Mets Merized Online » cy young award Mon, 08 Feb 2016 04:41:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot Features 17 New Names Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:30:49 +0000 John Preston Hill, Baseball Hall of Fame

The 2015 Hall of Fame ballot was released today featuring 34 players, including 17 holdovers and 17 newcomers. Voting results will be announced on January 6.

The new candidates on the ballot include Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, along with sluggers Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield, two-time batting champion Nomar Garciaparra and closer Troy Percival.

Other first-time candidates include: Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt.

The 17 holdover candidates (with their 2014 election percentages) are: Craig Biggio (74.8%), Mike Piazza (62.2%), Jeff Bagwell (54.3%), Tim Raines (46.1%), Roger Clemens (35.4%), Barry Bonds (34.7%), Lee Smith (29.9%), Curt Schilling (29.2%), Edgar Martinez (25.2%), Alan Trammell (20.8%), Mike Mussina (20.3%), Jeff Kent (15.2%), Fred McGriff (11.7%), Mark McGwire (11.0%), Larry Walker (10.2%), Don Mattingly (8.2%) and Sammy Sosa (7.2%).

There’s a good chance that Piazza can get voted in this time. One voter, Ron Chimelis says he is ready to cast his ballot for Piazza.

“I could keep voting against him while secretly hoping he reaches the needed 75 percent for election. That would get me off the hook without compromising my principles. But I have reached the point where I feel I am stalling. My ambivalent, wait-till-next-year approach to Piazza is the coward’s way out.”


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Jacob deGrom Will Be Shut Down, Won’t Make Final Start Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:54:54 +0000 jacob degromESPN’s Adam Rubin is reporting that Jacob deGrom will be shut down for the season and will not make his final start against the Astros. An organizational source reported the news to Rubin and it appears deGrom’s pursuit of the National Leagues Rookie of the Year Award will end with 22 starts and a brilliant 2.63 ERA. His final record for the 2014 season is 9-6. He pitched 178 2/3 innings between the major and minor leagues, 31 innings more than last season.

A Mets insider told Rubin that “There just doesn’t seem to be much upside in pitching him one more time.”

Rafael Montero is expected to start in deGrom’s place.

Billy Hamilton was the guy running in stride with deGrom until the end of July. Since July 8th, deGrom’s 1.79 ERA ranks 2nd in the NL to Clayton Kershaw who is likely on his was to winning the Cy Young Award and MVP simultaneously.

Since July 8th, Hamilton on the other hand has hit just .226 with 13 extra base hits and 21 stolen bases. When you look at the two players you come to one conclusion. deGrom is something special and he’s done things this year that haven’t been done in decades. Hamilton on the other hand is a solid player who’s very fast.

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Viola Looking Forward To Coaching Top Pitching Prospects In Vegas Wed, 19 Feb 2014 22:47:59 +0000 Las Vegas 51′s new pitching coach Frank Viola spoke to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY and explained how he understands the responsibility and pressure he will face coaching a lineup that may include Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom and Jenrry Mejia.


Viola shared a little humor with Rubin about the upcoming season in Vegas, “It could be the quickest firing of a pitching coach ever.” Viola continued, “The talent there that we’re going to have is going to be incredible. So it’s going to be really a lot of fun.”

“And the good part is, of the guys that could possibly end up there, I’ve had at least half of them at the lower levels. I’m familiar with them.”

Viola spent the majority of his playing career pitching for the Minnesota Twins, an organization he is still very active with, and won the 1988 Cy Young Award with them. He later went on to spend three seasons with the Mets from 1989-1991, before eventually retiring in 1996.

“But I grew up a Mets fan,” Viola, a Long Island native, told Rubin.

After his retirement, Viola stayed out of baseball, except for coaching a Florida high school team and a summer collegiate league. Eventually, he applied for a position with the Mets in Orlando, where he currently lives. He was hired as the Brooklyn Cyclones hitting coach, and later served the same role for low-A Savannah for the past two seasons.

viola“When I got back into it four years ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Viola told Rubin. “I didn’t even know if I wanted to be a major-league pitching coach. But the way it played out, I have found that I have a great rapport with young players. You get that little window of an opportunity. I had a big-enough name that when they Google me, they realize I do have something to say if they’re willing to listen. It’s just letting them know that you’re in it for them.”

“My career is over. It’s done with. I’m here because I want to see these kids get to the big leagues. And once they realize you really, genuinely care, that’s when they’ll listen.”

“Whether a big-league gig is down the line or not, we’ll play it out and see what happens. But I’m very content and happy being in this organization and seeing the strides it’s making,” adds Viola.

Steven Matz spoke with MMO back in October and shared his opinion of Viola, “Having Frank Viola as my pitching coach this year was a true blessing. Having a 15 or 16 year big league career, he has seen it all. He really knows how to optimize a pitching staff. He knew what each of us were capable of and he didn’t let us do any less. And it showed.”

That is just one of the many prospects that Viola has made a major impact in their development and this coming season will be another big year for the Mets pitching prospects. Viola has done well in the lower ranks, and his experience should make him a good fit to foster many more of these young men and prepare them for the big leagues.

