Mets Merized Online » Justin Turner http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 04:14:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Few Things Shock Me In Baseball… Then There’s Justin Turner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/few-things-shock-me-in-baseball-then-theres-justin-turner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/few-things-shock-me-in-baseball-then-theres-justin-turner.html/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:13:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225075 justin-turner

Few things surprise me in baseball, mostly because in my 40 years of watching the game I’ve learned that almost everyday something happens that has never happened before. Baseball is a sport that loves its records and everyday it seems new ones are set and old ones are broken.

Nothing is ever what it seems. A team can win 105 games in a season and then get knocked off by a wild card team that won 88 games that goes on to win the World Series. Yes, few things surprise me in baseball… And then there’s Justin Turner.

From ESPN New York: A Mets official finally offered a reason for Justin Turner’s non-tender. He said that Turner’s propensity for not running hard irked the front office, which had finally seen enough. Turner, arbitration-eligible, likely was due to make less than $1 million in 2014.

When I first reported on that three years ago I remember being both stunned and angry.

Stunned because anyone who has ever seen Justin Turner play would never accuse him of being lazy and not running hard.

Angry because I knew the Wilpons were up to their old tricks, and putting down a player on his way out no matter how good he was or how beloved he was by the fans. The practice has been a hallmark of theirs since assuming full control of the team.

justin turner

Let’s be honest. Justin Turner was no great shakes during his time with the Mets, posting a cumulative line of .265/.326/.370 during his four years with New York.

But he did have his good points.

1. For one, he was the most versatile player the Mets have had over the last 10 years. In 2013, he played all four infield positions as well as logging time in left field.

2. It’s amazing how many hits that tied the game or put the Mets in front he had, particularly for a part-time player. He seemed to possess that clutch gene. To this day, I still don’t know how Baseball Reference calculates leverage, but regardless check this out:

High Leverage:  .318 BA, .856 OPS
Med Leverage:   .283 BA, .800 OPS
Low Leverage:   .265 BA, .747 OPS

3. There were signs Turner was improving and evolving as a hitter. In 2013, his last with the Mets, Turner posted his highest batting average (.280) as a Met and for the first time in his career he had an OPS+ of 100 after posting a 94 in 2011 and 97 in 2012.

4. His enthusiasm and big smile was infectious. Before Nimmo there was Turner. He was a positive influence in the club house, and he had the best relationship with fans on social media as I’ve ever seen before and the fans loved him. He’d make a routine of mingling with fans and signing autographs before each and every home game.

So exit Justin Turner and enter Eric Campbell. Life goes on… Except for the fact I can’t stop gawking at all the never-ending Justin Turner highlight videos on MLB Network and ESPN, and then coming across an article today entitled: The Cardinals Should Bid Big On Justin Turner.

That kind of summed it all up for me.

And truth be told, who would you rather have at third base for the Mets next season, Justin Turner or any of our current options?

Let me see… 34 doubles, 27 home runs, 90 RBI, a 5.6 fWAR which is almost double that of Yoenis Cespedes, yeah, that’s a tough decision.

As for that Cardinals article, he’s in for some bad news as I don’t see Turner going anywhere. Pretty sure the Dodgers will re-sign him.

Anyway – like I said – few things shock me in baseball these days. But what Justin Turner has become is an absolute mind-blower. Never in my wildest dreams did I see this coming. Good for him, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/few-things-shock-me-in-baseball-then-theres-justin-turner.html/feed/ 0
We Did It!!! The Mets Stun The Dodgers To Win NLDS!!! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/we-did-it-the-mets-stun-the-dodgers-to-win-nlds.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/we-did-it-the-mets-stun-the-dodgers-to-win-nlds.html/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 03:35:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=196680 mets win nllds

Oh My God… We did it… The New York Mets have stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 3-2 victory to win the National League Division Series with an epic Game 5 showdown at Dodger Stadium. I’m so incredibly proud of this team, they’re so exciting, so amazing, so freaking awesome…

My dear Mets friends, words are not sufficient enough to describe what I’m feeling right now. The emotions are running the full gamut ranging from tears of joy to an exhilarating, heart-racing feeling that has me numb, euphoric, and tingling over. Wow… The New York Mets are going to the National League Championship Series to play the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on Saturday night!

I never doubted them once, and even as Jacob deGrom allowed those two first inning runs I believed we’d find a way to persevere and fight back to win this game. I never felt at any point in this game that we were escaping LA with anything but a thrilling victory.

murphy game 5

What can I say about Daniel Murphy that wasn’t said in a 2,000 word article this morning? How do you put a value on the so many intangibles this man brings to the table? There are great regular season players who squirm in the post season, and then there are warriors like Murphy who take their game to a whole new level and outshines everyone in the dugout on a stage like this. The Dodgers have Justin Turner, we have Daniel Murphy.

Seriously… Was anyone surprised that it was Murphy who hit the tie-breaking home run to give the Mets the lead they would never relinquish? Freaking clutch, unreal how freaking clutch he is. A triple short of hitting for the cycle and what about that stolen base that led to the other run!?!? Unreal, the man is unreal…

degrom game 5

But deGrom, oh what a game by our ace deGrom… In our thread tonight I wrote, “You can only see the true measure of a man when you see how he responds after he falls… How he rises up.” And rise up is exactly what he did. This far, but no farther, he told the Dodgers, who couldn’t plate another run for the final eight innings.

What an incredibly gutsy performance by this young man tonight. Such fight, such moxie, such determination. To watch how he snuffed out four consecutive Dodger threats after that first inning sent chills down my spine. That’s the kind of guy you want by your side on a battle field. He was fearless and ferocious. You make me so proud, Jake.

mets beat dodgers

And how about the youngster Noah Syndergaard? I thought Terry Collins was insane by letting him warm-up three different times in the game. But the kid takes the mound unfazed by all the drama and pressure of a critical do-or-die game, and breezed through a dominant seventh inning, striking out both Corey Seager and Justin Turner and having them both talking to themselves as they returned to the dugout. Tremendous performance by the rookie righthander who pitched with the poise of a veteran.

In the final act of the evening the Mets turned to closer Jeurys Familia, who has been their savior and MVP out of that bullpen all season long, and of course he pitches the final two innings of the game to earn a six-out save. Game over. Pop the champagne!

Unbelievable and yet very believable… The resiliency, the tremendous spirit, the non-stop fight… I’m literally shaking as I write this. I just want to scream and hug them all. What a feeling… What a night… What a series… What a team… I love you Mets…. I fucking love you… I can’t wait until Saturday, only one hurdle away from the World Series… Bring on the Chicago Cubs.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/we-did-it-the-mets-stun-the-dodgers-to-win-nlds.html/feed/ 0
MMO Game Recap: Dodgers 7, Mets 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-7-mets-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-7-mets-2.html/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:11:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188106 jon niese

The Mets (49-48) were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers (55-42) by a score of 7-2 tonight at Citi Field.

Jon Niese made the start for the Mets this evening, despite the fact that his wife had gone into labor earlier on today. Unfortunately for Niese, it was a start to forget, as he lasted only three innings, getting touched up four six runs on eight hits, while walking one and striking out one. With the loss, Niese falls to 5-9 on the campaign.

