Is There More To the David Howard Departure from the Mets Than Meets The Eye?

With the ominous dark cloud of injuries and lack of overall pizazz that engulfs the 2013 version of the NY Mets, I should be concerned with the product that I and all Mets fans will be observing for better or worse this season but the thing that has me most intrigued about the New York Mets is why did David Howard leave the organization to head Madison Square Garden Sports?

When I heard that Howard was leaving the Mets to run the Garden sports properties I was taken by surprise to say the least. Howard has been a Mets exec for 20 years and in the last few years since the Madoff debacle, he has been the public face of the Mets Ivory Tower. Howard was outstanding at being the top talking head of ownership but then again following the awful displays of public speaking from Omar Minaya, Jeffy Wilpon and the rants of Freddy Skill Sets, those are not tough acts to follow, But Howard was the perfect front man for the club as he’s intelligent, articulate and able to spin the Mets angel better than any Capitol Hill spokesman.

I could be taking this whole departure way out of context; Howard could be leaving for a better position and more money. He could be leaving the Mets just because 20 years in one spot is a long time and he could want a new challenge.  But this being the Wilpon Mets, I always have the hint of disaster in the back of my mind.

Does Dave Howard know something is around the corner that could cripple the franchise again?  Does he see that Freddy Skill Sets crowing about all the cash he will have at his disposal after Michael Bourn signed with the Cleveland Indians as a heap of horseshit being that there is debt on the team, ballpark and a re-finance of SNY that could take a large chunk out of the organization’s ass?  Could it be he’s tired of going public about the ridiculous ticket and concession prices the Mets charge and just can’t put a happy face on a team that has a load of opening day tickets still available?  On a bit of a side note about ticket prices and concessions, the Boston Red Sox, one of the best baseball franchises in MLB, will see their 793 home sellout streak end the first week of the season. To counter that the Red Sox, THE BOSTON RED SOX!!!! Will cut the concession prices on food (buy 1 hot dog get 1 free) drink (5 bucks for a beer , 2 bucks for a hot chocolate ) and start 11 of the first 17 home games before 7PM so the cranks of Fenway don’t freeze their arses off in the April chill. Hello?????? Anyone home in the Flushing home office??????

Back to Dave Howard leaving, I wouldn’t question Howard leaving for MSG as nothing more than a corporate transfer going from one board room to another for a loftier title and higher pay but after reading that at least three other front office honchos will take over Howard’s tasks, it makes me think the club was caught off guard. Being that Howard was a 20 year employee of the organization wouldn’t you think that he would have gone to the Skill Sets and explain to them that he needed a new challenge a fresh start and the opportunity to run all the functions of the Gardens sports properties except for drafting, trading and constructing team rosters was too good to pass up, but before I leave I will help any way I can with finding my successor and showing he or she the ropes. That didn’t happen. We have a group of executives from different units reporting to, and this is where I come close to soiling myself, Jeffy Skill Sets. That is what has me the most frightened.

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Freddy Says He’s Flush But are Mets Fans Buying It ?

Poor Freddy Skill Sets, whenever he speaks Mets fans shout “BULLSHIT”. Every spring, Freddy usually with his sidekick/brother in law Uncle Saul Katz, putz around on a golf cart and stop long enough to tell the main stream media that covers the Mets that everything surrounding the team is sunshine and fucking lollipops. This spring is no exception except for Freddy tag team partner Uncle Saul not in attendance.

There is nothing more side splitting funny than following along on my Twitter timeline when Freddy gives his State of the Mets Spring Speech. You know the old expression “If bullshit were electricity you’d be a powerhouse”? Well, if I had a buck for every time the word “bullshit” came up in Tweets on my timeline, I’d have enough money to buy a ML outfield and donate it to the Freddy’s club.

