Mets Merized Online » Francisco Rodriguez Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:00:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Who Will the Next Mets Hall of Famer Be? Tue, 26 Jul 2016 14:50:36 +0000 piazza1

When Mike Piazza was inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday, he became the 14th ex-Met to gain enshrinement into Cooperstown– and only the second player to go in orange and blue.

The Mets have seen an alumnus inducted in each of the last three seasons; first with Tom Glavine in 2014 and then with Pedro Martinez last season. This is by far the most significant for the team, since Piazza is best remembered for his years with the Mets. But these Hall of Fame fortunes will likely diminish over the next couple of years; there is no imminent Met on the ballot for another couple of seasons– and definitely nobody who will be inducted as a Met for a while.

Here’s a rundown of former Mets who could become Hall of Famers. And most of these players are remembered for their times away from New York.

Jeff Kent: A lot of younger fans might not even realize that Kent was a Met; he played with the team from 1992-1996 and lacked the star power he showed in his later career. Kent has 76 more home runs than any other second baseman in baseball history, and deserves a lot more Cooperstown consideration than he has received. He only got 16.6 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot.

Kent could eventually receive a higher percentage on a less-crowded ballot. It’s definitely possible that he could become a Hall of Famer one day, but it won’t be with a Mets cap on his plaque.

Gary Sheffield: Sheffield played his last MLB season with the Mets in 2009. 500 homers used to mean a guaranteed ticket to Cooperstown– Sheffield can check off that box– but his PED ties have all but nullified that guarantee. He only received 11.6 percent of the vote in his second year of eligibility, which probably has something to do with PED’s.  He probably won’t make the Hall of Fame, and if he does it definitely won’t be as a Met.

Billy Wagner: Wagner surprised some observers by getting double-digit support on his first year of eligibility– on a crowded ballot, no less. He posted an ERA+ below 140 just once in his 16 MLB seasons, and his career mark of 187 isn’t too far behind Mariano Rivera’s record-setting 205. Should he go in, which isn’t all that impossible, Wagner will probably be wearing an Astros (or maybe a Patriots) cap– but he would owe the Mets a nod during his induction speech.

Johan Santana: Santana hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown an MLB pitch since 2012, and will be eligible in 2018 in the likely event he never pitches again. He is arguably the best pitcher of the 2000s, and had a five-year stretch where he was without question the best pitcher in baseball. From 2004-2008, he was 86-39 with a 2.82 ERA and 1,189 strikeouts in 1,146.2 innings. He won two Cy Youngs during that stretch, and finished in the top five every year.

His dominance was cut short due to shoulder injuries. Had Santana had another two years in his prime, he would be a lock for the Hall– his career ERA+ of 136 is higher than Randy Johnson, Whitey Ford or Greg Maddux. He will definitely receive consideration, and would presumably go in with the Twins. But who knows? Maybe Santana throwing the Mets’ first and only no-hitter is impressive enough to override that.

Carlos Beltran: If any of these candidates are to be inducted as Mets, it’s Beltran. He played more games with the Mets than he did with any team, and put up some of his best numbers there as well.

Beltran hasn’t received the glitz and glamor a lot of other stars of his day have, but his stats are as good as anyone’s. His career bWAR of 70 is higher than Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Tony Gwynn, Eddie Murray and Carlton Fisk to name a few. He is one of just five players ever to record 500 doubles, 400 homers and 300 steals; the others are Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson. Oh, and he also won three Gold Gloves.

Beltran is having one of the best years of his career this season. Although he won’t be eligible for a number of years, it will be hard to deny his credentials once he appears on the ballot.

David Wright: If David Wright’s career is over (which it may very well be), than he is probably not a Hall of Famer. But another two or three seasons of classic David Wright could put him into the conversation. From 2005-2013, Wright’s average season was a .302/.384/.505 slash with 23 home runs, 93 RBI and 20 steals. He’s a longshot for Cooperstown at this point, but Wright is a lock for the Mets’ Hall of Fame.

Francisco Rodriguez: “K-Rod” is sixth on the all-time saves list with 413 saves, and he’s still only 34. “K-Rod” could become baseball’s all-time saves leader by the time he hangs ‘em up. This, along with a 2.70 career ERA, 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings ratio and a 156 ERA+, will guarantee him some consideration. As every Mets fan who watched him pitch knows, he will not be going into Cooperstown as a Met. This distinction will likely come with the Angels, where he set the single-season saves record back in 2008.

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All-Time “He Was Good Until He Went to the Mets” Team Fri, 15 Jul 2016 16:00:33 +0000 jason bay

“He was good. Until he went to the Mets.”

If you’re a Mets fan, there’s a solid chance you say or hear that sentence at least ten times per year. The Mets have had several notable occurrences of “He Was Good Until He Went To The Mets” syndrome over their five decades of play, and countless players have fallen prey to it.

When the Mets turned 50, they released an “All-Time Team” to remember the greats who wore the orange and blue. But if you’re a die-hard Mets fan, you know that the greats are only half of the story. For every Keith Hernandez, there’s a Mo Vaughn. For every Mike Piazza, there’s a Jim Fregosi. For every… you get it.

So now we have an all-time “He Was Good Until He Went To The Mets Team.” This team was built with the players at each position who had the best careers prior to a lackluster stay with the Mets:

Catcher - Yogi Berra

After Berra was fired as Yankees manager in 1964, the Mets immediately scooped him up as a player/coach. Many people don’t even realize that Berra played for the Mets– albeit for four games in 1965. He went 2-for-9, and retired after striking out three times in a game for the second time ever on May 9. The American icon went on to coach and manage with the Mets for the next decade, including in a memorable run to the World Series in 1973.

First Baseman - Mo Vaughn

Vaughn looked like a potential Hall of Famer when he played for the Red Sox and Angels. From 1993-2000, an average season for Vaughn was .305/.394/.552 with 35 home runs and 111 RBI. But it was all downhill after the 2000 season. He missed all of 2001 with a torn bicep and was traded to the Mets for Kevin Appier prior to the 2002 season.
While Appier won 14 games and helped the Angels win the 2002 World Series,

Vaughn did little for the Mets. His first year with the team was far below his pre-injury averages– albeit not awful. He batted .259/.349/.456 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI. However, he played in just 27 games in 2003 and missed all of 2004 with a career-ending knee injury. The Mets paid him $46 million dollars over these three seasons to play in just 158 games.

Vaughn is perhaps best remembered by Mets fans for his weight issues; despite once weighing 225 pounds, Vaughn had skyrocketed to 275 pounds when he was with the Mets. This led to many an angry call into “Mike and the Mad Dog.”

Second Baseman - Roberto Alomar

Alomar has a plaque in Cooperstown today, but it’s safe to say this has little to do with his time on the Mets.
Much like Vaughn, Alomar was acquired from the Indians during the 2002 offseason to revitalize the team. The Mets would be acquiring a 32-year-old player who had made 12 consecutive All-Star teams and won 11 consecutive Gold Gloves.

Both of these streaks ended once he came to the Mets. Alomar batted just .266/.331/.376 in 2002, and after putting up similar numbers the following season, was traded to the White Sox in July of 2003. Alomar played just one more season before calling it a career.
The trades for Vaughn and Alomar helped end Steve Phillips’ time as GM of the Mets, who was fired in 2003.

(Dis)Honorable mention #1 - Carlos Baerga

Baerga was the first second baseman since Rogers Hornsby to record consecutive seasons of 200+ hits, 20 home runs and 100 RBI when he did so in 1992 and 1993. After he was traded to the Mets in 1996, he never reached any of these plateaus again.

(Dis)Honorable mention #2 - Luis Castillo

Castillo won three Gold Gloves with the Marlins, yet is best remembered as a Met for failing to catch a pop-up. Enough said.

Phillies vs Mets

Shortstop: Kaz Matsui

Matsui is a legend in Japan, where he batted .309/.362/.486 with 150 home runs and 306 steals from from 1995-2003. This 2003 scouting report on called him “More talented than Hideki Matsui,” and the “Best all-around player [in Japan] since Ichiro left.”

So when Matsui decided to take his talents to America, the Mets signed him to a three-year, $20 million contract prior to the 2004 season. The team was so confident in his abilities that it moved highly-touted shortstop prospect Jose Reyes to second base to make room for Matsui.

Unlike the other Matsui in New York at the time, Kaz failed to meet expectations. He batted just .256/.308/.363 in three injury-plagued seasons with the Mets. He was traded to the Rockies in June of 2006. He spent the next four seasons with the Rockies and Astros before heading back to Japan in 2011.

