Mets Merized Online » mets fans http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 07 Jul 2015 05:05:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.8 Cesar Puello Deserves One Last Chance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/cesar-puello-deserves-one-last-chance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/cesar-puello-deserves-one-last-chance.html/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:49:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175568 cesar puello howard simmons

It’s now or never for Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello. The 23 year old Puello needs to break camp on the Mets 25 man roster this spring, or they will risk losing him to waivers.

Puello is coming off a very disappointing season last year with Triple-A Las Vegas. He batted .252 with just seven home runs in 105 games despite hitting in the favorable conditions of the Pacific Coast League. These numbers were a far cry from his breakout 2013 performance where he demolished Double-A pitching with a .326 average and .950 OPS.

The most common explanation for this drop-off in production is that his numbers in Double-A were fueled by PED’s. Puello was suspended for 50 games late in the 2013 season for his connection to the biogenesis scandal.

While this certainly casts doubt on his numbers that season, a lot of people seem overlooking another possible explanation. Puello advanced to a higher level of competition in 2014, and it is not uncommon for prospects to struggle while adjusting to the challenge.

Mets fans who follow the minors closely know this is a frequent occurrence. Prospects such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker experienced similar growing pains after being called-up to AAA. Even Brandon Nimmo saw his numbers plummet substantially after making the jump to Double-A.

These players eventually made the necessary adjustments and showed improved results over time. The encouraging part of Puello’s season was that he was able to make similar progress.

During his last 51 games, Puello batted .279 with a .393 OBP and a.880 OPS. He also carried this momentum into winter ball where he batted .353 with four home runs in 51 at bats.

Puello’s primary competition this spring will likely be Eric Campbell. Campbell is an interesting option because of his ability to play multiple positions, but Puello possesses a far superior upside. Puello still has an exciting combination of raw skills that made him a Baseball America Top 100 prospect several years ago. He can provide good power, speed and defense in right field.

Puello may not be a perfect player, and he made a serious mistake using PED’s in the past. However, he still has the potential to succeed, and there is no harm in giving him a fair shot to make the team out of spring training. The final spot on the roster should be an open competition, and if Puello impresses, he should win the job.

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The Low-Down On Ian Desmond http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/the-low-down-on-ian-desmond.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/the-low-down-on-ian-desmond.html/#comments Sat, 17 Jan 2015 13:46:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173357 Ian+Desmond+Colorado+Rockies+v+Washington+TEJL3z-_klul

Ian Desmond is probably available for the right package, but the Mets won’t be signing him. If the Nationals were willing to discount him given he is a one year rental there might be a possibility, however, they’re not, in fact they appear more likely to stick with him through 2015 rather than offer him at a discount.

They will at the very least recoup a first round compensatory draft pick in the event of his departure, so whoever wishes to start discussions on Ian Desmond better be willing to offer not only what Desmond would represent in WAR for his 2015 season, but at least one top prospect given he will at least be bringing back a top pick for the Nats. That’s a steep price right off the bat … now if you add an extension contingency, then you are talking possibly a major leaguer and multiple prospects. Ideally this would work out best for both the Nats and the receiving team, but this hinges to some extent on whether Desmond is willing to talk.

So lets consider the first contingency. Desmond isn’t willing to negotiate an extension and / or the Mets are incapable (or unwilling) to offer a multi-year contract. Under this scenario his value is greatly diminished and you are looking at trading for a year’s worth of Desmond in addition to the prospect he’d bring back by means of qualifying offer.

Desmond (per steamer) is projected to hit 18 HR, 73 RBI with a .258 AVG and 2.9 WAR. His defense has dipped of late, with a drop from a 6.0 UZR/150 in 2012 to a 0.1 in 2014. He is notoriously inconsistent in the field and appears to already be in some decline defensively. If you are looking for replacement value, Daniel Murphy put up 2.8 WAR in 2014 and would be a good start, you’d also probably need to throw in a top prospect and maybe a lesser prospect as well. So you’re looking at maybe Murphy or Gee, a top 15 guy like Matz or Conforto, and a top 30ish guy, someone like Robert Whalen. I doubt the Nationals would go for that but given you are essentially renting Desmond for 6 months it just isn’t worth giving up more.

Now if Desmond agrees to an extension, then you are conceivably looking at a major leaguer and a couple of top prospects and maybe a throw in. So something like Murphy, Montero, Herrera (or Plawecki), and maybe someone like Jack Leathersich or Wilfredo Tovar. You might be able to avoid sending Herrera or Plawecki with Murphy in the deal depending (on how they value Murphy) but either way the price in prospects would be considerable. I just don’t see this happening … not only would a deal like this take a significant chunk out of the Mets’ prospect stockpile, the likelihood of the Mets signing a $150 million dollar extension with Desmond is virtually nil given current financial parameters.

Is Desmond even worth an outlay like this? The Nationals offered him $100 million last April and he turned it down. Do they see him as a $150 million dollar player? Probably not. Is he a $150 million dollar player? Well, if he’s the 5 WAR player he was in 2012 and 2013 than you could argue yes, but he’ll be turning 30 this year and his defense has already declined with 44 errors over the last two seasons. More likely he’ll be a good 2 to 3 WAR player for the majority of his contract.

For the record, steamer projects Wilmer Flores to hit 15 HR with 56 RBI and a .248 AVG … no one is saying Flores will outperform Desmond, but when you realize the upgrade per steamer amounts to 3 HR, 16 RBI and 10 BA points you have to ask yourself, is that worth giving up Montero, Plawecki, Murphy (or Gee) and a throw in? Probably not. Sure, Flores is a big question mark at shortstop, but it’s no secret that the Nationals weren’t pleased with the performance of their infield defense in last year’s NLDS. It’s not like Desmond is going to win a Gold Glove, and Flores may very well be passable at short with a bat could evolve into something special.

Given all of the above I think it extremely unlikely that the Mets somehow work out a deal for Ian Desmond, I actually think it’s next to impossible.

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Happy Thanksgiving Day From Metsmerized http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/happy-thanksgiving-from-mmo-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/happy-thanksgiving-from-mmo-2.html/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133936 Macys-Parade

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

It’s always such an enormous pleasure to share our opinions and interact with the greatest and most passionate baseball fans in the world – Mets Fans. Our passion for the Mets binds all of us together, and though we may not always agree on how to get there, we still all share one common goal and that is to see the Mets win another World Series… Or two… Or three…  It’s an honor to serve you these last ten years and we look forward to ten more.

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

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

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Mets Sign Catcher Johnny Monell, Final Thoughts On Juan Centeno http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-sign-catcher-johnny-monell-final-thoughts-on-juan-centeno.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-sign-catcher-johnny-monell-final-thoughts-on-juan-centeno.html/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 12:00:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169333 juan-centeno

The Mets made several moves last week to clear space on their 40 man roster. One of these decisions was to place catching prospect, Juan Centeno, on waivers. Centeno was quickly picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers, and he will likely compete for a spot on their opening day roster. While Centeno is certainly not a devastating loss for the Mets, he might have been the best internal option to backup starter Travis d’Arnaud

As a 32nd round draft pick, Centeno was always under the radar. He was never ranked highly on any prospect lists, and he was often overlooked due to his lack of power. Centeno only hit three home runs in his minor league career, and he has an extremely low .336 slugging percentage during eight minor league seasons.

