Mets Merized Online » mets merized online http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:57:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 MMO Honors Our Veterans On This Memorial Day http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-honors-our-veterans-on-this-memorial-day.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-honors-our-veterans-on-this-memorial-day.html/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 14:13:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119947 troops-place-flags-in-arlington-national-cemetery

Once again it falls upon all Americans to take a pause from the daily grind in remembrance of all the brave men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our country. We at Metsmerized Online honor their bravery on this Memorial Day.

We also honor all the men and women of our Armed Forces who continue to serve our country and defend the American way of life.

The Mets, in conjunction with the USO of Metropolitan New York, will host their eighth annual Military Appreciation Day today. The USO Show Troupe will perform today’s National Anthem.

A Flyover by two U.S. Navy fighters from VFA-37 in Virginia Beach will take place after the Anthem and the U.S. Army Black Knights Parachute Team from West Point will jump into Citi Field to deliver the first pitch.

A reenlistment ceremony for 53 military personnel will take place prior to the game and children of military personnel will lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

At 3:00 PM all MLB teams will pause for a moment of silence.

Remember, real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags. God Bless all our veterans for their unwavering courage, integrity and patriotism. A special shout-out to my brothers and sisters at the Brooklyn VA.

MMO HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

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Mets Issue Statement On Billboards http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-issue-statement-on-billboards.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/mets-issue-statement-on-billboards.html/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 04:08:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172889 Billboard_3064_x_6592_(10.64_x_22.89)

Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal interviewed the fan behind the Mets Billboards, Gary Palumbo. His article included a statement by the New York Mets that read:

“We appreciate our fans’ passion and are looking forward to the 2015 season.”

Diamond writes:

“As of Wednesday, his campaign was about 70% funded. But, after a series of social-media posts by the popular Mets blog Mets Merized Online, Palumbo received more than $1,400 that night to cross the $5,000 threshold.”

“Ultimately, Palumbo knows that words on the side of the road probably won’t lead to any change in the Mets’ front office. But as far as he’s concerned, it’s worth a try. “If that were the case, I would have done this out of pocket five years ago,” he said. “It was to elevate the conversation.’”

Diamond is the first Mets beat reporter to weigh in on this, and you can expect more coverage in the coming days.

I do give the Mets a lot of credit for acknowledging this fan driven mission, something many thought they’d ignore, and like them we all look forward to the 2015 season. Let’s hope it’s a great one.

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Happy Veteran’s Day To All Who Served http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/happy-veterans-day-to-all-who-served.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/happy-veterans-day-to-all-who-served.html/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:10:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132656 soldier military kid

On behalf of everyone at Metsmerized Online, we would like to take some time to remember and honor all of the brave servicemen and women that have served and continue to serve our great country.

Each Veteran’s Day we have an opportunity to recognize all the sacrifices of the amazing men and women who make up the greatest military in the world. They faithfully protect our borders, our freedom, and our way of life.

Thank you for your unwavering loyalty, patriotism, strength and courage.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Matt Harvey to Sandy Alderson: The Future Starts Now, Pallie http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/matt-harvey-to-sandy-alderson-the-future-starts-now-pallie.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/matt-harvey-to-sandy-alderson-the-future-starts-now-pallie.html/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129494 matt harveySandy Alderson looked a little green sitting next to Matt Harvey during Tuesday evening’s press conference to announce that no, the young ace won’t go under the knife and miss the next year, thank you very much.

Harvey took a look at the long term, at the constant punting of the Mets seasons, of the endless nagging talk of future seasons and evaluating talent and incremental nibbling.

Harvey calmly threw the chin music at Alderson and his incessant caution and dissembling. Nope, I’ll take the ball, Sandy. Make your trades, do the signings, and get this thing going.

Sure it may not work out. The green light from Dr. James Andrews – and seriously, Jerry Seinfeld, you’ve never heard of Dr. Andrews? – may just yield more heartache down the road. Harvey may yet lie upon the surgeon’s table as the blades saw into his elbow.

But for today, Matt Harvey signaled this: No more waiting.

And his target was sitting next to him, the lawyerly West Coast administrator who has a chance to be the only GM in Mets history to endure declining records in each of his first three years. Sure, Alderson is hand-cuffed by his ownership’s financial woes – but he hasn’t exactly been lights-out with what he’s had to work with either.

Given the opening from the arm cutter in Florida, Harvey took the bold path. He’ll pitch his arm back into shape and go into the Spring at the head of this rotation.

And Harvey sent a clear message. No more caution. No more evaluation. No more waiting. Let’s Go!

Baseball culture has become so future-oriented with so many endless lists of prospect rankings – and it’s a zombie infection that claimed the Mets in the Alderson Era. Harvey’s message by skipping surgery is clear – play for the here and now, play for the win, change this team. And with that, Sandy Alderson is finally on the hot seat.

I almost stood and cheered.

matt harvey i got this

* * * * * * *

This is my first post for Mets Merized Online, and I’m thrilled to join the team here. MMO has an incredibly lively community of authors and commenters, all of them dedicated fans who love to argue and debate with such passion. After talking with the wise Joe D., I’m very glad to formally join the line up.

I started out as a sportswriter in 80s, covering high school and college sports for the old Gannett chain in Westchester, and then went on to cover politics as an editor for The Riverdale Press in the Bronx. Then it was an Internet company (also a journalistic venture) and two philanthropy companies. In between, I’ve written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, techPresident.com, Social Edge, Industry Standard, Inside, Worth and Contribute magazines, among many other publications. I currently write the Social Ventures blog for Forbes.

But it’s always been baseball and the Mets, since that magical season in 1969. My postings here will be occasional and I love comments, passionate arguments, and suggestions. I’m not a pure stats guy, and I love the culture and history of the game, so look for some of that. I tweet a lot – with plenty of Mets – @tomwatson.

Let’s Go Mets!

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From Left Field: Plenty Of Brooklyn Cyclones Coverage This Summer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/from-left-field-plenty-of-brooklyn-cyclones-coverage-this-summer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/from-left-field-plenty-of-brooklyn-cyclones-coverage-this-summer.html/#comments Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121935 So if you Mets fans out there are anything like me, it pains you to see how poorly our favorite team is playing.

Usually at this time, the team is at least still somewhat relevant and playing somewhat exciting baseball.

But not this year.

MCU Park

Sure, there are some good things to look forward to with the big-league club, especially the much-anticipated debut of Zack Wheeler on Tuesday.

However, later on in the day Tuesday, the Mets’ short-season Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, will open their 13th season in Coney Island.

I have been tabbed the Cyclones’ beat reporter for Mets Merized Online, and I’m excited for this opportunity to get to know the prospects who are way down on the farm.

Many of these guys are right out of high school and college and have a long road ahead of them. But they surely will be showing up each night with enthusiasm as they begin their baseball careers.

Just look at the Mets’ roster right now. Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Josh Satin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin and Juan Lagares all were Brooklyn Cyclones. Not to mention some first baseman in the Mets’ farm system named Ike Davis.

I will be covering the majority of the home games this summer and will try to provide brief updates on road games. I will have player insights, and maybe I will try to develop a weekly spot with manager Rich Donnelly – a coach who has seen it all in his experience with baseball.

brooklyn cyclones

I’m always open to suggestions about my coverage. Got a question for a prospect? Got a story idea? I’d love to hear about it. I will be checking the comments section of my stories frequently, so drop me a note and I’ll take care of the rest.

I hope you enjoy the coverage of the future Mets. It’s certainly a luxury to have a minor-league affiliate so close to the parent club.

And MCU Park is truly a great venue to watch a ballgame. After Hurricane Sandy, the Cyclones ripped up the damaged grass field and installed a beautiful FieldTurf surface. It will be interesting to see how this affects the game.

