Mets Merized Online » manager http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:16:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Terry Collins Now At A Career Crossroads http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/terry-collins-now-at-a-career-crossroads.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/terry-collins-now-at-a-career-crossroads.html/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 16:27:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172306 terry collins

Buster Olney, in his latest for ESPN Insider, listed ten MLB players who are at a crossroads in 2015. He also managed to squeeze in one manager. Our manager.

“The Mets’ pitching has matured, and Matt Harvey is on track to return from Tommy John surgery in 2015, making this a team poised to make a run for the first time since Collins became manager. It’s a team with holes, as well, at shortstop, and in its lineup depth; if David Wright doesn’t bounce back, the Mets will have a huge problem.”

“If the Mets play meaningful games in the last week of September, Collins will be on the crest of what could be a wave of success. GM Sandy Alderson is known for patience, and for not overreacting, but if the Mets flounder — especially in the first half, when the club’s fan base will be engaged emotionally — then Collins may well find himself out of a job.”

December 26

While not always the case, an expiring contract for a lame duck manager, typically indicates that they’re under significant pressure to get some positive results in their final year. Terry Collins is one of a handful of MLB managers who are on the hot seat in 2015, writes MLBTR.

“Collins’ role in his first four seasons as the Mets’ manager has been to act as a teacher and mentor to the club’s young players as the Amazins have been rebuilding. All signs point to 2015, however, as the season when the Mets are looking to again become a factor in the playoff race.”

“If the Mets get off to a slow start, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Collins fired in favor of a manager who can theoretically help the team take that next step.”

I’ve written about this topic often this offseason, and it’s my contention that the Mets have to hit the ground running in April. Anything like a 6-18 start and I could see the calls for Collins to be axed quickly overshadowing anything the team accomplishes this season.

Furthermore, it will bring Sandy Alderson’s judgement in retaining Collins into question, especially if the team he put together severely underperforms.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/terry-collins-now-at-a-career-crossroads.html/feed/ 0
Time For Terry Collins To Put Up Or Shutup http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/time-for-terry-collins-to-put-up-or-shutup.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/time-for-terry-collins-to-put-up-or-shutup.html/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 17:13:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171398 Terry-Collins-New-York-Mets-Manager

So here we are enjoying a somewhat interesting, compelling, and exciting Winter Meetings… We’re all having fun reading and deciphering what seems to be a non-stop stream of Mets news, rumors, and quotes. Then along comes Terry Collins, who decides he’s flying to San Diego to hold a press conference about nothing, who completely douses our enthusiasm with a few well chosen preposterous mutterings. Apparently, Bobby Parnell is the closer no matter what, and he practically told Wilmer Flores to go home and get his shine box, while bracing the fan base for 500 more at-bats of Ruben Tejada who he believes is going to have a breakthrough season.

It’s so difficult for me to see Terry Collins ever leading a young and exciting Mets team to the heights we all know they could achieve. I believe so much in this team, but I lack the faith that Collins could ever lead this team to a championship season. And even though he’s never even sniffed an 80 win season, there he was again – just like last Winter – talking about October baseball.

The difference between this season and last is that there will undoubtedly be severe consequences for Terry Collins if this team underachieves like every other team he’s guided in his managerial career.

For his sake, he better hope the Mets get off to a blistering start in 2015. Unlike his first four seasons with the Mets, another bad April wont be shaken off as easily as before. There will be many calling for his head this time and I will lead the charge

terry collins 2

Collins will have a month to play with his ill-constructed lineups, continue to bench younger and more productive players in favor of veterans in steep decline, his painful bullpen management, and all the baffling in-game decisions you’ll ever see. But once that calendar flips to May, he better hope for a Mets record that puts this team on pace for no less than 90 wins. That’s the goal. That’s the benchmark. That’s the expectation.

As a lame duck manager on a Rent-A-Wreck type salary, there’s nothing to keep Sandy Alderson from firing him and from chief executioner Jeff Wilpon to give the okay.

Yesterday, Collins admitted, “Well, I think we’ve got the pieces. It’s time to step up.” You’re damn right it is. You want to push Tejada and a yet to be tested Parnell over the promise of Flores, Familia, and Mejia, be my guest. It’s your neck not mine.

To me, Collins is the antithesis to managers like Gil Hodges, Davey Johnson and even Bobby Valentine. Those three embraced the youth movement that eventually vaulted the Mets into the World Series, but not Terry. Last season, Collins actually admitted that he believes playing younger players over veterans is a recipe for disaster.

Collins operates without any thought about player development and has an unnatural predisposition to playing older and unproductive veterans who he sees as the keys to winning.

We needed a new and refreshing message from a leader who can deliver that message as the Mets get set to usher in a brighter and better future. I don’t view Terry Collins as that leader.

I’ll be rooting hard for him and the Mets from day one because that’s what Mets fans are supposed to do. But the minute I sense more of the same old tired play and awful decisions, I’m going to demand some accountability and I hope Sandy does likewise.

And do yourself a favor Terry, avoid any open microphones like grim death. Cripes…

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/time-for-terry-collins-to-put-up-or-shutup.html/feed/ 0
MMO Fan Shot: It’s Time To Embrace Our Team http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-its-time-to-embrace-our-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-its-time-to-embrace-our-team.html/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 18:22:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171168 lucas duda david wright

An MMO Fan Shot by James “Master of Papas” Davison

I’ll admit to being a lurker on these boards for awhile. The thing that brings me back to this site, again and again, is the civil and intelligent discourse that takes place here. So in the vein of “Fan Shots”, I offer this short take on the Mets’ current situation to act as my introduction into the community.

There’s a good team brewing here—one that has the potential to see postseason play for the first time in a long time. We’re no longer talking about 5 holes that need to be filled. Instead, we’re parsing the specifics about a couple of positions at most. And isn’t that great?

