Mets Merized Online » oakland athletics http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:16:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Oakland A’s Acquire Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/oakland-as-acquire-ben-zobrist-and-yunel-escobar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/oakland-as-acquire-ben-zobrist-and-yunel-escobar.html/#comments Sat, 10 Jan 2015 19:34:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172965 Sandy Alderson should not turn his back on my idea to trade for Ben Zobrist.

According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Oakland Athletics have acquired infielder Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher John Jaso and a pair of minor league players.

The Rays also received top shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfielder Boog Powell, according a source. The A’s are picking up the entire salaries owed to Zobrist who becomes the regular second baseman, and Escobar who takes over at shortstop.

Zobrist along with Escobar were mentioned often as possible targets for the Mets, but there was never any serious discussion between the two teams and most of the chatter was media speculation.

Zobrist batted .272 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs last season, while Escobar batted .258 with seven homers.

I keep telling you guys… #TeamFlores

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Mets and Ricciardi Could Have Extension Completed Within A Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:13:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168222 ricciardi

Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that the Mets and J.P. Ricciardi could have a new extension wrapped up within a week.

The Mets, who extended Sandy Alderson in September, could wrap up a new deal for assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi within week, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Ricciardi, a respected baseball man who oversees the pro scouting department and advises Alderson, arrived with the GM in late 2010.

That’s the first confirmation of what Nick Cafardo originally reported.

Ricciardi is under contract until the end of the 2015 season, so that they would seek to extend him now as opposed to later is quite telling to me.

First of all, Ricciardi and Sandy Alderson have been joined at the hip for three decades, and any GM should be able to choose his own assistants. But adding to that, I see Ricciardi as the heir apparent to Alderson once Sandy steps down or retires at the end of his newly signed contract.

I’ve been told that Ricciardi has worked very hard on polishing his image that was heavily tarnished during his tenure as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. He dealt with many trust issues with management, the players and the fans.

Ricciardi received heavy criticism for the mega deals he gave to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Sports Illustrated tabbed the Wells deal as one of the worst contracts in MLB history. 

People change and I’m sure that in retrospect Ricciardi wishes he could have handled some things much better than he did, especially the B.J. Ryan and Adam Dunn incidents. Nobody’s offered Ricciardi a GM position since then and he seems better suited to being a second wheel rather than a head honcho. 

October 19

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets are working on an extension deal to keep J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson. The two worked together for 12 years with the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to joining the Mets, Ricciardi previously served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 until he was fired in 2009 and replaced by Alex Anthopoulos.

Ricciardi is considered by most to be the heir apparent to Alderson once he retires or steps down.

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MMO Game Thread: A’s vs Mets. 7:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-thread-as-vs-mets-710-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-thread-as-vs-mets-710-pm.html/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:55:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159133 USATSI bartolo colon

After a day off on Monday, the New York Mets are back in action for brief sprint series against the Oakland A’s.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM at Citi Field.

Bartolo Colon (7-5, 3.88) who has been excellent over his last several starts, goes up against Scott Kazmir (9-2, 2.08) in what could be an excellent pitching matchup.

In his last six starts, Colon is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.66.  Opponents have only been able to hit a mere .200 against him during this stretch, and has only given up eight walks while striking out 31.  He has the second lowest ERA since the middle of May and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in his last six starts.  Colon has a strikeout/walk ratio of 5.31 which is the second best in the National League and sixth best in all of baseball.

Colon is looking for his sixth straight win.  The last Mets pitcher to do that was R.A. Dickey who won 11 straight decisions in 2012.

David Wright is streaking.  He is in the midst of a seven-game hit streak, and has at least one RBI in six consecutive games.  It is his longest RBI streak since recording one in seven straight back in 2010 which was a career high.  During hit streak, Wright has two home runs, four doubles, and has driven in seven.

Also streak is Curtis Granderson.  Granderson has reached base safely in a career best 31 games.  He is hitting .298 with an on base percentage of .441 during that stretch.  His hot month of June continues as he is second in the majors with an on base percentage of .469, and his .344 average this month ranks fifth.