I’ll be bringing you all that and more this summer. Thank you in advance for following the Cyclones!

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MMO Exclusive: Jack Leathersich Is Coming Fast And He Wants To Win! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mmo-exclusive-jack-leathersich-is-coming-fast-and-he-wants-to-win.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mmo-exclusive-jack-leathersich-is-coming-fast-and-he-wants-to-win.html/#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 16:08:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=107226 I had the chance to talk to New York Mets left-handed pitching prospect Jack Leathersich last February before he headed to Port St. Lucie for the start of Spring Training.

With the news that Jack has been promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, I thought today would be the perfect time to look back at what me and him talked about during our phone conversation where we both covered a lot of ground.

Jack is 2-0 with three saves this season and a 1.53 ERA. He also has an incredible 55 strikeouts in 29.1 innings and 194 strikeouts in 114.0 innings overall during his minor league career.

Enjoy…

After being taken by the Mets in the 5th round of the 2011 MLB draft, Jack has now completed two solid and exciting years as a pro, and has quickly risen up the ranks of many a Mets top prospects list. The talented southpaw has posted some dazzling strikeout numbers at each level as he quickly moves through the Mets system.

Jack, 22, is a well grounded young man who loves the game and has a profound respect for the art of pitching. He sees each new challenge as another opportunity to learn more about his craft and improving his approach. In my conversation with him, I could tell how important winning was to him and he often mentioned how much he wants to help his teammates and the team succeed.

In our interview, we discussed how far he has come in the last two years in terms of his development and what his goals are for this season. I asked him who he likens himself to, some of the players he’s looked up to, the things he’s learned as a pro, and a host of other subjects. Enjoy the interview…

Joe D. – First of all congratulations on a successful second pro season last year and for helping St. Lucie get into the FSL playoffs. It must have been quite an exciting year for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers at MetsMerizedOnline.com. Here goes and reply back at your convenience.

Joe D. – When did your workout schedule begin and can you describe your regimen and how you stay in shape in the offseason?

Jack - I started working about September 10 which was about five days after the season ended. I work out and train at Cresse Performance where they have a new facility with everything we need. I know Eric Cresse personally and he’s the best of the best. It’s a large facility and a lot of the pros all go there — they have two cages and two mounds, a full staff and all the workout equipment you need.

Joe D. – What specifically do you work on when you’re Cresse’s, do you have a specific program or regimen that you go through?

Jack – They designed a personal workout program that is suited to my needs and goals. It focuses on heavy legs, shoulder care, and of course arm care. After a long season, stuff starts to break down and you need to get it back to full strength.

Joe D. – How was your stamina at the end of the season?

Jack – It was good. After my first year in 2011, going from my final college season and then onto Brooklyn, I got very tired at the end of the season and I just broke down. I learned how hard a season can be and how long it is. That offseason I learned that there are things I can do that will help me stay strong all year. I don’t really take a long break after the season ends and I prefer instead to workout and build my strength and stamina. I did a pretty good job last year and I stayed strong and felt better because of it. That’s why it was important for me to continue what I started as far as working out after the season. so that I could take care of my arm so that I could keep it as fresh as it can be. Having a tired arm my first year was one of the worst things.

Joe D. – What was the most important lesson you took from last season?

Jack – Being more consistent. Last season I was blessed because I got to work with two great pitching coaches, Frank Viola and Phil Regan. Those two are the best of the best and there aren’t two better pitching coaches anywhere. Sometimes I can get a little inconsistent with my mechanics and that’s always been my biggest downfall. But those two really helped me to become more consistent with my delivery. Also, I sometimes have a tendency to start flying open a little bit and I end up leaving too many balls up which can get me into trouble. But they taught me how to keep the ball down more consistently and especially with my breaking ball and changeup.

Joe D. - Describe your arsenal for me.

Jack - I only throw a four-seam fast ball, I don’t throw a two-seamer any more because it was slower and flatter, so now I just stick with the four-seamer. My other two pitchers are a slider and change-up, I guess you’d say that’s pretty standard for a lefty.

Joe D. - What kind of action and movement do you have on your fastball, it’s obviously missing a lot of bats.

Jack - It runs in late and has nice action. I try to keep it low in the zone and outside with it early, and then I like to come in on a hitter late in the count. My goal is to try and catch the hitter off guard.

Joe D. - Are you working on any new pitches or are you going to stick with those three for now?

Jack - Obviously I’ve thought about it and I’ve thought about a cutter or something like that. But I don’t really believe that the more pitches you can throw the better you are. I’ve really worked hard this offseason to make my three pitches the best that they can be. Trying to work on a new pitch can make you lose sight of making the pitches you already throw, better. I think it’s important for me right now to focus and just work on refining the pitches I already have. It would be great to come into a game and have all three of them pitches working like they’re supposed to all at once.

Joe D. – Do you have a particular way that you like to go after hitters? What is your mindset when you take the mound? Do you have the same approach whether there are runners on base or not?

Jack – No, not really. I go up there and I’m just trying to get ahead in the count and get some outs. I’m not afraid to let them hit the ball, especially at this level where I know my teammates have my back and so far they have been unbelievable. They are out there making all the plays and I trust them. I try not to think about the situation and I pretty much prefer to just go after guys and attack that situation pitch by pitch. I try to stay calm and my goal is to keep my team in it and hopefully we end up with the “W” after the game.

Joe D. – So Basically you’re telling me you like to get up on the mound and just start pounding the zone, going after each hitter one at a time, and not being afraid to pitch to contact? You’re pretty much telling the hitter, “here’s my best pitch, take your best shot at it?”

Jack – Absolutely. Exactly. But don’t get me wrong… If I read the pitching report and I know that a hitter can’t hit a breaking ball then he’ll get the best breaking ball I can throw. I’m not trying to over-think things, I try to stay focused on how to get a hitter out. I believe that if I can make good pitches, I’m gonna get most guys out. I trust all of my pitches.

Joe D. – Are those pitching reports a big part of your preparation before each game?

Jack – Oh yeah. At the higher levels from what I’ve noticed you pay attention to details more and I learn a bunch about hitters from my teammates as well. I like to hang around the older guys who come to St. Lucie to do their rehabs – you can really learn so much from them and they are always willing to help. There’s a lot that goes into pitching. But the bottom line is that you really have to use your head out there and not over-think everything so much.

Joe D. – Normally, when you look at a lefthanded reliever and check out his splits you expect to see that he dominates lefthanded hitters more than righthanded hitters. Last season, LH hitters hit only .256 against you in St. Lucie, not bad. But you held RH hitters to a .205 average. Is that normal for you?

Jack – Actually, I didn’t even know those numbers. I don’t think about that too much. Obviously I have a different game plan for left-handed and right-handed hitters, but I basically try to stick with the same stuff – try to attack with my fastball and use my offspeed stuff when I need to. I mean lefty or righty, it doesn’t really make a difference to me – I don’t really mind facing either and you do have to get good at facing both of them.

Joe D. – We often see many left-handed relievers steered towards careers as a bullpen specialist in the majors or pigeon-holed into a LOOGY role. But sometimes you come across a southpaw like you that possesses great crossover stuff and is highly effective against both leftys and rightys. A lot of us are excited about the possibilities of your future moving forward with the Mets.

Jack – Thank you.

Joe D. – You started out last season with a bang, I mean you were untouchable. Then you had a couple of bumpy months in June and August, but you finished extremely strong and held the opposition to a .194 batting average in your last ten appearances with 24 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. Did you make some sort of an adjustment toward the end?

