Mets Merized Online » San Francisco Giants http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:30:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Mets Cancel Ticket Fees For Remaining Regular Season Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-cancel-ticket-fees-for-all-regular-season-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-cancel-ticket-fees-for-all-regular-season-games.html/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:30:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161536 citi field fireworks

The New York Mets today announced that the club – in the return of last year’s popular “No Fees” promotion – will pick up ticket fees for all 33 remaining regular season home games at Citi Field during a six-day sale starting tomorrow Thursday, July 24 at 9:00 a.m. through next Tuesday, July 29 on Mets.com/NoFees or by phone at 718-507-TIXX.

The covered fees will apply to any ticket purchased during this six-day period, regardless of the date of the game. Throughout the six days, fans will be able to purchase tickets to any of the remaining 2014 Mets regular season home games at Citi Field with the Mets covering the associated ticket fees.

For example, a fan purchasing two tickets online or over the phone on Thursday, July 24 for the Saturday, August 2 game against the San Francisco Giants will not be charged any ticket fee for placing that order and will also enjoy postgame fireworks that night.

Highlights include 19 games against National League East Division foes the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Nationals; all Free Shirt Fridays, Family Sundays (including the postgame Mr. Met Dash where kids run the bases) and the following:

Saturday, August 2 vs. San Francisco Giants (7:10 p.m.)

Post-game Fireworks presented by Duane Reade

Sunday, August 3 vs. San Francisco Giants (1:10 p.m.)

Toy Truck to first 15,000 presented by W.B. Mason

Saturday, August 16 vs. Chicago Cubs (7:10 p.m.)

Boyz II Men Post-game concert series presented by Duane Reade

Saturday, August 30 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:10 p.m.)

Curtis Granderson Bobblehead presented by Gold’s for first 20,000 fans

Saturday, September 13 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

Post-game Fireworks presented by Duane Reade

Saturday, September 27 vs. Houston Astros (7:10 p.m.)

Austin Mahone Post-game concert series presented by Duane Reade

*The only fees not covered by the team during this promotion are Express Mailing, including mail and UPS.

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The Mets At A West Coast Crossroads http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/the-mets-at-a-west-coast-crossroads.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/the-mets-at-a-west-coast-crossroads.html/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:28:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158746 MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

Go west young man! Horace Greely, manifest destiny and all that. I remember it from Mr. Fabricant’s history class at Bryant H.S. Look west for opportunity and inspiration! And so it was, the Mets looked to a west coast paradigm manifested in two executive runs first in Oakland then in San Diego for our current leadership team. A “west coast” approach if you will. Even now with the Mets at a crossroads we look at their former exploits for answers.

Early in the off-season of 2005 Omar Minaya was in the midst of turning the Mets into a kind of “Angels East,” spending big to draw enough fans and revenue to ensure even more freedom to operate with the other big markets, and like the Mets, sharing their market with an even bigger neighbor. The Angels were, and arguably still are, on the cusp of establishing themselves as perennial big market big spending contenders. While Minaya’s ability to function was compromised, never completing his spend first and let everything else fall into place plan, a dramatic restructuring was embraced on account of ownership’s association with Bernie Madoff. Minaya’s services were no longer needed (attempts to retain him notwithstanding). The team was moving in another direction.

South, to San Diego. Pertinent to the Mets in that the Padres are a living artifact of Sandy Alderson’s most recent efforts. Padres fans, in spite of a couple of early division titles,  generally consider Alderson an axe man, he came in, put a stranglehold on every aspect of the organization, turned over baseball operations to Kevin Towers and sliced the team’s talent up for parts with cold, calculating, impunity … like the Doomsday Machine slicing up Rigel-IV for fuel. (incidentally, the similarities between the Trevor Hoffman and the Jose Reyes situations are uncanny).

Much like the Mets, the Padres have seen improved minor league systems, consistently ranking in the top 10 (if not the top 5). Yet, much like the Mets, they have struggled to perform in their offensively challenged home confines.

One major difference between the Padres and the Mets has been lip service. In San Diego Alderson couldn’t be bothered about fan backlash, he simply ignored the public. In NY, probably having been counseled against such an approach, Sandy and his spokespeople pushed the “don’t be fooled, we’re here to win” narrative, which was disingenuous at best and patronizing at worst. Not a good initial salvo in the all important “win the crowd” battle. Alderson proceeded to do precisely what he had done in San Diego, with one notable exception, David Wright. I’d wager David Wright would have been traded in a heartbeat had he been on the Padres only a few years earlier.

From San Diego you can take I5 north back to Los Angeles and the contents of Chavez Ravine where the Los Angeles Dodgers reside. The sight of perhaps one of the greatest violations of public trust, look no further than the history of Chavez Ravine for the whole sad story, “the poor man’s shangri-la.”

It certainly is no poor man’s recourse as the present day home of the Dodgers who have finally managed to outspend the Yankees, the first time anyone’s done that in 15 years.  But you can’t really talk about the Dodgers without talking about the Red Sox. The Dodgers were the willing recipient of one of the largest cash-dump trades in MLB history. About $270 million dollars in salary freed up by the Red Sox, but even more astonishing was that the Dodgers absorbed it. Remarkably, both Boston and L.A. seemed to benefit from this trade. The Dodgers were propelled to a 92 win NL west title in 2013 while the Red Sox did even better with mid-level replacement players racking up 97 wins. The lesson here? If you are paying for wins there really isn’t an argument, the Red Sox paid their players a lot less and ended up with 5 more wins. But the Dodgers won also, and winning means money, especially in a market that is even bigger than Boston. So there are no losers here, simply a case of big markets operating like only big markets can, consolidating and moving around staggering amounts of money and talent … must be nice if you are a member.

If you look at another trade, the Marlins and Blue Jays 2012 trade, it’s not only maybe even more interesting, the outcome seems similar. A trade that initially looked absolutely awful for the Blue Jays, is suddenly looking fantastic. Welcome to 2014 … One thing is certain, both of these supposed “salary dump” trades have thrown giant wrenches at the money won’t buy you pennants argument.

