Mets Merized Online » Yankees http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:27:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Di-Jest: Wilpons Hatch Plan For Bogus Wright Retirement Tour http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-wilpons-hatch-plan-for-bogus-wright-retirement-tour.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/di-jest-wilpons-hatch-plan-for-bogus-wright-retirement-tour.html/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:32:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161473 derek jeter david wright

The crack investigative unit here at MMO has uncovered a cynical plot developed by Jeff Wilpon with the approval of Papa Fred and Uncle (“Can I sell yet?”) Saul.

The younger Wilpon has become envious of what the Yankees, another team on the down slide, have done during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Last year Mariano Rivera spent the entire season being praised and lavished with gifts. He was the highlighted story of the All-Star Game right down to garnering the save at the end. Just his presence packed Yankee Stadium home games and the Bombers’ away games. The money rolled in and people forgave the Yankees for being un-Yankee-like during the regular season.

Then we got to this season and the honoree, Mr. RE2PECT  (pardon me for a second while I barf), was Derek Jeter. Same deal as with Mo and topped off with a grooved batting practice pitch from Adam (I struck out Beltran looking, so suck it) Wainwright so that Jetes could open the All-Star game with a hit. More gifts and abounding love. More huge crowds and good will while the Yankees spin the turnstiles but have trouble staying over .500.

Since the Wilpons are foursquare against the notion of spending reasonable big-market sums on their ball club they have hit on the idea of having David Wright, the beloved captain, announce his retirement at season’s end. They’ll trump up some reason for the early exit.

Then in 2015 it will be David who will be the center of the baseball world.  He’ll surely be voted to start the Midsummer Classic even if he is hitting what Chris Young is hitting right now.

Attendance at Citi will perk up especially in the usual weak crowd-drawing times aka August and September. Even the Mets’ road attendance figures to increase as clubs sadly say farewell to the classy third baseman.

Surely a sellout crowd can be counted on in early September as they do David Wright Day in Flushing. The ball club will give David a luxury car as a gift since we all know that people who make $18 million a year can not afford to buy nice cars for themselves. David’s number 5 will be retired in perpetuity and the Mets will announce that they vow never to have another player named “Wright” on their 40 man roster. Nice touch.

But since David is somewhat young to pack it in the key to the hoax will be his announcement on the last day of the regular season (I would say the playoffs but these are the Mets we’re talking about) that he has been so humbled by the love of the fans and his teammates that he will be back in 2016 – and plans to honor the rest of his long-term contract.

So fellow Mets fans when you see David with a tear rolling down his cheek and his voice cracking announcing his retirement don’t buy it for a second.  You read it here first.

addicted to mets button

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Can Mets Own This City As Long As Wilpons Own This Team? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/can-mets-own-this-city-as-long-as-wilpons-own-this-team.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/can-mets-own-this-city-as-long-as-wilpons-own-this-team.html/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 12:29:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=160770 Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets are in the perfect position to take back control of New York from the Yankees.

“You may remember how they were going to be carried back into the warm embrace of this city by Generation K. It was an idea that so frightened George Steinbrenner he demanded after the 1995 season the Yankees go with a kid shortstop in 1996 just to show they had a farm system, too.”

Sherman contends that it is not far-fetched to believe New York can be a National League city again. He cites the Mets’ deep and promising pitching, the return of Matt Harvey, and the emergence of Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda

First of all, how about we get to .500 before we start waving the pom-poms? The Braves and Nationals are both on pace for 90 win seasons. To catch them the Mets will have to win 90 games too, or in other words they’ll have to go 45-22 the rest of the way.

Secondly, where are the star attractions in the lineup? David Wright is in the golden years of a great career. Curtis Granderson is also on the wrong side of 30. He cites Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud based on what? A nice three week stretch?

Mets CubsFurthermore, Sherman completely ignores the biggest problem with the Mets and the one thing that blows a 50 foot wide hole in his theory – the Mets owners – and specifically Jeff Wilpon who pretty much holds and pulls all the strings now.

It was easy to own this town with a great farm system busting at the seams with talent. But lets not ignore that Frank Cashen went after megastar power like Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez and added savvy veterans like Ray Knight and Bobby Ojeda to complete the puzzle. That 1986 team was easy to love. They were exciting to watch. They had a roster full of personality that sucked us all in.

Maybe some day we can own this city again, but it will take more than Loyalty Pledges, Free Shirt Fridays and Huey Lewis and the News. And we’ll have to do a lot better than Chris Young for $7.5 million and trading off every star player we can’t afford to keep including our own homegrown All Stars.

Why don’t the Mets start off small and try to steal their own town of Flushing back from the Yankees before reporters start floating the notion that New York can be a National League town again? How about that for a start?

MMO footer

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Defensive Miscues, Walks Haunt Cyclones In Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/defensive-miscues-walks-haunt-cyclones-in-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/06/defensive-miscues-walks-haunt-cyclones-in-loss.html/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158759 Cyclones righty Gaither Bumgardner was the tough luck loser Monday night. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Cyclones righty Gaither Bumgardner was the tough luck loser Monday night. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – It’s never a good sign when a baseball team has more errors than runs scored.

That was the case Monday night for the Brooklyn Cyclones (2-2), who dropped a 7-2 contest to the Staten Island Yankees at MCU Park in Coney Island – which evened the opening four-game series at two games apiece.

The Cyclones committed four errors and only managed two runs in the loss. In addition to shoddy defense, the team struck out 11 times – six looking – walked nine opposing hitters and even balked in a run. All in all, it was a game that manager Tom Gamboa hopes the team will put in its rearview mirror immediately.

“This was a typical rookie league game,” he said. “That’s all I can say about it.”

Only two of the Yankees’ seven runs were actually recorded as runs batted in – a bases-loaded walk and an RBI groundout – and only three of the seven runs were earned. The Yankees also wound up with more runs (seven) than hits (six).

Lefty Carlos Valdez, who was 2-2 with a 2.58 ERA in nine starts last season for Brooklyn, started the game and lasted four innings. He surrendered two runs but walked six batters, which ultimately led to his early exit.

“Carlos Valdez had real good stuff,” Gamboa said. “They didn’t hit him, but he was a victim of himself.”

Down 2-0, the Cyclones scored a run each in the second and third innings to tie the game. Designated hitter Tomas Nido scored on a fielder’s choice error in the second, and shortstop Amed Rosario plated left fielder Joe Tuschak – who finished 3-for-4 on the night – on a sacrifice fly in the third.

Right-hander Gaither Bumgardner relieved Valdez and pitched better than his numbers show. He gave up four runs in four innings, but they were all unearned as the Cyclones committed three errors behind him.

“I really thought Gaither Bumgardner pitched well tonight,” Gamboa said. “It’s a shame he took the loss, but he was victimized by our own defense. We shot ourselves in the foot with the three errors we made in the two innings.”

Two of those three errors were committed by right fielder Michael Bernal. He misplayed a scorching line drive that plated two runs and then bobbled a ball on a single, which allowed another run to score.

“There’s no question he (Bernal) had a tough night tonight,” Gamboa said.

Through four games, the Cyclones have now committed nine errors. The team ranked second in the New York-Penn League last year in fielding percentage, so Gamboa hopes his team’s defense will improve.

“The guys are trying,” Gamboa said. “They’re young, and they’re going to make mistakes. We hope that we can come back tomorrow and clean a lot of this stuff up in practice and play better tomorrow night.”

The Cyclones can put this tough loss behind them right away as they’ll host the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Single-A short season affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Click here to view the complete box score of this game.

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Tejada Batting .077 Since Reclaiming Shortstop Job http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/tejada-batting-079-since-reclaiming-shortstop-job.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/tejada-batting-079-since-reclaiming-shortstop-job.html/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 16:02:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156190 ruben tejada

Since reclaiming the everyday shortstop job from Wilmer Flores, who held the position for two days, Ruben Tejada is batting .077 (1-for-13).