Entering tonight, Niese had pitched to a 2.01 ERA over his previous seven starts. However, Niese looked like the pitcher we saw prior to those seven games, as he was ineffective the entire game, and wasn’t fooling any of the Dodgers hitters, as they had his number as soon as the lefty took the mound tonight.

A major contributor to the Dodgers offense tonight was former Met Justin Turner, who is certainly enjoying life in California. The third baseman went 3-for-5 on the evening, with a home run and two RBI’s. I realize hindsight is 20/20, but it hurts knowing we non-tendered Turner and now he is thriving with Los Angeles.

michael Conforto

Perhaps the biggest story of the night was the much anticipated debut of top prospect Michael Conforto. Though the young outfielder would fail to record a hit tonight, going 0-for-3, he did drive in the first Mets run on a groundout in the fifth inning.

One silver lining to take away from this game was the strong performance from the Mets bullpen after Niese was removed early on. Carlos Torres was the first to relieve Niese, and tossed three scoreless innings.

The only blemish against the bullpen tonight was a Jimmy Rollins home run against Hansel Robles in the eighth inning. Even as a Dodger, Rollins still absolutely mashes Mets pitchers, as he hit his second home run in two nights against the Amazin’s and now has 32 career dingers against them in his career.

Alex Torres also had a quality outing for the first time in what seems like forever, as he pitched a clean ninth inning for the Mets.

Despite the loss, this writer is feeling a lot less angry than I was just 24 hours ago. It might have been the debut of Conforto, or the trade the Mets pulled off right around game time, but apart of me just feels like things are going to get a whole lot better in Queens the next week or so.

Hey, the Nationals are losing to the Bucco’s right now, and the Cubs lost earlier today. We are still very much in this thing. Crazier things have happened, and baseball is an unpredictable game.

You gotta believe!

On deck:

Matt Harvey (8-7, 3.19 ERA) will look to get the Mets back on track tomorrow night. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

magic button mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-7-mets-2.html/feed/ 0
MMO Game Recap: Dodgers 3, Mets 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-3-mets-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-3-mets-0.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 02:03:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188005 bartolo colon

The Mets (49-47) were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers (55-42) by a score of 3-0 tonight at Citi Field.

Well, the Mets offense did absolutely nothing against tonight. But what else would you expect when you have John Mayberry, who is batting a robust .170/.235/.330, hitting cleanup against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw?

Speaking of the stud lefty, he took full advantage of the Mets lackluster offense, carrying a perfect game into the 7th inning before having it broken up by a clean single off the bat of Curtis Granderson.

In that seventh inning, Wilmer Flores also singled to advance Granderson to second. It would be the only time the Mets were close to scoring a run, and it wasn’t even that close.

In the eighth inning, Lucas Duda, whose batting average has dropped down to .230, hit a single to lead off the frame, but was picked off by Clayton Kershaw to end any sort of rally the Mets may have put together.

clayton Kershaw

Kershaw would end up going the distance, shutting out the Mets, allowing only three hits and striking out 11 batters.

Unfortunately for Bartolo Colon, who pitched very well, his fate was sealed early on as former Phillie and notorious Mets killer Jimmy Rollins took him deep for a solo home run in the third inning.

Colon pitched eight strong innings, allowing just the one run on five hits, while walking zero and striking out four. However, if Colon were to win this game, he would have had to allow -1 runs.

The Dodgers tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth (not that they would even need it), after Sean Gilmartin started the inning by allowing three hits to load the bases, failing to record an out.

The ball was handed off to Carlos Torres, who subsequently walked Alberto Callaspo to force in a run.

Two batters later, Yasiel Puig drove in the second Dodgers run of the inning, hitting a sacrifice fly to score ex-Met Justin Turner.

The Mets went down without a fight in the bottom of the ninth, as they lose for the second day in a row.

On deck:

Jon Niese (5-8, 3.36 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets tomorrow, as they will look to even up the series at a game a piece. Zack Greinke (9-2, 1.30 ERA) was originally set to oppose Niese, but due to his wife going into labor, he has since been scratched, so for now the starter is TBA.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-dodgers-3-mets-0.html/feed/ 0
MMO Game Recap: Mets 2, Dodgers 1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-dodgers-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-dodgers-1.html/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:21:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186227 MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Mets (41-40) defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers (45-36) by a score of 2-1 tonight at Dodger Stadium.

In the first inning, Curtis Granderson walked to lead off the game, and would advance to second on a ground out from Juan Lagares to give the Mets a chance to score early against Clayton Kershaw.

After Daniel Murphy flew out, John Mayberry also walked to put two men on with Lucas Duda coming up. Unfortunately for the Mets, their offensive woes continued, as Duda struck out to end the inning.

After a clean first for Noah Syndergaard, Adrian Gonzalez welcomed him to Los Angeles by launching a solo shot to central, his fourteenth of the campaign, but Syndergaard settled down and got out of the inning without further damage.

In the fourth inning, John Mayberry doubled to start the frame, and moved up to third on a wild pitch from Clayton Kershaw. Lucas Duda failed to get him home by popping out, but Wilmer Flores collected his 34th RBI of the year, driving in Mayberry with a single.

The Dodgers threatened in the sixth inning, after Howie Kendrick reached on an error and stole second, and former Met Justin Turner walked, but Noah Syndergaard worked out of it, as he got Adrian Gonzalez to line out, and struck out Yasiel Puig to end the inning.

Syndergaard would be pinched hit for in the seventh, but pitched quite well, having the solo shot in the second be the only blemish against him. What was most impressive was that he held his own against one of the best pitchers in the game, Clayton Kershaw.

Syndergaard’s final line has him going six innings, allowing one run on two hits while walking two and striking out six. However, the Mets could again not coax out a win for their starting pitcher, and Syndergaard is slapped with a no decision. Syndergaard has lowered his WHIP to 0.88 the past four games, after owning a 1.36 WHIP in his first six.

Hansel Robles replaced Syndergaard, and pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing only one hit and striking out three. He gets his second win of the season.

In the ninth inning, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen came on, and let up a quick bloop double to Lucas Duda. Wilmer Flores then reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners with nobody out.

Kevin Plawecki broke the tie on the next at-bat, hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to score Duda from third, only the Mets second run in the last 38 innings.

Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth, looking to convert his 22nd save of the year in 24 tries. He set the Dodgers down 1,2,3 and sealed the win for the Mets to start the road trip off on the right foot.

On deck:

Matt Harvey (7-5, 2.99 ERA) and the Mets will look for the series victory tomorrow against Zack Greinke (6-2, 1.58 ERA) and the Dodgers tomorrow. First pitch is at 10:10 PM ET.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-2-dodgers-1.html/feed/ 0
Justin Turner Was On A Mission Last Night http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/justin-turner-was-on-a-mission-last-night.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/justin-turner-was-on-a-mission-last-night.html/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 11:30:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164062 justin turner

Dodgers utility man Justin Turner put on a heck of show last night, seemingly doing everything he could to beat his old teammates.

Turner turned two key double plays against the Mets, and was no slouch at the plate singling, doubling, drawing a walk and scoring a run. Turner also stole a base and nearly scored another run if not for a botched suicide squeeze by Dan Haren who failed to get down the bunt.

