Mets Merized Online » Citi Field Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:47:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Will Wear Camo Jerseys For Military Monday Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:43:33 +0000 daniel murphy

The Mets will be wearing their new camouflage jerseys on Monday night for the first of five “Military Monday” games this season.

U.S. Military personnel with active or retired military identification will receive complimentary tickets to tonight’s game for themselves and up to three guests. For the remaining games outside of Military Mondays, the Mets will continue to provide active military personnel with complimentary admission.

Active and retired military with proper identification will also receive a 10% discount off retail items at Citi Field on Military Mondays.

Military Mondays will also extend beyond the ballpark and into the community. Mets front-office staff, alumni and players will visit a VA Hospital throughout the season to meet the recovering veterans and the dedicated doctors and nurses who care for them.

Military Mondays deepens and expands the franchise’s commitment to supporting active and retired members of the military. Other “Military Monday” games will be on July 7, July 28, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.


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Restoring Trust and My Night at Citi Field Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:50:34 +0000 Minor tweaks of the nutritional program are not the answer. Changing the eating schedule so the players have more time to digest their food will bring no measurable change in outcomes. The Mets failure to win games at Citi Field is a hot topic as we move towards the end of first month of a new season, and the Mets continue to under perform at their home ball park and over perform playing games on the road.

bartolo colonI visited Citi Field for the first time this season last night. The Mets and the Braves put on a baseball show that was definitely entertaining, and although ultimately disappointing, almost bordered on being fun. Yet, it was not the baseball game itself, but the mood of the Met faithful I found most fascinating. It’s mid April and hope does not spring eternal at Citi Field.

Reduced ticket prices taking some fans back to price levels found at Shea Stadium one-half century ago assured a good sized crowd. The Mets had just returned from a very successful 9 game road trip. Yet, a burned and maligned Met fan base was fidgety and impatient, in no mood for watching ‘the same old, same old’ on the greens of Citi Field.

Fan cynicism was everywhere at Citi Field last night. It wrapped itself around you shortly after the first pitch and squeezed tighter and tighter as the game unfolded. Met fans are clearly not as excited about their team as management might want us to believe. The Met faithful appeared suspicious and wary, no longer willing to be sold a bag of goods or willing to allow for more time. By the comments and reactions of the Met crowd it’s obvious few Met fans have adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude to the season with few jumping on the 90-win bandwagon.

The loud and skeptical mood of Met fans last night, the prevalent ‘buyers beware’ attitude that almost emanated everywhere around the stadium, got me wondering if that disposition might have something to do with the Mets poor play at Citi Field.

Ego is definitely a huge part of a professional athletes profile. Athletes who attain professional status represent a tiny fraction of those who at one time aspired to reach such lofty plateaus. Even so, no matter how hardened and tough the outer veneer of a professional athlete, internally, like everyone else, athletes care about their image.

In the world of psychology, self-handicapping refers to human behaviors intended to keep performance failure from damaging one’s image or self-esteem. Studies have shown that athletes, especially male athlete,s are often prone to self-handicapping to protect the sense of competence they have worked so hard over time to maintain.

When people self-handicap, they employ strategies or create obstacles and excuses to explain performance failures diverting attention to external factors outside their area of control rather than seeking answers by looking internally at things they can control. The effects of self-handicapping can be large and small and are found in almost all environments where people are expected to perform. In baseball terms, excuses like the size of the park, wind currents, or, perhaps, the eating and digestive habits of a team can be pointed to as causes of poor performance, rather than the skill levels of the players assembled on the field or the basic execution of those players when playing baseball.

The athletic playing field is an ideal setting to cultivate self-handicapping behaviors. Embarrassment, the fear of failure, demonstrating incompetence in public or facing unrealistic expectations are all associated with the self-handicapping.

Those factors are a fact of life playing professional sports in New York City. TRADE ‘EM ALL was the New York Daily headline greeting the Mets after the locals were one-hit in the opener of the current Citi Field series against Atlanta. That after completing a three game sweep in Arizona. Talk about pressure.

Twenty-four hour sports talk radio slices and dices individual player and team performance on a daily basis. It’s a fact, that staying positive is associated with improved work performance, and it takes work to stay positive when things aren’t going well for a professional sports team in New York.

That fact is magnified for the Mets and their fans playing in a city with a baseball market shared by the Yankees. Comparing yourself with others is proven to have a negative affect on performance helping create a huge reservoir of pressure when expectations rise and losing becomes even more of a disappointment.

And, it’s possible the whole affair can become a vicious cycle, the Met baseball team performing well below expectations, the local fan base becoming more and more frustrated and cynical amping up the pressure to perform, thus increasing the public ridicule and negativity associated with team performance. Anxiety and fear of failure builds increasing the self-handicapping effects thus almost setting up conditions conducive to future failures.

lucas dudaThe affect on an athlete are subtle but powerful just the same. They may manifest in the presence of aches or pains that might not appear on a highly successful team, of waning motivation or effort, of trying to hard which sometimes results in unanticipated mental error or fatigue. Could that be a part of a runner on third with no outs who runs on an infield groundout as Lucas Duda did in last nights game?

Could that be the cause to Ruben Tejada, who represented the tying run at the time, failing to advance from first base to scoring position at second, when the ball skipped past the catcher allowing Chris Young to advance from second base to third? I’m not sure, but Met fans who regularly follow the team know the team they watch on the road plays crisper baseball, is fundamentally more sound, and seems more energized and motivated than the team they watch at Citi Field.

Why? Could it be that once removed from playing baseball under the magnifying media lens of NYC, the Met players relax and thrive and perform more to their baseball abilities?

It was Buddha who said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises from our thoughts.” It would have been difficult for the Met players to have missed the negative vibes that bubbled in Citi Field last night. It was almost as if everyone in the ballpark was on edge, anticipating the exact moment the hammer would fall on their Mets. Amd, that includes the author of this post.

Some will accuse me of blaming Met fans for the team’s dismal performance at Citi Field. That’s not the case at all. After baseball expectations soared in Flushing from 2006 through 2008, the Mets went into free fall. For several years after, fans have given their trust in believing things were slowly and carefully turning around.

The aura of cynicism I felt last night at Citi Field just means the open season of blind faith is over, and Met fans are not willing to simply jump back into the trust-mode again. Met fans have the right to be skeptical. Trust in the Mets baseball operation must be earned.

How? Obviously, its imperative the Mets become competitive providing resources to field a playoff contending baseball operation. Our current levels of spending ranks near the bottom third of major league baseball, less player payroll this year than last, less last year then the year before. The size of a team’s payroll does not guarantee World Series success but it dramatically improves the chances the team you cheer for will compete for post season play. That’s part of building trust, especially in a market that asks fans to pay to watch that baseball at level’s that compete for tops in the game.

