Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

2011 was not a kind year for the Mets. However, it was one of my favorite seasons as a fan. My initial perception of my favorite player as the nicest person ever was confirmed and I found out a lot of the other Mets were really nice too.

I connected with baseball in a way I never have before. I went to three minor league games in two days and was closer to the game than ever. I followed a full minor league season for the first time. I finally spent time learning about more than one minor league player and looking at the players that will make the Mets in the future.

I enjoyed the early success of the Indians and endured the dog days of both the Mets and Indians seasons. I finally got to watch every Indians game of the season and of course I watched every Mets game.

Joe Smith had his best season yet. Josh Thole learned through experience. Mike Nickeas saw actual time on the Major League roster. Xavier Nady had his season ended by a Met and Grady Sizemore's season never really got started. David Wright cemented himself as the face of the franchise. The other face decided to leave for Miami.

There was the night in Philadelphia when Mets and Phillies fans all cheered together for America. And when all of New York was rooting for the Red Sox to miss the playoffs and complete a bigger collapse than the Mets of 2007. The excitement of the last day of the season was enough for two lifetimes. And well, the postseason was Written In The Stars.

I couldn't have gotten much more out of a disappointing Mets season. And now I get to enjoy the offseason with the Rangers. Hopefully my new year will start well with the Winter Classic and I'll get to enjoy hockey while waiting for baseball.

On New Year's Eve my calendar is on the Rangers. Their Winter Classic is taking me through the new year and their season will take me to spring. The spring will bring a new year of Mets baseball and both teams will bring memories all year.

Happy New Year!
And enjoy whatever you like to pass time during the winter.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When You Really Love A Team

Some of you might not know that the Mets are not my only sports team and that baseball is not my only sport. I also love the Rangers. I never played hockey so I don't have the same connection to hockey that I have to baseball but I have grown to really love the sport. And this year I really love the Rangers.

Maybe it's because I went to yesterday's game, but today I have not been able to get enough Rangers. I just want to see and read everything about every player on the team. And I've never felt that before. Not about the 2006 and 2007 Mets that dominated (for the most part). Not about the lovable loser Mets of the last few years. But I simply love everything about these Rangers.

It helps that they're winning. It helps that whatever group of players is thrown onto the ice does the job. And it really helps that the fan base supports all of the players. Unlike the Mets fan base, the Rangers fans look past the small mistakes. Even when the team has hit rough patches during the past few seasons, the fans have found the positives when it looks like there aren't any. They have stood behind the smallest players and continued to have undying love for the biggest players.

The wins mean a lot. But something has to be said when the backup goalie is absolutely beloved.

I've never loved a team this much. I've never had this much confidence in a team. I'm new to this so give me time to fangirl and enjoy it while it's around. If there's one thing I know, the fun doesn't last forever.

So…
Let's Go Mets!
And…
Let's Go Rangers!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

There is Also This

On Mets Hot Stove on SNY Josh Thole just spoke about how much of a help Mike Nickeas has been throughout his career. They have had a good relationship and Mike had been a catching mentor for Josh in the minor leagues.

Going with Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas would mean going with an already established relationship. Thole could thrive with the right mentor and Nickeas already has been that mentor. Having Mike around for a full season could help Josh become the everyday catcher the Mets want him to be. Instead of simply working on defense during the offseason and Spring Training there would be someone there to work with Josh everyday of the season.

And being around a Major League hitting coach all year could help Mike as well.

Let's Go Mets!

Spinning This Into A Positive

The Mets signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league deal. Like Mike Nickeas he is a defensively-oriented catcher. Last year he posted a 3.26 catchers ERA while hitting only .190 for the Padres.

Naturally the first thing I thought of was that Mike Nickeas might not be the backup catcher after all. There will be competition now. Once Spring Training rolls around I will be the only person that cares about the backup catcher competition but right now more people are acknowledging it. Nothing has ever been handed to Nickeas during his baseball career. And this signing will keep his career that way. And the pessimist in me keeps saying the signing just means he won't ever really be a big leaguer.

But then there's the other side of me that's trying to make this positive. Perhaps the Mets just signed Johnson to be minor league depth. Maybe the minor league deal actually means he'll spend the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe Johnson was signed to show that Mike Nickeas is not the worst option out there. Maybe this was just a move to motivate Nickeas, not that he would need any outside motivation. But maybe, just maybe, the Mets still plan on going with Nickeas as their backup catcher.

Oh, what the offseason has come to.
Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chandler Totally Wouldn't Go For This

One of the perks of becoming a minority owner of the Mets is getting to hang out with Mr. Met whenever you want. Yup. You get as much of that giant baseball headed mascot as you want. But I guess if you don't like big heads then don't bother buying part of the team.

This got me thinking about what I would do if I got to spend a day with Mr. Met.

Well, first I would sleep in because if I got to school with Mr. Met there is no way I would get in trouble. Once I got to school I'd bring him to all my classes. In each class he'd teach us different cheers and we'd sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame and Meet The Mets. For lunch we'd go into the village and make everyone there Mets fans. We'd get through the rest of my classes after lunch and then head out to have more fun after school. We would definitely go visit my sixth grade social studies teacher because he's a Mets fan. And after that it would be time to go to Citi Field for the game. Mr. Met would get me behind the scenes access to everything. I'd get to meet the players and be part of the pregame media sessions. Mr. Met would make a surprise visit to the SNY and WFAN booths during the game and of course I would come with him. After the Mets win I would go with him to congratulate Mike Nickeas on his awesome game and participate in the post game media sessions as well.

Then I'd go home and go to bed after a long, fun day. Of course, I'd wake up and it would all be a dream because spending a day with Mr. Met is too cool to be a reality.

Players come and go but Mr. Met is forever.
Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

An Offseason Poem

The weather is getting colder,
The Winter Meetings are over.
Nobody knows what the Mets roster will be,
And it probably won't be under the team's Christmas tree.

But never fear,
Sandy Alderson is here.
He'll bring pitchers, outfielders, and a backup infielder or two,
But if you're a free agent catcher he doesn't want you.

David Wright and Ike Davis and Jon Niese might be traded,
However only if Sandy is utterly delighted.
These players are the best,
So Sandy won't just give them away to the rest.

Still for now the team is not whole,
There's still some room on the payroll.
Maybe Sandy will give us something to cheer,
As we celebrate the holidays and the new year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

They're My Catchers

Before all the trades and signings yesterday the Mets said something about a move they will not be making. The Mets said they aren't interested in the catchers market and they will go into 2012 with who they have now.

For most people this announcement is irrelevant to their view of the team. And for the people that do care about this, the majority aren't too pleased. I'm not part of that majority.

Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas are my favorite players. It's quite an experience having favorites that never have been the best player. But it's the best feeling when you finally see them succeed.

Josh Thole has already had a taste of success. His beginning of the season struggles this year were not fun for anybody to watch. However they just made it even more fun to see his improvement as the season went on. He turned his season from the disaster of having pitchers ask not to throw to him to creating relationships and connections with the pitching staff. Josh earned praise from not only Terry Collins, but also from individual pitchers that benefitted the most from Thole's work.

Most people would look at The career of Mike Nickeas and glance over any possibility of him having any major league success. I'm not going to say he is going to have an established career as a starting catcher but I've taken it one step at a time as a fan of him. He got a major league call-up in 2010. He made a major league start in 2010. He made the Opening Day roster in 2011. He hit a major league home run in 2011. In 2012 he could quite possibly be the full season backup catcher. Mike has gotten so much farther than many people thought he would and there's no reason for him to stop defying those doubters.

