Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mets fan say goodbye to Shea one last time in impromtu gathering







I had read about it the other day on the blog of NY Sports Dog. Met fans this afternoon would be gathering in the Shea parking lot around noon to have an unoffical goodbye to Shea since Shea is halfway to being demolished. I was planning to go to Queens to check a card show that was going to have former Mets Jon Matlack and Swannie so I figured I would check it out.






Well I was expecting a few die hard Met fans today on this freezing afternoon the day before the Superbowl. Well I was surprised to see that i would say over 100 people were in attendance when I arrived about 12:30. There were cops directing traffic. Channel 2 News was there. Reporters from the NY Post and the Times were there. Parents had brought there kids. There were Met fans young and old.






What was left of Shea was hard to see up close. I remember being there the last game walking away from Shea and seeing it lit up. Even though plenty of people seem to call it dump to me that night it was an awesome sight even though the team let us down.






The portion of Shea by the #7 train is gone. The left field ramp by gate A is gone. Met fans though walk around sharing stories and taking a ton of pictures. People stayed as long as they could being there was a nice steady wind by the right field side. Most Met fans said goodbye today to the only home they knew for there Team.









Pedro Martinez says he has offers just not the Mets

In an interview that is on MLB.com that you can read here Pedro Martinez has said that he does have contract offers to play for the 2009 season. Just last week I thought I read somewhere that he said he didn't. Of course Pedro did not mention the suitors. If he did I think one of the writers here would petition those teams so the Mets don't mercy sign him.

Pedro did mention that he did not receive an offer from Omar when he saw him this past week. Omar was just checking in and seeing how Pedro was doing health wise. Of course I would love to see him on the Mets as a coach but maybe he will surprise in the World Baseball classic.

Friday, January 30, 2009

National Televised ESPN and FOX games will be few at Citi Field

The Mets have usually there alotment of nationally televised games during the season. Well the guys over at Awful annoncing have listed the first half of the season for ESPN and the Fox game of the week. The Mets are on 10 times but there is only 1 game that will be televised with the Mets being the home team at Citi Field.

That game is the American League champion Rays when they come to town in June on FOX. The ESPN games are only through July but the Mets are 2 times on EPSN and there both on the road.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball:New York Mets at San Francisco (May 17th) &
New York Mets at Atlanta (July 19th)

FOX Saturday Baseball:
May 2nd NY Mets @ Philly
May 16th NY Mets @ San Francisco
June 13th NY Mets @ NY Yankees
June 20th Tampa Bay @ New York
July 4th New York Mets @ Philadelphia
July 18th NY Mets @ Atlanta
August 29th NY Mets @ Chicago Cubs
September 12th NY Mets @ Philadelphia

Phillies fans will not be happy that the World Champions are on less then the Mets

I would like to know why the Mets have only 1 game at home at Citi Field that seems bizarre . I would rather see the Mets on less and more games at the new home.

To see the rest of the schedule click here

Mets avoid arbitration with John Maine

According to the N Y Post The Mets and John Maine have reached an deal .

The Mets had offered 2.2m and Maine and his agent submitted 3M so they split the difference and he will get 2.6M. He can make 25K more if he pitchers 200 innings. I really don't see why bothering to offer an incentive for that amount. It seems nothing compared to his base. Unless they feel they got the best of the Mets

More Respect For Mex




As scribed here at 24 Hours From Suicide…A Day In The Life Of A Met Fan, on a few occasions (January 23, 2009, August 2, 2008, June 15, 2008) – we have always stated that Keith Hernandez was the greatest leader this team has ever had. Whether we have clamored for the retirement of his #17, or pushed for him to have a more active role in developing young first basemen, or even if he belongs in Cooperstown – another respected player reflects on the importance and greatness of Keith Hernandez.

Mets hitting coach,
Howard Johnson, Hernandez’s team mate from 1986 to 1989, had this to say about Hernandez while preparing to host David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans for the Super Bowl on Sunday:

Situational Hitting: ‘Keith was as good as anyone in big moments’.
“He recalls the opposite-field single Hernandez dropped over the head of Red Sox shortstop Spike Owen in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. It produced the Mets' first two runs of the game.”

“Years later, Red Sox pitching coach Bill Fischer told Hernandez, ‘We knew if we got you there, we were going to win the World Series’"

Hitting Late In The Game:
"Keith was at his best late in the game. He always gave us just what we needed. He knew how to put pressure on the pitcher by talking what the pitcher gave him. He had it figured out. He didn't need to hit one out. [In that Game 7], he knew two runs would get us going. And that sacrifice fly gave us a three-run lead."

"You have to understand what the circumstances call for and adjust."

Now is the time for the Wilpon’s to recognize what ‘Mex’ was to this team and franchise. What better way than having #17 be the first number retired at Gil Hodges Memorial Park, er, Citi Field? After that, #31 can be emblazoned next to #17.

Source:
Marty Noble - MLB.com

Politicians get in the act: Terminate Citigroups deal with the Mets and Citi Field.

Well it seems the fact that Citigroup has asked congress for and received 45 billion in bail out money should have there 400 million dollar contract terminated with the New York Mets.


In the Huffingtonpost this article point outs that “Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, one of the House's most liberal Democrats, and Texas Rep. Ted Poe, one of the most conservative Republicans, see a problem with the $400 million contract. The duo wrote newly-confirmed Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Thursday urging him to nix the deal.”


