Why Curtis Granderson Could Be the Next Jason Bay After All

It’s been nearly a week since we heard the Mets were signing Curtis Granderson — enough time for the news to digest, to sleep on it, to think it over. So here we go.

After hearing about an un-Aldersonlike 4-year, $60M contract, immediate comparisons to the Jason Bay deal were a natural progression. Around the Mets beat and blogosphere, the response has been mixed in that regard, though overall the consensus seems to be defending the signing of Granderson, with people pointing to all kinds of details suggesting that the player and the current situation are much different from the one the Mets chose around this time four years ago.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — and there are too many small fires being snuffed out in the Grandy camp to prevent comparison to the day the Mets dumped too many dollars and years into the Bay of Jason.

As Yogi Berra might say, “it’s deja vu all over again.”

Let’s get one thing straight: I am firmly seated on the Grandwagon. I love, love, LOVE Curtis Granderson, and always have. He will bring an energy and enthusiasm to the ballpark that hasn’t been seen in Flushing since Jose Reyes was allowed to walk away. He plays hard, with intensity. He plays the game the right way. He has an infectious personality, he’s great with the media, and he’s incredibly generous in terms of giving back to the game and the community. In short, he’s a good guy — in many ways, much like David Wright.

Let’s get another thing straight: for all of the reasons above, and many more, the Mets HAD TO sign Curtis Granderson. It was absolutely, positively, the right move, right now. Beyond an uptick in ticket sales, the Mets will benefit greatly from Granderson’s presence. He lifts the image of the organization, he makes it appear (for now) that the Mets are players in the free-agent market, he will serve in a leadership role for the club’s young players, and he will bring with him the habits of a winner.

OK, do we all agree on the above? Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty: how will Granderson perform for the Mets over the next four years?

As the headline suggests, I have my doubts, and there are far too many similarities (coincidences?) between Jason Bay circa 2009 and today’s Curtis Granderson. A few to list:

Age

Bay was coming out of his age-30 season. PEDsless history has shown us that the majority of hitters have a tendency to lose bat speed and see a decrease in performance as they get further and further away from their 20s. Granderson turns 33 in mid-March, and, homerun numbers aside, has been showing a gradual decrease in offensive performance since his age-27 season.

“Well, hold on a second, Joe — GrandyMan had a spectacular 2011 season, when he was 30, leading the AL in runs and RBI, smacking 41 HRs, and posting a .364 OBP, .552 SLG, and .913 OPS. Those stats are almost identical to his age-26 and age-27 seasons!”

Oh my, you’re right. Well, maybe we should look at what Jason Bay did as a 30-year-old: 36 HR, 119 RBI, .384 OBP, .537 SLG, .931 OPS. That production was very close to what he did in his age 26 and 27 seasons. Huh, go figure. Probably a coincidence, right?

The Stadium and Lineup Argument

“But Bay was playing in Fenway Park that year, a stadium that is notorious for beefing up the stats of righthanded hitters! And, Bay was in the middle of a Boston lineup that also included David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Lowell, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who all hit well!”

Oh jeez, you’re right. And Granderson played his home games where? Oh, that’s right — a park that is built for lefthanded power hitters, with a jet stream in right field that carries balls over the fence. And the Yankee lineup that year had some sluggers of their own, namely, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, and, for half a season, Alex Rodriguez — among others. Heck, even Russell Martin banged out 18 homers in 2011, and Andruw Jones and Jorge Posada combined for another 27 from the DH spot.

For what it’s worth, in 2011, Granderson hit 20 HRs as a visitor to other parks. In 2009, 15 of Bay’s four-baggers were hit in Fenway, while 21 were hit at others. It could be argued that Bay would’ve hit even MORE homeruns had the Green Monster not interfered with his long line drives to left field.

The Homerun Length Argument

“But Joe, Curtis Granderson hit homeruns that would go out of ANY park. Maybe a few were helped by the Yankee Stadium jet stream, but he also hit a bunch of homers away from home. Didn’t you see the overlay charts?”

