3/27/20

Reese Kaplan -- Good Press Release Lacking Truth from MLB

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Do you ever experience so much questionable truth from someone who has achieved fame in public via politics, business, entertainment, literature or some other modality that you find yourself simply questioning whatever is said for veracity and hard-core positioning to convey a very narrowly interpreted truth?

Well, yesterday Major League baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released a letter his staff obviously penned and vetted for his signature about the difference of this non-Opening Day as compared to years’ past.  It started off well as many of us are indeed exchanging tales from previous home openers, fantasies about how the Opening Day would have proceeded if it actually took place, and a reminder that staying alive is actually a bit more important than being entertained by baseballs being thrown, hit and caught. 

Here’s Manfred’s opening:

“Opening Day holds an important place in our hearts.  It signifies the arrival of spring, the promise of new beginnings, the return of following your favorite team on a long journey filled with twists and turns, and the hope that your team will put together a magical season you will remember forever.”

There’s nothing wrong there.  It’s almost poetic in the images it conjures in your head and is non-team-specific in suggesting the universality of what we’re all feeling. 

He then says:

“Today is unlike any Opening Day in Major League Baseball’s long history.  We need to call on the optimism that is synonymous with Opening Day and the unflinching determination required to navigate the entire baseball season to help us through the challenging situation facing all of us.”

OK, here’s where he starts to go off-board a bit.  The thought opens well enough, but then seems to meander into an implied message that the baseball season is more important than the pandemic. 

He follows that with thoughts about the COVID-19 situation and what national health organizations are doing to combat it, including links to their websites. 

Then he goes way off the deep end entirely by talking about what Major League Baseball has done:

“we have met the needs of Minor League players by creating a level of uniform compensation for them.”

Huh?

Dive a little deeper into what MLB has done and you see the very thinly veiled braggadocio glossing over the facts.  MLB has determined that uniformed players on actual minor league rosters will be paid the subhuman wages they would otherwise have earned had the virus not derailed Spring Training.  I suppose that’s a uniform (bad) compensation for them and the fact that they are offering anything at all should be somewhat praiseworthy.  However, it doesn’t address the below minimum wage compensation most minor leaguers get when you factor in the hours worked and divide their wage by that number to find it falls below the federal standard from which MLB is exempt.  Most minor leaguers get $100 to $200 per week for their Spring Training wage.  This agreement will up some to as much as $400, or less than what a store clerk or postal worker would earn.

For those folks who may have missed it, former Met Ty Kelly is now working on behalf of Advocates for Minor Leagues, a new group dedicated to improving the working conditions of the young ballplayers attempting to climb into the majors.  It is a joint venture between former players and a baseball documentarian.  Together they hope to raise the minimum wage above the annual $7500 of compensation paid to many minor league ballplayers, as well as giving them improved living conditions that don’t require sharing apartments like overcrowded college dorm rooms after a big blowout.  
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John From Albany – Mets Breakfast Links 3/27/2020

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Good morning.  Happy Birthday to Brandon Nimmo and Matt Harvey.  MLB and the Players Union make an agreement, and uniforms are being made into hospital masks.  Let's hit the links!   


MLB can shorten the draft all the way down to five rounds…The league could increase the total, too…and held no earlier than August…Also, the international signing period could be delayed until all the way back to January of 2021;

If there is no 2020 season, the players will get the same service time for 2020 they had in 2019, which means players set to hit free agency after this season still will;

Players will collectively get a $170 million advance spread over two months and then their salaries will be prorated for the season, depending upon how long it lasts. 

More on this from AP News: Management was given the right to cut the amateur draft in both 2020 and 2021, and to freeze the values of signing bonus money at 2019 levels. Teams are set to approve the roughly 17-page agreement Friday.

Joel Sherman NY Post: No matter what happens with baseball this season, Mookie Betts will become a free agent come winter. So will J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, James Paxton and Marcus Stroman.


SNY.TV: Video of Mets' 5 most memorable Opening Day moments - Rey Ordonez guns a runner down from his knees, Gary Carter's homer, and more.






Syracuse.com had Sewald’s and Zamora’s stats for Syracuse last year: Sewald appeared in 41 games, all in relief, and posted a 3.35 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 51 innings. Zamora pitched in 29 games, also all out of the bullpen, and produced 36 strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA in 30 frames.

Brian Joura Mets 360.com: Mets 2020 projections: Brandon Nimmo.  As part of his projection Brian takes an in-depth look at the value of On Base Percentage.  His Nimmo projection is as follows: 650 Plate Appearances, .262/.410/.505; 21 HR; 60 RBIs.  (I sure hope he is right).

Reflections on Baseball: Noah Syndergaard: The last nail in his self-built coffin ending his Mets career.