I don't know how many of you will go for rooting for the hardworking defy the odds type. But it doesn't really matter. That is just who the Mets catchers are and if you watch the Mets that's who you'll see. I can't wait to watch them.

Let's go Mets!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On Jose Reyes

All signs point to Jose Reyes signing with the Miami Marlins.  The contract is reported to be something around 6 years and $110 million.  Inevitably, Mets fans on twitter are all over the place.

Yes, I wanted the Mets to re-sign Jose Reyes.  However, now that there are actual parameters of his contract I'm not going to say the Mets should have topped the offer.  I'm also not going to complain about the fact that the Marlins "of all teams" were the highest bidders.  They were told by Major League Baseball that they had to add payroll and they have done that and more.  Just because they had not been big spenders before doesn't mean they would never have the capacity to spend.

Multiple factors were working against the Mets in their pursuit of Jose Reyes.  The Marlins are adding payroll while the Mets are trying to cut payroll.  There is also the fact that players just don't stay with one organization for their entire career anymore.  Joe Mauer signing a big contract with his original team last year was rare, and the Twins had the hometown factor working for them.  New York has never been Jose Reyes's hometown and he did not feel compelled to take less money to stay here.

It was Jose Reyes's decision and he chose more money and the Marlins.

The Mets will move on.  Players come and go.  Just remember that now the Mets could get a more expensive closer or catcher or anything else.  They will spend at least some of the money elsewhere not only this year but every year they would have been paying this contract.  And they will still play baseball in 2012 and beyond.

So take a deep breath and remember . . .
Let's Go Mets!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hired By The Padres

That's Omar Minaya's current status, in case you were wondering.  I can't help but remember all those wonderful times he tried to say one thing, couldn't quite find the words, and ultimately said something completely different.  If he's not the one speaking for them, the Padres should have a nice addition to their scouting department.

Ah, memories.

This Is Really Cool

I just came across this piece from 2008 and all of a sudden it's relevant again.  It's a prediction of theoretical 2012 All-Star teams based on their careers through the beginning of 2008.

There are some players that simply didn't continue the way they could have.  Russell Martin, Grady Sizemore, Scott Kazmir, and Brandon Webb are all on the team.  And there are other names that are right on the money.  Albert Pujols, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun, and Justin Upton have grown into elite players.

Perhaps the most interesting part is seeing who just missed the cut.  Brian McCann is one of the best catchers in the game today but he is only mentioned as part of the "Best of the rest."  Lars Anderson is mentioned as a "sleeper" and he hasn't even made an impact in the majors yet.  Matt Antonelli is also mentioned in "Best of the rest" but injuries have slowed his progress and he also hasn't had much of a chance in the majors yet.  Alex Gordon had a much improved 2011 season so seeing him mentioned is cool, but he's listed with the third baseman because nobody could've predicted his move to the outfield.  Troy Tulowitzki is described as a "real risk" and I'll leave it at that.  And I love the Justin Masterson and Chris Perez mentions as they proved this year that they can keep up with the best.

It's really cool seeing how the Major Leagues panned out.  I wonder how 2015 will look.

Keeping "The Core"

Where has 2006 gone?  That team with David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado.  The Carloses are gone and who knows what's going to happen with Jose.  But David Wright will be a Met next year and Sandy Alderson has no plans to change that.  So to all those people that wanted to blow up the "core" months or even years ago, this offseason is for you.

In 2012 the Mets will have a new core.  David Wright will be there to lead the team.  He's still the face of the franchise.  But instead of the Carloses there is Ike Davis and Angel Pagan.  Mets fans will see the next generation of the team.  The success may not come as quickly as it did in 2006 but hopefully this time it will last longer.  Maybe by having a homegrown core the Mets will have more years of success.  In an ideal world the core would feel loyal to the Mets and do what they could to stay with the team.

But having a homegrown core means more than just wins on the field.  It means throughout the organization the Mets did their job.  The front office drafted good players.  The coaches from the lowest levels of the minor leagues to the more demanding stages of AA and AAA prepared the players.  And the major league personnel knew how to bring out the best in the players.

So even if Jose Reyes isn't back next year, if David Wright is the last piece of the last playoff team, the Mets could still be okay.  And the way fans see the team as okay on the field means they are also okay off the field.  And that makes for quite the future.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#MLBMeanGirls

I may lose all credibility as a human being for doing this but I really don't care.

  • "Ma'am, do you have this in the next size up?" "Sorry, we only carry sizes 1, 3, and 5. You could try Sears." - C.C. Sabathia
  • "I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me... but I can't help it that I'm so popular." - Logan Morrison
  • "There's a 30% chance that it's already raining!" - Tim McCarver
  • "Don't have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!" - Translation: Don't look at Roy Halladay for too long.
  • "Oh no, I can't say anything else until I have a parent or lawyer present." - Jose Canseco
  • "On Wednesdays we wear pink!" - Alex Rodriguez
  • "She doesn't even go here!" - Everyone . . . to Nick Evans
  • "She's fabulous, but she's evil" - about Cliff Lee
  • "I have a fifth sense. It's like I have ESPN or something." - Kevin Millar
  • "Nice wig. What's it made of?" "Your mom's chest hair!" - to Tony La Russa
  • "That is so fetch!" - C.J. Wilson
  • "Yeah! Take your top off!" - The entire world *to* C.J. Wilson
  • "Oh, hi. Did you wanna buy some drugs?" - Ron Washington
Feel free to add anything in the comments.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Catcher To Celebrate

Happy stuff! It's Kai Gronauer's birthday! Let's all wish a happy birthday to everyone's favorite German Mets catcher!

Happy Birthday, Kai!

Should I Have Something To Say?

It's almost December, almost time for the Winter Meetings and I have nothing to say. The Mets have in no way started their offseason and besides announcing that they will in fact be celebrating their 50th season, they really haven't done anything newsworthy. However, this is New York and someone is always coming up with some story.

Today that story happens to be about Ronny Paulino. Apparently he was unresponsive when asked to pinch-hit at some point this season. Interesting, I know. But if people think that one moment is why the Mets shouldn't bring him back they should just stop thinking. I could go on for hours with my ideas about the Mets catchers, but I won't. I'll just say that if the Mets don't bring Paulino back it should be because he didn't hit, which is what they paid him to do.

BUT THAT'S NOT NEWS. That's stuff we already knew. This offseason has been slow for every team. But every team doesn't have fans that need stories to know their team still functions. Maybe it's not a bad thing that I have nothing to say. Maybe I just realized that there isn't anything to talk about right now.

Let's go Mets!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What The Mets Should Be Thankful For

As Thanksgiving approaches kids in elementary school classrooms all over the country are thinking of what they are thankful for.  If the Mets were to join one of those classes they would find that they have more to be thankful for than one might think.

The Mets should be thankful for . . .

Die-hard Fans.  The Mets have been dragged through the mud as an organization recently.  From injuries, to struggling ownership, to poor play on the field, there is no reason for any bandwagon or fair-weather fans to exist.  That leaves a small fan-base.  That small fan-base is made up of the die-hard fans. They still want to support the team and go to games and buy jerseys and t-shirts of their favorite players.  These are the fans that are looking for the Jon Niese and Ruben Tejada shirts in the team store.  They're the ones that can't wait to buy the retro jerseys.  They will find the silver lining of a falling organization. Right now the Mets fan-base is the die-hard fans and the Mets should be thankful they have this fan-base at all.