"We request that you intervene and demand that Citigroup dissolve the agreement they have with the New York Mets," reads the letter. They feel that if they agreement is not terminated that Citi group should return the bail out money.


Well I am sure that this will not happen but be nice to see this pick up some steam. I always thought having Shea not bought out by some Corporation was something that just made good ole Shea and the organization stand out.



Of course the Mets might take issue with this.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mets sign 4 including Armas Jr , outfielder Kielty to minor league contracts

ESPN is reporting the Mets have signed 3 pitchers and an outfielder to minor league deals.

The Mets have signed righties Tony Armas Jr and Matt DeSalvo and lefty Valderio de los Santos. They also signed outfielder Bobby Kielty.

Armas Jr pitched mostly for the Mets triple aaa affiliate but did pitch for the Mets and was 1-0 with a 7.56 ERA in three appearances with them last year

Kielty has not played in the major leagues since 2007 and DeSalvo, 28 was 2-11 with a 4.87 ERA with the Braves affiliate Richmond

De los Santos was 4-5 with a 5.63 ERA in eight starts and 15 relief appearances for Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Mets are in stockpiling mode . The 4 players will be invited to spring training in Pt St Lucie.

A little humor Sheets learning Spanish to catch Omar eye

In all this back and forth with rumors etc it was funny to see a post regarding Ben Sheets and his need to learn Spanish to impress Omar Minaya.

According to the spoof “Sheets has, purchased Rosetta Stone’s Spanish I CD-Rom and accompanying audio books, and is busy learning Spanish in hopes of catching the eye of Minaya. Minaya did say, however, that the effort Sheets was putting in was well received.”


“I think it’s great that he’s learning the language, trying to become a better potential teammate for guys like
David Wright and especially his catcher, Brian Schneider,” Minaya said.

To check out the full article from SSNN click
here

Former Met Jack Fisher Remembers Shea


Nicholas Hirshon - NY Daily News has a real nice article about former Mets pitcherJack Fisher. Fisher will be forever remembered as the first pitcher to toe the rubber at Shea Stadium, throw the first strike at Shea Stadium, give up the first hit at Shea, and surrender the first HR at Shea – all on April 17, 1964.

Fisher recently was under the tracks of the 7 train, looking at the skeleton, which once supported Shea. Said Fisher, "I guess it's trying hard to stand up, like we were as a young ballclub. It's a pretty sad scene."

The first pitch hurled by Fisher was a strike to Pirates SS,
Dick Schofield, whose son later played for the Mets (1992). "I had a pretty good idea that it would be a strike," Fisher said.

It is also chronicled that Fisher might have been the first pitcher to warm up before his start in the bullpen. "I asked Casey if it was okay to warm up in the bullpen [instead of on the field] to get away from the hustle and bustle and all the writers.I guess I started something."

It would be a real nice gesture for the Mets to have Fisher toss the first pitch at the opening of Gil Hodges Memorial Park, er, Citi Field. Fisher said he “would be more than happy to do it.”

If Omar is interested in Pedro, Will he skip Perez and go after Manny

This one I highly doubt but if the reports are true that Omar went to see Pedro Martinez in is home town, Is Omar looking at a different scenerio with the Mets pitching rotation?

Of course he could be just looking at building up his rotation so the Mets dont have to use a bunch of journeymen for spot starts.

Would Omar be so bold and go after Pedro skip Perez since they can't reach an agreement. Sign Sheets since he can be had cheap and go after um Manny Ramirez? It is fun to speculate!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For The Love Of God Omar, Just Say No!

In a report in today's Sports Illustrated Omar Minaya says the Mets are interested in signing Pedro Martinez, whose four year contract had expired after the 2008 season.

Martinez had a 32-23 record during his Mets tenure.

As I have stated on numerous occasions (here and here), Omar stay away.

Randy Wolf waits on Mets and Perez before signing

Free agent Randy Wolf has drawn interest from the Dodgers. Now the Dodgers seem to be more interested in him now that John Garland has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wolf ,even though is interested in signing with the Dodgers is holding out until the Mets make a deal with Oliver Perez. If the Mets-Perez deal falls apart Wolf might be next in line for a deal with the Mets. The Dodgers seem to be ok with waiting for the time being.

If this is the case it seems odd that this seems to be so public. Of course it puts pressure on Boras to get a deal with the Mets done. There is still no talk about another team interested in Ollie. I am sure GM Omar can use all of this as fuel to show Boras that hey we wont overpay for Perez. The problem is another day goes by and nothing happens .

Another Met Minor Leaguer Suspended For PEDS


Brooklyn Cyclones 2B and future Met(?), Kyle Suire, has been suspended for 50 games by Major League baseball for violating baseball's anti drug policy.

Suire was found to have taken metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance enhancing drug (PED).

Suire, a switch hitting second baseman, hit .297 with 9 HR's and 36 RBI's for Kingsport of the Rookie Apalachin League, before being promoted to Brooklyn, where he played 3 games.


His suspension will commence with the start of the season.

Hope You Didn't Buy A Home Aaron





Roman Modrowski - Chicago Sun Times – reports that the Cubs have acquired former Met Aaron Heilman.

This trade has been in the works for a few weeks,
as reported here. According to Modrowski, the Cubs will receive Heilman, and the Mariners will receive Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson.

