Mets Merized Online » history http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:14:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Yankees To Retire Pettitte, Bernie, Posada Numbers, Mets Still Nothing On Piazza http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/yankees-to-retire-pettitte-bernie-posada-numbers-mets-still-nothing-on-piazza.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/yankees-to-retire-pettitte-bernie-posada-numbers-mets-still-nothing-on-piazza.html/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 13:42:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174778 New York Mets - 2003 Season File Photos

With the news that the New York Yankees plan to retire the numbers of Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada later this season, Kevin Kernan of the NY Post says the Mets should retire the number of Mike Piazza to steal their thunder.

“The Yankees have legacy players and they are not afraid to promote that legacy, even if there is a PED past as in Pettitte’s case. The Mets, meanwhile, sit it out.”

“They ignore their past, even when it’s staring them right in the face. Sure, the Mets don’t have 27 titles, but Mets’ fans have heroes.”

“Mike Piazza should have his number 31 retired by the Mets in 2015. It should have been retired two years ago when Piazza was inducted into the Mets’ Hall of Fame.”

The Mets have only retired one player’s number in their 53 year history, and that is No. 41, Tom Seaver. Managers Casey Stengel (37) and Gil Hodges (14) have been retired as well and then you have Jackie Robinson’s 42 which is retired throughout baseball.

Kernan adds that retiring Piazza’s number this year would send a positive message to Hall of Fame voters for the greatest home run-hitting catcher of all time and that the Mets would be getting ahead of the curve.

Look, I’m all for retiring Mike Piazza’s number and wish the Mets would have done this years ago. I don’t care about some lame attempt to steal the Yankees’ thunder, do it because it is the right thing to do.

To this day, the Wilpons have had a huge problem when it comes to honoring the rich history of the Mets. Even some of the things they eventually did, like opening a Mets museum at Citi Field and giving the ballpark more of a Mets feel, came after a huge wave of outrage and backlash from the fans.

The Mets will eventually retire Piazza’s number I’m sure, but the problem is that like always it will come off looking like it’s too little too late and that they had to be dragged kicking and screaming before doing it.

By the way, I find it interesting that Pettitte will get his number retired and that Jerry Koosman is hardly even mentioned.

Pettitte – 256 W, 3.85 ERA, 521 GS, 26 CG, 3 SO, 2,448 K, 1.351 WHIP

Koosman – 222 W, 3.36 ERA, 527 GS, 140 CG, 33 SO, 2,556 K, 1.259 WHIP

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Hall of Fame Thread: Mike Piazza Shut Out Again! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/hall-of-fame-thread-mike-piazza-shut-out-again.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/hall-of-fame-thread-mike-piazza-shut-out-again.html/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 19:02:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172661 mike-piazza

The BBWAA have elected four players into the Hall of Fame and they are Craig Biggio, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson.

Biggio received 82.7 percent of the votes (549 ballots cast). Johnson was 97.3, Martinez 97.1 and Smoltz at 82.9. It is the first time since 1955 that four players have been elected the same year.

Piazza got just 69.9 percent of the vote. Also, Carlos Delgado got less than 5 percent of the vote and was knocked off the ballot.

Total bummer….

Among some of those who didn’t cast a vote for Piazza are Joel Sherman and Jon Heyman.

The only positive to take away is that Piazza continues to trend upward for the second year in a row. Like Biggio this year, Piazza goes into 2016 with the highest percentage among all those returning on the next HOF ballot.

9:00 AM

Mike Piazza continues to slip. This morning’s latest tally of 188 public Hall of Fame ballots as tracked by Baseball Think Factory, now have him at 76.1 percent of the vote.

In a span of two weeks, Piazza has seen his support slide from 81.0 to 79.5 percent to 78.1 on Monday to the 76.1 this morning. It is still slightly ahead of the 75 percent threshold Piazza needs to get into Cooperstown, but it seems most are predicting that he’ll get shutout again.

All 571 ballots from the Baseball Writers Association of America will be tallied and announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 2 PM.

Piazza remains optimistic. In a an interview with MLB.com he said:

“I can only say that there’s been a lot of great players throughout history that have had to wait their turn. Joe DiMaggio had three ballots. Yogi Berra had three ballots. And that’s part of the process. For me, it’s not really my place, I feel, to start campaigning. I can only say that I’m proud of my work and I’m proud of my career. I’ll put my numbers against a lot of players in history, and I feel that’s all I can do.’’

Piazza remains one of the greatest offensive catchers of all time, setting the MLB record of 396 home runs as a catcher while with the Mets. Over 16 seasons with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and A’s he finished with 427 homers, 1,335 RBI, and a .308 batting average.

A 12-time All-Star and 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner, he spent eight years with the Mets and helped take them to the postseason in 1999 and all the way to the World Series the following season.

Mike has said he would go into the HOF wearing a Mets cap, becoming the only position player ever to do so.

Thoughts from John Delcos

As a Hall of Fame voter, I received emails from several teams over the years lobbying for my vote for one of their players. Seattle wrote me about Edgar Martinez and Boston did likewise for Jim Rice.

There were others.

However, I never received a note from the New York Mets regarding Mike Piazza and I don’t know why.

Surely, it reflects positively on the organization if one of their own gets to Cooperstown. Piazza is one of the more popular players in franchise history, so where’s the love?

I can’t believe the organization doesn’t care, because they’ve gone out of their way to include him in team events in the past.

The only thing I can immediately think of is they are afraid of being embarrassed if he gets in and the PED accusations are later proven true. Or, perhaps they don’t want to be connected to a player with any chance of being linked to steroids.

I voted for Piazza and I didn’t need any lobbying from the Mets. The voting figures to be close, but early reports have Piazza falling short. The announcement will come this afternoon.

Could any stumping by the Mets closed the gap? Hopefully not, but maybe the Mets will get another chance next year.

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Much Ado About Three-Homer Games At Home http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/featured-post-much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/#comments Sat, 03 Jan 2015 02:16:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137151 gkr gary keith ron sny

“You know, Keith, no Met has ever hit three home runs in a game at home.”

If you’ve watched as many Mets games as I have over the years, then you’ve undoubtedly heard Gary Cohen make this statement whenever a Met has come up to the plate after hitting two home runs in a home game.

It’s true.  Nine Mets players have hit three home runs in a game.  But Jim Hickman, Dave Kingman, Claudell Washington, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Ike Davis all accomplished their prodigious displays of power on the road.

So naturally I started wondering if the Mets were the only team in baseball to not have a single player hit three home runs in a home game.  My research yielded an interesting answer.

