Posts belonging to Category Mets Classified



At Least For One Day, There is Joy in Metsville

Opening Day in baseball is one of my favorite days of the year. For every team in baseball, it is a day when you have confidence in your team and everyone is in first place. Yes, even Mets fans, although you wouldn’t know it listening to the blowhards on talk radio, or if you flip through the tabloids on your train ride to work.

Yesterday, a picture perfect day in Queens, was a perfect day for a ballgame. A new era for the Mets has begun.

When the lineups were announced, we didn’t hear the familiar “Leading off, SS, #7, Jose Reyes!!!”. It was a final shot at reality that Reyes has gone to the party down in the neon palace in Miami. It was time to move on.

But as the rest of the lineup is announced, you start to think of what could be.

“Can Daniel Murphy stay healthy and continue to hit .300? Will David Wright and Jason Bay be helped out by the new dimensions and get back to their form? Will Ike Davis and and Lucas Duda provide the youthful power in the middle of the lineup?” You start to think to yourself, “maybe these guys won’t be so bad after all.”

Johan gave the Mets some hope for the season on Opening Day

Then words we haven’t heard since Sept 10, 2010, “Warming up in the bullpen, starting pitcher, #57 Johan Santana!!”. The man who many pundits said will never pitch again. And if he did, he would never be the same. Just seeing #57 out there gives you more of a good feeling.

“Can Johan give them 25 starts? If he can, maybe we will be ok.”

Yesterday, Johan gave the Mets 5 innings of 2 hit ball. He was vintage out there. was he throwing 95? No. But with a fastball at 88, and a change-up at 78, he was making hitters look silly. “Hey, he’s looking good out there. Just maybe huh?”

Since Santana only went 5 innings (80+ pitches), it was time to see the new bullpen that Sandy Alderson put together.

“Last year we lost so many game due to the bullpen, maybe if these guys can do the job, hey, we could be alright.”

Ramon Ramirez, Tim Byrdak, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco shut down the Braves for 4 innings to hold a Mets 1-0 and seal the victory.

“Wow, these guys look great out there. If they can keep it going…”

Yesterday was a day the Mets did everything right. Starting from the touching Gary Carter tribute, the beautiful new blue walls, the amazing new uniforms, to playing sound defense, to getting clutch hits, and getting phenomenal pitching. And yes, even having a sellout crowd (42,080 announced). It was one of those rare days where the Mets did no wrong. Maybe things are going in the right direction. With the Madoff mess now behind them, they immediately locked up Jon Niese on a 5-year deal. Will more deals be coming soon?

Gary Carter jersey hangs in Mets dugout

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mets game without an injury. Andres Torres pulled up lame, re-aggravating his calf. On the bright side, the Mets play to bring up youngster Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

“Captain Kirk coming up?! Man, this kid could be just what we need!”

Now back to reality. This team certainly has lots of question marks, but I don’t believe that they will be historically bad like some folks seem to think. Will this team win 90 games? no. Will they lose 100? I don’t see how that is possible. Can this team win 80-83 games? Possibly. Will they lose more than they win? Probably. With the second wild card team added, this team has a shot to be ok, and be in the race. A .500 team is not out of the question, and that will put them there since the National League is not very good. The NL East has certainly gotten tougher, but I see all the teams beating up on each other.

Hey, it’s been one game, but if you can’t be positive now, when can you be? Ya Gotta Believe, right?

Gary Carter Dies at Age 57

After a long battle with brain cancer, Gary Carter passed away today in hospice care in Florida. This is a terribly sad day for not only Mets’ fans, but fans of baseball. There was never a kinder or gentler man than Carter. He is remembered by his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.

RIP Kid. You are gone but will never be forgotten. Leave us your Carter memories in the comments below.

RIP Gary Carter

Jose, Jose Jose Jose, Jose…Jose

He was one of the most polarizing figures in recent New York sports memory.  Some remember him as the wide eyed kid with the toothy grin that captivated hearts with his boundless potential. The player who pulled his hamstring time and again by playing too hard and coming back from injuries too soon. A player loved by none other than Terry Collins, a guy who knows a thing or two about laying it all on the line.

Others harbor a deep seeded resentment of him as a player and more as a person. They view him as an immature athlete propelled by his athleticism and limited by his character.  All too often, there is an undercurrent of racial dissatisfaction among the fairer haired fans with his appearance and choice of music. This is especially relevant because he was contrasted time and again with David Wright, the “peoples” champion. And of course he had those pesky hamstrings.

