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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35 Years ???? WOW!

I’m heading out to Citi Field today but before I enter the ballpark I will stop at the Seaver entrance for a moment of quite thought and reflection of the worst day in the history of the NY Mets, June 15th 1977 the day Tom Seaver was shipped off to Cincinnati by the Incubus , M. Donald Grant and changed the fortunes of the Mets franchise.  35 years have passed and I still get a pain in my gut over this awful event.

On a much brighter note, today is also the anniversary of Keith Hernandez joining the Mets from the St Louis Cardinals and the 10th anniversary of the Mets-Highlanders and the first hook up of Piazza-Clemens since the infamous 2000 World Series bat tossing incident. Mets fans waited in anticipation for pitcher Shawn Estes’ drilling of Clemens as he stepped to the plate, but to our disappointment Estes gave a half ass attempt and threw behind Clemens ample ass and not his chin, oh well, maybe a jury in D.C. will gives us vindication.

For this and other events that happened on this day check out Chris Jaffe’s column at The Hardball Times.

Murray Chass is an ass. Today, Meshuga Murray is back on the” Mike Piazza is a juicer bandwagon”. Piazza is coming out with a book in February and Chass thinks Piazza is waiting for the results of the Hall of Fame vote to release his tome. For this Chass is on the war path, campaigning for HOF voters to bypass Piazza on their ballot. If Meshuga Murray has the goods on Piazza then why not let the world know? Maybe he’s saving it for a book?

I have a correction for the Tuesday appearances by former Mets Art Shamsky and Ed Charles.  The Glider will be at the Citi Bank branch at 485 1st Ave in Manhattan (just off E 27 St) and Shamsky will be at the Citi Bank branch in Middle Village at 78-09 Metropolitan Ave. Both players will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans from 12 Noon to 1:30 PM.

Isn’t it crazy how things work, for the next three days we have to root for the Highlanders as they head to D.C. to take on the Nationals. What can you say, that’s baseball Suzyn!

 

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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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Win 2 Tickets to Mets-Cardinals on Saturday June 2nd and a Baseball Prospectus Meet & Greet with Sandy Alderson

 

The first person to respond to me via Twitter will win tickets to the great event on Saturday at Citi Field so hit me up on Twitter @kranepool to win:

 

Baseball Prospectus and the New York Mets invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Saturday, June 2 at Citi Field. Thanks to the fine folks in the Mets front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:

Festivities begin at 2:00 PM with a game start time of 4:10.
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Win A Ticket to Baseball Prospectus Visits Citi Field June 2nd 2012

 

The good folks over at Baseball Prospectus have set up, in conjunction with the New York Mets, a Baseball Prospectus Day at Citi Field on Saturday June 2 as the Mets take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

 The day will consist of a meet and greet with some of the fine writers at BP and the opportunity to participate in a Q & A session with Mets GM Sandy Alderson, along with a ticket to the game (sitting in the area by the Home Run Apple I guess section 140 or 141) and a $15 coupon that can be used towards the purchase of a Baseball Prospectus Premium subscription or a subscription renewal. You get all this for the reasonable price of $45.01.

All the festivities get started at 2PM and game time is set for 4:10PM

Baseball Prospectus has authorized me to give away 2 free tickets to this event, so let’s have a little contest to give away the tickets. The first two readers who e mail me at sinymets@aol.com with the correct answer to the following question will win a ticket. 2 tickets 2 winners, got it? Okay here we go:

Give me the name of the pitcher who holds the NY Mets record for the most innings pitched in a game in a relief role.

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HOW IS EDGARDO ALFONZO NOT IN THE NY METS HALL OF FAME?

Have you been watching MLB Networks Baseball IQ quiz show? I watched the first couple of shows and for the most part it’s a pretty good show. It would be even better if Matt Vasgersian, who just oozes douchebagness were not a part of it (I hope to see you one day at Citi Field Vasgersian as I have a gift for your ass, a size 11 Nike) and if the participants had just a smidge of personality. Mets representative, Ben Baumer ,who has been the clubs Statistical Analyst for years has finally been seen in public but before he was free to be seen the Mets PR staff should have given him a primer in how to smile and not act like he’s being held by Al-Qaeda for questioning, Ben, sweetheart, lighten up!

