Mets Merized Online » Yankees http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:46:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 Where Does It Say That Money Is The Answer? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/where-does-it-say-that-money-is-the-answer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/where-does-it-say-that-money-is-the-answer.html/#comments Thu, 14 Jan 2016 21:50:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=204254 I grew up a Mets fans surrounded by Yankees fans. But since my childhood was in the 1980s, those Yankee fans weren’t nearly as loud about the greatness of their franchise at that time. Fast-forward to the 1990s and Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Joe Torre. Mix in a dash of unfulfilled promise, like the hope/hype of Generation K, and you get the foundation for a fan base convinced that the glass is half-empty.

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The 1998 Yankees were wire-to-wire World Series Champions. They did trade for Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Chuck Knoblauch and signed David Cone and David Wells. But the core of the team – Jeter, Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera – were acquired via either the amateur draft or amateur free agents.

They had the second-highest payroll in the league behind Baltimore, who finished fourth with 79 wins. Meanwhile the Amazin’s, who had the eighth-highest payroll, finished second in the NL East and missed the lone wild-card spot by two games.

The amateur acquisitions on that roster include Rey Ordonez, Edgardo Alfonzo and Butch Huskey. The core of that team – Mike Piazza, John Olerud, Al Leiter, Rick Reed, Brian McRae – all were free agents and/or traded for.

The point: It was a team that wasn’t built to last.

Fast forward nearly 20 years to today. The Yankees are still near the top of the payroll list, but the Mets are somewhere in the middle. Last year, small-market cities like Milwaukee, Colorado and Cincinnati all started with higher payrolls…

But please remind me who the defending National League champions are?

Truth be told, payroll didn’t amount to much as pointed out by Brian MacPherson in the Providence Journal. Of the eight teams that won 90 or more games last year, only one has an Opening Day payroll higher than $130 million.

History has shown it’s never been about who can spend the most or who “wins the Winter Meetings”. Baseball is a sport built on a foundation of longevity, by evidence of a 162-game season and a plethora of minor league players to supplement a 40-man roster. It’s always been about playing the proverbial Long Game, showcased by the fact that of the 30 best WAR players in baseball last season, only three joined their teams via free agency and 50 of the top 100 players were acquired via the draft of amateur free agency.

harvey-wheeler-degromI’ve always thought that while Oman Minaya’s moves were flashy and seemingly designed to win the back page battle, he ensured it all by drafting and developing talent in the minors.

The foundation of this team – Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, Ruben Tejada, Steven MatzMatt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia – were all brought in by Minaya.

Sandy Alderson was wise enough not to move those aging pieces and shined in his own right by bringing in Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and drafting Michael Conforto. While there’s some concern about how the team will keep all this talent, the fact of the matter is all this talent is here now.

Which goes back to the glass half-empty mentality. The trend of successful teams building from within the organization is seen today with the team that beat the Mets in October (Kansas City held onto Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis and Mike Moustakas). It can be seen with the filthies, I mean Phillies’ team that won in 2008 (Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Pat Burrell were all drafted).

MacPherson goes on to say cultivating amateur talent is how Tampa Bay won at least 90 games in five of six seasons. And while it might seem like something new, especially in an environment of mega-contracts being signed for more than the Gross Domestic Product of a few countries, this is the same formula that’s worked for years. Just ask the St. Louis Cardinals.

Which all leads to one question – Why are we, as a collective fan base, not satisfied with a moderate budget full of home-grown talent and versatile cost-effective free agent signings? Why should Sandy go out and break the bank on the much-quoted square peg into a round hole? Where does it say the team that spends the most will win?

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Featured Post: Would You Move Zack Wheeler To Yankees In Andrew Miller Deal? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/would-you-move-zack-wheeler-to-yankees-in-andrew-miller-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/would-you-move-zack-wheeler-to-yankees-in-andrew-miller-deal.html/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 22:38:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203414 MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

John Harper of the Daily News suggests that the Mets and Yankees could really help each other out and proposes a trade that would fill some significant needs for both GM Brian Cashman and his Flushing counterpart Sandy Alderson.

With the Yankees acquiring reliever Aroldis Chapman and still in need of a starter for the rotation, the buzz is that Cashman will likely deal closer Andrew Miller to acquire those missing pieces. Harper proposes trading Miller and Brett Gardner to the Amazins for Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, and Alejandro De Aza.

From the Mets’ perspective they finally pick up that top level left-handed reliever they’ve been craving for the last two years, and one of the best in the business at that. There’s no doubt that Miller and Familia would shorten games and form a lethal combination in the back of the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Gardner would give the Mets a left-handed center fielder to pair with Juan Lagares and he would take over at the leadoff spot while giving the team the speed they’ve lacked in recent years.

Miller and Gardner would cost the Mets an added $23.5 million in payroll, but sending back De Aza and his $5.75 million salary makes the deal palatable even for a couple of cheapskates like Fred and Jeff. Both Miller and Gardner are under team control through 2018.

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The Yankees would have to wait three months but eventually they get a potential No. 1 or 2 type pitcher in 26-year old Zack Wheeler, and until he’s ready Rafael Montero can pitch from the back of the rotation. De Aza also fills a valuable utility outfielder role for the Yankees and should be good for 140 games covering all three outfield spots.

Harper bounced this trade off a major league scout who told him: ”Gardner would help the Mets, but Miller would be a real game-changer. To me, that’s a major question mark for them right now — who can they depend on in that pen other than Familia?”

“”The Mets need to try to win right now, before their young pitchers all start making big money. And the Yankees, I think, are really just trying tread water until their big contracts expire. So I do think that trade would work for both teams. If they weren’t in the same city, they might do it.”