Jack – It’s a long season and I’ve learned a lot last year about myself and about pitching. I went through a little rut those months and at the time it was really frustrating and I was being really hard on myself. But as I look back, it made me a lot better in the long run. It’s a learning process — there’s a reason why every pitcher doesn’t have a zero ERA. You’re gonna get hit at some point and what’s important is how you bounce back and that you are better because of it. I was unhappy at times obviously, but it was good and I’m happy now because I went through it and learned a lot from that last year. It was good.

Joe D. – From many of the other players I’ve watched and spoken to over the years, one of the common things I hear about when they are going through a rut, is that eventually they came out of it once they stopped thinking so much about it. The ones who come out of it quickly are the ones who stay positive, go back to basics, keep within themselves and basically start having some fun again.

Jack –  Absolutely. Baseball is a game, but I also understand that it’s my job and I take that very seriously. What matters most to me is that the team is winning. No matter what I will always give my best effort when I’m out there so that me and my teammates win as many games as we can. I try to keep my emotions to myself and try to think positive all the time. Negative thoughts are not only going to make it tough on you, but it also makes it tough on your teammates and you don’t want to do that. Just like you said, it’s all about staying positive, keeping it fun and remembering it’s a game.

Joe D. – Don’t ever forget that, Jack.

Jack – Definitely, I won’t.

Joe D. - This will be your second spring with the Mets. What do they have you doing this spring? What do they have you focusing on?

Jack – I haven’t had a chance to discuss what the plan is with my coaches yet, but I can tell you that I’m in the best shape I can possibly be in and that my arm feels great and I’m ready to go. It doesn’t really matter to me what their plan for me is, I’m more focused on doing what ever they need me to do to help the team win. Wherever I end up this season, my mindset never changes, I want to help my team win.

Joe D. – Speaking of where you end up, I have every reason to believe that we’ll be seeing you at Double-A Binghamton – perhaps even to begin the season. Going from High-A to AA is probably the biggest and most challenging jump for any prospect. How do you prepare for something like? What do you need to focus on to excel at that next level?

Jack – I try not to think about that too much. I’m just going to always try and put myself in a situation where I’m playing at my best and then see what happens from there.

Joe D. – So what are you saying – you’re a “take-it-as-it-comes” type of guy?

Jack – Absolutely. But look, I’ve heard that Double-A is a big jump and the that hitters are so much better up there and harder to get out, but that’s why I’ve been working on improving my offspeed pitches this offseason. And that’s why I’m very focused on trying to refine everything right now especially my offspeed stuff.

Joe D. – Since the end of last season, I’ve been telling anyone that will listen that you are the best left-hander in the system AND that I wouldn’t be shocked to see you in the majors as soon as 2013. Fast forward three months later… During a Q&A with season ticket holders at Citi Field in February, Mets Exec J.P. Ricciardi was asked what prospect he was most excited to see this season. Dude, he picked you! And not only that, he said you’re one of the prospects who could get a taste of the big leagues at some point this year. What have you got to say about that?

Jack – (After a nice chuckle) You know thanks so much, and J.P. – well he’s a great guy, and we have a pretty good relationship. That’s great, but it doesn’t really mean anything until I can go out there and do it and prove that I belong. I need to go out there this season and do my thing. I need to show them that I deserve to climb the ladder. Actions speak a lot louder than words. I’m gonna show up, let them know that I’m happy to be here, and that I’m ready to go. Let’s see what happens.

Joe D. - You spent some time in Savannah to start last season before finishing up in St. Lucie. Tell our readers what teammate you were you most impressed with last season and why? Who really stood out to you last year and who should Met fans be really excited about?

T.J. Rivera batted .320/.372/.444 for Savannah and St. Lucie in 2012.

Jack - Oh yeah, definitely T.J. Rivera - he’s the one. He’s the real deal. I’ve never been around a kid who prepares as well as he does. He just really loves the game and it seems like every time I see him he’s out on the field working on something. Rivera plays hard and is completely balls to the wall – he’ll do anything to make sure we win. He’s a great teammate and obviously a great player and everybody should be real excited about him. If he continues the great things he did last season, and I’m pretty sure that he will, he’ll be a lot of fun to watch.

Joe D. – What baseball team did you root for growing up? Who is your favorite player? Is there a major league player, past or present, that you think you are similar to in style? Or someone that you can see yourself pitching like someday in the majors?

Jack – I was a Boston Red Sox fan growing up, but my favorite player has always been Tom Glavine actually.

Joe D. – No kidding? Glavine huh… Most Met fans are very familiar with that guy. What are some of the comparisons you’ve heard about yourself?

Jack – Obviously every pitcher is different, but I hear the name Billy Wagner a lot, although I must admit I don’t have the stuff he has.

Joe D. – Don’t sell yourself short. In preparing for this interview I discovered your numbers compared amazingly well to Billy Wagner at the same age and level, and you both have similar builds and height. Your strikeout  and walk rates, and your WHIP, BAA, K/BB are actually all significantly better, and I for one am very excited about that.

Jack – I mean that’s what I’ve heard too, but I’m just trying to be my own player. Billy Wagner, man I loved watching him on the mound, he was just fearless every time he pitched. He couldn’t care less who was up at the plate because he knew he was going to get that batter out. And as for Tom Glavine, his command was ridiculous – he could the ball anywhere he wanted. I remember the times my dad and I would sit on our couch to see him pitch – analyzing everything about the way he pitched. He was fun to watch.

Joe D. – Give me a message for the fans… What do you want to tell them as we wrap this baby up?

Jack – I just want to win this year, wherever the team decides to put me. I’m committed to winning. I owe that to myself and my teammates. I’m going to go out there and do my job and that is to get outs  - pitch by pitch. My desire is to win and I want to represent the Mets organization well.

Joe D. – Thanks so much, Jack. Go out there and have a kick-ass season….

Jack – You bet, it’s been a pleasure

Jack’s been my sleeper since the day we drafted him… Look for big things from him in 2013 and even a late call-up. You can follow Jack Leathersich on Twitter at @LeatherRocket.

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MetsMinors.net Is Here! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/metsminors-net-is-here.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/metsminors-net-is-here.html/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 13:02:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=119381 mets minors net head

Some readers have become accustomed to the great minor league coverage here on Mets Merized Online over the past couple of months. Truth be told, the reason you have seen such an abundance of coverage lately was because we have been gearing up for something big…

INTROUDUCING METSMINORS.NET!!!

MMO, was the first site to provide daily Mets minor league recaps in 2005, years before everyone else decided to join the party.

After almost ten years of providing more prospect interviews and the most comprehensive coverage of the Mets minors you could find anywhere, we decided it was time for a new site dedicated solely to Mets Minor League coverage.

In addition to individual daily recaps for each affiliate, we plan on providing you with over two dozen regular weekly features, detailed original player analysis, updated prospects rankings, a weekly Top Prospect Watch, daily updated statistics, exclusive player interviews, photo galleries, video and audio features, and so much more.

In addition to the Mets minor league coverage, we have also assembled a five man team who will also focus solely on the MLB Draft.

In short, our powerhouse staff is committed to providing Mets fans with a very unique and ultimate experience – a total experience that will be unmatched.

Our goal is to be the best, and we are dedicated to achieving that with hard work, real insight and analysis, and an incredible stream of non-stop coverage that you, the Met fan, truly deserve.

We reached out to the New York Mets and they are excited for us, and so are all of the players who have already reached out to us. And just like MMO revolutionized how Mets minor league coverage should be, MetsMinors.net is now ready to reach even greater heights and set the bar higher.

Thoughts from Satish Ram

So the Mets Minors Initiative, much like the Avengers Initiative, is out to do something special – and save some lives. You might be ready to call me over dramatic, but the amount of young talent the Mets have knocking on the door in their minor league system is a breath of fresh air compared to the current major league product.

Covering the minor leagues is a different animal than I’ve been used to - but I have to say I’ve loved every second of it. I took a lot of pride in being able to contribute whatever I could to the Metsmerized Minor League coverage – and MetsMinors.Net will be no different. I have no less than the utmost confidence in my two partners, Mitch and Matt, and the entire team that composes MetsMinors.Net.

I also want to extend a little thank you to all of our consistent and educated readers here at MMO and I hope that you follow us over to our new companion site, where we will aspire to provide you with the absolute best in Mets Minor League coverage.

Thoughts from Matt Musico

I’m incredibly excited to join the MMO family, and more specifically, MetsMinors.net. I’ve been searching for a while to find a site that covers the minor leagues in detail, and I didn’t think I’d actually end up being a part of it. This will be a great site that will be a one-stop shop for everything with regard to the Mets minor leagues.

When I officially joined the initiative, I was stepping out of my comfort zone because I’ve never covered the minors in much detail, but working with Mitch and Satish have helped me adjust to my new role. I speak for us all when I say that we appreciate everyone who will be crossing over to read us in addition to all of the great content here on MMO.

Your support and desire to get more minor league coverage helped make this happen, and we’re dedicated to bringing you everything that you’re asking for!

So whether you are a fan who just wants to keep up with the big name prospects, or a fan who loves following everyone in the Mets minor league system extensively, MetsMinors.net is the site for you.

As our slogan says:

The Future of the Mets Begins Right Here!

MMN Twitter headshot

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I’ve Really Gotta Hand It To The Mets This Time… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/ive-really-gotta-hand-it-to-the-mets-this-time.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/ive-really-gotta-hand-it-to-the-mets-this-time.html/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:05:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111889 mets 2013 tickets

I just caught a glimpse of what this season’s Opening day tickets look like, courtesy of Leigh Castergine, VP of Ticket Sales & Services for the New York Mets, and I must say they look spectacular!

Those tickets are so awesome… I love the vintage look and of course the image of The Franchise, Tom Seaver just makes them an instant Mets collectible.

I thought it would be pretty tough to top last year’s tickets, which were also great, honoring 50 Years of Mets Baseball, with each ticket featuring a prominent figure from Mets lore.

Just a great job by the Mets on this and it’s so good to see them embracing their history like never before, especially in the last two years. A hat tip to you all from all of us at Mets Merized Online.

I hate the fact that the Mets are always being picked apart by the usual suspects for the silliest things. Lately, almost every little thing they do gets magnified to umpteenth degree, with so many so-called fans always trying to create a drama when there really isn’t any.

I think we need to cut all of that nonsense out and instead start giving them credit especially when it’s due. For the most part they do a lot of good things that go unnoticed – and that shouldn’t be the case.

leigh castergineBy the way, I recently learned that Leigh came to the Mets a couple of years ago with some impressive credentials on her resume.

She once worked for the NBA’s Orlando Magic and prior to joining the Mets she was Director of Sales for the NHL’s Boston Bruins.

I had no idea she was such a seasoned veteran. I say we make her co-captain with David Wright:-)

You can follow Leigh on Twitter at @LeighJC_NYM.

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Charity Auction For Signed Rusty Staub Bobblehead! Bid Now! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/charity-auction-for-signed-rusty-staub-bobblehead-bid-now.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/charity-auction-for-signed-rusty-staub-bobblehead-bid-now.html/#comments Tue, 12 Mar 2013 04:22:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110795 Staub bobbleheadThere is only about 15 minutes remaining to bid on a signed Rusty Staub bobblehead in a charity auction to support the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund. 100% of the proceeds from the auction go toward supporting the families of local heroes who were killed in the line of duty.

Bid Here Now

Rusty signed the bobblehead during his Google Hangout Podcast  last week in which he sat down with a panel of Mets bloggers including our own Stephen Hanks representing Mets Merized Online.

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In case you missed it, you can watch the entire hangout with Rusty here:

The Benefit Fund’s mission is to provide assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Port Authority Police and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. The Benefit Fund gives financial assistance to grieving families immediately after they lose their loved one. Our goal is to raise enough funds to provide meaningful annual distributions to our beneficiaries for the remainder of their lives.

Since the Benefit Fund’s inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the Benefit Fund has distributed over $123 million to the families of New York City police and fire personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. Though the Benefit Fund was initially created to assist families of New York City Fire Fighters and Police Officers, we now include the families of Emergency Medical Services and Port Authority Officers as well. In 1987 we provided 320 families with annual financial assistance and by 2010, we made the same commitment to nearly 700 families. Our need has certainly grown, but our mission remains pure: help children and spouses who lost a loved one in the line of duty, charged with the task of keeping our families safe.

So help support the cause and bid now!

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JOIN US NOW FOR A LIVE HANGOUT WITH RUSTY STAUB! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/join-us-now-for-a-live-hangout-with-rusty-staub.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/join-us-now-for-a-live-hangout-with-rusty-staub.html/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 20:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=109173 Rusty-Staub

LETS TALK METS BASEBALL WITH RUSTY STAUB!

GOOGLE HANGOUT WITH RUSTY BEGINS AT 3:00 PM!

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WATCH IT ON METSMERIZED LIVE!

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Help raise awareness for the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.

The charity was started by Rusty in 1985 to help the widow’s and children of New York first responders killed in the line of duty.

Joining us on the hangout will be Mark Berman of Blogging Mets and of course our own Stephen Hanks who will be representing Mets Merized Online.

In addition we will have some of Rusty’s fans joining us. If you would like to have a chance to join us in the hangout we have one spot open.

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Will Mike Piazza’s Admissions Still Wind Up Hurting Hall Of Fame Chances? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/will-mike-piazzas-admissions-still-wind-up-hurting-hall-of-fame-chances.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/02/will-mike-piazzas-admissions-still-wind-up-hurting-hall-of-fame-chances.html/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 16:34:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=107706 I am so excited to receive my copy of Mike Piazza’s autobiography, Long Shot, which I pre-ordered several weeks ago.

But of course, I can’t control myself in reading all the news stories about what is actually in the book before I read it for myself.

Long Shot Mike PiazzaSo that leads me to a very intriguing discussion.

Piazza admitted in his book to using androstenedione and Ephedra before the substances were banned, according to the New York Post. The 12-time All-Star catcher also said in his book that he took Vioxx (an anti-inflammatory), “greenies” (stimulants) and Dymetadrine (asthma medicine), the Post reports.

The New York Times reports that Piazza wrote in the book that he inquired about HGH, not knowing it was a banned substance, but his trainer advised against using it.

So let’s assume that Piazza is clean of HGH. He claims he never used “steroids,” and to this point, we all know he has never had a positive test on record.

But the real question now is how will Piazza’s admission to using these other drugs – mainly the currently-banned substances of andro and Ephedra – affect his chances at the Hall of Fame.

There will likely continue to be a rift amongst the voters. Some will say that since these substances were legal at the time, Piazza was not cheating. However, some will say that he was still enhancing his performance by using the substances, thus tainting his incredible numbers.

If I had to guess, the voters that voted for him this year will vote for him again next year. But then again, some may now change their vote since Piazza admitted to using “substances” during his career.

Of the writers that did not vote for him this year based on the suspicion of drug use, some may change their votes since Piazza admits to have never used “illegal substances.” But of course, the majority will have their initial inklings about Piazza confirmed and therefore will continue to exclude him from Cooperstown.

Talk about a voting conundrum!

I’m not exactly sure if Piazza’s book will help or hurt him. It almost begs the question of why he would even choose to admit anything in the first place. The timing of the book’s release is also strange, since he could have “cleared his name” before the voting occurred.

But then again, would his admission to using drugs clear his name or would it spark even more speculation like it already has?

I want to believe Piazza. I feel like he might have kept quiet if he used banned substances and would have hoped that no test results ever leaked.

He instead chose to be honest, and from what he admitted in the book, he never cheated according to what was and what was not illegal at the time.

I’m eager to see what else he has to say in his book. I just hope that all the juicy excerpts haven’t been revealed already.

The release of this book just keeps Piazza’s name in the news cycle, which will spark much more debate on whether he’s worthy of baseball immortality.

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Metsmerized Hall of Fame: Jerry Koosman, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/metsmerized-hall-of-fame-jerry-koosman-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/metsmerized-hall-of-fame-jerry-koosman-lhp.html/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 14:14:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=101523

Last week Mets Merized Online rolled out our Metsmerized Hall of Fame. We will be enshrining one player each week until our five founding members are all unveiled. So far, we’ve selected Tom Seaver in week one, and Keith Hernandez in week two. After our five Founding Members are selected, we will ask you, our readers, to cast your ballot for who should be selected for enshrinement in 2013. Learn more by visiting our Metsmerized Hall of Fame. It’s with great pleasure that we announce our third founding member of the Metsmerized Hall of Fame…

Out Of The Shadows: Jerry Koosman

There have been many great players who lived in the shadow of an even greater teammate. Lou Gehrig had Babe Ruth. Don Drysdale had Sandy Koufax. Jeff Kent had Barry Bonds. Jerry Koosman had Tom Seaver.

Along with Seaver, Koosman played in a time when pitching dominated the game. It seemed like every team had a legitimate ace. However, no team had a 1-2 righty-lefty punch like the Mets. While Tom Seaver turned the Mets into a legitimate team, it was with Koosman pitching the next game that turned the Mets into a pitching powerhouse.

In the mid 1960’s, a young man stationed at Fort Bliss, TX saw one of his fellow soldiers pitching. The man wrote a letter to his father who worked as an usher at Shea Stadium and told his dad about this ‘guy who looks pretty good.’ The usher told some people in the Mets brass about this young kid named Jerry Koosman. Eventually, the Mets gambled and signed the young LHP after being discharged from the Army.

The relationship between Jerry and the Mets got off to a rocky start. En route to his first spring training his car broke down. Standing on the side of the road, broke and broken down, Koosman called the Mets who regrettably wired money to this kid. The always frugal Mets were already disenchanted with having to shell out a few bucks to a nobody. They were ready to give up on him when Joe McDonald had a different idea. He suggested to keep Koosman until he got his first paycheck so they could at least see him pitch. After his first paycheck, they planned to dock him the money they forked over for a tow truck.

In 1968, rookie Koosman burst onto the scene. The Mets won 73 games that season. Koosman won 19 of them. He also whiffed 178 and posted a 2.08 ERA to go along with 7 shut-outs. The wins, shutouts and ERA were Mets records, set the previous season by teammate Tom Seaver. The 7 shut-outs stood as the team record until 1985. On July 9 of that season, the Mets rookie appeared in his first of 2 consecutive All-Star games. In the only 1-0 game in All-Star history, Koosman struck out Carl Yastrzemski to record the save.

At the end of the year, Koosman was in the shadows. He finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting, losing out to Reds catcher and future Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.

As the Mets found themselves in their first pennant race ever the following season, Jerry was struggling. On August 12, 1969, the Mets lost to Houston 9-8. Kooz gave up 6 ER in 6 1/3 IP. He dropped to 9-8 and with 6 weeks left the Mets dropped to 9 games back.

Koosman then turned it up a notch. He displayed for the first time that he was a ‘Big Game Pitcher.’ As the Miracle took form and the Mets chased down the heavily favored Cubs, Jerry went 8-1. He finished the season 17-9 with 180 strikeouts and a 2.28 ERA.

In Game 1 of the World Series, the Orioles showed why they were heavily favored over the Amazins. Mets ace and 25 game winner Tom Seaver didn’t make it past the 5th. He allowed 4 ER’s and 6 hits. Mets faithful began wondering if reality was setting in.

Under the brightest spotlight in Baseball, Jerry yet again shone. In game 2, Koosman took the mound. And took control. When the Mets NEEDED a victory, he stepped up. The big bats like Frank and Brooks Robinson, Paul Blair and Boog Powell went silent. Koosman conjured up images of Don Larsen as he took a no-hitter into the 6th. Jerry got the win, allowing just 2 hits in 8 2/3. The series was now tied 1-1 and went back to Shea.

A few days later, Koosman took the mound again. With the Mets up 3-1 and just 27 outs shy of a championship, knowing a loss would send the series back to Baltimore, Koosman struggled early, allowing a couple of HR’s. But with the Mets trailing 3-0 early, he didn’t crack. He settled down and took control of the game. The Mets won 5-3 and The Miracle came to fruition. Koosman pitched a complete game, allowing 5 hits and 3 ER.

The Mets won 4 games to 1. Koosman was the winning pitcher in 2 of them.

In 1971 and 1972, Koosman struggled. He battled arm problems in 71 and went just 6-11. He struggled again in 72, posting a record of 11-12 and his ERA of 4.14 was over a run higher than his career average.

1973 saw the Mets in the midst of one of the tightest pennant races ever. On August 17th, the Mets were only 7 ½ back, but were in last place and 13 games under 500. As he did 4 years earlier, Koosman performed brilliantly down the stretch. As the Mets ended up eking out a division title, Jerry did not lose. He went 5-0 and when the Mets needed him the most, he tossed 31 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, a record that stood for almost 40 years until RA Dickey in 2012.

In the 73 NLCS, it was Koosman who was on the mound for Game 3, a game better remembered for the altercation between Buddy Harrelson and Pete Rose.

In game 5 of the Fall Classic, he outpitched another great LHP, Vida Blue. He allowed just 3 hits and no earned runs through 6 1/3 innings pitched. The Mets won the game and with Koosman’s victory, the Mets were just 1 win away from their 2nd championship. As Koosman walked off the mound, there would not be another World Series game played at Shea for 13 years.

In 1976, Koosman finally became a 20 game winner. He went 21-10 with 200 K’s and a 2.69 ERA. In spite of his stellar numbers, he was again in the shadows. He finished 2nd in the Cy Young Award to Randy Jones.

Arguably one of the top lefties in the game, Koosman could have written his own ticket. He could have gone to another team where he’d have been the ace of the staff. And playing for a different club he could have more run support than the light hitting Mets and increased his win total. But Koosman chose to stay with the team he loved…for a while.

By the late 70’s, M. Donald Grant was like a sniper with a rifle in a bell tower, slowly picking out his next victim. As Jerry Koosman stood on the mound he was surrounded by new faces, strange faces. Gone were his friends like Rusty and Cleon and Buddy. When he looked into the bullpen he didn’t see Tug McGraw. His best friend, Tom Seaver, was not in the dugout. When he’d look in at home plate it was not Jerry Grote putting down any fingers.

With the trade of Tom Seaver, Koosman became the de facto ace of the staff. But being the ace of a staff on the worst hitting team in the league is not appealing. In 1977 and 78, Kooz posted a respectable ERA of 3.62 and fanned 352 while walking 165. However, run support was non-existent. In spite of solid stats, Koosman went just 11-35.

Seeing the writing on the wall and realizing the Mets were going nowhere, the 34 year old demanded to be traded. The Appleton, MN native was sent to the Twins for young pitchers Greg Field and Jesse Orosco.

Over the next 2 seasons, the aging lefty won 36 games.

For a team that is best known for pitching, Koosman remains near the top of every Mets category. He is 3rd wins (140) and strikeouts (1799), 2nd in Shutouts (26), IP (2544), starts (346) and 5th in ERA (3.09).