To the haters his walk off bunt single to win the 2011 batting title will be forever tainted, to the fans it was his way of preserving the Mets first ever batting champion, another example of Reyes not wanting to let the fans down. No matter what side of the Reyes fence you stand on one thing is clear, it no longer matters. General Sandy Alderson of the U.S.S. NY Media Spin has closed the door on Reyes as well as the debate around whether Reyes could ever champion the Mets to a World Series.

Thanks for the Memories, Jose!

Reyes took a parting shot at the Mets and said he never felt like they wanted him. Some Mets fans were upset by this, but I wonder how many of us would have reacted differently. Its hard to blame him, the Mets never offered him a contract. Talk is cheap as they say, and Alderson admitted that was the extent of what he did for Reyes. There was no midnight meeting at the Reyes house, no walk down memory lane for old time’s sake. No Sandy Alderson with a Reyes jersey waiting for him inside Morton’s Steakhouse. The fact is, Alderson was praying someone would offer Reyes a deal that the fans would agree was not right to match and the Marlins helped him out. The Marlins were there at midnight, they did take him out to dinner and they did put their money where there mouth was and put pen to paper and ironed out a deal for Reyes to sign. Regardless of if you wanted to keep Reyes or not at 6 yrs 100 million, and I for one did not, you had to expect the Mets would have at least taken a swing to try and keep this kid. He was a Met for 9 years, left as the franchise leader in runs, triples and stolen bases, is a gold glove caliber shortstop and the franchises only batting champion and he does not even see a contract?

It was a betrayal to the fans to not make more of an effort to keep him. Let Reyes be the one who after the Mets put forth their best effort to keep him walked away for more money, give us the chance to be mad at him for that. As a fan I am ok with that scenario. Because lets face it, players come and go but the team you root for never changes. The Mets should have been the good guy in this situation, the team in financial turmoil abandoned by its greedy star. “Oh the humanity of it all” we would have cried. Instead I felt as though the Mets were playing the situation, like I was being played by Alderson and his crew. Just offer him 4 years and 80 million without a no trade clause. Don’t say that’s maybe, kinda, hopefully, what you would offer him.

Alderson’s interview transcripts read like a Bill Clinton congressional testimony.

NY Media: Did you ever intend to sign Jose Reyes?

Gen. Alderson: Depends on what you definition of the word “intend” is…

Alderson bobbed and weaved throughout this Reyes situation exactly as MLB Commissioner Bud Selig envisioned he would when he commandeered him to take over the Mets much like David Stern had the NBA take over the New Orleans Hornets. Selig wanted every attempt to be made to not make the Mets look like the small market team they have become in light of the financial mess they are in. Pundits will argue that the Mets must have wanted to keep Reyes, or they would have traded him last July. To that I say what are the odds the Mets would have gotten 2 first round picks (at the time the estimated haul for a Type A free agent loss) for a rental player at the deadline? Alderson and his cronies knew what they are doing and the slice of pie this bought with the talking heads in New York was not lost on them.

Alderson in all of his interviews displays an undertone of sheer amazement of how daft the NY media is about this situation. He states the Mets lost 70 million dollars last year, he infers that we must read the papers and know the trouble the Mets are in. With this financial reality, how in the world did people think the Mets were going to drop 100 million on Reyes? So why not just say it? If New York fans are supposed to be the smartest in sports, why mess around? Why try to manipulate public opinion with double talk and backpedaling and wordsmith?  Former GM Omar Minaya has been tormented for his outbreak against Adam Rubin a few years ago, but I would welcome that kind of honest reaction from an official in the Mets camp right about now. Just tell us like it is, we are going to figure it out anyway. Either way we won’t like any of you unless you win us a World Series so why all the b.s.? We know the Wilpons are broke and rotten, we can smell it. Time for Alderson and more importantly the Wilpons to man up and start giving it to the fans straight.

The Mets are r..r….r…..r….rebuilding.  In part it is because of some nasty contracts, but let’s face it, this is the Mets. If there was money in the bank they would still be out there trading Ike Davis for pitching and signing Prince Fielder. But the fact is, there is no money. The dream they are selling is hope, and they are selling it at a slightly discounted rates from their original outrageous prices. It’s a dark time to be a Mets fan, its time to reach out to the Pirates, the Royals and all the other small markets fans on how to survive these times. Lucky for them they don’t have to drive by Yankee Stadium every day and wonder what could have been for this franchise…

On the bright side at least Reyes did not lose the batting title to a cheater like Ryan Braun. Suck it Braun!

Mets Turn the Page on the Jose Reyes Era

This one is tough to swallow. The Miami Marlins have signed Jose Reyes to a 6/$106 million contract. The kid who came up with the Mets in 2003, and was supposed to be our SS for the next 15 years is gone.

When word came down last night, it was like a punch to the gut. I remember going to a game in Jose’s first season and getting my ticket stub signed by him. He signed for about 50 people and was talking with fans. He was a kid who couldn’t believe what was happening to him. I really thought this kid would be here forever. But that was a long time ago. Before the hamstrings, before Madoff, before the “Carl Crawford contract” comments.

Jose Reyes signs with the Miami Marlins

Going into this season, I started to feel deep down that this could be the end of the Jose Reyes Era in Queens. While I put on a front for many, saying he wouldn’t leave and he loves it here, I knew the Mets wouldn’t be able to offer the contract he wanted. As the season progressed, that contract got higher and higher, but then that hammy put him on the DL twice. Once this happened, I sort of started to think that the Mets had a shot. This also killed any chances of a team trading for a rental with a bum hammy.

The price would come down to something they could afford. And for all accounts, it pretty much did. In the end, I see it as the Mets wanting to turn a page. No other team offered or even discussed offering Reyes the contract he received. The Marlins upped their offer significantly while bidding against themselves.

This isn’t Seaver leaving the Mets. Not even close to that. This feeling is similar to when Straw left to go to the Dodgers. While Reyes is an absolute game changing player, he averaged 128 games over last six seasons, and 98 over the last three. He has missed 40% of the Mets games over the last three seasons. It doesn’t make the loss feel any better, but giving a guy with injury history to his legs a 6 year deal is a risk. Would I have been upset if the Mets did it? No, but I can understand why they didn’t.

I’m sure younger fans are feeling this is the end. The Mets have been much worse than the team they will field next year, and they will eventually get back to being a competitive team. Things do certainly look awful bleak right now. The financial situation makes things even worse. Alderson revealed last night that the team lost $70 million last season. It could be a rough ride the next few seasons while everything with Madoff is straightened out, or, hopefully, the Wilpons sell the team.

Leave your memories of Reyes, and your thoughts on the whole situation in the comments section.


Mets make it official: Changes coming to Citi Field

As reported here August, the Mets have decided to make adjustments to Citi Field.

Here are the official changes:

L to R: 335-358-385-408-398-375-330

100 new seats in left-center between old and new walls. 40-50 new seats where Mo’s Zone was.

Two new rows of seats in left-center

Fence is a uniform eight feet. Playing surface over is 2 percent less. Playing surface beyond 300 feet is 5 percent less.

Mets would have hit about 81 more homers over three years with these dimensions. Opponents 70. According to Sandy Alderson.

In extreme left field corner, the old 16-foot wall will be in play with line at 8 feet. Mets say unconcerned about umpires determining HR.

Also, as many fans wanted, the walls will be painted blue.

So there ya have it! what do you all think?

New Citi Field dimensions. Photo courtesy of metsblog.com

My Mets Plan for the Offseason

The free agent period has begun, and the Reyes watch is on. Honestly, I always thought Reyes would be back, but the more I sit and think about it, I’m starting to think he will leave. Putting that aside, I still think the Mets should keep him around, so here is what I would do if I were running the show:

Will Reyes stay in NY?

- Re-sign Jose Reyes 5/$100 mil with 6th year option based on games played: Reyes is more than the SS for this team. He brings energy and a spirit like no other. Fans identify with him, and he is the spark that gets the team going. I think if the Mets offer him $100mil, he will stay. I wouldn’t be shocked, however, if some one blows him away with a 7 year deal and he leave.

- Sign Joe Nathan to close: Joe Nathan is a local guy, and would be a perfect fit to close games. He is a cheap option that will be out to prove that he still has it. Could probably land him for a 1 or 2 year deal on the cheap.

-Non-tender/trade Angel Pagan and Mike Pelfrey: Honestly it is time to move on. Pagan looks lost in CF, and Pelfrey just doesn’t have it any more. If you can get anything for them, great. If not, let them go.

-Sign David DeJesus or Coco Crisp: Either one of these guys would be great to play CF. Neither would be too expensive. DeJesus is another local kid and i think Crisp woyuld thrive in the NY spotlight.

-Sign Jason Varitek: Give Varitek a 1 year deal. Have him mentor Thole. I think he is a perfect, cheap fit.