The stumbling block might be the Mets’ hesitation in dealing a young hard-throwing arm that could be a Cy Young caliber starter.

I typically detest these hypothetical trades, but must admit that on the surface, this one isn’t too shabby. Still, I think I’d pass.

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Yankees To Acquire Aroldis Chapman http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/yankees-to-acquire-aroldis-chapman.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/yankees-to-acquire-aroldis-chapman.html/#comments Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:58:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203231 aroldis_chapman_reds_0

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Yankees have acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Reds, in exchange for right-handers Rookie Davis and Caleb Cotham, third baseman Eric Jagielo and second baseman Tony Renda.

Chapman, 27, has been one of the most highly regarded and dominant closer’s in baseball since he defected from Cuba and made his major league debut in 2010.

The flame-throwing lefty owns a 19-20 record, with a 2.17 ERA to go along with 146 saves over the span of six seasons. He also boasts a career 15.4 strikeout rate and 1.97 FIP.

With that being said, the Yankees have officially established themselves as having one of the most feared bullpens in the game, as Chapman will complement Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to finish off games next season. Good morning, good afternoon and goodnight.

Earlier this month, it looked like Chapman would be taking his talents to Los Angeles, but after being involved in a domestic abuse situation shortly after, the trade fell through and the Dodgers moved on to seek other options.

Though domestic violence issue is of concern, the Yankees will take their chances on Chapman with the hope of a big payoff on the field.

Since becoming a full-time closer in 2012, Chapman has recorded 30+ saves every season, and is widely renowned as one of the elite bullpen arms in the game.

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Jeurys Familia and Jesse Orosco to be Honored at Munson Dinner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/jeurys-familia-and-jesse-orosco-to-be-honored-at-munson-dinner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/jeurys-familia-and-jesse-orosco-to-be-honored-at-munson-dinner.html/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 16:00:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=202571 jeurys familia

The 36th Annual Thurman Munson Awards, which remember the late, great Yankees captain and catcher, will be presented at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Tuesday night, February 9, 2016, and the honorees were announced Monday.

New York baseball’s two premier closers – the Yankees Andrew Miller (36 saves) and the Mets Jeurys Familia (team record-tying 43 saves) – will be joined by former Yankees “No-Hit” pitcher Jim Abbott, who has been an inspiration to people with disabilities, current Yankees catcher Brian McCann, and 1986 Mets World Series champion reliever Jesse Orosco.

The AHRC New York City Foundation, which assists children and adults with disabilities, benefits from the gala.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 36th consecutive benefit, having been involved since its inception. The Thurman Munson Awards Dinner has raised more than $14 million for programs that serve New York City children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Michael Kay, the “Voice of the Yankees” on YES Network and ESPN Radio 98.7 FM host, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188 or email jennifer@emgbenefits.com. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.ahrcNYCfoundation.org/events.

The Thurman Munson Awards are presented for success and inspiration on the fields of play, and community outreach off the field.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Familia emerged as one of baseball’s ace relievers last season in helping lead the Mets to their first National League Championship in 15 years. Assuming the closer’s role with gusto, the right-handed hurler saved 43 games, tying a team record. He had a tidy 1.43 ERA in his fourth season in New York. In the postseason, Familia notched two more saves in the NLDS against the Dodgers, retiring all 16 batters that he faced. He continued that excellence in the NLCS against the Cubs, recording three more saves to vault the Mets into the Fall Classic.

Familia’s son, Jeurys, Jr., was born to fiancée Bianca Rivas on June 12, while he saved a win against the Atlanta Braves. The youngest son of a gas station attendant, Familia is greatly devoted to his family and built a house in his native Dominican Republic that he has been saving for since he signed with the Mets.

Familia has participated in many of the Mets community outreach programs, including “Amazin’ City,” when he visited the Museum of Natural History with students from the Leonardo da Vinci School (Corona); and the Military Softball Classic with members of the Armed Forces at Citi Field, just to name two.

Jesse Orosco ranks first on MLB’s all-time leader board in most games pitched during a career which spanned 20 years. He saved both the final game of the NLCS against Houston, and the World Series against Boston, ending both games with a strikeout, to vault the Mets to their second world championship. He also was a World Series champion with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Orosco was the first and only relief pitcher to get three wins in one playoff series against the Astros.

Earlier this year, The Mets, Major League Baseball and Stand Up to Cancer visited Mt. Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in Manhattan to spend time with pediatric cancer patients. MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred was joined by Mets legend Jesse Orosco, Hall of Famer and former Mets pitcher Tom Glavine and everyone’s favorite mascots Mr. and Mrs. Met.

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Yankees To Acquire Starlin Castro http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/yankees-to-acquire-starlin-castro.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/yankees-to-acquire-starlin-castro.html/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2015 01:33:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=201987 Castro Starlin

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Twitter, the New York Yankees have acquired Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs.

Additionally, Jack Curry of the YES Network also reports on Twitter that pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named later are heading to Chicago in return.

Castro, 26 in March, has spent the last six seasons with the Cubs, hitting at a .281/.321/.404 clip, with a 10.3 total WAR.

The young second baseman/shortstop has been involved in trade rumors the last few seasons, and will now finally be on the move as he takes his talents to New York.

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In return, the Cubs are getting a swing man type pitcher in Adam Warren.

Warren, 28, appeared in 43 games for the Yankees last season (17 starts), and pitched to a 7-7 record, with a 3.39 ERA and a 7.1 K/9.

Warren is a solid pitcher that the Cubs will add to their bullpen, but essentially, this was a Ben Zobrist for Starlin Castro swap. They had to move Castro to make Zobrist happen.