During his time with Mets he was in the Top 10 in the NL in ERA five times, shutouts four times, and strikeouts six times.

Jerry Koosman was the best #2 in the game. He is the top LHP in Mets history. Buddy Harrelson once stated that in a must-win game, he’d go with Koosman every time. Of the 7 games the Mets won in the 69 and 73 World Series, Koosman won 3 of them posting a 2.39 ERA and allowing just 16 hits in 26 1/3 IP. Although he pitched in the shadow of Tom Seaver, in spite of the fact that he lost the Rookie of the Year to Johnny Bench, even though he was runner-up for the Cy Young Award in 1976 to Randy Jones, it was in the post-season where Jerry Koosman emerged from the shadows.

Congratulations to lefthander Jerry Koosman, the third Mets player to be enshrined into the…

Metsmerized Hall of Fame

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Happy Veteran’s Day From All Of Us At MMO http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/happy-veterans-day-from-all-of-us-at-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/happy-veterans-day-from-all-of-us-at-mmo.html/#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2012 05:20:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=100515

On behalf of everyone at Mets Merized Online we would like to take some time to remember and honor all of the brave servicemen and women that have served and continue to serve our great country.

Each Veteran’s Day we have an opportunity to recognize all the amazing men and women who make up the greatest military in the world. They faithfully protect our borders and our freedom and our way of life.

With the Manhattan VA shutdown after damages suffered during Hurricane Sandy, tens of thousands of veterans are now being served by the Brooklyn VA where I go for treatment and sometimes volunteer. The lines there are unbelievable now as I was there on Friday. It’s going to be that way for 6-8 months until Manhattan opens again. It’s very tough right now. With many of the active duty troops coming home and needing help physically and psychologically, you can imagine how crammed it is, and the shortage of beds is a growing concern. So hug a veteran today and just say, thanks…

God Bless you all for your unwavering loyalty, patriotism, strength and courage.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

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MMO Flashback: Jerry Koosman – A Big Game Pitcher You Could Always Count On http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/09/mmo-flashback-jerry-koosman-a-big-game-pitcher-you-could-always-count-on.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/09/mmo-flashback-jerry-koosman-a-big-game-pitcher-you-could-always-count-on.html/#comments Mon, 03 Sep 2012 00:52:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=95065 Throughout our history, we’ve had our fair share of great pitchers. The names Seaver, Gooden and Santana quickly come to mind. However, if there was one game that your life depended on, if you needed a big win, Jerry Koosman should be listed first.

The best lefty in team history, Koosman was always capable of shining in the national spotlight. By comparison, Seaver compiled a 1-2 record with a 2.70 ERA in his World Series appearances. Gooden, in 86, posted a disappointing record of 0-2. Jerry Koosman, however, was dominant.  Facing the Hall of Fame bats of the Orioles in 69 and the dynasty of the A‘s in 73, he was 3-0 with a microscopic 2.39 ERA. Although he would spend his career overshadowed, constantly being second in awards and in recognition, in the Fall Classic, Koosman was unmatched.

Born in Appleton, MN on December 23, 1942, Jerome Martin Koosman took an unusual route to the majors. While stationed at Fort Bliss, TX, an army buddy saw him pitch and thought he was pretty good. The friend wrote a letter to his father who happened to work as an usher at Shea. The letter made its way through the Mets back offices and ultimately, Koosman was signed on April 27, 1964. En route to Spring Training in 1966, however, Koosman’s car broke down. He was stranded on the side of the highway, flat broke. He contacted his new team. The Mets wired him money so he could get to Florida. This instantly put a bad taste in the mouth of the frugal Mets due to shelling out cash to a nobody. They intended to cut him as soon as he arrived. However, assistant GM, Joe McDonald, pointed out that they should at least keep Koosman on the payroll until he gets his first paycheck. Then, they could dock him and at least get back the money they wired him.

Thankfully, Koosman had a good spring and management decided to keep him around–at least for little while. On April 14, 1967, he  made his ML debut against the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. He pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief of Mets starter Jack Fisher, allowing 0 hits and striking out 2.

1968 was Koosman’s first full season and he immediately showed command of a wicked arsenal of pitches. He would go on to post a 19-12 record, a 2.08 ERA and whiff 178 batters while walking just 69. He made his first of 2 All-Star Game appearances but in spite of posting incredible numbers, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting. That award went to a catcher from Cincinnati named Johnny Bench.

In 1969, Koosman seemed to be suffering ‘The Sophomore Jinx.’ On August 12, the Astros shelled Koosman for 6 ER in 6 1/3 IP. He fell to 9-8 and the Mets fell 9 games behind the Cubs. However, ‘The Miracle’ was about to take shape. “Kooz” would go 8-1 in his last 9 decisions and help lead the Mets to the promised land. He would finish the season 17-9, a 2.28 ERA with 180 strikeouts and only 68 walks.

Game 2 of the World Series took place in Baltimore and on national TV #36 dominated. He was masterful and handled the big bats of Baltimore with ease. He conjured up images of Don Larsen’s Perfect Game as he took a no-hitter into the 7th before allowing a single to Paul Blair. The Mets won the game 2-1 and it was Jerry Koosman who gave the Mets their very first World Series win in franchise history. Tied 1 game each, the World Series now shifted to New York. Koosman would pitch again in game 5.

The date was October 16, 1969, a day that will live in infamy for Mets fans. Baltimore jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a solo HR by Frank Robinson and a 2 run HR by Orioles starter Dave McNally. However, Koosman remained tough and didn’t falter. With the exception of struggling in the 3rd inning, once again the Mets lefty shut down the Birds. The Mets won the game 5-3 to claim their first championship. Koosman pitched a complete game, allowing just 5 hits and 3 ER. It was his 2nd World Series “W” in 4 days.

Whereas the game is today dominated by the long ball, in the 70’s pitching was the name of the game. And there was arguably no better 1-2 punch than the right handed Tom Seaver and the left handed Jerry Koosman. They were dubbed ‘Tom and Jerry” in accordance with a popular cartoon at the time. As great as Koosman was, he would always be overshadowed by his teammate. Gehrig had Ruth. Drysdale had Koufax. Koosman had Seaver. On any other team, Jerry would have been the ace of the staff. But he always would be second best as long as # 41 was around. But he was fine with that. He and Seaver were good friends on and off the field. Koosman was not an ego maniac. He never demanded more money or more incentives. He fully accepted his role as #2 on our team knowing full well he could make more money and obtain more headlines elsewhere.

After struggling with injuries in 71 and 72, he returned to form in 73. Even though he posted a losing record (14-15), his ERA was 2.84, his lowest since 69. It was Koosman who was on the mound for game 3 in the NLCS against the Reds. Although he shut down the Reds en route to a 9-2 win, the game was better remembered for the on field brawl started by Pete Rose. After outlasting the Reds in 5 games, the Mets faced the defending World Champion A’s. Just as they’ve done in every World Series in our history, the Mets lost game 1. Koosman took the mound in game 2. However, he could not silence the big bats of Oakland. He was chased early, allowing 6 hits, 3 ER and 3 walks in just 2 1/3 innings. But the Mets battled back and also had their way with A’s lefty Vida Blue. The Mets won 10-7 in 12 innings, thanks in large part to closer Tug McGraw pitching six (6) innings in relief.

Jerry would take the mound in game 5 and returned to his traditional World Series form. He allowed 0 ER and just 3 hits through 6 1/3, picked up the win and put the Mets up 3 games to 2, just one win away from another ‘miracle.’ It was the last World Series game we’d win for 13 years.