Heilman, who drew the ire of Mets fans, will get a new start in Chicago.

Other Sources:
ABC11.com

Another One Bites The Dust...

According to Ken Rosenthal - Fox Sports, Jon Garland has signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to the Republic, it is believed that the salary is between $6M - $8M annually. There will be an option for the 2010 season. As discussed here, this limits the Mets fallback options. Garland was supposed to be a Plan B or Plan C if they can’t sign Oliver Perez.

Another of the Mets options, Randy Wolf, has been meeting with the Dodgers, and he too could be off the market shortly.

Omar better turn up the dial, or they might only be left with Ben Sheets, whose health, not his ability, is always a question mark.

Citi Field tickets a fan perspective.

I would like to say that I am one of the 20,000+ patrons that can afford a season ticket plan at the new Citi Field. Of course at this point I am still going back and forth with friends about buying a partial plan. Well there has been many blogs, articles written that the tickets for the new park compared to Shea are out of line. Of course I am sure the tickets by the dugouts and the suite tickets are through the roof as we can tell by the outline of ticket prices but Ken Davidoff received an email from a fan who mentions that his seats in loge at Shea were moved to the Promenade box and the tickets where actually cheaper. Well I hope they were since the Promenade seats are the upper level which would be equivalent to the Mezzanine at Shea.

I am glad for the Met fan that he was able to afford 4 tickets instead of 2 but come on. The Excelsior level start at $75.00 which might be more in tune of where he was sitting at Shea. Yes there are cheap tickets to be had but you will not be able to compare them to what you could get at good ole Shea.

Check the Newsday article
here
The lay out of the pricing for Citi Field here

Some Met Options Might Be Dwindling Away


The market, ever so slowly, might be starting move. As we reported here on Tuesday, the Mets might be closer to working out a deal with Oliver Perez. Take that for what it is…just speculation at this point.

Another possible signing worthy of noting is that according to an article on
Arizona Diamondbacks - MLB.com, the Diamondbacks and Jon Garland are ‘closing in on a deal’. This might affect the Mets because it has been widely reported that Garland and Ben Sheets were the Mets fall back options if a deal for Perez falls through.

Garland had previously declined an offer by Arizona, but apparently dialogue has continued. Arizona had also offered a contract to another Met option, Randy Wolf, but they were unable to come to an agreement.

Baseball's unemployment line.

Baseball is feeling the woes of the economy like the rest of us . The teams are seeing people are trading now on there season tickets packages. They are also seeing people waiting longer to make the decisions to buy packages. As per Walt Jocketty on last nights MLB's "Hot Stove " show he says that ownership is also seeing sponsorship dollars be less then years past.

Well there are many type A agents and type b agents out there still when there is now less then 3 weeks before pitchers and catchers report. See Keith Law's of ESPN top 10 available free agents here

In an article from last weeks New York Times Jack Curry gets some quotes from agents and players that are still available in be signed.

“It’s a little surprising, but it’s not shocking,” said Brian Goldberg, Griffey’s agent. “Some of it is the market. Some of it is the economy. Some of it is teams wanting to go with younger players.”

I think this year more then most your going to see teams signing these big time players to a 1 year deal at far less of a rate then they could have received in years past.

In the Mets case they still could get a bargain but I doubt it will be a right handed batter that goes by the name of Manny.

Check out the article
here

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mets closer on Ollie

Quoting a "source" Newsday is reporting the Mets are inching closer to signing Oliver Perez. Of course there is no timetable mentioned . Funny though that they have a quote from free agent pitcher Randy Wolf who mentions that he knows the Mets are looking to Perez first.

Check out the story from Newsday here

Jerry Manuel on the Manny bandwagon

On last nights Daily News live Jerry Manuel who was a guest mentioned that he likes the way the Mets shape up in 09 but he did say he thinks the Mets could use a right handed bat.

Of course the panel at that point couldn't wait to ask him if he thinks Manny Ramirez would be a good fit for the Mets. Manuel went on to say that he thinks the Mets clubhouse is solid and that Manny would cause no problems.

He did go to say that years and money was not his forte that Omar and his team must make a call like that.

To read more on it check out the article in the NY Post here who mentions that Manuel was ask during a TV interview.

Of course the Mets still are staying the course and are working on landing a pitcher. It should be wrapped up by mid September at this rate.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mets sign 2 pitchers to minor league deals

We did sign a couple of pitchers today but none of them Oliver. The Mets signed right hander Kyle Synder and lefty John Switzer to minor league contracts today.

Synder pitched for the Red Sox minor league team last year but was part of the 07 Red Sox in the bullpen before the playoffs.

Switzer spent last year also in the Red Sox minor leagues. To read up on the pair check out the story on them here

Mets are starting to stock pile arms. We are hope it has nothing to do with the lack of pitchers for the rotation right now.

Patience Is A Virtue. Unfortunately, I Am Not Virtuous!


As scribed by Adam Rubin - Surfing The Mets, the Mets are willing to ‘wait out’ Oliver Perez. They are questioning the market for Perez, and the infamous ‘Other Team’.

When the Mets blow this deal with Ollie, Randy Wolfe still remains the fallback option.