-Sign Grady Sizemore: If he checks out to be healthy, why not give him a shot? Sizemore is the type of player that the Mets will need to sign. Yes, he is a major risk, but the upside is huge. I’d rather give Sizemore a chance in RF and let Duda get some more seasoning in the minors or be a power left handed bat off the bench than have Duda out there every day. Don’t get me wrong, I like Duda, but i think Sizemore can add defense and some speed.

-Sign Mark Buehrle: Mets need to add an arm. Buehrle is as consistent as they come. No need to throw a ton of cash at C.J. Wilson. Slot him in, and he strengthens the rotation greatly.

-Trade Daniel Murphy for some arms: Build the bullpen by trading Murph. Look, I think Murphy is a great hitter, but he has no position on this team. The Mets are not trading David Wright, in fact, I think they will lock him up at some point during the season. Murphy is an asset that we can deal to get something.

-Sign Cody Ross: Another cheap option that could be a nice bench bat.

Lineup

Reyes SS
Crisp/DeJesus CF
Wright 3B
Davis 1B
Bay LF
Sizemore/Duda RF
Thole/Varitek C
Tejada 2B

Bench:
Turner
Thole/Varitek
Duda
C. Ross
Evans

Rotation:
Santana
Buehrle
Niese
Dicky
Gee

Pen:
Nathan Cl
Parnell Setup
Beato
Acosta
Byrdak
relievers acquired via trade

So there is that. What do you guys think? Of course it all starts with Reyes re-signing. Will it happen? I don’t have a good feeling about it, but it is nice to think #7 will be around for a long time.

Sources: Changes Coming to Citi Field

Fans, and players, may soon be able to stop complaining about the dimensions of Citi Field. According to a source who was briefed on the Mets plans, the club intends to make two major modifications to the stadium.

Changes coming to Citi Field

The first will be a change to the “Great Wall of Flushing” in left field. The wall will be reduced from 16ft down to the more commonplace 8ft high wall with added seating. The source was of the mindset that there will be some sort of porch/balcony seating installed above the new 8ft wall.

The other change will be to the Mo Zone in right center field. The source says a wall will be built across closing in the Mo Zone, and there is a possibility of more seating placed in the new space created.

The two changes have been major gripes for fans, but also the cause of great frustration with players. David Wright, who has been visibly frustrated while playing at home, will certainly welcome the changes.

Between the jersey changes upcoming, and these new dimension changes, it is nice to see that new management and ownership are finally listening to the fans.

MLB Trade Deadline Rumors and Movements

Ok, not only is their NFL craziness going on, but baseball is counting down to the trade deadline. we will have all the moves and rumors as they come out. Make sure to bookmark this page and come back often.

Here are some of the rumors that are floating around:

July 31

Erik Bedard to Red Sox
Ryan Ludwick may be on his way to Pittsburgh
— Indians at it again, may be close to a deal for Wandy Rodriguez UPDATE: Deal appears to be DEAD
Texas Rangers have acquired Mike Adams from the Padres
— The A’s Brad Ziegler traded to D-Backs
— Red Sox deal for Rich Harden is dead. More to come
Braves acquire Michael Bourn from the Astros for 4 minor leaguers

July 30

Giants acquire Orlando Cabrera from the Indians
Derrick Lee is on the verge of being traded to the Pirates
— Jon Heyman reporting Rafael Furcal has approved a trade to the Cardinals
Red Sox closing in on a deal for Rich Harden Update: Sox official confirms Harden headed to Red Sox for Lars Anderson
— Ubaldo pitching, but Esmil Rogers warming up. Now rumors of 4th player in deal. Update: Ubaldo is hugging his teammates in the dugout. Deal is done
— Another Ubaldo update. Looks like he is starting tonight. Trade may have fallen through do to medical reports.
— Indians also in on Ryan Ludwick and could have a deal soon
— Rumors of Ubaldo Jimenez heading to Cleveland Update: Looks like a done deal!
— Kuroda open to trade to Texas, Boston, or Yankees
— Rafael Furcal may be close to being traded to the Cardinals
— Jason Marquis has been traded from the Washington Nationals to the Arizona Diamondbacks.for Zach Walters SS
— Red Sox acquire 2B/SS Mike Aviles
— Mariners trade SP Doug Fister and RP David Pauley to Detroit for OF Casper Wells, P Charlie Furbush, 3B Francisco Martinez and PTBN.

July 29

— Hunter Pence has been traded to the Phillies for Jarred Cosart and first base prospect Jonathan Singleton plus 2 PTBNL
— Braves are interested in Michael Bourne

July 28

Texas Rangers seem to be the favorite to land Heath Bell.

