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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The 1969 World Champion Mets Had Alot of Heart

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See this why we are Mets fans. I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show when the World Champion NY Mets performed this live. I also have the vinyl album. This should be played at Citi Field on Opening Day.

“you gotta have heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrt, lots and lots of heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrttttttttttt”………….

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Welcome Back Chris Young, The Entry Draft, Ike’s Woe’s and My Meeting Big Mets Fan,Jon Stewart

Is it too early to say that this 3 game set in D.C. is a big series for the Mets?  With our hero’s a mere half game out of the top spot of the NL East and coming off an exciting and eventful winning series against the defending World Champion Cardinals I’d say this series with the Nats is pretty, pretty, pretty big deal. Not a, be all end all for sure but nice test for our boys.

Chris Young will make his 2012 debut tonight after spending over a year on the DL with shoulder surgery and he’ll have a Miguel Batista safety net as well as Batista will come off the DL after suffering a lower back injury. How much can the Mets expect at of both of these returning wounded pitchers?  What happens if Young is in the midst of a perfect game when he reaches his pitch count? No I haven’t been drinking.

The Mets drafted two players during last night’s Entry Draft. With their first pick the #12 overall, they chose   Gavin Cecchini a shortstop out of high school in Louisiana. In tweeting back and forth with Joe DeMayo of the St. Luice to Flushing site, I agree with him that the Mets must have a pre-draft deal set with Cecchini, which is an Alderson/DePo M.O. I’d bet the same is true with the pick they made at #35 in catcher Kevin Plawecki of Purdue. The club having a little over $7mil in their set budget for the first ten picks so my guess is if both Cecchini and Plawecki take a little less than the slot money at their draft position it gives the Mets a little bit of flexibility to draft a player who may drop due to signing constraints. Remember this is the first entry draft under the new CBA and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have running this show than Alderson and DePodesta.

If you are not following Tim Byrdak on Twitter you are missing out on one of the best shows on the internet.

Who doesn’t love Ike Davis? We all do. I want Ike to be that 20-25 HR 90-100 RBI Gold Glove first base man who plays here his whole career and gets induction into the Mets Hall of Fame if not Cooperstown but with many of the injured position players coming back from the DL and his “can’t find my way at the plate approach” Ike is giving Sandy Alderson no choice but to send him to Buffalo.  

The Daily Show host Jon Stewart is a big, big Mets fan. I’m pretty sure I’ve told this story before about how I met Stewart at The Bronx Zoo during the Christmas holiday week a few years ago when both our kids were riding the carousel. I had on a Mets jacket and Mets cap and had no idea Stewart was next to me until he said he liked my jacket. When I realized it Jon Stewart to say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  This was during the Art Howe era so rooting for the Mets was more of a secret order than a fandom. After our kids whizzed around the Merry Go Round about four times and had enough, Stewart and I shook hands and he said he’d check out this site. I hope he did and still does. Jon if you’re reading, drop me a line.

Oh and by the way I’m ecstatic that Bill Maher has bought into a minority share of the Mets, because I’m a big fan of his and because I know it pisses many of you off that Maher is now a part owner.  I do understand your anger though, I’d be pissed of O’Reily or Hannity bought into the Mets.

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ANDRES TORRES OVER COCO CRISP, NY METS GOT THE BETTER DEAL

 

 

When the Mets off season got under way one of the position I wanted to see an upgraded was center field. I had seen enough of Angel Pagan and it seems Sandy Alderson felt the same way. I was intrigued by Coco Crisp thinking he would be a nice cheap alternative to man the less spacious tundra of the center of the Citi Field outfield.  Alderson felt the better man for the job was Andres Torres, a great glove less than potent bat outfielder who came with RHP Ramon Ramirez to the Mets from the Giants for Angel Pagan.

After reading that Crisp re-signed with the A’s for 2yrs/$14 mil, a year and cash figure that quite frankly stunned me, I went over to Fan Graphs to look at a comparison of both players. 

There isn’t that much of a difference offensively between the two players that would make one about $5 mil better than the other. Crisp will make $7mil a year while Torres made $2.2 mil last year and is under team control for two more seasons.  So even with a raise to say, $3mil for Torres, having him over Crisp in the Mets outfield is major plus for the Mets.

