Mets Merized Online » Endy Chavez http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 05 Dec 2016 01:32:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 This Day In Mets Infamy: My Brush With Ralph Kiner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/this-day-in-mets-infamy-my-brush-with-ralph-kiner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/this-day-in-mets-infamy-my-brush-with-ralph-kiner.html/#comments Fri, 07 Feb 2014 15:35:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147390 201402061436525825329

Yesterday another piece of my childhood faded away.

While I was at work I received a email from the Mets announcing the passing of Hall Of Fame ballplayer and original Mets announcer, Ralph Kiner. At first it didn’t sink in. I don’t know if this was because I was so caught up with my work – or I was just aloof. But upon driving in my car on my way home from the office I started to cry – and cry hard. I am not really the emotional type. I didn’t cry when my grandfather passed away six years ago , and I certainly didn’t cry when I got the news that my father had passed almost two years ago. But for some reason whether it was with Tug McGraw, Bob Murphy or Gary Carter before him I cried.

My best guess is because the aforementioned men were like my babysitters. I was barely old enough to remember McGraw as a Met – but for some reason I gravitated to his infectious source of positivity. With Murph and the Kid along with Ralph that was the era that I was truly aware of baseball – when I truly understood the game.

I had the honor being in Ralph’s presence twice in my lifetime. The first was around 1983 at a charity stickball event. I met the likes of Tom Seaver and Jake LaMotta that day – but Ralph was the nicest and warmest of the celebrities at that event. He even signed my autograph book without having to beg.

Fast forward to August of 2010. My wife and I are in attendance for the Mets Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies for Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson. Towards the end of the game my wife and I caught up with my sister, brother in law and two nephews in the Caesars Club. We all decided to leave just before the end of the game and we took the club elevator to leave the building. And then it happened…

The elevator stopped at one of the private floors and who happened to get on but Ralph Kiner and a woman who I guess was his wife being wheeled into the elevator car by their attendants’. My nephews who must’ve been about 5 at the time were acting precocious as most 5 year olds do, and Ralph just looked at them and smiled. I didn’t utter a word to Ralph in that elevator because I respected his privacy and he looked extremely tired. But Ralph looked at me and nodded. I smiled back and wanted to thank him but I was just basking in the aura of this man.

Technically Ralph wasn’t a Met – but in many respects he truly was. No he never played one game as a Met, but he will always be tethered to the tapestry of this team. He will always be an original Met.

Even in his latter years with his speech impaired by Bell’s Palsy and often sounding tired, he could still inspire me with stories from his days of old with the Pirates – or even regale you with tales of Choo Choo Coleman, Casey Stengel or Dwight Gooden.

My innocence was lost many years ago – but I always felt that as long as I heard Ralph’s voice I still could hold onto a childhood that left me many years ago. I will miss you Ralph – and as I shed a tear, I also raise a glass of whiskey in your honor.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

  • Reserve outfielder from ’74-’76, Benny Ayala is 63 (1951).
  • One of the better starting pitchers from the “oh so bad early ’80′s teams“, Charlie Puleo is 59 (1955). Puleo was the main cog in the trade with the Cincinnati Reds that brought Tom Seaver  back to Flushing.
  • The man responsible for one of the most amazing catches in the history of the baseball postseason,  Endy Chavez is 36 (1978).

Other notable transactions include:

  • The  New York Mets traded spot starter/middle reliever,  Hank Webb and minor league pitching prospect, Rich Sanders to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league shortstop, Rick Auerbach on February 7, 1977.
  • One time Cy Young Mets pitcher, Mickey Lolich announced his retirement on February 7, 1977. Lolich would come out of retirement a year later to pitch for the San Diego Padres.
  • The New York Mets released utility infielder, Ross Jones on February 7, 1986.
  • The New York Mets claimed reserve infielder, David Lamb on waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays on February 7, 2000.
  • The Seattle Mariners  signed backup catcher,  Kelly Shoppach of the New York Mets as a free agent on February 7, 2013.

Mo Vaughn was so fat he couldn’t bend over!!!”  Ralph Kiner, August 10th 2010

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The Possible Granderson Calls Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-possible-granderson-calls-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-possible-granderson-calls-edition.html/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:28:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135158 granderson

Yes I know Opening Day is about three months away yet I found myself daydreaming during the Curtis Granderson introductory press conference yesterday. Who/what could I be daydreaming about you may ask?

Was it Jennifer Love Hewitt ? No.

Was it Jessica Alba in a string bikini ? Nope .

Could it be about the ’71 Dodge Demon 340 that I lusted over since I was 13 ? Nuh-uh.

Then what could it be that I was fantasizing about while our newest outfielder was talking about all the good things he heard about the Mets faithful (a mixture of good old-fashioned playing to the fan base with a pinch of brown-nosing thrown in for good measure). Try possible enthusiastic calls by either Howie Rose or Gary Cohen when The “Grandy Man” hits a game changing or game winning homerun or makes a stellar catch in the outfield.

So here are the Top 5 calls for Curtis Granderson when does something amazin for the Mets.

1. “IT’S A GRANDY SALAMMY!!!!!”

2. “IT’S A GRANDER- SON!!!!!”

3. “THAT ONE WAS GRANDED FOR LIFE!!!”

4. ” THAT BALL WAS ENGRANDED INTO THE PEPSI PORCH!!!!”

5. “GIVE THAT MAN A 100 GRAND BAR!!!”

But then after I stopped fantasizing I realized that our broadcasters are not named John Sterling and realized that this exercise was a moot point…

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Utility infielder from the ’03 season, Jay Bell is 49 (1965).

Mets outfielder from the ’00 season, Derek Bell is 45 (1968).

Other transactions of note includes:

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Felix Mantilla to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher, Tracy Stallard, third baseman, Pumpsie Green and utility infielder, Al Moran on December 11, 1962.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder, Ted Martinez to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder,  Mike Vail and utility infielder, Jack Heidemann on December 11, 1974.

The New York Mets released pitcher,  Bob Apodaca on December 11, 1979.

The New York Mets traded gold glove second baseman, Doug Flynn and middle reliever,  Danny Boitano to the Texas Rangers for pitcher,  Jim Kern on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded shortstop, Frank Taveras to the Montreal Expos for pitching prospect,  Steve Ratzer on December 11, 1981.

The New York Mets traded outfielders, Kevin Mitchell, Stan Jefferson and former first round draft pick, Shawn Abner to the San Diego Padres for outfielder,Kevin McReynolds, pitcher, Gene Walter and minor league infielder,  Adam Ging on December 11, 1986.

The New York Mets traded shortstop,  Rafael Santana and minor league pitcher, Victor Garcia to the New York Yankees for reserve outfielders, Phil Lombardi, Darren Reed and minor league pitcher,  Steve Frey on December 11, 1987.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder,  Jeff Gardner to the San Diego Padres for pitcher,  Steve Rosenberg on December 11, 1991.Rosenberg never appeared is a game for as a Met.

The New York Mets signed 2 free agent pitchers, Steve Trachsel of the Toronto Blue Jays and Kevin Appier of the Oakland Athletics on December 11, 2000. I hated those signings at the time and I still dislike them today because this was when the Mets ownership and front office announced that the were not going to spend the money on a certain shortstop/third baseman who happens to be facing a 200 game suspension for PED use and instead gave us 2 mediocre pitchers.

The New York Mets signed free agent outfielder, Tsuyoshi Shinjo on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Bubba Trammell to the San Diego Padres for middle reliever, Donne Wall on December 11, 2000.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Escobar, middle reliever, Jerrod Riggan, reserve outfielder, Matt Lawton, pitching prospect,Billy Traber and minor league first baseman,  Earl Snyder to the Cleveland Indians for  second baseman, Roberto Alomar, pitcher, Mike Bacsik and Danny Peoples on December 11, 2001. This trade should have been the steal of the century – intead it turned out to be one of the worst Mets trades ever !

The Los Angeles Angels signed spot starter/middle relievers,  Darren Oliver of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2006. I like most Mets fans wished that the Mets made an attept to re-sign him.

The New York Mets traded starting pitcher,  Aaron Heilman, reserve outfielder, Endy Chavez, and middle relievers Joe Smith, Jason Vargas,along with  minor league first baseman,Mike Carp, pitching prospect, Maikel Cleto and minor league outfielder, Ezequiel Carrera to the Seattle Mariners for relievers, Sean Green, J. J. Putz and reserve outfielders, Jeremy Reed on December 11, 2008.