Despite his low power numbers, Centeno made some improvements at the plate during the last few years. He batted over .300 in three out of the past five seasons, and the contact-hitting backstop never hit below .285 during this span. This progress does not completely make up for his disappointing power output, but it does show that he has more promise on offense than most give him credit for.

However, Centeno’s greatest strength is his exceptional ability on defense. Centeno is regarded as an excellent defensive catcher, and he also has an outstanding throwing arm. Baseball America rated him as the best catcher defensively in the entire Pacific Coast League this season. Mets fans also caught a glimpse of Centeno’s elite skills when he threw out Billy Hamilton stealing in September of last year. This type of defense from the catching position is valuable, and it would also give the Mets a nice complement to  d’Arnaud’s production on offense.

Additionally, letting Cetneno go likely means that Anthony Recker returns as the Mets backup. While Recker launched a few impressive home runs this year, he struggled mightily overall. Recker batted just .201 with a dreadful.246 OBP during 174 at bats. This poor performance is also not the result of a small sample size or the consequence of a young player struggling to adjust in the majors. Recker is a career .197 hitter, and he is already 31 years old.

Even though this decision will not drastically effect the season, it is a mistake by the Mets. Centeno can easily exceed Recker’s average and on base percentage while also playing superior defense. Centeno is also several years younger, and he still has room to improve.

This just in…

As I finished writing this last night, the Mets signed catcher Johnny Monell to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He’s a local kid and was a 30th round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2007.

Monell, who turns 29 in March, spent this season at Triple-A, splitting time between the Dodgers and Orioles organizations and hit a combined .238 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 226 plate appearances. He had a cup of coffee in 2013, batting 1-for-8 for the Giants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tormented souls fans citi

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

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

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

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

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

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

buddy harrelson pete rose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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October 25, 1986: Little Roller Up Along First… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/october-25-1986-little-roller-up-along-first.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/october-25-1986-little-roller-up-along-first.html/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:19:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168653 apollo 11

Every generation has its defining moment. People who grew up in the 1960s know exactly where they were when President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. In the 1980s, every American knows where they were when the Space Shuttle exploded. It’s no different for Mets fans.

People who grew up rooting for the Mets remember every detail of the 1969 Miracle Mets’ run to the World Series. Fans of my generation well up with happy tears when you mention two words to them: Game 6. How can anyone forget the night of October 25, 1986?

The Mets were facing elimination entering Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. They fought back to tie the Series at Fenway Park after dropping the first two games of the Series at Shea Stadium. Then Bruce Hurst shut them down in Game 5 to send the series back to New York with the Mets down three games to two.

It was up to Bob Ojeda to save the Mets’ season. He was opposed by Roger Clemens, who was later given the 1986 AL Cy Young Award. Ojeda was also called upon for Game 6 of that year’s NLCS against the Astros, a game in which the Mets defeated Houston in 16 innings to claim the National League pennant. In that game, Ojeda struggled early, giving up three runs in the first inning before settling down. Game 6 of the 1986 World Series was no different for Ojeda. He gave up single runs to the Red Sox in each of the first two innings, but then settled down.

When Ojeda was replaced by Roger McDowell to start the seventh inning, the Mets had come back against Roger Clemens to tie the score at 2. Although the drama that unfolded in the tenth inning is what Game 6 is most known for, a number of interesting events occurred in the seventh inning that are often forgotten.

With one out and Marty Barrett on first base for the Red Sox, Jim Rice hit a ground ball near the third base line that barely stayed fair. Ray Knight fielded it and threw wildly to first base, with the ball popping in and out of the glove of a leaping Keith Hernandez. That brought up Dwight Evans with runners on the corners. Evans hit a ground ball for the second out of the inning, but Barrett scored the go-ahead run and Rice was able to advance to second base. That was when Mookie Wilson became a hero for the first time that night.

Roger McDowell was able to get ahead of Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman by throwing strikes on the first two pitches, but Gedman then grounded the 0-2 pitch from McDowell between short and third for a base hit that appeared to give the Red Sox an insurance run. However, Mookie Wilson charged the ball and fired a strike to Gary Carter at home plate to cut down a sliding Jim Rice for the third out of the inning.

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The defensive efforts of Wilson and Carter helped keep the Red Sox lead at one, a lead that would be erased when the Mets came up to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Roger Clemens had been pinch hit for in the top of the eighth inning, so the Red Sox brought in former Met Calvin Schiraldi to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. Schiraldi had been brilliant in relief for the Red Sox during the regular season, compiling a 4-2 record and a sparking 1.41 ERA. However, all that changed once Lee Mazzilli led off the inning with a base hit. Lenny Dykstra followed with a sacrifice bunt, but he reached first base safely when Schiraldi threw wildly to second base in a failed attempt to nail Lee Mazzilli. Now the Mets had two men on with nobody out for Wally Backman, who laid down a bunt of his own. His successful sacrifice moved Mazzilli and Dykstra into scoring position for Keith Hernandez, who was intentionally walked to load the bases. That brought up Gary Carter. On a 3-0 pitch, Carter had the green light and lined a sacrifice fly to left field. The fly ball allowed Lee Mazzilli to score the tying run. When neither team scored in the ninth inning, the stage was set for the most dramatic inning in Mets history.

The inning started with a bang, but not the one wanted by Mets fans. Dave Henderson led off the inning with a laser beam down the left field line that just stayed fair as it cleared the wall. The home run off Rick Aguilera silenced the Shea Stadium crowd of 55,078 and gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. They weren’t done yet. Aguilera came back to strike out the next two batters but then proceeded to give up a double to Wade Boggs and a run-scoring single to Marty Barrett. The latter hit gave the Sox an insurance run as the lead was now 5-3. The next batter was hit by a pitch. Who was the victim of Aguilera’s wayward offering? None other than Bill Buckner (more on him later). Now there were two men on base for Jim Rice. Rice could have redeemed himself for being thrown out at home in the seventh inning with a hit in the tenth. However, Rice failed to add to the Red Sox lead when he flied out to Lee Mazzilli in right. His failure to come through in two crucial spots set up the events in the bottom of the tenth inning for the Mets.

gary carter 1986 ws hit

Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez were due to lead off in the bottom of the tenth inning. However, two fly balls later and the Mets were down to their final out with no one on base. The dream was one out away from becoming a nightmare. 108 regular season wins and a thrilling NLCS against the Astros would mean nothing if the Mets couldn’t start a rally against Calvin Schiraldi and the Red Sox. The Shea Stadium scoreboard was flashing “Congratulations Red Sox: 1986 World Champions” and NBC had already awarded its player of the game to Marty Barrett. Then Gary Carter stepped up to the plate and something special began to happen.

On a 2-1 pitch from Schiraldi, Carter singled to left. Then Kevin Mitchell, pinch-hitting for Rick Aguilera lined a hit to center on an 0-1 curveball. The tying runs were now on base for Ray Knight. If you recall, Knight had made an error in the seventh inning that led to a run for the Red Sox. Perhaps this game would never have gone into extra innings had Knight not committed his error. Knight didn’t care. All he cared about was getting a hit to continue the inning. Unfortunately for him, Schiraldi threw his first two pitches for strikes. The Mets were down to their final strike, but Ray Knight had something to say about that.

