Friday, January 27, 2012

While Division Rivals Add More Pieces To Their Roster, The Mets KeepLooking

Over the past few days the Phillies signed Juan Pierre to a minor league deal, traded Wilson Valdez (former Met) to the Reds, and the Nationals added Brad Lidge to their already formidable bullpen on a one year deal.

In Juan Pierre, the Phillies added a "name" more than anything valuable. With Laynce Nix, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino and John Mayberry already in the fold, Pierre provides them with outfield depth if one or more of them were to go down with an injury, but not much more than that.

There were some people out there who wanted to see Pierre in a Mets uniform, but I was not one of them. As FanGraphs points out, while Pierre can still run, he is not the asset on the base-paths he once was and he has gotten worse defensively with a -9.2 UZR last season.  Signing him to a minor league deal can do nothing but help the Phillies, but with a WAR of -0.4 last season in 711 at bats, there is very little that he brings to the table.

Brad Lidge on the other hand is a name I hoped the Mets would go after.

Outside of 2009, Lidge has always been an excellent pitcher, never having a FIP above four in nine out of his ten seasons. The reason he was available this late into the offseason is that he has struggled with injuries recently, with only 123 innings over the last three seasons. Despite the injuries, his stuff never left, and with a 10.0 K/9 and an ERA of 2.49 over the last two seasons, he has proven he can still be a valuable piece to a major league bullpen. No matter what he ends up producing, signing a pitcher of this caliber to a one year deal worth only $1million plus incentives is a great deal; one in which I hope the Mets can find over the next couple of weeks.

While there are still plenty of upside free agents available, for now it seems that the Mets first priority is going to be filling out the last spot on their bench. Some of the names that the Mets are reportedly interested in are Johnny Damon, Rick Ankiel, Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez and the aforementioned Juan Pierre.

One name that jumps out from this list is Johnny Damon.

Damon’s skills have declined over the past couple of seasons, but I think his leadership would be his most undeniable asset to the Mets. He has proven himself in two of the biggest baseball markets of Boston and New York, and his presence in the locker room, would not only give David Wright a break and let him focus on baseball, but also give the Mets some veteran leadership they have not had since Carlos Delgado in 2006.

Damon posted a 1.5 WAR with the Rays last season, with 16 home runs and 19 steals, hitting .261. With the question marks that surround Jason Bay’s performance, Damon would provide some insurance as a guy who can step in and play every day, or at the very least, platoon with Bay, given his struggles against right handed pitching these last two seasons.

I think he would be a great fit, and an even better answer to the moves made by the Mets rivals within the division.

For more news and stats on the Mets, follow Zach on Twitter @MetsVibe!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Carter Really Deserve To Have His Number Retired?

Photo: BaseballBacks (

There has been talk recently as to what numbers the Mets should retire (or should have already retired).

There are the usual suspects: Keith Hernandez and Mike Piazza, but then there has been Gary Carter.

Now, I'm not doubting that Carter was a great contribution to the Mets, both on the field and in the clubhouse. He will forever be a fan favorite. I question the timing of the fans requesting that his number be retired.

Carter has been battling Stage 4 brain cancer since May, and it was announced in the past week that his health is rapidly declining. I wish Carter the best, and nothing would be better than to hear that he will survive this, but should a cancer diagnoses lead to the retiring of his number?

At this point, I feel that retiring his number would just be for sympathy, not because of his years as a Met. That, in my opinion, would be an insult to Carter.

If I were him, I wouldn't want this to happen because I am sick and the fans feel like they need to do this for me. I would want this honor because I truly deserved it.

Franco To Be Inducted Into Mets Hall Of Fame

John Franco posing in the Mets Hall of Fame. (Photo: Mets Twitter) 

The Mets announced this afternoon that John Franco will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame this summer. The team's all-time saves leader will be inducted before the Mets take on the Cardinals on June 3 at Citi Field.

In 14 years with the team, Franco recorded 276 saves. He has 424 saves in his entire career, which is the 4th most in MLB only behind Mariano Rivera (603), Trevor Hoffman (601), and Lee Smith (478).

In a statement, Franco said:
"It’s a tremendous honor to be elected to the Mets Hall of Fame. I would like to thank Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon, the Hall of Fame Committee, all of my managers and coaches and of course my teammates.  My entire family is looking forward to June 3."
The four-time all-star was also the recipient of two National League Rolaids Relief Man of the Year awards (1988, 1990), which was fitting since he often times would induce agita for many fans watching.

He wasn't the best closer out there, but he managed to get the job done.

Congratulations, Franco.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beltran To Mets Fans: Get Over It Already

Carlos Beltran spoke with reporters at Tuesday's B.A.T. dinner in New York, and some Mets fans might not like what he had to say.

Photo: Keith Allison

In regard to his infamous at-bat against the Cardinals in 2006:
"What happened in 2006, you have to turn the page. That’s over. We can’t bring 2006 back to 2012. It has been six years. If they want to continue to think about that moment, then that’s their problem. Like I said, I have turned the page. I have really moved on."
I couldn't agree with you more, Carlos.

Let's face it, New Yorkers know how to hold a grudge. But like he said, it's been six years. Move on, people.

Warning: If you didn't like what he said in the quote above, you're probably not going to care much for this next one.

When asked how he could go to the Cardinals, the same team that crushed the hopes and dreams of Mets fans everywhere in 2006, Beltran said:
"Actually, I’m not thinking about the fans, I’m thinking about myself."
So selfish.

Can you really blame the guy for wanting to play for St. Louis? This team always seems to be a constant threat in recent years. They're the reigning World Series champs. Anyone who says they would not take the opportunity to play for a team like that is lying.

I wish Beltran success in St. Louis, although I hope he fails miserably whenever the Cards play the Mets.

I've moved on from 2006. You should too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Piazza Wants To Enter HOF As A Met

Mike Piazza was interviewed during last night's Knicks game at MSG, and was asked what cap he would like to be wearing to Cooperstown.
I agree that he should enter as a member of the Mets. Unfortunately for Piazza, he has no say in the matter. The Hall of Fame will make that choice for him.

After watching this clip, I am left questioning Piazza's judgment somewhat. I mean, Armando Benitez was one of the most impressive pitchers you ever caught? I can't believe that.

As for dying your hair...need I remind you of the last time you went blonde?


Gross. Don't do it, Mike.