The Mets drafted middle reliever, Darren O’Day from the Los Angeles Angels  on December 11, 2008.

One year to the day, the Chicago White Sox signed set up man, J. J. Putz of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009. Putz should have been part of a completely overhauled bullpen in ’09 but by mid-season he sustained a shoulder injury. Needless to say a firestorm of controversy Putz claimed the Mets tried to steer him away from surgery and pitch through the injury !

The Houston Astros signed middle reliever, Jon Switzer of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 11, 2009.

There were reported sightings of Mo Vaughn in Orlando yesterday- but it turned out to be Shamu at SeaWorld!!!!

shamu whale

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It’s Slow. It’s Boring. The Games Are Too Long. But Enough About Football… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/its-slow-its-boring-the-games-are-too-long-but-enough-about-football.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/its-slow-its-boring-the-games-are-too-long-but-enough-about-football.html/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 13:33:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132207 Jose Valentin was ninety feet from home. Endy Chavez was on second representing the tying run. Pinch-runner Anderson Hernandez was on first. Bases loaded, 2 outs, bottom of the 9th. The Mets trailed 3-1. A base hit would tie it, a double would send us to the World Series against Detroit. 56,357 fanatics screamed and cheered and proudly shouted Let’s Go Mets as Carlos Beltran walked to the plate. 41 HR’s, 116 RBI’s and 38 doubles, Beltran was “the guy.” Adam Wainwright was quickly ahead in the count 0-2. The Cardinal rookie then delivered a curve over the outside corner at the knees that left Beltran paralyzed. Ty Cobb would have been caught looking. Shea became deathly quiet as Yadier Molina bounded up and down like his feet were on fire.

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But what if it didn’t happen?

Imagine if after the 0-2 pitch that stunned Beltran, the umpires would have stood around to discuss things. Imagine if they gathered at home and measured the strike zone and determined where exactly the ball crossed the plate. Sound crazy? Not really. Isn’t that exactly what happens when a football player leaps at fourth down and inches?

I grew up in Queens and rooted for the Dallas Cowboys because my dad knew Roger Staubach (and yes, I had that Cowboys cheerleader poster in my bedroom) My dad rooted for the Rangers, me the Islanders. He was a Knicks fan. I never got into basketball. However, these sports were ancillary. Ours was a baseball home.

Even baseball fans complain about the length of a ballgame. Pitching changes, visits to the mound, throws to first. It slows down the game they claim. Football has more action. Football is faster. Baseball is boring. My question is this: If Football truly is faster then why does it take so long? The game is rigidly designed into 4 15-minute quarters. One hour. Yet, a typical game runs triple that. In other words for 2 hours of a 3 hour game there is nothing happening. Two of every three minutes are pointless.

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Here’s an example of a possession: The offense has the ball on their own 20. They huddle and discuss what they should do. They walk up to the line of scrimmage. The quarterback counts, he steps back, he hands off to the running back. The RB gets 3 yards. Now, we watch players untangle from each other and what happens next? They retreat in the opposite direction to discuss the next play. Another huddle, another meeting, another plan. The offense returns to the line of scrimmage again. The QB counts, steps back, turns right this time, hands the ball to the RB. Now he gets 4 yards. 3rd and three.

Once again, players unravel and walk off to yet again have another meeting. What should we do now? After their conference concludes, the QB does some more counting and throws downfield. Ohhh, incomplete pass. The clock now stops and we watch some players walk off the field as other players walk onto the field. The ball is kicked sixty yards and the receiver drops to his knees to signal fair catch. The clock stops again so players can exit the field again, only to be replaced by a brand new squad. And now, with this new group on the gridiron, what’s the first order of business? Let’s have a discussion so we can decide what to do.

And this is more exciting than baseball? Imagine a catcher talking to the pitcher after every pitch or the infielders meeting on the mound following every foul ball?

If these huddles/meetings are so important, let me put forth another scenario. Offense has the ball on their own 30, they’re losing by 5 points with 2 minutes left, no time-outs. Exciting stuff. Now–with the game on the line and time ticking away–in the most crucial 120 seconds of all–they line up quickly and repeatedly throw the ball downfield—WITHOUT a meeting. What? NOW is the one time they SHOULD have a discussion. At the most critical juncture of the game they DON’T discuss what to do? If huddles are not needed with the game on the line then what was the point of all the huddles for the first 2 hours and 50 minutes?

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I haven’t seen so many pointless meetings since I turned on C-Span and watched our government in action.

Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of meetings. The only thing worse than sitting through one is watching other people engage in meetings. But that’s the essence of Football: An endless series of meetings about what to do next.

Yes, I’m no longer a football fan—as you probably gathered. I know I’m in the minority, both in the real world and even here on a Mets website. To me, watching a pitcher throw to first to keep a runner close or a batter stepping out to break a pitcher’s rhythm is far more electrifying than watching people outfitted like gladiators trotting on and off the sidelines.

One of the many things I love about the beauty of Baseball is the history, the memories. But mostly the endless possibilities. I’ve watched thousands and thousands of games over 41 seasons. However, I still witness events I’ve never observed before. After four decades I saw a game end on an obstruction call at third base. The following day the game ended with a runner being picked-off. When was the last time anyone saw that, much less in the World Series?

There’s also the uniqueness of baseball, uniqueness without specifics. You can describe a moment in baseball to the casual fan without supplying names and he or she will know exactly what you’re talking about:

Remember when that one guy hit the slow roller down the 1B line and the guy missed it? Remember when they said there was too much pine tar on that one dude’s bat and he went ballistic after negating his HR? Remember when what’s his name threw a Perfect Game in the World Series? Whatever happened to the chubby guy who “called his shot?” Every one of you knows exactly who and what I’m referring to.

babe ruth

Now, on the football side of the ledger: Remember when that guy threw into the end zone and the guy leaped and caught the ball? Remember when that one fella broke free and ran for the first down?

Baseball you watch. Football you look at.

Baseball is something where you ponder endless possibilities. Do you hit and run in this situation? Do you play the infield back and give up a run? Do you pinch hit for the pitcher even though it’s only the sixth inning? Do you send the runner home even though the right fielder has a strong arm? It’s the anticipation of action.

What is there to consider in football? Should the wide receiver go deep? Should the RB have ran right instead of left? Not the same.

In Baseball we know immediately what happened. In Football we have to wait to see if what we just saw really did happen.

I like when a QB dives over guys to try and get that one yard for a first down. Did he make it? Did the defense hold him? Will the other team get the ball right here? Who knows? Let’s watch the officials come out with a chain and two sticks and try and determine a distance of ten yards. Thrilling stuff!

Tight end avoids two defenders in the end zone. Touchdown!!! But wait, maybe not. There’s a flag on the play. Now we sit back and watch the zebras discuss things. (Good, more discussions) Pass interference. Touchdown doesn’t count.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Just like when I played stickball with my friends at age nine, it’s a DO-OVER!

When Shane Victorino doubled in three and hammered the first nail into the Cardinals coffin last week, it REALLY happened. Michael Wacha would’ve loved to have the pitch back but Cards skipper Mike Matheny couldn’t ask for a DO OVER. Not only is there no crying in baseball, but there’s also no DO-OVERS.

I also get a laugh when ESPN is touting the great performance of some quarterback. He completed 18 of 31 passes. Really? To me, that’s 13 errors. Imagine if David Wright only completed 18 of 31 throws across the diamond?

Remember when Chuck Knoblauch was pretty much run out of town for an erratic arm? If he played football, an arm like that would get him enshrined in Canton.

People also grumble about baseball salaries, yet no one vents about Football salaries. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, it’s ludicrous how much athletes get paid. However, why is the argument only focused on baseball? Ballplayers play 3 hours a night for six months. Football players play 3 hours a week—unless, of course, they have a by-week. (I wish I could get 2 weeks off after working 3 hours).

The World Series is now over and the next big thing is the Super Bowl. Ahh, yes, the Super Bowl. A “sporting” event watched by one hundred million Americans. And what does everyone talk about for days after? The game? No. Commercials. Somewhere between a little kid dressed as Darth Vader and Britney Spears dancing, there was apparently a game played.

