Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid

In a vacuum, Tyler Clippard is a great addition to the Mets. As I stated earlier today, the addition of Clippard helps the team. However, when I saw this deal I was angry. 

The Mets lied to us once again. Remember when Sandy Alderson said he could add a major contract?  Remember how he said that no one believed him?  Guess what?  We now have our proof that he can’t be believed. You know other than the other times he lied about payroll.

First, the Mets had the Braves take on $500,000 of salary in the Uribe/Johnson trade. In the Clippard trade, the “big market” Athletics took on one-third of Clippard’s remaining salary. With these two trades, the Mets have added the whopping total of $4.5 million in payroll. To date, the Mets have saved $4.43 million in salary due to Wright’s injury. This doesn’t even take into account the savings from the Mejia suspension. Translation: the Mets still have not added payroll. 

If you think I’m wrong, keep in mind Billy Beane was dealing with the Mets because he knew the Mets would have to give up a better prospect because the Athletics would have to pick up money

When the trade went down, Keith Law questioned this trade (I’m putting this mildly). As he states, the Mets trade of Casey Meisner was trading him “[f]or ten cents on the dollar.”  As he states, the Mets traded Meisner, a prospect of whom he has a fairly high opinion. He’s not the only one as another outlet called Meisner a future ace. All of this for 20 innings of a reliever with an expiring contract. 

Other than losing a future ace, the Mets potentially lost out on Gerardo Parra. Keep in mind a starting OF is always more valuable than a relief pitcher. In fact, Marc Carig reported Meisner was considered a valuable trade chip. So the Mets turned a valuable trade chip into a set up man on an expiring deal?  Mike Vaccaro is right, this front office commits malpractice

Also, I don’t want to hear Meisner is the Mets’ 15th ranked prospect. I don’t care if he was their 100th. You do not judge trades according to the number prospect the player is in your system. You value it according to the value of the player as compared to the value of what you are getting back. The 2015 Mets may be better, but the Mets’ organization is weaker as:

  1. They traded a valuable trade chip for a reliever;
  2. They lost a potential future ace;
  3. They harmed their chances of getting a bat;
  4. They are now forced to trade higher end prospects if they make another deal; and
  5. They confirmed they cannot and will not add payroll. 

I know Mets’ fans opinion is this is a great deal. I couldn’t disagree more. Maybe I’ll forget about this if they make the playoffs without the OF and LOOGY they needed. 

O’ I Wish I Can Get a Personslized Jersey

I have a major pet peeve. My last name has an apostrophe in it. Many people misspell my surname because they either omit the apostrophe and/or they do not uppercase the second letter. I won’t bore you with the problems it creates in a digital age that largely dismisses the apostrophe. 

However, I will point out how MLB disregards the apostrophe and insults Irish fans. I think about this now because I remember as a little kid I wanted a Mets jersey with my name on it. However, when I was a kid that wasn’t an option. They just weren’t sold. Now, with certain exceptions, you can personalize a Mets jersey . . . except if you want an apostrophe. It’s absurd especially when you can select a specific player jersey:


That’s right. I can get a d’Arnaud jersey with an apostrophe. It’s proof that it can be done. However, if you’re an O’Hara or an O’Neill or an O’Sullivan (that’s not a Phillies fan), you’re out of luck. It’s absurd that MLB outright refuses to allow me to properly spell my name on a personalized jersey. 

Look, I get the need for the rules. MLB can’t have officially licensed gear with racist and/or profane names on the back. There is nothing racist and/or profane about an apostrophe (or a tilda for that matter). The end result is that I cannot get a personalized jersey for anyone in my family. 

I don’t want to have a disappointed kid in the future because MLB refuses to allow an apostrophe. I’m sure MLB doesn’t want disappointed young baseball fans either. They need to change the policy. 

Please note: for other problems, namely the St. Paddy’s Day caps,  please go to Mets Police, who has done an excellent job covering the subject. 

Mets Clipper?