Below is a list of the last players to pull off a “Home Run Hat Trick” for each major league team while wearing their home whites.

Team

Player

Date/Opponent

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jason Kubel

7/21/12 vs. HOU

Atlanta Braves

Mark Teixeira

6/22/08 vs. SEA

Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis

8/24/12 vs. TOR

Boston Red Sox

Kevin Millar

7/23/04 vs. NYY

Chicago Cubs

Dioner Navarro

5/29/13 vs. CWS

Chicago White Sox

Paul Konerko

7/7/09 vs. CLE

Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

5/13/12 vs. WAS

Cleveland Indians

Jim Thome

7/6/01 vs. STL

Colorado Rockies

Carlos Gonzalez

5/30/12 vs. HOU

Detroit Tigers

Miguel Cabrera

5/28/10 vs. OAK

Florida/Miami Marlins

Cody Ross

9/11/06 vs. NYM

Houston Astros

Morgan Ensberg

5/15/05 vs. SF

Kansas City Royals

Danny Tartabull

7/6/91 vs. OAK

Los Angeles Angels

Torii Hunter

6/13/09 vs. SD

Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Uribe

9/9/13 vs. ARZ

Milwaukee Brewers

Prince Fielder

9/27/11 vs. PIT

New York Yankees

Curtis Granderson

4/19/12 vs. MIN

Oakland Athletics

Miguel Tejada

6/11/99 vs. LAD

Philadelphia Phillies

Jayson Werth

5/16/08 vs. TOR

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen

8/1/09 vs. WAS

San Diego Padres

Phil Nevin

10/6/01 vs. COL

San Francisco Giants

Barry Bonds

8/2/94 vs. CIN

Seattle Mariners

Edgar Martinez

5/18/99 vs. MIN

St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols

9/3/06 vs. PIT

Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria

10/3/12 vs. BAL

Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre

8/22/12 vs. BAL

Toronto Blue Jays

John Buck

4/29/10 vs. OAK

Washington Nationals

Adam Dunn

7/7/10 vs. SD

Editor’s note:  Barry Bonds was the last member of the San Francisco Giants to hit three home runs in a regular season home game, but the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, which was played in San Francisco.

Did you notice any teams missing in the chart above?  There were two – the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets.  But prior to 1961, the Minnesota Twins were playing ball as the Washington Senators.  And on August 31, 1956, Jim Lemon became the first and only member of the original Washington Senators to hit three home runs in a home game when he clobbered his triumvirate of taters at Griffith Stadium against the New York Yankees.

With the Senators/Twins franchise having a member in the “three homers at home” club, that leaves the Mets as the only team in the majors without a player who has hit three round-trippers in a single game in his home ballpark.

It’s no wonder Gary Cohen continues to mention that fact ad nauseum in the same way he (and every other Mets broadcaster) used to discuss the Mets’ no-hitter futility before the events of June 1, 2012.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

In honor of the topic at hand, here are some other bits of “three-homer at home” minutiae for you.

  • Two players have hit three homers in a home game on four separate occasions.  Both accomplished their feats for the Chicago Cubs.  Ernie Banks had his three-homer games at Wrigley Field in 1955, 1957, 1962 and 1963, while Sammy Sosa slammed his way to history at the Friendly Confines in 1996, 1998 and twice in 2001.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers are the only teams to have three players accomplish the “three-homer at home” feat in the same season.  In 1950, fans at Ebbets Field saw Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Tommy Brown go deep three times in one game.  Similarly, Miller Park season-ticket holders in 2011 witnessed Corey Hart, Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder circle the bases thrice in the same game.
  • Although no Mets player has ever hit three homers in a game at home, four opposing players had three-homer games against the Mets in New York.  St. Louis’ Stan Musial was the first to do so, smacking three bombs at the Polo Grounds on July 8, 1962.  Dick Allen of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at Shea Stadium on September 29, 1968.  A decade later, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose became the most unlikely candidate to have a three-homer game at Shea when he circled the bases three times on April 29, 1978.  It was the only time Rose hit three home runs in a single game in his 24-year career.  Finally, former Met Dave Kingman launched three long balls at Shea Stadium as a member of the Chicago Cubs on July 28, 1979.
  • No Mets player has ever hit three homers in a home game.  But seven players have hit three blasts in the same game against the Mets in their home ballparks, with one of the seven doing it twice.  Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants victimized the Mets at Candlestick Park in 1963 and 1966.  The next three times a player hit a trio of home runs in a home game against the Mets, those players were wearing Cubs uniforms.  Adolfo Phillips (1967), Billy Williams (1968) and Tuffy Rhodes (1994) gave a total of nine souvenirs to the Bleacher Bums at Wrigley Field, courtesy of various Mets pitchers.  The other three players to hit three homers in a home game against the Mets were Detroit’s Bobby Higginson (1997 at Tiger Stadium), Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez (2004 at Bank One Ballpark) and Florida’s Cody Ross (2006 at Dolphins Stadium).  Ross’ game remains the only time in Marlins history in which one of their own hit three home runs in a game at home.

curtis granderson

Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, there have been 175 instances in which a player hit three home runs in the same regular season game at his home ballpark.  In all 175 instances, the player who circled the bases was wearing a uniform that did not say “Mets” on it.

Curtis Granderson was the last Yankee to accomplish the feat at Yankee Stadium.  Now, of course, Granderson is a member of the Mets. Will he become the first Met to hit three homers in a game at home? Will the shortened fences and new hitting coach Kevin Long lead to some additional long balls for Grandy? Hey, if the Mets could finally pitch a no-hitter, then anything is possible, right?

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You Know You Miss Baseball… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/you-know-you-miss-baseball.html/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 20:48:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172249 mets baseball logo grass field

This is a funny time of year. The previous baseball season is now well in the books and fading fast in the rear-view mirror while next season is still too far of for even the earliest of prognostics to hit the scene. It’s a kind of baseball limbo where there is little but a frosty nip in the air and spring seems like an eternity away.

I’ve often found myself searching frantically for some connection to our great pastime that may tide me over until the next tidbit of hot stove news reaches me, or until there is some hope of a thaw in the weather.