Tejada won his job back after the Mets swept the Yankees in the Bronx to begin the Subway Series. Tejada went 1-for-4 in each game, prompting manager Terry Collins to make make the switch.

“I think sometimes when you face adversity we’ll find out what you’re made of. He’s showing us that he’s the same player he was a couple years ago.”

Since then, the Mets have lost five of their last six games including a two-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees in Citi Field, and losing two of three to the Nationals in Washington.

“Got to ride that wave. This guy is really swinging the bat good,” Collins said of Tejada on Wednesday. “This kid has really put his mind to producing.”

Tejada has seen his average dip from .203 to a season worst .185 since he replaced Flores., and he is batting .179 in his last ten games.

Flores meanwhile, has only played once in the last seven games. The 22-year old infield prospect singled in three at-bats and walked in his lone start – a Mets win – while initiating a slick-looking double play in the field.

MMO

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Rave Reviews For deGrom In What Wright Calls A Spectacular Performance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/rave-reviews-for-degrom-in-what-wright-calls-a-spectacular-performance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/rave-reviews-for-degrom-in-what-wright-calls-a-spectacular-performance.html/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 14:04:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155944 jacob degrom smiles

For the second night in a row, the  New York Mets marched out one of their pitching prospects to make their major league debut.  On Wednesday night it was Rafael Montero and on Thursday night it was Jacob deGrom.

DeGrom was originally called up to pitch out of the bullpen, but a stint on the disabled list by Dillon Gee changed all of that.

In a start that wasn’t as heralded as Montero’s, deGrom came out and baffled the Yankee hitters just about all night.  He was reaching in the mid-90′s and was able to execute his secondary pitches which led to his success. He threw the pitch for strikes 66 percent of the time.

The only blemish on his night came in the 7th inning when a missed opportunity on a double play, extended the inning for the Yankees which led to an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano.

Jacob deGrom’s line for the night: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K, on 91 pitches

“It makes you feel good when you go and your debut is good,” deGrom would say. “It’s a feeling I’ll probably never have again. It was really cool.”

He became the first pitcher in Mets history to allow no more than one run over seven innings who took the loss in his debut, according to ESPN. The last Mets starter to allow one run to lose his debut was current Mets broadcaster Ron Darling in 1983.

“I was very, very impressed,” manager Terry Collins said. “As the game went on, he got better.”

Prior to Thursday night’s game against the Yankees, the Mets pitchers were 0-for-the season at the plate.  In his first major league at-bat, deGrom singled to left ending the historic drought.

It is very unfortunate that the Mets couldn’t score any runs for him and he is the pitcher of record on the losing side if the score holds up.  He left the game trailing 1-0.

David Wright was ecstatic over both deGrom and Montero’s performance. “It’s amazing. You can’t say enough good things about those two guys.”

“deGrom’s performance tonight was spectacular. Some of the guys that got on third were very complimenting on both those guys. That’s good to hear from a good lineup. Both of those guys are going to be good ones.”

“It just goes to show you the poise and composure with both those guys in their first big-league start, at home, in front of a big crowd, against the Yankees, and they stay that calm and end up giving you those types of performances. That’s solid.”

deGrom is scheduled to make his second start on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  There was a lot to be excited about these past two days as the future may be now for the Mets.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the rotation when Gee is activated from the disabled list, but for now we can enjoy the glimpse we are getting from two promising arms who should be a big part of a bright future.

MMO

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From Left Field: Smart Baseball Is Key For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/from-left-field-smart-baseball-is-key-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/from-left-field-smart-baseball-is-key-for-mets.html/#comments Thu, 15 May 2014 13:45:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155778 Chris Young (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Chris Young (Photo by Jim Mancari)

We were riding high on Monday and Tuesday. The offense was clicking, especially with the long ball, and the defense made a few key plays to increase the Mets winning streak to six games over the Yankees.

But then last night happened.

Before I get long-winded, Masahiro Tanaka is looking like a bona fide ace. Though games are never over until they are played, it was a tall order to think last night that Rafael Montero in his first big league start could outduel a guy who hasn’t lost a regular season game – albeit the majority in Japan – in nearly two full years.

But here’s the thing as we dissect the game: There were a few boneheaded plays that wound up costing the Mets big time.

Let’s start with the top of the second inning with two outs and Brian Roberts at the dish. He lines one to left, and Eric Young Jr. dives for it and comes up empty, allowing the ball to go to the wall and Yangervis Solarte to score easily.

I will never knock a guy for giving 100 percent effort, and that’s what Young Jr. did in that spot. But you have to know the situation there.

We all learned in Little League that you have to know what you are going to do if the ball is hit to you. You also always have to know who is up next.

In this case, Tanaka was on deck, so a single there really wouldn’t have hurt the Mets that much. Sure, Tanaka got a hit later in the game, but you’d rather take your chances in facing Tanaka with two outs then surrender a cheap run.

Again, it was a great effort by Young Jr., but it’s all about knowing the game situation at hand. That’s a lot easier said than done, especially in the heat of the moment, but he has to play that ball on a hop.

So then we move on to the bottom of the fifth. The Mets were only down 2-0 at that point, and Chris Young led off the frame with a single.

Remember, earlier in the game Daniel Murphy swiped second base as the Yankees were meandering around. That was a great heads-up play but one that happens so rarely that you can’t expect it to happen again.

Young however thought he could leave early and catch the Yankees napping again. But catcher Brian McCann signaled to Tanaka, who stepped off and threw to Solarte for the easy out.

Young was visibly mad at himself when he got up, and he should have been. There’s no reason to be making the first out in that fashion. That’s giving away an out to an ace pitcher who is already dominating you – which is not exactly the recipe for success.

I can understand a bit where Young is coming from. With Lucas Duda batting, anything on the ground is an easy double play. But in that case, why not just try a straight steal rather than a leave early play? It’s not like McCann is Yadier Molina behind the plate.

This team cannot afford to be making mental mistakes. Physical errors happen, but mental mistakes can be controlled.

If Young Jr. plays that ball on a hop, the Yankees have a much less chance of scoring that inning. And if Young was not caught trying to steal, who knows how that inning would have gone?

It wasn’t a great night to have “Young” as your last name. These plays were crucial, and though they didn’t necessarily cost the Mets the entire game, every play counts in the grand scheme of a baseball game.

Especially at home – where runs for the Mets have come at a premium – playing smart baseball is essential.

Sure it’s fine to take a calculated risk every so often, like Murphy did. But this team cannot afford to give opponents extra bases on defense and gift outs on offense.

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A Tale Of Two Cities: Mets Going Up, Yanks Going Down http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/a-tale-of-two-cities-mets-going-up-yanks-going-down.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/a-tale-of-two-cities-mets-going-up-yanks-going-down.html/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 14:51:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155661 joe girardi

After dominating the New York baseball landscape for the better part of 25 years, the New York Yankees now look like a team at the edge of a steep cliff.

There is a momentum shift that is not going unnoticed by both fans and media alike where the Yankees and those upstart New York Mets are concerned.

The Mets have been the brunt of many jokes when it comes to their ever-shrinking payroll, and most of it is warranted and justified. But what exactly has a $200 million dollar payroll done for our crosstown rivals who now look like they are on the ropes and going down for the count halfway through the month of May?

I offered one troll who came to our game thread mocking the Mets during the first game, the following retort:

“Here is a one-question Baseball IQ Test: Going forward which organization, minors included, has the best chance of sustainable success? The Mets or Yankees?”

Not only did he not reply, he never came back.

While as Mets fans we live and die with every win and loss, something that has gone unchanged since the mid-seventies for the die-hards, I think most of us know full well where both teams are heading.

The Yankees spent an incredible $500 million+ dollars at free agency this winter and in doing so they became the oldest team in the league – and whether they improved anything – well that’s still up for debate.

