Friday, December 16, 2011

Rest Easy, Mets Fans. Mike Baxter Is Back!

Welcome back, Mike Baxter. It's been a whopping three days since the Mets non-tendered you.

The Mets have re-signed Baxter to a minor league deal and he is invited to big-league camp this spring.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mets Sign Tallest Player In MLB

Small victories, I guess.

The Mets announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch to a one-year deal.

Last season, Rauch pitched in 53 games with the Blue Jays, going 5-4 with 11 saves and a 4.85 ERA. The Louisville, KY native was drafted in 1999 by the White Sox. In eight major league seasons, which included stints with the White Sox, Expos/Nationals, and Diamondbacks, he has gone 39-31 with 58 saves and a 3.82 ERA.

As for the whole height thing, he's 6' 11".

Mets Kids Holiday Party

The Mets hosted 100 kids from public schools all across Queens at Citi Field on Tuesday for their annual Kids Holiday Party. Daniel Murphy played the role of Santa this year, and with the help of his "elves," Jon Niese and Justin Turner, he delivered toys to all in attendance.

Santa and his elves.

While all of the kids finished their lunch and participated in performances, all of the beat writers and bloggers were hidden behind a curtain. All was relatively calm until the screaming started. That was our cue that Santa had arrived.

Between the kids and the Christmas music blasting, I couldn't hear a thing. Luckily, my recorder was able to pick up audio. Here's a little summary from interviews with Niese and general manager Sandy Alderson.

Jon Niese

  • His goal is to get over 200 innings this year.
  • The new additions to bullpen are good. They filled holes where they needed to be filled.
  • Facing Jose Reyes: "It's gonna be fun...I can't wait. Watching him hit for a while, hopefully I picked up something to get him out."
  • The changes at Citi Field are good. It will give hitters peace of mind and pitchers more confidence. The changes will not cause him to change his approach on the mound.
Sandy Alderson

  • Changes to the field: "More scoring makes more's more entertaining. Even a purist wouldn't want 1-0 games every night."
  • Losing Jose Reyes: "Criticism that we never made an offer... what's interesting about that is that from the very outset we didn't want to make an offer that would be shot...and I don't think it's a coincidence that the price went way up from the time on Friday that I described a conceptual puzzle to Saturday to Sunday morning when the apparent offer from Miami went from point a to point z...I don't think we had a shot at signing Jose if we had made the first offer."
  • Bullpen: "All three additions are an upgrade...better shot at more consistency in 7th, 8th, and 9th innings...What was once a weakness is now a modest strength for us."
  • Catchers: "We don't have a lot of depth in the system...for the time being our catching situation is going to be a year to year proposition" The team looked at some free agents decided none worth additional expense. "Given the resources we have available, we'd rather spend the money some place else on more significant upgrades...We're aware of catching situation within organization."
  • Angel Pagan trade: The Giants were interested in Pagan. He believes Andres Torres was going to be a possible non-tender candidate and the Mets were in a similar position with Pagan.

I would have added video of the Alderson interview, but after watching it, it was a  little too Blair Witch Project for me. I took a peak at the outfield walls while I was there and to be honest, I didn't notice anything worth reporting as of yet. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mets Turn To Bank Of America For Help

According to the New York Times, the Mets have received a $40 million loan from Bank of America.
The loan marks the second time in a year that the Mets have received an infusion of cash. A year ago, the team’s owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, received a $25 million loan from Major League Baseball, but they have not been able to repay it. Meanwhile, Sandy Alderson, the club’s general manager, said last week that the organization had lost $70 million in 2011 alone.
The Mets have been attempting to raise $200 million by bringing in potential investors to pay back other bank loans and the $25 million MLB loan.
People familiar with the team’s situation have said the owners had firm commitments from at least seven investors interested in buying a small share of the team for $20 million apiece. Still, until all are sold, none of the investors have had to turn over cash.
Adam Ruben of ESPN New York tweeted that MLB approved the Bank of America loan.

I may be wrong here, but isn't this how the banks got into trouble; handing out loans that can't be re-paid?

Mets Expected To Offer Pelfrey Arbitration

Don't expect to see Mike Pelfrey go anywhere any time soon.

Despite stinkin' up Citi Field and just about every other stadium he pitched in last season, the Mets still plan to keep him.

According to Dan Martin of the NY Post:
As general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins have said repeatedly, despite Pelfrey’s regression in 2011, he still has value to the Mets, since he tossed 193 2/3 innings a year ago and that workload isn’t easily replaced.
He could throw 300 innings a year, I still don't care. What does it matter how many innings he throws if he is ineffective in 90 percent of them?

I haven't heard any good options for who could replace Pelfrey in the rotation, and I'll admit, I'm guilty of this myself. Fact of the matter is, Pelfrey is just not good.

Some argue that he has all of this potential talent and that he needs time. My response: How many years does a guy have to play in the big leagues before those excuses can no longer be applied? If he has all of this "talent" why have we hardly seen it during his years in New York?

All I know is that he needs to go...somewhere. It will make watching games a little less stressful with him not on the mound, and I can guarantee it will be a much healthier game without all of that hand licking.