Oh yes, oh yes I did. Did you? And do you remember the overlay charts presented (and supposedly, researched by the Mets front office) when Jason Bay was signed? Let’s compare, courtesy of ESPN’s HitTrackerOnline

Jason Bay 2009 (36 Homeruns) Citi Field Overlay

jason-bay-overlay-2009-499

Curtis Granderson 2011 (41 Homeruns) Citi Field Overlay

curtis-granderson-2011-overlay499

Hmmm … do you see what I see? Maybe I need to check my eyes, but it looks like Jason Bay would’ve lost only 3 or 4 of his HRs hit in 2009 to the depths of The Field At Shea Bridge. In comparison, of the 41 homers hit by Granderson in 2011, he also would’ve lost about four. What I’m trying to show here is that there is some commonality in the arguments — we’ve been here, done that. And further, the argument that Granderson hit homeruns further than Bay did, doesn’t wash.

In fact, also according to HitTrackerOnline.com, in 2009, Jason Bay’s 36 homers had an average “true distance” of 393.7 feet, an average “standard distance” of 389.9, and gopher balls came off his bat at an average speed of 102.9 MPH. To compare, in 2011, Granderson’s 41 dingers had an average “true distance” of 389.1 feet, “standard distance” of 385.8, and the balls came off his bat at a speed of 102.4 MPH. Based on those numbers, Bay’s homeruns were hit further, and at a slightly faster speed, than Granderson’s.

Just to be fair to Granderson, I also checked out his Citi Field overlay for 2012, which is more recent, and when he hit 43 homeruns:

curtis-granderson-2012-overlay-499
The stats go like this: “true distance” was 383.2 feet, “standard distance” 379.4 feet, and balls off the bat speed was 101.6 MPH.

Uh-oh.

So, in addition to Granderson’s batting average taking a 30-point nosedive (.262 to .232) in his age-31 season, his homerun distance and balls-off-the-bat speed dropped by almost one MPH. And, according to the overlay, about 8 of his 43 homers would have been swallowed by Flushing Cavern. Maybe closer to a dozen, as I’m not sure whether outfield wall height is factored into the overlay? In fact, although “true distance” takes into account atmospheric conditions, I don’t know exactly how that translates in regard to the park overlays — anyone else? Also, HitTrackerOnline only tracks homeruns, so we don’t know how many long fly balls that remained in the park hit by either player would have drifted over one of Citi Field’s walls.

But again, I present this because the defense of Granderson is shaping up so eerily similar to that of Bay. If you remember, the big to-do was that the Mets chose Bay over Matt Holliday because of all kinds of extensive research suggesting that Bay had a better chance than Holliday of hitting homeruns at Citi Field — at least some of it had to do with Bay’s tendency to pull (as well as his homeruns’ distance).

Speed and Defense

Back in 2009, the Mets were getting a Jason Bay who had above-average running ability, evidenced in part by his 13 stolen bases and 103 runs scored in his final year in Boston. There wasn’t an agreement on his defensive prowess, though (we’re going to back to perceptions THEN, not now, with the benefit of hindsight). Many said his defense was not very good, and wouldn’t play well in the Mets’ home park. Others pointed out that Bay had been athletic enough to play center field on occasion in Pittsburgh, and was never considered terrible as a Bucco, and perhaps had trouble adjusting to the Green Monster.

Similarly, Granderson comes into Flushing as someone who has displayed above-average running skills recently, and with questions about his defense. On the one hand, he’s been an everyday center fielder, so the theory is that he’ll be a good corner man. On the other hand, people using their eyes say that Granderson’s range has deteriorated, and, indeed, his UZR was an abysmal -18.5 in 2012, playing 157 games as a center fielder. It jumped up to 21.5 in 2013, but that was in only 197 innings (about 21-22 games) in centerfield — so the sample size is far too small. If you look back to 2011, his other most recent full season as a center fielder, his UZR was also less than great at -5.3.

Why do I bring this up? First, because it’s another parallel between the two players at the time of their respective signings. And secondly, because a dropoff in fielding could be an indicator of overall erosion of skills.

The Swing Thing

Do you remember how Jason Bay began his Mets career in a slump? Do you remember that he “couldn’t get comfortable” and was changing his stance on an almost daily basis? It was an issue that continued throughout his time with the Mets.