Always a high energy player, Turner is having a great season for the Dodgers in his utility role, batting .319 for the season with a .398 on-base and .826 OPS.

He’s also excelling as a pinch hitter, batting .409 with nine pinch-hits to lead the NL. He also has four game-winning hits for the Dodgers including a game winning home run against the Padres on Thursday night..

Before the game, Terry Collins had lots of praise for Turner. “He can hit,” Collins said with some enthusiasm. “Always could hit. He’s not the flashiest of the flashy, but he can walk up in any situation and hit.”

Turner was non-tendered by the Mets despite batting .280 in 214 plate appearances for them in 2013. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal and after a great Spring, won himself a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Gary Cohen said during the broadcast that letting Turner go was a bad decision that’s only been magnified given the poor results off the Mets bench this season.

“He was always ready for whatever we needed him for,” Collins said. “Play left field one day, third base, second base, whatever. It’s been a good situation with him over there [with the Dodgers].”

I was always a big Turner fan and loved the enthusiasm he had for the game and the fun he had on the field which was always refreshing to see.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/justin-turner-was-on-a-mission-last-night.html/feed/ 0
Dodgers Sign Justin Turner To Minors Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/dodgers-sign-justin-turner-to-minors-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/dodgers-sign-justin-turner-to-minors-deal.html/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 21:12:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147289 justin turner

Justin Turner is heading to Los Angeles according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. The Dodgers agreed to sign the former Met infielder to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite.

Turner, 28, batted .280/.319/.385 in 200 at-bats with two home runs, 20 runs scored and 16 RBI over 86 games for the Mets in 2013.

He was unceremoniously released by the Mets because “his propensity for not running hard irked the front office, which had finally seen enough.”

Turner, was arbitration-eligible and was due to make less than $1 million in 2014.

Farewell, our one time pie thrower.

Presented By Diehards

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/dodgers-sign-justin-turner-to-minors-deal.html/feed/ 0
2014 Mets Top Prospects: No. 25 Wilfredo Tovar, SS http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-25-wilfredo-tovar-ss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-25-wilfredo-tovar-ss.html/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:00:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139307 Top 25 Prospects Tovar

25. Wilfredo Tovar

Height: 5’6”
Weight: 160 lbs.
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Mets fans got a small taste of Wilfredo Tovar last season when he came up for 7 games, going 3-for-15 with 2 RBI’s, 1 SB, 1 BB, and 3 K’s. He is not a toolsy shortstop in any light. With virtually non-existent power and below average speed he will never hit more than a handful of home runs or steal more than a few bases per season. Tovar will forever be a singles hitter who will most likely struggle to stand up against major league pitching so his hit tool isn’t much to be excited about.

Where Tovar excels is defensively and instinctively. He is a great defensive minded player with a quick first step, soft hands, and a solid arm. Although, he’ll never be at the top of the league defensively due to lack of tools, he knows what he’s doing out there for sure.

Outlook: Wilfredo Tovar will probably never put up numbers that will justify him in a starting role for any team. With Justin Turner being non-tendered, there is every chance Tovar makes the team out of spring training where he should have good value as a backup utility infielder. With the ability to play above average defense at shortstop and second base, he is the kind of player that all winning teams seem to have on the bench. A player that could come in late in the game or in extra innings for defense to lock up a win. He could probably be a somewhat sufficient starter at the bottom of the order if a player were to go down with an injury but there’s no doubt he’s best suited as a backup. Think of an Omar Quintanilla type with more range.

MMO TOP 25 PROSPECTS

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/2014-mets-top-prospects-no-25-wilfredo-tovar-ss.html/feed/ 0
Padres and Twins Like Free Agent Justin Turner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/padres-and-twins-like-free-agent-justin-turner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/padres-and-twins-like-free-agent-justin-turner.html/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 15:59:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137069 justin turner

A San Diego Padres team source told me that Justin Turner is a player they like. “He’s the kind of player that could elevate our bench and we like his makeup.”

it was leaked, after the Mets non-tendered Turner in early December, that the front office decided to let him go because of his apparent lack of hustle.

One other team who has expressed interest in the former Met, is the Minnesota Twins.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported that the Twins have checked in on the free agent utility infielder. Also, Bill Baer of NBC Sports wrote that while the Twins’ starting infield is more or less set, “Turner would make a lot of sense for them as a depth addition.”

“Since becoming a regular contributor to the Mets in 2011, Turner has hit at about the league average, contributing his penchant for hitting doubles and an ability to play multiple positions,” writes Baer.

Over his career, he has spent 816.1 defensive innings at second base, 498.2 defensive innings at third base, 188.2 defensive innings at shortstop, and 158.2 defensive innings at first base.

Presented By Diehards

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/padres-and-twins-like-free-agent-justin-turner.html/feed/ 0
Mets Bring Back Jeremy Hefner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bring-back-jeremy-hefner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bring-back-jeremy-hefner.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 22:53:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134422 jeremy hefner

The Mets have re-signed starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner, reports Anthony DiComo.

The deal is for a minor-league contract and will allow the Mets to retain control of Hefner at a reduced salary while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.

Hefner will likely miss a good portion if not all of 2014.

Great move though, nice to see Hefner back…

Original Post

Jeremy Hefner being non-tendered doesn’t sit too well with me.  It has nothing to do with performance.  It’s the human element.

I know it’s hard to feel bad for someone who had a half-million dollar a year salary, but of the five players that were non-tendered by the team on Monday, Jeremy’s cut is the one that stings the most.

Justin Turner, Scott Atchison, and Omar Quintanilla were arbitration eligible and are of sound mind and body to be able to seek gainful employment in 2014.  Jordany Valdespin… well, what’s there not to say about Jordany. He needed to go.  He can be “The Man” somewhere else… if anyone will have him.

But then there’s Jeremy.

Had he been a veteran player who had already made his fortune in the game when he hurt his arm and was facing a year of unemployment – I wouldn’t feel bad.  I didn’t feel bad when the Mets non-tendered Mike Pelfrey – he had already made more than $14 million in the game.  But Jeremy?  He’s a pre-arbitration eligible player that played in the majors in 2012 and 2013 with just under two years of major league service time.

So what? Injuries happen all the time, right?

Here’s where the bleeding heart liberal in me kicks in.  Hmmm… he got hurt on the job.  So rather than keep him in the fold and pay him the minimum wage when he’s rehabbing the injury he suffered while in your employment, you fire his rear end while he’s not in any position to be able to find work.

Now maybe the Mets will sign him to a minor league contract for 2014 so they can keep a close eye on his rehab to see what he has for 2015.  Even if they throw him a bone and do that, i’m sure it wouldn’t be at a major league salary – so he’d be getting a pay cut for getting hurt on the job.  Oh, and because he’d be re-signed on a minor league contract – he’s not racking up the major league service time.

Maybe another team will look to sign him to a minor league deal so they can have him in their fold for when he’s ready to return to live action in 2015.  Maybe he’ll even get another team to sign him to a major league contract for next year so they have him under control going forward.  Or maybe he won’t get another shot because a whole new round of hungry youngsters moved up the ladder while he was away.  Regardless, it just doesn’t sit well…

button mr met man

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-bring-back-jeremy-hefner.html/feed/ 1
ESPN New York: Justin Turner Cut For Not Hustling http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/espn-new-york-justin-turner-cut-for-not-hustling.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/espn-new-york-justin-turner-cut-for-not-hustling.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 02:33:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134998 justin turner

A Mets official finally offered a reason for why they non-tendered utility man Justin Turner.