Tyler Clippard began his career by beating the Mets in the Subway Series. Nine years later, the Mets may be looking to bring him back to New York. As of right now, he’s expected to be dealt soon

The Mets need bullpen help. The current Mets lefty relievers don’t get lefties out. After serious malpractice, Jack Leathersich is done for the year. Josh Edgin is done for the year with Tommy John surgery. They need a LOOGY. While he’s not a LOOGY, Michael Baron reports Clippard is effective against lefties. 

Aside from lefties, Clippard is an effective reliever. While he was not as strong this year than in year’s past, he has converted 17/21 save opportunities and has a 2.79 ERA. He’s had experience in pennant races and the playoffs. The Mets’ current bullpen lacks that experience. 

The Mets could use players with that experience in addition to a Jenrry Mejia replacement. Since Mejia was suspended for PED use, he is ineligible for the postseason. Right now the Mets have a 7-8-9 of Mejia-Parnell-Familia. That’s too much reliance right now on Mejia. You don’t want to go into the postseason wondering who you’re seventh inning guy is. 

Speaking of the postseason, Clippard has performed reasonably well. In six innings of work, he has a 1.50 ERA with a 0.667 WHIP and seven strikeouts. In October, I would be comfortable with him in the 7th, 8th, or 9th. 

So what’s the cost?  It is reported the trade is focused around Rafael Montero. I’m alright with that, even if Clippard is a rental. After being sent down, it was discovered he had a rotator cuff injury. He only recently began his minor league rehab. Typically, pitchers do not deal well with rotator cuff injuries. Even before the shoulder injury, Montero was considered to be a #4 starter, at best, who was not seen as a real bullpen option (he didn’t exactly dazzle in his bullpen performance this year). 

Montero will never crack this rotation (barring trade or injury), and I don’t think he will ever be a fixture in the bullpen. With the shoulder problems, I think the Mets should trade him sooner rather than later. Tyler Clippard fits the bill. 

Objectively Duda is Awesome

If we are honest with ourselves, we admit that we’re not always objective. I often joke that I know this is true because everyone says their kid is the cutest and the smartest, when in truth, the the cutest and smartest kid is my son. 

From the beginning, he would cozy up next to me while I watched the Mets (or Rangers in the Winter) as he goes to sleep. He loves baseball and the Mets because his Daddy loves baseball and the Mets. I’m a huge fan of Lucas Duda because of my son. 

It all started during Spring Training when Lucas Duda ripped a double down the right field line. When my son heard Gary Cohen yell Duda’s name during the call, he began saying Duda. Since that time, when I ask him who plays first base for the Mets, he says, “Duda!”  For Father’s Day, he got me a Duda jersey (told you he’s smart). Naturally, we went to Citi Field to get our Lucas Duda growth chart. By the way, if you’re reading this Lucas, I’m taller than you are and my son is a lot shorter. 

When the season started, it was looking great for Duda and our Duda Baby Fanclub.  In April, he was .325/.427/.488 with two homeruns. In May, he was .276/.366/.582 with seven homeruns. Since?  It’s been ugly; real ugly. He’s hit .160/.253/.358 with four homeruns. He was a big reason for the Mets’ hot start, and he’s been a reason for their offensive struggles. 

I keep in mind last year he hit .253/.349/.481 with 30 homeruns and 92 RBIs. Last year, he had a great July, bad August, and terrific September. By looking over this year’s and last year’s stats, his slumps and hot streaks are prolonged. The Uribe and Johnson acquisition has hopefully taking some pressure off of him. He responded Saturday by hitting two homeruns.

I still think Lucas Duda will be a big part of the team this year. He actively seeks to become a better player. He is hitting more line drives this year. He’s amongst the league leaders in hard hit ball percentage. We have to hope these are indicators he wasn’t a one year wonder. Looking at the current roster, he’s the only true power threat. 

As you can tell, I’m a bigger Duda fan than most (literally and figuratively), but I think we all want him to turn things around. If he doesn’t, I’ll always have a soft spot for him while I hope the Mets upgrade the position next year. If he does turn it around, we’re talking playoffs. If so, I’d love to recreate this photo in October. 