On a pitch that was headed for the inside corner of the strike zone, Knight fisted it over Marty Barrett’s head into short center for another base hit. Carter scored from second base and Mitchell went from first to third on the hit. The tying run was 90 feet away and the winning run was at first base. Red Sox manager John McNamara had made up his mind. He was going to Bob Stanley to try to win the World Series. Stanley would face one batter, Mookie Wilson, with everything on the line.

Stanley would throw six pitches to Mookie Wilson to get the count to 2-2. Hoping for strike three with his seventh pitch, Stanley let go of the pitch and at the same time, let go of the lead. The pitch was way inside, causing Mookie to throw himself up in the air to avoid getting hit. Fortunately, the ball didn’t hit Mookie or Rich Gedman’s glove (or home plate umpire Dale Ford for that matter). The ball went all the way to the backstop and Kevin Mitchell was able to scamper home with the tying run. The wild pitch also allowed Ray Knight to move into scoring position with the potential winning run. All Mookie needed to do now was get a base hit to drive him in, or perhaps he could so something else to bring him home.

During the regular season, John McNamara had always removed first baseman Bill Buckner for defensive replacement Dave Stapleton during the late innings. However, this time Buckner was left in the game despite the fact that he was hobbling around on two gimpy legs and had just been hit by a pitch in the previous inning. What was McNamara’s reasoning for the decision? He wanted Buckner to be on the field to celebrate their championship with his teammates. Instead, Buckner was on the field during a different kind of celebration.

Buckner was at first base as the count went to 3-2 on Mookie Wilson. A mountain of pressure had been lifted off his shoulders once he went airborne to elude Stanley’s pitch. A relaxed Mookie came back to the plate to finish what he came up there to do. After fouling off two more pitches, including a line drive that curved foul down the left field line, Wilson hit a little roller up along first, bringing Mets fans to their feet as Bill Buckner hobbled to the line in an attempt to field it. I’ll let NBC broadcaster Vin Scully describe what happened.

“Little roller up along first. Behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!”

A miracle had happened on the diamond. Perhaps Mookie’s grounder hit a pebble. Perhaps Buckner took his eyes off the ball as he watched Mookie sprint down the first base line. Perhaps God was a Mets fan. Regardless of what caused it to happen, Mookie’s grounder found its way under Buckner’s glove and the Mets lived to see another day.

bill-buckner

As a dejected Bill Buckner walked off the field, Shea Stadium was rocking as it never had before. Mookie Wilson was still running towards second base because he had no idea that Ray Knight had scored the winning run. Ron Darling, who was scheduled to start the seventh and deciding game of the World Series the following night (even though it was rained out and played two nights later), admitted that he could see dust falling from the roof of the Mets dugout because of the vibrations caused by the fans jumping up and down over it. Keith Hernandez had left the dugout to go into Davey Johnson’s office after making the second out of the inning, but never moved from the chair he was sitting in, even after the historic rally had begun because as he admitted afterwards, the chair he was sitting in had hits in it.

As the unbelievable events were flashing on the TV screen for those of us who weren’t fortunate enough to have tickets to the game, Vin Scully came back on the air after a long pause to tell the viewers everything they needed to know about what they had just seen unfold at Shea Stadium on that Saturday night. The Hall-of-Fame broadcaster said:

“If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words. But more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow.”

Game 6 didn’t give the Mets the World Championship as many baseball fans mistakenly believe. There was still one game left to play. Although it was scheduled for the following night, rain put a hold on Game 7 until the night of Monday, October 27. Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, who had been scheduled to start the seventh game for the Red Sox, was scratched from his start to allow Met killer Bruce Hurst to pitch. But I’ll leave that blog for another night.

ray knight

For now, think of the memories you have of that unbelievable Game 6. Imagine how different things would have been if Jim Rice had not been thrown out at home plate in the seventh inning, or if Bob Stanley had relieved Calvin Schiraldi before Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell or Ray Knight produced base hits in the tenth inning. Mets fans who celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Miracle Mets this season might still be talking about that team as their only championship team.

A miracle happened at Shea Stadium 28 years ago today, on October 25, 1986. It is the single greatest Mets memory I have. I’m sure for many of you reading this, it’s your favorite Mets memory as well. Do Mets fans believe in miracles? If you watched Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, the answer is a definite yes.

The rest, as they say, is a matter of history…

1986 mets win

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Our Top 5 Underrated Mets Hitting Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/featured-post-top-5-underrated-mets-hitting-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/featured-post-top-5-underrated-mets-hitting-prospects.html/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:23:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167779 VICENTE LUPO

The top prospects of every minor league system always seem to receive endless amounts of hype. Most of the time this attention is deserved as elite prospects are often potential game changers for their franchises. However, sometimes the prospects that are rarely discussed can make the strongest impact. Mets fans have witnessed this recently with the development of Jacob deGrom and Juan Lagares. Both players were not highly regarded prospects, yet they have emerged into key players at the major league level.

While it is always difficult to predict who the next surprise player like deGrom and Lagares will be, there are numerous underrated prospects in the Mets minor league system that might be able to make a similar impact. Here are the Mets top five underrated position players.

5. Luis Guillorme, SS

Luis Guillorme is the type of prospect that always seems to be overlooked since he does not have any exceptional hitting skills. However, he compensates for this by playing tremendous defense at a key position. The 19 year old short stop is an elite defender due to his excellent range, good hands, and a very strong throwing arm.

Even though some believe Guillorme will not hit enough to start in the majors, his offense is not as weak as many think. While he will not hit for any power, he has showed some promising signs at the plate this season. Guillorme batted .283 with a solid .340 OBP in 274 at bats with the Kingsport Mets. If Guillorme can continue to hit for contact consistently, his defense is good enough to carry him all the way to the majors.

4. Ivan Wilson, CF

On the surface, it seems like Ivan Wilson is not a very impressive prospect. Wilson batted .176 this season for Kingsport, and struck out in 46 percent of his at bats. While these are certainly alarming signs, it is not enough to write him off as a prospect just yet.

Wilson is perhaps the best athlete in the entire system. Wilson has enormous power potential at 6’3” and 220 pounds, and he is also an above average runner. This dangerous combination of power and speed for a centerfielder gives him a high upside and a very promising future. Eventually he will have to translate these raw skills into results, but he still has plenty of time to develop as he is just 19 years old.

3. Jayce Boyd, 1B

Ever since the Mets drafted Jayce Boyd in the 6th round in 2012, he has impressed at every level. Boyd batted .330 with an outstanding .410 OBP last season, and he also had a solid .293 batting average this year in AA. Despite his great overall numbers, many underrated Boyd because of his low home run totals.

Boyd has yet to reach double digit home runs in a single season in the minors, but he has more raw power than his stats indicate. At 6’3” and 185 pounds, he is strong enough to start hitting more home runs.

