Mets Merized Online » Minnesota Twins Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Twins Hire Former Mets Michael Cuddyer, LaTroy Hawkins Mon, 28 Nov 2016 20:00:16 +0000 latroy hawkins 2

According to Mike Berardino of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Twins have hired former Major Leaguers Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and LaTroy Hawkins as special assistants to baseball operations. They will “be responsible for serving as a resource for players and coaches in the mental and fundamental aspects of the game.”

According to Berardino, the three will be in uniform during Spring Training then helping out with the minor league affiliates during the season. The 2015 retirees are certainly good choices to help develop Twins’ players, as they have all had illustrious careers.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched for the Mets in 2013, and left his mark by introducing their relievers to the quick pitch when there are no runners on base. In his 20-year career, he went 75-94 with a 4.31 ERA, saving 127 games along the way. He was drafted by the Twins and played with them from 1995 to 2003.

michael Cuddyer

Two-time All Star and Batting Champion Michael Cuddyer was also hired by the Twins. Cuddyer, who played for the Mets in his final season (2015), had a solid 14-year career during which he hit .277/.344/.461 with 197 home runs and 794 RBIs. He was drafted by and played for the Twins from 2001-2011 before he went to Colorado where he won his batting title, hitting .331 in 2013.

The last former player hired by the Twins had the most impressive career of the three, even though he was never a Met. Torii Hunter, who was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame this summer, played for the Twins from 1997-2007 before going to the Angels from 2008-2012, the Tigers from 2013-2014, then back to the Twins for his final season in 2015. He pulled a Moonlight Graham in 1997, appearing in one game but did not get an at bat.

High up on the list of best defensive center fielders of all time, the 5-time All Star won nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 2001-2009 and the Silver Slugger award in 2009 and 2013. He finished his career with a .277/.331/.461 batting line with 353 home runs, 1391 RBIs, and 2452 hits. He will certainly get some Hall of Fame votes when he arrives on the ballot in a few years.

When LaTroy Hawkins and Michael Cuddyer were on the Mets, we all heard about how the veterans had a phenomenal clubhouse presence, helping develop the younger players. They will now be able to continue that work in Minnesota with the Twins.

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MMO Players Of The Week: Who Else But Rivera and Thor! Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:13:40 +0000 MMO PLAYER OF THE WEEK

With just under two weeks left in the 2016 regular season, the New York Mets are making their final push to position themselves as the top Wild Card seed, giving them home field advantage for the one-game playoff.

After a sweep over the weekend of the Minnesota Twins, and the San Francisco Giants splitting their four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets have a one-game lead over the Giants for the first wild card spot. The Mets continue to face a light schedule to end their season, facing the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Miami Marlins.

The Mets went 4-2 for the week of September 12-18 against the Washington Nationals and the Twins, but faced grim news over the weekend about one of their aces, Jacob deGrom. He was slated to return and start the final game of the Twins series on Sunday, but had to be shut down for the rest of the season due to an injury in the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. DeGrom didn’t complain of any troubles in his Friday bullpen session, however, he did feel pain when he was shagging fly balls in the outfield soon after. He’s been out since September 1 and was looked upon to give the Mets a dynamic one-two punch along with Noah Syndergaard, just in time for the playoffs. He will need surgery and the recovery time is expected to be three months.

The team is also waiting on the return of LHP Steven Matz, who hasn’t pitched since August 14, and has been on the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement since August 22. The Mets are hoping for his return later this week, but will be monitoring his workload.

The Mets will continue to rely on their rookie pitchers along with Noah Syndergaard and the ageless Bartolo Colon to help guide them to a potential October 5 date at Citi Field with the Giants for the Wild Card.

As always, here are your MMO Players of the Week for September 12-18.



T.J. Rivera earns MMO’s Player of the Week after going 9-for-20 (.450) with four runs batted in, three runs scored, two homers, one double, and one walk.

In his brief time with the big club, Rivera has displayed why he’s considered a professional hitter in the minors, hitting to all fields and striking out a low 10.9% of the time thus far. Rivera has put together some terrific at-bats as well, and had one of his breakout games last Tuesday against the Nationals. Rivera tied the game up at one in the third inning, singling to left on a 0-1 slider that scored Asdrubal Cabrera. He added another RBI in the top of the fifth, hitting a sac-fly to center field, allowing Curtis Granderson to score and give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

The Nationals tied the game up at three in the bottom of the ninth against Jeurys Familia and an error by Jose Reyes at third, sending the game into extras. After Jay Bruce grounded out, it was the Bronx product’s turn at the plate. Rivera smacked an 0-2 cutter off closer Mark Melancon into left field for a go-ahead homer, his first major league homer run. It was only the third home run given up by Melancon between the Pirates and Nationals this season.

Rivera was not known for his power while in the minors, only swatting 35 home runs in 625 career minor league games. His career high is 11, which he accomplished this season while playing for Triple A Las Vegas.

Rivera also had a huge weekend series against the Twins, including six hits, two for extra bases. Rivera hit his second career homer in Sunday’s 3-2 win in the third on a seven pitch at-bat against Kyle Gibson, his first at Citi Field.

Rivera has given the Mets a taste of what he can offer going forward, and should be afforded a chance in spring for the full-time second base job, unless the Mets decide to bring back Neil Walker on an extension or they offer and he accepts the qualifying offer in the off-season. At the very least, Rivera should be given an opportunity for the utility infielder role, similar to how Wilmer Flores was intended to be used this season.

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Noah Syndergaard takes home MMO’s Pitcher of the Week, after tossing another gem against the Nationals last Tuesday, in the Mets 4-3 win in 10 innings.

The Mets needed a win after dropping the first game of the Nationals’ series on Monday night, with the Giants ahead in the wild card standings by a game and a half, and the Mets only a half game ahead of the Cardinals. Syndergaard was tasked with shutting down the Nats’ lineup, and he produced. Thor tossed seven innings of one run ball, giving up four hits, one walk, and striking out 10, his fifth multi-strikeout game of the season, and first since his June 15 start against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home.

Syndergaard’s only blemish came in the bottom of the second, when he walked Bryce Harper to start the inning. Harper stole second (Syndergaard’s 46th stolen base allowed) and later scored on Wilson Ramos‘ 23rd double of the season, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead. But Syndergaard settled down and worked out of early trouble in the fifth, giving up a lead-off double to Ryan Zimmerman. Syndergaard would then proceed to strikeout the side in order, fanning Danny Espinosa, Stephen Drew, and Trea Turner on 14 pitches to get out of the inning.

Syndergaard has been sensational in his sophomore season with the Mets, with a record of 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA, currently third best in the majors behind only the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester. He’s logged a career high 174 innings to date, with 205 strikeouts to 40 walks.

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A Case For Eduardo Nunez Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:45:55 +0000 eduardo nunez

With the Mets sitting precariously in third place, it is almost universally accepted that Sandy Alderson will have to swing a trade or make a signing to cement the Mets as legitimate contenders from an offensive perspective.  Sure the sixth-year General Manager brought in Jose Reyes and worked out Yulieski Gourriel, but let’s face it, neither of those players are imminent game changers.

Fortunately, the Amazins’ have several potential trading partners emerging as teams begin to fall out of the playoff hunt. Among these potential future partners are the Minnesota Twins. At 24 and 51, the Twins sit in the cellar of the American League Central, 20.5 games out of first place. But amid season long struggles marked by injuries to key players and struggles of top prospects, third baseman and shortstop Eduardo Nunez has been a bright spot in the Minnesota lineup.

In his first season as a full time regular, the Dominican speedster has slashed .312/.342./.473 with 17 stolen bases, a tally good for third in the American League. Nunez is also in the midst of a career best power surge, in fact his 10 home runs this season are already a personal record.

Advanced metrics confirm that Nunez’s success has been no fluke. His .330 BABIP is not too distant from his .312 batting average, proving that luck has played a very limited role in his success.

Furthermore, his hard 28 percent hard hit rate and minuscule 13 percent strikeout rate have legitimized him as a true multi-faceted power and on base threat in the Twins’ line up.

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At 29 years old, Nunez has two years left of team control, making him significantly more than just a half season rental piece. But his recent success and multiple years of team control drive up his price substantially.

Conversations for Nunez would likely begin with a young high upside pitcher, according to a prominent Minnesota beat writer.  While the Twins would likely push for somebody in the Mets’ current rotation, they are open to high potential minor league talent, perhaps young pitchers such as Gabriel Ynoa or Marcos Molina.

The Twins also have a need for talented catching. Kurt Suzuki‘s impending free agency along with the struggles of Juan Centeno and John Ryan Murphy signify that the Mets would likely need to part with a backstop.  This means that one of Kevin Plawecki or Travis d’Arnaud probably needs to be on the table for the Twins to consider a deal.

Sure it’s a high ask, but Nunez is one of the premier options that the Mets can pursue in the near future. Unlike Gourriel or Reyes, Nunez is a young, controllable, known commodity, and he could provide the combination of speed and high on-base skills that the Mets so desperately need.

Given his production, potential, and availability, the Mets should certainly make a play for Eduardo Nunez. He’s an obvious fit; just how Yoenis Cespedes fulfilled the Mets’ power needs last year, Nunez could plug the gaping hole atop the Mets’ lineup this season.

With all that said, now we wait. Sandy, the ball is in your court.

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Sean Gilmartin Has Found Stability In Queens Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:49:12 +0000 sean gilmartin

While it’s safe to say that the weakest part of this Mets team is the bullpen, that is not to say that there haven’t been several bright spots in it this year. It started with the emergence of Jeurys Familia as one of the best stoppers in all of baseball in the absence of Jenrry Mejia. But it didn’t stop there.

On December 11th, 2014, the Mets selected Sean Gilmartin in the Rule 5 draft from the Minnesota Twins. Of course, acquiring a player this way comes with some strings attached. If the Mets chose not to have Gilmartin on their Opening Day roster, he would be sent back to the Twins. However, the lefty made the cut and didn’t look back from there.

As it stands today, Gilmartin has pitched 44.0 innings for the Mets and pitched to a 2.25 ERA with 43 strikeouts and only 14 walks. Especially as of late, Gilmartin has proved himself a viable option out of the pen for Terry Collins. He has even shown the ability to throw multiple innings at a time in extra inning games or when the starting pitcher gets knocked out early. He has thrown more than one inning in each of his last five appearances.

“My thought process daily was, especially in Spring Training, ‘Don’t give them a reason to send me back,” Gilmartin told Anthony DiComo of “You want to stick. You want to make an impact with the team that took you.”

Gilmartin is one of only six 2015 Rule 5 picks who stayed with the team that chose them for the entire season.

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Gardenhire To Replace Collins and Manage Mets In 2016? Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:11:09 +0000 ron gardenhire

MLB Network Radio host and former Mets GM Steve Phillips predicted that if former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire decides to return to managing in 2016, it will be with the Mets.

That’s a bold prediction by Phillips and if it were to happen it would certainly be a huge hit with the fans and a positive PR move for the organization.

Gardenhire, who was visiting Twins training camp, told the Star-Tribune that he “would love to manage again.”

“I’ve got a lot left in me in baseball. If somebody is looking for a manager and I’m a fit, great. I would love to manage again.”

Today we learned that Sandy Alderson was actually very close to firing Terry Collins as told in his new biography Baseball Maverick.

“Amid reports manager Terry Collins’ job was safe last August, Collins’ chance of returning actually was 51 percent, according to Alderson, who told Kettmann at the time: “Frankly, for me, that percentage has been eroding.”

“Alderson was upset about a drop in walks. We can’t just throw up our hands and say, ‘We’re not being selective at the plate anymore, so much for that. A meeting with hitters saved Collins’ job.”

Collins does have a 2016 option worth $1.2 million, and last month he said he has no intentions of retiring, which makes this all the more interesting.

Despite six playoff appearances in 13 seasons as Twins manager, Gardenhire was fired by the Twins.

So let’s see if I got this straight… a manager with six playoff appearances versus a manager with no post season appearances and a lengthy active losing streak to go with it. Yeah… I’d gladly love to see this happen.

But of course this is some pretty wild speculation by Phillips… At this point it’s way too early to be talking about successors to Collins who by the way is still the Mets manager and is planning to here next year.


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Mets Odds To Win World Series Now At 33:1 Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:00:28 +0000 world series trophy flags

In their latest Baseball Futures, leading online sports bookers Bovada, cast the Mets with 33/1 odds to win the World Series, that’s higher than last month when they were at 25/1.

The Nationals jumped ahead of the Dodgers and Red Sox to become the odds-on favorite. Both the Marlins and Braves gained some ground and are now tied with the Mets at 33/1.


Washington Nationals 6/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 8/1
Boston Red Sox 12/1
Chicago Cubs 12/1
Los Angeles Angels 12/1
St. Louis Cardinals 12/1
Detroit Tigers 14/1
Seattle Mariners 16/1
San Francisco Giants 18/1
Toronto Blue Jays 18/1


Chicago White Sox 20/1
Baltimore Orioles 22/1
Kansas City Royals 25/1
New York Yankees 25/1
San Diego Padres 25/1
Cleveland Indians 28/1
Atlanta Braves 33/1
Miami Marlins 33/1
New York Mets 33/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 33/1


Oakland Athletics 40/1
Texas Rangers 40/1
Cincinnati Reds 50/1
Houston Astros 50/1
Milwaukee Brewers 50/1
Tampa Bay Rays 66/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1
Colorado Rockies 100/1
Minnesota Twins 100/1
Philadelphia Phillies 100/1


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Rule 5 Draft: Mets Select LHP Sean Gilmartin, Lose 5 Players Including Logan Verrett and Cam Maron Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:22:02 +0000 Sean - Gilmartin

1:00 PM Update:

Mets selected no players in AA phase of Rule 5 Draft, but in addition to losing Logan Verrett in the MLB phase, they lost Greg Peavey, Cam Maron, Juan Carlos Gamboa and Randy Fontanez in the minor league phase.

 Mets Select LHP Sean Gilmartin, Lose RHP Logan Verrett

In the major league phase of today’s Rule 5 Draft, the Mets selected LHP Sean Gilmartin from the Minnesota Twins with the 14th overall selection.

Gilmartin, 24, was a first round selection of the Atlanta Braves in the 2011 draft. Prior to the 2012 season, Gilmartin was rated the Braves 5th best prospect. He was traded to the Twins after the 2013 season to the Twins for catcher Ryan Doumit.

In 2014, Gilmartin split time between the Twins’ Double-A affiliate the New Britain Rock Cats, and the Triple-A affiliate the Rochester Red Wings. He compiled a 9-7 record with a 3.71 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 26 starts. My guess is that he will compete for a spot as the second lefty out of the Mets bullpen in Spring Training.

The Mets lost RHP Logan Verrett also in today’s draft, who was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 28th overall selection.

Verrett, 24, was speculated to be taken in today’s draft, so this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. In 2014 for Triple-A Las Vegas, Verrett pitched to an 11-5 record, with a 4.33 ERA and 1.370 WHIP with a 6.6 K/9. Verrett did not rank in the Mets Top 20 Prospects entering this season.

Any player selected in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on the team’s 25-man roster for the entirety of the season. If the selecting team does not wish to keep a player on its 25-man roster for that time period, it must offer him back to his former team for $25,000.


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Frank Viola Made Mets Debut 25 Years Ago Today Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:24:44 +0000 frank viola

Twenty Five years ago today, on August 2, 1989 – Frank Viola made his New York Mets debut.

It was Wednesday night in St. Louis in front of 41,438 at Busch Stadium. Frank went 8 innings while allowing 4 hits, walking 5 batters and striking out 2 batters in a 4-3 victory, earning the victory. Randy Myers picked up the save and the Mets raised their record to 55-50 on the season.

The Mets starting lineup that evening:

  1. Keith Miller – 2B
  2. Juan Samuel – CF
  3. Howard Johnson – 3B
  4. Darryl Strawberry – RF
  5. Kevin McReynolds – LF
  6. Dave Magadan – 1B
  7. Barry Lyons – C
  8. Kevin Elster – SS
  9. Frank Viola - P

Frank was acquired on July 31st in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani and David West. Jack Savage was later sent to the Twins on October 16th as the player to be named later to complete the trade.

The following season, his first full year with the Mets, Sweet Music would go 20-12 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in an MLB high 35 starts. He would finish third in the Cy Young voting behind Doug Drabek and Ramon Martinez, but his 20 wins as a Met would not be matched until 22 years later when R.A. Dickey won his 20th on September 27, 2012.

Viola now serves as the pitching coach for the Mets’ in Triple-A Las Vegas, his fourth season in that role which has seen him preside over the development of pitching prospects Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard.

Happy Anniversary, Frank.

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Mike Pelfrey Getting Punk’d Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:34:45 +0000 Check out this video of former Met starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey getting punked by Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and his teammates.

This was hilarious… 

Pelfrey starred on the mound at Wichita State before being selected in the first round of the 2005 draft by the New York Mets.

That’s payback for all the times you gave us heartburn, Mike! :-)

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Twins, 1:05 PM Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:22:10 +0000 USATSI dillon gee

The New York Mets are in Fort Myers today to take on the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 PM. Dillon Gee will oppose Ricky Nolasco.

Unfortunately, the game will not be broadcast on TV or radio. But MMO is on site and I asked Dave to jump into our game thread and share any insights, quotes, images, etc.

Here are today’s lineups:


  1. Juan Lagares, cf
  2. Ruben Tejada, ss
  3. Lucas Duda, 1b
  4. Ike Davis, dh
  5. Andrew Brown, lf
  6. Zach Lutz, 3b
  7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rf
  8. Taylor Teagarden, c
  9. Omar Quintanilla, 2b


  1. Brian Dozier, 2b
  2. Jason Bartlett, ss
  3. Joe Mauer, dh
  4. Jason Kubel, rf
  5. Wilkin Ramirez, lf
  6. Chris Parmelee, 1b
  7. Josmil Pinto, c
  8. Eduardo Escobar, 3b
  9. Alex Presley, cf

Lucas Duda is starting at first base for the first time since injuring his left hamstring March 3. Ike Davis is in the game as well and will DH.

Looks like Juan Lagares is also tough as nails among his many other attributes. He’s in the game after taking a pitch to the shoulder yesterday and having a sizable bruise to show for a memento.

Dillon Gee is currently set to be the Opening Day starter and oppose Stephen Strasburg when the Mets take on the Nationals on March 31 at Citi Field.

Bobby Parnell is starting a minor league game today and will pitch 2 innings. He is expected to throw back to back days next week.

Enjoy the game and Lets Go Mets!

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Dillon Gee Is Mets’ Likely Opening Day Starter Thu, 20 Mar 2014 15:27:02 +0000 USATSI dillon gee

With Jon Niese likely to begin the season on the disabled list and not an option to pitch until April 6 at the earliest, a source has told ESPN New York that Dillon Gee may be named the team’s Opening Day starter although that has not been cemented yet.

Gee says he has not been told he will be OD starter yet. Terry Collins said that it could still be Bartolo Colon, and that a final decision could be made this weekend.

Gee is due to face the Minnesota Twins on Friday in Fort Myers, writes Adam Rubin. That’s exactly ten days before the season opener on March 31 against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.  Rubin adds that Gee went 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA against the Nats last season.

The righthander is coming off a season in which he led the team in wins and innings pitched while setting career highs in strikeouts (142) and ERA (3.62).

If I had my druthers I would prefer Zack Wheeler, mostly because he has outshined everyone in camp and arrived to Port St. Lucie with the goal of being named the Opening Day starter.

But I don’t have a problem with Gee who did enough last season to earn the nod.

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Spring Training Recap: Mets 3, Twins 3 Sat, 15 Mar 2014 20:35:59 +0000 USATSI dillon gee

The Mets hosted the Minnesota Twins at Tradition Field and played to a 3-3 nine inning tie on Saturday at Port St. Lucie.

Dillon Gee started the game for the Mets and tossed three scoreless innings. Gee surrendered five hits while walking none and striking out three, and lowers his ERA to 1.69 for the Spring.

Despite the solid outing, Gee said he wasn’t as efficient as he would have liked.

“I want to go more innings than that, that’s not good to go three innings with 65 pitches,” Gee said. “It’s my work for the day right now and hopefully during the season I’ll get more work out of that. ”

“Didn’t give up any runs, that’s a key. Didn’t feel that great today, whatever it was five days ago that made me feel so good wasn’t really there today,” Gee said. “Keep working on it and made big pitches when I had to today in key situations with guys on base. That was good.”


  • Vic Black continued his career long pattern of inconsistency, looking great one day and awful the next. He inherited a 3-0 lead and made it evaporate. In one inning pitched he allowed three earned runs on three hits, two walks and zero strikeouts.
  • Matt den Dekker picked up another two hits today and scored a run. He is now batting .420 and continues to inch his way onto the Mets Opening Day roster.
  • Jeurys Familia continues to pile on scoreless appearances and now has four innings pitched without a run or walk. He also threw a 100 mph fastball today. He has the best and most nastiest stuff in the Mets bullpen. Future stud right here…
  • Chris Young went 2-for-3 and hit his first home run as a Met. He’s now lifted his average to .290 this spring.
  • Daniel Murphy drive in one with a sac fly, and Josh Satin added a run with an RBI single.
  • With half their team in Las Vegas, the Mets borrowed a slew of minor league players to complete the game including top prospects Dominic Smith, Dilson Herrera and Dustin Lawley. It was nice to see.

Up Next:

We’ll do this again on Sunday as the Mets play two more games, the first at 1:05 PM against the Cardinals in Jupiter, and the second at 4:05 PM against the Cubs in Las Vegas.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Random Thoughts On Bartolo Colon Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:04:21 +0000 bartolo colon

Last night as I was getting comfortable on my couch, I was scanning the twitterverse and lo and behold what breaking news did I see but the unofficial announcement that the Mets had signed veteran starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon to a 2-year/$20 million dollar contract pending a physical. Obviously this set Mets Twitter on the verge of nuclear meltdown, the likes that no one has seen since Jason Bay agreed to that fateful 3-year/$66 million dollar contract.

Then I got to thinking: What does this mean to the average Mets fan and how does this affect the Mets over the course of the next 2 years? So here are some random thoughts on the signing of Bartolo – or as the newly signed outfielder, Chris Young refers to him as – ToeLo.

Bartolo’s uniform number should be the same as his waist size (50).

Part of Colon’s contract is that he gets his own show on SNY called Bartolo vs Food.

I wonder who would win in a Sumo wrestling match in a ring filled with Jell-O, him or Mo Vaughn ?

With Bartolo on the mound there is no need for infielders – because he is the infield.

Bartolo makes me look svelte.

He gets his own personal “Shake Shack!”

I bet he doesn’t find salmon tasty.

And lastly, and in all seriousness, this is a good signing that hopefully will help the Mets compete in 2014.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!

Sadly on this date in 1992, Rube Walker – the Mets pitching coach/guru from ’68-’81 – passed away.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Jim Gosger and utility infielder, Bob Heise to the San Francisco Giants for middle reliever, Ray Sadecki and reserve outfielder, Dave Marshall on December 12, 1969.

In what can and should be considered one of the worst trades in Mets history, the New York Mets traded outfielder, Rusty Staub and minor league pitcher, Bill Laxton to the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher,  Mickey Lolich and reserve outfielder,  Billy Baldwin on December 12, 1975.

Lolich was supposed to help strengthen the Mets pitching rotation but finished his lone season with a record of 8-13. He retired after the season ended so that he could open a doughnut shop, but then he unretired in ’78 to pitch for the San Diego Padres !!!

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Gene Clines to the Texas Rangers for outfielder, Joe Lovitto on December 12, 1975.

Lovitto ended up being released by the Mets during spring training.

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Roy Lee Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays for utility infielder,  Bob Bailor on December 12, 1980.

The New York Mets signed free agent back up catcher,  Orlando Mercado of the Minnesota Twins on December 12, 1989.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Ochoa to the Minnesota Twins for reserve outfielder, Rich Becker on December 12, 1997.

The New York Mets signed free agent José Valentin of the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 12, 2005. This was one of then General Manager ,Omar Minaya’s best under the radar signings

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher, Connor Robertson on December 12, 2008. After the way Scho pitched that last game of the season everybody knew he wouldn’t ever return to the Mets.

The New York Mets granted  reliever and alleged murderer, Ambiorix Burgos granted free agency on December 12, 2008.

The New York Mets claimed starting pitcher, Jeremy Hefner on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 12, 2011.

Hefner pitched admirably if not uneven the last two seasons for the Mets in a limited role. Lets hope his surgically repaired pitching arm is ready for the ’15 season .

Mo Vaughn is looking forward to chewing the fat with Bartolo Colon!!!

If you want to hear the rebroadcast of last night’s “Shouts From Shea” podcast featuring myself as well as Steven Keane from “The Kranepool Society” please click here. Our guests include Joe D of this fine blog as well as Danny Abriano from the “Rising Apple” blog.


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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Random Thoughts On Granderson Sun, 08 Dec 2013 16:31:10 +0000 Orioles at Yankees

When the news broke late Friday morning that the Mets had finally came to an agreement with outfielder, Curtis Granderson I admit I did the proverbial  “happy dance” while driving in my car. Yes Granderson is not the “savior” that the Mets need to help this team escape from mediocrity as well as ineptitude. But his signing is a start and I do agree with Daily News columnist, Andy Martino, that his signing is the type of signing that shows other free agents that the Mets are trying to field a team that is trying to win.

Is Granderson a game changing free agent like Pedro Martinez or Carlos Beltran like the Mets signed before the 2005 season? No, but I feel he will be more of a leadership type ala Cliff Floyd, and a good complimentary player that will take the pressure off some of the other players including David Wright who now doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting.

Is he worth the contract that he signed? Well he got a contract that reflects the robust free agent market this season. Would I have gone a fourth year? Obviously if I didn’t have to I wouldn’t, but hopefully by the end of his contract he will still be healthy enough to produce and that his career doesn’t mirror that of George Foster.

Lastly, I do not believe Mike Francesa’s “sources” that Jeff Wilpon had to twist Alderson’s arm to go the fourth year on Granderson. I’ll go with Mike Puma’s version of events, who tweeted that the fourth year was all Sandy. Now lets just hope the Mets GM can do some adding-on this week in Orlando.

And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:

The original “Crazy Horse”, shortstop Tim Foli is 63 (1950). Foli was one of the players that was dealt in the trade that brought Rusty Staub to the Mets. The Mets would bring him back seven years later as a utility infielder.

Other transactions of note include:

The New York Mets purchased the contract of outfielder, Richie Ashburn from the Chicago Cubs on December 8, 1961. Ashburn was the first Met to ever bat over .300.

The New York Mets traded reserve infielder,  Elio Chacon and starting pitcher, Tracy Stallard to the St. Louis Cardinals for  outfielder, Johnny Lewis and middle reliever,  Gordie Richardson on December 8, 1964.

The New York Mets traded  former Rookie of the Year pitcher, Jon Matlack and power hitting first baseman/outfielder, John Milner to the Texas Rangers for first baseman, Willie Montanez, as well as reserve outfielders, Ken Henderson and Tom Grieve on December 8, 1977. This trade definitely goes down as one of the top 10 worst trades in Mets history!

The New York Mets traded fan favorite Jerry Koosman to the Minnesota Twins for future closer, Jesse Orosco and Greg Field on December 8, 1978. Koosman demanded to be traded when he saw how the Mets front office dismantled the team the season prior. M. Donald Grant granted Kooz his demands and it would take four years until we realized that the Mets got the better end of that deal.

The New York Mets traded utility infielder, Bob Bailor and spot starter/middle reliever, Carlos Diaz to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher, Sid Fernandez and utility infielder, Ross Jones on December 8, 1983. This in my opinion was one of the biggest steals in Mets history

The Florida Marlins signed first baseman, Dave Magadan of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 8, 1992.I always felt is was a no brainer that “Mags” should have been the heir apparent to Keith Hernandez‘s job after “Mex” was let go. But the Mets management didn’t see him that way and paired him with various players in a platoon role. One has to wonder what coulda been if he was given the role full time.

The Florida Marlins signed starting pitcher,  Al Leiter of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 8, 2004. Although Mets fans saw Leiter as a clubhouse lawyer type it is not crazy to say that was one of the best pitchers over the last 20 years to wear a Mets uniform.

Mo Vaughn thinks the Grandy Man can!!! He was heard singing the confectionery jingle, “I Want Candy.”

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “Oh, Sandy” Edition Sun, 01 Sep 2013 15:11:32 +0000 sandy alderson

Sometimes I wonder why I even read some Mets related posts on Facebook or Twitter. If you were to gauge the Mets fan base on the way General Manager, Sandy Alderson has run the team, well you would think that this team was based out of Miami.

Yes, I realize that the lunatic fringe faction of our fan base ( a small  – yet loud minority) will never be satisfied with Alderson until this team finally turns things around and starts winning more than it loses. They are unhappy when Alderson doesn’t spend money… Although those among us who are remotely sane understand that is the burden of Mets’ ownership who either willingly or unknowingly (depending on whose accounts you believe) lost a ton of dough in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Alderson got eviscerated when he finally did sign a player to a big money multi-year  contract… Yes… it was Frank Francisco… And yes… we know he made Bobby Bonilla look good by comparison… But at least Alderson did try to fill a need by signing a proven closer … who ended up failing.

But lets take a look at some of Alderson’s other successes which has undeniably put this team in a better position than it was before he took over after the 2010 season. He was able to obtain Zack Wheeler – the San Francisco Giants best pitching prospect for seven weeks of Carlos Beltran – who was about to hit the free agent market at the end of that season and had no compensation picks attached to him.

He was able to trade R.A. Dickey, the 37 year old 2012 Cy Young award winning pitcher as well as roster fillers; Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Toronto Blue Jays, in return for stud catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, minor league pitching phenom Noah Syndergaard, low-level outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra and veteran catcher John Buck.

This past week Alderson was able to repackage Buck along with outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pirates for second base prospect, Dilson Herrera and the recently announced player to be named later in the deal – closing prospect, Vic Black. By the way… Herrera is off to a great start since being traded to the Mets, and has batted .385  with 4 RBIs and a OBP of .438!

Lastly, this past June, Sandy was able to obtain outfielder, Eric Young Jr. from the Colorado Rockies for minor league starting pitcher, Collin McHugh. Since his trade to the Mets, Young has been a catalyst out of the leadoff spot. Am I saying that Young is the answer to the Mets’ outfield needs? No, but he could be an asset off the bench if Alderson isn’t able to find a power bat that this team desperately needs in the offseason.

So here you have it a bunch of god reasons to be happy with Sandy, and I really do believe that this team will be one to reckon with in a very short period of time.

Your thoughts ?

And with that said….


Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

The only Mets coach to be born in Canada, Tom Burgess would have been  86 today (1927).

One time top Mets pitching prospect, David West is 49 (1964).  West was one of the players that was sent over to the Minnesota Twins for one time Cy Young Award winning pitcher, Frank Viola.

Middle reliever from the ’96 season, Derek Wallace is 42 (1971). Wallace appeared in 19 games for the Mets during the ’96 season. He finished the year with a record of 2-3 with 3 saves and a 4.01 E.R.A.

Some other notables:

The  New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Rod Gaspar to the San Diego Padres for middle reliever, Ron Herbel, on September 1, 1970.

The New York Mets traded minor league pitcher, Kyle Kessel to the Detroit Tigers for journeyman reliever, C.J. Nitkowski on September 1, 2001.

The New York Mets signed free agent pitcher, Alay Soler on September 1, 2004. Soler was the Mets first foray into signing a Cuban defector. But as the Mets luck had it, he was a bust , going  2-3 with a 6.00 ERA during the ’06 season. He was released during Spring Training of ’07 and never resurfaced with another team.


Mo Vaughn is slated to open the first ever Fatburger franchise in New York City. The burger joint known for its tasty burgers of beefiness will only be allowed to serve him and his huge appetite!!!

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Everything’s Coming Up Apples… Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:00:30 +0000 So all of a sudden these strangely colored orbs are appearing all over our great city.

Have you come across any of them?

Most of you have probably seen this one, which stands outside the Mets Shop at Citi Field, but what about all the others?

Here’s a map of where all these forbidden fruits can be located… And you can check out the many Met fans who are submitting pics of these Apple Sightings by searching the hashtag #ASGApples on Twitter. Apples Parade 1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Atlanta Braves*
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Chicago White Sox
7. Cincinnati Reds
8. Cleveland Indians
9. Colorado Rockies
10. Detroit Tigers
11. Houston Astros*
12. Kansas City Royals*
13. Los Angeles Angels
14. Los Angeles Dodgers
15. Miami Marlins*
16. Milwaukee Brewers
17. Minnesota Twins
18. New York Mets*
19. New York Yankees
20. Oakland Athletics
21. Philadelphia Phillies
22. Pittsburgh Pirates
23. San Diego Padres
24. San Francisco Giants
25. Seattle Mariners
26. St. Louis Cardinals
27. Tampa Bay Rays*
28. Texas Rangers
29. Toronto Blue Jays
30. Washington Nationals
31. MLB All-Star Game
32. American League*
33. National League*
34. Brooklyn Dodgers
35. New York Giants
Modell’s: 1293 Broadway @ 34th Street
TBS: Time Warner Center – Columbus Circle
Chelsea Market: 75 9th Avenue btwn 15th and 16th Street
Party City: 223 West 34th Street btwn 7th and 8th Avenues
Staybridge Suites: 340 West 40th Street btwn 8th and 9th Avenues
Toys “R” Us: 1514 Broadway @ 44th Street
Modell’s: 607 Sixth Avenue @ 18th Street
Topps: 1 Whitehall Street @ Bridge Street
World Financial Center: 200 Liberty Street @ West Street
Duane Reade: 1657 Broadway btwn 51st and 52nd Streets
Westin: 212 East 42nd Street btwn 2nd and 3rd Avenues
FOX: 1211 Avenue of Americas btwn 47th and 48th Streets
Bed Bath and Beyond: 410 East 61st Street @ 1st Avenue
T-Mobile: 322 West 125th Street @ 8th Avenue
Grace Building: West 43rd Street @ 6th Avenue
Office of the Commissioner: 245 Park Avenue @ 46th Street
Best Buy: 1 Union Square South @ 14th Street
SNY: 75 Rockefeller Center btwn 5th and 6th Avenues
Modell’s: 234 West 42nd Street btwn 7th and 8th Avenues
Modell’s: 795 Columbus Ave. @ 100th Street
Party City: 38 West 14th Street btwn 5th and 6th Avenues
Niketown: 6 East 57th St btwn Madison and 5th Avenues
Sony: 550 Madison Ave btwn 55th and 56th Streets
Tommy Bahama: 551 5th Ave @ 45th Street
Nintendo: 10 Rockefeller Plaza @ 48th Street
Buy Buy Baby: 270 7th Ave btwn 26th and 25th Streets
120 Park Avenue @ 42nd Street
Zuccotti Park: 1 Liberty Plaza btwn Broadway & Church Street
Intercontinental: 111 East 48th Street @ Lexington Avenue
Intrepid Museum: 1 Intrepid Square @ West 46th Street
Citi Field: 123-01 Roosevelt Ave @ 126th Street
NY Public Library: 11 West 40th Street @ 5th Avenue
NY Public Library: 11 West 40th Street @ 5th Avenue
Grand Central Terminal @ 42nd Street
Grand Central Terminal @ 42nd Street
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From Left Field: Should The Mets Have Made A Run At Mauer? Fri, 31 Aug 2012 14:21:53 +0000 Joe Mauer at Fenway Park (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Joe Mauer at Fenway Park (Photo by Jim Mancari)

The Minnesota Twins places All-Star catcher Joe Mauer on revocable trade waivers earlier this week, and, not too surprisingly, no team put a claim in for him.

The 29-year-old is due $23 million per season through 2018, so team’s likely balked at that salary.

I heard some reports that the Mets should have gone after Mauer if the Twins were willing to work out a deal. I know it’s slightly after the fact (at least until the offseason), but let’s dissect this trade possibility.

Yes, Mauer isn’t exactly his former self and projects more as a first baseman than a catcher, but the guy is producing this year at a .312 clip with eight home runs and 68 RBI, which earned him his fifth All-Star selection.

The Mets are desperately seeking offensive production from the catcher’s spot, and Mauer would be an instant upgrade. Kelly Shoppach has looked OK offensively, but Shoppach is not Mauer, end of story.

The problem here is that in order to keep Mauer healthy, he needs to either play first base or DH. Obviously DH is not an option in the NL, so it would have to be first base.

Ike Davis is currently the Mets first baseman. He struggled out of the gate early, but his power numbers have been just as expected. Are we already willing to give up on Ike in favor of a catcher who is more of a first baseman?

Let’s say though the Mets can trade Ike for some outfield help. In fact, let’s say that Ike is included in a deal for Mauer that also nets the Mets Josh Willingham. The “Hammer” is signed for $14 million over the next two seasons, but he’ll also be 34 to begin next season.

However, the whole purpose in trading for Mauer would be to add him to a lineup that includes Ike Davis. So instead the Mets would have to dig into their prospects for a deal.

Think back to winter 2008 when the Mets and Twins made a trade for Johan Santana. The Twins acquired four prospects: Phil Humber, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Humber pitched a perfect game but for the White Sox, Gomez is now on the Brewers, Mulvey is gone from the Twins system and Guerra may have a shot to be a decent pitcher for the Twins.

If the Mets start throwing around names like Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Collin McHugh (obviously Zack Wheeler is untouchable), the Twins may get skeptical based on the results of the other trade. But that’s the whole point of rolling the dice on prospects; some don’t pan out.

I’m not a general manger (maybe just an arm-chair GM), but if somehow the Mets could have worked out a deal for Mauer and Willingham, the team would be in good shape maybe just for next year, but beyond that it would be a gamble. Here’s what a lineup would look like, assuming no other big moves were made:

Tejada SS, Murphy 2B, Mauer C, Wright 3B, Davis 1B, Willingham LF, Duda RF, CF (either Hairston, Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker, B.J. Upton perhaps).

This would be a pretty good team, but I just don’t see it happening. Actually to answer the title question, I don’t want it to happen. If the Twins were going to ask for mid-level prospects just to get something back for Mauer, then maybe. But Mauer is locked up for six more years, so the Twins would have to be blown away by an offer for this to work. They aren’t going to trade their only superstar just for the sake of making a deal.

So instead, expect something a little more like this for next season:

Tejads SS, Murphy 2B, Wright 3B, Davis 1B, Hairston/Baxter RF, Duda/Bay LF, Shoppach/Thole C, CF (Nieuwenhuis or den Dekker).

GM Sandy Alderson said the team would be creative in the trade market perhaps. The free agent market will be weak this offseason (except for Josh Hamilton, fat chance Mets fans!), so trades will be the only way to improve this team.

Again, if the Mets and Twins can work out a trade for Mauer and even throw in Willingham in which the Mets assume the contracts (another big if) rather than mortgaging the farm system, I guess it could work. But that’s living in a fantasy world.

The safe bet: Stay away from Mauer and explore other options.

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Minnesota Twins And Orlando Hudson Make It Official Fri, 05 Feb 2010 15:24:57 +0000

The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have agreed to terms with second baseman Orlando Hudson on a one-year contract worth $5 million dollars for the 2010 season.

Hudson, 32, batted .283 (156-for-551) with 35 doubles, six triples, nine home runs and 62 RBIs in 149 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He was named to his second career All-Star team (2007) and also won his fourth career Rawlings Gold Glove Award (2005, 2006 and 2007). Following the 2009 season, Hudson was named the Best Defensive Second Baseman by Baseball America in its annual tools issue.