Crisp, 32 years old, has a lifetime .264/.314/.379 with an ISO of .115 in 583 plate appearances.  Torres, 34 years old has a lifetime .221/.312/.330 with an ISO of .109 in 398 plate appearances. We are not talking offensive juggernauts here. Crisp is more the base stealer than Torres swiping 49 bags in his big league career to 19 for Torres. Both players walks rates are close Crisp take a base on balls 7.0% of his plate appearances to Torres’ 10.6 % rate. Torres K’s too much at 23.9 % while Crisp is more disciplined at 11.1 %. 

Back in 2010, Torres had a fine season putting up a line of .268/.343/.479 with 16 HR 43 2B and 63 RBI for the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The last real good offensive season that Crisp has had was back in 2005. So the odds are much better of Torres giving the Mets a bounce back season than Crisp putting up big numbers.

Crsip’ defense has been in decline the last couple of years whereas Torres has continued to play a stellar centerfielder.

So for a difference of say $5mil, who made the better deal, Billy Beane by signing Crisp or Sandy Alderson dealing for Torres? It looks like advantage Alderson to me especially is Ramirez is a decent reliever then this deal could be a huge positive for the Mets.

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BBA Names Arizona’s Gibson, Tampa Bay’s Maddon Top Managers

BBA Names Arizona’s Gibson, Tampa Bay’s Maddon Top Managers

Top Blogger Organization Awards Connie Mack Award For 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon were named the 2011 Connie Mack Award winners today by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The Connie Mack Award recognizes those considered the top manager for the season.

Gibson took over an Arizona team that finished last in the National League West in 2010 and led them to a divisional title in his first year on the job.  Gibson’s Diamondbacks led all year long and finished a comfortable eight games ahead of defending World Champion San Francisco to move on to the postseason stage.  Voting was done before the Diamondbacks lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in five games in the National League Divisional Series.

Gibson was a unanimous winner, scoring the top slot on all 21 ballots cast by the portion of the membership that voted on the National League award.  Ron Roenicke, whose Brewers defeated Gibson’s squad, finished second in the balloting, while St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa finished third.

Maddon was rewarded after leading his team to the largest September rally in history, leading his Rays from nine games back in the wild card race to passing up the Boston Red Sox on the last day.  As in the National League, voting did not take into account the Rays falling to the Texas Rangers in four games in the American League Divisional Series.

Maddon received the top billing on 22 of the 25 ballots cast for the American League voters, easily outpacing Detroit’s Jim Leyland and Texas Ranger manager Ron Washington.  Washington garnered the three first place votes that did not go to Maddon.

The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):

American League
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay (22) 113
Jim Leyland, Detroit 48
Ron Washington, Texas (3) 37
Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim 13
Joe Girardi, New York 9
Manny Acta, Cleveland 5
John Farrell, Toronto 1

National League
Kirk Gibson, Arizona (21) 105
Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee 39
Tony La Russa, St. Louis 16
Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia 13
Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh 7
Terry Collins, New York 5
Bruce Bochy, San Francisco 3
Freddi Gonzalez, Atlanta 1

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 316 blogs spanning all 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.

The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.

Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.

Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in all but two instances in the past two years.  This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.

Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first through third place. In the interest of transparency, links are given below for the ballots. Chapter affiliation is in parenthesis.  Those chapters that decided on the group method are noted with an asterisk.

American League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Baltimore Sports and Life (Baltimore)
Baseball Is My Boyfriend (Texas)*
Baseball North (Toronto)
Boston Red Thoughts (Boston)*
Contract Year (Oakland)*
500 Level Fan (Toronto)
The Flagrant Fan (General)
Kings of Kauffman (Kansas City)*
Misc. Baseball (History)
Monkey With A Halo (Los Angeles of Anaheim)
Motor City Bengals (Detroit)
North Dakota Twins Fan (Minnesota)
Old English D (Detroit)
The Rays Rant (Tampa Bay)
Rise of the Rays (Tampa Bay)
Seattle Mariners Musings (Seattle)
The Tribe Daily (Cleveland)*
Twins Trivia (Minnesota)
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)