The source told ESPNNewYork.com that Turner’s propensity for not running hard irked the front office, which had finally seen enough. Turner, who is arbitration-eligible, was likely due to make less than $1 million in 2014.

Wow…

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/espn-new-york-justin-turner-cut-for-not-hustling.html/feed/ 0
Which Mets Non-Tender Will Be Missed The Most? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/which-mets-non-tender-will-be-missed-the-most.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/which-mets-non-tender-will-be-missed-the-most.html/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 22:05:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134359 The Mets cut five players from their 40-Man Roster yesterday as they made the decision to non-tender and part ways with Scott Atchison, Omar Quintanilla, Jordany Valdespin, Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner.

The decisions to cut ties with Hefner and Turner were the ones that stood out the most for me.

As Mike Kerwick described it, Hefner was enjoying the season of his life in 2013. He allowed three earned runs or fewer during 15 of his first 18 starts. His ERA was a respectable 3.33 and when he was handed a ticket to the big leagues, he was making good on his chance. Then he hurt his elbow and the 27-year-old is now looking for a new job.

Turner was a little less surprising, but unexpected nonetheless. The scrappy utility player has always played the part of a good solider and saved the Mets’ asses on more than a few occasion when players like Ike Davis and David Wright were lost to injuries. He ends his four-year Mets tenure with a slash line of .267/.326/.370 in 370 games played.

I asked some of our staff which player would be missed the most and who would get picked up by another team first.

jeremy hefner

Teddy K. – Hefner, he was a good guy, and a good pitcher. Happy Travels, Jeremy Hefner!

Xtreem – I’ll miss Hefner the most of the five. I don’t agree with letting him go. I think he and Quintanilla will find a new team pretty quick. Solid backup middle infielders can always find a job.

Stephanie S. - Turner will definitely be missed the most. Although to most fans he serves as a punching bag and a pie machine, he was the Mets’ only utility infielder who could be inserted at any position for a spot start and be fairly serviceable on both offense and defense. His glove will certainly be missed more than his bat, but that does not say too much considering he was clearly no more than a bench player. It was the correct move by the Mets to non-tender him, but his presence may be missed in a few situations. 

As for other teams’ interests in our non-tendered players, Valdespin’s reputation as an egotistical, hotheaded PED user will certainly not attract any teams. Hefner is currently recovering from Tommy John, so we won’t see any action from him for this season (it is a possibility that the Mets will re-sign him come 2015, however). As for Turner’s fate, he may attract some attention from the Mariners; they are a team in need of making moves to have a hope in making a splash in 2014, and Turner’s utility in the infield and a serviceable bat off the bench in a clutch spot may interest them. It would be a nice little pickup, considering that aside from the rising rookie Nick Franklin, their infield is rather inconsistent and Turner could provide a nice little boost when needed. Omar Quintanilla may get picked up by the Pirates, who are possibly in the mix for a shortstop at some capability, but other than that, not much interest may be generated at the expense of how poor he performed at the plate when he was a regular starter. As for Atchison, the Astros have been rumored to be looking for bullpen help. Atchison could be an option for them if they are looking for short term help.

Tommy R. – Hefner. To call Quintanilla and Atchison “replaceable” would be an understatement, and with Valdespin’s lack of production and the fact that he cheated, I won’t miss him much. I would like to see them bring Turner back on a smaller contract, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find another utility infielder. However, Hefner was one of the best pitchers in baseball after the beginning of June, up until Tommy John Surgery ended his season. I was going to miss him this year before the non-tender, but didn’t expect him to be released. Hopefully they bring him back on a minor league deal…

Rob (Tie Dyed) - I will miss Valdespin the most. Although many viewed him (unfairly in my opinion) as not being a team player, he was exciting and fun to watch. He was a colorful player on a team that’s become very black and white. He was energetic and played with an enthusiasm that reminded me of Lenny Dykstra. I think, due to his intensity and desire to win at any costs, many of us will look back in a few years and say, “Wow, we really should have held on to him.”

John G. – I am personally going to miss Turner. Seemed like he played hard in the limited chances he was given. I am pretty sure that Hefner or Valdespin will be the first to be snatched up by another team but a curveball could be thrown and Atchison could go first since he is a serviceable reliever.

Andrew D. – The Mets will miss Turner the most because of his defensive versatility and clubhouse popularity. On a team as injury prone as the Mets, a player capable of playing all four infield positions is valuable. And on a team as bad as the Mets have been (and, sadly, may continue to be), a cheery clubhouse prankster can help the dog days of summer not feel so long.

However, Valdespin will be picked up by another team first because of his upside and toolsiness. If given a full season’s worth of at bats, Valdespin could hit 20+ home runs and steal 30 bases. He’s also played 5 MLB positions already, which makes him an appealing bench player, and he has the speed and arm to be a rangy outfielder. I don’t think he’ll ever amount to much, but if there’s one player of these 5 with a chance to really burn us long term, it’s Jordany.

Zack D. - Hefner. Of everyone non-tendered by the Mets so far, Jeremy Hefner has shown the most promise. He added a couple ticks to his fastball in 2013, which never hurts, and he looked like he had a better idea of how to attack hitters, displaying flashes of being a really solid back-of-the-rotation starter. I’m no good at predictions, but if I had to guess, Justin Turner will be the first to sign elsewhere. He’s healthy (unlike Hefner) and he has shown that he can hit a little and play just about anywhere.

Christina M. - I can’t imagine Hefner getting picked up right away, especially because of his injury. Atchison is a pretty solid relief pitcher, but he’s on the older side of 150 years old, so…. my guess is Turner gets picked up first. He beats out Q in talent and usefulness and beats out JV1 in the making-friends department by a country mile. He also didn’t get suspended for PEDs of any kind, which makes him shine significantly brighter in the talent department. Hefner, if he was healthy, would probably be the first to be snatched up, but he also might’ve not been non-tendered if he wasn’t injured for the year. Justin, redturn2, is going to be the first player off the free agency board. Of course, that’s just my two cents.

David C. – I will miss Justin Turner, I feel that he brought a lot to the team with being versatile and playing a variety of positions. The Mets need a bench player that can be put in when needed and he played that role better than any one else on the roster and he hit also.

Corey M. – I think the unanimous choice should be Justin Turner. He has all the characteristics that you look for in a bench player. He’s versatile, has a keen sense of the strike zone and his intangibles make everyone around him better.

justin turner

Jimmy M. – I believe Turner will be the most missed due to his ability to play several positions and be a good bat off the bench. If the Mets make a trade involving Davis or Murphy for a corner outfielder then that would make Turner’s utility ability in the infield even more missed.

For these reasons I believe Turner will be the first picked up with a possibility of fighting for a starting job depending in the team. I could also see a team picking up Valdespin based on his potential with the right coaches to develop him (for his sake hopefully it is Miami so he can keep the hat he already has)

Matthew B. – Hefner. I understand about the injury and all, but he wasn’t arbitration eligible and he certainly had his moments. How much are they saving by cutting ties?