David Wright.  Ah.  The face of the franchise.  The man that has only played in the Mets organization.  The one person that has been around every year and every day to do whatever is asked.  He has played through injuries of his own and has played when everyone else is injured.  He has been there for oh-so-demanding New York media.  He answers all the questions about the on-field play and off-field uncertainty.  And he has done so with composure.  He had to learn as a 23 and 24 year old how to be a grateful winner and a graceful loser.  He has been the captain of this team for years without having the formal recognition as such.  David Wright has done everything for the Mets and there are a million and one reasons to be thankful for him.

Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson.  Collins and Alderson were the first big pieces of the next-era of the team.  They were both pressed with immediately satisfying the win-now attitude of New York fans.  They definitely did their jobs.  Collins came in and instituted his own philosophies and ideas and it worked.  The team listened and stayed above water for a long time, even through injuries and trades to big players.  Alderson not only had to find Collins, he had to find a way to put together a team despite severe financial limitations.  He found risky players with high-upsides and it worked.  The Mets should be thankful for the security Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson have brought to the organization.

The Future.  The Mets are changing but the Mets are lucky that they have players to look forward to.  Players like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, and Cesar Puello could become key contributors for many years.  David Wright has seemingly been the chosen veteran to lead the next generation and Ike Davis could be right behind him.  Jon Niese can be a cog in the rotation and Pedro Beato in the bullpen.  The Mets should definitely be thankful that their bright future is right in front of them.


There is more for the Mets to be thankful for.  And there are also things for the Mets to worry about and wish they didn't have to deal with.  But focusing on the positives is just more fun.


Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'll Have More To Say Tomorrow

Tomorrow the Mets have to set their 40-man roster, adding any players they want to protect from the Rule 5 draft. I don't know who they're going to protect. I would love for Kai Gronauer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (yes! I can spell his name!) to the roster. They both had injury-plagued seasons but they also both showed they have talent when they play. Kai is more of a question mark than Kirk because it's pretty evident that the Mets will need a real right fielder in the near future but nobody knows what they want to do with their catchers.

I know Kai Gronauer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are not the Mets top prospects. Their are pitchers and other position players that have higher "ceilings" than either of them. However, Kirk would definitely be of interest to other teams and I don't want to risk losing Kai either.

Let's go Mets!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Celebrating History

Today the Mets announced their plans to celebrate their 50th season. The season-long celebration will include throwback uniforms, commemorative bobble heads, and the return of Banner Day. I can't wait.

The anniversaries that I saw of the 1986 and 1969 Mets were awesome. I was at the game in 2006 when the Mets honored the 1986 team and it was awesome. I cannot imagine how cool the stuff the Mets put together for their entire history will be. I love these celebrations because they bring the entire fan-base together. If we all have one thing in common it's that we love the Mets. Not all fans may love the current state of the Mets but there was something at some point that made them fall in love with this team.

I fell in love with fact that this team doesn't always win and yet they always are able to convince me that they're really trying their hardest. I went through the jump from 2006 domination to 2007 humiliation. And so many other fans did too.

I may not have spent decades of my life rootiing for this team through thick and thin. Heck, my life hasn't even spanned 2 decades yet. But I'm still able to share my love with my dad and many other fans that have stayed with this team for decades. I read and listen to stories from other fans, share my own and hopefully the Mets will provide reason to remember future moments.

1962 - 2012 … and beyond. Let's celebrate!

Let's go Mets!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Perfect Fit

Grady Sizemore is a free agent.  The Mets haven't had a stable outfield since the middle of the 2006 season.  Grady can play any outfield position.  The Mets seem to like to play musical chairs in the outfield.  Signing Sizemore could definitely help the Mets.

For the past few seasons Grady has been the definition of injury-prone.  It seemingly started with a rolled ankle against the Yankees and then things snowballed into knee issues.  But that might not be the worst thing in the world.  Despite what the popular opinion of the Mets medical staff may be, they worked with Carlos Beltran through terrible knee issues and he came back to be traded for a top pitching prospect.  It may be a tiny light in the dark, but the medical staff has at least proven they can deal with bad knees.

Away from the injuries, Grady was productive for the Indians.  In eight seasons he has averaged 25 home runs, 39 doubles, and 24 stolen bases per season.  Take a moment to imagine the extra-base hits he would get in Citi Field, even with the adjusted dimensions.  And now imagine the ground he would cover in the outfield.  He would be a plus in the old, huge Citi Field and the smaller outfield just means he would cover an even higher percentage of ground.  Sizemore is also fearless in the outfield.  Yes, that may have contributed to his injuries but it is also quite a contrast from Lucas Duda's tentative approach to playing right field.

Grady Sizemore has said he would be open to playing any outfield position.  Putting him in either corner would benefit Angel Pagan in center field.  There is no way to know why Pagan struggled fielding at times last year, but if any of the struggles were due to an increased level of pressure and ground to cover, Sizemore would change that.  Pagan wouldn't have to worry about covering the gaps on both sides because they would be covered by their own fielders.  Bay, Pagan, and Sizemore could really cover a lot of outfield.

The Mets have said they aren't interested in Grady Sizemore.  However, things could change and maybe they would consider him.  The injury risk is there but it's in so many of this year's free agents.  This injury risk just has incredible upside.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Been A While

Nick Evans has been part of the Mets organization since 2004. For the first time in his professional career it looks like he will find himself with a different organization. Evans cleared waivers last week and had the option of accepting an assignment to AAA or electing free agency. According to Adam Rubin, he will likely elect free agency.

Evans wasn't really a prospect in the minors and never found his place in the majors with the Mets. However, he was always there. Especially during the past few seasons he seemingly could play wherever the Mets threw him. Injuries to Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy put him at first base this year and he was stronger than anybody could have expected there. And while he was playing everyday he was hitting. He always hit in the minors and finally showed towards the end of this season that consistent playing time brings consistent offense.

Without Evans the Mets could have a tough time finding someone else who can fill in all over the field. Josh Satin could very well be that guy. It'll just be weird for it not to be Evans.

Let's go Mets!

P.S. I'm just remembering all the stories from when Daniel Murphy was called up and he and Nick Evans were inseparable. I asked Murphy at Spring Training about being able to play with Evans again and he said he was really excited. Hopefully Murph will do better without Evans than Mike Pelfrey did when his buddy John Maine left.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Team or Player

Yesterday on twitter someone pointed out to me that as a sports fan I tend to like individual players more than teams. I hadn't realized it (or really thought about it) but it's really true. I became a Mets fan because David Wright was my favorite baseball player. And when the Mets traded Xavier Nady I followed the Pirates, Yankees (ugh), Cubs, and Diamondbacks for periods of time. I like the Indians because of Grady Sizemore, Joe Smith, Lou Marson, and enough others to get me to follow the team as a whole. The Mets are really the one team I will always love, no matter who is on the team.

Now a lot of "Mets" fans are facing a reality that they may not have faced before. They are finding out if they really are Mets fans or if they are Jose Reyes fans. Rooting for the Mets means rooting for the team year-in and year-out no matter who is on the roster. The personnel will change each year and for fans of the team it means fresh faces to get to know and spend the season rooting for. Rooting for individual players will take the fan from team to team, experiencing different organizations whenever the player does. If the player is exceptionally good, there won't be many new teams to learn. But if they're a right-handed bench bat it could mean 4 teams in 5 seasons.

The Mets fans will come back next year and root for Jon Niese, Ike Davis, and whoever else is on the team. The Jose Reyes fans will root for the Mets if he's back and will root for him wherever he goes. And some fans will root for the Mets but follow his career wherever it takes him. Even if it means Miami or somewhere else within the division. It will be interesting to see how the fanbase separates when Spring Training rolls around.