We’re all not sold as Wilmer Flores as our starting shortstop. We’re certainly not sold on a defensive combination of Daniel Murphy and Flores up the middle. In a vacuum, devoid of the payroll constraints handed down to the organization from Fred and Jeff Wilpon, Troy Tulowitzki would have a first class ticket here with his name on it. Unfortunately, that is not the reality in which we live. So we’re forced to speculate upon other teams’ thus far failed experiments. Gregorius, Miller, Bogaerts. Put their value up against Flores’ and there isn’t a whole lot of difference outside of hype and the allure of something new.

Cuddyer isn’t an everyday outfielder. Duda isn’t an everyday first baseman. But used in the right way, each of them has quite a bit of value to a properly managed ballclub. Granderson strikes out too much and Wright will probably never be the player he once was. If they could reach 80% of their potential, however, we’d cheer them and appreciate them as the players they currently are.

wheeler harvey

Our pitching is enviable. How many teams are going into Spring Training with 5 starting spots for 8 guys? Not many. Harvey is our Gooden. Wheeler is our Darling. Niese, Colon, Gee, Montero, Syndergaard, Matz…the depth is incredible. And our bullpen is quickly evolving into one of the best in the game. Take note of the Royals’ run this year. We’ve got the power arms that can carry us into October. Mejia, despite his histrionics, has the ‘cojones’ to walk to the mound in the 9th. Familia, Black, Parnell and Edgin complete a formidable bridge.

In the annals of Mets’ history, Terry Collins’ name will never sit alongside Hodges, Johnson or even Valentine, for that matter. Sometimes a team’s talent overrides a manager’s best intentions. But for a wicked 12-6 curveball, Willie Randolph might still be at the helm of our squad. Fate was not on our side that year, nor at Willie’s.

In my humblest of opinions, we are but one big offensive player away from challenging the league for ultimate supremacy. There was no talk of WAR or pitch framing when Carter was brought here. What he brought was a bat and leadership. Hernandez didn’t worry himself with his spray charts and an ineffectual batting coach. He saw the ball, hit the ball and knew when he needed to do it. The Mets don’t have that player right now. The closest thing we have is Daniel Murphy, and half of our fans are ready to run him out on a rail because he’s going to make $9 million dollars and isn’t Roberto Alomar at his peak defensively.

We are in for a very exciting season my friends, even if another move isn’t made. Of course there will certainly be a couple, both to appease the fan base and give a challenged strategical manager some options, but the days of buying a new squad are behind us. It is time to appreciate the team that is ours. It is time to start taking care of business.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader James Davison. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

mmo fan shot

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-its-time-to-embrace-our-team.html/feed/ 0
It All Still Hinges On Wright and Granderson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/it-all-still-hinges-on-wright-and-granderson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/it-all-still-hinges-on-wright-and-granderson.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:34:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170200 terry-collins

Manager Terry Collins says “2015 is gonna be the year,” and that the Mets are “gonna be in the mix to play in October.”

“We’ve been preaching patience for four years, and it’s time to step up,” said Collins on Thursday while volunteering at a food bank in Queens. “We’ve got Matt coming back, Michael Cuddyer coming in. We’re gonna be a different team. We should be playing in October.”

I hope Collins is right, but there’s so much the Mets need to go right for that to happen and the top two items on that list are big rebound seasons from Curtis Granderson, 34, and David Wright, 32.

It reminded me of a conversation I transcribed between Gary Cohen and Ron Darling during a Mets broadcast, last September.

Gary Cohen: Granderson missed most of last year and hasn’t had a great year. But I don’t understand how you simply assume he’ll rebound next season. I mean how do you do that as an organization? How do you just go with these assumptions going forward?

Ron Darling: I don’t know. It’s a very relevant question but I don’t have a good answer for you. I think it’s almost impossible to make that assumption.

Cohen:  They can spout all these advanced stats based on age and performance and all the Pecota predictions and what have you, but they don’t give you any answers whatsoever, and lets face it, all of it only amounts to an educated guess.

Darling: That’s absolutely right.

Cohen: So are they just gonna act on that and simply hope things get better without any contingency plan to do X, Y, or Z? Are they just going to tell us, ‘of course he’s gonna bounce back why wouldn’t he?’

Darling: They really have no other options. There are only two things they can do here. First, you act on optimism and you hope that both these guys, Granderson and Wright, return to form. And secondly, and most importantly, financially the Mets are stuck in a place where they have to perform. They just have to. There’s nothing else you can do.

Cohen: I understand that. You can’t trade them… You can’t trade them… You have to play them. So no matter what, these two have to be in the lineup no matter what regardless if they are good or bad.

Darling: Exactly. There is no Plan B. There’s no Plan B for the Mets now that they’ve decided to have that much money invested in two players. This is it. When the Mets made the decision to give those two players those kind of longterm contracts, essentially they made both Granderson and Wright their core players. Guess what, now they have to live or die with those core players.

Gary and Ron raised a lot of interesting points but the takeaway here is that with Wright and Grandy swallowing up 40% of the projected payroll, both players will need to produce and produce big for the Mets to have a real shot in 2015.

The addition of Michael Cuddyer makes the team better, but that gets negated if it’s coupled with the loss of Daniel Murphy.

The Mets will certainly have the pitching, nobody disputes that. But they will need an offense that can complement it and minimize all those one-run losses they endured in 2014.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/it-all-still-hinges-on-wright-and-granderson.html/feed/ 0
Alderson Says Niese Incident Will Have No Bearing On If He’s Traded http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-says-niese-incident-will-have-no-bearing-on-if-hes-traded.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-says-niese-incident-will-have-no-bearing-on-if-hes-traded.html/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 23:35:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169993 jon niese

Sandy Alderson acknowledged the Daily news report regarding the relationship between Jon Niese and Terry Collins, but said it would have no bearing on which pitcher the Mets will trade this offseason.

“It would have no impact whatsoever,” Alderson said Thursday morning, as the GM meetings concluded.

“I don’t know to what extent that incident was different than maybe a handful of others that have happened from time to time,” Alderson said. “You know, Jon isn’t always happy when he comes off the mound. I don’t know if I’m aware of that particular incident. You know, Jonathon is a competitive guy. He’s an emotional guy. And those things happen.”