But looking at Joe Girardi squirm, grimace and sigh, and watching the Yankee skipper frequently turn his head away from the field with a look of disgust, I would suspect things are not exactly going as well as they had planned.

Meanwhile over in the other dugout, Terry Collins has looked at ease these last two days, and during his post game interview on Tuesday night, there he was laughing and joking as he relished his two game sweep of the Yankees.

Maybe Andy Martino of the Daily News summed it up best this morning when he wrote:

The Mets’ era of austerity and player development might eventually create a playoff team, or it might dissolve into nothing. But in a week defined for the Yankees by crises of age and health, the Mets are saying hello to new teammates, and indulging hope.

Big picture, you’d rather be the team with the $200 million payroll. But the sizzle of youth is, for at least one hot moment, more fun than being old.

Lets enjoy this moment while it lasts….

MMO

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Wheeler Still A Work In Progress http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/wheeler-still-a-work-in-progress.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/wheeler-still-a-work-in-progress.html/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 13:06:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155651 zack wheeler

It felt so good to hand it to the Yankees on their home turf during the first two games of the Subway Series, and I’m hoping that the Mets bats continue to pummel the baseball when the action shifts to Citi Field tonight.

From all the talk on the SNY post-game show and waking up to a dozen or so different articles about last night’s win, the big concern is Zack Wheeler who has one win to show for his last seven starts.

Coming off a stellar outing against the Miami Marlins in his previous start in which he tossed six scoreless innings despite walking five batters, there was an expectation that Wheeler had turned a corner and even the baseball odds reflected that last night at sportsinteraction.com.

However, Tuesday night’s effort left a lot to be desired for the 23-year old Wheeler.

Wheeler 5.13

Win Probability Chart courtesy of FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

After straining through four innings, Wheeler headed into the fifth with his pitch count already at 99 and facing the middle of the Yankees order. But a walk and two singles into the frame, Terry Collins had had enough and pulled the young righty who tossed a career-high 118 pitches.

“When we got the lead in the first inning tonight, it was 4-0, I thought,” Terry Collins said.

“This is the perfect game for this guy to really take control and say, this is going to be mine tonight. This is where the Zack Wheelers of the world step up and say, I’m as good as advertised.”

“He just didn’t have any consistent release point. No feel for where the ball was going. He struggled. But he did as good as he could do, got us as far as he could.”

Wheeler didn’t have a clean inning all night and after allowing five runs on seven hits and six walks his ERA rose to 4.53.

“It was just one of those nights I didn’t have it — that simple,” a dejected Wheeler said after the game.

“It’s an untold rule in baseball: Your team scores for you and you’re supposed to go out there and put up zeroes.”

Mama said there’d be days like this…

Wheeler is closing in on a full season worth of starts in the majors, and through 25 of them so far he has a 3.76 ERA, 1.434 WHIP, 4.4 walk rate, and 7.8 strikeout rate.

MMO

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Petruccio: Da’ Bronx Bombers! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/petruccio-da-bronx-bombers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/petruccio-da-bronx-bombers.html/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 16:04:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155526 bronx bombers petruccio

Pop culture artist Joe Petruccio posted his amazing depiction of last night’s Mets 9-7 win over the Yankees.

Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, Travis d’Arnaud and Eric Young each blasted home runs to beat the Yankees at their own game and in their own park.

I’ve been following Joe for years. He has been chronicling the Mets – game by game – in his own unique and artistic form on his site My Mets Journal.

MMO

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Chris Young Loves How Mets Battled: “We Were Never Out Of It” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/chris-young-loves-how-mets-battled-were-never-out-of-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/chris-young-loves-how-mets-battled-were-never-out-of-it.html/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 12:34:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155500 chris young

Chris Young came through for the second consecutive game on Monday, this time going 2-for-4 and delivering the game-winning, eighth-inning home run in the Mets’ 9-7 win over the Yankees.

Young told reporters he didn’t know the regular season could ever feel as electric as last night, calling it the most exciting game he’s ever played in his major league career.

“You’re in the outfield and you see the rivalry going on,” Young said. “It looks like a big party out there, people just having a good time and people just rooting for their team. That’s what baseball’s all about.” 

“It’s another level. It felt like a big college football game,” Young said. “It says a lot about the energy that this game brings. … I think those kind of games, you naturally never give up. You never feel like you’re out of it.”

Young seems to be over his recent 0-for-18 slump and is 4-for-10 in his last two games which included three very clutch hits.

“It felt good to hit one and know it was going to leave,” Young said. “You’re just trying to keep the line moving at that point, just something you can hit. You’re thinking single in that situation, try and get a run on the board and get the next guy up to the plate.”

Young is excited to be a part of his team and despite the ups and downs he said the Mets know how to battle.

“We have a lot of fight in us. We’ve had that all year,” Young said. “All it takes is a big hit here and there.”

It was great to see him contribute to what was a great comeback win for the Amazins in the first of four against the Yankees.

MMO

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 9, Yankees 7 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-mets-9-yankees-7.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/mmo-game-recap-mets-9-yankees-7.html/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 04:05:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155470 The Mets (18-19) beat the Yankees (19-18) by a score of 9-7 on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, giving them a 1-0 lead in the 2014 Subway Series.

Bartolo Colon took the mound for the Mets tonight and struggled against his former team, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 11 hits in 5.2 innings.

The Mets, as they often do, got off to a quick start in this one. Eric Young led off the ballgame with a single against Hiroki Kuroda, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout by Daniel Murphy, and scored on a groundout by David Wright. Curtis Granderson ripped a single up the middle in his first at-bat back at Yankee Stadium, but Bobby Abreu, another former Yankee, was unable to drive him in.

Colon got through the bottom of the 1st pretty easily, allowing an infield single to Derek Jeter but then getting former Met Carlos Beltran to fly out to center to end the inning before the Yankees could get a real rally going.

The Mets had a pretty good chance to score in the top of the 2nd when Chris Young hit a ground-rule double to left and advanced to third on a groundout by Travis d’Arnaud. With 2 outs, Ruben Tejada hit a hard liner to left, but the speedy Brett Gardner was able to get to the ball and easily put it away to retire the side.

The Yankees came out guns blazing in the bottom of the 2nd against Bartolo. Brian McCann, Alfonso Soriano, and Yangervis Solarte each roped one into the outfield for singles, loading the bases with no outs. Colon responded by striking out Kelly Johnson, bringing Brian Roberts to the plate. Roberts hit a hard liner to the right side, but Lucas Duda was there to snare it. Duda then pivoted and fired one over to 2nd in an attempt to double off Soriano, but Soriano beat the throw by an eyelash. One pitch later, Brett Gardner (the least likely person in the lineup to hit a grand slam to right field) hit a grand slam to right field to make it 4-1 Yankees.

After Colon and Kuroda traded zeroes for a couple innings, Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo “home run” (assisted greatly by the short porch) to cut the Mets’ deficit to 2. Ruben Tejada followed up TDA with a hard shot to 3rd base, but Solarte made a nice play on it to keep Ruben off base. Solarte’s snag would loom large as the next hitter, Eric Young, doubled down the right field line, a shot which would have likely scored Tejada. With EY on 2nd and 2 out, Murphy grounded out to Jeter to end the threat.

david wright curtis granderson

The Mets would strike again in the top of the 6th. David Wright led off the inning with a single to right field, and Curtis Granderson tied the game by launching one over the wall in right.

The Yanks quickly answered back in the bottom of the inning. Soriano hit a ground-rule double to left and scored on a base hit from Solarte. Kelly Johnson, the next hitter, hit a drive to center, which Chris Young, starting in center in place of Juan Lagares, was unable to get to in time. Johnson ended up on 3rd with an RBI triple, and it was 6-4 Yankees. Brian Roberts was up next and the veteran 2nd baseman grounded one over to Tejada at short, who came home with it and beat Johnson by a mile. After a short rundown, Johnson was tagged out by Wright. Gardner singled to right to send Roberts to 3rd and end Colon’s night, and Carlos Torres came in to face Jeter with runners on the corners and 2 outs. The Yankees would get their 7th run of the night when TDA, trying to catch Gardner stealing second, air-mailed a throw which allowed Roberts to jog on home, but Torres retired Jeter with Gardner in scoring position to limit the damage.

