Mets Merized Online » david ortiz Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:37:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 First Base Frustrations? Don’t Panic. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 16:08:49 +0000 lucas duda ike davis

While it may frustrate the fan base that that New Year has rolled around and there has not been a resolution to the First Base situation, not making a trade may be the wisest move of all.

The adage in the stock market is Buy Low, Sell High. If the Mets First Base situation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda would be trading at near their 52 week lows. Sure, Sandy would be kicking around the tires on trades for both players, but the GM on the other side of the conversation would also recognize that the Mets wouldn’t be bargaining from a position of strength with either player.

Yes, Ike has a 32 Home Run season under his belt from 2012 and hit .255 with 20 HR and 41 RBI in the second half of 2012 after a poor start. If Sandy were to sell high on Ike, it would have been after the 2012 season. It wasn’t done, of course, because we all felt that Ike would build upon his second half of 2012 and have a strong 2013 season.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Ike’s second half of 2013 was much improved over his first half. He hit .286 in the second half of the season, but his power dipped and he had only 4 HR and 15 RBI over his last 40 games. He also had his second straight season of starting poorly.

Yes, the potential is there for Ike to return to 30 Home Run form. He very well may get there – but here’s the rub. A General Manager who stakes his future on a player’s “potential” and makes the wrong decision can find himself on the unemployment line. Of course Sandy would be asking for a top prospect in return for Ike. He would argue that Ike is a proven 30 Home Run Major Leaguer that is entering his prime. The argument on the other side is, “If he’s that great, why would you look to trade him?”

Then there’s Lucas Duda. Lucas has potential. The last two seasons, I have thought that he reminds me of David Ortiz. Not the David Ortiz that we know as Big Papi. The David Ortiz that played for the Minnesota Twins. The big, left handed hitting player who had the potential to mash and was entering his later twenties that was never able to put it together. David put it all together and is on his way to Cooperstown. Lucas is still a player with that dreaded “potential” label.

When it comes to trade value, Ike has it in spades over Lucas. While 2013 was a disaster for Ike, he has built up a Major League resume that would make him attractive to a potential trade partner. Lucas has shown he has power, but hasn’t shown he can stick in the majors for a full season and he has earned himself trips back to the minors the past three seasons.

But Lucas being on the roster works against Ike’s trade value. Every other GM knows that the Mets have options at First Base were they to unload Ike. Not only do they have Lucas Duda, there’s Daniel Murphy (a proven major league hitter) that can easily shift over to first base because the Mets have another option at Second Base (Eric Young, Jr.). An opposing GM knows they may be doing the Mets a “favor” by alleviating the Mets of a logjam at first by taking Ike. If you’re doing someone a favor, why would you do them a second favor by also sending a top prospect in the Mets direction? That’s not buying low and selling high.

Unless Sandy gets the right offer for Ike, the wisest move may be to hold onto him and look to make a deal in spring training. Both Ike and Lucas will have an opportunity to raise their trade value, and if they’re both competing for the roster spot – it may bring out the best in both of them. Injuries also happen, and a potential trade partner may develop that suddenly finds themselves in need of a first baseman.

One of the two may assert himself and simply take the position away from the other. Both may fall flat on their faces. Or maybe Josh Satin will outplay both of them.

In the immortal words of Douglas Adams – Don’t Panic.

Presented By Diehards

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Featured Post: Are We Giving Up Too Quickly On Ike Davis? Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:44:28 +0000 babe ruth

Everybody loves a home run slugger. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of watching batters with pop in their bats blast the ball out of the park whenever they step to the plate. Yet, in the post steroid baseball era, consistent home run sluggers, guys that can be counted on to hit thirty or more home runs year after year, is diminishing.

Soaring individual home run totals were a rarity in 2013. Only two major league sluggers, Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera went yard 40 or more times with Davis leading the major leagues with 53 four-baggers and Cabrera finishing second with a healthy 44.

Only 12 other big leaguers hit 30 or more homers in 2013, and just three from the National League. In fact, since 2010, National League sluggers pounding 40 or more HR’s have become nearly extinct. Ryan Braun did it in 2012, but no other NL batter has reached that magic total over the last four years.

Take a look at baseball’s four year home run totals.