Be careful Omar, you totally blew the Derek Lowe negotiations, although I do agree with not paying him that much over four years. There are holes in this starting rotation, and we have to be careful not to be too cocky. Perez isn’t Cy Young, but he is better than the remainder of the starting pitchers left, except for possibly Ben Sheets, who it appears the Mets are not very interested in.

Kirk Radomski claims he covered for Doc Gooden

Last night Kirk Radomski was on ESPN's outside the lines to tout his new book "bases loaded" that will come out tommorrow, mentioned that back in the 80's he was asked by Doc Gooden to take a urine test for him. There of course was nothing to back it up. Of course it could have happend since Doc was must likely doing some drug of choice back then.

Doc has been doing his best to keep himself straight since his last tour of being in the same jail as Mr Strawberry.

To read the latest over at newsday check out the story here

Check the video from ESPN outside the lines here

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shea Goodbye

They say 'a picture is worth 1,000 words.' If that is true, I have a few million words for you concerning the former home of our Mets:
















Thanks to Stadium Page for these updated photos from January 24th. To see more photos of the demolition of Shea Stadium and the progress of Gil Hodges Memorial Park, er Citi Field - be sure to click on the above link for Stadium Page.

Mets Sports Illustrated covers


I have to hand to the guys over at Amazing Avenue for this nice little journey through the years for the Mets from 1962- the Mid 80's. There alot of sites out there that dedicate there time to current Met happenings and we here at 24 hours always try to revisit the Met days of the past good and bad. Well Amazing Avenue has mark the journey of the Mets through the covers of Sports Illustrated.


Check out the link here to see the Mets on the covers of SI and read the stories behind them. I thank them from stopping in the Mid 80's so we did not have to see Gregg Jefferies's story in his backyard swimming pool.

Mets Might Have Found Their Missing Leader



Newly signed utility infielder Alex Cora is more than a solid replacement/pinch hitter off the bench. Yes he will be used to fill in for Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo, but there is something else he might be able to offer some of the younger players on the Mets – leadership and mentorship.

Michael Silverman - Boston Herald has an article today that describes what a big part of the Red Sox Alex Cora was. He lent his experience and knowledge with younger players, most notably last year's (2007) Rookie Of The Year, and this year's (2008) Most Valuable Player, Dustin Pedroia. Cora, commenting on his relationship with the young, talented second baseman who lockered next to him, “The kid to my right in the clubhouse, I don’t have a little brother, but now I do.I feel a part of his career, getting to the point of seeing him getting the rewards for everything he’s been preaching, I feel very proud of him.”

If Cora is able to share his experiences of not only winning a World Series (Red Sox 2007), but how a player can prepare for a game, stay alert, stay in shape – with the likes of Jose Reyes, David Wright, Daniel Murphy, etc. he might be a bargain at $2M/year.


As I have scribed before (What's Missing - June 11, 2008) the Mets have missed a true leader since the departure of Cliff Floyd. If Cora, although a utility player, can help teach this team mental and physical toughness that is necessary down the stretch, as well as to teach them how to win, it might be the best investment of this off season.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

During these frigid days of winter, I like to not only look forward to 2009 (please Omar, we need another starting pitcher...and not Randy Wolfe. Ben Sheets, Ollie, or both), but rekindle some fireworks from the past.

That leads me to 1986, a year that is forever engrained in every Mets fan's mind. While serfing the Web, I came across this 'Oldie but goodie' video clip, which is one of the most clever ones I have seen. This cirlced around the web a couple of years ago, but it certainly merits another view.



Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. We thank those of National High Five Day.com for such a great production.

Enjoy!


video

John Maine plans to be ready for spring training

Mr John Maine was not too happy to be sitting on the sidelines when the season was grinding to a halt last September. The pitcher like most players I am thinking really was frustrated to sit as his team lost out on a playoff spot by 1 game. Right now he is getting himself ready for spring training after surgery on a bone spur that has caused him pain over the last 2 years.

Maine who is 31 and 23 since being acquired via the Kris Benson trade with the Orioles is determined to be ready and in shape for the 2009 season.

To check out is comments about the upcoming season and his thoughts on the Phillies since it seems there can not be any article written with out mentioning the Phillies check out the latest story on Maine in the NY Post

Saturday, January 24, 2009

There Is A Righthanded Hitting Utility Infielder Right Under Your Nose Omar




As we here at 24 Hours From Suicide...A Day In The Life Of A Met Fan have chronicled, along with dozens of other in the blogosphere, the Mets have addressed some pressing needs, such as relief pitching, and some #4 and #5 outfield help. They signed Alex Cora to help relieve Reyes and possibly Wright, and Castillo.





The big problem with the bench help they have signed, is that the majority of them bat left-handed. Now normally I don't subscribe to the theory that a lefty pitcher has to pitch to a lefty batter, and a righty pitcher has to pitch to a righty batter, because I have always felt a Major League pitcher should be able to pitch to a batter no matter which side of the plate he hits from. The same is true for a hitter; a good Major League hitter should be able to get some good hacks off a pitcher, no matter which foot toes the rubber.

That being said, I also feel that if a team is too dominant on one side (i.e. no lefty pitchers in the line-up, no lefty batters in the line-up, and vice-versa) they are, in the long run, going to hinder themselves.

The Mets have someone who they know quite well, served them admirably in the past, is a class act, mentors younger players, and goes about his job professionally. That, plus he bats from the right side, has played 3B, SS, and 2B, and should have been the Gold Glove second baseman in 1999.

