Friday, March 30, 2012

Mets Curse? Jason Bay The Modern Day Roberto Alomar?

Throughout spring training, I have heard interviews and read many articles about Jason Bay and his approach to hitting. Every Mets fan, let alone baseball fan knows of Bay's woes. For someone who was a solid power hitter before joining the Mets, with the Mets he has been more of a power outage.

This spring Bay is trying to simplify his approach, and get back to his hitting basics - the basics that made him a three time All Star before signing with the Mets.
Over the 40 years I have lived and died with this team, there have been many players that have fizzled out as Mets. But there is one other former All Star that Bay's meteoric plummet resembles...Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

Before joining the Mets in 2002, Alomar had a solid year for the Cleveland Indians: 20 HR; 100 RBI; .336 AVG; All Star and Gold Glove winner. When the Mets acquired him for Alex Escobar, Matt Lawton, Jerrod Riggan, Earl Snyder, and Billy Traber - it seemed like it might be one of the best trades the Mets ever made. What happened? Alomar couldn't get out of NY fast enough. Did Cleveland know something the Mets didn't? It certainly appears they did.

With Bay, the Mets signed the All Star LF as a free agent for 4 years $66M. In 2009 with Boston, Bay hit: 36 HR; 113 RBI; .267 AVG; All Star selection and Silver Slugger winner.

Alomar's career with the Mets lasted almost two seasons (2002-2003). His stats:

222 Games 226 Hits 13 HR 123 K's .265 AVG .333 OBP

Jason Bay has completed two years with the Mets (2010-2011). His stats:

218 Games 199 Hits 18 HR 200 K's .251 AVG .337 OBP

Scary, isn't it?

I have not killed Bay too much. In 2010 it was his first year in NY, and I gave him a mulligan - much the same way I gave Carlos Beltran a mulligan in 2005. Bay's concussion certainly didn't help, and the adjustment from Fenway to Citi was probably difficult. But last year was a nightmare also. He did finish the season up strong, and hopefully that will carry over into this season.

The problem is, this spring Bay has been awful. He is 7-33 (.212) with no HR's and no RBI.
Bay has said:

“I honestly don’t know what my average is, but I know I don’t have a home run, I know I don’t have an R.B.I., I know all that. I’m not standing here telling you results don’t matter. But we’ve got a timetable to try to figure things out. That’s what this time is for, and I feel like now I have a pretty good grasp going forward.”

I won't kill Bay because I was all for the Mets getting him in the 2009 off-season. I wanted him more than Matt Holliday, and I thought he would do well in Flushing. Half way through his contract, and I have been totally wrong. Hopefully Bay will prove naysayers wrong and have a great season. The Mets even moved in the outfield walls to help him and David Wright.

The edge I give Bay over Alomar is that Bay is a good guy. Teammates look at him as a leader, and he has never shied away from the press after a bad game (or season).

I truly hope Bay turns his Mets career around. His stats thus far are eerily familiar to another Mets player that was abhorred by fans. Hopefully Bay won't be remembered in the same breath as Roberto Alomar.

Sources: New York Times, Baseball Reference, Cots Baseball Contracts

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mets Strengthen Infield: Sign Josh Rodriguez

It has been announce that the Mets have signed middle infielder Josh Rodriguez to a minor league deal.

Rodriguez was a Rule V pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, then was returned to Cleveland. As with all Rule V players, once picked up, they must spend the entire season on the Major League roster. If they don't, they must be returned to their original team.

Rodriguez is listed as 6 feet and 180 lbs. He has spent all but 7 games in the minors. He is mainly a 2B/SS, who has had some experience at 3B.

The 27 year old out of Rice University was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Indians in 2006.

This signing appears to be an insurance policy for the Mets. Rodriguez is considered to be a quality defensive player, and might see some time with the big club if the Tejada/Murphy experiment doesn't pan out.

Sources: Adam Rubin, Baseball Reference

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

RA Dickey: An Inspirational Story

In today's NY Daily News, Andy Martino reveals information in the forthcoming memoir of Mets knuckle-baller RA Dickey.

In his memoir co-authored by Daily News writer Wayne Coffey, Dickey explains the incomprehensible childhood he suffered through. Those who have seen Dickey and his rebirth with the Mets have always seen him as an intelligent man with deep religious convictions. He is the consummate professional who has proven to be a stand-up guy and teammate.

In his memoir, “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball” , Dickey details how he was abused as a child. He speaks of how he lived in abandoned houses as a teenager, and swam with alligators. Dickey realized sports was his way out.