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Travis d’Arnaud Named MLB’s Top Catching Prospect Fri, 17 Jan 2014 04:05:57 +0000 travis-d'arnaud named Travis d’Arnaud of the New York Mets their Number One ranked catching prospect today, edging out Austin Hedges of the San Diego Padres.

Travis d’Arnaud, Mets: If it hadn’t been for injuries, d’Arnaud would be off this list. Despite missing time with a knee injury in 2012 and a broken foot in ’13, he made his Major League debut in August. Traded twice for Cy Young Award winners, he is ready for a full-time gig in the big leagues. The 24-year-old has the chance to be an outstanding offensive player with the ability to hit for average and power. He’s not a slouch behind the plate, either, with more than enough catch-and-throw skills to be an everyday player. All d’Arnaud needs is health, because he has the skill set to be one of the best all-around catchers in the National League.

D’Arnaud received high marks from the scouts who graded him a 60 Overall on the Scouting Scale.

Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

The Mets’ starting catcher in 2014, also got a 60 in Power as well as 55 in Hitting, Throwing and Fielding.

D’Arnaud wasn’t the only Mets catcher to get recognized by MLB Pipeline as Kevin Plawecki just missed the Top 10 and got a well deserved honorable mention.

“Plawecki earned a promotion during his first full season in the Mets organization, showing a knack for hitting for average and getting on base at both stops.”

“If he displays a little more power and continues to prove to people that he can stay behind the plate despite his big frame, he could be a big league regular someday.”

It’s great to see both of our top catching prospects reap such recognition, something which has been very rare to see for Mets position players. Maybe this is a sign that things are moving in the right direction for the organization.

(Hat tip to kw_all for the link)

Presented By Diehards


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Roy Halladay Announces Retirement Mon, 09 Dec 2013 16:05:01 +0000 roy halladay

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, veteran starter Roy Halladay has announced his retirement. He will sign a one-day contract with Toronto, so he can retire as a Blue Jay.

Halladay made only 13 starts for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2013 and underwent shoulder surgery in May to repair a torn labrum and repair a rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

The 36-year old two-time Cy Young Award winner had a brilliant career that included eight All-Star games and tossing a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds in October of 2010.

He finishes his career with a 203-105 record good for a .659 winning percentage, and 3.38 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 390 career starts.

Congratulations, Doc… You were one of the all-time greats…

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Going Out In Style: Johan Santana Issues Statement To Thank Met Fans Fri, 01 Nov 2013 23:15:19 +0000 johan santana

After the Mets officially declined the 2014 option on Johan Santana earlier today, the veteran lefthander issued the following statement to the team and the fans…

“I want to thank the Mets organization, my teammates and of course give a big thank you to the Mets fans, who have been behind me from day one and stood by me through all the good and bad.”

“I am not sure what the future holds, as this is all new to me, but I have every intention of pitching in 2014 and beyond and I am certainly keeping all my options open. BELIEVE IT.”

After undergoing surgery in April to repair a tear in the anterior capsule of his left shoulder, Johan Santana has begun a throwing program and is making great progress toward his return to pitching in games.

Last week, Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger reported that Santana’s agent, Chris Leible, said a return to the Mets isn’t out of the question for the Mets’ southpaw, but the two sides still haven’t spoken.

General manager Sandy Alderson sounded open to bringing back the two-time Cy Young Award winner during an appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN radio. ”I think that’s a possibility,” Alderson said.

Santana, 34, appeared in 109 games during his Mets tenure and went 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA while tossing the first no-hitter in franchise history.

While Johan has likely pitched his last game in a Met uniform, his impact on the franchise cannot be understated and we at MMO have a message for him…



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Mets and Johan Santana Are Likely To Part Ways Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:48:20 +0000 Johan Santana

After undergoing surgery in April to repair a tear in the anterior capsule of his left shoulder, Johan Santana has begun a throwing program and is making great progress toward his return to pitching in games.

Last week, Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger reported that Santana’s agent, Chris Leible, said a return to the Mets isn’t out of the question for the Mets’ southpaw, but the two sides still haven’t spoken.

“He’s not putting pressure on himself,” Leible said. “It’s not intense. He just started throwing. But it’s a big step and he expects to be ready for spring training.”

General manager Sandy Alderson sounded open to bringing back the two-time Cy Young Award winner during an appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN radio.

“I think that’s a possibility,” Alderson said. “I don’t really know what Johan’s thinking. We’ll talk to him, I’m sure, over the next couple of weeks, but I think he wants to pitch. We’ll just have to see what the market is for these guys, and how much of our resources we want to allocate to somebody coming off injury, or somebody you hope was able to pitch for you at a higher level.”

However, Andy Martino of the Daily News is reporting this morning, that the Mets and Santana are very likely to part ways according to what a team insider told him.

The Mets would not count on Santana, who has undergone major shoulder surgery twice since 2010, as the mid-rotation help they seek in the aftermath of Matt Harvey’s torn UCL. If they signed him, it would be more in the model of Chris Young and Shaun Marcum in recent years — rehabbing guys who might or might not be able to help.

It seems to me that both sides are ready to move on.  When I said that to one team source, the person said, “that’s probably fair, but it’s premature to say never.”

Santana is still under contract with the Mets, though only for a few more weeks. The Mets will soon exercise the $5.5-million buyout on the rest of his contract, rather than pay him his $25 million team option for 2014.

Santana, 34, appeared in 109 games during his Mets tenure and went 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA while tossing the first no-hitter in franchise history.

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2013 Season Review: Matt Harvey, RHP Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:38:21 +0000 matt harvey



The Mets were patient in bringing up Matt Harvey last year and it paid off. After making a splash with 10 mostly eye opening starts and leaving a strong impression with his poise and command, it was anticipated Harvey would take the next step and become a solid starter in the rotation. Harvey outpitched his experience and numbers with an ability to mix his pitches and throw breaking pitches in fastball counts. Never mind Harvey’s 3-5 record in 2012, but instead look at his 2.73 ERA and 70 to 26 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. Harvey had a dominant 10.6 strikeouts per-nine-innings average. Those 70 strikeouts came in 59.1 innings, which screams domination. With Johan Santana out, the Mets hoped Harvey would step into the No. 2 role in the rotation behind Jon Niese. When the season began the Mets did not have an innings limit on Harvey as the Washington Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg. However, that changed as the season progressed, and perhaps it was too late.




After winning his first five decisions and seven of eight, Harvey had the world in the palm of his hand. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, showcased on the late-night talk shows and dating a supermodel, with pictures of him on the back pages in the midst of public displays of affection. All that was the result of what he did on the mound, as he overpowered hitters from the beginning and started the All-Star Game. There was talk of him being a Cy Young Award candidate. However, he lost three of his last four decisions and had 12 no-decisions before sustaining a partial ligament tear in his elbow. Harvey complained of tightness in his right forearm prior to the break, of which Terry Collins professed no knowledge. Harvey was truly dominating with 191 strikeouts in 178.1 innings, and walking just 31 with a microscopic 0.93 WHIP and 2.27 ERA.


John Delcos Says:

Harvey eschewed immediate surgery to opt for rest and rehabilitation before starting a throwing program in the hope of being ready for spring training. The Mets hoped Harvey could pitch in the Arizona Fall League as a test, but that is becoming remote. Harvey will be re-examined in late October or early November, and if there’s not sufficient healing in the tear, surgery is still on the table. Harvey is taking a risk that if he doesn’t have surgery, he could further tear the ligament next summer and would miss the rest of next year and 2015 as well. If he has the surgery now he could conceivably be ready next September, which would be important if the Mets are competitive. The way things are progressing it appears Harvey will undergo surgery and the Mets will shop for mid-level veteran innings eater.

Joe D. Says:

The best case scenario for Matt Harvey in 2014, would be a return sometime around mid to late August. I can almost envision the excitement of his return – culminating in a dominating glimpse of the great season to come in 2015. The return of Harvey Day would electrify the fan base and be the perfect tonic going into the offseason and ushering in what we hope will be a run of success for the franchise beginning in 2015. Going into that offseason knowing that Harvey was back and healthy would eliminate the shadow that would be cast if he doesn’t return to make at least 2-3 starts. We need to see him back on the mound. It’s important for his teammates as well as the fans.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “Oh, Sandy” Edition Sun, 01 Sep 2013 15:11:32 +0000 sandy alderson

Sometimes I wonder why I even read some Mets related posts on Facebook or Twitter. If you were to gauge the Mets fan base on the way General Manager, Sandy Alderson has run the team, well you would think that this team was based out of Miami.

Yes, I realize that the lunatic fringe faction of our fan base ( a small  – yet loud minority) will never be satisfied with Alderson until this team finally turns things around and starts winning more than it loses. They are unhappy when Alderson doesn’t spend money… Although those among us who are remotely sane understand that is the burden of Mets’ ownership who either willingly or unknowingly (depending on whose accounts you believe) lost a ton of dough in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Alderson got eviscerated when he finally did sign a player to a big money multi-year  contract… Yes… it was Frank Francisco… And yes… we know he made Bobby Bonilla look good by comparison… But at least Alderson did try to fill a need by signing a proven closer … who ended up failing.

But lets take a look at some of Alderson’s other successes which has undeniably put this team in a better position than it was before he took over after the 2010 season. He was able to obtain Zack Wheeler – the San Francisco Giants best pitching prospect for seven weeks of Carlos Beltran – who was about to hit the free agent market at the end of that season and had no compensation picks attached to him.

He was able to trade R.A. Dickey, the 37 year old 2012 Cy Young award winning pitcher as well as roster fillers; Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Toronto Blue Jays, in return for stud catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, minor league pitching phenom Noah Syndergaard, low-level outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra and veteran catcher John Buck.

This past week Alderson was able to repackage Buck along with outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pirates for second base prospect, Dilson Herrera and the recently announced player to be named later in the deal – closing prospect, Vic Black. By the way… Herrera is off to a great start since being traded to the Mets, and has batted .385  with 4 RBIs and a OBP of .438!

