Mets Merized Online » Omar Minaya http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:41:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Lo Duca Says Mets Should Trade Wright, Calls Minaya Unfit To Be GM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/lo-duca-says-mets-should-trade-wright-calls-minaya-unfit-to-be-gm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/lo-duca-says-mets-should-trade-wright-calls-minaya-unfit-to-be-gm.html/#comments Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:47:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157851 paul lo duca

Updating this post with even more from Lo Duca who told Loudmouths that the Mets should trade David Wright in an effort to get younger, according to MetsBlog.

“The Mets need to go back to square one, go back to their roots, go to younger players,” Lo Duca said. “If that means to trade David, that means to trade David.”

Lo Duca said Mets should build around young cornerstone players like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

12:00 PM

Former Dodger and Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca took a rip at his former general manager Omar Minaya, charging that Minaya was an idiot who was unfit for his job.

Appearing as a guest on the Joe and Evan show on WFAN this morning to talk about the Belmont Stakes, things veered way off course when the former MLB All-Star turned horse-racing enthusiast, took some stiff jabs at his former boss.

“They stuck their hopes in a guy who, let’s be honest, had no clue what was going on. None. He ended up making the franchise go backwards. Where the Mets have always made the mistake is they’ve always settled for mediocrity.”

He also took a shot at current Mets catchers saying, ”I could hit better left-handed than the schmucks the Mets have there now.”

Lo Duca has held a grudge against Minaya and the Mets since 2007, when the Mets general manager decided to part ways with the four-time all star after a historic collapse.

“Anytime in your lifetime that you’re not wanted, it’s tough,” Lo Duca said. “I was vocal that I wanted to stay in New York, but with the way that the offseason went, I’m glad I’m not there. I hate to say that, but they went through three guys and I never got a phone call. I wasn’t wanted, obviously. So, I’m human. I’m glad.”

Lo Duca earned $6.25 million in 2007 and was seeking a three-year deal for even more annual dollars.

The decision by Minaya ultimately turned out to be a good one, as Lo Duca would play just 67 more games in 2008, before packing it in amid steroid allegations, marital infidelity and gambling allegations.

MMO

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Righting The Wrongs http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/righting-the-wrongs.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/righting-the-wrongs.html/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 12:21:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154984 USATSI jenrry mejia Credit Brad Bar

Usually I’m not the type to tell someone “I told you so”. It’s annoying at best and at its worst it can make you want to slug the person who says it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when facts are so evident that they hit you in the face leaving you feeling like Delino DeShields Jr. after a close encounter with a 90 mph fastball. When it comes to the future of Jenrry Mejia, unfortunately all I can say is – I told you so.

You see it was about 4 years ago right here on Metsmerized when I wrote an article about what – get this – Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel should do about Jenrry Mejia. Should he be groomed as the heir apparent to Frankie Rodriguez or “stretched” out and turned into a starting pitcher? Of course as it is with many young players who make their way through this organization, their climb up the rungs is far from dull and uneventful. For Mejia it was a birth by fire.

Get ready, I’m about to quote myself because that’s how I roll.

“Earlier this year Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel fawned over minor league phenom pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. Somehow through that love affair, the kid surprisingly made the major league team right out of Spring. It was a desperate move then and looking back, it remains the same.

Especially considering one, the kid had barely over 200 innings of work in the minors and two, unbeknownst to him, he was anointed by Jerry Manuel and few other prominent figures around the team, a future Mariano Rivera armed with a Godly cutter and all.

No pressure there Jenrry. Here’s the ball, have fun. Nobody ever accused the Mets of being masters of public relations but this situation took the cake for me. Instead of dealing with the reality of not having a bonafide set-up man, Minaya and Manuel decided to thrust Jenrry Mejia into the spotlight.”

So instead of sending Mejia to AAA to pitch and either succeed or fail all on his own, they set the kid up. In the minors we would’ve learned probably what we know now, that Mejia is lights out for about 3 innings – roughly one time through a lineup as the .160 average against him is right now. But of course in the minds of Minaya and Manuel it was all about winning and winning NOW.

When I look back it disgusts me how this organization handled Mejia. This was supposed to be their crown jewel and they treated him like a cheap Lucas Duda knock-off watch right off of Canal Street. But before we sharpen our knives on Omar and Jerry let’s not forget that while Mejia has had to deal with injuries and multiple surgeries, he’s still a pretty damn good pitcher but the writing is on the wall. Collins and Alderson need to put Mejia in the bullpen despite his desire to start. The more they wait, the more Mejia is going to believe he should be a starter.

I want to bat third in the Mets lineup but it’s not going to happen either, get over it Jenrry. Alderson and his acolytes in Sabermetrics tend to believe that relievers are simply failed starters. Don’t get me wrong, many are but every once in a while you get a diamond that can only go an inning or two.

Alderson found one in Dennis Eckersley and the other just retired last season as the greatest reliever ever. This team needs to right the wrongs that they’ve placed on Jenrry Mejia and prepare him for his proper role as closer for the New York Mets. Hey it’s not like I didn’t say I told you so.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Exclusive: Discussing Latin American Development with Omar Minaya http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-exclusive-discussing-latin-american-development-with-omar-minaya.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mmo-exclusive-discussing-latin-american-development-with-omar-minaya.html/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:23:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140093 omar-minaya-espn

I sat down with Former Mets General Manager and current Padres Senior Vice President, Omar Minaya, to conduct an interview pertaining to Dominican and Latin American development and the importance of baseball in developing countries such as the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

I asked Omar, who I know as an expert, and who was at the forefront of our major assets in Latin America during his tenure, his thoughts on how baseball was affecting those countries. We also discussed the process of how players are signed. 

One Keyword before we start, Buscon: A scout who finds and gathers talented players on the Dominican landscape. They house, feed, and train the players, and act as agents from time to time. @dplbaseball has advised me that many prefer being called “trainers”.

Enjoy my interview with Omar Minaya.

TK: To you, is baseball good for Latin America In terms of growth? What does it do?

Omar: Baseball is not only part of the Social Fabric of Latin America, but it’s also part of the Economical fabric of Latin America. It creates heroes, it creates domestic heroes, and it creates international heroes. It creates an Identity for the different Latin American Countries. It’s a good business for both American and Latin American sides. With the American side, it expands the games and opportunities, but it also makes players heroes to younger generations of those players. So baseball definitely does that, those are the things that Latin American Baseball does.

TK: Do the players who do well for the sport, help their communities afterwards?

Omar: Most players do give back in their communities. It’s not well publicized though the media, we most times hear about when the players do something bad, like testing positive for steroids, but that’s a part of it. The other part is how players contribute to their local communities, their whole towns. A lot of players give back.

TK: Sammy Sosa was said to have given back during hurricane relief, though a lot said they didn’t see anything for it, I guess they were expecting more?

Omar: Well, there’s always going to be people who said they didn’t see a dime, but I do believe that there were a few people who were affected by it. There will always be naysayers about people doing good. But there were a lot of people who were affected, a lot of people that good things happened for them. Not only Sammy Sosa gave back, but Armando Benitez, with a town that he pretty much provided for. He had a community forum and there was hundreds of workers there. Yes, these players do give back. That being said, are there going to be naysayers? Mostly because somebody didn’t get something. But that’s the way it is.

TK: How do baseball signings in general help communities? Does it help them develop?

Omar: Like how?

TK: Players automatically giving back after getting a…

Omar: Bonus? Well what happens is a lot of the players who get their bonuses is that they give back to their own families. Usually they give back to their immediate families, getting their mother a house or a car, his uncles, and a lot of the people who coach him. But the money does not stop being given when they get the bonus, they still give money in the minor leagues. They constantly give to the family no matter what team they are playing for. What I look at it is as a family unity, they work together as a family. Sometimes too many family members are provided for. A lot of ways it could be a bad thing.

TK: How So? 

Omar: Too many people can be hanging around. It’s like the famous story of Mike Tyson, who had too many people to provide for. That’s why you see sometimes professional players have a driver, and a posse of people. Some people have too many in a posse.

TK: What’s usually the process for these players coming into the pros?

Omar: The process, now, is different than what it used to be, players go through trainers, or as we call buscones. Buscones are always there, they’re basically agents, but not certified. You really use buscones to be coaches. Unfortunately in the Dominican, there aren’t many organized leagues, so teams are really dependent on these independent contractors, or trainers, or buscones.

And what happens is that you sign the player through them who are the ones showing them to you.  You then follow up and decide if you are signing the player or agreeing to a contract. Whatever it is – maybe a large deal – the buscon gets a percentage of it. That’s really worked out through the player and the buscon, but we don’t know the real transaction. Major League Baseball is doing their best to regulate that, making sure that the checks go to a central bank and the players are informed of what their responsibilities are through the buscon.

But it’s an individual relationship between the player and the buscon. The signing part of it is – - we see the player, we look for his tools, we agree on the price, and we sign the player.

But the part the team does not get involved with is the buscon, and their share of the money, or any type of exchange between him and the player. In the old days, that used to happen a lot more. You meet with the player, but you negotiate with the buscon, so they can ensure that they get a kickback.

TK: Didn’t that happen with the White Sox where the scouts worked with buscones to convince the player to get a lower bonus so that the buscone and scout get a better fee?

Omar: I don’t know exactly how that happened, it might have been that the scout said to the organization that they were worth higher, as in the player was worth 10,000, but they said they were worth 50,000, and the buscon and scout split the difference. But I don’t know enough about it.

TK: What do you think of Buscones (whether they are good or not), versus regular scouts, agents, and how are they versus MLB Team’s academies?