“To me, it’s not so much a line between fired up and inappropriate. It’s more about how that moment affects the relationship going forward, whether there’s lingering anger by one party or the other. And I just don’t see that happening. That’s not Terry and that’s not Jonathon.”

8:00 AM – Original Report

In an exclusive report for the Daily News, columnist John Harper expands on what precipitated the heated exchange between Terry Collins and Jon Niese in his final abbreviated start of the season.

According to multiple sources, Niese may have crossed the line. In the third inning of that Friday night home game against the Astros, after Ruben Tejada had drawn a walk, Collins signaled for his pitcher to bunt. With the corner infielders charging, however, Niese decided to swing away and flied out, thereby angering his manager.

According to players and coaches who were there, Collins jumped Niese as he came back to the dugout:

“What the f— was that?’’ the manager demanded.

“They were coming down my throat so I tried to slash,” Niese said.

“Next time get the bunt down like we told you,” Collins continued.

“F— you,” Niese said to Collins. “Take me out if you don’t like it.”

The exchange was obviously heated, and while Collins on Wednesday didn’t acknowledge that Niese challenged him in quite that manner, he did admit that in his younger days as a manager, “Somebody would have had to get in the middle to break it up.”

Instead Collins said he sent Niese on his way by barking at him, “Just play the game right.”

Harper contends that this was why Niese was lifted so early but also points out that Niese is high-strung and often would bark at being removed from a game.

“I know Jon like the back of my hand,” Terry Collins said Wednesday. “He’s so wired during a game, when you say something to him in a situation like that he snaps.

A Mets executive told Harper: “That comes with the territory. When you’re talking about heat-of-the-battle stuff, it’s the manager’s job to handle it.”

I believe that Collins may have handled this differently if he wasn’t feeling so empowered having already found out he’d be returning in 2015. If Collins removed Niese in the middle of pitching a gem as a way of getting back at him, shame on him. Niese was pitching a 3-hit shutout, had not walked anyone, and had thrown just 60 pitches.

That said, Niese could be on his way out as Sandy seeks to acquire a shortstop or left-handed reliever, but his value is at a low point. Niese has had various arm problems in the last couple of years, and Harper points out that his ERA was a run higher in the second half of the season.

“The problem for the Mets is that other teams seem to think Niese’s value has slipped. And while he would have value in a trade package that included Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard, he can’t be the headliner in a deal for Starlin Castro or Alexei Ramirez.”

I don’t think the Mets will risk having some bad blood between Collins and Niese taint the start of spring training. And while I always felt he could be dealt this offseason, this incident may hasten that. While I don’t care for how Collins handled the situation, Niese disobeyed a direct order to bunt. You can’t have that on a team.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-says-niese-incident-will-have-no-bearing-on-if-hes-traded.html/feed/ 0
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.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/management-needs-to-realize-loyalty-goes-both-ways.html/feed/ 0
Gil Hodges Up For Hall of Fame Consideration In December http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/gil-hodges-up-for-hall-of-fame-consideration-in-december.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/gil-hodges-up-for-hall-of-fame-consideration-in-december.html/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:37:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168992 gil hodges bklyn

An MMO Fan Shot by Bill Hall

Gil Hodges is one of ten names on this year’s Golden Era Ballot the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today.Players will be reviewed and voted on December 8 during the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego.

We support the election of Gil Hodges to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is fully qualified under every one of the criteria set forth in the Hall’s own rules:

“Voting shall be based on player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

Gil Hodges was the premier first baseman in the National League during the Golden Era. He was an outstanding fielder, winning the first three Gold Gloves ever awarded in his final three seasons as a full-time regular. He was a dominant power hitter, topping twenty home runs for eleven consecutive seasons, and he totaled thirty or more homers in six of those years. He was an eight-time All Star. His on-the-field performance was a major factor in seven pennants and two World Championships during his fourteen seasons with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was second in both home runs and runs batted in for the National League during the 1950s, was tenth on the all-time home run list at his retirement, and in third place among right-handed batters.

gil hodges aims

His career totals might have been even more impressive had he not spent three years in the Pacific with the U.S. Marines during World War II, where he earned the Bronze Star, which is awarded for acts of heroism or meritorious service in a combat zone.

Integrity, sportsmanship and character may be hard to quantify, but Hodges displayed these qualities in abundance. As both a player and manager, he won the universal respect of his teammates, the players he managed, opponents and fans. He was widely recognized as the only player never to be booed in Brooklyn. Hodges made his home in the heart of the community where he played and he was extremely generous with his time, showing a special dedication to youth. Jackie Robinson credited him as a key figure in easing his difficult role as the first African-American in the major leagues in the 20th century. As a first-time manager, Hodges dramatically improved the performance of the expansion Washington Senators. When he returned to New York as manager of the Mets, he brought 25 young men together as a unit that accomplished one of the most improbable and best remembered feats in baseball history: the 1969 World Series title.

gil hodges place 1969 Mets parade

His untimely death at age 47 in 1972 robbed baseball and its fans of many more years of his great skills and character. His reputation had endured and grown in the decades since that loss. He has earned one distinction his generations of admirers would dearly love to see become a historic footnote–accumulating more votes than any candidate not yet enshrined in the Hall. His achievements during the quarter-century he did spend in the game have richly earned him a place in baseball’s shrine.

Once more, Hodges boosters are hopeful that his time has finally come. Although whoever is chosen by the Golden Era Committee will be a member of the Hall’s class of 2015, the election and announcement will take place in December, so the campaigners have adopted a hashtag to help publicize their cause: #14in14.

Sign our petition now.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Bill Hall. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/gil-hodges-up-for-hall-of-fame-consideration-in-december.html/feed/ 0
Morning Grind: James Shields Should Stay in Kansas City http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/morning-grind-james-shields-should-stay-in-kansas-city.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/morning-grind-james-shields-should-stay-in-kansas-city.html/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:25:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168192 James shields

Big Game James Shields will likely leave Kansas City this offseason and will command a hefty deal in free agency this offseason. But if the Royals win the World Series, he should consider staying.

While I certainly won’t begrudge Shields the opportunity to enter free agency as a top flight, durable pitcher who may command a nine-figure contract… but by staying in Kansas City, he’ll get something he likely won’t be able to get anywhere else. Godhood.