Lastly, this past June, Sandy was able to obtain outfielder, Eric Young Jr. from the Colorado Rockies for minor league starting pitcher, Collin McHugh. Since his trade to the Mets, Young has been a catalyst out of the leadoff spot. Am I saying that Young is the answer to the Mets’ outfield needs? No, but he could be an asset off the bench if Alderson isn’t able to find a power bat that this team desperately needs in the offseason.

So here you have it a bunch of god reasons to be happy with Sandy, and I really do believe that this team will be one to reckon with in a very short period of time.

Your thoughts ?

And with that said….


Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

The only Mets coach to be born in Canada, Tom Burgess would have been  86 today (1927).

One time top Mets pitching prospect, David West is 49 (1964).  West was one of the players that was sent over to the Minnesota Twins for one time Cy Young Award winning pitcher, Frank Viola.

Middle reliever from the ’96 season, Derek Wallace is 42 (1971). Wallace appeared in 19 games for the Mets during the ’96 season. He finished the year with a record of 2-3 with 3 saves and a 4.01 E.R.A.

Some other notables:

The  New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Rod Gaspar to the San Diego Padres for middle reliever, Ron Herbel, on September 1, 1970.

The New York Mets traded minor league pitcher, Kyle Kessel to the Detroit Tigers for journeyman reliever, C.J. Nitkowski on September 1, 2001.

The New York Mets signed free agent pitcher, Alay Soler on September 1, 2004. Soler was the Mets first foray into signing a Cuban defector. But as the Mets luck had it, he was a bust , going  2-3 with a 6.00 ERA during the ’06 season. He was released during Spring Training of ’07 and never resurfaced with another team.


Mo Vaughn is slated to open the first ever Fatburger franchise in New York City. The burger joint known for its tasty burgers of beefiness will only be allowed to serve him and his huge appetite!!!

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April Report Cards: Syndergaard Is Only Top 5 Prospect To Earn An “A” Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:09:38 +0000 noah -syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard accomplished two important things on Sunday. He picked up his first win of the season and he pitched seven innings for the first time in his professional career. That according to Jonathan Raymond who got a chance to get up close to the Mets pitching prospect in his last start.

Syndergaard is trying to put that one bad start when he allowed seven runs over three innings completely behind him and he seems to be doing a heck of a job of it too. Since that forgettable outing all he’s done was manage to toss two starts without allowing an earned run. Combined he thrown 13 innings and held the opposition to just eight hits and three walks while striking out 11 of them.

“He really located his fastball really well over both sides of the plate. Kept the ball down and was pretty much in command of all his pitches,” St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan said. “He also had two strikeouts on curveballs and two on changeups, and these are the things we have been working on.

“And he went seven innings. It was an interesting thing, someone mentioned to him it was the first time he went seven innings this year. And he says, “Yeah, it’s the first time in three years, since high school.’”

After Sunday’s performance, Syndergaard has lowered his ERA to a respectable 3.24 ERA while striking out 26 and walking ten in 25 innings pitched this season.

“He’s really coming along well. I think he’s making a lot of strides,” Regan said. “He’s understanding a lot about pitching and he’s just a tremendous kid, soaks up knowledge and wants to learn. I think he’s done exceptionally well for his age and where he’s coming from. He’s not afraid, he goes right after hitters, aggressive on the mound. I think he’s got confidence in himself, and that’s all part of it.”

As we said in our Prospect Spotlight back in February, “Syndergaard is a perfect physical specimen for a pitcher and really looks like he can become a perennial all-star. Although there are some things that come into question – his command at times, his stamina, and as always, furthering the development of his third pitch, there is a lot to love about Noah Syndergaard.”

The seven innings pitched certainly shows positive gains with regard to his stamina, and Regan says that his curveball and change have improved and are becoming effective weapons as his command. That’s exactly what we were hoping for.

“He is aggressive on the mound and stays relatively emotionless,” is what we about said about him in our MMO Top 25 Prospect rankings. We also said:

If Syndergaard makes the move to AA during the 2013 season, I have faith that he will breeze through it. It is important not to put too much pressure or to rush the young prospect, as he represents a new wave of pitching prospects…or a changing of the Gaard. See what I did there? Good.

So far, out of our Top 5 Prospects, Michael Fulmer and Travis d’Arnaud are still on the disabled list, Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores are both trying to figure out the PCL for entirely different reasons, and Syndergaard has looked and played the part so far in the early going.

I know it’s early, but if I were handing out Monthly Report Cards like they did in Catholic School:

Syndergaard Gets an A-

Flores gets a B

Wheeler gets a C+

Fulmer and d’Arnaud get Incompletes.

Just saying…

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MMO Fan Shot: Matt Harvey – The Best Is Yet To Come Wed, 24 Apr 2013 16:46:58 +0000 matt-harvey

It’s now been over seven years since that promising Opening Day in 2006, which was only day one of a season that took the Mets just a big swing away from the National League Championship trophy, and a visit to the World Series. With the exception of a few R.A. Dickey masterpieces, and a special no-hitter, there hasn’t been much cheering in Flushing since that magical run in 2006.

