12/31/09

Happy New Year

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A New Year Eve's Q&A with Mack

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Darnell asked:

I know our offense will be top of the league if it can stay intact, but pitching is the area to address and maybe another lefty. Who do you feel is realistically on the Mets radar for the starting rotation?

The one person I would love to have is Haren from the Dbacks.

Pelfrey, F-mart and maybe Holt should do it?

Your thoughts? Just like him as a player. I know they have no interest in trading him yet but he has quitely been one of the best pitchers in the NL.

Mack:

Thanks for the email, Darnell.

You can't build a team and worry about injuries. They happen. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it
is named Katrina. Last year was the Mets' Katrina.

Actually, the defense will be pretty good too. Bay isn't the slop outfielder everyone seems to write about, Frenchy has figures out the right field wall, Beltran is a gold glover. Reyes, Wright, and Castillo are, well, Reyes, Wright, and Castillo, and Murphy will hold his own on first.

Offensively, all the Mets have to do is lower one wall and they'll win 5-6 more games.

The addition of Bay and (hopefully) Molina will win you 5-6 more.

Now pitching...

The soup won't be done until the SP2 is added to the mix. You like Haren, the next guy likes Sheets, and I like Sandy Koufax.

The way it works...  you make 5-6 FA offers, knowing your offer will be shopped around first.

You make 5-6 more phone calls and talk trade for someone else.

You go have a ciggarette out on the porch.

And you hope your phone rings about three times.

If the Mets sign the last SP1 out there in the free agency market (Sheets), the Mets will win 2-3 more games than all the rest of the ones available. I believe Haren and just about every ballplayer in baseball is available for the right package.

Right now, your 2011 team is untradable, which includes Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, and Ike Davis.

Fernando Martinez (I hate the F-Mart thing...) is a trump card, especially if Francoeur, Bay and Beltran play well and stay healthy. Remember... the Mets have one of the best 4th outfielders now in Angel Pagan.

Johan Santana is the SP2.

Oliver Perez (yes, Oliver Perez) is either the SP2 or SP3, depending upon who comes aboard and how well Ollie starts off. Ceiling wise, he still is the highest on the staff, though he sometimes misses the barn.

Mike Pelfrey will have one more year to duplicate his college stats. He is the SP4.

And John Maine, if his arm is 100% and he's not bombed in March at ST, will be the SP5.

Nelson Figueroa is the insurance, either as fill-in, SP5 if someone does a Freddy Garcia, or long man in the pen.

And Jonathan Niese needs warm weather and mound time in Flordia to fully mend from a bad injury last year. He won't start the season either in Queens or Buffalo. He'll stay in extended camp until he's fully healed and, around April 25, the Mets will decide where to send him.

The pen is great.

The outfield is still too big.

The Phillies and Braves are still better.

Happy New Year.

Mack
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Gomez, Abreu, Nieve, Flores... and Ruben Tejada

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Carlos Gomez:

Escogido 3, Licey 0 - Felix Diaz scattered three hits and a walk over four innings and former Major Leaguer Felix Heredia notched the win in relief for the Leones, who evened their record to 2-2 in the round-robin playoffs. Carlos Gomez (Brewers), Willis Otanez and Abraham Nunez drove in the runs - mlb

Michel Abreu:

Arecibo 9, Mayaguez 8 - Minor League free agent Jesus Feliciano went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Michel Abreu (Mets) knocked in a pair of runs as the first-place Lobos notched their fifth straight victory. Reliever Levale Speigner (Marlins) improved to 6-0, despite yielding two runs in 1 1/3 innings. Randy Ruiz (Blue Jays) belted a solo homer for the Indios - mlb


Fernando Nieve

RHP - The Mets may have some openings in the starting rotation and after his 2.42 ERA in four starts (five appearances) in the Venezuelan League, Nieve shows he is ready. He had a 3/26 walk to K ratio and a .200 opponent average. mwob

Wilmer Flores

Wilmer Flores didn't have a great season in the SAL this year but neither did Ivan Rodriguez in 1989 in the SAL. Flores hit 0.264/0.305/0.331 and Pudge hit 0.238/0.278/0.355. Both were 17 and had similar AB's and production. Pudge hit for a little more power, but it gives you an idea why Flores is a highly touted prospect.

Ruben Tejada:

Ruben Tejada finds him in the mix with some pretty good company of Eastern League middle infielders. Rollins, Renteria and Reyes all had good numbers with Tejada having the best OBP, Rollins had the best BB/K rate and the most home run power but they look fairly comparable across the board.