National League
Advanced Fantasy Baseball (Fantasy)
Appy Astros (Houston)
Blog Red Machine (Cincinnati)
Cincinnati Reds Blog (Cincinnati)
Dugger Sports (Philadelphia)
The Eddie Kranepool Society (New York)*
The Flagrant Fan (General)
I70 Baseball (St. Louis)
Left Coast Bias (San Diego)
Misc. Baseball (History)
On The Outside Corner (St. Louis)
Padres Trail (San Diego)
Prose and Ivy (Chicago)*
Raise The Jolly Roger (Pittsburgh)
Rockies Woman (Colorado)
22 Gigantes (San Francisco)*
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog (Other)

Prior Winners: 2010: Ron Washington, Texas; Bud Black, San Diego
2009: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles of Anaheim; Jim Tracy, Colorado

The official website of the BBA is located atbaseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at founder@baseballbloggersalliance.com.

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COME HAVE LUNCH WITH RON SWOBODA THIS TUESDAY AT GALLAGHER’S STEAK HOUSE

New York Mets 1969 World Series hero, Ron Swoboda will be hosting a charity luncheon at Gallagher’s Steak House in Manhattan this Tuesday at 12 Noon. The details are:

Swoboda At Gallagher’s Tuesday:  Legendary 1969 World Champion Mets outfielder Ron Swoboda will host the “Power Hitter Power Lunch” on Tuesday, June 28, at noon at Gallagher’s Steak House in Manhattan.  The event features a special luncheon menu as Swoboda takes a look at the New York Mets past and present.  The event is priced at $62 and includes: three-course “Power Lunch,” Q & A session with the World Series hero, and one autograph per customer.

Gallagher’s is located at 228 West 52nd Street in New York City. Reservations are recommended by calling 212.245.5336. Swoboda made the greatest catch in World Series annals when he robbed the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson in Game 4 of the ’69 Fall Classic.

Gallagher’s will donate a portion of the proceeds to the AHRC New York City Foundation to benefit people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  AHRC New York City Foundation presents the annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner; the 32nd edition is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2012.

Swoboda will also host a meet and greet on the evening of June 28 at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Entertainment Lounge (free admission), where fans will have the chance to win a signed collectible of his famous world series catch, autographed by both Swoboda and Robinson

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FORMER MET ED HEARN TO BE HONORED BEFORE TONIGHTS METS-PHILLIES GAME

Former Mets catcher Ed Hearn, a member of the 1986 World Championship Mets, will be honored this evening before the Mets-Phillies game at Citi Field for his work as an ambassador for kidney disease with the Neph Cure Foundation. Check out Hern’s story:

Ed Hearn, a member of the 1986 World Champion New York Mets, will

          be honored at Citi Field on Friday, Sept. 10, for his work as Ambassador for The

           NephCure Foundation. Hearn has undergone three kidney transplants in a

           continuing battle with the kidney disease FSGS, for which there is no effective

           treatment and no cure. Hearn, who backed up Gary Carter as catcher on that

            memorable team, and was later traded to the Kansas City Royals in the David

            Cone deal, has endured dramatic health complications since retiring from

            baseball in 1991.  He is now an Ambassador for the NephCure Foundation and a

            motivational speaker who travels across the country to hospitals and dialysis

            centers to bring hope to patients facing similar challenges. Hearn is an admitted

            steroid user – but not as a player. Steroids were part of his treatment for the

            kidney malfunction caused by FSGS, which attacked his new kidneys after each

            transplant. He will be recognized Friday as part of Ed Hearn/NephCure

            Foundation Night at Citi Field, before the Mets-Phillies game, a 7:05 start

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PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL TONIGHT AT 9PM ET ON BLOG TALK RADIO

Join us tonight for another episode of PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL at 9PM ET on BlogTalk Radio. Our guest will be Matthew Silverman, co-editor of the book THE MIRACLE HAS LANDED: The Amazin’ Story of How the 1969 Mets Shocked the World (Maple Street Press in association with SABR) a very detailed chronicle of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets.  