Curtis Granderson had similar issues of “getting comfortable in the box” at a similar age/point in his career. Luckily, though, he was able to work things out with Yankees batting coach Kevin Long , who is widely respected as one of the best in his craft. Kevin Long simplified Granderson’s swing, and tuned both his mechanics and his approach to exploit the Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch. Long also made in-season adjustments to Granderson’s swing in 2010 that turned him into a 40+ homerun monster.

So, what happens when Granderson — who became a dead pull, ball-lofting hitter — sees his 370-foot flies fall securely into the leather of opposing right fielders standing at the warning track in Citi Field? Will he, like Jason Bay, start to tinker with his stance, with his load, with his swing path, in the hopes of sending the ball a few feet further? Will he completely change the approach he’s had for the last three years, and start aiming for the opposite field? Will he make adjustments to cut down the uppercut and loft, to hit more ground balls and line drives? And if he does, is Dave Hudgens capable of guiding him through it successfully? Or, will Kevin Long agree to meet Granderson secretly in the basement of Foley’s Pub one night to “fix” his swing?

Even if Granderson continues to hit balls over the fence, he’s unlikely to improve upon his batting average, which projects to be in the .230 – .240 range. He doesn’t walk very often, either, so he’s going to make lots of outs. I don’t see Mets fans booing him unmercifully the way they did to Bay, but making out after out after out can weigh on a hitter’s mind and negatively impact his confidence — just as Bay or Ike Davis can tell you.

Being “The Man” / Batting Cleanup

Both Jason Bay and Curtis Granderson were brought into Flushing to bat cleanup, protecting David Wright in the lineup. There are people who pooh-pooh the theory that hitters react different based on their lineup position, but I believe that certain spots can positively or negatively affect certain players. For example, I felt Mike Jacobs shouldn’t have ever batted fourth, and had the numbers to support it. We kind of covered the lineup thing a bit earlier here, but I’d like to go into further detail. Namely, Jason Bay hit 5th or 6th twice as often as 4th for the Bosox, and rarely if ever was he “the man” in the lineup. Similarly, Granderson has spent most of Yankees career hitting 2nd. And while he hit a boatload of homers, I’m not sure he could’ve been considered “the man” — the guy who carries the team on his back, the hitter the other team strategizes to avoid, and the player who provides protection for everyone else. You could argue that David Wright is “the man” and you’re probably correct. But, Wright needs a secondary “the man” in the same way Carlos Beltran needed a heavy-hitting Carlos Delgado a few years back. Bay hadn’t been that guy since his Pittsburgh days, and Granderson, never was — he was a leadoff hitter in his time as a Tiger. For what it’s worth: Bay batted cleanup 383 times in his career, and posted a .860 OPS. Granderson has been written into the #4 spot in the lineup only 7 times in his career — too small a sample size, but on the bright side, he’s hit 3 HR and posted a 1.142 OPS through 30 plate appearances. Of course, we don’t even know for sure if Granderson will bat fourth — it’s only a guess.

Swinging and Missing

Another coincidence: Jason Bay came in as someone who took plenty of walks, but also struck out more than most — he’d whiffed 162 times in 151 games with the Bosox in 2009, a career high. Granderson bested that in both 2011 (169 Ks) and 2012 (195).

Changing Leagues

Both Bay and Granderson join the Mets after playing in the AL East. Very generally speaking, when a player spends most of his career in one league, adjusting to the other can be difficult in his first year, because he’s unfamiliar with many of the new league’s pitchers (particularly the relievers). For Bay, it was mostly a non-factor, since he’d been with the Pirates through July 2008. But Granderson has spent all of his ten years in the Adulterated League. Granted, there’s less mystery thanks to interleague play, but it’s another factor that could cause Granderson to start slowly.

Freak Injuries

Jason Bay’s difficult debut with the Mets was cut short due to a concussion at the close of his age-31 season. In his age-32 season, Granderson similarly had a rough time at the plate, and suffered two freak injuries that limited him to only 61 games. I realize Bay’s injury happened after being signed by the Mets, but I bring it up because of the similarities in age and production. It’s a given that for most, advancing age affects performance — is it possible that injuries can exacerbate performance further?