1999 Jimmy Rollins 20 0.273/0.336/0.404

2009 Ruben Tejada 19 0.288/0.351/0.371

1995 Edgar Renteria 20 0.289/0.329/0.388

2002 Jose Reyes 19 0.287/0.331/0.425
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Mets Druggies in 2009

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Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program


# Date Player Name Substance Club Length


 1/16/09 § Junior Guerra Nandrolone Mets 50 gms

 1/28/09 Œ Kyle Suire Stanozolol Mets 50 gms

6/23/09 - Jose Hernandez  Stanozolol  Mets   50gms

6/26/09 -  Johan Romero  Stanozolol Mets  50 gms

 7/24/09   Derlin Soriano Stanozolol Mets 50 gms

8/17/09   Pedro De Los Santos Stanozolol Mets 50 gms

 8/17/09   Luis Hernandez Stanozolol Mets 50 gms

 8/21/09   Santiago Valdez Stanozolol Mets 50 gms

http://ow.ly/RoVx
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More Joel, Duke, UZR, Mark Zuckerman... and Anderson Hernandez

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Joel Piniero:

The Mets are better off just letting Pineiro sign elsewhere, and turning their attention toward the trade market. Cubs ace, Carlos Zambrano, is said to be on the block. The Reds are also said to be shopping both Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. Either of those three starters are more passable as a number two starter than Pineiro. If the Mets fail to pull off a trade, they can focus on Jon Garland, or they can take a risk on Ben Sheets or Eric Bedard. It remains to be seen how Minaya intends to improve the starting rotation, but lets hope he doesn’t fall into the same mistake as last year and give a multi-year contract to a pitcher with a career full of up and downs. Pineiro was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 2009, and has a record of 87-79 with an ERA of 4.39 for his career.  -  link


Zach Duke:

That leaves a trade, and a starting pitcher I believe needs a change of scenery. That hurler is Pirates lefty Zach Duke, whom I feels is worth the Mets going after. Who could the Mets trade? The Pirates are in need of a first baseman. Could Dan Murphy or prospect Ike Davis be packaged with a pitcher like Niese and a lower-level prospect like pitcher Jeurys Familia, a righty who was 10-6, 2.69 with Class A Savannah of the Florida State League. If the Mets don’t want to part with Davis, Murphy, Niese, and Familia should certainly get the job done. The Pirates like low-cost players and prospects back in trades. As we also know, the club has no issue unloading veterans. So let’s take a look at Duke, who burst onto the scene in 2005, going 8-2, 1.81 in 14 starts. The 26-year-old native of Clinton, Texas, seemed to be on his way to becoming the anchor of a young staff searching for such an individual.  -  Silva


UZR-Jason:


What the UZR disciples won’t tell you about Jason Bay, is that despite logging over 1,270 innings in one of the most difficult left fields in baseball, Fenway Park, Bay committed no errors in 2009 and had a fielding percentage of 1.000%. Mets left fielders committed seven errors in 2009.

What the UZR disciples wont tell you about Jason Bay is that his range (2.29 vs 2.12) and range factor per game (2.17 vs 1.80), were both far better than the average of all left fielders.

What UZR disciples won’t tell you about Jason Bay is that last season he had a career high 15 assists to lead both the American and National Leagues, and that seven of those were runners he threw out at home plate and third base. Those 15 assists were more than Carl Crawford and Matt Holliday combined! - link 


Mark Zuckerman:

This is the blog post I hoped never to have to write.

Alas, what has been speculated for the last month is now official: The Washington Times is eliminating its sports section, and I (along with about two dozen other colleagues from this department) and countless others from elsewhere in the company have been laid off. Our final print sports section (featuring some commemorative articles and photos) will run in Friday's paper. Happy New Year, indeed.

This development did not come totally out of the blue. We've been on pins and needles since late-November, when we were all informed at least 40 percent of the company would be laid off in the coming months as the Times sought to "refashion" itself as a specialized news operation, focusing primarily on politics and investigative reporting. It was immediately clear sports would not be part of the new-look newspaper, at least not in any kind of substantial form.- washingtontimes 


Anderson Hernandez:

He’s not putting up any .360 average this year. In the Dominican League he has come back to his norm with a .259 average. The Mets would be better served if he remains as a utility player instead of filling a starting role at either short or second as he did last year.  -  mwob
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Ike Davis, July 2009, BABIP, Jason... and the Tavern on the Green

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Ike Davis:


Surely Ike Davis can beat out Daniel Murphy for the first base job. His .341 average with four homeruns and 16 RBIs in 21 games would seem to think he could.  -  mwob






July 2009:

Murphy, the full-time first baseman, made the team's play of the year at Citi Field, flipping the ball behind his back to achieve an out in a July 8 contest against the Dodgers in a game that marked the return of Perez. The following days put Fernando Martinez on the DL and brought Francoeur to the Mets in an unexpected deal with the Braves for Church. Santana, Rodriguez and Wright represented the Mets at the All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Wright's bizarre season continued. The leading hitter in the league for much of June, he produced a 1-for-23 stretch in the first days of July. His home run output continued well below his norm, and his strikeout total continued to skyrocket. His season would produce 10 homers and 72 RBIs -- both figures well below his averages for four full seasons -- and a career-high 140 strikeouts despite missing two weeks in August.

