From The Desk – Dirty Laundry, Steamboat Johnson, Frank Viola, Thomas Szapucki, Playoff Baseball


Good morning.

We’ve moved into the off season and we’ve had some writer shifts. Tom Brennan has decided to take the off-season off and concentrate on family matters. And Christopher Soto has taken his very enjoyable winter updates to Mets Minors. This has resulted in less quality writing here at Mack’s Mets.

The rest of us will carry on, but we could use some help from a couple of you readers (especially the ones who write such intelligent comments to what we write). Become a writer here. EVERYONE that has ever written here was first a reader.

The pay is the same as the revenue I get on this site. Nothing. But you can write whatever you want, whenever you want. All I ask is that the post is edited, in the 500-1000 word range, and is about either the Mets or baseball in general.

Email me at macksmets@gmail.com and I can send you an email that will direct you to the entry point into the site.

Mojo Hill - @mojohill22

Brooks Baseball’s description of Jose Reyes the pitcher:

His fourseam fastball comes in below hitting speed, has heavy sinking action, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has slightly less natural movement than typical.

Las Vegas 1B/OF Patrick Kivlehan chose free agency and was signed by Arizona and assigned to Reno. He will be missed as an adequate AAAA first baseman, especially after Peter Alonso heads 'south'.

The Most Entertaining Umpire  in Minor League History –

He wiggled his hands when calling strikes, opened boxes of baseballs with his teeth and slid with runners for a closer view. He also umpired more minor league baseball games than anyone in history.

Umpire Harry “Steamboat” Johnson was on the field in ballparks across the country from 1911-1946, and his stories are as great as his nickname.

Ernie Acosta - @ErnieAcostaWFAN -

There we have it.  The Yankees lost because they didn’t keep Todd Frazier

Pitching instructor Frank Viola leaving Mets -

Popular Mets pitching instructor Frank Viola is leaving the organization after eight seasons, a source confirmed Wednesday evening. Viola had hinted at his intentions in a tweet "wishing the Mets organization well," and thanking "all of the pitchers I've had a chance to work with."

That group includes Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, all of whom are currently in the Mets' rotation. Despite Viola's work with those arms, the Mets passed him over for their pitching coach vacancy last winter, instead sending Viola from Triple-A Las Vegas to Double-A Binghamton.

Mack – I’ll miss this guy. He was nice to me when I covered the Sand Gnats and he was the pitching coach there.

Something went wrong here. He was on his way to the Mets bullpen and was sent in the other direction to Binghamton.

Doesn’t make sense. Always a class act.

New York Mets  Top 10 Prospects Updated –

9. Thomas Szapucki | LHP | INJ —> Szapucki, 22, has lost significant development time due to injuries over the past two years, including Tommy John surgery which wiped out his 2018 season. He has the potential to be a mid-rotation arm if he can stay healthy. He has a mid-90s heater and excellent curveball. There was potential in the changeup, too, before he got hurt. He is a high-risk, high-reward player.

Mack – We can’t forget this guy. He was our top pitching prospect before his current TJS.

I expect him to return to St. Lucie in 2019, but to quickly move to Binghamton. A slower rebuilding program will probably prevent him from seeing Syracuse next season, but, if he remains healthy, could be ready for Queens by mid-2020.

Baseball playoffs   might not be fair, but that’s part of the thrill –
     What happened to the word “tiebreaker”? In this case, MLB doesn’t have it. The Dodgers and Rockies had to do the same crazy dance as the Cubs and Brewers: play each other for the 20th time to decide the NL West title even though the Dodgers dominated the season series 12-7. Extra games, extra travel, shred your pitching staffs — deal with it, that’s today’s baseball.


Reese Kaplan said...

Maybe Kivlehan's natural position is 1B but for Las Vegas he was playing mostly 3B due to the injury to David Thompson. I remember the El Paso Chihuahuas' beat writers waxing philosophic about him after a few monster shots as he was on their roster the previous year or so.

Mack Ade said...

He would have been great AAAA fill in at Cuse for 1B after Alonso gets called up

Unknown said...

I am guessing Kivlehan saw a better chance to get back to the majors with a team other than the Mets. He was smoking hot the last several weeks but not called up, so if i were him, I'd have left too.