SNY.TV: Instead of being at Opening Day, Jeff McNeil spent part of his Thursday chasing a snake out of his backyard/pool area.



Tim Ryder Metsmerized Online: Reliving The 2000 Mets: Season Preview.

Tim Boyle Rising Apple Mets History RewrittenJose Reyes re-signs after winning the 2011 batting title.

12UP.com: Didi Gregorius Got Screwed by MLB and MLBPA's Reported Service-Time Agreement. Now, with the season set to be shortened to between 80-100 games, Gregorius won't have the desired set of games to truly showcase his talents. In fact, he played in just 82 games last year, which is what netted him the Philly prove-it deal in the first place.

Albany Times Union: Tri-City Valley Cats push back individual ticket sales to April 16. The New York-Penn League baseball franchise said it still plans on playing the home opener on June 24 at Bruno Stadium in Troy.  The Brooklyn Cyclones visit Troy June 27th-June 29th. 






Mack’s Blast From The Past comes from 3-27-12Mack Ade – Mets Catching. Mack looked at catching situation back then including how Josh Thole, a converted first baseman, was progressing. 


Born on this date:
Transactions:

New York Mets purchased Bill Sudakis from the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 27, 1972.


New York Mets released Jim Beauchamp on March 27, 1974.

New York Mets traded Jackson Todd to the Philadelphia Phillies for Edward Cuervo on March 27, 1978.

New York Mets traded Nino Espinosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for Richie Hebner and Jose Moreno on March 27, 1979.

New York Mets traded Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and Mauro Gozzo to the Kansas City Royals for David Cone and Chris Jelic on March 27, 1987.

New York Mets traded Kevin Baez and Tom Wegmann to the Baltimore Orioles for David Segui on March 27, 1994.

New York Mets traded Mark Leiter to the Colorado Rockies for Brian Rose on March 27, 2001.

New York Mets traded Timo Perez to the Chicago White Sox for Matt Ginter on March 27, 2004.

New York Mets signed free agent Raul Valdes on March 27, 2010.

New York Mets sold Elvin Ramirez to the Los Angeles Angels on March 27, 2013.

New York Mets signed free agent Rene Rivera on March 27, 2019.


1992: A lawsuit is filed against Mets pitcher David Cone by three women who charge him with exposing himself to them while in the bullpen at Shea Stadium.




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3/26/20

Paul Sewald and Daniel Zamora Optioned to AAA

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Yes, both have had some good moments in Queens, but if the season ever begins it won't be in early June or whenever for the Mets.  In reducing their roster further these two hurlers have been sent to Syracuse to start in AAA.  Sewald has had some issues with the long ball and Zamora is a somewhat questionably impressive lefty.  With Noah Syndergaard now gone for 2020, it likely moves would-be reliever Michael Wacha and/or Steven Matz into the rotation to fill it out.  That leaves a vacancy in the pen.  The extra time off probably helps Dellin Betances get some additional recovery time, but right now you'd have to figure they're starting off with Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Brad Brach, Dellin Betances and at least one more arm from the remaining contenders (including some NRI players).  
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Tom Brennan - HOW DID THE NON-TOP 25 WANNABES HIT THIS SPRING?

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HOW DID THE NON-TOP 25 WANNABES HIT THIS SPRING?



A few days ago, I did an article on how my top 25 prospects did in the shortened spring training of February and March 2020.

I did my prospects list just after the 2019 season ended, and a few of them suddenly up and left.  I replaced them with Pat Mazeika, who I had just out of my top 25, and speedster Johneshwy Fargas, who would have made the top 25 list if he had been around at the time.  Both of them were having excellent springs.

Leaving out guys who will be on the 26 man roster and journeymen types who are trying to make the squad, remaining are a bunch of Mets minor leaguers who did not make my Top 25 Prospects List (see list in the right side bar).
  
Twenty dudes in all qualified as "Non-Top 25 Wannabes", in point of fact:


So how did these lower ranked fellas do?  Not particularly well as a group, thanks for asking.

In total, those 20 players went just 23 for 133 (.173) with a mere 3 doubles, a mere 2 HRs, and a mere 12 RBIs, with a decent enough 21 walks but a lousy 52 Ks. 

And the mostly young hitters combined to go 0 for 3 in steals!  

How slow can you go?  No steals, no triples.

Not meaning to insult turtles, I guess their favorite car care product is Turtle Wax.

Essentially, no speed, no power, and no hitting for average.

Impressive were Eddie Fermin (a hit and 4 walks in 7 PAs), Rodriguez (on 3 of 6 times), and Tim Tebow (on base 7 of 18 times).   That's it.

Strugglers with 10 or more plate appearances included Quinn Brodey (1 for 10, 5 Ks) and Jake Hager (8 Ks in 25 PAs while hitting .190).

