Archive: January 20th, 2008

Affeldt and Tomko Off the Market

Two more free-agent pitchers have left the market. Lefty Jeremy Affeldt has agreed to a contract with the Cincinnati Reds and righty Brett Tomko has signed with the Royals.

From my point of view, either of these guys could have been nice fits for the Mets, one or the other stepping into the Aaron Sele role and/or giving the kids a push for the fifth starter spot. Affeldt was especially interesting because he was a lefty — and when you play the Phillies 18 times a year, the more lefties on your staff, the better. I would have liked Affeldt as a spot starter, long reliever, and LOOGY. Instead, he’ll go to Cincinnati, where they’re talking about putting him in the starting rotation. Not a bad idea, with the shortage of quality starters in this day and age.

Similarly, Tomko would have been a good fit as a long reliever, middle reliever, and spot starter. The hard-throwing righty with the good sinker has forever been something of an enigma, occasionally showing flashes of brilliance (not unlike Kyle Lohse).

Both pitchers agreed to one-year, $3M contracts. Compared to other free agents, that’s a bargain, and a manageable risk.

And still the Mets sit on their hands, either completely comfortable with their pitching staff or working on a secret deal that will be announced any day now.

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Ticket Buying: Ticket Solutions

Thanks to the internet it’s easy to get tickets to sporting events — and often at very good prices. Generally, I limit my purchases to going through Mets.com, but have recently been checking out some of the other online vendors — many of which I would not have known about had they not begun supporting MetsToday.com (no, the advertising dollars aren’t making me a millionaire, but they are paying the server bills and occasionally there’s enough left over to buy a bagel and coffee).

Because there are so many places on the web to buy Mets tickets, periodically, I’ll be posting quick reviews on some that I come across — regardless of whether they sponsor MetsToday or not. Hopefully these posts will be helpful to you.

Today we’ll check out Ticket Solutions, which of course offers baseball tickets (otherwise, why would we bother?). The home page is simple enough, showing you the three-step process of buying tickets — Choose your event, Choose your seats, Place your order. Easy, right? Just make sure you don’t click on the images correlating to those three steps, because they’re not links — you have to actually type in your event on the left sidebar. Right now there are also direct links to Super Bowl tix, NASCAR events, and concerts, and I imagine once spring arrives there will be quick links to baseball games.

For now, you’ll have to click on the dropdown link for Baseball — under the “Sports” link at the top of the page — and then on the New York Mets link on the following page. Two links isn’t bad, though I’d prefer there be a direct dropdown link somewhere on the home page — maybe the sidebar — to the Mets’ schedule. Maybe they’ll incorporate that kind of thing once the season starts. In the meantime, if you want you can use this link to Mets Tickets, which will bring you directly to the Mets 2008 schedule. Once there, it’s fairly simple to buy tickets — just click on the date of the game, find your seat, and buy. As with most other ticket sites, there is a detailed map of the seating, though no “view from your seat” feature like you see on MLB.com. Not a big deal, since most of us would be buying tickets to home games and are familiar with Shea Stadium, but it would be a helpful feature if you’re looking to see the Mets on a road trip.

Overall, Ticket Solutions is a straightforward, simple place to buy Mets tickets. I have never purchased tickets through them, so I cannot make a recommendation on their service. However, they do seem pretty confident about their service, however, since they offer a 200% guarantee on their ticket sales. If anyone has used them in the past please post your comments below, for everyone’s benefit.

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