I know where I'll be.

Let's go Mets!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Winter Outlook - Catchers

Kai Gronauer is playing baseball this fall for Diablos Rojos in the Panamanian Winter League.  Mister Baseball is great site with a lot of information about baseball and softball in Europe.  Being German, Kai Gronauer is relevant to the site and there is an update on how Kai has been doing in Panama.


I'm glad Kai is playing this offseason.  He missed a good portion of the season due to a hamstring injury but finished the year strong.  Without playing this winter he would have been in a compromised position coming into Spring Training.  The Mets seemingly have the most catchers in their system and yet it's their weakest position.  Anything any of the organization's catchers can do to improve will give them an advantage.  The catchers between Kai Gronauer and Mike Nickeas in AA and AAA are Dusty Ryan and Raul Chavez, two guys that have been around for a while and still haven't impressed the Mets.  


The Mets are thin at catcher and it looks like they will be for the foreseeable future.  2012 could be a big year for Kai Gronauer.  He's another catcher that can defend but for him the transition from Germany hasn't been easy in the hitting department.  If he has a productive Spring Training and start to the year he could find himself in AAA with the Bisons.


The Mets have to decide if they want to have a defensive-minded catcher in the majors in the future.  If they go that direction now Mike Nickeas is the guy, but after that Kai Gronauer would fit that mold and could probably contribute more offensively.  But it doesn't matter if the Mets still don't know what they want from their catchers.


Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's A Business

Mets fans exploded yesterday when reports of Jose Reyes first being offered a contract by the Marlins and then *gasp!* considering the deal and visiting the Marlins came out.  I may have exploded too, I mean if I hadn't already realized that the Mets are not the only team that wants Jose Reyes and that Jose Reyes is not only interested in returning the the Mets.

Reyes is one of the best shortstops and overall players in the game right now.  The Mets are not the only team that can benefit from having him.  Other teams are going to try to sign him.  And when those other teams put out their offers, Reyes has every right to consider the offer.  He has no obligation to only think about the Mets and what they may or may not give him in a contract.

I want Jose Reyes to come back as much as any other Mets fan.  However, I also know the Mets are just one of thirty teams that can offer a contract to him.  He's going to sign wherever he wants to.  No matter what the crazy fans think, their craziness is not going have any impact on his decision.

Can we please just move on and realize we have no say in any of this?

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

He's a Free Agent (Again)

I can't do it this year.  Searching through everything about Xavier Nady isn't helping me find a reason for the Mets to sign him.  He hit only .248 for the season before a Dillon Gee pitch fractured his left hand.  And looking at his splits doesn't help.  There is no upside to a player hitting .248 against both right-handed pitchers and left-handed pitchers.  I can't even make the argument that he hit for power this year, as he only hit four home runs.  They were all against lefties so maybe he still has something.  But he wasn't even a run producer this year.  35 RBIs are not going to convince anyone he can be productive in their lineup.  It's just depressing.

If there is a silver lining it was the fact that he did do something in platoon-playing time and his defense didn't suffer from the sporadic playing time.  For the first season since 2008 his elbow stayed healthy through his playing time.  This was a result of Nady playing 52 games at first base and only ten in the outfield.  His defense at first wasn't bad, as he made some nice plays this year.  When he did play left field, he wasn't too bad there either.

He's probably going to be a bench player wherever he signs.  He won't relive his days as the "Untie-er" on the Pirates in 2008.  But there is a good chance he will be more productive next season.  For the first half of the season it seemed like the Diamondbacks had a revolving door at first base so there was no way to know who was playing when.  As a right-handed bat off the bench he'll have a somewhat more defined role.

The Mets don't really need Xavier Nady and I'm not going to convince anyone they do.  But I miss him and think it would be cool if they considered him anyway.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

That Was Fast

According to a tweet from Adam Rubin this morning, Josh Satin is done playing winter ball.

I know he was struggling but this is still a bit puzzling. Hopefully it's not an injury. I know an injury in the offseason isn't as bad but for me it would just mean more time to worry.

Well now I'm sufficiently confused.

.......................

I know the translations I get on Twitter on my iPod aren't completely correct, but one tweet translates to basically saying he was fired.

So maybe the rough start was the reason?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Can I Say?

It has been 25 years since Mookie Wilson's ground ball went through the legs of Bill Buckner and the Mets won game 6 of the 1986 World Series.  However, I am only 17 years old and therefore have no personal memories of that season, series, day, game, or play.  I am well aware that some consider it the biggest play in Mets history and that is great for them.  Yes, I know the call as well.  "Slow roller up along first . . ."  I get excited when that play is shown on TV and when the main character in Fever Pitch watches the play over and over again.  But it just doesn't mean as much to me.

I haven't had that kind of Mets moment.  The Mets came close with Endy's catch but a loss in game 7 of the NLCS is just depressing.  There isn't anything else nearly as cool as that moment in 1986.

I'll always remember plays like David Wright's barehanded catch in 2005 and Carlos Beltran running up the hill in Houston in 2007, but they're just plays.  Part of regular games during disappointing seasons.  Hopefully soon my generation of fans will have their moment.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fool Me Once . . .

Some players spend their offseason away from the game while others play winter ball in various places. Josh Satin is one of those others that plays winter ball. He's playing in Venezuela for manager Tim Teufel. He's hitting .185 with 1 home run and 2 RBI and only one multi-hit game in 10 games total so far. However, the focus has not been on his offense. He has started to play some outfield this fall.

When I first heard Satin was going to play in the outfield, I thought of Daniel Murphy. But then I realized the situations really are not the same. And perhaps the Mets even learned from Murphy.

Daniel Murphy was a third baseman that became a second baseman that became an outfielder and first baseman. He simply didn't have a position. When the Mets put Murphy in the outfield it was because they wanted to do whatever they could to have his bat in the lineup. It didn't work and then if it weren't for a black hole at first base, there's no telling what would've happened. Daniel Murphy only really failed at playing the outfield. It's really quite impressive that he learned to be so versatile everywhere else.

And that's just it. Daniel Murphy learned to be a utility infielder. Josh Satin came through the system as a utility infielder. When he was called up the Mets had not intentions of making him an everyday player. By coming up as a utility player it was understood that he would be put wherever for a few games to see his offense. He isn't being forced into staying at one position. Satin is learning the outfield to add to his versitility not to become an outfielder.

I like the idea. Hopefully if it doesn't work out the Mets won't continue to force Satin into the outfield. Instead of being pushed into something that doesn't work it would make more sense to have him improve the defense he already has.

Whatever happens, it should be good for Josh Satin.

Let's go Mets!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Still Miss Shea

Citi Field just doesn't feel like home.  Maybe it's because the Mets haven't had success there yet.  They haven't had any big moments there.  It could be because people are still going there more for the food than the baseball team.  It could be the fact that some fans are perpetually unhappy with something going on in the park or even the park itself.  Maybe tickets are just so out of peoples' price range that not enough fans are actually there. It's probably a bit of all of those things.

Shea was home.  For one thing, it was simply called Shea. Stadium wasn't necessary.  Thanks to naming rights deals and the constant search for more ways to bring in money it's getting harder and harder to have that kind of nickname for a ballpark. Recently the Jake in Cleveland became Progressive Field but because it's the same stadium, people can still call it the Jake. You can't do that with Citi Field.  It's something all its own and it definitely isn't Shea.

Shea was a part of every fan.  The upper decks would seemingly cheer with the fans as the upper decks would sway when the crowd got excited.  Yes, that was terrifying to experience, but it was simply part of Shea.  It had enough history to be the good and the bad.  It even had it all in my lifetime.  The 2000 run to the World Series, the emotion of September 2001.  The 2006 dominance and pennant race, the 2007 collapse.  The heartbreaking yet very Mets-like loss in the last game ever there in 2008.