The Metropolitans are a team that has always been known for its pitching, with ace Cy Young winners like Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden leading the pack, career years from David Cone, and the aforementioned Dickey, are just compliments to the team’s rich pitching history. All of those Mets aces brought with them to the stadium every fifth day, great stuff, a great baseball mind, and of course big crowds.

With an ace, comes a crowd. With Matt Harvey, come the masses. He is in a word, phenomenal, and perhaps even more important to Flushing than the wins he brings, is the spirit he brings to the ballpark.

Matt began his pro career as a first round draft pick for the Mets in 2010, but hasn’t always been looked at as the ace type he has recently shown to be. Just last season before he arrived in Queens to play with the big boys, scouts as well as others around the organization, and around the league, had doubted Matt’s ability to be a front end pitcher.

Unlike his early success this season, Matt, although he performed well, did not dazzle as he has thus far in 2013. He finished the 2012 season at 3-5, with a 2.73 ERA; impressive, yet not startling.

Any bit of doubt that had yet to evaporate going into this baseball season, was gone after Harvey’s very first start of the year. If the season were to end today, the Cy Young Award would most definitely be spending a second consecutive year in the Big Apple, and it would say Harvey all over it.

The good doctor, Mr. Dwight Gooden has already given the Mets 24 year old ace his blessing. Gooden tweeted to his 35,000+ followers on twitter Saturday, that the Mets now have “The Real Deal” in town, and Gooden likes what he sees.

Citi Field has a very different aroma on “The Real Deal” days, instead of Amazin’ fans chowing down on some delectable delights during innings, Mets fans are paying close attention to each and every time Harvey serves up one of his out pitch – that devastating high fastball.

The fans rise on each two strike count, and they get behind their, so far, 4-0 ace every time he needs that extra bit of adrenaline from the Citi Field faithful. He is certainly a special player to say the least, and there is absolutely no doubt from anyone in baseball that there is much more from Matt “The Real Deal” Harvey, yet to come.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Michael Feldman. Follow him on Twitter at @michael4ny. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 16,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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No-Han 2.0 and Why Sequels Always Suck Sat, 23 Mar 2013 14:17:30 +0000 godfather-2 pacinoIt’s long been said that sequels are rarely ever as good as the original. It’s an undeniable truth. Of course there are exceptions like The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather: Part Two, but for the most part sequels genuinely suck, to put it bluntly.

No-Han was everything any Met fan could have ever hoped for last season and it surpassed all our expectations. And when it happened there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Some viewers were even passing out in the aisles, while most of them danced and jumped around them.

But the followup to last year’s box-office hit is already looking like a box-office flop and it could cost the team millions.


Two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana is officially going to start the season on the disabled list. Worse yet, it may be months before he makes it back to the Mets rotation. The fact is nobody knows, the only constant is that he currently can’t pitch. (What about that whole WBC thing?)

The Mets announced that Santana continues to experience weakness in his left shoulder and there is no timetable for when he will pitch off a mound again – that’s assuming if he ever does pitch off a mound again. The critics are already weighing in and are giving No-Han 2.0 a resounding two thumbs down each.

His outlook is so bleak that he still is not past the stage of throwing on flat ground at a short distance and even that’s a chore for him.

johan santana“I’ve just got to stay here and work out and get ready,” Santana told reporters Saturday morning.

“I’m making progress. It’s just I don’t know when I’m going to be pitching again.”

I don’t know when I’m going to pitch again? This is more frightening that Friday the 13th – Part 6 only with less gore…

Santana, like all top-grossing actors, will get his big payday to the tune of $25.5 million dollars regardless of how No-Han 2.0 plays out, but that doesn’t keep the bad taste of it from our mouths.

The Mets thought it best to let their 34-year old ace rest up for three months after shutting him down because of a bum ankle… Make that eight months…

According to Adam Rubin, team doctor David Altchek says that Santana’s shoulder is structurally sound. That’s great, but if that were actually the case, then why the delay? And why is he limited to tossing only marshmallows at 30 paces?

“When I talked to him, he said everything was fine,” Santana said. “The shoulder is not feeling good or it’s just not strong.” Santana described his current activity as a “slow process.”

A slow process indeed and only getting slower… It reminds of the ending to LOTR: Return of the King – the longest ending in Hollywood history. 

Now might be a good time to leave your seat and go grab a refreshing drink and another bucket of popcorn (extra butter) – this intermission is going to take a while…

The curtain is coming down quickly on Johan Santana’s 2013 season and it doesn’t look like there will be a good ending to this rotten tomato.

In short, Santana will not break camp with the Mets next week and the team is unsure when he’ll pitch again this season.

That’s too bad…

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Mets’ Matt Harvey Could Be The Next Big Thing Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:59:58 +0000 harvey-2It’s not exactly the variety of a film festival when watching the Mets in spring training. It’s the Nationals, Braves, Marlins and Cardinals on a rotating basis. For the Mets in Port St. Lucie, it’s like watching the same episodes of Seinfeld over and over. After awhile, you know how ``The Contest’’ will end.