In one move, the Yankees have improved their second base situation and likely undermined the Mets at the same time, who now have to figure out what to do as a Plan B with Zobrist off the board.

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Mets 2016 Spring Training Schedule http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-release-2016-spring-training-schedule.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/mets-release-2016-spring-training-schedule.html/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:40:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200930 granderson cashman field

The Las Vegas 51s announced that the Mets and Cubs will play a pair of exhibition games at Cashman Field in Las Vegas on March 31 and April 1 to wrap up Spring Training.

The Mets will open their 2016 Grapefruit League schedule Thursday, March 3rd vs. the Washington Nationals in Viera at 1:05 PM.

The Mets first home game will be Friday, March 4 vs. the Miami Marlins in Port St. Lucie, Fla. at 1:10 p.m. The Mets will play 29 exhibition games, including 14 home games at Tradition Field.

The Mets will host the Yankees in Port St. Lucie Wednesday, March 9 at 1:10 p.m. and will travel to Tampa to take on their cross-town rivals on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:35 p.m. The Mets will also play the Boston Red Sox Sunday, March 20 in Port St. Lucie at 1:10 p.m.

Manager Terry Collins’ team will play the Nationals six times, the Marlins six times, the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals five times, the Atlanta Braves three times, the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees and Houston Astros twice and will travel to play the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, March 23 in Dunedin.

The Mets will open their 2016 Major League season on Sunday, April 3 at Kansas City at 8:35 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. The Home Opener is Friday, April 8 vs. Philadelphia at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.

 2016 Mets Grapefruit League Schedule

Date Day Game Time Location
3/3 Thursday Mets at Nationals 1:05 Viera
3/4 Friday Marlins at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/5 Saturday Mets at Astros 1:05 Kissimmee
3/6 Sunday Braves at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/7 Monday Mets at Cardinals 1:05 Jupiter
3/7 Monday Tigers at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/8 Tuesday Mets at Braves 1:05 Orlando
3/9 Wednesday Yankees at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/10 Thursday Cardinals at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/11 Friday Mets at Nationals 1:05 Viera
3/12 Saturday Cardinals at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/13 Sunday Mets at Marlins 1:05 Jupiter
3/14 Monday Mets at Tigers 1:05 Lakeland
3/15 Tuesday Mets at Marlins 1:05 Jupiter
3/17 Thursday Mets at Marlins 1:05 Jupiter
3/18 Friday Nationals at Mets 6:10 Port St. Lucie
3/19 Saturday Mets at Nationals 1:05 Viera
3/20 Sunday Red Sox at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/21 Monday Marlins at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/22 Tuesday Mets at Yankees 6:35 Tampa
3/23 Wednesday Mets at Blue Jays 1:07 Dunedin
3/24 Thursday Mets at Red Sox 1:05 Fort Myers
3/24 Thursday Astros at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/25 Friday Cardinals at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/26 Saturday Mets at Braves 1:05 Orlando
3/27 Sunday Nationals at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/28 Monday Mets at Cardinals 1:05 Jupiter
3/29 Tuesday Marlins at Mets 1:10 Port St. Lucie
3/30 Wednesday Nationals at Mets 12:10 Port St. Lucie

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No Way I’d Deal Zack Wheeler To The Yankees For Brett Gardner http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/no-way-id-deal-zack-wheeler-to-the-yankees-for-brett-gardner.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/no-way-id-deal-zack-wheeler-to-the-yankees-for-brett-gardner.html/#comments Sun, 22 Nov 2015 15:17:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200707 brett gardner

Good morning, everyone. Here is something from John Harper of the Daily News, who believes that if the Yankees are truly serious about dealing Brett Gardner, that the Mets could be a pretty good trade partner for them as they seek to add a starting pitcher. Harper suggests that the Mets could send the Yankees rehabbing right-hander Zack Wheeler in return for Gardner.

I’m not sure that the Mets and Yankees would ever get together on a deal as significant as what Harper proposes, but for the sake of argument and a good Sunday morning conversation, let’s have a little fun with it.

Right off the bat, what I like about Gardner is that he essentially fills a few vital needs for the Mets as he could slide right into the No. 2 spot previously held by Daniel Murphy, he is a left-handed bat, he can play a reliable left and center field although his defense has slipped lately, and he would certainly give the lineup some much needed speed.

Coming off his first All Star campaign, Gardner had a solid .343 on-base percentage for the Yankees with 26 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 walks, 94 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. The numbers aren’t really that eye-popping, but very impressive when you consider he was hampered by a hand injury for most of the season.

Gardner, 32, is still owed a guaranteed $38 million that will pay him $13 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017, and $11 million in 2018. There’s a $12.5 million club option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout.

I like Gardner and would agree he’d be a good addition for the Mets, but here is the big question I have…

Do you give up six years of a young, cost-controlled, high upside starting pitcher like Wheeler, while taking on a huge chunk of change like that?

Harper says the Yanks would likely have zero interest in Jon Niese or the unproven Rafael Montero, but might be tempted to include 28-year old starter/reliever Adam Warren to sweeten the pot in a deal for Wheeler. But when he brought it up to a Mets official, he seemed wary of dealing Wheeler across town – and rightfully so.

“Those are two good pieces,” one Mets person said, “but you wouldn’t want to see Wheeler turn into a Cy Young winner in your own backyard.”

Bottom line? While Gardner does fill a few important needs for the Mets, they could probably get somewhat similar production from a free agent like Gerardo Parra. And not only will Parra cost a little less, but the Mets wouldn’t have to part with a big chip like Zack Wheeler to sign him. So I say two thumbs down on a proposed Wheeler for Gardner swap.

