Tag: mets

Blog Roundup: 25th Anniversary of the 1986 WS

25 years ago this week, the Mets defeated the Boston Red Sox to win their last World Series title to date.  Some Mets blogs are paying homage to the anniversary.  In other news, while Metsdom is patiently waiting for the announcement of changes to Citi Field’s dimensions (due after the World Series), some details are beginning to leak out.

Blogging the past and present:

  • Mets Police has a Bill Gallo cartoon from after Game 1 of the ’86 World Series.  Hint: the goat of game 1 will be the team’s 3B coach in 2012.
  • ESPN Mets Blog is recapping each ’86 WS game this week.
  • Howard Johnson (Yes, THE Howard Johnson) posted a picture of himself with Kevin Mitchell at the 1986 reunion.  There are also some familiar faces in the background.
  • Metsblog says work has already begun on Citi Field’s outfield wall.
  • Rising Apple thinks the Mets could go after Ryan Doumit to serve as backup catcher.
  • Metstradamus holds the finals of the Hall of Hate contest.  See who the finalists are!

There you have it, the blog roundup for Tuesday.  Check back with Mets Today for more Mets news.


Blog Roundup: Riding Out the World Series

Seeing the Cardinals back in the World Series has reopened old wounds for some Mets fans.  The optimism of 2006 came crashing down in Game 7 of the NLCS.  The subsequent collapses of 2007 and 2008 washed away what remained of the hope created that season.  Meanwhile, the anticipation of the offseason is building.

Blog time:

  • Faith and Fear in Flushing remembers the pain, and says it’s time to let it go.
  • Patrick Flood looks at how Jason Bay would have fared at Shea Stadium last year.  Bonus analysis: Yankees home runs if they played at Petco Park.
  • Daily Stache wonders if Mike Piazza should go into the Hall of Fame as a Met or a Dodger.
  • Metsmerized asks if you’re really ready to see Jose Reyes in another team’s uniform – like maybe a Phillies uniform?
  • Mets Fever says the walls could come crashing down after the World Series.
  • Ropolitans has a still from the latest Stand up to Cancer ad, showing Ron Darling standing up for “My catcher.”

Have a good weekend, and keep checking out Mets Today.


Nationals Clinch Third Place

It’s not as dramatic as clinching first place or a playoff spot, but in the world of the Mets fan, where meaningless games in September are our entertainment, little things like the once-lowly Nationals finish ahead of our favorites from Flushing are important to us.

And it’s official: by rallying in the late innings for a come-from-behind victory over the Florida Marlins, the Washington Nationals won their 79th ballgame — which clinches their third-place position in the NL East.

The Nats still have three games to play to the Mets’ two. The Nats’ record is currently 79-80, while the Mets’ is 76-84. So if the Nats lose all three of their final games, and the Mets win both of theirs, the Mets will finish 78-84 — one game behind the 79-83 Nationals.

How does this make you feel, as a Mets fan? Do you care? Do you think this step forward by the Nats is an indication of what’s to come in the near future, or is it just a fluke?

Post your thoughts in the comments section.


Jason Isringhausen: Circle Complete

Jason Isringhausen is not supposed to be in discussion to close for the Mets. Jason Isringhausen is not supposed to be in baseball. Yet, Jason Isringhausen is now one of the Mets closers.

He went from a feel good story to the set up man; Jason Isringhausen has been the most surprising Met this season. Right, there’s Dillon Gee, but he’s not 38 years old. Gee didn’t go through what Izzy has. Gee never had 5 major arm surgeries (even though he’s on the cusp of one). The curious season of Jason Isringhausen is a reminder of where Jason should have been his whole career.

A 44th round pick in 1991, he was traded in 1999 to the Oakland Athletics for reliever Billy Taylor, who lasted half a season with the Mets. He then went on to dominate in Oakland, saving 75 games over two and a quarter seasons. He led his team to the playoffs, solidifying Billy Beane’s theory of Moneyball.

He went to St. Louis as a free agent in 2002 and led the league in saves in 2004 with 47. He was second in the league in 2005 with a 2.14 earned run average. Jason Isringhausen was on the team that beat the Mets in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006.

He was supposed to be closing for the Cardinals that season. He was the closer until a hip injury sidelined him for the post season. And here he is, 11 years after being traded because manager Bobby Valentine didn’t want to use him as a reliever. “You wouldn’t use an Indy car as a taxi in New York City,” said Valentine to the New York Daily News in 1999. Bobby Valentine was wrong.