If this season is any indication of how this game will play out there will be plenty of runners on base.  The Mets lead the National League in walks with 282.  That number puts them second in the major leagues.  The team leading baseball in walks will be starring them down across the diamond.  The A’s lead the majors with 318 free passes.

The Mets announced some roster moves on Tuesday prior to the game.  Travis d’Arnaud, who tore things up in Las Vegas has been recalled, and Taylor Teagarden has been placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 22nd.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young Jr – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Eric Campbell – 1B
  5. Curtis Granderson – RF
  6. Chris Young – CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Bartolo Colon – P

The Mets are coming off taking a series from the Marlins, winning 4 of their last 5, which is great! Their reward? The mighty Oakland Athletics come into town for a two game set. The twist? Scott Kazmir gets a start in Queens? The additional story line? Bartolo Colon gets to start against his most recent old team.

Colon is 7-5 this season with a 3.88 ERA over 14 starts and 92.2 innings. In his last six starts he is 5-0 over 43.1 innings with a 1.66 ERA and 31 strikeouts while only walking 8 batters. He has made 18 starts and one relief appearance against the Oakland with an 8-6 record over 117.2 innings and a 3.52 ERA. The Athletics have the following numbers against Colon:

  • Callaspo 7-26, 3 2B, HR
  • Crisp 5-23, 5 2B
  • Gentry 4-9
  • Jaso 0-7
  • Punto 2-7

Kazmir is 9-2 over 15 starts and 95.0 innings with a league leading 2.08 ERA (seriously!). He has made four starts in the month of June with a 3-0 record over 26.1 innings with an ERA of 1.37 and 27 strikeouts. In one career start against the Mets he shut them out over 6.0 innings allowing 4 hits. The Mets have the following numbers against him:

  • Abreu 4-11
  • Granderson 2-8
  • Murphy 1-3
  • Teagarden 1-3, HR
  • C Young 2-3, HR
  • E Young 0-2
  • Duda 1-2

Lets Go Mets!

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ESPN NY: Chris Young Could Be Cut When Lagares Returns http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/espn-ny-chris-young-could-be-cut-when-lagares-returns.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/espn-ny-chris-young-could-be-cut-when-lagares-returns.html/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:20:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=159080 chris young

Adam Rubin of ESPN NY writes that Juan Lagares‘ rehab tour has shifted to Double-A Binghamton, and the Mets are eyeing Thursday for the center fielder’s activation from the disabled list.

Rubin adds that a team insider acknowledged Chris Young‘s “days are numbered” with the organization, which is prepared to eat the remainder of this year’s $7.25 million salary. The internal debate at this point centers on whether to pull the trigger this week, but it’s definitely being seriously weighed, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

Young is hitting .201 with four homers and 17 RBIs in 179 at-bats this season.

Rubin adds that Collins could start Young against left-handers Scott Kazmir and Brad Mills during the two-game midweek Oakland Athletics series, which could be the ex-Diamondback’s last chance to save his job.

Read Rubin’s full article here.

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Chris Young Compares His Poor Start To 2013 With A’s http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/chris-youngs-compares-his-poor-start-to-2013-with-as.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/chris-youngs-compares-his-poor-start-to-2013-with-as.html/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 12:00:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158946 chris young

Adam Rubin of ESPN NY writes that Chris Young sees parallels between his subpar start last season with the Oakland Athletics, which resulted in reduced playing time, and his current status with the Mets.

“It’s a little similar with the playing time and with the gaps in between at-bats that I’ve had from time to time,” Young tells Rubin. “Throughout my career I could probably think of one season where I started off hot. And the rest of the seasons I’ve had slow starts. I’ve had to work my way out of them throughout the year, and I was able to do that.

Young continues, ”The past couple of years the slow start is really a big disadvantage for me because you’re on a shorter line [with a new club]. And when you start off slow, you don’t have as much time given to you to be able to work out of it. So you need to find ways to make that transition happen faster. That’s what I’m trying to do right now.”