What’s the most talked about Super Bowl moment of the last twenty years?

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Granted, I’m not objective when it comes to Football. I wouldn’t even consider myself a casual fan. I can’t recall who won last year’s Commercial Bowl. Over the last twenty five years I’ve watched a couple: the two the Giants played in and the second half of whichever one Bruce Springsteen performed at halftime. As a football outsider I don’t know anything about recent Super Bowl history. Yet, I’m familiar with the periphery events: commercials, lights going out, wardrobe malfunctions. It’s interesting how even to football fans themselves the most memorable events of the Holy Grail of their sport is what goes on off the field.

I know Allen Craig scored a run on an obstruction call. I know Kolten Wong was picked off to end game four. I don’t, however, recall who sung God Bless America in the 7th inning stretch.

I know Whitney Houston once sung a rousing rendition of the National Anthem during a Super Bowl but I have no idea who won that afternoon.

In a few months one of every three Americans will have a party, consume plenty of chicken fingers and pizza and watch a game, eagerly as excited about the commercials and half-time show as they are with the goings-on on the field. Me? I look forward to the Super Bowl as well. Once that’s out of the way I know it’s only a couple weeks until pitchers and catchers report and we can get back to what’s important.

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Juan Lagares Is Off To A Sizzling Start In Winter Ball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/juan-lagares-is-off-to-a-sizzling-start-in-winter-ball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/juan-lagares-is-off-to-a-sizzling-start-in-winter-ball.html/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:55:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131986 future stars lagares

It’s only been six games for Juan Lagares who is working on his bat in the Dominican Winter League, but so far the early results have been incredible for the young center fielder.

Last night, Lagares went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two stolen bases to raise his average to .375 for the season with a .777 OPS.

The Dominican native has hit in six straight games for Las Aguilas and has eleven hits in his last twenty at-bats. Lagares is batting third in the lineup as his team takes advantage of his ability to spray the ball to all fields, make solid contact, and produce runs.

Like all rookies, Lagares had his highs and lows at the plate last season, but the team loves his coachability and his thirst to improve.

juan lagares

I’ve always seen Lagares as the center fielder of the future for the Mets after falling in love with his bat in 2010 and then his defense in 2011.

There are many who predict his power to increase and for him to start utilizing his plus-speed more on the basepaths. He’s one of the few Mets who have a controlled aggressiveness at the plate and has the potential to become a catalyst in the lineup.

Defensively, he is already considered among the best center fielders in the game, accumulating 26 Defensive Runs Saved in barely two-thirds of a season as an everyday player. His 21.5 UZR is off the charts.

As our own former Mets scouting assistant Teddy Klein told us, Lagares’ defense is comparable to a young version of Carlos Beltran. “He just doesn’t give much away except the impossible, and he glides to the ball. It’s like an art to me, just watching his routes.”

The Mets have said they are very comfortable with Lagares as their everyday center fielder and some in the organization expect him to have a breakthrough season in 2014.

What he’s doing right now in Winter Ball is exciting to say the least.

How many days until pitchers and catchers report? :-)

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Ojeda Tabs Lagares As His Breakthrough Player for 2014 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/ojeda-tabs-lagares-as-his-breakthrough-player-for-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/ojeda-tabs-lagares-as-his-breakthrough-player-for-2014.html/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 13:40:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129115 juan lagares

Nick asks…

Is Juan Lagares an everyday player? He seems more like a Endy Chavez defensive substitute type to me, but I keep hearing that he has a hold on the everyday center field job. Do you think his bat will develop or will we see the same offensive production we saw last season? Any idea what kind of numbers we should look forward to?

Teddy replies…

I don’t think Lagares is a defensive substitute at all. First of all, his defense is similar to Chavez, but I like to compare his defense to our young version of Carlos Beltran. He just doesn’t give much away except the impossible, and he glides to the ball. It’s like an art to me, just watching his routes.

His bat will play, it takes some rookies some time to adjust to the Majors. His bat is actually better than people think. In the upper minors, Juan Lagares hit for a .330 average in 739 at-bats. If believed this average is skewed by Vegas’s hitting grounds, don’t be deterred, only 78 at bats were at Vegas.

However, during those accumulated stats, Lagares only walked 48 times while striking out 136 times, but he did hit nine homers and 43 doubles during that span.

Jon Heyman reported that the Mets are very comfortable moving forward with Lagares as their everyday center fielder.

Additionally, when Bobby Ojeda was asked in an interview which player he expected to have a breakthrough season in 2014, he responded:

“Juan Lagares. I think you’ll see much more power out of his at bats. I think that’s something this ballclub needs on a consistent basis.”

Lagares could hit virtually .280 (his discipline would suggest he wouldn’t be able to sustain a higher average) with some home run power and a ton of doubles. He has yet to tap into his speed which is also a plus tool for him. Either way, that is an above-average outfielder, especially with his plus fielding saving the day in center.

I’ll take that any day, wouldn’t you?

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MMO Top 40 Prospects: No. 39 Patrick Biondi, OF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-top-40-prospects-no-39-patrick-biondi-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-top-40-prospects-no-39-patrick-biondi-of.html/#comments Sun, 06 Oct 2013 13:13:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130770 2014 Top 40 Prospects

39. Patrick Biondi, OF

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 160 LBs

DOB: 1/9/1991 (22 years old)

Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Hit: 40/50 Power: 20/25 Arm: 55/55 Field: 60/60 Speed: 55/65

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A 2013 draft pick for the Mets, Biondi was a senior sign grabbed in the 9th round. He’s a bit on the smaller side, standing at 5’9”, but his body type is that of your prototypical speedster.

It’s very likely that Biondi will barely hit for any power down the line, with just five home runs in 822 at-bats in Michigan. His speed is his claim to fame, however, as he has 103 stolen bases in 130 chances over that span — and he backs it up with above-average defense. Biondi’s got a solid arm, takes good paths to balls, and accelerates well when tracking down balls — so he’s definitely got that part of his game down. He’s also got a career .304 college average to his name, highlighted by his league-leading .388 in 2012.

Biondi, unsurprisingly, was sent to Brooklyn where he posted a .249/.348/.301 slash line in 193 at-bats with no home runs, six doubles, two triples, and 17 stolen bases.

Outlook: Biondi’s speed really excites me — and he plays solid enough defense that I think he’ll end up as a solid 4th OF type player no matter what happens. He’s certainly talented enough to play center field defensively, by the way. His ability to hit for contact will determine whether he can find himself in a starting gig or not someday. He owns a solid walk rate and demonstrates good plate discipline. However, he’ll be 23 at the start of next season and getting his first-taste of full season ball, so time isn’t exactly on his side here. If I had to give you an MLB comparison, my first thought is Endy Chavez — so there’s value here yet.

ETA: Late 2016

MMN Top 40 Prospects

40. Jhoan Urena

39. Patrick Biondi

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Reverting Back to “You Gotta Believe” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/reverting-back-to-you-gotta-believe.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/reverting-back-to-you-gotta-believe.html/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 17:19:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127131 In 2005, the Mets fan was generally an optimistic one. Sure, we as fans were still getting over the bitter Subway Series defeat. Yet, the idea that somebody fresh and new was coming in to take over the Mets and build a team around our two young potential stars in Jose Reyes and David Wright allowed any Mets fan I know to be patient, but more importantly optimistic.

The ideas of a “plan”, or value of player contracts never once came up in any conversation I ever had.

When Omar Minaya was hired it was because he was the right guy for the job. He was eager, and excited to take the Mets to new heights. The Mets saw an opportunity to POSSIBLY be New York’s team once again if everything was done right. David Wright & Jose Reyes were going to be the toast of the town – and Minaya was going to bring in the right guys to make sure that happened.

What Mets fan wasn’t beside themselves with excitement when Pedro Martinez was signed? You can use hindsight all you want – but that was a big move. This was Pedro Martinez, in my mind the most dominant pitcher of his era wearing a Mets uniform. Sure, he was 33, but every start he had was “must see.”

That move set the tone for this franchise moving away from the “same old Mets.” Then, Carlos Beltran, the 28 year old quiet but formidable center fielder was brought in after his 8 post season homeruns made the baseball world aware of his talent.