Should Mets Go Down Thunder Road?

Despite my assertions to the contrary, the Mets did make a trade, which is significant in more ways than one.  After missing out on Parra, the Mets moved onto Michael Conforto. Now, supposedly the Mets are in on Jay Bruce

Before discussing the cost, we should first consider if the Mets should trade for him. This year in a hitter’s park, Bruce is hitting .258/.341/.484 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI. He is a career .252/.325/.468 hitter. In limited playoff action, he’s hit .258/.361./.516. He 28 years old and is signed through next season with a $13 million team option ($1 million buy out). Translation: he’s a good baseball player on a reasonable contract. He helps this team immensely. 

Yes, he is better than Michael Conforto right now. To suggest otherwise is nonsense. Conforto has been terrific since his call-up, but he’s not the player of the caliber of Bruce right now. You can send down Conforto to AAA, and he will have been better for the experience. Plus, Conforto can come up in September and a possibility as a bench bat in the playoffs (God willing). 

Now, is he worth the cost of Zack Wheeler?  Honestly, I don’t know. For his career, he has an ERA+ of 100, meaning he’s an average pitcher, with a FIP of 3.77, which again suggests he’s an average pitcher. However, Tommy John surgery or not, he’s a 24 year old power pitcher who is not arbitration eligible until 2017 and cannot become a free agent until 2020. 

Is two years of Jay Bruce worth five years of Zack Wheeler?  I’m not sure, but I lean towards yes because flags fly forever. There is an open window here and a real chance to win the World Series within the next three years (at least). Now, if the Reds want another substantial piece from the Mets, I walk. Flags may fly forever, but you want to be competitive for a long time. 

Let’s hope this deal gets done because we need the return of this song to be heard in New York again. I think it’ll sound good for a Bruce Blast, don’t you?  

Happy Harvey Anniversary

I know where I was three years ago. I was sitting in front of the TV in my basement watching Matt Harvey make his major league debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was important to watch that game because it was the first glimmer of hope Mets fans since the collapses closing out Shea. 

It’s been a whirlwind since then. He started by striking out Gerardo Parra (yes, that Gerardo Parra) in a record setting 11 K, 5.1 inning shutout win. He would finish 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts. He showed us glimpses of his potential. 

In 2013, he started out like gangbusters. From the outset, he was the NL Player of the Week and April’s Player of the Month. He was in ESPN’s “The Body” issue. He almost had a perfect game (my second SNY appearance):

He had the epic Jimmy Fallon appearance. He then became the youngest All Star Game starter since Dwight Gooden. The fact he did it at Citi Field was all the more special. 

Then things started to turn sour. The Mets let him pitch through forearm tightness (paging Dr. Warthen). After he was shut down, he fought seemingly everyone on getting the surgery (because the Mets should control anyone’s medical decisions). Now all of a sudden his Rangers fandom was a problem (because hanging around and learning from Lundqvist is a bad thing). He had the gaul to want to be around his teammates during his rehab. He had the audacity to seek to pitch one inning in 2014. 

There were other missteps, some true and some overblown. Overblown: him paying respects to Derek Jeter. He wasn’t allowed to travel with the team. He goes and watches Derek Jeter’s home game (as inconspicuously as he could), and he gets blasted. By the way, we want our players to love and respect the game, and when Harvey does it, he’s vilified. The real ones were the social media gaffes

Finally, 2015 mercifully arrived. He has been a very good starting pitcher, but not quite Matt Harvey yet. For his part, Harvey thinks he’s back. Let’s hope he is because I can’t stand the inane backlash from his travel arrangements to his being curteous after playing a round of golf. I can’t stand it. 

You know what I see when I see Matt Harvey? I see a fierce competitor. I see a good teammate. I see someone who has handled fame and pressure well. He’s always at his locker answering questions, win or lose. I see a player whose nightlife activities include Ranger games. You don’t hear about all night drinking or drugs with him. After the 80’s, we should appreciate that. 

