Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mets Morning News: Rollins' Thoughts On Reyes

Of course the New York media needed to ask Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins what he thought about the whole Jose Reyes "bunt and bail" situation. It's not like there's anything else going on in baseball to talk about right now, especially with the Phillies. Rollins told the New York Times:
"I would have bunted, too. I probably wouldn’t have come out of the game, though...I fought this hard to be in this position, and I’m going to see it to the end. Me, personally, I’m going to ride it out. I would have played the whole game. That’s me, though."
Rollins then added this additional insight:
"In previous years, you just didn’t quite get that feeling from him, being in the other dugout," Rollins said. "This year you really did. It was like, 'This man is doing everything he can.'"
No kidding. The man wants to get paid. If there was ever a year to go all out, this would be it.

In regard to free agency:
"He had a great year," Rollins said of Reyes. "But in free agency, you take the year and a career all into consideration. Then on top of that, you take the things they don’t see on the field, the intangibles in the clubhouse, leading the team. Is this guy a winning player? What type of team player is he?"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mets Morning News: 2012 Payroll, Keeping Reyes, & Where Will MurphyPlay?

General manager Sandy Alderson met with reporters yesterday to talk payroll and Jose Reyes, along with a myriad of other things.

Payroll is expected to be between $100 million and $110 million next season. Thanks to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, here is part of the transcript from the interview with Alderson:
You told writers in Buffalo that the payroll for next year would be between $100 million to $110 million. Was that hypothetical or reality?

I think we’re going to be somewhere in that range. I don’t see us going below $100 million. But as is pretty well-documented, I don’t see us being where we are today, either.

So $100 million to $110 million?

Well, somewhere in that range. I wouldn’t say that $110 million is a cap.
Sandy & Co. must now begin working to re-sign Jose Reyes who is a free agent this offseason. Don't expect anything big to happen any time soon though.
"If history is any guide, most players who get to this point don't see any reason to make a decision in the next 30 days -- they are that close to free agency," Alderson said. "You wouldn't want people to expect something is going to happen -- it certainly could -- but we just have to wait and see how it develops."
Alderson also praised Daniel Murphy. What will Murphy's position on the team be next season? Depends on who comes back next season, and who doesn't.
"Where (Murphy) fits will in part be a function of where everyone else fits. And from whom we have to choose to fit at those positions," Alderson said. "But I do think he'll be a very important part of our team. And whether that's at one position, all the time, as a starter, or at different positions off the bench, we'll just have to see based on the other personnel that we have."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

2012 Breakout Candidate: Reese Havens

What a way to end the season.

To start the day with Jose Reyes winning the batting title, and ending it with two of the greatest comebacks in baseball history! Wow. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

As for the Mets, the 2011 season has finally come to a close.

Injuries to key players: Davis, Reyes, Wright, Murphy, Santana, Pagan, Bay, Niese, Chris Young to name a few, derailed the Mets this season. While that should not be an excuse, as the Cardinals made the playoffs despite DL stints to Pujols, Berkman, Holliday, and Wainwright, the Mets simply did not have the depth to keep afloat.

That is where the excitement about next season begins.

Please Stay, Jose

Last night the Mets were simultaneously wiped from the history books as the biggest chokers of all time, and entered the record book with their first ever batting champ.  In typical Mets fashion, both moves left a bit of a sour taste.

First things first: Yes, Jose Reyes sat to preserve his lead in the batting title.  No, he wasn't the first, as others astutely pointed out. No, he won't be the last either.  Maybe he's no Jeter, but I'd rather watch him flying around the bases, hair braids bouncing while he dives headfirst into second than watch Jeter adjust his batting gloves and try to sell me a Ford Focus for three hours.  If this was Reyes' last game as a Met, and I have a terrible feeling it is, it is somewhat bittersweet to see a player we've all watched since he was 19 reach his peak just as he is about to walk out the door.

But batting average is overrated anyway, so who cares.