The remainder of the month brought yet another serious injury -- Fernando Nieve tore his right quadriceps in Atlanta in July, and he, too, was lost for the season after providing several solid starts -- a disabled-list assignment for Sheffield and six days of tension and embarrassment for the organization. Minaya dismissed his special assistant, Tony Bernazard, after a series of reports in The New York Daily News about Bernazard's behavior prompted an investigation. In announcing the dismissal, Minaya tied the newspaper accounts to the reporter's having sought employment with the club. He and COO Jeff Wilpon later apologized for the remarks.

The Mets won five straight games, two in Houston and three at home against the Rockies from July 25-30, but two more July losses left them 10 1/2 games from first place when July ended. They would win two straight games three more times before the end of September. Wright hit his seventh home run on the final day of the month -- his first at Citi since June 9 and his fourth overall at home. - nym 


BABIP:

The average BABIP (batting average on balls in play) from the nearly half a million plate appearances captured by this study is .305 with a standard deviation if .027. Shin-Soo Choo's .376 BABIP put him at a MLB best 2.610 deviations above the mean (1075 PA). When I've thought about BABIP in the past, I've figured that trends and fluctuations are largely caused by line-drive rates and a player's speed. But I started to run across samples this offseason that made me wonder if a big piece of the puzzle was being overlooked: flyballs.  -  projectprospect.  






Jason Bay:

By now, you all have heard what Jason Bay is all about. He has a traditional "old-players game" of power and patience. According to FanGraphs, over the past three calendar years, Bay has a .225 ISO and a 12.4% walk rate, 23rd and 24th respectively in each category. As a hitter, he's posted excellent numbers each of the last three seasons, compiling a .267/.362/.493 slash line that's good for a .371 wOBA.  -  beyondtheboxscore. 



Tavern On The Green:

New York's Tavern on the Green restaurant, a sumptuous tourist trap set in a lush grove in Central Park, will serve its last meal on New Year's Eve before changing hands.

The restaurant, notorious among New Yorkers for its rude and laggardly waiting staff, has for years been one of the highest grossing independently owned eateries in the US, serving crab cakes and Caesar salads to tourists who gaze out onto the park from richly appointed dining rooms furnished with chandeliers, stained glass murals and silver candelabras. - guardian.
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Raul Casanova, Orlando Lava. June 2009, Keith Hernandez Trade... and The Fonz

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Raul Casanova:
Caguas 8, Mayaguez 4 - Rangers prospect Michael Ballard (2-1) scattered three hits over a season-high six innings and former Mets prospect Raul Casanova plated five runs as the Criollos doubled up the Indios. Ballard has six scoreless outings in Puerto Rico. Angel Sanchez (Blue Jays) finished a homer shy of the cycle and had three RBIs in the losing effort - mlb



Orlando Lava:

Navojoa 1, Culiacan 0 - Orlando Lara (Mets) scattered four hits over eight innings and Minor League veteran Stephen Marek allowed one hit over the final frame for his fifth save in the shutout. - mlb


June 2009:

The month began with three straight losses in Pittsburgh that prompted Beltran to say, "I don't know about anybody else, but being swept, I feel embarrassed, us coming here and losing three games, three games with this team. We have to play better, no doubt. We have to take this personal. It can't happen."

But as happened in 2007, June undermined the team. Reyes' situation became more unclear, and by June 22, Beltran, in the midst of a promising season, was assigned to the disabled list because of a bone bruise behind the right knee cap. He wouldn't play again until Sept. 8. By June 6, Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, Pagan, Maine, Ryan Church, Putz and Ramon Martinez were disabled. Moreover, Santana endured the worst month of his career -- a 2-4 record and a 6.19 ERA in six starts -- and the team suffered its worst loss at Yankee Stadium on June 12, when Castillo dropped what would have been the final out of an 8-7 victory. The resulting 9-8 loss was the third defeat in a 5-9 sequence that put the Mets' record one game over .500. Five straight losses at Citi Field -- three to the Yankees and two to the Brewers -- dropped the Mets two games under, though merely three games from first place on the morning of July 1.


