Mets Merized Online » Terry Collins http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:21:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Michael Conforto Will Not Play Winter Ball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/michael-conforto-will-not-play-winter-ball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/michael-conforto-will-not-play-winter-ball.html/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227940 michael-conforto

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto has not and will not play any winter ball this offseason.

Despite Terry Collins‘ (and probably most people’s) recommendation for him to play winter ball and get as many reps as possible, Conforto’s representatives are not allowing it because it poses a ‘financial risk,’ according to Adam Rubin on Twitter.

Juan Lagares is allowed by his agents to play in the winter because he is guaranteed money over the next few seasons, and is not in the position Conforto is in. While Lagares is guaranteed money through 2019 (with a team option for 2020), Conforto is going year to year with a low salary almost entirely dictated on his level of play. If he were to get injured in the offseason and lose playing time in 2017, for example, his 2018 salary would take a hit.

In 33 Triple-A games this past season, Conforto absolutely mashed at a .422/.483/.727 (1.209 OPS) clip with nine home runs, eight doubles, and two triples. According to Adam Rubin on Twitter, another reason he did not participate was that the level of play in winter ball is lower than the level of AAA.

Conforto hasn’t just been sitting around doing nothing, though. He has been conditioning all offseason and plans on entering spring training in the best shape of his life. He is hoping that his strides made at the end of last season regarding going the opposite way, as well as some extra muscle, will translate into more home run power. I am hoping for that as well.

The best thing for Michael Conforto is to get as many at-bats as possible against any pitcher not named Madison Bumgarner. We can expect him to get plenty of work during Spring Training, including some innings at first base, as the Mets look for Conforto to significantly bounce back in 2017.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/michael-conforto-will-not-play-winter-ball.html/feed/ 0
Reed Should Have Continued Success Closing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/reed-should-have-continued-success-closing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/reed-should-have-continued-success-closing.html/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:30:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227868 addison-reed

While Sandy Alderson and the front office continue to scour the market for bullpen help via free agency and through trades, the Mets feel confident in their closer heading into 2017.

No, not Jeurys Familia, who will likely be suspended to begin the 2017 season due to his arrest for his role in a domestic violence dispute on Halloween in Fort Lee, NJ. Instead, the Mets intend to slide setup man Addison Reed into the closer’s role, one he’s familiar with from his time with the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reed, 28 on December 27, had a brilliant 2016 season as the Mets’ setup man, posting career highs in games pitched (80), ERA (1.97), IP (77.2), strikeouts (91), WHIP (0.94), and OPS against (.536). His 2.6 fWAR was tied for fifth among all relievers in ’16, with only names like Jansen, Miller, Betances, and Chapman ahead of him.

Before the trade that sent Reed to the Mets in late August of 2015 for minor league pitchers Matt Koch and Miller Diaz, Reed was the closer for both the White Sox and Diamondbacks, compiling 101 saves from 2012-14, posting a 4.22 ERA with 9.5 SO/9 during that period. While the 101 saves was good for ninth among relievers, his ERA was the 16th worst among qualifying arms. Although, his FIP was 3.58, indicating that he might’ve been subjected to some bad luck and/or poor fielding or defensive alignments.

So why did it take so long for Reed to blossom into the dominating force he’s been for the Mets? Taking a closer look at Reed’s velocity and pitch selection, per Brooks Baseball, Reed’s four-seam fastball velocity in 2011-12 was over 95 MPH. Over the next four seasons, Reed watched his velocity dip to 93.22 MPH this year, however, Reed’s whiff percentage has risen since 2015, registering 9.09 followed by a 10.75 this past season, the highest it’s been since 2014. Reed’s also seen his slugging percentage against shrink over the past three years, from .423 in 2014, to .421 in ’15, to a career low .319 in ’16.

Reed’s slider has also been a useful weapon for the right-hander, as he’s using it more as a put away pitch than he has in years past. In 2014, Reed went to the slider 236 times, then saw a huge hike in ’15 with 321 times, followed by 329 in ’16. In 2012 and ’13, Reed’s whiff percentage on his slider was at 12.88 and 18.81 respectively, in ’16, Reed had a 20.97 whiff percentage on the slider, another career best. His .185 batting average against on his slider was also a career best for Reed in ’16, resulting in a 60.78 ground ball percentage.

addison-reed

Another important aspect to Reed’s success with the Mets is the mechanical adjustments he’s made on his leg kick, or should I say, lack thereof. As early as mid 2015, Reed pitched with a pronounced leg kick, bringing his knee up to his belt before delivering to the plate. But while Reed was stationed in Triple A Reno in 2015, as the Diamondbacks demoted their closer due to inconsistencies in the majors and watched as his ERA ballooned to 7.20 by mid May, Reed and the Diamondbacks’ staff made a compromise.

“We kind of met in the middle,” Reed said. “Not the high leg kick, not the slide step but lifting it quick and just going. That kind of got me a little bit more going into my delivery and going as opposed to the slide step, you’re just falling forward. This kind of got me to gather everything on my back leg and then shoot toward home plate.” (Beyond the Boxscore)

The change in Reed’s mechanics allow him to gather momentum on his back leg and fire towards home plate. The change in mechanics have also given Reed better control, as he posted a 1.51 BB/9, the lowest it’s been since his brief cup of coffee with the White Sox in 2011. Reed posted his best first pitch strike percentage in ’16, at 70.1%, according to FanGraphs.

Mechanics, pitch selection, and change of scenery have all helped Reed regain his form and be a dominating reliever in baseball. Because of this, the Mets should enter 2017 with peace of mind in the ninth, as his turnaround over the last year and change signals that the Mets have rolled the dice and won in their low risk/high reward gamble with Reed. Terry Collins spoke to MLB Network this past Tuesday and offered similar sentiments when it comes to Reed in the ninth, saying he was confident Reed can handle the ninth and get the job done.

Of course, the off-season is far from over, as the team needs to add additional relievers along with looking to re-sign Jerry Blevins. Adding a trusted arm to take Reed’s spot setting up is still a priority for the club, and it will only strengthen the team as Familia comes back from his likely suspension, giving the Mets a potentially dynamic back end of the pen.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

 

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/reed-should-have-continued-success-closing.html/feed/ 0
Tim Tebow to Play in Grapefruit League Games http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/tebow-to-play-in-grapefruit-league-games.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/tebow-to-play-in-grapefruit-league-games.html/#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:00:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227781 usatsi_9602199_ft3atpvn_6oj8ds5p

Tim Tebow’s quest to become a Major League baseball player has not run it’s course quite yet. The New York Mets intend to have Tebow in their Minor League camp come spring training.

Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson discussed Tebow’s next steps during the Winter Meetings on Tuesday. Although Tebow will not be assigned to the Major League camp, the team expects to pull him over for some Grapefruit League games in order for him to gain some exposure to big league pitching.

“We understand he’s a little bit older so the process needs to accelerate at some point,” Alderson said. “But we still need to be prudent about it, and put him in situations where he can succeed, and not be viewed as a — I was going to say ‘circus animal,’ but that’s probably not appropriate.” (MLB.com)

Tebow, 29, ended his Arizona Fall League stint with a .194/.296/.242 batting line and two RBI. It was expected that he would be overmatched, having not played baseball since his junior year in high school. Mets hitting coach, Kevin Long, had high praise for the former NFL Quarterback in an Indianapolis radio interview on Wednesday.

“He’s put together like no other athlete I’ve ever seen,” Long said. “He’s got a lot of work to do, he understands that. He knows it’s not going to be easy, but having seen his swing now and worked with him a little bit, I’m not so sure that he can’t break through maybe give himself a chance to get (to the majors).”

We have heard much of Tebow’s “raw power,” and it has intrigued Mets manager, Terry Collins, as well. Collins is not worried of any distractions that Tebow may bring with him due to his star power.

“We’re in New York,” Collins said. “We can handle anybody with a name on his back in our camp. If they decide to send him to camp, we’ll get him better.”

The Mets seemingly will be giving Tebow a legitimate shot to show what he can do this upcoming spring. All sideshows aside, Tebow was said to be a great influence in the clubhouse in the AFL, with an admirable work ethic that others could learn from.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/tebow-to-play-in-grapefruit-league-games.html/feed/ 0
Collins: Curtis Granderson is the Mets Center Fielder http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-curtis-granderson-is-the-mets-center-fielder.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-curtis-granderson-is-the-mets-center-fielder.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227699 curtis granderson

During the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, Mets manager Terry Collins met with the media to discuss the current state of his team. One of the subjects broached was about the outfield and its log-jam of starters.

Collins believes if the outfield were to stay the same as it is today, entering spring training, Curtis Granderson would be the team’s center fielder.

“With the dynamics and the way the club is shaping up at this moment with all we have, I think you’ve got to say Grandy has to move to center field,” Collins said.

“We’ve got to be aware that he has to keep his legs underneath him and do a good job of making sure he has time off. We’ve got a Gold Glove guy [Juan Lagares] sitting on the bench and we can certainly rest him on certain days, but as we sit here today he’s going to have to play center.” (NJ.com)

curtis Granderson

Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson has been hard at work in attempting to solve the team’s current problem of having too many outfielders on the roster, though he has found it a tough sell in finding a home for Jay Bruce. Thus far, potential trade partners have had more interest in Granderson than Bruce.

The Mets of course though would like to keep the Grandy-man, he just means way too much to this team to let go in what is likely to be his final season in Queens. Granderson has built himself such a great reputation of being a huge plus in the clubhouse as well as a pillar in the community.

It is hard to imagine the Mets going into the 2017 season with both Bruce and Granderson. More than likely it will work itself out via a trade, it may just not come as soon as many had thought it would. If Granderson though must play center field in 2017, his manager is very confident of his skills while doing so.

“I thought he did very well,” Collins said. “I know he didn’t want to, but you know Grandy, he will do whatever you want him to do. And he went out there and I thought he handled himself very, very well out there. If we start the season tomorrow and he’s in center field, we will be fine.”

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-curtis-granderson-is-the-mets-center-fielder.html/feed/ 0
Collins May Not Retire After 2017 Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-may-not-retire-after-2017-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-may-not-retire-after-2017-season.html/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:40:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225843 terry-collins

In a interview with Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily NewsNew York Mets manager Terry Collins reiterated that the reports of him possibly retiring after the 2017 season were premature.

Here is what Collins told Ackert, ”There’s all of us standing here today, who knows if we’re all going to be here next year? You don’t. When the season is over, I will sit down and hopefully it’s in November next year, and analyze where I’m at because I still feel great.”

The 67-year old Collins’ contract runs out at the conclusion of the 2017 season after receiving a two-year contract extension following the Mets 2015 World Series run.

Original Report – Nov 4

Christian Red of the New York Daily News caught up with New York Mets manager Terry Collins last night at the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter’s 22nd annual Lou Gehrig’s Sports Award gala. They touched on numerous topics including how long Collins intended on managing the Mets.

Collins had this to say about his future with the Mets:

“If we win, and things are going good, and I feel as good as I do today, I’ll manage as long as I can. This is a great place to manage.”

Last month it was reported that 2017 could possibly be the final year that Collins managed the Mets. Collins has gone 481-491 in six seasons with the Mets including two straight playoff appearances. He has the chance next season to be the first manager in franchise history to make three straight playoff appearances.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/collins-may-not-retire-after-2017-season.html/feed/ 0
Lenny Dykstra: Terry Collins Is A Loser http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/lenny-dykstra-terry-collins-is-a-loser.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/lenny-dykstra-terry-collins-is-a-loser.html/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227319 lenny-dykstra-3

1986 Mets World Series champion Lenny Dykstra was on CBS’s Jake Brown Show and had some choice words to say about current Mets manager Terry Collins:

“As long as Terry Collins is there, they’ll lose. I can’t take him. He’s a joke. At our 30-year reunion he’s shaking everyone’s hand… I said you’re lucky you got good mother-(expletive) pitching… When he was in Houston and had [Jeff] Bagwell and [Craig] Biggio, those guys hated him. When they hate you, that’s a problem. He’s never won. He’s a loser and he chokes. I don’t know how he has a job if you can’t win with those guys. He’s a losing manager.”

Ouch.

I can’t speak for the Astros, but the Mets players have shown nothing but love for Terry Collins. He has been handed some pretty tough situations from bad teams with no injuries to great teams with too many injuries to count. He has led the Mets to two consecutive playoff berths, including of course a World Series appearance in 2015 against all odds.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/lenny-dykstra-terry-collins-is-a-loser.html/feed/ 0
Robin Ventura On The Bench http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/robin-ventura-on-the-bench.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/robin-ventura-on-the-bench.html/#comments Sat, 19 Nov 2016 03:36:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226627 MLB: Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers

At the end of the season manager Terry Collins said that he believed his staff would remain the same next season. This changed yesterday when we found out that Tim Teufel was being replaced by Glenn Sherlock as the third base coach. This move was made because Sherlock is going to coach the catchers and Teufel struggled at times in his role as the third base coach. With one change to the coaching staff already made there could be another one that would be very beneficial to the Mets, a change in bench coach.