The players' name is Edgardo Alfonzo. Reports are that he has lost weight, and has been playing very well in the Winter League (read here). He knows NY, has THRIVED in NY, and the fans absolutely love him. Some think I might have been his #1 fan during the 1990's, and I wouldn't argue (get the hint?). I told a friend way back when Dallas Green was managing them, and I saw this young kid handle himself like a seasoned vet, I said to my freind, this guy is going to be good. Needless to say, I was correct in my assessment.

So lets go Omar, who is cooler than Fonzi? He could be just what the doctor ordered; able to spell both Castillo (who hopefully won't be here for the entire season) and Wright, and bats from the right side of the plate. He could be a nice compliment off the bench to Alex Cora, who bats lefty, and Alfonzo has RBI potential as well as some power.


Move fast Omar, Japan is calling, and Edgardo won't be here forever.

Mets collecting outfielders sign Rob Mackowiak

The Mets are making a run on spare parts it seems. They have sign another lefty hitting outfielder. The NY Post has an article that the Mets signed Rob Mackowiak to a minor league deal that will pay him $600K if he makes the opening day roster and can make another $200K based on plate appearances.

I wish they would find a righty to sign. Mackowiak who his 32 last played in the majors for the Nationals before he was released.

Cant the Mets sign a righty bat ? Isn't there a guy named Alou out there? The Phillies have shown interest in Alou.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mets Sweeten Deal For Oliver Perez?



In a report just published by Anthony DiComo - MLB.com, it is believed the Mets have 'sweetened' their offer for Oliver Perez. Although not citing any sources, it is believed that the Mets "are believed to have improved" their offer.

Even though the Mets haven't signed that Type A starter they had hoped entering the off-season, see Derek Lower (signed by Braves) and Oliver Perez (still unsigned), they haven't exactly stood pat. They have signed both Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia to minor league deals. In other words, relatively low risk investments with the potential of a high yield.

Were these signings done to also send a message to Perez's agent Scott Boras – that the Mets will not wait forever for an answer? Maybe, but I have always felt that Perez has been Omar's top priority, not Lowe.

With Spring Training only 23 days away, and with the ridiculous WBC wasting much of the Spring, it would be nice if the Mets could solidify their starting rotation sooner rather than later.

Why Garcia went with the Mets

I am sure the contract offer had something to do with it but from what I have read around the blog world is that Freddie Garcia thought he has a better chance of making the starting rotation with the Mets then the Yankees.

He felt that the Yankees could still add free agent Andy Pettite to the rotation and then it would be tough to break into the rotation. He thinks the Mets if they still land another starter that Garcia could battle for the 5th spot with Tim Redding. Which to me it would be nice to have the luxury of having Redding in the bullpen.

Would be nice to have a long man which the Mets have not had an effective long man since they let Darren Oliver jet off to the West Coast.

Keith Hernandez: Hall Of Famer?


Kostya Kennedy - Sports Illustrated has a very interesting perspective of Keith Hernandez should be a no brainer for the National Baseball Hall Of Fame.

I was a fan of ‘Mex’ when he was in with the Cardinals. I remember waking up on June 16, 1983, and learned that the night before, Mets GM Frank Cashen had traded Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to St. Louis for Keith Hernandez. I was ecstatic. I knew Hernandez was the best 1B I had ever seen, was Co-MVP in 1979, and was a solid hitter. What I didn’t realize was what an indescribable leader he was for the young and up-coming Met stars. People always gave Carter a lot of the credit, but the Mets might have won without Carter, not necessarily with Mike Fitzgerald calling the pitches, but with a solid catcher. The Mets wouldn’t have had a sniff without Hernandez. Carter was the missing piece Hernandez was the puzzle itself.

Kennedy goes on to give some interesting stats; some of which I knew, others, which I wasn’t aware of.

Kennedy compares Hernandez’s stats to those of Hall Of Famer
Tony Gwynn. Gwynn had 135 lifetime home runs, Hernandez had 162. Both RF and 1B are considered ‘Power’ positions.

Hernandez had an On Base Percentage (OBP) of 38.4 for his career. Gwynn’s lifetime OBP is 38.8.

Gwynn hit 90 RBI or better twice in his career – Hernandez did it six times, and over 100 RBI once.

Hernandez’ OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) for his career was .820, which was higher than
Tony Perez’s career OPS of .804

While Major League Baseball kept the stat of Game Winning RBI (1980 – 1988), no one had more that ‘Mex’ – 129.

Which leads Kennedy, and me, to the most important two things:


Keith Hernandez was the greatest defensive 1B to ever step on the field, and his 11 Gold Glove awards is a testament to that
And
Hernandez was a true leader. A kind a leader you see once in a generation. Similar to what Mark Messier was to the Rangers. What made this evident was how Darryl Strawberry waxed poetic about Hernandez during that wonderful event hosted by Gary Cohen at the 92nd Street Y.

Will Keith ever make it to the Hall? I, being a huge fan of his for more than 30 years, have always thought he was ‘borderline’. After reading Kennedy’s article, which I strongly urge, I believe Keith does belong. Unfortunately, the Hall’s voters are more into
Sabermetrics, and not really understanding what the player meant on the field. I believe this is why Gil Hodges has been so disrespected by the Hall, and the player like Bill Mazeroski and Don Sutton are in the Hall.