Another factor to consider is that power is often the last skill that develops for prospects. A recent example of this in the Mets minors is Lucas Duda. Duda struggled to hit for a lot of power early in his minor league career, and he actually posted identical numbers to Boyd. Duda hit just 9 home runs and had.808 OPS in AA, while Boyd hit 8 home runs with a .796 OPS at the same age and level as Duda. It’s not fair to expect Boyd to replicate Duda’s success, but this example is a strong reminder that minor league numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

2. Champ Stuart, CF

While Champ Stuart has started to gain more recognition of late, he still appears to be an unknown for many fans. Stuart is arguably the fastest player in the Mets organization, and he effectively utilizes his elite speed. Stuart stole 29 bases in just 81 games for A-Savannah while only getting caught 4 times. His athleticism also allows him to play excellent defense in centerfield.

Stuart has also made a lot of progress at the plate since the Mets drafted him 2013. Stuart has a decent .251 average and a solid .359 OBP as a professional, which is encouraging considering that he was viewed as a very raw prospect coming out of college.

1. Vicente LupoLF

After an extremely disappointing season in 2013, most people had forgotten about Vicente Lupo. Lupo was one of the Mets top international signings in 2010, and he was often praised for his excellent power and patience at the plate.  Most of this hype disappeared following last season as Lupo batted .220 with just four home runs in 110 at bats for the Gulf Coast League Mets. However, Lupo put together a very strong bounce back campaign this year.

In 133 at bats this for Kingsport, Lupo batted .278 with 7 Home runs and.a 918 OPS. What is most encouraging about his performance is that he made tremendous strides as the season progressed. Lupo was almost unstoppable during the final month of the season where he hit .333 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI.

While there aren’t many people talking about Lupo right now, I expect that to change quickly. Lupo carries a lot of power potential, and he is continuing to make a lot of progress. As he advances to higher levels of the minors, Lupo could emerge into one of the Mets most exciting prospects.

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Wally Backman Will Not Join The Mets In 2015 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/wally-backman-will-not-join-the-mets-in-2015.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/wally-backman-will-not-join-the-mets-in-2015.html/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:27:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=166884 backman

Wally Backman will not join the Mets in 2015. Instead he will return to AAA Las Vegas, where he just won a division title and Manager of the Year in the Pacific Coast League, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Instead, Sandy Alderson, who spoke briefly about the topic on Sunday, will likely make some minor changes to the coaching staff including reassigning Lamar Johnson and Luis Natera.

Without any other changes to the major league coaching roster, it seems there is no fit for Backman in Queens. Side stepping like a pro, Alderson concluded that “I never like to announce changes if there are going to be any at the time the season ends. So anything we do will be deferred (Adam Rubin, ESPN).

Adam Rubin’s source calls the changes the Mets will make “limited” while Andy Martino of The Daily News quoted a source as saying that the previously mentioned coaches would be reassigned and Bob Geren would return.

The most interesting twist in this discussion is the idea of Backman interviewing outside of New York. His history with the Mets front office aside, Backman has done an admirable job with the 51′s and with coaching vacancy’s looming throughout baseball, he could make sense for another club.

Mets fans seem more interested in moving Backman into a position with the major league team than Alderson and the front office. For now it appears he’ll be back in Las Vegas for 2015 unless another team poaches him.

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Mets Need a New Manager: Roger That. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-need-a-new-manager-roger-that.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/09/mets-need-a-new-manager-roger-that.html/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:00:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=164978 *Apr 01 - 00:00*05_Flatbed_WEB

When the initial managerial search took place, I didn’t mind the hire of Terry Collins over Wally Backman. In fact, I thought it was the right move (and still do) because I felt that a Backman hire would have simply been a move to appease fans, but not to necessarily win ball games.

Every fan who stomps their foot and says “We’d be better with Backman!” is pretty much just inventing a fairy tale. For starters, there’s no way to know that. Secondly, if “we” are so smart and “know” Backman could turn a 75-ish win team into a “better” team, then why hasn’t anybody else hired him? Heck, why hasn’t anybody else brought him into a final round of interviewing?

For every fan out there who is now using the fact Backman was recently named the PCL Manager of the Year as their evidence that he should be the Mets manager, let me toss this nugget out to you.

In 1988, Terry Collins was the PCL Manager of the Year, so take it easy with the award sealing the deal.

The truth is, none of us know if Backman will be the right man to lead the Mets – I personally do not see it happening under Sandy Alderson because (unfortunately) I do not think Alderson puts as much stock into the field manager as some of us would like him to.

For those that are in lock step with Alderson, I’d find any argument that says the Rays, Indians, Yankees, Angels, and Orioles would be as consistently successful without Maddon, Francona, Girardi, Scioscia and Showalter to be totally invalid.

This isn’t a Wally piece though. This is me recognizing that Collins is not the man to lead the Mets into what HAS to be a successful 2015 campaign. He was/is a good team-soldier but I think it’s time to move on. The problem is, I don’t think they will because I think he fits the mold for an Alderson-type manager.

But, let’s assume for a second that Alderson can do what all great executives do and go outside their comfort zone when needed.

One name that you never, ever hear tossed around is Roger McDowell.

Before I get into the case FOR McDowell, I totally understand that the incident in San Francisco back in 2011 was unacceptable and I’m in no way advocating for such behavior. However, he admitted his mistake, and hopefully learned from it.

Mets fans want a manager with Mets roots right? I don’t necessarily understand why it’s so important, but it clearly is. So McDowell obviously qualifies there.

McDowell has been the pitching coach for Atlanta since 2006, and replaced one of the greatest pitching coaches in recent memory (Leo Mazzone) and nobody really noticed.

McDowell has consistently gotten the best out of his pitching staffs in spite of injuries, age or experience.

For those looking for personality, but also a spark in the clubhouse and demand for excellence– how does McDowell not fit that criteria?

There used to be a thought that pitching coaches couldn’t win as managers in the big leagues – but then the 2013 season happened and John Farrell proved that theory to be false.

McDowell sat next to one of the greatest Managers (Bobby Cox) in recent memory for five years, and also played for Davey Johnson & Tommy Lasorda. That’s not a bad trio to have on your resume.

For a team like the Mets who are so focused on pitching getting them over the hump – a guy like McDowell leading the way sounds like a pretty good fit to me.

What if your staff for 2015 consisted of McDowell at the helm, Backman on the bench, Teufel as a base coach and Warthen as the pitching coach (not sure about hitting coach right now)?

That’s a staff that is put together based on talent and the current team philosophy, and not purely for nostalgic reasons.

I don’t know if McDowell wants to be a Manager, nor do I know for certain that he would be the right guy for the job – but I do know that his name seemingly never gets mentioned by fans because we’re so fixated on Backman, and he has the resume, paired with the personality and experience to be a serious candidate for the Mets moving forward.

Plus, who doesn’t wanna see Bartolo Colon react to a hot foot?

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Remembering the “Disappointed But Not Devastated” Tom Glavine http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/remembering-the-disappointed-but-not-devastated-tom-glavine.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/remembering-the-disappointed-but-not-devastated-tom-glavine.html/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 04:11:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161830 tom glavine

The Baseball Hall of Fame will induct its 2014 class today in Cooperstown, NY and standing among them will be two former Mets. Joe Torre, who was elected by the Veterans Committee, played for the Mets from 1975-1977, where he hit .267 with 12 home runs and 75 RBI in 254 games. Torre began his managerial career with the Mets in 1977 and skippered the team through 1981, going 286-420. LHP Tom Glavine will also be enshrined today. Glavine was 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA in five seasons (2004-2007) with New York.