Fast forward to Endy Chavez’s catch. I remember where I was, when it happened and how I reacted. I was sure the Mets were going to the World Series after that. Weren’t you?

We all know what happened next. A downward spiral towards heart break in 2007 followed by the team stepping on our hearts in 2008 just to make sure we were not alive anymore. Up until Atlanta and Boston decided to collapse on their own, it was the worst collapse (twice) I ever remember seeing as a sports fan.

In 2009, I came to MetsMerizedOnline somehow, some way. I honestly have no idea how I found MMO – but I know why I landed here.

Omar Minaya had just gotten into a public spat with reporter Adam Rubin and the damage to Minaya’s image was done. I came here to defend Minaya, and wrote a Fan Post which later spring boarded me into being a full time writer here.

I defended Minaya because he was the GM of my favorite team and felt he was being treated unfairly. At that moment – I believe the Mets fan base in my eyes changed dramatically.

The 2009 season gave Mets fans no reason to be anything but negative. It turned an optimistic “you gotta believe” fan base into a fan base that would soon be divided into many different groups.

Later on, the writing was on the wall. It had been 6 seasons and only 1 playoff appearance and Minaya had to go. The job search seemed to be extension for his replacement, but anybody who understands Bud Selig’s relationship with Sandy Alderson and the Wilpon’s should understand that it was Alderson’s job for a reason.

It was at this moment that the divide between Mets fans turned into the Grand Canyon. Sure, there were some that were willing to see what he’d do first – but there were so many (mostly younger) fans who were excited about the “new way” of thinking that Alderson and his staff would bring to the Mets.

They became obsessed with player contracts, not because they care about the Wilpon’s financial well-being, but likely because they understood that it’s hard to spend money on baseball players when you are in the middle of a $1billion lawsuit for possibly taking part in the largest Ponzi scheme this country has ever seen.

The day Jose Reyes signed with Miami was the end of Mets fans being able to celebrate together. The young superstar we all hoped would define what this franchise could be all about walked off the field in game 162, never to be seen in a Mets uniform again. reyes-marlins

If you spend any time on any Mets related blog/fan site you know what I mean when I speak of this divide. If you spend any time following any outspoken Mets fans on Twitter, you know what I mean when I speak of this divide.

Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point where we all are not just fans anymore. There is no common bond between those you interact with on Al Gore’s internet with regards to your favorite baseball team.

Every move, every non-move, every play, every bullpen decision, every call up or send down will be diagnosed and in an instant, will have generally two sides thinking that it should have been done differently than the other side.

That is what is great about baseball. That’s why the Hall of Fame is great. The Hall of Fame is an amazing barometer for baseball discussion because rarely is anybody ever 100% right. You can have an honest and fair discussion right now about whether Jack Morris should be in the Hall of Fame and both arguments could be respected.

At some point in the Mets fan base, whether it be the day Minaya and Rubin got in their spat, the day Tom Glavine collapsed, the day Alderson made his first move or the day Jose Reyes left New York – the discussion went in many cases from “baseball” to “personal.”

No longer was your opinion on a game looked at as just another way to look at the game, instead it turned into an opportunity to get personal with those who disagree with you. I’m guilty of it to, and I’d wager a large percent of the people reading this are as well.

I am not a professional writer, I have no aspirations of being a writer – I’m just a 30 something guy, dad of 2, a non-profit employee, and passionate baseball fan. I come here because I love to talk about the game of baseball, but at some point many of those who disagree with me have taken that passion away and resorted to personal attacks not only against myself, but against this very website.

Defaming people because they view a baseball team differently than you is exactly what is wrong with our internet based society today. That in it of itself is proof that what is wrong with the social media aspect of being a sports fan is that is allows people to spew out hateful words they normally would never say if there was no keyboard in front of them.

Whether it’s a disagreement against me, or somebody who sees things differently than I – in either case, it’s wrong.

This is by far and away the greatest Mets fan site around and I am lucky to be considered a small part of it. I don’t think many of you realize just how hard guys like Joe work to make this site what it is. I’ve informed Joe D that I will step away from this website for the time being with the hope of maybe one day returning.

To the fans that have always respected me and given me their feedback whether in agreeable or disagreeable fashion, I thank you.

To those few who seek out my opinions, not to discuss them but to use them against my character – I also thank you.

Because of you, I’ve been able to revert back to the way I felt about this franchise back in 2005. Where hope, optimism and enjoyment for the game reigned supreme. I only hope that you yourself can find that same “you gotta believe” mentality once again.

Because of you, I’ve learned to further understand that baseball is a game that none of us have any control over and I’m lucky that I live a life in which my favorite baseball team’s W-L record doesn’t change who I am or how I enjoy my life every day.

Regardless of who you are, thanks for letting me chat about the game I love with you for so many years.

The Mets are embarking on a potentially special time, and right now there are so many fans whether here, other sites or on twitter that will miss out on what we as fans deserve because they are too focused on the details and not the outcome.

Their focus is not on enjoying the team they grew up being a fan of, but simply on those they disagree with – whether it be the General Manager, other fans or the former General Manager. My best advice no matter the side of the fence you’re on, start enjoying the game again, because that is what I’m going to do.

I’ll leave you with this…

Last night, when I got home from work my two year old ran to me and said “I want to go play baseball.”

Up until this point I’ve never asked her or even mentioned the idea of playing baseball. She has a Mets t-shirt and has watched a few games here and there – but for some reason, yesterday was the day she wanted to play.

So we went in the backyard (I couldn’t get changed fast enough) and she didn’t want to be the hitter, she wanted to be the pitcher.

So she’d throw the ball to me as best she could and I would hit it (crush it) with a whiffle ball bat. Then, we’d run as fast as we could to the ball to see who could pick it up first. She always won because I would “just miss” getting the ball.

What many fans do not understand is that moment from the time I walked in the door to the very first swing of the bat is what baseball is supposed to be all about.

That moment awakened me to realize there are so many more aspects to the game that arguing about sabermetrics, managers or free agents just loses sight of.

So tomorrow, you’ll find somebody else to attack because they disagree with how you view the sport of baseball – but you won’t find me because I’ll be in the backyard playing catch with my daughter.

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Why Is Duda Playing The Outfield Instead Of First Base During His Rehab? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/why-is-duda-playing-the-outfield-instead-of-first-base-during-his-rehab.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/why-is-duda-playing-the-outfield-instead-of-first-base-during-his-rehab.html/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:30:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=126598 Lucas Duda right fieldLucas Duda has moved into the third and final stage of his rehab from a strained intercostal muscle. He appeared as a pinch hitter in last night’s 5-2 win over the Memphis Cardinals, walking in his only plate appearance. Judging by how he’s performed thus far in the Gulf Coast League and Florida State League, he may be with Ruben Tejada in Triple-A for an extended period of time. It also helps that the big league outfield is performing just fine with the likes of Eric Young, Jr., Juan Lagares, and Marlon Byrd.

In 11 games and 41 at-bats between the GCL and FSL, Duda has only collected seven hits and five walks, while striking out 15 times. That includes a big goose egg in 13 GCL at-bats, which didn’t sit well with Mets fans upon the news of him moving on to High-A with St. Lucie.

I’ve been in favor of major leaguers spending time in the minors to get in a groove at the plate following an injury, and earning their way back to the majors. It shows them that nothing should be taken for granted. However, I don’t think Duda should be continuing to play the outfield in Las Vegas, like he has at his other rehab stops.

Moving forward, the biggest question for the Mets (outside of who is going to play shortstop) is who will play first base. Will it be Duda, Ike Davis, or someone else? The outfield picture has cleared up a bit; Lagares is emerging as a potential solution, as is Young. With Cesar Puello coming back from his suspension next season, Sandy Alderson needs to acquire more than one outfielder this off-season.

With that situation becoming more clear, that leaves Duda on the outside looking in for a spot in the outfield. His natural position is first base, and when he played that position in the majors following Ike’s demotion, he performed pretty well. So, why not have an open audition between the two in September? They both know their futures in the organization are hanging in the balance, mostly depending on their performance through the remainder of the season.

I say light another fire under each of them and have them split time at first base next month. The Mets need to make a decision on which player should be a part of their future, so put them up against each other, and see who rises to the occasion.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Nice basis for a debate, Matt. This organization has been trying to fit round pegs into square holes for as far back as I can remember. And this ol’ Met fan can remember a lot.