Once Corona goes back to only being a beer, and games are once again being played, these twenty have plenty of work to do.
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John from Albany - The Alternative 50 Mets Prospects, Number# 1 Andres Gimenez

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#1: Andres Gimenez, SS, Bats Left, Throws Right, DOB 9/4/1998, Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Signed by the New York Mets as an International free agent on July 2, 2015.


The issue could be that as recently as 2018, Andres was ranked even higher.  MLB.com had him as the number one Mets prospect in 2018 (with Pete Alonso #2). 

John Sickles had Andres his number #1 in 2018 saying: 1) Andres Gimenez, SS, Grade B/B+: Age 19, hit .265/.346/.349 against older competition in Low-A, with 14 steals, 28 walks, 61 strikeouts in 347 at-bats; huge jump from Dominican Summer League and he held his own very well; best offensive tool is speed, not much power at this point but his OBP skills look solid so far and he could be a top-of-the-lineup mainstay as he develops physically; more reliable than most shortstops his age and has the arm, hands, and range to stay there; makeup also a significant positive; ETA 2021.

After hitting .282/.348/.432 (.780 OPS) in 2018 at St. Lucie Mets fans had high hopes for his 2019 season in Binghamton. 

After 2019, Andres prospect position dropped.


Last year at Binghamton, Andres had slash line of .250/.309/.387 (.695 OPS).  However, last spring and summer in Binghamton it was cold and rainy and everyone had a tough time hitting.  In fact, Andres’ .250 average was good enough for the 2019 Rumble Ponies team lead. 
Andres seemed to turn things around when Upstate NY finally heated up in July hitting .295 but he fell back down to his .250 average in August. 



Last fall in Arizona, he also hit.  Andres led the league with a .371 batting average and a .999 OPS ending the fall league on a 7 for 12 streak.

In 18 games, he had 26 hits in 70 at bats with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 15 RBI’s, 2 stolen bases and a .413 on base percentage.  He was also named to the Arizona Fall League All Star team and was named the starting shortstop for the East Fall Stars going 0 for 3.


He has also impressed with the glove this spring.  As Matthew Cerrone of SNY.TV noted: “one rival talent evaluator watching the Mets the past few days said ‘Andres Gimenez is already a better fielding shortstop than Amed Rosario.’”

Per John Harper SNY.TV: “21-year old Andres Gimenez was also turning heads with his play, prompting praise from [Manager Luis] Rojas and others about how much stronger he looked at the plate, driving the ball with some pop. That's significant because there are no questions about Gimenenz defensively. He's a natural with the glove, and if he hits at Triple-A this season, there will be increased speculation about whether he'll supplant Amed Rosario at short as early as 2021.” 


“Ruben Tejada at age 20 played mostly in AAA where he hit .280/.329/.344, and then hit .213 in his Mets debut.  At age 21, which is what Gimenez is entering, Tejada in 96 Mets games hit .284/.360/.335.”

So who is Andres Gimenez, the hot shot prospect of a couple of years ago or the SS that struggled to hit in the Binghamton cold last year? 

Well he has speed, plays good defense at SS, doesn’t strike out much, and has shown flashes of power (9 HR in 2019). 

I think he’s for real.  He’s my Alternative #1 Prospect.

And being that the Mets are one of the worst fielding teams in baseball, as the NY Daily News recently noted, and how defense can impact a game as this clip on a MLB.com post shows, I think the Mets may want to give Andres some regular turns at SS in Queens, even if he does not hit this year in Syracuse.

At the very least they should see if Rosario can handle CF, 3B, or 2B and finally think about using Cano as player off the bench. 



SNY.TV video of the Andres Gimenez Spring homerun (among that games highlights).

You can hear Andres talk about his time in Arizona at this link

Video: Ali Sánchez & Andrés Giménez unwind after wrapping up their time in the Arizona Fall League.




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John From Albany – Mets Breakfast Links 3/26/2020

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Good morning.  Happy Birthday to Briam Campusano, the Mike’s Mets blog is back, and the reality of a delayed Opening Day is here.   

MLB.com: Today, Major League Baseball will present “Opening Day at Home” -- a full slate of 30 games broadcast nationally across various platforms, including digital streaming and social media, creating a full-day event on what would have been Opening Day.  Mets fans can Watch Game 5 of the '15 NLDS LIVE: 6 p.m. ET. In addition, on MLB Network, you can watch classic Opening Day games all day, beginning at 1 p.m. ET with Derek Jeter’s first Opening Day in 1996, and ending at midnight with Tuffy Rhodes’ unforgettable three-homer day for the Cubs against Doc Gooden and the Mets in 1994. Meanwhile, ESPN2 will air a Home Run Derby marathon beginning at 6 p.m. ET, starting with Pete Alonso’s 2019 triumph.