Keith Hernandez Trade:

It all began the fall of 1982, just after my 27th birthday. Since my early teenage years I had dreamed of starting my own magazine about professional sports in New York. I remembered a short-lived magazine called “JOCK NEW YORK,” which published for one year in 1969, long enough to celebrate the Miracle Mets on its cover. It boasted writers like Dick Schaap and Jimmy Breslin, and even Howard Cosell penned pieces for JOCK. I was already a magazine fanatic and when JOCK folded, I remember saying to myself, “I’m going to do this magazine one day, only better.” After starting my career at the late, great SPORT Magazine (1978-80), and then spending a year editing a magazine for the National Hockey League, I felt it was time to make the leap and start NEW YORK SPORTS Magazine. I guess I was the Joe DeCaro or Matt Cerrone of my time - Tom Terrific



Edgardo Alfonzo -

Magallanes 9, La Guaira 6 - Former Major Leaguer Edgardo Alfonzo and Pirates infielder Ronny Cedeno drove in three runs apiece as the Navegantes improved to 1-1 in the round-robin playoffs. Pablo Sandoval (Giants) and Michael Ryan each added two hits and scored twice for Magallanes, while Jay Gibbons belted a two-run homer for La Guaira - mlb
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12/30/09

The Washington Times Sports Section Is Dead

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It’s becoming an all too commonplace matter to report on: the death of entire newspapers, or as is the case with the news today, whole sections being dropped from a daily. There had been word that the Washington Times sports section was going to be folded, but it was believed to be happening in February. Today, that news came early.

First, Redskins beat writer Ryan O'Halloran wrote via Twitter: “Newsroom meeting for TWT at 3:30. Wonder what THAT'S about?” An hour later, the WaTimes Sports Twitter account used tongue-in-cheek to tweet the bad news,“It's official @TWTSports got Mike Leach'd”

I have always loved the Washington Times sports section as it added another view outside of the Washington Post into DC sports. It also has had a fully dedicated staff writer for sports business beginning with Eric Fisher, who went to the SportsBusiness Journal, and then with Tim Lemke, who has become someone I read daily, and was kind enough to feature me in several articles, including not one, but two business of sports conversations. Through Tim, I was happy to say that I not only had a respectable sports business reporter in the DC area to read, but someone that would turn into a good friend (see Tim’s farewell post on the Washington Times).

http://ow.ly/Rdqx
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Tiger's quest for records.

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Tiger Woods will go down in history as the greatest golfer to play the game and I try to watch every tournament he enters.
The media has alleged that Tiger has a sex addiction and medication addiction. Hopefully, Tiger will seek treatment or change his behavior.
The basketball legend, Wilt Chamberlain, claims in his books that he made love to twenty thousand women(surely the numbers were exaggerated).
If Tiger does not change his behavior, he will be mentioned along with Chamberlain for their sexual behavior.
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Bay Physical Woes, Prudence, NYSportsDog, Piniero... and Kelly Johnson

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Jason Bay:

"The Mets do not want to embarrass themselves by confirming a deal then having to back away should Bay not pass the physical," says the Post. Especially considering what happened with Yorvit Torrealba(notes) a few years ago.

The Boston Red Sox apparently didn't want to sign a long-term contract with Bay because of some health concerns about Bay's shoulders holding up. So the Mets aren't asking Bay to just do a few sprints and call it a day. - yahoo


Prudence:

For those that called for Omar’s dismissal or that the Wilpon ownership group had emasculated him as it pertained to spending, I can only say one sentence: You were wrong. I agree that the wait for this to occur tried Met Nation’s patience and my own, but I believe Omar acted shrewdly in the negotiations at this juncture of the off season. The Organization may have misjudged the pitching market, or perhaps another big move is coming as the Mets had many discussions at the winter meetings. Omar has said he has a plan and after the news from today, perhaps he needed to have this Bay signing to occur to enable him to deal his depth for the right pitcher. For those who desire multi-tasking, He probable couldn’t create the holes in his major league roster and the minor leagues or it would have left the team vulnerable to player and agent demands. - metsmerizedonline.


NYSportsDog:

After our hiatus, NY Sports Dog will be back on 1 January all the way through the 2010 World Series championship for the Mets. Thanks for the notes and e-mails over the past 3 months--to let you know I just needed a break from blog life after the season  -  dog 



Joel Piniero:

According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, the Dodgers have entered the hunt for free agent right-hander Joel Pineiro. The Mets and Angels have also shown a good amount of interest in Pineiro this winter. The 31-year-old was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 32 starts in '09, and his 60.2% groundball rate led the entire league. He is undoubtedly the best remaining starter on the free agent market, and the Dodgers would be wise to put aside the McCourts' divorce proceedings for a second to get a deal done. Source: ESPN Insider  -  rotoworld 


Kelly Johnson:

Free-agent second baseman Kelly Johnson has agreed on a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, SI.com has learned. Johnson, who is taking a physical on Wednesday, will be paid about $2 million on a one-year deal. He was non-tendered by the Braves but fills a second base hole for Arizona. -  SI
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Molina, May 2009, Why Tom Terrific Was Traded, Omar & Jason... and a 3rd Baseball team in NYC

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Benji Molina:

The Mets are close to signing free agent catcher Bengie Molina to a two-year contract, according to 1050 ESPN Radio. It's been a busy day for the Metropolitans. Molina, 30, hit .265/.285/.442 this past season and reached the 20-homer plateau for the first time in his career. He is expected to receive a two-year deal in the $12 million range. The Mets had already loaded up on backup catching options this offseason and Molina was the top catcher on the free agent market. -  .rotoworld



May 2009:

The new month began with the general manager publicly acknowledging the Mets might not have played with grit comparable to that of other teams. It hardly was the only time Omar Minaya stubbed his tongue during the season. Before May was four days old, Perez was the center of attention again, following a dreadful performance in Philadelphia. The following day, he was limping and wearing an ice pack on his right knee, though when the pack was removed, he was unsure which leg was injured.