Dick Scott was hired to replace Bob Geren last year and while it is hard to quantify the effect of a bench coach there was an instance were it was apparent that he dropped the ball. On September 11, the Mets lost a game 4-3 against the Atlanta Braves. The game was tied in the eight inning and Wilmer Flores was standing on second base. Terry Collins was apparently too distracted by managing his bullpen, and he did not realize that the winning run on second base was potentially the slowest member of his team.

Take in mind that this was after roster expansion and the Mets had plenty of options on the bench to pinch run. T.J. Rivera proceeded to get a base hit and Wilmer Flores was gunned out at the plate and the Mets would go on to lose that game. The bigger loss was Wilmer Flores as this would be has last game of the season as he hurt his wrist on an atrocious slide, or dive into A.J. Pierzynski.

Flores was red hot at the plate at the time, and could have been a huge help in the Wild Card game. Flores mashes against lefties and maybe he could have gotten to Madison Bumgarner. This is were Scott comes in, because the bench coach’s job is assistant coach. Terry Collins took the blame but the onus should have fallen on Scott. The manager has so much going on it is his job to catch any mistake that the manager may be making, and bring it to his attention. Enter Robin Ventura.

Now I need to preface this by saying that there has been no link to Ventura and the Mets. It is not even known if Ventura is looking for a job or not. Robin Ventura was a fan favorite during his three years as a Met and was part of the 2000 team that went to the World Series.

Robin just spent five seasons as the manager of the Chicago White Sox. He announced after the season that he would not be returning to the White Sox next season. Ventura was in the last season of his contract and he felt the team needed a new leader. Robin Ventura had some early success as a manager leading the White Sox to a 85-77 record in his first season. In that season he was a finalist for the Manager of the Year award. After 2012 Ventura had to endure four losing seasons with the White Sox, finishing with a managerial record of 375-435.

Ventura would be a great fit as a bench coach because he has experience managing and could help Collins stay on top of all the decisions that need to be made during a game. He also has experience managing with all of the sabermetrics that are used in today’s game. He would be a great right hand man for Collins, and also with Collins only around for another year or two Ventura could succeed Collins. There are currently no managerial vacancies for Ventura to pursue so this would be the apt time to bring him into the Mets system, and see if he is a fit for a manager job down the road.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/robin-ventura-on-the-bench.html/feed/ 0
Collins Hopes He’ll Have Cespedes Back in 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/collins-hopes-hell-have-cespedes-back-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/collins-hopes-hell-have-cespedes-back-in-2017.html/#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2016 11:15:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225915 yoenis cespedes

It is hard to imagine the New York Mets offense without Yoenis Cespedes. Yet again the team enters an offseason where it seems unlikely that their slugger will return, according to what team sources told ESPN New York.

Cespedes was brilliant during his time in Queens, putting together a batting line of .282/.348/.554 with 48 homers and 130 RBI in 189 games played. The Mets could not have asked for anymore out of him.

The Yo Show is expected to opt-out of his contract today as the free agency frenzy that surrounds Cespedes is set to begin. Manager, Terry Collins hopes for nothing more than to have Yoenis in his outfield for the 2017 season.

“That’s not my territory,” Collins said. “My territory is to manage the guys that are in the clubhouse. He’s a great player. One of the best in the game. Any team will be fortunate to have him. I hope we can get him back.”

Whatever happens with Cespedes will create a domino effect for the Mets, surely guiding how their offseason goes. If it is anything like previous year, it is bound to drag on for a good amount of time before anything is resolved.

yoenis cespedes

The Mets are going to have some steep competition when it comes to retaining Cespedes’ services. Mike Puma of the NY Post takes a look at who he feels will be in play for Yoenis. Many see the Giants as their biggest threat to keeping Yo. San Francisco could certainly use a right-handed power hitting outfielder to bolster what was mostly a powerless offense.

The Toronto Blue Jays will also see themselves with some spots to fill with the impeding free agency of fan favorites Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Though it seems unlikely that Cespedes would find Toronto as appealing as New York or San Francisco. Money of course though always talks in what is likely to be Cespedes’ last big contract.

Lastly, you can never count out the Washington Nationals. Possibly even just to keep him away from the Mets, the Nats can make a play for Cespedes, just as they did last offseason. Honorable mention as well to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as being a player for Cespedes as well.

No team though is seemingly a better match for Yoenis than the Metropolitans. He reportedly loves it here and we all loved him. Sandy Alderson is going to need to pony up the cash to bring Yo home, because this team severely needs him.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/collins-hopes-hell-have-cespedes-back-in-2017.html/feed/ 0
Matt Harvey Receives 2016 Lou Gehrig Award http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/matt-harvey-receives-2016-lou-gehrig-award.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/matt-harvey-receives-2016-lou-gehrig-award.html/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2016 16:27:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=225867 matt harvey

At the ALS Association Greater New York 22nd Loug Gehrig Sports Award Benefit, Mets ace Matt Harvey was presented with the Lou Gehrig Sports Award. The Award is given to the athlete shown to embody the character, courage, and determination the late Gehrig once did.

In his speech, Harvey spoke about not just want it meant to receive the Award, but also about his parent’s role in him becoming a major league pitcher:

 

Other awardees included Mets manager Terry Collins, Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, and tennis player Patrick McEnroe. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman received the Jacob K. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award.

While everyone gave poignant speeches, Ichrio had the line of the night saying, “You might be expecting a speech, but unlike home runs, speeches in English are not my game.”

Overall, the benefit raised more than $1.1 million for the New York chapter of the ALS Association.The ALS Association is “we direct the largest privately-funded research enterprise engaged to uncover the mystery of a disease that affects as many as 30,000 annually.” The ALS Association also operates centers and clinics for ALS patients.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/matt-harvey-receives-2016-lou-gehrig-award.html/feed/ 0
Terry Collins Will Not Give Up on Travis d’Arnaud http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-will-not-give-up-on-travis-darnaud.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-will-not-give-up-on-travis-darnaud.html/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:00:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224855 travis d'Arnaud

New York Mets catcher, Travis d’Arnaud is still looked at in the highest regard by his manager, Terry Collins.