In case you’re wondering, Matsui still plays in Japan for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, where he batted .256/.324/.366 with ten home runs and 48 RBI in 126 games last season.

Third Base - Jim Fregosi

Before the days of David Wright, the Mets struggled to find an everyday third baseman throughout much of their early history. In fact, they had eight different starting third basemen from 1962-1971.

The Mets hoped to put an end to these woes when they acquired Jim Fregosi from the Angels in December of 1971. Fregosi was a six-time All-Star with a bWAR of 44.8 and an OPS+ of 119 from 1963-1970. But a down season in 1971 made him expendable for the Angels, who traded him to the Mets for some young pitcher named Nolan Ryan.

Unfortunately for the Mets, the man bought in to be the third baseman of the future had a short and forgettable stay in Flushing. He batted an abysmal .233/.319/.328 with five home runs and 43 RBI in 146 games in 1972 and 1973. The Mets’ search for a star third baseman would continue until Howard Johnson made his debut with the team in 1985. Meanwhile, Nolan Ryan went on to throw over 5,000 strikeouts and seven no-hitters en route to the Hall of Fame.

Outfield - Jason Bay

After a season in which Daniel Murphy led the Mets with just 12 home runs, the Mets were in desperate need of a power hitter. So they signed Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract. Bay came to the Mets with seven consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI, and was coming off a season in which he hit 36 home runs and 119 RBI with the Red Sox.

In three years with the Mets, Bay hit just 26 home runs and 124 RBI. He batted just .234/.318/.369, and had his contract terminated prior to the 2013 season.

Outfield – Vince Coleman 

Coleman stole 549 bases during the first six seasons of his career with the Cardinals. He is one of just four players in the modern era to steal over 100 bases in a season, which he did three times from 1985-1987.

It looked like the Mets were signing the next Lou Brock when they signed him in 1990. What they got was one of the biggest embarrassments in team history. Coleman, who played with the Mets from 1991-1993, never played more than 100 games in a season.

Aside from the disappointing on-field performance, his off-field behavior was even worse. He was gone for good after he was charged with felony a firecracker at a group of fans at Dodger Stadium, which injured three people– including a two-year-old girl. Prior to this dubious incident, he injured Dwight Gooden by swinging a golf club in the clubhouse and had been suspended for feuding with manager Jeff Torborg.

willie mays

OutfieldWillie Mays:

The “Say Hey Kid” was traded to the Mets in the middle of the 1972 season. Mays was 41 at the time, and was hardly the player he used to be. He hit just .238/.352/.294 in 135 games with the Mets from 1972-1973 to finish out his career.

Unlike many of the players on the “He Was Good Until He Went to the Mets” team, Mays is still looked at with reverence by the organization and fans, so much so that his No. 24 jersey has remained mostly out of circulation since he retired.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #1 - Bobby Bonilla

Many Mets fans would probably put Bonilla over Mays on this list, but from a purely numerical standpoint, Bonilla was actually not awful. He made two All-Star teams in four seasons while he recorded an OPS+ over 120 in each of his first four years with the team.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #2 - George Foster

Much like Bonilla, Foster didn’t live up to the hype of his five-year, $10 million contract, the second-largest in baseball history in 1982, but still put up decent numbers. Foster had at least 20 home runs in three of his five years with the Mets and had two years with a WAR over 1.5.

(Dis)Honorable Mention #3 - Duke Snider

Snider was a Hall of Famer and fan-favorite in New York as a Brooklyn Dodger before the team relocated to Los Angeles in 1958. He came back to New York in 1963 when he was sold to the Mets, where he batted .243/.345/.401 with 14 homers and 45 RBI in his only season with the team.

New York Yankees v New York Mets

Starting Pitcher - Pedro Martinez

Pedro signed a four-year, $53 million dollar contract with the Mets in December of 2004. This represented a new era in Mets history, and was a major factor in persuading Carlos Beltran to sign. However, he contributed little on the field after the first year of his deal.

Martinez’s first season with the Mets was electrifying, as he went 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and a league-leading 0.949 WHIP and 4.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After this season,Pedro would never make more than 24 starts in a season again, and recorded a 4.74 ERA throughout his remaining time with the Mets. A healthy Pedro could have made all the difference in 2007 and 2008, when the Mets were eliminated on the last day of the season.

Starting Pitcher - Tom Glavine

Glavine was one of the best pitchers of his era with the Braves, and was pretty solid with the Mets as well. He went 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA during his five seasons in New York. But he will always be remembered for his performance on the final day of the 2007 season, when he allowed seven runs in one-third of an inning to the last-place Marlins. Not a good time to have the worst start of your career.

Starting Pitcher - Warren Spahn

As a Brave, Spahn averaged 20 wins from 1947-1963. But after going 6-13 with a 5.29 ERA in 1964, he was sold to the Mets.
Much like Berra, Spahn had an oft-forgotten abbreviated cameo with the Mets in 1965. He was purchased and given both a spot in the rotation and the title of pitching coach.

Spahn had won 356 games prior to joining the Mets, and still believed that he could get to 400 wins when he joined the team. This proved to be a fruitless endeavor, however, as the 44-year-old went just 4-12 with a 4.36 ERA before being released midseason.

While on the Mets, Spahn was reunited with Casey Stengel, who he had played under with the Boston Braves in 1942. Reminiscing on his time with the Mets, Spahn once said: “I’m probably the only guy who worked with Stengel before and after he was a genius.”

Relief Pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez

The 2008 Mets’ bullpen was so bad that had their games ended in the eighth inning, they would have won the NL East by 12 games rather than losing it by three games. So that offseason, they signed Francisco Rodriguez, who was fresh off setting a single-season record with 62 saves, to a three-year, $37 million contract.

Rodriguez failed as a member of the Mets. His ERA ballooned to 3.71 in 2009– more than a run higher than it had been in 2008. He suffered a season-ending thumb injury in August of 2010 by assaulting his girlfriend’s father following a loss. “K-Rod” was traded to the Brewers in a salary-dump trade in 2011, where he has since made two All-Star teams.

Relief Pitcher - J.J. Putz

Putz recorded a 5.22 ERA as the setup man in 2009 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury that June. Putz was a stellar closer for the Mariners prior to 2009, as he had a 3.07 ERA and 101 saves in his six-year tenure with the team. After his time with the Mets, he recorded two 30-plus save seasons with the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.
Putz later said that the Mets never gave him a physical upon acquisition. As Mets fans found out last year, medicals are rather important.

Manager - Art Howe

Howe was bought in in 2003 to be the Mets’ manager following Bobby Valentine‘s firing. Howe was the hottest managerial name on the market, as he had just led the Athletics to three consecutive playoff appearances. If he could lead the $40 million payroll Oakland A’s to three straight playoff appearances. Imagine what he could do with more than double that budget?

Not much. Howe went 137-186 in his two years on the job. He was fired following the 2004 season, and never managed again after leaving the Mets.


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From Left Field: Bullpen Needs At Least One More Addition Thu, 06 Feb 2014 18:34:19 +0000 bobby parnell

National League teams traditionally field a seven-man bullpen. So let’s take a look at what the Mets currently have assembled:

Bobby Parnell (closer), Vic Black, Jeurys Familia, Scott Rice, Josh Edgin, Gonzalez Germen and Carlos Torres (Long man).

If the team had to start the season with this crop of pitchers, I guess it would not be terrible. There is a decent mix of power and finesse arms as well as righties and lefties and guys who could pitch more than one inning.

But the success of this bullpen relies heavily on too many unproven pitchers, mainly Black, Familia, Edgin, Germen and Torres – not to mention that Parnell and Rice are not exactly guarantees.

The team brought in Kyle Farnsworth on a minor-league deal, and that’s fine to have some depth in the minors. But I don’t even consider him a legitimate option.

That’s why this team needs to sign at least one more bullpen arm to compete for a setup role. And even with Spring Training creeping up, there are still plenty of good available options.

Fernando Rodney, Joel Hanrahan, Ryan Madson, Kevin Gregg, Andrew Bailey, Carlos Marmol, and Francisco Rodriguez all have closing experience, which is a must given that Parnell is coming back for neck surgery.

Rodney is only a year removed from a dominant season, but since that’s the case, he might get a call to become a team’s full-time closer.

Marmol is a head case so forget him, and we’ve had enough of K-Rod in this town. And I’m not completely sold on guys like Madson, Gregg, Bailey and Betancourt.

Hanrahan intrigues me however. Yes, he’s coming off Tommy John surgery, but he was once a shutdown late-game option. He could be worth taking the risk.

Again, go back to the top of this post. If the Mets started the year with that seven-man bullpen, it would not be that bad.

But what if they strike gold with Rodney or Hanrahan? That really would lengthen the bullpen unit and would not tax the younger arms like Black and Familia.

I’m completely shocked that Rodney has not been gobbled up at this point in the offseason. It’s not as surprising with Hanrahan given his injury status.

But one of these guys could be the key to this bullpen. In that way, if an injury occurs to one of the other arms, a guy like Germen could step in on short-term basis – rather than being counted on to be a major bullpen contributor right away.

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Made The Right Call Passing On Abreu Sat, 19 Oct 2013 23:41:57 +0000 JoseAbreuWBC

Several people I spoke with and greatly respect said they were disappointed the Mets didn’t make a run at Cuban free-agent first baseman Jose Abreu, who signed a six-year, $68-million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the success of Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, all of a sudden tapping the Cuban market is the hot thing. But sometimes teams can get burned touching hot objects.

Abreu, 26, last played on an international stage during the World Baseball Classic this spring and batted .360 with three homers and nine RBI. Prior to that, he batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI in 63 games in the 2010-11 season, but sustained a shoulder injury. The previous season, he batted .399 with 30 home runs and 76 RBI.

No doubt, impressive numbers, but the obvious question is: How good was the competition? Justin VerlanderAdam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw don’t pitch in Cuba.

The eye-popping number for Abreu isn’t his power against questionable competition, but the $68 million, which is very real money.

That is a lot of money on a question, albeit an important one for the 2014 Mets. They already have two first basemen in Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, but both have greatly under-produced and the Mets aren’t happy with either.

We know very little about Abreu as a player against quality competition, but there are many questions when deciding to go the international route. Mainly, do the Mets want to sink $68 million in a player they know precious little about?

After freeing themselves under Sandy Alderson of the contracts of Oliver PerezLuis CastilloFrancisco RodriguezJohan Santana and Jason Bay (there’s still some deferred money there), the last thing the Mets want to do is sink money in another long-term deal, especially with the possible results so precarious.

Maybe Abreu will pan out for the White Sox. If so, good for them. But, the last thing the Mets need is another long-term headache.

The Mets were wise to sit this one out.

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Thanks For the Me”Mo”ries Sat, 28 Sep 2013 14:40:05 +0000 mariano rivera

I know what you’re thinking. This is a Mets website. Why do I have to read about a %$#@*^# Yankee? Yes, we are all Mets fans. And yes, we all despise the Yankees and everything they represent. But ask yourself this: Next time you drive north to Cooperstown, will you look at Tom Seaver’s plaque and then go home? Probably not. The Baseball Hall of Fame is a place where the most talented ballplayers are forever enshrined in immortality. And now the curtain is coming down on Mariano Rivera, the best closer the game has ever known.

My friend and fellow MMO blogger, Satish Ram, pointed out something that shows Rivera’s greatness: 12 men have walked on the surface of the moon. Only 11 men have scored against Rivera in the post-season.

In the 17 years from 1996 to 2012, the Evil Empire made the post-season every year but one. They captured 13 division titles, 7 pennants and 5 World Championships. There’ve been lots of talented players in the Bronx over these years. Jason Giambi, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens and of course, Derek Jeter. However, at the risk of going out on a limb, I’ll state that the main reason for the Yankees success over this time is due to Mo.

Simply put, Mariano Rivera changed the very nature of the game. He didn’t do it in the way Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson did, however, he did alter each individual game just by his presence. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s teams did whatever was necessary to avoid facing Barry Bonds with runners on base. Even so, that did not work. As Bonds shattered records, opposing managers would intentionally walk him. Often the free pass would even put a runner into scoring position. Rickey Henderson was another. His speed alone changed the complexity of the game. Pitchers did whatever they could to keep him off the basepaths. Once Rickey was on, they KNEW he’d go…and they still couldn’t stop him. Rivera is in that same class. The game of baseball is designed so that each team has 27 outs. But with #42 poised and ready, Yankee opponents had only 24 outs. If you were losing to the Yankees after eight innings, your fate was sealed.


Considered a “fringe prospect at best,” Rivera debuted on May 23, 1995 as a starter. He got his butt kicked, allowing 5 ER in 3.1 innings. After four more starts, his ERA stood at 10.20. He spent much time being shuffled back and forth between the Bronx and Columbus.

At this same time the Yankees had a kid named Derek Jeter in the minors. The team was less than warm to him at first. He had a good glove, but they questioned his hitting. Scout Clyde King advised that Jeter was “nowhere near ready.” Yankee manager Joe Torre said he was hopeful Jeter could at least hit .250, good enough to stay in the majors.

Owner George Steinbrenner, however, was restless. Determined to bring a pennant to The Bronx, he approved a trade sending struggling starter Mariano Rivera to Seattle in exchange for shortstop Felix Fermin. However, GM Gene Michael and assistant GM Brian Cashman convinced ‘The Boss’ to give Jeter a chance. Steinbrenner relented and elected to hang on to both Jeter and Rivera — at least for the short term to see how things went.

In 1996, Rivera served as the set-up to John Wetteland. That season the Yankees were 70-3 when leading after six innings. Amazing.

There are ballplayers we dislike. Names like Clemens, A-Rod and Swisher come to mind. Then, there are others who, while we dislike them, you still gotta love ‘em. Manny Ramirez for example. Growing up and watching the Yankees win pennant after pennant while the Mets floundered in the NL East basement, I hated Reggie Jackson. But ya still had to love Reggie. Say what you will about Barry Bonds, but as he walked toward home plate, did you ever get up to get something to drink from the kitchen?

rivera mariano

Sure, Rivera is a Yankee. And we therefore have it in our genes to detest anyone in pinstripes. However, like Jeter, Rivera is and has always been a class act, the consummate professional. He’s not an in-your-face closer like a Jose Valverde or Jonathan Papelbon. Rivera never shows up an opponent. He comes in, does his job and walks off the mound.

He recorded 25 saves or more 15 consecutive seasons—a major league record. His ERA has been under 2.00 11 times, tying him with Walter Johnson. His career ERA of 2.21 and WHIP of 1.00 is the lowest of any pitcher in the live ball era. He has the lowest ERA (0.70) and most saves (42) in post-season history. He is baseball’s All-Time save leader with roughly 10% more than the man in second, Trevor Hoffman.

What made Rivera great is not just how effective he was but his durability. There have been plenty of great closers over the last few decades. Most, however, have a few solid seasons and then fade away. Francisco Rodriguez set the record for the most saves in a season with 62. Then never again came close to that mark. In 1990, Bobby Thigpen set the mark K-Rod would break. Thigpen’s 57 saves was unheard of at the time. However, he recorded only 31 more before injuries and ineffectiveness cut short his career at 31 years old. Dodgers’ closer Eric Gagne notched 152 saves over 3 seasons. Burned out, he then recorded just 35 more over 5 years.

As these and many others came and went, Rivera has remained the game’s predominant closer.

Some can argue that Rivera has it easier nowadays. Goose Gossage praises him but also points out that in today’s game closers traditionally work just one inning. In his entire career, Rivera recorded just one 7-out save. By comparison, Gossage notched 53. Closers, or “Firemen” as they were sometimes called, like Bruce Sutter, Rollie FingersDennis Eckersley and Tug McGraw frequently tossed well over 100 IP, an exorbitant amount by today’s standards. There is some validity to Gossage’s claim.

To offset that, however, Rivera pitched the bulk of his career during the steroids era and in smaller hitter friendly parks. The Yankees string of post-seasons as well as extra round of playoffs also meant that Rivera logged more innings in pressure situations. Yet, his durability was never affected. (Mitch Williams anyone?)

Mo is linked to one of Baseball’s Greatest Moments. But not in a good way. The 2001 World Series saw the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks defeat the heavily favored Yankees in a seven game thriller. Arizona rallied for 2 in the bottom of the ninth game seven to defeat the Yankees. It was an iconic moment in Series history. It was a shock that the D-Backs won. It was more of a shock that they upset the Yankees. However, the key to this extraordinary incident is not the fact that Luis Gonzalez knocked a bloop hit over the drawn-in infield but rather that it came off Mariano Rivera. Rallying for 2 in the bottom of the ninth off any team would be historical. The fact that it was against the best closer in history is what elevated this moment.