If you get back on I5 and continue north you end up in San Francisco where you can drive over to ATT Park, home of the Giants. The team our current brain trust has openly tried to emulate. A franchise built on a marvelous pitching tradition with two recent world titles in tow, another successful spare parts and scotch tape offense, and with no signs of slowing down.

The Giants are scary, they draft, develop, and spend … they can shut you down with their pitching and bullpen, but they also seem to know when to capitalize on mistakes. In our recent series against them, it felt like the Mets actually played well, and yet, one little mistake and forget it, the Giants snatch the win in a blink. it may actually be too early to judge whether our efforts to be like the Giants bear fruit. A tradition isn’t built overnight. Part of the strategy involves more than just putting great pitchers on the mound in the majors, it also involves accumulating the “collateral” to make trades, allowing you to pursue players like Carlos Beltran. The Mets have not exactly established pitching dominance at the major league level — although they are trending in that direction — but they also haven’t moved into the “trade for bats” phase. For all of Alderson’s talk about accumulating collateral, they have been sitting on that collateral since they came to town. Even the one piece they did trade (Colin McHough) is starting to look questionable.

Finally there’s the team across the bay. Oakland, the team that gave Sandy Alderson his start, with his disciple, ex-Met farm hand Billy Bean running the show (although I am sure there was a “Ha HA! Who is the Master now old man??!” moment at some point). The A’s, really since Sandy Alderson’s pivotal run as GM, have enjoyed perhaps the most sustained stretch of success, contending at times out of nowhere, season after season with an off-year here and there. They scout the high minors’ “almost ML ready” players aggressively and trade for those players aggressively. They also keep their minors stocked with pitching at the lower levels, developing a steady stream of ace caliber pitchers. Their prospects aren’t too shabby for 2014 either.

The Mets have reached a watershed moment in the context of their current approach. They are primed for trades having established a strong minor league pitching base but have not pursued any significant talent acquisitions, their payroll has been overhauled following the expiration of numerous cumbersome contracts but the team continues to spend less and showed mixed (at best) results with their recent foray into free agency.

It doesn’t look like the Mets will be spending any time soon, so they basically have a choice, they can either be like the A’s or the Padres. On one end of the spectrum you have the masterful wheeling and dealing on a shoestring of the Oakland A’s, on the other end you have the Padres, overly dependent on fragile prospects who more often than not aren’t good fits in their home ballpark … sound familiar?

The Padres, the A’s, and the Mets are all in the bottom third for spending. Unlike the A’s the Padres have not really been able to find a successful formula. The Mets, as currently constructed, are more like the Padres than the A’s because, like the Padres, we’ve been conservative in dealing talent from our minor league systems. It’s almost like this Mets front office is afraid of turning in a stinker, so they stand pat. I hope that’s not the case, because it would essentially neutralize one of the most important parts of the A’s (and to a lesser degree the Giants) formula … what good is all the pitching if you never trade for bats?

Something has to give. The Mets are loaded with pitchers, and are at (hopefully) a low point in their payroll, our GM’s contract is expiring soon. This is NY, we all know the deal, you want more fans? Win. Alderson and the NY Media have been running with a “now is the time” storyline for the Mets in 2014 but the results haven’t been there. We can add talent, we can add offense but the prospect of doing so without adding even a smidgen of payroll is unlikely, so, again welcome to San Diego east.

In the end, the Mets front office is going to wallow perpetually in a sort of almost there but not quite place until one of two things happen, they add a reasonable 10 – 15 million to their current payroll, allowing them to add a couple more decent free agents to the mix or perhaps one more big one, or they can loosen the purse strings on that minor league collateral and start making some trades. Whatever happens has to happen soon because for Sandy, his time is just about up, and the remarkable patience of a remarkable NY fanbase that has already been lied to and placated too often, is fed up enough to stay home.

Spend or Trade… Do something.

Don’t just stand there staring down the middle at a 3-1 fastball. Please, we don’t want to be the Padres…

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MMO Game Recap: Giants 6, Mets 4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-giants-6-mets-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-giants-6-mets-4.html/#comments Sun, 08 Jun 2014 23:59:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158061 zack wheeler

The New York Mets were defeated 6-4 by the San Francisco Giants on Sunday who completed the three game sweep of the Amazins at AT&T Park.

Zack Wheeler started the game for the Mets and looked nothing like the pitcher we’ve seen in his last three solid starts. The young righty suffered with command issues and lasted just 3.2 innings, needing Josh Edgin to come in and get the last out of the fourth. It was the shortest outing of his career. Wheeler allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six in an 86 pitch effort.

Dana Eveland pitched two scoreless innings out of the pen, but the frequently used tandem of Carlos Torres and Scott Rice would allow another run each to cross the plate. Torres and Rice rank second and third in the NL in appearances.

curtis granderson

The Mets took an early 2-0 lead when Daniel Murphy singled and Curtis Granderson launched the first of two home runs in the first. Grandy would belt a solo shot in the sixth to pull the Mets closer, the eight of the season for the $60 million dollar man.

The Mets final run came in the eighth inning when Murphy who had singled and moved to third on a Granderson double, scored when Giants pitcher Jean Machi uncorked a wild pitch.

Big day at the plate for Murphy and Granderson who had three hits apiece, but another dismal effort overall for the offense who struck out 11 times and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

By the way, David Wright who was supposed to get the day off, pinch hit in the seventh with a man on and struck out to end the inning.

The Mets are now seven games below .500, the lowest point for them this season, and head back to New York losers of six straight games and back-to-back sweeps.

And here come the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers for a three game series beginning Tuesday at 7:10 PM. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1, 3.21) will oppose Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.19) in the series opener.

MMO

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MMO Game Recap: Giants 5, Mets 4 In Crushing Defeat http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-giants-5-mets-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/mmo-game-recap-giants-5-mets-4.html/#comments Sun, 08 Jun 2014 06:05:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=157993 giants walkoff

The Mets just lost in stunning fashion to the San Francisco Giants who scored two ninth inning runs to clinch a 5-4 victory in front of a packed house at AT&T Park.

