Effective this weekend, we are going to drop the Morning Report on Saturday and Sunday We’ll do this until the season starts when, hopefully, there will be more Mets information out there.
In its place, we’ll start off with one of Tom Brennan’s prospect ranking (8am), followed by one of mine (10:30 am).
Also, I’m going to stop comparing the bullpens. It was a suggestion by one of the readers and it hasn’t generated much interest.
What I am going to do this morning is review the Mets operation over the years 2006-2010 (a mere nine to four years ago) and tell you a funny story about the strangest Met I ever met in camp.
Let’s face it. We’ve been told a thousand times that the Mets refuse to spend enough money to build a winner, and yet, during a span of five years, from 2006-2010… which ended with being less than five years ago… the Mets spent more than any other team in the entire National League.
Here are the team salaries plus the win-loss records for these years:
2006: 97-65 $101,084,963 1st in salaries
2007: 88-74 115,231.663 1st
2008: 89-73 137,793,376 1st
2009: 70-92 149,373,987 1st
2010: 79-93 132,701,445 3rd
Ironically, it was 2008, halfway through this run, that Bernie Madoff turned himself in. And thank God the Mets did settle for a $162mil settlement… otherwise they would have had to pay back, before interest, anywhere from $300mil to $1bil.
Still, as the chart shows above, there was a decent amount of money poured into the salaries of this team, which results in three seasons of 88+ wins. No playoff seasons, but it does say a lot for the mindset if this Ponzi crap was still going on.
Thor asked –
Mack, do you think that the extension to Sandy Alderson’s contract takes the heat off him a little?
Mack – Thanks, Thor,
Oh, hell yeah. The ‘future’ Mets that we write about all the time here have a bunch of positions that just haven’t firms up yet… catcher… SP4… SP5… closer… 2ndLHRP… 2B… SS… a 2017 starting outfielder.
The extension to his contract gives him a ‘push’ on making critical decisions. A perfect example would be Wilmer Flores at SS. Under pressure, Flores could have lost him job in 2015. Instead, he probably will get a season to prove to us what he can do.
Yes, in my opinion, the extension to Alderson will make the Mets a better team in the long run, though 2015 may once again be a bumpy ride.
I had the pleasure of attending the New York Mets spring training facilities in 2010 for Morris Publishing, the owners of the newspapers I wrote for here in the Savannah metro.
The Mets were looking for a backup first baseman to backup Ike Davis and, on the on the first day of pitchers/catchers reporting, I hung around and saw three players emerge from the clubhouse… Mike Jacobs, Daniel Murphy, and Chris Carter.
Early on that day, what every day players that just happened to be in town (or were called in early for a first base tryout like this one) managed to get some BP in at the cage facing the minor league clubhouse. The winds were very gusty, heading out towards right, and I heard a few people talking about ‘this kid Carter’ that was putting on a show in the cage. I walked behind it and saw him standing with around eight bats in his hand (???).
I looked over to who I think was Rick Waits, a roving pitching coach I had gotten to know and pointed at Carter’s bats and gave Waits the ole ‘WTF’ look.
Waits turned to me and said that he won’t let anyone tough his bats. Anyone. In the clubhouse. On the field. Anyone.
Then, it was his time to hit… and I watched him one bounce two shots into the minor league clubhouse building. Player, coaches, and reporters were all running for cover.
Folks, the kid was nuts. I never saw anyone wired so tight. Jacobs came over to me at Duffy’s a few nights later and said he wouldn’t even talk to him and Murphy.
I took around 40 pictures of them on the field that day and one of them is on the top of this post.
Wally Backman is never a man with a loss for words and a place like the Queens Baseball Convention was the perfect place for fans to ask him questions that Backman could get in trouble with answering.
Two answers stool out to me.
One, he said the OF Cesar Puello was “not a complete player at this point”. You’ve played eight years in the minors and the coach that coached you the entire season last year says this.
And two, that Steven Matz was the best pitching prospect in the system. You have to wonder, after all the time Backman spent with Noah Syndergaard last season, why Thor’s name didn’t roll off the end of his tongue.
Puello’s career is far from over at 24-years old, but I hope the Mets would just designate him so he can tag on with an organization that wants to give him a fair chance to succeed.
Defensive analytics have grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade. At Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), we eat, sleep and breathe defense, but there is always more to learn. A recent research project uncovered some remarkable new information. One of the public perceptions has been that a player needs three full seasons before his defensive metrics provide a true indication of his defensive abilities. That has been my own personal rule of thumb, though I’ve known there is some reliability to sample sizes smaller than three years. Based on the new research, BIS has found that Defensive Runs Saved[i] based on as small a sample size as 350 innings in the field (about a quarter of the season) produces reliable results. This is a very significant finding
Talks On Baseball, a new speaker series about baseball, is swinging into New York City on January 14, 2015 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Launched in Toronto in 2014, PITCH: Talks On Baseball is now set to debut in the U.S. next year with its first stop here in Times Square. PITCH connects die hard baseball fans with sports insiders by hosting informed and entertaining discussionson all aspects of the game. Pete Abraham, Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Globe, and formerly the Mets and Yankees beat writer for The Journal News, will be acting as moderator for the NY event with an exciting full lineup of speakers to be announced later in November. "It's always baseball season in New York and Pitch Talks will add fuel to the hot stove," says Abraham. "Come hear from the experts."