The different colored seats.  I knew the levels by color more than I knew what they were really called.  My first baseball game wasn't at Shea, but the first game I remember is my first game at Shea.  One of the few times I sat in the orange seats.  Right behind the Mets dugout in 2001.  Some player threw packs of Bazooka gum onto the top of the dugout.  Mostly, I sat up in the green seats.  I could see everything and when I think of being at a baseball game, that's the view I see.  Whatever that level was, three rows back, right behind home plate.  I sat all the way up in the red seats for the game after I went on the field for Little League day.

Most of my baseball memories are from games at Shea.  Sure she was a dump but she was our dump.



Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Up The Middle

Oh, get your mind out of the gutter.


I know it may not be the popular opinion this season, but I have to admit that the Mets impressed me this year. Coming into the season they were written off as less than mediocre and even I didn't expect to see anything from them.  I thought it was simply going to be a transition year with a lot of growing pains.  Yes, it was a transition year and yes, there were plenty of growing pains but there were also glimmers of hope.  There were some nice looks at the future this year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Intriguing

Dave Hudgens, the Mets hitting coach, is Twitter so I figured I'd throw this out to him.


Mike Nickeas's best streaks with the Bisons were when he was hitting line drives.  And they wouldn't just go to one part of the field.  Some would be down the right field line and others would be in left-center field.  It's so frustrating watching him sometimes because he has the ability to hit those line drives but most of the time he just doesn't.  I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do in Spring Training because I know he's working hard to become a better hitter.

If he just hits a little he'll be a very viable backup catcher and could even see some platoon time with Josh Thole.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, October 17, 2011

It Cannot Come Soon Enough

The World Series hasn't even started and I already want next season to start.  I want the Mets pitchers and catchers to report to Port St. Lucie.  I want the antics of Spring Training.  Mike Pelfrey doing aerobics in a helmet.  The entire going bowling.  Zach Lutz and Josh Thole being on the winning team.


We all know Spring Training stats are mostly pointless.  But we all also know it's just fun to see our favorite players in a game.  I want to see my favorites playing.  Even once it's the fourth inning and most of the starters are done, seeing the future is cool. 

There are so many names that I learned during Spring Training that I'm never going to forget.  Mike Nickeas, Kai Gronauer, Ike Davis.  I had no idea who they were before some February or March day before the season started.  Heck, I don't think most fans really knew about Ike before his huge 2010 Spring Training.

Everything is fresh and new during Spring Training.  Even the managers are excited about the new plans and drills they're going to torture players with.  The insanity of Jerry Manuel's hitting drills.  That moment when you recognize a drill the catchers are doing.  The endless and ultimately pointless outfield practice for Daniel Murphy and the hope it will help Lucas Duda.  The rationed playing time at second base so all eight players competing for the job have a chance to show their stuff.  

Every aspect of the game comes together during those two months.  February really cannot come soon enough.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome To The Jungle

The Mets hired Bob Geren to be the new bench coach yesterday. It's hard to evaluate how well a bench coach does his job during the game but outside of games he will likely be instructing the catchers.

I'd just like to take this time to welcome him to the New York Mets. This is where he will be criticized by fans that don't even know what he's responsible for. Where those same fans will call for his promotion to manager when they don't like a move made by Terry Collins. And then he'll argue with an umpire and everyone will love him.

But wait, there's more for Geren. His catching background gives him more responsibility. If whoever ends up catching for the Mets has a tough game, those fans will wonder why he doesn't know what he's doing. After they are done blaming the player, they'll wonder which coach is to blame. When they find out it's Geren, they'll wonder why he's not doing his job.

Of course not all fans are like that. There are the fans that will realize there is no real way to know what he's responsible for. They'll know that he's part of the coaching staff but he's not to be personally blamed or praised for anything in particular. He's just bench coach.

Bob Geren should be a nice addition to the staff. He'll likely fade into the background and I'll be one of the fans wondering, "Who's the bench coach?" by the middle of the season.

Ah, well. It's as close as we're going to get to news for a bit.

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I Do Not Want To Believe


  • The Mets season is really over.
  • . . . and it has been for a while.
  • The Mets might exist without Jose Reyes.
  • The Mets might exist without David Wright.
  • 2012's starting rotation will look quite similar to 2011's starting rotation.
  • The Mets might sign a backup catcher and send Mike Nickeas back to AAA.

  • Xavier Nady will be a free agent.  Again.
  • Joe Smith might actually be used as trade bait.
  • Grady Sizemore hasn't been Grady Sizemore for a long time.

  • It is going to be a long offseason.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He's Not A Met Anymore

My Mets favorites (Mike Nickeas, Josh Thole) may not have had the greatest seasons but that doesn't mean all my favorites didn't do well this year.

Joe Smith had a great season for the Indians.  At the beginning of the season Manny Acta said he would be relying on Smitty and Smitty showed Acta that wasn't a mistake.

With an adjustment back to his college mechanics he finished the season with a 2.01 ERA through 67 innings in 71 games.  It was the first time he threw 60 innings since 2008 and by-far the lowest ERA of his career.  He also had a career low WHIP of only 1.09.  And he finally figured out how to get left-handed batters out.  Lefties batted .152 against him while righties actually had a higher average, at .248.  Perhaps the coolest part of his season, he didn't give up an earned run for the entire month of June.

It was awesome watching Smitty pitch this year.  He was finally healthy for an entire season and he proved that he can be quite the pitcher when healthy.  The entire Indians bullpen was dominant this year and I love being able to say Joe was a big part of that.  The Mets never really gave him a shot, as he was part of the abused bullpens of 2007 and 2008.  And apparently the Mets also messed with his mechanics which obviously didn't help anyone in the end.  Smitty always had the tools to succeed.  This year he found them and it worked.  The pitcher that once couldn't be trusted against a lefty dominated lefties.  He continued to get righties out and was great against any batter.

I know it's too late for the Mets to get him back.  I am happy about that.  It means he's too valuable for the Indians to give up.

The boy with an ordinary name and a not-so-ordinary delivery had an extraordinary season.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Diamondbacks It Is

If he's rooting for a National League team, why not them?



Let's Go Mike Nickeas!


 . . . and the rest of the Mets!
. . . . . . and Diamondbacks!

The One Where Chip Hale Is Popular

And the offseason has begun!

The Mets made some coaching moves today.  Ken Oberkfell (bench coach), Chip Hale (third base coach), Mookie Wilson (first base coach), and Jon Debus (bullpen coach) will not be returning next season.  Tim Teufel will be the new third base coach and Ricky Bones will be the new bullpen coach.  So the Mets need a new bench coach and first base coach.  Just adding to their offseason to-do list.

I liked Chip Hale.  I mean, as much as a fan can like a coach.  I don't even really know what made him so likable and such a strong coach.  He was officially announced as the bench coach for the Athletics.  Good for him.

I guess I'm also a little disappointed that Debo is gone.  Somebody had to take responsibility for the poor performance of the bullpen and as the catching instructor he also took the fall for their poor defense.  I guess he was more relevant in my catcher obsession because I saw him at Spring Training and actually knew who he was.  And I didn't think about his lack-of-help to the defensively challenged catchers because my favorite player is the one catcher that is not challenged in that department.