Conclusion

Though no one necessarily expected Jason Bay to be an MVP candidate after being signed by the Mets, there wasn’t much concern that he’d completely fall off a cliff the way he did. And there’s already been discussion in the comments there that Bay was an outlier, and Granderson couldn’t possibly sink to such depths in his next four years. Honestly, I’m not so sure. With Bay, there were little signs here and there prior to his arrival that became more noticeable upon seeing him every day. Further, in my opinion, many of his eroding skills were inflamed by being in an unsupportive situation — there wasn’t much talent around him, the coaching/management wasn’t helpful, and the fans turned against him immediately. Will there be more support for Granderson? Maybe, but what bothers me are the parallels I see between he and Bay at similar ages, and the fact that Bay came in with similar if not better skills, and a few years younger. What really jumps out is that Granderson’s current value came mainly because he was in a lineup full of All-Stars and tailored his swing and approach to fit Yankee Stadium like a glove — much like Bobby Murcer did back in the 1970s. It wouldn’t surprise me to see his homerun total drop to something below 20 per season as a Met. If Granderson becomes a guy who hits 15-19 HRs, bats .230, and posts a .310 OBP, would that be considered a success?

I’ve talked enough. Time for you to respond.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies December 12, 2013 at 7:48 am
    I don’t think the HR distance parallel is relevant, and I don’t see any reason to expect a concussion, but the rest of these points do scare me.

    Wright doesn’t need Granderson protecting him; Granderson need Wright protecting him.

    Bay was a better overall hitter than Granderson, but Granderson’s skills may be more well-rounded. So perhaps Curtis will provide enough speed-and-defense value to weather some slumps. Like Bay, his wheels are in decline, but unlike Bay, he had an elite peak to fall from.

    Re: their swings, Bay had been extremely streaky for most of his career, perhaps evidence of a high-maintenance swing. I’ve never noticed Granderson having that problem.

    Great point on the tailored pull swing, though. It’s immediately evident, quite different than his Detroit swing. Attempting to re-work it yet again might be a temptation. If so, I hope he avoids it — although Citi is death from RF to RCF, near the RF line is not bad at all (just ask Utley). Re-working a swing is risky.

    Note: “He doesn’t walk very often” is inaccurate. In his last 2 full seasons, Granderson averaged 80 walks, despite hitting in front of sluggers. This ain’t 2000; 80 is a lot these days.

    • Joe Janish December 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm
      I did reconsider the walk comment after hitting “publish,” thanks for pointing that out. I think I was comparing his walk totals through the years to Bay’s, and seeing seasons where Granderson walked 50-60 times while Bay was closer to 90-100. In the end, though, their walk rates are pretty close.

      As for being streaky, Granderson is absolutely a streak hitter. Even in his two big 40+ HR years with the Yankees, he had months struggling to stay above the Mendoza Line, with serious consideration of benching him and Yankees fans calling for his head. A guy can’t strike out as often as he does, and bat for an average as low as he does, and avoid frequent slumps.

      Does it make sense to put a .310-.320 OBP guy in front of Wright, who is usually closer to .390?

      I felt compelled to do the HR distance comparison because it seems everyone in the Mets blogosphere is using the overlay to convince themselves that Granderson’s power cannot be contained by Citi Cavern, and it’s so eerily similar to when people were using the same logistics to say the same thing about Bay. And as it turns out, Bay smacked ‘em even further prior to making Flushing his home.

      • argonbunnies December 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm
        Yeah, but with Bay, that issue was completely irrelevant. Citi Field can’t cost you any home runs when you’re not hitting the ball hard. Bay declined, got hurt, and couldn’t get his weird swing on track. The park had nothing to do with it.

        I’m sad to hear that about Granderson’s streakiness. Makes sense; I just hadn’t heard it before. You really don’t want someone like that staying in a key lineup spot all year. I wish managers were more flexible about bunching the hot hands and putting good hitters 7th if they happen to be ice cold.

        If Wright’s followed by Grandy, Young and Duda, we may never see a “rally” again — it’ll simply be a question of how many guys have walked before the HRs are hit. Murphy’s hitting style drove me nuts last year, but in 2014, some contact and some singles might be a breath of fresh air.

  2. James Preller December 12, 2013 at 8:05 am
    Joe, you do a great job, andi generally agree — love the signing, but think the overall performance might disappoint. I guess that’s called cognitive dissonance. With Bay, I think you are minimizing the concussion factor. He kept running into walls head first. The rate of his decline stemmed from head trauma, IMO, but there are no fancy spray charts to measure that.
  3. NormE December 12, 2013 at 8:24 am
    Joe J.,this was a well thought out column.

