John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of
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June 20: Father’s Day Mets Links & Open Thread

Palm Beach Post – The Marlins decided to hand out vuvuzelas at last night’s game. The result was panned by critics and players as the worst giveaway idea ever.

NY Daily News – Wally Backman, Cory Vaughn and the Brooklyn Cyclones are 2-0.

NY Post – Jerry Manuel has thrown John Maine under the bus. Again. Classy.

Amazin’ Avenue – Sam Page on Omar Minaya, former Expos, John Maine and Jerry Manuel making roster decisions. The best Mets-related post you’ll read all day.

ESPN New York – Mark Simon says Johan Santana isn’t putting hitters away with two strikes.

Bronx Brass Tacks -Yankee blogger Ryan Tandy lectures Mets fans on the art of winning, the danger of Jose Reyes waking sleeping giants, and an instance of giraffe-speak.

Brooklyn Met Fan – BMF says yesterday’s loss was acceptable.

Long Live Shea Stadium – A scouting report on today’s Yankees’ starter, C.C. Sabathia.


The Mets (39-29) will play the Yankees (42-26) in the rubber game of the subway series this afternoon. Johan Santana (5-3, 3.13) will face C.C. Sabathia (7-3, 4.00). First pitch at 1:05pm.


BONUS VIDEO: This is from last night’s Marlins-Rays game. Listen to those vuvuzelas… UGH.


June 18: PM Mets Links and Open Thread

New York Times – Tyler Kepner thinks the Mets are starting to resemble the 2005 Yankees.

Wall Street Journal – R.M. Schneiderman has the info on tonight’s OTHER subway series – the Brooklyn Cyclones visit the Staten Island Yankees to kick off the NY-Penn League season.

Wall Street Journal – Kevin Clark reports on Cyclones manager Wally Backman and his long road back to affiliated baseball.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper breaks out the graphs to show how David Wright has cut down on his strikeouts. I imagine Kerel is a whiz when it comes to PowerPoint presentations. Take that as a request, Kerel.

MetsBlog – Matt Cerrone answers the question, “What is an extended spring training game?”

LoHud – Chad Jennings has the pitching matchups for the Mets-Yankees series:

RHP Javier Vazquez (6-5, 5.43)
LHP Hisanori Takahashi (5-2, 3.48)
7:05 p.m., MY9

RHP Phil Hughes (9-1, 3.11)
RHP Mike Pelfrey (9-1, 2.39)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

LHP CC Sabathia (7-3, 4.00)
LHP Johan Santana (5-3, 3.13)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and TBS


The Mets (38-28) take on the Yankees (41-25) tonight at the house that public funds built. Hisanori Takahashi (5-2, 3.48) will be opposed by Javier Vazquez (6-5, 5.43).



June 18: Friday Morning Mets Links

Got links if you want it:

Long Live Shea Stadium – Anthony has a scouting report on the pitcher the Mets will face tonight – Yankees’ starter Javier Vasquez.

MetsToday – Will the Mets deal for a starter? If so, who will they target? John Delcos shares his thoughts on a very special episodes of MetsToday.

24 Hours From Suicide – LongIslandMetsFan is rooting for Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman.

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper breaks down who’s hot and who’s not. Extra credit: Kerel was mentioned in AM New York.

TheRoPolitans – Andrew Vazzano is starting to believe… Extra credit: Andrew was mentioned in AM New York.

The Daily Stache – Kevin Kearns tells us how – please sit down for this if you aren’t already – IKE DAVIS COULD HAVE BEEN AN ATLANTA BRAVE.

New York Times – Jerry Seinfeld will broadcast Wednesday’s Mets-Tigers game with Gary Keith and Ron.

Paul’s Random Stuff – A look at some of Paul’s autographed Kahn’s Mets baseball card set. Random, indeed.

And finally, via ESPN New York, we have a video recap of last night’s Mets and Yankees games, as well as a short preview of the upcoming subway series:


Thursday Morning Mets Links

MetsToday – If you haven’t seen Joe Janish’s post on the Mets’ roster, check it out.

OnTheBlack – Are the Mets setting fans up for disappointment? Take the poll and see what other fans think.

The Daily Stache – Randy Shemanski thinks Jenrry Mejia should be starting in the minor leagues.

Amazin Avenue – James Kannengieser thinks Jenrry Mejia should be starting in the minor leagues.

TedQuarters – Ted Berg crunches some numbers to explain Johan Santana’s performance.

TheRoPolitans – Andrew Vazzano shares a pearl of wisdom from Jerry Manuel.

ESPN New York – Adam Rubin gives an update on the minor leagues.

And in case you missed it, here’s Jason Bay discussing his collision/injury from last night’s game. Bay is fine, but is expected to be rested today – because that’s a rule Jerry Manuel made up:


Wednesday Night Links & Open Thread

Links on the way… Stay tuned.

Long Live Shea Stadium – LLSS has a scouting report on Indians’ starter Mitch Talbot.

Mets Kool Aid – Did you realize the Mets have won 9 out of 10 games since they 86’d Gary Matthews Jr. and Oliver Perez? I didn’t… (Get it? 86’d? Whatever…)

Newark Star-Ledger – Andy McCullough reports that Jerry Manuel would like to see Ike Davis bunting on occasion against the shift.