I think they’re like scouts, there’s good ones and there’s bad ones. I think they’re part of the fabric of baseball right now. They are the ones training the players right now. There’s something about it, positive in doing it. In the ideal world, it should be like here (America) the kids should be going to school. But that’s not realistic. But there is a part of them that’s really good.

TK: Did you ever promote Buscones, and their version of academies? 

You had to, you had to deal with them, they’re part of the process now. It’s like one time people said they didn’t like dealing with agents in America. Well, if you don’t like agents then how do you sign players from Scott Boras. Buscones are like agents. You want to be able to have a relationship with them, but you gotta be careful and keep a distance with the relationship, so they don’t take advantage.

TK: Is there any resentment from the community? How did scouts relate to the community? 

Omar: Each Scout is different. There are going to be good and bad scouts. There are scouts that are going to be crooked, and some that will be providers. There are scouts who are going to partake and give back to the community. Each case is different. You’ve got 30 teams, each with different personalities. Some are more responsible than others, and they represent the organization and the industry. In most cases, most scouts are good, and they do give back.

TK: Are there greater changes to be made to the system such as signing at 18 (to get their diploma) instead of 16 or is an international draft the way to go? Or neither?

Omar: I am open to an international draft it if it’s done right. I really care about these kids getting their diploma. You can’t really wait for the kids to get a diploma because unfortunately the school system doesn’t work for them to get a diploma. A lot of times they can’t even afford school. I am a big believer-one of the ideas I had with the Mets was that any kid that we sign, we would guarantee that kid an education, so if we released them, we would pay for their education.

What I would like to see baseball do is make a player not be able to leave the Island until he gets a diploma. Major League Baseball, or at least the team should be able to give that kid a diploma. That said, if a kid is 20 years old, you don’t want to hold a kid back. But if a kid is signed at 16, before he comes to the states, he should get a diploma. Something I encouraged with the Mets, and something I encourage wherever we are.

TK: Did you ever feel guilty in a position of power over the treatment of some players that were cut and then disappeared?

Omar: Like how?

TK: A lot of players when they are cut are given a ticket to Santo Domingo and Caracas, or wherever else, and were never heard from again, after no reason why and no second chance. 

I felt with a Latino kid and an American kid, I felt that they were kids. My organizational spirit was that while baseball players messed up twice or three times, they were still kids. Don’t get me wrong, there are small mistakes and big mistakes, but I was always under the belief that kids deserved second, third, and fourth chances sometimes. And when we signed these kids, we’d treat them as our kids. I have two boys, and sometimes kids would make mistakes, but I’d want them to be given opportunities and a chance.

Our policy when we let a kid go, it wasn’t because the kid wasn’t given a chance. You cannot let a kid go with my director because he made a few stupid mistakes, like having beers in the room, or breaking curfew, or smoking marijuana, whatever it was. Kids are kids, and I always believed in an organization that gave kids opportunities, and letting kids make mistakes. And that was for every kid, not just a latin kid, but an American kid.

But I thought it was important too to send coaches to Latin America to see their conditions, to see their culture, to see the big step they had to take from Latin America to here. I felt that when American coaches went to Latin America, they went in there thinking “We’re going to teach them a lot.” But I thought, “No no no, I’m not concerned about teaching the kids, I’m concerned about teaching you.”

I could have anybody teaching ground balls and proper stepping, but this was more for the coach’s education than it was for the player’s education. To me the important thing about scouting in Latin America was that one time it was mostly scouting, but now with these academies, it’s really going to be that we can teach kids, and teach our US coaches. If we can do that, teach both of them, and learn from both sides, we’re all better off. Learning from one side isn’t enough, learning from both is more important. And these academies are huge now and they can help out a lot. 

TK: Does the wealth of player’s families ever come into reasoning of whether or not they are signed?

Omar: Like how?

TK: Because some players in poverty didn’t have access to food, equipment, other things that would really assist them.

No, We just looked at players. As far as their background was concerned, we really just looked at their education. If they had some form of education, that came into the equation. Material things as far as how poor they were, never came into the equation at all.

If they came from a very poor environment, some compassion as far as helping them out, you want to sign them to something ideal, but you wanted to be fair with them. But the main thing that came into the Equation was education, understanding of cultures, proper etiquette, those kinds of things. A lot of times poorer players were educated, and were able to speak for themselves. There was something internally in them. You became concerned with wealth when they came from too wealthy of a background, you were really concerned at how much he really wanted it. But as a whole, it was more what kind of education that person had.

TK: Did you feel in your tenures in Montreal and Mets as general manager that you did well in terms of helping in the development of Latin America?

Omar: Yes, no doubt about it. My sense was that though we were getting good players, we were creating an environment for not only the Mets, but other baseball teams, to understand that education is huge. That we’re not only going to teach baseball, such as run, or hit, but we’re going to use it as a social environment to make better players, better citizens. And I think we’re seeing that more and more as a credit to Major League Baseball.

I think academies; especially the Mets Academy, intend to be at the forefront of education. I hope that’s what we did, and I think the current Mets Staff with Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta are committed to doing that as well. With the Mets, and what we’re trying to do with other teams, we can look back and say “we made players better citizens.” And if we can be better citizens as an industry, we can be a better organization.

There can be challenges. One of the new challenges is going to be Cuba. I think Cuba is going to be fantastic, I think Cuba is going to have a great system. If we can create a way for Cuba to be like the Dominican Republic, then baseball is going to be better off. I’m excited about the future of Latin America, and how Major League Baseball leads in this. I believe that as general manager, we were going to lead with the Mets, and now with the Padres we plan on leading. If we lead, other teams will follow.

* * * * * * * * * *

I would like to thank Omar Minaya for allowing me to interview him and post this on Metsmerized Online. I would also like to thank Joe D., David, Roger and other writers for their support, as well as my Father.

(Photos: USA Today, MLB.com)

Presented By Diehards

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How The Mets’ 40 Man Roster Was Assembled http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/how-the-mets-40-man-roster-was-assembled.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/how-the-mets-40-man-roster-was-assembled.html/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:38:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=138982 david wright

David Wright is now the Mets’ longest tenured player.

The Mets 40 man roster presently has 38 occupants.

12 of those are occupied by players acquired during Sandy Alderson’s tenure.

25 were acquired under Omar Minaya.

1 was acquired under Steve Phillips.

So how was the present 40 man roster assembled and by whom?

Sandy Alderson:

TradeVic Black, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Eric Young.

Free AgencyBartolo Colon, Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, Andrew Brown, Chris Young, Curtis Granderson.

WaiversRyan Reid, Anthony Recker

Omar Minaya:

International Free AgentJeurys Familia, Gonzalez Germen, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, Wilfredo Tovar, Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello

DraftJacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Dillon Gee, Erik Goeddel, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Jeff Walters, Juan Centeno, Ike Davis, Zach Lutz, Daniel Murphy, Josh Satin, Matt den Dekker, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Steve Phillips:

DraftDavid Wright

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Random Thoughts On Bartolo Colon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-random-thoughts-on-bartolo-colon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-random-thoughts-on-bartolo-colon.html/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:04:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135333 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.

mmo

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This Day In Mets Infamy with Rusty: 5 Songs That Describes Mets Hot Stove So Far http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-5-songs-that-describes-mets-hot-stove-so-far.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-5-songs-that-describes-mets-hot-stove-so-far.html/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:24:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133601 infamy

Ah it’s that time of year again…  A time for new beginnings, a time for change, and for most it is a time for optimism. Yes, it’s time for that kooky year end ritual otherwise known as the Hot Stove Season – or as many Mets fans in the past five years like to say - PURGATORY!!!

Once again, many Met fans have bought in to ownership’s promises of the team spending more money than it did last season and guess what, they have. With the signing of our new left fielder Chris Young they have surpassed their $5 million dollar spending spree from a year ago.

All I know is that at this juncture I don’t have the warm and fuzzy feelings I used to get around this time of the year – but I’ll hold the right to reserve my total venom until I see how this Mets roster shakes out by the start of Spring Training.

But anyway, here are my five songs that best describe the Mets Hot Stove so far:

5. State of Shock by the Jackson’s  - Because we now know when Jeff Wilpon saw how much money even the middle-tiered free agents were asking for, they all needed smelling salts to revive them!

4. Bringing On The Heartache by Def Leppard – Pass me the Rolaids.

3. Money Changes Everything by Cindi Lauper – Because when it comes to this teams finances it seems like Sandy Alderson always has to do more with less.

2: Slip Slidin’ Away by Simon and Garfunkel – Because if this team doesn’t even remotely try to improve itself the fan base will keep slipping away until Citi Field has less life in it than the city morgue.

1. Death On Two Legs by Queen - Because if the Mets ownership doesn’t show that it has the willingness or discretionary spending to try to field a competitive team this upcoming season, fans’ sentiments will mirror the lyrics to this song.

So do you agree with my choices ? Are there songs that you feel summarize the Mets Hot Stove better than the ones I listed? Feel free to post your lists in the comment section.

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

One time Mets minority owner, G. Herbert Walker would have been 108 today (1905). Walker was not only the grandfather of president George W Bush, but he was also the Mets Executive Vice President from 1962 until his death in 1977.

Spot Starter/middle reliever from the ’66 season, Bob Friend is 83 (1930).

Starting pitcher from ’94-’95, Jason Jacome turns 43 (1970). In his 2 seasons with the Mets, Jacome started 13 games, going 4-7 with an E.R.A of 4.80.

Some other notables include:

Sadly on this date the Mets lost two members of their extended family. Hall of Fame (not as a Met) left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn in 2003, and third base coach from the ’77 season, Tom Burgess  in 2008.

The New York Mets traded reserve first baseman, Dave Gallagher to the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher, Pete Smith on November 24, 1993.