I will give the contestants this, it is very tough to answer question on TV than when your ass in in a chair at home stuffing Cheez Doodles in your mouth. Some of the questions do take a bit of thinking like name the top 15 players Colorado Rockies history in games played, but if you work for the Baltimore Orioles, like their rep Jay Moskowitz does and not know Brooks Robinson (tied with Carl Yastrzemski) played   the most seasons for one team, that’s disgraceful.

Most of the questions on the show are about listing the top 10 or 15 in a bunch of categories. One question that intrigued me was when the contestants had to name the teams with the most World Series championships. We all know the New York Highlanders and St. Louis Cardinals rank 1st and 2nd  but if I asked you off the top of your head who was 3rd and 4th would the Athletics and Red Sox come to mind right away? For all the Curse of the Bambino bullshit, the Red Sox have the 4th most World Series titles in history at seven the A’s are third with nine, again not easy answers to come with under hot studio lights.

The questions on the show got me to thinking, if I were asked to name the top ten Mets in different categories, how well would you do? So I took out my NY Mets 2011 Media Guide and opened it to the All Time Mets Record holders list to see and I found more than a few surprises.

I’m sure if I asked you who played the most games in Mets history, you’d come up with (bow your head) Ed Kranepool. If I asked you was second, would you know it was Bud Harrelson? Yes, Bud played in 1,322 games to Krane’s 1,853. The only current Met on the list is David Wright who comes in 8th place at 1,004. With the way baseball is today, I wonder if Kranepool’s record for game played as a Met will ever be topped.

As I looked over the twenty categories listed in the Mets media guide in the all-time leaders section, the name Edgardo Alfonzo popped up on fifteen of the twenty categories, that put Alfonzo second just behind Darryl Strawberry for most top ten categories. (Straw is top ten in seventeen of the twenty failing to crack the top ten in  batting average, pinch hits and pinch hit home runs. I think we should be clamoring for number 18 to be retire don’t you think?)

Here is a list of the fifteen categories and his rank all time as a Met for Fonzi:

8th in HR w/ 172

10th in RBI w/456

6th in Total Bases w/1736

7th in batting avg. w/.292

7th in games played w/1086

8th in at bats w/3887

5th in runs scored w/614

4th in hits w/1136

4th in 2B hits w/212

6th in OBA w/.367

7th in HBP w/29

5th in Sac Fly w/40

7th in BB w/458

5th in Multi-hit games w/314

The only offensive categories Fozi failed to make the top ten in were stolen bases, triples, SLG (just missing w/.445 avg) and two he’d never qualify for pinch hits and pinch hit home runs.

Which brings me to this conclusion, Edgardo Alfonzo is a much more worthy inductee to the Mets Hall of Fame than John Franco.  Talk about underrated versus overrated. After looking over this all-time list it’s somewhat embarrassing that Fonzi is not in the Mets hall, sure Franco is an ownership favorite but if you polled Mets fans I bet they vote for Fonz over Franco for Hall of Fame honors, oh I forgot who cares what the fans think.

 

 

 

 

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BBA ANNOUNCE THEIR 2011 ALL STAR SELECTIONS

Here is the press release from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance announcing the BBA’s selections for the NL an AL starters for the 2011 All Star Game:


BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE NAMES 2011 ALL-STARS

 

Outfielders Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers led their respective leagues in balloting for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as conducted by members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and announced today.

Bautista, who has an American League-leading 1.133 OPS to go along with his 24 home runs, was named on 50 ballots, not including one ballot that placed him at third base.  Bautista was joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who received 48 votes, and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, who tallied 23 votes.

There were few close races in the AL voting by the BBA.  The tightest was at third base, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez outpolled Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers 30-16.  All other races were decided by at least twenty votes save the nod for starting pitcher.  Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander won that 16-6 over Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, but many bloggers did not designate a specific starter so fewer votes were cast in that category.

Other American League nods were to Tigers catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians.  Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected at that position.

Over in the National League, Kemp’s stellar first half–he sits second in batting average, first in home runs, second in RBI and has 21 stolen bases to boot–earned him mention on 54 ballots.  Accompanying him in the outfield was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As in the junior circuit, the closest race in the NL was at the hot corner.  Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco edged out Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres 21-14, with Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones receiving 10 votes.