213 Miles From Shea – A look at some decent recent late-round draft picks.

MetsBlog – Matt Cerrone reports that Arizona may be shopping Kelly Johnson. Interesting news, but Akinori Iwamura will come at a much cheaper price.

Tonight’s Game

Tonight, the Mets (36-28)are taking on the Indians (25-38) in Cleveland. Ohio native Jon Niese (3-2, 3.61) gets the ball for the Mets and he will be faced by Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot (7-4, 3.59).


Brooklyn Cyclones Announce Preliminary Roster


The Brooklyn Cyclones begin their season on Friday night against the Staten Island Yankees. The Cyclones have announced their preliminary roster. Presumably, Cyclones manager Wally Backman will make a few roster moves before the season begins.


#  	Name  		POS  	Bats  	Throws
7	CENTENO, Juan 	C 	L 	R
13	FREEMAN, Taylor C 	L 	R 

Infielders »
# 	Name 			POS 	Bats 	Throws
3	SANDOVAL, Rylan 	SS 	R 	R
12	SCHROEDER, James 	3B 	R 	R
22	BROWN, J.B. 		2B 	L 	R
25	BONFE, Joe 		3B 	R 	R
29	BUTLER, Jet 		SS 	S 	R
32	FLAGG, Jeff 		1B 	R 	R 

Outfielders »
# 	Name 			POS 	Bats 	Throws
10	CECILIANI, Darrell 	OF 	L 	L
11	CHERRY, Will 		OF 	R 	R
17	HOLLIDAY, Cody 		OF 	L 	L
21	HARRIS, R.J. 		OF 	L 	L
27	VAUGHN, Cory 		OF 	R 	R
44	STEINHAUER, Kurt 	OF 	R 	R 

Pitchers »
# 	Name 			POS 	Bats 	Throws
2	WRENN, Wes 		P 	R 	R
5	HILLIARD, Chris 	P 	L 	L
18	CUAN, Angel 		P 	L 	L
20	PINERA, A.J. 		P 	R 	R
23	BENNETT, Hamilton 	P 	R 	L
28	LEDUC, Guillaume 	P 	R 	R
31	NEEDHAM, Brian 		P 	R 	R
33	KOUNTIS, Jonathan 	P 	R 	R
35	CARNEVALE, Hunter 	P 		R
39	SHEPPARD, Chad 		P 	R 	R
43	FRASER, Ryan 		P 	R 	R
45	MARTINEZ, Pedro 	P 	P 	R
46	ALMONTE, Yohan 		P 	R 	R
47	HOUCK, Mitch 		P 	L 	L
49	PEREIRA, Nelson 	P 	L 	L

Akinori Iwamura? Why not?

CBS Sports is reporting the Pirates have designated struggling second baseman Akinori Iwamura for assignment. The move clears room for top prospect Pedro Alvarez at the big league level.

Iwamura, who is making $4.8 million, has been one of the majors’ worst offensive players, batting .182 with two homers and nine RBI while striking out 31 times in 165 at-bats. Coming off major knee surgery last season with Tampa Bay, Iwamura showed minimal range defensively at second base.


Sounds terrible…

But he’s not. And the Mets should take a flyer on the guy. Here’s why:

  1. From 2007-09, he recorded an OPS of .770, .729 and .745. In other words, there is talent in there, somewhere.
  2. He’s 31 years old and coming off knee surgery, so he probably wasn’t worth the risk of a big contract, but that was the Pirates’ mistake. The time is right to buy low. VERY low.
  3. He would provide a veteran left-handed bat off the bench
  4. Iwamura entered May 23 batting .151.  Since then, he has raised his average 30 points to .181, mostly in a backup role. During that same time period, he raised his OPS from .481 to .558.
  5. Although he has primarily played 2B/3B during his time in the majors, Iwamura played outfield in the minor leagues (in Japan) and there were reports that he would play shortstop when he reported to spring training for Tampa Bay in 2007. In other words, he could be a left-handed version of Tatis and Cora, combined… albeit without the leadership qualities.

I’m not a big fan of signing or trading for washed up veterans, but I’m not convinced this guy is washed up. If  Iwamura can be had on the cheap, he could be a versatile role player down the stretch.


Wednesday Morning Mets Links

OnTheBlack – Kerel Cooper tackles the age-old question, “Should the Mets trade for Cliff Lee or sign Pedro?”

BeGoneWithWilpon – BGWW says the Mets are winning despite the Wilpons’ penny pinching. Well there’s that and also there’s the whole, “a bunch of players that Omar and Jerry tried to bury are currently major contributors,” thing. Po-TAY-toe, Po-TOT-toe, so to speak.

Hot Foot Blog – HFB has a slightly creepy photo of a very young David Wright. The creepy part? He looks almost exactly the same. Still, a very cool find.

ESPN New York – Adam Rubin has a complete minor league rundown from last night.

FanHouse – Nando Di Fino has a fascinating story of a barnstorming tour that was planned for 1995 by the MLBPA.

And via ESPN New York, here is video of Jon Niese talking about growing up as an Indians fan: