Mets Merized Online » Mets Merized Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 As Mets Consider A Jose Reyes Reunion, Here’s Why They Should Sign Him Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:37 +0000 New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

A team source has told Adam Rubin of ESPN that the Mets are now considering bringing back Jose Reyes once he becomes a free agent. It’s a complete reversal from five days ago when this team source described a reunion with Reyes as having “virtually no chance.”

After getting swept by the Atlanta Braves over the weekend and team owner Jeff Wilpon barking that the front office needs to act now and not later, all options are now on the table including 33-year old former Met.

Let me come out and say that I am completely biased when it comes to the subject of Jose Reyes. He was my favorite baseball player for almost a decade because of the excitement, intensity and enthusiasm he brought to every game. A Jose Reyes triple was the most electrifying play in all of baseball. And the fact that he played shortstop for the Mets (the exact job I still hold in my dreams) didn’t hurt either.

So when I read fellow MMO writer Mets Daddy’s perfectly reasonable explanation of why the Mets would be foolish to re-acquire Jose Reyes, who was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday, I had to offer a counter argument.

Despite being a Reyes super-fan for so many years (with the jersey t-shirts to prove it), I have no delusions that he still resembles the dynamic player he was on the Mets from 2003 to 2011. Reyes is 33 years old, advanced age for someone who relies mostly on his speed to succeed. He is coming off an underwhelming second half of 2015 in Colorado, where he also demonstrated a bad attitude after being traded against his will.

Most glaring is the matter of Reyes’ arrest for domestic violence against his wife, which caused him to be suspended for 59 games by Major League Baseball. I can’t argue with anyone who objects to bringing Reyes aboard purely for that reason, or the PR disaster that might ensue, and it would certainly be difficult to root for someone accused of such a crime.

None of these red flags should be overlooked, particularly the domestic violence charges. But if Reyes is going to receive another chance, as so many athletes have before him, the Mets should be the team to provide it.

jose Reyes

From a baseball perspective, Reyes could be the spark this depleted Mets offense (and demoralized fan base) badly needs, and a cheap one at that. Even in his declined physical state, he could easily be one of the most exciting and productive players in a Mets lineup that gets duller, weaker and more injured by the day.

Reyes would provide speed and the ability to manufacturer runs to a team that has neither. He hit .274 last season with 26 steals, numbers that aren’t great but would be extremely welcome if even remotely replicated in a Mets uniform this season. And maybe playing for the team that raised him and the fans that loved chanting his name (“Jose, Jose, Jose…”) would rejuvenate Reyes’ career.

Even if he is a shell of his former self, Reyes would still likely be an upgrade over several of the players the Mets are sending to the plate these days. The revolving door of replacement level infielders – Matt Reynolds, Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell – would finally be shut. With David Wright potentially out for the season, Lucas Duda’s return date still unknown, and Travis d’Arnaud perpetually injured, adding a major league-caliber player with a proven track record in New York City could only help the team.

Logistically speaking, if the Mets acquired Reyes they could shift Neil Walker to third base and Asdrubal Cabrera to second. While this would not be ideal defensive positioning, getting Reyes’ bat and speed into the lineup should be the priority. It would also allow Wilmer Flores to go back to his role as a part time player and utility man. Or they could simply start Reyes at third base – we know he has the arm.

jose reyes house

Jose Reyes still lives in New York

The Mets passed on re-signing Reyes when his contract ended in 2011, and even a Jose super-fan like me couldn’t be upset given the absurd contract he received. They now have another opportunity to bring back one of the most exciting players in the team’s history, at practically no cost.

Reyes may be too old to make a difference on the field, and he may be too much of a liability off it. But the Mets are in desperation mode right now. They are slow and boring, two things that Reyes is certainly not. So why not take a chance and bring Jose back?

Reyes loves the Big Apple and has referred to his time with the Mets as the best years of his life. He also continues to call New York home and never sold his beautiful house in Old Brookville. Why not see if we can catch lightning in a bottle?

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
What The 2015 New York Mets Meant To Me Wed, 06 Jan 2016 05:20:49 +0000 AP NLCS METS CUBS BASEBALL S BBN USA IL

When I started writing for Metsmerized Online back in November of 2014, I had no idea that by next November the New York Mets would still be playing as one of the two best teams in all of Major League Baseball. The season certainly didn’t end like we all hoped, but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating what a great season the Mets had.

As someone that is generally considered an optimistic person I felt the Mets could win 85-88 games before last season started, but I’m sure that was on the top end of the scale when it came to fans. The Mets headed to Spring Training with Michael Cuddyer being their biggest move of the offseason leaving some to question how much better would the team be after going 79-83 in 2014?

On March 6th, I flew from Portland, Maine to West Palm Beach arriving at the airport in Florida around 11:00 AM with what I estimated as just enough time to get to Tradition Field before the first pitch. After hustling to get the rental car and turning on the GPS (not that my dad thought he needed it) we arrived in Port St. Lucie around 12:30 PM to backed-up traffic. The parking lot was overfilled and we could see a plethora of fans walking from spots outside of Tradition Field.

I bumped into Joe Torre as I impatiently awaited my first MLB credentials for the game, and then went as fast as I could to the press box so I could get a seat. I sat down just in time to see the reason why there was a packed Tradition Field with a record crowd of 8,205 fans. Right-hander Matt Harvey was throwing off the mound in the Mets bullpen.

Harvey was electric that day against the Yankees in his fourth spring start as he continued his remarkable comeback from Tommy John surgery. He tossed 5.2 scoreless innings and was hitting 97 MPH on the radar gun with surprising consistency.

The excitement in the crowd that day was unlike like a typical spring game, they got to see flashes of the pitcher Harvey was before the injury. It wasn’t just the realization that the Mets had gotten back one of the best pitchers in baseball, there was a different feeling around this 2015 club already. There was an unmistakable confidence and a real sense among all the players that they could and should win this year.