Young is hitting only .197 after a 1 for 4 game against the Marlins on Thursday night, with a strike out increasing his total to 41 on the season, ranking fourth on the team.

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Oakland Athletics Could Emerge as Potential Trade Partner for Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/oakland-athletics-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/oakland-athletics-could-emerge-as-potential-trade-partner-for-mets.html/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 23:57:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=151035 jed lowrie

With ulnar collateral ligament tears occurring at higher rates than the common cold, it seems like every team is holding their breath, hoping their projected rotation stays intact as opening day approaches. The Oakland Athletics’ Jarrod Parker is the most recent pitcher to eventually have to succumb to the knife of Dr. James Andrews.

With Jarrod Parker down for at least the 2014 regular season and A.J. Griffin slated to begin the season on the disabled list, the A’s seem to be in a bit of a pickle. Scott Kazmir is also shelved, albeit only for a few days, with tricep stiffness but you just never know with arm maladies anymore.

If you include Kazmir, the A’s are expected to go into the season with a starting rotation that could include names such as Sonny Gray, Dan Straily, Tommy Milone, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, as well as Kazmir himself. Although Sonny Gray is a promising youngster with a seemingly bright future and the A’s can somewhat rely on Kazmir and Milone to put up respectable numbers, it seems they lack a go-to pitcher that can round out the rotation; a necessary asset for a borderline playoff caliber team to have.

With the Oakland Athletics only coming in at number 26 on Keith Law’s organizational farm system rankings, it does not seem like they have the ability to address that need within the organization. This is where the Mets come in. With Jon Niese recently receiving the good news that his elbow is [apparently] fine and Ruben Tejada being Ruben Tejada, the Mets still seem to be in a position to deal some pitching to address the ever so obvious shortstop dilemma.

The news of Parker’s second Tommy John surgery may have added another potential trade partner to the mix. The A’s currently have Jed Lowrie as their opening day shortstop on the big club and Addison Russell polishing up his extraordinary tools in AAA, supposedly waiting to take over the reigns.

While it would be incredibly sweet for the Mets to swing a deal for MLB.com’s number 12 ranked prospect, Addison Russell, the A’s would most likely demand a hefty package for their future All Star and shortstop heir. It would undoubtedly take at least Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler to acquire him and, although I think Russell is worth it for an even swap of either of those two, it might take even more.

Lowrie is probably a more realistic option as he is in his last year of arbitration and set to hit free agency in 2015. With the A’s increased need for pitching, it may cause them to attempt to deal Lowrie earlier than they planned and rush Russell to the majors. If that is the case, the Mets should certainly be in contact with Billy Beane for a potential deal. The plethora of young, inexpensive arms the mets boast as well as a proven pitcher like Dillon Gee could appear very attractive to him at the moment.

I profiled Lowrie way back in December in a post that addressed potential trade routes the Mets could take to address their need at shortstop. He’s nothing spectacular on defense and he’s had significant trouble staying healthy in the past but he put up very impressive numbers last season, slashing .290/.344/.446 with 15 home runs in 154 games, which would automatically be an upgrade over anything the Mets would put out there this season. He’s also relatively inexpensive, if only for this season as he’s only making $5.25 million. If the Mets should make a deal,  they could try to extend him for a few seasons until they feel prospects such as Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are ready.

Addison Russell is certainly the more attractive option here and I think the Mets should go all in for him if the opportunity arises and his price isn’t outrageous. However, in all likelihood, it will be  - due to his status as a potential All Star at a premium position. If Lowrie does become a realistic target before opening day or shortly after the season begins, the Mets have one more option to alleviate not only the shortstop dilemma, but answer the leadoff question as well. Regardless, it will certainly be interesting to see if the Athletics do, in fact, look to the trade market for a starting pitcher to replace Jarrod Parker.

Presented By Diehards

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The Secret Formula To Winning Baseball Is Finally Revealed http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-secret-formula-to-winning-baseball-is-finally-revealed.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-secret-formula-to-winning-baseball-is-finally-revealed.html/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 12:00:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131533 secret formulaThere has been a lot of chatter since the 2013 season has come to an end, regarding which model the Mets should be following in order to build winning baseball.