As you stated, at least for the remainder of this season, Duda would be a third wheel err fourth wheel in the current outfield configuration. As for moving forward, Juan Lagares is the only keeper as far as an everyday job goes for next season. Young can stay on, but not as an everyday player. As I mentioned in a previous post, he has already begun receding to his career norms and is batting around .195 since the All Star break. I have no problem with him as a fourth outfielder, but let’s stop making it sound like this waiver wire pickup that cost us Collin McHugh is anything more than a utility outfielder with great speed. An Endy Chavez if you will…

We need at least one power bat in the outfield and hopefully that’s a top priority for Sandy this offseason. Although I shudder to think it was his top priority last offseason as well. Luckily, after all the big chips were gone, he got lucky on Marlon Byrd – who may or may not return next season depending on his price.

Puello is the next big offensive thing now that Flores is already here, and one of those corner outfield spots will be commandeered by him for the next 6-7 years if all goes as expected.

So what the hell is Duda doing playing the outfield? Who needs him in the outfield muffing things up?

Look, from what I know and what I’ve heard, nobody is this front office is high on Duda. He plays mostly because there’s a chance can show some power that another team might want to take a chance on. I mean come on folks, Alderson went on WFAN and told the world that he did not view Duda as a core player. What does that tell you?

Let him play some first base and showcase him at his natural position, because watching him make an adventure out of every ball hit to him in left or right field will not enhance his value, it will kill it.

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Featured Post: Hope In Flushing, Despair In The Bronx http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/featured-post-hope-in-flushing-despair-in-the-bronx.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/featured-post-hope-in-flushing-despair-in-the-bronx.html/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 19:18:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110470 mark-teixeiraIt seems you just can’t watch the evening sports reports these days without hearing about how yet another Yankee “great” has landed himself on the disabled list. This week it was Mark Teixeira. The longtime Yankee first baseman will miss eight to ten weeks after an injury suffered while hitting balls off a tee during a workout for the World Baseball Classic.

Teixeira will join Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez with longterm DL stints once the season starts. The Captain, Derek Jeter is also rehabbing a busted ankle, so who knows what the Yankees will get from him this season.

The living legend Mariano Rivera is returning from knee surgery, and announced his retirement on Saturday.

Adding insult to injury is that the Yankees really don’t have a “brand name” catcher, and the outfield is filled with question marks. Hmm… sounds like another team we may know…

Right now… I’ll take the Mets projected starting infield of Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and David Wright, and take them over the Yankees any day. Heck I’ll stack them up against any other infield in baseball. And for the record, I Wright is one of the best all-around third basemen in the game and certainly in New York.

wright spring

John Buck is a solid veteran with pop behind the plate, and it won’t be long until top catching prospect Travis d`Arnaud makes his way to the big club. I see a bright future for the Mets infield.

As far as the outfield goes, once upon a time, Mookie Wilson and Lenny Dykstra were complete unknowns. So were Jay Payton, Benny Agbayani, Timo Perez, Endy Chavez and Kevin Mitchell. Yet, all these unknown players made it to the post season with the Mets.

Who’s to say Mike Baxter isn’t the next Endy Chavez (get the great catch angle?), or that Lucas Duda won’t be the next Kevin Mitchell. Who knows? The point is nobody knows and that’s the beauty of baseball.

I have no doubt the Yankees will make some lop-sided trades this season and spend some big money for some quick damage control. But who knows how that will turn out either?

I know one thing… This season and moving forward, the Mets have hope for a brighter future built around a solid young core of players and farm system bursting with talent. I’m not so certain you can say the same thing for that other team from the Bronx.

addicted to mets button

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Remember When We Were MetsMerized In 2006? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/remember-when-we-were-metsmerized-in-2006.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/remember-when-we-were-metsmerized-in-2006.html/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2012 13:18:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=96630

How awesome was this scene in the clubhouse?

Man, 2006 feels like so long ago now. That season was the most exciting one I have witnessed since the World Series run in 2000. The Mets were a juggernaut. We had swagger, power, pitching, speed. We had a attitude and everyone hated us, especially when Reyes, Delgado, and others would dance on the field.

Remember the slogan?

“The Team. The Time. The Mets.”

Remember how much we loved Willie Randolph? We thought he was our savior, and everything he touched was gold.

The 2005 off-season was Omar Minaya’s second season at the helm. He spared no expense, and left no stone unturned as he built a powerhouse of a team.

Notable moves from the 2005 off-season that helped lead us to the 2006 NL East Crown.

  • The lasting image of the young Wright celebrating

    November 18, 2005: Xavier Nady was traded by the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets for Mike Cameron.

  • November 24, 2005: Carlos Delgado was traded by the Florida Marlins with cash to the New York Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit, and Grant Psomas (minors).
  • November 29, 2005: Billy Wagner was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
  • December 5, 2005: Paul Lo Duca was traded by the Florida Marlins to the New York Mets for Dante Brinkley (minors) and Gaby Hernandez (minors).
  • December 12, 2005: Julio Franco was signed as a Free Agent by the New York Mets.
  • January 22, 2006: Kris Benson was traded by the New York Mets to the Baltimore Orioles for Jorge Julio and John Maine.

The pitching staff was headed by long time nemesis Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Steve Trachsel, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, while Oliver Perez and John Maine filled in when injuries hit.

The starting lineup boasted supreme talent across the board from the youngsters Reyes and Wright, to the veteran sluggers Delgado and Beltran.

This team had a great bullpen led by all-star closer Billy Wagner, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez and Chad Bradford.

Despite the season ending in an utter letdown, 2006 was a wild ride. We had some of the greatest moments in our history during that season.

Boy, don’t you miss Lo Duca’s fire?

Remember the double play at home versus the Dodgers in the NLDS?

With nobody out and runners on first and second base, Russell Martin drilled a single toward right field. When it hit off the wall, it seemed definite that Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew would score. As Lo Duca looked up to see home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck call Kent out, he almost didn’t see Drew sliding headfirst toward the plate. But with one quick motion, the veteran catcher turned his head back toward the field and applied the tag that completed an improbable double play.

Remember Endy Chavez’s catch versus the Cardinals in the NLCS?

Endy made arguably one of the best defensive plays in Mets history, and it will be forever remembered as “The Catch”. 

It’s too bad this catch did not

I’ll let Gary Cohen refresh your memory in case you forgot exactly how it happened.

“Edmonds at first and one out, and Perez deals. Fastball hit in the air to left field, that’s deep, back goes Chavez  back near the wall…leaping, and…. he made the catch! He took a home run away from Rolen! Trying to get back to first, Edmonds… he’s doubled off! And the inning is over! Endy Chavez saved the day! He reached high over the left field wall, right in front of the visitors bullpen, and pulled back a two run homer! He went to the apex of his leap, and caught it in the webbing of his glove, with his elbow up above the fence. A miraculous play by Endy Chavez  and then Edmonds is doubled off first, and Oliver Perez escapes the 6th inning. The play of the year, the play maybe of the franchise history, for Endy Chavez  and the inning is over”

The Mets had so many memorable moments from that season, but now it just feels so long ago.

How does a big market team like us always find a way to fail?

We have so many resources, but fail to build a complete team. The 2006 team was the strongest we have had in a very long time.

It’s just really sad that we have to think back seven years to remember what it was like to really enjoy watching our favorite team. The Mets have had their moments over the past few seasons, but they always end in disappointment  When will it end? When Harvey and Wheeler get here? I know they will help, but as my dad said the other day, “how awful would it be to have Harvey and Wheeler here and no team around them?”.

That would be awful, but it would also be typical of the Mets. I just really hope I get to stop saying that one day…

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Ramblings About Success And Some Reminiscing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/ramblings-about-success-and-some-reminiscing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/ramblings-about-success-and-some-reminiscing.html/#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2012 15:53:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=75609 Every team has to have a number of components in order to brew a culture of winning and unity that is found in most legitimate contenders. The token ace, power bat, golden glove, and bullpen leader are a given, but just because you follow the directions of a paint by numbers doesn’t mean it will be a masterpiece. Realistically there are more cogs in the machine than we could imagine and it takes a perfect storm to mold a successful season. Calm down I am not attempting to rationalize that the Metropolitans are floating about while the puzzle pieces are falling together. However the club is capable of taking legitimate steps forward, or at least making an effort to rebuild a culture that has been M.I.A. for many moons.