I thought I’d put together a brief list of some of my more desperate attempts to connect to my summer pastime. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

  • You know you miss baseball when you catch yourself mimicking the crack of a bat and a cheering crowd with a pencil in a dentist’s waiting room.
  • You know you miss baseball when you find yourself replaying old David Wright interviews counting how many times he says the word “obviously.
  • You know you miss baseball when you devote an entire day to the 1986 boxed set with your bobblehead collection (and your little toy parachute guy) displayed on your coffee table.
  • You know you miss baseball when you imagine the weather report as told by Vin Scully:  “Yes folks, this particular blizzard as a young low pressure system attended Texas A & M and was known to be quite the prankster.”
  • You know you miss baseball when you spend an hour in your attic going through old boxes looking for your Roger Clemens voodoo doll.
  • You know you miss baseball when you can’t get the SNY opening credits theme out of your head as you shovel the walk …
  • You know you miss baseball when you find yourself reciting Gary Cohen’s opening monologue out loud in a Denny’s.
  • You know you miss baseball when your browser history shows 28 compulsive hits on MLB Trade Rumors in the space of a half an hour.
  • You know you miss baseball when you devote a day to washing your baseball caps in the dishwasher (top rack of course).
  • You know you miss baseball when you say you’re tired of reading about Tulowitzki rumors yet still make sure to read every new account even though nothing has changed.
  • You know you miss baseball when you start dropping hints you want a new Mets cap and jersey for Christmas.
  • You know you miss baseball when you say “put it in the books” when you clock out for work at the end of the day.
  • You know you miss baseball if you clear out a 40 yard straight shot from one side of your basement to the other free of furniture or breakables so you can play catch with your kid.
  • You know you miss baseball when 4:30 to 5:00 on weekdays is devoted to arguing various points on the Metsmerized Online comments threads.

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Featured Post: Where’s the Boldness and Creativity? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-wheres-the-boldness-and-creativity.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-wheres-the-boldness-and-creativity.html/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 22:13:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172052 sandy-alderson-mlb-winter-meetings-850x560

John Harper of the Daily News wonders if Sandy Alderson could learn a few things from San Diego GM A.J. Preller, who took over a franchise with a similar losing history and a weak-hitting roster with depth in young pitching and transformed the team in about five minutes.

“I’m thinking the majority of Mets fans would have been willing to take some risk to add firepower to an offense that has been nothing short of anemic in recent years.”

Alderson, he says, moved quickly to sign Michael Cuddyer, who will be 36 next season, is injury-prone, and cost a first round draft pick.

“In any case, weren’t the trades the Padres made exactly the type of deals Alderson was expected to make at some point, utilizing his surplus of young pitching to obtain a big bat?”

“Instead it seems that Alderson at some point became more cautious about the idea of trading the likes of Noah Syndergaard, the type of high-end arm that other teams want if they’re giving up an impact hitter.”

It looks like the Matt Kemp deal finally became official. In the second half of the season he hit .309 with 17 home runs and a .971 OPS. The deal for Wil Myers is still pending physicals.

Harper says that for most of the last two years, people in the Mets’ front office have admitted that with payroll more of an issue than they expected, they were going to be “creative’’ in upgrading this team’s offense. He wonders where that creativity is and if we’ll ever get to see any of it.

He concludes that for the second offseason in a row Sandy Alderson preferred to hold onto all of his young, power pitchers rather than take the risk of making a trade for a potentially difference-making hitter.

Do you agree or disagree with Harper?

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Hanley Ramirez Finalizing Five-Year Deal With Red Sox http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hanley-ramirez-finalizing-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/hanley-ramirez-finalizing-five-year-deal-with-red-sox.html/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:59:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170685 Hanley-Ramirez

As reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, free agent Hanley Ramirez will travel to Boston on Monday to finalize a contract with the Boston Red Sox. Rosenthal also noted that the deal is for five years and in the $90 million range.

Over the past week or so, signs have pointed to the Red Sox actively pursuing third basemen Pablo Sandoval. However, this may take them out of that bidding war because Hanley Ramirez could make the move from shortstop to the hot corner, given his age and injury history.

However, some insiders have pointed to the Red Sox trying to sign both free agent stars. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that the Red Sox have an offer out for Sandoval and he is expected to make his decision sometime this week between the Sox, Giants, and Padres.

ESPN’s Buster Olney adds a different twist and hears that if Ramirez and Sandoval both go to Boston, Ramirez will play left field, while Sandoval will play third base. That would mean top prospect Xander Bogaerts will remain at shortstop.

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Foo Fighters To Perform At Citi Field On July 16 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/foo-fighters-to-perform-at-citi-field-on-july-16.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/foo-fighters-to-perform-at-citi-field-on-july-16.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:58:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170346 foo fighters david grohl

The New York Mets and Live Nation today announced that multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning American rockers Foo Fighters will perform at Citi Field on Thursday, July 16.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, November 22 in a five-hour presale from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. exclusively at the Citi Field Box Office adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m. online at Mets.com/Foos and by phone at 718-507-TIXX. Mets Season Ticket Holders will have access to a special online presale beginning Monday, December 1.

Fresh off of last week’s release of “Sonic Highways” — the band’s critically acclaimed eighth studio album on RCA Records — and their performance at the Veteran’s Day Concert for Valor in front of more than 800,000 on the Mall in Washington, D.C., Foo Fighters next month will embark on a worldwide tour.

In the interim, “Sonic Highways,” the American TV documentary series about the history of American music airs Fridays on HBO. The show about New York City’s musical history airs December 5 – the same date when tickets go on sale to the general public for the band’s July 16 performance at Citi Field.

Foo Fighters will become the latest in a lineup of legendary artists to perform at the home of the Mets, including The Beatles, Who, Police, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews Band.

Over the course of the band’s career, Foo Fighters have sold more than 11 million records in the United States and four of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

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The Franchise Turns 70 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/the-franchise-turns-70.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/the-franchise-turns-70.html/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:32:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170236 tom seaver bw

James Rosen of the New York Post, penned a worthy piece that reminds us of the remarkable career and the greatness of Mets icon Tom Seaver who turns 70 today.

“His very motion was a thing of beauty: the high leg kick, the deep rearing back of his right arm, his right knee, perpetually dirtied, dragging along the mound as he lowered himself for maximum thrust, his face, even in the extremis of competition, a study in symmetrical perfection as he bit his lower lip and bore down.”

“When he ended innings with another strikeout, he never showboated with fist pumps or other unseemly displays. Rather, he walked calmly to the dugout, head down — as if in deep contemplation of the physical mechanics of pitching he so often spoke of, with the erudition that made him, in the sportswriters’ estimation, the Thinking Man’s Pitcher.”

Seaver epitomized what grace and class was in every aspect of his life both on and off the field. I always thought it was a real shame that there is no statue honoring him at our home park, after all he is The Franchise.

Seaver recently said that the Mets have never approached him about erecting a statue or monument in his honor.