Should they follow the Oakland Athletics model? How about the San Francisco Giants? Let’s try the Boston Red Sox…

The truth is there is no secret formula to building a baseball team. If there was, there is no way it would be able to be kept a secret the way Coca-Cola keeps their famous cola recipe a secret.

Major League Baseball is a copycat league. When one team has success, the other unsuccessful teams try to build their teams using the other teams’ models.

All businesses operate that way when you think about it. Harvard Business School is famous for its case study model, which uses case studies of some of the more successful and unsuccessful businesses to guide the business leaders of tomorrow. We learn from the success and failures of ourselves, but also from the successes and failures of others.

We can argue back and forth about what makes teams successful or not. One team can spend five times more than another team in player contracts, and have much less success, so what really drives success? As the Angels proved this year, it’s not always about having the best players in the lineup.

The secret is Timeliness.

Timeliness, in baseball, can be described as taking advantage of opportunities on the baseball field when they present themselves. That is the only thing that can determine the success or failure of a team. There is no model to follow.

The Oakland Athletics have been doing the same thing for years–some years they are really good, and others they aren’t so good. There is no crystal ball. There is nothing that a team can do to guarantee success.

I predicted the Mets would win 85 games in 2013 at the beginning of the year. I don’t think it was crazy to think it could have happened. They had solid pitching on paper, and when you have solid pitching all you need is opportunistic offense. Notice how I did not say the team needs good offense–opportunistic will do.

However, the Mets did not have opportunistic offense in 2013. In fact, they were ranked 23rd in the league while hitting with runners in scoring position–the top three teams were the Cardinals, Tigers, and Red Sox. Two of those teams are playing in the World Series this year. In fact, I went back to 2010, and there was a team featured in each seasons’ World Series that was in the top five in the league with regards to hitting with runners in scoring position.

To add to the poor hitting, the Mets were also ranked 24th in the league while pitching with opposing runners in scoring position this past season. When you add those two factors together, you can see why the Mets ended 2013 the way they did.

Here is a breakdown of how the Mets performed in 2013 with regards to hitting with RISP:

AB HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Zach Lutz 5 0 2 .400 .500 .800 1.300
Wilfredo Tovar 4 0 2 .500 .600 .500 1.100
Juan Centeno 2 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Andrew Brown 42 2 19 .333 .391 .548 .939
Collin Cowgill 10 1 7 .300 .300 .600 .900
John Buck 97 5 46 .299 .381 .495 .875
Marlon Byrd 108 8 55 .287 .314 .556 .870
Daniel Murphy 141 3 60 .305 .340 .447 .787
David Wright 95 0 31 .284 .407 .368 .775
Josh Satin 56 0 14 .268 .391 .357 .748
Jordany Valdespin 27 2 14 .185 .290 .444 .735
Ike Davis 78 3 22 .205 .354 .333 .687
Juan Lagares 96 1 28 .240 .324 .354 .678
Matt den Dekker 13 0 5 .308 .357 .308 .665
Omar Quintanilla 69 0 19 .232 .368 .275 .643
Eric Young 76 0 24 .250 .301 .342 .643
Wilmer Flores 27 0 12 .259 .300 .333 .633
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 24 1 9 .167 .300 .292 .592
Ruben Tejada 42 0 9 .262 .295 .262 .557
Lucas Duda 76 1 17 .145 .343 .197 .541
Mike Baxter 20 0 4 .150 .357 .150 .507
Anthony Recker 25 0 8 .160 .281 .200 .481
Rick Ankiel 13 0 2 .154 .214 .231 .445
Justin Turner 44 0 13 .182 .229 .205 .434
Travis d’Arnaud 20 0 3 .100 .240 .150 .390
Team Total 1300 27 441 .242 .329 .357 .686

And here is a breakdown showing the Mets Clutch Stats from 2013 (RISP with 2 outs):

AB HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Daniel Murphy 65 2 30 .354 .425 .538 .963
Andrew Brown 23 0 8 .348 .375 .478 .853
Eric Young 34 0 12 .294 .385 .412 .796
John Buck 50 2 18 .260 .362 .420 .782
Juan Lagares 48 1 16 .250 .357 .417 .774
David Wright 40 0 10 .250 .412 .350 .762
Marlon Byrd 53 2 18 .264 .339 .396 .735
Wilmer Flores 16 0 8 .313 .353 .375 .728
Josh Satin 24 0 6 .250 .357 .292 .649
Omar Quintanilla 36 0 9 .167 .388 .250 .638
Anthony Recker 12 0 3 .167 .333 .250 .583
Matt den Dekker 7 0 2 .286 .286 .286 .571
Lucas Duda 40 1 8 .125 .327 .225 .552
Zach Lutz 1 0 0 .000 .500 .000 .500
Ruben Tejada 21 0 5 .190 .261 .190 .451
Ike Davis 44 0 7 .159 .288 .159 .448
Justin Turner 26 0 6 .154 .214 .192 .407
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 12 0 2 .083 .267 .083 .350
Rick Ankiel 7 0 1 .143 .143 .143 .286
Travis d’Arnaud 13 0 1 .077 .200 .077 .277
Mike Baxter 11 0 0 .000 .267 .000 .267
Wilfredo Tovar 0 0 0 1.000
Team Total 657 10 190 .222 .330 .321 .651

As you can see from the charts, the most clutch player the Mets had in 2013 was Daniel Murphy. I know there has been trade talk surrounding Murphy in the fan base, but he would definitley be one of the players I would be hanging on to in 2014 especially after seeing he was also the best Mets hitter with RISP in 2013. The other players that hit extremely well with RISP and in the clutch were Marlon Byrd and John Buck. Byrd would be a player that the Mets should definitely consider bringing back in 2014.

One player that people are down about offensively is Matt den Dekker, but in a small sample, he has shown to be very effective while hitting with RISP. He hit .305 with five RBI in just 13 at bats in 2013 with RISP. He showed flashes of this ability in Spring Training last season, and it was one of the main reasons why I was lobbying for him to join the team out of camp before a broken wrist dashed that idea. His clutch hitting, coupled with his solid defense, could land him a starting job in 2014.

If there is one specific thing the Mets should look at moving forward, it is adding additional players who have had success while hitting with runners in scoring position, and pitchers who have success in pitching in similar situations…timely hitting and pitching is the key to success.

If there is a secret formula to building teams, it’s really not a secret…it’s all about having clutch players, not necessarily the best players.

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A Day At The Cages With Murphy And Hudgens http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/a-day-at-the-cages-with-murphy-and-hudgens.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/a-day-at-the-cages-with-murphy-and-hudgens.html/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 12:00:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125521  clinic 1

To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of their batting glove, the executives at Franklin Sports held a celebratory private batting clinic with Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, and team batting coach, Dave Hudgens, for a few contest winners and a number of media representatives. This one hour batting session gave viewers a first-hand chance to learn from professional ballplayers in the private facilities they often inhabit.

Team officials greeted the attendees just within the doors of the Hodges entrance. Once inside, the group was guided through the stadium’s hallways to the team’s private batting cage. After a brief introduction, Murphy and Hudgens made their grand entrance.

Daniel Murphy has arguably been one of the Mets best hitters over the past few years, with a career slash line of .288/.332/.420 and a batting average in the top five of team rankings over the last three years.

Dave Hudgens has been the Mets hitting coach since replacing Howard Johnson in 2011. He briefly played professionally in 1983, appearing in six games for the Oakland Athletics. He would go on to work as the hitting coach for the Athletics in 1999, and then again from 2003-2005 before coming to the Mets in 2011.

They began right away, introducing the audience to many key elements of a swing and all the work that goes into maintaining its efficiency. They detailed many of it’s critical components, and touched on the many factors that contribute to a successful at-bat.

“There are certain things that every hitter does that is probably the same. You’ve got to have good balance, you’ve got to have good head position, you’ve got to see the ball well,” Hudgens said.

And even though the focus of the clinic was how to successfully swing a bat, the two ballplayers made sure to speak to the kids about the amount of work it takeclinic3s to thrive in the major leagues.

“That’s the main objective, to take good at bats in the game. That’s why they come in here to do their work,” Hudgens said.

“It all starts long before 7:10,” Murphy said referring to the start time of most night games.

But the work has a reason. The many hours spent within the cage are for the very purpose of locking down mechanics and making them feel almost instinctual.

“When you get to the game, if you trust your swing, hopefully all you have to do is look for the ball,” Murphy said. “And that’s what we’re trying to get to.”

After the introduction and brief preliminary lessons, Murphy transitioned into actual training. Picking up a wooden bat to take some hacks and show onlookers the many steps that go into his swing.

“I really want to make sure I fire my hands right through the ball,” he said.

As he spoke, he would occasionally pause, focusing himself on crushing another ball to the back of the cage, before beginning his speech again. He would describe a mechanic of his swing and then demonstrate it to the audience before him. After each blast, Hudgens would replace the ball and adjust the tee, adding to the lesson and allowing Murphy to focus on the demonstration.

Murphy’s many tips were spoken simply as he attempted to guide the children through the incredibly complex nature of a successful swing.

“Everybody’s swing is going to be different. A swing is your personality. It’s like your DNA, and we all have different DNA.” Murphy said.

“Every hitter is a little bit different, every hitter’s mechanics are a little bit different” followed Hudgens.

Eventually, the clinic transitioned into a front-toss session between Hudgens and Murphy where the two ran through the specifics of successfully hitting a moving ball.clinic2

Hudgens seated himself behind the L screen and lofted balls gently at Murphy who slammed them towards a section of the cage. The two would pause after every toss and analyze every minor detail of the swing.

“There’s three areas where you’ll see the ball. You’ll see it out of the hand… You gotta see it in the middle area ’cause that’s where these guys will start to see a little bit of spin… and then as you track the ball into the hitting zone,” Hudgens said.

The event concluded with a brief hitting session where the children took swings at soft tosses thrown by Hudgens before a group photo wrapped it all together.

Murphy and Hudgens were knowledgeable and gracious hosts. The two seemed legitimately interested in helping the next generation of ballplayers develop and were excited to be the ones to help. The young Murphy played the part of a relatable role model, while Hudgens sat back as the grizzled veteran, positions they both filled perfectly. At the end of the day, both men did an exemplary job of leading these kids while giving them valuable advice for their future playing careers.

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MMO Mailbag: Who Is Bill Rigney? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mmo-mailbag-who-is-bill-rigney.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mmo-mailbag-who-is-bill-rigney.html/#comments Sun, 24 Mar 2013 16:32:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=111712 Dan in Whitestone asks…

Can you please tell me why there is always some debate on your site about Bill Rigney and his connection to Sandy Alderson? I don’t understand why this is always such a hot debate on Metsmerized and was wondering if you could educate me a little on this.

Joe D. says…

Dan, I’m the wrong guy to answer this but will do the best that I could. The only two people on MMO who seem to write the most about the guy both have opposing versions of his role so asking either of them would only make the matter more cloudy rather than adding clarity. Mind you, over the past two years yours is the fifth or sixth such question to me regarding their connection, so maybe it’s time to seek out an answer.

I decided to do some simple research via Google and came across this quote by Sandy Alderson in an article featured on SFGate.com. I included the context as well as the quote to eliminate any gray areas:

bill-rigneyAfter the A’s won an American League pennant in 1988, then-A’s executive Sandy Alderson said, “When you talk about people who have contributed to our success, you have to single out Bill Rigney. His contributions have been enormous.”

“He has been involved in every one of our player acquisitions since I came here in 1982. I’ve watched 600 or 700 games with Bill, and it’s been an education.”

Alderson recalled nights at the Pink Pony Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Rig would know everybody in the place, and have a story about them,” he said. “And he had the great ability to draw people in. He had great knowledge but he never talked down to people.” Alderson recalls watching games with Rigney and the late club owner Walter Haas from the club box at the Coliseum. “It was like having our own personal color man,” Alderson said. “And we would have some wonderful conversations, not just about baseball.”