The fact of the matter is, Jose Reyes was the superstar who possessed all the ideal points of a lovable glue guy (noun: middle of the pack talent who has the ability to electrify the crowd with a solid showing; player who goes above and beyond his expected effort output; gamer who develops a touch of extra personality in order to hold on to some semblance of excitement or because he likes having a dirty uniform). It was a beautiful thing to witness a legitimate franchise player hold onto his child-like love for the game, but Jose’s departure leaves a massive hole in the personality of this franchise. Personally, I don’t see a David Wright or an elderly Johan Santana hopping around the dugout and hyping everyone up.

Yes, this is a rebuilding year for the Mets. Yes, they will probably embarrass themselves. However there are a number of young guys like Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, and Lucas Duda who will likely be around after the Mets’ makeover. I wouldn’t be upset if Justin Turner or even a Bobby Parnell made it through the scourge. Granted it is important to focus on improving their game, but heading into this season I want to see them mesh and get a little goofy. Notice I didn’t even mention Wheeler, Harvey, or Familia? I only hear great things and I am excited to see how they perform when they get the call up, but that conversation is for another day. The point I am trying to get across is that I truly believe the birth of this new culture must be the first step in the rebuilding campaign. Try and personify the current organization, management and players, as soon to be parents baby-proofing the house, setting up the crib, hanging up some colorful wallpaper, and buying stuffed animals in bulk. The baby can’t appreciate it at the moment but when the time finally comes to give birth (moves have been made, poor contracts are expired, etc) the child will walk into the perfect setting. I don’t want to see these three pitching prospects finally make it to the big show only to see a depressed and hopeless squad with no real excitement.

In a perfect world the current roster can somehow breed a sense of unity and smoothness regardless of their record. David Wright looks like a swell guy when he whips out that smile but I would kill to watch Duda and Tejada grabbing at each other as they try to will a warning tracker out of the park. More importantly who will be the official creator of handshakes?!?! Call me immature or crazy but I crave genuine camaraderie and I truly believe these young “glue guys” need to get a bit more glue in their system.

Who knows? The only thing for certain is that we simply don’t know which rung of the NL East totem pole will be inhabited by the Metsies. The debate continues whether or not the stars will align or if the Mets will lay claim to last place from day one, but it will certainly be interesting to see how those on the roster will react to the state of affairs. In the meantime, let’s look at a couple guys we grew to love/hate in no particular order, and check in on where they are now.

Oliver Perez – I don’t really know how to start explaining my love affair with Ollie. On paper he was an absolute bum who rarely even sniffed his own potential while with the Mets. On the other hand, I know that the crowd developed an uncanny sense of impending greatness the few times he really brought his “stuff” to the mound. Ollie haters can go ahead and claim that it was just the reaction of absolute shock that the stiff finally pulled it together. Perhaps I am biased since I proudly rocked a sombrero as a member of Ollie’s Tamales whenever I could attend  one of his starts, but deep down we all know that high leg kick just seemed to charge the stadium up. Plus, those studly sideburns certainly didn’t hurt the cause. Sadly enough, even I can only reminisce about the good Ollie so much before questioning my own sanity. Terrible contract, even worse performance, but what happened after we all turned our backs on Mr. Perez? After the Mets released Perez in March of 2011 he was assigned to a minor league deal by the Washington Nationals. Unfortunately it took another relegation to Double A before Ollie was able to put of respectable numbers. Alas, the Nats were still not impressed and eventually released my main man. The saga of Ollie still has a heartbeat as he just recently received an invitation to spring training in the big show with the Mariners, although he didn’t make the opening day roster.

John Maine – Johny Maine was basically a one and a half pitch wonder who managed to kill it while healthy in his first couple season with the Mets from 2006-2007. Unfortunately we were forced to witness a gradual and constant decline in numbers and physical deterioration. Dan Warthen was quoted as saying that Maine had a habit of lying about his health, and became a free agent after missing most of the 2010 season following shoulder surgery. Next stop was Colorado, but a change of scenery did not improve the situation as he only pitched 45 innings and posted a 7.43 ERA in Triple-A. Retirement suddenly became an option, but Maine’s career is currently back on life support after signing a minor league contract a month ago. Realistically you have to be pessimistic about his career and it doesn’t like we will see John Maine command the mound ever again.

Endy Chavez – The man, the myth, the legend. Endy will forever hold a special place in my heart after “the catch” in 2006 and another temporary season saving grab in the last regular season game in 2008. He was a fan favorite during his three years with the Mets and a real quality defensive replacement. Good times were had, but Endy was eventually traded to Seattle where he tore the ACL in his right knee while colliding with Yuniesky Betancourt. After free-agency, the next stop was Texas where he hit a very solid .301 in 256 at bats last season. The 34 year old lefty still has some juice in the tank, and is expected to platoon in left field for the Baltimore Orioles this upcoming season.

Jeff Francoeur – You either love or you hate Frenchy. The Braves gave up on the former first round pick after an unacceptably long slump, and the Mets got their hands on the streaky outfielder with a cannon for an arm in exchange for Ryan Church. He had a decent single season for the Met but also famously hit into a game-ending unassisted triple play. Francoeur was benched the next season to make room for Carlos Beltran and traded to the Rangers for an irrelevant Joaquín Árias. In the end, he signed a one-year deal with the Royals, joined the 20 20 club for the first time in 2011, and then signed a hefty two-year $13.5 million dollar extension. Personally, I enjoyed watching Frenchy play in 2009 and that trademark grin makes it obvious he absolutely loves the game.

Ramon Castro – If I were a betting man I would say Ramon came out of the womb with the jowls of a bulldog. He was a lovable guy throughout his four and a half years with the Mets, and had a fairly reliable bat for a backup catcher behind the likes of Mike Piazza, Paul Lo Duca, and Brian Schneider. Fans were always hoping Castro would be given the reigns whenever the starting job opened up but he was never really given a shot. After the Mets he ended up with the White Sox. His claim to fame is catching Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in July of 2009. It was the first time he caught for Buehrle, who claimed that he didn’t shake off Castro a single time during the game. The guy is 35 and technically the third string catcher but Castro fans will probably get a couple more sightings as he should be healthy heading into spring training.

Lastings Milledge – The kid made his major league debut for the Mets at 21 years and 55 days old in, the same exact age of the great Darryl Strawberry, in 2006. He didn’t do anything too impressive until hitting his first career knocker against San Fran closer Armando Benitez in the bottom of the tenth inning to tie the game up at six a piece. Usually you love seeing a youngin’ get excited about making a huge hit, but the media and his teammates were pretty darn pissed when he gave fans a high five as he returned to the field to play some defense. The next year Milledge found himself shuffling in between the majors and AAA, was chastised for appearing in a rap video with some wrist-slap worthy language, and was subsequently traded to the Nationals for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. To make a long story short, Lastings spent the next three seasons constantly recovering from injuries while putting up mediocre numbers for the Nationals and Pirates. Unfortunately it looked like the saga of this once promising Metsie was winding down after Pittsburgh chose not to offer him a new contract. The bad news continued as he barely even sniffed the big show after being signed to a minor league contract by the White Sox in 2011. You have to give the guy credit though as he recently signed a one year contract with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. Clearly the hype wasn’t warranted but I simply can’t root against my ex-Mets. Go Swallows baby!

Whew. It’s always nice to reminisce, but this sad group of gentlemen didn’t fair very well after leaving Queens, considering Frenchy is really the only guy who is doing more than simply chugging along. Hope you guys enjoyed it and if there is a demand I’d be more than happy to put together another recap of ex-Mets and where the road has taken them…Carlos Gomez, Alex Cora, Pedro Feliciano, Xavier Nady pop into mind. I’m new to the twitter game so hit me up @HisDudenessOfNY with any requests or if you just want to tell me how much I suck/rock.

Always a pleasure MMO nation. Until next time..

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Orioles Sign Endy Chavez To One Year Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/orioles-sign-endy-chavez-to-one-year-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/orioles-sign-endy-chavez-to-one-year-deal.html/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 02:58:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=67942 Former Met Endy Chavez is headed to the Baltimore Orioles according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Chavez will earn $1.5 million in 2012 with the potential to earn another $500,000 in performance bonuses.

Chavez, 33, played in 83 games last season with the Texas Ranger, batting .301 with five homers, ten stolen bases and 37 runs scored in 256 at-bats.

The Mets were reportedly interested in bringing Chavez back, but Endy may have become too costly for the cash-strapped Mets who seem to be at their spending limit.

Chavez enjoyed his best year as a Met in 2006, when he drove in 42 runs, stole 12 bases and set career highs in batting average (.306) and on-base percentage (.348), but is best known for making one of the greatest defensive plays in postseason history; a leaping catch at the wall to rob Scot Rolen of a home run in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. Chavez then threw the ball into the infield for an inning-ending double play.

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Mets Notes: Parnell On The Trade Block?, Interest In Pudge, Theriot http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/mets-notes-parnell-on-the-trade-block-interest-in-pudge-theriot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/12/mets-notes-parnell-on-the-trade-block-interest-in-pudge-theriot.html/#comments Fri, 09 Dec 2011 14:13:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=67314 Here are the latest Mets Notes following the close of the 2011 Winter Meetings:

Mets Considered Trading Bobby Parnell: According to Adam Rubin of ESPN, the Mets were contemplating trading 27-year old fireballer Bobby Parnell to an unknown team for a starting position player.

Rubin said that Mets officials were “weighing the merits of the deal and there was no assurance they would pull the trigger.”

After the acquisitions of Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco and Ramon Ramirez, the Mets could move Parnell without losing too much depth in the bullpen. Though as Rubin points out, Parnell will be making near-league minimum for the next four years while Rauch and Ramirez will be free agents following 2012.

Mets Will Receive The Marlins’ Second Round Pick For Jose Reyes: According to Ken Davidoff, the Mets will get a second round draft pick for the loss of Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins. The Padres will receive a extra pick right before the Mets second-round compensation pick. Both teams will also receive a supplemental “sandwich” pick as well.

Endy Chavez Reunion Unlikely:  With the acquisition of Andres Torres, former-Met Endy Chavez is less-likely to be inked for a second tour of duty, tweets Andy Martino of the Daily News . Anthony DiComo sees the Orioles, Rangers or Mariners as more likely landing spots for Chavez.

Mets Have Interest in Pudge Rodriguez, Ryan Theriot: According to Jon Heyman, the Mets could be a possible landing spot for future hall-of-famer Pudge Rodriguez. The 14-time All-Star just completed a 2-year $6 million deal with the Nationals and say he intends to play for several more years. Rodriguez is only 156 knocks away from the 3,000 hit plateau and could bring some much-needed excitement to the 2012 New York Mets.

Also coming from Heyman, the Mets may have interest in the Cardinals Ryan Theriot. Theriot is likely to be non-tendered by the Cards and could draw a great deal of interest from teams looking for middle-infield depth.

Random Trade Rumors:

-The Mets tried to gauge to interest for Jason Bay, not surprisingly, there was none.

-The Rockies really like Mets southpaw Jon Niese, but to this point have yet to have any conversations regarding the 25-year old hurler.

-There has been interest in Mike Pelfrey; unfortunately, the offers have been “underwhelming”.

-And finally, the Amazin’s are not talking to any teams about David Wright.

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From Left Field: Players With Mets Ties In World Series http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/10/from-left-field-players-with-mets-ties-in-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/10/from-left-field-players-with-mets-ties-in-world-series.html/#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 03:19:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=63353 Though once again we will be watching two teams other than the Mets in the Fall Classic, this year’s series features several players with Met ties.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Texas Rangers win their first ever World Series, but I would more so like to see the former Mets play well.

Texas has five players/personnel with Mets ties.

ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz was actually a Met farmhand. Our old buddy Steve Phillips traded Cruz to the Oakland A’s in 2000 for back up shortstop Jorge Velandia.

As I’m sure most of you remember, Rey Ordonez went down with an injury that season, so the Mets traded for Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick. However, Phillips thought it best to bring in another shortstop in exchange for Cruz.

Granted with prospects, it’s always difficult to determine if they will pan out. But just imagine if the Mets had NELSON CRUZ batting in the middle of their order. The guy has raw power that he will hopefully keep displaying this week.

The Rangers have another outfielder with Met ties. Maybe you remember him: Endy Chavez.

Chavez was an unsung hero for the Mets during the 2006 season. How could we ever forget the incredible catch he made in Game 6 against the Cardinals that propelled the Mets into the World Series…or at least it should have.

Chavez has the difficult task of backing up Josh Hamilton in Texas, but he can be a valuable defensive replacement or pinch runner.

It’s been great to see Endy back on the field after a few injury plagued seasons.

Another key Met from the 2006 team, Darren Oliver, is firmly entrenched in the Rangers bullpen. Oliver was thought to be washed up when the Mets brought him in for 2006, but he had one of his best seasons. He was ‘Mr. Consistent’ all year.

Oliver signed with the Angels in 2007, but found himself in Texas for the past two seasons. Despite his age, he posted a 2.29 ERA this year.

While the Rangers are known for their potent offense, it’s been their bullpen, including Oliver, which has been their strength. He’s been buried being Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz, but he may be called on in a big spot, especially to get a lefty out.

Technically, Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba was connected with Mets for a time. However, the Mets called off the deal in 2007 after getting the results of his physical. He’s Mike Napoli’s backup, so don’t expect to see much of Torrealba in the World Series, since Napoli is on fire right now.

There’s one other person involved with the Rangers who has Met ties, and that’s Nolan Ryan, the team’s owner.

I won’t spend too much time on this one, because I know it’s an issue that still pains Mets fans. The hard-throwing Ryan couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn while in a Met uniform, but his career took off after the Mets traded him.

At least Jim Fregosi worked out for the Mets…NOT!

While Texas has a few people connected to the Mets, the St. Louis Cardinals only have one.

Back in 1999, a young righty named Octavio Dotel burst onto the scene for the Mets. He was a bit inconsistent but had a ton of potential as a starting pitcher.

He even made the postseason roster and played a role in the two-game comeback against the Braves in the NLCS.

However, Dotel was included in the Mike Hampton trade. Hampton was a nice find for one year, and he helped pitch the Mets to the World Series in 2000. But he immediately signed with the Colorado Rockies the year after. I hope his kids have top-notch educations, since Hampton cited the school system in Denver as one of the reasons for the switch.

As for Dotel, he went on to pitch for 11 different teams. He was dealt from the Blue Jays to the Cardinals at this summer’s trade deadline and has pitched lights out. He is in search of his first career World Series title.

The Cardinals bullpen has rivaled that of the Rangers, so we’re in for a tight battle.

Does good pitching truly beat good hitting? We’ll find out soon.

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Some Great Mets Moments Through the Mic http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/02/some-great-mets-moments-through-the-mic.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/02/some-great-mets-moments-through-the-mic.html/#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 01:55:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=43721 When we tune into a baseball game, watching the game itself is only half of the story. We watch countless games day in and day out in hope of witnessing a truly historic baseball moment that will be revered and held close to our hearts for the rest of our lives. One aspect of these moments that seals the true amazement in our minds every time we think of them are the announcers that broadcast the event as it unfolds before the eyes of millions. They have the responsibility of speaking on the spot and putting into words what every viewer is thinking.

When the play-by-play begins, we are locked onto the television, a focus nothing can break. When a broadcaster views these astonishing plays, the sheer excitement in their voice shows you that they cannot even believe what has just unfurled on the diamond. Whether it is Vin Scully watching Mookie Wilson round first while watching his grounder go through Buckner’s legs or Gary Cohen witnessing Endy Chavez extending his arm over the left field wall, successfully completing one of the greatest catches in the history of postseason baseball, their reaction behind the microphone creates a memory we will remember and recall for years to come.