Throughout the 70’s, Tom and Jerry continued to dominate the NL. Koosman’s best season came in 1976. He became a 20 game winner, going 21-10 and finally reaching 200 K’s. He ended the season with an impressive 2.69 ERA and seemed to have a lock on the Cy Young Award. However, Koosman was once again in the shadows, finishing 2nd in the voting to Randy Jones of San Diego.

As the late 70’s approached, the Mets were sinking into the abyss. One by one, our stars were being traded and/or outright discarded. On June 15, 1977, the Mets sent Tom Seaver to the Reds. By default, Koosman now ascended into the #1 spot. He did not do well.

Perhaps it was his age. Perhaps it was his workload catching up with him. Or perhaps he was just tired. As he looked around, his teammates and friends from the glory days of 69 and 73 were all gone;  Seaver, McGraw, Cleon, Harrelson, Garrett.  After winning 21 games the previous year, Koosman became a 20 game loser in 77. Things did not improve the following season. It was not his fault. The Mets were next to last in the majors in team BA and dead last in runs scored. For 77 and 78, Koosman fanned 365 while walking only 165. His ERA was 3.63. Yet, his won-loss record was an embarrassing 11-35.

After the Mets lost 96 games in 78 and with no sign of things improving, Koosman raised the ire of some Mets fans by demanding to be traded. He wanted to go home. The Mets obliged his request and sent him to the Twins for pitchers Greg Field and Jesse Orosco.  Kooz returned to form in Minnesota and showed that even at age 36 he was still a force to be reckoned with. He would go on to win 20 games in 79 and 16 the year after. In 1980, he recorded 15 K’s in one game. Jerry would go on to pitch until 1985 for the White Sox and Phillies. Perhaps his most notorious feat outside of New York was giving up Pete Rose’s 4000th hit. Jerry’s career spanned 19 years and over that time he compiled 222 wins and 2556 strikeouts. He frequently jokes about the fact that his Topps Rookie Card is worth ‘a fortune.’ Of course, also appearing on the card was another young Mets pitcher, Nolan Ryan.

Although Koosman did not have the natural gifts of Tom Seaver, he was a true workhorse and quite possibly the best #2 pitcher in his day. He was an intelligent pitcher. Crafty. Whereas most hitters hated batting at Shea cause of the airplanes, Koosman used it to his advantage. Only a few years ago, long after his retirement, he admitted that he tried to coordinate his delivery with the planes screaming overhead. He led the Mets in wins 3 times, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts twice and ERA once. He was 3-0 in The Fall Classic and the Mets never lost a World Series game in which Koosman started.

We hope you enjoyed this MMO Flashback which was originally posted on October 28, 2009 by Rob Silverman, AKA Tie Dyed. Rob will soon be celebrating his fifth year anniversary with Mets Merized Online.

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MMO Player Of The Week: Lucas Duda http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/06/mmo-player-of-the-week-lucas-duda.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/06/mmo-player-of-the-week-lucas-duda.html/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:30:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=84534 The MMO Player of the Week for this week had himself a huge week and looks like he’s heating up and getting ready to deliver some big numbers for the Mets.

Congratulations to…

This week includes the final game of the Cardinals series, the 3-game series against the Nationals and the 3-game series against the Yankees. Check out how well Duda did this week!

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Duda now leads the team with ten home runs and 36 RBIs!

Hey what’s this?

We interrupt this post for a very special announcement!

 

Hey Mets fans,

We are Gameday Goods and we are teaming up with Mets Merized Online.   Gameday Goods is a Brooklyn based sport gift company that is your provider for sports art, memorabilia, merchandise, apparel and photography.  Gameday Goods covers the MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL and NCAA.  We are working together with Mets Merized Online to provide you Mets fans with an opportunity to get great deals on sports gifts.  Show your support for Gameday Goods and Mets Merized Online by shopping at gamedaygoods.com.  We will post promotions every Tuesday with the Player of the Week Post.

This weeks POTW is Lucas Duda.  Duda had a solid weekend despite the sweep by the Yankees.  Purchase this Lucas Duda framed photo from gamedaygoods.com for $39.99.

Other Gameday Goods products for Mets fans include this Johan Santana Fat Head for only $74.99 or this Johan Santana signed baseball for just $125.99.

Remember to enter in the discount code MMOMETS to get free shipping on any purchase from gamedaygoods.com.

GO METS!!!!!

This Week’s Honorable Mentions

Scott Hairston

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AB

H

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

AVG

7

15

6

5

1

0

2

3

2

4

.400

Omar Quintanilla

G

AB

H

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

AVG

7

19

6

4

2

0

1

2

3

5

.316

David Wright

G

AB

H

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

AVG

7

27

8

5

0

1

2

2

3

2

.296

R.A. Dickey

G

IP

W

L

SV

R

ER

BB

K

AVG

WHIP

1

7.1

1

0

0

0

0

2

8

.167

0.82

Not So Hot

Jon Rauch

Johan Santana

Jason Bay

Andres Torres

Daniel Murphy

Player Of The Week Scoreboard

1. David Wright – 3

2. Johan Santana – 2

3. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, R.A. Dickey, Andres Torres, Lucas Duda – 1

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One Hour Left! Win VIP Tickets To Knuckleball, Movie Poster Signed By Dickey! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/one-hour-left-win-vip-tickets-to-knuckleball-movie-poster-signed-by-dickey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/04/one-hour-left-win-vip-tickets-to-knuckleball-movie-poster-signed-by-dickey.html/#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2012 23:53:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=77156

ONLY ONE HOUR LEFT!!!

9:00 PM DEADLINE

WIN VIP TICKETS & SIGNED MOVIE POSTER!!!

On Saturday April 21, the baseball documentary Knuckleball! will be premiering at a free screening as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan. The film highlights the famed pitch and profiles the two most recent knuckleballers, the Mets’ own R.A. Dickey and former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.

The Tribeca Drive-in will open at 6:00 pm and include live music, giveaways, baseball trivia contests and pitching clinics with pro knuckleballers R.A. Dickey; Tim Wakefield, formerly of the Boston Red Sox; Charlie Hough, formerly of the Dodgers and Rangers; and former New York Yankee Jim Bouton. The World Premiere of Knuckleball! will follow at 8:15 pm.

WIN A FREE PAIR OF VIP TICKETS TO PREMIERE!

PLUS A MOVIE POSTER SIGNED BY R.A. DICKEY!

Mets Merized Online is pleased to announce that one of our lucky readers plus a guest will have the pleasure of attending the screening as well as all the other festivities. These tickets are for exclusive VIP seating.

PLUS – The winner will also receive an original Knuckleball! movie poster hand signed by R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough and Jim Bouton. How awesome is that!

For your chance to win, please answer this question:

R.A. Dickey has tossed only one complete game shutout as a member of the New York Mets. Which team did he beat and what was the final score of that game?

Send your responses to GetMetsmerized@aol.com by Monday night at 9:00PM, and on Tuesday afternoon we will randomly select one lucky winner.

The winner and a guest will sit in a special reserved VIP section at the premiere and receive a signed movie poster by R.A. Dickey, Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, and Jim Bouton. The winner will have to pick up the poster at the event between 5:30 and 6:30 at a special designated location I will provide them. When you get there, you tell ‘em Joe D. from Metsmerized sent you! ;-)

OVER 150 ENTRIES ALREADY RECEIVED!

CONTEST ENDS TONIGHT AT 9PM!

Good Luck To All Of You!

A Synopsis of Knuckleball! 

Acclaimed documentarians Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (The Devil Came on Horseback, TFF 2007; Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, TFF 2010) deconstruct the unpredictable and erratic pitching style known as the knuckleball in this highly entertaining and enlightening sports doc. Anchoring the history of the controversial pitch itself are the trials and triumphs of two of its best known practitioners in the major league: veteran Tim Wakefield of the Red Sox as he struggles to clinch his 200th career win, and up-and-comer R.A. Dickey looking to make a name for himself with the New York Mets.

