Bob asked –
Mack - I am not sure if anybody else noticed, or even cared but...... I found it very interesting that taking center stage at the winter meetings for the Mets was the assistant general manager Ricco. Just looking at the title of Ricco's position as general manager, it makes perfect sense of course. In the Mets case however, I find it very interesting that the other heads of Alderson's hand picked Troika, Ricciardi & DePodesta stayed out of the spotlight. I wonder who might have taken a more leading role, if any.
Mack – Thanks for the question, Bob.
My guess is this came from the Wilpons out of respect for the years he has been part of the organization. Ricco joined the Mets in 2004 and became Assistant General Manager in 2006. He was then named as the interim General Manager when Omar Minaya exited and ran the team until Sandy Alderson arrived.
Like you, I always wondered which VP was #2, Ricciardi or DePodesta. I guess we’re going to have to wait longer to find out someday.
I was surprised to read a story by Mark Simon about how the Mets have improved their middle infield… wait for it… defense.
Some facts he stated:
Over the last three seasons, Daniel Murphy had 106 Good Fielding Plays and 104 Defensive Misplays and errors in a little more than 2,800 innings at second base, including an 11/18 rate in 2015
Neil Walker had 145 Good Fielding Plays and 73 Misplays and errors in just over 3,500 innings, including a 36/24 rate in 2015.
Cabrera graded out at -8 defensive runs saved in 1,141 innings in 2015
Mets shortstops combined for -26 defensive runs saved last season, the worst total for any team at an infield position
We talked earlier this week about the increase in offensive production with Walker and Cabrera so, on the surface, there seems to be a win-win situation here.
My last thoughts on Jon Niese, after his half-assed verbal shot at the Mets (“I’m sure what I’ll appreciate more than anything is the way the Pirates play defense. I’m looking forward to that.”)
First, I met him three times in my life, all in the Mets clubhouse. He was always respectful to me both as a reporter and as a human being.
Reports I had was he did not enjoy playing for the New York Mets. I don’t know why and I can’t prove if this statement is true, but I’ve been told it multiple times.
Even more than that, I’ve been told he hated playing for Terry Collins. Again, no proof, just statements from others.
I wish him well in Pittsburgh except for the days he is chosen to pitch against the Mets. I think every baseball player goes on the field and tries to do their best, regardless of what team they play for or who they are playing against.
Except Chase Utley, but that’s another story.
Good luck Jon. I think you were a great Met. I really do.
On the Asdrubel Cabrera signing –
I’m being told that Cabrera was ‘Plan 3’ if the Zobrist deal didn’t go through. ‘Plan 2’ was Neil Walker. The Mets wasted little time in calling back Pittsburgh and putting that to bed, but, in the long run, Mets VPs decided they couldn’t pass up the chance to upgrade the team at shortstop as well.
The Mets SS Alfredo Reyes (Pirates) was chosen in the minor league phase of the Rule V Draft. Reyes was an ex-international bonus baby that hit .228 (232-AB) last year for Brooklyn. His best year as a Met was 2013 (DSL Mets) where he hit .316