It was April 6th and Opening Day was finally here with the Mets going up against the Washington Nationals, who were predicted by most to not only win the National League East but be a World Series contender. The Mets’ elder statesman in the rotation Bartolo Colon got the nod against the Nationals’ prized offseason acquisition Max Scherzer. The Mets were victorious as the former Nat Jerry Blevins got the save in the season opening 3-1 victory.

The Mets won two of three against the Nats in Washington, equaling half the total wins they had against them the entire 2014 season. Then came the unbelievable 11-game winning streak that put the Mets in the national spotlight for the first time in years (in a positive manner). And their new closer Jeurys Familia earned the save in eight of those victories.

The fans started believing then that the Mets were better than most thought, it was still early but indeed there could be something different about this 2015 season.

During the winning streak on April 19th, my father, brother, and I drove down for the the game to watch Harvey pitch and you couldn’t tell that it was an April game at Citi Field. The atmosphere was unlike any early season game that Citi had ever seen. Once again the Dark Knight was bringing excitement back to the fan base. Despite the win, the crowd was left with a sense of nervousness after both Travis d’Arnaud and Blevins left the game with what turned out to be very costly injuries.

These two injuries came just five days after David Wright was injured on a slide leaving a gaping whole at third base that the Mets wouldn’t fill until July. Then came the Daniel Murphy injury in June further depleting the infield depth and delivering another blow to an already struggling offense.

Between the injuries and the anemic offense the Mets had gone 25-30 in May and June pushing away any fuzzy feelings fans had from the winning streak. The bats continued their struggles to start July and the calls for Michael Conforto intensified as fans were growing sick of watching 2-1 and 3-2 losses.

steven matz nlds

Luckily for the Mets by this time Noah Syndergaard had settled into his groove and Steven Matz had made his big league debut. What a debut it was for the local kid picking up the win and providing the offense while going 3 for 3 with four RBI. I don’t care how many times I watch the video of his debut and the reaction from his family (starring Grandpa Bert) I still get goosebumps.

Mets fans went through a three day emotional roller coaster starting on that July 29th evening when we all went from elation that Carlos Gomez was coming back, to feeling the raw emotion of  Wilmer Flores who thought he was leaving the only organization that he knew. Then came the anger of the trade falling through, the realization that the Mets still had a gaping hole in center field and still needing an offensive boost.

As fans were still seething about not being able to finish the trade for Gomez the Mets went out and had their most heartbreaking loss of the season against the Padres. Familia, who had been great all year gave up a game-winning homerun to Justin Upton and panic city was now in full force.

What would Sandy Alderson do on the deadline? Would he do anything? Mets twitter became more diabolical every minute that the clock got closer to the 4:00 PM deadline and still no trade for the Mets. Then Sandy did it, he made a trade that not only helped the Mets on the field but that also brought a fan base from gloom to jubilation in minutes.

That wasn’t the only baseball miracle that happened on July 31st in Mets land though. Two days after shedding tears of disappointment, Flores brought tears and cheers of excitement to fans as he crushed a walkoff homerun to beat the then first place Nationals.

Yoenis Cespedes was exactly what the Mets fans wanted and what the team needed. The night in Colorado when he went 5 for 5 with three homeruns and seven RBI, the nine homeruns in a 13 game span, the ridiculous throw he made to nab Sean Rodriguez at third base. He was a juggernaut.

When the Captain hit that homerun in his first at-bat back against the Phillies in CBP, I literally jumped out of my chair and scared the crap out of my dog. He battled back just to be healthy enough to play for this team and the baseball gods rewarded us all that night. It still brings a smile to my face every time I think about.

The series in September where the Mets came from behind in three straight games against the Nationals to build an insurmountable lead in the East. Clutch hit after clutch hit helping send Matt Williams and the Nats to their demise. That series is when the Mets took the division for good.

Now it was no longer whether the Mets were going to make the playoffs, it was how far could they do with Jacob deGrom, Harvey, and Thor leading the way?

NL East Champions Flores Wilmer

Love or hate Terry Collins you were happy for him on September 26th when the Mets clinched their first division title and playoff spot since 2006. As fans it marked the end of a long drought and signaled the end of the suffering we had endured during a long rebuild. Again it was a time of excitement and jubilation, and something we were finally starting to get used to.

Then came the sweating, the chest pains, the nervous excitement, the pacing around the house, and the superstitious wearing of our lucky shirts. The Los Angeles Dodgers had two of the best pitchers in all of baseball on their team and the Mets had to try to beat them in a short series.

Collins his ace in Game One and Daniel Murphy started his historic postseason with a homerun off Clayton Kershaw to take the series lead. The next night brought out emotions I hadn’t felt all season or possibly ever during a baseball game when Chase Utley tackled Ruben Tejada. I couldn’t sleep that night, I was angry beyond words and just couldn’t fathom what happened and how poorly it was handled.

Citi Field was raucous in Game Three with pissed off fans and a Mets team that played ticked off as they crushed the loudmouth Brett Anderson. After losing Game Four to even the series I decided it was time to switch the wardrobe up and try my NoHan shirt. It worked as deGrom, Syndergaard, and Familia sent the Mets to the National League Championship Series.

Murphy continued to be the dragon slayer against the Cubs as he set a record by homering in six straight games leading the Mets to a sweep. The New York Mets were headed to the World Series for the first time since I was 13 years old and the pain we have felt as fans throughout the bad years had dissipated.

It was time to retire the NoHan shirt after Alex Gordon broke our hearts with a 9th inning homerun. Another lead in Game Two and another loss. Thor got the blood pumping again as he brushed back the Royals to take Game Three and get the Mets right back in the series.

The Mets looked like they were going to tie up the series when Murphy went from hero to zero with one play that changed the World Series. I was still in shock after game, still numb, it felt like a golden opportunity had slipped right through the fingers.

2 matt harvey

It was down to a must win game and ticket prices plummeted, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I bought two tickets,   left Maine around noon and hoped we wouldn’t hit traffic. We were lucky as we pulled into the marina parking lot 7 pm giving us plenty of time to get into the park and find a place to stand.

Although the Mets were down 3-1 in the series and could be eliminated that night you couldn’t tell by the crowd at the game. It was electric, waiting for a reason to erupt and the Mets MVP Curtis Granderson did just that with a go-ahead home run. The Dark Knight was dominating the Royals lineup and when he came put for the 9th inning I thought the stands above me where going to fall down. Citi Field was shaking with excitement the way Shea used to and I will never forget how good that made me feel for that one moment.

When Flores struck out and the Royals rushed the field I just stood there for a while, I didn’t know what else to do. I was hurt, this amazing team won us over yet there I stand heart broken. This was the finale of a story book season that none of us wanted to end without a World Series trophy.

We all cried, cheered, swore, and celebrated this year together as fans of the amazing 2015 New York Mets in a season we shall never forget.

mmn grain

]]> 0
Happy Veteran’s Day To All Who Served Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:10:35 +0000 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!

]]> 0
Di-JEST: The MMO Chat You Missed Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:26:25 +0000 This MMO Chat isn't loading for me...

This MMO Chat isn’t loading for me…

OK.  Truth be told you didn’t miss this Mets Merized chat on account of the fact that it never happened.  Here’s the back-story.

I’m a sucker for online chats and read them at MLB Trade Rumors, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, and wherever else I stumble upon them.   I don’t know why I bother since I rarely find more than 10% of the questions and answers interesting or useful.  But once you’re hooked, your hooked.  Sort of like being a Mets fan.

The reason I don’t do a real chat is two-fold.  One is that I’m not all that technologically advanced and probably wouldn’t be able to figure out how to do it.  I’m the guy with the cell phone that has a crank on its side so I can call Mabel and ask her to connect me with Andy or Barney at the sheriff’s station.

And the other reason, a bigger one I suppose, is that I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as those guys who do the real live chats.  These guys can tell you who the 11th rated prospect is for the Royals and what his chances are of cracking the major league roster.  Me, I think I know that Josh Satin plays for Las Vegas – end of knowledge.

Another thing about those chat hosts is that it seems they all are expert in some other area too. For half of them it’s their ability to tell you what craft beer to order in any particular county in this country.

My beer knowledge consists of liking Samuel Adams and a few others. And I do know that my son likes Yuengling – but in the BOTTLE, not the can (won’t make that mistake again).

So my chats stay on topic for that reason.

Given all that, here’s the chat transcript you missed.

mmo laptop

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Philadelphia Beans:  You’re always so hard on Terry Collins.  What is the thing that most bothers you about him?

LS: I suppose it’s that he plays too many Young guys (Chris and Eric) and too many old guys (Bobby Abreu).  I’d prefer to see Chris released, Eric confined to pinch-running mostly, and Abreu restricted to pinch-hitting.  Let Soupy Campbell share LF with Captain Kirk and let Flores, Murphy, and Duda share 1B and 2B.

Ted Pontiff:  Clearly Ruben Tejada is a bad hitter but exactly how bad is he?

LS: Let’s give him this – he’s not the worst.  My scale of awfulness begins with Rey Ordonez, the ABSOLUTE ZERO of offensive effectiveness.  In Rey Rey’s illustrious career he batted .246 and had an OPS of exactly 600 (remember readers I use the Bill James method and toss out the decimal point when I discuss on base + slugging percentage).  His career WAR (wins over replacement) is a ridiculously puny +1.2 and almost all of that is due to his defensive prowess.

Ruben has a career batting average of .255 with an OPS of 644.  44 points of OPS is not monumental but it is more than trivial. He already has logged a WAR of 3.8.

So bottom line is that Ruben is a poor hitter and really should be a team’s utility infielder.  But he’s not the bottom of the barrel.

My Name Is Earl:  In Washington they do the Presidents race and in Milwaukee it’s the sausages.  What kind of race can the Mets do to entertain the fans?

LS:  Certainly not a pennant race….

But let’s try this.  We’ll have Mr. Met, a person dressed as a large apple, the Statue of Liberty, and someone impersonating Jeff Wilpon all racing towards a  dollar sign that’s placed at the finish line.  (Come to think of it, to save money maybe Jeff will do the running himself)

Strato Buddy:  What was your reaction when the Mets came back dramatically in the 9th inning on Friday to win?

LS: I think this sums it up nicely:

Bucky Dentine:  When the Mets don’t make the playoffs (you know – most every year) what team do you pull for?

LS:  There are other teams?   Who knew?

Not Really Sandy Alderson:   Should I be trading Murphy and/or Colon?

LS: Listen NRSA, questions like that are silly since we fans have no knowledge of what players are being offered for our guys.  I don’t think any Met should be ruled untouchable – if the Angels want to offer Mike Trout for David Wright + Matt Harvey (or Syndegaard or friggen anyone else) I’m down with that.

I really like Daniel Murphy and would hate to see him go but knowing that Flores, Matt Reynolds, Dilson Herrera, and Mazzilli are coming on strong makes it more palatable to trade Murph IF the return is particularly promising.

Bartolo would be easier to deal but hopefully he can bring back someone to upgrade LF or SS.  If all that is offered is another minor league arm then hold on to the guy and have someone teach him to bunt.

SNY Viewer:  You’ve always been extremely complimentary towards the broadcast team of Gary, Keith, Ron, and the soon to be departed Kevin Burkhardt.  Surely there’s something about them that ticks you off.

LS: You got me.  There’s just one thing.  It drives me nuts that none of them ever describe a player as “hot” but rather that they all use the term “red hot” exclusively.

I know that’s not a biggie but I always felt there were degrees of hotness.  For example, if Ruben Tejada has three hits, all singles, in his last 10 at bats, I’d say he is “hot”.  If he has four hits in his last 10 and one of them accidentally is a double, then OK he’s “red hot.”

If Chris Young is one for his last five – “hot”.

If he’s one for his last five and has two loud fouls – ok, “red hot.”

Depressed Mets Fan:  With the commissioner retiring how might this affect the Mets?

LS: Good question.  I’ve always suspected that Papa Fred Wilpon had a stash of incriminating photos of Bud Selig doing kinky stuff with Suzyn Waldman in the Yankees’ radio booth.  What else could explain why the commish would let a big market team run such a barebones operation?