Delgado played eight straight games, batting .423 with seven RBIs, but his season ended on May 10 in the middle of the team's most successful extended run of the season. The Mets won 11 of 13 games, sweeping series in Atlanta and against the Phillies and Pirates to take sole possession of first place for eight days. They would lead the division two more days all season. Delgado underwent surgery on May 19, one day before the season ended for Reyes (hamstring tendon tear). While Murphy continued to struggle in left field, Fernando Tatis played first base. But when the Mets visited Fenway Park, Murphy batted leadoff and played first base.

The Mets achieved their grandest victory of the season on May 23, beating the Red Sox on a two-run ninth-inning home run over the Green Monster by Omir Santos. Their record, 28-21, was a season-high seven games over .500 when May ended. - link



Why Tom Terrific Was Traded:

The tale of Tom Seaver best illustrates how perverse the Mets’ priorities had become, and how writers like Young helped make the situation impossible. During the 1977 season (when Torre became manager), Seaver read a Young column that crossed the line. Seaver had grown accustomed to Young routinely bashing the players, but this time Young took it a step further, bringing Seaver’s wife into it. The sportswriter reported that recent contentious contract negotiations between the Mets and Seaver were because Tom Terrific’s spouse wanted more money. Technically, the Mets were not making this claim as Dick Young was not the team’s employee and the franchise had no oversight on his column. However, Grant had so poisoned the relationship with his players that Seaver believed Grant and/or his underlings had trash-talked his wife to the most anti-union writer in the press, who gleefully publicized their beliefs. One cannot fault Seaver for viewing the column as a slam coming from Mets’ management; that was undoubtedly what happened. After this article, Seaver demanded a trade. Immediately. The Mets fulfilled his request barely two weeks after Torre filled out his first lineup card as the team’s manager.
buy the book 


Omar and Jason:

It’s often remembered that Jason Bay was a Met farmhand, but he wasn’t a Met draftee. Bay had only been Met property for about four months when Philanderin’ Phillips sent him to San Diego. He became a Met in late March 2002, arriving in the company of future Royals cup-of-coffee sipper Jimmy Serrano for the utterly forgettable Lou Collier, which means you could argue he was part of two fleecings in one year. In March, the Mets got him from his original organization, the Montreal Expos. So who was the first chump to trade away Jason Bay in 2002? It was Omar Minaya. - faithandfearinflushing.


3rd Baseball Team in New York:

I've always been intrigued by the thought of making New York a three-team town again and I love talking about the possibility whenever anyone brings it up. Really, can you think of anything in baseball with more storylines? Anything that would cause more debates or grandstanding press conferences? It'd be a blogger's dream and covering the saga and answering its myriad questions would probably require its own blog. Where would the team play? Would it be a transplanted franchise or an expansion outfit? What would its stadium look like? Who would pay for it? Who would become fans of this new team? What would it be called? What would the uniforms look like? - yahoo
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12/29/09

Mack: Last Thoughts on Bay, More on benji, SP2

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Aunt Georgina and Uncle Lenny are going at it in the living room...

And I thnik my wife just told her Mom to go suck an egg...

Some more I'm thinking...

1. Let's not spend any time wondering if some other FA outfielder would have been a better sign than Bay. Moot point. Bay's a Met and if he can't do it, no one can...

2. Let's make sure Angel Pagan is being paid more tan he was being paid in Chicago. He's a good guy and loves being a Met. And, he worked his arse off last year for the mash unit.

3.  Let's find a nice home for Nick Evans. Nick is a really, really, nice guy, and would love to stay a Met, but more importantly, he deserves a chance to play baseball everyday, something he isn't going to get in Queens.  Trade him to a small market for a PTBNL and wish him well.

4. Get the Benji deal done tonight. Two years, who cares how much money. He'll start in 2010 and backup Josh Thole in 2011. It's a great move in a bad market for a catcher.

5. Get some rest tonight.

6. Tomorrow, start the SP2 hunt again.

7. Get Ben Sheets agent on the phone and hit the ball over the net.

8. Call Piniero's agent and see if they are ready to hit the ball back.

9. Get the agent of that Cuban dude on the phone... don't need a translator... and throw some more pesos on the fire.

10. Shut the hot stove down.

Mack
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Here Comes Benji...

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2-years...

"more at 11"

Mack
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More Bay

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Taking a break from the Corleones...

