Mack’s Morning Report – 12-24 – Hank Greenberg, Montreal Expos, Jonathan Valazquez, 2015 FA


We’re going to discontinue the ‘War Room’ here at Mack’s Mets and go back to ‘regular programming’ on Sundays. Frankly, I think I’m going to do a morning report and use the rest of the day for draft postings.

                       We will continue to post Mon-Sat at 8am (Mack’s Morning Report), 11am, 2pm, 5pm, and two draft posts at 7pm and 9pm.

                       We will expand more if more, original posts come into the site during this slow period (two more people have contacted me about writing, but it is not confirmed yet that they are joining the site).

                       Naturally, if you’d like to write, or know someone that does, please email me at macksmets@gmail.com.



Joe Posnanski

                       There were a few Jewish baseball players before Hank Greenberg made it to the Majors in 1933 and no stars. In truth, there had never been an all-encompassing American Jewish sports star at all before him. There were some famous Jewish boxers — Benny Leonard and the Battling Levinsky were perhaps the most prominent — but across the country boxing was viewed as corrupt and too ethnic and boxers were not often seen as heroes. Jewish and African American players dominated the early years of pro basketball, but the sport was barely a blip on the American scene. The overwhelming American sport was baseball, and Jews had almost no role in the game. The only time anyone seemed to talk about Jews and baseball was when referring to the gangster Arnold Rothstein’s role in fixing the 1919 World Series.    http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/no-74-hank-greenberg/

Obit –

                       Former major league catcher Ed Herrmann, who played for the White Sox for seven seasons from 1967-1974, died Sunday morning at 67. He had battled prostate cancer for years, family friend and former teammate Bill Melton said. Herrmann played 11 major league seasons with the Sox, Yankees, Angels, Astros and Expos and was named an All-Star in 1974. Melton said Herrmann's ability to catch knuckleball pitchers such as former Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood most stuck out from his career http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-22/sports/ct-ed-herrmann-dies-white-sox-spt-1223-20131223_1_prostate-cancer-white-sox-wilbur-wood


Chuck Booth -

The Expos continued to draft and sign players better than most clubs.  The ownership tried to convince the government and MLB, that the team could be economically viable if a downtown stadium was built.  Charles Bronfman was bought out and the consortium of owners sold all of their shares to New York art dealer Jeffrey Loria.   Soon all efforts to keep the Expos in Montreal were put to rest when MLB decided to vote on contraction after the 2001 season.  Minnesota and Montreal had been agreed to be contracted by the other 28 club owners.  While Minnesota rallied around the club, the Expos wallowed in self  misery.  Jeffrey Loria sold the Expos to MLB and bought the Florida Marlins.  In 2004, MLB decided with sagging attendance in Montreal, that the team would play some of their home games in Puerto Rico at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.  By this year, the last great player of the franchise (Vlad Guerrero) had left for greener pastures.  He had seen Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou and 2000 hit man (Mark Grudzielanek) leave before him. http://mlbreports.com/2012/06/29/expos-demise/

Mack – This is a nice three-part story on the old Montreal Expos. Check it out.


Jonathan Velasquez –

                       Here’s an interesting name you probably haven’t heard before.

Jon Velasquez was signed in 2009 by the Philadelphia Phillies as a non-drafted free agent out of Northwood (FL) University. He played A/A+ ball that year, combining for a stat line of 11-8, 3.79, 28-G, 24-starts, 140.0-IP, 100-K, 44-BB .

He repeated A+ ball in 2010, and was basically converted to a full reliever: 3-9, 3.19, 45-G, 5-starts, 87.1-IP, 77-K, 35-BB.

After that, he was cut and pitched independent ball in both the CanAm League Atlantic League. His stat line for Camden in 2013 was outstanding: 61-appearances, 6-2, 1.95, 1.14, 73.2-IP, 82-K, down to 26-BB.

The Mets picked him in the Rule 5 draft and he’s been pitching for Cangrejeros de Santurce in the ‘Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente’: 21-appearances, 2-0, 1.93, 0.99, 23.1-IP, 20-K, 6-BB.

Look for him to join the Las Vegas pen this spring.

A peek at the 2015 free agent class:

1B Billy Butler – 29/yrs old in 2015 - .289, 15-HR, 82-RBII in 2013
CF Denard Span – 31/yrs old in 2015 - .279, 4-HR, 47-RBI in 2013
RF Nick Markakis – 31/yrs old in 2015 - .271, 10-HR, 59-RBI in 2013
SS Hanley Ramirez – 31/yrs old in 2015 - .345, 20-HR, 57-RBI in 2013
SS J.J. Hardy – 32/yrs old in 2015 - .263, 25-HR, 76-RBI in 2013
SP Clayton Kershaw – 27/yrs old in 2015 – 16-9, 1.83, 0.92 in 2013
 SP Homer Bailey – 29/yrs old in 2015 – 11-12, 3.49, 1.12 in 2013
SP Jon Lester – 31/yrs old in 2015 – 15-8, 3.75, 1.29 in 2013
SP James Shields – 33/yrs old in 2015 – 13-9, 3.15, 1.24 in 2013

SP Max Scherzer – 30/yrs old in 2015 – 21-3, 2.90, 0.97 in 2013



David L. Whitman said...

re 2015 FA

Butler-solid player, really a DH though.
Markakis-Intriguing possiblity
HanRam-Dodgers re-sign, otherwise will probably be too expensive for Sandy unfortunately.
Hardy-I could see the Mets going after him.
Kershaw-LOL. Dodger for life. About to break the bank.
Bailey-Intriguing, though the Mets should be all set with their starting five for 2015.
Lester-I doubt the Sox let him walk. If FA will be pricey, but the Mets could use another southpaw in the rotation. It really depends on what he does in 2014.
Shields-I really see the Royals re-signing him.
Scherzer-Would be shocked if Tigers let him leave.

A couple of other SS FA in 2015 worth mentioning Lowrie of A's, Ramirez for White Sox and Cabrera from the Indians. The strong group of 2015 SS FA is why I think the Mets should roll with Tejada in 2014 rather than sink $$$ in Stephen Drew.

greg b said...

Really nithing to speacial about those free agents. Thats why we have to build up our farm system.

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