“I have spent so much of my life running and hiding, and I wasn't going to continue doing that in the book. What would be the point in doing that — perpetuating untruth? It was important to me to tell the truth, to be completely authentic. Sharing the pain I went through is part of the healing for me, a catharsis in many ways."

The knuckler also states that he contemplated suicide before joining the Mets.

According to Martino, Dickey didn't even disclose the sexual abuse he suffered as an 8 year old by his 17 year old female babysitter to his wife until they were married 8 years.

“I felt dirty, I felt ashamed and alone, and I felt there was something terribly wrong with me."

Dickey has been able to heal from his difficult childhood, where at five years old he would close bars with his mother, from the devoted love of his wife Anne.

Dickey chronicles his 14 year journey to the Major Leagues, and his memoir should not only be looked at as an amazing trip, but as an inspiration to many.

For more insight, please check out Andy Martino's article in the NY Daily News.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tobi Stoner: Former Mets Prospect Released

This morning the NY Mets released former prospect Tobi Stoner from minor league camp. Stoner, who was a 16th round pick for the Mets in 2006 was believed to have a nice upside, as we reported back in February 2009.

In 2008 he appeared to be on the fast track to Flushing. In only his second year, he played at: St. Lucie, Florida; Binghamton, New York; Peoria; Arizona; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. His control was very good at each stop, and his ERA was respectable.

In 2009 and 2010 Stoner appeared briefly for the Mets. In those two stints with the Mets, he compiled a 3.97 ERA while striking out 5, walking 4 in a mere 11.1 innings. Stoner, like another former Mets prospect Eddie Kunz, just never fulfilled his expected potential.

As many have tweeted, it's a shame the kid didn't make it. A name like his in NY was bound to make the fans crazy.

In other news, according to
Adam Rubin the Mets are in the process of finalizing a minor league contract with Chris Young. Young appeared in 4 games with the Mets last year until having to undergo surgery for a torn capsule in his right pitching shoulder. He pitched quite well before having to be shelved. Young was a battler, and with his attitude and hard work, we might just very well see him in Flushing at some point this season.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Another Madoff Monday: Mets Settle Civil Suit

This morning the Mets principal owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have agreed to pay Madoff fraud victims $162M.

According to Fox Sports, the Mets owners will not owe any money for three years. Hopefully by that time they will have paid their $25M loan to MLB, but it is still doubtful.

Adam Rubin also tweets that the Mets will be on the hook for very little of the $162M because they will "be able to recover money from loser fund, their out-of-pocket expenses should be fraction of actual settlement."

Am I the only one wondering why Fred and his cronies settled if they were also duped by Madoff? Although with this settlement it is doubtful the Wilpon's will have to admit any guilt, why would they agree to a settlement if they were indeed innocent of the allegations being brought forth?

With this agreement in place, Irving Picard, the trustee for the Madoff victims will not pursue any further litigation.

It's just another Madoff Monday...hopefully now this ugly mess will be put behind us, and the victims of this scandal will be able to get their lives back in order, and we can start talking baseball instead of legal issues. Although the Mets owners might have dodged a bullet today, I have a sneaky feeling their troubles aren't yet over.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Terry Collins and his frustration: Bear cage match on tap?

My partner in crime joking around the other day about the Mets injuries said Tejada would be the next to fall and he was right.  Tejada has a slight groin strain so he sat out yesterday.  Mets manager TC was slightly frustrated about all the injuries. I mean its early in the spring but you have to laugh at it being a Met fan.  Funny no word about Reyes being injured yet in Marlin camp. 

Anyway TC has this to say later in the day and you have to scratch your head and of course laugh .

"I talk about patience. Right now, I'm out of them. So I've got to regain it. I've got to go back tonight and have my wife beat me up so I can find my patience again. I had a buddy that used to have a bear -- a pet bear. He used to, when he got mad, the bear would go kick him around the cage. And he finally said, 'OK, I'm back down to earth now.'

I think Fred has a new promotion for Citi Field to bring in the masses. Cage matches with TC's friends bear. 

Wright is back in camp claiming that he will be ready for opening day.  The Nationals Ryan Zimmerman had same freaking issue that Wright has . Of course not sure if severity of strain is same but Zim missed 60 games last year . 

Big bad Pelfrey gave up 2 homers yesterday in the Mets loss.  Can someone please find a injury for him!

Adam Rubin

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Opening day tickets available at Citi Field? No problem.