Alfredo Aceves came in to pitch the top of the 7th for the Yanks, but had to wait through a brief, post-YMCA delay as the dancing Yankee Groundskeepers were called upon to actually do their job and fix the mound. After play resumed, Aceves issued a leadoff walk to d’Arnaud and Eric Young hit a rocket into the seats in right to make it a 1-run game. After Murphy singled and Wright struck out, Curtis Granderson game to the plate with a runner on first and 2 outs, and Joe Girardi countered with his lefty specialist, Matt Thornton. Murphy ran on a 2-2 pitch and was gunned down by Brian McCann to end the inning, taking the bat out of Grandy’s hands.

Scott Rice came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th for the Mets and struck out Jacoby Ellsbury for a quick 1st out. John Ryan Murphy, pinch-hitting for Beltran (who reportedly hyperextended his elbow), walked and took second on a wild pitch. After Rice struck out McCann for the 2nd out, Terry Collins brought in Jenrry Mejia, who had been moved from the rotation to the bullpen earlier in the day. Mejia answered the call, striking out Soriano on three pitches to keep it a 1-run game.

The Mets put up another crooked number in the top of the 8th. Eric Campbell, pinch-hitting for Abreu, doubled down the left-field line, and scored on a bang-bang play at the plate when Lucas Duda blooped a single to center. With the game tied at 7, Girardi brought in Preston Claiborne to replace Thornton, and Chris Young greeted the new pitcher with a shot over the left field wall to give the Mets a 9-7 lead. Tejada doubled to left to give the Mets a chance to add to their lead, but Claiborne got EY to fly out to Ellsbury to stop the bleeding.

Mejia stayed in to pitch the bottom of the 8th and gave up a leadoff single to Solarte, but got out of the inning without any runs scoring, thanks in large part to a nifty double-play started by Duda.

The Mets had a chance to get a big insurance run in the top of the 9th after Murphy singled, stole 2nd, and took 3rd on an errant throw, but Granderson struck out and Campbell hit a routine fly-ball to right to send it into the bottom of the 9th with the score still 9-7.

Kyle Farnsworth came in to try to close things out for the Mets, and as you would expect, it was a very stressful inning. Farnsworth allegedly missed the corner on a few close pitches to Derek Jeter, who had clearly given the ump one of his famous gift baskets before the game. After Jeter worked a leadoff walk, Ellsbury hit one out to fairly deep center, but Lagares (in the game for defense) got under it and put it away for the first out. With 1 out and Jeter on first, Girardi brought in Mark Teixeira to hit for John Ryan Murphy. Tex hit a shot to right which looked like a surefire double, but the hobbling first baseman was unable to get past first, keeping the tying run out of scoring position and leaving open the possibility of a double-play. Farnsworth got that double-play when a diving Lucas Duda pounced on a hard shot by Brian McCann, whipped it over to Wright at 2nd (the shift, guys, the shift), and hustled back to the bag to catch the return throw from David to complete the twin-killing and end the ballgame.

chris young

Guys, I have no idea what I just watched. The Mets turned into sluggers, Lucas Duda turned into a gold-glover, Beltran was on the Yankees, Farnsworth didn’t break our hearts, and I’m pretty sure we won. But I’ll have to check again in the morning.

But seriously, Lucas Duda had the defensive game of his life. He caught a few rockets in the early innings and started two huge double-plays down the stretch, including the game-ender. He also tied the game with his single in the 8th, but we already knew he could hit…

Chris Young broke out of his 0-for-18 skid with a couple huge hits on Sunday and came up big once again in this game. Hopefully he can keep on slugging.

Ruben Tejada has been hitting the ball hard these past couple games. When he focuses on hitting line drives, he has a chance to be a competent hitter. When he tries to hit the ball in the air, well, you’ve seen what happens then… hopefully he continues with this new approach.

Murphy has been raking lately, and he has his average up to 320. Start stuffing those ballots, Mets fans!

lucas duda eric young

Travis d’Arnaud’s home run was a pretty cheap one, but it’s nice to see that he adjusted early in the game and started looking to hit the ball the other way to take advantage of the short porch. His throw on Gardner’s steal attempt was terrible, and if Jeter hadn’t illegally touched the ball for an automatic out on the next play, TDA might have rocketed his throw to first over the aforementioned short porch in right. But that happens once in awhile with catchers, so it’s nothing to get too worked up about.

Eric Young has responded very well to Terry’s decision to put him in the starting lineup the past 2 days. The stats show that the Mets are a better team when EY is in the lineup, and he seems to make things happen when he is on field. I have always thought that Lagares, Chris Young, and Granderson were all better than Eric, but maybe Terry might have to do something to get EY in the lineup a bit more often…

Granderson’s homer tonight seemed inevitable… he loves hitting in Yankee Stadium. Hopefully this series gets him going and he can keep raking when the team gets back to Citi Field.

Colon has had some very solid starts, some decent starts, and a few miserable starts. His ERA is hovering around 6 after this game, which makes him look worse than he has actually been. But still, he hasn’t been consistent enough for me to feel confident when he is on the mound. Hopefully “Good Bartolo” can start showing up a bit more often, and if the big fella could start being a bit less atrocious on days where he does not have his best stuff, that would be nice.

A few of the home runs in this contest were products of the ballpark’s tiny dimensions, but the abundance of long-balls did make it a very fun game to watch. Maybe Ruben will crack one on Tuesday night…

Beating the Yankees is always fun. Let’s do it again in Game 2. LGM!

Up Next: The Mets will face the Yankees again on Tuesday night. Zack Wheeler (1-3, 3.89 ERA) will face Vidal Nuno (1-0, 5.47 ERA) in the Bronx. Game Time is 7:05 PM.

MMO

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Subway Series Game Thread: Mets at Yankees, 7:00 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/subway-series-game-thread-mets-at-yankees-700-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/subway-series-game-thread-mets-at-yankees-700-pm.html/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 22:18:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=155389 bartolo colon

The New York Mets head to the Bronx for the start of this season’s Subway Series against the New York Yankees beginning tonight at 7:10 PM at Yankee Stadium.

Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.36 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets and he will oppose right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.43) for the Yankees.

When these two teams last met in 2013, the Mets swept the four games from the Yankees in what was their high point of the season. The Mets outscored the Yankees 16-7 during the series and it was first time in team history that the Mets swept a season series of four-or-more games from any opponent.

Wilmer Flores and Gonzalez Germen are both still sick and Germen may require a trip to the hospital. However, Flores will be available to pinch-hit tonight according to Terry Collins. The Mets have been stricken by a nasty bug that has affected some of the players and caused Lucas Duda to miss a game over the weekend.

Juan Lagares will ride the bench tonight because Collins says it is important to start giving Bobby Abreu more playing time and Eric Young has earned his way back into extended playing time. Abreu will DH tonight while EY starts in left and Chris Young shifts to center field.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. David Wright – 3B
  4. Curtis Granderson – RF
  5. Bobby Abreu – DH
  6. Lucas Duda – 1B
  7. Chris Young – CF
  8. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  9. Ruben Tejada – SS

Game Preview 

It’s Subway Series time! The Mets and Yankees play their first of four games tonight as they continue for a second year the new split series format that has two games in one borough directly followed by two games in the other. Yesterday the Mets finally snapped their losing streak with an extra inning win against the Phillies, and they will look to build on that momentum today. In the win, they scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie, the first time in 71 innings they scored three runs or more. Tonight, Colon will take the hill against Kuroda.