    I wonder what would happen if TC came up with this batting order (providing that there were no more deals)?
    1 Grandy
    2 Wright
    3 Murph
    4 C Young
    5 Duda (Davis)/Satin
    6 TDA
    7 Lagares/MDD
    8 Tejada
    Do you think TC would ever do such a thing?

    • Joe Janish December 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm
      I don’t think so. I also don’t know if Grandy can be a leadoff guy again. Can he just flip a switch and be a .360 OBP guy again?

      Also, a whole lot of nuthin’ in those last 6 spots.

    • DanB December 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm
      I was thinking the same lineup but I doubt Grandy can leadoff any more and they are so desperate for power later in the lineup. But I always dream of Wright in the 2 slot. With his OBP and speed, it would work. Plus it would give him 18 more at bats in the last inning over batting 3. But the Mets never had any other 3 slot options.
  4. DaveSchneck December 12, 2013 at 9:17 am
    Joe,
    Nice report – this would net you at least an A- back in the English Comp classes of yore.

    There is risk in every single FA signing. It comes with the turf. There is certainly the chance that Grandy flops or doesn’t provide value equal to the financial commitment. To me, the Mets need was clear, and to trade for a big bat would have cost a big salary plus multiple prospects. So the choices were –
    1, do nothing like the last three years
    2. empty multiple prospects for a proven power hitter
    3. commit $100+ mil to any one of Choo, Ellsbury, even Cruz
    4. commit $60 mil to Grandy, with the warts you mention above, and also with a track record of succeeding in NYC and by all accounts an excellent guy and teammate

    To me, #4 is the only real option.

  5. jgills December 12, 2013 at 10:37 am
    I don’t think any of us are expecting monster stats from Granderson. I believe he will be a serviceable member of the team. There will be slumps as well as some streaks.

    Comparing Granderson to Bay seems pessimistic. Bay is an enigma. A lot of good players have off or even bad seasons. Bay last few seasons appeared as if every baseball skill he had had completely abandoned him.

  6. Eric Kench December 12, 2013 at 11:03 am
    I couldn’t agree more. I hate this signing. All we needed was a lefty hitting outfielder with a high lifetime BA to platoon with Andrew Brown whom I think is capable of hitting stats that are comparable to Chris Young.
  7. friend December 12, 2013 at 11:38 am
    “there are far too many similarities”

    Ah, but did Bay ever profess to believe that all true New Yorkers are Mets fans?

  8. argman December 12, 2013 at 11:43 am
    Joe, I am pulling for Granderson of course, but everything you say reflects doubts that were lurking in the back of my mind but that I hadn’t investigated to the degree that you have here. It made me also think of another older outfielder the Mets once obtained, George Foster. His peak performances were (I think) actually stronger than Bay’s or Grandy’s. The interesting thing with Foster is that his 3rd and 4th seasons with the Mets were actually stronger than his first two – as the team got more competitive in ’84 and ’85, so did Foster. Of course being surrounded by Hernandez and Strawberry in ’84 probably helped him some, ya think?
  9. crozier December 12, 2013 at 11:47 am
    Holy cow, 3000 words on Granderson for the sheer heck of it.

    Sleep much, Joe?

    I like your front-loading of how much you like the guy, since I do as well. And as you’ve shown in monstrous detail, there are reasons to be concerned. No question, Granderson could bomb.

    But the boring detail I’d bring to this is that Granderson is a risk regardless of whether or not Jason Bay ever played baseball. He’s over 30, so he can’t be expected to play the game as he did at 28; and when has this not been true? There was this dude Mickey Mantle who absolutely smoked the AL in his age 32 year. Had the Mets picked him up for his final four seasons, they’d find his best years were behind him (although with Mantle, sub-par is relative – his OPS+ was over 135 in each of his last four declining years). You never know, right?

    To your last and best question, would four seasons of decent power and low average benefit the Mets? Depends on the rest of the lineup, really. If they’re a competitive club with a couple good hitters around him, I bet he’s a key contributor so long as he stays healthy. Which is to say that no one expects him to carry the team, Beltran-style. If the Mets fail to otherwise bolster their offense, it’s irrelevant to ponder if he was worth the money.