“I understand that I’m a part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

We are nearing 25 years since Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be something if we could mark that anniversary with a magnificent statue erected in his honor?

The Mets owners should make this happen, however as I see it, there’s just one obstacle standing in the way… The Mets owners.

Enjoy this video of a futuristic Tom Seaver unleashing an explosive fastball to home plate at Citi Field. It’s pitcher versus batter as a high powered windup unleashes a sci-fi fastball in this thrilling one minute short created exclusively for the New York Mets last season.

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Mets Brass Needs To Realize That Loyalty Goes Both Ways http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/management-needs-to-realize-loyalty-goes-both-ways.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/management-needs-to-realize-loyalty-goes-both-ways.html/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 18:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168910 goodfellas paulie

In one of the opening scenes of the film Goodfellas we hear a voice-over from Henry Hill played brilliantly by Ray Liotta who describes the downside of going into business with a mob boss named Paulie. If he has trouble with the cops, deliveries, etc. he can always call Paulie. But now he’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what, without fail… or else.

“Business is bad? ***k you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? ***k you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning? ***k you, pay me.”

In many ways, this is similar to how Mets ownership currently operates. In May, Mets fans were affronted with an insulting letter, sent by a marketing department with a high school mentality on behalf of an ownership, that asked for a “Declaration of Loyalty.”

From 2009 through 2013, the Mets posted five consecutive losing seasons and a meager .462 winning percentage. Despite this, almost 12.5 million fans paid their way into Citi Field to watch this unsuccessful product. Apparently, in the minds of ownership, that does not constitute loyalty. They still want more.

Haven’t played .500 baseball? ***k you, pay me.

Six straight losing seasons? ***k you, pay me.

Even more offensive was Sandy Alderson’s comment last Spring, when he claimed that if more people showed up at the games, he’d have more money to spend and could improve the product.

I’m no entrepreneur. I’ve never owned a business, nor have I been a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I have a little ol’ Liberal Arts degree from a mediocre university, not an MBA from Stanford. But even I have the common sense to know that business does NOT operate that way.

This post-season we’ve all been bombarded with commercials by Ford and Chevy. Ford touts the towing capacity of their F-150 and Chevy brags about the many bells and whistles on their vehicles. But if the Wilpons ran General Motors, they’d want us— no, expect us—to purchase a 2015 model while telling us how much better the 2018 model will be.

Successful businesses thrive on loyalty and repeat business. But in Flushing loyalty is a one way street. With one hand ownership slaps us in the face while their other hand slips into our pocket to grab our wallet.

Haven’t made the postseason since 2006? ***k you, pay me.

Haven’t been in a pennant race since 2008? ***k you, pay me.

tormented souls fans citi

When Citi Field opened in 2009, it was immediately criticized for completely ignoring Mets tradition and history. US Cellular Field displays images of past White Sox heroes on their outfield wall. Busch Stadium has two massive Cardinals high atop the scoreboard. The right field wall at PNC is 21 feet high, a tribute to Roberto Clemente. The perimeter around AT&T Park has statues of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. By contrast, when you walk into Citi Field, you can be walking into any team’s stadium. You have to look hard to see ‘Let’s Go Mets’ in the outfield. It’s smaller in size than logos for Goya and Fox News.

Only after much public outcry and pressure from fans and the media did management finally react and established a Mets Hall of Fame, changed the color of the outfield wall from black to blue, and added player banners and art around the stadium and parking lot. Paying tribute to our own storied past was never even initially considered. Honoring the ’69 and ’86 teams, and paying homage to iconic Mets like Tom Seaver, Keith Hernandez and Dwight Gooden simply never occurred to the Wilpons. That in and of itself says a lot.

The facade of the stadium, while impressive, carries no significance to most fans. The Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game in New York five years before the Mets came into existence. How many of us have any memories or sentimental attachment to Ebbets Field other than some stories from your grandparents who once supported the Dodgers? When the Expos relocated to our nation’s capital, they didn’t design their park to resemble Griffith Stadium where the Senators played for 71 years.

Think of the contrast in mindsets. Original Mets owner Joan Payson was a die-hard New York Giants fan who even sat on their board. She was one of only two dissenting votes prohibiting her team from moving west. However, when her new team moved into Shea Stadium seven years later, there were no signs, no links and no references to the Giants. The Giants were dead to her and it was now all about the Mets. By comparison, Fred Wilpon elected to design a stadium honoring the team he rooted for as a boy, rather than the team he’s owned since 1980 and that us fans have supported all our lives. Citi Field is Fred’s temple and a monument to his childhood.

Not enough Mets history for you? ***k you, pay me.

Want to see your Mets heroes honored?  ***k you, pay me.

buddy harrelson pete rose

Despite the fact Davey Johnson was our most successful manager and the only skipper at that time to lead the Mets to two post-seasons, he was fired in 1990. GM Frank Cashen knew there would be backlash. However, he also knew he still needed fans to come out to Flushing. Cashen lessened the blow by hiring Bud Harrelson. One of the most beloved Mets and connected to the franchise for over three decades, Biddy connected with fans both as a gritty hard-nosed player and then as a well-respected and successful coach. He was a 1969 Miracle Mets icon, and Cashen knew it would please the fans. Cashen connected with the fans and respected their bond to the team.

Today, the attitude is different. Wally Backman, like Harrelson, has been a fan favorite and has served the Mets with distinction for a long time. He was, like Buddy, another blue-collar guy and hard-nosed player. And like Buddy, he is one of a handful of Mets who can call himself a champion. However, despite guiding his Triple-A team to two consecutive postseasons, he was passed over once again as Mets manager. The front office and ownership chose to retain Terry Collins, the only manager in our history to post four straight losing seasons.

I don’t know if Wally would be a good manager or not. But based on his winning ways, both as player and manager, and his long standing affiliation with this organization, he at least deserves his shot. And we deserve to see him in the dugout. When hearing of the decision to bring back Collins, did any of you jump online and instantly buy season tickets for 2015, or did your stomach sour as mine did?

Don’t care for our choice as manager? ***k you, pay me.

Want someone with a winning pedigree to lead the team? ***k you, pay me.

Jeff+Wilpon+Sandy+Alderson+New+York+Mets+Introduce+hIi7kWeRE_bl

Current ownership takes Mets fans for granted. They ignore the past, have yet to deliver on the present, and only offer blanket promises about the future.

In 2009, the Mets drew nearly 3.2 million fans, 7th most in Major League Baseball. This past season, the Mets drew 2.1 million, a drop off of 33% in six years, ranking 21st. To put that into context, the Twins, Padres, Phillies, Reds, Cubs, Rangers and Rockies — all teams that play in smaller markets and all teams that won fewer games — drew more fans. As ownership continues to demand our loyalty, attendance continues to plummet.

Most Met fans are believers and are positive by nature. We want to believe… We love our rich history and our iconic players… We love to wear our Mets gear and display our team colors… . We also want a team we can be proud of… But what management needs to realize is this:

While the vast majority of Mets fans will always be forever loyal, passionate and patient, financially supporting this team is not a given. Loyalty goes both ways and so far you haven’t been holding up your end of the bargain. And yes, we do have our limits.

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MMO Mailbag: Where Are Alderson’s Draft Picks? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-mailbag-where-are-aldersons-draft-picks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-mailbag-where-are-aldersons-draft-picks.html/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:34:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168259 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Gregg asks…

I read that the Mets have drafted a greater percentage of high school players during the last three drafts, and have also passed over many supreme college talents in doing so.With many players who were drafted in the years 2011-2013 playing big roles this postseason, aren’t you the least bit worried that Sandy Alderson is one of a few teams that have yet to see one of their draft picks make it to the majors?

Andre replies…

The upside with high school prospects usually is that they can still be taught and trained in a way that the organization feels confident about. And in general, the majority of drafted impact players in the majors have come from high school and not the college ranks in the past 15+ years or so.

While, the risk may be higher, the upside often is also higher than with college picks. Of course, the aspect of player DEVELOPMENT is far more important with HS or young IFA talent than it is with advanced college players.

Now, the downside is that it generally takes longer to develop HS talent than college players for obvious reasons. So, if you have to be willing and able to give HS picks 4-5 years to develop in general before they reach the majors and probably another year before they have an impact.

A team that´s not able to sport a “large market” high payroll may be more inclined to go after college talent early in a draft during a window of contention than a team with a large market payroll OR during a rebuilding. That of course, is besides taking the best player available early in a draft.

The Mets have – rightfully – focused on HS talent and getting IFA signed that they´re now trying to develop – hopefully with better success than in the two previous decades. The problems of finding a legit young middle infielder ever since Jose Reyes was signed as an IFA in 2000 can directly be traced to both having a sub par development system in place AND not really drafting many – if any – players with a middle infield upside defensively in over a decade (from 2001 through 2011).

And while it remains to be seen if and how successful the “Alderson” drafts have been – and pretty sure Alderson hasn’t really been actively involved in these but at best listened with interest – the fact that none of “his” picks has appeared in the majors isn’t a problem at all. Besides the focus on HS talent, several college players such as Kevin Plawecki, Matt Reynolds, Cory Mazzoni or Daniel Muno could easily have appeared in the majors already. But mainly due to 40-man roster management and perhaps financial issues, they have been held back so far.

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Pitching and Defense Is In Our DNA http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/pitching-and-defense-is-in-our-dna.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/pitching-and-defense-is-in-our-dna.html/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:55:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168541 Seaver-Koosman-Matlack - Copy

Baseball is loaded with tradition, perhaps more than any other sport, and for good reason. The Mets have their own traditions, their own uniforms and stories passed down to them, their own sacred relics.

Mets tradition is rooted in the Miracle of 1969, and to a lesser degree the 1986 Championship season. Mets tradition is entrenched in the successes of the past, and that success has been, and more than likely will be (should we ever be treated to it again), grounded in lights-out, shutdown, overpowering pitching. Tom SeaverJerry KoosmanDwight Gooden and many other greats led our pitching heavy success stories. The lessons learned? We live and die by our pitching.

Building on previous success emboldens and prepares current generations with winning strategies, confidence, and important lessons. Traditions teach us who we are based on and who we’ve been. They teach us how to conduct ourselves based on how we’ve conducted ourselves in the past. They are an integral part of organizational success and as such should never ever be ignored. To do so is to invite failure.

The Mets of course play in the National League, and have always played their home games in pitchers’ havens. They were conceived during a pitching dominated NL “small ball” era and when you add Shea’s dimensions to their humble origins, you can see the where and why of our fine Mets pitching tradition.

The current generation of Mets is tasked with a monumental task — learning to win. What better way to do that than by looking at what has worked in the past? It’s a hard lesson, particularly after the horrendous failures of our recent history.

Pitching and defense are in our blood… 2–0 games should be ingrained in the DNA of every Met prospect in every Met franchise throughout the minors. This is our template, our formula, our recipe. Embrace the stinginess and the tension Met fans, I’ll take a traditional 2–0 win any day over a 7–3 slugfest.

Traditions are resilient, and I have to say there may even be something magical about them. There is a painful irony to the fact that 2006 ended tragically at the hands of a defense first backstop whose only home run vs. the Mets came in the postseason, against a power laden Met team lacking its traditional pitching first make-up.

Personally, I’ll take deGrom, Wheeler, Harvey, Syndergaard and Montero going forward over any host of boppers and mashers. Just get some great defense and a decent offense to support them. It doesn’t have to be a Murderer’s Row. Embrace the stinginess Met fans, embrace the tension!

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Miracle Mets Still A Sore Spot For Frank Robinson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/miracle-mets-still-a-sore-spot-for-frank-robinson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/miracle-mets-still-a-sore-spot-for-frank-robinson.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 04:31:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168212 gal-shea-seaver-8-jpg

“It’s always good planning to have a baseball in the dugout with shoe polish on it, just in case.”

That is the expression coined following the infamous Shoe Polish incident, when in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, Cleon Jones hit the deck to evade a Dave McNally pitch that skidded into the Mets dugout, only to be retrieved by Mets skipper Gil Hodges to reveal a smudge of shoe polish, awarding Jones first base. The next batter Donn Clendenon would smash a two-run homer leading to a Mets victory and eventually winning their first World Series title in franchise history.

The incident capped off one of most incredible World Series upsets in baseball history. The Miracle Mets, more commonly known as the “Lovable Losers” since their inception, needed just five games to best Earl Weaver‘s 109-win Baltimore Orioles and become champions.

I spoke to one of those mighty 1969 Orioles about this controversial moment in Mets history when I was covering the MLB Draft for MMO. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson did not hesitate to speak his mind on the subject when I broached it with him.

“It had to be a trick,” said Robinson. “People forget the length of time that ball went into the dugout before Gil Hodges brought it out to show it to the umpire.”

“That ball didn’t go into the dugout with black shoe polish on it, but it came out with black shoe polish on it,” he said.