A classic sports story from its glorious highs to its crushing lows, Stern and Sundberg’s energetic documentary explores the knuckleball phenomenon through copious archival footage and illuminating interviews with legends like Charlie Hough, all with a level of reverence and detail that would make a true baseball aficionado proud. Through Wakefield and Dickey’s tumultuous stories, Knuckleball!demonstrates why the titular pitch is renowned as one of the most difficult to hit in baseball, and also one of the most difficult to master.

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Memories Of Steve Chilcott http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/draft-day-special-remembering-steve-chilcott.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/draft-day-special-remembering-steve-chilcott.html/#comments Tue, 28 Feb 2012 18:35:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=6486 Mets Merized Online is pleased to welcome back Barry Duchan. Longtime readers of MMO may remember that he was our resident Mets historian who has been following the team since he was a 14-year old in 1962. Once a week he treated us to a trip down Memory Lane with whimsical tales and keen insights on his recollections of the ups and downs of the Amazins throughout the Sixties and Seventies. Now retired and living in North Carolina, Barry is busy at work on new post for MMO, but for now enjoy this offering. He wrote this back in February of 2005 and it was his first post featured on MMO. Welcome Back, Barry!  

There are certain names that make Mets fans cringe whenever they hear them. Scott Kazmir is the latest as in “How can the Mets trade Scott Kazmir, maybe the best pitching prospect in all of baseball for Victor Zambrano, a mediocre 30-year old pitcher with arm trouble ?” Then, there’s Greg Jefferies who seemed to win Minor League Player Of The Year every season on his way to being fast-tracked to the Major Leagues. Only when he got there, he proved to be a player in search of a position who was despised by most of his teammates for his (alleged) selfishness and immaturity. Despite a fairly productive career with the bat after leaving the Mets, Jefferies fell far short of his goals of surpassing Ty Cobb and Pete Rose for the all-time hits record and has become more of a “whatever happened to…”.

Gil Hodges offers Steve Chilcott some tips at fielding first base.

But, old-time Met fans will always cringe at the mention of the name Steve Chilcott. For you younger fans who may not be up on early Mets history, let’s go back to 1966. The Mets had the number one overall selection in the 2nd annual amateur draft and the choice clearly came down to 2 players. There was the star outfielder at Arizona State University, Reggie Jackson and a high-school catcher out of California by the name of Steve Chilcott. Of course, Reggie Jackson went on to a Hall Of Fame career, while Chilcott never made the Major Leagues. There had been some speculation that the Mets had some question about Jackson’s character and associations, but at the time, most big league scouts were divided as to which of the two was a better prospect. Based on a personal scouting report from Casey Stengel, probably combined with Casey’s philosophy that “if you don’t have a catcher, you’re gonna have a lot of passed balls”, the Mets went with Chilcott.

That wasn’t the first mistake the Mets made and it certainly wasn’t the last, but it was definitely among the biggest. Anyway, I can say that I am probably one of the few people who actually saw Steve Chilcott play a professional game in New York City. No, not with the Mets or the Yankees, since Steve never made the big leagues, even though he got as close as AA and maybe a game or two in AAA with the Yankee organization after the Mets released him.

It was a special pre-Yankee game event at Yankee Stadium, a regular season league game between the Auburn Mets and Binghamton Yankees. Binghamton’s Mickey Scott out-dueled Auburn’s Jerry Koosman, 1-0 in front of maybe 1000 fans, most of whom thought they were arriving early for Big League batting practice, although there were a handful of Met die-hards like myself who came out to see the Auburn Mets, and more specifically, to see the future of the Mets – Steve Chilcott. Getting to see Jerry Koosman was, of course, a bonus. Koosman dominated NYP League hitters that season and after a quick jump to AAA the next season became a mainstay of the Mets’ rotation.

As for Chilcott, he hit a double down the rightfield line, almost a HR into the short rightfield seats of Yankee Stadium, but he also struck out a couple of times and looked bad doing it. I was still sure that Chilcott would be starring for the Mets one day because that’s what all the “experts” said. Little did I know that his appearance that day in Yankee Stadium would be the last chance I would get to see him play.

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Gary “The Kid” Carter Passes After Long Battle With Cancer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/gary-the-kid-carter-passes-after-long-battle-with-cancer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/gary-the-kid-carter-passes-after-long-battle-with-cancer.html/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 22:07:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=72361

A sad day for Major League Baseball and the New York Mets, as Mets great and 1986 World Champion Gary Carter has finally succumbed to his ongoing battle with cancer. The news was released by his daughter on the Carter Family blog, that Gary had passed at 4:10 PM today, February 16th, 2012.

The whole team at Mets Merized Online sends out their condolences to the Carter family and every person who has been emotionally touched by his passing..

You will be missed, Kid.

Retire Number 8.

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Happy Veteran’s Day From MMO http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/happy-veterans-day-from-mmo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/happy-veterans-day-from-mmo.html/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:28:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=64985

On behalf of everyone at Mets Merized Online we would like to take some time to remember and honor all of the brave servicemen and women that have served and continue to serve our great country. I’ll be getting together with a bunch of them at a special dinner where I look forward to seeing some old buddy’s and if any of you are reading this, save some chow for me. ;-)

Each Veteran’s Day we have an opportunity to recognize all the amazing men and women who make up the greatest military in the world. They faithfully protect our borders and our freedom and our way of life.

God Bless all of you for your unwavering loyalty, patriotism, strength and courage.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

http://youtu.be/oBMT3OMEPwk

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MMO Readers Love The Blue Jerseys! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/about-those-awesome-los-mets-jerseys.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/08/about-those-awesome-los-mets-jerseys.html/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 15:41:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=56731 On Saturday, I launched a new MMO Poll asking our readers what they thought of the Blue Los Mets Jerseys the Mets wore on Friday night. 

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

Our boys were popping in those jerseys and as these results show, our readers overwhelmingly loved them.

As I said in my original post, I’m thinking it’s time to ditch the black uniforms once and for all, and bring some more “Orange and Blue” back into the dugout.

What an great alternate home or road jersey these would make with just “Mets” or “New York” emblazoned across the chest.

CHECK OUT THE NEW DESIGNS IN OUR MMO T-SHIRT SHOP!

Speaking of “Orange and Blue”, have you seen the Brand New RETRO METS T-SHIRTS I designed last week?

      

Every MMO T-Shirt you buy helps keep Mets Merized Online on the web as we continue to incur higher costs due to our amazing growth and high traffic. You can also donate a few bucks by clicking here. We appreciate all your help.

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All Star Week: Celebrating Carlos Beltran! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/07/all-star-week-celebrating-carlos-beltran.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/07/all-star-week-celebrating-carlos-beltran.html/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 18:26:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=54238

This afternoon, NL manager Bruce Bochy announced that Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran will start as the National League’s designated hitter and bat second in the All Star Game.

“I like the fact that he is a switch hitter,” Bochy said of Beltran during the All-Star Game press conference. “He gives you another dynamic in that two hole, which will help us.”

In 89 games this season, Carlos Beltran is batting .285 with 13 home runs, 52 runs scored and 58 RBIs to lead the Mets. He also leads the National League with 28 doubles.

Here are a few more of my favorite Carlos Beltran graphics that I designed exclusively for Mets Merized Online this past year…

This Opening Day graphic is one of my favorites. I was thrilled when I found out he would be starting in right field on opening day.

I created this graphic after Carlos Beltran was declared healthy and ready to play, even I, Beltran’s #1 Fan, never expected him to bounce back and become so dominant and so amazing again!

Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoy my Mets Graphics as much as I love designing them for you!

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