Szapucki should be ready to go in spring training, 18 months post-surgery. May he emulate the ascent of a former member of the TJ Club, Jake deGrom.

Unknown said...

Mack, did Hobie or Herb ever get an autograph from Steamboat Johnson? Just askin'.

Mack Ade said...

I was too young then.

Hobie said...

L)L. I wish I had seen him,

Palermo was my favorite ump. Corked bat season, Terry Steinbach hits a mammoth HR to CF in YS. As he approaches home, Steve picks up the bat, kooks at it, shrugs, and hands it to Steinbach.

bill metsiac said...

My fave was Leslie Nielsen in one of the "Airplane" movies. Classic!

bill metsiac said...

Didn't Urena have a strong 2nd half at Bingo and play some 1B? Unless he gets cut or dealt can't he be the 1Bman at 'Cuse when Alonso moves up?

I' m not yet convinced that Smith is proven enough to stick in Queens. It's possible that he goes down when Peter comes up.

Speaking of Peter, he's off to a helluva start in AZ. 4-6,including a HR and 2B yesterday(only needed a 3B for the cycle).

Dave Schulps said...

The Mets actually sold Kivlehan to the D'backs before the (major league) season ended and he played in 9 games for them, batting .231 with 3 RBI. I assume he declared free agency as a D'back and then re-signed with them...And the item about tiebreakers is spot on. Can't figure out for the life of me why those games were played rather than using some formula (starting with who won the season series) for determining who goes to the playoffs. As if there isn't enough strain on teams at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

To Reese Chaplan

I would never consider the 2018 NY Mets season as a waste. Certainly the team did not live up to NY Mets fan's expectations, I'll give you that much. But the 2018 Mets' team was not a Championship team by any means despite what some sports networks were saying. 2018 had key injuries again to two veteran bats that the team was counting on to produce the yard balls, Yoenis and Jay. And secondly, the NY Mets could not come up with a viable bullpen or Familia replacement to close, although they really did try everyone for that.

2019 did however have the beginning of several new rookie player's careers. To me, 2018 was a very big step forward for all the rookie players who shined and this NY Mets team as a whole with them now in-place. Players like Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario won starting jobs here for 2019 and there will be a couple of more players added into this young core mix once 2019 Spring Training gets under way too.

For every Championship MLB team, it has to go through this type of a beginning with the newer players. And in 2018, I feel that it did.

2018 was a big step forward along the way to a Championship baseball team. Really now all the NY Mets have to do is solidify its bullpen (they have some very good young arms within their own system in which they could do that), and then see if Yoenis Cespedes can play full tilt and if not possibly acquire another homerun outfielder perhaps.

The catcher position is the only real question mark remaining after all this above. Miami's JT Realmuto is probably available via a trade, but every sensible team in MLB will be after him. JT could become very expensive in a longer term contract as a result, obviously. I might take a long hard look at someone like a Danny Jansen on Toronto or a Jorge Alfaro on Philadelphia. Danny is 23 and Jorge 25, their stat sheet is very similar and probably neither one has reached their full stride. But there could be other possibilities out there as well for catcher, and we will have to wait and see which direction the Mets take on this catcher position.

But the future does look promising.

Anonymous said...


Noah Synergaard gets a haircut. Thor defrocked. Planet Earth Doomed! News at Ten.

Anonymous said...

Off Color Commentary

Orange and Blue not included, look away I tell ya'!

Just the Blue and Red to follow below
(please forgive me?)

There are five teams sitting at 1-5 in the NFL standings right now and circling the proverbial drain. The NY Giants are (unfortunately) one of these fine circling teams.

The team is 0-3 at home and going nowhere but down and into the P Trap. It is very wrong to single out one player as the face of disappointment, because losing can be a team sport too and there are many culprits to this NYG season thus far.

But sometimes a team has to change out their players in order to regain their footing and rebuild confidence and desire. Right now it looks like the quarterback position might be the best place to start. I really do hate to admit this too. But the NY Giants really do need to make a change at the quarterback position now.

So for the love of God, please take out Archie Manning and put in Norm Snead right away, like now even!

There I have said it.

Thank You, and have a pleasant tonight.

Mack's Mets © 2012