Mets Merized Online » fans http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:21:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Ron Hunt: The Mets’ First Real All Star http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/ron-hunt-the-mets-first-real-all-star.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/ron-hunt-the-mets-first-real-all-star.html/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:00:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229207 Ron Hunt

As is still the case today, every team gets to send at least one player to the All Star Game. In 1962 and 1963, the Mets sent Richie Ashburn and Duke Snider respectively, although both were well past their prime. But in 1964, for the first time, a Met was selected to start in the All Star Game and that was second baseman Ron Hunt.

Because the game was played at Shea Stadium (a game I attended, I even remember paying $2.10 for a general admission ticket), you might think the fans stuffed the ballot to get one of their hometown favorites into the game, but in 1964, voting was done not by the fans but by the players.

Hunt had to beat out Pete Rose of the Reds who was rookie of the year in 1963, ahead of Hunt who finished second, the Pirates’ Bill Mazeroski who was regarded as one of the best second basemen of all time and is now in the Hall of Fame, and the Cardinals’ Julian Javier among others.

For those too young to remember, Hunt, who was acquired from the Braves before the 1963 season for cash following a solid season in the AA Texas League, fit all those cliches applied to players who didn’t have great tools like power, speed, defense or a sweet swing. No, what Hunt had was grit, toughness, a dirty uniform, and a do-anything-to-win attitude.

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Although it wasn’t until after leaving the Mets that Hunt turned getting hit by a pitch into an art form setting records in that category, Hunt was clearly the first Met that fans could legitimately be proud of. Yet Hunt didn’t even start the 1963 season as the Mets’ second baseman. Rather it was Larry Burright who had come over from the Dodgers. Hunt soon seized his opportunity and held the job.

But it seemed to me that the front office didn’t appreciate Ron the way the fans did. In fact, less than 2 weeks after the 1964 All Star Game, the Mets purchased Bobby Klaus from the Reds and immediately installed him at second base, supplanting Hunt who moved over to third. I don’t know what Hunt thought about it but Mets’ fans were shocked.

The Mets could certainly use all the help they could get, but second base was the only position where the Mets were seemingly set. Actually, the Reds had briefly replaced Pete Rose with Klaus, so Bobby must have had some amazing scouting reports that didn’t translate to big league success.

In a short time, Hunt and Klaus switched positions although Klaus never hit enough to really earn any spot in the lineup. He did fill in for Hunt when Ron was injured in 1965, hit under .200 and that was it for his career.

Meanwhile, Hunt continued to be a bright spot on terrible Met teams (All Star again in 1966) until he was traded away along with Jim Hickman in the Tommy Davis deal in November of 1966. Ron went on to have a solid big league career most notably with the Giants and Expos and his knack for getting hit by pitches has become his legacy but Mets fans will always remember him as the team’s first young star.

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Mets To Play Army To Conclude Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-to-play-army-to-conclude-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-to-play-army-to-conclude-spring-training.html/#comments Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229278 army baseball

On March 31, the New York Mets will play the Army baseball team at West Point in an exhibition game according to Adam Rubin of ESPN.

Pitchers and catchers for the Mets will report on February 12 and their first Grapefruit League game will be on February 24 against the Boston Red Sox.

The game will come three days before the Mets open the 2017 regular season against the Atlanta Braves on April 3 at Citi Field.

Fun Fact: Army has it’s own Shea Stadium which is used for spring football, lacrosse and track and field.

This match-up is another example of the Mets fostering a good relationship with our nation’s military. During the season, the Mets work in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project to honor a veteran at each and every home game.

Also, at some point during each season, the Mets visit Walter Reed Hospital to honor our nation’s injured and ailing veterans. Additionally, active and retired military receive discounts at the Mets team store.

Overall, while many fans gripe about the team and its ownership, this is one area where they get things right, and the Mets should be commended for how it treats our nation’s military and veterans.

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Odd Man Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/odd-man-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/odd-man-out.html/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 17:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228573 jay-bruce

Once the Mets re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, it became obvious that an outfielder would be traded. The logical candidate was Jay Bruce. Although he had done little since the Mets acquired him at the 2016 trade deadline, Bruce was not yet 30 years old and has been a reliable middle of the order power hitter for nine seasons and a quality right fielder.

All the Mets (and their fans) probably wanted in exchange were a proven relief pitcher and a good prospect. Somehow, relievers and prospects became hot commodities and the sights were set lower – one or the other or maybe a couple of lesser prospects. So far, nothing has happened. It’s unlikely Bruce will still be with the Mets by spring training so we will have to wait and see just what he brings in trade.

Which brings to mind a couple of past situations in Met history where there was clearly an odd man out. Most recently, in 2014, the Mets had to decide which of two left-handed hitting first basemen they would trade. Both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda were power hitters who struck out too much. Indecision probably cost the Mets as they went into the season with both. A couple of weeks later, they traded Davis to Pittsburgh for a AAA reliever in Zack Thornton and a former second-round draft pick, left-handed pitcher Blake Taylor who was still in Rookie League.

This was a trade that hasn’t worked out for either team (although choosing Duda over Davis was clearly the right decision). Davis never produced for Pittsburgh and is still hoping for another major league shot after briefly playing for the Yankees in 2016. Thornton remained a AAA pitcher, never warranting a shot with the Mets and Taylor had Tommy John surgery and is still trying to work his way out of Rookie League.

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Then there was 1982. In February, the Mets had acquired power-hitting left fielder George Foster from the Reds for the underwhelming package of Jim Kern, Alex Trevino, and Greg Harris. They had the speedy young Mookie Wilson in center field, Ellis Valentine and Joel Youngblood in right and Dave Kingman at 1st base. On the bench were players like Rusty Staub and Bob Bailor. This left their onetime showpiece player, Lee Mazzilli, without a job.

Since their starting pitching was woeful, it seemed logical that Mazz would be traded for an established starter. Instead, during spring training, Lee was traded for two pitchers who had spent the previous season in the AA Texas League. Those two, Ron Darling and Walt Terrell took a couple of years to make it to the big leagues, but it certainly turned out well for the Mets.

Darling became one of the key starters on the Mets’ solid teams from 1984 to 1988, and Terrell, after some pretty good work in New York brought back power-hitting third baseman Howard Johnson in a December 1984 trade with the Detroit Tigers.