In your dreams, Cashman…

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Yankees and Cubs Discussing Gardner For Castro Swap http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/yankees-discussed-gardner-for-castro-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/yankees-discussed-gardner-for-castro-trade.html/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 17:11:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200547 Castro Starlin

According to Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News, the Yankees have discussed swapping Brett Gardner for Starlin Castro with the Chicago Cubs.

Gardner has been drawing a lot of interest this offseason and could eventually be traded for the right price. He hit .259 this year with 16 homeruns and 20 steals in 151 games, and is owed $38 million over the the next three years.

If Gardner is moved, the Yankees will presumably start Aaron Hicks in left field, who they acquired last week.

Castro provides a potential upgrade for the Yankees at second base.as they currently have a platoon of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder. Castro transitioned to the position this season and is a three time All-Star.

However, he disappointed this year with a .265 average and .671 OPS in 151 games.

Castro has been a trade target for the Mets for years, but the two teams could never work something out. The Cubs wanted the one of the Mets’ top young pitching prospects in return, which is something that Sandy Alderson and the front office refused to do.

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Featured Post: Patience, Prospects, And Staying The Course http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-patience-prospects-and-staying-the-course.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/featured-post-patience-prospects-and-staying-the-course.html/#comments Sun, 11 Oct 2015 14:10:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=195887 As the Mets enter their first playoff series in nine years tonight, we can all agree that it sure has been a long, winding road back here. Since 2006, the Mets have experienced two managerial changes, a change in general manager, two historic collapses, and a host of mediocre seasons. For most of that time, it seemed as if the Mets were going nowhere. The organization was stuck in the purgatory of 70 to 79 wins, too many to get top draft picks, but too good to be even close to competitive.

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Alderson’s method has been slow and excruciating, a definite change of pace from the Minaya era.

When Sandy Alderson took over the team after the 2010 season, it seemed as if the organization had ground to a halt. Alderson’s style was in stark contrast to Omar Minaya’s: he was about as reluctant as any executive in baseball to make any flashy moves, especially those which required the team to take on salary. Say what you will about the Wilpons’ financial state (and I will always be in the camp that they withheld and continue to withhold money), but it did save the Mets from the restricting long-term commitments that had plagued the previous front office.

This made the early years of Alderson’s regime especially frustrating. At least Minaya tried to improve the big league club, however badly he often handled that. The biggest free agents the Mets seemed to bring in were the likes of Scott Hairston and Marlon Byrd. The Yankees dropping hundreds of millions on players seemingly every offseason didn’t exactly make things better. And that frustration was totally justified. A New York team should be players in free agency and trade talks every year.

However, Alderson saw what many fans either failed or refused to see. He looked at the Yankees and realized that method of building a winning club simply wasn’t possible in Queens. The Dodgers and Yankees are the only two teams who could, in theory, build successful teams year after year by just throwing money at their problems. No left fielder? We’ll just drop $100 million over seven years to fix that problem immediately. And when that player fizzles out three years later, we’ll spend another $100 million to fix that. This model may work for teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, the only two who can afford this, but it does not work for anyone else. The only way to build is to actually build. You know, from the ground up.

As frustrating as Sandy Alderson’s first actions were, they made sense. He liquidated most of what could be dealt and saved the few long term assets available (i.e. David Wright). Trading Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey, John Buck, and Marlon Byrd absolutely did make the team less competitive in the near term, but they were never going to help in the long term. And as much as general managers say they want to win immediately, the goal is always to build a long-term winner. That’s what’s best for the franchise, the league, and the fans.

You see, Alderson did what few general managers these days have the gumption to do: wait it out, knowing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. If you build up your system enough, and stock it with top-tier young talent, odds are your system is going to produce a core of young, above-average, cheap players. In my opinion (and it seems like this is Alderson’s opinion too), you cannot win year after year without a young, cheap, core group of players. Even the Yankees, who I just said were the exception, needed Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada to win in the late-90s.

noah syndergaard

Having cheap, controllable players like Syndergaard frees up millions of dollars to spend elsewhere if needed.

Stockpiling prospects, however unglamorous, is the best way to build this young core. With high prospect failure rates, you can’t just rely on one or two to save your franchise.

For years, the Mets did nothing but bring in top and middle-tier prospects. In fact, Michael Fulmer was, by far, the biggest prospect to be dealt during the Sandy Alderson regime. But more importantly, having a young core frees up a ridiculous amount of money to fill whatever miscellaneous holes your team has. This is where Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Cuddyer fit in. When you look at the Mets’ starting four heading into the division series, not only are all four absolute studs, but they all make the league minimum. In fact, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz will all be making the league minimum for multiple years. That’s part of what makes this all sustainable. Then you add in Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud. Heck, even throw Matt Harvey in there, even though he’s arbitration-eligible this winter. All six of those guys will, combined, cost the Mets less than $10 million next season.

These last few years have been very trying for most Mets fans. Prospects develop slowly, and that sucks. Money has been tight, and hard decisions had to be made. Did Alderson do a perfect job in getting us here? Absolutely not. He has made some glaring mistakes. However, he’s limited his mistakes enough that he’s kept on this steady, gradual path towards a winning ballclub.

Building a team the right way requires diligence, patience, and the ability to withstand flak from fans and the media. Whatever you think about Alderson’s approach to baseball, how he acquired (or didn’t acquire) some of his prospects, or how he’s handled the media over these last few years, it’s clear that the hard-but-necessary path he took this franchise on has paid off. I can honestly sit here and say that the Mets are going to be good, and no matter what happens tonight, this weekend, or in the weeks ahead, they’re going to be good for many years to come.