For a young guy like Matt Harvey working on a pitch, those teams don’t have to worry about the film as they can see him first hand. I’ve always wondered if that’s a disadvantage to the pitcher.Johan Santana once made his final exhibition start against a minor league team rather that against the Marlins, a team he would face in the first week.

Harvey is busy working on his change-up, which was flawless in his last start. He has no choice but to keep throwing against a team he could face five times this season.

“It’s usually the last pitch that comes around,’’ he said. “Everything went well with all my pitches the other day.’’

Considering he worked into the fifth and didn’t give up a hit, that’s kind of an understatement. While nobody expects no-hit ball every time out, the expectations for Harvey are enormous. When talking about Harvey’s low pitch count, he said that’s imperative if he’s going to pitch over 200 innings.

That’s one of the things that first struck me in talking with Harvey. He’s very unassuming and keeps an even keel, both on and off the mound. I covered Mike Mussina for years, with Baltimore and the Yankees, and I see similarities in their demeanor and confidence.

Mussina didn’t let things rattle him and had a methodical plan of doing things. Harvey is the same way in that he knows what he wants, and just as important, knows how to get it.

It is premature to say Harvey will have a career like Mussina, or Roger Clemens, or a Roy Halladay. But, spring training is for imagining such things.

Speaking of Clemens, Dan Martin of the Post has a very interesting piece where he got Frank Viola to compare Harvey to Clemens. Viola, a former Met, was Clemens’ teammate for three years in Boston.

Said Viola: “On the field, you knew Roger was the man and he showed you why he was the man. Matt’s the same way.’’

Let’s hope the comparisons end there.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I’m usually the one that tells fans to temper their expectations, but not where Matt Harvey is concerned.

While one of my colleagues said Harvey will never win a Cy Young Award, I envision more than just one for this kid.

I have seen his determination and I have witnessed the fire that burns within him.

I have seen him stare down some of the biggest and most feared hitters in the game without so much as breaking a sweat.

Matt Harvey has got the stuff to do it, nobody disagrees there. But more importantly, Harvey has got that edge  - that “Eye of the Tiger” – that fearlessness that sets him apart from everyone else… You all know what I’m talking about…

Harvey, the next big thing? Hell yeah, I can see that…

bleed orange & blue  button

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Pedro Martinez Says It’s Too Difficult To Vote Bonds Or Clemens Into Hall Sat, 08 Dec 2012 17:10:08 +0000

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe caught up with Pedro Martinez who was at former teammate David Ortiz‘s celebrity golf fundraiser in the Dominican Republic yesterday.

The always outspoken Martinez had plenty to say about the steroids era as well as his own career and legacy.

“I never had a complaint. I don’t have it. I think I did it the best way possible,” he said on Friday. “What would have happened if I had a level playing field? It’s something to be guessed. This is the same body that you saw, except for a couple of more pounds.”

When asked about his thoughts on new Hall of Fame candidates Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, Martinez minced no words:

“It’s really difficult for me to choose either one. I would have loved to face Roger Clemens when he was Roger Clemens with nothing. I would have loved to face him all the time.

Regarding his future candidacy:

“I was clean. I know I was clean. That’s all I can say. I was out there and they got the best out of me. Beat me or not, that was the best I had, and clean. I wish it were the same way for every one of them.”

“In my last years with the Mets, I was pushed too far. I was going too far with the pain. I did it naturally, I rehabbed naturally. I went through struggles a lot naturally. Today I can actually sit back, relax and enjoy the flight because I did it clean and my integrity is right where it belongs.”

Pedro, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, will no doubt get in as a first ballot Hall of Famer having never had any suspicion of PED or steroid use. Martinez is one of the rare great players from the steroid era to actually gain weight after retirement rather than lose weight.

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There’s Only One Way The Mets Lose With Dickey Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:00:50 +0000 The Mets find themselves with two critical decisions to make this offseason.  The easier of the two appears to be resigning home grown altar boy, David Wright, to an expensive yet semi-reasonable contract which keeps him at the hot corner for the remainder of his career.  This negotiation, while complicated, is aided by the fact that both sides seem to be on the same page.  The same can’t necessarily be said for the future of RA Dickey.

With the news that the Mets and Dickey appear to be some distance apart on both years and dollars, something will have to give for this to work itself out before spring training.  That ‘something’ will likely have to be the Mets’ front office if Dickey is to continue hurling his knuckleball in Queens past the 2013 season. In reality, as long as he doesn’t experience a significant fall from grace, Dickey is almost assured to receive a deal of three years or more from another team come this time next year.  So how should the Mets proceed?

Whether or not RA has earned a three year extension in excess of $30 million dollars can be debated, but that’s not my point.  The Cy Young hopeful is the definition of why teams take flyers on journeyman pitchers each year.  On the off chance that a player can finally piece it together, an organization can find itself with a diamond in the rough, as the Mets do with Dickey right now.