The other races were not a contest, as Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes all won their slots by at least 25 votes.

Starting the contest for the NL was Roy Halladay, who easily outpolled his Philadelphia teammate Cole Hamels for the honor.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  As a secondary goal, they vote on various awards throughout the year.  In January, they recommended Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for the Baseball Hall of Fame and in March, they created a new award to honor the top internet writer and then named it after the first recipient, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski.  You can find the BBA at their website or on Facebook.  You can follow the Alliance at @baseballblogs on Twitter or via the hashtag #BBBA.

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PLAYING PEPPER WITH C70 AT THE BAT

Daniel Shoptaw is the President of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and he is also a St. Louis Cardinals fan and runs a Cardinal site called C70 at the Bat. Daniel does a feature where he does a Q & A with bloggers of other team called Playing Pepper. His most recent PP is up at his site and it featured yours truly along with my fellow Mets bloggers Anthony of Long Live Shea, Paul of Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff , Kerel Cooper of On The Black, AC Wayne of Mets Public Record, M.W. Strout of Mets Fans For Life, Phil Hoops Jr. of Hoops Approved, and Dave Doyle of the Mets Report

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THE LAST TEMPTATION OF OLLIE

If reports are true, Ollie Perez is pitching for his Mets life this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Lonesome. Terry Collins is saying that this isn’t true that Ollie will pitch again after this start, but if he has a typical OP start, command issues, lack of zip on fastball, tons of walks then what’s the sense of giving him another start ? At some point you have to stop wasting your time with OP.

The Mets money woes may not be as dire as we think. The Skill Sets spent $15K on dirt. DIRT!!! But it seems like $15K spent wisely.

Ed Marcus posts up #6 in his all time Mets list. He was baseball’s Marlboro Man and one of my favorite Mets of all time and now he entertains us on TV. Just be careful if he asks you to help him move.

Adam Rubin posted his idea of what the Mets 25 man roster will look like on opening day. He has both Perez and Castillo off the team which is fine by me. He has Taylor Buchholz in the pen but notes that Jason Isringhausen is still in the mix and could grab Buchholz spot. Nick Evans is not on Rubin’s roster either and that is upsetting as Evans has worked hard to get back to the big league level but he’d have to beat out Chin-lung Hu or Willie Harris for a spot and I don’t see him beating either players out. There has to be a team that could use a good righty bat who can play both corner infield positions?

Dwight Gooden’s life just gets sadder and sadder. He has now agreed to become a sideshow act for Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1. The show is like a junk yard for D list celeb’s that have their lives have swirled out of control. How in the world did Doc become a D-Lister? That is as crushing as his fight with drug and alcohol addiction.

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TODAY IS BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE DAY

Today is Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) Day, and as a member from the beginning of the Alliance and the NY NL Chapter President, I’d like to tell you about the BBA.

The BBA was founded in 2009 by Daniel Shoptaw, who blogs about the St. Louis Cardinals at his C70 at the Bat site. Daniel had e-mailed me about the BBA and asked if would like to join up and I immediately said yes. What I liked about the BBA was it was a place for someone like me who is passionate about my team to meet up with other passionate baseball fans who are also bloggers.  My membership in the BBA has been a tremendous help in doing my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN radio show and in hosting the BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE BASEBALL TALK SHOW on Blog Talk Radio, as I can always find a blogger to come on and talk about their team when they are facing the NY Mets, to give me a fans/bloggers eye view of ups and downs of their team, which helps myself and my listeners get a better idea of the opponent facing the Mets in that series.

Besides the BBA Talk Radio show, we also vote on season ending awards in the same fashion as the Baseball Writers of America, in fact they seem a bit worried about our views as they issued a cease and desist letter for the BBA not use the terms they use for their award. We wear that C & D as a badge of accomplishment.

The BBA is 230 members strong, with chapters which are history oriented, cover fantasy baseball, the analytical part of baseball and those who cover general baseball news and views. The majority of the membership though is of team specific sites and I am very proud to say that the New York Mets have the highest number of bloggers in the BBA at 19.

So I’d like for you to take a little time today and visit our BBA site and also check out our broadcasts on Blog Talk Radio.    

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Tickets

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

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.