The 2013 season was an especially disastrous one for longball hitters in the National League. Only three NL batters went yard 30 or more times this summer. That’s stunning.

Let’s hope it’s not a trend. With so many Met fans clamoring to add a HR slugging bat to our roster during this off-season, it does make you wonder just where that bat would be coming from.

In yesteryear, many sluggers showed uncanny consistency stringing together seasons with 30 or more home runs. Mickey Mantle did it 8 straight times. Willie Mays had a run of 11 of 13 years missing each of his off-years by a single home run. Met great Mike Piazza had a run of 11 of 12 seasons, Mike Schmidt 14 of 15, and Willie Stargell 15 of 17.

Unlike the old days, consistency of this sort in recent years is hard to find. Since 2010, Miguel Cabrera is the only player to total 30 + home runs every year. Five players; Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, Adrian Beltre and Jay Bruce have reached that mark in three of the last four years.

Examining the home run totals unearthed some real surprises. David Ortiz never hit more than 20 home runs until he was 27 years old. Rafael Palmeiro never climbed to 30+ HR’s until he was 28. Justin Upton has only reached 30 dingers once in seven big league seasons. Adrian Beltre, consistent since 2010, had his first 30+ home run season in his 13th big league year. Matt Kemp has only had one 30+ home run total in eight seasons, Joey Votto one in seven campaigns, and Robinson Cano has reached 30 or more HR’s once in his nine years in the big leagues.

And, even the great home run sluggers many times had a disastrous campaign, at least on their standards, somewhere along the line. For example at 26 years old, Willie McCovey hit .220 with 18 HR’s and only 54 RBI’s. When he was 27 years old, Mark McGwire hit 21 HR’s with 75 RBI’s, batted .201 with a .383 slugging percentage. It happens.

All these home runs numbers leave me wondering about Ike Davis. It’s not like Ike Davis doesn’t have the power potential to hit the ball out of the park. Just one season removed, Davis put himself on the 30+ leader board slamming the ball out of the yard 32 times, with all but 5 of those home runs coming in his final 100 games.

The beginning of the 2013 season was a train wreck for Davis. After he was demoted to Las Vegas, he returned to Flushing and was showing improved offensive output when an oblique injury put him on the shelf for the remainder of the season.

Every indication leads Met fans to believe the front office has run out of patience with Davis. The fear of the demoralizing effect a third straight ice cold spring would have on the team has trumped the longball potential Davis brings to the team.

With so few baseball sluggers slamming the ball consistently our of the park (only 3 – 30+ HR hitters in the NL in 2013) and with no other internal promising options at first base at the moment, I can’t help but wonder if this direction is unwise or premature.

Every time I think I have run out of patience with Davis, I consider the alternative, Lucas Duda, and I find a little extra patience in my tank. There is very little difference in their stat line, although, Duda’s defensive WAR totals, whether as an outfielder or a first baseman are scary.

              AB     R   2B  HR  RBI   BA    OBP   SLG   OWar  DWar
Lucas  Duda   1,104  134  58  44  153  .246  .342  .424   3.6   -6.3
Ike  Davis    1,488  196  81  67  219  .242  .334  .434   4.2   -1.5

On paper, the differences seem pretty insignificant. In my gut, there’s a much wider gap that tips in favor of Davis. When I consider both Davis and Duda in terms of positive potential at someday regularly posting 30+ HR numbers, I come down on the side of Davis again. And, when I consider which guy I want patrolling the bag at first base, especially with an infield of questionable defensive acumen, it’s Davis by a long shot.

If the Mets don’t go outside the organization to fill their first base needs, I think they need to think long and hard about who they tab as next year’s starting first baseman. The cost of now is sometimes a loss for the future. Patience never guarantees longterm success, but it dramatically increases the odds.

not typical metsmerized

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Former Met Prospect Mike Carp Gets A Ring In Boston Wed, 06 Nov 2013 16:58:41 +0000 boston_red_sox_mike_carp_060513

One player who gets lost in the shuffle when you consider Boston’s championship season, is a former Met farmhand who came through for the Red Sox on many occasions in 2013 and provided them with more than a few big hits.