Hopefully the next commissioner won’t feel so beholden to the Wilpons.  Perhaps he prods them to spend more on their team and less on the real estate market.  One can hope.

Skeptic:  So you say you’ve been a Mets fan since their inception in 1962.  Who are your favorite players and least favorite?

LS:  Check out this table for a semi-pleasant walk down memory lane.


(click on the graphic to embiggen it)  

Stratogist: Where do you stand on the question of bunting?

LS:  I’m not a big advocate of sacrifice bunting.  What does puzzle me is why Terry Collins will have a good hitting pitcher like Jake deGrom give up an out with a bunt in order to bring up a pansy hitter like Eric Young Jr.  Hell, I’d rather see Tejada bunting to bring up deGrom!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LS: Sorry folks that’s all the time I have. Got to wrap up this chat.   I have to go check on eBay to see if anyone’s bid yet on that Brad Emaus jersey I’m auctioning off.  Damn, thought that kid was going to make it.

MMO footer

]]> 0
MMO Players of the Week: The Unlikely Heroes Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:00:51 +0000 Opening week for the New York Mets certainly did not go as planned: bullpen woes, absent offense, game-changing injuries, silly defensive blunders and questionable managerial decisions all contributed to a rather frustrating 2-4 start. As most of the team becomes acclimated to their new teammates, however, some players are taking it upon themselves to rise above expectations early on in the season. To some fans, these early signs of life do not mean much to them, but here at MetsMerized we see differently; we like to call these three players our Players of the Week!

USATSI juan lagares


For a guy who was questionable to even make the major league roster, Juan Lagares is certainly the most surprising (and delightful!) person to see take this title in the first week. During the offseason, it was clear that the biggest question mark surrounding the Mets was Lagares’ ability to be a productive offensive force, but with his extraordinary work ethic and determination, he has made major improvements to his game at the plate. So far this season, he has drawn three walks while only striking out four times. While this is only a small sample size, anybody who has been watching the games can see the huge progress Juan has made with his plate discipline; he has been chasing far less pitches and is consistently working the count each at bat; not to mention he has shown early signs of power as well. If he can keep this up in addition to his established astonishing defense, it is not too far fetched to consider Juan a serious contender for the All-Star Team.

eric young jr


With all the drama surrounding whether this guy would be an everyday outfielder, the sudden injury to Chris Young thrust Eric Young Jr. into the leadoff and left field spot. He clearly did not do anything at the plate, but he did make some nice grabs in the field. Considering that there were little overwhelming defensive plays this week, EYJ gets the title due to his leaping grab to rob Brandon Phillips of a home run on April 4th, which was undeniably fantastic. EYJ was a pleasant product in the field last season, but his pitiful start and underwhelming arm really highlights his true nature as nothing more than a fourth outfielder. With Chris Young sitting on the DL, though, it is critical that EY keeps the great defense consistent for a few more weeks.

USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar


There is no question now that Jenrry Mejia belongs in this rotation! I had the pleasure of experiencing Mejia’s start in person Friday night and I can sincerely say that a great amount of his off-speed stuff made the Reds hitters look absolutely silly. His slider was a fierce killer and his rising fastball in the misty rain was a harsh combination for any man at the plate. He went six innings strong, letting up a mere 4 hits and 1 run in a lineup featuring a 2-3-4 of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Although his 5 walks were a blemish that he will continue to hone, his 8 strikeouts were the most he has ever recorded in his young career. With pitchers like Wheeler, who has had exposure to the major league atmosphere, and Syndergaard and Montero not too far from Flushing, Mejia will have some fantastic company in a starting rotation that displays much promise for the Mets’ future.


Anthony Recker is a great guy to have as a backup to d’Arnaud, but nothing says this more than throwing out guys who are really, really fast. Recker is deserving for an honorable mention solely for his on-the-money throw to nail the overhyped rookie Billy Hamilton at second base during Friday’s game. This proved to be a huge moment in the game, as Hamilton being safe would have put the fastest runner in the league in scoring position with only one out.

Dillon Gee also gets a very worthy mention in this category for his very positive starts on Opening Day and Saturday’s come from behind win. Gee seems to be susceptible to the long ball early on, but his pitch count has stayed relatively low in conjunction to the innings he has pitched (averaging more than six so far). The interesting trend of Gee’s ERA climbing as the game goes on has been prominent in enough of his starts to render it logical to remove him after six innings and still considering his day a success. I do not doubt that Gee can work to close out his starts strong, but for now it may be safe to pull him if the strings start to fray late in the game. Otherwise, we can all enjoy watching him pitch gems for the first half of the game– if only the bullpen could hold down the lead for him!

Presented By Diehards

]]> 0
Den Dekker Stands To Gain If Nieuwenhuis Lands On DL Mon, 04 Mar 2013 13:10:08 +0000

Opportunity could be knocking for Matt den Dekker if Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ knee injury turns out to be more serious than just a bruise. We’ll know more on that later today.

The Mets will consider all their options if Nieuwenhuis were to miss any significant time, but one could make a strong argument that den Dekker could have a leg up on his competition because of his stellar defense which can impact a game as much as a solid bat. His glove-work is that good. Here is what I wrote about that this weekend…

Original Post 3/2

If you have been watching the Mets at all this spring, one thing has become evident – Matt den Dekker deserves a shot to be the Opening Day centerfielder.

Throw the offensive stats out the window for just a second and ask yourself who you would want out there chasing down fly balls. After seeing a few highlight reel catches already this spring, it becomes more and more evident who should get the nod.

Now let’s take the spring stats into consideration. Here is a breakdown of how the Mets outfield competition is playing out so far this Spring:

OF STATS(Games played through March 1 – Note: Nieuwenhuis should read six strikeouts.)

The common argument when looking into spring training stats is that they should be taken with a grain of salt. In other words, don’t put too much weight into whether a player gets off to an extremely hot start, or an extremely cold start.

While that argument holds some validity, because spring stats are not factored into any regular season awards and does not factor into the race for the pennant, when you have a situation like the Mets have, where it’s an open audition for an outfield job, spring stats will definitely impact the decision of who is standing in the Mets outfield on opening day.