Mets closer Jenrry Mejia came on to pitch the ninth with the team up 4-3. He struck out the first batter Angel Pagan, but the ball got away from Anthony Recker and his throw to Lucas Duda at first base was late, as the hustling Pagan beat it by a step.

Hunter Pence then lined a double to left-center that sent Pagan racing all the way around the bases to score the tying run.

A sac fly sent Pence to third an intentional walk put runners on first and third with one out and Michael Morse at the plate.

Boom! Morse blasted the first pitch he saw over the drawn in outfield to score Pence with the fifth run to give the Giants a shocking walk-off win.

It was Mejia’s first blown save since being named closer.

It was a crushing blow for the Mets who have now lost five straight games and are in danger of being swept in back to back series on this road trip.

Bartolo Colon pitched well despite some poor defense behind him and allowed just one earned run. 

The Mets took advantage of a very shaky Tim Hudson to score three early runs, but were actually pretty woeful and could have scored a lot more, leaving an incredible 12 runners on base.

This is without a doubt the worst loss of the season…

Travis d’Arnaud was optioned to the minors immediately after the game, David Wright was overruled and is being rested on Sunday, and all of a sudden things are looking pretty bleak for the Amazins.

The action resumes at 4:05 PM on Sunday when the Mets will try to avoid getting swept. Zack Wheeler and Tim Lincecum hook up in the finale at AT&T Park. 

MMO

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Gary, Keith and Ron: Mets Broadcast Team Ranks No. 4 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/gary-keith-and-ron-mets-broadcast-team-ranks-no-4.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/gary-keith-and-ron-mets-broadcast-team-ranks-no-4.html/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 11:00:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154486 Awful Announcing ranked all 30 major league baseball broadcasting teams and the San Francisco Giants took the top spot.  

1) San Francisco Giants – 3.46
-Duane Kuiper (play by play)
-Jon Miller (play by play)
-Dave Flemming (play by play)
-Mike Krukow (analyst)

Most popular grade: A (74% of voters)

Vin Scully and the Los Angeles Dodgers came in second, while the Baltimore Orioles, featuring Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer, finished third.

The Mets broadcast team had a solid showing, coming in at No. 4. Here is what they wrote:

gary keith ron sny

4) New York Mets – 2.99
-Gary Cohen (play by play)
-Keith Hernandez (analyst)
-Ron Darling (analyst)
-Kevin Burkhardt (play by play – select)

Most popular grade: A (57% of voters)

Analysis: The Mets had the second-most first place votes in the rankings, but also had more last place votes than any team in the top ten. Burkhardt will be heading towards greener pastures following this season, but the Cohen/Hernandez/Darling trio still was extremely well-liked without him in the fold.

By the way, Kevin Burkhardt announced that he will not return to SNY after this season. The very popular field reporter agreed to a three-year contract with FOX Sports that begins in 2015.

Kevin will serve in various roles for FOX who intend to have him cover baseball, NFL football and college basketball.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Burkhardt said last Thursday at Citi Field. “Talking about it, I can’t even believe it. It’s totally nuts. I couldn’t have scripted it any better if I tried. It has been quite a couple of years.”

He will be missed.

Presented By Diehards

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Much Ado About Three-Homer Games At Home http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/much-ado-about-three-homer-games-at-home.html/#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 19:14:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137151 If you’ve watched as many Mets games as I have over the years, then you’ve undoubtedly heard Gary Cohen make this statement whenever a Met has come up to the plate after hitting two home runs in a home game:

gary cohen mets

 

 

“You know, Keith, no Met has ever hit three home runs in a game at home.”

 

 

 

It’s true.  Nine Mets players have hit three home runs in a game.  But Jim Hickman, Dave Kingman, Claudell Washington, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Edgardo Alfonzo, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Ike Davis all accomplished their prodigious displays of power on the road.

So naturally I started wondering if the Mets were the only team in baseball to not have a single player hit three home runs in a home game.  My research yielded an interesting answer.

Below is a list of the last players to pull off home run hat tricks for each major league team while wearing their home whites.

Team

Player

Date/Opponent

  Arizona Diamondbacks

  Jason Kubel

  Atlanta Braves

  Mark Teixeira

  Baltimore Orioles

  Chris Davis

  Boston Red Sox

  Kevin Millar

  Chicago Cubs

  Dioner Navarro

  Chicago White Sox

  Paul Konerko

  Cincinnati Reds

  Joey Votto

  Cleveland Indians

  Jim Thome

  Colorado Rockies

  Carlos Gonzalez

  Detroit Tigers

  Miguel Cabrera

  Florida/Miami Marlins

  Cody Ross

  Houston Astros

  Morgan Ensberg

  Kansas City Royals

  Danny Tartabull

  Los Angeles Angels

  Torii Hunter

  Los Angeles Dodgers

  Juan Uribe

  Milwaukee Brewers

  Prince Fielder

  New York Yankees

  Curtis Granderson

  Oakland Athletics

  Miguel Tejada

  Philadelphia Phillies

  Jayson Werth

  Pittsburgh Pirates

  Andrew McCutchen

  San Diego Padres

  Phil Nevin

  San Francisco Giants

  Barry Bonds

  Seattle Mariners

  Edgar Martinez

  St. Louis Cardinals

  Albert Pujols

  Tampa Bay Rays

  Evan Longoria

  Texas Rangers

  Adrian Beltre

  Toronto Blue Jays

  John Buck

  Washington Nationals

  Adam Dunn

Editor’s note:  Barry Bonds was the last member of the San Francisco Giants to hit three home runs in a regular season home game, but the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series, which was played in San Francisco.

Did you notice any teams missing in the chart above?  There were two – the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets.  But prior to 1961, the Minnesota Twins were playing ball as the Washington Senators.  And on August 31, 1956, Jim Lemon became the first and only member of the original Washington Senators to hit three home runs in a home game when he clobbered his triumvirate of taters at Griffith Stadium against the New York Yankees.

With the Senators/Twins franchise having a member in the “three homers at home” club, that leaves the Mets as the only team in the majors without a player who has hit three round-trippers in a single game in his home ballpark.