1. The first thing I like about Jason is the fact that he once was a Met. Not drafted, but traded for, and sold around six months later... but still... he has worn the uniform.

2. Yes, the money has to be there, but intelligent, successfull professional baseball players let their agent work out the bucks, and the tie-breaker is always having no objection to the team, or the organization. Make no doubt about it... Jason Bay is an intelligent, successfull professional ball player.

3.  Forget the Beirut quote. That's either "you can't believe everything you hear or read" or it's agent babble.

4. The Mets are in the driver's seat now in the outfield. They don't have to extend Beltran's contract if they don't want to, nor do they have to sign Frenchy to a multi-year... Though injury prone, the Mets still own one of the top outfield prospects in Baseball, F-Mart, and everyone has to play their arse off to keep their job.

5. If Beltran stumbles, F-Mart takes over center.

6. If Frenchy stumples. it's F-Mart, Bay and Carlos.

7. Angel Pagan is screwed, but Nick Evans is toast.

8. The Mets still have two more OF prospects ready for 2011, Kirk Nieuwenhaus and Carlos Guzman.

9. The outfield is done good.

10. On to SP2...

Mack
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Bay

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I've got in-laws in from Long Island today... 6pm dinner for 11.

I'll have my thoughts on Bay around 11pm, but surfice to say:

If the government can bail out banking executives so they can give themselves holiday bonuses... then I have no problem with Jeff Wilpon shelling out $16.5 a year for a poor defensive 31-year old left fielder.

Mack
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Bay Signed $16.5mil - Savings Still: $24,103,500.00

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Mets 2009-2010 Off-Season:


End of season: Released: OF Wily Mo Pena ($400k), IF Ramon Martinez ($750k), and signed RP Jack Egbert ($400k)… savings: $750,000.00

10-7: Mets acquired first baseman Eddie Lora (minimum minor league contract) and outfielder Chris Carter ($400K) for Billy Wagner ($10.5mil) – savings: $10,100,000.00

10-11: Mets grant free agency to: RP Jon Switzer – savings: $475,000.00

10-11: Mets grant free agency to P Connor Robinson – savings: $450,000

10-19: The Mets release RP Ken Takahashi. Savings: Takahashi had an incentive based minor league contract that could earn him up ti 1.5mil a year. I assume he earned it in 2009, since he pitched so well: savings: $1,500,000.00

11-5: The Mets have told J.J. Putz that they do not intend to pick up his 2010 option and will buy him out instead for $1 million. Putz's option would have been for $9.1 million. Savings: $8,100,000.00

11-6: 1B Carlos Delgado filed for free agency. Savings: $12,000,000.00.

11-6: C Brian Schneider filed for free agency. Savings: $4,900,000.00

11-6: IF Alex Cora filed for free agency. Savings: $2,000,000.00

11-6: The Mets exercized their option on SP Mike Pelfry, for $500,000.00. Last year, due to his original contract, he earned $2,900,000.00. Savings: $2,400,000.00

11-9: OF Gary Sheffield filed for free agency. – Savings: $400,000.00

11-10: P Elmer Dessens released – savings: $600,000.00

11-16: Passing on resigning OF Fernando Tatis at option rate… savings: $1,700,000

11-16: 16 AAA/AA players file for free agency… 13 are minimal salaries that will be offset by additional minor leaguers at same rate… three had individual contracts: IF Wilson Valdez (381K), C Robinson Cano (408K), and P Carlos Muniz (402K) – savings: $1,191,000

11-30: Mets sign Alex Cora – spending: $2,000,000

12-3: Mets tender John Maine – approx: $2,900,000

12-3: Mets sign C Chris Coste – spending: $600,000

12-3: Mets sign C Henry Blanco – spending: $1,500,000

12-10: Mets sign OF/1B Mike Hessman – spending AAA salary: $90,000

12-10: Mets re-negotiate recent contract signed with C Henry Blanco – reduction of $750,000 in base pay with additional monies tied to encentive performance bonuses – savings: $750,000

12-11: Mets resign RP Elmer Dessens – cost: $700,000.

12-12: Mets non-tender SP Tim Redding ($2,250,000), OF Jeremey Reed ($925,000), OF Cory Sullivan ($600,000), and SP Lance Broadway ($402,500) – total savings: $4,177.500

12-18: Mets signed RP Ryota Igarashi – cost: $1,250,000

12-23: Mets sign RP R.A. Dickey – cost: $600,000

12-26: Mets sign RP Kelvim Escobar – cost: $1,250,000

12-29: Mets sign OF Jason Bay – cost: $16,500,000










Total savings so far: $24,103,500.00
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Joe Torre, April 2009, Loyalty, Joe Smith, … and The New Stadium Boom

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Joe Torre:

Torre’s first managerial assignment with the New York Mets best exemplified his ability to get the most out of his teams. If the 1996 Yankees were the ideal setup for a manager, the 1977 Mets were the worst. Under the reign of Mets honcho M. Donald Grant, the franchise reacted as poorly to free agency as possible. The front office acted personally offended by players negotiating their services on an open market. Grant preferred to think of them as serfs on his reserve clause plantation, not as people who could conceivably join the same country clubs he did. Due to their disdain for current labor relations, the Mets were not about to competitively bid for the right players. Columnists such as Dick Young (the most anti-players union man in the national press corps) lauded Grant, encouraging this disposition.  -  .mcfarlandpub.