Colon is looking to get on the right path after some recent struggles. On the season he is 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA over 7 games and 43.2 innings. His last start was good, 3 earned over 7 in Miami, but the one before that was awful allowing 7 in 4.2 in Denver. Last year he was 1-1 over two starts and 11.1 innings against the Yankees with a 2.38 ERA. The Yankees have the following numbers against him:

  • Suzuki 31-95, 3 1B, 3B, 3 HR
  • Jeter 18-46, 2B, 3B, 2 HR
  • Beltran 13-44, 3 2B, 4 HR
  • Teixeira 12-42, 3 3B, 3 HR
  • Soriano 8-399, 2 2B, 2 HR
  • Roberts 6-24, 2B

Kuroda is 2-3 on the season over 7 games with a 4.43 ERA and 42.2 innings. He is coming off one of his best starts of the year where he allowed 3 runs, 1 earned over 7.2 innings. He made one start against the Mets last year and he was fantastic shutting the Mets out over 7 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers Kuroda:

  • C Young 6-28, 2B
  • Wright 7-20
  • Murphy 3-14, 2 2B
  • E Young 3-12, 2B, 3B
  • Abreu 2-9
  • Duda 3-8, 2B

Lets Go Mets!

root for two teams

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An Optimistic Met Fan’s Diatribe On Civility http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/an-optimistic-met-fans-diatribe-on-civility.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/an-optimistic-met-fans-diatribe-on-civility.html/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 15:10:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154756 citi field fans opening day

I used to think there were two kinds of Mets fans in New York, the optimists and the pessimists. My theory was that whether or not you are an optimist or a pessimist depended on how you were raised. If your Dad for instance was an optimist, well then as a teenager during your formative years it stands to reason you’d probably rebel and assert your independence by taking a contrarian approach. My dad was a huge pessimist (which was not a difficult thing back in the 70′s) So naturally I was his foil, his countermeasure. I insisted on looking at the bright side. I’d painstakingly put lineups together in the weeks leading up to opening day, showing him how if things break right we just might win the World Series. I remember him shaking his head and raising his bushy eyebrows in wonder at my lofty expectations of players like Lenny Randle and Willie Montanez.

It was a different time. Back then you were much more likely to run into people who rooted for both the Yankees and the Mets. Somehow the Mets / Yankees divide was not as insurmountable as it is today. With the exception of the meaningless Mayor’s Trophy Game, they never played each other. I remember how great Thurman Munson was and how sad it was when he died. The Yankees and the Mets had their problems in the early to mid 70′s and I think it made rooting for both teams easier. Lots of people did it, even my Dad. He’d root for the Yankees if they were playing anyone except the Mets, made no bones about it. His rationale was, “why should I root for Baltimore? I’ve never even been to Baltimore!” Made sense.

Fans who allied themselves more with a single N.Y. team tended to be older and more hardened by the legendary battles waged between the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers. I knew several older fans in the neighborhood who refuse to this day to root for the Yankees because of all the bad blood. But for those fans who emigrated to the city in the years following the departure of those two national league icons, and for those growing up in their absence, there really wasn’t any reason to dislike the Yankees, even after the Mets were conceived. It was more common to run into people who simply considered themselves New York fans.

Things have changed since then. I think it began in the 80′s when the Mets took the town by storm and started winning profusely, culminating with the 1986 triumph that was one of the most dramatic in the history of the game. I suspect Yankee fans back then didn’t like the “in your face” attitude from both the team and its fans. There was a sense that the Mets were on the verge of a dynasty that would turn the NY baseball world upside down for good. It didn’t turn out that way.

The Yankees took the Met blueprint, rebuilt their farm, created their own “core” and improved Frank Cashen’s blueprint by specifically targeting ++ character guys. The Yankees were able to rebuild without compunction during George Steinbrenner’s suspension years (much like Alderson has been able to focus on the farm during a time when the Wilpons are hamstrung financially). The downfall of the Mets would be dynasty was their proclivity towards moral turpitude. They saw their fortunes turned sour in mounds of cocaine, their futures washed away in rivers of beer and tequila. It turns out New York can be a uniquely perilous place for young ballplayers gone wild, no matter how talented.

So the Yankees got the Dynasty Mets fans should have had, adding to the resentment. But it wasn’t just that. There’s clearly more to it. The advent of the internet, sports blogs, message boards, twitter, and any number of other social media have inflated rivalries and brought fans from all ends of the spectrum and all parts of the world together where they can mix it up in one big trash-talking conflagration, all from the safety and anonymity of one’s living room!

Over the past couple of decades Mets fans have had to endure a steady stream of comments from the American League side of town telling us in effect to root for the Yankees, asking us “why?” Why would any rational self-respecting baseball fan root for the Mets when they could root for the Yankees? The Yankees who are in contention every year.

I have a number of friends who are Yankee fans, good friends. Most of them are great fans, intelligent and understanding, but there are a few who will look at me wondering why I persist in supporting the Mets, Invariably I tell them the same thing. It’s not all about “winning,” it’s about loyalty, allegiance, tradition, stories, family even. You can’t buy that stuff with wins … but when I look I realize everything after the word “winning” was tuned out. You see, for some, winning is everything — it’s a reflection of who they are. It always reminds me of someone who would warn you against dating a nerd or sitting with the science geeks. Would you rather be like Jay Z, or Newman from Seinfeld? Of course not all Yankee fans are frontrunners, but there is certainly that element, and it’s that element that loves to pummel Met fans in cyberspace, subjecting them to verbal swirlies and pushing them into virtual lockers. I wonder if they will ever know just how sweet it is to win after years and years of losing? Sometimes I wonder that myself, but oddly enough, I believe many of these folks actually have affection for the Mets but are too self conscious be associated with them —  their secret frustrations with our team played out anonymously on message boards.

Some fans embrace the Yankee way because of the personal value they place on winning and success. I don’t begrudge them them that, it’s their preference really, this is the very reason why more fans would show up at the Citi Field if the Mets won more. I don’t even mind the 27 – 2 slams. What does bother me are individuals who find it difficult to comprehend why anyone would like the Mets.

Now, there are bad apples in any crowd, Mets fans included, but when you scour the message boards and blog after blog, tweet after tweet, message after message you run into the same Met fan on Met fan vitriol, it makes you wonder, how much is coming from real disgruntled Met fans (I’m sure quite a bit of it is), and how much is coming from other sources?

I noticed something on a prominent Yankee board the other day. It was a rant on the ridiculous nonsense that is sabermetrics, berating Sandy Alderson and his “numbers geeks,” demeaning advanced metrics as a nonsensical road to nowhere lead by people who never played and never could and don’t understand the game. The post was roundly supported, particularly as it was directed at a poster who had pointed out that the Mets and Yankees had similar records since about mid-season last year.

What puzzled me, however, was the eerie similarity between what I saw on the Yankee board and what we often see on Mets boards. I was also puzzled by the fact that the poster had no real understanding of what sabermetrics even was (he hadn’t the foggiest), or the fact that it’s used by every team in the league including the Yankees. He’d simply heard it associated with the Mets and so it became something to ridicule, something involving taking walks and fancy stats.

Now I’ve followed the national debate between traditionalists and the new age stat crowd — which is an interesting discourse when you consider how these stats may be changing the game — and nowhere has it become as nasty and demeaning as it has on N.Y. message boards. I’m not saying there aren’t informed Mets fans who don’t believe in advanced metrics, or Mets fans who don’t like Sandy Alderson, but its strange how such a considerable slice of Mets fans seem to become more irate and incensed during stretches where the team is doing well. Why deny even the most obvious of positive indicators? Why refuse to address a resurgent farm system, or clearly improved pitching? I don’t get it … is it because they don’t want to be fooled again? Because they’re just that tired of the the false ups and the devastating lows? Or is it because they are New Yorkers who lean more towards the Yankees and are confounded by this frustrating Mets organization that insists on not being like the Yankees? Hard to say, maybe it’s a little of both.

Maybe this goes back to my arguments with my dad which had more to do with my eternal optimism and how it all too often rubs those who are more pragmatic the wrong way. Maybe I’m a little too sensitive to the whole bullying issue. I don’t understand for instance why sportswriters have to compound the problem with headlines like “Lardball” and why they’ll ruthlessly attack players many of whom are actually just kids trying to make their way far from home in a very big world.

I’ve never believed in rubbing it in, kicking someone when they’re down, ridiculing for the sake of elevating your own position, making fun of a preference or difference, or belittling those who might be weaker. I think social media is perhaps a bit much for some because it brings out a nastiness you wouldn’t generally see in polite company. In real life I tend to call people who partake in this sort of thing out every time. I’m just fine rooting for my Mets, win or lose.

It’s only a game after all, a pastime, entertainment. What’s so hard about being civil? About respecting preferences and opinions? We show more about who we are and what we value by the way we treat those who are less fortunate than us …

In discussions with fans who remember the days when N.Y. was a 3 team town, I’ve been told that for all the grudges and heartbreak, the disagreements never got as nasty as what you see now-a-days on message boards. There was the understanding that it was (and still is), just a game. That in the end, its all good fun, and I’ve come to realize that even the arguments I had with my dad, that I miss so much now that he’s gone, were enjoyable in their own way because we respected each other, and also because if I ever called him a nit-wit or a fool I’d get the back of his hand quicker than you could say “gone-goodbye.”

addicted to mets button

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Stop Trying to Fix the Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/stop-trying-to-fix-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/stop-trying-to-fix-the-mets.html/#comments Fri, 02 May 2014 15:30:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154732 wilpon alderson

Everybody wants to fix the Mets, and it seems that in doing so, we tend to forget the recent past.

When articles get written by the New York Times or ESPN’s Adam Rubin we tend to forget that the Mets were on the verge of something truly amazing in 2006.

Here’s the truth about the Mets, and it’s one of the reasons I love them yesterday, today and tomorrow. They aren’t the Yankees. They don’t have to be the Yankees to earn my loyalty, they can do gimmicky promotions and I simply do not care. Whether they wear 100 different uniforms, send an e-blast, or walk around Citi Field with banners – it doesn’t impact my passion for the team one bit.

banner nd 1

The people that suggest it does, I would counter with concerns that they are only happy when it rains. 

In everybody’s “fix” the knocks on ownership spending is almost certainly going to pop up. From 2001-2011, this ownership AVERAGED a payroll of more than $116 million and what did they get for it? They got ONE playoff appearance and an average of 79 wins.

Spare me this idea that they didn’t have the tools to win either, the Wilpon’s did NOTHING wrong in 2007 and 2008 in terms of giving the team it’s best chance to win.

Ignoring the fact that their personal finances were impacted thanks to Bernie Madoff is ignoring reality. But instead of recognizing that maybe re-signing an injury prone star SS to more than $100 mil while simultaneously being sued for $1 billion is unrealistic – we see others circle that moment as a refusal to spend money on the baseball team.

But if you try to say these owners refuse to spend money in order to win – you’re just plain lying. They spent a TON of money while trying to win, and it got them nothing.

By the way, in spite of our struggles at SS this year and potentially moving forward, the Mets were right about Reyes. You can stomp your feet all you want, but he had a career year and gave Miami one of his worst seasons in return, and then since joining Toronto he hasn’t been able to stay on the field.

Back to the Mets though.

Stephen Drew

Rubin suggests the Mets should spend money to make money by signing guys like Stephen Drew, or LaTroy Hawkins.

Can we get real, please?

Why should the Mets be the only team to go sign Stephen Drew to a stupid contract? Are they the ONLY team in baseball in need of a SS right now? Yet, it’s May and Drew isn’t on a team – if the Mets wanted him, they wouldn’t even need to stand in line. Yet signing him is a sign of what? A willingness to be desperate?

Hawkins was offered a closer’s job with Colorado. The Mets couldn’t offer that. It would have been nice to have him back, but he got a better offer with a team that was a better fit. It happens. So again, we’re going to ignore the reality of the situation and force the Mets to make poor financial choices just because spending other people’s money makes us feel good?

The Mets are building a young core, I’m not going to sit here and force the Wilpon’s to apologize for the fact young homegrown players don’t make as much money as overpriced past their prime free agents.

The payroll doesn’t matter, and trying to equate payroll to wins is so “steroid era.” Anybody who covers baseball will tell you that the St. Louis Cardinals are one of, if not the best run organization in the sport. They rarely if ever go through a long rebuilding phase, and yet they consistently find themselves in the playoff mix.

Yet, during the same 11 year period of 2001-2011, the Cardinals AVERAGED a payroll of just over $89 million, they averaged 90 wins and had 7 playoff appearances, with 2 World Series victories – no big deal.

So why is the common thread on fixing this team based on players getting paid when the National League blueprint franchise is proving that isn’t what matters?

This obsession with trying to be the Yankees is growing tired. From 2001-2011, which team do you think had happier owners, the Cardinals or the Yankees?

Just recently, former Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd said this about the current Mets team:

“There’s a reason they should believe they should win 90 games — or more,” Byrd said. “Then you bring in character guys like a Curtis Granderson, a Chris Young, Bartolo (Colon). And guys that can actually play. They’re good, and they help a team win. With the chemistry of the guys over there, it was all about getting better.”

But hey writers who get paid to cover the team, let’s not expand on that thought – let’s instead focus all of our attention on an e-blast that leads to “how to fix the Mets” type thoughts. Meanwhile, guys who were just here are trying to tell you things aren’t as bad as you HOPE they are.

When GM Sandy Alderson set the goal at 90 wins, you couldn’t click on a Mets related site or twitter feed without somebody mocking the thought. Yet here’s a guy who was just here last year, he says the team SHOULD win 90 games and suddenly we hear crickets from the commentary? That is, until an e-blast goes out and all of a sudden everybody who can type has to try and rip it apart in an attempt to ensure the negativity continues.

It’s common for fans to look down on ownership during tough times, but it’s funny that in 2006 I don’t remember cries for new owners in Flushing. It’s odd that in 1999 or 2000, the Wilpon’s seemed to be a good enough fit for this team. I wonder why that is?

The truth is, the Mets make odd marketing decisions sometimes (ie Shea closing ceremony, Citi Field not celebrating the franchise etc.) but that doesn’t truly impact me as a fan.

The truth is, the “little brother” mentality is influenced by the people who enjoy mocking everything the Mets do and hoping they make poor decisions (such as spending money on players nobody wants) just for the sake of making them.

I don’t care about an e-blast, I don’t get offended by e-marketing piggy backing off a silly comment made at the Granderson press conference, I don’t care what uniform they wear in an attempt to sell jerseys or what bobblehead they give away because quite frankly, casual fans like bobbleheads. Promotions are not geared toward a die-hard fan, they are geared toward the people who think voting for David Wright as the “Face of Baseball” actually means something, or to the people who need an extra incentive to purchase a ticket.

What impacts me as a fan is what happens on the field – when the team wins I’m happy, this team is playing winning baseball yet you might not even notice it if you listen to the commentary.

If it’s going to take more than winning baseball to get you to feel good about being a Mets fan, then perhaps the Mets don’t need new owners, perhaps they need new fans.

Presented By Diehards

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And The Beat Goes On http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/and-the-beat-goes-on.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/and-the-beat-goes-on.html/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 14:41:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154663 You know what I am growing tired of lately? It seems the people who cover the New York Mets feel it is their obligation to contribute whatever they can to ensure the fan base feels as lousy as possible with regards to their support of the NY Mets.

I don’t understand why crushing the team you cover rather than just simply reporting on them seems to be the cool thing to do.