Jose Reyes Is Your 2011 NL Batting Title Champ

Following the bunt heard 'round the world, Jose Reyes finished his season with a .337 batting average, beating out the Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun.

After winning the title, Reyes released the following statement:
"I just want to say I’m humbled and honored to win the batting title. It means so much to my family and my country, the Dominican Republic. I have been through a lot over the past few years so this really means a lot to me. It’s also very special to be the first Mets player to win a batting title. There have been so many great players throughout our history. I want to thank Terry Collins, my coaches and all my teammates and of course all the Mets fans who have always supported me and been behind me 100 percent."
Of course nothing could be as simple for the Mets as just winning something. No, there had to be a little controversy. Once Reyes laid down his first inning bunt, Terry Collins pulled him out of the game so that he would finish the day 1-1, and hold onto that .337 average.

Many fans have been up in arms over the move, which Reyes admitted after the game was his plan all along. Fans feel he should have remained in the game.

There have even been other baseball players chiming in on the situation. I'm looking at you C.J. Wilson.

Wilson, who pitches for the Texas Rangers, couldn't believe that Reyes would leave the game to prevent his average from dropping. He went on to call it a "bush league" move.

Do yourself a favor, Mr. Wilson, and shut it. You have never, and just like 99.9 percent of the fans complaining, will never be competing for a Major League Baseball batting title.

You do not know what you would do in that situation. So quit acting all high and mighty. Reyes isn't the first player to pull themselves out of a game to win a batting title, and I an guarantee he won't be the last.

For those of you comparing the way Reyes ended his season to the way Ted Williams ended his season all those years ago to win the batting title, playing both games of a doubleheader, give it a rest.

And one last thing. To some of the fans who are upset that they only got to see their favorite player for just a few brief minutes, guess what. There were about 80 other games you could have gone to this season to see him.

Jose Reyes brought the New York Mets their very first batting title. It's something that Reyes can be proud of for the rest of his life. It's something the fans should be happy about as well.

Quit dwelling over how this all ended, and enjoy the fact that someone on this team won SOMETHING this year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Better Way To End The Season Than With a Bunt

Miguel Batista threw a gem, and Jose Reyes may have bunted his way to a batting title, as the Mets won their season finale, 3-0.

  • Miguel Batista was brilliant this afternoon, throwing a complete game shut out. He allowed just two hits, a single to Edgar Renteria in the first inning, and a double to Chris Heisey in the second inning.
  • Jose Reyes. Imagine you're playing your very last game as a New York Met. What would you do? Try for a home run, or maybe leg out a triple? Reyes decided to...bunt. In the first inning Reyes laid down a bunt single to finish the 2011 season going 1-1 and batting .337. Reyes then pulled himself out of the game. Some fans were up in arms over the fact that he left the game, but to be honest, I couldn't get over the fact that someone on this team was finally able to successfully bunt.
  • Nick Evans got the Mets on the board in the fourth inning with an RBI single to center field.
  • Mike Baxter hit his first Major League home run in the sixth inning.

Next Up: With this win, the Mets end their 2011 season going 77-85. See everyone in 2012.

Mets Morning News: Good News For Carter, Collins To Stay Through 2013,Reyes To Play In Finale, Madoff Ruling

Gary Carter received some good news yesterday. The spots found around his right temple were determined by doctors to be benign. His daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, gave an update on her Hall of Fame father in the family's online journal:
"Dad has been extremely tired during these days of chemo, which has been expected," Bloemers wrote. "After he finishes his last pill tonight, he will start to do more activity for his body. The doctor has emphasized exercise, healthy food intake and rest when needed. Dad will start to do physical therapy to get his joints and muscles moving as he pushes through the exhaustion."
General manager Sandy Alderson announced Tuesday that the Mets were going to exercise Terry Collins' option for 2013, meaning he won't go into next season as a lame duck.
"We're very pleased with the job Terry has done," Alderson said before Tuesday night's game against the Reds. "He's just done a terrific job of leading our team under sometimes difficult circumstances. In all of those circumstances, he has not used injuries or trades or anything else as an excuse for the team's performance.