If you can’t join us live you can here the podcast here at the Kranepool Society or on BlogTalk Radio and our PRO BASEBALL CENTRAL site.

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THE MIRACLE HAS LANDED: THE AMAZIN’ STORY OF HOW THE 1969 METS SHOCKED THE WORLD

Even me, the Mets fan Prince of Darkness, has to take a step back sometimes to remember when the Mets ruled the baseball roost in these parts and one way to put a smile on a Mets fan’ face is to say “1969”

Ahhhhhhh yes, The Amazin’ Mets of 1969. Last summer the lone bright spot at $iti Field was the celebration of the World Champion Mets of that year and just to see all those players back together again was thrilling and exhilarating, but as I looked around at the faces of some of the fans in attendance that night, I saw a lot Mets fans who really have no connection to this team because (gasp!!!) they were to young to witness this great accomplishment.

There were 30 year old Mets fans with their children there who like their kids,  had no real attachment to this team. They never saw the black cat run by the Cubs dugout and look right at Leo Durcocher as if to say, “it’s all over Leo, surrender is near”, or cried themselves to sleep after watching Tom Seaver lose his Perfect game to a Jimmy Qualis single in the 9th inning. No cable TV, no 24-HR sports talk radio just the Daily News, NY Post (the essential newspaper for the West Cost scores as the Post was an afternoon paper in those days) and of course WOR  to find all our Mets information.

When I’m asked about that ’69 season I remember those events I’ve mentioned plus things like Opening Day, a game that featured the Mets against the brand spanking new Montreal Expos team staring Mack Jones, Adolfo Philips and a young Le Grande Orange and the Mets losing 11-10, a  9th inning rally falling short.

Now I know there are some of you who also remember that year as vividly as I do and would love to relive that season and then there are a good number of you who wish you could find out more of what it was like that season. That’s why the book The Miracle Has Landed is an essential book to add to your Mets and baseball book collection.

Matthew Silverman and Ken Samelson have done a fabulous job of getting a collection of writers together to compile essay’s on the players of the ’69 Mets, the front office, the broadcasters, the owner (bow your heads)  Mrs. Joan Payson and Manager Gil Hodges and his coaching staff (Where have you gone Rube Walker ? Mets pitchers turn their lonely pitching arms to you) and my favorite chapter on Mets scout Red Murff, who should be in the Mets Hall of Fame (if they ever build one)  Murff was the scout who signed Jerry Koosman, Jerry Grote, Ken Boswell and a kid out of Alvin Texas named Nolan Ryan (to name a few)

Do yourself a favor, don’t wait for someone to get you this book for Hanukah, Christmas, Festivus or whatever holiday you celebrate buy this for yourself as a Mets fan you will cherish this book and read it from cover to cover and in these dire uninspiring times as a Mets fans, The Miracle Has Landed will make you proud to be a Mets fan again.

The Miracle Has Landed is published by Maple Street Press in conjunction with The Society of American Baseball Research

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CHECK OUT FOLEY’S NY AND THEIR $19.69 “GIL HODGES MANAGER’S SPECIAL”

If you’re in the city and looking for a place for a great meal and watch a ball game then head on over to FOLEY’S NY at 18 W 33 St (across from the Empire State Building) as the celebrate the 1969 World Champion New York Mets with a  some special menu items :

New York, NY, August 14, 2009 — Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, a popular destination for baseball players, team executives, and fans of the game, announced its menu available now through the end of August will honor of the 1969 Mets.  The “Gil Hodges Manager’s Special” offers soup or salad, an entrée and a glass of Bud or soda for fixed price of $19.69.

 

Foley’s will rename menu items after key members of the 1969 World Champions, including:

  • Grilled Chicken “Seaver” Salad,
  • Kranepool’s Krabcake Sandwich,
  • Tug McGraw’s Pulled Pork Po’ Boy,
  • Foley’s Burger with Tommy Agee’d Cheddar, and
  • Art Shamsky’s Pastrami on Rye. 

Desserts (not part of the $19.69 menu) include Wayne Garrett’s Carrot Cake and Ron Swoboda’s Ice Cream Soda

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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.