The Emotion of Baseball

<

 

So if you weren’t sitting with two boxes of Kleenex last night during the Say Good-Bye to Mariano Rivera segment of Yankees-Rays, you’re a heartless bastard with no feelings or emotions.  At least that was the consensus on social media last night.

No doubt it was a special moment at Yankee Stadium last night when Rivera came in to pitch for the last time at home (or anywhere) and I watched and thought it was great but did it punch my emotional buttons? No. Did I get misty eyed with Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter came out to remove Rivera from the game? Nope, sorry. Did I think it was a nice moment? Sure.

Mariano Rivera is without a doubt the greatest closer in baseball history. He is a sure first ballot Hall of Famer –he won’t be a unanimous first ballot honoree because we all know some shithead from the BBWAA will leave him off their ballot in “a look at me moment”-but  since he was not a New York Met, then my emotions stayed in check.

Sorry if that pisses off the ultra-sensitive types but I save my baseball tears for the New York Mets, both happy and sad occasions.

I don’t get why the baseball writing eggheads get so bent out of shape over events on the field that fall under the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Seriously, what is it about this code of conduct that baseball players have amongst themselves that pisses you off? Is it that it doesn’t fall under your view of baseball through the eyes of statistical analysis? This is no way a knock at the analytic work done by many of these folks, if you are a MLB organization that doesn’t have a fully staff analytic department, then you’re in the working in the dark ages. I love how  baseball execs have so much data to look at and study to make help make important decision in player personnel to help achieve the ultimate goal of winning the World Series.  You still have to take the human side into account as well.    

When Brain McCann waited at home plate for Carlos Gomez to arrive after putting on an embarrassing display of being an ass hat when he hit a home run of Paul Maholm, I thought it was one of the best on field statements I’ve seen in baseball in a long long time. McCann just standing there explaining to Gomez just what an asshole he was and daring him to go through him to touch home plate showed me that McCann was standing up for his pitcher, his teammates and his organization. He should be applauded. Sadly some folks didn’t see it the same way I did and to tell you the truth I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction.

As I said, it was mostly the people who seem to be the baseball intellectual types that thought McCann was a jerk.  None of the McCann bashers mentioned that Gomez was still holding a grudge from being hit by a pitch from Malhom (who throws about 85 mph tops and that’s with a running start) earlier in the year. The first pitch of the at bat, Gomez nearly swung himself out of his uniform as he wanted to hit the pitch to Buckhead . He damn near succeeded on the next pitch which he hit a towering home run. Gomez stood and admired the shot then glared at Maholm to which Freddie Freeman screamed at him and he yelled back at Freeman while he leisurely strolled the base paths like he was out for a constitutional on the deck of the Queen Mary. As Gomez went down the 3rd base line, staring into the Braves dugout, he was startled by McCann standing in his way of touching home plate, a destination Gomez never arrived at. At that point the benches emptied and the Braves went after Gomez and any Brewer that stood in their way.     

Now why anyone who watches, covers or has played baseball was surprised at McCann’s actions baffles me. It’s the same way I can’t understand people getting upset when Tiger Woods curses after he hits a bad shot.  Those people have obviously never been on a golf course, same with the folks who are appalled by baseball player’s behavior on the field.  

What do they think happens on the field and in the dugout and clubhouse? This may come as a shock to some of the finger sandwich and high tea crowd but baseball players use very bad language at times, in fact they use the bad language a lot on the umpires. Ball players (I hope I don’t offend anyone here) also spit nasty tobacco juice and sunflower seed shells and (hold on to your pearls Francis) blow their nose without a tissue. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. The floor of a dugout is as nasty as a subway platform.

As much as baseball has to go forward using statistical analysis in decision making it also cannot forget the on field emotion of the game as well. I don’t know about you but my love of baseball didn’t come from a calculator it came from first watching it, then playing it , then embracing the camaraderie of being on a team. There’s no better feeling than being on a team that has each other’s back. There’s no better feeling than playing on a team that wins. There is no better compliment in baseball than “he plays the game the right way”.  If you can’t understand that, then I have pity on you, you’re missing a great game.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Betting on the New York Mets

During the summer months, one of the most watched sports would be that of Major League Baseball. Today, many people around the world watch the sport as it is broadcast internationally. One team that has quite a following is the New York Mets. Fans for this team are very loyal, sticking by their team through the thick and thin. Another way these fans express themselves is by placing sports bets on their team’s games.

Fans have many different kinds of baseball bets they can make. Some will stick with one type while others may place multiple bets of different types. One of these includes over and under betting. This particular bet isn’t dependent upon which team wins but rather what the combined final score is. Bookmakers will set a total prior to the game. This number will always include a decimal to prevent any bets needing to be cancelled. An upcoming game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals may have the total set at 7.5. An over bet would win if the total score is 8 or higher. On the flip side, an under bet would win if the total score is 7 or less.

After sports bets have been made, if fans want some more baseball related fun they should try out one of the many baseball themed slot machines that can be found at online casinos like Lucky Nugget. A popular one is the King of Swing. This slot machine game actually lets players have a turn at bat when they get to the homerun derby bonus round. Nine pitches are thrown and depending upon the result of each hit, free spins and bonus multipliers may be awarded. With many successful hits, the rewards could pile up fast. The homerun derby is triggered with pitcher symbols appearing on the reels.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Thanks NY Mets……For Nothing

Dear New York Mets,

Thanks for nothing or maybe I should say thank you for making me out to be a horse’s ass.  Yes that’s sarcasm as I really need no help most days to be a horses ass but by you taking four games from the hated NY Highlanders, well in had me intoxicated in a way I haven’t been in a long time while overdosing on the euphoria of the four game sweep and not to mention the fabulous May 28th win against Mariano Rivera that had me go into work the next day draped in blue and orange  and enter the office like Ric Flair screaming out “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IF YA WANT TO BE THE MAN…….YOU GOT TO BEAT THE MAN……..WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”. From there I did my best Flair strut to my cubicle withstanding the cat calls of “Shut The Fuck Up” Oh but there was no shutting me up, oh no.

As I mention I was intoxicated with Mets success, it’s not that I ask for championships, although they are fantastic and give me not better feeling as a fan, no all I want is for the Mets to be competitive. All I ask is for a summer of following the Mets and watching the rest of the division as well. How does a Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Marlins loss effect my Amazin’ Mets. I thought after the final win at The Shopping Mall of the South Bronx, there would be a kick start to the season, a season where if Matt Harvey is not on the list of probable pitchers for the day, it’s well, just another day.  

So with the momentum of a 5 game win streak and the schedule saying the Mets must go to Miami and collect 3 more wins all I thought about was an 8 game win streak headed to Washington and an underachieving Nats team, could this be? Could the Mets now be the “uh-oh” team?

This is where me being a horses ass comes in, what the hell was I thinking?  The Mets are not a good team nor are they a team that builds off positive momentum. How stupid was I?   

I’ve learned my lesson and learned it the hard way. Now I slink into work and to the local bagel store and even to church where yesterday I made sure to stand under the statue of Mary when Highlander  fans I know wanted to ridicule and make fun of me and the baseball team I love but couldn’t as I pointed above my shoulder and said “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be”  

I’m making a vow not to get all excited again this year, not even when Zack Wheeler arrives (I don’t know if you know but Wheeler’s call up could happen at any time, it’s all over the internet I tell ya) I’m just going to suppress my enthusiasm until next year, 2014:The Resurrection of the NY Mets.  At least that’s what I heard.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Sweet Success of Opening Day

 

So far so good, the New York Mets are undefeated in 2013. Matt Harvey tries to keep the line moving tomorrow night. Here are some observations on yesterday’s opening day win:

I wasn’t in attendance at Citi Field yesterday due to my son coming back from a two week trip to Italy and Switzerland. At 17 years old he’s already been to Europe and hiked the New Mexico desert. When I was 17 I was happy to just spend time going to Coney Island and playing stick ball.

I watched all the festivities on SNY. The pre-game show started at 11:30 AM and right away the chemistry between Bobby Valentine and Bobby Ojeda was a hit. I can guarantee the spread sheet contingent of baseball fans would disagree with everything Valentine and Ojeda have to say about baseball which makes what Valentine and Ojeda say more valid.

Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez and Kevin Burkhardt were in mid-season form yesterday. Hernandez had the line of the day. After KB interviewed the stunning Emily Rossum and threw it back to the booth, Hernandez mentioned that there are times he envies Kevin and the job that he has. Welcome to the dirty old man club Keith.

I still can’t understand why SNY has a 90 minute pre-game show but still has to interrupt game action with pre-recorded interviews?

What did I tell you about Collin Cowgill? As fabulous as his Grand Slam was in the 7th I was more impressed by the hustle double he hit in the 4th that normally would have been a single to center but Cowgill was thinking double right out of the box. Love that!

The worst outfield in baseball went 4 for 12 with 2 BB 3RS and 6 RBI (4 RBI from Cowgill and 2 from Byrd)

SNY put a camera on Jon Niese after the 6th inning where Terry Collins was coming over to tell him his day was over and a let him know “Job well done” Niese was very animated in making his case to stay in the game. There was a meeting between Collins, Dan Warthen and John Buck along with Niese pleading his case to stay in for the 7th inning. It was decided to let Niese go back out to start the 7th. It seems there was caveats that as soon as Niese was to throw his 100th pitch, he was done for the day. Even though Niese got 2 quick outs, Collins brought Brandon Lyon in the game to get the last out. SNY then aimed their camera at Collins giving an explanation to Niese on why he took him out. When the lecture was over  Niese had a big smile on his face and Collins go this message across.

I’ve mention about meeting Jon Niese and finding him as dull as dish water, yesterday between seeing him interact with John Buck and with Collins and Warthen, it looks like Niese has a new and improved personality which I feel goes hand in hand with the confidence he has that now knows he is a top flight big league pitcher.

Speaking of John Buck, how great is it to see a bon fide big league catcher handling the Mets staff.  You can see that Buck is a future ML manager. SNY showed inning after inning, Buck sitting with Niese and it seemed that they were going over their game plan. After the game, Buck was praising Niese saying he would the ace of any staff he pitched for. Whether you or I believe that, you have to love Buck pumping up his teammate like that.

Got to feel for poor Ike Davis, while everyone in the lineup made a contribution, Ike took the Golden Sombrero.

Got to feel great for Scott Rice and a great gesture by Terry Collins to give the 14 year career minor leaguer the ball in his first ML opening day.

Scott Achinson looks like a guy who just competed in a fantasy camp, he’s the oldest looking 37 year old I’ve ever seen.

No Mets game today but tonight R.A. Dickey will make his Blue Jay debut. I’ll be watching that one and rooting for R.A.

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

All We Have Is Hope

<>
 

 

 

My pessimism for the upcoming season of my beloved Mets intensified a bit because one of our cats woke me up before I wanted to rise and shine for a bit of breakfast.  So after filling the bowls with leftover grilled chicken breast, I went to the living room with the intent of browsing Netflix for a movie. But first I took a tour of the 1763 channels on my FiOS system and lo and behold I stumble on to The Last Play at Shea on The Movie Channel.  I was going to turn the channel quick so as not get involved in this film but then the face of an old friend, the late Dana Brand came on my screen and that made me sit up straight with a touch of sadness. Then another blogger buddy was present on the TV, Greg Prince sitting in a seat at the our old house, Shea Stadium talking about all the great times we had at that place and more sadness fell over me. I started to think out loud and staring at Mittens our cat and shouting to him “Where did we go wrong”???? Mittens looked up for a second and went back to cleaning himself off after his satisfying breakfast.