Boy, does it feel good to say that.

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Alderson Would Be “Very Surprised” If Uribe Were On NLDS Roster http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-would-be-very-surprised-if-uribe-were-on-nlds-roster.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/10/alderson-would-be-very-surprised-if-uribe-were-on-nlds-roster.html/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:08:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194096 juan uribe

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he would be “very surprised” if infielder Juan Uribe were to make the NLDS roster.

The Mets are scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and it doesn’t appear that Uribe will be make the trek as he continues to recover from a chest contusion.

This has opened the door for Kirk Nieuwenhuis to make the team, at least for the first round of the playoffs.

After the NLDS, should the Mets advance, they will be able to reevaluate and comprise a new roster for the NLCS which is a best of seven series.

October 4

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field before Sunday’s regular season finale, manager Terry Collins said that third baseman Juan Uribe is “iffy” to make the Mets roster for the NL Division Series against the Dodgers.

That would certainly open up a roster spot for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

October 1

Terry Collins told reporters that veteran infielder Juan Uribe has made no progress with his chest injury and will now be examined by team doctors in New York.

Collins explained that the injury to Uribe is where sternum meets the clavicle, and the fear is that instead of a cartilage-related bruise they initially diagnosed, it may actually be a separation.

While Collins considers Uribe a valuable player to have against the Dodgers’ left-handers, he admits that his status for the NLDS is now up in the air.

Uribe, 36, re-injured his chest muscle after he appeared as a pinch hitter last Friday night in Cincinnati.

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Blame the Bullpen for Last Night’s Loss http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/blame-the-bullpen-for-last-nights-loss.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/blame-the-bullpen-for-last-nights-loss.html/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 16:29:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194133 tim stauffer

Blame whoever you want. Blame Terry Collins. Blame Scott Boras. Heck, even blame Matt Harvey if you want. But really it’s the bullpen you should be pointing fingers at this morning.

Last night, after Matt Harvey pitched five dazzling innings of one-hit ball, he was removed from the game by his manager after throwing 77 pitches so that they could preserve him for a more significant role in the postseason.

If you happened to miss the first five innings of the game last night, you may have been tricked into believing this was a blowout from the start with the final score being 11-2. The truth is, when Harvey exited the game and the bullpen took over in the 6th inning, the Mets held a 1-0 lead over the Yankees and all seemed well.

As frustrating as it was to see Harvey get removed from a game in which he seemed just about as dominant as he’s been all year, we all knew it was going to happen. Terry Collins said it was the plan before the game and even alluded to it in an interview with ESPN’s Buster Olney in the 4th inning, “He’s done after five,” the Mets manager said.

The bottom line is, Terry Collins and the Mets needed four sharp innings from their bullpen to preserve a series win over the Yankees, and they didn’t get it.

Hansel Robles got things started for the Yankees when he surrendered five runs on three hits and wasn’t able to complete the sixth. Not exactly what the Mets were looking for from Robles. Sean Gilmartin, Eric O’Flaherty, Erik Goeddel, Carlos Torres and Tim Stauffer all followed and combined to allow six more runs in the final three innings.

In a perfect world, or at least the way the Mets had envisioned it, Robles, Reed, Clippard, and Familia all would have picked up where their ace left off, the offense would have tacked on a few more runs, and the Mets would have went to on to win and take the series.

But instead, the bullpen completely imploded and dropped the Mets lead over the Nationals for the division lead to six games.

The good news is the Mets will now go on to face the Braves, Reds, and Phillies before they close out the season at home against the Nats. However, with all the talk of innings limits and skipping starts, it is imperative that this Mets bullpen sharpens up down the stretch and brings some momentum into the playoffs should they get there.

Last night, was a playoff-like test for that bullpen. This time they failed. Hopefully the next time they are put into a high pressure situation it is a different outcome. After all, every game from here on out is a playoff game for the Mets.

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What It Means To Be A Mets Fan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/what-it-means-to-be-a-mets-fan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/what-it-means-to-be-a-mets-fan.html/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:39:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193319 wright Mets win

I’m not a cocky, pompous or obnoxious baseball fan. I was brought up with the game, played it the right way, and have tremendous amounts of respect for the rules of the game. I don’t brag about my team, even when they’re doing good, and I am as fair as possible, giving credit where credit is due as well as trying to be as unbiased as possible.

For a majority of my life, the Mets have been horrible. I’ve seen them make the playoffs once, collapse twice, and have seen them miss the playoffs every other year in between. I’ve gone to the games in the middle of September when they’ve been out of it for months for the simple fact that I love the game.

I’m 20 now, and the last time I’ve seen a team have a real shot at doing something special, I had braces, a bowl cut and wasn’t even a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’ve embraced the Mets lifestyle and wouldn’t have it any other way. I always just told myself – when the Mets were at their lowest point – that one day all this losing, suffering and heartbreak will make winning that much sweeter. When we do win it all, it will all have been worth it.

My entire life, I’ve grown up with Yankees fans. I was always the minority, and for the most part had to fend for myself to fight for the Mets. “It must be so easy,” I would think to myself “to have your team be guaranteed a playoff spot pretty much right off the bat.” And for my entire life, the Yankees have ruled New York. Guys like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada were the jerseys that would smack you in the face as you walked through the doors at Modell’s. The Mets were always second fiddle to the Bronx Bombers, and were often never taken seriously and just written off as the Lovable Losers.

This year, hope peeked its head. Our young core of pitchers were good from day one this year, and are probably the reason we are even where we are now, as they kept us afloat when he had John Mayberry and Eric Campbell as the heart of our lineup.