There are two teams I root for in Baseball: The Mets and whoever is playing the Yankees. When Jay Bell scored from third and ended the Yankees 2001 season I jumped off my sofa cheering as if Jesse Orosco had just fanned Marty Barrett all over again. If we can’t win, I don’t want to see the Yankees win either. It was sweet revenge for the 2000 World Series. For years I used Luis Gonzalez’ nickname, Gonzo. Anyone who knocks the Yankees out is okay in my book. Seeing Rivera and his teammates wander off the field in stunned shock was a beautiful thing. I have rooted against the Yankees my whole life and will continue to do so. However, while I loathe the team, I still can’t help but respect Rivera for what he meant to the game itself and to the post-season. Tom Verducci once stated, “Basketball has Michael Jordan, Hockey has Wayne Gretsky and Baseball has Mariano Rivera.”

Once asked to describe his job, Rivera stated, “I get the ball, I throw the ball and then I take a shower.”


If I ever get back to Cooperstown again, I’ll spend a lot of time admiring the plaques of Tom Seaver and The Kid, Gary Carter (despite the fact Gary’s has that ridiculous M instead of the more appropriate NY). But I will also spend a few extra moments checking out Rivera’s plaque. I didn’t cheer for him, never rooted for him. But I did experience his greatness and that is what makes Baseball a beautiful game.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The All Time Infamy Team Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:55:40 +0000 Infamy: The state of being well known for some bad quality or deed.

I have seen a lot of Mets baseball in my 41 years on this planet. I have seen the Mets win one World Series while losing in their other two appearances to the A’s and Yankees. I’ve also seen them appear in a handful of playoff appearances where they just fell a little short… Yeah I’m, looking at you ’88 and ’99 and ’06!!!

I have seen players come and go. Some were stars, others were nondescript journeymen, and many were solid everyday players that may not have that good, but us fans we clutched on to them because they were the best we had.

But there is also another category of players that have had donned the orange and blue. These are the players that we loved to hate. The players that had various scrapes with either the front office, the manager, the game itself, or even off the field scuffles with the law, child services etc. So without further ado here is a short list of some of the most infamous Mets.

jordany valdespin

1. Jordany Valdespin : Valdespin may have only spent about a year and a half with the Mets but his antics are legendary. While in the minors he was not very well liked by his teammates – but I guess when you steal their equipment you won’t be making many friends. He is currently serving a 50 game suspension for being named in the Biogenesis scandal. He also cursed out his manager Terry Collins in front of GM Sandy Alderson when told he was being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this season. Soon after, he ignited a bench clearing brawl after his demotion because he showboated after a homer (again) – something he actually excels at since he doesn’t field well, run well or hit for average.

2. Ambiorix Burgos: Amby was obtained by then GM, Omar Minaya, to be the Mets future closer. He could top 100 mph on the radar gun. In a fit of rage, Borgos used his SUV as a weapon when he struck and killed his ex-girlfriend and as well as another woman in his native Dominican Republic. He was also picked up by NYPD officers for beating his then girlfriend .

3. Vince Coleman: “Vincent Van D’OH” will not only be remembered for his speed on the field with the Cardinals and to a lesser extent the Mets, but also for throwing lit fire crackers into a crowd after a game in Los Angeles, severely injuring a 2-year old girl. He also accidentally injured Dwight Gooden when he was swinging a golf club in the clubhouse.

4. Francisco Rodriguez: Who could forget back in the summer of 2010 when after blowing a save Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez was involved in a shouting match with his “father in law”  which spiraled into K-Rod using the man as his very own punching bag. To be honest if somebody made disparaging remarks about my mother I would probably do the same. Rodriguez was arrested and put on the restricted list for 2 days. He then was placed on the disqualified list for the remainder of the season after it was revealed that he tore a ligament in his thumb during his punching fit which required surgery.

5. Lance Broadway: Broadway, a hard throwing prospect that the Mets obtained  from the White Sox for catcher, Ramon Castro. Lance didn’t light it up in his brief time with the Mets – even though he had the right last name for the team. After the Mets released him he signed with Toronto , where he brutally beat up a man at a night club.

6. Carl Everett: Carl’s temper was well known. He once head-butted umpire Ron Kulpa when he ruled that Carl was using an illegal stance in the batter’s box. He is best known for having his children taken away by Child Protective Services after a Mets employee saw welts and bruises on one of his children. He has been arrested since then for weapons possession, as well as assault.  He is outspoken against gay marriage, feels that the Apollo 11 moon landing was a hoax, and is infamous for saying  that

“God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the Earth, and then he made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Somebody actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex.!”

He also believes that dinosaur bones are man made fakes.

So here is my list for some of the most infamous players ever to wear a Mets uniform. who would you add to this list ? Let me know in the comment section below.

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

One of the most popular Mets of all time, second baseman from ’80-’88,  Wally Backman is 54 (1959). Backman has been managing in the Mets minor league system for the past several years. He is well liked by his players, and is still a lightening rod for controversy which is why I do not believe we will see him as the Mets manager in the near future.

One of the worst free agent signings the Mets ever made, outfielder Vince Coleman is 52 (1961).

Current Mets bench coach ( and possible Collins replacement) , Bob Geren  is 52 (1961).

Middle reliever from the ’02 season, Mark Guthrie is 48 (1965).

Reserve outfielder from the ’95 season, Jeff Barry is 44 (1969).

Current starting pitcher for the Mets AAA Las Vegas affiliate,  Chris Schwinden is 27 (1986).

Mo Vaughn is infamous for eating the entire team post game spread before his teammates could finish changing after the game !!!

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The 2010 Mets: Where Are They Now? Thu, 29 Aug 2013 23:58:53 +0000 jose-reyes-mets-2012

If you are a Mets fan, you know that David Wright is still with team, or that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are in Toronto and St. Louis, respectively. But what happened to guys like Nick Evans or Rod Barajas? We have the answers.

11 Players who made it into a game in 2010 with the Mets, are still employed by the team. That would be the aforementioned David Wright, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada (Although he is currently with Triple-A Las Vegas, he is still on the Mets payroll), Lucas Duda, Justin Turner, Jon Niese, Pedro Feliciano (Although he made another stop in the Bronx, he is with the Mets once again), Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Johan Santana, and Jenrry Mejia.

10 players are employed by another Major League team. That would be Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Beltran, Josh Thole, Henry Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Francisco Rodriguez, and Oliver Perez.

MLB: SEP 22 Mets v Marlins

As you may know, Jose Reyes was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays this past offseason in a blockbuster deal involving Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and now former Met, John Buck. Reyes now puts on his uniform in the same locker room as R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, who were traded together this past offseason from the Mets for Travis d’Arnaud, Buck, and Noah Syndergaard (don’t forget Wuilmer Beccera!). Angel Pagan was traded to the San Francisco Giants prior to the 2012 season for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez who have both since played again for the team they were traded from.

Carlos Beltran was traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler, but has since made his home in St. Louis playing for the Cardinals, where he has enjoyed a couple of very nice seasons, including an All Star appearance this summer. Henry Blanco, who served as the Mets backup catcher in 2010, beat out Josh Thole for the same position on this year’s Toronto Blue Jays team, but was released and then signed by the Seattle Mariners who made the corresponding move by releasing 2012 Met alumni, Kelly Shoppach. Blanco played in Arizona for the Diamondbacks in 2011 and 2012.

Joaquin Arias, of whom the Mets received for Jeff Francoeur late in the 2010 season, played for the Kansas City Royals in 2011, and was then given a championship ring after serving as Pablo Sandoval‘s ninth inning defensive replacement in 2012 for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a key hitter off the bench for the Giants in 2013. Mike Pelfrey, after failing to play a month in the 2012 season, was signed by the Minnesota Twins, where his 5-10 record and 5.06 ERA is good enough to keep him in the starting rotation.

Francisco Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers in 2011 for Daniel Herrera (yes the 5-6 guy) and a minor leaguer, but was traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline this year, downgrading from a closer to a setup man. Finally, Oliver Perez signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and is proving to be an effective arm out of their bullpen. You would think that Perez’s ERA of 9.72 with Henry Blanco behind the plate would be the highest among catchers who have caught the Mexican native, but no. That award goes to Josh Thole, who provides Ollie with a sparkling 16.20 ERA.

Eight players are in the minor leagues with another organization. They are Mike Nickeas, Mike Hessman, Luis Hernandez, Mike Jacobs, Nick Evans, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Nieve, and Pat Misch.