Where did we go wrong? When did this organization make the turn from Ya Gotta Believe Boulevard to Embarrassment Lane?   I’m watching the film and seeing the Mets of the 80’s I just stared and drifted off into the Way Back Machine of my mind. Everyone hated us back then.  As a Met fan of that era we all had a “Do you know who the fuck we are” attitude that rubbed off on the fan base from our beloved team.  Keith Hernandez was that guy who rolled the cigarette pack in his sleeve, Darryl Strawberry was a physical specimen who hit baseballs liked they owed him money,  Ray Knight would smack the shit out you because he could,  Gary Carter was the definition of don’t mistake kindness for weakness.  Dwight Gooden had guys coming down with the flu on days he took the mound and they were led by the chip on his shoulder skipper Davey Johnson. The New York Mets were MLB’s Bad Ass’s

Today the Mets are the kick ass’s as in they have been on the receiving end of the ass kicking they use to hand out. Not to mention a team that plays in a tidy baseball McMansion, Citi Field as the old Mets with bad attitudes played in a tenement called William Shea Housing Project.  As much as I try to accept Citi as the new home of the Mets and try hard to let the past of Shea go, when I see movies like Last Play at Shea, I wonder if we are cursed. Is there a Curse of Shea Stadium?

Think about it the Mets haven’t been the same since the move to Citi. The owners were taken in by a flim flam man named Madoff, real fans have been moved out to outfield stands while the areas around 1st base, 3rd base and home plate have been surrounded by cement and security guards stationed to make sure no real fans try to sneak into the plethora of empty padded seats vacated by the swells who would rather sit in air conditioned luxury of a club while drinking expensive wine and eating gourmet foods.  Back at Shea the food sucked but the baseball was good, I’ll take winning baseball with an over cooked hot dog, half thawed pretzel washed down with watered down Bud any day.

There is hope, hope that the tide is turning. Where the everyday eight are not much to look at, the pitching staff has some talent and charisma. Matt Harvey looks like he could have anchored a staff in the 70’s or 80’s. Zack Wheeler and Travis d”Arnud should make a solid contribution once they are freed from Super Two purgatory.  Other than that and few wet behind the ears minor leaguers, there is much to be optimistic about with this 2013 edition of the NY Mets.

I hope I’m wrong.  I hope Lucas Duda visits the Wizzard of Baseball Oz to  get some baseball confidence. I hope I’m right about Colin Cowgill that he is the surprise of the season. I hope Ike Davis has the breakout season he and Mets fans have been waiting for. I hope David Wright finds some support in the lineup, I hope Freddy Skill Sets is not pissing on our legs and does have money to allow Sandy Alderson to bring in a big league bat with power. I hope the bullpen doesn’t suck like last year. I hope Citi Field is full of METS FANS in September making noise and rooting for a team that plays hard and wins baseball games. I hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The NY Mets Search For The Diamond In The Rough

I had quite a busy Mets day yesterday as I resurrected my podcast with the help of Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal and then calling in as guest to the Rising Apple podcast.  In between podcasts, I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a Mets Bloggers conference call with Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson has been gracious with his time to members of the Mets blogging community and has shown us great respect in regards to our questions and views pertaining to the New York Mets. Alderson has stated to us a couple of occasions how he enjoys the passion we have for the team and time and effort we put in to write and talk about the Mets.  When the Mets and Alderson first started to have these blogger calls the session lasted about 25-40 minutes, last night Alderson stayed on the line with us for about an hour. Name me another team or GM who does that? There aren’t any. As you can see from the transcript, (a great big tip of the Mets cap to Eric Simon and Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue for putting together a transcript of the conference call and while you’re at AA check out Chris’ column on Paul DePodesta and how the team has turned around the player development side of the organization, it’s a great read)

When my turn to speak to Alderson came up, I asked him about the turnover in the roster this past off season and the similarities in the position players he has added.   The players I looked at, Collin Cowgill, Andrew Brown, Brandon Hicks and Jamie Hoffman all poses good walk rates and isolated power percentages. They also have in common the distinction of coming from solid organizations (Cowgill came up through the Oakland A’s system, Brown the Cardinals, Hicks the Braves, Hoffman the Dodgers) when it comes to teaching proper fundamentals in the lower levels of their farm systems. This group also plays the game aggressively as well, on the base paths and on defense.   Here is the Mets GM’s reply to my question:

Well you listed off a lot of positive qualities. And to the extent that the players you mentioned are aggressive defensively, aggressive on the bases, command the strike zone, have some power, can run the bases a little bit. Yes, I would say that these are the kinds of players that we would like to have. Offense plays. You can be a great defender, if you can’t hit you probably can’t play anywhere. I’m not talking about the Mets exclusively. And also, it is possible that there are players that just don’t get an opportunity in certain organizations because they may be deeper at certain positions than they are at others. The minor league free agent market, or the fringe 25 man roster guy, playing for a club with a strong roster, given the opportunity may turn into something valuable. Mike Baxter is another example of this from previous years. Not that Mike has great power, but he’s a very valuable piece and part of the team. There’s no question that we value on base percentage, walk rates, isolated power is important, but as we’ve emphasized with a number of guys here in camp on base percentage, command of the strike zone is important. And look, it’s important on offense, it’s important on the pitching side. If you don’t walk anybody and keep the ball in the ballpark you can win games. Today was a good example of what can happen when you walk seven and give up a number of home runs. The same thing happened yesterday- we out hit the Marlins yesterday 9-5. They beat us because they had 14 total bases on 5 hits and we had, I think, 9 on 9 hits. So right, I think that these are the kinds of players were looking for, that we think can make a contribution at the major league level, and we’re going to find out given some opportunity here in the spring what we have. And, of course, we should have most of them going into the season and so we’ll get a chance to look at them again. You have to look for players wherever you can find them, particularly when you’re weak in that area in your own system.

The players I mentioned are very good complimentary pieces that you need to have on a winning team and as Alderson stated and as we’ve seen firsthand, the skill sets that the players I mention have, are lacking in the organization and as we see Alderson and his baseball ops guys went out looking for this prototype player from different organizations. I think it is also very telling the organization they signed these players from, teams who have rock solid foundation in teaching the right way to play in their minor league systems.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Captain Obvious-Who Doesn’t Know David Wright Is The Leader Of The Mets?

 
<>
 

 

I don’t get all the hub-bub over naming David Wright the Captain of the New York Mets. Who amongst players, fans and media hasn’t grasped that Wright is the Face of the Franchise? Is there anyone who follows the Mets not know who the go to guy is on this club?

In hockey and football the naming of captains are for the sole purpose of having a designated player act as a liaison  between the bench and the officials, this is especially true in hockey where only the captain or one the assistant captains are the players a referee or linesman go to with an explanation  or a warning. That’s why the hockey captains wear the “C” and the assistant captains were the “A”. In football there is a captain for offense, defense and special teams for basically the same reason they have them in hockey. The referee will consult with the captain on acceptance of penalties or a question on spotting the ball at line of scrimmage or to relay a message from the sideline by the head coach, so again the designation of wearing the “C” on the uniform is needed. But when it comes to baseball, wearing a captains “C” is just plain tacky.

When a baseball umpire needs to give an explanation on a rule or a call, he summons the team’s manager to the field for consultation. Now a player of stature like Wright, may get more leeway with an umpire that and average player but majority of the time when something needs to be explained the umpire is going right to the man in charge, the manager.

I have no problems with the Mets naming Wright the Captain of the team, it seems with so many young players ready to join the big league squad there is a bit of collegiate feel around the club so having that veteran designated to be their sounding board or the guy to show them the right way to handle big league life, there is no better man for the job than David Wright.

Wright is the perfect example of the rah-rah cheerleader type of leader is vastly overrated. Wright surely leads by example with the way he handles himself on and off the field. Wright has always been one of the first to report to spring training and the last to leave the St. Lonesome complex. He is always available to the media win or lose and no one in the history of the New York Mets has represented the organization as at more charity and fan events with class and dignity like Wright has.

So if Terry Collins wants to name Wright the Captain of the team go right ahead but it’s just a mere formality everyone knows who is the team leader now and for the next 8 seasons at least, it’s David Wright. Just don’t put that tacky “C” on his jersey

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

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.

Visit BangTheBook.Com for daily free MLB Mets Picks and gameday previews, also join the baseball handicapping discussion in the forum or track your plays in our sports monitor.