It’s no wonder Gary Cohen continues to mention that fact ad nauseum in the same way he (and every other Mets broadcaster) used to discuss no-hitters before the events of June 1, 2012.

 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

In honor of the topic at hand, here are some other bits of “three-homer at home” minutiae for you.

  • Two players have hit three homers in a home game on four separate occasions.  Both accomplished their feats for the Chicago Cubs.  Ernie Banks had his three-homer games at Wrigley Field in 1955, 1957, 1962 and 1963, while Sammy Sosa slammed his way to history at the Friendly Confines in 1996, 1998 and twice in 2001.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers are the only teams to have three players accomplish the “three-homer at home” feat in the same season.  In 1950, fans at Ebbets Field saw Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Tommy Brown go deep three times in one game.  Similarly, Miller Park season-ticket holders in 2011 witnessed Corey Hart, Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder circle the bases thrice in the same game.
  • Although no Mets player has ever hit three homers in a game at home, four opposing players had three-homer games against the Mets in New York.  St. Louis’ Stan Musial was the first to do so, smacking three bombs at the Polo Grounds on July 8, 1962.  Dick Allen of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at Shea Stadium on September 29, 1968.  A decade later, Cincinnati’s Pete Rose became the most unlikely candidate to have a three-homer game at Shea when he circled the bases three times on April 29, 1978.  It was the only time Rose hit three home runs in a single game in his 24-year career.  Finally, former Met Dave Kingman launched three long balls at Shea Stadium as a member of the Chicago Cubs on July 28, 1979.
  • No Mets player has ever hit three homers in a home game.  But seven players have hit three blasts in the same game against the Mets in their home ballparks, with one of the seven doing it twice.  Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants victimized the Mets at Candlestick Park in 1963 and 1966.  The next three times a player hit a trio of home runs in a home game against the Mets, those players were wearing Cubs uniforms.  Adolfo Phillips (1967), Billy Williams (1968) and Tuffy Rhodes (1994) gave a total of nine souvenirs to the Bleacher Bums at Wrigley Field, courtesy of various Mets pitchers.  The other three players to hit three homers in a home game against the Mets were Detroit’s Bobby Higginson (1997 at Tiger Stadium), Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez (2004 at Bank One Ballpark) and Florida’s Cody Ross (2006 at Dolphins Stadium).  Ross’ game remains the only time in Marlins history in which one of their own hit three home runs in a game at home.
Mets fans have always hated Cody Ross.  After reading this piece, they'll hate him even more.

Mets fans have always hated Cody Ross. After reading this piece, they’ll hate him even more.

Since the Mets came into existence in 1962, there have been 175 instances in which a player hit three home runs in the same regular season game at his home ballpark.  In all 175 instances, the player who circled the bases was wearing a uniform that did not say “Mets” on it.

Curtis Granderson was the last Yankee to accomplish the feat at Yankee Stadium.  Now Granderson is a member of the Mets.  Will he become the first Met to hit three homers in a game at home?  Hey, if the Mets could finally pitch a no-hitter, then anything is possible, right?

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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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Giants Agree On Two-Year Deal With Tim Hudson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/giants-agree-on-two-year-deal-with-tim-hudson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/giants-agree-on-two-year-deal-with-tim-hudson.html/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 21:30:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133183 hudsonLess than a month after re-signing Tim Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants wasted no time on signing Tim Hudson to a two year, $23 million dollar contract.

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the deal could include a full no-trade clause for the 37-year old Hudson.

The veteran right-hander is coming back from a fractured ankle he suffered against the Mets last July. He was having a solid season at the time posting a 3.97 ERA in 131 innings pitched.

The Braves were reportedly interested in retaining Hudson, but they were unwilling to guarantee two years.

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Giants Decline Option On Barry Zito, Making Him A Free Agent http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/giants-decline-option-on-barry-zito-making-him-a-free-agent.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/giants-decline-option-on-barry-zito-making-him-a-free-agent.html/#comments Sat, 02 Nov 2013 23:46:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132105 Barry Zito

The Giants officially declined their $18.0 million option on lefthander Barry Zito and will instead pay him the $7 million buyout.

This comes as no surprise to anyone the least of whom is Zito himself, who took out a full page ad three weeks ago to thank San Francisco Giants fans.

This brings to an end the seven year relationship with the Giants who signed him to deal worth $126 million dollars before the 2007 season. At the time, and for many years after, it was the largest sum ever paid for a pitcher.

Zito, now 35, ends his Giants tenure with a 63-80 record and a 4.62 ERA. Given that he’s a southpaw, there may be one or two teams interested in his services and he could end up getting a one year deal for $2-4 million dollars. Hopefully, it’s not the Mets as in my opinion he wouldn’t even make a good LOOGY.

Last season, Zito went 5-11 with a 5.74 ERA while making 25 starts and five relief appearances after he was yanked from the starting rotation in August.

Incidentally, the Giants also parted ways with center fielder (and leadoff hitter?) Andres Torres… Anyone up for a Mets reunion? I kid, I kid… :-)

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Signs That The Times Are Changing In Baseball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/signs-that-the-times-are-changing-in-baseball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/signs-that-the-times-are-changing-in-baseball.html/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 18:00:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132039 My kids' first game and they get a foul ball.

My kids’ first game and they get a foul ball.

There were a couple of things I picked up on this past summer regarding this great game of baseball that need to be addressed.

I was at a minor league game this past July 3 at Dutchess Stadium (which is like 15 minutes from my house). It was fireworks night, so I decided to take my kids to their first baseball game. I figured I would be able to sit and enjoy a game without analyzing the players, which is almost impossible for me. When I watch a game, it isn’t the same as when your average fan watches.

I’m constantly evaluating players and the situations during the game. It’s like when a chess player tries to watch a chess match—I am thinking about what pitch the pitcher should throw next, what pitch the hitter should be looking to drive, and other stuff like that.

As it turns out, I watched about an inning of the game—the rest of the game I spent chasing my two year-old daughter around the stadium.