It’s worth noting that at the time of the Mazzilli for Darling and Terrell trade, that relatively few fans followed college ball, the minors, or prospect lists as they do today thanks to MLB Network, Baseball America, and the proliferation of baseball sites on the web.

Not many Mets fans knew (or cared) that Darling was a recent first-round draft pick and highly touted prospect out of Yale. He was, as the insulted Mazzilli called the return the Mets got for him, just one of “a couple of minor leaguers”.

Mazzilli ultimately returned to the Mets to help them down the stretch and throughout the post-season in 1986, ironically, after the team released George Foster.

What’ll happen with Jay Bruce? Of course, the Mets are in a totally different position this year than they were in 1982 when they were a losing and rebuilding team, so getting back a major-league ready player would probably be preferable. Ultimately, though, the kind of return the Mets got for Mazzilli would probably suit most fans just fine.

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MLB Outlaws Hazing By Dressing Rookies As Women http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mlb-outlaws-hazing-by-dressing-rookies-as-women.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mlb-outlaws-hazing-by-dressing-rookies-as-women.html/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2016 05:00:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227987 league-of-their-own

Major League Baseball has created an Anti-Hazing and Anti-Bullying Policy that includes the prevention of hazing rookies by dressing them up as women or female characters.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, prohibits “requiring, coercing or encouraging” players from “dressing up as women or wearing costumes that may be offensive to individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, gender identify or other characteristic.”

“The purpose of this policy is not to prohibit all traditions regarding rookies or players,” the new policy states, “but rather to prohibit conduct that may cause players physical anguish or harm, may be offensive to some players, club staff or fans, or are distracting to the operation of the club or MLB.”

This policy is effective immediately.

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Happy Thanksgiving Day From Everyone At MMO! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/happy-thanksgiving-day-from-everyone-at-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/happy-thanksgiving-day-from-everyone-at-mmo.html/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:00:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226840 Macys-Parade

On behalf of everyone at Metsmerized Online, we would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Have yourselves a wonderful day and make some great memories with your friends, families and loved ones.

Thanks to the New York Mets for another fun and exciting season, the second one in a row. Thanks to Sandy Alderson and his staff for making the Mets great again and I know that with a little luck that World Series championship will be ours next season.

Thanks to Terry Collins and his staff, and of course all the players that gave us everything they had this year and provided us with some amazing thrills and memories. The future is certainly bright and we look forward to an even better season in 2017.

Thanks to all of you – our readers. It’s such an enormous pleasure to share our opinions and interact with all of you each and every day. You are the greatest and most passionate baseball fans in the world and without you this site is nothing. Our passion for the Mets binds all of us together, and though we may not always agree on how to get there, we still all share one common goal and that is to see the Mets win another championship.

Finally, we are thankful for all of the brave men and women who continue to serve our country and defend our American way of life. Our thoughts are always with them and we honor their incredible courage and commitment to protecting our freedom and values.

It’s been an honor to serve you these last 12 years and we look forward to 12 more. Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

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Psychics Agree: No Fifth Year For Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/psychics-agree-no-fifth-year-for-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/psychics-agree-no-fifth-year-for-cespedes.html/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:00:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227000 yoenis cespedes

The New York Post indicated that the Mets remain interested in signing Yoenis Cespedes to a four year contract, but a fifth year could wind up being a deal breaker. We can spend all day speculating about the actual reason for this rumored line in the sand.

Many fans still think the Wilpons have no intention of signing Yo and are just trying to give the impression that they made their best effort to keep him here. It’s also possible that this is all just part of the negotiating process for Sandy Alderson.

The Mets may also just be leaking this news to the media purely as a negotiating tactic. In the end the Mets may cave and give Cespedes exactly what he wants because they recognize how important he is to the team.

The Cespedes negotiations have implications that go beyond simply losing or retaining the most valuable bat on the team. Many fans will see the outcome as a signal for the direction of the franchise. If Yo leaves, some Mets fans will see that as confirmation of their worst fears regarding the Wilpons’ willingness to spend. On the contrary, if he signs a multi-year deal with the Mets, some fans will see this as a sign that the team’s payroll is going in the right direction.

That being said, many baseball “psychics” seem to know exactly how the Cespedes deal will turn out. I can’t tell you how many fans have talked to me or tweeted at me to state their support of a four year deal for Cespedes, but not a five year deal.

The baseball fans that take hard stances against giving a free agent “the extra year” always baffle me. Baseball doesn’t have a hard salary cap. The Mets’ payroll is not approaching the current MLB luxury tax threshold. So why do Mets fans have strong views on this? Do people seriously feel that a four year deal is acceptable, but a fifth year is so unreasonable that they’d rather not watch Cespedes (i.e. the most exciting baseball player in New York City) play at Citi Field?

Why are some people specifically afraid of a fifth year? Do you have a crystal ball? These fans act like they know with certainty that at 35 years old Yoenis Cespedes will cease to be a productive major leaguer. At 34 he’ll be fine. But at 35? He’s done!

yoenis-cespedes

In my opinion, you can make one of two arguments when it comes to Cespedes:

Argument 1: Don’t sign Yo and instead spread out that money across multiple players to improve the team.

Argument 2: Go all out to sign Yo to a four or five year deal and hope he maintains his power and health over the course of the deal.

I understand that there’s uncertainty surrounding a contract that takes a player into his mid 30′s, but arguing over the merits of a four or five or even six year contract for a 31 year old player coming off the two best seasons of his career, drawing arbitrary lines in the sand is ridiculous in my opinion.

Sure, long-term deals can be hit or miss. Jose Reyes signed a six year deal with the Marlins at 28, and it didn’t really work out due to injuries and his off the field problems. David Wright signed an eight year deal at 29 and due to his health issues that hasn’t really worked out.

On the other hand, Carlos Beltran signed a seven year deal with the Mets at 27, and he’s still going strong at 39. The four year deal the Mets gave to Curtis Granderson has worked out thus far, and he’s 35 years old.

The point is, unless these baseball fortune tellers have seen Yo’s medical reports and somehow know for a fact that he’s on the path to early retirement, I don’t how they can possibly sell me on the argument that a four year deal makes sense but a five year deal is irresponsible.

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President Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Vin Scully http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/president-obama-awards-medal-of-freedom-to-vin-scully.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/president-obama-awards-medal-of-freedom-to-vin-scully.html/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:29:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226628 vin-scully

Vin Scully, among 20 others, have been named by President Barack Obama as this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The President described the honor as, “Not just our nation’s highest civilian honor – it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Other honorees include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen Degeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Lorne Michaels, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, and more.