I’m talking about former top prospect Mike Carp who hit one of the most memorable home runs of the season for the Red Sox, a pinch-hit grand slam in the 10th inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 in mid-September.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz spoke highly of the 27-year old late bloomer. “That guy is a good hitter. One day he’s going to get plenty of at-bats. He reminds me of myself when I first started. Don’t get to play too much, but with a good swing.”

Carp was designated for assignment just before spring training by the Seattle Mariners and the Red Sox picked him up for the major league minimum in what turned out to be a great move that seldom gets mentioned.

mike carp

In 243 plate appearances, Carp slashed at .296/.362/.523 with nine home runs, 43 RBI and an eye-popping 140 OPS+. Of his 64 hits, 29 of them were for extra bases.

Ben Cherington didn’t necessarily need a first baseman when he made the move for Carp. He already had Mike Napoli on the team with Daniel Nava backing him up, and Jackie Bradley Jr. on the horizon. But what gave Carp an edge was the upside the Red Sox were trying to capture.

“We’ve always liked him as a hitter,” said Cherington, who tried to swing a trade for Carp several times during the offseason before finally getting it done in spring training.

“There’s a history of getting guys out of Seattle, the tough hitting environment. It was a combination of a pretty strong minor-league track record and some big-league success and, subjectively, our scouts have always liked his swing and approach.”

It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to realize they had something in Carp.

“The first day I saw him, I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’” assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez said. “He was incredible — driving the ball all over the place, out of the field to left field, left-center, right field.”

Carp had an incredible season for the Binghamton Mets in 2008, when the lefthanded slugger batted .293 with 17 home runs, 29 doubles and 72 RBI in 478 at-bats while posting a .884 OPS. However, later that offseason he was shipped to the Mariners as part of the ill-fated J.J. Putz trade.

I always had high hopes for Carp when he was with the Mets, and I’m happy to see our former first baseman of the future get himself a World Series ring.

Nice job, Mike…

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Spreadsheet Baseball Doesn’t Win Championships, Character Does Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:22:35 +0000 gomes-big-7761.r

If you haven’t done so already, check out this article by Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The veteran columnist shares an incident that took place in Spring Training when Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster asked teammate Jonny Gomes how he was doing and his response was: “Great, one day closer to the parade.’’

“Let that sink in for a second,” writes Kernan. “Here it was spring training, a time when players are focused on honing their individual skills for the long season. Yet Gomes, when asked about himself, talked about the Red Sox being one day closer, not only to a championship, but a parade the entire Red Sox Nation would take part in, the ultimate party day for fans and team.”

Of course Gomes’ words proved to be prophetic as the Red Sox did have their parade after winning their third World Series since 2004.

There’s a lesson to be learned here for the Mets (and Yankees) says Kernan who believes the Red Sox model last offseason was not just targeting mid-level free agents, but seeking out players with confidence and character. Players who wanted to win a championship so badly they’d do anything to help their team get one.

Now, more than ever, a player’s personality has to be taken into account, he boldly states. “It’s not just about wanting to win — after all, everyone wants to win. It’s about making a commitment to your teammates in doing whatever it takes to win, but also having the confidence to do what it takes to win a championship.”

He points to Shane Victorino as another player who rose to the occasion for the Red Sox.

“In what I consider the most important statistic of them all — RBIs. Victorino hit .429 against the Rays in the Division Series and dropped to .125 in the ALCS and .154 in the World Series. But during the postseason he drove in a Papi-like 12 runs — three in the ALDS, five in the ALCS and four in the World Series. Only David Ortiz drove in more with 13.”

Kernan stresses that there is no new “philosophical’’ approach that’s going to make a difference for the Yankees and Mets. They just have to do a better job of evaluating the market and they just can’t be “looking at an iPad screen of numbers” to decide who’s the best fit. They need to add players that hunger’ for the prize more than the next guy.

“Spreadsheet baseball does not win championships.”

Incidentally, this was the Red Sox model last offseason:

Shane Victorino, three years, $39 million
Ryan Dempster, two years, $26.5 million
Jonny Gomes, two years, $10 million
Stephen Drew, one year, $9.5 million
David Ross, two years, $6.2 million
Mike Napoli, one year, $5 million
Koji Uehara, one year, $4.25 million

Have at it…

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(Updated) Know Your Stats: Win Probability Added (WPA) Fri, 19 Jul 2013 01:40:49 +0000 Every play in every game has some effect on the odds of winning a baseball game. Whether you are down by ten runs in the second inning or tied up in the bottom of the ninth, every action can be measured.