In a conversation with Adam Rubin of ESPN, Collins advised that d’Arnaud will be a top priority heading into spring training for the 2017 season.

“He is going to be one of our No. 1 projects in spring training. We’ve got to get this guy back, and we’ve got to get his bat going,” Collins said. “If he is what we thought he’s going to be, he’s a middle-of-the-lineup guy who can do damage from the right side. And you know how bad we need that.”

Travis had a rough 2016, struggling not just with injury but with his bat as well. It seemed a lost season for d’Arnaud who hit to a .247/.307/.323 batting line to go along with just four homers and 15 RBI while only appearing in 75 games.

D’Arnaud would go on to lose his starting job down the stretch as the Mets would use Rene Rivera in his place. Rivera would provide a stronger defensive presence for the team, helping to cut down stolen bases which plagued the Mets in 2016.

travis d'Arnaud

With injuries continuing to be a problem for d’Arnaud and now also showing struggles with his play, the Mets began to look elsewhere for a backstop. Just this past trading deadline, Jonathan Lucroy had come up in trade talks as a catcher the team was considering. Many now wonder if the Mets may look to acquire a catcher to replace d’Arnaud this offseason.

“First of all, the expiration side, that’s [general manager] Sandy [Alderson]‘s department,” Collins said. ”I only worry about the guys we’ve got. And right now we’ve got to get Travis d’Arnaud better. We’ve got to get him better. No. 1, we’ve got to keep him somewhat healthy.”

“You can’t keep losing your mainline guys for two months. He had 250 at-bats when he should have 500. You’re talking about a guy who missed half the season. We’ve got to get him better.”

Next season could be a make or break year for d’Arnaud’s career with the Mets. Collins will look to d’Arnaud to handle the starting job again, heading into spring training. It will all be a matter if Travis can stay healthy and if he is, he must produce.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-will-not-give-up-on-travis-darnaud.html/feed/ 0
Mets Expect to Ease Starting Rotation into 2017 Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224853 harvey collins

In a conversation with Adam Rubin of ESPN, Terry Collins spoke of the Mets’ starting rotation and his plans for them going into spring training and beyond.

It is no secret that 2016 was a year full of injuries for the team’s rotation. Collins is looking to learn from what occurred this year and figure out how to go about keeping them healthy.

“We’ll make sure we don’t push them too much early in spring training, so that they are ready,” Collins said.

“Coming out of spring training, are they ready to go seven innings? Probably not, some of those guys. But I do believe that certainly as we get closer to the end of spring training, those guys should be ready to pitch.”

The Mets seem to be taking an extra cautious approach with their rotation heading into next season. After the injuries that they incurred in 2016 to their staff that is not too surprising. They though have no reason to believe that Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom or Steven Matz will not be ready for spring training at this time. Collins though was still cautiously optimistic of what to expect going forward.

colon harvey matz syndergaard matz wheeler

“I think you can only go with what past research and past things have shown, and that’s that these guys will bounce back,” Collins said. “As we saw from Zack Wheeler, not everything is etched in stone. Fourteen months after Tommy John isn’t a guarantee you’re going to be ready to pitch.

“But you’re looking at the end of [2017] spring training, 24 months after Tommy John, there’s no reason to think that [Wheeler] can’t be ready. Matt was a three-month [recovery time]. DeGrom’s is a three-month. Steven Matz’s is a three-month.”

Only Noah Syndergaard of the fab-five made it out of 2016 unscathed, for the most part. The Mets were helped by another tremendous season from the eighth wonder of the world, Bartolo Colon. With how fragile this rotation has shown to be, it seems like a no-brainer to bring back Colon once again.

Though the emergence of rookie pitchers, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, could change that feeling as well. The Mets got more than they ever could have expected from Gsellman and Lugo, who proved they have the ability to handle pitching in the major leagues.

There will be many questions regarding this starting rotation heading into 2017. It is hard not to wonder if we will ever see the five highly touted pitchers altogether in the starting rotation at one time. Only time will tell.

get metsmerized footer

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/mets-expect-to-ease-starting-rotation-into-2017-season.html/feed/ 0 What’s On Second? Hopefully It’s T.J. Rivera http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/whats-on-second-hopefully-its-t-j-rivera.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/whats-on-second-hopefully-its-t-j-rivera.html/#comments Sun, 09 Oct 2016 12:00:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224611 neil walker

As the New York Mets’ season came to an abrupt end Wednesday night, being shutout by another brilliant postseason pitching performance by San Francisco Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner, the team now has all offseason to contemplate the various moves and roster changes that need to be made for 2017 and beyond.

One such quandary is what to do with impending free agent second baseman Neil Walker, who had a career season with the Mets in 2016, tying a career high in home runs with 23, and setting new career highs in slugging (.476), OPS (.823), walk percentage (9.2%), and fWAR (3.8). Walker also recorded his second highest wRC+ (122), third best wOBA (.351), and was also more selective at the plate, recording his second lowest season of swinging at pitches outside the strike zone (30%).

Unfortunately, Walker wasn’t able to finish the year due to lingering back problems he had been dealing with over the last four seasons, and elected to have a microdisectomy operation to repair the herniation in his back in September. The prognosis of the surgery calls for three months of recovery, which would put Walker in line to be fully healthy for the start of spring training in 2017.

But the question remains as to whether it’s in the Mets best interest to allocate precious resources to keep Walker in the fold. Adam Rubin of ESPN reported on Thursday that the team is expected to extend a qualifying offer to Walker, and may also engage him in a multi-year deal.

The team could extend a qualifying offer to the 31-year-old switch hitter, which would amount to roughly $16.7 million, a $900K bump in pay from last season’s qualifying offer. Walker might accept it, especially coming off back surgery and unsure of whether there would be many multi-year offers on the table for him this offseason. He might find it in his best interest to take the one-year deal, prove he’s healthy and over the lingering herniated disk issue, and hit free agency in 2017-18.

At the same time, Walker is entering free agency in a weak class, where he is the best free agent second baseman on the open market, and one of the better infielders available along with Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Turner. He might find ample suitors due to the lack of talent available in free agency, making all of this talk a moot point.