On top of the lessons of the ’80’s Mets, we should remember the lessons of Generation K. The Mets were supposed to have three aces in Isringhausen, Pulsipher, and Wilson. That blew up rather quickly. We need to revere these pitchers while we have them (and while they are healthy). 

For those of you who have read this blog before, my favorite player was Darryl Strawberry. My brother’s favorite player was Dwight Gooden. Trust me, that lead to some awkward conversations down the road with my Dad; conversations I frankly don’t want to ever have. 

I hope my son grows to root for Harvey because: 1) he has so many positive traits to celebrate (competitiveness, accountability, he’s not a quitter); and 2) it means he will be effective with the Mets for a long time. I’m celebrating this day because it’s the anniversary of when the Mets started turning things around. I hope you are as well. 

Jacob cyGrom

Even after the trades and last night’s increased run production, pitching is the main focus of the team. Front and center has been Jacob deGrom. Last year the question was if he had been up long enough to win Rookie of the Year (he was). This year it is whether the voters will vote for him for Cy Young over the other pitchers who have previously won the Cy Young award. 

On Sunday, he arguably made his strongest statement to date that he should be the Cy Young Award winner in the National League. He went 7.2 scoreless with eight strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.05. He beat Zack Greinke, whose had a ridiculous 45.2 scoreless inning streak was ended by the Mets of all teams. 

deGrom left to a standing ovation in the eighth and handed the ball to Jeurys Familia for the four out save. It was exactly how you would draw it up . . . only Familia (who should not have pitched last night) blew the save. Luckily, he would be bailed out by Jenrry Mejia, who navigated the 10th inning, Curtis Granderson, who hit a leadoff double in the 10th, and Juan Uribe, who rocketed a game winning RBI double scoring Granderson. For how good Familia has been this year, it was good the team bailed him out. 

On offense, you can’t complain when you end a lengthy scoring streak to a pitcher the caliber of Greinke. Both runs off Greinke may have been a gift with a Joc Pederson error setting up the first run and Greinke hitting Conforto with the bases loaded for the second run, but the Mets took advantage of the opportunities. 

Plus, when it really counted, Granderson and Uribe came through in the 10th. It was nice to see the Mets come through despite Ruben Tejada’s awful bunt failing to move up Granderson. You have to give it to Sandy, his two acquisitions came through in their first two games. 

As I suspected, Collins used a platoon with his left-handed bats to start the game: Johnson, Murphy, and Nieuwenhuis. Uribe came in late for defense and made a nice play in the ninth that Murphy would not have made. Collins may still yet eschew this platoon system, but he kept his promise that players who produce will play. Those three produced yesterday, and they played today. 

The Mets now move on to a softer part of the schedule. Even if the Mets don’t make another move, they now seem ready to compete in this pennant race. Lets Go Mets. 


As I wrote in my last post, the Mets have a lot of versatility. After thinking about it, I noticed something:

2B: Kelly Johnson (L) & Wilmer Flores (R)

3B: Daniel Murphy (L) & Juan Uribe (R)

CF: Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L) & Juan Lagares (R)

This is the making of the perfect platoon situation.  Last night the lefties played against the right handed Zach Lee. The aforementioned lefties were in the lineup. Once the game was out of control, the better defensive players were the Juans who came out onto the field (can’t wait to use that pun again). 

I believe Collins will look to ride the hot hand more than he’ll look to platoon players. However, when the Mets have faced lefties this year, he has loaded the lineup with right handed batters. I think the platoon system is the prudent way to go that unless/until the Mets get reinforcements (trades, players returning from injury). 

Remember, the only two times the Mets won the Workd Series, they effectively used a platoon system. 

Collins with the Right Mix

In his heart of hearts, Terry Collins is an old school manager. You reward players with playing time. If you don’t do your job, take a seat on the bench. This team, while imperfect, is perfect for Collins. 