To baseball fans, Glavine was one of the best pitchers of his generation.  He won 305 games over his 22-year career, including five 20-win seasons.  He finished in the top three in Cy Young Award balloting six times, while winning the award twice (1991, 1998).

Mets fans might remember him for something different.  Some will remember Glavine for picking up his 300th career victory in 2007 as a member of the Mets. Others will remember his outstanding 2006 campaign; a year in which he finished with a 15-7 record in the regular season and followed that up with two more victories in the postseason, which included a sparkling 1.59 ERA in three starts.

Some of us will only remember Glavine for his final appearance in a Mets uniform…

On September 30, 2007, just one day after John Maine pitched his near no-hitter against the Marlins to help the Mets tie the Phillies in the standings going into the regular season finale, Glavine was only able to record one out against Florida in what would be the worst start of his career.

The veteran southpaw was tagged hard for seven runs – all earned – by the Marlins that day in a devastating 8-1 loss.  Coupled with Philadelphia’s victory over the Washington Nationals, the Mets failed to repeat as division champions in 2007 and the late-season collapse was etched in stone. With a seven-game division lead on September 12, the Mets lost 12 of their last 17 games in what is regarded as one of the worst collapses in MLB history.

If his poor performance against the Marlins wasn’t enough to enrage Mets fans, his post-game comments surely managed to do the trick when Glavine told reporters he was disappointed but not devastated.

“I spent a pretty big hunk of my career in New York. And I know at first I was just a guy coming in. But after a while, I became comfortable, and I think I was accepted. Winning the National League East in 2006 made it better, and then I won my 300th with the Mets. I felt I had the city behind me. If we had beaten the Marlins in the last game, I don’t think I would have lost any standing. But the way it worked out wasn’t as good as it could have been.”

As a baseball fan, I appreciate what Tom Glavine did on the baseball field.  While I rooted for him everyday as a Met. for some reason I never quite looked at him as a Met. Whenever I saw him I saw Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones and Bobby Cox. The Tomahawk Chop would be playing in my head. He’ll be joining his teammate Maddux this afternoon on that podium.

I want to congratulate Glavine, who was always a class act on and off the field. He was a great competitor, a quality postseason pitcher, and he was always a plus in the clubhouse. 

However, as a Mets fan, every time I think of the final 17 games of the 2007 season, I think of Tom Glavine. In many ways we are still trying to recover from that historic collapse.

Congratulations on your Hall of Fame enshrinement, Mr. Glavine.

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After A Slow Start, Granderson Has Quieted His Critics http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/after-a-slow-start-granderson-has-quieted-his-critics.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/after-a-slow-start-granderson-has-quieted-his-critics.html/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:15:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160343 Curtis - Granderson

I think it is safe to say that Curtis Granderson has been one of the most offensively productive players in the league since April 29th. Mets fans remember the slow start that Granderson got off too, which drew comparisons to Jason Bay from the harshly critical Mets Twitter community.

In a recent article on ESPNNewYork.com, Adam Rubin noted that Granderson has the seventh-best OPS at .895 since April 29th. The six players that rank above him during that span are all All-Stars.

Furthermore, Granderson is batting .276 with twelve homeruns, and has been a patient slugger drawing 41 walks, which ranks 2nd most in the majors during that span.  His ability to work the count has increased the amount of hittable pitches he has targeted recently.

During Monday’s game against the Braves, Granderson was able to get around on a fastball on the outside part of the plate and hit a homerun over the right-field wall to tie the game in the 8th inning. Those are the clutch RBI’s the Mets need from a guy like Granderson, especially with David Wright not putting up David Wright numbers. Six of Grandy’s homeruns this season have came against left-handed pitching which has quieted those believed he needed to be in a platoon-role.

What does all this mean? In most cases, don’t doubt a proven slugger who is healthy. If the guy is healthy, he will (in most cases) figure it out and produce at a level that is norm to him. Sure, Jason Bay is still fresh in the minds of Mets fans, but I believe it is safe to say that Granderson is a piece of what the Mets hope will be a contending team over the next few years.

iheartnym

 

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A Desperate Plea to MLB from a Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/a-desperate-plea-to-mlb-from-a-mets-fan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/a-desperate-plea-to-mlb-from-a-mets-fan.html/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:51:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158604 david wright

It’s hard to perform under pressure. I’ve always felt sorry for bomb squad guys and hockey goalies, although the bomb guys have these awesome robots now, but lets not get on the subject of robots. Pressure can be paralyzing… deer in the headlights kind of thing. But you figure with a deer in the headlights it’s one big thump and it’s over, quick, bam. With these Mets the pain is prolonged, drawn out, like being chained to a pickup truck and dragged at 10 mph through a beet farm.

Players who can perform under pressure are sometimes described as “clutch.” You might say the Mets of recent years have not been known as a particularly clutch group, you might. Clutch is an interesting word. You clutch your Mets-gear stuffed penguin during thunderstorms, or you replace the clutch in your blue Chevy Cobalt (with orange hubcaps), but a clutch performance? I suppose you can clutch or “seize the moment” in a sense, but what does that even mean? Very vague.

I guess David Wright has been a pretty clutch guy, but mostly when it hasn’t mattered a lot, and therein lies the problem. See, how could you be clutch on a bad team? The nature of “clutchness” is performing miraculous feats that result in wins … if you don’t win, by definition you aren’t clutch, correct? But I guess hitting with men in scoring position is “clutch.”

Either way the Mets are not clutch, unless you’re talking about the clutch you do when you get kicked in the privates.  Which, remarkably, is what it has begun to feel like every time Chris Young strikes out with the bases loaded. It’s so hard to ignore … like Sisyphus, that guy who had to roll a gynormous boulder almost to the top of a mountain only to see it roll all the way back down the hill every day for eternity … something like that only with more agita. It’s cruel really, just by force of habit it’s hard to look away when the bases are loaded. Oh you can pretend you don’t care, or even take the predicting-the-disaster-see-I-told-you-so approach but you can’t look away no matter how hard you try.

This Mets team is almost charming in how averse they are to timely hits. Really, they’re amazing if only because statistically It’s improbable to repeatedly strand that many men. In that sense you can think of it in terms of watching something really incredible like a herd of bison running off a cliff … it’s momentous, unless you’re standing at the bottom of the cliff.

The thing about clutch performances is they happen under pressure, and nowhere do you get more of that than in New York. You see, one important thing I’ve learned about stress is you don’t get better at it the longer you have it, it’s not like a yo-yo, unless its a poisonous, slowly-killing you, radioactive yo-yo. Mets fans have become so hyper-sensitive to the stress and disappointment of failing in comical and horrible ways, we boo poor Taylor Teagarden for not hitting a home run every game.

This is why MLB must step in and stop this madness. Met fans are getting nastier … They’re organizing in hideous angry droves … it’s like a zombie virus. We stumble around with yellow eyes moaning and drooling and occasionally yelling “swing … Aaargh just swing!”  It’s debilitating, it can interfere with work, family, Sudoku … not good.