With that being said, looking at the stats shown above, only a couple of guys have gotten off to hot starts in the outfield–and one of them (Valdespin), has yet to get any reps in the outfield.

Den Dekker’s spring stats are comparable to the other players vying for an outfield job with the exception of Collin Cowgill and Marlon Byrd. However, defensively, den Dekker sticks out like a sore thumb amongst his colleagues, and I mean that in a good way.

Terry Collins should be looking at ways to strengthen the team’s defense up the middle, and the best way to do that right now is by having den Dekker out there. Having a defensive player like den Dekker in center will make the pitching staff that more effective. Having a gold glove caliber outfielder in center will also take the pressure off the other outfielders, and help cover some of the defensive gaps that may exist when Lucas Duda or Byrd are out there with him.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Den Dekker has made a living making highlight reel catches.

Having solid defense up the middle will also let the pitchers pitch the way they want to pitch. If a pitcher has too little confidence in the defense behind them, they will try to strike every hitter out. This inevitably leads to more walks as they try to nibble corners (unless they are a power pitcher) because they are afraid to let the hitters put the ball in play. So by having a defender of den Dekker’s quality in centerfield, pressure is not only taken off of the other outfielders, but the pitcher as well.

If den Dekker can perform offensively as well as the other outfielders on the roster, then why not just have him join the team right out of spring training? Right now, is there any reason to believe that he can’t perform as well offensively, or maybe even better than the other outfielders on the Mets roster?

I did my weekly MMO Prospect Pulse on Matt den Dekker, and while I noted I wasn’t sure he would ever be a .300 hitter at the major league level, I do think he has the potential to be a 20/20 player; a 20/20 player that can win a gold glove. Maybe we are starting to see why the Mets may have not pulled the trigger on Michael Bourn after all.

The only argument I can see being made about den Dekker being given the keys to the centerfield job with the Mets this year was his performance when promoted to Buffalo last year.

However, as I noted in last week’s feature, it has been a trend across his career thus far to go through an adjustment period when promoted. During that adjustment period, his offensive stats tend to take a dip. However, after the adjustment period, his offensive numbers are at an all-star level. Mix that in with that solid defense, and there is only one man for the job this year in centerfield.

There is no reason to start den Dekker at Las Vegas this year. Throw him in centerfield, bat him in the eight hole of the lineup where he will experience minimal pressure, and let him do his thing. He will figure it out. The best thing for his development would be to let him adjust to the major league pitchers and the major league level while taking advantage of that ridiculous defensive skill set.

The Mets need den Dekker’s glove in centerfield, and when his bat comes around, they will be able to use that too. But the Mets have to stick with him. They can’t send him down to Las Vegas if he starts to go through an adjustment period at the big league level. Let the kid figure it out and entertain us with some jaw dropping catches while he’s in the process.

Enjoy this recent den Dekker highlight-reel catch from last week’s Grapefruit League action!

In case you missed it, check out my exclusive MMO Prospect Pulse on Matt den Dekker.

Follow MMO Minor League Analyst Mitch Petanick on Twitter at @FirstPitchMitch for even more Mets Minor League and prospect coverage.

]]> 0
Now Batting No. 5 and Playing Left Field, Wilmer Flores Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:42:38 +0000 Wilmer_Flores_New_York_Mets

Updated by Joe D. on 2/27

We may hear those words blare over the Citi Field PA system one day in the near future during a Mets game… Maybe…

Whether or not Wilmer Flores should be handed an outfield glove has been debated quite passionately on MMO many times over the last several months. We’ve all debated the pros and cons of such a move, and obviously so have the Mets.

As Andrew Keh of the New York Times pointed out, Flores has continued to distinguish himself as one of the more promising hitters in the Mets’ organization, but he is a player who, at the moment, seems to lack an obvious position. That said,, everything keeps pointing to the outfield.

“It’s an obvious question,” General Manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday morning, “and we’ve considered it. Our focus is developing him as a hitter, and that’s not something we want to interfere with.”

As for Flores, he keeps saying the same thing each time he’s asked, “Sure, why not? I’ll play anywhere they ask me to play.”

Look for Flores to get some playing time in the outfield this month and next as well. It may only be an experiment for now, but it’s becoming quite clear the team is not looking to trade him and view him as a keeper. That means a position change will have to be coming…

Stay tuned…

Original Post 2/26

Last night was the first time most Mets fans got the chance to see Wilmer Flores play second base, including myself. Seeing Flores at second base was one of the main things I was focused on during last night’s game against the Washington Nationals. I’m sure other fans were focused on Flores as well, as talks about running Daniel Murphy out of town began as soon as the Mets announced that Flores would be taking reps at second base this spring.

Making the jump from third base to a middle infield position is generally a very difficult one. The switch from the middle infield to third base is much, much easier. Flores, has now made the switch from the middle infield to third base, and now back to the middle infield.

The reason why the switch from third base to the middle infield is difficult is because the positions are fundamentally different. Sure, you mechanically field the grounder the same way at third base as you would any place on the diamond, but aside from that, just about everything else is different—different reaction times, different angles off the bat, turning the double play is different, different footwork, and different positions to be on cut-offs.

Two of the main things I watched for last night was to see how Flores approached grounders hit in his direction, and how he turned the double play.

Third base is a position where the balls are generally hit sharply, so the player usually waits for the ball to get to him, rather than charge and play the ball. They may have to move laterally, but generally don’t move in on the ball unless it is a weakly hit grounder or bunt—hence being called the “hot corner.” At second base it’s the complete opposite. If the player waits for the ball to get to him, in other words, let the ball play him instead of “playing the ball,” the most routine grounders will turn into infield hits. I wanted to see if Flores took that with him to second base, because playing third base for the past couple of years could have re-programmed him mentally. Flores did a good job of “playing the ball,” and it looked as if his instincts from when he was a former shortstop are still there.