Now, players will have to earn playing time. Before, Collins was throwing just praying that whatever buttons he hit would produce a run. This is not to disparage Collins. While I sometimes question his in game moves (like using Familia in the ninth tonight instead of Logan Verrette or Alex Torres) nothing that has happened with the offense thus far is his fault. 

However, the pressure is all on him now.  This team has interchangeable parts with limitations. He really only has three good defensive players: Juan LagaresJuan Uribe, and Lucas Duda. There are only four players with an OPS over .700: Duda, Granderson, Johnson, and Uribe (even if there are problems with OPS calculation). For most of the season, the problem was how to get blood from a stone. Now, it is don’t screw it up. Saturday night was a great start to say the least. The Mets only scored the most amount of runs they scored in Citi Field. 

I’d argue the most important development was Duda’s two HR game. For most people, present company included, Duda’s problems were lack of lineup protection and the weight of carrying this team.  If Saturday night is any measure, the pressure is off, and he’s back to being the middle of the order threat the Mets need. 

A very close second was Comforto’s night. Remember the old adage: sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make?  Well, if the Mets got Parra, Conforto is still in AA. Conforto looks ready  this is confirmed by his 4-4 game with 4 runs scored and an RBI. On a night like tonight, I’ll give the Mets the benefit of the doubt that Conforto needed those minor league ABs. 

The third important development was Kelly Johnson and Daniel Murphy getting the start and taking advantage of the opportunity. Both players homered and gave Collins no reason to take them out of the lineup. It was also a smart move for Collins to get Uribe in the game. It was also good to see Uribe get a hit. 

The rest was gravy. Matt Harvey was Matt Harvey. Apparently now, he’s a real threat at the plate with three consecutive multiple RBI games. Nieuwenhuis seems to be hitting again. The Mets finally beat up on weak pitching. There seemed to be a different energy to this club and to the ballpark. There was a lot to like. 

However, we need to reserve judgment until tomorrow when Zack Greinke takes the mound. If the Mets get some runs off of him tomorrow, they really do have something. The Mets have a chance tomorrow not only because they’re throwing deGrom, but also because they have eight legitimate bats (sorry nine tomorrow) in the lineup. Lets Go Mets!

Did Sandy Make the Wright Move?

Unfortunately, I think the Juan Uribe trade is a sign that David Wright is done for the year. If I’m right, this trade becomes even better than we original thought (like the Oliver Perez trade). 

Spinal stenosis is a fickle thing. Each case is different, and, as such, treatments vary. By the Mets own admission, Wright’s injury is taking longer to heal than they thought. This article was on May 23rd. I’m not being critical of the Mets here with Wright. The Mets have subjected themselves to criticism with their handlings of injuries, but not here. 
For what it’s worth, Wright has guaranteed he will return. Sandy Alderson just announced Wright resumed baseball activities. Sandy then traded for a third baseman. Remember, we initially were informed he would return after the All Star Break. I just find it odd as we hear Wright is on his way back, the Mets add a third baseman. 

I will say even if the Mets truly believe Wright is coming back, the Mets need an insurance policy (I don’t mean the one the Mets have right now) because repetition could exacerbate the spinal stenosis. Also, if he comes back, you want to give him more rest than you normally would during the stretch run. 

Overall, I really hope I’m wrong. Since 2005, he has been the Mets. He was part of the rise of the 2006 team. He showed why the original dimensions of Citi Field were a joke. With the redesign of Citi Field and the team, both he and the Mets were once again supposed to take off. 

For the first time, we can realistically ask, “Is the end of David Wright’s career near?”  It doesn’t seem right.”  He still has five years left on his contract. He’s only 32 years old. He was on pace for a Hall of Fame career. He may now be the Mets’ Don Mattingly. That would be a shame. 

I want my son to see David Wright and remember it. I want us to go to Citi Field when his number is retired. I want us to go to Cooperstown to see him inducted in the Hall of Fame. Mostly, I now just want to see him play again.