Vin Scully, who recently retired after 67 years of broadcasting, certainly deserves this honor. He was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.

He is known to all baseball fans, but to Mets fans, well, his voice is the soundtrack to one of our favorite clips:

“So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. Little roller up along first… Behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

Congratulations, Vin! We miss you, thanks for the memories!

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The Binghamton Mets Are Now the Rumble Ponies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/the-binghamton-mets-are-now-the-rumble-ponies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/the-binghamton-mets-are-now-the-rumble-ponies.html/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2016 14:52:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225771 cwwjf46uoaazcxs

The Binghamton Mets have been renamed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The renaming of the team was part of the new affiliation agreement between the Mets and Binghamton’s new owner John Hughes.

As Hughes told WBNG, “What I’m looking to do is strengthen the ties between the team and the community. I want the community to really be able to identify with this team, as well as this team be a proud representative of the Binghamton heritage, the Binghamton name and have something the community can relate to.”

With that the soon to be former B-Mets had a contest where fans could submit suggestions for what the new team name should be. The finalists were:

  1. Bullheads
  2. Gobblers
  3. Rocking Horses
  4. Rumble Ponies
  5. Timber Jockeys
  6. Stud Muffins

The Bullheads were a reference to the catfish that are in the nearby Susquehanna River, and the Gobblers were in reference to the turkey hunting that occurs in the area. The final four submissions were a nod to the fact that Binghamton considers itself the “Carousel Capital of the World.” As noted, and frankly unsurprisingly,

Accordingly, the 2017 season will be the inaugural season of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The new team colors will be red, blue and silver. A tribute to the Triple Cities’ carousel heritage, the “Binghamton Rumble Ponies” is a herd of fierce horses that no carousel center pole can contain.

Binghamton has been the Mets Double-A affiliate and played at NYSEG Stadium since 1992.

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Mets Free Agents Who Were Better Than Their Reputation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-free-agents-who-were-better-than-their-reputation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-free-agents-who-were-better-than-their-reputation.html/#comments Sat, 29 Oct 2016 18:30:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217246 The suffering-rich tradition of the New York Mets is rivaled by few other organizations in pro sports, so it’s only natural that fans are going to lash out at some of their players. This is especially true of the many free agent acquisitions that went sour during their tenures with the Mets.

But sometimes, fans aren’t always right. Many players, like Vince Coleman, Mo Vaughn, Kazuo Matsui, and Oliver Perez, perhaps deserve that reputation. But some of these players were hated for non-baseball reasons or specific moments, and were otherwise pretty good on the field. Here are just four of those players:

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1. Bobby Bonilla – He didn’t live up to the hype of his record-setting five-year, $29 million contract, but he was mostly solid during his tenure with the Mets. Bonilla hit .270/.356/.495 with 95 home runs and 295 RBI in 515 games with the Mets.

His last two seasons during his first stint in New York were particularly solid. In 1994, he batted .290/.374/.504 with 20 homers and 67 RBI in 108 games. The following year, he batted .325/.385/.599 with 18 homers and 53 RBI in 80 games before he was traded to the Orioles– those are MVP-caliber numbers.

Of course, he failed miserably during his second stint with the Mets in 1999, and yada yada yada the team is paying him until 2035.

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2. Tom Glavine – Glavine is often put in the same category of players like Willie Mays or Mo Vaughn who came to the Mets long after they were productive. This isn’t really fair to Glavine; he wasn’t the Hall of Fame pitcher he was for the Braves in the 90′s, but he was mostly decent with the Mets. He was 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA and 107 ERA+. These aren’t elite stats, but they’re good for someone who was in their late-30′s. Then came the last day of the 2007 season…

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3. Carlos Beltran – Many have argued that Beltran didn’t live up to the seven-year, $119 million contract he was given in 2005. Fred Wilpon thought so. This is largely due to him striking out looking to end the 2006 NLCS.

In reality, however, Beltran is one of the best players in franchise history. He is fourth all-time in OPS, fifth in slugging, sixth in homers, RBI and on-base-percentage, and eighth in runs scored. Aside from the strikeout looking, he’s far better than people give him credit for.

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4. Francisco Rodriguez – “K-Rod” came to the Mets after recording an MLB-record 62 saves with the Angels in 2008. While he never put up numbers like that again, Rodriguez was not awful on the field while he was with the Mets. He compiled a 3.05 ERA and 129 ERA+, and was even named an All-Star in 2009. But he’s best remembered for being injured after assaulting his girlfriend’s father after a game — one of the most bizarre moments in Mets history.

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Curtis Granderson Winner of 2016 Roberto Clemente Award http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/curtis-granderson-winner-of-2016-roberto-clemente-award.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/curtis-granderson-winner-of-2016-roberto-clemente-award.html/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2016 22:55:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225488 cv46-ajxeaaf9kg

Congratulations to New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson who was just named the recipient of the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award.

Curtis Granderson is an outstanding ambassador for our game and a positive role model for kids,” Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

“His commitment to the many communities that have touched his life and the great impact of these efforts makes him a very deserving recipient of our most prestigious award. On behalf of Major League Baseball and all of our Clubs, I congratulate Curtis and thank him and all of our nominees this year for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of others.”

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”, as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.

“To be mentioned in same breath with Clemente, even for a little bit of time, is really cool and an honor,” Granderson said when told of the news.

Granderson is the fourth Met to win the award, joining Gary Carter (1989), Al Leiter (2000) and Carlos Delgado (2006).

Congrats Grandy!

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Wear Orange On Wednesday! #WEARORANGE http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/hey-mets-fans-wear-orange-on-wednesday-wearorange.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/hey-mets-fans-wear-orange-on-wednesday-wearorange.html/#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2016 19:07:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224223 mets-fans

As far as I’m concerned, Mets fans are without question the best and most loyal fans in baseball. Their passion for the team is always on full display here on MMO and of course on social media where Mets Twitter has become an MLB phenomenon.

The connections that Mets fans make with the players is widely known and it goes all the way back to the formative years when Casey Stengel donned his rumpled Mets pinstripes and led a rag-tag group of players into our hearts. From that day forward, the Orange & Blue started running through all our veins.

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Right from the start, Mets fans changed the dynamic between a team and it’s fans, celebrating the first ever Banner Day, adopting a lovable mascot, having their own anthem, and let’s not forget baseball’s best game chant – Let’s Go Mets!.