Mike Nickeas, who was in the same deal that sent R.A. Dickey north of the border, is currently with the Blue Jays Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, a team Nickeas has played for many times when they were the Mets affiliate. Nickeas has failed to make the Majors this season, playing 55 games in Buffalo. Mike Hessman, who is seven home runs shy of 400 for his minor league career and one shy of 15 for his Major League career, is currently a member of the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A team of the Cincinnati Reds, where he is teammates with base stealing extraordinaire, Billy Hamilton. Hessman played in Japan in 2011 for the Orix Buffaloes, and was with the Astros Triple A team in 2012.

Luis Hernandez, who played all of 17 games for the Mets, is with the Indians Triple-A team, after playing in the Texas Rangers organization in 2012. Nick Evans is the only 2010 Met alumni playing in Double-A. Evans, who is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliated Mobile Baybears, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in 2012. Mike Jacobs was the placeholder at first base until Ike Davis came up in 2010 but he is now with the Diamondbacks Triple-A team. Jacobs also stopped in Colorado Springs, Toronto, and Mexico. Hisanori Takahashi, who has 12 games started and 21 games finished as a Met, has played in the Majors with the Angels, Pirates, and Cubs. He is now a member of the Colorado Rockies Triple-A team. Fernando Nieve hasn’t played in the Majors since 2010, but he has played with the Astros, Dodgers, Indians, and currently the Athletics, all in Triple-A. Finally, Pat MIsch has seen time with the Phillies and Tigers Triple-A teams.

Five players are not currently with a Major League organization. The names are Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas, Jason Bay, John Maine, and Sean Green.

Francoeur was traded to the Rangers for Joaquin Arias in August of 2010. He spent the rest of the year there. Frenchy played in Kansas City during 2011 and 2012, but was released midway through the 2013 season. The Giants picked him up, where he played 22 games. Francouer was designated for assignment of August 20th, and released two days later. Barajas played with the Pirates in 2011 and 2012, before being signed by the Diamondbacks. He ultimately lost the bid to be Miguel Montero‘s backup, as the DBacks went with Wil Nieves instead.

Jason Bay, who was released after the 2012 season much to the delight of Mets fans, was signed by the Mariners for the 2013 season. He hit a home run in his first spring training at bat, but after a disapointing season, was released of August 6th to make room for Mike Morse. John Maine spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, and pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Bare Yankees for all of 2012. He played for the Miami Marlins in April of this year, but was released on April 22. The sidearmer, Sean Green pitched with the Brewers in 2011, before playing with the Texas Rangers’ Triple A team in 2012. He also pitched with the Somerset Patriots in 2012 of the Independent Leagues but has not found a team since.

Six players have officially retired. They are Luis Castillo, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Tobi Stoner.

Luis Castillo was released by the Mets at the same time they released Oliver Perez. Castillo signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after a disappointing spring training, he was released, at which time he retired. Alex Cora was released by the Mets in August of 2010, and he played the rest of the year with the Rangers. He played with the Washington Nationals in 2011, and was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2012, which didn’t work out. He is now a baseball analyst for ESPN (his brother Joey does the same work for MLB Network). Fernando Tatis was injured of July 4th of 2010. He was placed on the DL the next day and was transferred to the 60-day DL 10 days later. That turned out to be his last major league game as he retired after the season.

The “Son of the Sarge”, Gary Matthews Jr., was released by the Mets on June 15th, 2010. He signed with the Reds on June 24th and played the rest of the year with their Triple-A team, before retiring. Frank Catalanotto was designated for assignment of May 10th, when the Mets brought up Chris Carter. After failing to sign with another team, he retired in March of 2011. Finally, the German-born Tobi Stoner was released by the Mets in March of 2012. During that season, he played in the Independent Leagues with the Bridgeport Blue Fish and the Somerset Patriots. He retired before the 2013 season.

manny acosta

Four players are currently playing in foreign countries. Chris Carter, Manny Acosta, and Ryota Igarashi are playing in Japan, and Jesus Feliciano is playing in Mexico.

Carter (no not the former A’s prospect) played in the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves Minor League system in 2011 before moving to Japan to play with the Seibu Lions in 2012 and 2013. Carter is 3-26 (.115) with three RBI in nine games this year. He is teammates with Kazuhisa Ishii. Manny Acosta pitched for the Mets through 2012 but signed with the Yomuri Giants in 2013 after being released. In 14 games he has an ERA of 5.54. His teammates include former major leaguers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker.

Ryota Igarashi played with the Mets until 2011. He then played in the minor leagues with the Yankees and the Blue Jays in 2012 though he pitched in the majors with both teams. He is now pitching with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks where he sports a 2.15 ERA in 36 games. He is teammates with with Vicente Padilla and former Mets minor leaguer Wily Mo Pena. Jesus Feliciano, who has signed with the Mets four different times in his career, played in all of his 54 career games with the Mets in 2010. He played with the Buffalo Bisons in 2011, the Durham Bulls in 2012, and he is now playing in Mexico with the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz. He has only played in three games with one hit.

One player is currently a coach. Elmer Dessens is the assistant pitching coach for the AZL Reds in the Arizona League (The Arizona equivalent to Florida’s Gulf Coast League). And here’s a fun piece of information. The manager of that AZL Reds team is former Met, Eli Marrero who the Mets received in 2006 when they traded Kazuo Matsui to the Rockies.

Well, now you know what happened to the 2010 Mets. Next week we’ll look at the players from Citi Field’s inaugural year, 2009.


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Mets Fall Short In 7-6 Loss To Brewers Sun, 07 Jul 2013 03:20:26 +0000 shaun marcum

The Milwaukee Brewers hung on to beat the New York Mets 7-6 tonight at Miller Park.

What a difference a night can make. The Mets were able to contain the Brewer offense last night when they mustered a 12 run outburst, tonight they seemed unable to keep pace with the Brewers offense even though Yovani Gallardo’s fastball was straight and generally sat at around 89 – 90 touching 92 on only one or two occasions. Gallardo had poor command of his breaking pitch and his fastball looked pretty straight.

Unfortunately for the Mets, Shaun Marcum was worse, he wasn’t fooling anyone tonight. The Fox announcers mentioned he was having some tingling in his fingers and was struggling to throw his changeup. Marcum gave up at least one run in every inning he pitched with the exception of one, and in the sixth with a chance to tie the game, Terry Collins elected not to hit for him. Marcum was pulled the next inning without retiring a batter.

Marcum lasted five innings and allowed six runs, five earned on 11 hits and a walk while striking out three. I think it’s time to seriously consider pulling the plug on the Shaun Marcum experiment. He’s had some encouraging outings, but he’s been largely inconsistent and awfully temperamental with his myriad maladies.

I think Marcum was envisioned as being a kind of Dickey light this season. Had he managed a decent first half up to his career norms, Marcum could have made a potentially valuable trade chip to a contender because he’s been awfully good when he’s been right. Unfortunately Marcum hasn’t been right and he’s accrued virtually zero trade value to date. There is little chance Marcum is going to turn things around at this stage in the game and sustain it long enough to become a trade chip so the Mets would be better off trying out some of the arms they’ve stockpiled in the minors.

The Mets continue to sport a different look these days in spite of the loss tonight. From the tightened up defense (Eric Young made a terrific play on an Aoki sinking liner in the 8th) to their activity on the base-paths that included a double steal in the 7th, the Mets seem livelier. David Wright had a throwing error in the 8th that was purely the result of Carlos Gomez’ speed (I think he would have been safe even if the throw was on target) and Murphy made a tough error on a bunt in the bottom of the 6th.

Marlon Byrd and John Buck both went yard with Byrd making things interesting bringing the Mets to within a run in the top of the 9th off Francisco Rodriguez. Young went 0-for-4 and his average is down to .258. Murphy led the team with three hits while driving in and scoring a run. Ike Davis drew three walks and scored a run.

Game time temperature was a beautiful 82 degrees. The game was played in 3 hours 32 minutes.

The Brewers scored 7 runs on 12 hits  0 errors and 9 left on base. The Mets scored 6 runs on 10 hits with 2 errors and 9 left on base.

Note: Before the game, the Mets activated Ruben Tejada from the DL and officially optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Jeremy Hefner (3-6, 3.54 ERA) opposes left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (1-1, 2.43) in the rubber game on Sunday at 2:10 pm.

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Which Mets Players will Represent the Team at the Mid Season Classic at Citi Field? Wed, 05 Jun 2013 16:53:47 +0000 david wrightWith all of this talk about how the Mets are falling apart and the product on the field is just not worth watching these days, I guess it’s hard to even imagine, if any Mets players will represent the team on July 16th when the All Star game is played at Citi Field. Over the history of All Star games played in New York since the Mets first season of 1962, only a handful of players have actually represented the team. The Mets hosted their first All Star game at Shea Stadium in 1964 and second baseman Ron Hunt was the lone player to represent the Mets. In 1977, the game was held at Yankee Stadium and catcher John Stearns was on hand for the Mets. Then in 2008 the All Star game again was held at Yankee Stadium and Billy Wagner and David Wright were the lone Mets attendees.

Now that the All Star game will be held at Citi Field this season, the hope is that more Mets players will be represented at the home field, but with the state the Mets are in at this point, there is no guarantee that that will happen. There is a chance that the fans will vote in David Wright as the starting third basemen and he only trails Pablo Sandoval by 127,176 votes.. With a little more than a month away from the game, Wright still may be able to land on the team as a reserve, but starting would be his preference especially with the game being at Citi Field.

John Buck can possibly join David Wright on the All Star team because he leads all NL catchers with 11 HR and 35 RBIs, but if you are looking at his other stats, his batting average is not typically considered all star material especially at .219. Buck has received 523,843 and his currently third in the voting, but highly unlikely that he will gain enough votes to surpass Buster Posey who has 1,275,956.

matt harveyWith regards to the Pitchers, at 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA, and 89 K’s, Matt Harvey was looking as a great potential to start for the Mets but he has not won a start since May 17 and prior to that he last won on April 19th. It isn’t anything that he has done wrong; just the typical Mets lack of run support or timely hits. If Harvey had a better hitting squad, it’s safe to say he might be at least 10-0 by now. That may sound crazy, but if you look at his numbers, he hasn’t allowed more than 4 runs in a game so far this season. Harvey does have a great chance to be on the roster on July 16th, and it would be a nice feather in his cap if he started. But that decision will ultimately rest with Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

At this point in the season I do not see any other Mets players that warrant an All Star nod at Citi Field, and if I am wrong, that will mean that the team turned things around and are playing great baseball. That may be too much to wish for, but you never know. So we just wait and see and hope that with the Mid Season Classic in our stadium, that we will be able to root on more men in orange and blue then originally thought. I know I am dreaming, but I have still about a month and a half before I really need to wake up.

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Bobby Parnell: Our Savior Has Arrived! Mon, 20 May 2013 14:20:07 +0000 bobby parnell

On Sunday, Bobby Parnell notched his sixth save of the season, recording the final three outs of the Mets’ 4-3 victory over the Cubs.  With the save, Parnell now has 20 in his six-year career with the Mets.  Now that may not seem like much, but it does give Parnell a special title.

Tell me, my fellow Mets fans.  Do you know which homegrown Met has the most saves in team history?  That would be Tug McGraw, who had 86 saves in a Mets uniform.  (Jesse Orosco, who had 107 saves in Flushing, made his major league debut with the Mets, but was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins and made his professional debut in their minor league system.)

McGraw is followed by Roger McDowell (84 saves), Neil Allen (69 saves), Randy Myers (56 saves), Doug Sisk (33 saves), Bob Apodaca (26 saves), Danny Frisella (24 saves) and Parnell.

Did you notice that all of the homegrown relievers ahead of Parnell pitched for the Mets exclusively in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s?  When Randy Myers was traded for John Franco after the 1989 season, that began a nearly quarter century stretch in which the Mets went with closers whom they traded for or signed as free agents.

First it was John Franco (acquired from Cincinnati).  Then it was Armando Benitez (acquired from Baltimore).  Benitez was followed by Braden Looper (free agent signing), Billy Wagner (free agent signing), Francisco Rodriguez (free agent signing) and Frank Francisco (yup, another free agent signing).  During that 20-plus year stretch, homegrown pitchers were used to close games primarily when the incumbent closer needed a day of rest or was on the disabled list.

So since the departure of Randy Myers following the 1989 campaign, which homegrown pitchers have registered the most saves for the Mets?  Here is the top three list:

  1. Bobby Parnell (20 saves)
  2. Anthony Young (18 saves)
  3. Aaron Heilman (9 saves)

The only homegrown pitchers to record at least ten career saves for the Mets since Randy Myers’ last season in New York are Anthony Young and Bobby Parnell.  Young is also the only homegrown closer since 1990 to record an individual season of more than seven saves when he saved 15 games in 1992 – the same year he began his major league-record 27-game losing streak.

Bobby Parnell has been given the closer duties by manager Terry Collins.  He is the first homegrown pitcher since 1989 to earn that responsibility out of spring training.  And he is now the team’s all-time saves leader for homegrown pitchers since that year.

The Mets have not developed many closers over the past quarter century, choosing to bring in closers from other teams.  Bobby Parnell is finally getting a chance to become the next Tug McGraw, Roger McDowell or Randy Myers.  If he succeeds, he stands to join those pitchers as the best homegrown closers in franchise history.

Our ninth inning savior has finally arrived!  And his name is Bobby Parnell.  It sure is nice to see a familiar face on the mound in the ninth inning instead of a recruit from another team.

This is a scene that very few homegrown pitchers have been able to repeat.

This is a scene that very few homegrown closers have been able to repeat.

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From Left Field: Please, No K-Rod Reunion! Thu, 07 Mar 2013 14:50:43 +0000 Francisco Rodriguez spoke with reporters during yesterday’s contest in Port St. Lucie between the Mets and Team Venezuela, which is gearing up to compete in the World Baseball Classic.

K-Rod said he would welcome a reunion with the Mets and would be extra motivated if given a second chance to redeem himself.

second_half_begins_with_a_trade_mets_send_krod_to_brewersRodriguez is currently a free agent, and the Mets showed minimal interest earlier in the offseason.

But please, please, please Sandy Alderson: Don’t bring this guy back!

The Mets have moved on from K-Rod and his antics, and there’s really no point in reverting. Why watch a washed up reliever struggle when we have some young guys capable of getting the job the done?

And if those younger guys struggle, give them the chance to work through their mistakes rather than keep giving the same guy numerous chances.

He has already been given a second chance with the Mets. After the whole incident with his girlfriend’s father in 2010, he returned to the Mets in 2011 – after many rumors of a potential release – and actually pitched pretty well.

In fact, he pitched so well that the Milwaukee Brewers traded for him for their stretch run, and he resurrected himself as a setup man.

That was his second chance. The Brewers re-signed him for the 2012 season, and he tanked to 2-7 record with a 4.38 ERA.

So basically he’s now seeking a third chance. Well, he’s come to wrong the place.

With the game on the line in the seventh and eighth inning, I’d much rather see the ball handed off to Bobby Parnell (if he’s not closing), Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin or Robert Carson.

Give these guys a chance. We know that K-Rod is more of a headache than what his production will be on the field. He was actually charged with domestic abuse in September, 2012, so it doesn’t seem he’s changed too much.

It’s great that K-Rod wants to redeem himself to Mets fans for a three-year period of craziness. But hopefully, the Mets stay far away from this guy.

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Mets Matters: What About “That” Guy? Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:05:51 +0000 that Guy

For better or worse, Michael Bourn fell off the New York Mets radar Monday when he agreed to a four-year, $48 million deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Mets/MLB beat writer Anthony DiComo suggests, if history is any indication, Sandy Alderson committed an error.  DiComo wrote:

The 11th overall Draft pick has a bizarre history of busts relative to the picks around it. Of the 48 players in history taken 11th overall, only five have amassed more than 10 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference … 17 of the 48 players never made the Majors …

Couldn’t that be said about the eighth pick? How about the six pick? Or, the 12th pick? DiComo’s logic is founded on coincidence, not any legitimate connection that the 11th pick is cursed. If there is truth in this logic, there is legitimacy in black cats, walking under ladders and idea that a Billy goat holds the key that unlocks the Cubs future hopes of winning a World Series.


Metsmerized Online writer Connor O’Brien takes a more common sense approach, claiming the Mets suffered from “lack of preparedness.” Alderson was “too passive,” he wrote. The Mets GM needs to be “more aggressive.”

To those three claims: Maybe. OK. I guess.

Doesn’t Alderson’s inaction reflect a consistency in his approach? Since 2010 the Mets GM has systematically dismantled and rebuilt the organizational infrastructure. In are: J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta. On the field, Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Matt Harvey, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin, Jordany Valdespin, Zack Wheeler (eventually), Travis d’Arnaud (soon). Out are: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez, Angel Pagan, R.A. Dickey, Scott Hairston, Mike Pelfrey. (these lists are not exhaustive)

Younger, talented, building success from within, or as the Mets GM said, “We’re going to strive for consistency, but above all, excellence.”

