Mets Merized Online » new york http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 04 Dec 2016 12:53:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 It’s Gut Check Time For The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/its-gut-check-time-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/its-gut-check-time-for-the-mets.html/#comments Mon, 07 Sep 2015 14:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192670 david wright

“It’s going to be a big series. It’s two really good teams going at it. And they’re playing good baseball. We could have very easily come out of here with three wins. We come out with one. But we’ve got to turn the page and get ready for D.C.”

- David Wright

There are 26 games left to be played for the Mets in the 2015 regular season.

At this point the New York Metropolitans are perched atop the NL East with a four game lead over the Washington Nationals. The Mets begin an important three game series against the Nats this afternoon in what is going to be a pivotal series for both teams as they each look to win the division. It’s the biggest series of the season.

The Mets are 37-20 vs. the NL East this year, including 15-13 on the road. Their .649 winning percentage is the best for any team within its own division this year.

New York is 7-6 vs. the Nationals this year after going 4-15 vs. them in 2014. The Mets have certainly improved against the Nats but clearly it’s time to pull out all the stops.

The Nationals are coming in hot, riding a five game winning streak, while the Mets are coming off a series loss to the lowly Miami Marlins.

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Yesterday was yesterday, and today is today. The Mets are still a team in first place with a respectable four game lead over the Nationals. I’d rather be the team being chased than the team tasked with doing the chasing.

It’s easy to believe that we are on the heels of another 2007 or 2008 type collapse. However, this team has shown a resiliency that we haven’t seen before over the last decade.

Time and time again this season, the Mets have fought back from every adversity and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t bounce back again in this critical series.

The ride is sure to be bumpy, but there is no reason to believe this club does not have what it takes to be this season’s NL East division champions and advance to the postseason.

The Mets will line up Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom against the Nationals’ top three starters; Max Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg.

The Mets do need to turn it up a notch in this series and I believe they will meet that challenge. They will also receive some help from the calvary as Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda will return to the starting line-up.

The time is now for this team to show they mean business on top of this division. This is serious September baseball at it’s best. The Mets have a great opportunity to create space between themselves and the Nationals and now is the time to do it. It’s gut-check time.

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MMO Game Thread: Mets vs Braves, 1:05 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/mmo-game-thread-mets-vs-braves-105-pm.html/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:39:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175600 terry collins

The Mets’ Grapefruit League season begins today with RHP Dillon Gee getting the starting assignment and opposing LHP Wandy Rodriguez and the Atlanta Braves at Disney World in a 1:05 PM start..

Also scheduled to pitch for the Mets today are Dario Alvarez, Erik Goeddel, Jack Leathersich, Akeel Morris, Scott Rice, Zack Thornton and Jon Velasquez.

The game is not televised, but will be broadcast on WOR radio with newly hired Wayne Randazzo doing play-by-play along with Josh Lewin.

Mets Starting Lineup

1. Juan Lagares, CF
2. Matt den Dekker, RF
3. Wilmer Flores, SS
4. Travis d’Arnaud, C
5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, LF
6. Eric Campbell, 3B
7. Brandon Allen, 1B
8. Kevin Plawecki, DH
9. Dilson Herrera, 2B

Dillon Gee, RHP

Braves Starting Lineup

1. Eric Young Jr., CF
2. Jace Peterson, SS
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Jonny Gomes, DH
5. A.J. Pierzynski, C
6. Chris Johnson, 3B
7. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
8. Zoilo Almonte, RF
9. Cedric Hunter, LF

Wandy Rodriguez, LHP

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Collins and Tejada Respond To Jose Reyes Criticism http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/collins-and-tejada-respond-to-jose-reyes-criticism.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/03/collins-and-tejada-respond-to-jose-reyes-criticism.html/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:04:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175347 jose-reyes

Terry Collins told reporters that he has no problem with Jose Reyes being critical of Ruben Tejada.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with one of your peers challenging you once in a while,” Collins said

“Reyes is a guy who gets ready to play. I think the world of Jose Reyes. Apparently, he may know something I don’t. They were good buddies when they were here and I think Jose might know some things that I don’t know.”

Tejada also responded to the criticism.

“He tried to push me up and tried to help me. And that’s the way to take that comment.”

“I try to do my best and come every day to work hard.”

February 27

Former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes had some harsh words for Ruben Tejada for failing to grab hold of the starting shortstop job with the Mets.

In an interview with reporter Anthony Reiber of Newsday, Reyes expressed disappointment in Tejada believing his former teammate didn’t do enough to win the job and keep it.

“He had the opportunity to be the everyday shortstop for a long time there in New York. You have to work, man. When you’re younger, you think you have everything there for you. But if you do something wrong, it’s going to go away. Quick.”

“Do the right stuff, work hard, and you’re going to be here in New York. Because the talent is there. You’re so young. And now he’s in a tough position because he doesn’t even have a position.”

“Something’s wrong,” Reyes said. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Reyes said he tried to tell Tejada he had to try harder or risk becoming an afterthought at age 25.

“Every time I talk to him I try to give him some advice,” Reyes said. “What can I do? I try to push him to do stuff. I don’t know if he gets it or not.”

In 2013, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson publically criticized what he felt was Tejada’s reluctance to do extra work. The team also has expressed unhappiness with Tejada’s conditioning, although that doesn’t appear to be an issue now.

Terry Collins said earlier this week that Tejada will get every opportunity to win the starting shortstop job believing he could still be an All Star offensively.

However, Wilmer Flores is expected to earn the Opening Day job according to recent statements by Sandy Alderson.

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Johan Santana Signs With The Blue Jays http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:32:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175290 johan-santana

Former Mets’ ace Johan Santana will make another attempt to return to the major leagues this season. The Toronto Blue Jays announced today that they will sign Santana to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Santana missed the entire 2013 season recovering from shoulder surgery, and his comeback last year was derailed due to a torn Achilles.

While Santana’s tenure in New York was marred by injuries, he did provide the Mets with some outstanding moments. He finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2008 with a 16-7 record and a 2.53 ERA. He also threw the Mets first ever no-hitter during the 2012 season against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/feed/ 0 Ike Davis Still Has Dirty Taste In His Mouth http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ike-davis-still-has-dirty-taste-in-his-mouth.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/ike-davis-still-has-dirty-taste-in-his-mouth.html/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:54:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175262 ike-davis-mlb-oakland-athletics-workout-850x560

In an exclusive interview with Andy Martino of the Daily News, former Mets first baseman Ike Davis still has a bad taste in his mouth from his time in New York.

Nearly a year removed from New York, he can now acknowledge several hard truths: His Valley Fever returned last spring, which was not previously known (Davis feels much better now, he says, but his 2014 Mets physical revealed the issue had once again appeared on his lungs). The ankle injury in 2011 altered the course of his career. And he was deeply hurt by a 2012 report suggesting that the Mets took issue with his nightlife habits.

“That’s really the only thing that I still have a dirty taste in my mouth about. Because everything else, you could see it in numbers. What, am I going to argue? I didn’t play well. But as far as calling me out for drinking problems, and being a bad influence — that was a joke. It’s ridiculous. But you can use it as a learning experience: You can’t trust people.”

The perception followed Davis when the Pirates acquired him last April, and his manager Clint Hurdle raised the issue.

“Clint asked me about it when I first got over there,” Davis says. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but a guy made up an article.’

“He was like, ‘I heard you’ve had issues.” And I was like, ‘Issues with what? I’ve never gotten in trouble. I’ve never gotten in a fight. I’ve never done anything to anyone. Yeah, I’ve gone out and had beers and stuff, but who hasn’t done that?’ I don’t know why I got singled out.”

Davis, 28, is expected to get the majority of playing time in a first base platoon for the Oakland A’s this season. The former first round draft pick says he’s healthy now and is hoping to resurrect his career as a power-hitting middle of the order hitter.

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Granderson Sets A Positive Tone, Believes Mets Can Take Back New York http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/granderson-sets-a-positive-tone-believes-mets-can-take-back-new-york.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/granderson-sets-a-positive-tone-believes-mets-can-take-back-new-york.html/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:38:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175132 curtis granderson

I read yesterday that the Mets full squad was already in camp on Monday, two days before the mandatory reporting date. I don’t know what that means in the grand scheme of things, but I think it says a lot about the makeup of the team and their commitment. I really like the mix of players that Sandy has put together. It’s a young team with some key veterans that have a lot to prove, and they’re all saying the right things.

It looks like everyday one of the Mets’ veteran players meets with reporters and gives his take on the team and discusses expectations. We heard from David Wright on Sunday, Michael Cuddyer on Monday, and today Curtis Granderson took his turn with reporters.

Granderson said that this is the year, he believes, the Mets can surpass the Yankees and take over New York.

“I think we’re primed and ready for it,” Granderson said. “We got a lot of guys that are in position to do it. Obviously the Captain who’s been there, who’s been the face of the organization and very known not only in New York and baseball but everywhere in the world in general. Then you got a guy coming back that everybody’s excited to see in Matt Harvey. Then you got some new emerging faces such as Juan Lagares, got a Gold Glove which speaks for itself. Lucas Duda with 30 home runs. Michael Cuddyer who has been able to adapt both in the American League and the National League.”

“And you mix into that everything and anything else that has been talked about, there are a lot of positives going on looking at this 2015 season and I’m excited to see what we can do for this season.”

I love Granderson’s attitude, and even when he was slumping last season, he never let it negatively impact the team. He told reporters that it doesn’t matter where Terry Collins bats him this season, because no matter what he will do his best to succeed.

“It really doesn’t matter too much to me,” Granderson said. “I’ve enjoyed the two-spot. That’s always been a cool one for me. I also led off for a majority of my career, which has been cool. I’ve batted near the bottom of the lineup. I’ve batted somewhere in the middle. For me, it’s always just taking a look at the lineup card every day, just to make sure I don’t get in the wrong spot, because over the course of my career it’s always changing. And I don’t see that being any different coming into this season, especially with the guys we have in this lineup. There’s a lot of flexibility.”

Speaking of flexibility, Collins said yesterday that he wants to get John Mayberry Jr. in the lineup as much as possible when the Mets are facing a left-hander. That doesn’t necessarily mean Lucas Duda will slide into a platoon role. Collins tossed out the idea of having Mayberry replace Granderson against some lefty pitching too.

As for all the playoffs talk in camp, Granderson took a sensible approach saying it’s great to see these young kids talk about these lofty goals and expectations, but in the end they’re going to have to produce at a level that will get the team there. He is most excited about the team’s pitching and all the young arms, but understands that the offense must do a better job of producing and he believes they will.

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MLB Executives: Cuddyer Among Worst Offseason Signings http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/mlb-executives-cuddyer-one-of-thr-worst-offseason-signings.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/mlb-executives-cuddyer-one-of-thr-worst-offseason-signings.html/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:18:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174830 michael cuddyer cage

The criticisms of the Michael Cuddyer signing continue to pile on. Jayson Stark of ESPN polled MLB executives around the league on what was the worst signing this offseason, and Cuddyer was ranked as one of the worst.

A total of 8 executives named Cuddyer as the worst signing this Winter. Only Hanley Ramirez, Brett Anderson and Max Scherzer‘s deals were considered more unfavorable.

Earlier this week, Fangraphs rated the Cuddyer signing as the 5th worst move this offseason.

The Mets signed Cuddyer to a 2 year, $21 million dollar contract back in November, which also cost New York their first round pick, 15th overall.

Cuddyer batted .332 with a .955 OPS last year with Colorado, but his season was limited to just 49 games due to several costly injuries.

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Nelson Figueroa Joins SNY As New Mets Studio Analyst http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/nelson-figueroa-joins-sny-as-new-mets-studio-analyst.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/nelson-figueroa-joins-sny-as-new-mets-studio-analyst.html/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 20:52:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174695 nelson figueroa

SNY has officially announced Nelson Figueroa as the new Mets studio analyst for pre and post games shows.

“Having grown up in Coney Island as a Mets fan, getting to play for them during a 19-year journey that’s taken me all around the world, and now coming full circle back to New York to cover this team is truly amazing,” Figueroa said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

February 15

Bob Raissman of the Daily News confirms that Nelson Figueroa will indeed become SNY’s new full-time Mets studio analyst.

MLB TV moles say Figueroa, the loquacious journeyman pitcher who was with the Mets in 2008-2009, agreed to a deal with SNY late last week.

Figueroa will replace Bobby Ojeda, who spent six seasons in SNY’s Mets pre- and postgame studio. Ojeda wanted to return this season but he and SNY suits could not reach agreement on financial terms of a new deal.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Figueroa has done some work with MLB Network and sources told Raissman he and his wife and daughter will move from their home in Arizona to New York.

We wish Figgy lots of luck as he gets set to fill some big shoes from the very well liked Bobby O.

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Aragorn Challenges Mets To Fight On And Do Their Best http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/aragorn-challenges-mets-to-fight-on-and-do-their-best.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/aragorn-challenges-mets-to-fight-on-and-do-their-best.html/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 11:06:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174698 Aragorn_TTT_EE

Hollywood movie star Viggo Mortensen, best known for his role as Aragorn in the epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, summed up his views on the Mets for the New York Post.

“The Mets are always going to be fighting the Yankees for attention in New York because they don’t have the money the older, wealthier club has. There have been times when the Mets have outshone the Yankees by virtue of sporting excellence, but there is probably always going to be an underdog quality to this franchise. As a fan, that suits me fine, wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“I thrive on the difference between us and Yankee fans. It’s a question of attitude, of traits that are ingrained in supporters, managers, and players alike — an attitude that often translates into a come-from-behind, uniquely passionate style of play.”

Mortensen loves the way the Mets are positioned for the 2015 season and looks forward to watching Matt Harvey returning as a dominant force to lead an intimidating young pitching staff. He’s also high on the Mets offense which he says shouldn’t be overlooked.

“As with the pitching staff, the hitting line-up for the Mets is quite young, full of potential. Many are patient enough to get on base a lot, and know what to do when they get there.”

“Wright is the natural team leader; hopefully he’ll have recovered from his nagging shoulder problem and be able to once again lead with his renowned mental toughness and athletic ability. I’m hoping Granderson will be able to hit as well for the Mets as he once did for the Yankees. New addition Michael Cuddyer is someone Mets fans are hoping will provide more runs and lift the overall team batting average against left-handed pitching. Mayberry will hopefully also be valuable in that respect.”