One by one, these young arms came up and lived up to their expectations. “If we could just get some bats, this team is going to be a real force to be reckoned with.” Then in July, everything changed. The non-trade of Wilmer Flores, the promotion of Michael Conforto, the acquisitions of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, and most importantly, the addition of Yoenis Cespedes. With David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud coming back from injury, to go along with all these fresh new faces, the Mets finally had a lineup.

And what have they done? They’ve gone from second place at the deadline to picking up nine games on the pre season World Series favorite Washington Nationals. The Mets have always done the improbable, and demonstrated magic, overcoming odds and surprising their fans. This year is just another example of that. We went from a fan base wallowing in our sadness to a “why not us?” Attitude.

So why NOT us? This isn’t 2007. We ain’t collapsing anytime soon. We’re going to do great things this October and November. Mark my words. I don’t care about the stupid Yankees. Keep your 27 rings, that’s in the past. Now it’s our time to reclaim New York. What does it mean to me to be a Mets fan? Fighting until the end, even when everyone’s given up on you. It’s our time. Let’s Go Mets.

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Slumping Cespedes Will Be Moved Down Batting Order http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/slumping-cespedes-will-be-moved-down-batting-order.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/slumping-cespedes-will-be-moved-down-batting-order.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 23:43:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=194056 Cespedes Yoenis

After taking another collar during Saturday’s 5-0 loss to the Yankees, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is now hitless in his last 17 at-bats.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the coaching staff is concerned that their once red-hot slugger hasn’t been the same since he was hit in the upper leg by Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler last Tuesday.

“One of the coaches brought up during the game that he’s 0-for-15 since they drilled him,” manager Terry Collins said. “I don’t think he’s afraid by any stretch of the imagination. We’ll just keep running in him out there.”

In an attempt to get Cespedes going again, Collins plans to bat him lower in the order in Sunday’s Subway Series finale.

Cespedes has primarily batted in the second and third spots in the batting order since joining the Mets. No word on how much lower in the order he’ll bat tomorrow, but this is likely temporary.

“We’ll see if we can get some guys on ahead of him,” Collins added. “That might help out.”

David Wright expressed confidence that Cespedes will break out of it very soon.

“Unless you want him to hit .500 with 100 home runs per year, which is what his pace was for a few weeks or a month or whatever it was, you’re inevitably going to slow down a little bit,” Wright said.

“But he’s the type of guy that makes adjustments fairly quickly. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets hot again here real soon.”

Cespedes has seen his batting average drop from .309 to .283 since he was hit by Koehler.

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MMO Game Thread: Yankees vs Mets, 1:05 PM (It’s War!) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-yankees-vs-mets-105-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-yankees-vs-mets-105-pm.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 15:08:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193922 noah syndergaard

After defeating the New York Yankees in Friday’s Subway Series opener by a score of 5-1, the New York Mets will continue their quest for the NL East crown this afternoon at Citi Field with their magic number down to eight games.

Rookie Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.20) will get the start for the Mets and he opposes right-hander Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.25) for the Yankees in a 1:05 PM matinee.

The Mets have won nine of their last 11 games and are 11-5 in September and 31-13 since August 1. The .705 winning percentage in that span is second only to Toronto.

Last night’s crowd (43,602) was the fifth sellout this year, which ties the 2009 season for sellouts in a season at Citi Field. It was also the second-largest crowd in Citi Field history.

New York is 29-14 (16-7 at home) in day games this year, the best winning percentage (.674) in the majors.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. David Wright – 3B
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Wilmer Flores – SS
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Kevin Plawecki – C
  9. Noah Syndergaard – RHP

The Mets and Yankees continue the Subway Series: Queens Edition this afternoon with Michael Pineda going up against Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard is 8-6 over 21 starts and 129.1 innings this year with a 3.20 ERA and 137 strikeouts. After a series of average to below average starts, Noah finally had a strong start to kick off September after 12 days of rest, going 7.0 innings allowing 1 ER and striking out 8. Noah wasn’t called up yet when the Mets and Yankees met earlier in the season.

Michael Pineda is 10-8 over 23 games and 139.2 innings this year with a 4.25 ERA. Around mid-May it looked Pineda was going to be on track for a stellar season, similar to his shortened season to the year before. Since returning in late August he has made four starts over 21.2 innings with a 5.82 ERA. Earlier this season when he faced the Mets he held the Amazin’s to 1 ER over 7.2 innings while striking out 7. The Mets have the following numbers against Pineda:

  • Cuddyer 1-8
  • Granderson 2-5, 2B
  • Campbell 1-3, 2B
  • Cespedes 0-3
  • Duda 0-2
  • Flores 1-3
  • Lagares 0-3
  • Murphy 0-3
  • Kirk 1-3

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Take Subway Series Opener With 5-1 Defeat Of Yankees http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-take-subway-series-opener-with-5-1-defeat-of-yankees.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mets-take-subway-series-opener-with-5-1-defeat-of-yankees.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 02:26:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193984 Matz Steven

The New York Mets (84-63) defeated the New York Yankees (80-66) by a score of 5-1 on Friday night at Citi Field, taking the opener of the Subway Series and reducing their magic number to clinch the NL East to eight.

Pitching:

Steven Matz started the game just a bit amped up to say the least, but settled down to put together a great effort and improve to 4-0, in what was the biggest game of his short career. Matz pitching six innings while giving up 7 hits, but only allowed one run, which came in the first inning. Matz struck out 4 while allowing 1 walk. A great effort from the Long Island born pitcher.

The Mets bullpen came in to close out the final three innings of the game and provided three scoreless innings. Hansel Robles and Addison Reed  came in to pitch a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, both with two strikeouts each.