I'm probably the only one that cares about Dave Hudgens surviving as the hitting coach.  Mike Nickeas said he had a plan in place to work on with Hudgens during Spring Training and obviously I want to see how that works out.  The Mets have also been pretty good at hitting for a team that was without some of its best hitters for significant parts of the season.

Ah, well.  Now we wait for the playoffs to end and the player moves to begin.

Let's Go Mets!


. . . but I'm really going to miss Chip Hale . . .

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Postseason

There's something about the Major League Baseball postseason that makes it better than any other. And this season I am sure it is going to be special again. The regular season had the most exciting final day in probably the history of the sport. Luckily for Mets fans, I don't think anyone will be bringing up the end of 2007 anytime soon. This year was special and I hope nothing changes to prevent another ending like it from happening again.

Most baseball fans are aware of the discussion about adding another wild card winner to each league. I do not know where exactly the talks about that are but others seem to think it is likely. If I had a vote, I would say no. If there had been another wild card position this year the last day would have been irrelevant. The Cardinals and Braves would both be in the playoffs. And the miraculous Rays comeback wouldn't have mattered because they would make it with the Red Sox. Going into September there wasn't really any races and at the end of the month there still would not have been any races. The single wild card created the miracle runs and epic collapses.

However, if Major League Baseball really wants to add the other wild card they will. Maybe they'll say it will create an extra spot for an additional deserving team.

It won't matter what they say. Right now the MLB is the only league that doesn't have ridiculously watered-down playoffs. It is still a major accomplishment to make the playoffs when less than 1/3 of the teams makes it.

Can it please stay that way?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Put It In The Books

A 3-0 win ends the Mets season.  This was not the most successful season on the field and we all know that.  But so much happened overall and this was perhaps my favorite season of Mets baseball.  This team was frustrating but they were also easy to root for.

I wish I could relive all of my experiences from this season.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Computers . . .

I *was* in the middle of a post about everything I found awesome about the Mets season. However, that has been interrupted due to the fact that my computer will only stay on for 15 minutes at a time. I apologize and hopefully I'll have the post for you all tomorrow.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dreams . . . They're Coming True

Some tweets make me happy.

Two More Games

Yup.  Only two more games before the Mets season is over.  I don't have a whole lot to say right now.  I hate the end of the season.  I am just going to enjoy these last games as much as possible.  I hope you do too.

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Never Satisfied

First, Mets fans were unhappy that the Mets had no anti-bullying video at all.  Then once the Mets announced they were making a video message fans began to calm down.  For a while after the issue was not a topic of discussion.  When the announcement debuted it seemed to become an issue once again.  Some fans just were not okay with the fact that the Mets decided to make a general anti-bully PSA instead of one connected to an organization such as "It Gets Better" that focuses on a specific group of young people (in this case LGBT).  The overall anti-bullying message wasn't enough.

I have a question.  Why does it matter?  Why are fans still complaining?  It shouldn't matter what route the Mets chose to put out the video, it is simply important that they did in fact put out the video.  It also just makes more sense to have an overall anti-bullying PSA.  Partnering with one focused organization seemingly excludes other forms of bullying.

So some fans want the Mets to express themselves in an anti-bullying PSA but only against one specifically targeted group?  I just don't get it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Solution

The Mets are going to have quite a few problems to address this offseason.  From the bullpen to second base to shortstop, there is a lot to figure out.  The Mets also have to figure out who is going to be catching next season.  With so many other things to work through they will likely go with Josh Thole and either Mike Nickeas or Ronny Paulino.  My choice: Nickeas.

The Mets are going into this offseason looking to cut payroll.  Ronny Paulino is making $1.3 million  this year.  He would likely be looking for that or more again next year.  Mike Nickeas has been an organizational player who wouldn't be nearly as big a hit on the payroll.  If the Mets really want to save as much money as possible, Nickeas would be the better choice.

Paulino simply hasn't earned another $1.3+ million contract.  He was brought in for his offense and while he got off to a hot start, he has hit only .207 since July.  He hasn't even hit for much power, hitting only his second home run of the season this afternoon.  He has a career .329 batting average against left-handed pitchers but has only hit .281 against them this year, not exactly bashing them the way he was expected to.  Paulino certainly isn't worth giving a raise or even what he is getting this year.

The Mets have to make a decision on what they want to focus on with their catchers.  It is hard to find a catcher that is good both offensively and defensively.  The Mets are trying to make Josh Thole an all-around catcher but it hasn't exactly worked out.  With the backup, they have to decide whether they want someone to compliment Thole's offense and be average defensively or whether they want someone that excels defensively with the ability to lead a pitching staff and be a defensive replacement late in close games.  Paulino would be the offense-oriented option and Nickeas would be on the team for his defense.

The Mets have so many other areas that need attention that it would be easy to decide on Thole and Nickeas and focus on everything else.  Mike Nickeas was there to teach Josh Thole in Binghamton, and he could be there in the big leagues.  Nickeas has done everything the Mets have asked and it would be awesome to see him as the backup next year.  It should be one easy solution in an offseason full of confusion.

Let's Go Mets!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Apologies

Well, I was ready to come out of my cave after two days and share the joy of today's two wonderful Mets wins with you all but that does not seem to be happening. You see, there is no internet access available to me at the moment. Yes I am writing right now but I just do not think I would be able to take an entire post written from my BlackBerry seriously.

Tomorrow I shall return with thoughts about Mets wins and Mets catchers.

Let's Go Mets!

P.S.
I hope all three of you reading this will find it in your hearts to forgive me for not writing for a few days. And also for not making the "Let's Go Mets!" blue, as I just don't think I can do that from here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well Deserved

With a third inning double Josh Satin got his first two Major League RBIs.  He was both a doubles and RBI machine for the B-Mets and the Bisons this season so his first RBIs coming on a double is fitting.  I'm not going to say I was disappointed he wasn't getting a hit in every at-bat, but I guess it was a little disappointing when his batting average dipped below .500.

Anyway, he got the first MLB hit out of the way in his first at-bat but it took a little longer for the first RBI.  Now that he has that first RBI (and the second too), Mets fans have seen the true Josh Satin.  The RBI-double-a-day Josh Satin.

Congratulations Josh!  I can't wait to see more of those RBIs!

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That Was Totally On Purpose

In other Mike Nickeas news (gosh he's so popular), apparently the Mets golf outing was a bit interesting yesterday.  One of Nickeas's shots on the 18th hole hit a tree and bounced onto the green.  His dad is practically a professional golfer so obviously Mike knew exactly what he was doing.  Obviously.

Let's Go Mets!

What A Chatterbox!

Remember the days when Mike Nickeas was playing for the Bisons or B-Mets or even the Zephyrs and went virtually unnoticed by fans and media alike?  If you don't remember than you might want to have stuff checked because that was only about a month ago.  Now there are interviews left and right and compliments on SNY and it's pretty cool actually. Okay maybe it's only two interviews, but there was about a week and a half when he would get nightly mentions on SNY.  And it could have been three interviews if poor Ted Berg hadn't been the only person in the history of forever to not find him before a game.

Anyway, there is another cool interview with him on the Georgia Tech athletics website.  It is nice reading about some of what he does during the offseason and how he is still connected with his school.  Enjoy!

Let's Go Mets!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Kai Conundrum

Without the excitement of playoff rosters and pitching rotations it seems like the fans of non-playoff teams would have no roster moves to be excited about.  However, that is not true.  We have the Rule V draft!  Please don't ask me to explain every detail of it.  I know that if certain players are not on the 40-man roster they can be drafted by other teams in this draft in December.  Once they are drafted they have to stay on the active roster for  the entire season in order to become a part of the new organization or they will be offered back to their previous team.