Freddy told the masses today at Port St. Lonesome that he and his family are flush with cash, thank you very much for asking. Between the real estate businesses and his stock holdings rebounding and the success of SNY (which puzzles the living shit out me because other than Mets games what the hell is there to watch on the network? Beer Money???? Loudmouths???? Suckitude TV) has helped the Skill Sets Empire to rise again. In fact, Freddy says that times are so good, we Mets fans could see the payroll rise to the heights it was at during the Minaya administration, when Ex-GM Omar Minaya was handing out overinflated contracts like he ran Haliburton. And to that the Mets fan base rises as one and replies “BULLSHIT”

Poor Freddy not matter how he tries to convince Mets fan that he has enough Dead Presidents to sign players that will make major contributions to his team and make Septembers in Flushing meaningful again, no one believes him. It’s got to suck to be Freddy.

Maybe Freddy is telling the truth, maybe there is cash to be spent. It seems the Mets were willing to give Michael Bourn 4 years and $48 million dollars to be a Met but when Bourn and his agent wanted that 5th year vested option that it seems would be easy to attain, Sandy Alderson pulled the plug on the negotiation leaving the Cleveland Indians to get bamboozled into give giving Bourn/Boras what they wanted. Can’t say I blame Alderson for not going 5 years on Bourn.

Alderson was very forthcoming with Pope Mikey I when he stated that they miscalculated on the dealing with Scott Hairston. It seems from listening to Alderson, Justin Upton was his number one target to trade for and he thought he had enough trade chips to make a deal but it seems Kevin Towers insisted on either Zack Wheeler or Matt Harvey as headliners in any deal for Upton, which of course killed that dialog. So Plan B was go after Bourn but that draft pick, slot money and vested option became a major road block and that went south as well. During all this Hairston signed with the Cubs and as Alderson said letting Hairston go wasn’t due to contract reasons but playing times issues as it seems the Mets GM was sure of landing either Upton or Bourn and instead he has neither.

Now for this next part, you will have to put on your Freddy Says Decoder Ring because I’m pretty sure Freddy is speaking on code or in tongues, I’m not sure:

“I think we would anticipate being big investors if that were appropriate,” Wilpon said. “That depends on what the market is. If the market is such that that’s where we have to be to be competitive and winners, yeah.

Let’s see the Mets need better players and since many of the better players in the organization are barely old enough to shave I’d say yeah to be competitive you will have to invested in some proven major league talent and that will cost money, but if Freddy is on the level, he claims he has the cash to make that dash.

“This is, to me, a breakeven business. I always strive to break even. I’m not looking to make any money. I strive to break even. So if [fans] don’t show up, that’s hard. So you have to balance it. We fed it pretty good the last five or six years. I think if the market was such, yes, the payroll could go up, but not to just have payroll go up so you can write headlines — if that, in fact, improves the team.

OK now this is Bullshit.  When did the New York Mets become a no-profit organization? What did you feed that last five or six years? Your attorney’s? CRG Partners to access the damage of the Madoff mess? Sure wasn’t invested in baseball players.

“I don’t know what the market will be at that point. But the payroll will be commensurate with anything we’ve ever done because we can do it. Remember, the people have to come to the ballpark obviously. If you have a competitive team, they will. Everything that was in the past, that you guys saw the pain that we went through, is gone. It’s gone.

Freddy, Freddy, Freddy there are only a few of us diehards left who support your team in good times and bad. You have lost a whole generation of fans to the Bronx Bastards. If you have the financial wherewithal you claim now would be a good time to show it off. The amount of diehard fans for any sports franchise in this town is much less than the bandwagon “I love a New York event “crowd. If what you are telling us is correct and you are ready to go back to being Big Bad Freddy and make an investment in quality Major League players that will have your team in contention for a pennant and GULP!!! A World Championship, Citi Field will be overflowing with customers on a nightly basis. Remember the 80”s Fred? Remember 3 million customers making the Shea Stadium turnstiles wiz like a carousel of cash ? Remember the television ratings that boosted a thrid rate TV station called SportsChannel into a must buy for FOX Sports? Break even? Freddy if you do this right and you are being honest with us, you and Uncle Saul will be farting through silk boxers my friend. JUST DON”T BULLSHIT US AGAIN!!!!!

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Sandy Alderson Blinked

 

You know who I feel bad for in this whole Michael Bourn saga? The young man the Mets draft with the 11th pick in the entry draft because if he doesn’t turn into the next coming of Willie Mays or Walter Johnson he will be scared for life.