Ed (Rusty) – Hefner, because he has that Rick Reed “Everyman” kind of aura to him – easy to pull for even when he was rocked.

DrDooby – Don´t think anyone will really be missed. The Mets gave up on five players who basically performed at “replacement player” caliber levels in 2013 and who neither have the prospect pedigree or past performance to suggest a major rebound / breakout going forward.

Atchison has had the most success among major leaguers – but also has been pitching through torn elbow ligaments recently, the reason why he even was available in 2013 in the first place.

All five will find new teams pretty quickly – but all five will struggle to find a guaranteed major league deal in all likelihood, though a couple of them may, especially Turner & Valdespin who can play second and at least fake it at shortstop briefly and who could be serviceable backups for someone in 2014.

But in any case, moving on from these five was a sound decision at this point. Maybe a couple will return – but more as depth on the Las Vegas 51s roster than in any sort of plan for the Mets.

Jessep – Tough call between Hefner and Turner. They are the only ones who actually brought something to the table in my view. Atchison was good at times, but he’s a 38 year old reliever. With Hefner’s injury. the answer is probably Turner because he was a depth guy. He was the player who could fill in almost anywhere for any player outside of catcher. That’s a huge value if you ask me. I think he is the first one picked up, and for that very reason. Unless of course the Long Island Ducks call Valdespin first?

Presented By Diehards

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/which-mets-non-tender-will-be-missed-the-most.html/feed/ 0
Mets Non-Tender Turner, Valdespin, Hefner, Quintanilla, Atchison http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/say-goodbye-to-jordany-as-mets-part-ways-with-valdespin.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/say-goodbye-to-jordany-as-mets-part-ways-with-valdespin.html/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:54:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134229 jordany valdespin

The Mets announced they have non-tendered Omar Quintanilla, Jordany Valdespin, Justin Turner, Jeremy Hefner, and Scott Atchison.

Interesting purge by the Mets on non-tender day…

The 40 man roster is now at 35 players.

Original Post

Today is the non-tender deadline and all teams have until 11:59 tonight to decide which arbitration eligible players they will or will not offer contracts to.

For the Mets, they have ten decisions to make, but the way I see it only two players are on the bubble; Scott Atchison and Omar Quintanilla. I suspect both will be non-tendered though Quintanilla could survive the ax given how the shortstop search has completely backfired on the Mets and caught them off-guard.

Daniel Murphy stands to be the biggest winner nearly doubling his 2013 salary to $5.8 million dollars according to MLBTR.

Arbitration 1

Dillon Gee - $527,375 (2013) $3.4 million

Ruben Tejada - $514,701 (2013), $1.0 million

Justin Turner - $504,547 (2013), $800,000

Eric Young Jr. – $492,000 (2013), $1.9 million

Lucas Duda - $504,000 (2013), $1.8 million

Arbitration 2

Ike Davis - $3.125M (2013), $3.5 million

Daniel Murphy - $2.925M (2013), $5.8 million

Bobby Parnell - $1.7M (2013), $3.2 million

Omar Quintanilla - $527,375 (2013), $900,000

Arbitration 3

Scott Atchison - $700,000 (2013), $1.3 million

The Mets have a long history of avoiding arbitration hearings with players, so I’m sure they’ll spend the next few weeks negotiating and reaching agreements with the players they’ll keep.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/say-goodbye-to-jordany-as-mets-part-ways-with-valdespin.html/feed/ 0
Happy Holidays From The Mets! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/happy-holidays-from-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/happy-holidays-from-the-mets.html/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 12:05:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133605 David Wright, Matt Harvey, Travis d’ArnaudLucas DudaJustin TurnerDillon Gee, Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler join Mr. and Mrs. Met to wish you Safe and Happy Holiday Season from the New York Mets.

Listen in as they sing you a rousing rendition of that holiday classic “Sleigh Ride” led by the Capn’.

Turner cracks me up and d’Arnaud looks as if he’s serving time for batting .190 in his MLB debut. :-) Check it out…

Incidentally, we’ll be at the Annual Mets Holiday Party on December 18 where Daniel Murphy will serve as Santa Claus this year, assuming he isn’t traded by then.  Ho ho ho…

mets christmas

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/happy-holidays-from-the-mets.html/feed/ 0
Mets Arbitration Predictions and Non-Tender Candidates http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-arbitration-predictions-and-non-tender-candidates.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-arbitration-predictions-and-non-tender-candidates.html/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:02:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128451 MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

MLB Trade Rumors posted their arbitration predictions today. Daniel Murphy stands to be the biggest winner nearly doubling his 2013 salary to $5.8 million dollars.

Guaranteed Contracts

David Wright – $11.0 million (2013), $20.0 million

Jon Niese – $3.0 million (2013), $5.05 million

Arbitration 1

Dillon Gee – $527,375 (2013) $3.4 million

Ruben Tejada – $514,701 (2013), $1.0 million

Justin Turner – $504,547 (2013), $800,000

Eric Young Jr. – $492,000 (2013), $1.9 million

Lucas Duda – $504,000 (2013), $1.8 million

Arbitration 2

Ike Davis – $3.125M (2013), $3.5 million

Daniel Murphy – $2.925M (2013), $5.8 million

Bobby Parnell – $1.7M (2013), $3.2 million

Omar Quintanilla – $527,375 (2013), $900,000

Arbitration 3

Scott Atchison – $700,000 (2013), $1.3 million

Assuming each player is tendered and these arbitration estimations from MLB Trade Rumors are correct, that’s about $24.5 million in raises without adding any new players.

The total payroll for these 12 players comes to $48.7 million.

If you’re wondering what players could be non-tendered and added to the free agent pool this offseason after the non-tender deadline on December 2, here is a list from MLBTR.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-arbitration-predictions-and-non-tender-candidates.html/feed/ 0
Terry Collins Is MLB’s Oldest Manager http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/terry-collins-is-mlbs-oldest-manager.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/terry-collins-is-mlbs-oldest-manager.html/#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:45:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131516 terry collins mets last game in 2014

With the retirement of 68-year-old Jim Leyland, and the departure of Charlie Manuel in recent months, 64-year-old Terry Collins becomes the oldest manager in the majors, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Collins has invested almost 43 years into the game in various capacities, and while he’s the elder statesman for now, he;s never had a first place finish as a manager.

 1994  Houston Astros  66-49  .574  2nd
 1995  Houston Astros  76-68  .528  2nd
 1996  Houston Astros  82-80  .506  2nd
 1997  Anaheim Angels  84-78  .519  2nd
 1998  Anaheim Angels  85-77  .525  2nd
 1999  Anaheim Angels  51-82  .383  4th
 2011  New York Mets   77-85  .475  4th
 2012  New York Mets   74-88  .457  4th
 2013  New York Mets   74-88  .457  3rd

Nobody would ever accuse Terry Collins of being a very good in-game strategist and perhaps that’s the biggest knock on him, but not the only one.

Collins is notorious for opting to play under-performing veterans instead of younger players who have more upside. In some cases these younger players even outperform the veterans that Collins allows himself to get too close to.