Several different Met accounts have come out over the years including Ron Swoboda claiming that the pitch hit an open bag of balls, spilling identical baseballs all over the dugout, one of which Gil picked up that had a black mark on it.

Of the most recent claims was Jerry Koosman, who in 2009 stated that Hodges instructed him to rub the ball on his shoe, however neither accounts put to rest whether the pitch actually hit Jones, a truth that will likely never be known for sure.

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Although even if Jones wasn’t awarded first base in Game 5, Robinson doesn’t believe it would have made all that great of a difference in the outcome of the game or the series.

“The Mets deserved to win, they did what they had to to win,” said Robinson. “I still watch it on classic sports and I still don’t believe we lost.”

Like Robinson, many were in shock at the fact that the lowly New York Mets, just seven years into existence, stood atop the baseball world. After their improbable comeback to beat out the Chicago Cubs for the division crown, they had an even greater upset of the Orioles and the ‘Bird’s Big Four’ in stunning fashion. Robinson recalls what he found most impressive about the Mets in that series.

“They got contributions from everybody, the little guys we used to call them, and they did what they had to do,” said Robinson almost begrudgingly. “They also had some great pitching.”

Despite his high praise of the team, it was clear that the Miracle Mets to this day are still not Robinson’s favorite subject as he brought the conversation of the Amazin’s to an abrupt close.

“That’s all I’ve got to say about ‘69.”

The legend of the 1969 Mets lives on to this day as one of the greatest Cinderella stories in the game’s history, who with the help of a little shoe-polished baseball, were able to put National League baseball in New York back on the map with their first World Series title.

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What Kind Of Free Agent Should Mets Sign? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/what-kind-of-free-agent-should-mets-sign.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/what-kind-of-free-agent-should-mets-sign.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:24:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167941 large_asdrubal-cabrera

Could The Mets Pursue Asdrubal Cabrera To Play Shortstop?

What was the best free agent deal the Mets ever pulled off? Unquestionably, it was Carlos Beltran. The uber-talented thoroughbred outfielder that the Mets used to have patrolling center field during much of the last decade….when he was healthy enough to play. Those Mets clubs of the 2000′s will go down in history as a monumentally under-achieving baseball franchise.

After all, they had the talent: Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Delgado, Alou, Pedro, Wagner. They spent money and lured many big names to come and play alongside Jose and David. But they always fell short, there were never enough complimentary players to help the stars carry the team. Corner outfield has been an absolute joke for a long time now. The Shawn Greens and Chris Youngs seem to keep on coming in a never ending conga-line of futility. Until this past season, the bullpen never had anyone beyond the closer and sometimes not even a viable one of those.

In the recent past, if any of their key players ever went down with an injury there was rarely anyone to replace them. Mets fans would agonize over those seemingly constant and lengthy DL stays by Beltran, Reyes, Pedro, Alou and Delgado. Having the big names is not always the answer.

Todd_Pratt

Winning a World Series is more often done by the little guys, the complimentary players. They may not be big name stars that make the fan base salivate, but if you have enough productive players on a given roster, you can win a championship anyway. Just ask Al Weis. Don’t remember the “Mighty Might”? How about “Sugar” Ray Knight? Too long ago? Todd Pratt…surely you remember “Tank”? (I know, they didn’t win a W.S. while he was coming off the bench for the Amazins, but it wasn’t his fault that they fell short.)

Let me bring up an example of the most recent Mets excursion into the world of free agency. Let’s step into the Wayback Machine, and join me as we travel all the way back to a year ago. Remember when they signed a power-hitting outfielder with upside, who is in the prime of his career? Yes I’m referring to Curtis Granderson….who sure doesn’t seem so grand to me.

Now they have an elephant in the corner (of the outfield). A pig-in-a-poke, a $15 million dollar a year non-contributor to the everyday lineup through the 2017 season. We were so happy to be rid of Jason Bay‘s contract, but then go right out and replace it with a similar 4-year deal for the Grandy-Man as soon as we have some money to spend.

I know many of the glass-half-full fans out there are burning at those last few remarks. You are thinking to yourself that Granderson may very well have a renaissance season in 2015, and he may. You are hoping he is poised to have a huge year just like in his Bronx heyday. So let me put it a different way because in respects to this guy I am a glass-half-empty type, even if they are moving in the fences mostly for his sake.

I think back to the free agents that were signed by past Met teams to be the ‘savior’, guys like: George Foster, Pedro Martinez and the aforementioned Beltran. It didn’t work, it rarely does.

But it’s too late for that. With the Mets now stuck in a Granderson gamble, the question is: do they have a reliable starting outfielder who will produce at  level commensurate with his huge annual outlay? It’s anyone’s guess but as a Mets fan I hate to be in that situation.

How many more times are the Mets going to go down the same path that got them to where they were the last few seasons?

I know it’s not the most popular sentiment among Mets fans who have suffered mightily, and who long to have a team they can take pride in. But patience right now will pay dividends. Within two years the Mets will have a wealth of young and talented players competing for major league opportunities.

kevin plaweckiPlayers like Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, and Steven Matz, just to name a few. High-round draft picks, players with immense upside and talent, players who will make a difference.

Sure the Mets can afford to trade young talent to acquire some more advanced young talent, but there is no need to make a huge splash, or overpay. This is where “smarts” will prevail, and a conservative approach will serve Met interests better.

Shortstop and corner outfield remain the key right now. But with their obvious desire to explore trades for Daniel Murphy and their ability to move an established starting pitcher this winter, the Mets can upgrade one or both spots without necessarily trading any prospects, or signing a big time free agent.

When can you remember the Mets having a solid big league starting pitcher and an All-Star second-baseman that they head into the hot-stove season looking to trade for help elsewhere? I believe this is a first in that regard. So we need to sit back, relax, and see how this thing plays out.

As far as free agents are concerned, I like the complementary types right now. The lunch-box guys, the grinders, the over-achievers. Experienced players, but the type that are aiming to prove that they have something left in the tank. Low risk, high reward players. This may not be sexy, but it is smart. And where building a World Series winner is concerned, smart couldn’t hurt.

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Bing Devine Brought the Mets A Championship and “The Franchise” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/bing-devine-brought-the-mets-a-championship-and-the-franchise.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/bing-devine-brought-the-mets-a-championship-and-the-franchise.html/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167667 As we continue to wait out the Sandy Alderson era for a return to former Mets glory, here’s a little something about another Mets GM who helped engineer the first championship in franchise history in 1969. I’m talking, of course, about the great Bing Devine.

bing devineDevine’s tenure as General Manager of the Mets spanned the years 1965 to 1967 in between stints with the St. Louis Cardinals where he engineered some of the greatest teams in Cards history.

