Will The 2013 Mets Outfield Out Do Some Past Mets Outfield Clunkers ?

As we wait and see if Michael Bourn will or won’t be the 2013 and beyond Mets centerfielder, a lot of the off season chatter amongst Mets fans has been the potential for the 2013 Mets outfield to be the worst in teams history. Well, for that to happen they would have to be piss poor of epic proportion.

I went on baseball reference to look at the various Mets outfields over the years. I decide to look at the four worst run scoring teams in Mets history to see what kind of production the outfielder supplied since two of the three spot in the outfield are where teams get their power numbers and in centerfield where you hope to find your offensive catalyst. I was a bit surprised by some of my findings.

The 1968 Mets scored the least amount of runs in franchise history. The 1968 team also had the lowest team ERA in franchise history. WHAT???  The offense scored a meager 473 runs for the season which averaged out to 2.9 per game. The pitching staff pitched to a stellar 2.72 team ERA in what was known as the Year of the Pitcher. The Bob Gibson led St. Louis Cardinals lead all of MLB with an astonishing 2.49 ERA.  The Mets outfield that season consisted of three of the most important players on next seasons World Champion New York Mets.

Cleon Jones played left field and had a line of .297/.341/.452 14 HR 55 RBI. Not a bad slash line and 14 HR is okay but 55 RBI is quite low but the teams collective OBP was a lifeless.281 so as well as Jones hit, most times he came up with the bags empty. Tommy Agee was downright awful. His line was .217/.255/.307 in 368 AB. The other CF’er on that team was Don Bosch who came over from the Pirates along with Don Cardwell for Dennis Ribrant who I was a big fan of for the sole reason that I  had a tumbler from the Sunocco gas station in our neighborhood that had his likeness on it (I also had a Rob Gardner and a Ron Swoboda tumbler as well) Bosh put up a line .171/.231/.261. , which for some reason the newly formed Montreal Expos were impressed by  so they purchased Bosh’ contract at the end of the 1968 season.  Ron Swoboda put 11 baseballs over the fence and drove in 59 runs to be the team leader. Let that sink in a bit Mets fans, 59 RBI led THE TEAM FOR THE SEASON!

The Mets of 1965 scored 495 runs and had the second worst win/loss record in team history at 50-112 second only of course to the 1962 team.  The outfield that year consisted of Ron Swoboda in his rookie season in RF, Jim Hickman in CF, Johnny Lewis in RF and Joe Christopher as the very active 4th outfielder spelling Swoboda and Lewis.  Swoboda had a career best 19 HR’s but put up an ugly slash line of .228/..291/.424.  Safe to say  Swoboda was no threat to Jim Lefevre and his run to Rookie of the Year. Jim Hickman hit 15 HR and drove in a paltry 40 runs he also put up an awful slash line of .236/.291/.407 If you look at Hickman’s page on baseball-reference his 1970 season leaps off the screen. If a player had a spike like that today, what do you think the scuttlebutt would be? Johnny Lewis also hit double digits in HR’s with 15 but he also had a tough time getting a Rib Eyed Steak with 45 runs batted in. The low number of RBI is attributed to an all-time Mets team record for worst OBP of .277 WOW!

The 1967 team just missed the 500 run scored mark falling short at 498 but this team had one the best players to come out of Brooklyn in Tommy Davis playing the outfield. The Dodgers sent Davis to the Mets for Ron Hunt and Jim Hickman. Davis was a star on those great Dodgers teams on the early 60’s but a broken ankle in 1965 seemed to affect Davis’ power although the power in his bat returned when he joined the Mets as he hit 16 HR in ’67.  Davis also drove in 73 runs to go with a .302 BA . Davis lasted just one season with the Mets as he was dealt to the White Sox for future major contributors to the ’69 World Championship Tommy Agee and Al Weiss.   The shame about Davis’ career was he looked like a sure superstar headed toward a trip to Cooperstown before the ankle injury but he became the definition of a journeyman playing for ten teams in his eighteen year career.  Cleon Jones struggled that year and part of the reason Davis was obtained was to work with Jones which would pay off a couple of season later but in ’67 Cleon’s line of .246/.282/.331 wasn’t good.  Ron Swoboda, who played on the top three worst run producing offenses in Mets history, had one of best years by hitting 13 HR and driving 53 runs which kept the Mets front office hoping that Swoboda would start to blossom into an consistent offensive player.

As bad as the 1963 Mets were when it came to scoring runs, just 501 on the season, the outfield made  up of Frank Thomas, Jim Hickman and back to New York for one season, 36 year old Duke Snider was not awful. Snider at the end of career, hit 14 HR but again something of a pattern with these bad offensive Mets teams, drove in just 45 runs due to a bad team OBP of .285. Slugger Frank Thomas hit 15 homers and drove in 60 runs which when you look at this overall team dismal effort is outstanding. Jim Hickman hit with power, 17 HR and drove in 51 runs but his OBP of .291 was head shaking bad.

So how bad can the Mets 2013 outfield be? Is Lucas Duda a modern day Jim Hickman? Can the right field platoon of Mike Baxter/Andrew Brown/Collin Cowgil produce better than a Ron Swoboda or an aging Duke Snider? Can a Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Marlon Byrd be as productive as Tommy Davis?

I guess its questions like these that have Sandy Alderson weighing the pros and cons of signing Michael Bourn compared to keeping the 11th pick in the entry draft and more importantly the slot money they’d lose as well. This not exactly an inspiring bunch of fly ball catchers. Every day we get closer to full squad workouts at St. Lonesome the tougher the decision is for the Mets GM.

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Metscellaneous

 

Before I get started with some Mets-cellaneous items, a moment of silence please to remember both Earl Weaver and Stan Musial two baseball titans who passed away this past Saturday.

 

 

I would like to congratulate David Wright on the announcement of his engagement to his long time squeeze Molly Beers. I’ll be checking the mail for my wedding invitation

The Bitter Bill got to meet R.A. Dickey last Saturday night at the New York Baseball Writers dinner and found out what everyone who has had the pleasure of meeting and talking to R.A. discovered, he’s not only a gentleman but one of the most interesting people you’ll ever run into in your life.  

It took me awhile to wrangle this but I am proud to announce I was able to purchase the sponsorship of Ed Kranepool’s player page on Baseball-Reference.  The other pages I sponsor are, Ken Boswell, Duffy Dyer, Jay Hook, 1947 NY Giants, and 1977 NY Mets. It’s the least I can do for all the info I pluck from the Baseball-Reference site.

So Sandy Alderson made a funny at the baseball writer’s dinner:

There’s been a lot of talk about our outfield. And I want you to know that I’m in serious discussions with several outfielders I met on the Internet. There’s one I really like. He says he played at Stanford.’’

 and some folks are upset that he made a joke about the Mets outfield situation. Really? Seriously? Lighten up!

The San Francisco Giants honored their New York roots this past weekend by bringing not only the 2012 World Series trophy to town but the great Willie Mays as well.  By the way, with all the debate over retiring numbers that we Mets fans seem to love argue about, how a dialog about retiring #24 to honor the greatest player in baseball history?

You should also read this column by George Vecsey on the Giants World Series trophy tour of NY.  I let out a big “SIGH” when I was done reading.

Oh the Cubs had a FanFest over the weekend. Tip O’ the Mets cap to Mets Police for the linkage and for putting me in a more pissed off mood about the baseball team I love.

Hey look whose back, Perpetual Pedro all recovered from shoulder problems and full of Highlander bucks has come home albeit with a minor league deal. Feliciano will join Robert Carson, Josh Edgin, Darin Gorski, Aaron Laffey, and post-op Tim Brydak as the Mets attempt to form the first all left handed bullpen in history of baseball.

My podcast mate on Mets Kult of Personalities Tayrn Cooper, has penned a guest column on Jeff Pearlman’s website, taking up the cause for Mike Piazza’ enshrinement into the Hall of Fame and calling out the voters for short sightedness in not voting Piazza in his first year of eligibility. Pearlman will also be guest on Coops Gall For All Seasons Podcast this week as well.

 

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NY Mets Not Interested In Marquis Pitcher

Looks like the Mets have no interest in signing RHP Jason Marquis which means either of two things; Marquis has nothing left as a pitcher or the Mets have enough faith in Chris Young making a contribution very soon and the young arms in the system are progressing nicely.

I’ve felt that taking on Marquis to a minor league deal could help both the Mets and Marquis who is what I’d call the journeyman’s journeyman and maybe being able to pitch at home here in NYC would recharge him a bit.  Marquis lives on Staten Island and was a star pitcher for Tottenville High School, this past winter his daughter had a mishap on a bicycle that landed her in the hospital and was serious enough of an injury that Marquis was summoned from Twins camp in Florida back home to Staten Island.  Thankfully, his daughter recovered and is doing fine today but you wonder how much of a toll that took on Marquis and what his mindset has been playing in Minnesota while his family is back in SI.