You’ll hear plenty of veterans like Carlos Beltran and Marlon Byrd rave abut Collins, but you don’t hear as much coming from younger players like Juan Lagares or Zack Wheeler who have been challenged publicly by their manager this season.

The reason the Mets waited so long to act on Ike Davis was because Collins was his biggest proponent. His attachment to veterans sometimes precludes him from doing what’s right.

Collins also has this unexplainable obsession with giving excessive PT to below replacement level players like a Justin Turner or Mike Baxter. He’ll oftentimes go with the more inferior player because he “likes their fire” as he likes to say.

All of that said, Collins is a nice guy. He’s come a long way from his days with the Angels where he suffered a public meltdown after losing control of his clubhouse. He now goes out of his way to get the buy-in from his clubhouse veterans, but almost to a fault. He wants to be liked.

Collins will be here for the next two seasons, but he’ll have to ramp up his game if this team is ever going to have a shot at contending for a post season berth.

In the end his job is predicated on wins and losses and so far it’s been mostly losses.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/terry-collins-is-mlbs-oldest-manager.html/feed/ 17
2013 MMO Awards (Part 1): Wright Gets Top Honors, But Plenty Of Love To Go Around http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/2013-mmo-awards-part-1-wright-gets-top-honors-but-plenty-of-love-to-go-around.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/2013-mmo-awards-part-1-wright-gets-top-honors-but-plenty-of-love-to-go-around.html/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 18:46:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131455 wright bat

Most Valuable Player Award – David Wright

There is little contest to oppose David Wright as team MVP. Harvey put up ridiculous numbers in his sophomore season, but Wright helped the Mets every day while Harvey only helped every 5th day.

With a .307 BA, a .390 OBP and a SLG of .514, there is no question that David was the most prominent offensive force the Mets had. It is hard to judge him on his RBIs considering the team often did not put any RISP on for him, but the 95 times he came to the plate with RISP, he drove in 31 runs at a .284 clip.

He hit a respectable 17 home runs, including two memorable ones: one to tie the first game of the Subway Series in May and one to tie the game in the top of the 9th off of Craig Kimbrel at Turner Field (the Mets would go on to win that one in extras). As for the defensive side, he arguably had another gold glove caliber season, which, when paired with his offense, earned him the starting spot at third in the All Star Game.

Despite the injury that took away nearly two months of his playing time, Wright had another solid season at the hot corner and at the plate, earning him the title of MMO’s 2013 Mets MVP. (Steph)

ruben tejada

Least Valuable Player Award – Ruben Tejada 

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” – Robert DeNiro in A Bronx Tale

That quote pretty much sums up how Mets management and the fans view Tejada, fairly or unfairly. Granted we’re not privy to the inner workings of the team but you can gather with fairly good assurance that Tejada isn’t above Sandy Alderson’s performance line – the barometer he places each player on with those above the line being keepers and those below the line being, well, you know.

Tejada came unto the scene in 2012 and showed promise at the plate and even moreso defensively. His follow up year in 2013 was a complete reversal and marred by his lack of preparation and desire to improve, two things that didn’t sit well with anyone in the organization.

It’s safe to say that Ruben Tejada may have successfully played his way off the largest stage in all sports, out of a lineup and a team that decided to use a 30-something journeyman shortstop for the majority of the season rather than call up Tejada. Great job Ruben here’s to you, the Least Valuable Player for 2013.  (Joe S.)

zack wheeler home

Catch A Rising Star Award – Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler made his long anticipated major league debut and suffice it to say he did not disappoint. The young fireballer ended his season with a 7-5 record and a 3.42 ERA, while flashing plenty of the potential that led the Mets to trade Carlos Beltran for him in the first place. From his first start, when he held the Braves scoreless while striking out seven, to his start on July 30 when he flirted with a no-hitter for six innings against the Marlins, Wheeler showed what he could do with that vaunted 98 mph fastball. The kid certainly earns our Rising Star Award along with the caveat it carries that the best is yet to come. (Joe D.)

Ike Davis

Falling Star Award – Ike Davis

Oh, where to begin. Ike struggled (to say the least) this year, including a remarkably lousy .161 clip before his highly-publicized demotion to AAA Las Vegas. He salvaged his season by hitting .286 in the second half, but still ended the season at a very disappointing .205. His nine home runs didn’t do much to boost the stat line either. The real question, and one that’s not so easy to answer, is if Davis still has any role with this team? Who would have thunk that a year ago? (Rob C.)

justin-turner

Mr. Personality Award – Justin Turner

Justin Turner was indispensable for the Mets this year — who else would hit people in the face with shaving cream pies? Although his highlight of the year might have been nailing Martino in the face with a pie, Turner can play multiple infield positions and handle a defensive replacement in the outfield in a pinch, so the Mets kept him around. The world of #MetsTwitter held a grudge against Justin Turner all throughout the year, giving him the moniker “Trollner”, for his inability to get hits in big spots and for taking away starts from the younger players. I’m very mixed on Turner myself — I know he’s a good guy and appreciated in the clubhouse, but his production could certainly leave a lot to be desired. (Satish)

frank francisco closer

Bah, Humbug Award – Frank Francisco

Even though he was not even with the team until mid-September, even the mention of his name could bring anybody’s mood down a bit. Classless and crude, Frank Francisco probably dislikes the fans just as much as we dislike him. Not only did he hurt the team in the standings, but he most likely also hurt it mentally. When he’s not flipping coolers, he’s blowing games, hitting batters and causing unnecessary tension. He had some testy moments, particularly on September 12th when he drilled Jayson Werth on a 3-0 count in the midst of a 7-2 loss. The entire Nationals team thought it was intentional, and the only ones who commented on it being unintentional were Frank Franc himself and his manager, so you make the judgement call on that one. If there’s a Met that I’ll miss the least come next year, it’s Frank Francisco. (Steph)

juan lagares

Whole Lotta Glove Award – Juan Lagares

Juan Lagares was one of the most unexpected yet extremely pleasant surprises of 2013. By far the best defensive player in the outfield this season (which was supposed to be the worst outfield in baseball history!!!), Lagares not only led the majors in August in defensive runs saved with 12, but he finished the year with a Mets-rookie-record 15 outfield assists. He only made 5 errors, which is tremendous for a rookie in such a demanding position as center field. Not only was his ability to read the ball off the bat above average, but the jumps he got and his ability to track the ball down with fluidity made him such a joy to watch; not to mention his cannon for an arm. If he can develop his hitting, we may just be looking at an emerging star. (Steph)

lucas duda

What’s Glove Got To Do With It Award – Lucas Duda

Lucas Duda, he with the iron glove. I used to view Duda as a beast at the plate with the potential to mash 30 home runs — but now he seems more interested in drawing 100 walks. With the great players, they are not separate goals — but Duda seems to be a one or the other type of guy. His offense was clearly his claim to fame, as the Mets struggled to find a place for him defensively that wouldn’t hurt them too much. Duda still has a lot of value offensively as someone who can get on base at a high clip and still crush a few occasional home runs, so the Mets will stick him at first base. Or maybe not? I was on that bandwagon that believed in Ike Davis, so what do I know?  (Satish)

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our 2013 MMO Awards which will be posted on Tuesday!