So the Mets finally free up money to make not only a competitive offer but an offer that Bourn was eager to sign, if the reports are accurate, that Bourn’s first choice was the New York Mets. So a bit of a silver lining for Mets fans to embrace here that the Mets were in position to make an offer on a free agent and the free agent wanted to be a Met. The only thing it seems between Bourn flying around Citi Field as a Met or going elsewhere was that priceless 11th pick and Scott Boras doing his Scott Boras thing, taking his clients best offer and trying to get an even better best offer.  Remember his midnight phone call to Pee Wee Cashman when Carols Beltran was to become a Met where he all but begged Pee Wee to match the Mets offer. While it seems that the Mets and Bourn were just a signature away, Boras came back with an offer from the Cleveland Indians that matched the Mets offer and went one better with a 5th year option based on goals reached in that 4th year . Did that scare off Sandy Alderson?  Did it piss him off that maybe he was being played by Boras? Could be a little of both.

Who knew that not sucking enough in 2012 would hurt the Mets for 2013? Maybe going on a bit of tear after the 16-1 embarrassing loss to the Phillies wasn’t the best thing that could have happened late last season.  The big question I have is why did it take the Mets this long to contest the clause in the CBA on compensation for the inability to sign a draft pick? When going over the CBA didn’t anyone, not just the Mets but any team, look at that clause and say, “something is wrong here”. It’s ridiculous that the Pittsburgh Pirates get rewarded for incompetence and not doing their due diligence in know what it would take to sign RHP Mark Appel last season.   I’m not taking the Mets and Sandy Alderson off the hook here either they totally dropped the ball on this, even without the Bourn signing shouldn’t the Mets GM have been fighting  to get to the 10th pick anyway since the Mets had the 10th worst record in baseball?

All through this Bourn saga, I’ve wavered back and forth and now that it’s done and Bourn is not a Met because of this 11th pick and more importantly the slot money the Mets would lose. I’m pissed off that Alderson couldn’t finish the deal with Bourn/Boras.

That fact that Bourn, if he signed with the Mets would have been the second best  everyday player on the team, he also would have added speed at the leadoff spot, a bonafide top notch centerfielder and most important the message that the Mets are back in the baseball business. All of these factors in my opinion outweigh a draft pick and a couple of million dollars of slot money. Signing Bourn would have boosted the fan base moral and made the baseball establishment sit up and take notice.

Bourn to the Mets would have capped off a fantastic off season for Alderson. He signed David Wright to 8 year deal, he dumped Jason Bay and he show his onions trading R.A. Dickey in turn making the Mets future look brighter. That’s what has me puzzled over not signing Bourn. Why not sign him and then go to the MLBPA and argue the stupidity of the compensation rule. If you have the balls to trade not only a reigning CY Young Award winner but also one of the most popular Mets players in recent history, why lose your courage over a draft pick? Roll the fucking dice.

Alderson made a terrific offer to Bourn/Boras who in turn said I see your offer of 4 years and raise you a vesting option on a 5th. Alderson looked at his cards showing an 11th round pick on a player who odds are will never make an impact on the Mets, and the slot money, which I believe is more important to Alderson that the pick itself and said I’m out. That’s what has me mad as hell, Alderson found a strange time to lose his nerve. He should have matched the Indians offer. He’d have been a hero today. I hope to hell he has another plan up his sleeve if not he should lay low and stop with the wise ass jokes , I’m really not in the mood.

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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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Time To Play Mets Wheel of Bullpen Fortune

 

While Mets fandom awaits a decision on whether Michael Bourn will be patrolling centerfield of Citi Field, leading off and becoming the catalyst for the Mets offense, we also await the official announcement of Brandon Lyon becoming a Met and another contestant on Wheel of Mets Bullpen.

