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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United CardinalsBloggers-NY Mets Bloggers Progressive Game Blog for Mets vs. Cards 6/2/12

This post is part of a progressive game blog as a joint venture between members of the St. Louis Cardinals chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the NY Mets chapter of the BBA. Members of both chapters have been assigned an inning to write about on their blogs with your’s truly asked to write a Mets prospective  post game wrap up of today’s game. At the bottom of this post are the links to the other Cardinals/Mets bloggers involved in this endeavor

 

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets, the organization has brought back many of the fans favorite things such as blue and orange as the team’s primary colors, the pinstripe uni and blue cap, blue outfield walls, Banner Day and last but not least, winning baseball.

The only way R.A. Dickey would have been able to top the historic no hitter tossed by Johan Santana last night would have been to pitch a perfect game. You know what? He came damn close.

Dickey scattered seven hits in a complete game shutout win over the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 5-0. Dickey has taken his game to another level this season. With the win today he is 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA and a head spinning 70 K in 73.2 IP, this from a pitcher who today threw his knuckleball at a Bugs Bunny- like 54 mph.

The Mets were led on offense by whom else? David Wright. The Mets have had a lot of firsts between last year and this year, the dearly departed Jose Reyes won the first (tainted) batting title ever by a Mets player last year and of course Johan Santana with the first no hitter in franchise history last night, so maybe we are looking at the first NL MVP award ever won by a Met with David Wright? The way this season is going never say never.

Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn, will be staring at the ceiling of his hotel room tonight, trying to figure out how the hell he gave up three runs in the Mets half of the second inning. Ike Davis led with the only solid hit of the inning, a single to right field. Fourth string shortstop Omar Quintanilla was hit on the left wrist with a pitch to make it first and second for the Mets, no one out. The faster than your average catcher, Josh Thole reached on an infield single and the Mets had the bags juiced with no one out.

When you look back after the Thole hit, Lynn should have been out of the inning and if he did escape unscathed and unscored upon this could have been a whole different ball game, alas the defensively changed Matt Adams botched a play on an R.A. Dickey ground ball hit by not catching a toss from second baseman Daniel Descalsco allowing Davis to score. Lynn got Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres to ground out but instead of being down 1-0, runs scored on both outs leaving the Mets with a 3-0 lead and Lynn and the Cards trying to figure out what just happened.

The Mets tacked on two more runs on a wild pitch and a David Wright new Citi Field dimension home run.

There are still many amongst the ranks of Mets fans that have not seen the light with the 2012 Mets. These are not your “Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel we couldn’t care less Mets” there is finally accountability and an esprit de corps in the Mets clubhouse led by field manager Terry Collins.  The toughest thing for a manager to do is getting his players to buy in to what he’s selling and in his second year at the managerial helm, the Mets are buying in big time. Eat your heart out Mark Zuckeneberg.

For those new to watching Mets baseball in 2012, you got a good view of the new Mets under Terry Collins on Friday night especially if you saw Collins post-game presser as he tried hard to hold his emotions in check when talking about the historic night.

Many of you Cardinals fans reading this post are Missourians hailing form the Show Me State. Well when it comes to the Mets, Mets fans are from the Prove It To Me State so far the proof is on the playing field.

During the off season Mets Executive Vice President David Howard met with few of the Mets Bloggers to discuss the season ahead and the festivities for the 50th anniversary season.  We talked about the low attendance numbers at Citi Field and Howard made a very interesting statement. He said there are a whole lot of Mets fans out there, millions of them but many of them are dormant Mets fans. What he was getting at is there are Mets out there who still root for the team but when they’re losing  they find it hard to come out to the ball park or watch on TV but when the team starts winning they come out of hibernation. After Santana’s no hitter Twitter blew up with so many Mets tweets that the top ten trending topics on Twitter were Mets related. Glad to see the dormant Mets fans come out of the cave.

Pre game United Cardinals Bloggers

1st inn Pitchers Hit Eighth/Subway Squawkers

2nd inn Cards N’ Stuff

3rd inn I 70 Baseball/Mets Fans Four Life

4th inn Rally Birds/STL Sports 360

5th inn Fungoes/Metsrospectus

6th inn On The Outside Corner

7th inn Aaron Miles’ Fastball/Mets Public Record

8th inn Cards Tied For First/Saint Louis Sports

9th inn Balls & Strikes/Mets News Now

Game Recap C70 At The Bat

 

 

 

 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHN FRANCO BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN US

Yesterday the New York Mets announced that John Franco will be indicted into the team’s Hall of Fame this coming season with the pomp and circumstance commencing on June 3rd.

There has been much speculation this winter on who would be selected as the next honoree to the Mets HOF, some folks feel Mike Piazza should have been named and of course he should but it looks like the Mets are waiting for his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame so they can throw a really big shindig with Mets HOF honors and a number retiring ceremony as well.

Franco gets the honor this season for many reasons, he played 14 seasons with the Mets, holds the record for most saves in franchise history and most importantly he’s a Wilpon loyalist. Franco holds a job with the club sort of like the Mets Ambassador to Public Functions, in which he’s perfectly suited for. Late season, he volunteered his services to mentor Bobby Parnell in finding his way to the craft of closing baseball games, which if I were the pitching coach I would have strongly voiced my opposition to but it seems the front office didn’t have a problem with since it seems the GM really has no use for Parnell as we see with the addition of Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco which relegates to Parnell to fighting for a bullpen job.    

As I say, I really don’t want to piss in the punch here on Franco’s honor of Mets Hall of Famer but in my opinion, this year’s Mets Hall of Fame honoree should have been us, the New York Mets Fan.  How great a ceremony would it be to honor the long suffering Mets fan? The team could have selected the longest tenure season ticket holder to accept the award in our behalf and then commission a plaque with a nice mosaic of Mets fans who may be the most diverse of all sports teams in this town.  What better way to celebrate 50 years of Mets baseball than honoring the folks who really are the heart and soul of the organization, the Mets fan. Without us there is no NY Mets and in this upcoming season of apparent discontent, what better way to show how much we mean to this organization but to honor is with a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

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GOTTA GO GET SOME ROCK SALT

First off congratualtions to the St Lousi Cardinals for winning their 11th World Series in franchise history. Some folks on Twitter can’t understand why I was rooting for the Cards to win this Series. With the exception of 2008 and 2009 when I just couldn’t bring myself to rally for the Phuck Phaces (in 2009 I abstained from rooting as much as I hate the Phuck Phaces, rooting for the Bronx Bastards would be a mortal sin) I always support the NL and I’ll say this the Senior Circuit has won the last 4 of 6 World Series.

Now that the World Series is over and we are getting out our snow shovels (WHAT?) it’s time for the Hot Stove to rev up and of course the first order of business will be the signing or non-signing of Jose Reyes. Sandy Alderson will handle the negotiation with the team coming first and the fan base second. For those of you who clamor for Reyes back at any price, haven’t we gone down that road of destruction too many times in Flushing ? The days of winning the tabloid back pages in the winter are over. Of course I want to see Reyes back as the Mets shortstop but not at a ridiculous price. I’m more concerned about the years than I am the money. Four years, I’m fine with five would have to be an option with incentives; six would be thank you for your years of service Jose.

The Highlanders were smart to sign a 1 year extension with WCBS 880 for the rights to broadcast their games on radio. The Met deal on WFAN is up after this season and I’d bet anything that WFAN wants those Highlander games badly.  That’s fine by me as that would then conclude me from being a WFAN listener ever again. As it is now, I turn on the station out of boredom or just tired of listening to music at work.

If I were the owner of a MLB team I’d be pissed with Bud Selig today as he stated the deadbeat Skill Sets have not paid off their $25 mil loan to MLB. I wonder what Frank McCourt has to say about that. Call it BuddyCare.

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IT’S OFFICAL: 2 YEARS AND AN OPTION ON A 3RD FOR R.A. DICKEY

 

From the New York Mets via press release:

FLUSHING, N.Y., January 31, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that they have signed righthanded pitcher R.A. Dickey to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013.

Dickey compiled a 11-9 record in 2010 and finished seventh in the National League with a 2.84 ERA.   He became the first pitcher in team history to go 6-0 in his first seven starts and tossed the 35th one-hitter in franchise history on August 13 at Citi Field to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0. The only hit he allowed was a sixth-inning single by pitcher Cole Hamels.

 “R.A. had a breakthrough season for our organization last year, meriting this new contract,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson.  “We expect R.A. to be a major part of our success going forward.”

 Dickey, 36, had his contract selected from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League on May 19. The Nashville, TN native set career highs in wins, starts (26), innings (174.1) strikeouts (104) and complete games (two).

 The 6-2, 216-pounder finished with 11 victories even though he didn’t pick up his first until May 25.  It was only the fifth time in club history that a pitcher reached double figures in wins in a season after not recording a victory in any of the team’s first 45 games (Bob Shaw, 1966; Rick Aguilera 1985 and 1986 and Dwight Gooden, 1987).

 Last season with Buffalo, Dickey he threw a near perfect game and set a Buffalo modern-day record when he retired 27 straight hitters on April 29 vs. Durham.  Fernando Perez singled on an 0-2 pitch to start the game before Dickey set down the next 27 hitters in order.

 The Mets have now reached agreements with two of the three players who were eligible for salary arbitration. The team signed Mike Pelfrey to a one-year contract on January 18, while outfielder Angel Pagan has yet to reach an agreement.

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