Mets fans loved their team and through all the good times and bad, we always wore our team colors with pride. No matter how dire the circumstances, you can be sure to hear the true die-hards utter our now famous rallying cry “Ya Gotta Believe”, and believe we did.

I come to you with a call to arms.

It came to my attention that the many loyal fans of the 7 Line Army who will be attending Wednesday’s Wild Card Game, will all be donning one of their bright orange t-shirts.

I’ve always thought it was so cool to look toward right center to see an entire section of Mets fans all dressed in royal blue or bright orange whenever they came to Citi, and even more so during their many invasions when the team was on the road.

One of our readers posed the question:

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Wouldn’t it be cool if the Giants or Cardinals were to show up at Citi Field on Wednesday to see an incredible sea of orange?

You know what? It would be better than cool, it would be…

Totally Freaking Outrageous!

Why don’t we make it a reality?

Why don’t we make it happen?

Let’s all show up for the game on Wednesday, wearing the brightest orange t-shirts, tanks, blouses, jackets, whatever, that you can find!

Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your co-workers…

If you are heading out to Citi Field for the Wild Card Game…

WEAR ORANGE!

RT this article or pass this along to every Met fan you know, especially if they are going to the game!

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLUE!

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I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/i-get-knocked-down-but-i-get-up-again.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/i-get-knocked-down-but-i-get-up-again.html/#comments Sat, 17 Sep 2016 13:15:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=223119 jose reyes asdrubal cabrera

An Amazin’ 1-2 Punch at the Top of the Order!

I get knocked down,
But I get up again.
Never ever gonna keep me down.

I get knocked down,
But I get up again.
Never ever gonna keep me down.

Damn, now I’m gonna have that song stuck in my head all day…

I can’t stop smiling after a Mets game these days. I love this Mets team so much. They are so incredibly captivating and engaging to watch night in and night out, and I would argue that they are more fun to watch than last year’s version, which is saying a lot.

I really thought we’d win more games than we did last season, but it doesn’t bother me one bit that we may not win 90 games this year – Even though we still have a slim shot if we win 12 of our last 15 games. (Totally doable!)

And that’s why I’m so hooked on these 2016 Mets. I can’t even count how many gut punches this team has endured this season because there have been so many of them. Going into the 2016 season, the Mets had two faces of the franchise; their beloved captain and third baseman David Wright, and their indisputable ace and dark knight of Gotham, right-hander Matt Harvey. Before the 4th of July weekend, both of them were out for the season.

When the news broke for each of them, it hit us like a ton of brinks, even though neither of them were exactly having good seasons. It was a psychological blow not only for us fans, but for the team as well. Each of them were the heart and pulse of the team and leaders in the clubhouse.

lucas duda hr

Joe D. Really Misses Duda Smash!

There were other huge losses, perhaps none greater than the team’s cleanup hitter Lucas Duda, who had crushed 64 homers over his last 1,000 at-bats and whose OPS was second only to Yoenis Cespedes in 2015. We lost Duda before the end of May, and while James Loney provided a quick fix, let’s not kid ourselves, Loney’s OPS was 200 points lower than Duda and his 0.3 WAR is nothing to write home about. But still the Mets dealt with the loss and endured.

Honestly, when Asdrubal Cabrera landed on the DL with that knee injury, I wanted to punch a wall. It felt like everything kept going against us. Between that, and then Neil Walker‘s balky back and Yoenis Cespedes’ strained quad, I think any other team would have been so demoralized they would have simply quit. But still the Mets kept fighting even though 80 percent of their opening day lineup was either out for the year, limping, hobbled or had the Zika virus.

I guess the last nail in the coffin came when on top of everything we had already endured, news broke that Zack Wheeler was not returning this season, Steven Matz was out with a bum shoulder, and Jacob deGrom had a strained forearm. It was enough that the media closed the book on 2016 and articles popped up about firing Terry Collins and calling Sandy Alderson to the carpet. One New York Post article even suggested blowing it all up and having a fire sale. (Really?)

But this season wasn’t over by a long shot. Enter the Replace-Mets, who not only revitalized the team with their youth, energy and enthusiasm, but they made the team so much fun to watch. But more important than that, the team started winning and little by little that 5 1/2 game deficit behind the second wild card started to evaporate.

Lo and behold, the ballpark was full again, the fans were delirious, and the Amazins owned the back pages again as the Replace-Mets took turns playing the hero. And of course it didn’t hurt that Asdrubal and Cespedes were back from the DL, taking names, and kicking some major ass at the plate. It was all starting to come together for the Orange and Blue, and what perfect timing.

robert gsellman

Robert Gsellman, Replace-Met Extraordinaire!

August ended on a high note as the Mets defeated the Marlins 5-2 on the last day of the month thanks to a two-run blast by Wilmer Flores and then an 8th inning bases loaded double by Kelly Johnson. It was a memorable game because not only did we send the Marlins into a death spiral, but the Mets had closed the gap behind the Cardinals to just 1.5 games and the wild card was clearly within our grasp.

After a heartbreaking loss to at home to the Nationals with Noah Syndergaard on the mound, the Replace-Mets again rose to the occasion as Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo came through with spectacular performances and each earned a win as we took the final two games against the Nats to take the series, and while we were at it we caught the Cards and took hold of the second wild card. The Mets would go on to win six games in a row featuring huge home runs by Matt Reynolds, Wilmer Fores and Alejandro De Aza, and more great pitching by the Replace-Mets. It was so freaking exciting to take it all in.

So now here we are, with just 15 games left to play and the postseason beckoning… And there’s no god-damn f’kin way any team is going to keep these New York Mets from taking the field on Wednesday, October 5. No way, no how. This Mets team has earned their right to fight this one-game battle with lots of blood, plenty of sweat, and countless tears. It was all so very gruelling, and yet all so very satisfying as well. 

The only question, as far as I’m concerned, is whether or not that wild card game will be played at Citi Field… And I’d bet you dollars to donuts that it will.

So there’s my two cents on the next 15 games and the Amazin outcome. And to all my not so optimistic friends, this why you never give up in June, July or August. Because Mets Baby!