Counting Lyons, I’m looking at 11 candidates for 6 or maybe 7 spots in the Mets pen, a bullpen that I feel was the biggest reason for the second half collapse the Mets found them in last season. When you have a relief core that allows close to 32 % of inherited runners to touch home plate and also finds themselves in 55 save opportunities and blowing 19 of those precious assignments, will break the spirit of even the most strong willed teams so when you have a team like the Mets that doesn’t exactly ooze self-esteem and pluck, the ineffective pen was more a kick in the gut than uplifting last season. Sandy Alderson realizes this as well and has gone out this offseason to assemble relievers to come to Port St. Lonesome to engage in a big time completion to come North and become a strength for the Mets instead of last year’s failure.

Building a bullpen can be a bit of a crapshoot and last year one of the players Alderson went out on a limb on was closer Frank Francisco, signing the volatile reliever for 2yrs/$12mil, a signing I’m sure the Mets GM would love to take back . Between nagging injuries and ineffectiveness it was a lost season for Francisco. Although Francisco did save 23 games in 26 opportunities, when he entered games with runners on base his percentage of inherited runners left on base was a woeful 67.2 % and he’d shoot himself in the foot many time with walks as well.

With the imminent signing of Brandon Lyons, the back end of the Mets pen should be improved over last year (in the words of Sandy Alderson when asked about whether the pen will be better in 2013 said “how could it be worse?”)  And what we will see in the camp is a good old fashion open completion for not just bullpen spots but for the very important back end of the pen spots.  So looking at the very early morning line let’s see who could or should emerge as the core of the Mets bullpen in 2013.

The guys I look for to make the move to be the 7th inning, 8th inning and closer are Francisco, Bobby Parnell, Brandon Lyon, Josh Edgin, and Scott Atchison.  All five look to be Mets for 2013 but who of these 5 will step up to grab the closers job? I don’t see Bobby Parnell getting the job as he is much more effective in innings 6 thru 8 and last year he started to lose a little bit of velocity on his fastball and he has tried to make his curve to be more effective. Edgin has been on a fast track to the big leagues on the strength of using a hard fastball and effective slider that helped the stout lefty rack up K’s at a 10.53 per 9 IP.  Scott Atchinson may be the find of the off season. He was the one bright spot in the train wreck that was the 2012 Boston Red Sox. Atchinson relies on a solid cutter that he has under great command and last season he stranded 85 % of the runners on base that he inherited which is why I can’t wait to see him pitch this spring. Brandon Lyon could be the guy that takes on Frank Frank for the coveted closers role. The Mets will be banking on getting Lyon back to his effective D’Backs and Tigers days to solidify the back end of the pen and hope that the blown saves and late inning bullpen meltdowns are a thing of the past.

Jureys Familia and Jenry Mejia are two wildcards in the bullpen completion. Should either or both work as relievers or starters? There are varied opinions on the direction of both pitchers and it could boil down to how each are used this spring and if either pitchers shows more at one spot than the other. I could see Familia sticking as reliever more than Mejia who has a starter’s mentality and is also at a point in his career that the Mets love to find pitchers at, second year after Tommy John surgery.

LaTroy Hawkins comes to camp as a guy whose has seen a lot of big league baseball and could be more of an asset as a sounding board for the younger relievers that his work on the mound. Hawkins looks to be a 6th inning guy or a guy to give a break to an overused reliever that is if it makes the team.

It’s Robert Carson’ job to lose as the LOOGY especially with Pedro Feliciano back from rotator cuff surgery (2nd year after surgery seems to be the Mets pattern of obtaining pitching) and Tim Byrdak back in a minor league deal off of last season’s shoulder surgery.

So if I had to put out an early projection of the Mets bullpen I’d rank thusly:

CL Francisco/Lyon

SU Parnell

SU Edgin

SU Atchison

RP Carson

RP Familia/Hawkins

Whoever is not named closer moves to set up role and to tell you the truth; the Mets have the makings of a pretty decent bullpen. Hopefully between Terry Collins, Dan Warthen and Ricky Bones can work this pen correctly unlike last season when there was a communication breakdown between the relievers and the Manager and Pitching Coach. That’s a post for another day.

 

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Mets-cetra

 

As the equipment truck heads down I-95 towards St. Lonesome there is a few pieces of Mets information in the news today, so let’s take a look-see shall we?

