The Morning Report – 2-13-15: ESPN Rankings, Ron Darling, 2015 Draft Order


David Schoenfield | ESPN.com - I'm picking the Mets to win a wild card! My gut says either the Mets or the Marlins win a wild card, thanks in part to how bad the Phillies and Braves may be. I like the Mets better because of the depth in the rotation. Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom is the real deal and Zack Wheeler has the arm strength and now the experience to take a leap forward. Obviously, a lot hinges on the comeback of Harvey and return to form of Wright. Everybody's concerned about Wilmer Flores at shortstop, but he doesn't project to be as terrible as everyone thinks. Anyway, every year there's at least one team that climbs from under .500 into the postseason (actually, there were two last season and three in 2013). The Mets are my pick for 2015. Prediction: 86-76

(Chris Soto: I think Dave is spot on point with his predicted W-L total. Now, that said, whether 86 wins is enough to win a Wild Care spot or not is an entirely different story. Generally the wild card winners win roughly 88-90 games. Love the the confidence he has in deGrom and Wheeler.)

Neil Best | Newsday - Cohen traditionally has not called every spring training game, so for seven of SNY's 16 telecasts from Florida this March a rookie play-by-play man is going to give it a try. His name: Ron Darling. With Kevin Burkhardt, SNY's longtime Mets reporter and fill-in play-by-play voice, leaving for Fox after last season, Darling asked executive producer Curt Gowdy Jr. if he could take a crack at it. Darling, 54, will call his first game March 7, when the Mets face the Braves.

(Chris Soto: I've never really been a big Kevin Burkhardt fan to begin with. I'm happy to see that Ron Darling will get the opportunity to call a few games during the spring but Gary Cohen is an amazing play by play caller. After listening to other broadcasters on my car's SiriusXM radio, I continue to be thoroughly convinced that the Mets have one of the best broadcast teams in baseball.)

Steve Phillips | MLB Network Radio Phillips quoted a baseball axiom on Wednesday, stating that “the best deal is often the one you don’t make.” He reminisced about a conversation he had during his tenure as Mets' GM, with Nelson Doubleday, then the half owner of the Mets, with Doubleday telling him that “Fans here love stars, they love super stars.” Further, he said, “If we get a super star, we’ll fill this stadium up like we did in the 80s, so I really want you to focus on getting that super-star, marquee player.'” That admonition, Phillips said, led him to make the deal to acquire Mike Piazza during the 1998 season. Previously, Phillips had opportunities to possibly get Kevin Brown and Gary Sheffield, but passed on those potential deals. If Phillips had bitten on one of those deals instead of exhibiting patience, he would not have been able to get Piazza.

(Herb G: Very interesting to me. Firstly, I have to wonder whether Fred Wilpon would echo Nelson Doubleday’s sentiments and admonish Sandy Alderson to go out and get a superstar, now that the Mets seem to be on the cusp of contending. Secondly, could Alderson’s patience during this off season be a precursor to a major deal that might be made in July. There has been enough talk about Troy Tulowitzki this winter to choke a horse. Tulo, of course, is a legitimate superstar. Yoan Moncada, discussed as a potential future superstar, has also drawn a great deal of interest during this off season. As of now, the Mets are not going to be players for Moncada due to the exorbitant cost of signing him, primarily associated with the penalties for exceeding the international pool limit. Perhaps passing on Tulo and Moncada now will enable the Mets to make a big deal in July. Who knows what superstars might become available from teams that have become sellers at that time?)

  •      With the San Diego Padres signing the final Qualifying Offer Free Agent (James Shields), the 2015 draft order is officially set. Due to their signing of Michael Cuddyer, the Mets will not be making a selections until the 53rd overall pick. The team's bonus pool is also the lowest in the MLB this year at only $3,604,500. A more detailed account of the picks and draft bonus slot numbers can be found here. For what it's worth, the 2015 draft class is viewed as one of the weakest in the past few years.
  • Multiple sources are reporting that the Mets are among ten teams expressing interest in offering LHRP Joe Thatcher a minor league deal.  He's had parts of eight seasons in the big leagues and has had great success against lefties, limiting them to a .230 BAA.  With the other NY Mets reliever options from the left side after Edgin -- Sean Gilmartin (never before a full time reliever), Dario Alvarez (converted infielder who dominated the lower levels but at a considerably more advanced age than the batters he faced), Darin Gorski (soft tossing starter being shoehorned into a new role) are less than ideal.  The more the merrier.  It's certainly worth taking a look, but there are new reports suggesting the Astros are now the frontrunner for Thatcher's services. (RK)


Ernest Dove said...