Jeurys Familia came into the game in a non-save situation and struggled a bit in the ninth. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out, but Familia was able to get Brett Gardner to pop out to Yoenis Cespedes, and put Chase Headley down on strikes to end the ballgame.

Duda Lucas

Offense:

It was home runs that powered the Mets offense tonight. Big blasts off the bats of Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy off of Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka  gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. In the seventh Juan Uribe hit a pinch hit two-run bomb of his own off of Yankee reliever Chasen Shreve.

Lucas Duda had a great night at the plate and hopefully it’s something to build on for the first baseman. With two extra-base hits on the night,  The homer broke a 66 at-bat homerless streak for Duda dating to August 2, which matched his longest of the season.

David Wright finished the game 2-for-3 and recorded his 10th multi-hit game since coming off the Disabled List (19 total games). He Is hitting .313 (61-195) in his career versus the Yankees and is batting .304 (24-79) since coming off the DL.

Notes:

A lot of adrenaline in this series for both teams and rightfully so as both clubs are playing to punch their ticket into October. A fun game to watch, and its great to see the energy at Citi Field from the fans and in the dugout for serious September baseball. The announced attendance was the second largest in Citi Field history and the place was electric.

The Mets have hit 29 home runs in their last 17 games with their three home runs tonight. It is the 21st three-homer game by the Mets this season, which is tied for third-most in a single season in team history…The Mets are 19-2 this season when they hit three or more home runs in a game.

The Mets shed another game off their magic number, as now any combination of wins or Nationals losses that add up to 8 will clinch the NL East. The Nationals were tied 4-4 as of this writing.

Terry Collins said Tyler Clippard‘s back tightened up on him while throwing ball during batting practice. He is having is back examined by team doctors tonight.

On Deck:

The Mets look to go for the series win tomorrow as the god of thunder, Noah Syndergaard (8-6, 3.20 ERA) is opposed by Yankees pitcher, Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.25 ERA). Let’s Go Mets!

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MMO Game Thread: Yankees vs Mets, 7:10 PM (Rumble In Queens!) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-yankees-vs-mets-710-pm-rumble-in-queens.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-game-thread-yankees-vs-mets-710-pm-rumble-in-queens.html/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 19:23:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193918 subway series

Here we go… The New York Mets and the New York Yankees rumble this weekend for a three game series at a sold-out Citi Field beginning tonight at 7:10 PM.

Rookie left-hander Steven Matz (3-0, 1.88 ERA) opposes right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (12-6, 3.40) in Friday’s series opener.

The Mets have won seven of the last 11 games between the two clubs dating to 2013, including winning three of the last five series.

David Wright has nine career home runs vs. the Yankees, the most by any Met. Wright is hitting .307 (59-192) with 34 RBI in 50 games vs. the Yankees. He missed the series in the Bronx earlier this year.

The Mets have hit 26 home runs in their last 16 games. A franchise-record 22 different players have hit at least one home run for the Mets this season. The Mets have also hit 78 home runs at Citi Field this year, the most in a season since the ballpark opened in 2009.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson – RF
  2. Yoenis Cespedes – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. David Wright – 3B
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  7. Michael Conforto – LF
  8. Wilmer Flores – SS
  9. Steven Matz – LHP

The Mets dropped a series at home against the Marlins and it look to rebound against the Yankees in the second leg of the Subway series. The Yankees are in crunch mode as they still have a high, high chance of making playoffs but are trying to win the division. The Mets on the other hand have a magic number of 9 and are looking to wrap this up sooner than later.

Steven Matz gets the start for the Mets. He’s 3-0 over 4 starts and 24.0 innings with a 1.88 ERA while logging 22 strikeouts. In his two starts since returning from the DL, he has allowed 3 ER over 10.1 innings (2.61 ERA) while walking 4 and striking out 8. He has never faced the Yankees in a major league game, or any batters on the Yankees roster.

The Mets draw the Yankee ace today as Tanaka comes to Queens with a 12-6 record over 22 starts and 143.0 innings with a 3.40 ERA. After some average starts in late August, early September, he has locked it down in his last two starts allowing 1 ER over 15.0 innings with 17 strikeouts. His only start against the New York Mets was a good one as he shutout the Mets over 9.0 innings while allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8. The Mets have the following numbers against Tanaka:

  • Cespedes 3-10
  • Murphy 1-4
  • Wright 0-4
  • E Young 1-4, 2B
  • Duda 0-3
  • Granderson  0-3
  • Recker 0-3
  • Tejada 0-3

Let’s Go Mets!

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Is This The Biggest Subway Series Ever During The Regular Season? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/is-this-the-biggest-subway-series-ever-during-the-regular-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/is-this-the-biggest-subway-series-ever-during-the-regular-season.html/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 15:07:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193927 joe girardi terry collins

In 19 years since the Subway Series started, there has never a regular season matchup that had as many playoff implications as this one. There’s so much on the line in this series as both teams are fighting to win their divisions with only a few weeks to play.

The Mets are already in a great position with a commanding eight game lead over the Nationals. However, Yankees’ situation is far more urgent. They trail the powerful Toronto Blue Jays by 3.5 games and hold a four game lead over the Wild Card.

“For us, they are huge games,’’ Yankees right fielder and former Met Carlos Beltran said. “Go there and hopefully win the series.’

“It’s going to feel like playoff baseball, and that’s probably a good thing,’’ said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose club copped two of three from the Rays prior to Thursday’s off day. (George A King III, NY Post)

While the Mets have their division all but locked up, this series presents a great opportunity for them to deal a devastating blow to their crosstown rivals and to show the rest of the MLB that they are a formidable club to be reckoned with.