When turning the double play, Flores looked smooth. I was watching for Flores’ pivot, and how he received the throws from the shortstop. There are a couple of different ways for a second baseman to receive the toss on a double play from the left side of the infield. They can use a timing play where they try to time the toss from the left side, and come across the front of the bag to get more momentum on the throw. The other way is to wait at the bag, which generally leads to the second baseman making a flat footed throw off the back foot. Flores arm is definitely strong enough for the latter, and he demonstrated it in last night’s game.

It’s only one game, but Flores had a successful night at second base. It seems the instincts are still there from when he used to play shortstop, the arm strength is there, and now we have to see how his range is on some more challenging ground balls. Everyone will be keeping a very close eye on Flores at second base this spring, the bat is definitely there, and it seems like he may have found a home defensively.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

To read previous editions of this feature, go to our MMO Prospect Pulse Archives.

Follow MMO Minor League Analyst Mitch Petanick on Twitter at @FirstPitchMitch for even more Mets Minor League and prospect coverage.

]]> 0
Metsmerized Hall of Fame: Jerry Koosman, LHP Mon, 26 Nov 2012 14:14:07 +0000

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

]]> 0
Happy Veteran’s Day From All Of Us At MMO Sun, 11 Nov 2012 05:20:49 +0000

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!

]]> 0
MMO Flashback: Jerry Koosman – A Big Game Pitcher You Could Always Count On Mon, 03 Sep 2012 00:52:50 +0000 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.

]]> 0
A Funny Look at a Cure For The Mets Bullpen Woes Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:00:30 +0000 What is the one thing aside from Jason Bay that really gets Mets fans in an uproar?  All the Mets fans are screaming “the bullpen!!!”  Well Mets fans, I have figured out what the Mets have to do to get this bullpen back on its feet.

There is only one player that can save the Mets bullpen and bring us back to the glory and dominance that was experienced in the mid 1980s.  The following quote was cleaned up for our younger audience:

When I was 19 years old, I changed the face of professional baseball. I was handed the keys to the kingdom, multi-million dollar deals, endorsements. Everyone wanted a piece of me. Just a man with a mind for victory and an arm like a cannon. But sometimes when you bring the thunder, you get lost in the storm.

Fans of this player know exactly who I’m talking about.  It’s Kenny Powers.  That’s right, the Mer-Man himself.  He’s exactly what the Mets need coming out of the bullpen to gain back that bad boy image they were notorious for in the mid 80s.

Ask anybody out there, and they’ll tell you that the foundation of a great baseball player starts with an understanding of some basic fundamentals. Running, stretching, physical conditioning. These are the things that prepare your body for the many challenges a baseball player faces. I heard that crap thrown at me all my damn life. You know what Kenny Powers says? Fundamentals are the crutch for the talentless.

Even if the bullpen still stinks, we will be entertained.  I will close this out with another quote from the famous Kenny Powers, and if any one else has any better ideas on how to fix the Mets bullpen woes please share in the comments section below :-)

So, in closing, I’d like to give big ups to God, Buddha, L. Ron, whoever. Hell, maybe I just need to thank me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all my adventures and conquests, it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great. I just am great. I’m not trying to sound cocky or full of myself, but Kenny Powers has a sneaking suspicion that no matter what comes his way he will always be great. Because that’s just the way stuff works sometimes. This has been based on a true story. The end.

]]> 0
MMO Player Of The Week: Lucas Duda Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:30:07 +0000 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!























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  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 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

GO METS!!!!!

This Week’s Honorable Mentions

Scott Hairston























Omar Quintanilla























David Wright























R.A. Dickey























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

]]> 0
Memories Of Steve Chilcott Tue, 28 Feb 2012 18:35:54 +0000 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.

]]> 0
Happy Veteran’s Day From MMO Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:28:24 +0000

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!

]]> 0
Follow Mets Merized Online, And Join Us On Our Crusade Sat, 16 Jul 2011 14:00:25 +0000

As of this morning, we now have over 3,160 dedicated Mets fans following us on Twitter. Not nearly enough for the battle that lies ahead. We are an extraordinary species and when we are banded together in great numbers, there is nothing we can’t do.

We are led by a powerful force we simply know as @metsmerized, which you can follow by clicking on that strange symbol below. It is the mark that distinguishes us from all the others in the Mets Bologoshere and Twitterverse!

Long before time began, there was the Internet. We know not where it came from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill those worlds with blogs. That is how the Mets Blogosphere was born. For a time, we lived in harmony. But soon others came. And so began the great blog war. Many comrades were lost, but their sacrifices were not in vain. We scattered across the galaxy, hoping to find the best Mets bloggers and reclaim what was rightfully theirs. And just when all hope seemed lost, message of a new phenomenon drew us to an unknown website called… Metsmerized. This is where our story begins.

Autobots, Roll Out… 

Kelly Horn – @Rainiedazze
Sean Kenny – @TheSeanKenny
Jim Mancari – @JMMancari
John Delcos – @JDelcos
Stephen Hanks – @TomTerrific41
Joe Spector – @Joe_Spector
Michael Branda – @mbranda41
Ed Leyro – @Studi_Metsimus
Taryn Cooper – @Coopz22
Greg Pomes – @gregpomes
Ben Yoel – @ben_yoel
Nicholas Pugliese – @NickPugs97
Lenore Luca – @LenoreLuca
Rob Knapel – @MrMetsDaily
Dan Valis – @BgAppleMetsTalk
Brandon Butler – @ButlerBMMO
Clayton Collier – @Clayton_Collier
Justin Silberman – @Jsilbe3

These mightiest and original of Mets bloggers, are just some of those who have joined our crusade. More of them will come. Join Us - as we scour the far reaches of space to build the mightiest and the most interactive Mets community in the universe.

To those of you who seek Mets wisdom, follow us, for in unity there is strength, and with that strength greater knowledge can be gleaned.

Thank you, to all of you. You honor us with your readership.

My name is Joe D. and it has been an honor serving with you all.