If the Mets do extend a qualifying offer to Walker, and he rejects it, then the team would land a compensation draft pick in between the first and seconds rounds of next year’s MLB draft. However, I think it would be in the Mets best interest to gauge where Walker is in free agency, because I believe he is more of a luxury for this team than an undeniable need.

t-j-rivera

With the emergence of rookie T.J. Rivera in the second half of the season, the Mets may have their second baseman for 2017 at a discounted rate. Rivera, 27, is four years younger than Walker, hits for a high average, makes good contact (his 78% contact rate in 33 games would rate higher than that of Jackie Bradley Jr., Adam Jones, Edwin Encarnacion, Carlos Correa, and Kris Bryant if he qualified), and uses all parts of the field when at the plate.

Playing Rivera everyday at second would also save the Mets money in not having to offer Walker the qualifying offer or extending a multi-year contract to him. Instead, the Mets could use the money saved utilizing Rivera at second, and put the savings towards re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. Similar to how the Mets are saving a ton right now by using a starting rotation that’s comprised of Syndergaard, deGrom, Matz, Gsellman, and Lugo, who are all under team control, and Harvey and Wheeler still under arbitration. It would behoove the Mets to use cheaper alternatives that can produce while allocating the necessary monies to shore up other parts of the roster.

He’s also handled second base quite well in the majors, logging 170.2 innings without making an error. Rivera posted strong advanced metrics at second, posting a UZR of 0.6 in the limited action at second, with a 4.0 UZR/150 when scaled to a full season. And in his minor league career, Rivera has posted 2226 innings at second, posting a .976 fielding percentage and a 4.12 range factor, his second highest range factor behind only first base (8.41).

Rivera was a big part of the Mets success in claiming the first wild card spot, slashing .365/.386/.571 in 63 September  at-bats. Terry Collins rewarded Rivera with the start at second base in the Wild Card game, in part due to his success against Bumgarner in the August 18 game at AT&T Park, where Rivera went 2-for-3 against Bumgarner including a single to left and single to centerfield. His success throughout the years in the minors, playing as an undrafted free agent out of Troy University in 2011, and then following that success up in the majors was a big reason why Terry Collins felt comfortable going with Rivera at second in the do-or-die Wild Card game.

“This guy, he stuck it out, never made an excuse and went out when he had the chance and played great. He finally got his shot and then made the most of it and now he’s going to play in the stinkin’ wild-card game and, possibly, the World Series, all in one year.”

Of course, we all know the World Series proclamation didn’t come to fruition, but it is telling that Rivera has received such high praise in such a small amount of time with the Mets. And yes, Rivera was a product of misfortune for the Mets, losing the aforementioned Walker to the DL, and then jack-of-all-trades Wilmer Flores in September following a collision at home plate against the Atlanta Braves, injuring his wrist and leading to surgery to repair a hamate bone in his wrist. But Rivera ran with the chance he was given, and hasn’t looked back since.

Rivera had the only extra-base hit against Bumgarner Wednesday night, stroking a leadoff double to left on a 0-1 curveball. Rivera doesn’t seem fazed by the big moment, taking it all in stride and playing the only way he knows how, with passion and a dream in mind of reaching the major leagues, one he never stopped reaching for.

“People like the story because it gives people hope, maybe, that sense of hope like ‘I can do something I’ve always dreamed of as well, you know what I mean?’” Rivera said. “I guess maybe being undrafted and not being a top prospect and things of that nature, people see where I’m at. I can do what I really dreamed of doing. That was my goal. I hope I can inspire people to go after their dreams and their goals, that would be awesome.” (Newsday)

Hopefully Rivera’s inspired those in the Mets front office to give him the chance to man second base for 2017, which would just go to show that one can never give up on their dreams. Rivera overcame a lot of obstacles and was passed over time and time again from promotion, but kept working at his craft and doing what he does best, hitting. This is truly a story of local boy makes good.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/whats-on-second-hopefully-its-t-j-rivera.html/feed/ 0
The Mets Should Hold Their Heads High Today http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2016 12:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224515 noah-syndergaard-2

The New York Mets were defeated by a score of 3-0 Wednesday night at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game. They have no reason to be down on themselves after going through a roller coaster of a season.

This team was left for dead at 60-62 before a series against this very same Giants team had helped to give them a pulse entering the final weeks of the season. They were down and disappointed at the end of Wednesday’s game, just as most of us were. Manager, Terry Collins though showed nothing but praise for a club that had been written off numerous times this season.

“Well, they’re hurting, but there’s no reason to be,” Collins said. “I mean, they were written off so many times this summer and yet they kept fighting back, and they said the other day you’ve got to have special people and special character to play in this town and in this environment, and that’s in that room.” (Newsday)

Their ace showed up in what was the biggest game of the 2016 season, Noah Syndergaard could not have done anymore. He pitched to seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out 10. It was possibly the best pitched game in his career, exceeding all expectations. Despite a loss, he would find solace in the fact of just how hard this team fought this season.

“It stings a little bit right now,” Syndergaard said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet that this season’s over with. But I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys right here, for everything we went through.”

jeurys-familia

The result of the game is not what they wished it would be. The game was handed to their closer, Jeurys Familia, a man who had saved a franchise record 51 games this season. He though would falter, giving way to another postseason victory for the Giants in an elimination setting. He too would reflect on just how much this team battled this season, enduring obstacle after obstacle.

“A lot of people thought we weren’t going to make it here this year,” Familia said. “Everybody should be proud in this room because we made it with those injuries.”

The resounding opinion in the Mets clubhouse Wednesday night was that of feeling accomplished. No, they did not make it past this first round Wild Card game, but they have every reason to be proud. This was a team who were on there way to a disappointing season, only to turn it around and make it back to the postseason. Too many injuries, bad managerial decisions and just bad luck at times, they endured.

The 2016 Mets are a team to be proud of. A team with great heart that was such a pleasure to watch. A team that taught you to never give up because if you just keep moving ahead, good things will come.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-mets-should-hold-their-heads-high-today.html/feed/ 0
Wilmer Flores Will Have Surgery On Wrist This Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/wilmer-flores-will-have-surgery-on-wrist-this-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/wilmer-flores-will-have-surgery-on-wrist-this-week.html/#comments Wed, 05 Oct 2016 22:18:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224156 wilmer Flores

Mets infielder Wilmer Flores will have surgery on his right hand, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters Wednesday at Citi Field.

Alderson said that Flores will have the hook of his hamate bone removed in his injured right hand later this week.

The procedure is considered minor and Flores is expected to be ready for spring training.

Original Report – Sep 30

After the Friday night’s 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Terry Collins told reporters that Wilmer Flores attempted to swing the bat today but it did not go well. Presumably, Flores’ season is finished, and he will not be available for the postseason.  ”I don’t think you think you’ll see him,” Collins said during his postgame press conference.

“I’m really concerned,” Collins also said last Wednesday about Flores being able to return this season. “I can tell you right now, the way he is today. I’m really concerned about it. I’m really worried about it.”

“Wilmer Flores is our dynamic guy from the right side. And without him, you’re going into face some of those relievers late in the game. He can make a big difference, and without him, it’s a little different.”

Flores has not played since September 10th. In that game, Terry Collins failed to lift him for a pinch runner, and Flores would injure his wrist sliding head first into home plate.

His loss will be especially felt by the Mets should they face Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants in the Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 5.

On the season, Flores batted .310/.355/.600 with eight doubles, seven homers, and 16 RBI in 106 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. However, for his career, he is 1-11 against Bumgarner. Still, he was one of the team’s top weapons against LHP.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/wilmer-flores-will-have-surgery-on-wrist-this-week.html/feed/ 0
Bochy, Collins and the Ties That Bind http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bochy-collins-and-the-ties-that-bind.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bochy-collins-and-the-ties-that-bind.html/#comments Tue, 04 Oct 2016 11:00:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224362 Collins Terry

The New York Mets were floundering.The season was taking a turn for the worse with no turn-around seeming in sight. Terry Collins was reportedly in danger of losing his job at the very same time.

A conversation though that was had with the opposing manager of the team’s Wild Card opponent, Bruce Bochy, is said to have helped turn things around for Collins as reported by Kevin Kernan of the New York Post

Just a season removed from going to the World Series, Collins has found himself on the hot seat, seemingly at numerous points in 2016. The pressure seemingly beginning to mount on the Mets manager.

“But it’s hard here; really, really hard,” Collins said.

After his conversation with Kernan, he would go on to speak to Bochy during batting practice on August 20, in which the two old-timers got together to discuss the issues with their respective teams. The two compared notes as they attempted to cleanse themselves of the problems that plagued them.

On the same day, the Mets would begin to turn around their season. They had lost 16 of 23 games going into this series, they would go on to win the first two as the turn-around now did not seem so far fetched. Collins never quit on his team.

“We’re still in this thing. If we put a run together, we’ll be OK,” Collins said.

Now we sit and wait, just a mere day from the two managers coming together yet again. This time though, on one of the grandest stages of them all. Citi Field, under the lights, in a win or go home playoff game.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/bochy-collins-and-the-ties-that-bind.html/feed/ 0
Terry Collins Was Nearly Fired In August (Updated) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-was-nearly-fired-in-august-updated.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-was-nearly-fired-in-august-updated.html/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:24:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224306 terry collins

Thoughts from Joe D.

To be honest, if Terry Collins had been fired at the time that was reported, few would have shed any tears. But somehow, Collins was able to survive the guillotine, mostly because of four things as I see it.

1. The team suddenly got healthy particularly with the returns of Jose ReyesAsdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes from the disabled list.

2. The team didn’t skip a beat when Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman replaced Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz.

3. Curtis Granderson turned his awful season around and got raging hot.

4. The Mets had the easiest schedule among the other four contenders for the NL Wild Card, having to close out the season against the Twins, Braves, Phillies and Marlins.

Call it luck or a perfect storm, those four things combined to see the Mets finish the season with a 27-13 run.

We can talk all day long about how much the players love Terry Collins, but love doesn’t win championships. The players loved Casey Stengel when the Mets lost 120 games.

What Collins is best at, is keeping his players motivated and playing at their peak performances. His teams have always exhibited a lot of fight and heart, even when they posted losing records in four consecutive seasons on his watch. His teams have never quit on him.

One of the earmarks of this 2016 team in particular, has been an extraordinary resiliency and an ability to bounce back after a devastating loss or incredibly disheartening news on the injury front. Most recently we saw this in a gut-wrenching loss to the Braves during a rare blown save by Jeurys Familia, only to come back the next night with an emotional walk-off win on a three-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera in the 11th.

Or how about that one where the Mets nearly came all the way back from an early 10 run deficit only to fall short and leave the tying runs stranded in the ninth inning. The very next day the Mets bounce back with a historic 17-0 blowout victory to get in a three-way tie for the wild card.

Time and time again we’ve seen this team overcome one adversity after another and this is where Terry Collins’ deserves a ton of credit.

As a strategist, we all know that Collins has cost this team at least a half-dozen wins if not more. But somehow he makes up for that with an ability to see his team persevere even under the most dire of circumstances.

Maybe with another manager the Mets win another few games. but would that same manager be able to keep his team from giving up when the news broke they had lost deGrom and Matz for the season? Or would a different manager be able to motivate his team to a playoff berth after they sunk to 5.5 games back with four teams ahead of them and just 40 games left to the season?

Therein lies the true value of Terry Collins to this team – not as a brilliant tactician, but as a superlative leader who ultimately gets the job done with what ever hand he’s dealt.

Original Report

According to a report on NorthJersey.com by Bob Klapisch, New York Mets manager, Terry Collins was nearly fired this past August.

Klapisch, who spoke with Mets insiders, was advised that on August 13, if the team had not won a game against the San Diego Padres, Collins would have been let go. The Mets were just coming off an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks in their own home and had lost the previous night’s game to the Padres.

The Mets though would go on to win their August 13 game by a score of 3-2. They would win three of four games from that date, providing their manager with breathing room. The front office seemingly were ready to part ways with the man who took this very team to a World Series in the season prior.

The report also suggests that the front office may not be too happy with just how quotable Collins is as he must appear before and after each game on SNY. It is noted that the second that the cameras go on, Collins must stick to the message of the team and not go off the cuff.

Klapsich goes on to compare Collins to his mentor, Jim Leyland, who would normally tell old war stories off-the-record to reporters. Collins being from that old school of thinking had Klapsich wondering how other managers of Terry’s ilk may fair in such designations.

Collins never seemed to be a favorite of this front office, seen as more of a transition manager until this team was ready to succeed, only to be replaced with someone else. However, he has stuck around and his players absolutely love him. Never do you hear of a player throw him under a bus. Instead, they fight for Collins and give him everything they got. He has earned his keep.