I still dont care about a out loss of draft pick because this team is supposed to be set up for longterm succees as it stands now, so no biggie.
No reason why pitching alone can't be enough to win a decent amount of 3-2 games and make the playoffs......
Is it just me or is the lefty reliever signings for mets getting alittle silly at this point? I guess terry collins will certainly enjoy a spring full of putting in like 5 lefty on lefty matchups every spring game (bet he still pitches Familia and Torres in between every game as well, just out of habit.

Thomas Brennan said...

Great topics in AM REPORT.
I still think Mets win 86 to 94 in 2015. My target is 92. My current series of articles say why: better offense, starters, and relief than last year, when we won 79.

Imagine you are a new fan, and have to pick Mets or Yanks by listening to radio broadcasts. Would 5% pick the Yanks listening to (ugh) Susan Waldman and John Not-So-Sterling? Listening to Cohen and Howie is SO much better.

A mid-season superstar acquisition would be great. I LIKE the offense we're starting out with and look forward to it, and to high minors hitters' development in first half 2015.

Even with Thatcher...he'd probably be good, butlet's really give Leather a shot in spring training.

Anonymous said...

I assume that a Thatcher signing would be a major league contract and that would be the end of Gilmartin, which I guess is no great loss, but I don't mind trying some of the backup options if they don't sign him. Though he has never relieved, SG does have the sort of splits against lefties that one is looking for, but so does Gorski. Darin has significant splits against lefties, including a lower number of HRs given up, which is really what is preventing him from a ML career; he has given up a CRAZY amount of HRs, even when he is going good, but most are against RH hitters, so he screams LH specialist out of the pen, if he is ever going to make it to the bigs
Anon Joe F

IBfromWhitePlains said...

I’m probably gonna get into hot water for this, but I grew up in the good old days when Bob Murphy or Lindsay Nelson called the game – it was always the game itself that was important. Call the game. They were masters of their craft. With Cohen I find myself turning off the sound because every broadcast is blighted with his encyclopaedic BS. I can’t listen to it.

It’s too bad cause I love Keith and Ron. I sometimes wonder why they don’t shut him up. JMO

bob gregory said...


Don't worry, not hot boiling water being prepared, but...

That really is a contradictory opinion regarding Cohen.
I have never heard anyone unhappy with his broadcasts even close to the degree you mention.

Thomas Brennan said...

Bob Murphy: whoo, whoo,whoo,whoo. Loved Bob. Ralph Kiner? Loved his many interviews with "Cleo James" (uhh, Ralph, it's Cleon Jones). Loved Lindsay Nelson's broadcasts as much as his jackets.

Hobie said...

I too don't think Gary's reminiscences detract from the game at all, but add to it. And the Gary-Keith-Ron camaraderie is special. It's hard to listen to the national games on FOX (that's when I hit the mute button).

But slightly off-topic. Any thoughts on whether SNY could/would/should simulcast an inning of Vin Scully this summer when are in LA? It's his last season I believe, and I'd love to hear Gary-Keith-Ron's take on it.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

Hey Bob. I'm a crank. Always have been. But, as long as I hear "Put it in the books" I'm a happy crank.


Lew Rhodes said...

Doesn't matter who announces this year - the team will be so much better, the broadcasts will be better!

Very nice to see a non-Mets fan picking them to have a solid year - and I think he is a little bearish.

I think the depth of the team and the ready talent in the minors - position and pitching - will allow the team to survive any injuries - I think few teams have that depth into the minor.

No one is talking about the Nats lack of position player depth this year - Werth is starting the season hurt, now LaRoche is gone, if Zimmerman gets hurt, there is no one to replace him.

They don't have the depth to absorb a couple of significant injuries (sounds like the Mets bullpen circa 2007)

Reese Kaplan said...

Thatcher signs a minor league deal with the Astros and Terry's son he never had, Eric Young, Jr., signed a minor league deal with the projected to be atrociously bad Atlanta Braves.

eraff said...

I agree with IB...Cohen simply talks too much.

I'm ok with the the setting of the booth being two ot three guys having a baseball and personal conversation interwoven with the game...it's nice. The great thing about baseball is that there's plenty of space to relax and talk.

In that setting, Cohen is the guy who JUST NEVER SHUTS UP!!!!!!! ....and PLEASE.....just Shut Up once in a while!!!

If I could "filter and remove" 20% of his TALKING, the broadcast would improve immensely.

Mack's Mets © 2012