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Prominent Writer Asks Piazza About Steroid Use During HOF Conference Call http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/prominent-writer-asks-piazza-about-steroid-use-during-hall-of-fame-conference-call.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/prominent-writer-asks-piazza-about-steroid-use-during-hall-of-fame-conference-call.html/#comments Sat, 16 Jul 2016 14:30:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=217737 mike piazza

A week from Sunday, Mike Piazza will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, officially cementing his place among the game’s greatest players. Surely, the days and weeks leading up to the ceremony would be a time for the former All Star to celebrate, to relive and remember his greatest accomplishments and contributions to New York sports lore.

Perhaps not. Yesterday, Piazza had his obligatory Hall of Fame conference call with the media, an opportunity for the writers to get quotes for their feel good stories about the player being inducted.

But someone always has to spoil the fun. Yesterday, that person was former New York Times baseball reporter Murray Chass, who started off the questioning with a good old fashioned gut punch, asking Piazza point blank about his steroid use. Ever composed, Piazza responded, “I have addressed that many times in the past, sir.”

This isn’t the first time Chass has come after the former Mets backstop. In 2013, the writer published this scalding piece about Piazza, attacking his book  as “a work of fiction” and his reputation as a clean ballplayer. Chass insists that Piazza cheated. However, reasoning is somewhat twisted. His key piece of evidence comes from his locker room observation of Piazza’s back acne. Yeah, you read that right.

People, this is why we can’t have nice things.

The greatest offensive catcher in baseball history had his baseball legacy and personal character challenged because of back acne. Seriously?

Seriously. Chass, in addition to writers Joel Sherman and Jeff Pearlman all cite Piazza’s unfortunately placed acne as the smoking gun indicating his steroid use. How else could a catcher drafted in the 62nd round because of a favor called in by his father become a baseball legend?

The narrative just doesn’t fit.

According to the BBWAA Hall of Fame Election rules, a player is to be judged on his “record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

New York Mets - 2003 Season File Photos

Over an impressive 16 year career, the 12 time All Star batted .308 while slugging .545 with a catcher’s record 427 home runs. Statistically speaking, he is the greatest offensive catcher of the past century.

His epic home run against the Braves in the first game played at Shea after 9/11 can be considered one of the most significant events in New York sports history. That fateful blast united a city and gave fans who had no reason to be happy something to smile about.

Not to be lost in his tangible achievements, Piazza was also known as a great teammate and a leader in the Mets’ clubhouse who had the utmost respect for the game.

Given the criteria for induction, Piazza checks all the boxes. Nowhere does it state that suspicion of cheating constitutes a breach of the game’s integrity.

On January 6th, 2016, 83 percent of baseball’s most esteemed writers decided that Piazza belongs among the game’s greats. Their votes echoed the sentiments of millions of baseball fans across the nation.

Unfortunately, Murray Chass cannot let go. He refuses to let Piazza and his supporters revel in achieving baseball’s greatest accomplishment. While he may view his intentions as a noble effort to keep the Hall of Fame exclusive and pure, his attempted slander of Piazza reflects poorly on only one person, himself.

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Featured Article: What is Brandon Nimmo? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-what-is-brandon-nimmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/06/featured-article-what-is-brandon-nimmo.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jun 2016 17:08:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=215149 brandon nimmo

An MMO Fan Shot by Marc M. (Not4)

With Brandon Nimmo set to make his MLB debut with the Mets, here is an article we posted last week that is well worth reading.

As most fans know, Brandon Nimmo was the Mets’ first round pick (no.13, infamously 1 slot ahead of Jose Fernandez) in 2011.  When drafted, he was very raw having grown up in Wyoming, a state apparently without high school baseball.  Nimmo was therefore viewed as a bit of a project who was unlikely to be fast-tracked.

But, as we all know, once a 1st round pick gets on the fans’ radar, the proverbial clock starts ticking, patience gets short and expectations rise (often unrealistically), followed by so-called “prospect fatigue” from having heard about him for so long.  Inevitably, when a prospect fails to move quickly enough through the system, or their stats are not strong enough for some fans’ liking, these fans (who often do not even follow the minors) make pre-mature, definitive proclamations that the prospect is a “BUST”.  So it has been with Nimmo and countless other Mets’ prospects in recent years.

Since being drafted Nimmo has lost some of his speed, and gained some bulk, but still seems to have enough speed to continue to play solid, if unspectacular CF.  If he loses more speed either because of injury or simply getting bigger, he may be limited to a corner OF spot.  His advanced approach at the plate continues to be his calling card as he is praised for regularly getting into hitter’s counts, but at the same time, he is regularly knocked for not being aggressive enough and taking too many hittable pitches after getting to a favorable count.

Some recent reports have credited Nimmo’s being more aggressive this year in those situations, which has helped drive his success.  If true, that is a huge step forward for him.  Either way, at this point, reports of his demise [as a prospect] are grossly exaggerated, but in fairness, so too would be the opposite view that he is a sure-fire MLB star in the making.  The simple truth is that we do not know what Nimmo will ultimately be, but we are getting closer to finding out.  Parenthetically, the need for some fans to rush to judgment on prospects or even younger MLB players has always confounded me.

Debunking the “Slow Start” Myth

“Nimmo struggles with his first X PAs at every level”.  Let’s just put this narrative to rest one and for all, as it simply is not accurate.  He has now played at all 4 full season levels in the minors.  He raked out of the gates in both Savannah and St. Lucie, struggled badly out of the gates in Binghamton and hit okay out of the gates in Vegas.  Here are the facts, focusing first on Bingo:

  • Nimmo absolutely struggled when first promoted to Binghamton in 2014, hitting .189/.318/.360/.679 in 31 games, covering 133 PA.  (I guess you could argue he also struggled later that fall when he played in the AZ Fall League, albeit that was only 15 total games in total). 
  • Nimmo absolutely raked in 2013 when first playing in Savannah, to the tune of .440/.520/.603/1.123 in his first 16 games, covering 75 PA. 
  • Nimmo absolutely raked in 2014 when first playing in St. Lucie, hitting .407/.530/.549/1.080 in his first 24 games, covering 115 PA. 
  • Nimmo was okay – neither great nor bad when first promoted to Vegas late in 2015.  He started out pretty well, hitting .304/.431/.435/.866 in 15 games (58 PA), but then slumped badly in the next 13 games (37 PA)before finishing with a hot last 4 games (17 PA) of the season.  That 13 game slump pulled down his overall line for Vegas in 2015 to .264/.393/.418 – again, not horrible, but no WOW factor either.  Granted all of these are SSS, but given the results, it’s simply not accurate to characterize his performance when first promoted to Vegas as “struggling to adjust.”
  • Extending Nimmo’s AAA performance to this year also fails to support the notion that he had a difficult adjustment period.  While Nimmo got off to a very slow start over the first 16 games (70 PA) this year in Vegas, the prevailing view is that slow start was at least somewhat caused by the time he missed in ST with a foot injury.  He has been on a tear since then though, over the last 36 games (167 PA, hitting .385/.467/.657 over that time, for an overall line of .330/.411/.529 over 52 games and 237 PA.