Okay, maybe that’s a little strong, but think about it for a minute. He’s helped KC get to a once in a generation promised land. Just look at our own history – the Mets have taken home two crowns. The 1969 and 1986 Mets are legends. Keith and Ron have turned that one title into a successful postseason career. Bob Ojeda has been in the studio for years. Tim Teufel is on the staff. Wally Backman (even though he hasn’t been promoted to manager) is in the family. Mookie and HoJo remain legends. Let us not forget Darryl and Doc (even though both later became Yankees, they’re always and forever Mets). Even Rafael Santana is a member of the Alumni Association and makes appearances on the Mets behalf.

But what about Ray Knight? Knight has had a very successful post playing career. He was already a major league manager and is currently a broadcaster for the Washington Nationals. He also left the Mets via free agency and signed with the Baltimore Orioles after he and Frank Cashen were unable to agree upon a contract. Ray was also one of the few members of the 1986 team who did not appear for the 20th anniversary celebration of the 1986 team. Regardless of the reason for his departure following the season, the World Series MVP isn’t as beloved as his teammates. We see the replays, we know his fiery toughness, but he isn’t revered in the same manner that other members of the 1986 team are.

Should the Royals win the World Series, Shields can stay and become another Conquering Hero and a Hometown Legend. Or he can take the money and run and become another version of Ray Knight. Or Mike Hampton.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/morning-grind-james-shields-should-stay-in-kansas-city.html/feed/ 0
Mets Have Considered Dave Magadan For Hitting Coach http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-have-considered-dave-magadan-for-hitting-coach.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-have-considered-dave-magadan-for-hitting-coach.html/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:38:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167884 dave magadanAccording to a report filed by George King and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, former Met Dave Magadan has been contacted by both the Mets and Yankees about their vacant hitting coach positions.

When asked about the Yankee position, Magadan said this: “I have been called about that, it’s in the preliminary stages and that’s all I can say about it.” When he was asked about the Mets, he said, “Same thing, preliminary phone calls to see if I had interest.’’

The current Rangers hitting coach is under contract through 2015 but because of the ongoing manager search, all of the coaches are being granted the opportunity to search for other opportunities. “They are letting all their coaches, under contract or not, talk to other teams because of the manager situation,’’ Magadan said.

footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-have-considered-dave-magadan-for-hitting-coach.html/feed/ 0
D’Backs Tab Former Mets Coach Chip Hale As Manager http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/dbacks-tab-former-mets-coach-chip-hale-as-manager.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/dbacks-tab-former-mets-coach-chip-hale-as-manager.html/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:50:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167806 Chip+Hale+5XMKziU1jj3m

The Diamondbacks will announce the hiring of new manager Chip Hale on Monday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed, and he will receive a two-year contract.

He had managed Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate for three seasons and had impressed many in the organization at the time.

Before that, Hale served as Bob Melvin‘s bench coach with the Athletics from 2012-14, and was formerly the third base coach of the New York Mets from 2009 through 2010.

Hale had interviewed to become manager of the Mets after Jerry Manuel was fired and was considered a finalist, but the Mets opted for Terry Collins instead.

The Minnesota Twins were also after Hale, but he turned them down last week to pursue the opportunity with Arizona.

mmo footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/dbacks-tab-former-mets-coach-chip-hale-as-manager.html/feed/ 0
Trust Me Tom, It Was A Miracle… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/trust-me-tom-it-was-a-miracle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/trust-me-tom-it-was-a-miracle.html/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:26:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167391 1969 Mets, Jerry Grote, Rod Gaspar, Mayor Lindsay Mets sweep the Braves.

As the Kansas City Royals continue to weave their own miracle finish, Hall of Famer Tom Seaver told Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post that he doesn’t believe the 1969 Mets should be remembered as “The Miracle Mets.”

Seaver, who went 25-7 that year, acknowledged that he understands why they were called the Miracle Mets, but simply doesn’t see it that way.

“I understand why people got caught up in what we did. We had been a horrid franchise, and suddenly we weren’t. But we also had a guy who won 25 games. We had a guy Cleon Jones who hit .340. We had one of the best catchers in the game in Jerry Grote, and a great, great manager. And by the way? We won a hundred games!”

1969 mets

Seaver is not the only ’69 member who feels that way, Ed Kranepool, Ron Swoboda, Art Shamsky and Jerry Koosman have all made similar remarks over the years, and you know what, from their perspectives they’re all right.

The 1969 Mets were perfect in so many ways. A team built on the backbone of elite pitching with a a mediocre lineup that could score runs when they needed them, and buy, could they play stellar defense. Add to that a manager in Gil Hodges who was a brilliant strategist and a great motivator.

What an amazing  team… It was a magical season when baseball was still pure and innocent… We rooted for players who’d probably get torn apart these days because their OPS wasn’t good enough… So many endearing personalities. Those were such good times…

The “miracle” tag came mostly from a stunned country and a shocked and emotional fan base who had endured seven straight losing seasons including an 89 loss season the previous year in 1968. From our perspective we had no doubt that divine intervention played a huge role in what would transpire in 1969.

It was the year of miracles, especially for New Yorkers. The Jets won the Super Bowl, the Mets won the World Series, and Apollo 11 astronauts - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – landed and walked on the Moon.

Trust me on this one Tom, I was there, it was a Miracle…

1969 mets

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/trust-me-tom-it-was-a-miracle.html/feed/ 0
Was Game 162 The Start Of Something Special For Alderson’s Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/was-game-162-the-start-of-something-special-for-aldersons-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/was-game-162-the-start-of-something-special-for-aldersons-mets.html/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:15:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166882 lucas duda USATSIIt’s hard to witness the moment that a team finally clicks, especially when that team has been trying to turn things around for half a decade. Yesterday’s 8-3 win over the Houston Astros in the seasons final game felt like it meant something. While the team will still finish below .500, they won more games than last season and a little bit of winning energy was infused into Citi Field.