Since making his Major League debut in 2002, Hudson has a career batting-average of .282 (1035-for-3670) with 214 doubles, 50 triples, 77 home runs and 434 RBIs in 1014 games with Toronto, Arizona and Los Angeles (NL). He has recorded 120-or-more hits in each of the last seven seasons. (via

Obviously, this will put the O-Dog to the Mets rumors to rest for yet another season.

Interestingly enough though, is the fact that Hudson takes over at second base for the Twins, ultimately replacing Castillo who they traded to the Mets in 2007. Since then, the Mets have spent two off-seasons trying to rid themselves of Castillo with the hopes of replacing him with O-Dog. It looks like the Twins succeeded where the Mets could not.

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What Bad Economy? MLB Salaries Rise To Just Under $3M Tue, 01 Dec 2009 11:00:43 +0000 On Monday, an Associated Press report by Ronald Blum revealed that the average annual salary for major league baseball players rose from $2,930,000 to $2,996,000.  Although the 2.4% increase in salary represents the smallest rise in player wages since 2004, the stage has now been set for next year being the first season in which the average major league baseball player will earn $3 million.

The figures for each team were calculated by taking the average annual salaries of the 926 players on major league rosters during the 2009 season before the rosters expanded in September.

For the 11th consecutive season, the Yankees had the highest average player salary at $7.66 million.  By comparison, the highest average player salary in the National League belonged to the Cubs.  The average Cub player made $4.63 million this past season.

Six of this year’s playoff teams finished in the top eight in player salaries.  It would have been seven out of eight had the Tigers (fourth in average player salary at $4.43 million) defeated the Twins in the one-game playoff for the AL Central Division title.  The only two playoff teams that were not in the top eight in average player salary were the Colorado Rockies (15th, $2.93 million) and the Minnesota Twins (17th, $2.66 million).

The Mets finished ninth in average player salary.  Their $3.76 million average player salary was the highest for any team that finished with a losing record.  This was only $300,000 less than the Phillies ($4.06 million), who took that extra money and cashed it in for their third straight division title and second consecutive National League pennant.

Only two teams had average annual player salaries under $1 million.  Those teams were the Pittsburgh Pirates ($790,000) and the San Diego Padres ($959,000).  Mets fans, take note.  The Padres actually finished with a better record than the Mets, completing the 2009 season with a 75-87 mark.

The numbers don’t lie.  The teams that spend the money make the most noise in the standings.  The teams that remain thrifty make their offseason plans at the All-Star Break.  However, it’s not just spending money that wins championships.  It’s how that money is spent.

The Mets can’t just give their money away to players with injury histories or erratic careers (i.e. J.J. Putz and Oliver Perez).  If they are going to acquire a player that falls into either category, they cannot pay for this player the way they would pay for an All-Star.  The big contracts should only go to sure things; players that are locks to perform well whenever they’re on the field.  If the Mets fail to realize this, frugal teams like the Padres might continue to have better records than our Metropolitans and our team might continue to be the only team in the top ten in average player salaries with a losing record.

Interesting note:  With average player salaries about to surpass the $3 million plateau, it should be worth noting that the first player in baseball history to earn $3 million per season was Kirby Puckett.  Almost twenty years ago to the day (November 22, 1989), Puckett signed a three-year, $9 million contract to stay with the Minnesota Twins.  Over the course of the past twenty years, salaries have skyrocketed to the point that an average player now makes what a Hall-of-Famer made only 20 years ago.  I can be an average left-handed reliever.  Give me $3 million and I’m yours!

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The Twins Are Everything I Wanted The Mets To Be Wed, 07 Oct 2009 11:08:59 +0000 I had no intentions of watching the one game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers last night. Somehow, almost as if it was fate, I came upon the game while channel surfing and paused only because I heard Ron Darlings voice. “Wow’, I thought to myself, “at least one 2009 Met made it to the post season.”

It was the seventh inning and I figured, what the heck, I’ll just watch and see who gets the honor of being mauled by the Yankees later this week.

The high definition drama that would then unfold before my very eyes swallowed me whole. The game sunk its claws into me and it didn’t let go.

By the time everything was said and done, I found myself cheering for the Twins and rooting for guys like Joe Mauer, Orlando Cabrera and of course our old friend Carlos Gomez who scored the dramatic winning run in the bottom of the 12 inning. From the time I tuned in until the end, I watched the lead change hands five times. What a battle…

“This is the most unbelievable game I’ve ever played or seen,” Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.

Their thrilling victory stirred me inside, and I was so happy and grateful that fate led me to watch one of the most exciting finishes to a game that I had seen all year.

Immediately after the game, I quickly went online while the festivities ensued on TBS. I was curious about the makeup of their roster. Surprisingly, I hardly recognized most of the names. Who are these guys I thought, and why are they going to the Divisional Series while my Mets wallow in self pity?

The Twins are mostly comprised of one huge mega-star in catcher Joe Mauer, who is then surrounded by a host of quality complimentary players like Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young. Cabrera and his .312 OBP is the spiritual heart of the team, and yes grit and leadership does trump statistical nirvana.

Who could believe that the Mets would swindle the Twins out of their ace Johan Santana, and that they would be the ones to go to the post season first?

Last night I filed for temporary custody of the Twins as my new adoptive team… at least for the duration of their joyride. A ride that I hope leads them to the pinnacle of baseball.

They are everything I wanted the Mets to be.

Join us for a LIVE CHAT tomorrow at 8:00 PM, as we will field questions about the current state of the Mets, and what the Hot Stove Season may have in store for the Amazins. It will be part of a regular feature all off season long as we track and discuss all of the Mets off season moves. Mets baseball never ends on Mets Merized Online.

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