The Mets announced that Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell, and Jason Isringhausen will be splitting the duties of closer after trading Francisco Rodriguez. Isringhausen is not supposed to have a 3.14 ERA.  He was supposed to be a media stunt. He’s 7 saves from 300 in his career. He is closing in Flushing.

They say “what goes around comes around”, and in the case of Izzy, it’s true — he’s come full circle.

Did you expect Izzy to be this good, back in February when the Mets signed him? Post your thoughts in the comments.


Mets Game 103: Win Over Diamondbacks

Mets 9 Diamondbacks 6

Mr. Beltran, take your time — we have a very capable switch-hitting centerfielder doing just fine while you’re on the mend.

Angel Pagan blasted a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to lift the fans off their feet and the Mets over the Diamondbacks.

For the first time in a long while, the Mets engaged in a game that felt like a wound-up spring, ready to burst at any moment — and came out on the winning end.

The Snakes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 3 1/2 innings, but the Mets pulled off a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth frame to go up by two. Unfortunately, the Mets had Oliver Perez on the mound, so that didn’t last long. Fortunately, Max Scherzer had nothing, and so the two teams traded scores for the next two innings, and were knotted at five-all until Pagan’s dramatic blast.

Pedro Feliciano earned his fourth victory of the season, as he was the only Met pitcher to retire more than one batter and not allow a run.


Perez took another step backward. Although he allowed “only” three runs and struck out 7 in five frames, he also walked 5 and allowed 6 hits (including one homerun). On several occasions Ollie “improvised” on the mound, playing cowboy and dropping down laredo style for reasons unknown. At least a dozen of his 112 pitches were a good six feet out of the strike zone, and had Brian Schneider scrambling. It was a minor miracle that he threw only one wild pitch and allowed only three runs (and I’m still trying to figure out how he didn’t hit at least two batters). There were several spots where a more disciplined team would have mounted a 3- or 4-run rally. For the second straight evening, we can see why the Diamondbacks are stinking up the NL West.

What a shame to see what’s happened with Max Scherzer this year. Scherzer has struggled with nagging shoulder injuries, and if I’m Arizona I might consider shutting him down at this point. This is a guy who AVERAGED 95 MPH last year, topping out at 98-99. On this particular evening, the Citi Field gun had him at around 92-93, with a couple touching 94. Now, 94 is still pretty damn fast, but a world away from 98-99. In comparison, remember how hittable Billy Wagner became when his velocity dropped from 99-100 to 93-94.

Slowly, these replaceMets are forging their way into the fan’s hearts. I’m beginning to believe that the team will be better off if Beltran, Delgado, Reyes, and the rest of the “cavalry” never return. Some of these guys are taking the bull by the horns and showing the world (and their crepe-hanging manager) that they can play this game. It’s kind of nice to see guys bust it out of the box, rather than make a decision as to whether or not they should run hard.

Speaking of hard-nosed players, my new favorite non-Met is Mark Reynolds. He may set world records for strikeouts and errors, but you have to love a guy on a last-place team diving over the tarp and nearly into the stands to catch a foul ball.

Oh, and how about Clay Zavada channeling his inner Rollie Fingers with that waxed handlebar mustache? When he came into the game I thought I fell into a time warp. And his middle name is “Pflibson”. I smell a fan club sprouting soon. Baseball needs more guys like this in the game. I’d pay to see a battery of him and Sal Fasano.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Diamondbacks play the third game of the series at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Mike Pelfrey goes to the mound against Jon Garland.


Buy Me To the Moon

With the recent signing of Mark Teixeira for $180M over 8 years, the New York Yankees have spent a total of $423.5M on three free agents this winter.

Add in the $248M still owed on Alex Rodriguez’s contract, and the Bronx Bombers have committed over a half-billion dollars ($671.5M to be exact) to three ballplayers over the next eight years.

If that’s not an attempt to buy a World Series Trophy, I don’t know what is.

Based on this winter’s signings, the Steinbrenners clearly did not have any investments with Bernard Madoff (unlike another baseball team father-son ownership based in New York City … though, we’re assured that little financial scandal won’t affect their organization in any way).

The immediate reaction by 99% of people is that this enormous outlay of cash by the Yankees is despicable, unfair, and/or “exactly what’s wrong with baseball”.

Hmm ….