    Regardless, nice work. Just remember to eat and sleep, okay?

    • Joe Janish December 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm
      As an 8-year-old, my sister described me thusly: “he eats and sleeps baseball.”

      Nothing has changed.

  10. ChrisB December 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm
    I don’t think the defense/steals comparison holds well. During his time in Boston, Bay was at best an average LF. If I remember correctly, his steals were of the “No one is holding me… go for it” variety, as opposed to the pitcher throwing over 10 times trying to keep the runner close variety.

    Grandy is a good base stealer. If anything, the powerful lineups are a disincentive to stealing because the team has a lead, or there are runners on base ahead of you so you can’t steal. He’d go weeks without a steal because there was no need to, then steal 4 or 5 in a week because of a good pitching matchup.

    On D, Bay was a poor LF, Grandy is a decent CF. With a very small LF in Fenway, Bay was OK. But LF is usually a low-value defensive position where you can stick almost anyone (Duda?) and CF is a critical position. So defensively I think you’d have to give the nod to Grandy.

    • Joe Janish December 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm
      Maybe it doesn’t hold well. I’m not suggesting these players are identical, only that there are similarities. Bay once stole 20 bases, and often stole between 10 and 20 — he stole 13 while in the Bosox slugging lineup. Granderson certainly is faster and a more prolific base-stealer, and a better defender but my point is that they had similar skill sets.
  11. Brian December 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    Hey Joe. Love your writing, as always. I think you do very well to think independently and critically, so I dig.

    A couple of issues though with this piece.

    1) “the Mets HAD TO sign Curtis Granderson. It was absolutely, positively, the right move, right now. Beyond an uptick in ticket sales, the Mets will benefit greatly from Granderson’s presence. He lifts the image of the organization…”

    Really? Do you know one person who is going out tomorrow to buy season tickets because the Mets got CURTIS GRANDERSON? I don’t.

    2) I don’t think Bay-Granderson are comparable, but I do agree with you that both players are coming from situations that perfectly suited their skills into a tough ballpark on a worse team. So … that’s going to be a big challenge.

    • crozier December 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm
      Brian, I made your first point to Joe in another post, and we more or less ended up in the same place on the subject. While true that Granderson won’t ever grace the Citi Field mural, signing him and Colon will inspire optimism in a sector of the fan base. The team is spending money on quality players (not to say superstars), so from a psychological standpoint, many will feel better about the team’s chances in 2014. And that should improve sales, a little, maybe.

      I’m not there yet, myself, but another bat in the lineup would go a long way to liking their chances next year.

      • DanB December 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm
        I don’t think the Mets adding one bat will help with fan interest but adding two bats would. Well, you can’t add the second one without adding the first one. Granderson is the first one. I think Argman was dead on with the Foster comparrison. We never expected much but it was the sign that things were changing. As far the Bay/Granderson comparrison, Bay was brought in to put the Mets over the topand into the World Series. He failed miserably. Granderson was brought in so the entire fan base doesn’t completely give up on the franchise. Granderson already suceeded, if for only this off season.
    • Joe Janish December 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm
      Thanks Brian!

      1) Yes. I personally know 3 people who said they were on the fence, but now will be buying a ticket package of some sort as a result of the Granderson signing.

      2) Why don’t you think Bay-Granderson are comparable? Remember the perspective of this piece is from the moment Bay signed, and what we knew about him up to that point. And he was a legitimate stud at the time — he and Holliday were the top bats on the market.

    • DaveSchneck December 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm
      Brian,
      Ultimately ticket sales will be determined by winning. The Met ownership/management has created a tremendous amount of ill will amongst the fan base. I doubt highly that any one signing would have that much impact on ticket sales. It will take numerous steps, to build a quality product and to re-build the customer confidence tht ownership is really trying to win. Let’s see where things stand on opening day 2014. It may take longewr than a year to rebuild the brand, even if 2014 is a winning season, but there are 5 million Met fans in the NY metropolitan area, so sooner or later a good ballclub will translate into more ticket sales and viewership.
  12. Joe December 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm
    Jason Bay was signed that year as the main sign that the team would “do something” notable.