According to the NY Post, Fred Wilpon and Uncle Saul Katz would like to build a casino on the soon to be re-developed Iron Triangle. Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.  The one think the Mets have going for them in this new scheme business venture is that Governor Cuomo is a proponent of having casinos in New York State but mostly he wants them upstate New York and not in the NYC limits. This reminds me of the time years ago the urban legend around Brooklyn was that Frank Sinatra was buying up a whole bunch of real estate because casino gambling was coming to Coney Island. Of course that never happened. Neither will Willets Point Casino. The part of the story that made me choke on my bagel was that the city has “handed” the Wilpon’s 23 acres of NYC real estate back in 2011 that they have turned into park spaces. Nice of the Bloomberg administration to be giving away land maybe folks in Staten Island, Rockaways and Breezy Point can get a nice gift like that.

Are the decision makers in the MLB Commissioners office on vacation or just asleep?   Can someone give a ruling on whether the Mets can have their 11th pick in the Entry Level draft protected or not so the club can get down to business and sign Michael Bourn. The Pirates are being reward for not doing their due diligence on Mark Appel  taking the RHP with the 8th pick in the last year draft and having the pitcher turn down $3.8 mil to go back for his senior season at Stanford.  It’s not just the draft pick that concerns the Mets it’s the slotting money that the club would lose that has them in the conundrum they’re in concerning Bourn.  Not an easy decision for Sandy Alderson.

I really, really, really like Johan Santana but can he stop with the” I want play in the WBC” proclamations?  How about getting in shape and being ready for opening day for the team that PAYS you?  I get all this Nationalism and stuff but Santana finished the season on the disabled list so the Mets are within their rights under the CBA to tell Santana no way and I would bet that Sandy Alderson will stick to that. This is Santana’s last year (months?) as a Met so what’s he gonna do? Besides the Mets need for Santana to show some positive starts so he can be used as trade bait in July.

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Bourn To Be A Met?

 

So it seems Sandy Alderson and John Ricco took a trip to Houston to have a bite with Michael Bourn and Scott Boras over the weekend. I’m sure Alderson let Bourn and Agent Orange know that, yes I’m interested in making you a Met. No I do not want to lose my spot in line to pick the Next Great Baseball Prospect but if I were to give that pick up I want you on my team at my price and my terms.

Sherman of the Post claims that the Mets could work a deal with BournBoras on multiyear deal with an out clause after one year. Interesting concept and imaginative as well but why would BourneBoras take the risk? Is it because the market for Bourn is more of a gas station mini mart with the Mets and Mariners the only teams mentioned in the running for Bourn’s services rather than the big box store teams like the Highlanders, Red Sox , Cubs or the new and biggest high end store the Rodeo Drive Dodgers?

I’m trying to see where BournBoras have any leverage, we are a mere two weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training and here’s Michael Bourn still on the free agent ho’ stroll.  It seems the only hold up in the Mets making an offer and signing Bourn is the elusive 11th pick in the entry draft. MLB it seems will not help the Metropolitans out with a favorable ruling of allowing the Mets to receive the 10th and protected pick in the draft over the Pittsburgh Pirates who are being rewarded for their incompetent handling of Stanford RHP Mark Appel in last year’s draft.  

I go back and forth on the value of the 11th pick over signing a better than average CF’er. Seems Alderson feels the same way. The shame of it is Bourn and the Mets are a perfect fit both need each other in the worst way but the obstacles in front of them may derail this match made in baseball heaven.

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Is The 11th Pick In The MLB Entry Draft That Valuable ?

Ok nervous Nelly’s the Mets have signed a major league free agent. Word broke just a little while ago that the Mets have signed RHP Shaun Marcum to a one year deal pending a physical, of course (or unless you’re Omar Minaya and look to save the co-pay. See Putz J.J.)

Marcum isn’t much of a risk as his deal is for just a season and he’ll be relegated to the back of the rotation  (Santana, Niese, Harvey, Gee, Marcum or Marcum then Gee if all breaks right) keeping a spot warm for the arrival of Zack Wheeler something after the All Star break.

Marcum has some injury history with Tommy John surgery (I’m guessing that pitchers a year or two removed from TJ surgery is the new undervalued commodity in baseball at least as far as the Mets front office is concerned) and last year he had some nagging elbow problems but if he can stay relatively healthy Marcum should be a nice addition to the Mets rotation.