On the one hand, it’s slightly upsetting that Teixeira did not choose to join his hometown Baltimore Orioles, who have some bright young arms, athletic outfielders, and a future superstar catcher on their horizon. Adding a solid All-Star bat like Teixeira might have been the last piece of the puzzle to push them into contention at some point within the next 2-3 years. Already the toughest division in baseball, the AL East would have been even more competitive if the O’s joined the ranks of the elite.

But now, it’s a three-team race among the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays — who have to prove 2008 wasn’t a Cinderella season. No matter how much the Blue Jays and Orioles improve, it’s doubtful they’ll sniff the postseason before 2012. Though, you never know.

Does that make the Yankees a big bully? Is their spending this winter as obnoxious as everyone says — particularly in this difficult economy? Are the Yankees singlehandedly “ruining baseball” ?

No, no, and no. And no to any other such nonsense.

First off, the Yankees had over $80M come off their 2008 budget thanks to the expiring contracts of Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano, and Kyle Farnsworth (yes, I know Farnsworth was traded, but it was nonetheless another $5.5M off the books). With all that coming off, it’s entirely possible that the Yankees’ 2009 budget will be BELOW their 2008 spending even with the additions of Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett. Heck, they may still have room to sign Manny Ramirez. Yes, their payroll is still going to be a good $70M or $80M more than the next-highest spenders, but they’re not going above and beyond what they’ve been doing since 2003. And guess what? Despite spending more than any other team for the last five years, the Yankees have yet to make a World Series appearance. Huh.

Secondly, while every other team in baseball is crying about the economy, claiming they can’t afford to pay for free agents — and in many cases, laying off non-player personnel — the Yankees are HIRING. If the Steinbrenners follow up these big free agent signings with an announcement that they’re cutting their administrative staff or stadium maintenance people, then something stinks. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. In these tough times, I openly applaud business owners like the Steinbrenners, who instead of laying off people for fear what the future might bring, are instead investing in their future and seeking to improve and grow their product.

Obviously, the Yankees can afford to pay all these ridiculous salaries — they must be doing well. Would you prefer that they sat on their money, or hid it somewhere, rather than doling it out? Consider this: with the signings of three All-Stars, how many Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett Yankee jerseys and T-shirts will be sold? How many more baseball gloves with those players’ “autographs” on them will leave the shelves? How much money will Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett themselves spend, now that they’re ultra-millionaires? My guess is all three will put at least some of their earnings back into the economy, as well as into charitable foundations. Spending money in these tough times shouldn’t be frowned upon — it should be embraced and encouraged. Somehow, it all trickles down, eventually.

Finally, it is not the Yankees “ruining the game” by spending boatloads of money. If anyone is “ruining” baseball, it’s the San Diego Padres, who are dismantling their team piece by piece because their owners are in the midst of a divorce. To me, it is vastly more despicable for a teams like the Padres and Marlins to run “fire sales” in an effort to reduce payroll — and in effect, put a minor league team on the field. I understand that small market teams can’t compete, financially, with the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc. But if they can’t figure out a way to generate the minimum $40-60M to cover a Major League payroll, then either find a new management team, sell the club, or go to the minors — in my opinion there are too many MLB teams anyway.

Which brings me to another point that isn’t related to the Yankees, but with MLB in general. We’ve heard that the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays have been “forced” to lay off administrative personnel during this offseason. It’s also been reported that MLB had to cut their staff significantly, specifically in their MLB Advanced Media / website department. Can someone please explain to me how and why there are teams and MLB itself cutting staff when they made more money in the last five years than they ever have in history?

It was widely reported last winter that MLB.com paid out $30M to each club, after it generated nearly $400M in revenues. MLB Advanced Media’s growth has been fast and furious, and I find it VERY hard to believe that revenues were down in 2008 — if they were, they couldn’t be down by much. MLB.com’s user base, paid subscriptions, and traffic all went up. In addition, it was also widely reported that MLB as a whole made over six billion dollars in 2007 — an all-time high — and set attendance records. Following that momentum, several teams during the 2008 season set records again for attendance and ticket sales (including our New York Mets). So for the last two or three years, baseball has been absolutely booming, bringing in money faster than they count it — yet, teams (other than the Yankees) are crying poverty and adding to the unemployment rate. Is it me, or is something rotten in Denmark?

Perhaps I’m in the minority, but the money being thrown around by the Yankees is, to me, refreshing. At least there is one team doing well enough to feel they can put their profits back into the company, with an eye toward improvement and long-term growth.

Happy holidays.