When Jose Valverde delivered the three-run home run pitch to Justin Upton last night it was stunning to see the mass exodus at Citi Field. Fans flooded the aisles hustling to escape the action on the field with almost more energy than the players demonstrated to play the game on the diamond. In no time flat, at least eighty percent of the fans in the stadium had vanished. There was simply no belief a Met rally was possible, even though the home team would battle back and almost tie the game.

As the fans were fleeing, my buddy leaned over and said to me, “You know, you could accept a home run shot like that if one of the kids had thrown the ball. It’s tough to take when it comes from Valverde.” That’s all part of the trust void. Over and over, we have read and relished and been assured that the arms were coming, that change was on the way. Yet, when roster decisions are made it seems “experienced,” “done it before” become organizational code words. Met fans know better. That’s not part of maintaining trust.

And, finally there is basic baseball execution. There was the snafu with the runner vacating third with no outs on an infield ground ball, the runner at first failing to advance on a passed ball when a lead runner on second moved to third, the ball tapped in front of the plate where the pitcher, ignoring umpire signals, thought the ball had hit the batter’s foot and was foul thus didn’t move to field the ball, then, when he did, rushed and threw the ball away allowing two runs, the bunt that went through Valverde’s legs in the fateful ninth, a wild pitch or passed ball that plated a run from third.

Baseball execution was horrid last night leveling trust we’re getting the best out of the players we do have available on our roster, no matter what their ability levels. And then the offense or lack thereof and the manager’s disclaimers that talk of a prevailing offensive philosophy is overblown. A catcher on our baseball team attended the game. Late in the game he leaned over and said to me, “I can play for the Mets. I’ve got pretty good defense but no offense, but that doesn’t seem to matter much.”

Later when the ball went between Valverde’s legs he quipped, “Major league baseball.” Major league execution it was not. Attention to detail and flawless mental execution of the game, too, would build trust.

1969, 1973, 1986, 2000, and even 2006 remind me Met fans are positive by nature, baseball fans yearning to throw their full support behind the team they love. The current fan perception of the Met team has come through several seasons of pain, several seasons of putting the heart ahead of the head of willingness to extend hope with little return. Met fans are tired, eager but not totally willing to get back in the game. Regaining trust is a difficult task, but it has been done before and can be done again. I have a hunch that when management provides reason for fans to trust, the wins will start piling up again at Citi Field.

Presented By Diehards

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The Mets Are Experiencing A Home Field Disadvantage Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:53:45 +0000 You don’t have to be a numbers-obsessed Mets fan like me to realize that the team has been playing pretty badly at Citi Field over the past few years.  But sometimes the numbers help to advance and enhance the narrative.

For example, since the beginning of the 2011 campaign, the Mets have gone 105-145 in games played at Citi Field.  Meanwhile, over the same time period, the team has posted a winning mark (128-124) on the road.  Should the Mets finish the 2014 season with a losing record at home, it would be the team’s fourth consecutive sub-.500 record in their home ballpark.  Not since the Mets posted six straight losing seasons at home from 1977 to 1982 has the team been so futile before its fans.

But as bad as it’s been at Citi Field for the Mets over the past three seasons, it looks like it’s getting worse before it’s getting better.  Please allow me to explain.

Through their first seven home games in 2014, the Mets have been outhit, 70-34.  They have failed to collect more than seven hits in any game at Citi Field, but their opponents haven’t had that problem, as they have mustered seven or more hits in EVERY GAME played at Citi Field this season.

The Mets have batted .160 at home this year, while reaching base at a .246 clip.  Never has any team in Mets history posted a lower batting average through its first seven home games.  To put those numbers into perspective, the league batting average is .248.  That’s two points higher than the Mets’ on-base percentage at home this year.  (And for the record, the average National League team is posting a .313 on-base percentage.)

But there is one thing the Mets do well at home.  They strike out.  A lot.

In seven games at home, the Mets have fanned 69 times in 212 at-bats.  That’s practically one strikeout every three at-bats.  And before you say, “Well, their pitchers have a lot to do with that, smarty pants, because they’re forced to bat in the National League”, allow me to retort.  Mets hurlers have struck out just six times at Citi Field this season.  (First-place Atlanta has played one fewer home game than the Mets, but their pitchers have struck out eight times.)  So it’s mainly the everyday players who have been heading back to the dugout soon after taking or swinging through strike three.

Shake Shack might have a tasty burger, but what Mets fans really want to taste at Citi Field are Big Kahuna victories.

Shake Shack might have a tasty burger, but Mets fans could really use a Big Kahuna victory at Citi Field.

Just four short years ago, the Mets believed in home field advantage so much, they used their Citi Field success as part of a marketing campaign.  But that was then and this is now.  For as bad as the Mets have been at home since 2011, they’ve become even more lethargic in 2014.

The trade of Ike Davis actually removed one of the few players who was hitting well at Citi Field and wasn’t striking out.  Davis was 4-for-8 with just one strikeout at home.  The rest of the team has gone 30-for-204 (for a .147 batting average) with 68 strikeouts.  If those numbers look familiar to you (which they shouldn’t), that’s because they’re almost identical to the ones put up by Oliver Perez at the plate in his five seasons with the Mets.  Perez hit .147 with 53 strikeouts in 156 at-bats as a Met.

So tell me, my astute Mets fans.  If it’s considered an insult for a Mets pitcher to be compared in any way to Oliver Perez, then what is it considered when a Mets hitter is compared to him?

The Mets used to believe in home field advantage.  But Citi Field has become a home field disadvantage for the team since 2011.  The Mets simply don’t hit at home.  And that translates into not winning at home.  Clearly, the only teams that are taking advantage of Citi Field are the ones who call the third base dugout home.

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MMO Morning Grind: Coming Home… for Better or Worse Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:21:52 +0000

citi field fans opening day

Good morning, Mets fans!

We managed to stay over 500 yesterday, in part because we didn’t have a game. Tonight, the Mets will be coming home to begin a nice, long, 10-game homestand. I’m especially excited for tonight’s matchup with the Braves, as I will be attending my first game of the year (although, since I’m going with a Yanks fan and a pair of Braves fans, things might get hostile).

But here’s the thing: The Mets just haven’t been good at home. They were solid at home in their first 2 years at Citi Field, but over the past 3 seasons, their winning percentage in Flushing is a paltry .423, which translates to an average home record of 34-47 each year (103-140 overall).

To make things more frustrating, the Mets actually have had a winning record (122-121) on the road over those three seasons. So even a decent performance at home during that time would have made us a relevant team.

When you lose at home, two things happen. First of all, it hurts your record. That’s the obvious thing. But in addition, when fans who pay good money to come out and see the team are constantly leaving the ballpark with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths, it can hurt sales and generate disappointment and, in some cases, apathy.

A fan is far more likely to want to come back if he or she sees a thrilling victory rather than a bleak, 5-1 loss in which the team only gets 2 runners past first base. If the Mets are going to charge New York Prices for fans to come out in this New York Weather and see the New York Mets, the team had better perform if they want to be able to generate the interest and revenue that teams in the New York Market are supposed to generate.

The Mets are 2-4 at home and 6-3 on the road this season. They’ll have a chance to pad that home record in the next couple weeks. The Mets are off to a decent start at 8-7, but if they want this season to mean something, they have to perform at home. Good teams don’t lose in their own ballpark.

Citi Field is a fantastic stadium. Let’s hope our Mets can make the most of it.

Have a great day, Mets fans!

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Alter Meal Schedule In Attempt To Improve Home Record Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:59:07 +0000 sad mets bench

In an attempt to get the team winning at home, the Mets brass have decided to make adjustments to their food service in an attempt to break their losing ways at Citi Field. Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal explains: 

For the Mets, leaving New York means escaping their personal haunted house—a black hole in Queens that inexplicably saps the team of its talent. More than any other franchise, the Mets can’t figure out how to conquer their own ballpark.

Since 2011, the Mets have gone 105-144 at Citi Field (including 2-4 so far this season), compared with 122-121 everywhere else. The bizarre discrepancy makes them the only major-league team with a winning record on the road and a losing record at home over that span.

Diamond says from 2011 through 2013, the team’s on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) on the road is .719, eighth-best in baseball. At home, that number plummets to .679, ranking 27th.

To try to stop that trend, the Mets plan to make home games this season feel more like away games, tweaking the pregame schedule to mimic road conditions.

In the past, the team would provide a light meal and snacks when the players arrived to work, consisting of salad and sandwiches. Then a larger meal, more akin to dinner, was served after batting practice, which ends about two hours before a 7:10 p.m. game.

After consulting the team nutritionist, they reversed the menu this year, with the heavier food coming out before batting practice. Teams eat this way on the road because they hit second, leaving them with little time between batting practice and the game. The Mets also changed the times of certain meetings to better resemble the road routine.

Seriously, this sounds bizarre to me. I just can’t imagine any other team blaming a lousy home record on the food service times, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

Silly me… I thought the problem was that we needed better players… What do I know…

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Game Recap: Nationals 8, Mets 2 Thu, 03 Apr 2014 21:11:17 +0000 zack wheeler home

The New York Mets were defeated by the Washington Nationals today at Citi Field by the score of 8-2. With the loss, the Mets get swept in their opening series to begin the season with an 0-3 record.

Zack Wheeler started for the Mets and allowed three earned runs over six innings, tossing a total of 114 pitches, one short of his career high. Wheeler allowed seven hits including a home run, and two walks while striking out six batters.

The bullpen struggled mightily today and Scott Rice, Jeurys Familia and Carlos Torres surrendered five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to put the game out of reach. This bullpen has had nine awful appearances out of ten so far this season… Totally unacceptable.

Offensively, the Mets struck out eight more times today, but had plenty of chances to do some damage with seven hits and four walks and didn’t.

Eric Young went hitless in the leadoff spot and is now 0-for-9 with five strikeouts. Travis d’Arnaud is also hitless in three games.

Curtis Granderson finally came alive and went 2-for-4, with two doubles and an RBI, while
Juan Lagares added a double, sac fly and RBI. He continues to make solid contact.

This game was difficult to watch. It felt like there was a malaise setting in. Lazy at-bats, lackadaisical play in the field, just an atmosphere you wouldn’t expect in only the third game of the season.

Plus the stadium was dead as a door nail…

The Mets need to make a decision at first base, this is wearing thin on everyone.

So far that fast start in April I said this team needed isn’t looking so good…

Come on guys, liven up and have some fun…

Anyway, the Mets host the Cincinnati Reds for a weekend series at Citi Field. Jenrry Mejia toes the rubber on Friday in a 7:10 PM start.

Presented By Diehards

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Mejia Gets A Clean Bill Of Health For Friday’s Start Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:50:25 +0000 Brad Barr USA TODAY Sports jenrry mejia

Adam Rubin of ESPN NY writes that Jenrry Mejia was given a clean report by the team doctor and according to Terry Collins, Mejia also threw a baseball on Sunday and was deemed healthy and ready to take his turn in the rotation on Friday, when the Mets face the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field.

Mejia was struck with a line drive in the right forearm during last Friday’s game in Montreal. X-rays were negative, and he was diagnosed with inflammation.

(Photo Credit: Brad Barr USA TODAY)

Presented By Diehards

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Follow The Money… Or Lack Of It… Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:37:09 +0000 new-york-mets braintrust collins, katz, wilpon alderson

The last 48 hours have been brimming with reports from various media outlets on the state of the Mets – not on the field – but fiscally.

The Mets want to convey a sense that they are now financially fit. However, the folks who are considered experts on the matter of team valuation, those who speak to the lenders, and those analyzing all the available data, still portray a financial picture of the Mets that doesn’t quite measure up with what is being reported.

There was an extensive analysis of the situation this morning in the New York Times.

The payroll modesty continues even as the Mets — and the 29 other major league teams — will receive equal portions of new television contracts whose annual average payments are doubling this season to $1.5 billion from $750 million, and despite the recent refinancing of a $250 million loan, at a lower rate, that removes the pressure the Mets were under to repay it in full later this year. But even as money is looser and banks are no longer huffing and puffing at the door of the Mets co-owner Fred Wilpon, the Mets seem to be staying cautious about spending.

Regarding that publicized refinancing that prevented a back-breaking $250 million dollar debt payment that was due in June, the Times article articulated that the banks did not impose a salary cap on the Mets as a condition of the refinancing, but, as a practical matter, they did not have to.

Raising payroll sharply to lure expensive free agents before attendance recovers is a formula to generate the sort of steep losses that peaked at $70 million for the Mets in 2011. Meanwhile, the drop in average attendance at Citi Field to 26,366 last season — it has fallen by 32.5 percent since the stadium opened in 2009 — has created a predictable downward spiral of ticket, parking and concession revenue.

Documents are available that show revenue from the stadium’s 10,635 most expensive seats has fallen 58 percent, to $41.8 million from $99.3 million in 2009. In that period, concession sales have decreased 29 percent and parking revenue has dropped 20 percent.

Jodi Hecht, an analyst for Standard & Poor’s, said she had projected a drop in the 2014 cash flow earmarked to make the annual debt payments of about $43 million. The rating agency reaffirmed its BB rating — two levels below junk — of Citi Field bonds last December. But the agency lifted its formerly negative outlook on the bonds, based on the belief that cash flow will eventually stabilize.

As I’ve written previously, for the much ballyhooed spending the Mets were going to do this offseason, the fact is that the Opening Day payroll will be down for the third year in a row.

Additionally, the current Mets payroll which stands at $87.5 million ranks as the seventh lowest in major league baseball. That figure includes deferred payments from Jason Bay as well as the option buyout on Johan Santana. Effectively, the on-the-field payroll is ranked even lower. I predicted the opening day payroll to come in lower than 2013 all along and as far back as last August when the “we are going to spend” chants started to get louder.

The Mets are reporting that Opening Day should be a sell-out, yet plenty of tickets remain available on the team’s website this morning and the secondary market is flush with plenty of available ticket inventory in 2-6 seat lots. Ticket giveaways are being promoted quite heavily and I’d also argue that if 1,000 or more tickets were handed out freely, does that still technically qualify as a “sold” out affair?

I think the forecast is less stormy today than it was a year ago. But there are still too many signs of fat-trimming and payroll cutting for me to declare that the Mets are back to a position where they could add missing pieces at market value if they were to find themselves in the thick of a wild card chase this summer.

However, it is my fervent hope that they can prove me wrong on that.


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Opening Day Will Be A Sell-Out, But What About The Other 80 Games? Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:13:09 +0000 opening day ceremonies

2013 Opening Day Was A Sell-Out

The Mets expect to make it 16 straight sold-out home openers when they start the 2014 season against the Nationals on Monday at Citi Field, the Mets told Newsday.

“The game will definitely sell out,” said Lou DePaoli, the Mets’ executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “We are pacing significantly ahead of last year. As of right now, there are roughly less than a thousand seats available. We’re going to be opening standing room only.

“Overall, our Opening Day sales are way ahead of what they were last year. You’ve got to think the fact that maybe people have been cooped up a little bit and want to get out, they’re excited to get back outside.”

The Mets announced a sellout of 41,053 last season when the Yankees opened at home on the same day. Selling out on Opening Day does not portend record crowds all season. However, the park was peppered with many pockets of empty seats

The Mets had their fifth consecutive losing season in 2013, finishing with a 74-88 record. Their attendance came in at 2,135,657 which was the team’s lowest home attendance since 1997 at Shea Stadium.

According to, the team’s average attendance last season was 26,366, ranking 13th out of 15 in the National League.

“We’re expecting attendance to go up slightly versus last year,” DePaoli said. “We are on pace to get to those numbers.”

The Mets are forever adding new promotions and employing several different marketing strategies all in an attempt to turn these attendance numbers around.

I sometimes wonder if they even understand that the only tried and true marketing strategy geared at increasing attendance still is, and always will be, winning.

Bringing 50 Cent or Air Supply to the park to sing a set of ten songs after you get your brains bashed in by the Braves or Marlins isn’t the answer.

A true 90 win season is.

Until that happens, an increasing number of fans will continue to watch from home.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but that’s just the reality of the situation.

Presented By Diehards

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How Does Chris Young Fit the Mets Plan? Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:27:12 +0000 chris young

The Chris Young signing is what I call a Hot Stove Head-Scratcher. Try as I might to understand the move, signing Young to a contract worth more than $7 million dollars simply doesn’t make sense.

My litmus test for a free agent signing involves two basic questions. First, is there a reasonable expectation the free agent signed can help solidify a field position or a role on the pitching staff in the upcoming season?

Second, if the first question is answered affirmatively, will the signed free agent play an important future role on your baseball team? A good free agent signing gets a yes to both queries.

Now consider the signing of Chris Young. Analyzing Chris Young’s career curve the downward trajectory makes it difficult to predict Young will solidify an outfield position at Citi Field this summer. It’s been seven years since Young blasted over 30 home runs in a baseball season, four since his HR total topped 25 and he did those playing in a bandbox.

Young’s batting average and on-base-percentage have slipped dramatically since 2010. One argument explaining the downward offensive direction of Young’s career is that the outfielder has not been a day-to-day player in a major league outfield. The fact Young was part of a platoon last season, was more the consequence of diminished outputs as a regular than an organizational strategy to employ a platoon.

For a moment, let’s assume Young returns to his one time prowess and hits 25 home runs and knocks home 90 plus RBI’s at Citi Field this summer. Even with such impressive outputs, Young will not play an important future role for the Mets. Young will become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season. A blazing bounce back season will drive his value beyond what the Mets are willing to commit. And, if Young’s current downward spiral continues, the Mets will simply cut him loose at the end of the year. Even under the best of circumstances, it is highly unlikely Chris Young will play for the Mets in 2015.

All that, and the fact the time Young spends on the baseball diamond steals valuable innings from future Met outfield star Juan Lagares, makes signing Young a real head scratcher. Lagares is still developing as a hitter and is part of a promising Mets future.

I’ve heard Ron Darling refer to Lagares yesterday as en ‘eyeball player’ – the type of player you simply can’t take your eyeballs off of when he’s on a baseball field. The ‘eyeball player’ label is especially the case when Lagares patrols centerfield for the Mets. Lagares’ incredible outfield play had one baseball analysis website calling him the 65th highest valued position player in the major leagues. Why wouldn’t you want this guy seeing as much time in the batting order as possible?

Kevin Burkhardt also said yesterday that if Juan Lagares wasn’t playing everyday you really have to start questioning the decision-making process behind that. “He saves the team a run almost every game.”

By the way, Darling’s ‘eyeball player’ label describes two other outfielders in the Mets system; Matt den Decker and Cesar Puello. Both future Met outfielders are having great Springs and command your full attention. That makes the Chris Young signing even more confusing.

Finally, signing Young at over $7 million dollars for a single year, took valuable resources off the board, resources that could have been used to shore up our roster at shortstop, a position our own management publicly confirmed needed an upgrade at the start of the Hot Stove season.

Agree or disagree?

(Photo: Brad Barr, USATSI)

Presented By Diehards

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The Matt Harvey Non-Story Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:22:08 +0000 matt harvey teresa

On Sunday, I read this excellent article by Kevin Kernan of the New York Post who says it’s not easy to silence a strong personality like Matt Harvey.

Harvey still believes he will pitch in 2014 for the Mets even though he deleted his tweet that Harvey Day would return in 2014.

I don’t see anything wrong with a player keeping a positive perspective on his own rehab and sharing that message with his followers on social media. That’s exactly what outlets like Twitter and Facebook are for.

Kernan reports that the Mets have told Harvey they do not want him doing individual interviews anymore and that he will only be allowed to group interviews so that the team can control the message.

He also shares an exchange he had with Harvey this weekend:

When I saw Harvey in the clubhouse Sunday I said to him, “So you’ve been shut down verbally, too.’’

He smiled and said, “Apparently.’’

I think it was “small ball” by the Amazins’ if Harvey had to delete his tweet at the urging of the Mets. I mean come on…

Slightly off-topic, but I also read a post on MetsBlog by Matt Cerrone this afternoon: 

I’ve heard from more than one person in the clubhouse that Harvey was very insulted and dejected by having his locker moved from being around the big-league players in to the way back of the room. I remember being confused when I got to St. Lucie and looked around the room to see where his stuff was, only to be told he was in the corner by the showers. I don’t blame him for being embarrassed. I was embarrassed for him. I hope this only motivates him more than he already is. My first thought when I saw the location of his locker was: This is ridiculous, I hope he comes back and goes 30-0 next year. Imagine how he feels…

Lastly, let’s be honest, there is a decent chance his recovery ends up being more interesting in September than anything occurring in Citi Field. They may end up being able to charge more for his minor-league rehab starts than actual games. 

As far as I know, players who are out for the season have always had their lockers moved away from the general population in spring training and during the regular season, so this is nothing new.

Jeremy Hefner also has his locker next to Harvey so this is not a form of Mets punishment or any reason for Harvey, his fans or anyone else to be embarrassed. 

I called Dave Conde, who has been covering the Mets for MMO in St. Lucie, and asked him what he thought. He told me that Harvey was as happy as could be on Sunday and that he saw him joking with Ike Davis by his locker, and mostly hanging out with David Wright who has a community table in front of his locker. “I never saw anything that would suggest Harvey is upset or angry or embarrassed. Harvey was the opposite of all that and seemed happy and thrilled to be there.”

David told me that whenever he enters the clubhouse Harvey is usually seated at that table with Davis and Daniel Murphy – all talking baseball, movies and other stuff with Wright. “There’s a close camaraderie between them.”

In my opinion Harvey is doing nothing wrong.

I do think that the Mets are overreacting a little by trying to control a dominant personality like him, especially his Twitter account.

Let the guy have his fun.

Let the guy think whatever he wants about when he’ll pitch again.

The important thing is that no matter what he says, the Mets will ultimately decide if and when he’ll return this season. That decision lies with the Mets’ medical team and even Matt Harvey knows and understands that.

If Harvey pushes that envelope and is throwing 98 mph fastballs in July and runs off a streak of 30 scoreless innings with 48 strikeouts during rehab games in the minors, I’m sure the discussion changes. But that would be a good thing not a bad. Let’s get there first.


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In Defense Of David Wright Sun, 02 Mar 2014 14:00:28 +0000

(Photo: Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

There has been much debate among Mets fans over David Wright. How will he decline, his contract, and most importantly, how good he still is. They have all been controversial issues.

For many, the home run totals are enough to say Wright is getting worse. In fact, the slight decline in power has been almost the sole reason why Wright is considered by some to be a “shell” of his former self. (Well, that and the ridiculous RBI argument.)

The truth is that in the past two seasons, David Wright has been as good as he’s ever been. The mirage of a decline put forward by critics have only been a result of the new run environments, the lineup that surrounds him, and sample size.

The Effects of Citi Field on Wright’s Power

Home runs have never been the defining aspect of David Wright’s offense. He has always been a well-rounded player who can produce in a variety of ways. However, Wright’s home run totals have come under intense scrutiny the past few years. Per 162 games, Wright averaged 30 home runs from 2005 through 2008. Over the past two seasons, this number has been just 24.

The run environment at Citi Field have been what’s driven his home run total down. Let’s look at his home run totals at home going back to 2005 and the percentage of his yearly total it made up.

home hrs

So far, we see that Wright has seen a drop in his home runs at home. His home run dropped by 50 percent, but he has lost a few home runs per season, which matches up with the percentage pretty well.

Now let’s look at home runs per fly ball. If Wright is hitting more fly balls and getting fewer home runs out of them, that may speak to the dimensions of the ballpark. Let’s look at that number, split for his home games, going back to 2005.

hrfb wright

Again, this justifies the theory that fewer of his fly balls at home are going out of the ballpark.This trend isn’t due to Wright becoming a different type of hitter, either. Wright’s batted ball ratios have each stayed consistent, even in the switch from Citi Field, as the following graph from Fangraphs will show.

FB DWright

(Click for larger image)

Finally, for one last look at the decline in power, we’ll look at Wright’s ISO. For those who don’t know, ISO is the difference between a hitter’s Slugging Percentage and Batting Average. Generally, it gives a good sense of a player’s overall power, and not just exclusively home runs.

ISO DWright

(Click for larger image)

Here, we see a distinct decline in power at home. Wright used to have an ISO at home significantly above his yearly total and yearly road ISO. However, in recent years, specifically since the move to Citi Field, that number has moved below what it is on the road and for the year.

Obviously, Wright’s lesser power numbers can be attributed to the home park, as his power numbers on the road are no different than what they were in 2005 through 2008.

Wright Relative to the League

It’s always necessary to, when analyzing a player, put them in context of the league environment. During David Wright’s early career, he was playing in the back-end of the steroid era, where better hitters were easier to come by and the league averages for most offensive categories were higher. Today, the game is different. Pitching is much more dominant today and offensive numbers are sagging.

Relative to the league, Wright looks just as, and at times, more impressive than he was in those early years. In that first period (’05-’08), Wright’s OPS+ was 141. His OPS+ the past two seasons has been 149. In plain words, he is eight percent better compared to league average now than he was then.* wRC+, a stat that neutralizes some of the problems of On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage (the two most critical parts of OPS+), says roughly the same thing about Wright.

It’s easy to look at Wright’s raw numbers and say that he’s a lesser player than he was years ago, just as it’s easy to say, just by looking at out-of-context statistics, that Barry Bonds was better than Babe Ruth. Context is important, even in this case.

The Absurd RBI Argument

I’ll say it right now: I don’t like the RBI statistic. A traditionalist bread and butter stat, I give it no weight when talking about a player. RBI, just like pitcher’s wins, are so dependent on the team around you that it’s just not worth it. The point of looking at individual statistics is to isolate the production of that one particular player. This statistic, created by a cricket newspaper writer in the late 1800s (still baseball’s infancy), doesn’t do it for me. However, although stats like these are all but completely gone from MLB front offices, many traditionalist and casual fans still use it, and Mets fans especially use it to point to David Wright’s supposed decline.

Yes, Wright’s RBI numbers have declined. This can be attributed to two things: 1) his decrease in power (at home) thanks to the new home dimensions and 2) the team around him just isn’t the same as it used to be.