I’m really tired of it. It seems that in order for these writers to get any attention at all, they feel the need to join the complaining minority and stir the pot with every single decision the Mets make.

When did covering a baseball team (who by the way is off to their best start since 2007) become a job that is based on poor humor and antagonizing rather than quality information?

This past week I saw three things that drove me to this post.lardball

The first was NY Post writer Mike Puma’s embarrassing attempt at humor with regards to Bartolo Colon’s weight. Here’s a fun fact for you Puma – Colon comes to the Mets as probably the third most accomplished pitcher prior to coming to the Mets in the last 20 years (After Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana). How about you report on that rather than cheap open mic night humor about his weight?

The second was Adam Rubin of ESPN posting his five ways to fix the Mets. I really like Rubin, and to be honest – this “offense” to me is the lesser of the three. But to me, it was a rain out special.

Look, there are a lot of things any team can do to improve the way their fan base views them. We can talk about that later, but the bottom line is – this all could have been a post with one word, “win.”

I think Rubin could have done a much better job here, and gotten more in detail with his views. Instead, I feel like he went the easy way out and appealed to the “little brother” mentality that we are not the Yankees, and we should aim to be just like them.

The third, is likely what drove Rubin to write his piece, but at least he did it with a little more class than Mike Vaccaro of the (you guessed it) NY Post did today.

This letter that the Mets sent out to their fan base, in all honesty – who cares? It’s a little marketing campaign clearly based off the comments that Curtis Granderson made and they are trying to drum up some heat for the Subway Series coming up.

But instead of recognizing it for what it is, we have to invent a story and mock the franchise because the Mets are the only ones out there that try and connect with their fans through e-marketing right?

I wish I could tell you I knew this type of “reporting” was going on with every team, but I am willing to bet it isn’t. It’s as though these reporters are turning covering the Mets into the National Enquirer.

My favorite part in Vaccaro’s piece is this:

“And here’s the best part: Whoever wrote this letter hasn’t a clue about the Mets’ own history. This is how the 1969 and ’86 teams’ successes are described: “a gritty, even stubborn belief in this club against the odds.

Really. 1969? Fine. That qualifies. But ’86? Would you like to know how many teams, in the history of baseball, won more than the 116 games, postseason included, those Mets won? Time’s up: three — the 1906 Cubs, ’98 Yankees and 2001 Mariners. That’s all. That’s it. Those Mets had a vapor-lock grip on the city. Why?

If you’re a Mets fan, you know why. If you’re one of the ham-fisted men who run the Mets? It probably baffles you. Because of course it does.”

Mr. Vaccaro is it POSSIBLE, that perhaps the 1986 Mets were faced with what appeared to be insurmountable odds in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series?

bill-buckner

It is POSSIBLE that down 5-3 in the 10th inning, an out away from the season ending, could be viewed as “against the odds”?

Of course it can. But no, instead we’re going to CHOOSE to take that sentence and try and rip the Mets rather than acknowledge the point they were trying to make.

I’m just tired of it – this invented negative news cycle because mocking the team is easier than evaluating and reporting about what is really going on is becoming an annoyance.

You know it’s funny because if you look around the web you’ll notice that the Mets have the most detailed and informative blogosphere out there.

I’m not just talking about MMO, I’m talking all of the incredible sites out there combined as compared to other MLB clubs. The Mets fan site’s are far and away the most in depth, informative and interactive than any other MLB team’s.

I’m starting to understand why that is. It’s likely because the people who are getting paid to cover the team, are appealing to the folks you usually see getting banned from sites like ours for their consistent trolling.

mmo

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MMO Morning Grind: Can the Pitchers Start Hitting? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-can-the-pitchers-start-hitting.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/mmo-morning-grind-can-the-pitchers-start-hitting.html/#comments Tue, 29 Apr 2014 13:07:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154492 Bartolo - Colon

Good morning, Mets fans!

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have as many hits as the entire Mets pitching staff has in the 2014 MLB season. The Dodgers and Yankees will be entering a bidding war for your services shortly.

Mets pitchers, as Jared Diamond pointed out in his column yesterday, are 0-for-41 on the season, which is the longest hitless streak from a pitching staff to start a season since at least 1974. Because pitchers were much better at hitting back in the day, I would guess that the 2014 Mets actually have the all-time record.

Gonzalez Germen and Carlos Torres are 0-for-1. Zack Wheeler is 0-for-7. Dillon Gee is 0-for-9, Jenrry Mejia is 0-for-12, Jon Niese is 0-for-3, and of course, there’s Bartolo Colon, who is 0-for-8. I’ve always wanted to see Scott Rice bat, but that’s probably a pipe dream unless Terry Collins‘ love for him really gets out of hand.

Anyway, add those all up and you get 0-for-41. Now, it’s not all so bad. Mejia sprints down the line with impressive speed every time he makes contact, which sets an example for the “real” hitters (not that they follow it) and will probably result in an infield hit before too long. Bartolo Colon’s at-bats give the Mets the game’s premier Comedic Reliever. And Jon Niese, who has only had 3 at bats, will probably start cracking a few singles before too long; Jon has always been a fairly decent hitter.

But let’s be serious. So far, It has been painful to watch our pitchers try to hit. The other day, the Mets had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and the #7 hitter Anthony Recker at the plate. Recker struck out, and at that point, I think we all knew that the Mets weren’t going to get a run before the end of the inning: #8 hitter Ruben Tejada is an easy out and our pitchers have been automatic outs so far. So when Recker whiffed, I was ready to give up on the inning. Ironically, Dillon Gee worked a walk to load the bases for Eric Young, but EY grounded out to end the inning… a walk is NOT always as good as a hit, guys.

The Mets don’t their pitchers to start hitting .300, or anywhere remotely close. But the occasional hit out of the 9 hole deepens a lineup and makes opposing pitchers really pitch to everybody who comes to the plate, instead of, as Gary Cohen said when Gee stepped to the plate late in Sunday’s game, throwing a couple pitches down the middle and “getting it over with”.

Have a good day, Mets fans. We play in Citizens Bank Park tonight, so if Jon can hit a pop-up: the hitless steak will end emphatically, with a home run.

LGM!

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An Amazin’ Start: Breaking Down The Road To 90 Wins http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/an-amazin-start-breaking-down-the-road-to-90-wins.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/an-amazin-start-breaking-down-the-road-to-90-wins.html/#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:48:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=154457 terry collins opening day

Tip your hat to Terry Collins.

Prior to the the three-game set with the Miami Marlins, Collins was faced with a brutal opening 22 game schedule segment, a different closer in each of the first three weeks of the new season, the loss of his best defensive player, Juan Lagares, who was also the team’s hottest hitter, a career long hitting slump by new acquisition Curtis Granderson and, for the most part, anemic team-wide offensive production, Collins poked and prodded, mixed and matched, and cobbled together a commendable 12 Win and 10 Loss Mets effort. The Marlins must have felt like a breath of fresh air.

In the off-season many Mets fans, including the author of this post, worried that the Amazins could finish the first 22 game segment of 2014 buried in the National League East standings.

Facing Atlanta six times, defending NL champion St. Louis four times, and then Cincinnati, Washington, the Los Angeles Angels and Arizona three times each, gave the Mets one of the toughest early season schedules in baseball.

But, behind solid starting pitching, improving defensive play, and an occasional timely hit, Terry Collins guided his team to a 12-10 won/loss mark.

Now at 14-11, it might not seem like a huge accomplishment to many. But if you consider it as a longterm marker, the Mets’ start is pretty remarkable.

What Collins now needs to pull out of his magic hat is team consistency.

If somehow Collins can play his cards to repeat that opening 12-10 mark in successive 22 game segments, a modest 2 wins over .500 grows into surprising results. Take a look.