April:

After insisting they were satisfied with the personnel on the roster, the Mets signed Sheffield to a one-year contract following the second of two dress-rehearsal games against the Red Sox at Citi Field. Two days later, they won on Opening Day for the 31st time in 40 years, beating the Reds behind Santana with a revamped bullpen performing effectively.

The Mets weren't so successful in their home opener. After Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza had reprised the roles they played following the final game at Shea during the pregame celebration of Citi Field, the Padres inflicted a 6-5 victory on them, despite a three-run home run by Wright, the Mets' first homer at their new digs.

The Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the focal point of the new ballpark, was celebrated on April 15 -- the 62nd anniversary of Robinson's big league debut -- and two nights later, Sheffield rocked the ballpark when he became the 25th player in big league history to hit 500 career home runs.

Foreshadowing of the spike of injuries that was to come happened on April 27, when Delgado was scratched from the lineup because of pain in his right hip. He didn't play until May 2. The team completed April with successive losses to the Marlins, a 9-12 record and a concern about its first baseman.  nym


Loyalty

Last week Mike Vaccaro post a blog on the New York Post website that you can read right here saying that ticket agents from the Mets are questioning the loyalty of fans who have not yet renewed their season tickets for the 2010 season. I did get a phone call asking me if I was planning on buying the ticket package, but my loyalty to the team was not questioned by that particular agent, having said that I’ve heard from other ticket season holders including friends of mine that their loyalty has indeed been questioned. If that ticket agent had questioned my loyalty I would have answered the question with another question: where do you get off questioning my loyalty?  -  metsmerizedonline.




Joe Smith:

Joe Smith could be a nice addition to the 2010 bullpen. He is the same type of pitcher as Sean Green but at multiple points of the season we were all calling for Green's disappearance. I don't have the numbers but could Sean Green really be making too much money to release him? Really? It would be nice for the Mets to have a consistent sidearm pitcher. -  mrmetbro


#5 – The New Stadium Boom

It started before the decade, but on Commissioner Selig’s watch, a new stadium boom has occurred. The new stadiums have artificially inflated attendance, based upon the “honeymoon effect” while lining the pockets of owners with new revenues, and raising the debate as to whether public subsidy for private enterprise to a loud roar. Over the decade, 11 new ballparks opened. Here’s a list of new stadiums that have come online since 2000 through 2009:

• 2000 - Comerica Park (Tigers), Minute Maid Park (Astros), AT&T Park (Giants)

• 2001 – Miller Park (Brewers), PNC Park (Pirates)

• 2003 – Great American Ball Park (Reds)

• 2004 – PETCO Park (Padres)

• 2006 – Busch Stadium III (Cardinals)

• 2008 – Nationals Park (Nationals)

• 2009 – New Yankee Stadium (Yankees), Citi Field (Mets)  -  link
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12/28/09

A recent MLB Tryout Camp

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A recent MLB Tryout Camp


MLB average is 90-91mph

121 pitchers attended



(3 signed affiliated pro contracts,

RHP 91-93 mph,

RHP 89-91 mph,

LHP 88-90MPh,



2 signed Independent League Contracts

RHP-89-93mph

RHP:90-91mph)



4 Pitchers had previous Minor League Experience

1 pitcher 93 mph

3 Pitcher 92 mph

8 pitchers 91 mph

4 pitcher 90 mph

3 Pitchers 89 mph

8 Pitchers 88 mph

57 pitchers 80-87 mph

36 Pitchers 79 mph or below ( 61 mph low)

Interesting Notes:


4 Pitchers threw the ball to the wrong catcher.


One mom was nailed by throw that was outside by 50 feet.


7 spectators were nailed watching the pitchers throw in the bull pen.
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All-Decade 1Bman, Ollie, Worst of the Decade, Worst/Best 2009 Signings... and mean airports

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Carlos Delgado:

If you needed any more evidence that first base was a sinkhole for the Mets over the past decade, this list should help you sleep better tonight. Carlos Delgado was the only Met first baseman in the aughts whose collective contributions could be easily distinguished from those of a replacement-level player, and even at that his four seasons with the Mets were barely more valuable than Adrian Gonzalez's 2009 season with the Padres (6.3 WAR). Things have been so bad at first for the Mets that Doug Mientkiewicz's glove in 2005 was enough to land him the silver medal in this embarrassing morass of ineptitude. - amazinavenue.