Entering the final year of his current contract, the Mets have only three possible avenues from here.  Stroke the eclectic knuckler the extension he so desires, trade him away at the height of his value or bring him back for the final year of his career and hope he eases his stance on mid-season negotiations.  Only the latter of the three would be a loss for the Mets.

You see if the team signs Dickey to another extension, they retain not only a Cy Young Award caliber pitcher, but also a personality that transcends the game.  That personality, as much as his talent drives fans into the ballpark and provides the organization with a unique opportunity on a roster devoid of most other star power.  If the team were to trade RA, they’d be doing so at the perfect moment.  Coming off the best season of his now storied career, the Mets could likely demand, and receive, a king’s ransom that would go a long way in repairing the rest of the roster next season and beyond.

Yes, the only way the Mets lose here is if there is no finality to Dickey’s situation when the team reassembles in Port St. Lucie in five months time.  As they should have learned with Jose Reyes’ departure, the uncertainty of what lies ahead can snowball out of control, grip the fan base, and drive yet another rift between the team and its fans.  Move forward, with or without Dickey, but do so with conviction.  Either lock up the front of your rotation for a few more years, or bring in the talent to make the “team” better by trade and use the $10 million plus elsewhere.  Either way, do it now, and avoid the proverbial no win situation the team seems to always worm it’s way into.

Follow me on twitter at @RobPatterson83.

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R.A. Dickey vs. Gio Gonzalez: The Stats You Didn’t Know Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:43:22 +0000
R.A. DickeyGio Gonzalez.  Both pitchers are gunning for the Cy Young Award.  Only one will get it (assuming we don’t have a tie a la the 1979 NL MVP vote that got Keith Hernandez a co-MVP Award).

You can go to any site and find comparisons between the two.  Anyone will tell you that Gonzalez leads Dickey by one win and that Dickey leads Gonzalez in innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, shutouts and complete games.  But what about the stats you didn’t know that should swing the Cy Young vote completely over to Dickey?

Here are those stats.  Once you read them, you’ll have no doubt that R.A. Dickey should claim the top prize as the best pitcher in the National League.

R.A. Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher, but is only averaging 1.7 walks per start.  Only five pitchers in the National League (Edinson Volquez, Tim Lincecum, Aaron Harang, Yovani Gallardo, Carlos Zambrano) have walked more batters than Gio Gonzalez.

Despite not possessing a 90-mph fastball, R.A. Dickey has allowed only three stolen bases in six attempts.  Meanwhile, opposing base runners have a 92% success rate against Gio Gonzalez, going 11-for-12 against the Nationals’ ace.

Gio Gonzalez has been lifted from three games this year in which the Nationals did not have the lead at the time of his removal, but got credit for the win when his offense gave him the lead in the half inning immediately following his removal.  Dickey has only earned one win in this way.  If not for the Nationals’ timely hitting after his removal, Gonzalez would only have 17 wins, one less than the 18 Dickey would have if not for the sole occasion the Mets bailed him out.

The Nationals have scored seven runs or more in half of Gonzalez’s 20 victories.  The Mets have scored five runs or less in thirteen of Dickey’s 19 wins.

Gio Gonzalez has 21 quality starts (six or more innings pitched allowing three earned runs or less) out of his 31 starts.  He has also failed to get through the sixth inning in seven starts.  Dickey has 25 quality starts and has pitched at least six innings in all but two of his 31 starts.

Finally, Gio Gonzalez has 20 wins, but he’s done it for the the team with the best record in baseball.  R.A. Dickey has won one less game than Gonzalez for a team that has 24 fewer wins.  Similarly, Gonzalez has two more losses on a 59-loss team than Dickey has for an 83-loss team.

When in doubt, vote for the guy who makes a Dickeyface when he throws a pitch.

More often that not, the MVP Award goes to a player with the most impressive numbers on a team that’s at or near the top of its division.  This is not always the case for the recipient of the Cy Young Award.

Five of the last six Cy Young Award winners in the National League played for teams that failed to make the playoffs, with the sole exception being Roy Halladay in 2010.  Two of those five winners pitched for teams that finished with losing records.  (Brandon Webb won the award in 2006 for the 76-86 Diamondbacks, while Tim Lincecum earned his hardware in 2008 for a 72-90 Giants team.)

The award is not called the Most Valuable Pitcher Award.  It’s called the Cy Young Award.  It’s given to the best pitcher in each league.  Gio Gonzalez has had an excellent season, one that is usually worthy of the league’s top pitching honor, but R.A. Dickey has been the best pitcher in the National League this year.

Let’s hope the voters consider every bit of statistical information available to them before they cast their votes and don’t turn the Cy Young Award into the MVP (Most Valuable Pitcher) Award.  They’re more than welcome to use the statistical facts from this piece to help them make their decision.

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Knuckleballers… They Are Like The Kickers Of MLB Tue, 11 Sep 2012 15:55:36 +0000 It comes as no surprise to most Mets fans, but the team has officially been eliminated from the NL East race. They are 22 games behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals and only have 21 games to play.