The New York Mets traded  first baseman/catcher, Mike Jacobs, along with pitching prospects Yusmiero Petit and Grant Psomas to the Florida Marlins for power hitting first baseman, Carlos Delgado in 2005. This in my opinion was one of the best trades from the Omar Minaya era.

Mo Vaughn has been so distraught by the Mets hot stove so far that he lost his appetite….. That lasted all of a half hour!!!

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Hope For The Best, But Expect The Worst Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-hope-for-the-best-but-expect-the-worst-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-hope-for-the-best-but-expect-the-worst-edition.html/#comments Sun, 10 Nov 2013 15:41:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132596 fansI have been a Mets fan since my birth 41 years ago, and in that time I have seen more than a handful of highs – and more than my share of lows. I have lived through Frank Taveras and Alex Trevino, Bob Bailor and Bruce Bosclair, Rich Rodriguez and Tony Tarasco, and now Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada.

This is why whenever somebody looks at me cross-eyed when they find out that I am indeed a Mets fan I summon the old credo:

“I’m a Mets fan – I hope for the best, but I expect the worst”

That being said I am trying to stay positive this hot stove season because I have to think that ownership understands that they are at a crossroads. Because of the Madoff scandal, this team has seen it’s payroll shrink from its $150 million dollar apex to the $90 million dollar level when this season opened on April 1st.

Both Ownership and General Manager Sandy Alderson are on the record saying they have money to burn and they intend on importing better talent than in previous seasons. I hope against hope that they aren’t paying lip service to the fans, and maybe I will be less skeptical when I see the first “big” acquisition – whether a free agent signing or trade – announced. But right now I will try to check my apathy at the door.

The thing that makes me feel a bit skeptical is that the general feeling out there is that the Mets may only be able ( or willing) to spend upwards of $40 million on new talent which would bring the payroll up to around the same $90 million give or take. Teams can win with that kind of payroll, but this team has a serious lack of talent on the big league level with the exception of a handful of players. With this alleged $40 million you definitely wont be able to afford a Ellsbury – or even a Choo, Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marlon Byrd will command – and get a 3-year, $40 million dollar contract coming off the season he just had.

The rumors that are circulating out there and say that the Mets aren’t interested in any of the three available Dodger outfielders makes me just scratch my head. I feel like the Mets have the money and want to buy the Kobe beef, but they may once again settle for the 2 day old chuck roast that has been reduced for a quick sell.

For now, I’m not really jaded – more like confused – and I can only hope that by the time the Mets are set to open Spring Training come February, they will have imported some much needed talent that will be impactful not only in 2014, but for many years to come.

But once again my mind reverts back to that old credo:

I’m a Mets fan – I hope for the best, but expect the worst.

And with that said…..

HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating birthdays today include:

Outfielder from ’75-’77, Mike Vail is 62 (1951). One has to wonder what might have been if he didn’t shatter his ankle while playing a pickup game of basketball during the  ’75 offseason.

Mets general manager from ’04-’10, Omar Minaya is 55 (1958) Although I am not one of Minaya’s biggest fans I am thankful that he was able to get the Mets back into contention within 2 years of his hiring. It is the simple fact that he sacrificed the future by making some ill advised trades and draft selections that have partially put this team in the situation it is currently in.

Utility infielder from the ’92 season, Junior Noboa is 49 (1964).

One of the biggest goats in Mets history, Kenny Rogers  is 49 (1964).

Outfielder from ’93-’98, Butch Huskey is 42 (1971). Lets face it, Huskey was Lucas Duda before Lucas Duda ever picked up a bat.

Right fielder from the ’06 and ’07 seasons, Shawn Green is 41 (1972). Yes by the time the Mets obtained the “Hebrew Hammer”, Green was on the downside of his career. He still managed to hit a combined .284 with14 homers and 61 ribbies, and he absolutely raked in the ’06 postseason.

Some other notables include:

The New York Mets signed free agent utility outfielder, Carlos Mendoza on November 10, 1992.

The Atlanta Braves signed reserve outfielder,  Esix Snead of the New York Mets as a free agent on November 10, 2004. Snead played parts of 2 seasons with the Mets, compiling a .308 batting average with one homerun, 3 rbis and 4 stolen bases in 18 games.

The Mets granted middle reliever, Shingo Takatsu  free agency on November 10, 2005.

The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever,  Raul Valdes on November 10, 2006.

The Philadelphia Phillies  signed utility infielder,  Wilson Valdez of the New York Mets as a free agent on November 10, 2009.

When a Queens donut shop owner discovered that his morning supply of fresh-baked donuts had all been robbed and called the police, the two officers that responded looked at each other and said, “Gotta go to Mo’s.” Thirty minutes later the caper was solved as Mo Vaughn was cuffed and taken into custody – covered in powdered sugar. (Guest Mo Vaughn joke by Joe D.)

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Songs That Best Describe The ’13 Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-songs-that-best-describe-the-13-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-songs-that-best-describe-the-13-season.html/#comments Sun, 06 Oct 2013 11:56:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130767 2013 kiss my ass

It has been officially a week since the 2013 Mets campaign has ended – even though we pretty much knew that it was over just before the All Star Break. We saw some good baseball amidst the very bad . We saw  Matt Harvey dominate before being banished to the disabled list . We saw Juan Lagares look like the second coming of Tommie Agee with the glove – now if only he can hit. We saw a team that floundered most of the season with exception of a few weeks where they looked like they were world beaters. But in essence this team was more like a 10-year old kid fighting the Red Coats with a cap gun .

So here I give to you the songs that best describe the Mets 2013 campaign.

“Snowblind” by Styx: Who the hell would schedule baseball games in both Colorado and Minnesota in early April?!?

“Doctor, Doctor” by Robert Palmer: This song is dedicated to Johan Santana, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Bobby Parnell, Matt Harvey, Ike Davis, Jon Niese, David Wright, Ruben Tejada as well as any other Met to spend time in the infirmary.

“I Don’t Need No Doctor” by Humble Pie: This was Matt Harvey’s mantra for avoiding Tommy John Surgery. Too bad mantras don’t work.

“The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades”  by Timbuk Three: See Wilmer Flores, German Gonzalez, Vic BlackTravis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, etc.

“Dirty Work” by Steely Dan: Because Sandy Alderson, with his hands tied, had to assemble a ragtag squad that most of the season resembled more of a Triple-A team than a Major League squad.

“Lucky Man” by ELP: How else would you describe the fact that Terry Collins as well as the rest of his staff was retained?

“Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Motley Crue: Yes Jordanny – just go away…

“Shooting Star” by Bad Company: For the All Star Game which with the exceptions of #HarveyDay or #WheelerDay was the only time there was a true buzz at Citi Field.

And lastly as the Doors’ Jim Morrison once crooned, “When the music’s over turn out the lights…Turn out the Lights… On the 2013 season.

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Joe Frazier, one of the forgotten men to manage the Mets would have been 91 today (1922). People forget that it was Frazier that was the last Mets manager before Davey Johnson to end the season with a winning record (86-76 in 1976). Too bad the ’77 squad was a team in turmoil and Frazier went down via a left hook by Mets C.O.O. M.Donald Grant after posting a record of 15-30 to start the season. He was replaced by Brooklyn’s own Joe Torre and the quick decent into the Dark Ages of the ’70′s had begun.

One of, if not the best, defensive catcher ever to protect the dish for the Mets, Jerry Grote  turns 71 today (1942).

On of the most overlooked Mets pitchers from the ’69 season, Gary Gentry is 67  (1946).

Reserve outfielder from the ’75 season, Gene Clines  is 67 (1946).

Middle reliever from ’95-’96, Robert Person is 44 (1969). Person’s tenure with the Mets was rather non-descriptive, but he was the player that we traded in order to pry John Olerud from the Blue Jays.

Setup man from the ’06 season,  Darren Oliver is 43  (1970).  I don’t know about you, but I wish Omar didn’t let him walk after the season concluded because maybe – just maybe the Mets bullpen wouldn’t have imploded so badly down the stretch in ’07 and ’08…

Other notables include:

The New York Mets signed free agent infielder, Ted Martinez on October 6, 1966. Martinez was one of the first players the Mets signed that hailed from the Dominican Republic. He made his Major League debut with the Mets in 1970, and spent five seasons with the Mets primarily as a back up infielder.

Mo Vaughn is as easy as a Sunday Morning!

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: What Does Future Hold For Frank-Frank Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-what-does-future-hold-for-frank-frank-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/08/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-what-does-future-hold-for-frank-frank-edition.html/#comments Sun, 25 Aug 2013 14:31:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=127814 frank francisco mets blown save

This past week  it was revealed that the one time Mets closer, Frank Francisco, or as I like to call him, “The Human Sloth”, resurfaced in a pair of games for the GCL Mets. To date, he has given up two runs in four games while striking out six. He is rehabbing from what supposed to be minor surgery to clean out debris from his throwing elbow. In addition to the fact that he has yet to earn one dime from the $6.5 million dollars owed to him for this season, part of that disastrous two-year, $12 million dollar deal he was signed to, even more troubling news surfaced last month. Francisco advised young pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who was rehabbing with him in Port St. Lucie, to sit back and just collect his MLB disabled list money rather than trying to get himself healthy enough to rejoin the big league team.

Well the good news is that the Mets will finally be rid of Frank Frank’s contract as well as his bad attitude once this season is over, and I seriously doubt  he will be able to find his way onto another big league roster next season. So what would be the next step for Francisco as far as new career options?