I would hardly call his work with the Mets perfect, especially since he had the final call on drafting Steve Chilcott over Reggie Jackson, but he was certainly an aggressive executive who while building up the farm system was also always looking to improve the team with trades and waiver pickups

In his 2004 book, Memoirs of Bing Devine, he states that in 1967 alone, the Mets made 54 deals.

While many of the players acquired did little or nothing to help the Mets, seven of those players, Tommie Agee , Ron Taylor, Cal Koonce, Art ShamskyJ.C. Martin, Al Weis  and Ed Charles were later instrumental in helping the 1969 Mets win a World Championship.

Earlier in Devine’s tenure, he had also dealt for Jerry Grote and Don Cardwell. Grote, of course, was a significant part of the Mets turnaround, both with his stellar defense and also for being charged with helping to develop a cadre of young and inexperienced pitchers who would eventually become the pride of the franchise. None of these players carried a high price tag or cost the Mets any promising young talent.

seaver-tom_ryan-nolan_69Add to Devine’s accomplishments that it was completely upon his recommendation that George Weiss agreed to put their name in the hat for the Tom Seaver lottery.

“The Franchise” would become the only Mets player ever enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

Devine recollected that Weiss was reluctant to spend the $50,000 the Mets would have to pay Seaver if they won a drawing for him in April 1966.

“George Weiss was against it,” Devine told famed author Peter Golenbock. “He didn’t know anything about him. I made a big case, and I recall it was only hours before we had to make a decision and agree to that, and George Weiss finally shook his head, I’m sure not wanting to do it, and said, ‘If you people make such a big case of it, go ahead.’”

It was also Devine and his assistant Joe McDonald that persuaded Weiss to keep Jerry Koosman who he was preparing to release after a poor season in the low minors.

Devine’s time with the Mets was relatively short, but he certainly accomplished a great deal in that time. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2007 at the age of 90 at his home in St. Louis.

Devine once said that success required more than a sharp baseball intellect. “You have to be lucky,” he told The Evansville Courier in 2003. “And you’re never going to get lucky if you’re afraid to make a deal.”

Did You Know?

It was a trade engineered by Bing Devine that had the greatest impact on Major League Baseball and changed the game forever.

On October 7, 1969, Devine traded star center fielder Curt Flood, along with Tim McCarver, Byron Browne and Joe Hoerner, to the Philadelphia Phillies for Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas and Jerry Johnson.

Flood refused to go to Philadelphia, ultimately challenging baseball’s reserve system that bound players to one team. His suit against baseball set the stage for free agency, and was undeniably one of the most pivotal events in the game’s history.

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Alfonzo and Abreu Among Candidates To Replace Lamar Johnson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/former-mets-alfonzo-abreu-among-candidates-to-replace-lamar-johnson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/former-mets-alfonzo-abreu-among-candidates-to-replace-lamar-johnson.html/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:41:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166958 bobby abreu

Edgardo Alfonzo and Bobby Abreu have emerged as the leading candidates to replace Lamar Johnson as Mets hitting coach according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Abreu expressed interest in the job after his retirement on Sunday and according to Puma’s sources, Alfonzo was not very interested in the job before the season but would consider it if he was offered the position.

Last week, the Post reported that while the Mets might have interest in moving 3rd base coach Tim Teufel to that role, he is not currently interested.

Alfonzo was an extremely popular player in the ’90s. He hit .292 in 8 seasons in New York. He ranks 5th in Mets franchise history with 1136 hits. Alfonzo is also 9th on the Mets all time list with 120 home runs.

Abreu on the other hand is an all time great hitter. He is 103rd on the all time hits list with 2470, collecting most of those for the Phillies. He also collected 400+ hits for the Yankees and Angels.

Either would be a positive influence on the Mets and could potentially fit Sandy Alderson’s philosophy. Both could preach patience and one will likely become the next Mets hitting coach.

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Mejia Becomes Youngest Mets Pitcher To Save 25 Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mejia-becomes-youngest-pitcher-to-save-25-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mejia-becomes-youngest-pitcher-to-save-25-games.html/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:45:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165495 jenrry-mejia

One day after he loaded the bases and was pulled from a save opportunity with one out, Jenrry Mejia rebounded on Wednesday night with a perfect ninth inning to preserve the Mets’ 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Mejia fielded a comebacker and flipped it to Lucas Duda at first base for the final out and in doing so he became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to record 25 saves in a season.

Mejia was not thrilled about being removed from the ninth on Tuesday, and urged Terry Collins to put him back in.

“It was huge for him. He came to me this afternoon and was real frustrated he didn’t pitch very good,” the Mets manager said.

“I told him ‘You’ve got to understand there are gonna be nights like that. The only thing that matters is not how you did, but how the team did. He came to me today and said that he wanted to get back in there. I loved that.”

Collins told reporters he will be very conscious of Mejia’s workload down the stretch, getting him rest between appearances, but reassured the 24-year-old that he is still the closer.

When Mejia is on, he is absolutely filthy on the mound. However, I wonder if he’d be better served and become more effective by using his three best pitches instead of using all five?

I took a quick run to Brooks Baseball to see which of his five pitches were the most effective this season:

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Opponents are batting .370 against Mejia’s curve and it’s his third most frequently thrown pitch. His slider has been very effective, but I was surprised to see that he hardly uses his sinker which can be a very effective weapon for most relievers especially with runners on base.

Anyway, it’s something to consider now that it appears he’ll be a reliever going forward. Congratulations on the 25 saves, Jenrry…

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Mets Keeping Wild Card In Sight With Sweep Over Rockies http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-keeping-wild-card-in-sight-with-sweep-over-rockies.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-keeping-wild-card-in-sight-with-sweep-over-rockies.html/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 12:00:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165459 jenrry mejia

If you would have told me one month ago that the Mets would play meaningful games in September, I would have laughed it off and then said: “sure, next September.” Now, with 16 games to go, the Mets find themselves just 5 1/2 games out of the second wildcard spot. They trail the Pirates who haven’t exactly shined in the month of September.

Despite a recent 5-game winning streak, the Pirates are 6-5 since the last day of August. While they have the ability to secure the 2nd Wildcard with a solid September, nothing about the Pirates screams playoffs.

The Mets on the other hand have been red hot. They’ve won 8 of their last 10 games and have gotten solid pitching and surprising offense during that stretch. Despite very small odds, the Mets are still alive and are playing meaningful games in September.

