, off field distractions and tragedies. They go through slumps and sometimes fall apart or have “one of those days” where nothing goes right. Emotional resilience involves the capacity for members of a team to sustain each other through the insults of time and season. It means that players do not go rogue or solo or give up under the stress of losing or injury. This resilience enables players to still believe in themselves and their talents and to bounce back from setbacks. This resilience depends heavily upon the leadership and example of emotional leaders and experienced players or coaches who have lived through it and can offer the hope that this will end.

Do yourselves a favor my friends… If you want to learn about the game and all its wonderful and intricate nuances, watch the games with eyes wide open, listen to the sounds of the game and especially what the players have to say. You can’t get that stuff out of $10 dollar paperback.

Oh and please spare me the “winning breeds chemistry” line… A bad clubhouse is still a bad clubhouse win or lose…. From 1997 to 2004, the San Francisco Giants came in first or second place eight times in eight years and went to four post seasons including a trip to the World Series. It was well documented that throughout that run it was a cantankerous clubhouse with much in-fighting among the players. (Aurilia, Bonds, Kent, Snow, Beck)

Good job by Cliff Floyd and Darryl Strawberry for stating the obvious fact that the Mets have lacked chemistry. The Mets have had the most talent laden team in the National League since 2007 and all they have to show for it is two chokes and a joke. They don’t lack quality players, just the chemistry that would enable them to cohesively and collectively achieve their maximum potential.

Luckily, the additions of Jason Bay, Henry Blanco and Frank Catalanotto, coupled with a full season of Jeff Francoeur, can help to change the dynamic of the clubhouse this year. Of course, another arm in the rotation would do wonders as well.

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Omar and Mets Search For Leadership http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/omar-mets-search-for-leadership-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/omar-mets-search-for-leadership-2.html/#comments Sun, 31 Jan 2010 21:48:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=20045 Is there any doubt that Omar Minaya is searching for leadership to help change the chemistry of his ballclub without gutting the “core” of this team?

The Jason Bay signing was not just to fulfill the need for power in the lineup, it was done also with the hope that Bay would help fill a void for leadership that exists.

I’m not trying to disparage any current member of the Mets.  David Wright will eventually be the leader of this team.  Carlos Delgado will not be brought back.  The Mets have begun to develop younger players, and it won’t be too long until Wright finds a more forceful voice and wears the “C” on his uniform for this team.

Bay’s leadership skills are not of the vocal variety. Rather, Bay is the kind of guy that gives his best effort everyday.  Bay is a “watch how I go about my business guy” and learn from me.  He should never be confused with a Keith Hernandez as it pertains to leadership.  Leaders like Keith come along once in a generation for a team. That’s not to say Bay won’t speak or dispense advice to younger players, it’s unfair to say that. It’s just that he’s a quieter guy.

Omar continues to search for leaders for this team. The rumors of his and the Mets interest in John Smoltz and his signing of Frank Catalanotto, (who is well respected as a smart baseball guy and good clubhouse guy) proves that he believes there is a leadership void on this team.

Smoltz would not only be pitching, but showing the other pitchers how to go about their business. He’d be brought in as much for his leadership as his pitching ability, which must be questioned at age 42.

The problem I have with Omar’s search is that guys like Catalanotto and Smoltz (if signed) may only be with the Mets briefly as their baseball skills have deteriorated to the point of ineffectiveness. Then where do you turn for leadership?

Many people say chemistry and leadership is overrated. I disagree. Look at the Mets teams that have won.  In 1969, 1973, 1986, 1988, 1999, 2000, and 2006. Leaders abound on those teams.   Look at our team today and point out which regular is a leader. Wright’s not ready for it yet. (he’s only 27 this year) Beltran’s hurt and isn’t’t vocal enough.  Reyes doesn’t want it.  That leaves Francoeur and Bay. Which one is going to help Wright be the leader of this team? Ray Knight helped lead with Hernandez in the ’86 season. Who on these current Mets can lead along with Wright? I just don’t know. Any ideas fans?

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