    That alone is no longer true with the Colon signing. This besides other pieces (such as up and coming pitching) that is seen as a key part of this team. This already makes him not quite “the next Jason Bay.” Getting horribly injured and then not even playing defense well so that the team just gave up on him also has to happen for him to be “the next Jason Bay.”

    It’s possible that CG will significantly for whatever reason fall in value. But, much less that he will fall off a “cliff” … along with already being but a piece of the answer, the Bay comparison is overblown.

    A more appropriate metaphor should be used to address concerns he will drop in value.

    • Joe December 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm
      Don’t know why this is awaiting moderation.
  13. argman December 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    Joe – what about Torii Hunter as a comparison. Hunter struck out less but also walked less than Granderson, and the rest of their numbers aren’t all that dissimilar at comparable ages. Hunter has done held up pretty well in his mid to late thirties, first for the Angels and last year for Detroit. And he also made the switch from CF to RF over that period. Is it unreasonable to hope that becomes a better comparison than Bay?
  14. izzy December 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm
    Lots of interesting thoughts on the Mets. Two thoughts strike me about Granderson. The first is that everyone talks about his reduced BA in 2012 but says OK because he whacked 40 homers. But last year, despite the freak fractures he still managed over 200 ABs and he really stunk. So there should be a lot of concern that Alderson blew another one. The second one is that the team closest to him, looked at this records, his health records and his performance closer than any other team seemingly made absolutely no move to keep him and then signed a guy three years older for basically the same eal (minus one year). He may turn out OK, but the concern s about this sign, as with every other Alderson sign are legit.
    • crozier December 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm
      He really stunk, with two freak fractures…to his wrist. And you’re surprised? David Wright kind of stunk when he had a stress fracture in his back. How strange was that?

      Why should I be concerned that Sandy blew another one in December? I have all next spring and summer to determine that — with actual, genuine data. Armed only with pessimism, it’s easy to conclude the worst in December, but not very useful.

      • Izzy December 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm
        I don’t care what you are concerned about Crozier but I do care about assinine comparisons that are made to defend another possibly bad sign by lord Loserson. you want to compare wright to Granderson. how absolutely out of line you be. Nowlets see, you want to compare the results of Granderson who did not play with the fractures, who waited until heis bones were healed before playing to a guy who actually was playing with a broken back.. I am always amazed how some feel the need to defedn this Loser of a GM no matter how far they have to go to modify the truth, forget details, make up stuff, it used to be called LIE. So lets clear your mind. Granderson returned healthy from his fractures and stunk, Wright played with a broken bone in his back for a month, and played pretty well. As far as you n ot being concerned until late in the season, why don’t you wait 4 full years, then you can be perfect as I’m sure you called Jason Bay perfectly after all the years of failure. Your hindsight is easy. Analyzing and trying to predict takes brains…….. Use them next time you want to go off.
        • Andrew Lloyd December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm
          Still spewing bile on everyone huh Izzy? try getting laid man, might help your attitude.

          as for the mets, so you hate alderson, and you hate the granderson signing. we get it. yes, he’s a walking blizzard of K’s, that’s pretty clear. Also hits a ton of HR, I’d be surprised if he hit less than 25 this year. He’s a much MUCH better signing than, say, BJ Upton last year…just another comparison.

          And Colon? I suppose that’s a terrible move, too? Going out and getting an ace on a low-risk (in terms of total dollars) contract that will at least make them potentially competitive this year?

          Alderson’s made some horrible moves, but he’s also made some strong ones. I’d be really, really surprised if the dial isn’t headed north on this team, starting in ’14. So why don’t you just relax man, your shrillness is ultra annoying.

        • crozier December 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm
          I was going to make some rude remarks in your direction, Iz, but the fact of the matter is, I’m not terribly respectful of you, so I guess I deserve it when you do likewise.

          Don’t get me wrong; you are, actually, an idiot. But you have every right to erroneously say the same about me.

  15. Quinn December 13, 2013 at 1:57 am
    I believe TC already stated he would use Granderson as the clean up hitter.
  16. Steve Hussy December 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    Well, at least credit Izzy for being consistent for years. Although I happen to side with both Andrew and Crozier.