After looking over Marquis page at Baseball-Reference it’s hard to take the Mets to task for not pursuing the 33 year old righty, but I wouldn’t rule out the Highlanders taking a chance on Marquis .

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EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, THE METS ARE ALL AROUND THE TOWN

 

As first reported by Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest, the NY Mets have signed LHP Tim Byrdak to a minor league deal. Byrdak and Taylor Tankersley will compete for the LOOGY role for the Mets left vacant by the loss of Perpetual Pedro Feliciano.

For his career, Byrdak has been quite effective against left handed hitters with a line of .202/.296/.380. Before last season he was a predominantly ground ball pitcher but since 2008 his GB/FB ratio has gone from 1.10 to 0.93 to .054 last season. Becoming a fly ball pitcher should help Byrdak working at Citi Field but as long as he pitches against left handed hitters only.  Right handed hitters seem to find a base open frequently with Byrdak proven by a .400 OBA fuel mostly by walks.

If the Highlanders had signed Byrdak, I bet one of their more studious bloggers would make a case for his Hall of Fame candidacy. By the way, and keep this on the downlow PLEASE!!!!! I have been in constant contact with Bronx Bastards President Branch Randy Rickey Levine about trading for Ollie Perez to fill the Highlander rotation.  I took Cliff Lee’s Baseball-Reference page and put Ollie’s name and info on it and Levine was quite impressed. Please, please keep this between you, me and the lamppost, don’t let this info out, we are very close to an announcement.

The Mets have really stepped up their community involvement this winter, on Wednesday the held Citi Field Kids and on Thursday they announced the opening of the Mets Starlight Site Care Room at New York Hospital in Flushing which will help children with chronic and life threating diseases with their treatments. While Terry Collins, Josh Thole and Jose Reyes were at NY Hospital, R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell and Mike Pelfrey went to the FDNY Training Center on Randalls Island. The players traded in their double knits for bunker wear and went through some fire fighting drills. Parnell and Gee should have had an advantage here as both their dads are fire fighters. MediaGoon has some great pics and video of these events posted on Mets Police. I want to make a t-shirt with that pic of Jeffey Skill Sets in his bunker gear.

When Chris Young signed his deal with the Mets, before it could be official he had to go through the ritual of drinking the sacred Sandy Alderson Kool-Aid from the Tug McGraw chalice (the one Mets artifact that Charlie Samuels didn’t pilfer and sell on eBay) “Do you believe in the NY Mets”? asked Alderson, I DO IDO responded Young. “Do you renounce Philadelphia, Atlanta, Florida and Washington as teams that are superior to the Mets”? Alderson questioned, YES!!!!!!! Your excellency YES!!!!! Cried out Young, and with that Alderson raised the chalice to the sky and said “In the name of Seaver, Hodges and the Holy Joan Payson, received thy gifts as You Gotta Believe” and with that Young took a sip of the Kool-Aid and felt a rush throughout his body and suddenly his right hand, like it had been possessed, started striking the front of his thigh violently.

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BOO’S OF WRIGHT ARE MISPLACED

I know it’s all the rage to kill David Wright for his lack of clutchness lately but after checking out Baseball Reference, it looks like that anger is misplaced. Wright has a line of .290/.385/.581 with RISP. The other three big hitters for the Mets haven’t come close to the numbers Wright has put up.

Jason Bay with his .250/.370/.389 w/RISP has not been the run producer the club felt he would be. The real busts in the clutch have been Jeff Francouer and Jose Reyes-.200/.237/.286 w/RISP- but in Reyes’ defense he has been misplaced as a #3 hitter. It was an experiment by Jerry Manuel and I think we can say it’s a failed one and it’s time to put Reyes back in the 1hole. Frenchy has been a total disaster when it comes to getting a hit in the clutch as his .200/.295/.257 line shows. That bubbly personality of Frenchy’s will get him by for so long.

Wright it seems is a victim again of non-support in the lineup for the second season in a row, with Wright down in the 5 spot, most times Reyes and Bay, hitting in front of Wright, they have not been getting the job done putting all the pressure on Wright. It’s time to abandon the Reyes in the 3 hole and move Wright back to that spot.

Jerry Manuel’ patients has turned to stubbornness and needs to shake the lineup up. Oh by the way, Carlos Beltran will lace up a pair of running shoes today but its anyone’s guess if he will actually run in them though.   