“We’ve got to make September mean something” Terry Collins told Mike Puma of The Daily News. “September can be a real long month if we’re not playing for something and we brought it up to the guys that they are not out of the hunt yet, just because they are 10 or 12 or 13 games back in the division, doesn’t mean we’re out of the hunt.”

10 or 12 games might be too much to overcome, but with 16 games to go, 5 1/2 isn’t unheard of. The 2007 Mets had a 7 game lead and wound up losing the division in one of the worst collapses in baseball history. The odds are long but not impossible.

Lucas Duda added that “We have a chance. Everybody in that room thinks we have a chance. If we keep playing well, anything can happen, so be optimistic. Go out there and play hard and see what happens.”

Wednesday night Rafael Montero did his best to keep the Mets playoff hopes alive. He delivered a solid 5 1/3 inning outing, striking out 7. He didn’t allow a hit until the 5th inning.

Montero should get another start at some point this month but for now the Mets turn their attention to the division leading Washington Nationals. They will face stiff pitching with Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez making two of the starts in the series. Spirits seem high and it will be interesting to see how this team fights through the remaining three weeks of September.

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Is Lucas Duda The Future At First Base? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/is-lucas-duda-the-future-at-first-base.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/is-lucas-duda-the-future-at-first-base.html/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:00:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164300 lucas duda

A simple search of my Twitter feed, or my comment history on this site will reveal a strong dislike for Lucas Duda (as a baseball player, I don’t know the man).

This spring when the Mets were auditioning both Duda and the since traded Ike Davis for the everyday first base spot, I strongly backed Ike Davis. In my opinion, I had seen flashes of brilliance from Ike that I hadn’t seen in Duda. Davis hit 32 homers in 2012. He’d shown a disciplined approach, posting walk rates over 10.0% from 2010-2012. He’d hit .302 in an injury shortened 2011. Ike Davis looked like a guy who was waiting to put it all together. Duda looked like a spare part.

I was dead wrong, and I’m here to admit that.

Lucas Duda has turned himself into more than just an average first basemen, while Ike Davis has continued to struggle — recently losing his job in Pittsburgh’s first base platoon.

Yesterday, Mike Petriello of FanGraphs published an article entitled “Is Lucas Duda a Star Now?”, and it really caught me off-guard. I knew Lucas was having a good season, but I hadn’t really put it in perspective by considering his standing amongst his peers. Petriello broke down some of Duda’s stats, and I highly recommend reading the article, as well as everything they do on FanGraphs.

Here’s some numbers in Duda’s stat-line that really jumped out at me.

(All statistics are accurate as of 8/26)

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Despite being more than a full run lower than stars like Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo and Freddie Freeman, Duda ranks an impressive fourth in WAR amongst National League first basemen.

While we all know that Lucas currently sits in third place in the NL in home runs, there’s another metric which really highlights just how much of a power boost he’s provided for this light-hitting Mets team. Check out the NL leaders in ISO:

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This is quite a surprise. Essentially what ISO means is how many extra base hits a player averages per at-bat. As you can see, Lucas trails just the NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton in this category.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at how Duda stacks up against other first basemen in wOBA, or Weighted On-Base Percentage. wOBA is one of my favorite metrics. While batting average is certainly useful, its flaw is that it weighs all hits equally. Slugging percentage, while weighing hits differently, has proven to be inaccurate over time while leaving certain components out all together. wOBA weighs all hits and ways of reaching base differently in correlation to their actual run value.

Once again Lucas places in the upper echelon.

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So does, that answer the question? Is Lucas the future at first base for this team? In short, I don’t know. While he’s shown improvements in nearly all facets of his game, there’s no telling what next season will bring. What I do know is that Lucas is having a tremendous season and has a lot of us eating crow– but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t taste pretty good.

What do our knowledgeable readers think?

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/is-lucas-duda-the-future-at-first-base.html/feed/ 0 This Day In Mets History: Johan Tosses First Mets No-Hitter http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/this-day-in-mets-history-johan-tosses-first-no-hitter-in-mets-history.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/this-day-in-mets-history-johan-tosses-first-no-hitter-in-mets-history.html/#comments Sun, 01 Jun 2014 14:44:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157409 St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets

After 8,019 regular season games spanning over 50 years, Johan Santana tossed the Mets’ first no-hitter. An 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on this date in 2012 in front of a scant crowd of 27,069 in Flushing.

World Series MVP David Freese came to the plate with two outs and the count ran to 3-2 before Santana struck him out to end the game and write himself into the history books.

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While battling several unfortunate injuries, Johan Santana appeared in 109 games during his Mets tenure, going 46-34 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.204 WHIP.

Always a class act from day one, Johan released the following statement after the Mets declined his option and he became a free agent last season.

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

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

Thanks for the memories, Johan.

magic button mmo

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Mets Minors: Las Vegas 51s Make PCL History With Four Straight Jacks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-minors-las-vegas-51s-make-pcl-history-with-four-straight-jacks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mets-minors-las-vegas-51s-make-pcl-history-with-four-straight-jacks.html/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 12:29:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155196 4 Straight Jacks - MILB.com

The Las Vegas 51s made history in the Pacific League during Thursday night’s game against the Salt Lake Bees when they hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back jacks in the top of the fourth inning.

It all started when Allan Dykstra launched a ball over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season. Then Zach Lutz followed and hit his fifth, an opposite field shot to right field as well. Taylor Teagarden made it three in a row, when he sent the ball flying over the center field wall for his team leading eighth home run of the season. The final shot, came off the bat of Brandon Allen, when he smashed his second home run of the season and sent it sailing over the right field wall to put all four players into the record books.

“That was crazy. It’s the first time I’ve ever witnessed that, and the first time I’ve been a part of it. It was exciting,” Allen tells Josh Jackson of MiLB.com.

“I’ve never seen it before. It’s impressive. These guys have swung the bat all year long,” Wally Backman added regarding the record breaking night.

At 24-10, Backman has led Las Vegas to the best record in the Pacific Coast League. The 51s are powered by an offense that leads the entire league with 244 runs, 364 hits, 43 home runs, 220 RBI, 574 Total Bases, a .345 On-Base Percentage, and .475 Slugging Percentage.

Among the team leaders offensively you have Dykstra, Lutz, Andrew Brown, Eric Campbell and Wilmer Flores who was just promoted.

An impressive night by a team that continues to tear through pitchers in the Pacific Coast League and now are a part of baseball history. Backman is looking to lead his team to the post season for the second season in a row.

(Photo Credit: MiLB.com)

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