Energy is a very hard thing to measure for a baseball team. With so much momentum required to win, people have talked all year about the Mets needing to learn-how-to-win in 2014, so that they’re prepared to win in 2015. This season on the whole didn’t feel like them ‘learning to win.’

September was a different story. They finish the month with a 14-10 record, one victory shy of their season high marks in April and July. Still, it felt different. Before the game, Terry Collins seemed to foreshadow that very ideal. “In the past, it’s always been about these guys have collapsed in September. We haven’t done that. We’ve actually played well, and I think at the end, the guys are going to be rewarded in the future” (Zach Schonbrun, NYT).

Sandy Alderson addressed the state of the team Sunday after the game.

“If we’re going to be one of the top five teams we’ve got to be in the top five with run production, we’ve got to be in the top five pitching-wise. Do I think we can get from eight to five with what we have? I think it’s possible but that doesn’t mean we’ll rely on what we have. But I do think we need to get better in that regard, but we don’t have to get a lot better. If we can go from, like I said, middle of the pack – I think we’re eight or something like that – if we can get up to three or four we’ll be in great shape”

New York Mets Sandy Alderson at Citi FieldSo the manager and general manager both seem optimistic about 2015. Alderson seems to feel that adding 10-12 wins will get the job done. The question is, did game 162 feel like the spark?

It was the way in-which they won. They payed homage to Bobby Abreu in his final game while Lucas Duda smacked the ball around the yard. Even Ruben Tejada got in on the home run hitting. There was applause and energy in a stadium that has been filled with empty seats for so much of the summer.

Alderson has led us this far. He’s re-tooled the minor league system, stocked the pitching staff with more arms than a manager could know what to do with and is now just a few moves away from putting a winning team on the field. 2014 might have sucked on the whole but games 161 and 162 showed us that winning baseball is on the horizon in New York and Sandy Alderson is leading us there.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/was-game-162-the-start-of-something-special-for-aldersons-mets.html/feed/ 0
Do or Die For Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/do-or-die-for-collins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/do-or-die-for-collins.html/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 02:14:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166460 terry collins

Is there any accountability where the Mets are concerned? That seems to be the overwhelming sentiment after it was confirmed that Terry Collins would be returning for his fifth year as Mets manager.

With his 301-342 record as skipper of the Mets in tow, Collins will once again be charged with the pursuit of a 90 win season. Last Spring “it wasn’t a goal,” says Sandy Alderson, but in 2015 “it absolutely is” he added last week.

For those of you that believed Collins deserved to manage the team when it became a playoff contender, your wish is granted. But I’ll tell you one thing, he’ll have the shortest leash of any manager heading into the 2015 season.

If the Mets don’t hit the ground running in April, Collins will be gone as early as May or June. If his team starts emitting that 75 win feel early on, heads are gonna roll. There won’t be any “It’s only May” pity parties this time.

Sandy Alderson’s first order of business after he was endowed with three more years to continue on as Mets GM, was to ensure the fans that Terry would be back. He was hot and heavy with all the platitudes and stopped just short of canonizing Collins for sainthood. 

“He’s energetic,” Alderson said of Collins on Tuesday. “He’s passionate. His work ethic is second to none. And I think this translates extraordinarily well into his leadership of the team…It has been a pleasure to watch how the team has responded to Terry. I’m very pleased he’s going to be back with us. We’re fortunate to continue to have Terry into 2015.”

Collins and Alderson are now joined at the hip.

Everything is riding on this decision. No more wait until next years. It’s year one of that glorious run of sustainable success we’ve all been patiently waiting for. Anything less than a wild card in 2015 will be deemed a massive failure. A big fail for Terry, and an even bigger one for Sandy.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/do-or-die-for-collins.html/feed/ 0
Di-JEST: Might As Well Be The Suckiest http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-might-as-well-be-the-suckiest.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-might-as-well-be-the-suckiest.html/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:56:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166308 terry collins Mets Spring Training

The missus and I just returned from a short vacation which means that I could see no Mets games on either SNY or PIX for about a week.   Usually that’s a REAL vacation.

But I see that while I was away the team dismantled the Atlanta Braves and pretty much stymied any hopes they had of making the playoffs.  I can’t believe I missed that since I’ve been waiting for the Amazins to do something like that since Larry “Chipper” Jones was a teenager.

One thing I did keep up with was Metsmerized (and the other lesser Mets-themed blogs).

An article I found particularly interesting was written by Joe D. It’s a survey measuring how fans view their team in many different areas.

Just as pretty much no one remembers who finished second in the Miss America contest or lost the last Super Bowl (yes I know that some of you know that one) being 28th or 29th out of 30 is nothing special.  The key is to be at one end, 1st, or the other, 30th.

So let’s see what the team can do to move those low rankings to the very bottom.

Ownership – Rank 28 – Honesty and Loyalty to Core Players

The two teams that “beat” out the Mets here are Miami and Oakland. That Miami is there is no surprise to me.  I think we can beat Oakland here easily.

The key to getting that rank from 28 to at least 29 and probably to 30 is this.  Traditionally the team has badmouthed its players on their way out, e.g. Justin Turner.

Once arbitration numbers are exchanged the team will surely find a way to detach itself from Daniel Murphy.  And when they do perhaps they’ll leak what a cancer he was in the clubhouse or some other drivel.  That should be enough to fly past Oakland.

It may not get them to Loria’s lead position.

For that Jeff Wilpon might have to spray paint the words “Child out of wedlock” on the side of Leigh Castergine’s car.

Fan Relations – Rank 29 – Openness and consideration towards fans.

Here the only team that fared worse, and not by much, was the San Diego Padres.

This could be a trickier one than you might imagine.  I suppose some of you have read this, especially if you are regular subscribers to the Jewish Business Daily (phew, glad I didn’t let my subscription run out):

You see the Mets have been dealing with “crushing debts” and denying it to the fanbase for years.  Who knew????

As the oft quoted line goes:

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

So now it looks like the tactic is to admit what we all knew and try to stall through another few years with a substandard payroll.

Stadium Experience – Rank 28 – Quality of ballpark and game day promotions as well as friendliness of the environment.

