Tag: gary matthews jr

2010 Analysis: Angel Pagan

If not for R.A. Dickey, Angel Pagan would be the Mets’ runaway team MVP.

Miraculously, Gary Matthews Jr. and not Angel Pagan was the 2010 Opening Day centerfielder. Think about that for a moment. Now that you’ve thought about it, was it any surprise that the previous management regime is history?

After looking like a bonafide starting MLB centerfielder through 88 games in 2009, there was some question as to whether Pagan was the real deal. Well, he kept up the pace and then some in 2010, leading the team in hits (168), batting average (.290), and stolen bases (37), while finishing second or third in nearly every other offensive category. Additionally, he played stellar if unspectacular defense in centerfield until Carlos Beltran returned, then played stellar and occasionally spectacular defense in right field.

Without Pagan, the Mets might have struggled to stay ahead of the Nationals and out of the NL East basement.

2011 Projection

It would seem that Pagan has proven he can be a solid, occasionally exciting, MLB centerfielder. However, Carlos Beltran is likely to return to centerfield if he is not traded during the winter. If indeed Beltran is still a Met come April, and does not move from center, it is assumed that Pagan will be penciled in as the starter in one of the corners. Alternatively, Sandy Alderson could make the very shrewd move of trading Pagan while his stock is high, gambling that the soon-to-be 30-year-old (in July 2011) has peaked. Considering that much of Pagan’s game is reliant on his wheels, and he has had an injury-plagued career, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to trade him now for the right package of young talent. Personally, I hope he sticks around, as his game is tailored to Citi Field and I thoroughly enjoy watching him play.

Read the 2009 evaluation of Angel Pagan


Idea: What to Do With Ollie and GMJ

The Mets are still in it.

The team’s record sits at 27-26, 3.5 games out of first place. They may not be a championship-caliber team, but the NL East is there for the taking. Beyond that, the National League itself can be had – the Cardinals are struggling, the Phillies can’t hit and the Padres are in first place in the NL West. The Padres?!?!

But before they go out and acquire a pitcher like Roy Oswalt – or even Kevin Millwood – the Mets need to do something about Oliver Perez and Gary Matthews Jr.

Unfortunately, each player is owed a hefty sum – so it’s not that easy to cut or trade either of them.

So here’s the plan: ROAD TRIP REALITY SHOW

It’s pretty simple, really. Everyone loves a road trip movie and reality shows are everywhere. It’s a slam dunk for SNY’s programming schedule.

At the end of tonight’s game in San Diego, the Mets will board a plane to New York. But Ollie and GMJ will not be on that plane.

The Setup:

Instead, our heroes (I use the term loosely) will be given the keys to a 1982 Buick Regal with no air conditioning. The car will be painted in Mets colors.

They have to drive back to New York – or TOWARDS New York, until their car dies. That’s when the fun begins.

The Rules:

  • Both players remain on the DL until they meet the Mets in a city for the start of a series.
  • No hotels. They can take turns sleeping and driving.*
  • Even if the Mets have moved on to another city, Ollie and GMJ are required to go to their next assigned city to pick up their next crappy car (painted in Mets colors, of course).
  • Once the car dies, Ollie and GMJ must find an alternate route to the next city. This includes – but is not limited to – hitchhiking, walking, trains, blimps, and skateboards.
  • If our heroes meet a Mets fan during their travels, they must apologize and then take the fan to dinner and apologize some more.
  • The entire thing will be filmed and aired on SNY. Kind of like Yankees Ultimate Road Trip.
  • At any time, either player can simply give up and forfeit the money owed to him by the Mets.

*It will be interesting to see if Ollie’s driving is as erratic as pitching. I don’t know how GMJ is going to sleep with Ollie doing 90 mph all over the highway.


Mets Game 1: Win Over Marlins

Mets 7 Marlins 1

It couldn’t be a better day.

Beautiful, sunny, warm weather, an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel for five frames, followed by an offensive outburst by the home team.

And by the late afternoon, the Mets notched their first win of the year.

Johan Santana didn’t have Cy Young stuff, but he had enough to hold off the Fish through six — allowing only four hits and two walks, striking out five. He also had an early lead, thanks to a two-run homer by David Wright in his first at-bat of 2010.

Meanwhile, the Mets finally figured out their perennial nemesis Josh Johnson, who struggled with his command and was knocked out of the game before recording an out in the sixth. The Mets scored four times that inning and once again in the seventh to put the game away.

Fernando Nieve pitched two scoreless innings of pressure-free relief and Francisco Rodriguez finished up in a non-save situation.

Game Notes

This was the first time the Mets beat Josh Johnson. Ever. He’s now 7-1 career vs. the Mets.

Gary Matthews Jr. went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and 2 runs scored. “So there!”, says GMJ and Jerry Manuel to all the critics lambasting Manuel for the Opening Day lineup.

Though, Mike Jacobs and Alex Cora were a combined 0-for-8 with an RBI, neither player reaching base. All part of Jerry’s master plan, I guess.

Jason Bay quietly went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored and saw more pitches — 23 — than any other Met hitter.

Fernando Tatis came into the game as a defensive replacement for Mike Jacobs in the 8th. I’m not sure whether that’s comical or sad.

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin 2010 in first place in the NL East, and will remain there, guaranteed, for at least the next 50 hours. Game Two of 2010 begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday in Flushing. John Maine takes the mound against Ricky Nolasco.