Game Segments       Games Played        Wins            Losses

1st 22 games                        22                    12                    10

2nd 22 games                       44                    24                    20

3rd 22 games                        66                    36                    30

4th 22 games                        88                    48                    40

5th 22 games                        110                  60                    50

6th 22 games                        132                  72                    60

7th 22 games                        154                  84                    70

That would leave 8 games remaining in the 162 game schedule. If Terry Collins could somehow help his team play with a 12 win/10 loss consistency in every twenty-two game segment and then win 5 of the remaining 8 games, guess what, the Mets would finish with 89 wins dangerously close to the 90 game goal or challenge set by GM Sandy Alderson.

After taking the series against the Marlins, the Mets are already 2-1 in their second 22 game segment of the season.

Much of Collins’ challenge is to keep his players engaged over the long haul of a baseball season and to maximize performance against teams where his Mets should win. Too many times in the past, we would battle valiantly against some of the better teams in baseball and then have a meltdown in the very next series against a team we were expected to handle.

Remember the Mets breathtaking sweep of the Yankees last season only to be swept by Miami in the following series?

Taking care of business against weaker competitors is a trademark of the better performing baseball teams, especially the Yankees.

By itself, 12 wins and 10 losses might not seem particularly noteworthy. But, as a long-term goal sequenced over an entire baseball season, repeated 12 and 10 marks would really take shape as something quite Amazing for our 2014 Mets.

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Would Yankees Be Interested In Ike Davis? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/would-yankees-be-interested-in-ike-davis.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/04/would-yankees-be-interested-in-ike-davis.html/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:23:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=152782 USATSI_ ike davis  by brad barr

At about the same time that pinch hitter Ike Davis‘ walk-off grand slam landed in the right field seats at Citi Field Saturday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson should have picked up the phone and called Brian Cashman, writes Anthony Rieber of Newsday.

The Yankees and Mets haven’t made a trade since 2004  when the Mets sent Mike Stanton to the Yankees in exchange for Felix Heredia, but Rieber argues both sides would benefit in an Ike Davis for Dellin Betances swap.

Betances, 26, is a hard-throwing righthander that might be able to come in and do what Vic Black was supposed to do for the Mets bullpen – throw strikes and get outs.

At 6 foot-8 inches, this Brooklyn, New York native is as imposing as Noah Syndergaard on the mound and is coming off a solid Spring Training that saw him hit 97 mph with his fastball while posting a 0.73 ERA.

In 2013, Betances struck out 108 batters in 84.0 innings pitched for the Yankees’ Triple-A team with a 2.68 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

Like Bobby Parnell, Betances features a knuckle curve in his arsenal that averages 82.6 mph according to FanGraphs. And he combines that with fastball that averages 95.1 mph and a cutter that averages 96.9 mph.

The Yankees need a first baseman to replace Mark Teixeira who hit the disabled list again on Saturday with a hamstring injury, and Davis’ lefty swing is made for Yankee Stadium, writes Rieber. When Teixeira returns, either he or Davis could get at-bats as the DH — a luxury the Mets don’t have with Davis and Lucas Duda except for interleague road games.

Rieber points out something I’ve alluded to a few times during the offseason and that is the front office’s fear of watching Ike Davis become a productive power hitter for another team. 

Alderson tried during the offseason but never found a deal to his liking. That could be a case of more Mets hedging, though. Was Alderson really unable to find a quality deal, or are the Mets just too afraid Davis will blossom elsewhere?

It’s a shame that neither Duda or Davis were able to distinguish themselves as everyday players this past Spring because of injuries. But it is what it is…

Sooner or later the Mets are going to have to make a decision here… I can’t see them continuing along this path for an entire season. The two home runs by Duda and the grand slam by Davis were nice to see this past weekend, but let’s not pretend that it will be like that for the rest of the season. Something’s gotta give.

As for this hypothetical trade proposal by Rieber, I don’t know what to make of it. I guess I’m wanting something more for Ike. But I bet Yankee fans will take one look at Davis’ numbers and feel the same apprehension about trading Betances for him.

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MMO Exclusive: How The Mets Ended Up On WOR http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-exclusive-how-the-mets-ended-up-on-wor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-exclusive-how-the-mets-ended-up-on-wor.html/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:37:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149700 wor)rush_sean

On Tuesday, I spoke to someone with very intimate knowledge of everything that led up to the Mets severing their relationship with WFAN and shifting to the conservative talk-show channel WOR 710 AM.

By now, many of you have experienced the stark differences in sound, reception and quality. There is no FM version and what you hear is what you get.

Leading into the last Mets broadcast on WOR 710 AM was famed loudmouth Rush Limbaugh, who reminded everyone that he is still the king of talk radio all over the world. Sean Hannity did the post game. The way WOR cut into the game and out of it, was like carving your Thanksgiving turkey with a chainsaw. It was brutal, folks…

There were no Met fans calling in before and after the game, and we still do not know who will actually be doing the Mets pre and post game show during any of the Mets radio broadcasts. I can confirm that still no decision has been made as of 11:00 AM this morning.

So how did the Mets get embroiled in this debacle? Quite simply it came down to money – what else?.

After the decision was made to bring the New York Yankees to WFAN, CBS Radio Inc. who owns the station, still wanted desperately to hang onto the Mets and have them switch to the Yankees’ previous home WCBS 880.

However, WOR, still fuming that they couldn’t sway the Yankees to go with them, set their sights on the Mets and they didn’t care how much it would cost them. They made an offer that Fred Wilpon couldn’t refuse.

When CBS put their final bid on the table, it was for $6 million dollars guaranteed plus a whopping 50% revenue share on all advertising. The brass at CBS thought they had clinched the deal.

However, WOR swooped in with a counter-offer estimated to be around $9 million guaranteed, but without the revenue sharing. Given their still unstable financial state, the Mets simply couldn’t resist the extra $3 million in guaranteed money.  It was that whole bird in the hand thing…

The numbers were told to me by a very reliable inside source and was confirmed by another. Take it with a grain of salt, but I’m inclined to believe both of them.

CBS believes that the Mets walked away from a much more lucrative deal. This is not my area of expertise, so I can’t tell you if that’s true or not. But I can tell you they are still hot over the Mets’ decision.

The bad news for us is that WOR has been worse than we all imagined, and I’m being very conservative here.

WOR needs to start getting their act together and fast. Opening Day is quickly approaching, Spring Training games are already on the air, and the Mets still don’t know who will be doing their pre and post games on the radio. I don’t want to Rush them… But come on already…

mmo

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Jhonny Come Lately: Peralta Says Mets Had A Problem With Tejada http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/jhonny-come-lately-peralta-says-mets-had-a-problem-with-tejada.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/jhonny-come-lately-peralta-says-mets-had-a-problem-with-tejada.html/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:46:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149506 MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Jhonny Peralta signed a four-year, $53 million deal with the Cardinals this off-season. On Sunday, the former free agent shortstop revealed that he did get a two-year offer from the Mets, as well as a three-year deal from the Yankees.

However, it was what Peralta said about the current Mets shortstop that sparked attention yesterday:

“The Mets said they had a little problem with Tejada and they were looking for a shortstop,” Peralta said. “The situation for the Yankees was a little bit different because they wanted me to play third base and shortstop. They were looking more for third base.”

“I would have liked to play in New York, because I have a lot of family there. But I wanted to play for the Cardinals a long time ago, so it’s good that I decided to come here.”

Why would you knock your player to another before making sure you had a deal for a new shortstop done?

The Mets never had a chance at Peralta, and they must have known that their offer would be rejected much like the one-year deal they made to Stephen Drew.

Sometimes I wonder if they make these offers just so they could say they were in on these players when in fact they really weren’t. (Nah, the Mets would never do something like that, right?) That’s not to say I wanted Peralta for four years, that’s ludicrous. But when you’re the NL Champs, you could afford to take shots like that. Maybe some day, we’ll know the feeling.

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