Hernandez won’t have a chance to gain enshrinement, so it will be up to the Veterans Committee to vote him in.

P.S. Fred, Jeff – enough already, retire #17!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mets Sign RSP Freddy Garcia


Adam Rubin - NY Daily News is reporting that the Mets have reached an agreement with free agent right-handed starter Freddy Garcia. Garcia signed a minor league contract, but if he makes the team, there are incentives that can make the deal worth approximately $9M.


As we reported here yesterday, Garcia had said that the Mets and Yankees were the top two teams he was interested in. Now, does this force Omar to either sign Perez or Sheets, of has he drank enough of the "Kool-Aid " to actually believe that a staff of Santana, Maine, Pelfrey, Garcia, and Redding/Niese/Parnell is going to get you into the post season?

Mets Clemente Award Nominee, David Wright Visits Children's Hospital And Offers Some Comments


This afternoon David Wright visited ill children at Schneider Children's Hospital. Wright was there to spread good cheer to these children with terrible illnesses.


When Wright was asked about Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who he will be in attendance with tomorrow at New York Baseball Writers' dinner in Manhattan, who was promulgated into saying the Mets were 'choke artists' the last two years while being interviewed by Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno of WFAN, Wright wouldn't dip a toe in that muddy water.

Said Wright, "I don't want to get caught up in that. I don't want to get in a verbal war about who's the team to beat. We're going to play [the Phillies] 18 or 19 times. We'll settle it in the field."

Wright will be at coach Howard Johnson's house in Florida to watch the Super Bowl on February 1st, and then will proceed to Spring Training a little early...as usual.

According to MLB.com writer Marty Noble, Wright looks thinner than he was last year, and Wright termed it as "Fightin' weight."

When asked about the less than slight possibility of have Manny Ramirez as a teammate, Wright offered, "As a peer, I really respect that. I'd be on board with Manny 100 percent, assuming that he comes in and puts the team first and wants to be a part of this thing and wants to win."

"You know, I think that we have a good enough clubhouse ... I don't even know what [Ramiez] is like in the clubhouse. I've talked to him for a couple minutes here and there.

"But I would hope that we have a good enough clubhouse where no matter who you bring in, the clubhouse would be a positive influence ... and they will put winning, especially with the direction that Jerry [Manuel] has gone with the team, first. That's going to rub off on us, and hopefully rubs off on all the new additions."

Always the politician, always the corporate suck-up, Wright forever handles himself with dignity and class. He is the Mets version of Derek Jeter in the company spokes-person sort of way.

Hey Omar is it true , Wilpons have never been asked about Manny Ramirez

There is a report being circulated from Bloomberg news that Jeff Wilpon has mentioned that he has never had a discussion with Omar Minaya regarding Manny Ramirez.

It is has always been mentioned that Omar has had interest in Manny but the Wilpons have not liked the idea of adding Manny to the Mets lineup.

Jeff goes on to say that Omar and his staff are not interested. No comment from Omar about this. Great now Boras will somehow use this as leverage saying the Mets are interested in the slugger.

The Mets are still trying to land a pitcher for the starting rotation with spring training only 3 weeks away.

Check out the news story from Bloomberg here

Some 1969 Mets Reminisce





Three former Mets, who were a huge part of the World Champions of 1969 will gather at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, where "40 Amazin' Years" will be presented Wednesday night, Feb. 4, from 7:00-9:00 PM.

The three Mets,
Bud Harrelson, Ron Swoboda, and Art Shamksy, will meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and reminisce about that miraculous season. Admission is free.


This will all take place at Empire City's Gotham Palace Entertainment Lounge, located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (at Central Avenue).

Source:
Harness Link

John Franco loves the Mets new revised bullpen.

Former Mets reliever John Franco has a couple of kind words for the Mets new bullpen in 2009 courtesy of an interview he had with the New York Post which you can read here

John thinks that the K Rod and Putz will have an advantage since there coming from the American league.


Franco seems to think that Sanchez will have a bounce back year. I don’t remember Franco doing that well after his surgery but we know that the 2 surgeries were different.

We will see soon enough with the baseball season roughly 75 days from opening day.

Will Johan Santan stay healthy in 2009

With spring training about 3 weeks away the Mets are still looking for another free agent pitcher to round out there staff. The ace of the staff had knee surgery right after the season ended. Of course we do not know how it will affect him until he starts pitching at spring training. Tim D over at Roto Authority which you can check out here Is claiming that with all the pitches he threw in 2008 that he is more likely to have an arm injury.

Below are the most pitches pitchers pitched of at least 3500 pitches in 2008. It includes playoffs and Meyers what he might have pitched in spring training as an estimate.


Cole Hamels - 3914
C.C. Sabathia - 3912
Brett Myers - 3781
Jon Lester - 3738
Tim Lincecum - 3682
A.J. Burnett - 3650
Matt Cain - 3606
Johan Santana - 3598 most in his career
Roy Halladay - 3560
Gil Meche - 3555
Joe Blanton - 3547
Chad Billingsley - 3543
James Shields - 3543
Justin Verlander - 3528
Ervin Santana - 3526


He goes on to mention that he has seen anywhere from 15 to 60% of pitchers that have over 3500 pitches have some sort of arm injury the next year. Well we know that Johan is not included in that. 2008 was the first year he threw over 3500 pitchers. He has had 2 years of over 3400 pitches. The following year his records were 16-7 with a 2.8 era and 15-13 with a 3.3 era. Johan has started at least 33 games in his first 5 years in the majors. We will see him do the same I am sure in 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mets And Yanks Front Runners For Garcia


According to Fox Sports, the Mets and Yankees are the front-runners for free agent pitcher Freddy Garcia.



Garcia, who underwent shoulder surgery in 2007, says that two other teams are interested, but both NY teams are the front runners.

What a surprise. Nothing like including the Mets and Yankees to drive your price up.

Garcia could be a good pick-up if the Mets can sign him to a minor league contract.

Source: Mychael Urban – MLB.com

"Hell-Oh Ball"









"This guy's gonna hate me before we get to the All-Star break. There are 39 episodes, I'm sure there'll be more than a few lines we can use." These words were uttered by Mets broadcaster Howie Rose once he heard Tim Redding was signed by the Mets. Those of us who listen to Mets broadcasts realize how much of a 'Mooner', a Honeymooners fan Rose is. Once the signing was completed, Rose e-mailed former colleague Ted Robinson and WFAN Mets broadcast producer, Chris Majkowski – also fellow 'Mooners'.

You see, Redding is the great nephew of Joyce Randolph, the actress who played Trixie Norton.


Redding readily admits he hasn't seen his aunt since "my pre-teen years at a family Christmas get-together. I remember the kids were running around, trying to get her autograph on napkins or anything you could write on," he said. "I've asked my grandmother about her, and she said 'Trixie' is very down-to-earth, real person who wasn't into the glitz and glamor. She enjoys being herself."

As for Rose, “How sweet it is” to have some related to his favorite TV show.

Former Mets GM Steve Phillips Joins ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball


Former Mets GM Steve Phillips will be joining ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.

Phillips is presently a member of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight program, offering analysis.

His debut for Sunday Night Baseball will be on April 5th.

"Steve has emerged as a leading and extremely well-connected baseball expert, excelling in both game and studio analysis, and adding his up-to-the-minute, inside information will only enhance the fan experience with our marquee Sunday Night Baseball franchise., The pace of a baseball telecast affords the opportunity for three outstanding voices to provide commentary, detailed information and anecdotes."

~ Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president of production ~

"It's a tremendous honor to join Sunday Night Baseball, the preeminent MLB game of the week. Jon and Joe have set the standard for baseball telecasts over the last 19 years, and I look forward to being a member of their team."

~ Steve Phillips ~

Well Steve, we hope your baseball insight is a little better than your judgement of baseball announcing talent. Morgan and Miller are awful. Morgan tends to think he invented the game of baseball, and Miller makes watching a drop of water falling aimlessly from a kitchen faucet seem fascinating.


Catching Up With Former Met – Craig Swan




Former Met pitcher, Craig Swan, has been quite the creative one since retiring from baseball in 1984.

Swan, who spent his entire 12-year professional career with the Mets, now resides in Greenwich, CT.

When Swan adopted a mix breed dog, named Daisy, he realized how much activity and exercise the dog craved. Daisy, a pit bull/hound mix, was so active, that Swan, 59, was having a difficult time keeping up with the young dog. Swan has a problem with his leg that prevents him from walking more than one mile.

Swan and his wife cruised the web and found a specialized non-motorized scooter that can be propelled by a dog. Says Swan, "I got my scooter, put the attachment on and now Daisy and I go out for at least three miles a day."

Swan, who has been attracting quite a bit of attention said, "My dog is pretty fast. I would guess I'm doing 20 mph in a full run," Some residents of Old Greenwich are starting to look into getting these dog scooters.

"It's a marvelous thing. It's a good outlet and exercise for the dog," said Bill Peterson, who adopted Daisy to the Swans.

Swan is looking to start a group of owners, dogs, and scooters – to exercise the dogs together. He will also look to visit shelters with these scooters to assist dogs, that might be restricted to cages for most of the day, in exercise.

Source:
Debra Friedman - Greenwich Times

Maine and Feliciano have submitted figures

John Maine and Pedro Feliciano have still not signed a deal with the Mets and have submitted what they are trying to obtain for 2009.

Maine is asking for 3M while the Mets have countered with 2.2M and Feliciano has submitted 1.95M while the Mets have countered with 1.35M.

The 2 sides can still work out deals before they meet with an arbitrator next month.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Apple Grows In Minnesota?


Those who have been Mets fans for 25 years or less, will not remember Shea Stadium without that famous/infamous/notorious Home Run Apple.


Upon moving to their new digs in Gil Hodges Memorial Park, er Citi Field, the Apple deteriorated, became rotted, so to speak.

Coming to the rescue were two companies located in Minnesota; Fiberglas Fabricators and the company Uni-systems have displayed team-work in creating a new apple for the Mets new home. "It was a very fun project, anytime you get to make a 19 ft diameter apple and watch it shoot in the air in three seconds is a lot of fun" says Mark Silvera of Uni Systems.
Mark Hagelberger of Fiberglas Fabr says, "Let's just say that it is a relief that it's altogether. There were a lot of challenges that we had to do in the process of building it."

The new apple, made of fiberglass, is about four times the size of the original apple, and weighs close to 6,000 lbs.