Oliver Perez:

Oliver Perez (knee) has been training this offseason at the Athletes Performance Institute in Arizona. It's essentially a comprehensive boot-camp for athletes, ranging from a focus on nutrition to media training. [...]  fantasysp.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....






Worst Of The Decade:

With the decade soon coming to an end, More Hardball decided to see which MLB batters placed dead-last in the core offensive categories.
*Minimum 3000 Plate Appearances*


Runs:


1. Brian Schneider- 247


2. Alex Cora- 331


Doubles:


2. Alex Cora- 127


Triples:


3. Mike Piazza- 4


Stolen Bases:


3. Bengie Molina

yardbarker



Worst Best 2009 Signings:

Worst Signings

Alex Cora, Mets - one year, $2MM. Why did his salary hold steady despite a lousy '09? This contract isn't a franchise-killer, but comparable players could've been had at less than a million bucks.

Best Signings

Mike Cameron, Red Sox - two years, $15.5MM. Cameron is getting up there (37 in January), but he seems perenially undervalued as a solid defender with pop.

J.J. Putz, White Sox - one year, $3MM, Ryota Igarashi, Mets - two years, $3MM, Kelvim Escobar, Mets - one year, $1.125MM. These are the types of relief deals I respect - one-year commitments, or tiny salaries in Igarashi's case. Relievers are so volatile, any of these guys could easily outpitch Rodney, Grabow, and Lyon. -  mlbtraderumors.   - 
 


Mean Airports:

On one Air Canada flight from Toronto to New York's La Guardia Airport the crew told passengers before departure that in addition to remaining in their seats for the duration of one-hour flight, they were not allowed to use any electronic devices – even iPods – or their own headphones. The crew also told passengers that they would not be able to access their personal belongings because of the "enhanced security procedures."

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, television screens were tuned to the Atlanta Falcons football game, and some passengers were only faintly aware of Friday's incident in Detroit.- huffingtonpost.







 


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No Mas Bay, Joel Piniero, Heyman's HOF ballot, Raul Casanova... and another cool Tom Seaver card

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No Mas Bay:

On behalf of Omar Minaya and the New York Mets, the MetsToday.com blog has officially pulled the 4-year, $60M contract offer to Jason Bay off the table. After plenty of time and careful consideration, we Mets fans have determined that Mr. Bay’s inadequacies are too much to bear and that his positive attributes do not warrant $60M and a four-year commitment. However, we are open to re-negotiating a shorter-term pact in the neighborhood of two years / $20M, including incentives and a team option for a third year - metstoday


Joel Piniero:
 
The New York Mets have many holes to fill this off season. Adding a starting pitcher is right on the top of the to-do list. The Mets seem to be focused on free agent Joel Pineiro as a solution for their rotation. Pineiro’s agent said that they are seeking a 4 year deal but I find it unlikely that he will get this. More likely scenario for him is a 3 year $30M deal. Personally, I don’t think he deserves that kind of contract. Pineiro is coming off of his best year going 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and 214 innings pitched. These numbers are very good and at first glance you might think that a contract of 3 years $30M is worthy, perhaps even more. But when you look at his career numbers you’ll see from 2004 to 2008 he is a very mediocre pitcher. He did have solid years in 2002 and 2003 with the Seattle Mariners but it seemed as if he forgot how to pitch after that and remembered in 2009. - yardbarker
 

Jon Heyman:
 
As usual, it was met with an outcry from many individuals about how Jon is wrong for his choices and the methodology of picking his selections. This type of behavior not only annoys me, the arrogance displayed by those who disagree with Heyman is reprehensible. It’s a combination of snarky, arrogant, and disrespectful. Unfortunately, and I hate to generalize, but the worst perpetrators of the behavior are those that use advanced metrics to make their case. Once again they act as if they have absolute answers and the only methodology acceptable in making a decision. This doesn’t surprise me as this site has been the victim of vicious attacks for its opinions in the past. When I suggested that Mark Teixeira was the MVP over Joe Mauer I had people go as low as to compare my rationale to Marge Schott claiming Hitler wasn’t all bad. It was some of those same people who twisted my words when I suggested baseball today needed a leader with the absolute power of Kenesaw Mountain Landis. In the end, Jon Heyman selected the players based on what he values as a sports writer. Just because this doesn’t include advanced metrics doesn’t make it wrong.  -  Mike Silva
 

Raul Casanova:
 
Caguas 8, Ponce 4


Mariners prospect Andrew Baldwin struck out six and allowed a run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings for the last-place Criollos. Raul Casanova homered twice and drove in five runs for Caguas, while fellow Major League veteran Carlos Rivera had two hits and two RBIs for Ponce. - mlb
 
 

Tom Seaver:

OOOh I forgot about this one. One of my favorite baseball cards ever!   link



 
 
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