Here are some of those moments in Mets history we cherish through the mic:

The 1969 Miracle Mets behind Jerry Koosman in the bottom of the ninth, their future manager, Davey Johnson, steps up as the only thing standing between the Amazins and their first World Championship:

MetsWin1969World

After an amazing two out comeback to tie the Red Sox in game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Mookie Wilson hits a grounder to first that sneaks right between the legs of Bill Buckner to win the ballgame:

Game 6 1986

Jesse Orosco slams the door as the Mets win their first World Series Championship since 1969:
Mets Hold Off RedSox

With the Mets tied in the tenth inning versus the 100-game winning Diamondbacks, Todd Pratt hit a solo walk off homer to send the Mets to their first NLCS since 1988:

Todd Pratt NLDS

In the bottom of the fifteenth of game five of the 1999 NLCS down 3-2, Robin Ventura hit what is now known as the “Grand Slam Single” because Ventura’s teammates did not allow him to complete his run around the bases:

Robin Ventura Grand Slam Single

Following the 9/11 terror attacks, the Mets played their first game at Shea since the tragedy, with the game tied in the 8th inning, Mike Piazza stepped to the plate in an ending not even Hollywood could write any better:

Mike Piazza 911

Game seven of the 2006 NLCS, Oliver Perez pitching and gives up a long drive off the bat of Scott Rolen. With the left fielder Endy Chavez tracking the ball, pulls the ball back into the park, completing one of the best catches in the history of the game:

Endy Chavez Catch

I wanted to include a few other pieces of Mets History like the Black Cat Game or Agbayani’s walk off homer, but I could not find a recording with decent sound quality. Sorry if the recordings are not very clear, I recorded them myself.

Lets get back to talking about Mets baseball. Hope you enjoy!

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Lets Not Make The Mistake Of Acting On Emotion With Endy Chavez http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/lets-not-make-the-mistake-of-acting-on-emotion-with-endy-chavez.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/lets-not-make-the-mistake-of-acting-on-emotion-with-endy-chavez.html/#comments Sat, 09 Jan 2010 15:42:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=18753 According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, former Mets outfielder Endy Chavez is willing to sign a minor league contract as he continues his rehab from surgery for a torn MCL and ACL in his knee.

In March he will hold a showcase for interested teams, and apparently many are interested.

Chavez is trying to return from a June 19th outfield collision with Yuniesky Betancourt while playing for the Mariners. Hew was expected to miss 9-12 months after surgery the following month.

Chavez appeared in 54 games last season with the Mariners and batted .273 with two home runs and nine stolen bases in 161 at-bats.

As much as I love Endy, I don’t see how he would fit in with the Mets as presently constructed.

The outfield is completely set with starters Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur. Our fourth outfield is Angel Pagan who is a better hitter than Chavez and deserves any additional playing time they could eke out for him.

While reading some comments over at our friends Amazin Avenue, one of their readers are suggesting that we get rid of Jeff Francoeur and replace him with Chavez.

Firejerrynow writes, even with his somewhat underwhelming bat, his career UZR/150 of 15.7 (19.8 in RF) is enough to make me bite. I’d rather have him for $400,000 than Francoeur.

He even had several who agreed with him… Now I know when you mention the word Francoeur over there, it just sends everyone into a tizzy, but come on… it sounds to me like a few of them are a few cans short of a six-pack, and of course I’m just teasing. I think what is at play is just how much Endy Chavez is loved by Mets fans who will always remember him for “The Catch”.

We already committed $2 million dollars to Alex Cora coming off two thumb surgeries for our bench. We already added 38 year old Henry Blanco to our bench. We traded closer Billy Wagner in return for long time minor leaguer Chris Carter who is supposed to get the fifth outfielder spot. And we have one more bench spot left that is being reserved for either a corner utility infielder, or Daniel Murphy should the Mets sign Carlos Delgado.

So where exactly does Endy Chavez fit?

Are we simply going to ignore the fact that we sacrificed a first round pick and first round supplemental pick when we traded Wagner for Carter? Are we not going to at least see what we got? Do we just make the decision to stunt Carter’s progress just because our heart longs for someone who once gave us a cherished Mets memory?

We should never make player personnel moves based on emotion rather than intellect.

Endy isn’t even ready to run for another two months, so let’s keep our feelings for Endy Chavez in check, at least until we figure out what the rest of this roster is going to look like.

If all he wants is a minor league deal, and he is willing to stay there, then fine. However, I’m not interested in bumping Angel Pagan or Chris Carter off the pecking order just because we are drunk with sentimentality.

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Mets Would Be Wise To Look Into DeWayne http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/mets-would-be-wise-to-look-into-dewayne.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/mets-would-be-wise-to-look-into-dewayne.html/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2009 08:30:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=14708 DeWayne Wise will forever be known for the spectacular catch that he made on July 23rd, 2009, which allowed pitcher, Mark Buehrle, to earn the second no-hitter of his career.

Despite enjoying two of the best years in his career in Chicago, Wise declined an assignment to the club’s Triple-A affiliate recently and elected to become a free agent.

As a veteran journeyman, Wise has spent time in Toronto, Atlanta and Cincinnati prior to joining the White Sox in 2008. While his career numbers at the plate are rather unimpressive ( a lifetime .216 hitter), Wise is able to make himself a useful player due to his strong defense.

In 371.1 innings this season, the 31 year-old, Wise compiled a fielding percentage of .990. This is directly in line with his career number of .989.

Along with this comes a stellar attitude, which was something his former minor league coach, Rick Sweet, emphasized in an interview with the Courier Journal. In it, Sweet describes Wise as a “hard worker who always took pride in his defense”.

Sweet later adds that “he [Wise] always made great catches for us”. After a year in which fundamentals cost the Mets almost as much as injuries the team could use a breath of fresh air when it comes to players that can field their position.

To me, Wise is an ideal fifth outfielder, in the sense that he can be relied on to provide solid defense in the latter innings of tight ball games.

This is more than the Mets can say about the man, who currently fills the position, Jeremy Reed, who really didn’t seem to do much of anything during his time in Queens.

As Amazin’ Avenue’s James Kannengieser points out Reed is a likely non-tender candidate, which would open up a spot on the roster for Wise and possibly others to compete for out of spring training next year.

Wise reminds me of ex-Met Endy Chavez, a bit, in the sense that both men have a knack for making highlight reel catches while providing consistently good defense throughout the season. Both players also bring with them a positive attitude.

To be fair, however, Endy, has a bit more pop in his bat than Wise does.

Still though, Wise would be a valuable asset to the ball club, especially if they pursue either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, who are both noted for having less-than-stellar defense.

Also, Wise could spell Carlos Beltran in center-field from time to time in an effort to prevent Beltran’s knees from giving out on him midway through the season.

The question still remains, could the Mets afford to fill a spot on the 25-man roster with a guy, who brings practically nothing offensively to the team?

The answer is probably not, especially when you consider that in all likelihood the team will bring back Alex Cora, who is another defensively-orientated bench player that does not pose much of a threat at the plate.

However, if the team adds a bat or two, then the team could certainly allocate two bench positions to defensive specialists.

Regardless of what the team does this off-season, it couldn’t hurt to at least offer Wise an invitation to Spring Training, perhaps the team could catch lightening in a bottle.

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Mighty Marlon Anderson Will Lead From The Bench In 08 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2007/11/mighty-marlon-anderson-will-le.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2007/11/mighty-marlon-anderson-will-le.html/#comments Sat, 03 Nov 2007 13:49:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/wordpress/?p=1635 Omar Minaya is making sure of one thing this off season as compared to last off season… he is making a strong effort to re-sign each Met that made a strong contribution to the team last season.

After a week in which he brought back Moises Alou and Damion Easley, Omar continued that trend by re-signing utility outfielder Marlon Anderson to an apparent 1-year deal with an option for 2009. The actual terms are expected to be released sometime today after Anderson completes his physical.

Marlon Anderson was a key player off of the bench last season after joining the Mets in July, when he was released by the Dodgers.

Anderson became the Mets’ top pinch hitter and hit .319 with three homers and 25 RBI in 69 at-bats in 43 games. His 14 pinch RBI ranked second in the league and included three huge game winning hits. He played all three outfield positions for the Mets and even played a little first base when Carlos Delgado was injured.

I think it was a great move for the Mets. Anderson has loads of personality and and some of you saw how fiery he can be when he tried to take out a second baseman and was ejected after trying to break up a double play.

So far I love the fact that our bench will feature outfielders Endy Chavez and Marlon Anderson, as well as second baseman Damion Easley. It’s a great start to what I expect to be a very productive off season for the Mets.

Keep it going Omar, so far so good…

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