"This is something we feel he's earned as the result of this season. We've made every effort to change the perception of the New York Mets, and Terry's gone a long way toward that."
Today could possibly be the last time Jose Reyes plays in a Mets uniform, and manager Terry Collins will allow Reyes to play in the season finale. Collins did indicate, however, that if Reyes were to get a few early hits and remain ahead of Ryan Braun in the batting title race, he would likely pull the shortstop to protect his hamstring.
"He deserves to have the attention that (today) may bring on him," Collins said. "I hope it’s just the beginning of many more years here. But he needs to be recognized for the kind of player he’s been in this uniform. If we can do that, in the right situation, I think it’s a must that you do it."
In case you missed it yesterday, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that madoff trustee Irving Picard's lawsuit may go forward, but the amount of money he may be able to recover from the Mets could be significantly lower than the $1 billion.
In a statement, Sterling Equities, the family-run business behind the Mets, said it was "pleased that the court today dismissed 9 of the 11 counts in the Trustee’s complaint, and that the lone remaining count in which the Trustee seeks to recover payments from the Sterling Partners is limited to a two-year period."

Mets Fall To Reds In 13 Innings

The Mets lost to the Reds in 13 innings Tuesday night, 5-4.

  • Chris Capuano went six innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out nine and walking one. Despite what could be described as a strong final outing of the season, Capuano once again fell victim to the long ball. All three runs allowed by Capuano were scored on home runs.
  • Jose Reyes was outstanding tonight. He was putting on a show for those in attendance at Citi Field. Reyes was 3-6 with two home runs, an infield single, and a stolen base. He finished the night with a .336 batting average.
  • Manny Acosts pithed 1.2 innings of relief. After pitching a scoreless eighth inning, he was brought back out to close out the ninth. With two outs and two runners on, however, manager Terry Collins decided to bring in Bobby Parnell. Guess how that went. Parnell proceeded to give up a double to Juan Francisco to blow the save and tie the game.
  • It wasn't exactly pretty to watch, but Ryota Igarashi had another successful outing, and by successful, I mean a run wasn't given up. Igarashi pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, despite giving up three walks (two were intentional), a triple, and hitting Ramon Hernandez with a  pitch.
  • Francisco scored the go-ahead run for the Reds in the 13th inning on a suicide squeeze.
  • In the bottom of the 13th with the game tied 4-4, the Mets drew four walks and a balk, and were still unable to score a run. With the bases loaded, Justin Turner hit into a game-ending double play.

Next Up: The Mets play their final game of the 2011 season this afternoon against the Reds. Miguel Batists gets the start for the Mets. Game time is 1:10 p.m.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Capuano Looks To End Season On A High Note

September 27, 2011

7:10 PM ET

Citi Field




Starting Pitcher: Chris Capuano (11-12, 4.55 ERA)

Unlike a few of his teammates, Capuano will try to finish his season on a winning note. Against the Reds, he is 3-3 with a 5.23 ERA.


Starting Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo (9-12, 5.09 ERA)

Arroyo will need to pitch a complete game tonight in order to record his seventh consecutive season of 200 innings pitched. In his career, he is 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA against the Mets.


Reyes-SS, Tejada-2B, Harris-LF, Wright-3B, Evans-1B, Thole-C, Baxter-RF, Pridie-CF, Capuano-LHP


The Mets have exercised Terry Collins' option for 2013, which means two more years of Terry.

According to the NY Post, the Mets plan on having Dan Warthen return as pitching coach next season.

Judge Makes Decision In Madoff Mess

According to CNBC, the judge presiding over the lawsuit between Madoff trustee, Irving Picard, and Mets ownership, has dismissed all but two counts against the Mets.

