Browsing Archive February, 2012

Blog Roundup: Leap Year Edition

We only get to do this every 4 years or so: The Leap Year Edition of the Blog Roundup!  As a bonus, Spring Training is well underway on the 29th day of February, and there’s already much to talk about.

Here’s an extra day of Blogs:

  • Real Dirty Mets has a recap of a conference call the Mets held to allow bloggers to interview Terry Collins.
  • Kevin Burkhardt has an interview with Sandy Alderson and, as a bonus, the corner outfielders de Facto.
  • Mets 360 honors the return of the silent era with an acetate version of an Ed Kranepool baseball card.
  • Mets Police continues the retro trend with a Mets/Jets postcard of Shea Stadium.
  • The ‘Ropolitans was given a helpful suggestion from the MLB At Bat app.
  • Bleacher Report has a cautiously optimistic outlook for Frank Francisco.

That’s all for today.  Stay tuned to Mets Today for coverage of your favorite team 366 days a year!

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Should Mets Sign Pudge Rodriguez?

According to Mike Puma:

A Mets official spoke with Ivan Rodriguez as recently as 10 days ago, and the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing Rodriguez as a backup to Josh Thole. But before the Mets spend the roughly $2 million they have remaining in the budget, their priority is to ensure Johan Santana is healthy. Otherwise, the remaining money would be allocated toward another starting pitcher. The Mets official told Rodriguez to “stay in shape,” because anything can still happen.

I feel like there is a Pudge-to-Mets rumor right after the end of every season and right before the beginning of every season; it’s like a bookend. Could it really happen this time?

In past seasons, signing Ivan Rodriguez would have made plenty of sense, because the Mets could have used his veteran experience and leadership behind the plate in years when they were gunning for the postseason. Now, I’m not so sure why the Mets would add him.

Perhaps Pudge fits in as a mentor, both to Josh Thole and to the youngsters on the Mets’ pitching staff. The Thole idea holds water, but as for the latter, the Mets’ Opening Day roster doesn’t project to have many “young” pitchers. Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Pedro Beato are all the youngest, at 25 years old (and Beato may start the year in AAA), so I’m not sure the “teaching the youngsters” thing flies.

On the other hand, I wonder if the Mets bring in Pudge because they don’t have confidence in Thole to properly handle a pitching staff. If that’s the case, well, hmm … if Thole isn’t going to be given the chance to learn this year, then he likely never will.

One more possibility: the Mets believe that there’s still enough left in Pudge to make him a worthwhile chip at the trading deadline. Who knows? If he goes on a hot streak in June, and a contender’s starting catcher goes down with injury, Pudge could command interest.

My best guess is that the Mets would bring in Ivan Rodriguez to both teach Thole and take some of the load off of him. Mike Nickeas appears to be a solid defensive catcher who pitchers like to work with, but Nickeas doesn’t have the same aura or experience that Pudge does — and therefore isn’t as valuable as Pudge in terms of mentoring Josh Thole.

What do you think? Should the Mets bring in Pudge? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.

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Get Single Game Mets Tickets Before Everyone Else

Want to be the first one on your block to purchase single-game Mets tickets?

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 10:00 a.m. and through Thursday, March 1 at 11:59 p.m., MetsToday readers can go to Mets.com/blogs and purchase tickets for 2012 games. When prompted for a presale code, type in these letters: HODGES.

A limited number of tickets for Opening Day (April 5 vs. Braves) and the Subway Series (June 22, 23 & 24) games will be available in this Presale. Each ticket purchaser is limited to a maximum of eight tickets per game, subject to availability.

Again, this offer begins at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday and continues through Thursday night.

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Jeff Wilpon Ticks Off David Wright

Has David Wright finally grown a backbone, and discovered a voice? Is he now ready to speak his mind, rather than provide diplomatic canned quotes? Are we going to find out who David Wright really is this year?

From the Daily News:

COO Jeff Wilpon on Monday presented each member of the team with an orange T-shirt depicting the “U” symbol from the 1960’s TV cartoon “Underdog.” While most Mets, including manager Terry Collins, appeared to enjoy the stunt, Wright wasn’t thrilled.

“I don’t really like using the whole underdog thing. I don’t really like playing that card,” Wright said. “I think it’s just a way to remind everybody in here that the outside expectations aren’t the expectations that we have for ourselves.

“But we in here kind of have to rally around that and get it going,” Wright continued. “I guess, at the end of the day, that is kind of an underdog theme, but we shouldn’t view ourselves as that. We’ll let everybody else view ourselves as that, because I think we kind of know what we’re capable of doing.”

Mr. Wright makes valid points. He also has blatantly poo-pooed an ill-conceived motivational tactic by his boss. The idea of the “Underdog” T-shirt in and of itself may not have been ill-conceived, but the fact it came from Jeff Wilpon destroyed any hope of it having an impact on the players. Stuff like that has to come from the players themselves — not from an outsider. And yes, the COO of a baseball team is an outsider. Sorry, Jeff, but that’s the way baseball teams work — you’re not “one of the guys”, you’re the boss, and therefore whatever you provide them as “encouragement” is seen as something forced, something they have to do.

I wonder, Will Wright make more comments like this going forward? In other words, is he coming out of his “good boy” shell to say what he really feels, rather than try to fulfill the image of The Face of the Franchise? Could this change in behavior be in any way related to the rumors that Wright will be traded by July 31st, and/or the Mets’ inaction in regard to initiating a contract extension for Wright?

Stay tuned, this could turn into an (under)dogfight.

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Mets Hall of Fame: The Roberto Alomar Wing

The inaugural inductee.

It’s a little-known fact that the Mets have a special wing of their team hall of fame.  It’s reserved for players who meet the following criteria:

A player who puts up awesome numbers every year until the exact moment he puts on a Mets uniform.

It’s called the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame.  It’s not for every bad trade or free-agent signing.  It’s not for a player the Mets acquired who was obviously past his prime.  It’s only for the most dramatic examples of a player whose career takes a nose dive as soon as he dons a Mets jersey.

The committee in charge of the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame will keep a close eye on Jason Bay this year.  He’s virtually a lock as it is, but if he happens to pull off a miracle season, the committee might change its mind.  It will be one of the more intriguing storylines of 2012.

With that said, here are the current members of the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame.

Roberto Alomar – The inaugural member.  Alomar was well on his way to a hall of fame career (he would eventually be inducted into Cooperstown in 2011) when he came to the Mets in 2002.  He had hit over .300 9 out of his 14 seasons in the majors up until that point.  The only time he finished the season with a batting average under .280 was in his rookie season, when he batted .266.  In 2001, he hit .336 with 20 HRs, 100 RBIs, and a career-high .956 OPS.

Then he became a Met.

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