Here are a few occupations that I think will fit him like a glove…

1. Professional Wrestler: Well, he does know his way around a folding chair.

2. D.M.V Employee: He does have the perfect attitude and mental toughness to drive people insane.

3. Self Help Guru:  Because he knows how to get you paid while doing the bare minimum.

4. Drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Because “he loves to work at nothing all day.”

And lastly…. Armando Benitez look-alike: Because we all know Benitez still gets death threats from disgruntled Mets fans!!!

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

  • Mets coach from the 1993 season (The Torborg Era) Darrell Johnson would have been 85 (1928) today.
  • One of the most memorable characters from the embryonic years of the Mets franchise back up catcher, Clarence “Choo Choo”  Coleman (1937)
  • Reserve outfielder from the ’66 season, Shaun Fitzmaurice is 71 (1942).
  • Reserve outfielder and notable steroid cheat, Gary Matthews Jr. is 39  (1974).
  • Current Mets middle reliever, “Perpetual”  Pedro Feliciano is 37  (1976).

Some other notables….

  • The New York Mets signed free agent back up first baseman, Brian Buchanan on August 25, 2004.
  • The New York Mets traded their closer, Billy Wagner to the Boston Red Sox  for reserve outfielder, Chris Carter, and minor leaguer, Eddie Lora on August 25, 2009. This move was essentially a salary dump. The Mets for some reason that I – nor anyone else seems to know – traded one of the premier closers in the game (granted he was coming back from a shoulder injury) for a bag of donuts… Literally… They could have just waited out the remaining month of the season and let Wags, who was a Type A free agent, sign with another team and earn themselves a first round pick as well as a comp pick. But hey… that was the Minaya era for you .

Mo Vaughn is easy like a Sunday morning !!!!!

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Matt Harvey: The Mets Have Their Ace http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/05/matt-harvey-the-mets-have-their-ace.html/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 15:57:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=117881 matt harvey 33Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Mets had a top ten prospect named Zack Wheeler who was deemed the heir apparent to their oft-maligned rotation.  It had to be Wheeler, who would assume the role of staff ace.  Especially with the controversial trade of surprising knuckleballer, RA Dickey.  It seemed unanimous that Wheeler, his high nineties fastball, and array of formidable secondary pitches were just months away from changing everything.  That was the plan, but then Matt Harvey happened…

The July 2012 promotion of the Mets’ second best pitching prospect was met with much fan fair.  Harvey promptly rose to the occasion in the eleven strike out win that was his debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  For an encore, he went on to post an ERA well under three in ten starts comprised of almost sixty innings pitched.  For certain it looked as though the Mets had another quality starter on their hands, but no one could have anticipated what Matt Harvey had in store for the Mets and their fans in 2013.

Entering last night, Harvey’s 2013 campaign featured a 4-0 start which saw him yield more than one earned run on only one occasion over six starts, in route to the National League Pitcher of the Month award for the month of April.  Coming off a full seven day’s rest, Harvey spent Monday night victimizing the White Sox lineup in route to nine scoreless innings of one hit ball with twelve strike outs and exactly zero walks.  This saw Matt drop his ERA to an impressively low 1.27 while assuming the league lead in strike outs with 58.

The stats are impressive enough, but they are easily trumped by the undeniable presence that Harvey brings with him to the bump every night.  Each start celebrated as “Happy Harvey Day” on various social media forums, the fans have fully accepted Matt as the absolute ace of this staff, no questions asked.

Harvey’s rise to what will soon be, if it isn’t already, super-stardom, will make it that much harder for those that come behind him, namely Wheeler.  Having been billed as possessing the best repertoire in the system, its hard to believe that Wheeler can match the ridiculous change-up and slicing slider that Harvey has used to carved through opponents thus far this season.  While the Mets will need Wheeler to be a productive member of the rotation in short order if they hope to stay in the hunt this summer, Matt Harvey has made most, if not all fans forget that someone other than he may be the savoir for the Mets pitching woes.

Recent history has seen pitchers as unproven as Mike Pelfrey toe the rubber as the team’s ace.  Those days, at least for the time being seem to be behind us.  Having been drafted by Omar Minaya in 2010, Harvey will be ineligible for free agency until the 2019 season at the earliest and now represents the youth movement envisioned by Mets general manager, Sandy Alderson.  The franchise will need others to rise through the ranks in order to realize Alderson’s vision, but regardless of whether those who will soon follow his path are able to do their part, Matt Harvey is here and the Mets have their ace.

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.

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Mets Time Machine: Seattle’s Price Tag For Lee Is Mejia or Flores http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-time-machine-seattles-price-tag-for-lee-is-mejia-or-flores.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-time-machine-seattles-price-tag-for-lee-is-mejia-or-flores.html/#comments Sat, 09 Mar 2013 06:17:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110358 In this edition of a not-so-regular MMO feature that first appeared in 2007, our reader Pietro Sinapi gets the well deserved hat tip for taking us back to June 30, 2010 when the big news of the day was the Mets and their pursuit of Mariners ace Cliff Lee.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that if the Mets wanted Lee they needed to up the ante and make the M’s an offer they couldn’t refuse:

You are not getting Lee for Fernando Martinez and Josh Thole. That would be painless for the Mets. I don’t know if an injury-prone outfield prospect (Martinez) and a fringe catching prospect (Thole) are worth as much as the two first-round compensation picks an acquiring team would receive if it lost Lee to free agency after the season. So why would the Mariners gift-wrap Lee and those two picks for such a meager return? Flip it; if you ran the Mets would you trade Lee for the equivalent of Martinez and Thole? Of course not.

Thus, if the Mets want Lee — and, boy, do they ever — a trade will have to be built around Jenrry Mejia, whom Seattle likes, but does not love, or Wilmer Flores, an 18-year-old infielder already thriving at High-A. In conversations with Mariner officials, I strongly sensed they would accept no less than one blue-chip prospect or they will not do this trade.

One key impediment for Seattle is that Lee has been traded twice in the past 23 months for seven prospects — none of them blue chip — as teams dealing the lefty valued quantity in return over quality.

The Mets were feeling their oats that June after an 18-8 run that had them at 44-34 overall and in second place, ten games over .500. They were well within grasp of that coveted division title.

Desperate for another starting pitcher and unable to dole out another nickel as the Madoff scandal started to hit home, the Mets stood pat and there was nothing Omar Minaya could do about it. The team paid the price and it all went downhill from there going 31-45 the rest of the way and finishing the year in a disappointing 4th place.

The always dapper Omar Minaya and his gangsta Jerry Manuel were rubbed out while pulling up in front of Sparks Steakhouse in NYC two days later. It was a bad scene, man…

The Texas Rangers wound up winning the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and got him along with Mark Lowe for some of their one-time top prospects Matthew Lawson, Blake BeavanJosh Lueke and Justin Smoak.

Huh… Who? Wait… What?

Talk about getting Smoaked…

joe pesci

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Mets Fans Suffering From Bargain Bin Boredom http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/mets-fans-suffering-from-bargain-bin-boredom.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/mets-fans-suffering-from-bargain-bin-boredom.html/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 14:00:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=101570 As winter creeps onto the landscape and the offseason crawls along, its becoming apparent that the sweeping changes that were promised by Mets GM, Sandy Alderson, are likely to be held off another year.  Instead of renovating the roster to resemble that of a organization poised for a resurgence, the Mets remain in a holding pattern.  The team’s front office had declared the World Series, then the Thanksgiving holiday and now the start of the winter meetings as dates for clarity on the futures of RA Dickey and David Wright.  The first two dates have come and gone, with the latter quickly approaching, and yet we still wait.  That appears to be what we do best around here these days…Wait.

Speaking as someone who was content with the idea that it took more than a season to screw this franchise up and that it will take more than a season to fix the mistakes of those that came before him, I tolerated the notion that 2014 might be the year the Mets find themselves back on the map.  So, I waited.  Waited for what, I’m not exactly sure, but I’m pretty sure I expected the framework for such a rebuild in place a mere season away from the self-imposed rebuilding deadline.  For sure, the team would need at least a season to mesh, right?  And still, I wait.

I think I’ve gotten to the point that I’m actually bored with what going on here.  Quite frankly, I don’t care what the team’s financial situation.  Furthermore, the methodical approach of Sandy Alderson seems to do nothing but make the agony of knowing there is little immediate hope on the horizon even worse.  You see there is nothing wrong with signing low risk, high reward players like Tim Byrdak to minor league contracts.  In fact, its good baseball sense.  However, these are not the signings necessary to put the chips in place for a rebuild.

To be perfectly honest, resigning David Wright and RA Dickey only maintains the organization’s current position of limbo.  These are the players that the front office should build around, but even their future is in doubt.  If we’re lucky enough to ink them to long-term deals, I fear that the players filled in around them will simply maintain the status quo.  Two months ago it was unfathomable that fifth outfielder, Andres Torres, might occupy a roster spot next season.  Now it appears borderline likely.  Simply put, scratching the bottom of the bargain bin has become tiresome.

As another spring training draws near, the blueprint for success is no clearer today than it was two years ago.  Addition by subtraction has replaced the big market mindset brought to you by Omar Minaya and Bernie Madoff.  Whether you blame poor investing, poor free agent signings, or even poor player development, the Mets schtick just seems stale at this point.  Resigning Wright and Dickey may pacify some fans, but it will be the players brought in around them that will inspire the imaginations of the masses.  They don’t have to be nine-figure players, but the Ronnie Cedenos of the world just aren’t going to get it done.

I’m bored Sandy Alderson.  Give me a reason to get excited, a reason to look forward to the future, hell.. give me a reason to come to the ballpark.  Show fans that this organization is still interested in winning.  Enough with the stopgaps.  Lets build something worth the our time..and our money.

Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83

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Who Inherited The Better Farm System? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/08/who-inherited-the-better-farm-system.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/08/who-inherited-the-better-farm-system.html/#comments Sat, 25 Aug 2012 16:47:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=94184

In one of yesterday’s posts, I saw a little debate pop up as to which GM inherited a better farm system between Omar Minaya and Sandy Alderson. In my mind, the perception was that Alderson had a significantly stronger base of prospects to work with than Minaya did, but I decided to see what I could dig up to support that perception.

I decided to go to the ultimate authority on prospects and minor league systems, Baseball America to see what the Mets top prospects looked like in the periods 2004-2005 compared to 2010-2011. Take a look…

Minaya was unable to reap even one everyday player from the farm system he inherited. Carlos Gomez lasted one season as an everyday player until the .244 career hitter settled into a reserve role with different organizations. Philip Humber had his one moment in the sun when he tossed a perfect game for the White Sox in April, but he’s been one of the league’s worst pitchers since and boasts a 5.93 ERA this season. Jesus Flores? He’s batting .222 as a backup catcher for the Washington Nationals these days. That’s it.

Alderson has reaped five everyday players already in Ike Davis, Jon Niese, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada and Matt Harvey. Plus based on comments made yesterday and today by Alderson and Terry Collins, you can count Lucas Duda and Jenrry Mejia as everyday players beginning on September 1st and continuing onto the 2013 season. Wilmer Flores, has now become the top hitting prospect in the Mets system and could possibly debut late in 2013 as well. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has an undefined  role going forward, but is not completely out of the picture for the starting center field job next season. Harvey and Tejada could be future All Stars, and Ike Davis could become one of the best power-hitting first basemen in the league and is already a Gold Glove caliber defender. Jon Niese was so highly regarded by Alderson that he quickly locked up his prized southpaw to a five-year deal this season.

I think this settles which general manager inherited the better system. And it’s not even close…

Omar Minaya left Sandy Alderson with a strong bounty to build with including potential core players in Matt Harvey, Ruben Tejada and Jon Niese.

In fact, the other day, Mike Francesa asked Sandy Alderson when the Mets were ever going to be “his” team.

Alderson replied, “What do you mean… This is my team.”

The point Francesa was making, much like the last two seasons, sailed completely over Sandy Alderson’s head.

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Mets Get High Marks On International Free Agents http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/05/mets-get-high-marks-on-international-free-agents.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/05/mets-get-high-marks-on-international-free-agents.html/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 02:07:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=79023

Last week, Ben Badler of Baseball America evaluated how MLB teams have done in the international arena with regards to scouting, signing and developing talent in these once neglected markets that have produced more than their fair share of solid major league baseball players..

The Mets ranked very well according to Badler who ranked the Amazins’ among the top five teams.

When Omar Minaya was general manager, the Mets revved up their spending in Latin America, most notably to sign a trio of Dominican players from Ivan Noboa in Fernando Martinez, Cesar Puello and Jefry Marte. Their scouts have been able to find quality players for lower prices, including Panamanian middle infielder Ruben Tejada, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera and hard-throwing Dominican righthanders Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia. More recent additions like Dominican righthanders Domingo Tapia, Luis Mateo and Rafael Montero have kept the system stocked with intriguing young arms, though they are still far away. ~ Baseball America

It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of an effect the new CBA rules will have on international free agency.

Major League Baseball’s new labor agreement has capped the amount of dollars an organization can spend on international free agents. Effective this season, any team that spends more than $3 million dollars annually, will now face a heavy tax that could include a loss of draft picks in addition to the high financial levies.

That $3M amount wouldn’t even be enough to cover what some of the best available players used to get in the free market. Apparently this was done so to allow low market teams to get into the game, but it was a huge blow to the international players themselves. The union looked at these international players as collateral damage and caved just so that the new CBA could be pushed through. Well, that’s the way I saw it.

One such international free agent who is making a significant and most welcomed impact on the Mets this season, is of course second baseman Ruben Tejada who hails from Panama.

The other day some thought that maybe I took an unfair shot at former Mets GM Omar Minaya, but seriously, that man had no business being a general manager. However, giving credit where it is due, Omar Minaya could be my Scouting and Player Development Director any day of the week.

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What Will The Mets Do With Jason Bay? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/03/what-will-the-mets-do-with-jason-bay.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/03/what-will-the-mets-do-with-jason-bay.html/#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2012 13:36:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=74946 To say Jason Bay’s tenure this far with the Mets is disappointing would be a huge understatement. When Bay was signed it was thought that he would be providing the much needed power to the Mets lineup. From 2004-2009 Bay averaged at least 21 home-runs, nobody could have predicted his drop-off would be so severe when he signed with the Mets. As a Met Jason Bay has hit just 18 home-runs! Oh and he’s only hitting .250 as Met!

Bay is two years into his $66 million contract he has an easily attainable $18 million vesting option for 2014, that vests based on 500 plate appearances each in 2012 and 2013.

Unfortunately Bay still continues to struggle and he hasn’t shown much improvement this spring.

The question will eventually be ”what will the Mets do with Jason Bay?” Trading him won’t be an option as no general manager will take on that contract. I don’t even think we can swap bad contracts with another team given Bay’s lack of production. So besides a trade what else can the Mets do?

  1. Extended Spring Training: This seems unlikely as much as it would be needed. As was pointed out to me recently, Jason Bay is one of the only regular players that is healthy so you can be certain that he will be coming North with team once they break camp.
  2. Moving Him Down The Lineup: This will be a reality at some point this season I’m sure. Unfortunately whether he’s in the middle of the lineup or batting 8th he still be hurting the lineup with his lack of production. You cannot have a player continuously underperforming as he has and expect a positive outcome to this tale.
  3. Minor League Assignment: This is always a tough one with a veteran player like Jason Bay. He’s got the right to refuse a minor league assignment. We saw this with Oliver Perez a couple of years ago. It takes time off his service time. I doubt the Mets even approach this option.
  4. Platooning Him: If moving Bay down the lineup doesn’t work and the Mets don’t ask and/or Bay doesn’t accept the Minor League assignment this will probably be the most logical option. I know the players union might have an issue because of the vesting option, but the Mets will have a clear case that his lack of production is hurting the team.
  5. Cutting Losses: This is always tough, especially when it comes to the amount of money Jason Bay is owed. Many have concerns that even though a player shows no signs of improving, he will get cut from his current team, sign for the minimum with another team and return to greatness. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and make the cut.

It’s not a great situation to be in with Jason Bay that’s for sure. I would first move him down the lineup and if that doesn’t work I would ask him to accept a minor league assignment. If Bay is interested in helping the team and wanting to improve, he can take the assignment, go to Buffalo and work on his swing. It has helped before. If Bay turns down the minor league assignment, I wouldn’t bench him as that does nothing, but occupy a roster spot. I would part ways with him and cut him. Let him be someone else’s problem. Sometimes addition by subtraction is the only way to go. Of course the best case scenario is that Bay finds his swing and starts to hit again. You gotta believe right?

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The New York Mets – On The Fringe Of History http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/the-new-york-mets-on-the-fringe-of-history.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/02/the-new-york-mets-on-the-fringe-of-history.html/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 15:00:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=72746 Thursday – October 19th – 2006

Top of the 9th and the score is 3 to 1 in favor of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets are one loss away from post-season elimination. The St. Louis Cardinals are one win away from the World Series. Cliff Floyd has struck out with runners on first and second. Jose Reyes has just lined out to Jim Edmonds in center.  Hope is rapidly fading when Carlos Beltran makes his way to the plate to face Adam Wainwright in front of a standing room only crowd of 56,357 screaming Shea fans – yearning desperately for a return to the fall classic.

Wainwright scans the signs from Yadier Molina. Beltran, the 2006 Mets team leader in homeruns and RBI, focuses every ounce of the baseball knowledge he has on Wainwright. He’s prepared. This is the moment every child who’s ever taken a baseball field has dreamt of. The season, the city, everything is now in his hands. The intensity flowing from fan to players to concession stand operators becomes palpable.  The drumbeat of “Lets Go Mets”, reminiscent of glory days gone by, echo through Shea’s centerfield speakers. The stands begin to shake rhythmically in anticipation. Wainwright delivers his 1st pitch. Beltran swings…driving a Wainwright curveball high down the right field line.

Time grinds to standstill as the crowd instinctively and collectively holds their breath. Beltran however is far less concerned. He flips his bat with the same exuberance of a Little Leaguer – channeling every emotion into one fluid motion. He knows. Gary Cohen begins to scream “A LOOONG HIGH FLY TO DEEEP RIGHT WILL IT STAY FAIR…IT HIT THE FOUL POLE…IT”S OUTTA HERE, IT’S OUTTA HERE, IT’S OUTTA HERE, IT’S OUTTA HERE…

Present Day – 2012

Of course that never happened, as we know all too well. No we never did get to hear Gary Cohen cement himself into Met history with THAT particular call. Instead we were subjected to Joe Buck’s monotone droning, “And the 0 and 2 pitch; strike 3. The Cardinals are going to the World Series.” Scintillating I know. But somewhere, in some universe, Carlos Beltran and Mets went to the World Series.

How do I know this happened? Simple, Walter Bishop said so. Who the hell is Walter Bishop right? Well to those of us who gather around the flat screens every Friday night at 9pm, you know that Walter Bishop is father to Peter Bishop on the FOX television series Fringe.  Walter Bishop is a scientist du-jour, capable of explaining Quantum Mechanics to a 6 year old to whipping up the perfect strawberry milk shake from his genetically engineered cow, Gene, who by the way in one episode, had transferred into him, the “soul” of his friend and fellow scientist William Bell, played by Leonard Nimoy. Fascinating.