Judging Nimmo’s Performance in Context

At the outset, it bears noting that statistics in the minors are not always indicative of future success at higher levels.  Some players who lack the tools to succeed at the MLB level can succeed in lower levels or even upper levels of the minors.  Conversely, some players do not post eye-popping stats at some levels in the minors, but have the tools to succeed in the MLB.  Inasmuch as the focus of so many fans has been based upon Nimmo’s perceived “initial struggles at each level” or his perceived unimpressive production throughout the minors, it is worthwhile to look a little closer at each year, beyond his hot starts in 2013 and 2014 and slow start in 2015 to see if he was able to sustain the hot starts and turn around the slow start and if not, what happened.

  • As noted earlier, in Savannah in 2013, Nimmo started the year on a tear hitting .440/.520/.603/1.123 when he suffered a wrist injury in late April.  He tried to play through it a few games before winding up on the DL.  He came back at the end of May and struggled with the nagging wrist injury for all of June and a large chunk of July, as he tried to compensate for and play through the injury.  But once his wrist fully healed in July, he really tore it up again. While I cannot say conclusively that all of his struggles in Savannah were related to that wrist, it seems more likely that they were tied to the injury than to a difficulty adjusting to pitchers’ adjustments.  His overall line in Savannah was not eye-popping impressive, though hardly the train wreck people make it out to be, as he hit .273/.397/.359 in a pitcher friendly park and league.  But when you dive deeper, it was a tale of two seasons:  He was horrible for the 48 games (211 PA) or so when he was playing with a bad wrist (.184/.300/.246), but was fantastic for the 62 games (269 PA) he was healthy, hitting .347/.472/.454. 
  • In St. Lucie, after that hot 24 game start (115 PA), he struggled for 15 games (67 PA, .196/.328/.232/.561), before rebounding to hit .313/.433/.513/.945 in his next 23 games (97 PA) and earning a promotion to AA.  A 15 game slump sandwiched between 24 and 23 game stretches of solid production speaks for itself, as does his overall sold line in A+, hitting .322/.448/.458/.906 in 62 games (279 PA).  
  • In Binghamton in 2014, after that horrid 31 game beginning, he performed considerably better in his last 34 games (146 PA), hitting .279/.359/.426/.  Nimmo actually had a mini slump his last 5 games of that season, which pulled down his numbers.  In fact, his triple slash for the 29 game stretch (prior to the 5 game swoon to end the season) was .321/.408/.495. Obviously, we cannot ignore those final 5 games, but his success for 29 games after a slow start in his first 34 games shows that even the one time that Nimmo had a very slow start at a level, he ultimately made an adjustment and enjoyed a nice stretch of production. (He started 2015 in AA and hit okay – .297/.368/.420/.788 for the first 1-1/2 months (34 games, 155 PA) before hitting the DL with a knee injury, which unfortunately plagued him for the remainder of the 2015.  He largely struggled the rest of that year, hitting .260/.340/.313/.653 in 34 games (147 PA) in AA after returning from the DL, and then .264/.393/.418/.810 in 32 games (112 PA) after being promoted to Vegas. 

What to Expect From Here?

The jury is still out on Nimmo.  No one knows whether he will turn out to be a star or a bust, or more likely somewhere in between.  But he has worked his way to the precipice of the Majors and seems to be playing the best ball of his life.  Some recent accounts have indicated that one of the reasons for Nimmo’s success has been that he finally has changed his approach to be more aggressive at the plate once he gets into hitters counts.

Reports (and video highlights) indicate that Nimmo has been driving the balls into the gaps this season, including to left-center, which is very encouraging and diminishes some of the concern that his success is simply a PCL phenomena.  Truly looking at this performance in context reveals a player who has played far better than the average fan realizes, though still one with some flaws.  Until Nimmo gets called up to the big league team and performs at that level, any conclusions declaring him a bust or a future HOFer are premature to say the least.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Marc M. (Not4). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Bryce Harper Feels Bad for Matt Harvey http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/bryce-harper-feels-bad-for-matt-harvey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/bryce-harper-feels-bad-for-matt-harvey.html/#comments Fri, 20 May 2016 13:23:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=212393 bryce harper

After starting his career career going 0-for-22 with seven strikeouts against Matt Harvey, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper finally got his first base hit against the Mets right-hander.

However, Harper wasn’t gloating about it after the Nationals defeated the Mets in a 9-1 trouncing. Instead, the 2015 National League MVP was surprisingly melancholy after the game and said he felt sorry for Harvey when he saw him booed off the mound by Mets fans after  2.2 excruciating innings. Kevin Ducey of Sports Illustrated had the story.

“I feel bad for him. He comes off the mound and gets booed, and he’s one of the best in baseball,” Harper told Ducey.

Harper has seen Harvey at his best. He’s seen Harvey work hard in the offseason to return to form. He also saw Harvey get booed by his hometown fans, saying it was a sad sight to see.

“For what he did in the playoffs last year? To be able to come back and try to get through the playoffs? He’s one of the first guys to ever come back and go 0 to 200 innings. That’s tough. I think he’s got a great arm, and he’s a lot of fun to watch.”

“Working out with him in the off-season, being around him and stuff, he works his tail off,” Harper continued. “He’s one of the best in baseball and I respect the hell out of him. He’ll come back. It’s just part of the game.”

Truth is no one really knows at this point how to get Harvey back on track. If there was a simple answer, Terry Collins certainly didn’t offer one, and neither did pitching coach Dan Warthen. There are many theories as to what the issue could be, and the prevailing one points to a lack of confidence.

However, as Harper said, we do know that Harvey is “working his tail off.”  That should give us all hope that eventually, Harvey will figure it out.