Even though he had several decades in the game and had played against some of the greatest names of all time, few players regularly sought him out to talk baseball.

“They don’t want to know,” he said. “They really don’t want to know. All they say is, ‘Hey, man, that was 40 years ago. Things are different now.’ Oh, really? How different? Do they run to third base instead of first? Come on.”

I think the best qualified people who can tell you about the connection between Bill Rigney and Sandy Alderson, are Rigney and Alderson themselves. Unfortunately, Rigney has passed away, but that was what Alderson had to say on the matter.

Other than that, you can read more about Bill Rigney on his wiki page where it says he was a a 26-season major league veteran who played for the New York Giants from 1946 – 1953, and served as the Giants manager from 1956 – 1960, leading the club in its first season after moving from New York to San Francisco in 1958.

After an 18-season managerial career, Rigney served as a front-office consultant and a radio and TV broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics in the 1980s.

He died on February 20, 2001 in Walnut Creek, California, at the age of 83.

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Some Things To Watch For This Playoff Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/some-things-to-watch-for-this-playoff-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/10/some-things-to-watch-for-this-playoff-season.html/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 18:00:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=98006 I am reminded of that Christmas song…”it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” It doesn’t get any better than playoff time. I’m bummed that the Mets aren’t playing significant baseball again this fall, but I guess it does give us an opportunity to sit back and enjoy these games and celebrate this great game of baseball, without the stress of having our team’s fate on the line. Anyway, here are a few things to watch that could make a major impact on this year’s playoff picture:

 

Wild Card winner getting first two games at home in Divison Series

When the Marlins won the World Series in 1997 they had the same first two games at home, which gave them an added advantage. Going up against the San Francisco Giants in the Divison Series, they won the first two games at home, and then the first game back in San Fran to complete the sweep. They later went on to win the World Series. If that series started in San Fran, who knows how it would have turned out. Expect similar upsets this year.

Not having Mariano Rivera will hurt the Yankees chances

This is a given. Mariano is the greatest closer in the history of the game, and post-season play. Aside from a hiccup in the 2001 World Series, Rivera has been flawless. When the Yankees made it to the 8th inning with a lead in previous years, it was a lock they would walk away with a win. Don’t expect similar results this year.

The Rangers will go as far as Josh Hamilton takes them

If Josh Hamilton catches fire, the Rangers will be playing in the World Series. If he continues to slump, the Rangers will make an early playoff exit. During a contract year, if Hamilton wants to really cash in, now is the time to really step up. I think he will.

Oakland’s weaknesses will be exposed

Like Billy Beane’s great moneyball teams of the early 2000s, the Athletics will ultimately be exposed in the playoffs against the Tigers, and eliminated in the ALDS. Maybe if they continue to shock everyone, and go on to win the World Series, Brad Pitt will play Beane in the Moneyball sequel. In other news, the comedic spoof of Moneyball, The Moneyball Mets, is slated for release in 2013.

Bryce Harper

Rookie Mike Trout has been all the talk of 2012, but Harper has been lurking in the shadows waiting to get his chance to steal back the rookie spotlight. This is his opportunity to show the world that he is still the best young talent in the game. Bryce Harper doesn’t sink back into the crowd, and is going to lift his play to another level with all the national attention. He will prove why Sports Illustrated dubbed him as “the chosen one.” I wonder if he will give us a few more memorable quotes along the way – That’s a clown question ‘bro.

These were just a few things that will make for a very interesting playoff season. There are a slew of other story lines that will impact this year’s playoff picture, and I’m looking forward to seeing them all unfold.

Everyone has a clean slate starting today. Team records are reset to 0-0. Everything that happened over the course of the season is in the past. Everything is on the line, and the glory is there for the taking. Who wants it more? God I love this game…

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Jason Pridie Signs Minor League Deal With A’s http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/jason-pridie-signs-with-as.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/jason-pridie-signs-with-as.html/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 01:49:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=65328

The A’s have signed Jason Pridie to a minor league deal, tweets Adam Rubin.