Marcum is a real finesse pitcher who relies on his changeup and cut fastball more than more than your standard fastball which coming out of the hand of Shaun Marcum isn’t very fast. He can be prone to the HR and does get a lot of balls in the air which means the Mets outfielders……………Oh Snap……………The Mets are going to need some outfielders………………….Damn!!!!

One guy who is a looooooooooooooooooongshot to be in the Mets outfield in 2013 is Michael Bourn. The only reason Bourn is a longshot is the cost of signing him. Not monetarily but the high cost of the draft pick the Mets would surrender in his joining the Metropolitans.  When looking at the 11th pick in the MLB draft over the last 10 years, the lone stand out is Andrew McCutchen (Pirates 2005), other formable names taken with the 11th pick are Neil Walker, Jeremy Hermida, Max Scherzer and Justin Smoak. Save for McCutchen it’s mostly solid to serviceable big leaguers who’ve blossom from that slot. So should Sandy Alderson hold on to that draft pick as tightly as he has or should he use it as a chip to sign Boune ? Tough choice as we don’t know what the Bourn/Boras contract demands are. Safe to say Bourn/Boras is not really in the driver’s seat since they are at least taking the Mets phone calls. I guess Boras decided to go shopping in the frozen food aisle after finding the shelves bare in the meat department.

Its real tough choice when you add in that Bourn is just 29 years old (he turns 30 in December) he gets on base at a decent rate (lifetime .339 OBP not great not awful) can steal a base and plays a fine centerfield.

When word of the Mets being interested in signing Bourn I thought they  should pass but after looking at the history of that 11th spot in the draft the last 10 years and the Mets desperate need for a bona fided Major League outfielder, I have to say if I’m Sandy Alderson I have to open up a dialog with Scott Boras to see if there is a way to make this a match both money wise and years wise.

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HEY METS FANS: TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE FRONT OFFICE THIS OFF SEASON YOU’LL NEED THE 2011 BILL JAMES HANDBOOK

If you want to do something constructive while you wait for word on the identity of the next Mets manager, you should be pursuing the 2011 Bill James Handbook.

As always the Handbook is chock full of statistic and league and career leaders in a host of categories. Now if you’re a Mets fan and have been sabermetric intolerant, you should really check out the Handbook as we get ready for a whole new world in the Land of Blue and Orange when we ride the Alderson Carousel of Progress.

Some interesting Mets –centric numbers in the Handbook are:

Ike Davis finished second to Oakland’s Daric Barton in fielding metrics for first basemen with a Plus/Minus of +14 (to Barton’s +27) and a Runs Saved of +13 (Barton was at +20)

David Wright finished second to last for regular third basemen in the fielding metrics with a -13 Plus/Minus and a -13 Runs Saved Not good at all.

Alderson and Co. will have a tough choice to make when it comes to re-signing Pedro Feliciano. Perpetual Pedro lived up to his name in 2010 by appearing in league high 92 appearances of which 44 were on consecutive days, a ML high as well. If Feliciano does re-sign with the Mets, I’m sure the new management know he’s the 100 % red-blooded LOOGY. Against left handed batters Perpetual Pedro was dominant holding the hitters to .211/.297/.276 but against right handed batters it’s a whole other story,.336/.436/.395. Is he worth $3.5-$4 mil dollars?

When it comes to Manufacturing Runs (aggressive, not station to station baseball) the Mets have two players in the top ten in the NL.  Jose Reyes is second only to Michael Bourn of the Astros (44 to 39) and Angel Pagan has the fifth highest mark of 30 Manufactured Runs Contribution.

When it came to getting a hit with runners in scoring position no one on the Mets was better than Angel Pagan who was seventh in the NL with a .339 Batting Average w/RISP

The only NL player to slug lefties better than David Wright (.654 SLG. vs LHP) was Albert Pujols at .688

That’s just skims the surface of what’s in the Bill James Handbook and as I said before with the new and improved front office now employed by the Mets you really need this book to keep up with Sandy Alderson’ pace.

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