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Living With G(no)me Regrets? We Can Help…. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/living-with-gnome-regrets-we-can-help.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/living-with-gnome-regrets-we-can-help.html/#comments Mon, 02 May 2016 17:42:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210948 thore gnome syndergaard

Mets Fans Express Disdain for Promo Guidelines

Admonish: (Verb) to caution, advise, or counsel against something

I tried my best.  I can look back on that day and say I tried my best to warn everyone I could to get there early.  Anyone I knew that was going to a game I let them know that in order to secure yourself a Noah Syndergaard Garden Gnome, you need to be in line when the gates open.

Some of you listened. Others, well, are reading this article now hoping for a second chance.

My family and I (four of us total), left our house at noon.  We packed the car and departed four hours before the game’s scheduled start time. Upon our arrival at approximately 1:00 pm, to our dismay, this was the view we had when walking down the steps at the Mets-Willets Point subway stop.

citi field lines gnome

Luckily, as a season ticket holder, I am allowed early access to the ballpark on weekend games.  Season ticket holders with plans of 40 games and up can enter Citi Field at the Rotunda 30 minutes before other fans.  A line formed towards the middle of the rotunda adjacent to the Shea Apple.

When the gates opened, exclusively for our line, a dash ensued reminiscent of a Black Friday scene.  Anyone not in our line started migrating toward the front of our queue.  In the chaos, my six year old son was knocked down quite hard.  His hat fell off and he hit his head on the cement.

He is a tough kid. He has to be. Growing up with the Mets teams of 2010-2014 he has learned how to take a hit, both metaphorical and physical.  He got up, dusted himself off and reapplied his teams lid that he wears daily with pride.

The most amazing part of this story, is that the large woman that knocked him down looked back, saw him tumble, but just kept charging towards the gate.  No acknowledgement, no words exchanged, no assistance offered.  My oldest son looks at me and simply says “That was not very nice.”  Precisely.

After watching grown men scuffle with security guards and ticket agents coming on the scene to quell the brewing storm, my family and I made it in.  Gnome’s in hand, we went out to Kiddie Field so my boys could run around before the lines got too intolerable.  We ran into my ticket rep and friend that I have known for a decade.

To her credit as well as the Mets, she told me they were reviewing the entry procedures to make it more smooth for early access.  I proposed signs and a roped area where tickets were checked upon entry or even a separate entrance.  She assured me that all these things were already being reviewed.

While reviewing social media rants regarding the exhaustion of the Gnome supply,  my wife and I had an idea.

We went back down to the Rotunda to witness the scene.  It was not a great moment for humanity.  A record regular season crowd would leave over 2/3 of the group Gnomeless and agitated.  I explained the situation to my sons best I could as their combined age is ten, and instructed them to take one of our Gnomes and give it to any boy or girl that they want to make them feel happy.

After five minutes of deliberation that rivaled a grand jury, my boys picked a six year old who was crying in the rotunda.  They walked up to the boy and his dad to explain that we had an extra.  They handed it over and the boys face lit up like he just saw Santa Claus.  The father was extremely thankful offering fifty dollars, shirts for the kids, beers for me.  I just told him to pay it forward.  The kids learned a valuable lesson about tithing and giving back and not letting the actions of others impact you or change your day.

I want to continue to give.  So If you made it all they way to the bottom of this article you are now eligible for a free Gnome from ME.  Here’s how to get it…

Step 1: Follow @Metsmerized on Twitter (you probably already do)

Step 2: Retweet this article

Step 3: Follow me @theteacherchris

I will pick a random winner the next time a Met hits a home run.  As soon as the Met crosses the plate, check your DM’s.  Because you could be the winner… Good Luck to you all!

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MMO Flashback: Mets Trade Rusty Staub http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-flashback-mets-trade-rusty-staub.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mmo-flashback-mets-trade-rusty-staub.html/#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:33:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=210432 Rusty-StaubIn 1975, Rusty Staub had his best season ever for the Mets, batting .282/.371/.448 with 30 doubles, 19 home runs and 105 RBI.

Then, in the offseason, for reasons few fans could understand, the Mets traded Staub to Detroit for veteran left-handed pitcher Mickey Lolich. Actually, the trade was Staub and AAA pitcher Bill Laxton for Lolich and AAA outfielder Billy Baldwin.

I remember thinking that maybe this guy Baldwin was some super-prospect (he wasn’t) because otherwise, this trade was hard to justify.

Trade Staub? Maybe not unthinkable, because the Mets thought they had his replacement in the much younger Mike Vail. But for Lolich? Was that the best they could do ?

Mike Vail came to the Mets as a minor league throw-in in an otherwise inconsequential swap of utility infielders with the Cardinals. But Vail quickly established himself as a superior hitter at the AAA level, and he was an immediate sensation when the Mets brought him up. His 23-game hitting streak made fans and team officials think they had found a future long-term fixture in right field.

With Vail in the picture, maybe they thought Staub could be a valuable trade commodity to a team that had a solid starting three in Koosman, Seaver, and Matlack, but needed an established 4th starter.

rusty staub 2

In his heyday, Lolich was the Tigers’ pitching star of the 1968 World Series, but by 1975, he was still a workhorse, but a 35-year old, terribly out of shape workhorse who had lost 39 games in his last two seasons and didn’t figure to get much better. Would a change of leagues return Lolich to glory?

Well, Lolich went 8-13 for the Mets in 30 starts and was soon departed, while Staub continued to be a productive hitter for years. Fortunately, Rusty returned to the Mets a few years later and he became baseball’s premier pinch-hitter.

And as for Vail? He injured his ankle playing basketball in the off-season, leaving a gaping hole in the Mets’ lineup.  And when he returned, he never lived up to his potential with the Mets, although he hung around with a few other teams for a while as a 4th outfielder and pinch hitter.

The 1976 Mets finished 86-76 with neither Vail or Lolich making many positive contributions. Could the Mets have been a legitimate contender if they had kept Staub ? We’ll never know.

In his 23 year career as a major leaguer, Staub collected some gaudy offensive numbers including 2,796 hits, 1,225 walks, 499 doubles, 296 home runs and 1,449 RBI. He retired with a career slash of .279/.362/.439 and a 129 OPS+.

Rusty’s only postseason came in 1973 with the Mets, where he led the team with a .341 average, .413 on-base and a whopping 1.096 OPS in 11 games with four home runs and 11 RBI.