From 2005 through 2008, Wright was sixth in baseball in runners on with 1845. He “drove in” 18.05 percent of those baserunners. In roughly 40 more games from 2009 through this past season, Wright has had 1859 baserunners on and driven in 15.87 percent. Only in a bigger sample size of games did he reach the same number of baserunners.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not only is the number of baserunners on important, but also how they get on base. In a better offense, Wright had more hitters on second and third base than he has had in recent years. in the earlier period, hitters like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran were hitting and getting on base in front of him, while he hasn’t had quite the same quality hitters in front of him recently.

Sample Size

What’s the easiest way to twist data? For baseball statistics, it’s through sample size. One commentor pointed out that Wright’s average home run total from 2005 through 2008 was 29, while that number has dropped the past few seasons, specifically to 20 the past two seasons. While that’s true, it’s a complete misinterpretation of what has been given.

From 2005 through 2008, Wright averaged 158 games played. The past two years, he’s averaged 134. Neutralizing the difference in sample size would bring Wright to around 24 home runs, give or take one or two. That drop remains consistent with what we’ve explored so far.

Sample sizes are relevant for all the topics discussed and the idea is probably one of the most important things when it comes to evaluating Wright. His totals are lower, but they can not only be shown to be mostly out of his control, but those lower totals and averages shoved in the faces of Mets fans by his critics are often misconstrued by the fact that he has missed significant time due to injury recently.

*   *   *

If anything, Wright has been shaped into a different hitter than he was years ago. He hits for less power but his defense may be better than ever. His numbers have changed due to a number of things that he has very little control over.

To expect Wright to still post the same numbers despite all these obstacles (which effect almost every baseball player) is just irresponsible and completely ignorant of how baseball statistics are shaped jointly by both the player and the situation.

*OPS+ Explanation (written by me)

wRC+ (Fangraphs)

Follow me on Twitter @UpAlongFirst

Presented By Diehards

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Sharknado 2 Filming At Citi Field Today Wed, 26 Feb 2014 18:26:49 +0000 022614Sharknado2CitiFieldBZ


Something fishy is going on in Flushing.

Filming for the  Sharknado 2, is going on today at Citi Field. Scenes for the sequel to the Horror B-movie, which will take place in New York, were shot in the streets on Manhattan last week.

The film, set to come out this July, includes stars such as Tara Reid, Vivicia A. Fox, Ian Ziering, Kelly Osbourne, Mark McGrath, and Andy Dick.

Like the first installment, Sharknado 2 will not hit theaters, and will instead debut on the SyFy Channel.

Let’s hope there are no sharks in the forecast when the Mets play the Nationals come March 31.


(Photo Taken By Brian Zak, New York Post)

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Mets Are Locked and Loaded and Headed For PSL Thu, 06 Feb 2014 15:44:10 +0000 9 days

This might have been the longest offseason I can remember. Yes, all offseasons are basically the same in length, but this one just seems to go on and on. Maybe it was the daily Ike Davis trade rumors that never amounted to anything, only to be replaced by the Stephen Drew rumors that still wage on. Or maybe it’s this damn weather that doesn’t want us to forget it’s still Winter. Whatever the case may be, we are now into single digits. No, not the temperatures outside, I’m talking about the countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting.

Here are the official dates you need to know:

Pitchers and Catchers Report – Feb. 15

First Workout – Feb. 16

Position Players Report – Feb. 20

First Full Workout – Feb. 21

The Mets have been busy on Twitter and have posted the following picture to warm you up:

mets psl spring training 2014

We’re packed & headed to Florida.

citi field vs tradition field

Citi Field vs. Tradition Field

Here’s a cool article on Mets Equipment Manager Kevin Kierst whose job it is to make sure about 60 players and 20 coaches have everything they need to have a successful spring training.

Among a hoard of other things, he’ll be packing and unloading 800 towels, 600 baseball caps, 500 T-shirts, 400 sweatshirts, 300 pairs of shorts and pants, and 200 jackets. Have fun with that. :-)

The Mets will play two spring training games in Las Vegas against the Cubs March 15 and 16, and Adam Rubin says that the team will have both David Wright and Terry Collins on hand, but most of the expected regulars will not make the trip.

It’s a slow news day, or should I say days? But you’ve come to the right place as we have several new features and original articles scheduled for this morning and afternoon and I hope you enjoy them.

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0 Lies, Lies and More Damned Lies Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:25:59 +0000 wilpon katz

1. It’s All In The Rearview Mirror

“It’s all in the rearview mirror,” Wilpon said about past financial woes last year as the 2013 spring training started, “The family is in great shape. The family really is in great shape. There’s no one in my family — there’s the Katz family, the Wilpon family, kids has any personal bank debt. Zero. Everything has been paid. We don’t owe a dollar to anybody. We have mortgages on buildings and stuff like that, but we don’t owe a dollar.”

The vast majority of people who Madoff scammed were financially devastated by his crimes, and didn’t get off as well. They lost retirement accounts, houses, everything. Some who lost the most were very close personal friends of the Wilpons, who they introduced to Madoff. Sandy Koufax, for one.

Here’s the rub. Wilpon will cry Madoff when convenient but leaves out the part that they have virtually shielded themselves from any Madoff effect by passing through the debt away from them personally when it also suits them. Wilpon also conveniently leaves out the part about taking $700 million in allegedly fraudulent transfers of principal from his Madoff accounts to help secure this personal burden.

Then there’s the $300 million in allegedly fictitious profits that kept the Mets afloat. Say what you will about clawbacks and what not, and dance around the fact that the Wilpons agreed to pay a small portion of that back, but the court records apparently showed the entirety of these withdrawals and payments were in fact made. Where did it all go? I don’t know about you, but I am relieved his family is totally debt free. Helps me sleep better at night. That is, when I’m not worrying about paying my own bills. The Mets, not so much. There is nothing but mountains of debt up ahead.


2. Because We Can Do It

“Everything that was in the past — you guys saw the pain we went through — is gone,” Wilpon said in February 2013, “the payroll will be commensurate with anything we’ve ever done, because we can do it.”

Well, except for the part that he had signed away his control over expanding the payroll to the banks, which is entirely despicable by itself. At any rate, no such payroll increase has yet to materialize, just a kind of con man’s math. Take away, put back less, and call it a net gain. But I feel his pain. Yes, I do.

3. Make Sure That The Banks Got Paid Off All Of The Debt

It wasn’t as people had written, the reason,” Wilpon said last year, denying that the reason payroll was slashed was because of the Madoff situation. “It was a balance there. Because we had to make sure that the banks got paid off all of the debt.”