Mets are offering opening day tickets without having to buy other games.  That used to be part of a opening game pack . Well I am sure you can still get the pack but if you want to get tickets to opening day you can now get them. Of course now with the Mets dynamic pricing they seem to be almost in line with what is available at stub hub and the normal ticket outlets except for 1 major difference. Those ridiculous fees.  Each ticket has a $7.25 fee and then a the total order has a $6.00 processing fee. So 2 tickets for $55.00 in the promenade cost not $110 but $130.   Ridiculous. These fees are just money makers for the team.  In this day and age with everything being purchased via the net and less people interaction these fees should be non existent. 

I know opening day is a big deal but really not sure the product matches what it costs to go but the Mets have to make up the difference somehow so the Wilpon’s  can pay off their debts.   Looking at game 2 of the season those same tickets are going for 20.00 a piece. More realistic..  It could be your opening day and still have some $ in your pocket.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Former Met Suspended 50 Games

Former Mets player, CF Jason Pridie has been suspended by MLB for 50 games for testing positive for PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs).

Pridie played with the Mets for 101 games in 2011, hitting 4 HR's, driving in 20 and hitting .231. The 28 year old signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A's this off-season.

Source: Adam Rubin, Baseball Reference, John Shea Twitter

Mets on deck: Who isnt sidelined?

TGIF fellow Met fans.  What a week and I am not talking even in Met land.  We have been stuck working our tails off with work and life but never a day goes by where we are not wishing we were down in PSL to see what Met is limping, coughing or cant get his arm up to speed. We all wish they would find something wrong with Big Pelf since he was awful yesterday.  

Well Lucas Duda was held out from traveling to Orlando with the Mets for there game against the Braves. He is dealing with a sore back .  He is the new day to day.  Andres Torres has been held out as well and he is suppose to be back in action on Saturday. Guess legging out a triple the other day was too much for the new Met. 

David Wright will be held out thought the weekend mostly due to being overly cautious.  Mets are concerned that with rib oblique tightness that it could morph into something serious and be stuck taking cortisone shots ale Scott Hairston.  He is still waiting for his cortisone shots , all 3 of them , to take held. 

Guess Terry Collins getting a taste for what is to come once the season opens.  They come up with a ailment for Jason Bay yet?  


Monday, March 5, 2012

Mets preview : No Wright : Judge says Wilpons must pay and go to trial

While the Mets get ready for the spring training opener against Davey Johnson’s Nationals they have to do it without Mr Wright. 

David will be held out for 2 games so he can rest and make sure he doesn’t have any flare up’s of the twinges he is feeling.  Wright said if it was during the season he would play.  So the Mets will go to bat without him to start the pre season. Look for foo man shoo Dillion Gee to get some work in. Johan will go tomorrow. 

For Wfan locals the radio station tomorrow will have a couple innings of play by play with Howie Rose while Santana is pitching. 

The judge in the ponzi case against the clueless, so they say, Wilpons need to pay up to 83M of false profits.  He also ruled that the sides will go to trial March 19 over an additional $303 million that Picard is seeking. Hope they sell some single game tickets to cover that 83M !!!!   Ahh nothing like a little drama to kick off spring!  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The 2012 David Wright effect.

Only a couple more days before the first game of the spring season.  The Mets face the Nationals and we might get another glimpse on Bryce Harper the new young stud of the Nats.  Remember when we had a hot prospect named F Mart…Of course our prospects go the normal course in Metdom.  They cant hit and spend there life being injured.  Except of course Jose Reyes who of course is trying to be erased from the Met consciousness by the brass and Mr Vanilla himself David Wright.     

Last year we all had to hear about Reyes and his impending free agency.  Now fast forward to 2012 and even though technically Wright will not be a free agent due to a club option in 2013 we now will be listening to Wright and his thoughts about it. Oh joy..   Look I know the guy seems to love playing for the Mets and NY and I have no problem with him staying if he performs but do we need to here him now out front on everything. Cant Jay work his magic and get other Mets to the forefront and have them in front of the camera on occasion.  How about Ike.  The kid can talk and seems to have interesting things to say but he was only brought out front due to him being injured.  Everyone seems to like Bay and if the Media would ask him questions besides why does he suck he could be fun to listen too.  

No one as a met fan wants to spend the next year hearing Wright’s take on his contract.  I think he should evoke the Reyes clause.  No chat about it during the season and the season starts Feb 15th.   Or how bout this..Have Tim Byrdak impersonate Wright.  Then at least it would be interesting!

A little Met news  Gary Cohen was seen in PSL.  Cant wait to hear his take on Reyes leaving for Miami.

From Ken Davidoff: Johan Santana says he was told it would take up to two years to regain full strength in his left shoulder.