This was the promise, right?

“I’ve always had a preference for holding on to our own talent and seeing how far it can go,” Alderson told the media at Citi Field in November 2010. “If it succeeds and realizes its full potential, we benefit. If it doesn’t, I think we’ve still made the right decision in terms of our fan base.”

Instead of analyzing decisions we can’t control, how about we ask a really intriguing question: Who will the Mets select as the 11th overall pick in the June 2013 MLB Draft? Imagine being that guy!?

The good news: That guy will be fresh out of high school (or college) and he will have the distinct honor of calling himself a first round pick in the MLB June Draft. There’s a story for your grandchildren one day.

The bad news: Will that guy have to live in the shadow of Alderson’s decision to keep the draft pick instead of signing a legitimate MLB center fielder? Will he feel pressure? New York alone has wilted the careers of both young and established veteran ballplayers, but this scenario will create a new level of expectation for No. 11.

The jury is out – and will be for a couple years – on whether or not Sandy Alderson made the right call on letting Bourn slip away for the price of a first-round draft pick.

Still, I wouldn’t want to be that guy. Would you?

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MetsBlog’s Michael Baron On K-Rod Trade, Closer Options, Upcoming Homestand and More… Thu, 14 Jul 2011 11:45:17 +0000

Earlier today I had the pleasure of being joined by blogger, Michael Baron on my radio show “Mets Talk Live! Wright or Wrong?!? and he has a lot to say on the K-Rod trade as well as the Mets going forward in 2011 and beyond.

Here is what Michael had to say on Sandy Alderson’s conference call earlier today regarding the K-Rod trade:

JS: Hey Michael, I saw the news break last night on the K-Rod trade via twitter, I doubled take and had to look it up. I didn’t really see anything but sure enough within minutes it was confirmed the closer had been dealt to the Brewers. What’s been the feeling around the Mets concerning the trade?

MB: Just in talking about the conference call, Sandy Alderson said that the option vesting was just one of many the factors in trading K-rod, I have to believe it was a larger factor than he made it out to be. He’s doing the right thing by not making a big deal of that option, I’ve been saying it all along, and as you mentioned it on your show, it wouldn’t have mattered whether they were ten games up or ten behind, from a financial standpoint this was the absolute right move to make in my opinion.

Also, here’s what Michael had to say on replacing Rodriguez:

JS: As far as replacements go for K-Rod is Bobby Parnell the first man up?

TB: He’s certainly the strongest candidate on paper, I don’t necessarily believe they are going to stick with Parnell whether they win or lose. If he doesn’t perform I think they will look for someone to fill those shoes. Okay, he throws 100 MPH but he has had his share of command problems. He’s thrown great of late, but he has to be a shut down pitcher in the 9th inning, if he can’t prove he can do that than Terry Collins probably won’t stick with him. They have Jason Isringhausen, but he’s struggled over the past month or so, and it still remains to be seen whether he’s going to remain a Met in three weeks. I think there’s still a lot we don’t know, but we’ll have a better idea when Terry Collins and Pitching Coach Dan Warthen speak at their press conference tomorrow before team work outs at Citi Field.

Hear what else Michael had to say about the Mets moving forward in 2011 and beyond. Topics include, Michael’s grading of the Mets to this point in the season, Carlos Beltran’s future as a Met, the Mets seven game home stand following the All-Star break, and Jose Reyes’ impending free agency.

If you’d like to listen to this and everything else Michael had to say concerning the Mets here’s the link:

Mets Talk Live! Wright or Wrong?!?

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Sandy Alderson: We’re Not Waving A White Flag, We’ll Still Win Games Wed, 13 Jul 2011 22:15:38 +0000

“From my standpoint this certainly does not signify a change in direction from our continuing attempt to win games this season. One could view this as a slight impediment. But, at the same time, it really should not signal any significant change in direction.”  -  Sandy Alderson

The Francisco Rodriguez trade was “an independent transaction” – and not an indication that the Mets are raising any white flags on their season – Sandy Alderson said this afternoon.

The Mets GM Sandy Alderson held a 30 minute conference call which you can watch part of on this video courtesy of SNY.


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Does The K-Rod Trade Make The Mets Buyers? Wed, 13 Jul 2011 21:28:54 +0000 Now with the Mets having cleared one of their biggest offseason worries in the Francisco Rodriguez vesting option, does that make the Mets buyers during the trade deadline?

Although a game has yet to be played after the All-Star break, this Mets team already takes on a new appearance. The bullpen corps is comprised of the same pitchers, and two (Bobby Parnell & Pedro Beato) will look to close out games now. Jason Isringhausen is a candidate to close as well, due to experience but this is a new dawn of allowing prospects to try and carry their weight. If either one of the three closer candidates can prove to be adequate if not excel in closing out games, the flexibility it provides financially is immense.

The thought is that with some added free space on the payroll this year, can they become players for another starter, possibly improve at catcher or add some right-handed bench depth? The options have expanded, and now the Mets can explore in-season options even though this K-Rod move is seen as somewhat of a defeatist move from a standpoint of competition.

In the offseason, the K-Rod option – no loger a worry, opens more options. Will the Mets re-sign Jose Reyes? That still isn’t known, but the amount of payroll that was opened is a much more positive sign today then it was a few days ago. Will the Mets re-sign Beltran? It is a dark horse option, but maybe Beltran won’t feel as betrayed by the Mets since most of the damage was done by the Minaya regime. Will the Mets look to sign some help in the offseason in both the starting rotation and at the catcher position.

This has been an interesting last few months, and with 18 days until the trade deadline, this can become a very exciting time for Mets fans.

For other thoughts, Mets news and Mets related talk, follow me on twitter @TheSeanKenny

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Latest Reactions and Updates On K-Rod Trade Wed, 13 Jul 2011 17:32:17 +0000

Latest Updates & Reactions on K-Rod Trade:

Buster Olney – There is reportedly a list of five minor leaguers that the Mets will choose from. None of them considered top prospects.

Mike Diaz – Round 1: Sandy Alderson vs. Scott Boras goes to Alderson. Boras got punched in the gut & took a right to the chin.

Francisco Rodriguez – “I want to thank all the Mets fans for their great support during these two and a half years.” (In Spanish)

Buster Olney – Milwaukee was willing to take on more money than any other team, so the decision was simple for the Mets.

Eric Simon  - How the PTBNL works:

  • The trade must be completed within six months of the rest of the transaction.
  • Vast majority of PTBNLs are minor leaguers, by rule bo Brewers major leaguers can be included in deal.
  • They can’t be 2011 draft picks because they can’t be traded until at least a year has elapsed since they sign their contract.

Joel Sherman – Exec on K-Rod trade: “Mets did not get good prospects because Brewers don’t have any good prospects left. This was a money deal.

Andy McCullough – This isn’t the official white flag, of course. That would be Beltran. And the Mets bullpen still contains a guy with a 2.66 xFIP in 24.2 IP.

Note: Just checked, and no word yet on who will replace K-Rod on 25-man roster.

Updated by Joe D.

Original Post 12:05 AM

The Mets have traded closer Francisco Rodriguez PLUS CASH to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later (PTBNL).

Alderson released this statement:

“We thank Frankie for his contributions to the Mets and wish him well with the Brewers,” Mets GM Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “This trade allows us to develop and more fully utilize other members of our 2011 bullpen and offers some payroll relief as well.”

Rodriguez, 29, is 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 23 saves this season with the Mets. He is in his 10th Major League season, posting a 32-27 record with a 2.54 ERA and 291 saves in 573 relief appearances with Los Angeles of Anaheim (2002-08) and New York (2009-11).

The four-time All-Star (2004, 2007-09) set the single-season save record with 62 in 2008 with the Angels.

Although none of the specifics of the deal are clear at the moment in regards to exactly how much cash or who the players are, the consensus thought seems to be K-Rod was expendable, and getting someone to take him was more important now while his option still has room to not vest.

K-Rod had an up and down career for the Mets, having a solid first season but with some key blown saves, a shortened second season due to the domestic violence and injuring his hand. K-Rod’s 2011 season was going fairly well, but he was being hit harder and walking more batters.

The biggest point that has been mentioned ad-nauseum was K-Rod and his possible vesting option. They have freed up 17.5 million from next years budget, and considering Sandy Anderson seems to be content on cutting the Mets payroll down to around 120 million, and resigning Reyes if Alderson pursues it will not be cheap.