However, while I was watching during that half inning, I noticed something that I had never noticed before while watching a minor league game. I’m not sure why I never noticed it before, but it practically jumped right out at me during this game.

What I noticed was that the players were significantly smaller than when I was trying to break into professional baseball back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I wondered, could that many guys have been using performance enhancing drugs back then?

We all were so naive.

Here I was, a five-foot eleven-inch tall kid, weighed 210 pounds (naturally), and I was probably one of the smaller guys that would be attending professional tryouts back then. I would easily be one of the bigger guys on the field if I were to step out there at that size now. It really made me realize how much the game has cleaned up its act regarding performance enhancing drugs.

Baseball created the problem themselves, and I’m not even talking about on a home run race level. Back in the late 1990s, you knew as a player that a scout would not even look in your direction unless you fit their mold…their mold became one of a steroid user. This change has ultimately been a good one for the game.

The other thing I wanted to quickly voice my opinion on was regarding the San Francisco Giants creating a social cafe where fans can go to charge their phones, use WiFi, and Tweet. At first, I thought it was extremely cool…but then I wondered if people go to the games to watch baseball anymore? Everything is changing due to technological advances, and it makes me wonder if it is good or bad for the game of baseball, and society in general. There are tons of distractions all around us—I find myself paying more attention to my smart phone than my own kids at times…which is a disgrace.

Remember when you would go to the game with your dad, get a program, and fill out the scorecard with a little pencil that had no eraser? That isn’t necessary anymore because our smart phones give us up-to-the-second box scores. Remember when you collected baseball cards? Remember when you actually went outside and played baseball?

This past summer, I saw nothing but empty baseball fields everywhere I went.  Kids these days are staying indoors opting to play online video games and chat with their friends using video chatting. It’s nuts. Get outside and experience the game of baseball and life in general. Trust me, I played more than my share of video games growing up in the 1980s and 1990s with Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and PlayStation—but it was reserved for rainy days and the summer days where you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.

I don’t even think kids sweat anymore unless the air conditioner in the house breaks. My thirteen year-old daughter can barely last 10 minutes outside in the summer unless there is a pool nearby…then I start with my stories to her that begin with “when I was your age….”

Seems as if the times are changing…and I guess I’m getting old. If the game as we remember it is going to live on, it’s up to us to pass on the old traditions to our children and grand children. Playing a game of MLB the Show with your kids on Playstation can be fun, but nothing will ever replace the joy of going outside and playing catch.

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In Baseball You Get What You Pay For? Not Really… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/in-baseball-you-get-what-you-pay-for-not-really.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/in-baseball-you-get-what-you-pay-for-not-really.html/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:33:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131259 Albert-Pujols

I was having an email discussion with one of my writers this morning about the virtues of WAR (Wins Above Replacement). It’s not a perfect stat by any means, but most of the time it gives you a fair indication of how good or bad a player performs overall.

I was kind of curious after our discussion and decided to do some research over at FanGraphs which has become one of my favorite haunts lately. In addition to some great reading backed with solid analysis, you can find numbers and rankings on just about anything you could possibly want.

But for this post, I’m going to present some research on WAR (I’m sure some of you will damn me for this) and also corresponding payrolls.

The following are the Top 10 Teams in Offensive WAR for the 2013 season:

  1. Boston Red Sox* – 36.6
  2. Tampa Bay Rays* – 30.3
  3. Oakland Athletics* – 27.6
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers* – 27.5
  5. Baltimore Orioles – 26.6
  6. Detroit Tigers* – 26.5
  7. Los Angeles Angels – 26.4
  8. San Francisco Giants – 26.3
  9. Atlanta Braves* – 25.3
  10. Cincinnati Reds* – 24.4

* Seven of the ten teams made the post season.

Only four of the top ten teams in Pitching WAR made the post season in 2013. (Surprising, huh?)

Now here are the Top 10 Teams in 2013 Payroll:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers** – $220,395,196
  2. New York Yankees  - $203,445,586
  3. Philadelphia Phillies – $170,760,689
  4. Detroit Tigers** – $148,414,500
  5. Boston Red Sox** – $140,657,500
  6. San Francisco Giants – $136,042,112
  7. Los Angeles Angels – $127,896,250
  8. Chicago White Sox – $119,573,277
  9. Toronto Blue Jays  - $117,035,100
  10. Washington Nationals  - $114,194,270

** Three of the ten teams made the post season.

It’s amazing to see low revenue teams with bottom tier payrolls ranking in the top ten in offensive production. Tampa Bay and Oakland have been doing this for years now, with the Rays checking in with a $58 million payroll and the A’s residing in the $60 million area code. Both of them were in the bottom four with only the Marlins and Astros having spent less.

Of course Billy Beane has gotten plenty of notoriety for what he’s done and still doing in the Bay Area, but one general manager you hear or read so little about is the Rays’ Andrew Friedman.

Friedman doesn’t have any screenplays being written about him, but should be equally recognized for how he manages to keep the Rays in contention year in and year out in the toughest division in baseball – the American League East.

The Houston, Texas native initially started out as the Director of Baseball Development for the Rays from 2004 to 2005, before being promoted to general manager and eventually vice president as well. Friedman took over a team that lost 101 games in 2006 and were in the World Series two seasons later.

In the six years spanning 2008-2013, the Rays have posted a 550 – 423 record with a .563 winning percentage while making four post season appearances. It could have been five post season appearances, but despite winning 90 games in 2012, they were eliminated on the last day of the season.

I hear the word “genius” thrown about way too often in describing our general manager as well as others. But lets call a spade a spade here, and admit the real star among all general managers is Andrew Friedman – and what he’s done with the few financial resources he’s been given to work with, has been nothing short of genius and spectacular.

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Mets Have 11th Worst Record, Alderson Not Concerned About Protected Pick http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-have-11th-worst-record-alderson-not-concerned-about-protected-pick.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/mets-have-11th-worst-record-alderson-not-concerned-about-protected-pick.html/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:02:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130024 sandy alderson

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Mets GM Sandy Alderson is not as concerned about the protected draft pick as much as he is about rebuilding the credibility of the franchise.