    Izzy, at what amount of wins in 2014 will you “mea culpa” and accept that your negative predictions haven’t played out?

    And Joe, could we have an “Izzy-o-meter” tracking whether the Mets reach Izzy’s prediction of 75 wins or so? Then Izzy can really attack everyone else. He can wear a “King of Predictions” crown.

    Izzy, you get even more masochist thrills when the Mets lose. And the rest of us hope for the best and enjoy some baseball and quality analysis from Mr. Janish. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

  17. Dan B December 15, 2013 at 2:25 pm
    For all of Izzy”s hyperbole and bitterness what not to be missed is that his opinion about Alderson is not without merit. Under Alderson the Mets have been miserable with one of the worst records in baseball. Some defend him by pointing to his stockpile of pitching prospects however after trading away three of our top players and having high draft picks every year the farm system is still only ranked in the middle of the pack and he might be forced to trade away pitchers to get sorely lacking position players.
    • Andrew Lloyd December 15, 2013 at 7:51 pm
      wouldn’t disagree with that at all. He did an awful job with the Angel Pagan trade; the Francisco signing; the Reyes non-trade and subsequent non-signing; and even the draft, e.g. Nimmo who has given no indication of being a particularly high ceiling player.

      But the Beltran and Dickey trades were very well handled, and the organization seems pointed in the right direction. Dominic Smith and K Plawecki seem to have been good gets.

      So in the end it’s a mixed bag – I personally am lukewarm but coming around on Granderson; the Colon signing I love.

      As for Izzy, he’s just a loose cannon and runs around popping off in a stupid way. And the notion that Alderson is a total idiot or the second coming of Satan just isn’t accurate, IMO.

      • norme December 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm
        The unfortunate things about Izzy is that his good baseball perceptions get lost when he goes overboard in his dislike for Alderson. There was a recent period where Izzy calmed down and his comments were worthwhile. Then we got the old Izzy back. Too bad.
        Dan B and Andrew Lloyd pretty much nailed it.
      • crozier December 16, 2013 at 10:20 am
        Pagan played well for the Giants and, um, whatshisname, Torres? I forget, played poorly for the Mets. Alderson lost that deal, but predicting performance is about as easy as predicting bestselling novels. Which is to say, the deal could have gone the other way. I won’t even consider that trade when determining Alderson’s value to the club.

        This year is when we can truly judge his performance, though. Let’s see if the Beltran and Dickey trades make a difference. It certainly won’t change Izzy’s attitude, but that’s just the way he likes it.

  18. CleonJames December 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    The Mets should almost never bring in older hitters to save the club. Clendenon was an exception, as was Carter. However, for the most part Jim Fregosi has served as the model for all the failures, including Roberto Alomar, who came to the mets coming off a 350 season and he could not hit with them. I believe alomar in a sense proves the point for all to follow. the mets should build around young players and pitching. Beltran was probably one of the most talented players ever to wear a mets uniform, and he had a bad first year also. If Beltran couldn’t do it, Grandy will never do it in his first year, and then the boo birds will have gotten traction. This is a horrifically, horrifically, horrifically bad signing, one of the worst of all time.
    • Joe Janish December 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm
      I don’t think it’s fair, nor possible, for any team to bring in any one person — hitter, pitcher, of any age — to “save the club.”

      Not even A-Rod, in his prime and taking the best PEDs money could buy, could save the Rangers.

      This won’t necessarily be a bad signing if the Mets continue to add good pieces this winter, and add a few more between now and April 2015. But will they?

      • CleonJames December 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm
        True. I probably should not use the word “save.” I probably chose that word because there are not enough pieces around him, and his propensity to strike out means that they are not even being true to Money Ball model. the mets have been more patient the last couple of years as hitters and that has helped them stay in the 70 wins club. This year I predict they will win about 70 wins or less. Unless they find a hitter who can make contact and produce some runs, a tall order.
  19. Alan Shapiro December 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm
    There is a serious and simple flaw in your analysis. Only 81 of 162 games are played at CitiField. Only half of the games in 2011 and 2012 were played in Yankee Stadium. You would have to compare the hypothetical CitiField HRs with HRs in the 81 games at Yankee Stadium. The other half of the analysis would have to consider the dimensions of National League ballparks and the HRs that Grandersen hit on the road.