"I think we'll all have goose bumps when we see it go up, knowing that we were a part of that to build it", said Mark Hagelberger.


video

Meet Brad Holt

Mets pitching prospect, Brad Holt, has been ranked the Mets #4 prospect by Baseball America. He will be invited to the Mets Spring Training this February. Holt recalls, “The only thing they have told me is to come in ready and in good shape.’’

On February 13, Mets pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report, but Holt will be arriving a couple of weeks early, “That way it will be easier to get right into it,’’ he said. “I just want to go out and enjoy it.’’



While pitching for Class A Brooklyn, he led the NY Penn League with a 1.87 ERA and 96 strikeouts. While only allowing 43 hits in 72+ innings, Holt knows he has no chance of making the parent club in 2009.

Holt's take on Baseball America's ranking: “I really don’t read into it. I guess it is kind of neat. But it is not going to change the way I handle myself; my work ethic or anything like that.’’Holt, who is predicted by some to be a setup man, a possible closer by others, and a starter by the Mets for this upcoming season – sports a consistent 93 – 95 MPH fastball.

Holts assessment of areas he needs to work on; “I definitely have to work on my change-up. The breaking ball has come a long ways and now the next step is getting the change up down pat.”

Continued Holt, “It is just a matter of throwing it and getting a feel for the change. I will take the same approach I have with making the breaking ball better. You have to keep throwing it, and once you throw it enough and get a feel for it, it becomes natural.’’


Ryan Church latest to avoid arbitration

In a little blurb from Adam Rubin which you can read here he notes that Ryan Church was given a raise from 2008 and will make 2.8M in 2009 . That is up from 2M in 2008. Rubin also gives you a list of spring training invites.

Also Angel Pagan was mentioned that he will recieve $575,000. He is recovering from a torn labrum.

Mets sign outfielder Cory Sullivan.

The Mets have given a major league contract to free agent Colorado Rockies back up outfielder Cory Sullivan a 1 year deal with $600K with $300K in possible incentives.

He is a great defensive outfielder who hit.279 over 4 years playing in a part time role for the Rockies.

9 Mets will suit up for World Baseball Classic

With the World baseball classic announcing preliminary rosters there are 9 New York Mets from the major league roster on 4 different teams. They include

Carlos Betran, Carlos Delgado and Pedro Feliciano playing for Team Puerto Rico

K-Rod and Johan Santana playing for Team Venezuela

Jose Reyes plays for the Dominican Republic Team.

J J Putz, Brian Schneider and David Wright will play for Team USA

Johan of course still might be not competing depending on what the Mets team doctors say when he arrives in camp next month. Rosters are set on Feb 24th.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Duaner Sanchez signs 1 year deal

The AP is reporting the Mets re-signed reliever Duaner Sanchez to a 1 year deal worth 1.68M.

This is a raise from the $950,000 he made last year. Duaner could not buy an out from August on where his ERA was over 8. He finished the year 5-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 66 appearances. Lets hope the guy another year removed from his surgery will find his fastball.

Mets Sign Lefty To Minor League Deal


The Mets signed LHP Casey Fossum to a minor league deal with their AAA Minor League club, the Buffalo Bisons.


Fossum, 31, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 1999 Amateur Draft, was believed to have a high ceiling. There was high expectations for Fossum, so much so that Boston originally 'untouchable' in potential trades. Fossum was ultimately included in the trade that brought Curt Schilling to Boston from Arizona. Unfortunately, Fossum has never achieved what was initially expected of him.

Throughout his career, Fossum has battled through numerous injuries: multiple shoulder injuries, elbow injury, and back injury.

Fossum throws three different speed curve balls, a less than average fastball, which hovers in the high 80's, and will dabble with a slider and a change-up which is considered mediocre.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Option For Pedro?


The Pittsburgh Pirates are showing interest in possible former Mets pitcher, Pedro Martinez.


Pedro is believed to be looking for $7M annual salary, which will be too expensive for the Pirates. Pedro confesses he would like to return to the Mets for his fifth season, but Pedro is far down on the Mets option list.

One thing that might entice Pedro to consider the Pirates is that his former pitching coach with both Montreal and Boston, Joe Kerrigan, is the pitching coach for Pittsburgh.

Other teams believed to be showng interest in Pedro are the Cleveland Indians and the Floriday Marlins (click here).

Oliver Perez vs Ben Sheets


With the Mets still trying to sign a starting pitcher and Scott Boras who seems to be waiting for a market to develop John Harper of the Daily News brings up an interesting idea . Should the Mets go after Ben Sheets?

Sheets who went 13-9 last year and had a 3.09 ERA is also waiting for a market to develop for him since he seems injury prone. He was injured last year with a bum flexor tendon in September. He seems to be looking for a long term contract which obviously no one is rushing to give him one due to his injuries over the past couple of years. He only started 17 games in '06 and 24 games in '07 . He had 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio and held batters to a .241 batting average.

If the Mets can sign him to a short term deal like 2 years would it be worth it instead of trying Oliver Perez who Scott Boras wants to get him a 5 year deal?

There is also word that the Phillies might be interested which the Boston Globe has a small snippet on.

If the Mets can get Oliver to except 4 years I would like to see the Mets obtain him but the last thing I want is the Phillies to have a 1-2 of Hamels and a healthy Sheets.

Read John Harper's story here