So I send a plea to Major League Baseball … Think of the ruined family outings, think of all the Mets fans who will kick the dog and burn the brats and threaten to beat uncle Frank with a section of tailpipe all because of one too many non-scoring bases loaded with no one out situations? All we ask for are some owners who can afford to repair this team. Please MLB, think of the poor dog with the sad eyes, make a move, do the humane thing, force a sale.

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How Juan Lagares Is Worth More Runs Than Eric Young, Jr. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/how-juan-lagares-is-worth-more-runs-than-eric-young-jr.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/how-juan-lagares-is-worth-more-runs-than-eric-young-jr.html/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151029 juan lagares

Plenty has been said about who the Mets should have lead-off in their 2014 batting order. It seems like Eric Young, Jr. is the leading candidate, with his candidacy coming at the possible expense of defensive extraordinaire Juan Lagares. Mets fans have voiced their frustration about this on Twitter. It is time to take a look at how the Mets may be overstating the importance of a lead-off hitter in context of the defense it may cost in juggling the lineup to accommodate one.

For this analysis, we will make some basic assumptions. We are going to compare Eric Young, Jr. as a lead-off hitter versus Juan Lagares as a defensive guru in terms of runs. We will assume that everything that the two players do is equal other than on-base-percentage and defense. This way we can isolate the effects of each player’s role on the overall team.

Beginning with on-base-percentage, it is only common sense to understand that lead-off hitters are expected to get on base. They set the table. They get things going. Whatever cliche you want to use. The more times a lead-off hitter gets on base, the more opportunity the hitters behind him have a chance to drive in runs. Of course, there are other factors synonymous with a lead-off hitter – patient hitters, contact hitters, speed players – but each title coincides with the central theme that it is the player who bat’s first role to get on base, and then in position to score runs.

Last season, Shin-Soo Choo got on base more than any other player out of the first batting position. His .432 OBP was thirty-four points higher than the next closest player, Matt Carpenter. Eric Young had the second lowest on-base-percentage of qualified (at least 350 PAs) lead-off hitters last season with a .318 rate. That means out of 100 plate appearances, Choo was able to get on base nearly twelve extra times than Young.

Of course, getting on base doesn’t guarantee a run. Someone has to drive you home. Using the league average runs scored percentage, which measure the percentage of times a baserunner scores once reaching base, of 29%, for the 11.4 extra times per 100 plate appearances that Choo got on base last season, he would have scored roughly 3.3 extra runs than Young. Multiply that over 500 plate appearances, and the difference between a Shin-Soo Choo OBP in the lead-off role versus Eric Young, Jr.’s equates into 16.5 extra runs scored.

That brings us to the defensive guru. Juan Lagares ranked 6th in baseball for the highest number of defensive runs saved (DRS) for any positional player with at least 800 innings in the field last season. What does that mean?

Until MLB Advanced Media releases their cutting edge data on defensive value to find a true indication, DRS from The Fielding Bible is one of the best metrics available to measure a player’s contributions from defense. It uses Baseball Info Solutions to calculate the results, meaning it is based on human scorers. To save on the long explanation (those interested can find more detail here), DRS rates players based on their ability to field plays above or below league average. There are several factors considered – including the player’s arm and glove – that make up a total value that equates into how many runs a player saved or hurt his team in the field compared to league average.

Juan Lagares saved 26 runs last season as the Mets center fielder. In comparison, Eric Young, with only 8% less innings, saved only 3 runs in the field. A 23 run difference. That means the difference between Juan Lagares in the field and Eric Young is greater in terms of runs saved than the difference between Eric Young and the league’s best lead-off hitter, Shin-Soo Choo, in terms of added runs scored. With Choo’s OBP, and assuming a league-average RS% of 29%, Young would have scored an extra 16.5 runs last season. But the Mets would have lost an extra 23 runs saved if they had played Young in the field instead of Juan Lagares. The Mets are 6.5 runs better playing Lagares rather than Young, even if Young got on-base as much as the league’s most efficient lead-off hitter.

Perhaps, the Mets should reconsider their position on the importance of a lead-off hitter versus extraordinary defense.

mmo

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Broadcasting Games For A Loser Presents Certain Challenges http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/broadcasting-games-for-a-loser-presents-certain-challenges.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/broadcasting-games-for-a-loser-presents-certain-challenges.html/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:26:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121671 sandy alderson sny booth

In an article that was highly critical of the New York Mets, Bob Raissman of the Daily News pondered how challenging it must be for SNY to broadcast Mets games and still keep the viewers from tuning out.

With no end to the Mets’ ineptitude and misery in sight, their broadcasters are the only entertaining element left. They won’t be able to stop the ratings from tanking, no set of voices can do that, but they can hold what is left of the shrinking audience by pounding away at the horror show reality the Mets will be dealing with indefinitely.

Mets fans have options. They can stop going to Citi Field, which they have already done in droves. And they can stop watching Mets games on SNY or listening on WFAN. The broadcasters don’t have a choice. They not only get paid to watch this garbage, they must find a way to honestly describe it.

Wow, that’s a bit rough. Raissman also warns the Mets voices to not even try attaching false hope to Sandy Alderson’s recent moves because “that would be a con job.”

He adamantly insists that now is the time to dispense with the platitudes and to tell fans what they really think of the job Alderson is doing. “The fans need to know,” he writes.

Read the full article here.

It sounds to me like Raissman is a man with an ax to grind, and while I can totally understand his obvious outrage, he’s choosing a very unprofessional way of going about this. I would expect better from a longtime journalist as him.

 

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Featured Post: Sandy’s Mets Are Not Progressing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-sandys-mets-are-not-progressing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/featured-post-sandys-mets-are-not-progressing.html/#comments Wed, 05 Jun 2013 13:54:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=120768 After an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the lowly Miami Marlins and a loss to begin the Nats series, the Mets find themselves on pace for just 66 wins and 96 losses which would amount to their worst season in a full decade.  Certainly there is time for such grim propositions to change, but with fans already checking out at the idea of yet another lost season, the Mets’ problems are much deeper than their record to date.

Two months into the 2013 campaign, Sandy Alderson’s patchwork roster has yielded many more questions than answers.  By all accounts, Matt Harvey, David Wright, Bobby Parnell and maybe Daniel Murphy have secured their spots on the roster going forward.  Thought to be roster locks before the season started, Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada now find themselves in a special sort of limbo that would have seen each demoted long ago if better options were available.  Everyone else, to include Jon Niese and Lucas Duda, finds themselves expendable.

You see, the biggest problem with the Mets right now isn’t their record, its the fact that they’re not progressing.  The 2013 season wasn’t supposed to be about winning the World Series or even winning the division, it was about simply taking the next step towards relevance.  The blueprint called for playing out the season, allowing the youngsters to arrive when it was their time, and then supplementing the roster with free agents when the books cleared this upcoming winter.  That was the plan, but yet again things have changed.

sandy-aldersonThe Mets unfortunate start to this season has done more than open holes to fill going forward.  Thus far, the team has averaged more than 1,300 fewer fans per game and SNY viewership is down over 20%. We can only expect those numbers to worsen as the situation grows more dire.  In fact, with nothing but the promotion of prospects to draw fans to the ballpark, it should make us wonder what impact this season may have on ownership’s ability to spend this winter, regardless of how much money is coming off the books.