Ian Begley of ESPN New York tweeted that the two counts remaining are "actual fraud and equitable subordination." Begley also tweeted that both parties will meet in court on Wednesday afternoon to schedule proceedings for the remaining claims.

Michele Steele of Bloomberg Television is reporting that the judge is still allowing Picard to seek the $1 billion from the Mets.

So what does this all mean for the Mets? I don't know. I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not even going to pretend like I understand all of this nonsense.

Despite the ruling being in favor of the Mets' owners, however, I don't see much of a change. As far as I can tell, the Mets are still broke, nobody knows if they will be able to re-sign Jose Reyes, and the Wilpons are still running the show.

Sorry, Mets fans, I don't think the Wilpons are going anywhere any time soon.

Mets Morning News: Wright's Back Okay, Reyes Leads Batting Race, NimmoVisits Citi, Mets Block Yanks

David Wright was drilled in the back by a pitch from Francisco Cordero in the ninth inning of last night's game. Luckily, the pitch was nowhere near where he suffered a stress fracture in his lower back.
"I'm a little sore, but that's probably to be expected," Wright said. "It just got me in a weird spot. It didn't get me in the back. It got me more kind of like under the armpit, like the lat.

"I'm not worried about that," Wright continued, referring to the stress fracture. "I'm just worried about motion with my left arm. We'll be able to probably judge it a little better tomorrow."
Jose Reyes has the slimmest of leads in the National League batting title race. He is currently ahead of Ryan Braun with a .33396 average. Braun is at .33393.
"I can't lie to you; I see it on the scoreboard because people were cheering about it," Reyes said. "I'm going to continue to play my game. I don't want to put anything in my head the last two games.

"There's no doubt, I think about it a little bit now because there's two games left. That's something that I have to be clear in my mind; continue to put a good swing on the ball and see what happens."
First round draft pick, Brandon Nimmo, made his first appearance at Citi Field before yesterday's game. He took batting practice and spoke with reporters about his desire to join the Mets.
"I’d love to be up here as soon as possible, but I do understand the process," Nimmo said. "Some guys get rushed through too soon and it’s detrimental to their whole career. I want to do this right."
According to Jerry Izenberg of The Star-Ledger, the Mets blocked the Yankees from bringing their Triple-A team to Newark for the 2012 season. Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo was disappointed with the move, saying:
"Unfortunately, the Mets exercised their territorial rights to block this temporary partnership and have prevented the chance for baseball fans to come to Newark and Essex County to watch players in minor league baseball’s highest classification on their way up to the major leagues. It would have rejuvenated interest in one of the highest levels of the sport in an important urban area."

Monday, September 26, 2011

For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Please Stop Bunting

The Mets inability to bunt has once again cost them as they lost to the Reds by a score of 6-5.

  • Chris Schwinden went five innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking one. For the second straight start, Schwinden left the game with a lead, and it was ruined by the bullpen.
  • The Mets scored three runs in the third inning on a single from David Wright and a two-run double from Nick Evans.
  • Ryota Igarashi had possibly the his best outing of the season. Igarashi entered the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no outs, and went on to retire three straight.
  • Josh Stinson gave up a three-run home run to Chris Heisey in the seventh inning, to give up the lead.
  • Jose Reyes finished the night going 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. His average is now .334, and he is currently ahead of Ryan Braun in the batting title race. It wasn't all pretty for Reyes tonight. After driving in Mike Baxter with a double in the eighth inning, Reyes was thrown out at second base. Reyes wasn't running hard at all, and then took too big a turn rounding the bag. He would have been the tying run.
  • With two runners on in the ninth inning, Nick Evans was asked to bunt. Bunting is never a good choice for this team. Ever. Evans bunted the ball right back to the pitcher, who then got the force out at third base, rendering the bunt unsuccessful.
  • The Mets were just 2-11 with runners in scoring position.