New York Mets owner Joan Payson

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/2013-mmo-awards-part-1-wright-gets-top-honors-but-plenty-of-love-to-go-around.html/feed/ 0
MMO Fan Shot: Haley Interviews Justin Turner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-fan-shot-haley-interviews-justin-turner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-fan-shot-haley-interviews-justin-turner.html/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 12:45:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130640 This latest Fan Shot comes from 12-year old Haley Smilow who has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to interview several Major League Baseball Players over the last couple of years.  Her family began a quest in 2011 to visit all 30 ballparks and by the end of this summer they will have reached 22.

The following is a Q&A that Haley conducted with Mets utility infielder Justin Turner. I’m sure you’ll all agree she did a fantastic job. Enjoy…

Haley_Justin_Mets_Main

HALEY:  Do you have a favorite ballpark and why?

JUSTIN:  My favorite place to play is probably Camden Yards.  I came up there and the Baltimore Orioles were my first big league team so it was my home field.  It is just beautiful park and the warehouse in left field is incredible.

HALEY:  Who has the best Hot Dogs? Cincinnati Kahn’s Hot Dogs, Baltimore Esskay Hot Dog or New York Nathan’s Hot Dogs?

JUSTIN:  I actually got to try a Nathan’s hot dog last year and it was pretty good.  It lived up to the hype so I am going to have to go with Nathan’s.

HALEY:  What is your favorite restaurant in New York

JUSTIN:  In New York it would have to be STK Steakhouse, I got to meet one of the general managers there and he takes good care of me so I go in and get a big fat steak.  They also have these really good cheeseburger sliders.

HALEY:  And in Southern California?

JUSTIN:  When I am back home, I grew up going to a little Mexican Restaurant called Mi Casa and every Friday night my mom, and my dad and sister would go in there and have some extended family come in so its kind of a little tradition we have so it probably my favorite place to eat.

HALEY:  What was it like growing up in California?

JUSTIN:  Sunny!  Always had good weather.   So the best thing was getting to be outside and playing with my friends year round.  We used to ride are bikes everywhere, playing wiffelball, football, baseball, pretty active, I was always outside.

HALEY:  Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been on a team with?

JUSTIN:  That’s a tough one.  I’ve had some good ones.  I had a pitching coach with Cincinnati Reds named Teddy Power he was pretty good. Fellow Met, Tim Byrdak as well, I wouldn’t call him a practical joker but he is full of little things that make everyone laugh.

Haley_Justin_Mets_1

HALEY:  Have you ever been the victim of one of his practical jokes?

JUSTIN:  Yeah I have been couple of times.  Guys putting bubble gum around the top of a cup of water and sticking it to the roof of the dug out right above my head and after about 15 seconds it falls down on top of my head.

HALEY:  Have you gotten them back?

JUSTIN:  Laughing, yeah I got him back, but I am not going to bring up how but I definitely got them back.

HALEY:  Do you have any other favorite sports besides Baseball?

JUSTIN:  Ah, I am sports fanatic I kinda like everything.  I wouldn’t call it a favorite, but I love going to Hockey games during the off-season and basketball, I’m a Lakers fan, and football.  I like the Dolphins; the last couple of years I have made a trip down to Miami to watch them.

HALEY:  Do you have any rituals or superstitions before and during a game?

JUSTIN:  Before the game I go through the same routine.  I stretch out.  I always go out 15 minutes before game time.  I always like to have a ball after I play catch and throw it to a kid in the stands.  During the game, I always take a cup of water and I only drink half of it and throw the other half out.  I never drink the full cup and I don’t know why I do it.  It’s something I’ve always done I drink half, throw out the other half and then spin the cup and try to make it land standing up

HALEY:  Other than winning the 2004 College World Series what other accomplishments are you proud of?

JUSTIN:  Playing in the major leagues.  That’s something that I’ve always dreamed of.  In 2009 when the Orioles called me up and I got to play my first game at Fenway Park.

HALEY:  Last year you played all over the infield, what is your role with the Mets so far this season.

JUSTIN:  That’s hard to say right now.  We have a couple of guys that are a little banged up right now and if they are healthy then I’ll probably end up being a role guy.  I added a first baseman’s glove to my collection, last year so hopefully I’ll get to play first base again this year, but wherever Terry (Collins) needs me to do, whatever it is, I’ll go out there and do my best.

HALEY:  How many sets of uniforms do the Mets organization gives you?  And do you wash them yourself?  

JUSTIN:  Uh let’s see.  Last year we had our pin stripes, our white home jerseys, our grey uniforms, our black uniforms, and then the blue Los Mets, so that makes five.  NO, I don’t wash them they do that for us, so I try to get them as dirty as possible since I don’t have to wash it myself (laughs).

HALEY:  What types of community service or charity work are you involved in?

JUSTIN:  Throughout the season, we go out and do lots of stuff.  We go to schools and fire departments that the Mets set up for us.  During the off season, I have a couple of little cousins that play little league and I go out and help them and work out with the kids up there.  I really have fun with them and really enjoy it.  I think they really like it too.

HALEY:  If you were not playing baseball, what else could you see yourself doing?

JUSTIN:  I don’t know.  I think the only other thing I’m decent at is tweeting, so hopefully by the time I am done playing they’ll have a professional tweeting job.

HALEY:  I read you played winter ball in the Dominican Republic in 2010 what was that like?

JUSTIN:  I loved it down there, I got called down by Ken Oberkfell who was the Mets bench coach in 2011 and he was the manager and he asked me to come play with him and I had an absolute blast.

HALEY:  Who did you play with down in the Dominican Republic?

JUSTIN:  I played with guys like Andy Dirks from the Tigers, Wilkin Castillo from the Dodgers, Marcos Mateo from the Cubs, Peter Bourjos from the Angels, there was all types of guys down there.

Haley_Justin_Mets_2

HALEY:  Somewhere I read you said that your father was your greatest influence.  What baseball players or coaches do you think most influenced you?

JUSTIN:  Two of the biggest influences other then my dad were my college coaches.  Coach George Horton he was the head coach at Cal State Fullerton.  I played under him for all four years and he basically taught me everything I could possibly know about the game of baseball and was super detailed about everything.  The other was his assistant coach Rick Vanderhook who is now the coach for Fullerton. He is actually like an uncle to me I grew up with him and is one of my dad’s best friends.  He gave me the opportunity as a kid to hang around Fullerton and be a batboy for the team.  I was constantly around baseball.  I have to give them a lot of credit.

HALEY:  When you were in the minors, who were some of your different roommates?

JUSTIN:  My favorite roommate in all minor league baseball was a kid named Tony Esquer. 

HALEY:  Where is he now?

JUSTIN:  He is back at home he is done playing, but I have never met or been around someone who could make me laugh so hard. He was always joking around, pulling little jokes.  We would be trying to go to sleep and he would be sneaking around messing with me trying to make me think there was a ghost in the room or something like that.  He was one of the funniest guys I have ever roomed with.

HALEY:  I have heard you are active on twitter, do you think it is a good way to interact with your fans?

JUSTIN:  Absolutely, I love being on twitter.  I have over 34,000 followers now most of them are all New York fans.  I get asked all kinds of questions every day and it is a great opportunity to interact with them.   It gives fans/followers a little more insight about what’s going on over here with the Mets and me.

HALEY:  What is your twitter name?