Greg Prince Faith and Fear in Flushing: “Without a baseball season starting, we don’t know precisely what we’ll be missing. Some things, however, we do know. We do know our familiar rhythms will be off from being on collective hiatus, as what was going to be Opening Day dawns as just another weekday. We do know what waking up on Opening Day is like and how, come Thursday morning, we won’t have rushing through our veins that annual blend of nervousness and anticipation that inevitably attends the very first pitch of a brand new year.”  

Greg goes on to talk about 4 Mets who ‘showed up and immediately “changed everything’ to an extent that transcended the team’s record”: Pedro Martinez in 2005; R.A. Dickey in 2010; Yoenis Cespedes in 2015; Pete Alonso in 2019.

AP News had Opening day memories: From Seaver to Scully, Ted to the Ted.  The April 5, 1983 return of Tom Seaver to the Mets was remembered as such: What I’ve always remembered was the roar. Way off in the distance, coming full throat from an afternoon crowd I couldn’t even see yet. We were trapped in bumper-to-bumper traffic, inching our way toward the Shea Stadium parking lot. Still must have been a half-mile from our seats — maybe more. Inside that huge, horseshoe-shaped ballpark, a favorite son had returned. 

Tom Seaver was back with the New York Mets six years after being traded away. And when The Franchise walked in from the bullpen following his pregame warmup, fans let loose with a loud and unbridled outpouring of love. You could begin to make out the ovation even with the windows up. Muffled, like the ocean echo when you hold a seashell to your ear. So my dad rolled down the glass, and let that intoxicating sound fill our station wagon. -- AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick.

Yahoo Sports: MLB and the MLBPA are nearing a deal that would allow players to gain a year of service time even if the 2020 season is shortened or canceled, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.  That means Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, George Springer, JT Realmuto also would be eligible for free agency, even if the season is canceled.

Yahoo Sports: 7-inning doubleheaders? MLBers open to considering new ideas. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he would be open to considering seven-inning games in doubleheaders. He said averaging eight or nine games a week would require a couple more roster spots above the current 26, with at least 14 pitchers.  No mention in the article of Hobie’s Doubleheaders of a 3rd kind.

Yahoo Sports: Scott Boras wants the baseball playoffs to take place in December at neutral stadiums: “He has submitted proposals for how a 162-game schedule starting on June 1 could work and how a 144-game schedule starting on July 1 could work. Boras has reason to suggest such a plan. More games means his players would be more likely to be paid their full salaries, which means he gets paid more.”

MLB.com: Pete Alonso released a video Wednesday on Twitter thanking doctors at four Atlantic Health System hospitals in New Jersey.

Mike’s Mets is back! Mike talked yesterday about Noah Syndergaard, his dogs, and more.


NY Post: Mike Francesa blames Mets ‘dummies’ as Noah Syndergaard surgery ignites coronavirus outrage: “You’re going to get people furious, and they are,” Francesa said Tuesday while on the WFAN airwaves. “They’re going crazy everywhere. ‘How does he get elective surgery? I thought the hospitals closed elective surgery’ … And you know what? They’re right. The people are right. “Don’t rub it in their face,” Francesa said. “Shut up and give him the surgery and don’t say a word about it. Let people guess when he got the surgery, and two weeks from now you can say he already had the surgery.” Francesa added, “You do not then announce that your big star baseball player is having elective surgery on Thursday, you dummies!”

Empire Sports Media: What do the New York Mets have behind the top five healthy starters?

Tim Boyle Rising Apple: Rey Ordonez had one of the greatest defensive seasons ever in 1999.

Mack’s Blast From The Past comes from 3-26-12Mack Ade - The Downside of Drafting High School Players.

Born on this date:
Transactions:

New York Mets sold Buzz Capra to the Atlanta Braves on March 26, 1974.

New York Mets sold Mike Vail to the Cleveland Indians on March 26, 1978.

New York Mets released Bobby Valentine on March 26, 1979.

New York Mets traded Randy Milligan and Scott Henion to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Mackey Sasser and Tim Drummond on March 26, 1988.

New York Mets signed free agent D. J. Dozier on March 26, 1990.

New York Mets purchased Joe Crawford from the Boston Red Sox on March 26, 1996.

New York Mets released Alvaro Espinoza on March 26, 1997.

Howard Johnson announced his retirement on March 26, 1997.

New York Mets released Hideo Nomo on March 26, 1999.

New York Mets released Tobi Stoner on March 26, 2012.


2001 - In a trade of pitchers, the Colorado Rockies send Brian Rose to the New York Mets in exchange for Mark Leiter. Rose will make three appearances for the Mets before being waived to the Florida Marlins.

2019 - This spring's trend of major league teams locking up key players with long-term deals continues. Following recent extensions granted to Mike Trout, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander, among others, today the Mets agree to a five-year extension with ace P Jacob deGrom for $137.5 million.

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