Is this speculation? Sure.  However, as things continue to get worse instead of better, so too does the possibility of Sandy Alderson turning this ship around.  While he has excelled when it comes to maximizing value via trade, he is yet to show the ability to draw the big free agents to town.  Should our high hopes for the likes of Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada and others fall flat, the onus will turn to free agency if this franchise hopes to stop the bleed.

Asking Mets fans, who have enjoyed only five playoff runs in the previous twenty-eight years, to remain vigilant for yet another season is not only unreasonable, its foolish.  While the season as a whole may be lost, the franchise needs to turn the corner in the coming months.  Perhaps the promotion of Zack Wheeler and eventually Travis d’Arnaud nudge things in the right direction, but if that isn’t the case it all falls back on Sandy Alderson.  Both he and the Mets are reaching a breaking point.  Progress is necessary, for it not only hints at the idea that a plan is in place, but it also provides fans with hope.  Hope at this point, may be all we have left.

** Like what you’ve read?  Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83 **

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Matt Harvey: The Mets Have Their Ace http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 15:57:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117881 matt harvey 33Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Mets had a top ten prospect named Zack Wheeler who was deemed the heir apparent to their oft-maligned rotation.  It had to be Wheeler, who would assume the role of staff ace.  Especially with the controversial trade of surprising knuckleballer, RA Dickey.  It seemed unanimous that Wheeler, his high nineties fastball, and array of formidable secondary pitches were just months away from changing everything.  That was the plan, but then Matt Harvey happened…

The July 2012 promotion of the Mets’ second best pitching prospect was met with much fan fair.  Harvey promptly rose to the occasion in the eleven strike out win that was his debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  For an encore, he went on to post an ERA well under three in ten starts comprised of almost sixty innings pitched.  For certain it looked as though the Mets had another quality starter on their hands, but no one could have anticipated what Matt Harvey had in store for the Mets and their fans in 2013.

Entering last night, Harvey’s 2013 campaign featured a 4-0 start which saw him yield more than one earned run on only one occasion over six starts, in route to the National League Pitcher of the Month award for the month of April.  Coming off a full seven day’s rest, Harvey spent Monday night victimizing the White Sox lineup in route to nine scoreless innings of one hit ball with twelve strike outs and exactly zero walks.  This saw Matt drop his ERA to an impressively low 1.27 while assuming the league lead in strike outs with 58.

The stats are impressive enough, but they are easily trumped by the undeniable presence that Harvey brings with him to the bump every night.  Each start celebrated as “Happy Harvey Day” on various social media forums, the fans have fully accepted Matt as the absolute ace of this staff, no questions asked.

Harvey’s rise to what will soon be, if it isn’t already, super-stardom, will make it that much harder for those that come behind him, namely Wheeler.  Having been billed as possessing the best repertoire in the system, its hard to believe that Wheeler can match the ridiculous change-up and slicing slider that Harvey has used to carved through opponents thus far this season.  While the Mets will need Wheeler to be a productive member of the rotation in short order if they hope to stay in the hunt this summer, Matt Harvey has made most, if not all fans forget that someone other than he may be the savoir for the Mets pitching woes.

Recent history has seen pitchers as unproven as Mike Pelfrey toe the rubber as the team’s ace.  Those days, at least for the time being seem to be behind us.  Having been drafted by Omar Minaya in 2010, Harvey will be ineligible for free agency until the 2019 season at the earliest and now represents the youth movement envisioned by Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson.  The franchise will need others to rise through the ranks in order to realize Alderson’s vision, but regardless of whether those who will soon follow his path are able to do their part, Matt Harvey is here and the Mets have their ace.

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

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The 2013 Mets: Buyer Beware! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/buyer-beware.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/04/buyer-beware.html/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:00:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=112691 mr metIf you’ve found yourself uninspired about the 2013 New York Mets.  If you’ve been looking for a reason to get excited about this season. If you’ve been looking for a solitary reason to believe.  Well, the Mets’ 11-2 Opening Day demolition of the San Diego Padres was exactly what you needed.

How could you not take notice?

The game featured more than adequate starting pitching, solid relief work, clutch hitting and even a grand slam.  The Mets’ already ostracized outfield corps went a combined 4-for-12, with three walks, six runs batted in, and the aforementioned grand slam. As a matter of fact, with the exception of the four strikeout performance by Ike Davis, there really wasn’t much negativity to be taken away from the first game of the season.

However, please heed this warning.  It was only the first game of the season.  Met fans, every single one of us. are searching for something.  Whether it’s just a reason to head out to Citi Field, or to turn on the television and watch, or even a reason to simply stick around at this point.. each and every one of us is trying to find that one reason to believe.  For some, yesterday’s game was just that.  It was great.  Great enough that as Colin Cowgill crossed the plate after his seventh inning grand slam my wife stared at me as I muttered over and over again, “I will not buy in..I will not buy in..I will not buy in.”

You see as much as I want to believe, I’ve spent the last two months convincing myself that the reason to watch this season was the maturation of young players like Matt Harvey and Ruben Tejada, along with the eventual promotion of Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud.  I entered last season under a similar guise, but crumbled quickly under a 4-0 start that saw me quickly invested once again for the long haul.  Of course that eventually led to the annual mid-summer heartbreak that we’re all so accustomed to at this point.

So while I, like many of you I’m sure, fight the urge to once again dive head first into the shallow end of what has all the makings of a fatally flawed 2013 New York Mets season, lets all remember that our team boasts a roster of unproven players searching to find their own way.  Is it possible they shock the world as the Oakland Athletics did last summer?  Sure..but its far more likely that we’ll soon be wallowing in the puddle of self pity we frequent each season.  Only time will tell.  If you chose to take the plunge early, don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

buyer beware

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Mets Fans Suffering From Bargain Bin Boredom http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/mets-fans-suffering-from-bargain-bin-boredom.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/mets-fans-suffering-from-bargain-bin-boredom.html/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=101570 As winter creeps onto the landscape and the offseason crawls along, its becoming apparent that the sweeping changes that were promised by Mets GM, Sandy Alderson, are likely to be held off another year.  Instead of renovating the roster to resemble that of a organization poised for a resurgence, the Mets remain in a holding pattern.  The team’s front office had declared the World Series, then the Thanksgiving holiday and now the start of the winter meetings as dates for clarity on the futures of RA Dickey and David Wright.  The first two dates have come and gone, with the latter quickly approaching, and yet we still wait.  That appears to be what we do best around here these days…Wait.

Speaking as someone who was content with the idea that it took more than a season to screw this franchise up and that it will take more than a season to fix the mistakes of those that came before him, I tolerated the notion that 2014 might be the year the Mets find themselves back on the map.  So, I waited.  Waited for what, I’m not exactly sure, but I’m pretty sure I expected the framework for such a rebuild in place a mere season away from the self-imposed rebuilding deadline.  For sure, the team would need at least a season to mesh, right?  And still, I wait.

I think I’ve gotten to the point that I’m actually bored with what going on here.  Quite frankly, I don’t care what the team’s financial situation.  Furthermore, the methodical approach of Sandy Alderson seems to do nothing but make the agony of knowing there is little immediate hope on the horizon even worse.  You see there is nothing wrong with signing low risk, high reward players like Tim Byrdak to minor league contracts.  In fact, its good baseball sense.  However, these are not the signings necessary to put the chips in place for a rebuild.