JUSTIN: @redturn2 

HALEY:  How did you decide on that name?

JUSTIN:  Red because of my hair, turn because my last name is Turner so I shorted it and 2 because I play second base and turn double plays, also because I wear #2.

HALEY:  What did you do this year during the off-season?

JUSTIN:  I just relaxed and took some vacations.  Mostly I relaxed and worked out to stay in shape for the new season.

HALEY:  What advice would you give to young players?

JUSTIN:  Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it.  I was never the biggest, tallest, strongest or fastest guy but I always worked hard.  I always appreciated and loved the game.   Everyone always told me I wasn’t going to make it but if you believe in yourself, keep working and practicing you can make it.

HALEY:  Please tell all your fans how you want to be remembered?

JUSTIN:  I don’t know I just like to have fun and enjoy the game.   I play hard and respect the game.  So hopefully I can maintain that and have a long career and hopefully I am known as a class act.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Haley Smilow. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mmo-fan-shot-haley-interviews-justin-turner.html/feed/ 0
A Justin Turner Encore? Front Office Impressed By His Approach… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/a-justin-turner-encore-front-office-impressed-by-his-approach.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/a-justin-turner-encore-front-office-impressed-by-his-approach.html/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 15:19:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130587 justin-turner

As Justin Turner heads into his first arbitration year, and with the Mets so desperate to change perceptions about the team and get them back on the path to relevancy, I was surprised to read this report from Andy Martino of the Daily News, which suggests the Mets are all but determined to bring him back to serve in the same role as he did this season.

A Mets source said that the team projects Turner to make less than $1 million next year, which it does not see as an overpay for Turner’s production… team officials have been impressed by his maturation as a hitter, ability to take a professional at-bat off the bench, and presence in the dugout and clubhouse.

Martino adds that the Mets admire how Turner always seems engaged in games, sometimes even talking strategy with Terry Collins when he isn’t playing. Behavior like that doesn’t win anyone a job, he writes, but when the team is making roster decisions, it doesn’t hurt, either.

It’s so odd that for a team that is in need of so many substantial changes and significant upgrades, that they would exhaust any energy in locking in one of essentially two utility infield spots. This likely doesn’t bode well for Josh Satin, who is likely the odd man out if Turner were to win one of those few, but valuable bench spots.

Turner, 28, batted .280/.319/.385 in 200 at-bats with two home runs, 20 runs scored and 16 RBI over 86 games for the Mets in 2013.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/a-justin-turner-encore-front-office-impressed-by-his-approach.html/feed/ 0
Brewers vs Mets: Wright Is Back, Baxter In RF, Murphy Batting Cleanup http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/brewers-vs-mets-wright-is-back-baxter-in-rf-murphy-batting-cleanup.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/brewers-vs-mets-wright-is-back-baxter-in-rf-murphy-batting-cleanup.html/#comments Sat, 28 Sep 2013 16:58:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130223 aaron harang

Brewers (73-87) at Mets (73-87) • 4:10 PM

RHP Jimmy Nelson (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.24)

gray bar spacer

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Lucas Duda – 1B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  5. Mike Baxter – RF
  6. Juan Lagares – CF
  7. Anthony Recker – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Aaron Harang – RHP

The Mets have dropped two in a row following a 5-1 road trip. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games and are 32-37 since the All-Star break (15-20 at home). The Mets are 32-47 at home this season.

Rated the top Brewers prospect by MLB.com, Nelson will make his first Major League start in place of Wily Peralta, who was bumped because of a blister on his right index finger. Nelson was a September callup and has pitched five scoreless innings out of the bullpen in three relief appearances this month.

Though none of Harang’s three starts with the Mets have been pretty, he has allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of them. Harang will receive one last start Saturday before heading into free agency this winter. The veteran right-hander has a 4.24 ERA in three starts with the Mets and is 0-1.

David Wright did not play in Friday’s 4-2 loss to the Brewers after getting hit in the head on Thursday and jamming his right thumb while falling to the ground. The swelling in his thumb had not gone down, making it hard for him to swing a bat. Collins says he will remain cautious with him.

Daniel Murphy has hit in nine straight games, going 12-37 (.324) and is hitting .339 (40-118) with 19 runs scored, 11 doubles and 18 RBI since August 28. Murphy is second in the NL with 185 hits and is eighth with 92 runs scored.

All-Star shortstop Jean Segura has sat out nine straight games with a strained left hamstring, but might return to the starting lineup on Saturday. Segura did not come off the bench on Friday, but he did have encouraging results in running drills at Citi Field. He is hitting .296 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs, and is tied with the Mets’ Eric Young Jr. for the National League lead with 44 stolen bases.

Game Preview

The Mets and Brewers continue their final series of the season today as the Mets look to rebound from yesterday’s 4-2 loss. Today Aaron Harang gets the start again. On the season he is 5-12 over 137.1 innings with a 5.57 ERA. He’s pitched 17.0 innings over three games with a 4.24 ERA. He has not faced the Brewers yet this season, but because of all of his time with the Reds, he has the following numbers against Brewers:

Ramirez 21-61, 2B, 3B, 5 HR
Lucroy 0-5
Aoki 1-3
Bentancourt 0-3
Gomez 0-1

Jimmy Nelson is pitching in his fourth major league game today, making his first start. So far he has pitched 5.0 innings allowing 1 hit, 2 walks and four strikeouts. In the minors this year he pitched 27 games for 152.1 innings with a 3.25 ERA. It’s safe to say that he has never faced the Mets or anyone in the Mets organization in a major league game before.

Lets Go Mets!

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/brewers-vs-mets-wright-is-back-baxter-in-rf-murphy-batting-cleanup.html/feed/ 0
Wright Feels Fine After Getting Hit In The Head, Could Play Tonight If Everything Checks Out http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-feels-fine-after-getting-hit-in-the-head-could-play-tonight-if-everything-checks-out.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-feels-fine-after-getting-hit-in-the-head-could-play-tonight-if-everything-checks-out.html/#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:36:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130093 david wright

David Wright was hit in the head by a pitch from Brewers starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg in the bottom of the third inning of during last night’s game against Milwaukee,

Wright ducked in an attempt to get out of the way of the inside pitch which still drilled him off the the helmet. He went down initially, but quickly got up to one knee and then stood up before removed from the game.

The good news is that Wright left the field under his own power and appeared to be fine once he made it back to the dugout.

He passed a concussion test that was performed in the trainer’s room according to Terry Collins, and he is expected to go through a battery of tests before Friday night’s game to make sure there’s no aftereffects. If everything checks out, Wright is expected to play, the manager said.

After the game, an alert Wright spoke with reporters and said he feels fine.

“It’s scary, having been through it before, but this seems different,” Wright explained. “It was not as painful this time.”

Wright is referring to the concussion he suffered when he was hit in the head by a Matt Cain fast ball years ago.

There is a little concerned about Wright’s thumb, which may have been injured when falling hard after the being hit by the pitch.

With just three games left, I’d just shut him down for the season. He’s proven that the hamstring problem is behind him. Use the last three games to evaluate someone like Wilmer Flores instead and give the captain a break..

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/wright-feels-fine-after-getting-hit-in-the-head-could-play-tonight-if-everything-checks-out.html/feed/ 0