Baseball has been played for over a century and a half. Major League Baseball has been around for over a century, and most situations have been played out over and over again hundreds of times, so we have a good idea of how every action affects a team’s chances. This is called Win Expectancy. We can use those thousands upon thousands of games from history, and look at a team in a particular situation and know their odds. We know that if a team is down by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on second and third with no outs, they will win approximately 66% of the time, because roughly 66% of teams in the past have won in those cases.

To utilize these win expectancies in analyzing how each action affects the odds, we simply take the difference between the old and new win expectancy and award it to the player who accomplished the action, and penalize the pitcher who allowed it. It’s simple and easy.

There are some issues with WPA, however. While it finally solves the problem of context-neutral stats like Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, and Weighted On Base Average, it’s only good at telling a story, not predicting the future. Many of the new sabermetric statistics are predictive, but this one is certainly not. It also brings up an issue that comes up frequently when talking about RBI and Runs Scored. A player can only change the course of a game so much with his bat if he isn’t put in the right spot at the right time by his teammates. Someone might not get the opportunity to hit a walk-off home run just by chance, therefore losing out on the opportunity to pad their WPA numbers.

One thing WPA definitely solves is this: No more arguing about the turning point of the game. Instead of looking at a play as a “clutch RBI hit,” you can now define how much that run-scoring double in the eighth inning meant to the overall outcome. Take game 4 of the 2004 ALCS for example. That was the year the Red Sox were down 3-0 in the series, and won a hard-fought 12-inning game to stay alive. Here is how the win expectancy shifted throughout the night:

wpa chart 1

This is a very handy chart from Fangraphs that shows the leverage (how important a moment in the game was going to be) and how the action that took place affected the odds of one team wining. As you can see, the game starts with each team at 50 percent and ends with one team at 100 percent, with fluctuations in between. The most important moment of the game was David Ortiz‘s walk-off home run, bringing the odds of Boston winning from a shade above 73 percent to 100 percent, ending the game.

Overall, Win Probability Added is a great way to see how influential moments in a game were, but it does not tell the story of how good a player really is. In order to conduct a complete evaluation, we must use context neutral statistics like wOBA and wRAA, as well as stats like WPA.

In Context

wpa chart 2

In every game, a player, in theory could have a WPA of -1 to 1, or even more extreme than those numbers. In practice, it is usually close to zero, but a player’s actions could almost completely determine the outcome of a game in rare scenarios. For David Ortiz’s walk-off home run in the 2004 ALCS, he added about 25% (73% WE to 100% WE) on that play alone. For that, he was awarded roughly 0.25 WPA. In every game, the WPA of each player on the winning team will amount to 1 and the WPA of each player on the losing team will always amount to -1. Over the course of a season, a player can have a negative WPA or positive, with each integer representing a win. Last season, Mike Trout finished the year with a 5.32 WPA, meaning in terms of win probability, he was worth over five wins.

Further Reading

(Both charts courtesy of Fangraphs.)

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Reactions To Mets First Round Selection Dominic Smith Fri, 07 Jun 2013 11:10:40 +0000 dominic smith

Paul DePodesta: Fired up to select Dominic Smith! Chance to hit for average and power while playing great defense. Special human being, too!

Keith Law: Smith is one of the best pure hitters in the high school class, showing a smooth left-handed swing with power and a plus glove at first base. When he keeps his weight back, his swing is outstanding, with great balance through contact and good hip rotation to generate power from his legs.

High School coach Wilmer Aaron: He always comes through when you need him. Smith boasts poise, terrific bat speed and a power arm. He does things college kids can’t do. God has blessed him with tremendous gifts.

Dominic Smith: This is a great honor and opportunity. I can’t wait to get out there.It’s an incredible team. David Wright is a Hall of Fame-potential player and Matt Harvey is a great young guy. I can’t wait to put on my Mets uniform and get out there and play.

Brooklyn Cyclones: The Mets selected Dominic Smith with the 11th overall selection tonight. The first baseman hit .493 this season and a whopping .551 as a junior. Hopefully we’ll get to see him at MCU Park at some point this season.