]]> 0
Paul DePodesta On What Makes A Championship Player Thu, 30 Jun 2011 14:11:57 +0000 Last night, I had the pleasure of being on a conference call with Paul DePodesta, the Mets’ Vice President of Player Development & Amateur Scouting. He was kind enough to field questions from me and several other Mets bloggers, and I was able to get the following question in:

Joe DeCaro, Mets Merized Online:

A few years ago while in San Diego, you made/said the following quote in an interview:

 ”Makeup is often what separates the championship players from the rest of the pack. Nobody on talent alone is a championship player.”

Please expand on that a little and explain what you meant by makeup. Is it something you look for early in the pre-draft process, or is it something a player develops with the rest of his game over time?

Also, in your opinion, how does Jose Reyes rank as far as makeup goes and being a championship-type player.

Paul DePodesta, New York Mets:

For me, makeup can mean an awful lot of different things. It certainly can mean work ethic, character, selflessness. I think there are a lot of things that we look for when we talk about makeup. Certainly in that quote, those were some of the things I was referring to.

Some of the great players I’ve been lucky enough to be around over the years are guys that have tremendous ability but also outwork everybody else, too. I think that’s part of what makes them great. They also have a tremendous distaste for losing and also play the game with a lot of passion — they do everything with a lot of passion. They want to be out there, they want to compete, and they want to do what it takes to win. And they’re willing to make sacrifices today that they know might not pay off for them not only tomorrow but maybe not in a year, maybe not in two or three years, but eventually will pay off for them. I think that’s a special kind of mindset and certainly not everybody has it.

And there are plenty of players in the big leagues who are extremely talented and who work pretty hard and are very good and productive players, but I think what will cut off and separate guys is that will combined with that passion. And in that sense, it’s absolutely something we look for in the draft.

The minor leagues are a real grind, a real grind. Not a whole lot of players get through it, and it’s not always just because of talent. They deal with an awful lot of failure, they deal with a lot of fatigue, they deal with a lot of selfishness on the part of other players — everybody’s goal isn’t necessarily to win, it’s to get to the big leagues in front of their teammates, in front of the guy that’s playing next to him. It can be a difficult atmosphere, so we absolutely look for guys who can not only survive in that atmosphere, but really thrive in it and do well where others might get capsized.

In terms of Jose Reyes, it’s probably not my place to comment. Since I’ve been with the Mets, I’ve spent the bulk of my time on the road; I think I’ve been in New York for all of ten days and have only gotten to see a handful of games live, as opposed to TV, but I can tell you this: he certainly plays the game with a tremendous amount of passion, one of the keys I was talking about earlier. He loves to play, and I think he brings up the people around him, and I think that’s pretty obvious, even when you’re just watching on TV. That’s certainly an admirable quality.

As always, I want to thanks the Mets for the opportunity to paticipate in these types of functions which allows fans like us to gain more insight on the organizational philosophy of the team, as well as a better overall perspective.

James Kannengieser and Alex Nelson did the tedious work of transcribing the entire conference call which you can read on their site, Amazin Avenue. Thanks, guys.

You can also listen to our friend Kerel from On The Black who asked DePo about the upcoming Moneyball movie, which I thought was pretty interesting. Stephen Keane of the Kranepool Society also had a great question regarding the recent drat. Michael Baron of MetsBlog also has a summary recap of the call.

]]> 0
Mets Home Opener Trivia Contest! Five Lucky Winners! Fri, 08 Apr 2011 18:30:38 +0000 Time for another Mets Trivia Contest to celebrate today’s Home Opener at Citi Field…


162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season

A brand new release by author Howie Karpin that just came out this week and includes a foreword by David Wright. It imagines the unimaginable by bringing to life 162 of the best and most memorable Mets wins in franchise history. Need I say more?

The book is aptly organized into monthly chapters from April to October plus a chapter for the post season.

Each chapter includes a month full of the Mets’ most memorable wins!

162-0 is every Mets fan’s dream come true. Imagine an entire season in which the Mets never lose. No blowouts, no midseason slumps, and no heartbreaking losses to division rivals. Just 162 of the greatest victories in Mets history or in other words, the perfect season!


162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season

Just answer these three questions correctly and if you’re entry is one of five chosen from all the correct entires, you will win a FREE copy of this must-have book!

1. What starting pitcher started the most ”Home Openers” for the Mets?

2. What were the most runs the Mets ever scored in a “Home Opener” and who did they beat?

3. How many shutout victories have the Mets had during their “Home Opener”?

Email your answers to us at:

Only one entry per email address is allowed, and be sure to include “Get Metsmerized!” in the subject line. Your email entry must be received by 11:00 PM EST on Friday night That is tonight!

Five winning entries will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow or after they have been contacted.

We want to thank Howie Karpin and Triumph Books for allowing us to participate in this wonderful promotion.

You Can Buy “162-0″ Now By Clicking This Link!

Thank You for supporting Mets Merized Online, the Ultimate Mets Fansite!

]]> 0
Notorious Met Killers: The D-Train Mon, 28 Mar 2011 05:43:19 +0000 DONTRELLE WILLIS

Remember this guy? Facing the the D-Train in a three-game series against the Florida Marlins was always one of the least favorite things to do for the Mets back during the 2003 – 2006 seasons. Dontrelle Willis went 11-3 against the Mets with a 2.51 ERA in 19 starts.

Willis won the Rookie of the Year in 2003 and was nearly unstoppable in 2005 when he went 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. That season he also led the league with seven complete games and in shutouts with five.

Then it all began to unravel.

Today I saw his name flash across the transaction wire.

Left-hander Dontrelle Willis was reassigned to the Reds’ minor league camp.

Willis, who agreed to a minor league deal in November, was trying to win a spot in Cincinnati’s bullpen but walked 11 in 9 2/3 innings this spring. He had no decisions with a 9.31 ERA.

The 29-year-old Willis has struggled since that magical season in 2005, appearing in just 30 major league games over the last three seasons.

How the mighty have fallen.

“Notorious Met Killers” will be a new weekly feature on Mets Merized Online as I look back at some of the players that loved making life miserable for the Mets over the years. Feel free to leave some Notorious Mets Killers that you would like to see in future editions, in the comments section. 