Really? Banks all paid off? Then why the lockstep celebration by some Mets fans that you just got re-financing on old debt that you were unable to pay? Here’s the reality. The franchise remains leveraged to the brink of critical mass. This new restructuring only pushed the balloon payment out 7 years. There’s several hundred million dollars of debt still attached to the club, plus the refinancing of the SNY network — said to be in excess of $700 million — and the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt on Citi Field. Even the bonds issued to finance the stadium have been rated “junk status” by Standard & Poor’s.

There are those analysts who think when you factor the net present value of those payments as debt, there is no equity value left in the Mets.


4. I’ll Take Them At Their Word

Commissioner Selig in 2012, showing that he’s pretty skilled at double talk and enabling himself, when asked after an owner’s meeting about the financial situation of the Mets and whether the Mets had the resources to field a competitive team, revealed this:

“They (the Wilpons) said they do and I think they do. It just depends. It’s interesting how you rebuild or how you do things. Spending money doesn’t guarantee anybody anything. I want to be very careful here. As far as the Mets are concerned, I know they’re very comfortable where they are and they’re very optimistic. I’ll take them at their word.”

Why not? They’re pretty up front and transparent kind of guys, after all. Here’s the thing, though, and Selig knew this was true at the time he gave his blessings. Rarely enforced and easily manipulated, MLB has a rule that prohibits teams from operating at debt levels greater than ten times operating income. Selig already knew that the Mets and their debt-to-value ratio of 60% not only exceeded the standard, but put it in a more tenuous position than the Dodgers at the time who had a 54% debt-to-value ratio.

Like McCourt in LA who ransacked the Dodgers and depleted revenue from the operating capital for his own gain at the detriment of the LA Dodgers, how is what Wilpon has done with his debt any different? Before anyone cries that teams are not a public trust, and therefore can do anything they want with the team’s revenue, think about what happened to McCourt.

McCourt was run out of baseball by the commissioner, another Wilpon buddy from the old days, who relies on owners to back his initiatives and, well, pay his salary. New owners stepped in, who actually had the financial resources required to run a major league team, and McCourt, who had treated the team as his own piggy bank and brought it to its knees (sound familiar?) then makes a fortune in the sale. You can just hear McCourt gloating about the financial solvency of his family, can’t you? Why hasn’t the commissioner stepped in here and for the sake of the game put an end to the ownership of this franchise who can’t legitimately operate a major market baseball team — in fact, never has been able to run this team without leveraging the fraudulent activities of Madoff and his fairy tale returns almost from the start? Asked and answered.

wilpon alderson

5. He Does Not Have Restrictions

“He’ll have all the opportunity in the world to bring anybody he wants in,” team COO Jeff Wilpon said on 2011, referring to Sandy Alderson and his payroll, “The way for him to do that is to bring the ideas to us and we’ll talk about it. But he does not have restrictions. We’ll deal with everything on a case-by-case basis.”

Apparently deceitful double talk is genetic. We now know for a fact that there were payroll restrictions, a bank induced salary cap. When the news just broke that the Wilpons had restructured $250 million in debt and that, this time, the loan didn’t include payroll restrictions included in the agreement, even the hardened and the cynical had to be shocked.

Anything goes, I guess, especially when you are drowning in debt. Even if it meant running the organization into the ground, which it has. And so began the Wilpon’s convenient embrace of lowering payrolls as a testament to baseball purity, and farm system team building worship — with Sandy Alderson playing the part of the hometown sheriff coming to clean up the wild west. Only problem, who are the bad guys, and who are the good guys?

It’s one thing to have the Mets organization not be able to sustain itself because of bad contracts and when lack of winning causes revenues to drop to where it impacts the actual operation of the team. This austerity and payroll reducing and refocusing on the farm system because that’s a more pure and fundamentally sound way to build a baseball team has been nothing more than a deliberate charade to cover up the ultimate distribution of the money — back into the Wilpon’s teetering empire. Its nothing more than a pickpocket’s diversion. But, hey, have a heart. Whose going to gentrify Willet’s Point if the Wilpon’s don’t?

In the financial world, people go to prison based on the truthfulness of what they say, or don’t say publicly — especially when financial gain is tied in, or manipulation for financial gain is the intent (sort of like pumping up the team with lies to sell more tickets … to pay more debt down that has nothing whatsoever to do with the baseball team itself, which is not illegal in this case, just slimy).

While many losing teams have been turned into winners in less than three years, the GM can be patient and detached as he ‘rebuilds’ the farm system with high school players, because fielding a competitive major league baseball team befitting a major market isn’t even the primary goal. Anyone who thinks that this ownership will be able to potentially pay Harvey (assuming a return to glory) a contract in line with the $215 million paid to Kershaw, which is what it will take and which will happen before this just restructured balloon payment of $250 million comes due, is in need of longterm psychiatric therapy.


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Episode 2014: A New Hope Tue, 28 Jan 2014 16:44:26 +0000 star_wars

Simply because I’m a geek – I’ll let my inner Star Wars express my feelings about the team’s outlook from one year ago compared to today…

A long time ago at a Citi Field far, far away…


I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Sorry about the mess.

That… Is why you fail.

Well, you said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake…

If you’re saying that coming here was a bad idea, I’m starting to agree with you.

And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.

What have you done? I’m BACKWARDS!

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

I’d just as soon kiss a wookie.

If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re at the planet that it’s farthest from.

No reward is worth this.

Until this battle station is fully operational, we are vulnerable.

Now let’s blow this thing and go home.

star wars cast force

But as 2013 turns to 2014, there is something we haven’t felt in a very long time…. a new hope…


Ben! I can be a Jedi! Ben! Tell him I’m ready!


My ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Its energy surrounds us.

The Force is strong with this one.

Do or do not. There is no try.

He certainly has courage.

Never tell me the odds!

You must unlearn what you have learned.

You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark.

Clear your mind of questions.

We shall double our efforts.

I see you have constructed a new light saber. Your skills are complete. Indeed you are as powerful as the Emperor has foreseen.

Presented By Diehards

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Where’s Our Tom Seaver Statue? Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:00:37 +0000 Is there anything better than going to your hometown ballpark and seeing all those bronze statues of iconic players or managers who meant so much to the team and more importantly, to the fans?

Back in 2009, during the inaugural season at Citi Field, there was an uproar among the fan base because many of us believed that our new home park was not Metsmerized enough.

Eventually, our pleas led to many changes and additions to Citi Field that better represented our team’s rich history and recognized many of our beloved players and managers.

The Mets Museum also opened a year later and it has been embraced by all fans. Additionally, even the outfield walls would go from a dismal black to a royal blue. Citi Field was beginning to feel like home…

However, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to see was a bronze statue or two that would honor Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges in a similar way that other NL East teams honor their all time greats.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous sculptures you’ll find just in the NL East…

Mike Schmidt at Citizens Bank Park

Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park

Robin Roberts at Citizens Bank Park

Josh Gibson at Nationals Park

Walter Johnson at Nationals Park

Frank Howard at Nationals Park

Hank Aaron at Turner Field

Ty Cobb at Turner Field

Phil Niekro at Turner Field

Warren Spahn at Turner Field

Isn’t it sad, that we have no such monumental testaments to any of our own iconic Mets at Citi Field?