The team has little to play for the rest of the way, and the majority of the team has probably started booking some off-season vacations. The one player who still has a lot to play for is RA Dickey. With a potential Cy Young Award hanging in the balance, we can only hope the Mets will put those off-season plans on the back burner, and focus on playing mistake free baseball while Dickey is on the mound the rest of the way.

Image Credit: Charles Miller

Dickey, with all of his success this season, still seems like an underdog to win the Cy Young this year. The reason is obvious – he is a knuckleballer.

Early Wynn won the Cy Young in 1959, and used the knuckleball as part of his arsenal, but he was never considered a knuckleballer. Famed knuckleballer Joe Niekro only finished as high as second in Cy Young award voting. Could this be the year that a knuckleballer finally gets recognized as the leagues best pitcher? Mets fans, don’t get your hopes up just yet.

The knuckle ball is still considered a gimmick pitch. Baseball traditionalists will tell you that the art of pitching is changing speeds, moving the ball around the strike zone, and keeping hitters off balance. It’s a game of cat and mouse, and the pitcher is usually the cat. The pitcher holds a huge advantage over hitters because the hitter has no idea what the pitcher is going to throw next. The hitter has to decide whether to swing at a pitch in the blink of an eye when that ball is released from the pitcher’s hand. Hitting a baseball is still the most difficult thing to do in sports, and as the old adage states, good pitching beats good hitting any day of the week.

When a pitcher is on that mound, putting the ball wherever he wants, mowing down hitter after hitter, it’s like hearing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. It’s a masterpiece. You don’t get that same feeling when it’s a knuckleballer. There is just something about that knuckleball pitcher that doesn’t feel right. It’s almost as if a pitcher was striking guys out using the eephus pitch. In the MLB, you have pitchers…then you have knuckleballers. That says it all. Just like in football you have football players…and then you have kickers. Kickers are important, teams rely on them to win games for them, they wear helmets and pads, have to make tackles like the other football players…but they’re kickers, not football players.

Will knuckleballers ever gain the respect they deserve? Maybe if Dickey wins the Cy Young Award this year, they will for a little while. But it will be short lived. The knuckle ball will always be viewed as a gimmick pitch, and knuckleballers will never receive the type of respect that traditional pitchers do. They will always be the kickers of the MLB.

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Roger Clemens To Be Arraigned On Monday Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:17:49 +0000 This is what A.J. Perez of MLB wrote about the Clemens news on Thursday afternoon:

Roger Clemens’ arraignment on six felony charges linked to his testimony in front of a Congressional committee will take place in Washington on Monday.

A notice of Clemens’ first hearing in the case since charges were announced last week was posted on the federal docket system on Thursday. Clemens is expected to plead not guilty in what should be a short hearing in front of U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton.

He was an extraordinary pitcher in the early days, but prone to move the batter off the plate, by any means. He had an experience with Mike Piazza that bordered on the bizarre – he actually threw at Mike’s head twice in the summer of 2000.He continued to demand special treatment and extras which only increased his already large ego.

Roger perhaps wouldn’t understand this, but he was offered an out by the Congressional Committee where he testified – in fact, the Chairman of the Committee said there was no reason for him to appear – an affidavit would do.  But Roger insisted on having TV time at the committee.  He got it – and next Monday at 2PM he appears before a Federal Court in Washington DC and has no one to blame but himself.

And here’s my two cents – I never thought Roger would persist in proving himself innocent of it all. How the mighty has fallen  and  at his own hand.  Roger Clemens was always ready to put himself first,  no matter the issue.  Raised by a widowed Mother, and with several older sisters Roger lapped up the attention he was given at home.  But it didn’t stop when he grew up and today is proof of that.

Clemens, who has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs, faces one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury tied to his testimony in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in February 2008. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner faces a fine of up to $1.5 million and a prison term of up to 21 months under current sentencing guidelines if convicted.”

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BUSTED: Tim Lincecum Livin’ The High Life Fri, 06 Nov 2009 02:41:31 +0000

According to an Associated Press report, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum is facing misdemeanor marijuana charges following a traffic stop in his home state.

Washington State Patrol spokesman Steve Schatzel said Thursday that the 2008 Cy Young Award winner and former University of Washington star was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 5 in the town of Hazel Dell, about four miles north of the Oregon border, on Oct. 30.

An officer approached Lincecum’s 2006 Mercedes and smelled marijuana as the pitcher rolled down his window. Schatzel said Lincecum immediately complied with a request to hand over the drug and a marijuana pipe from the car’s center console.

The amount measured was 3.3 grams. Schatzel said police consider that a small amount for personal use, well below the maximum of 40 grams before possession is classified differently and carries a more severe penalty.

Lincecum was fined a total of $622 for driving at 74 mph in a 60 mph zone, and for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Both are misdemeanors.

The Giants have yet to comment on the situation, but clearly the thought of their prized young pitcher speeding while smoking pot must have them in a tizzy. Especially when Lincecum is due to receive a huge arbitration award in a few months. Lincecum went 15-7 in 2009, with a 2.48 ERA in 32 starts.

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