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


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.