Wouldn’t it be a great to park your car in one of the lots at Citi, or get off the 7 Train and onto the walkway, and then be greeted by a beautiful statue of Tom Seaver firing a fastball, Casey Stengel in his rumpled Mets uniform with outstretched arms, or Gil Hodges and that quiet look of his holding a lineup card?

It would be awesome if the Mets owners can make this happen.

Presented By Diehards

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2013 New York Mets: The Uniforms Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:23:47 +0000 So while I was sitting at wor… um somewhere, it dawned on me that we are now past the halfway point of the offseason. I was thinking about something interesting to write about.  Seems as though the rest of the staff here at MMO has all the Mets news and rumors covered, so I decided to take a look back at the 2013 season.


Now I know nobody really wants to go back and bring up sour memories of a fifth straight losing season, but I figured I needed to do something with my time so what better way to spend it.

I decided to go back and look at every win from 2013 and come up with some interesting nontraditional tidbits from the season that was. Lucky for me there were only 74 of them, so it wasn’t going to take days to do.  Ok so that will be my only dig.

I could have mentioned that in 2013 Dillon Gee led the team in wins (12), David Wright led the team in homers (18), etc… but what fun would that be.  Those are things that anybody could look up and figure out.  I needed to find something that would take me hours to kill the clock.  Things that nobody would really know.  I guess things that nobody should really know.  As with most people, my brain is filled with so many useless things anyway so how bad could it be to add more to it?

So where to begin?

By using any type of search engine on the internet you can find out that the Mets finished the 2013 season with a home record of 33-48.  Obviously that is not what any fan wants to see out of their favorite team, but it is something we are going to have to live with.  A suggestion to improve on that record might be to limit the amount of uniform combinations. For their 33 wins at home last season, the Mets trotted out 6 different uniform combinations.

wright high five opening day

16 wins – Pinstripe uniforms with the regular blue and orange cap

7 wins – White uniform with the regular blue and orange cap

7 wins – New blue jersey with alternate blue cap with orange brim and white border around the “NY”

1 win – Pinstripe uniform with camouflage “Mets” and hat worn on Memorial Day

1 win – White uniform with the alternate blue cap

1 win – New blue jersey with regular blue cap

Almost half of the home wins from 2013 were when the Mets wore the pinstripes.  If numbers are so important when deciding what player to sign or trade for, why aren’t these numbers considered when deciding what to wear on the field?  One thing that I have grown tired of over the last 5-10 years has to be the amount of different uniforms teams use. Pick one for home games and one for away games and stick with it.

The Mets were a better road team in 2013 finishing one game above .500 with a record of 41-40.  If only more games could have been played on the road.  What fun would that be though?  In the 41 wins, the Mets only wore two different uniform combinations.

MLB: New York Mets at Minnesota Twins

26 wins – Gray road uniforms with regular blue and orange cap

15 wins – New blue road jersey with regular blue and orange cap

It seems clear what the uniform choices should be for the Mets in 2014.  I do have to say that I am a fan of the blue jerseys but if we have any chance at competing using my numbers, the Mets should stick with pinstripes at home and gray on the road.  Whether that actually plays a factor into their success remains to be seen but on paper it is a no brainer.

This isn’t where it ends.  I spent more time doing other useless research that will be unveiled periodically throughout the remainder of the offseason so stay tuned.

Presented By Diehards

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Alderson Reiterates That Tejada May Start At Shortstop Next Season Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:43:17 +0000 ruben tejadaLast week, in his conference call to announce the Chris Young signing, Sandy Alderson said it was conceivable that Ruben Tejada could be the opening day shortstop.

He said he had reached out to teams about trading for a shortstop, but that the market was very thin even before the Cards signed Peralta.

After arriving to the Winter Meetings last night, Sandy reiterated to reporters that he will likely go with Tejada at short next season.

“Depending how things materialize, we may live with certain weaknesses,” Alderson said. “For example, we could come out of these meetings with Tejada as our regular shortstop. Worse things could happen to us, certainly.”

Incidentally, Tejada is doing great since recovering from a broken fibula and is now working out without any limitations. The team has said they are impressed with his results and his work ethic.

Honestly, as some of you know, I don’t have a problem with Tejada at shortstop although I’d much prefer him at second base where he is infinitely better defensively.

At 23-years old, Tejada deserves a shot to put last season behind him and try to rediscover his stroke and possibly become very productive once again. I’m not buying that he’s washed up at his age. He is one season removed from tens of thousands of Met fans cheering for him and chanting “Jose who?” at Citi Field. Right?

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Fan Shot: How Granderson’s Power Plays In Citi Field Sat, 07 Dec 2013 15:36:04 +0000 Curtis+Granderson

Hey Joe D…

I just checked out the ESPN Home Run Tracker and wanted to share images of Curtis Granderson’s home run spray charts for 2011 and 2012 and also share some additional four-year data for our new corner outfielder. I could’ve probably gone back further, but I thought four years were more than enough to get a good sampling of how Granderson’s home run power would play at Citi Field. Here is what I found:

  • In the four years ranging from 2010 to 2013, Granderson has hit 115 Home Runs.
  • Of his 115 homers, by my count, 98 of them were pulled.
  • Twenty percent or 23 of his 115 homers were “just enough”. Defined as the “ball cleared the fence by less than 10 vertical feet, OR that it landed less than one fence height past the fence.” These are the home runs that barely made it over the fence.
  • A healthy 36 of the 115 (31%) were “no doubters”. Defined as the ball “cleared the fence by at least 20 vertical feet AND landed at least 50 feet past the fence”. These are the really deep blasts.
  • The remaining 56 or nearly 49% were of the “plenty” variety. Which is everything else.

Additionally, and more importantly, these two notes…

  • Of the 17 non-pulled home runs, only one would have not been out of Citi Field. That’s 16 of 17 opposite field blasts that would have cleared the fences at Citi Field.
  • Finally, out of all those 115 total home runs, 103 would have been out of Citi Field. That’s 90 percent of them. It averages to three fewer home runs per season over his last four years.

Here are the scatter plots for his 2011-2012 homers with Citi Field overlaid.

grandy 2011 hr citi

grandy 2012 hr citi

For the record, ESPN’s was a lot of fun to check out. Hope you get a chance to look it over.

Keep up the great job with the site. Hopefully the offseason has just started, and not ended, for the Mets.

* * * * * * * *

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

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