Now that Chris Carter has been recalled from Buffalo, as Frank Catalanotto gets his release (how in good conscious does Manuel put GMJ up to bat, it’s like J-Man is shoving the shityness of Mathews in Omar’s face, “You won’t cut him so I’ll keep playin’ him.”) This guy is very happy The Animal is up.

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UH-OH I HEAR DRUMS, IT MUST BE FERNANDO

  21 days until pitchers and catchers

It looks like Fernando Tatis is retuning for a third season with the Mets. Please hold your applause until the end, thank you. If you look at the offensive numbers on Tatis’ Baseball-Reference page you might be inclined to say this is a good deal for the Mets.  I’ll go as far as say I’m happier with Tatis coming back just for the fact that it means that Carlos Delgado’ career as a Met is done.  Last night on Twitter I was angry about the Tatis return but by this morning I’m more, “eh, whatever”. I’m tired of ranting about the off season and the mish-mosh ways of the organization, that has both the fan base and media baffled, I guess it’s time we just let it play out, we’ll have all summer to scream and yell.   

Look at this from John Smoltz point of view, what was good for Pedro Martinez could be good for him as well. Why sign with a team this early when you can workout on your own, play golf, even do some TV if you like and then wait to see the pitching landscape during the season and make the best deal you can.

As much as I can’t stand the way ownership and the front office fuck up and the on field personnel play like amateurs, there is no way I could ever, ever root against the Mets. I don’t care if a loss meant that the Jeffey, Omar, and J-Man all get the boot, I would never and have never rooted against the Mets. If I didn’t root for the Cincinnati Reds when Tom Seaver was traded and pitched against the Mets, I’m sure as hell not going to root against them now. Root against the Mets? Never in a million fucking years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t understand J-Man saying that Fernando Nieve is the front runner for the 5th spot in the pitching rotation? Not to get to worked up over the 5th spot (when spots 2-4 are not exactly the Rocks of Gibraltar) but where does Jon Niese or Nelly Figs fit with this team? How about Bradley Holt or Dillon Gee? Why is J-Man so against competition? Why am I full of questions?

No matter what happens this season, I’m rooting hard for my boy Daniel Murphy to put up big time numbers. No one on this team works as hard as Murphy and I just hope his hard work pays off and he just hangs in there until Wally Backman gets the job with the big club. Am I a Daniel Murphy fanboy? Yes. He is everything we Mets fans want in a player. Shows up for mini-camp when he’s not required to (Jose? Jose Reyes? Are you here? Come out, come out ,wherever you are!) will be the first guy at St Lonesome waiting for the gates to open for spring training (it will be neck and neck with him and D-Wright) and is working hard to improve at the fourth positions the Mets have assigned him to. How can you as a Mets fan not root for this kid?    

No Pro Baseball Central tonight but I will be on the with Kenrick Thomas and his Real Sports Talk Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio tonight at 10PM ET.

There is a group NYRNation that is planning a FIRE GLEN SATHER rally outside of Madison Square Garden on Sunday March 7th  at 5PM before the Rangers-Sabres game. It is getting very ugly at MSG as the Rangers find themselves in the middle of 10 teams look at the 7 and 8 spot in the NHL playoffs. In fact the Rangers are a mirror of the Mets. Underachivers, Bad Management, Clueless Owner!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY NEW YORK METS

 

 

Lift a Rheingold today Mets fans it’s our brithday:

The new National League entry is New York is officially named the “Mets.” Not Metropolitans, just Mets. At a ceremony at the Savoy Hilton, owner Joan Payson swings a bottle of champagne and after three unsuccessful whacks turns the job over to a waiter who uses a bottle opener. The “Mets” was the choice among the 10 finalists: Continentals, Burros, Mets, Skyliners, Skyscrapers, Bees, Rebels, NYBs, Avengers, and Jets. The original list was 644 names from 9,613 suggestions. The Metropolitans nickname had been used by the New York American Association team in the 1880s.

via baseball-reference.com/bullpen

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CHECK OUT MY SPONSORED PAGES AT BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM

I use Baseball-Reference so much that I felt an obligation to sponsor a page on the site as there is no better site for baseball stats so I found two former Mets that had no page sponsor so I grabbed them:

Ken Boswell

 

 

 

Duffy Dyer

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Tickets

The Mets are looking great this year and The Eddie Kranepool Society keeps you up to date on the good bad and the ugly. If you are looking for Mets Tickets, you must visit Coast To Coast Tickets for all your ticket needs. CTC carries MLB Tickets as well as some of the best priced Concert Tickets on the web and don't forget they also carry Yankees Tickets.

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