“I don’t view the draft-pick situation as relevant to what we’re doing here,” Alderson said. “We’re trying to build the credibility of the franchise and that goes beyond where we’re picking in the draft.”

Those sentiments certainly will turn the stomachs of a few Met fans I know, and completely disputes what SNY has been dishing out lately about Sandy’s motives. Last week on MetsBlog, they floated the idea that Sandy Alderson is secretly rooting for the Mets to lose. Of course that’s preposterous to say of any general manager.

Here are the up to date reverse standings…

Screenshot_4

With four games remaining in the season, the Mets are currently tied with the San Francisco Giants with the 11th worst record and are mot in line for a protected first round pick.

The Mets have been on a roll of late, winning 9 of their last 13 games. It has seen them climb all the way from the sixth worst record last month to the 12th worst record after Wednesday’s 1-0 win against the Reds.

I love it… This is getting so interesting now and it’s only the beginning of what will be a drama-filled hot stove season this winter… Expect many great storylines…

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “Get A Grip” Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-get-a-grip-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-get-a-grip-edition.html/#comments Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:27:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129987 alright people

Alright boys and girls, it’s time for us to do something that us Mets fans haven’t done in a while – PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTS AND GROW UP !!!!

I know what you are thinking – “is he off the Prozac?” or “Who gave him the double caramel macchiato shot from Starbucks again?” The answer is neither. My outburst is derived from the fans that are pissing and moaning that this team is playing to win – and actually winning despite the fact that they are on the bubble with a handful of other teams for the final three spots to earn a protected pick in next seasons free agent amateur draft.

So let me ask a question – since when do we root for our team to lose ? Yes – trust me I want this team to have a protected pick in next seasons draft , but if they don’t what am I going to do? Throw a tantrum and start writing totally negative posts on how inept Sandy Alderson and the Wilpon’s are in the comment section below? Look even if next year’s pick is not protected I am hopeful that Ownership will realize that they have to spend money to make money – and the only way to get butts in the seats is to field a winning team which we all know takes spending decent quantities of money on either smart signings or taking on bigger contracts via trade.

terry collins punt

Let’s get rational here for a moment. there are just five games left to this dismal season. There are basically five teams vying for the final three spots. I highly doubt the Mets will run the table and sweep both the Reds and the Brewers. When you look at the five teams that are battling for those final three spots - Phillies, Giants, Blue Jays, Rockies and the Met, we pretty much have a 50% chance of getting a protected pick. How you may ask ? Well lets just say that the Mets end the season tied with those teams just mentioned, only the Rockies if memory serves me correctly had a worse record than the Mets last season. And so if all four of these other teams end up tied with the same record the Mets will automatically earn a protected pick because they had one of the worst records last season among the teams mentioned. According to Adam Rubin, that’s how tiebreakers will play out.

But I do admit that I have been rooting for the Mets to lose  – it sickens me that I value a protected pick just so that both ownership as well as the front office can’t make excuses why they didn’t go after a big name free agent who was given a qualifying offer by his current team. But if that’s the way it goes, then that’s the way it goes and it will be the Wilpons’ folly if and when the teams fails to draw again. But for now lets just watch how the rest of the season plays out. Lets wait until the hot stove season before we throw start throwing temper tantrums, thumb in mouth while clutching our security blankets… Reason being, you may just be making something out of nothing. So just do me a favor my fellow Mets fans and….

aerosmith_-_get_a_trip

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

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Spot starter and middle reliever from the ’66 season, Bill Hepler is 68 (1945).

Mets middle reliever/closer from ’02-’04, David Weathers  is 44 (1969).

Utility infielder from’08 and ’09 seasons, Argenis Reyes is 31 (1982). I am still amazed that we always over value AAAA players that for a brief period of time play over their heads just to be let down when the league catches up to them – Argenis was no different.

Some other notables include:

The New York Mets claimed middle reliever, Jack Egbert on waivers from the Chicago White Sox on September 25, 2009. Egbert, a Staten Island native appeared in just one game for the Mets  (last season) and pitched 2/3 of a scoreless inning. He opted for free agency after last season ended.

Mo Vaughn wants you to kiss his sassafras !!!!

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D’Arnaud Day To Day With Stiff Shoulder http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/darnaud-day-to-day-with-stiff-shoulder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/darnaud-day-to-day-with-stiff-shoulder.html/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 04:04:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129492 d'arnaud

Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud left tonight’s game with a sore right shoulder after being struck by a foul tip off the bat of San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence.

Leading off the second inning, Pence fouled a 3-0 fastball straight back, striking d’Arnaud in the shoulder. The rookie catcher stayed in the game for another two innings, but did not come back out on defense for the top of the fourth. He was replaced by Anthony Recker.

After the game Terry Collins told reporters that D’Arnaud took the foul tip right off the tip of the shoulder and that it started to bother him as the game wore on.

“While he sat on the bench that inning, it started to stiffen up on him. He went out the next inning and had a tough time throwing to second. As the inning went on he really had a tough time just throwing the ball back to the pitcher. When he came off, he said he was real stiff, so I just made the switch. He’ll be fine. It will be a couple of days, I would think.”

D’Arnaud would later downplay it. “I’ll be all right. It smoked me in the shoulder, and then as the game progressed, it started tightening up a lot and was messing with my throwing and everything.”

The young catching prospect missed nearly four months of the season when a foul tip broke his foot in early April.

This sounds like a day-to-day thing and nothing to worry about. I’m actually more worried about Wilmer Flores and every time he runs I keep thinking he’s going to tear his Achilles tendon or worse. I wish they would just shut him down.

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D’Arnaud Gives Mets 1-0 Walk-off Win Against Marlins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/darnaud-gives-mets-1-0-walk-off-win-against-marlins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/darnaud-gives-mets-1-0-walk-off-win-against-marlins.html/#comments Sun, 15 Sep 2013 21:53:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=129357

travis d'arnaud

Struggling catcher Travis d’Arnaud delivered a two-out single with the bases loaded to give the Mets a 1-0 walk-off win in 12 innings on Sunday at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee started and pitched 7.1 shutout innings, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out eight. The bullpen followed up Gee’s brilliant performance with a tremendous effort as Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison, LaTroy Hawkins, Gonzalez Germen, and Vic Black combined for 4.2 scoreless innings as Black would get the win. Germen struck out five batters in his two innings of work.

The Mets were flat offensively and defensively all day until D’Arnaud, who had been struggling at the plate this season, came up with a bases-loaded single and his first career walk-off hit. TDA also made a nice throw to gun down Justin Ruggiano who tried to steal third base in the sixth.

Lets face it, it was two of the National League’s worst teams facing off in a meaningless game, but there was still some satisfaction in watching the Mets overcome some bad baseball and win this one in extras.

The Mets are off on Monday as they get ready for a three-game set with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler will take the mound and oppose former Met prospect Yusmeiro Petit at 7:10 p.m.

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: The “Oh, Sandy” Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-oh-sandy-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/09/this-day-in-mets-infamy-with-rusty-the-oh-sandy-edition.html/#comments Sun, 01 Sep 2013 15:11:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=128332 sandy alderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your thoughts ?

And with that said….

HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

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

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

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

Some other notables:

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

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

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

fatburger

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

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Video: All Star Voting Is Over… Will David Wright Emerge Victorious? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/video-all-star-voting-is-over-will-david-wright-emerge-victorious.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/video-all-star-voting-is-over-will-david-wright-emerge-victorious.html/#comments Fri, 05 Jul 2013 13:45:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122247

The All Star voting is now over and all Met fans can do now is wait with baited breath to see if David Wright maintained his lead over Pablo Sandoval for the privilege to start at third base in the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field.

In an official release by MLB, the voting for the National League’s starting third baseman was called the closest and tightest battle on this year’s ballot.

With all the votes now cast and the results now being tabulated, we won’t know the official winner until the results are announced at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on FOX.

Here is a video produced by MLB, who sent a camera crew to hit the streets of New York and ask fans who they thought deserved to be the starting third baseman. Enjoy…

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MLB Young Guns: Zack Wheeler Scouting Report http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mlb-young-guns-zack-wheeler-scouting-report.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/mlb-young-guns-zack-wheeler-scouting-report.html/#comments Tue, 18 Jun 2013 18:51:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=122331 zack wheeler usa today

The Mets plan to temporarily demote Zack Wheeler to the minors after tonight’s start, then officially re-promote him Tuesday for his next scheduled start at the Chicago White Sox, according to ESPN New York.

Because Wheeler is technically the Mets’ 26th player for today’s doubleheader, they can demote him after today’s game without the requirement he spend 10 days in the minors before returning applying. No option will be burned by Wheeler’s procedural, temporary minor league assignment. That also means Wheeler will not collect MLB service time between starts, further ensuring he will not qualify for an extra year of arbitration as a Super 2.

Lets take one last look at this young gun before he takes the hill for his debut…

Zack (Harrison) Wheeler was born on May 30th, 1990 in Smyrna, Georgia. As a high school player, he attended East Paulding where he compiled a 95-36 record as a varsity athlete over four seasons. His junior year he had eights wins against three losses and had 127 strikeouts over 64 1/3 innings and pitched to a 1.31 ERA. The following season (2009), Wheeler finished undefeated  9-0, with 151 Ks over 77 2/3 IP and a 0.54 ERA.

Zach Wheeler, top pitching prospect of the New York Mets, makes his debut on Tuesday night. Here is is as a high school ball player.

A scouting report by Perfect Game at the time read

Big projection, 90-93 fastball at Perfect Game National, very effortless, three quality pitches, good command, 94 at WWBA, 92 at ECP, up to 95 at Aflac.

Scouting reports of Wheeler, along with his overall body of work as an amateur player were enough to convince the San Francisco Giants to draft him sixth overall in the 2009 MLB Draft.

He started his professional career in 2010 at the Single-A level for the Augusta GreenJackets. Relative to his high school numbers, he disappointed as he went 3-3 with a 3.99 ERA in 58 2.3 IP. However he did have 70 Ks, which proved that his stuff was there, but his command needed some work.

The following season, he began at Advanced A San Jose, an affiliate of the Giants, but then moved onto the St. Lucie Mets after he was traded for Carlos Beltran. As a Met, he pitched 27 innings with 31 Ks and a 2.00 ERA, but as a Giant he had near a 3.99 ERA in 88 IP with 98 Ks.

He began 2012 with Double-A Binghamton and was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo toward the end of the season where he logged 33 innings and pitched to a respectable 3.27 ERA as a 22-year-old.

In 2013, as the number one prospect for the Mets, he started in Las Vegas (the new AAA affiliate of the Mets). His walk rate dropped from 2012 to 2013 and his K/9 rose from 8.5 to 9.6 despite a rough beginning and a month long acclimation period to the Pacific Coast League. After a string of solid starts, the Mets front office called made the decision to promote him to make his MLB debut in the night-cap of today’s doubleheader against the Braves.

Profile:

At 6’4, 185 lbs, Wheeler has a power pitcher’s body and possesses an “easy” throwing motion that allows him to maintain a high velocity throughout the game. His long arms creates deception and his quick arm action compounds this. On top of that, he comes out of his pitching motion in good fielding position.

One of his best attributes is his work ethic and demeanour on the mound. His has a competitive nature drives him to work very hard in between starts and is known to be a student of the game. He is also aggressive, as he is not afraid to pitch inside.

Pitches:

Fastball: High: 97-98 mph, Averages: 94-95, Has life and appears to explode past hitters when he throws it up the ladder. Throws a four-seamer and a two seamer he uses against righthanded hitters. Both are plus-pitches.

Curveball: 12-6 break and another plus-pitch. Does not command it in or out of the zone yet, but that will come in time.

Change-up: Throws it in the mid-80s.  As of now it is a slightly below average pitch, and he often telegraphs the pitch because it “slows” his arm down.

Cutter: Relatively new pitch. Throws it in the upper 80s.  It has good movement, but it is pretty raw. Again, it probably will not ever be a better-than-average pitch.

From all indications, scouts view Wheeler as a number two starter. The main issue is his lack of a solid third offering as well as spotty command. While both situations have improved since joining the Mets, he still has work to do.

Wheeler has a great work ethic and is dedicated to his continued improvement. I would bet money that he gets to that ceiling, but that remains to be seen. I am really excited to see him pitch tonight as we all catch a glimpse of one of the cornerstones of the Mets’ future.

For more MLB Young Gun profiles and other sport headlines, check out my blog, Whose Sports Blog Is It Anyway?

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Mets Fan Base Ranks At Bottom When It Comes To Team Loyalty http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-fan-base-ranks-at-bottom-when-it-comes-to-team-loyalty.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/mets-fan-base-ranks-at-bottom-when-it-comes-to-team-loyalty.html/#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 18:52:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=112112 baseball-fans-sad_2012507i - Copy - Copy

In an article by Robert Passikoff on Forbes.com, the Mets fan base ranked almost at the bottom when it comes to team loyalty.

According to their Sports Fan Loyalty Index, Mets fans ranked 26 out among all 30 MLB teams when it comes to supporting the team.

The top five loyal fan bases are:

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Philadelphia Phillies
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Atlanta Braves

The Mets ranked at the bottom with the Astros, Pirates, Royals and Mariners. That’s embarrassing.

The factors that are used to determine the Loyalty Index are not based on attendance alone or won/loss record:

Everybody loves a winner, but it’s important to note that win/loss ratios do not entirely govern fan loyalty. Losing may have little to recommend it, but it turns out there are more important things than the final score. – three other emotionally based things, in fact, that really must be taken into account when calculating the loyalty score for a team:

  • Pure Entertainment: How well a team does, sure. But even more importantly than a win-loss ratio, how exciting is their play? Think St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Authenticity: How well they play as a team.
  • Fan Bonding: Are players particularly respected and admired?
  • History and Tradition: Is the game and the team part of fans’ and community rituals, institutions and beliefs?

Look at those factors and then calculate where the Mets fit in with each one. You can easily account for why the loyalty isn’t as high as it should be, and the fault lies with the team not the fans.

Many of the players who connected with fans are long gone. It took the team a few years just to add some Mets history to Cit Field – and only after much prodding from fans. And where is the pure entertainment value?

What bugs me most is seeing the Yankees, Braves and Phillies ranked so high. I hate those teams!

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Prospect Pulse: Analyzing Mets Catching Prospect Kevin Plawecki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-analyzing-mets-catching-prospect-kevin-plawecki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/03/prospect-pulse-analyzing-mets-catching-prospect-kevin-plawecki.html/#comments Mon, 11 Mar 2013 15:48:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=110592 kevin_plawecki

Kevin Plawecki, C

Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 205 lb.
Position: Catcher
Age: 22
ETA: 2015
MMO Top Prospect Rank: #19

Background:

Here is a brief player profile from the recent 2013 MMO Top 25 Prospect series:

The 35th pick in the 2012 draft, Kevin Plawecki, was selected with one of the comp picks we received for losing Jose Reyes. The main criticism about the pick was not so much a knock on Plawecki, but rather that the Mets made a big reach taking him with the 35th pick when he could have been around in the third. One of the things that scouts keyed in on was that he had a long swing and it cut some of his power away, but he made strides to fix that in his first pro season since coming out of Purdue. Down in Brooklyn, Plawecki put up a .250 average with a 1:1 BB/K rate (25:24). The NYPL is a pitching dominant league, so try not to get too down on the .250 average, especially when he accompanied it with seven homers and eight doubles in just 216 at-bats.

Plawecki is not a defensive wizard, as he gets by with a below average arm, but he is an intelligent baseball player. Intelligence at the catcher position is key, and he was known for calling his own games when he played at Purdue. Also, considering the fact that he was drafted as a junior in college, it puts him on somewhat of a fast track to the major leagues. His 2013 season will be key in determining what kind of player he will really turn out to be, as he makes the same jump as Hansel Robles to Savannah and potentially St. Lucie.

The biggest issue I have come across in scouting reports was the fact that almost everyone is in consensus that Plawecki should have been a third or fourth round pick. However, that is simply semantics. If you think a guy can help your organization, then why run the risk of someone else taking him?

At the time of the pick, the Mets had little catcher depth in their system, and Plawecki is the type of guy that will be able to move through the system very quickly, and hopefully help the Mets in the near future. While we can label a player a reach because we think that he should have been selected later, there is really no telling what the other teams will do, so when you have a chance to take your guy, you take him. The San Francisco Giants did something very similar in 2011 when they drafted shortstop Joe Panik. When evaluating draft picks it’s not always a matter of who has the better ability, but who has the ability to help the big league club as fast as possible. Plawecki is that type of a guy.

Analysis:

Plawecki is a guy that makes excellent contact. Through his college career, he had a very low strike out rate, and as stated earlier, had a 1:1 K/BB ratio at Brooklyn last season. I have read a couple of scouting reports that have noted his swing was a little long, but his swing is actually very compact, and he gets his hands through the hitting zone very quickly when he keeps them close to his body. If his hands get away from him, he could have trouble with pitchers with better fastballs. He starts with his hands high, has a nice load, and then gets his hands in a nice hitting position. I noticed that on a couple of the pitches he took, he didn’t keep his weight back, and transferred his weight early to the front leg. This can make him susceptible to off-speed pitches as he progresses to the higher levels of the organization.

He has a very level swing, which will lead to a ton of line drives, but it does not generate a ton of backspin on the ball when contact is made, which is why he won’t be a big home run threat. However, he does have solid to gap-to-gap power. Think of Daniel Murphy, but with a little more pop. I would project him to hit 10-15 home runs at the big league level at this point.

Everyone has been completely enthralled with the addition to Travis d’Arnaud, but Plawecki is a guy that fans should keep an eye on over the next couple of years. With questions of d’Arnaud’s durability arising, Plawecki is definitely a guy that could find himself behind the plate at Citi Field within the next couple of years.

prospect pulse mitch petanick

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

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

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