Tag: david wright

Mets Sign Mulvey, Mull Nitkowski

The Mets have signed free-agent pitcher and former Flushing farmhand Kevin Mulvey and assigned him to minor league camp.

You may remember that the NJ native was part of the trade that brought Johan Santana to New York. Interesting, Mulvey was also traded for current Met Jon Rauch — from the Twins to the Diamondbacks.

Though his future looked bright when he left the Mets organization, Mulvey hasn’t exactly set the world afire. He’s appeared in 10 MLB games, including 4 starts, and owns a 7.90 ERA and 1.76 WHIP with 19 strikeouts and 14 walks in 27 innings. He was so-so pitching in the International League in 2008 and 2009 but was roughed up in his last two years in the hitter-happy PCL, posting ERAs over six and a half.

Mulvey turns 27 in late May so he likely “is what he is” at this point. But, I like the signing as the Mets need some starting depth at AAA. And it’s always nice to see a former prospect come back and try again.

In other news, another local, C.J. Nitkowski of Suffern, could be signed by the Mets as well. Nitkowski worked out for J.P. Ricciardi and Dan Warthen, sporting a new sidearm delivery that reportedly was modeled after Pedro Feliciano‘s. The 39-year-old Nitkowski spent 5 years pitching in Asia and hasn’t been in the big leagues since 2005, when he was ineffective in 7 games with the Nationals. Considering that Tim Byrdak is on his way to NYC to get his knee checked out, it can’t hurt to give the new-look LOOGY a shot.

By the way, also heading to NYC for examination is David Wright, who has not made any progress with his injured rib cage muscle. Hopefully this rib cage thing won’t turn into an extended issue.


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.


Mets Spring Training Question 4: Who Will Be the Leader?

With four days before pitchers and Molinas report to spring training, the #4 question to be answered in Port St. Lucie comes from my wife:

David Wright is supposed to be the “face of the franchise”, but he seems more of a figurehead than a team leader — and besides, we all know the Mets are going to deal him away by the trading deadline. So if not David, who will jockey for power and take over leadership of this club?


In the Bleak Mid-Winter: Some Random Thoughts

I think most Mets fans are hoping for a scenario that goes something like this: a combination of losses on the field and in the courtroom that forces the Wilpons into selling. Then as 2013 dawns, the team has rich new ownership, a dream team in the front office and a roster full of dynamic young players.

Not so fast. One of the keys to the Wilpons’ losing control of the team will be a further decline in attendance. Declining attendance is usually connected to a poor on-field performance. A poor on-field performance means one of two things: either a rash of devastating injuries or the reality that the new “core” of Duda, Davis, Tejada, etc. isn’t very good. If the latter is indeed the case, then the team is in for a long stay in the basement.

The last time ownership changed here was after the 1979 season when a perfect storm of poor play, financial woes and front office blunders dragged the franchise to hell. Already down and out for three seasons, the Mets struggled for nearly four more years after the Wilpon-Doubleday group took over, going through three managers in the process. It wasn’t until the end of the 1983 season and the arrival of Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez that things began to look up.

It’s a conundrum. I think everyone wants the Wilpons gone, but to hasten their demise, the team has to be awful. If they are awful however it means a total rebuilding (just two players from the 1980 team, Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman lasted to 1986) and several more years of 5th place finishes. If they play better and hover around .500, the Wilpons may just decide to try and hold on, which means more teetering on the edge of financial ruin, etc. etc.

One wonders if the Wilpons couldn’t benefit by hiring a spokesman to handle all of their media contacts. I can’t help but think that at 74, Fred may no longer be up to the task of dealing with the press. His New Yorker interview last spring angered and alienated both fans and players. His recent words after the owners meetings reassured us that his family is “holding up well” (well, that’s a relief) and that he hopes the fans will “give the Mets a try” (as if the team is a brand of snack food).Hard to gauge, but I’d be willing to bet that every time Fred opens his mouth, he costs the Mets 10,000 tickets sold. Where is Jay Horowitz while all this is going on? Perhaps it’s time for a younger, hipper, more believable mouthpiece and one with no current ties to the Wilpons to intervene.

Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Zach Wheeler are the Mets next great hope. Just ask Baseball America, hey they’re never wrong—right, Fernando? My hope is that Sandy Alderson is quietly shopping them around, just to see what they could get in return. Let’s face it; probably none of these guys is the next Stephen Strasburg. About the only thing more dangerous than trading away young pitchers is depending on them to develop into franchise-saving stars—right, Pulse?

So Scott Boras found his “stupid owner” in Detroit, eh? On paper that Tiger batting order looks terrific but in the field…well let’s just say that they are going to have to score a lot of runs! Remember the Howard Johnson in center or Daniel Murphy in left experiments? How did they work out? It probably also means that we can cross off Detroit from the list of possible destinations for David Wright this summer.

David Einhorn got a hefty fine from the U.K’s finance regulator for insider trading. First Bernie Madoff and now Einhorn. The Wilpons can sure pick’em.

I may not get to Citi Field at all this season, but I do plan on several trips to Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Buffalo Bisons are coming in for three separate stands, so I hope to get a glimpse of some future Mets, right here in Allentown. Coca-Cola Park is a beautiful place to take in a game, not a bad seat in the house, with a friendly staff and reasonably priced tickets and food. Think about this for a moment: a minor league community with a reputation as an industrial wasteland (thanks again, Billy Joel) one that hadn’t hosted a professional baseball game in nearly 40 years, was able to build a great stadium literally from a patch of weeds. The Iron Pigs, despite a poor record, have set minor league attendance records each year since their inaugural season in 2009. Meanwhile, there is another stadium that also opened in 2009 about 100 miles to the northeast that is unloved by the fans, has poor sight lines, charges exorbitant rates for food and celebrates someone else’s heritage. What went wrong?

And finally, if you expect that the Mets will “go big” in this June’s draft and spend lots of money on premiere talent, I have a bridge in New York I’d like to sell you. I do have this rich old guy with a Brooklyn fetish interested but if you make me a strong offer…


Will Mets Trade Daniel Murphy?

Yesterday Buster Olney suggested that Dan Murphy could be a fit for the Tampa Bay Rays, and that the Rays could have the young pitching that the Mets desire.

To be clear, this was not a rumor that Olney heard, but merely an idea that he proposed as realistically plausible. This isn’t the first theory focused on a trade of Murphy to another club; in fact there have been several this winter. But let’s consider this — would the Mets trade Daniel Murphy, and if they did, would they get a worthwhile return for him?


The Mets: Seven Reasons to Stay Tuned in 2012

Happy New Year everyone! With the holidays now in the rear view mirror and me now settling down into my new job, it’s time to take look ahead to what 2012 might hold in store for the New York Mets.

Like most of us, I have very low expectations for the team this year. Team finances aside, the starting rotation is mediocre at best, there are several defensive liabilities in the projected starting eight, the bench is horrible, there is little speed on the current roster and they play in a tough division. Still, I will watch as many Mets games as I can this year. Now that I have a steady income again, I may even make the pilgrimage from my home in Bethlehem to Citi Field to take in a game or two. I know that there is no postseason in store for the Mets in 2012, but I can think of at least seven reasons to pay attention to the team this year: