Tag: chipper jones

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Shea Stadium


Mets Today has always been a fan of tales of Mets nostalgia. It’s been nearly three years since the last game was played at Shea Stadium, thus ending a thirty-four year era of fastballs, scorecards and silhouetted baseball players bathed in neon as night fell on the stadium. Too often during its waning days as the home to the New York Mets, the Flushing-based ballpark drew the ire of fans as well as opposing players for its ramshackle appearance and antiquated ways. Much like its Long Island neighbor, the Nassau Coliseum, Shea became an icon for a team that had had short bursts of success surrounded by years of frustration and defeat. However, inasmuch as the Mets faithful were eager to welcome Citi Field into their lives and in turn hopefully bring about a new era of baseball, there was something special about Shea, something endearing. It was a place Met fans called home. There are also quite a few things about Shea that many of us never knew.

10. Living in Flushing was never

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Braves Acquire Dan Uggla

As you may already know, the Marlins have traded Dan Uggla to the Braves for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.

I have to say I’m a little surprised at how little the Braves had to part with in order to obtain perhaps the best offensive second baseman in the National League. Sure, his glove leaves a lot to be desired, but Uggla’s bat fits right into the middle of any MLB lineup — and all the Braves had to give up was a utility man and a middle reliever?

As a result of the deal, the Braves immediately bolster an offense that was lackluster for most of 2010. Uggla steps in as the second baseman, and Infante’s clone Martin Prado moves from 2B to 3B to start in the 80 – 100 games Chipper Jones is likely to miss due to one ailment or another.

Meanwhile, with the addition of Dunn, the Fish add another young wild lefthander to the bullpen. Dunn impressed last year with a blazing fastball and 27 strikeouts in only 19 innings — though, he also walked 17. Prado had a career year, hitting .321 in 134 games and earning an All-Star appearance. He figures to step into the void at second base, though he’s unlikely to replace Uggla’s bat in the lineup.

I get that this trade was about economics, and that Uggla is potentially a one-year rental, but I still don’t get how the Marlins didn’t hold out for more in return from another club, why they sent Uggla to a division rival, and why they felt it necessary to pull the trigger so quickly.

On the one hand, the deal likely increases the separation between the Mets and Braves in 2011, while it may help the Mets stay even with, or finish ahead of, the Marlins next year. Though, the deal has also created space in Florida’s payroll, which has already resulted in the signing of slugging catcher John Buck to a 3-year, $18M deal, and may also lead them to lock up righthander Ricky Nolasco on a long-term deal. Buck and Infante together in 2011 may be as productive — overall — as Uggla and catcher Ronny Paulino were in 2010. If Infante proves last year wasn’t a fluke, the combination may be better — particularly when you factor in defense. Either way, the trade doesn’t do anything to help the Mets’ chances in 2011.

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Mets Game 108: Loss to Braves

Braves 8 Mets 3

Operation Meltdown. Or was it “Metdown” ? Or, “Letdown” ?

The Mets failed in their attempt to help the Phillies gain ground on the Braves by folding early and giving Atlanta an easy victory.

Four errors … three in one inning … a starting pitcher who was unable to hold a lead … a manager who seemed unable to make the right decision, no matter what the situation … and how do you walk 6 times in a game but score only three times?

If we thought a loss in game 107 would’ve been a nail in the coffin for the Mets’ season, then how do you qualify (or is it “quantify”?) a loss in game 108? Either way, the Mets lost the series, and have sunk to a .500 record and 7.5 games behind in the NL East. At this point they are closer to the last-place Nationals than the first-place Braves — not a great situation for a team that hoped to play meaningful games in September.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey was, again, a disaster. He’s gotten to the point where he reminds one of John Maine or Oliver Perez circa 2008 – 2009. He has no confidence, looks uncomfortable and confused, and is clearly thinking too much when on the mound. I’m not going to get into the mechanical issues because I’m beating a dead horse and no one is listening anyway. It’s increasingly hard to believe that less than two months ago, Pelfrey was 9-1 and pitching not only like an All-Star but as well as anyone in the National League.

Though he wasn’t especially dominating, it should be noted that the Braves are now 13-1 in Kris Medlen‘s 14 starts. Medlen left the game in the fifth by what was later described as an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. Not good. Usually that type of injury is followed by Tommy John surgery and 12 – 18 months out of action.

Ron Darling made his move to the dark side during the postgame, responding to a Jerry Manuel quote about possibly skipping or shifting Pelfrey in the rotation to set him up for a favorable “matchup” in his next start:

“I don’t understand what he’s saying when he says that. I mean, I’ve been around the game for 25 years; I don’t know what that means. There’s no protection in this game, there’s no picking a lineup that you think you’re gonna be more comfortable with … what do you do? pitch him at night at Citi Field where he has good numbers for the rest of the year? You can’t do that kind of stuff …”

Ouch.

Manuel also mentioned that the team is lacking “power”. His exact comment:

That’s another thing that we haven’t done offensively … we don’t seem to have the power from our guys, and that’s a big thing missing if you don’t present that power now and then.

Well, hmmm … if that’s not throwing your sluggers under the bus I don’t know what is. While I agree that the Mets have not hit as many four-baggers as one would like, that quote also speaks very loudly about Manuel’s offensive strategy: sit back and wait for the three-run homer. I know Earl Weaver and the statheads prefer that plan, but a manager is stuck with the hand he’s dealt; you can’t coax a royal flush out of a pair of deuces, ace high. When the homers ain’t coming, you have to find another way to score (or limit the scoring) — be it in changing the personnel and/or adjusting the offensive attack. The Steroid Era is over, and thus a manager can no longer wait for homeruns and send relievers to the mound 80 times a season.

With this loss, the Mets fall to 54-54 on the year, prompting my lovely wife to say:

Jerry Manuel has reached his goal of .500 — so he can retire now, right? And we can have a new manager tomorrow?

If only, dear … if only …

And BTW, is YOUR wife (or husband) that informed about the Mets? If so you are as blessed as I.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have a welllllllllllllllllllll – deserved day off on Thursday as they travel to Philadelphia to phace the Phillies phor a three-game weekend series. Phriday night’s game begins at 7:35 PM, and pits Jonathon Niese against Joe Blanton.

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