— Rumors have the Phillies are going after Hunter Pence. The Astros apparently turned down an offer of top pitching prospect Jarred Cosart and first base prospect Jonathan Singleton. Houston is holding out for OF Domonic Brown.

— The Indians are close to acquiring Cubs OF Kosuke Fukudome. UPDATE: Trade now official

Carlos Beltran will be in RF and hitting 3rd for the Giants tonight in Philly.

— With the injury to Rickie Weeks, the Brewers are after the Dodgers Jamey Carroll

Carlos Beltran Traded to Giants

Looks as if Carlos Beltran is heading to the Giants

The rumblings are gaining major speed this afternoon that Carlos Beltran is on his way to the San Francisco Giants. Jon Heyman is reporting that only minor details need to be worked out before Beltran heads to join the World Champs.

In the deal, the Mets are rumored to be getting OF prospect Gary Brown, who ranks #3 in the Giants farm system according to Baseball America. He would easiy become the top OF prospect in the Mets organization, and would probably rank #2 behind Matt Harvey overall. It is unknown if others will be involved in the deal.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday is reporting that he Mets are expected to get Gary Brown and, most likely, two other players in return for Beltran. An excellent haul if true.

UPDATE: Buster Olney is reporting the Giants are expected to give up pitcher Zack Wheeler as the centerpiece of the Beltran trade. WOW! Excellent news for the Mets. Wheeler was the #6 pick of the first round of the 2009 MLB entry draft.

Here is a quick scouting report on Wheeler:

Baseball America, the bible of minor-league baseball, rates pitcher Zack Wheeler as the Giants’ No. 2 prospect

The 6-foot-4, right-handed Wheeler, selected as the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, had a setback at Class A Augusta last year when he cracked a fingernail and was able to make only 13 starts. But he looks like the real thing, with a fastball in the 94-97 mph range, a tight breaking ball and an improving changeup. He was a tough at-bat, allowing just 47 hits (and no homers) in 58 2/3 innings and posting a 3.27 ERA over his last five starts.

UPDATE: Carlos Beltran has accepted the trade to the Giants. He will join the team tomorrow in Philly.

How Different Will Mets Look August 1?

Yesterday afternoon, I cashed in my Father’s Day gift and went to the Mets game with my wife and kids. When I got these tickets back in June, I didn’t put together that it would be the last Met home game before the trade deadline. In other words, possibly Carlos Beltran’s last home game as a Met.

Will Carlos Beltran be a Met much longer?

Rumors have been swirling since Opening Day that Beltran’s days were numbered in Queens. Little did we know we would see the old Beltran. He is putting up great numbers while playing in 93 of 98 games. Because of this, word is that the Mets may actually be able to receive a top notch prospect for Beltran. Some names being thrown around are Zach Wheeler of the Giants, Domonic Brown of the Phillies, and Mike Minor of the Braves. Now you may say, “Frankie, you want Beltran winning a title with PHILLY!!?”. Here’s the thing, first off, no I don’t, but if the Phillies are willing to deal Dom Brown to the Mets for a 2 month rental in Beltran, Sandy would be stupid not to do it. Brown is a top 5 prospect in all of baseball, and would be a fixture in RF for the Mets for years to come. That being said, I don’t think Philly would do it. In all honestly, I hope the Mets don’t trade Beltran. He is the most under appreciated players to ever put on a Mets uniform. And aside from Piazza, and maybe Strawberry, there has been no better offensive player for this team in their history. Seeing Carlos go is going to be tough. I am hoping if he does get traded, it is to an American League team, and maybe the Mets think about bringing him back next season. Both sides seem open to it.

The Mets bullpen could also have a new look. Tim Byrdak is a lefty arm that could be an asset to a team, as well as Jason Isringhausen, who is having a career resurgence. Howeever, recently it was stated that the Mets want to keep Izzy around to mentor some of the young arms in the pen, and it would be nice for it to come full circle, and have Izzy get his 300th save with the Mets.

In essence, the Mets may not look all that different on August 1st. They will actually have an addition in David Wright who comes back tonight in Florida. The team is also hoping to have Johan Santana back in a month. So if the Mets roll off a few wins, will they consider keeping Beltran and wait until the August 31st waiver deadline? There is a chance Carlos will pass through waivers and the Mets could trade him then, but it is a risk. Or they could just try and play out the string with Reyes, Wright and Beltran and give it one more go. One thing is for certain, I trust Sandy Alderson in what he has planned for the team.