More news when it becomes clearer.

To read the thoughts about K-Rod’s departure and other Mets news follow me on twitter @TheSeanKenny

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Interview: Ted Berg of SNY Talks Trade Deadline, K-Rod, Beltran, First Half and More! Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:07:46 +0000

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of talking with SNY’s Ted Berg on my radio show, “Mets Talk Live! Wright or Wrong?!?”, and and boy what a show it turned out to be.

Here are just a few of the topics we mulled over:

JS: Given the injuries to stars like David Wright, Ike Davis, Jose Reyes, and Johan Santana who’s been out all season long, the team is still a game over .500 and very much alive in the NL Wild-card race, if you had to put a grade on the Mets season to this point what would it be?

TB: Yeah you said they’ve been pretty good, right? I think that the key has been the depth of the team, they’ve been playing without some of their best players, and they’ve been playing pretty well.  You can’t call them an A team because they’re playing .500, you have to factor in the injuries what’s .500? B, B+? You may grade them on a curve because of the injuries.

JS: In all likely hood, Francisco Rodriguez is more likely than not to be dealt at the trade deadline, that being said, is Bobby Parnell the guy to replace Rodriguez as the Mets closer?

TB: I do, I think it’s a combination of him having the hot hand and he has the stuff to do it. I don’t know where the slider is at and if his secondary arsenal is up to snuff. He’s pitching well and I think the Mets realize they have to audition someone, because if K-rod is not gonna be around, and if they’re still going to be going with that traditional one inning closer, they want someone for the future, someone inexpensive. Turning that role over to Jason Isringhausen just means giving it to a guy who probably won’t be around next year and is just one pitch away from injury at any given point.

Hear Ted’s takes on all the latest hot topics surrounding the Mets in 2011 and beyond. Topics include, Ted’s grading of the Mets to this point in the season, Carlos Beltran’s pursuer’s, K-Rod’s vesting option as well as trade suitors, the Mets seven game home stand following the All-Star break, and Jose Reyes’ impending free agency.

If you’d like to listen to this and everything else Ted had to say concerning the Mets here’s the link:

Mets Talk Live! Wright or Wrong?!?

Ted is a wealth of knowledge and it was a pleasure having the opportunity to talk about the Mets in 2011 and going forward with Ted.

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Mets Have Some Risky Rental Players Wed, 13 Jul 2011 04:01:18 +0000

With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Mets still appear uncertain about whether they’ll be buyers or sellers. Eventually, they’ll have to make a decision, and if they wind up being sellers, they possess several risky trade targets—possibly too risky to be thought of as rental players.

The first of course is Jose Reyes. Though Sandy Alderson has claimed it’s unlikely that the Mets trade Reyes, he may reconsider if the Mets fall wildly out of contention.

Reyes is having arguably the best first half of any New York Met in history, but his hamstring injury could be a problem for potential buyers.

For a player that relies on his great speed, a sore hamstring can be a lingering injury.

Would a team be willing to overlook injury concerns to acquire Reyes? Even so, would that team be willing to only treat him as a rental player if he is to sign elsewhere this offseason?

It’s a great risk especially since Alderson will seek prime value in return for Reyes. It will likely cost a contender one or two top-level prospects.

If Reyes can’t return to form and then chooses to sign with a different team, it would have been a lost trade for whoever acquires him.

On now to Carlos Beltran, who like Reyes is having a great first half.

Gradually, Beltran’s name has been popping up in multiple trade rumors, but like Reyes, has had his share of injures in his Mets career.

He’s been healthy this year, which has added to his play on the field. However, he still has two pretty poor knees that a team scouting him would have to notice.

All it takes is a minor aggravation of his past injuries for a potential trade to flop.

Beltran would not be considered so much of a risk if he was traded to an American League team who could use him at DH.

The riskiest of potential Mets trade targets is definitely Francisco Rodriguez.

K-Rod has been good this year, despite a few temporary lapses, but that looming $17.5 million option vests if he finishes 55 games.

He’s well on his way to reaching that figure, so a team looking for bullpen help needs to be skeptical.

If a team trades for him and he reaches 55 games, then that team is on the hook for the option.

However, a team may look to add him as a setup man so it won’t have to worry about dealing with him next season.

K-Rod isn’t accustomed to a setup role, and it remains to be seen how he fares in that spot. He’s no stranger to making things interesting in the ninth inning, so we could only imagine the havoc he could potentially create in the eighth.

If there’s a team in dire need of a long-term closer, K-Rod could be the answer for this year and next. But the likelihood that a team pays him that much money to appear in less than half the games is slim.

So while the Mets do have some trade chips, each carries significant risks that could call off a potential deal. Let’s see how the next few weeks unfold, however, before casting these players aside as trade bait.

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Mets Push K-Rod Trade To Yankees Sun, 10 Jul 2011 16:03:01 +0000 From the latest news on K-Rod according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports,  apparently Sandy Alderson has put out more then a feeler for K-Rod, and the Yankees response wasn’t a rejection, but rather a “call us closer to the deadline” move. While they would be willing to pick up the salary of K-Rod, the Yankees would be expecting to get K-Rod for pennies on the dollar as a classic salary dump.

While this was to be expected in regards to what K-Rod would grant in return, the Mets may feel that Parnell/Beato could be ready to take over the ninth inning and the ability to clear out K-Rod’s option gives them much more freedom in the offseason to retool or keep players.

The largest reason for the trade isn’t K-Rod’s declining velocity or effectiveness, but more Sandy Alderson’s wish to drop the payroll roughly 20 million dollars. While this isn’t going from big-market to small-market, it is aimed at being more efficient with spending and limiting expensive contracts in hopes of being able to make a big splash when it presents itself.

For other Mets news, notes and thoughts, follow me on twitter @TheSeanKenny

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Mets At Trade Deadline: Selling Is Still Inevitable Thu, 07 Jul 2011 20:18:49 +0000 Today the Mets made top headlines regarding reports surfacing across the internet. The first, Jose Reyes is out 3 weeks with a hamstring injury. The second, Mets are fielding calls on Carlos Beltran. Last but not least, the Mets are supposedly entering into “secret talks” with Jose Reyes team of agents – that however was later shot down by Reyes’ agents.

Some of you may remember the article I wrote earlier in the season where I predicted the Mets would move Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez, and others. All the while I predicted Reyes would NOT be traded at the deadline. That now is certain because of this injury, but he would have not been traded at the deadline anyway.

It’s now becoming clear Sandy Alderson is doing one of two things.

A. Truly interested in re-signing Reyes. (This is what he should be doing. It’s obvious Reyes is the best player on this team right now.)

B. Alderson is just gauging interest to see what it may take to bring him back. In this scenario, Alderson can better prepare for his offseason plan now by seeing the range of $$$$ Reyes agents are dreaming about. (We can all thank god Reyes didn’t switch to Boras.)

Forget Reyes for a minute and let’s switch back to our inevitable mini fire sale.

I expect Alderson will attempt to trade Beltran, Rodriguez, Capuano, Isringhausen, and Byrdak. Hell, he may even shock us and deal Pelfrey. I wouldn’t shed a tear. We could move all the guys above and I’d be praising Mr. Alderson for whatever he gets in return.

The Mets have proved one thing this year – They are not the same Mets, but they’re really similar. Extremely injury prone and Streaky (Mets biggest downfall every year in recent memory).

However they’ve shown bright spots in an otherwise mediocre season. Dillon Gee, Pedro Beato and Justin Turner are just a few. These guys could very likely be on many future 25-man rosters. Alderson will craft the team in the fashion he sees fit. If that includes Reyes, amazing. That’s what I’ve been predicting (and praying) would happen all along. If it does not, then it’s obvious he wasn’t interested in coughing up 100+ million for a player that relies so much on his legs. This of course is due to his history of leg injuries. That may very well happen. It wouldn’t shock me at all if Alderson saw Reyes price skyrocket, then decided his money might be better spent in other various areas.

Regardless, selling is inevitable. Let’s hope we get some nice presents for Baseball Christmas (July 31st).

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Mets Making K-Rod Available In Trade Talks Tue, 05 Jul 2011 14:04:45 +0000 Well Mets fans, it appears that the Mets have now engaged at least one team in trade talks.  Closer Francisco Rodriguez appears to be the Mets’ first trade chip to be actively shopped. 

According to Bob Klaspich of the Bergen Record, the Mets have talked to the Yankees about K-Rod. 

As expected, the Mets are going to at least see what they can get by putting K-Rod and possibly others out in the market, which is fairly understandable.

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