After a serious health scare in 2015, Rusty is doing fine now and continues to participate in many charitable endeavors for the families and victims of 9/11 and first responders. He had the privilege of tossing the first pitch during this year’s Mets home opener and will forever remain one of the team’s most beloved players.

rusty franco alfonzo

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Maximus Cespedes Gives Everyone A Scare http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/maximus-cespedes-gives-everyone-a-scare.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/maximus-cespedes-gives-everyone-a-scare.html/#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2016 22:35:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209615 yoenis cespedes foul

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes gave everybody a scare in today’s Mets 2-1 victory over the Marlins.

In the eighth inning, Ichiro Suzuki sliced a pitch from reliever Jerry Blevins toward the seats in foul territory.

Cespedes was off and running and when he reached the wall he dived into the seats to try and make the grab. His body disappeared into a dozen or so fans as one of them made the catch.

Trainers ran onto the field as everyone in Citi Field held their collective breaths. But after a few minutes, Cespedes emerged a little shook up and would later say he banged up his knee and was just a little sore.

“I was trying to give max effort for the team,” Cespedes said. “I was trying to get the team a win.”

Just call him Maximus… Are you not entertained?

Here it is in case you missed it:

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The Boys Are Back In Town! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/the-boys-are-back-in-town.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/the-boys-are-back-in-town.html/#comments Fri, 08 Apr 2016 13:27:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209188 us flag at citi

Strike up the band, the New York Mets are at Citi Field today at 1:10 PM for their home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies! The Mets are 34-20 (.630) in Home Openers, including 4-3 at Citi Field.

Jacob deGrom is still slated to start the Mets, but if he gets a call from his wife Stacey that she is going into labor with the couple’s first child, he is Gone in Sixty Seconds. If that happens, Old Reliable Bartolo Colon will step in.

DeGrom was named to the NL All-Star team in 2015 and became the 11th pitcher in team history to record 200 strikeouts in a season. He finished fourth in the NL with a 2.54 ERA, tied for eighth in strikeouts (205), tied for seventh in wins (14) and fifth in opponents’ batting average against (.215).

For the second straight season deGrom will start the Home Opener vs. the Phillies. Last year, deGrom fired 6.1 scoreless innings and picked up the win in a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia in the Home Opener on April 13.

The players are all excited and chomping at the bit to get on the field and defend their National League Championship after receiving their handsome rings in a private ceremony on Thursday. And according to team captain David Wright there’s no place like home.

“What we did so great last year was take care of business at home. It will be a good test for us this weekend with a divisional rival coming in, a lot of emotion in the stadium. Guys are pumped to be here. Guys are ready to get the season under way and start playing every day. It should be a good atmosphere.”

Prior to today’s game, the Mets will raise the National League Pennant banner. Former NL Champions Rusty Staub (1973), John Franco (2000) and Edgardo Alfonzo (2000) will hoist the flag. A packed Citi Field will go wild at the site of that… Awesome!

I woke up with a huge smile this morning at the thought of all today’s festivities, seeing the players in their home uniforms, and just getting back to some good old fashioned Mets baseball in our home ballpark. There’s something magical and special about that first home game of a brand new season.

Enjoy the day, and Let’s Go Mets!

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Baby Watch: DeGrom Still Slated To Start Home Opener On Friday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/baby-watch-degrom-still-slated-to-start-home-opener-on-friday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/baby-watch-degrom-still-slated-to-start-home-opener-on-friday.html/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2016 21:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209167 jacob degrom

Jacob deGrom is still slated to start tomorrow’s Mets home opener at Citi Field. He still plans to drop everything and leave to be with his wife Stacey to witness the birth of their first child, but until that call comes, he plans to pitch against the Phillies.

“After a good season last year, we’re looking forward to getting back in front of our own fans, and I’m expecting a baby boy,” deGrom said. “So, it’s definitely an exciting time.”

If deGrom does miss his start, veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon will pitch in his place.

“One thing about Bartolo, he handles all the situations,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s such a veteran, he’s used to having rain delays, used to getting spot starts, all those things that have occurred throughout his career. So if something happens to Jake and we need a guy, I think he’s the best guy to step in.”

If deGrom does start on Friday, the plan is to have Colon pitch on Saturday followed by Matt Harvey on Sunday and Steven Matz on Monday.

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Mets Encourage Fans To Arrive Early For Opening Weekend Festivities http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mets-encourage-fans-to-arrive-early-for-opening-weekend-festivities.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/04/mets-encourage-fans-to-arrive-early-for-opening-weekend-festivities.html/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2016 16:02:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=209080 citi field opening day

In anticipation of big crowds and enhanced security procedures, the Mets encourage fans to take mass transit and arrive early for their opening weekend Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10 at Citi Field.

Pre-Game ceremonies will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Friday and will include raising a National League Championship banner. Below are the festivities included with each day.

Friday, April 8 – Philadelphia (1:10 p.m. SNY – 12:30 Pregame ceremonies) – HOME OPENER

  • 2016 Magnetic Schedule presented by Hyundai to all fans in attendance
  • National League Pennant banner raising ceremony pregame by former Mets NL Champions John Franco and Edgardo Alfonzo (2000) and Rusty Staub (1973)
  • The club will honor members of the NYPD and FDNY who have been injured in the line of duty this past year with first pitch, game ball delivery and a special NYPD helicopter flyover. Mayor de Blasio and Commissioners Bratton and Nigro will be in attendance.
  • National Anthem by the Grammy-award winning show Hamilton:

Chris Jackson (plays George Washington)/Anthony Ramos (plays Hamilton’s son)

Saturday, April 9 - Philadelphia (7:10 p.m. PIX 11)

  • Postgame Fireworks presented by Coca-Cola.

Sunday, April 10 - Philadelphia (1:10 p.m. SNY)

  • “Let’s Go Mets” Rally Towels given to all fans in attendance
  • Players to wear replica ’86 jerseys in honor of the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Championship Team
  • Family Sunday – Before every Sunday home game beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Mets Plaza, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, there is a full fan fest with Mets featured family-friendly activities including kids inflatables, sign-making station, face painters, balloon artists and entertainment. Postgame Mr. Met Dash when kids 12 and under can come down onto the field and run the bases, weather permitting.

The 7 Subway is the fast, convenient, and “green” way to travel to the game. The Mets-Willets Point station is adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Direct Long Island Rail Road service to Citi Field is available from Penn Station, Woodside and all stations on the Port Washington Branch. For more details visit www.mta.info and click on “Take the Train to the Game”.

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