To be perfectly honest, resigning David Wright and RA Dickey only maintains the organization’s current position of limbo.  These are the players that the front office should build around, but even their future is in doubt.  If we’re lucky enough to ink them to long-term deals, I fear that the players filled in around them will simply maintain the status quo.  Two months ago it was unfathomable that fifth outfielder, Andres Torres, might occupy a roster spot next season.  Now it appears borderline likely.  Simply put, scratching the bottom of the bargain bin has become tiresome.

As another spring training draws near, the blueprint for success is no clearer today than it was two years ago.  Addition by subtraction has replaced the big market mindset brought to you by Omar Minaya and Bernie Madoff.  Whether you blame poor investing, poor free agent signings, or even poor player development, the Mets schtick just seems stale at this point.  Resigning Wright and Dickey may pacify some fans, but it will be the players brought in around them that will inspire the imaginations of the masses.  They don’t have to be nine-figure players, but the Ronnie Cedenos of the world just aren’t going to get it done.

I’m bored Sandy Alderson.  Give me a reason to get excited, a reason to look forward to the future, hell.. give me a reason to come to the ballpark.  Show fans that this organization is still interested in winning.  Enough with the stopgaps.  Lets build something worth the our time..and our money.

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83

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Fan Post: Together We Can All Make A Difference And Save The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/05/fan-post-together-we-can-all-make-a-difference-and-save-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/05/fan-post-together-we-can-all-make-a-difference-and-save-the-mets.html/#comments Mon, 09 May 2011 19:05:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=49918

Though to most baseball fans the season has just begun, to many Mets fans it was over before it started.

The Mets were welcomed at the beginning of the season by five fans covering their faces in shame with brown paper bags and chanting “sell the Mets.”

After being sued for $1 Billion by Bernie Madoff victims, the Mets franchise is now left with a brand new, state of the art stadium that is home to falling ticket sales and a financially broke team.

In order to cope with these economic woes, this article is calling upon Mets fans, players and staff to help the team conserve what little cash they have left.

Mets fans are asked that if a foul ball is hit into the stands, please throw it back onto the field so the ball can be reused. When one is purchasing a beverage please ask for a little ice. Limit the amounts of squirts out of the ketchup and mustard dispensers to one squirt each and return unused utensils back to their original place.

Mets players are asked to share batting helmets, gloves and bats. Also, the Mets should issue reversible jerseys for home and away; this will cut expenses in cotton, a commodity that has recently risen drastically in price.

The Mets staff can pitch in as well. Player’s jerseys should be washed every other game, cutting back on the team’s laundry bill.

The Mets staff has the opportunity to not only cut costs but increase revenue as well. All the used bottles should be collected after the game and deposited for a 5-cent refund.

If the Mets community works together to cut costs maybe the community can save the Mets and make sure they come back next year with a winning team.

Lets Go METS!!!

This Fan Post was contributed by and written by Kevin Milgraum.

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In Alderson We Trust? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/12/in-alderson-we-trust.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/12/in-alderson-we-trust.html/#comments Tue, 07 Dec 2010 04:53:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=39794 Remember 1986? Wasn’t it great? We had Gary and Keith, Doc and Darryl, Lenny and Wally, Mookie and Frank. Frank???? Frank who?

Remember the miracle of 1969? What an amazin’ year? Tom and Jerry, Cleon and Agee, Swoboda and Shamsky, Buddy and Johnny. Johnny??? Who the hell was Johnny?

The Frank I’m referring to was Mets GM Frank Cashen. The Johnny from 69 was GM Johnny Murphy. Great baseball memories, the common history that we all share as Mets fans, stem from the memories created by the players, not the front office. I remember Jesse dropping to his knees after whiffing Marty Barrett and tossing his glove to the heavens. I don’t recall Frank Cashen doing the same with his bow-tie.

Lately it seems as if the Mets have become a front office first and a baseball team second. We’ve become a bunch of suits who happen to control 25 guys in a uniform. Yes, Baseball is a business but it should only be a business to those in the office and not to us fans who hand over money for tickets and merchandise. To us, it’s still a game.

However Mets fans take the side of ownership more then the side of the players. I’m not about to get into the pros and cons of our new GM vs. our old GM. My concern, however, is this: For the last 3 years, Omar had every move, or non-move, second guessed and third guessed and torn apart. Our new GM has been given a free ride. Mets fans are so hungry to win that we have put Alderson on a pedestal, above being second guessed. He is beyond reproach.

I hearken back to the words George W. Bush spoke almost a decade ago: You’re either with us or against us. Speaking out against Sandy Alderson is tantamount to treason in Mets Nation.

The majority of fans were hoping Bobby V. would make a triumphant return. Others were clamoring to see Wally Backman in the dugout once again. We would have been okay with Clint Hurdle. But when the great and powerful Alderson chose Terry Collins, one who few would’ve even listed in the top 5, we all decide to give him a pass. In Alderson we trust.

Dan Uggla signs with the Braves. That’s 2bman Dan Uggla, a position we desperately need to upgrade. And while this happens, Alderson sits by. No one’s upset. We disregard the fact that Uggla has averaged 32 HR’s, 96 RBI’s and a 494 slugging percentage the last 3 years, saying he’d be a defensive liability. Uggla’s fielding percentage has been 978 over this time frame. Chase Utley’s, for example, is only 983. But I don’t hear anyone in Philly wanting to trade him.

Adam Dunn goes to the White Sox. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans don’t say a word. Adrian Gonzalez goes to Boston. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans don’t say a word.

Now, Jaysen Werth goes to Washington. Washington, the only team in the division worse then us last year. Alderson does nothing. Mets fans scoff at the salary he is getting. Of course what no one mentioned is that Werth hit 419 in Nationals Park last year, higher then any other stadium.

John Maine, bothered by physical problems, is released. However, Alderson has no indication of dumping Oliver Perez, bothered by mental problems. Fans say nothing.

I have several friends who are Yankee fans. Over the past 2 weeks, they have been livid, furious, over the way Cashman and Steinbrenner played hardball with Derek Jeter. Last year, the Yankee captain hit just 270 with a 340 OBP, both career lows. But when all the political wrangling and posturing was done, the Yankees came through and awarded Jeter $51 million for 3 years. Why? His numbers don’t warrant it. But the Yankees most likely did it cause of what Jeter HAS done, not cause of what he WILL do. And also, to appease the Yankee fan base. The fans want Jeter to retire a Yankee and now, he will. They want to see him get 3000 hits while wearing pinstripes. And now he will.

Yankee fans would riot if Jeter would play anywhere else. Fans took the side of the player. On the flip side, Mets fans are practically drooling to get rid of Beltran. And Reyes. And I’m sure if some team offered us 3-4 good rookies for Wright, we’d do that, too. Especially if the all-knowing Sandy Alderson said it was good business.

Fellow blogger Craig Lerner reported in an article about Alderson’s reaction to the Werth signing. When our GM arrived in Orlando for the winter meetings he was greeted with the news of Werth going to the Nationals for 7 years/$126 million. Alderson’s reaction: “That’s a long time and a lot of money. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington.”

I like his response. It’s good to know that if this whole GM thing doesn’t work out in NY, maybe he can get a gig at The Improv.

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