He may not make the best in-game decisions, but Collins has shown his ability to keep this team together. His team has never given up even when things seemed hopeless as the injuries mounted to star player after star player this season. So here they stand, in the postseason for the second consecutive year. Terry Collins is part of the reason that the Mets will play in the Wild Card game this coming Wednesday, whether you may like to admit it or not.

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/terry-collins-was-nearly-fired-in-august-updated.html/feed/ 0
James Loney Delivers Decisive Homer and Memorable Bat Flip! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/james-loney-delivers-decisive-homer-and-memorable-bat-flip.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/james-loney-delivers-decisive-homer-and-memorable-bat-flip.html/#comments Sun, 02 Oct 2016 11:05:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224235 james-loney

James Loney delivered the decisive homer in Saturday’s 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that helped the Mets clinch the top Wild Card spot.

For the second consecutive season, the Mets are heading to the postseason. In what was another thrilling victory, Loney crushed a 426-foot bomb to put the Mets ahead for good after the Phillies had tied the game at two a piece in the previous inning.

As soon as he hit it, Loney and his teammates all knew it was leaving the park. Uncharacteristically, Loney performed one of the better bat flips you may see as he dropped the bat as if it were a microphone, looked into the dugout at his teammates before trotting around the bases.

“My emotions just took over,” Loney said. “I was in the moment. You know how big the game is. This is what you play for.” (ESPN)

The Mets first-basemen has had a couple of key hits as of late and has performed quite well over his last 15 games, providing a .292/.320/.563 batting line in 48 plate appearances.

james-loney-2

The homer on Saturday was his biggest yet as a Met, helping the team to clinch a Wild Card spot that they scratched and clawed their way back to this season after seemingly being left for dead. Mets fans were all over Citizens Bank Park to witness their team clinch, Loney could say nothing but great things about the fans following the game.

“We have a great fan base,” Loney said. “You can see their excitement and their passion, and we play off that.”

With his recent prowess at the plate and his above average defense, it begs to ask the question if Loney would get the start over Lucas Duda in Wednesday’s Wild Card game. He is not the same threat Duda is in the lineup but has shown to be clutch as of late.

As Terry Collins ponders who will man first base, we will just leave this right here.

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/james-loney-delivers-decisive-homer-and-memorable-bat-flip.html/feed/ 0
Congratulations to the New York Mets! Reactions and Thoughts! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/congratulations-to-the-new-york-mets-reactions-and-thoughts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/congratulations-to-the-new-york-mets-reactions-and-thoughts.html/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2016 22:45:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224215 i-believe-mets-clinch-fans

That guy has to be someone from the MMO Community because while everyone else seems to be stunned or shocked or in disbelief, I’m proud to say the great majority of us here at MMO never stopped believing in this team and that is something to be proud of. We have hundreds who comment here, but I can count the non-believers on both my hands. That’s why I love you guys, you’re all cut out of that old school Ya Gotta Believe fabric that makes following the Mets so compelling, thrilling, and addictive.

There are so many great pictures and quotes from the celebration that ensued right after the final out at CBP. I picked out some of the really cool stuff and neatly tucked it into this post as a reminder of this exciting and incredible Mets Moment!

terry-collins

Terry Collins: “This game is about pitching. It tells you that this organization has done a tremendous job of stockpiling some pretty good pitching. We traded a bunch of them last year to get us to the World Series, and yet we still had Gsellman and Lugo and guys that have come in this year and saved us — just literally saved us — with all of the injuries we’ve had to our pitching.”

Joe D.: Collins is so right here, this is baseball and it always comes down to pitching. But who could have predicted that youngsters like Gsellman, Lugo and Smoker would carry the load in August and September and not Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler and Matz? You know…. I think that’s what makes this so sweet.  And that brings us to the architect…

Sandy Alderson: ”I’m really proud of the organization, both the player development system, the professional scouting, the contributions we got from pl;ayers that either weren’t on the roster at the beginning or not even in the organization who have made a major contribution over the course of the season. It’s testimony to a lot of people who have done a lot of good work, dating back to 2011.”

Joe D.: 2011 of course, was when the Mets drafted Nimmo, and Gsellman and Lugo, and don’t forget Michael Fulmer who was the piece that landed us Yoenis Cespedes – the offensive MVP of this team. I’ve talked a lot about our player development system this season, but kudos to the trainers and coaches down in Las Vegas and Binghamton and get these kids mentally prepared to compete at this level. A huge hat tip to guy like Frank Viola and Pedro Lopez. When our kids come up they don’t have that deer in the headlights look you see everywhere else. They arrive to Flushing ready to compete and ready to deal.

noah-syndergaard

Joe D.: Noah Syndergaard will start Wednesday’s wild-card game against either the Giants or Cardinals, that’s still to be determined. Regardless, the Mets will be ready for either challenger on Wednesday when Thor takes the mound at a raucous Citi Field!

Noah Syndergaard: “I think it’s like every little kids’ dream come true to pitch in a high-stakes game like that. I’ll embrace it. I’ll look forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.”

james-loney

James Loney: ”I don’t know if I just dropped it or I flipped it or what. That’s nothing ever toward the other team. That’s just for your team. That’s the excitement that you have. As a hitter, you get out a lot. So there’s times in those big moments it’s fun to enjoy it.”

Joe D.: That bat flip was freaking amazing. I felt happy for Loney who has a rough couple of months after a nice start to his Mets career. Like many other players who had fallen on some hard times at one point this season, players like Alejandro De Aza, Curtis Granderson and of course Jay Bruce, they each stepped up when it mattered most and it’s difficult to think the Mets would be here without their contributions.

jose-reyes

Jose Reyes: “With all that I’ve been through this year and to be in this situation is priceless. And, doing it here, with a team that has seen me grow as a player and as a person, this is an unbelievable feeling. I still can’t believe I’m apart of this team one more time. Every day I drive to Citi Field, it’s like a dream come true.”

Joe D.: What can I say about Jose Reyes that I haven’t said already> That he completely changed the dynamic of this team? Nope, said that. That he finally gave the team the speed it has lacked and a real presence at the top of the order? Nope, said that too. How about we just sing “Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose” and leave it at that? :-)

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/congratulations-to-the-new-york-mets-reactions-and-thoughts.html/feed/ 0
The 2016 Mets Are A Team You Can Believe In http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-2016-mets-are-a-team-you-can-believe-in.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-2016-mets-are-a-team-you-can-believe-in.html/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:28:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224158 mets-win-fans-phillies-cbp

Here it is, my friends. Our season-long faith in the Orange & Blue is about to be rewarded as the New York Mets find themselves one win away (or one San Francisco Giants loss away) from clinching a coveted Wild Card spot in this year’s postseason. The Mets can seal the deal as soon as this afternoon with a win at Citizens Bank Park, where a champagne-drenched celebration will ensue after a hard-fought season that truly tested this team unlike any other Mets postseason I can remember – and I can remember them all.

What an amazing group of players the Mets have been blessed with, each with their own compelling story and a remarkable display of determination and purpose. It has truly been a team effort. If you were to stop and think about what the turning point was for this 2016 Mets season, I promise you there’s absolutely no way you can pluck one game or moment that was principally responsible for how they brought themselves within one game of clinching their second consecutive postseason berth. There’s just too many of them to choose from.

Let me tell you something about this unique and impressive team and what they are on the verge of accomplishing. There are no mysterious powers at work here, or as Kieth Hernandez likes to say “divine intervention.”

Rather, what we’ve witnessed all season long – and in particular these last few weeks – have been the embodiment of a true teamwork ethic that has been instilled by manager Terry Collins, and a remarkable resiliency that has left most Mets fans exhilarated with amazement and dripping with pride. If you’re looking for a team to believe in, a team that has overcome so much adversity, a team that has spirit – and heart – and fight – look no further than the 2016 New York Mets.

The trouble I have with today’s sports journalism, is that it focuses so much on all the advanced metrics, the various personal achievements, and all the long-held benchmarks for success, that a remarkable team like the New York Mets and what they’ve accomplished is so easily overlooked.

The Mets won’t have a Cy Young Award winner, or the National League MVP, or this year’s Rookie of the Year. The voters will not name Terry Collins Manager of the Year, and nobody will recognize Sandy Alderson as Executive of the Year for a series of great offseason and in-season moves that have undeniably saved the Mets season and helped them clinch a Wild Card spot.

mets-win-phillies

But make no mistake when I tell you that this Mets team is in the best position among all NL teams to challenge the American League in the World Series. It’s not how you start a season that defines you, but how you finish. And right now, or should I say for the better part of six weeks, the Mets are the best team in baseball winning an astounding 26 of their last 38 games – the best mark in baseball in that span.

The other day I said you should be proud of this team because of their tremendous character, and I meant every word of it, but you should also take pride in their sense of achievement and accomplishment. Take great pride in their perseverance and a never-say-die attitude that hearkens back to Tug McGraw and the 1973 Ya Gotta believe Mets.

There’s so much to love about this team beginning with what a likable group of players they have in that clubhouse. There’s an underpinning of that working class culture and it fuels our penchant for loving and rooting for the underdog.

This is a team that has had to endure the losses of three of their top young starting pitchers, their starting third baseman, starting first baseman, starting second baseman, while having to field a top performing shortstop with a bad knee and a superstar left fielder with a bad quad. Believe me when I tell you that any other team that had suffer through all these injuries would have been over and done with at the All Star break if not earlier than that.

But remarkably, it was after enduring all these unimaginable hurdles, that these Mets turned in their best baseball of the season… The best baseball in their division… The best baseball in their league…

And they’ve done it mostly with some Scotch Tape, some Krazy Glue, and some unexpected – but very welcomed – contributions from a cast of virtual unknowns who may have been short on the elite level tools that make those prospect experts drool, but immeasurably heavy on lesser known attributes such as guts and guile and plenty of good old-fashioned heart.

That’s the story of the 2016 New York Mets and I can’t wait to celebrate with them when they complete the clinch and pop open the bubbly. It will be a celebration of overcoming all the odds with a never-ending supply of perseverance, while providing us with a huge bounty of memorable thrills along the way. Enjoy the game, everybody, and Let’s Go Mets!

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/the-2016-mets-are-a-team-you-can-believe-in.html/feed/ 0
Patience with Jay Bruce has Paid Dividends http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/patience-with-jay-bruce-has-paid-dividends.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/patience-with-jay-bruce-has-paid-dividends.html/#comments Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:30:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224175 jay-bruce

Jay Bruce is no longer the red-headed step-child we all thought he was. Bruce is officially on the loose.

Bruce hit rock-bottom as a Met on September 20, being pulled from a game in favor of Eric Campbell in a run producing situation. Many spelled that as the end for a player who just could not seem to grasp the ability to play in New York.

Manager, Terry Collins would go on to sit Bruce for four days following that benching. Collins never though gave up on his star outfielder, and rightfully so as the track record told you he was bound to come around.

“There’s two things you never want to do as a manager,” Collins said. “One is manage a star at the end of his career. The other is to bench a star.” (NY Post)

Bruce would reward his manager’s patience, and now has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats. Four of those 10 hits were homers, and he has now homered in three consecutive games.

The Mets outfielder has gone on a run, hitting to a .476/.522/1.095 batting line to go with the four homers and eight RBI in his previous seven games. This could not have come at a better time for the team.

“Like I said from the very beginning, all I want to do here is contribute and help this team get to a World Series,” Bruce said. “And in the last couple days, the last week or so, I’ve been able to do that.” (MLB.com)

The team’s offense is rolling on all cylinders at just the right point of the season as they look towards a second consecutive postseason appearance. The magic number sits at one, as the Mets will look to close the deal on Saturday in Philadelphia.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/10/patience-with-jay-bruce-has-paid-dividends.html/feed/ 0 The Amazin’ Metscast: The Final Countdown http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/the-amazin-metscast-the-final-countdown.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/the-amazin-metscast-the-final-countdown.html/#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:00:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=224015 amazin-metscast-ep12

The Amazin’ Metscast – Episode 12 – The Final Countdown

We are joined by Mets Daddy of Metsmerizedonline.com and MetsDaddy.com this week as we discuss the Jose Fernandez tragedy and the tremendous job done by both the Marlins and Mets in what was an emotionally charged series.

We take a look at the scandalous thought of Terry Collins pitching Noah Syndergaard in Sunday’s regular season finale just to obtain home field advantage in the Wild Card game.

Finally, we size up the competition and discuss who we believe will make it to the postseason. We currently have three teams for two spots, with our Metropolitans leading the way.

itunes_logo03-300x112

stitcher

twitter-logo

get metsmerized footer

]]>
http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/09/the-amazin-metscast-the-final-countdown.html/feed/ 0