Next Up: The Mets continue their series with the Reds tomorrow night. Chris Capuano gets the start. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Mets Morning News: Carter's Setback, Duda & Pagan Done For Season,Batting Race

According to Adam Rubin, Hall of Famer Gary Carter has suffered a setback as he battles brain tumors. The catcher's daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, wrote in the family's online journal that doctors found "an abnormal and unusual spot" on his right temple.
"When I saw the look on my dad's face, I just wanted to cry," Bloemers wrote. "This journey has been so emotional when there has been just one thing after the next that dad has to conquer. Dad did not complain; he just had look of sadness. I really hate that dad has to go through such a tough road. Dad got the biopsy and actually had several spots removed in various places. We hope to find out the results soon."
Despite this setback, Carter's white-blood cell count has risen to where he can undergo a second round of chemotherapy. That, however, will not begin for a few more weeks.

Lucas Duda and Angel Pagan will be out for the rest of the season. While neither has been diagnosed with a concussion, both are suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Duda smacked his head against the right field wall at Busch Stadium last week, and Pagan hit himself in the head with a back swing.

Jose Reyes trails Milwaukee's Ryan Braun by two points in the race for the batting title. Reyes finished Sunday going 2-4 and raising his average to .331. Braun was 2-3 and finished at .333.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pelfrey's Season Ends The Same Way It Began, Like Crap

The Mets failed to complete the sweep of the Phillies, losing by a score of 9-4.

  • In his final start of the season, Mike Pelfrey lasted just three innings, giving up five runs on nine hits, while striking out one and walking one. Just think, Mets fans, you get to watch this all over again next season because the Mets are not likely to let him go. Awful.
  • D.J. Carrasco entered the game to pitch the fourth inning and it didn't go well. In his inning of work, he gave up four runs on five hits.
  • Ronny Paulino hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot, to break up the shutout in the seventh inning. Valentino Pascucci then added another run with an RBI single to left field.
  • Justin Turner hit his 30th double of the season in the eighth inning to drive home the Mets' fourth run of the game.
  • Jason Pridie was one of the few bright spot in today's game. He finished the day going 3-3 at the plate with a single, double, triple, and a walk.
  • Mike Baxter had a busy day in right field. He made two outstanding plays, gunning down Placido Polanco at the plate in the third inning, and making a sliding catch in foul territory to retire Shane Victorino in the eighth inning.

Next Up: The Mets begin their final series of the season Monday night. Chris Schwinden gets the start for the Mets against the Reds', Homer Bailey. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

Mets Go For The Sweep Of The Phils

September 25, 2011

2:10 PM ET

Citi Field




Starting Pitcher: Mike Pelfrey (7-12, 4.58 ERA)

Pelfrey makes his final start of the season this afternoon. Pelfrey has made five starts against the Phillies this season, posting a 6.84 ERA. Lifetime against Philadelphia, he is  7-6 with a 5.08 ERA.


Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay (18-6, 2.41 ERA)

Halladay gave up four runs on six hits in his eight innings of work Monday. In his career, he is 8-2 with a 3.13 ERA against the Mets.


Reyes-SS, Tejada-2B, Harris-LF, Evans-1B, Turner-3B, Baxter-RF, Paulino-C, Pridie-CF, Pelfrey-RHP

The Legend Of R.A. Dickey

In a season with many ups and downs, there has been one constant: R.A. Dickey.

When I look back at this season, he's been my favorite player. Come to think of it, I don't think there's a single Mets fan I've talked to who doesn't like the guy.

R.A. Dickey dressed as Darth Vader.
He's a Star Wars fan, so he can connect with the nerdier side of the fan base, he's climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in the offseason for charity, I learn a new vocabulary word every time I watch him in an interview, and he just so happens to be a heck of a pitcher.

Dickey got his start in 2001 with the Texas Rangers, and has bounced around between the Majors and Minors until last season. It's been tough for Dickey throughout his career, but he finally found success in an unlikely place: New York.

New York, the big market town that will eat you alive if you let it.

Dickey's embraced the city though. He takes public transportation to Citi Field on occasion, and even the media loves him.

Who can forget the Mike Pelfrey quote incident in August, in which he stated that he didn't think the Mets had much of a chance this season.

Pelfrey was torn to shreds for his comments. Forgotten during this whole episode was that Dickey had made some harsh, yet true, comments about the team earlier in the season. He stated:
"We can’t just keep telling ourselves, 'Oh, we’re a better team than this.' We may not be. And we’ve got to be honest about that."
Were fans up in arms over Dickey's comments? No. Why? Because Dickey is one of those rare players who the fans respect enough to avoid the cliches and speak the truth.

Also, let's not forget that Dickey joined Twitter this year. His interactions with fans has made him even more popular. He answers questions, engages in some witty banter, and provides words of encouragement to fans after a Mets loss.

Now on to what has been the main cause for this surge in popularity: pitching.

The knuckleballer finished the 2010 season with an 11-9 record and 2.84 ERA. Jerry Manuel brought him in to pitch in the last game of the season just so the fans could see him one last time. It wasn't a smart move by Manuel managerial wise, but it goes to show what Dickey meant to the fans.

This season, the wins and losses haven't come easily. After getting off to a slow start, he finished this season with 12 consecutive quality starts and a 8-13 record with a 3.28 ERA. Wins and losses don't matter though. They don't take into account a lack of offensive support, injuries, and bullpen meltdowns. Dickey was this year's Johan Santana. The constant hard luck loser.

In his final game of the season, Saturday afternoon, Dickey carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. I thought it was going to be the day the Mets finally threw a no-hitter. It was broken up, however, by a double from Shane Victorino.

Following Saturday's gem against the Phillies, Dickey told The Record's Steve Popper:
"I had a statistically okay season outside of wins and losses," Dickey said. "The things I was able to control I felt pretty good about this year. I was able to weather some early trouble in the season, pitch through a few injuries and put together a season.

"My whole hope since the beginning of the season, since the beginning of being a knuckleballer, is, can I be a trustworthy product? And so I think over the course of the last two seasons I think people may start to hopefully quit saying, 'When is the other shoe going to drop?' Hopefully they can embrace this is who I am. I know I certainly have."
Don't worry, R.A. We've embraced it, and we can't wait to see you next season.

Mets Morning News: Pelfrey's Secondary Pitch, A Generation Of Losing,Strawberry's Message To Reyes

According to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, Mike Pelfrey is going into this offseason continuing to look for and develop a good secondary pitch.
In five major-league seasons, he has attempted to utilize a curveball, a changeup, a slider and a splitter. None have proved useful. In the process, through a mechanical quirk, he believes he has downgraded the quality of his sinker, the pitch that carried him to the big leagues in the first place.

“I didn’t reach any of my goals,” Pelfrey said. “I didn’t do any of the things I wanted to do. It’s frustrating.

“I’m a big believer that you get out of it what you put into it. So I’m just going to go into the offseason and bust my butt harder than I ever have. We’ll see what happens next year.”
Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post writes how an entire generation of Mets fans know them to be a bunch of losers.
So an entire generation of New York baseball children have been born, raised and sent off into the world knowing only one pecking order in New York City. The Mets have had their moments: 1999, 2000, and 2006, and even the agonizing Septembers that followed. There remain a lot of Mets fans, through their struggles, in the same way there always were plenty of Dodgers fans in the ’30s and Giants fans in the ’40s.
Darryl Strawberry has a message for Jose Reyes: Stay in New York.
"I know if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed," Strawberry said. "It looks good on the other side, but it's not always as good as the place that you're used to. When you're young, you don't realize that. For me, I was young and I didn't realize what New York meant to me.

"So tell Jose that New York is a great place. No matter what, it's a great place to play. No matter what you have to go through, how difficult it gets, this is the place where you want to play."