]]> 0
162-0 Imagine A Mets Perfect Season – We’re Giving Away Five FREE Copies! Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:24:12 +0000

Update #2: So far we have 221 people who entered and 41 correct entries. The deadlin for entering is 11 PM tonight and we will choose five winners and announce them on Friday! 

Thanks to Susan Rose for sending us a picture of the Billy Joel DVD she won from MMO last week! I love these pics our winners are sending in!

* * * * * * * *

It’s time for another great Mets Merized Online Free Giveaway Contest and this time we are going completely bonkers as we are giving away not one, but FIVE FREE BOOKS! 

162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season

A brand new release by author Howie Karpin that just came out this week and includes a foreword by David Wright. It imagines the unimaginable by bringing to life 162 of the best and most memorable Mets wins in franchise history. Need I say more? 

The book is aptly organized into monthly chapters from April to October plus a chapter for the post season. Each chapter includes memorable wins that took place in the corresponding month. (That was genius by the way.)

162-0 is every Mets fan’s dream come true. Imagine an entire season in which the Mets never lose. No blowouts, no midseason slumps, and no heartbreaking losses to division rivals. Just 162 of the greatest victories in Mets history or in other words, the perfect season!


162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season

Just answer these three questions correctly and if you’re entry is one of five chosen from all the correct entires, you will win a FREE copy of this must-have book!

1. Only one Mets player wore uniform No. 62 in a regular season game. Who was it?

2. Which Met often went by the nickname, “The Hammer”?

3. When R.A. Dickey pitched his complete game one-hit shutout last season, which player got the only hit off of him?

Email your answers to us at:

Only one entry per email address is allowed, and be sure to include “Get Metsmerized!” in the subject line. Your email entry must be received by 11:00 PM EST on Thursday night. Five winning entries will be randomly selected and announced on Friday.

We want to thank Howie Karpin and Triumph Books for allowing us to participate in this wonderful promotion.

You Can Buy “162-0″ Now By Clicking This Link!

Thank You for supporting Mets Merized Online, your Ultimate Mets Fansite!

]]> 0
Happy Veterans Day To All Our True Heroes Thu, 11 Nov 2010 15:22:40 +0000 On behalf of everyone at Mets Merized Online we would like to take some time to remember and honor all of our brave servicemen and women that have served and continue to serve our great country.

Each Veteran’s day we have an opportunity to recognize the all 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!

]]> 0 5th Annual Mets Merized First Half Awards Wed, 14 Jul 2010 23:43:54 +0000

I can’t believe that this is our 5th Annual MMO First Half Awards. This year 17 MMO Bloggers weighed in, an all time high for us. After a few long hours, all the results have finally been tabulated and here they are presented for your enjoyment.

Best Mets Win

The 20 Inning Marathon (7 Votes) – Jose Reyes hits a tie-breaking sacrifice fly to help the Mets beat the Cardinals 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17th. It featured some great Mets clutch pitching that stranded 22 Cardinals, a spectacular defensive gem from Alex Cora, and Mike Pelfrey came in to pick up the first save of his career. It was the Mets’ longest game since they lost 4-3 to St. Louis in 25 innings on Sept. 11, 1974.

Honorable Mention: May 25th, Dickey throws seven shutout innings as Mets beat the Phillies 8-0. (4 votes)

Worst Mets Loss

K-Rod Blown Save Against Nats (6 Votes) – On July 3rd, R.A. Dickey out-dueled Nationals’ phenom Stephen Strasburg, but it all fell apart for the Mets when Frankie Rodriguez loaded the bases on a hit and two walks, and then served up a game-tying two-run double to Adam Dunn. K-Rod called it the worst game of his career… yep it was pretty gut-wrenching for us too.

Honorable Mention: May 2nd, 11-5 loss to the Phillies. Santana’s gives up a career worst 10 runs. (3 votes)

Most Valuable Player

David Wright (12 votes) – This one was a no-doubter as David Wright ended the first half in the top five inmost offensive categories including leading the league in RBIs. He is primed for a big second half.

Honorable Mention: Angel Pagan (3 votes)

Cy Young Winner

Mike Pelfrey (8 votes) – Big Pelf was able to squeak this one out with the three final tallies in his favor. He’s hit a wall lately, but for the first two months of the season he was one of the NL’s best. We’ll need him to regain that form if we expect to sip champagne in October.

Honorable Mention: Johan Santana (6 votes)

Most Memorable Moment

The Mets three game shutout sweep of the Phillies (5 votes) – That was some stretch of pure excellence from our staff… And it came amid worries about Oliver Perez and John Maine being yanked from the rotation. Back to back to back shutouts… yep, that was pretty sweet…

Honorable Mention: Jon Niese One Hitter (3 votes)

Most Surprising Player

R.A. Dickey (9 votes) - When Dickey got called up in a desperate move to try and help a struggling Mets rotation, nobody actually thought it would work. His knuckleball helped make the Mets relevant again in the race for the NL East. 

Honorable Mention: Angel Pagan (5 votes)

Most Disappointing Player

Jason Bay (9 Votes) - As Jerry Manuel would say, “no question, no question.” We paid for a Cadillac Escalade, but got a Ford Focus instead. Last year at this time he had 20 longballs and 72 ribbies, we expected a bit of a drop-off, but this was more like a free fall from the Empire State Building.

Honorable Mention: John Maine (4 votes)

Best Defensive Play

Ike Davis (14 Votes) - It doesn’t matter which of his over the rail catch and flips you choose, they were all spectacular, and they were all clutch. He’ll have enough footage to fill his own highlight DVD before the season is over. We really like Ike!

Honorable Mention: Ruben Tejada’s Jeter-esque spin and throw move. (2 Votes) 

Agree? Disagree? Let is know who you would have voted for… Up next, we dish out our first half report cards and tell you which Mets made the grade and which ones flunked out. Check back later.

Thanks to Sach, Metszilla’s Vinny & Jason, the Dynamic Duo: Coop and Ed, Yusef, Satish, Mike, Doug, Joe S., Stephen, Michael, Greg, Denise, Sean and Kelly for their participation!

]]> 0