Whew.  That was a lot of information.

With Mike Nickeas, Zach Lutz, and Josh Satin all on the 40-man roster you would think there is no possible way for me to be attached to another random player.  But you would think wrong.  Kai Gronauer just finished the season with AA Binghamton and isn't on the roster.  I have seen his name on a couple of lists of potential players to be added to the roster.  I guess that means he's good enough for people other than myself to have heard of him.  And if he's good enough for that, he's probably good enough for some other teams to maybe, possibly, potentially have an interest in him.

Obviously I want Kai to stay with the Mets and eventually play for the Mets.  But being drafted in the Rule V draft would pretty much guarantee him a chance in the majors with the other team.  And if he doesn't make it with the other team he would end up back with the Mets.  He is either in the Major Leagues or in the Mets organization.

So I can't lose, right?  Wrong.

If he isn't put on the 40-man roster that means the Mets might not care about losing him because maybe they don't think he's good enough or worthy of protection.  And then if he is taken in the draft and then ultimately offered back to the Mets, they don't have to want him back.  They could trade him ala Brad Emaus and the Blue Jays.  So what goes from being a win-win situation turns into a totally terrifying series of events.

If you have managed to follow all of this, I applaud you.  I really have no idea if any of this has even the slightest chance of happening.  The Rule V draft is in December so it's not like anyone will find out any time soon.  Thank you for experiencing the latest episode of Crazy MiLB Situations From My Brain.


Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

To See More Cheerleaders . . .

Adam Rubin posted more pictures on his ESPN blog.  So if you want to see Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, and Jason Pridie as cheerleaders then click here.

And I'll just leave this one here again because it is too good.


Let's Go Mets!

UPDATE:
Justin Turner just tweeted a picture of himself as a cheerleader.

And he also got one of Lucas Duda.




How Fitting

Adam Rubin tweeted the first picture of rookie hazing.  It just so happens to be Mike Nickeas.  Awesomeness.


Let's Go Mets!

Rookie Hazing

The Mets are doing rookie hazing this evening.  Rookies are being dressed in blue cheerleader uniforms.  Apparently Josh Thole is also being put in the rookie outfit, too.

If/when there are pictures, I will put them up.  Hopefully there will be pictures.

You Don't Know What You've Go 'Til It's Gone

If David Wright is ever on a team other than the Mets, I have a feeling that is how a lot of fans will feel.  David has been a consistent hitter for his entire career and he is also pretty sure-handed at third base.  He is the face of a franchise that has struggled recently.  So he is the face of struggle, even if he is not struggling himself.  This has led some fans to call for him to be traded.  And some of those fans do not even think the Mets would be able to get many valuable players for him.

That is completely ridiculous.

Trading the face of the franchise delivers a blow both on and off the field.  Since 2005, David Wright has been a key to the Mets offense.  He has a career .301 batting average.  His offensive production got off to a slow start this year, but that can be clearly attributed to his back injury.  Since returning from the disable list on July 22, Wright is hitting .291.  He has also hit eight of fourteen home runs since returning from the disabled list.  Saying he has lost his offensive ability is plain wrong, as he has put up numbers pretty consistent with the rest of his career when healthy this year.  Losing him would mean losing the offensive stability the Mets have had for a while.

Wright has also been a leader off the field since 2007.  Ever since the collapse, and even before, David has been ready to answer whatever ridiculous questions the media throws at him.  He is willing to talk after every game.  Yes, sometimes he goes with the politically-correct-easy-way-out answers, but he is there at least 162 days a year and has every right to do that.   Not every player is willing to deal with the media so often and in as civil a way as David has been able to.  The New York media is more demanding than any other group in any other city.  It is pretty much a necessity for the Mets to have one player that is available after every game and David has been that person for years.

Perhaps some fans don't see him as a leader because they don't see him in the locker-room.  They don't see the ways he is helping younger players directly off the diamond.  It is unfortunate because David Wright is a great player.  He is extraordinarily under-appreciated.

My question:
Would fans think differently if he were the official captain?  

Let's Go Mets!

Friday, September 16, 2011

But They're The Bisons!

Expanded rosters are fun! Here is a potential Mets lineup that includes only players that were on the Bisons this season.

SS Ruben Tejada
2B Josh Satin
RF Lucas Duda
1B Valentino Pascucci
3B Nick Evans
LF Mike Baxter
CF Jason Pridie
C Mike Nickeas
P Chris Schwinden

RP Dale Thayer
RP Miguel Batista

Just have fun imagining that playing for the Mets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Depressing and Refreshing

The Mets went 1-8 on this home-stand, leaving 79 runners on base in those nine games.  There are an infinite amount of other pathetic statistics to represent this stretch.

However, it is not all bad.  After the game, Terry Collins did something that a Mets manager has not done for quite a while.  He took responsibility for the poor performance.  Collins exploded during his post-game press conference.  He called the team "embarrassing" and also admitted, "We folded it up."  He also said the fans have every right to be upset, and while that is obvious to all of the fans, it was nice to hear him make a point of it.

It was just nice hearing a Mets manager get mad at the team.  Jerry Manuel would have laughed it off as a rough stretch and Willie Randolph wouldn't have acknowledged that anything was going poorly.  Terry Collins was honest.  Brutally honest.

For the first time all season the Mets seem unmotivated and while it is not fun to think about right now, remembering how far they have come and how far Terry Collins brought the group of misfits and minor leaguers is impressive.  He kept their attention from the first day of Spring Training until September.  That sounds pretty good to me.  They have twelve games left and I think Collins has the ability to get this team to play hard for those twelve games.

Terry Collins is not going to let the Mets end this season embarrassed and on their butts.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What To Watch For

Sigh.  Unfortunately the Mets were eliminated from playoff contention this afternoon.  Now that the Mets will no longer be playing for the postseason you may be wondering why they try at all.  Well, as long as Terry Collins is the manager this team will be trying.  And believe it or not, there could be some things to watch as the season winds down.

Jose Reyes is battling with Ryan Braun for the National League batting title.  Jose had the lead for the majority of the season after just about the hottest start to a season ever.  Injuries (and DL stints) have slowed his season but he has managed to keep his batting average around .330.  This is a race that will come down to the last games of the season.  It has definitely been an interesting year for Reyes.  It almost seems like the contract talk and rumors have died down while this batting race has heated up.  Jose is a special player and this is quite the way to end a unique season.

The Mets have a chance to play spoiler against some playoff-contending teams.  They have series coming up against the Wild Card leading Braves and the second place Cardinals.  Yes, they are struggling to beat the less-than-mediocre Nationals but that doesn't mean they won't surprise us.  They have stepped up against some good teams this year and they could do that again.  And if they don't, the Braves and Cardinals have some good players to watch anyway.

Of course, I am going to be watching the catchers.  Obviously I want Mike Nickeas to play and with pay special attention to those games.  But, I will also be watching Josh Thole's games closely.  It will be interesting to see how he works with the pitchers for the rest of the season.  He seems to have cleared a big hurdle with Mike Pelfrey after another nice outing with that battery tonight.  Josh has improved.  At the beginning of the season pitchers didn't want to throw to him.  That has definitely changed.  It will be interesting to see where he is at the end of the season.

I will also be watching because on September 29 there will not be a Mets game to watch.  And I am sure that I will wish for another game.  The offseason is coming way too soon and I do not want to waste a moment of the season that is still left.

Let's Go Mets!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New York Fashion Week

In one of my classes today we got into a discussion about how baseball players are more attractive than football players.  In honor of that, here are a few of the Mets catchers modeling during Spring Training.