Jason Pridie, who was removed from the Mets’ 40-man roster last week, has signed as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics on a minor league deal, according to his agents from Sosnick Cobbe sports.

Pridie, 28, appeared in 101 games for the Mets in 2011. He joined the club in April after Angel Pagan experienced his injury, and never left.

Pridie hit .231 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 208 at bats over 101 games this past season.

The Mets also removed Nick Evans and Taylor Buchholz from the roster in recent days.

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Mets Claim A’s Lefty Reliever Jay Marshall http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/mets-claim-as-lefty-reliever-jay-marshall.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/mets-claim-as-lefty-reliever-jay-marshall.html/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2010 23:57:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=18736 Today, the Mets claimed LHP Jay Marshall off waivers from the Oakland Athletics after they designated him for assignment on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old left-hander was 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA in 10 relief appearances last season for the A’s, but was slowed and hampered by shoulder tendinitis.

He fared much better in the minors where he went 5-3 with seven saves and a 3.20 ERA in 50 games with Triple-A Sacramento.

The Mets could use another left-handed reliever to join Pedro Feliciano in the bullpen, and Marshall’s dominance over fellow southpaws indicates that could certainly fill that role.

In his minor and major league career, Marshall has held left-handed hitters to a .164 batting average, and in 99 innings pitched against them he has allowed just 54 hits, 8 walks and one homerun, while sporting a 0.64 WHIP. That’s pretty dominating…

Against right-handed hitters he is absolutely dreadful and they roughed him up for a .303 batting average against. If Manuel uses this guy exclusively against the big left-handed hitters of the NL East, he could become an impressive weapon late in games.

He has a side-arm delivery that he only learned in 2005, but it resulted in giving his fastball a heavy sink and transformed him into an extreme groundball pitcher.

With his addition to the bullpen, it could lessen the load on the usually over-worked Pedro Feliciano and allow him to remain effective for an entire season.

I like this move.

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Cardinals Agree On 7 Year Deal With Matt Holliday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/cardinals-agree-on-7-year-deal-with-matt-holliday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/01/cardinals-agree-on-7-year-deal-with-matt-holliday.html/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2010 23:46:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=18471 The dominoes are all starting to fall now…

Jon Heyman of SI.com,is now reporting that free agent outfielder, Matt Holliday has agreed to a seven-year, $120 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The deal includes a full no trade clause as most Scott Boras contracts do.

Holliday batted .353 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 63 games with the Cardinals after being acquired in a July trade from the Oakland Athletics.

The Cardinals increased their original offer that was reported to be $112 million for seven years, and the deal has an option for an eighth year.

Including the options, Jason Bay will be 35 at the end of his deal with the Mets, while Holliday will be 37.

I’m looking forward to reading all the Holliday got overpaid posts and articles in the next few days. Oh wait… there won’t be any because he didn’t sign with the Mets…

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Angels Rookie Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/04/angels-rookie-killed-in-hit-and-run-crash.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/04/angels-rookie-killed-in-hit-and-run-crash.html/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2009 16:33:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=2883 A hospital official says Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart has died in a hit-and-run car crash after a game.

University of California, Irvine Medical Center spokesman John Murray says Adenhart died Thursday morning after undergoing surgery.

Officials said the 22-year-old Adenhart was one of three people killed in the crash early Thursday after pitching in a loss against the Oakland Athletics.

The driver of a minivan ran a red light in Fullerton and hit two cars, including one carrying Adenhart.

Police Lt. Craig Brower said the minivan driver fled the crash scene and was captured a short time later. The driver was arrested and booked for investigation of felony hit-and-run.

Adenhart was drafted by the Angels out of Williamsport, Maryland in 2004. He was coming off elbow surgery, but the Angels gave him $700,000 to turn pro rather than attend the University of North Carolina. After recovering from the elbow surgery, he rose quickly through the Angels’ system and made his Major League debut in 2008, when he was just 21 years old.

Our condolences to the family and to the Angels organization.

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