 

I know it sounds crazy but the show’s main premise is that there are “multiverses”; multiple universes that exist just as our very own universe exists with doubles of you and I and everyone in them, all going in there own different directions simultaneously. In the world opposite of Walter Bishop and our universe, many differences exist.  Everything from President Kennedy marking his 97th birthday – safe from our timeline’s morbid fate – to the Statue of Liberty representing the Department of Defense, stand out as obvious differences. There’s even the somber notion that in the alternate universe, the White House was the main target and destroyed on 9-11, sparing the World Trade Center.

This theory of multiple universes isn’t all that Hollywood-esque. In fact Albert Einstein while formulating his Theory of Relativity postulated the existence of parallel universes as has physicist Stephen Hawking. So if those guys say it’s possible, well hot damn somewhere someone in a parallel universe is celebrating Felix Millan’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. 

So it got me thinking; what if? What if in some topsy-turvy world, the woes we have felt as Mets fans never existed? Imagine it. Darryl and Doc went on to win another World Series, avoiding their personal demons. What if the Midnight Massacre never took place?  It’s such a tempting and seductive thought considering where the team and we as fans stand today. Hell, imagine no Bernie Madoff. Or perhaps imagine a Bernie Madoff that was perhaps legit?

Yes, it’s admittedly hyper-nostalgic if bordering on sad to have these “what if” type dreams. Considering that every so-called expert has the Mets barely outplaying the Chula Vista Little League champs this year, a little harmless indulgence never hurt anyone.  Every now and again, we need to realize that as fans, this is just a game and hardly life or death issues. The exception of course – the desire many have to see Bernie Madoff strung up by his soap on a rope in prison. Even the Almighty would probably turn a blind eye to that.

Let us dream shall we?

February 22nd 2007 – Port St. Lucie, Florida

Pedro Martinez arrived at Thomas J. White stadium slim, trim and poised to return to form. After the Mets lost the 2006 World Series to the Detroit Tigers in seven games, Martinez whose season was cut short due to a calf strain and a minor rotator cuff pull walked into manager Willie Randolph’s office with a clean bill of health. He was determined to reclaim his status as staff ace.  General Manager Omar Minaya, emboldened by his teams’ World Series appearance and his brand new 3 year $15 million dollar extension, making him the highest paid GM in all of baseball, was given more than just wider latitude by team owner Fred Wilpon. He was also given an additional $40 million in payroll, topping out at a league high $141 million.  Minaya spent $15 million of that on Alfonso Soriano who will take his potent bat, but suspect glove to second base at Shea. Also coming into the fold will be 6 time All-Star Kenny Lofton. The 40 year old will shift over to left field to accommodate Beltran and according to Minaya will provide speed at the top of the lineup along with Reyes.

Joining them would be former Houston Astro and Yankee Andy Pettite, who signed a 2-year contract with the Mets. Minaya was quoted by ESPN’s Peter Gammons saying, ‘We needed to add depth and protection to our rotation. Not having Pedro for us during the World Series was definitely a liability. Adding a player like Andy Pettite addresses our needs both during and post season. So with that said, signing Andy was necessary.”  The well-seasoned trio of Martinez, Glavine and Pettite proved father time wrong in 2007 as all three went on to pitch over 200 innings each and winning 46 games.

Another anachronism to the aging process was Shawn Green, who was acquired late last year from Arizona. Nary a fan in his right mind expected Shawn Green to revert to his borderline superstar self yet in 2007, Green did just that. Leading the team in RBI with 110, Green along with Wright, Beltran and Delgado, provided more than enough punch as the team scored an unprecedented 980 runs.

July 4th 2007 – 6 days until the All-Star game in San Francisco

As the 2007 season moved along the team announced that the naming rights negotiations to the new stadium being constructed directly across from Shea Stadium had been finalized. The final decision on naming rights came down to offers given by Citigroup and Apple Incorporated, with Apple winning the rights with an offer to pay the team $40 million per year for the next 20 years.  Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs along with New York Mets owner and CEO Fred Wilpon and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke to members of the press in front of the partially constructed stadium which is being dubbed “The Big Apple”. Construction should be completed by 2010.

By the All-Star break the Mets were comfortably 12 games ahead of the drifting Atlanta Braves. The Braves having lost 3rd baseman Chipper Jones for the remainder of the season with a torn hamstring found themselves the main topic of more than just Baseball news.  Braves team owner Ted Turner, along with thousands of others, were found to be victims of a vast Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff, who bilked hundreds of millions from his unsuspecting clients.

The misfortune of the Braves along with the success of the Mets, helped to bring about a 2 year extension for manager Willie Randolph, through to the 2010 season. And by seasons end, the Mets were sitting once again on top of the NL East, winning 99 games, 17 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves.

October 15th 2007 – The 2007 Postseason begins

Having run rough shot through the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks, sweeping both teams in the Divisional and National League Championship series, the Mets were led by the starting pitching of Martinez, Glavine and Pettite. The three combined for 5 of the 7 wins with Martinez and Pettite winning 2 games each.

“What was even more impressive was their focus under pressure and their ability to give us strong innings. The fact that they (Martinez, Glavine and Pettite) all went deep into the games (each averaged 7 innings per start) was huge, absolutely huge. Well beyond what any of us expected or hoped especially from Pedro.” said a champagne soaked Mets pitching coach Ron Darling as he made room for Commissioner Selig who presented Martinez with the NLCS MVP. Martinez pitched 14 innings allowing only 1 run in his two winning starts.

Leading the team offensively came from two truly unlikely sources. 40 year old veteran Kenny Lofton hit .428 with 2 homeruns and 2 stolen bases, both coming in game 4 of the NLCS and Jose Reyes, who hit .447 with an NLCS record 10 stolen bases. On the downside, Reyes pulled his right hamstring in game 4 after recording his 10th stolen base and had to be carried off the field with the help of manager Willie Randolph and David Wright.  The Shea crowd, swelled in the energy of a World Series birth, sat stunned as their catalyst’s season and World Series was now in jeopardy. But would that include the 2007 Amazin’s?

To be continued…

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Phillies About To Go All Omar Minaya On Ryan Madson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/phillies-about-to-go-all-omar-minaya-on-ryan-madson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/11/phillies-about-to-go-all-omar-minaya-on-ryan-madson.html/#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2011 23:40:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=64574

Last night it was reported that the Phillies were said to be “making a strong push” to re-sign their closer Ryan Madson who is now a free agent.

Jon Heyman of SI.com is now reporting that the two sides are closing in on a new contract, “they’re in serious discussions and it’s hard to imagine it not getting done soon.”

A few minutes ago, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports confirmed the two sides are yucking it up, but also shared financials saying that they are discussing a deal worth $44MM over four years plus a fifth-year option for $13MM.

The total value of that deal at $57MM actually surpasses the deal the Mets gave K-Rod even if you threw in that $17MM vesting option.

Other similarities are that like K-Rod in his last free agent year, Madson has had lower velocity and his K/9, K/BB, H/9 and BB/9 are all worse than the season before.

You know what? Right now I’d probably take K-Rod, who is TWO YEARS YOUNGER, over Ryan Madson.

You can probably get Rodriguez on a two-year, $10 million dollar deal, and when you compare their numbers, there’s not that much difference.

Thoughts?

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Enough Complaining…What Would You Do? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/09/enough-complaining-what-would-you-do.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/09/enough-complaining-what-would-you-do.html/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2011 19:00:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=59944 It’s rare for me to get so annoyed that I ever have an issue grasping for the right words but when you’ve been pushed to the edge of reason, anything can happen and all bets are off. I can honestly say that some of my fellow Met fans lately have had me wanting to grab them by the neck and squeeze. Oh if only that would only do the trick.

First, I’m going to lay down the basics. I’m not a member of the Omar Minaya is the anti-Christ camp or Sandy Alderson is a demi-God amongst us mere peons camp or any camp if at that. I want, as I hope most fans want, to once again be in the winning camp. I don’t necessarily subscribe to a particular ideology such as Sabermetrics, but that doesn’t mean I’m adverse to the organization using every tool it can to find and classify talent.

I’m not tied at the hip or obsessed with one or two particular statistics. I still believe in the power of a good, experienced scout with a discerning eye for talent. Those worlds must co-exist in order to remain competitive; regardless the size of the market the team is in.

Recently Sandy Alderson made some comments – which of course some regarded as controversial – regarding next year’s potential payroll saying essentially that it will be between $100 to $110 million dollars. This year’s payroll of $145 million includes the $18 million owed to the combined contracts of Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez and the $18 million owed to Carlos Beltran.

On the face of it, hearing that probably leaves little wiggle room to re-sign Jose Reyes, fix the bullpen and any of the remaining issues with this team.

What I’d love to know is has anyone taken into account that Alderson doesn’t have to or better yet shouldn’t reveal what the team is or isn’t willing to spend next year, especially considering that Reyes is a free agent?

Saying the team is willing to spend for argument sake, $200 million, would only make Reyes and just about any agent salivate and rightfully so. There’s an art to negotiating. If you’ve bought any big ticket items such as a car or a home, you’d know what I’m saying.

Would you go into a dealership and tell the car dealer that you’re a millionaire with almost unlimited resources? Would you then expect the dealer to offer you the most affordable deal possible? Alderson has to balance keeping the fan base from losing faith along with keeping ownerships’ true maximum limits close to the hip.

It just annoys me that each time anyone in the organization speaks, talk radio and the blogosphere, cherry picks what they want to hear or what fits their pre-conceived ideas or agenda.

Other than hopefully resigning Jose Reyes to a competitive offer – somewhere between $14 to $18 million a year for 5 years with perhaps a mutual option – the crop of free agents next year is woefully bleak.

I find it laughable that fans who love to insinuate that Alderson’s supporters treat him like a god yet it’s his vehement detractors who are the one’s that apparently want to see him turn water into wine with the coming class of free agents.

Let’s break this down. You’re Sandy Alderson. You have to re-tool the Mets. You inherited a .500 team so obviously you’re one or two moves away from reaching the promised land. Sound foolish yet? No? Well here is where it gets real fun. Here is the talent pool you get to dive in. First let’s consider for argument sake that there are a few positions we can pass on that are set for 2012.

First and third base are set. Hopefully short. Thole will be back. Bay and Duda seem to be the two outfielders guaranteed to be back next year, if for strikingly different reasons. The rotation should consist of Santana, Dickey, Gee, Niese and as much as it kills me to say, Pelfrey, even though there’s a chance Pelfrey may be non-tendered.

The bullpen is a hot mess with Beato and Parnell the most obvious candidates set to return. I can only envision Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy, Scott Hairston and Ruben Tejada returning to the bench. Where does all of this lead us? Well, I just mentioned 16 players out of a 25 man roster. Now who would you fill the rest of the roster out with from this list?

CATCHER

Rod Barajas (36)

Josh Bard (34)

Henry Blanco (40)

Ramon Castro (36)

Ryan Doumit (31) – $7.25MM club option for 2012, $8.25MM club option for ’13 with a $500K buyout

Ramon Hernandez (36)

Jason Kendall (38)

Gerald Laird (32)

Jose Molina (36)

Yadier Molina (29) – $7MM club option with a $750K buyout

Dioner Navarro (28)

Ivan Rodriguez (40)

Brian Schneider (35)

Kelly Shoppach (29) – $3.2MM club option with a $300K buyout

Chris Snyder (31) – $6.75MM club option with a $750K buyout

Matt Treanor (36)

Jason Varitek (40)

SECOND BASE

Alfredo Amezaga (34)

Clint Barmes (33)

Willie Bloomquist (34) – $1.1MM mutual option with a $150K buyout

Orlando Cabrera (37)

Robinson Cano (29) – $14MM club option with a $2MM buyout

Jamey Carroll (37)

Alex Cora (36)

Craig Counsell (41)

Mark Ellis (35)

Jerry Hairston Jr. (36)

Bill Hall (32) – $4MM mutual option with a $250K buyout

Aaron Hill (30) – $8MM club option for 2012 and $8MM club option for ’13

Omar Infante (30)

Kelly Johnson (30)

Adam Kennedy (36)

Felipe Lopez (32)

Jose Lopez (28)

Aaron Miles (35)

Brandon Phillips (31) – $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout

CENTERFIELD

Rick Ankiel (32)

Carlos Beltran (35)

Willie Bloomquist (34) – $1.1MM mutual option with a $150K buyout

Mike Cameron (39)

Coco Crisp (32)

David DeJesus (32)

Scott Hairston (32)

Andruw Jones (35)

Nate McLouth (30) – $10.65MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout

Corey Patterson (32)

Cody Ross (31)

Grady Sizemore (29) – $8.5MM club option with a $500K buyout

STARTING PITCHERS

Erik Bedard (33)

Mark Buehrle (33)

Chris Capuano (33)

Chris Carpenter (37) – $15MM club option with a $1MM buyout

Bruce Chen (35)

Bartolo Colon (39)

Aaron Cook (33) – $11MM mutual option with a $500K buyout

Kyle Davies (28)

Doug Davis (36)

Ryan Dempster (35) – $14MM player option, no buyout

Zach Duke (29) – $5.5MM club option with a $750K buyout

Jeff Francis (30)

Freddy Garcia (36)

Jon Garland (32) – $8MM club option with a $500K buyout

Aaron Harang (34) – $5MM mutual option with a $500K buyout

Rich Harden (30)

Livan Hernandez (37)

Hisashi Iwakuma (31)

Edwin Jackson (28)

Kenshin Kawakami (37)

Scott Kazmir (28) – $13.5MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout

Hiroki Kuroda (37)

Rodrigo Lopez (36)

Paul Maholm (30) – $9.75MM club option with a $750K buyout

Jason Marquis (33)

Kevin Millwood (37)

Sergio Mitre (31)

Roy Oswalt (34) – $16MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout

Brad Penny (34)

Oliver Perez (30)

Joel Pineiro (33)

C.C. Sabathia (31) – may opt out of remaining four years, $92MM

Javier Vazquez (35)

Adam Wainwright (30) – $10MM vesting option for ’12, $12MM for ’13

Tim Wakefield (45)

Chien-Ming Wang (32)

Brandon Webb (33)

Dontrelle Willis (30)

C.J. Wilson (31)

Chris Young (33)

CLOSERS

Heath Bell (34)

Jonathan Broxton (28)

Matt Capps (28)

Francisco Cordero (37) – $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout

Frank Francisco (32)

Brad Lidge (35) – $12.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout

Joe Nathan (37) – $12.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout

Jonathan Papelbon (31)

Jon Rauch (33) – $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout

Francisco Rodriguez (30)

Rafael Soriano (32) – $11MM player option or a $1.5MM buyout

Jose Valverde (34) – $9MM club option, no buyout

RIGHT HANDED RELIEVERS

Luis Ayala (34)

Danys Baez (34)

Miguel Batista (41)

Shawn Camp (36)

Todd Coffey (31)

Juan Cruz (31)

Octavio Dotel (38) – $3.75MM club option with a $750K buyout

Chad Durbin (34)

Kyle Farnsworth (36) – $3.3MM club option with a $650K buyout

Jason Frasor (34) – $3.75MM club option

LaTroy Hawkins (37)

Aaron Heilman (33)

Ryota Igarashi (33)

Jason Isringhausen (39)

Scott Linebrink (35)

Mike MacDougal (35)

Ryan Madson (31)

Guillermo Mota (38)

Ramon Ortiz (39)

Micah Owings (29)

Vicente Padilla (34)

Joel Peralta (36)

Chad Qualls (33) – $6MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout

Jon Rauch (33) – $3.75MM club option with a $250K buyout

Fernando Rodney (35)

Takashi Saito (42)

Yoshinori Tateyama (36) – $1MM club option

Dan Wheeler (34) – $3MM club option with no buyout; vests with 65 appearances in 2011

Kerry Wood (35)

Jamey Wright (37)

Michael Wuertz (33) – $3.25MM club option with a $250K buyout

Joel Zumaya (27)

LEFT HANDED RELIEVERS

Jeremy Affeldt (33) – $5MM club option with a $500K buyout

Tim Byrdak (38)

Mike Gonzalez (34)

John Grabow (33)

Javier Lopez (34)

Damaso Marte (37) – $4MM club option with a $250K buyout

Hideki Okajima (36) – can opt for free agency

Darren Oliver (41)

Arthur Rhodes (41) – $4MM club option with a $200K buyout; vests with 62 appearances

J.C. Romero (36)

George Sherrill (35)

Brian Tallet (34)

Now I know some of you out there think that the Mets can retool via the free agent pool alone. But seriously, look at the age and price of most of the players out there. You’re either going to have to pay a premium for older veterans and take a huge risk on them physically breaking down or scrape from the bottom of the barrel. At some point, whether you replace Rod Barajas with Ronny Paulino with a Ramon Hernandez, you’re simply shuffling the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

I’m not against Alderson spending the Wilpon’s money but on who, how long and for what reason are the three questions I would ask. Ask yourself as a logical Met fan. Put aside the conspiracy theories, the personalities, whatever pre-conceived view you have of the Wilpons and Alderson and think of what will help this team in the short and long term.

Don’t tell me how Alderson is the Anti-Christ or Omar was really a god. Tell me with that list of names, who in there will take the Mets to the next level and move this team from a .500 ballclub at its best, to an actual contender?

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Minaya, DePodesta and Ricciardi MLB Draft Review http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/05/minaya-depodesta-and-ricciardi-mlb-draft-review.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/05/minaya-depodesta-and-ricciardi-mlb-draft-review.html/#comments Mon, 09 May 2011 13:25:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=49711

This contribution was borne out of several discussion this offseason in our MMO chat room in which many have heaped praise on Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi for their player evaluation skills and success in the draft, while knocking the Mets farm system and the player evaluation skills of Omar Minaya.

I wanted to compare the three as fairly as I possibly could, and I thought the best way to do that would be to start at 2000 and look at the the top ten draft picks for all three GM’s or Assistant GM’s up until 2008. I chose to stop at 2008 because it’s still too early to evaluate the last two Amateur Drafts of 2009 and 2010.

I’m not happy with how some are choosing to portray Minaya in a poor light when it comes to player evaluation. You want to say he was a bad GM, that’s your prerogative, but in my opinion he was on his way to being a great GM until 2006 happened. That one post season took him off course and he steered the Mets right off the map of his original well conceived master plan for the franchise. He should have stayed true to himself and his five year plan.

Minaya has always been and still is a great evaluator of talent. Too many have forgotten that one of the reasons Minaya was hired in the first place was because of his eye for talent — he scouted and signed several star players including Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez and Jose Reyes. He was also the Assistant GM when the Mets drafted David Wright, a fact too many forget.

I gave Ricciardi and DePodesta credit for their time as Assistant GM’s with Oakland just so we could look at a good long body of work

I also decided to leave out the glory years for Minaya where he was responsible for the success stories I already mentioned. Basically, I wanted to keep it fair, but also as current as possible.

So let’s see how all three of these executives fared in nine years worth of draft data. Keep in mind that I will also point out instances where a player who was selected may have been flipped or traded for another player because that’s all part of the game too. Click the following image for the full version of their draft records from 2000-2008 or click here.

 Year By Year Draft Summary

2000

DePodesta and Ricciardi can’t boast much success with this draft. Only two players even made it to the Major Leagues; Freddie Bynum .234 BA, and Marcus Gwyn 11.81 ERA. Omar Minaya on the other hand, netted six major leaguers in the first ten rounds, none however were star caliber players, but in this analysis there is strength in numbers.

Edge: Omar Minaya

2001

The Dynamic Duo fared much better in 2001 with seven players reaching the majors, three of them stuck around for more than a couple of years. Bobby Crosby won the Rookie of the Year with a .239 AVG and 141 K’s, but never reached such lofty numbers again because he was rendered a part time player the rest of his career. Jeremy Bonderman was also drafted in the first round, but was traded after as the player to be named later in a deal to acquire pitcher Ted Lilly. Lilly would only play one full season for the A’s before hitting free agency. Other guys who made it to the majors included Neal Cotts and Dan Johnson. Nobody from this 2001 haul is currently an active major leaguer.

Omar Minaya hit the jackpot in 2001 when the Mets selected perennial all star third baseman David Wright, and relief pitcher Aaron Heilman. Both are still gainfully employed. Third rounder Lenny DiNardo also made it to the majors and actually ended up pitching three seasons for, you guessed it, the Oakland A’s.

Edge: Omar Minaya by a landslide.

2002

Ricciardi is now running the show for the Blue Jays and four of his ten picks made it to The Show, the best of them being pitcher Dave Bush. However Bush was traded to the Brewers for Lyle Overbay before he got his feet wet as a Blue Jay. Ironically, the only other player he selected who had a few years in the Bigs was Russ Adams. Yes the same Russ Adams who officially retired as a Mets minor leaguer yesterday.

Depo had seven first round picks! Of those seven, notables included Nick Swisher, Joe Blanton and Mark Teahen. Swisher and Blanton are solid and have had some good seasons, Teahen not so much, but he was a part of the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Astros. The other eight rounds weren’t as fruitful.

Omar is now in Montreal working for MLB and being a caretaker for the cash-strapped Expos. Not being able to go over slot really hurt, and only Mike O’Connor is still around and was recently called up by the Mets.

Edge: Paul DePodesta

2003

Two years ago I would have told you I loved Aaron Hill, but he’s looking more and more like a one-year wonder for Ricciardi who selected him in the first round. However, Shawn Marcum was a nice find for J.P. in the third, but is now having a stellar start to the season for the Brewers. This was Depo’s last hurrah with Oakland and the one and only  player from this draft class to crack the major leagues for good was Andre Ethier, who would be traded 18 months later for Milton Bradley before he ever got at-bat with the A’s. Meanwhile, 2005 All Star and saves leader Chad Cordero racked up 20 wins, 128 saves, a 2.18 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP for Omar and his Expos before disaster struck and Cordero was felled by arm injuries.

Edge: Tied between Paul DePodesta and Omar Minaya 

2004

J.P. Ricciardi found himself a decent power hitting first baseman in the third round in Adam Lind, but that’s about all that came out of it for the Jays. The Dodgers were able to get utility infielder Blake Dewitt in this draft, but again nothing else to get excited about. Depo’s best pick was in the 19th round when he selected a 17 year old left-hander from Tennessee, but the kid decided he wanted to go to college. He resurfaced 4 years later when the Rays selected him with the number one overall pick. His name? David Price. Sorry Paul, you only get credit for those you sign. Omar probably couldn’t wait to get out of dodge in Montreal and his draft produced a few major leaguers in Ian Desmond, Collin Balester and Billy Bray, or in other words a whole lot of nothing.

Edge: J.P. Ricciardi

2005

I love Rickey Romero, who Ricciardi took in the first round. He’s a solid left-hander who had a good season last year and seems to be building on it this season. He’s racked up 67 starts for the Jays with a 3.90 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. So far, none of the other top ten rounds have yielded any major leaguers. DePodesta drafted Luke Hochevar with his first pick, but alas he snubbed the Dodgers for the second time and didn’t sign. But have hope Dodger fans, his second pick that year was Ivan DeJesus who is getting his cup of coffee as we speak and is batting a non robust .179 with a .320 OPS. Third baseman Josh Bell also got a cup of coffee in 2010, but the Dodgers decided they saw enough and he wasn’t invited back for the 2011 season after an ugly .214 AVG and .525 OPS. The Mets didn’t strike gold in 2006, but they did fare better than the Dodgers and Blue Jays garnering two-fifths of their starting rotation with Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, a hard throwing reliever in Bobby Parnell, their starting catcher Josh Thole, and even Pedro Beato was selected, but didn’t sign.

Edge: Omar Minaya

2006

The Blue Jays selected Travis Snyder with their top pick in 2006, the only player from their draft to make it to the majors. Snyder is still getting regular time as the Blue Jays left-fielder, but if he don’t improve on his .184 BA and .540 OPS, he may soon find himself back in the thin air of Las Vegas where numbers tend to be bloated as we saw with Brad Emaus. DePodesta didn’t draft in 2006, having been curbed by the Dodgers before the start of the season. As for Omar and the Mets, it’s a little complicated… You see, the Mets didn’t have a first round pick this year, but they did select Kevin Mulvey in the second round. So what right? Wrong, Mulvey was the jewel to the package that landed the Mets Johan Santana. The Mets also reaped an Irish lad by the name of Murphy who now lays claim to the second base job. Joe Smith who was the Mets second pick is carving out a nice career as a reliever for the Cleveland Indians.

Edge: Omar Minaya

2007

The Blue Jays did very well in selecting Brett Cecil who has become one of the key starters in their rotation and won 15 games in 2009, had a solid season in 2010, and is on his way to a good season this year. They also got a starting catcher out of the deal as well. Not much to brag about for Minaya or DePodesta in this draft, neither have anyone worth mentioning.

Edge: J.P. Ricciardi

2008

Depo is still waiting for someone to get to the majors from this draft class. His first pick was Allan Dykstra who was still struggling in Single-A when the Padres finally gave up on him and traded him to the Mets last month for Eddie Kunz. Dykstra has a 30% strikeout rate and a .234 professional batting average. The Mets front office, where Depo now resides, decided that Dykstra was worthy of a promotion so he now flails in Binghamton, where they could use a stiff breeze this time of the year. Ricciardi hasn’t had any major leaguers come out of this draft class either. In 2008, the Blue Jays had the #17 pick in the draft and they selected David Cooper. You know him right? He’s the player that was selected right before the Mets took… Ike Davis. Oh yeah, Omar Minaya hit pay-dirt in 2008 and the Mets have been reaping the benefits of this draft for well over a year now and may have even found themselves a core player who may supplant the chosen one, David Wright. In addition to Ike Davis, the Mets have a few other highly regarded prospects on the way in Reese Havens, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Brad Holt.

Edge: Omar Minaya

The Tale Of The Tape

Omar Minaya: 5 W – 3 L – 1 T

J.P. Ricciardi: 2 W – 6 L – 0 T

Paul DePodesta: 1 W – 7 L – 1 T

Final Thoughts

According to my scorecard, Omar Minaya blew away the field. In the final analysis, Omar Minaya drafted more Major League players than J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta combined since 2000. Omar Minaya has netted twice as many All Star players as Depo and J.P. combined. The mythology that prevails in the MMO Chat Room is just that, mythology. The new guys are not better talent evaluators than Omar Minaya and never have been. Maybe some day they may match the accomplishments of Omar Minaya, but we won’t know that until they first have at least 4-5 successful drafts. The Draft Record is there for you to see for yourself.

This Fan Post was written by and contributed by Met Maniac.

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Will Jason Bay Decide The Future Of Citi Field For The Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/will-jason-bay-decide-the-future-of-citi-field-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2011/03/will-jason-bay-decide-the-future-of-citi-field-for-the-mets.html/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2011 13:00:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=46887 I think it’s safe to say that Jason Bay’s first year as a New York Met was a bust after be signed to a 4 year deal worth 66 million dollars. Coming into the 2010 season Jason Bay was supposed to provide much needed power for the Mets. Unfortunately things did not go as planned as Bay’s power was nowhere to be found last season. Besides his offensive numbers taking a huge nosedive last year Bay’s season was ended when he suffered a concussion and was not to be seen in a Mets lineup for the rest of the season.

Bay much like David Wright suffered a loss of power in his first year playing in the ridiculously big ballpark that is Citi Field. It’s important to note though that Bay’s numbers at home were better than his numbers on the road:

Split PA 2B 3B HR BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP OPS+
Home 186 12 4 3 .277 .371 .459 .830 .333 121
Away 215 8 2 3 .243 .326 .354 .680 .326 94

Those splits are courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Now there’s no denying that Bay numbers at Citi were better across the board except for home-runs.

Now if Bay can’t adjust to Citi Field and has another year in which he hits less than 30 home-runs something needs to be done about the ridiculous dimensions of Citi Field. Making the park smaller would not only help Jason Bay in 2012 it will help the New York Mets in the future. Players who make their livings based on their power numbers have to be hesitant to play 81 games in Citi Field after seeing how Wright and Bay have struggled. It’s hard enough these days attracting free agents to the Mets, their ballpark shouldn’t be another obstacle.

There was 1 at bat last year that Jason Bay had that has been stuck in my head. Bay hit a ball pretty hard, it looked like it was going to be a home run but instead it was only a very long double. Bay’s face as he went to second told the story; he couldn’t believe that ball didn’t leave the park. I believe that the park was indeed in Bay’s head and he altered his swing to accommodate for the size, which hurt his power.

Hopefully Bay will rebound this year but if he doesn’t and the power is still nowhere to be found he might be the one player who decides the future of Citi Field

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