Archive: November 2nd, 2010

2010 Analysis: Jon Niese

Young lefthander Jonathon Niese made great strides in 2010, emerging as a capable MLB pitcher with mental toughness and competitive fire.

His final numbers didn’t fully tell the story; he posted a 9-10 record with a 4.20 ERA, 148 Ks, 64 BB, and 192 hits in 30 starts covering 173 innings – pretty ho-hum and not necessarily indicative of a star on the rise. But in truth, Niese probably wasn’t ready to pitch a full season at the MLB level after missing the second half of 2009 and winter ball with a torn hamstring.

At times, Niese was spectacular – for example, his one-hit shutout of the Padres in Game 60. At other times, he looked overmatched, struggling to find the strike zone and getting hit hard when he did. Over the course of the season, his performance was uneven, mainly due to his occasional overuse of the cutter (which is actually a slider), which in turn was partially the cause for inconsistency with his mechanics and arm angle.

Niese’s fastball didn’t have enough movement to rely on heavily against MLB hitters, so the “quick fix” was to


Wally Backman: Tea Party Candidate?

Being that it’s Election Day and all, I wonder if the next Mets manager could be based on the results of a vote by the people?

Of course this is a fantasy, but hypothetically speaking, who would be the candidates in such an election, and what parties would they represent?

Bob Melvin: Republican, conservative
He’ll stay the course, and dutifully follow the orders set forth by the right-wing lobbyists / upper middle class.

Ken Macha: Democrat, liberal
He’ll also stay the course, but appeal to the left-wing lobbyists / lower middle class.

Bobby Valentine: write-in candidate

He doesn’t consider himself a candidate, but openly lobbies for the job (this is different from Adam Rubin lobby for job) without a party endorsement.

Joe Lieberman: Lieberman Party
Who else is qualified to run as the Lieberman Party candidate? There are a bunch of Mets fans in Connecticut.

Clint Hurdle: Christian Right / Christian Coalition
He will make sure Mets players uphold the virtues set forth by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Chip Hale: Reform Party
Endorsed by Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura, Hale symbolizes the party’s core belief in centrism.

Tim Teufel: Constitution Party

They couldn’t convince Pat Buchanan to join the ranks, but Tim Teufel would seem a more feasible party leader.

Joe McEwing: Green Party

Ralph Nader became famous after writing the book Unsafe At Any Speed. Similarly, Super Joe’s career 62% basestealing percentage (33 SB, 20 CS) made him unsafe at any speed.

Ken Oberkfell: Worker’s Party
The symbol of the working man, Oberkfell embodies the party’s fundamental vision that all men have a right to a secure job.
Wally Backman: Boston Tea Party
The Tea Partyers long for the the way things were in the 1980s, and tap into the majority’s anger with the two-party system. Like most Tea Party candidates, he is a darkhorse, but on everyone’s radar.