“What is going to happen in 2015? Who knows. The thing to do is to keep an open, positive mind-set and do one’s best.”

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Spring Training 2015: It Was Harvey Day In Port St. Lucie http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/spring-training-2015-it-was-harvey-day-in-port-st-lucie.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/spring-training-2015-it-was-harvey-day-in-port-st-lucie.html/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 20:07:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174499 It’s 21 degrees here in New York, and as I look out my window I see gray skies, freezing rain, and an inch of ice is covering everything. But down in Port St. Lucie the sun is shining, the weather is gorgeous, and the Mets are getting ready for a new baseball season!.

matt harvey

Matt Harvey arrived to camp today and spoke to reporters after performing various running and agility drills and taking part in a round of fielding practice with his teammates.

According to Adam Rubin he expects to throw a bullpen session in the next few days, but isn’t sure when he’ll face hitters. Harvey also would like to face hitters relatively soon, but Mets officials said he won’t do that until March.

“Whatever they decide, obviously that’s what we’re going to go with and we’ll see what happens throughout spring training,” Harvey said.

harvey wheeler spring

“My goal is to be ready for opening day and regardless of what’s decided as far as starting roster, that’s not up to me. As far as that goes, I meant being healthy for the start of the season as far as being able to play. As of now I feel great and right where I want to be to be ready for that.”

Rubin adds that Harvey is confident he’ll be able to regain the form he had in 2013, when he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, struck out 191 batters in 178.1 innings and was the National League starter in the All-Star game.

matt harvey spring

“My mindset’s the same,” he said. “I’m going attack hitters the way I always do. It’s not like I’ve missed pitching for that long. I’ve pitched my whole life. Getting back and being down here in spring training and facing hitters is a huge plus and very exciting for me. As far as that mindset goes, it’s going to stay the same.”

Donning the new Mets alternate cap for 2015, Harvey showed up brimming with confidence and from what we’re hearing the rest of the team is feeding off of it. He’s become a beacon of hope and excitement not just for fans but for his teammates as well.

Seeing some of the video clips of Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler working out side by side this morning gave me goosebumps. It’s going to be amazing watching them perform together for the first time ever in the same starting rotation.

mets spring training

One last note… Jared Diamond says attendance is pretty high at Tradition Field, especially with 10 days remaining until pitchers and catchers are required to report. A lot of early arrivals. #WheresTerry :-)

Among those in camp are Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda, Josh Edgin, and Eric Campbell.

(Photos by Daily News, NY Post, Mets.com)

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Francesa Says No Mets Guests For WFAN During Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/francesa-told-there-will-be-no-mets-guests-for-wfan-during-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/francesa-told-there-will-be-no-mets-guests-for-wfan-during-spring-training.html/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 20:26:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174300 francesaMike Francesa has been told by the team that no Mets players will appear on WFAN during Spring Training, and that goes for manager Terry Collins and GM Sandy Alderson too.

Wow, I know they air their games on WOR now, but they can’t be that ignorant as to ignore the number one rated sports talk station in the country and in New York. This just sounds bizarre to me and I wonder what the real reason behind putting WFAN on a media blackout is?

I actually loved the annual Mets spring training interviews, caravans, Mets trivia contests, and appearances they would do with Francesa (even though I can’t stand the guy). That will be missed. Plus, the best Sandy Alderson interviews in my opinion, were always the ones he had with Francesa.

So does this mean they are banned from the clubhouse, dugout, and other player areas at Mets camp too? Hmm, that’s weird. I wonder if Ed Coleman even covers the team in PSL this year if he can’t do interviews for WFAN? I love Eddie…

I’m thinking this is going to backfire so badly and only result in more negative attention in the long run. It’s always something. But hey, good news, 15 days until pitchers and catchers report.

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Dilson Herrera Named MLB’s 4th Best Second Base Prospect http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/dilson-herrera-named-mlbs-4th-best-second-base-prospect.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/dilson-herrera-named-mlbs-4th-best-second-base-prospect.html/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:36:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173862 dilson-herrera-in-the-cage

This morning, MLB.com continued its rankings of the league’s top prospects by position. Today they analyzed the best second base prospects, and ranked Dilson Herrera fourth overall.

“Originally signed by the Pirates out of Colombia in 2010, Herrera was sent to the Mets in the August 2013 deal that netted Pittsburgh Marlon Byrd and John Buck. In his first full season with the Mets, Herrera led the system in hits, finished third in batting average and went from A ball to the big leagues at age 20.”

“Herrera has always shown a knack for hitting, with a balanced swing and an ability to make consistent hard contact to all fields. He has excellent bat speed and doesn’t strike out a ton, with more power than you’d expect given his small frame. Herrera is a solid runner who can steal a base as well. Herrera has played both shortstop and second in the past, but his defensive tools, from his arm to his actions, will work much better on the right side of the infield.”

“Herrera arrived in New York well ahead of schedule a year ago. Now he’ll have to wait to see when he can get another opportunity at Citi Field.”

Herrera batted .323 last season with 13 home runs and 23 steals during 128 games in Triple-A and Double-A. After his promotion to the majors, he batted .220 with 3 home runs in 59 at-bats with the Mets.

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Sandy Alderson Pokes Fun At Mets Shortstop Situation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/sandy-alderson-pokes-fun-at-mets-shortstop-situation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/sandy-alderson-pokes-fun-at-mets-shortstop-situation.html/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 14:21:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=173818 sandy alderson

Last night, at the Baseball Writers of America Awards dinner in New York, general manager Sandy Alderson introduced Cal Ripken Jr. to the podium.

“It’s a big night for me and for Mets fans, who have been waiting all winter for me to introduce a shortstop.”

It’s been a while since Alderson has made one of his self deprecating jokes.

Mike Puma of the NY Post writes that the Mets are set to head to Port St. Lucie with Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada at the position.

He adds that the Mets have been disinterested in taking on Troy Tulowitzki’s contract in a trade from Colorado and unwilling to part ways with Noah Syndergaard for Washington’s Ian Desmond.

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True Mets Fans Don’t Settle – The Billboards Are A Go! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/true-mets-fans-dont-settle-the-billboards-are-a-go.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/true-mets-fans-dont-settle-the-billboards-are-a-go.html/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 17:28:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172804 METS BILLBOARD

What may have seemed like an impossible mission only two weeks ago, came to fruition tonight as the $5,000 funding needed to erect two billboards on Roosevelt Ave. was exceeded with well over a week left to go.

Gary Palumbo, who decided he had had enough of the way Mets ownership has embarrassed and mishandled the team over the years, took a stand and decided he wanted to let the team owners know how he felt.

billboard

The actual messages that these billboards will contain has not been made official yet, but the intent is to let ownership know that this team is ready to take their performance to another level. Our young pitchers are armed and ready and it’s time to make some noise. Real noise.

“Mets fans have been patient through this long rebuild process,” he told me tonight. “And now it’s time for ownership to give Sandy Alderson the resources to complete the job and bring a championship back to Flushing, New York.”

I applaud Gary and the over 200 fans who joined him for their conviction, and would also send a message to Pedro Martinez, that true Mets fans never settle. Action is always better than apathy.

Lets Go Mets!

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Baseball America: Thor, Matz Leads Mets Top 10 Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/baseball-america-thor-leads-mets-top-10-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/baseball-america-thor-leads-mets-top-10-prospects.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:32:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171973 noah syndergaard

Baseball America released their Mets Top 10 Prospects today and they project a bright future for the Mets.

All seven of the Mets’ domestic affiliates finished at .500 or better in 2014, giving New York a cumulative .568 winning percentage that led all organizations. They point out that the system has finally begun to see some position players move up to the higher levels and closer to an MLB debut.

Here are the top ten:

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP – Not only did the Mets neglect to call up Syndergaard in 2014, as they had Zack Wheeler in 2013 and Matt Harvey in 2012, they bypassed him entirely to call up Las Vegas rotation-mates Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero during the first half of the season. That won’t be the case in 2015, not after Syndergaard joined the 40-man roster in November. He threw a career-high 133 innings in 2014 and could be good for 150 or more in New York this year. Syndergaard profiles as a No. 2 starter with two plus pitches, an average third and at least average control.

2. Steven Matz, LHP – Matz throws with the kind of velocity (93-95 mph), looseness and direction to the plate that makes scouts drool. He can rear back for 98 mph when he needs it, earning him double-plus grades for his fastball. Matz throws a plus changeup in the mid-80s that features plus sinking action and impressive separation from his fastball. Matz profiles as high as a No. 2 starter in a rotation because he throws two plus pitches, an average third and has average control. He could begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas and supply lefty balance to the Mets rotation in the second half.

3. Brandon Nimmo, OF – Nimmo has added muscle since signing, steadily increasing his power output with experience. While he is more of a gap hitter now, scouts project him to develop above-average power because of his advanced hitting approach and strong lefthanded swing. He will hit for average with his all-fields approach, frequency of hard contact and willingness to attack first-pitch fastballs.

4. Dilson Herrera, 2B – Short and compact, Herrera incorporates his hands and lower half adeptly in his swing, projecting to hit for a high average with frequent hard contact, a middle-field approach and bat speed to spare. He ranked fourth in the minors with 169 hits in 2014, thanks to a quick, repeatable swing. The Mets love Herrera’s makeup and work ethic, which factored in their decision to call him up in August, though he probably will begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas while he waits for regular at-bats in New York.

5. Kevin Plawecki, C – Plawecki has hit .307/.379/.453 in full-season ball the past two seasons, with strikeouts just 11 percent of the time. That sort of bat control speaks to his strong hands, all-fields approach and ability to handle varied pitch types, which will allow him to hit for average in the big leagues. While he’s more of a gap hitter, he can pull the ball for power and will reach double digits for home runs. While he doesn’t offer the power-and-arm strength profile that teams favor from catchers today, Plawecki has feel to hit, on-base ability, moderate power and the defensive chops to play every day. Mets rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit well in 2014, but his defensive struggles could one day create an opportunity for Plawecki to start.

6. Amed Rosario, SS

7. Michael Conforto, OF

8. Rafael Montero, RHP

9. Marcos Molina, RHP

10. Gavin Cecchini, SS

BA says the signing of Michael Cuddyer indicates that Sandy Alderson believes the rebuilding phase is over and that it’s time for the team’s streak of six losing seasons to end.

“Pitching and defense have brought the Mets to the cusp of contention. While seven NL clubs allowed fewer runs than New York in 2014, Mets pitchers allowed 3.81 runs per game, the franchise’s lowest rate since 1990. They didn’t rely on soft stuff and chicanery either, not with a strikeout rate of 8.0 per nine innings that ranked third in the league.”

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Matt Harvey Could Be Held Back Until Home Opener At Citi http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/matt-harvey-could-be-held-back-until-home-opener-at-citi.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/matt-harvey-could-be-held-back-until-home-opener-at-citi.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:05:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171965 matt harvey

Mets manager Terry Collins told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he is looking at Matt Harvey like Bruce Bochy looks at Madison Bumgarner.

“He’s got the competitiveness of a stinkin’ bear. Matt and I just met a couple of days ago in New York and talked about how important it is for him to understand that we’ve got to be careful.”

Collins said the Mets are now considering a plan in which Harvey is held back at the start of the season, perhaps until the home opener at Citi Field on April 13.

He expects Harvey to be shut down for a few weeks in the summer as GM Sandy Alderson also mentioned as well during the Winter Meetings.

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Jimmy Rollins Traded To Dodgers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jimmy-rollins-traded-to-dodgers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jimmy-rollins-traded-to-dodgers.html/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 22:18:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169867 jimmy-rollins-400

Great news!

No more Jimmy Rollins to the Mets posts…

He’s been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and will replace the departed Hanley Ramirez.

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that an industry source says the trade is a done deal.

Rollins reportedly waived his 10-and-5 rights to accept the trade, something he was unwilling to do for the Mets. (Thankfully!)

Still trying to nail down what the Phillies got in return….

Joel Sherman says the Phils are getting two young pitchers back…

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December 8

Damn, I wish this rumor would die already, but apparently the Mets were still kicking the tires on Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

This time however, the Phillies made it perfectly clear that Rollins will not waive his no-trade clause for the Mets.

Jon Heyman reports that the Mets were contacted and told “Rollins isn’t willing to waive his no-trade clause at this time.”

Heyman adds that Rollins seems perfectly fine with potentially joining the Yankees who have been engaged in talks with the Phils. So it’s not a New York thing, it’s a Mets thing.

Rollins, 36, had 17 home runs, 28 stolen bases and a .243 batting average in 2014, and is set to earn $11 million in 2015.

Could you imagine the uproar if the Mets traded Montero or Flores for Rollins? I for one would gone ape-shit… Rollins is among my top five hated players in the game.

Just the thought of him in a Met uniform would have inflicted some serious psychological damage. And you know what? I’m sure Rollins feels the same exact way about us.

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Yankees Pursuing Andrew Miller http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/yankees-are-pursuing-andrew-miller.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/yankees-are-pursuing-andrew-miller.html/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:22:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170951 miller andrew

December 5th

What an active day it has been for the Yankees. After acquiring shortstop Didi Gregorius the Yankees have now signed free agent reliever Andrew Miller. According to Jack Curry from YES Network, the contract is worth 36 million over four years.

December 1st

Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Yankees are in serious pursuit of free agent relief pitcher Andrew Miller. Joel Sherman of the NY Post has confirmed the Yankees interest, but he also says there are still several teams in the mix.

Miller was excellent this season for the Red Sox and Orioles with 103 strikeouts and a 2.02 ERA in 62.0 innings pitched. He also did not allow a run during seven appearances in the playoffs for Baltimore. He is expected to receive a four year contract, and he could be the highest paid reliever without closing experience in MLB history.

If the Yankees sign Miller, it will likely be the end of David Robertson‘s tenure with New York. Robertson is the top closer on the free agent market, and he seeking a contract that exceeds Jonathan Papelbon‘s four-year $50 million deal.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that while the Mets are looking to add a lefty reliever at the Winter Meetings, there’s “no shot” they sign Miller.

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Featured Post: Assigning Market Value To Mets Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/featured-post-assigning-market-value-to-mets-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/featured-post-assigning-market-value-to-mets-prospects.html/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 20:19:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169190 zack wheeler

I was an overprotected child growing up … a lot like our current batch of Mets pitching prospects. I was sheltered, coddled … had strict limits on my bathroom minutes …

My mom bundled me up in way more layers than I needed and I had a daylight curfew, yet somehow all her caution couldn’t shield me from the effects of growing up on 98th Street in Corona. Like inmates in a prison, the neighborhood kids found a way to get to me. All it takes is one friendly kid that your parents approve of (every neighborhood has them — they look clean and polite on the outside), and all of a sudden your house is at the center of a dirt-bomb war with the 99th Street goons and your flustered mother is pulling you by the ear wondering where you learned such language.

We didn’t like cowards on my block. If you had a beef with someone you stood up and took your licks. The older kids made sure of it — sometimes they’d even break out boxing gloves and make a main event of it. What we didn’t tolerate was guys who’d run away. We made a point of making it worse for them. We used to play this game called “Hunter” where we’d count off by age (younger kids first – easier to catch) and take turns being hunted down and roughed up by the rest of the mob. Kind of like an all-against-one Ringolario only way more violent.

Rules were you had to stay in a two block radius (backyards and fence jumping were permitted), you could not go inside, nothing permanent or “in the face” and … no other rules. Well this one kid would always duck into his house before we’d get to him.

Eventually we got tired of it and three of the biggest kids walked right into his house and dragged him out while that same nice kid tried to explain to this boy’s mom how he’d cheated because he participated in beating everybody else up. Eventually she tired of our diplomat and chased us away swinging her apron, whereupon she commenced to beating him way worse than we would have.

The lesson? Nature abhors a coward, especially in New York … which brings us to the subject at hand. The Mets operate in baseball’s largest market the last time I checked. They are sitting on this stockpile of pitching and have hesitated to pull the trigger on a trade. They’ve been assailed as overly cautious and hesitant, cowardly even. We could use outfield help, maybe a shortstop, yet it almost feels as if our front office is afraid to take a shot. Are they yella? This sort of thing doesn’t fly in New York — apparently these guys didn’t get the memo.

Then again, the last time they traded a pitcher for a position player they sent Collin McHugh to the Rockies for Eric Young Jr., not so good … so maybe they have good reason to be reluctant. But somehow I don’t think the reason behind Alderson’s aversion to trading from his stockpile is fear of failure or the affection he feels for his prospects, although I can picture him following Brandon Nimmo around wiping his nose and bundling him up on chilly mornings. Brandon has that effect on people — he’s got a face you want to make hot cocoa for.

Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Anyway, it is well known that this front office ascribes to methodologies that rely on tons of data. For this reason I think chalking up their reluctance to an overly cautious disposition makes no sense. I doubt Alderson is afraid of a little trade-market roughhousing, and he doesn’t seem too worried about fan backlash neither.

So what is it? Why so gun shy? Well, first off, lets consider who we’re dealing with. In Paul DePodesta and Alderson we have an economist and a corporate lawyer who have a penchant for data. My sense is there has to be some sort of measured rationale behind the reticence.

As before, we need look no further than Sandy’s copious rhetoric. The phrase that stands out is “cost-control,” I keep hearing it referencing their stockpile, its inflection conspicuous and loaded. There appears to be something special about cost controlled players as it were, in contemporary baseball vernacular … Something intrinsically exceptional about them beyond their understood affordability.

You hear a lot about how it’s tough to part with a cost controlled player if you aren’t getting one in return (Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner in 2012 was just such an example). So, the notion that you could trade someone like Montero and maybe another equally cost efficient prospect for Alex Gordon or Jose Bautista becomes unlikely because you would not only have to pay Gordon (or Bautista), but you would also lose a cheap controllable asset in Montero — the expense becomes twofold, thus prohibitive.

Another hang-up when it comes to trading from the Mets surplus is assigning a market value to it. I mean if someone asks me how much I want for my corn cob Elvis sculpture, it helps if I have an answer. So what are these prospects actually worth?

The current free agent pool is remarkable in its dearth of top-shelf options. Whether it’s due to qualifying offers or creative ways of signing promising youngsters to long term deals, there appear to be fewer and fewer elite talents hitting free agency. How does that reflect on this discussion? Well, if a spigot runs dry because water is being diverted upstream, you’ve got to go upstream to get the water. If free agency is offering fewer options, then sources further up the pipeline become more lucrative, more valuable. It speaks to supply and demand.

It is difficult, however, to accurately appraise prospects on one end of the pipeline when the drop in volume (and quality) of talent trickling out the the free agent end hasn’t quite triggered a market reflex yet.

This uncertainty is why the Mets have been so reluctant to trade from their surplus. The hope for Alderson and his accomplices is that one more winter of buyers scouring a depleted free agent pool will bring shoppers back to his stockpile at a sizable markup. It’s a waiting game.

So it has nothing whatsoever to do with reticence. Like everything involving the Mets these days this is all about money and assigning value to controllable assets.

Both Epstein and Alderson covet cost controlled young players in a landscape where free agency has become unreliable and prohibitive. One GM is stockpiling position players while the other is stockpiling frontline pitching. Personally I’d go with pitching but it will be interesting to see how this little staring contest plays out. Another game we used to play on my block was flinch

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Alderson Met With His Staff and Scouts, Now Ready To Tackle Offseason Goals http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-met-with-his-staff-and-scouts-now-ready-to-tackle-offseason-goals.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-met-with-his-staff-and-scouts-now-ready-to-tackle-offseason-goals.html/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 06:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169174 sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson was kind enough to agree to an interview with MMO senior writer John Bernhardt on his weekly radio show called Tip-Off. Sandy’s interview had a number of fascinating insights and revelations, many of which we’ve already posted on MMO.

As we head into Sandy’s fifth offseason as Mets GM, he was asked to describe the processes and preparation that will go into this very important hot stove season.

“I think you could say it’s a two-fold process. One – you have to assess what you have currently and what your needs are. We spent part of this offseason with our staff in New York as well as our professional scouts, looking at what we have and where we think we need to improve.”

“And the second part of the process is actually canvassing both the market for free agents and also trade possibilities to see what may be out there to fill those holes.”

“So that’s the prefatory phase… but then you actually have to go out and sign players or make those trades. That happens over a period of three months starting about now – right after the World Series – when free agents can be acquired, through the the end of January pretty much.”

How is the implementation of the plan executed once you’ve done all your assessments and decided which areas you intend to improve and who you’re targeting?

“Because it’s such a long three month process, one of the things you have to decide is just how aggressively you want to pursue certain players or whether you’re going to be more cautious and let the market develop to see where it goes and what may be left at the end of the season.”

“So once you’ve assessed your needs and then sort of target these needs, it’s a question of approaching individual players through free agency versus approaching individual clubs in terms of acquiring players through trades. It all kind of works its way through in that three month window..”

This will give you a basic look into how the front office intends to navigate through the next three months. Sandy made clear to us that he’s looking to upgrade left field. Other than that, he didn’t go into any other areas he’s looking to improve. But he did take the time to share his thoughts on a number of players he is very high on for 2015, including Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores and a number of prospects. This should be a fun offseason to monitor and I look forward to seeing how the drama unfolds.

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Young Fans Are Being Denied Great October Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/youth-of-america-robbed-of-outstanding-playoff-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/youth-of-america-robbed-of-outstanding-playoff-baseball.html/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 18:00:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167801 kolten wong

Last night the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants played an incredible baseball game. There were big hits, huge strikeouts and some of the most heads-up baseball I’ve seen in a long time (see Matt Duffy running the bases). A few minutes before midnight, after the Giants tied the game in the 9th inning, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong launched a game winning home run into the right field stands.

It was another incredible moment in a postseason that’s been chock-full of them.

Despite these amazing games, many have taken to social media to voice their frustration with the timing of Major League Baseball’s playoff calendar. With games ending at or after midnight, it’s conceivable that while adult baseball fans are soaking in the intensity of the playoffs, kids are asleep and have to rely on SportsCenter during breakfast the next morning to see what happened.

What’s fascinating is that this isn’t a new occurrence. Playoff baseball games have always started around 8:00 PM. In 1986, the National League Championship Series featuring the Mets and the Astros, had games starting all over the place. Game one in Houston started at 7:30, ending at 10:26 PM. Game three, back in New York, started at 12:20 PM and ended in the middle of the afternoon (3:15 PM). Game four, also in New York, started at 8:20 PM, which is later than most of the East Coast games this year have started. That game ended at 10:43 PM.

As you can see, the start times for playoff games haven’t changed all that much. What has changed is the length of the games. Major League Baseball wants to hold onto the “prime time” slot for the cable networks but with the games getting longer and longer, it’s becoming a detriment to baseballs most important demographic. Kids under the age of 15. These are the future players, consumers and fans of baseball and they are being alienated.

The key change for baseball of course is the length of games. By 2000, the last time the Mets won the National League Championship, games were already getting quite long. Game two against the Cardinals in 2000 lasted almost four hours. This year, games lasted an average of about 3 hours, up over 30 minutes compared to 30 years ago according to The New York Times.

This is the challenge for baseball. How do you take a sport that naturally takes a long time to play and make it easy to watch for kids? The answer is simple and it has nothing to do with making the games shorter. It’s just about sliding the start times up. Games are always going to run late, especially when you have competition at the level it’s been at in recent years. But moving the start times up to 7:00 PM instead of 8:00 PM means that games are ending on this side of midnight.

Rob Manfred is going to spend the entire offseason figuring out ways to speed up baseball. While this is a noble cause, I’ll be the first to say that I don’t want or need baseball to be faster. Playoff baseball is exciting in a way that no writer could ever script into a movie. There’s drama that roughly three hours does justice for. I don’t need baseball to be faster. I just need the games to start earlier so that kids of all ages (and sleepy adults of all ages) can begin to enjoy moments like Wong’s game winner last night each and every night of October.

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