“I have been part of a lot of Subway Series, and this one has more meaning than most,’’ said Mets hitting coach Kevin Long, who held the same gig with the Yankees from 2007-14.

“It’s fun, exciting, that’s why you play baseball. We will see if Mets fans come out a little more than they have in the past. When we played Washington, this place was rocking. I expect it to be the same as it was then.’’

These two teams have had so many great moments over the years, but this one will likely go down as one of the most memorable. The only series that I can think of that had greater importance was the 2000 World Series where the Mets lost four games to one.

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Captain Wright Ready To “Take Back New York” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/captain-wright-ready-to-take-back-new-york.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/captain-wright-ready-to-take-back-new-york.html/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 12:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193920 david wright

Mets Captain David Wright sat down with Newsday to discuss the current state of New York baseball, and the craving for the Metropolitans to take back the city.

“That’s ultimately what New York wants,” Wright said. “They love gritty, younger-type teams, homegrown. And I think that’s what we can provide. We play exciting baseball. You get those fans behind you, you get that city behind you, you can definitely get some momentum for sure.”

New York Mets fans have been waiting for a team they can get behind now for almost a decade. This team has not seen post-season baseball since 2006.

Wright’s comeback this year, along with a solid young pitching foundation and key acquisitions of Yoenis Cespedes, Tyler Clippard, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe have sprung this team forward from pretenders to contenders.

“Yeah, I think you have to go out there and earn the respect of the fans,” Wright said. “It’s not something that I think is given. I’d like to think we’ve done a pretty solid job thus far of trying to earn the fans’ backing and kind of the fans’ approval.”

Now with the Mets and New York Yankees both fighting for a playoff spot, this is their most high profile match-up, arguably since the 2000 World Series. Citi will be electric and both teams will be ready to go in front of more than likely three sell-out crowds.

The “subway series” has always been somewhat of a side-show but this one has more meaning than most, with games that matter for both teams and just a few games left in the season.

“It’s very similar to a college football rivalry, where you obviously want to beat the in-town rival in this case,” Wright said.

“But ultimately, you’re judged on let’s make it to the postseason. It’s a bonus if you can win this series. But in this situation, we’re not talking about May or June. We’re talking about September.”

This is sure to be a great series with it also getting national attention on Sunday during the 8:05 PM ESPN game. You have the Mets trying to clinch their division and trying to lower their magic number, while the Yankees are still chasing the Toronto Blue Jays while trying to hold onto a wild card spot. This is going to be fun.

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Earliest Mets Can Clinch NL East Is Sunday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/earliest-mets-can-clinch-nl-east-is-sunday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/earliest-mets-can-clinch-nl-east-is-sunday.html/#comments Tue, 15 Sep 2015 17:15:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193689 mets win

With the Mets’ magic number now at ten games, New York can clinch the division title as early as this Sunday against the Yankees. The Mets will play the second game of their nine game homestand tonight before going on a road trip to Cincinnati and Philadelphia starting Thursday the 24th.

“To clinch here would be very, very special, but to clinch would be more special,” Terry Collins said Monday. “I don’t care where it’s at. To be able to clinch any place, any time, it would be a huge boost not only to our organization but to your fan base to say, ‘Look, thanks for all the support and continued support.’”

How great would it be if the Mets could clinch at home against the Yankees? Of course, that’s unlikely to happen, but I won’t be surprised if the Mets can lock it all up at home sometime during the series against Atlanta.

The Mets don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon as they are in the midst of an incredible eight game winning streak.  It also helps that the Nationals continue to play uninspiring baseball after being labeled as the World Series favorites in the offseason by most experts.

Some fans were afraid of witnessing another September collapse, but it was clear that this team wasn’t going to allow that to happen. The Mets simply over matched Washington and outplayed them all year long.

Now just a matter of time before the Mets are crowned the champions of the National League East.

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Kevin Long Has The Lineup Back On Track http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/kevin-long-has-the-lineup-back-on-track.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/kevin-long-has-the-lineup-back-on-track.html/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:30:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192207 kevin long michael cuddyer

Mark Herrmann of Newsday writes about the impact that hitting coach Kevin Long has made during his first season with the Mets. Even though the offense struggled mightily earlier in the season, he managed to stay positive and has helped the lineup back on track.

“I think overall I’m a positive guy and I know that if you stay the course and you’re diligent in your work and you trust what you’re doing, hopefully at the end of the day, it works out,” said Long, whose batters entered Monday night with a .273 average in August.

Ever since the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, the offense has been outstanding. They were second in the MLB in runs scored during the month of August, and were only two runs behind the stacked the Toronto Blue Jays lineup for the most in baseball. The Mets also led the league in doubles and total bases.

“It helps to have solidified major league players,” he said. “You get Uribe, who”s got 10 years plus, and Kelly Johnson, who has got 10 years plus, and Cespedes, who is a young superstar, it definitely helps.”

Perhaps Long’s biggest contribution is helping Curtis Granderson regain his form. Granderson is having an excellent bounce back season reuniting with his former hitting coach and spoke very highly about him.

“He’s a big cheerleader, which you definitely need to have when you’re hitting,” Granderson said. “It’s obviously very difficult to hit, especially when you’re doing things that on the outside look great. You need that constant reminder that hey, things aren’t going the way you want them to. And when they’re not, you need somebody there to get you back in the right direction sooner than later.”

Long may credit the lineup’s turnaround to personnel change, but he’s played a big role in it too. He has been doing a great job, and he absolutely deserves some credit for how well the team has been hitting of late.

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