Baseball Prospectus: A plus hit/plus power bat that could fit comfortably in the middle of a first division lineup. He excels at barreling up balls and producing loud contact. Has a good feel for the strikezone and shows the ability to both turn around good velocity and drive stuff on the outer-half to the left-center gap.

Brandon Nimmo: Congrats to Dominic Smith on being selected by the Mets, hope he becomes part of the team!

Aaron Fitt, Baseball America: Every SoCal scout I know loves Dominic Smith — really special makeup, special swing, plus defender. Has legit bat speed & pop. Mets fans will love him.

Darin Gorski: My internet gave out but my twitter feed blew up with the news. Congrats to Dominic Smith! Welcome to the Mets!!!

Paul DePodesta: We’re thrilled that we were able to select Dominic tonight. He’s a guy we have followed since last summer. Our area scout has known him since he 12-years-old. We think we have a very good all-around player, a plus hitter with plus power.

Tommy Tanous: We felt going back to last spring, into the summer, that this was one of the most advanced high school hitters that you’ll find. The fact that he bats left-handed is even nicer. You don’t find a swing like this every year.

Harold Reynolds: This may be the best left-handed bat from Los Angeles since Darryl Strawberry. I like this pick for the Mets.

Darryl Strawberry: He’s 17 years old, he’s got a lot to learn about the game. From all the reports that I hear about him, he’s a pretty good player. That’s good because you wouldn’t be here being taken in the first round if he wasn’t good. Just hopefully he can handle the opportunity of playing in New York because he has to deal with a lot here.

Jim Bowden: Love the Mets pick of Dominick Smith 1B. He has a chance to develop into an impact middle of the order bat and ++ defender. His bat reminds me of David Ortiz and his defense reminds me of Adrian Gonzalez.

John Sickels: One of the best pure hitters of the class, Smith just squares everything up. He just drops the head of the bat on it and it goes 330’. He understands the strike zone and shouldn’t strike out as much as a typical power hitter does due to his sound approach and great hand-eye coordination.

Peter Gammons: One GM says Dominic Smith was the best interview he conducted since Darin Erstad in 1994. Highest praise.

Dominic Smith: I try to model my fielding after Mark Teixeira. He’s a great fielder and he can hit as well. I like watching Cano swing from the left side of the plate. He makes the game look easy. And Carlos Gonzalez, he’s a gold glove outfielder. He makes a ton of plays and has a really good arm and he can hit as well. I just try to model my overall game after those three players.

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Fantasy Baseball Alert: Injury News To Know Before Your Draft Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:00:42 +0000 automotivator(2)

March is fantasy baseball draft month, and with only a week left, leagues are beginning to finalize and finish their drafts. The fantasy baseball season officially kicks off on Opening Day, which is a little over a week away. Over the past week or two, a number of high caliber players have gone down. Here is some injury news to be aware of as you head into the final week of drafting, as some of the injured players may start the season on the disabled list.

Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be out for eight weeks. He injured himself in the World Baseball Classic championship game against Puerto Rico. The eight week timetable puts him at a possible mid-to-late May return, but more likely early June.

Advice: Hanley’s fantasy value obviously takes a massive hit. Luis Cruz appears to be the leading candidate at shortstop, with Dee Gordon still a possibility as well.

Chase Headley
The Padres’ third baseman is out with a small fracture on the tip of his left thumb. The estimated time for his return to action is 4-6 weeks, which could mean a possible, early May return.

Advice: Headley will likely slip in drafts, and if he is still sitting there in round five you may want to consider scooping him up. Headley finally hit on his potential in 2012; I would grab him and stash him on your DL until he is ready.

Mark Teixeira
The first baseman has an to the tendon sheath in his right wrist, which is the same ailment Jose Bautista dealt with last year, which required surgery.  GM Brian Cashman recently estimated that Teixeira has about a 70 percent chance of avoiding surgery. If he has an operation, it would end his season.

Advice: Teixeira will likely not return until June at the earliest.  Keep in mind if you draft him, you are taking a chance, because if he ends up needing surgery, he will likely be done for the season. Kevin Youkilis has seen time at first base this spring, as well as Juan Rivera.

Zack Greinke
The righty threw 43 pitches over four scoreless innings in a minor league game Wednesday, and following the outing stated that his arm “felt really good… It felt strong.” With only two more exhibition outings scheduled, on March 25 and 30, he could potentially line up to make his Dodgers’ regular season debut on April 5.

Advice: I would draft Greinke as you had originally planned. He is on a powerhouse team, and appears to be healthy enough to start the season. Worst-case scenario is that the Dodgers take a cautious approach with their hefty investment, and he misses a couple starts to begin the season.

Albert Pujols
Prince Albert is recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, as well as dealing with plantar fasciitis. He said he felt “great” during his first spring start at first base on Tuesday, and at this point it appears he should be firing on all cylinders come Opening Day.

Advice: The Angels would rest Pujols for the remainder of the spring, if it meant he would be ready to go on Opening Day. Right now, he is easing back into action, which is a good sign. As long as the knee is healthy, he will be good to go. He has dealt with the plantar fasciitis for the last 6-7 years.

David Ortiz
The lefty slugger is still dealing with a heel issue and is slated to begin the season on the disabled list. Right now, there is no clear timetable on when he will be ready to go.

Advice: Big Papi cancelled a scheduled batting practice on Wednesday, and it appears that once he comes off the disabled list, he will need a rehab stint. Anticipate him coming off the DL by mid-April, at the earliest, followed by a week or two rehab, which puts Ortiz at a possible late April, or early May return.

Derek Jeter
The Yankees captain will not appear in another Grapefruit League game this spring due to his balky ankle. The Bronx Bombers want to have the ability to backdate a disabled list stint if he is not ready to go on Opening Day. In the meantime, Jeter is expected to play in games on the minor league side of camp at some point next week. Not playing in major league games gives the Yankees the ability to backdate his DL stint if need be.

Advice: Anticipate a 15-day DL stint to start the season. The Yankees will not rush their captain, and risk losing him for a longer period, especially with all the injuries they currently have to key players.

Carl Crawford
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said earlier in the week that he believes Carl Crawford will be ready for Opening Day. The speedy outfielder has finally progressed to live game action, and picked up a pair of hits and an RBI in Monday’s tilt with the Diamondbacks.

Advice: At this point, he has yet to play in the field, which is a hurdle that will need to be climbed before he’s cleared for Opening Day. I’m not so sure I share the same optimism as Colletti. I believe this is a rushed attempt to return for Opening Day, and I expect some DL time for Crawford this season.

Post any questions you may have regarding injuries or possible replacement players, and I will respond throughout the day. Check back on Monday as I will be posting about possible sleepers, closer battles, and some prospects to keep an eye on.

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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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Rounding The Bases: Melky To The Mets, Dickey Honored For His Awesomeness Tue, 06 Nov 2012 19:41:52 +0000

Rounding The Bases is back… As we did before, we’ll highlight some of the must-read posts from the Mets beat writers, take a cruise around the Mets blogosphere, check in on our enemies, and have a little fun while we’re at it.

MMO Instant Replay

  • Connor O’Brien dished out his report cards for the Mets infielders this week and gives Josh Thole a big fat D. “Josh Thole has not become the player we thought he could be. After hitting over .300 in his last two minor league seasons, and showing glimpses of a future .300 hitter over his first two years in the big leagues, his production has declined. This year, he hit rock bottom.”
  • Dan Valis wonders if the Mets should consider trading David Wright for Andre Ethier if they don’t work out an extension. “If you swapped these two players, the Mets would still have a very solid middle of the order hitter to replace David. Ethier is already signed, and plays a position we desperately need to fill. They Mets already have some in-house options for third base, while they really have nobody on the roster who can play right field. With a tight budget a move like this could be very beneficial to the Mets as they begin to prepare for this off-season.”
  • Is there a new manager trend, asks Jessep who lists Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, Dave Magadan and Brett Butler as former Mets who could someday manage for their former teams.

On The Beat

  • Ken Davidoff of the NY Post predicts that free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera will eventually sign a one-year, $4 million deal with the Mets. Cabrera of course was suspended 50 games for failing a test for PED’s and then tried to cover it up. The Giants washed their hands of him.
  • The Mets are not close to reaching new agreements with either R.A. Dickey or David Wright, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Things have certainly slowed down of late.
  • In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, the New York Mets will be holding a food drive and offering tickets. This is a great gesture by them, and gives fans a great opportunity to help others, while also possibly getting tickets to the game.

Friendly Fire

  • MetsBlog reports that R.A. Dickey was named the National League’s most outstanding pitcher in 2012 as picked by the players. “It’s an extreme honor to be recognized by the people who you play against and compete against all year long,” Dickey said in a statement. “To know my peers think this highly of me is a tremendous feeling.”
  • Have you checked out 2 Guys Talking Mets Baseball yet? Enjoy this behind the scenes conversation between Fred, Jeff and Sandy and you’ll be going back for more.
  • Joe Janish of Mets Today wonders what if the Mets never signed Pedro Martinez. “Certainly, the magic of 2006 would not have occurred, but maybe — just maybe — the pain and suffering Mets fans are enduring now would have occurred from 2005-2009, when instead of signing people like Billy Wagner, Moises Alou, and Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets would have been stocking up on #1 picks.”
  • The Rising Apple wonders if the Mets will re-sign any of their free agents and writes the following regarding Scott Hairston: “Unlikely; he drew a lot of interest on the trade market before the non-waiver trade deadline and even into August when he was placed on trade waivers. Alderson decided not to trade him because he felt there was more value in letting him finish the year with the team than trading him away. Now, with his career season, Hairston is looking to cash in with a more lucrative, multi-year deal, something the Mets won’t be able to afford.”

Enemy Territory

  • In the rest of the league, there is still news. First off, David Ortiz has signed an extension with the Red Sox for two years. He might also consider sitting out the World Baseball Classic so it doesn’t interrupt him getting ready for the regular season.
  • Rookie Mike Trout won the Defensive Player of the Year award in the American League, a testament to how great his defensive play was this season. Braves outfielder Michael Bourn took home the award in the National League.
  • In big news for the New York Yankees, Mariano Riveraplans to return to the field next year.
  • The Red Sox don’t want to offer Cody Ross a three-year deal, which could be a stumbling block in contract discussions according to Jon Heyman says Ross is looking for a three-year deal worth about $25 million.

Today In Mets History

Seven members of the World Champion Mets begin a two-week engagement with comedian Phil Foster at Caesar’s palace in Las Vegas. Giving it the ol’ soft shoe are Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Donn Clendenon, Ed Kranepool, Tommie Agee, Cleon Jones, and Art Shamsky. –

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We Still Have Our Ace In The Hole Wed, 29 Aug 2007 16:47:01 +0000 Much has been made this year, (especially by me) of the lack of passion and excitement that has been missing from the Mets this year. With the exception of a Paulie LoDuca blow- up it has been pretty monotonous. It’s hard for me to say that when we have the most exciting player in baseball on the team in Jose Reyes…

Thankfully, we are soon to get the boost we have been waiting for in the return of Pedro Martinez. In 2004, when the Mets first signed Pedro, many of us claimed instant credibility for the Mets. He brought with him 3 Cy Young Awards, recent World Championship, and winning personality, so no one could really disagree. While he didn’t win 20 games or have an ERA under 1.00, Pedro provided a spark and joy that had been missing during the Art Howe regime. His signing ultimately and arguably paved the way for the signing of Carlos Beltran who most also agree would not be in Queens if not for Pedro. Carlos Delgado almost joined the party but was seduced by the Marlins money and recent success, another who never would have had Queens on their team wish list if not for Pedro. All of this kept bringing me back to a quote made by David Ortiz when told of Pedro’s visit to the Mets. “Pedro ain’t going to no Mets.”

Big Papi thankfully isn’t known for his clairvoyance.

Now, three years later and coming off right rotator cuff surgery(which has an 80- 90% success rate)predictably will thrust himself into the spotlight again. Granted, he may not throw in the mid 90s anymore, but he won’t have to. Thoughts of what he has the ability to do are going to be racing through the batters minds, and Pedro will capitalize on that. A fresh Pedro Martinez is going to do for the Mets what any trade deadline move would have done. If he brings back to Shea what he is expected to bring, no one will be surprised if the Mets leave Atlanta and Philly where they belong… in the dust.

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