Monday, September 12, 2011

He Needs Rest

The Mets have not had a day off since their August 27 and 28 games against the Braves were postponed.  They have also played two doubleheaders since the last week of August.  They are understandably wearing out.  Between that stretch and the fact that it's the end of the season, some players are showing signs of fatigue.  In particular, David Wright looks like he could really use a day off.

In his last ten games he is hitting only .211, including going 0-for-5 last night and is 0-for-2 tonight.  However, the struggles have not just been at the plate.  He has committed an error tonight after committing an error yesterday and two the day before.  He has committed six errors in his last seven games.  His defense had looked so good since coming off the disable list.  Seeing him make all these errors is not necessarily completely out of character, but it's worse than any defensive-slump he has been in before.  It is also different because this stretch isn't simply a few poor throws.  It has also been catching throws and fielding line drives and ground balls.

Of course, as I write this he gets an RBI single and is now 1-for-3 tonight.  Even with the hit, I think it would still help David to have a day off.  It would keep him fresh for the last weeks of the season.

Let's Go Mets!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dear Joe Torre

New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville PA deserve special treatment today.  It does not matter if you want every team to be uniform.  It is personal for so many people in those cities.  Letting the Mets, Yankees, and even the Nationals wear different caps would not have damaged anyone.

Well, except yourself apparently.

#WearTheHats

September 11, 2001.  We all know what happened ten years ago.  We all know how America and New York recovered.  We all know the role sports, particularly baseball, played in that recovery.

The Mets were planning on honoring the men and women serving the country and also having a bit of a tribute to the 2001 team by wearing hats of the NYPD and FDNY during tonight's game.  However, MLB is now saying the Mets will not be allowed to do that.  They will simply be allowed to wear the hats during batting practice.

The 2001 team was told they were not allowed to wear the hats. They wore them anyway.  Doing the same tonight would be quite the salute.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Speaking Of Favorites

This is an awesome Mike Nickeas interview.  He talks about a lot of things, from how he started playing baseball to what it's like catching a knuckleball.



A few notes:

  • We both went from playing soccer and being goalies to being catchers.
  • His favorite catcher growing up was Mike Piazza so even though he wasn't a Mets fan, he liked a player on the Mets.
  • He had pictures of Ivan Rodriguez on his wall, I have pictures of him on my wall.
Let's Go Mets!

Supporting Your Favorite Player

Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell people how to root for their favorite player, or for any player.  I'm just frustrated and writing my thoughts which you may or may not decide to read now.


Every player has good games and every player has bad games.  The beauty of baseball is that those two can come two days in a row, even in a span of less than 24 hours.  That being said, it also means that the same player can go from being praised like nobody's business to being criticized like nobody's business in the blink of an eye.

Every fan should absolutely be behind their favorite player during every game.  It just gets annoying when some fans cannot seem to understand that there are things criticism-worthy done by everyone and even, *gasp!*, their favorite.  Yes, it is natural to defend your favorite.  But, when a player does mess up, repeatedly coming back with, "You'll be sorry when he does something good tomorrow!" gets old fast.

It is more than just being happy for them when they have good games.  Part of being a fan is acknowledging when players don't do well.  And yes, possibly even criticizing them for being part of a loss.  Baseball is a team sport and losses are never just because of one person.  The same way players take responsibility for being part of a loss, it would be wonderful to see fans recognizing when that happens too.

Sticking with a favorite through down times is hard.  It is harder to acknowledge those down times and be realistic about them.

It Goes Both Ways

The Mets fell to 10-4 this season with Mike Nickeas catching the majority of the game.  His catcher's ERA went up a bit to 2.93, although it's still an impressive number.

It Never Ends

A game after Manny Acosta blows a save, Bobby Parnell comes in the game and blows his save opportunity as well.  The Mets don't have a closer on the roster.  It would not be as much of an issue if they had a relief pitcher that could consistently get outs.  When all of a team's relief pitchers are streaky there is no way to guarantee the last outs of any game, much less a one or two run game.

I don't have a solution for the bullpen woes.  The Mets are seemingly going to have to play out the season and it's something for the team to figure out in the offseason.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Quick Recap

Mike Pelfrey didn't stink.  Jason Bay remembered how to hit.  Manny Acosta didn't want to be the closer.  Justin Turner wanted everyone to be happy.  Mets win 5-4!

Let's Go Mets!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Just Going To Say It

The Mets lost both games of their doubleheader against the Braves today.  Mike Nickeas caught the scoreless 2/3 of an inning thrown by birthday-boy Bobby Parnell in the first game.  The pitching in the rest of the first game was not too pretty and the bullpen struggled a bit in the second game as well.

Yesterday, when Mike Nickeas caught the entire game, the Mets pitched brilliantly and won.

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

We'll see what Terry Collins does tomorrow with everyone's favorite headcase, Mike Pelfrey.

Let's Go Mets!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

They Like Him! They Really Like Him!

"He is just a real professional." 
"It's a real treat to get to throw to him because I don't get to do it that often." 
Those are two quotes from R.A. Dickey's postgame interview with Kevin Burkhardt.  Mike Nickeas once again caught Dickey today as R.A. threw seven scoreless innings.

Terry Collins called Mike a "really, really good" defensive catcher in his postgame press conference.  He managed to put heaping praise on him in about a sentence and a half.  It was almost overwhelming.

And in the studio on SNY, Ron Darling did his favorite thing. He also praised Mike Nickeas for his catching.

It is so awesome to hear Mike getting so much praise.  Clearly, he knows how to catch and call a game and the get best out of pitchers.  He caught a shutout today that was not only a shutout because the pitchers did their job, he did every part of his job as well.  That includes blocking a pitch in the dirt in the eighth inning that could have gone to backstop and allowed the tying run to score from third.

People are starting to give him credit.  I want to say 'finally' but the Mets clearly knew he was good.  When Josh Thole was a top prospect, Nickeas was teaching him in AA.  He was trusted with the top pitching prospects.  The Mets called him up with Jenrry Mejia so he could catch the Major League debut of their top prospect.  They knew he could catch.  Now, finally, everyone else is finding out.

He is making an impression at the right time.  I love it.

Let's Go Mets!

Um . . . This


Also, the Mets are now 10-3 this year when he catches the majority of the game.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some Final Numbers

I seemed to have more favorites playing in the minor leagues this year than in the majors.  Now that their seasons have ended, it is probably a good time to see how a couple of them did.

Let's start with the one guy that spent the entire season in AA.  Kai Gronauer finished the season with a .253 batting average, four home runs, 20 RBI, and one stolen base.  He finished the year on a roll, hitting .345 with two home runs in his final ten games.  As for the catching, he only made two errors in 51 games behind the plate.  He caught 29% of runners trying to steal.  Overall he has been excellent at throwing out runners, with a 38% career average.  An injury interrupted his season so he only played in 52 games this season.  His strong finish was nice to see and hopefully he'll be back at big league camp next spring.

Now to AAA.  Zach Lutz had quite the injury filled season.  Despite all those injuries he still managed to have a nice year.  His final batting average was .295 but it didn't slip under .300 until the end of his season when he was clearly dealing with the concussion symptoms that end his year.  He hit 11 home runs and had 31 RBI in 61 games with the Bisons.  I would love to see what he can do in a full season.  In previous seasons he has been injury prone and this year he had more than his fair share of injuries, but most of them were completely out of his control.  All I want is for him to get healthy and be in camp next spring.

My other minor league favorites, Mike Nickeas and Josh Satin, are finishing the year in the Major Leagues.  Congrats to them both!

Let's Go Mets!