Without even looking up who did worse in this category I think I know how we can get that rank to 30.  I’ve often read that the ushers are rude and disrespectful to fans and will shoo them out of the lower seat areas even if the attendance is puny and no one else is down there.

All they need to do is arm these boors with cattle prods and surely the rank will hit rock bottom.

Player Effort – Rank 28 – Overall effort displayed on field and likability of team

Guess what.  I think this ranking is a bit unfair.  This is a difficult club to love but not impossible to like.  There are just too many guys to like for a ranking this low.  How many of us don’t like Jake deGrom, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud?

And while I’m staunchly anti-Eric Young Jr. as a player I give him credit for running out ALL his feeble grounders and being willing to steal a base late in a close game which even the immortal Jose Reyes wouldn’t do.

I just can’t see this player effort thing dropping to 30th any time soon.

Leadership – Rank 29 – Overall strength exhibited by manager and coaching staff.

The only team that ranks lower here is the Kansas City Royals. Personally I don’t think Terry Collins is a particularly good manager but I also tend to doubt that he and his crack coaching staff are only better than one other major league team.

With the addition of fan favorite Wally Backman to the coaching staff I imagine this ranking is going to be going up, not down, in the immediate future.

So I don’t think the Mets can get a perfect 30 in all categories – try as they may.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/di-jest-might-as-well-be-the-suckiest.html/feed/ 0
Sandy Alderson Gets Three-Year Deal To Remain Mets GM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/sandy-alderson-gets-three-year-deal-to-remain-mets-gm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/sandy-alderson-gets-three-year-deal-to-remain-mets-gm.html/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:27:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166323 New York Mets Sandy Alderson at Citi Field

Multiple sources are reporting that Sandy Alderson has reached a deal with the New York Mets on a 3-year contract extension to remain as general manager. The new deal will override his 2015 option and span the 2015-17 seasons according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Mike Puma of the New York Post confirms that it will be a 3-year extension and adds that the deal is believed to contain a club option that keeps him under team control through 2018.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that the Mets will wait until the season’s end to make an official announcement.

It was Andy Martino of the Daily News who first reported that the Mets and Alderson were working on an extension deal.

Alderson, 66, was hired on Oct. 29, 2010 and is completing the final guaranteed season of an original four-year deal that included a team option for 2015.

The Mets are 301-341 (.469) in four seasons under Alderson and the team will need to win five of their remaining six games in order to produce their first winning record since 2008.

His signature moves as Mets GM include improving the farm system, trading for prospects Zack Wheeler, Dilson HerreraTravis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, signing David Wright to an eight-year, $138 million extension, and bringing in free agent Curtis Granderson on a four-year, $60 million deal.

It would make sense that he should stay on to continue building what he began and seeing it through. I would have been fine if the team simply picked up the option and waited to see how 2015 evolved before giving him an extension, but I’m perfectly okay with this.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/sandy-alderson-gets-three-year-deal-to-remain-mets-gm.html/feed/ 0
Mets Discussing Adding Backman To 2015 Coaching Staff http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-discussing-adding-backman-to-2015-coaching-staff.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-discussing-adding-backman-to-2015-coaching-staff.html/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:07:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=165600 wally backman las vegas review-journal

A team insider told ESPN New York that they are currently considering having Wally Backman permanently join Terry Collins’  coaching staff in 2015. Adam Rubin adds that Collins views Backman as an ally, and not a threat.

“We have a very strong relationship,” Collins said. “Wally and I are very good friends. We always have been — for a lot of years. When he joined the organization, I was the [minor-league] field coordinator. And I still enjoy my time when I talk to him or when we’re together. So I’m glad he’s coming. He brings a lot to the table.”

This may be as close as Wally gets to ever managing the Mets. I see it as a sign that Collins is definitely returning as Mets manager next season, and Sandy Alderson’s way of throwing a bone to the fans who have been calling for Backman to be named manager.

In the grand scheme of things, Collins still calls all the shots so nothing really changes.

(Joe D.)

September 12

The Mets announced today that Wally Backman will join the Mets coaching staff for the remainder of the season on September 19th.

Backman, the manager of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate the Las Vegas 51′s, was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year for guiding the Las Vegas 51s to another division title.

Backman has been a manager in the Mets farm system for the past five seasons, and has served as the manager of the 51′s since 2013.

Last week, Bob Klapisch of The Record said that Mets GM Sandy Alderson needs to shed his prejudice against the very trait that makes Backman unique – that he’s an independent thinker with a strong personality.

Backman has done his penance since the fiasco in Arizona ten years ago. He has played by the rules, avoided controversy, poured himself into the job as a mentor, and has risen steadily through the organization, Klapisch argued.

“No one can say Backman doesn’t win over his players. To a man, they cite his enthusiasm and toughness, an infectious positive attitude that’s helped a number of young Mets on their way up.”

Something has to give, Klapisch concludes. Alderson’s team is mired in a losing culture and desperately need is a blast of accountability. They’ve become far too comfortable losing year after year. Backman could change that ethos. He deserves to at least try.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-discussing-adding-backman-to-2015-coaching-staff.html/feed/ 0
Mets Internally Debating Terry Collins’ Future http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-internaly-debating-terry-collins-future.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-internaly-debating-terry-collins-future.html/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 01:45:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164946 terry collins

Andy Martino of the Daily News reported that a front office source told him Terry Collins is not a lock to return as manager of the Mets next season.

What seemed so certain a month ago, has become very foggy according to Martino, and it’s not just reporters who are unsure, he says. There seems to be genuine internal debate and uncertainty over what the team will do/

One well-connected Mets official told him, “I just can’t get a feel for what’s going to happen this time.”

Martino also adds that Collins does have his backers in the organization, but now it appears he has his detractors as well. In short, that in itself is pretty telling and it should make for a very interesting month.

Added another Mets person, on Collins’ chances to return: “I think we have a ways to go before that’s decided.”

I hope Sandy Alderson doesn’t blow this call. What a disaster next season will be with Terry Collins returning as a lame duck.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-internaly-debating-terry-collins-future.html/feed/ 0
An Open Letter To A Mets Intern Regarding Terry Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/an-open-letter-to-a-mets-intern-regarding-terry-collins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/an-open-letter-to-a-mets-intern-regarding-terry-collins.html/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:22:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164816 terry collins

Dear unnamed Mets intern who reads sites like MMO and forwards meaningful messages to the PR department and all the way to ownership or the front office in the daily press clippings they receive, 

Once again, the New York Mets will be playing no meaningful games in September for the 6th straight season – and the 4th straight under Terry Collins as field manager. Obviously, we can agree that TC took over a difficult assignment. He took over a team at the beginning of a long overdue, financially motivated and just as well necessary rebuilding process in time for the start of the 2011 season.

It was refreshing at first to see a manager who didn’t throw one of his players “under the bus” every other week – unlike predecessor Jerry Manuel. It was refreshing that the team didn’t just quit late in the season even when games had less and less meaning. But looking at the overall body of work Terry Collins has to offer as manager are there enough reasons to bring him back for a 5th season ?

1. Overall success 

Well, the Mets are about to finish well below .500 again, probably within the 74 to 77 win-range that Collins´ Mets teams have been in for the previous three years. Regardless of whether you viewed Sandy Alderson´s “90-win” statement this spring as a “prediction”, a “challenge” or a “bad  joke”, it´s safe to say that the team hasn’t performed  up to even reasonable expectations.

If you review interviews of Sandy Alderson and ownership between last fall and this spring, you always heard the mantra of “be around .500 into August and then start a run from there”. So, in reality, the expectation was a .500 season and then – with a little late season luck – maybe a challenge for a Wild Card berth.

Well, the team has been hovering between 4 to 11 games under .500 for three months now. And while it has sure been a team in transition featuring several young players, can we really say with confidence that this manager has brought out the best in his players?

And Mr. Wilpon (Jeff or Fred), Mr. Alderson or whoever else may be reading this, at the very least I´m talking to you, the unnamed Mets intern who can now make a difference by asking or rather forwarding a simple question to his or her superiors: Do you really believe the answer is yes?  Seriously?

Honest Verdict: Thumbs down

2. Success in close games

Sure, Collins has been dealt a difficult hand. No question. All sorts of roster instability – be it at SS or in LF all season, the bullpen initially – and the unforeseen slumps of David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Part of the process, I understand and yes, the farm system looks very promising. Of course, Lucas Duda did better than expected – at least by non-insiders. And in Jacob deGrom, the Mets received an unexpected extra frontline arm too, besides steady progress from Zack Wheeler. In any case, the Mets – through games of September 2nd - sit at 21-26 in 1-run games. That – in part  - helps explain their actual record of 65-74 being three games worse than their Pythagorean record of 68-71. Who is to blame? A bad bullpen early in the season? Bad luck? Bad in-game managerial decisions? A manager failing to instill confidence in his players to thrive in big spots? All of it?

In any case, Terry Collins hasn’t been very successful in these situations. And considering that his 2011 through 2013 Mets teams went 70-78 in 1-run games, his overall Mets record in those situations is 91-104. Large enough sample size? We may argue at length about the impact of the manager in these situations, but I guess we can agree at the very least that this doesn´t boost his case, does it?

Honest Verdict: Thumbs down

3. History

Well, maybe patience is justified because of a track record of past success. After all, Terry Collins has managed two major league teams before. From 1994 through 1996, he managed the Houston Astros to three straight 2nd place finishes, ending with a total of 27 games over .500. And from 1997 through late 1999 he got to manage the Anaheim Angels to 84 and 85 wins before a collapse in 1999 led to his firing. Overall, his Angels teams finished at 17 games below .500.

All in all through almost six seasons, his teams finished 10 games over .500. So, he had average to slightly above average success as a manager elsewhere? Wait a second. The Astros – after his departure – won their division for three straight years at a combined 80 games over .500. Coincidence? The Angels – after his departure – finished a combined 26 games over .500, culminating in their 2002 World Championship. Interesting.

So, combined record for two TC led teams over a total of six seasons prior to joining the Mets: 10 games over .500. Combined record of the franchises in six seasons after he left: 106 games over .500

Honest Verdict: Thumbs down

4. Other aspects to consider

Collins is always willing to change his mind – sometimes within 24 hours. Collin Cowgill is our starting CF. Kyle Farnsworth is the team’s closer. The list goes on. It’s become common to assume the exact opposite of what Collins says he’s going to do in most Mets circles.

His comments regarding player development until a recent intervention by GM Sandy Alderson are downright scary – especially for a team that’s rebuilding. They revealed a disturbing inner philosophy that doesn’t bode well for the development and future success of these younger players.

His veteran players seem to like and respect him in general. Speaking of which, he’ll stick with an underperforming veteran far too long and to the detriment of the team’s performance, and he’ll keep playing that veteran until the front office either releases or demotes him.

He can be a loose cannon, often talking out of turn. Recently he said the team discussed moving Travis d’Arnaud to left field, resulting in the GM having to flatly deny that it was ever discussed and that there’s no chance of that happening.

No Mets players have thrown firecrackers at Mets fans or sprayed reporters with bleach under TC´s watch. 

His teams haven´t broken the franchise record in errors in one game so far, only coming close twice in almost four years.

Honest Verdict: Neutral  - If you really believe that these are valid aspects in the overall body of work / evaluation process.

5. Overall verdict 

With all due respect to Mr. Collins who seems like a nice person and a Baseball lifer who helped out this franchise in difficult times, I fail to see any valid reasons why he should return as manager of the Mets in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Mets have a former Mets fan favorite who showed grit, toughness and a strong desire to win as a player – something this current team might just be lacking –  paid his dues as a longtime minor league manager and has just won Manager of the Year honors in the PCL.

The vast majority of the fanbase would very much approve his appointment as Mets manager for 2015.

Is he qualified? Well who knows. What does a winning minor league record or a lot of respect by pretty much all the – mostly young -  players who have played for him really mean? I don´t know.

But looking at the verdict above, I see no reason why Wally Backman shouldn’t be a better choice as Mets manager in 2015 than Terry Collins. Especially considering that over 50% of the likely 2015 roster will already have played under Backman and know and respect him. But that´s getting ahead of myself. I´ll leave that to the PR or revamped ticket sales department to figure out.

I hope – in spite of the losing season – your internship is instructive and fun. After all, working in baseball should be lots of fun. Greetings and hopefully you find the time to read this and pass it along to the right people.

With best regards.

A Met fan hoping for meaningful games in September again.

MMO footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/an-open-letter-to-a-mets-intern-regarding-terry-collins.html/feed/ 0
Alderson On d’Arnaud To Left Field: No Chance, Never Discussed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/alderson-on-darnaud-to-left-field-no-chance-never-discussed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/alderson-on-darnaud-to-left-field-no-chance-never-discussed.html/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 12:37:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164497 travis d'arnaud

August 30

Sandy Alderson put to rest for once and for all, that the front office had no conversations whatsoever about moving Travis d’Arnaud to left field.

He told Mike Puma of the New York Post that not only was there no such conversation within the organization, but that there was no chance that it’s something that could happen in the future.

“No, not really,” Alderson said.

Amazing how some immediately started floating rumors that TDA would be traded this Winter or that the organization preferred Plawecki (who I love) to d’Arnaud and wanted to make the switch.

I’m so glad that at MMO we just stick to reporting and opinion, and stay out of the “sources” business.  

August 29

Updating last night’s report that the Mets have discussed a possible move to left field for catcher Travis d’Arnaud, here’s some new information.

MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone wrote that a a move from behind the plate could be inevitable for TDA given that Kevin Plawecki is nearly MLB-ready and the front office loves him. Additionally, he suggests that d’Arnaud could also become a trade candidate this winter because his bat becomes less valuable if he’s moved to the outfield.

Marc Carig of Newsday dashed any thoughts of trading their present catcher, hearing from a team source that the Mets “have little to no interest in trading d’Arnaud.”

I think some are starting to  put the cart ahead of the horse. What everyone seems to be forgetting is how low key and casual this conversation was. In all honesty, Terry Collins should have never mentioned it.

But given the way social sports media works these days, expect this off-the-cuff conversation to blow into an avalanche of d’Arnaud trade speculation this offseason, it’s the nature of the beast.

In my opinion, neither d’Arnaud or Plawecki are going anywhere, especially not until the Mets get enough information on both of them. That could take at least another year.

However, I am glad to see Plawecki finally getting some well-deserved attention. As regulars here know, he’s been high on my list since he was drafted.

August 28

Terry Collins told the Daily News that the Mets front office has had casual conversations about moving Travis d’Arnaud to left field, although the manager noted that it was just CASUAL conversation and not some plan.

The aim would be to keep d’Arnaud healthy and avoiding concussions while keeping his bat in the lineup, according to Collins.

Collins told the Martino, “As of right now we haven’t even approached left field as an option, because he would have to be go to the instructional league.”

This is surprising to me because if you took d’Arnaud’s numbers and put them in left field his value plummets.

TDA has been hitting better of late, but is still batting just .248/.292/.463 since the All-Star break.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/alderson-on-darnaud-to-left-field-no-chance-never-discussed.html/feed/ 0
Petey’s Mets Nightmare http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/peteys-mets-nightmare.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/peteys-mets-nightmare.html/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:00:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163818 Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

I get up like any other day to get ready for work. As I am making some fresh coffee I flip on ESPN. Hey what the hell is this? There is ‘breaking baseball news’ they say, coming up after the break. So as the commercials play, and the coffee drips, I start to feed the dogs. Then the sports news comes back on.

“Someone has a new manager,” Stewart Scott starts to chirp, “can you guess who?”

Me: ”No, I can’t guess who, moron,” I mutter irritably, “why don’t you cut the crap and just tell me,” I implore the screen. “Geez I haven’t even had my coffee yet and I’m supposed to guess who has a new manager. It won’t be the Mets that’s for sure!”

Stewart: No, It’s not the Mets, care to try another guess?

Me: Oh c’mon!

Stewart: The Cincinnati Reds have decided to go in a different direction as the team this morning has announced they have cut ties with manager Bryan Price after just one year at the helm.

Me: Big deal.

Stewart: But what’s even more interesting is that they have already conducted their search for a successor, and this morning they have announced Price’s replacement as well. The new Reds manager for the 2015 MLB season will be Wally Backman, who finally gets a chance to manage in the majors after being hired and then fired by the Diamondbacks in less than a week, way back in……..

But that was all I remember. The next thing I was aware of was that I was throwing things. Both out the window and at the wall. I remember things smashing and bits of broken glass flying about the room. I was hurling both everyday household items and cherished family possessions without prejudice. I was even throwing left-handed and right-handed at the same time. I didn’t even know I could throw lefty.

And all the while I was cursing in a most vile manner. It didn’t even sound like the voice was coming from me. I screamed insults at the Mets owners, the front office, the field manager, even Mr. Met. But did it make me feel any better? Hell no, this just ain’t right! Wally a Cincinnati Red, are you kidding me!?! He should be manager of the Mets! And I heave an empty wine bottle out the window.

And then….the press conference starts. And there is Wally, one of the few true Mets icons and heroes, and he’s being introduced as manager of the Reds. He’s wearing a red hat and jersey. As a Mets fan, I can’t tell you how bad this makes me feel. And how pissed off. It’s just another slap in the face for being a fan of the Mets.

My eyes comb the room for something else to throw and I spy a 1986 Mets World Champions table lamp over by the open window. Perfect. I pick it up and give it a yank, but the plug doesn’t come out. I pull harder, then really hard. The plug suddenly comes loose and I tumble backwards out the window. As I’m falling my life starts to pass before me. I am still mad at the Mets, but I start to worry about dying too and wondering if it will hurt? And right then, I wake up.

Wow, that was a horrible nightmare! And so real too! I’m glad it was just a bad dream. I flip on the TV.

Stewart: “Someone has a new manager, can you guess who?”

terry collins Mets Spring Training

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/peteys-mets-nightmare.html/feed/ 0